12 Days Primate Safari

Embark on a thrilling 12 Days Primate Safari through Uganda, where the country’s breathtaking natural beauty and abundant wildlife await discovery. Your journey begins in Entebbe, relax and explore its famous botanical gardens or wildlife education center. Then wind westward to Kibale National Park to track chimpanzees amid other primates scurrying through the forest canopy.

After surveying Kibale’s treetop residents, drive to Queen Elizabeth National Park. Rising before dawn permits sighting lions and their comrades on an initial game drive. Later, lazily float the Kazinga channel by boat among bustling birdlife and slumbering hippos. Here, investigate reports of arboreal lions prowling in Ishasha’s leafy heights or stroll the quiet Maramagambo Forest pathways and spelunk the bat caves below.

The trip then transports you to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. Finally, the chance arrives to trek Bwindi’s shadowy forests hoping to happen upon uplifted gorilla families in their verdant realm.

This safari thoughtfully selects top lodges like Primate Lodge Kibale, Mweya Safari Lodge and Mahogany Springs Lodge to rest your head. Game drives and boat trips also feature.

Day 1: Arrive Entebbe, Uganda

Arrive in Entebbe, and transfer to your accommodation to rest and freshen up. If time permits visit the famous Entebbe Botanical Gardens or the Uganda Wildlife Education Centre.

Accommodation: 2 Friends Beach Hotel / Papyrus Guest House

Day 2: Drive to Kibale National Park

Drive westward to Kibale National Park approximately a 5-hour drive. The route slowly ascends from the Lake Victoria Basin into the lush rolling foothills of The Rwenzori Mountains (Mountains of the Moon). The road passes through villages and farmland where every imaginable fruit and vegetable of the tropics can be seen growing. Birding is excellent as the road passes through rainforest regions, agricultural land, papyrus swamps, and scrubland before reaching the famous tea-growing area around Fort Portal and Kyenjojo. Pass through tea plantations into the Kibale Forest area.

Accommodation: Primate Lodge Kibale / Ndali Lodge / Turaco Treetops

Day 3: Chimpanzee Tracking in Kibale Forest

After breakfast, proceed for Chimpanzee tracking. The exciting activity begins in the morning and may take a whole day or a few hours. Briefing is done by the UWA park rangers at the park headquarters. Besides being human’s close cousins, the chimpanzees, Kibale National Park hosts other primates such as red colobus, L’hoest, black-and-white colobus, red-tailed monkeys, and grey-cheeked mangabey among others. The swamp walk at Bigodi wetland is an optional activity in the afternoon.

Accommodation: Ndali Lodge / Primate Lodge / Turaco Treetops

Included: Chimpanzee tracking

Optional: Bigodi Swamp Walk

Day 4: Kibale National Park – Queen Elizabeth National Park

After breakfast, check out and drive to Queen Elizabeth National Park. The drive passes through Fort Portal southwards along the Eastern length of the Rwenzori Mountains. On a clear day, you may see the glaciated peaks as you gently descend into the Great Rift Valley to the park. The Rwenzori Peaks provide a magnificent backdrop to antelope-filled plains. Queen Elizabeth National Park covers about 2,000 square kilometres and spreads along the eastern shores of the Rift Valley’s Lake Edward.

Accommodation: Mweya Safari Lodge / Buffalo Safari Lodge / Irungu Forest Lodge

Included:  Evening game drive

Day 5: Queen Elizabeth National Park

Today you go for an early morning game drive with the hope of seeing lions and other predators as they hunt for their prey. In the afternoon, you take a launch/boat cruise of about two hours on the Kazinga channel for bird viewing (Queen Elizabeth National Park is one of the best birding parks in Africa with “560” + recorded bird species and 296 bird species seen in 24 hours). You may also watch wildlife including the hippopotamus and elephants, among others. The Channel is believed to have the largest concentration of hippopotamus in the world.

Accommodation: Mweya Safari Lodge / Buffalo Safari Lodge / Irungu Forest Lodge

Included: Game drive, Boat trip at the Kazinga Channel

Day 6: Queen Elizabeth National Park – Bwindi Impenetrable National Park

After breakfast drive to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. Here you will choose either to go via Maramagambo Forest for a nature walk and visit the bat caves where you may observe thousands of bats within inches of their roosts and often pythons and monitor lizards poised to strike by the cave entrance or to go to Ishasha for a game drive in search for the unique tree climbing lions. Afternoon, drive to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.

Dinner and overnight at Mahogany Springs Lodge / Buhoma Haven / Gorilla Bluff Lodge

Included: Search for Tree Climbing Lions

Day 7: Gorilla Tracking in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park

After an early breakfast, and our packed lunch, we then take a short drive to the park headquarters for briefing where we meet the excellent local guides and trackers who give a talk on the etiquette of gorilla trekking. We then trek into the forest to a spot where gorillas were last seen the previous night and track from there. Trekking may take anything between 1 to 6 hours depending on the family and altitudes which is more than 7500 feet. The terrain is rough and muddy calling for physical fitness. Although the hike is physically demanding, the beauty of the forest and surrounding scenery makes the trekking worthwhile. Once the Great Apes (Gorillas are located all fatigue is forgotten as the experience is often described as being the most profound natural history experience in the world). It is recommended that you take plenty of water with you on the trek. Non-flash cameras and plenty of fast-speed films are recommended. Being a tropical rain forest, it may rain at no notice, hence need to bring with you waterproof clothing, including zip-lock bags for cameras and film. Others to come with include sturdy hiking boots, long pants, gloves and a raincoat. Maximum time spent with the gorillas is 1 hour.

Dinner Overnight at Mahogany Springs / Buhoma Haven / Gorilla Bluff Lodge

Included: Gorilla tracking

Day 8: Drive from Bwindi Impenetrable National Park to Lake Bunyonyi

After breakfast, drive through the scenic Little Switzerland of Africa with a lunch stop over at White Horse Inn Kabale. Later transfer to the edge of the island-dotted Lake Bunyonyi one of the best Crater Lakes in this part of Uganda.

Accommodation: Lake Bunyonyi Rock Resort

Day 9: Drive to Lake Mburo National Park

After breakfast, take a canoe ride on this beautiful Lake to visit the Islands such as Punishment Island among others. After lunch drive to Lake Mburo National Park. You will have a chance of walking in the park which hosts, Impala, Zebra, Topi, Buffalo, Crocodile, Hippo and a variety of bird and plant life.

Accommodation: Mihingo Lodge / Rwakobo Rock / Mantana Tented Camp.

Included: Game drive

Day 10: Drive from Lake Mburo National Park to Jinja

After breakfast, take a game drive as you exit the park heading for Jinja, the adrenaline city of Africa, which also hosts the source of the Nile River.

Accommodation: Jinja Nile Resort / Gately on the Nile / Kingfisher Resort.

Day 11: Drive from Jinja to Entebbe

After breakfast, visit the Bujagali Falls where White-Water Rafters enjoy rides through the Big Grade 5 white water rapids, then head for our starting point for the rafting craze! Spend the entire day rafting or doing other optional activities in Jinja with lunch on the river island, and transfer to Entebbe later in the evening.

Accommodation: 2 Friends Beach Hotel / Papyrus Guest House

Included: Rafting

Day 12: Departure

Transfer to Entebbe International Airport for your outbound flight.

Optional: Time allowing visit the Uganda Wildlife Education Centre / take a boat cruise to Ngamba chimpanzee sanctuary island on Lake Victoria / do a city tour around Kampala or Entebbe town. You may also visit the Mabamba Swamps for the shoebill experience.

  • Transportation
  • Accommodations
  • Meals Mentioned
  • Activities marked as Included
  • Professional English-speaking Driver guide
  • Entrance Fees in the mentioned Places to Visit
  • Bottled drinking mineral water


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