12 Days Uganda Primates and Wildlife Safari

The twelve days Uganda safari adventure has in stock a diverse array of wildlife, culture, and beautiful scenery. Chimpanzee and Gorilla tracking are the stand-out attractions of this safari, but there are other eye-catching moments not to be missed. These include the tree-climbing Lions of Ishasha, the enormous  Rhinos in Ziwa sanctuary, Hippos in their mud Jacuzzis, Elephants sand bathing, Buffaloes, antelopes, and several species of birds, beautiful crater lakes, green impenetrable forests. Enjoy the power of Murchison Falls in the north of Uganda and the ever-green round hills of Kigezi. This is home to the mountain gorilla in southwestern Uganda. This Uganda wildlife safari will surely captivate your imagination.

Tour Highlights:

  • Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary visit
  • Game drives in Murchison Falls, Queen Elizabeth, and Lake Mburo National Parks
  • Chimpanzee tracking in Kibale National Park
  • Gorilla tracking in Bwindi Impenetrable forest
  • Boat cruises in Murchison Falls, Queen Elizabeth National Parks, and Mburo National Park
  • Tree Climbing Lions of Ishasha
  • Nature walk in Bigodi Swamp
  • Crater Lakes
  • Stop over at the Equator

day safari uganda

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Rhino Tracking at Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary and transfer to Murchison falls

Enjoy breakfast at your hotel in the morning or for those arriving at Entebbe international airport expect your driver guide to picking you up. Thereafter, begin the journey to Murchison falls National Park. Drive through several towns along the way before having a stopover at Ziwa Rhino sanctuary where the endangered White rhinoceros are bred. This Rhino sanctuary was started to protect the White Rhino populations found in Uganda. Spend one hour with these giants after locating them.

You will then have a stopover in Masindi for your lunch. After lunch proceeds to Murchison fall. As you drive through the Budongo Forest, you might come across troops of baboons, monkeys, and several bird species.

Drive to the top of the falls, you will enjoy the powerful Nile as it squeezes through the narrow   7-meter gorge, crushing down 42 feet below, producing thunderous plumes of water that raise 10 meters high. It’s such a spectacle to watch the power of nature at work.

Journey time to the park is approximately 5-6 hours.

Accommodation options at Murchison Falls National Park

(Meals inclusive; breakfast, lunch, and dinner)

Luxury: Paara Safari Lodge / Chobe safari lodge

Mid-range: Pakuba Lodge, Murchison River Lodge, Fort Murchison River lodge

Budget:  Red Chili Rest Camp / Yebo safari camp

Day 2: Murchison Falls National Park Wildlife safari/boat ride

Murchison Falls National park has a variety in terms of wildlife. On this Uganda wildlife safari, you will be in for a treat for the big game most sought after, and most exciting of all, the falls. Have breakfast by 6 am and thereafter start the search for the morning early risers.

The morning game drive starts at about 6 am on the northern bank of the River Nile,   look out for animals such as; giraffes, lions, hyenas, water bucks, elephants, buffalos, Jackson’s hartebeest, Uganda kob, oribi and so many more-  also in stock are plenty of birds-such as; hadada ibis, hermakop, marabou stock, kingfisher, egrets to mention but a few. As you have your game drive, you may relax and have a picnic on the river bank as you listen to the groans of the Hippos.

After the game drive, you will transfer to the lodge and enjoy your lunch as you prepare to have an afternoon boat cruise on the Nile River. This cruise is spectacular as it allows you to get up close to aquatic animals such as; hippos, crocodiles, waterbucks, buffalos, elephants, etc. Among the birds commonly sited on the boat cruise include the goliath heron, kingfisher, weaver birds, bee-eater, and cattle egrets- the scenery along the bank is stunning. At the bottom of the falls, you may choose to trek to the top of the falls or take photos of the rocks below the falls. This boat ride is quite exciting as you move up against the powerful tide created by the Murchison falls.

Day 3: Transfer to Kibale Forest National park for chimpanzee tracking

Have early breakfast and depart for Kibale National Park home to 13 primates.  With so many primates in one park, Kibale national park is a must-visit for primate lovers. The chimpanzee is the star attraction in this park and it does not disappoint when you finally meet them.

As you move to the park, you will come across homesteads, tea plantations, farmland, patched forest, markets, and small trading centers, your guide will choose a spot for you to have a picnic lunch-reminisce about the previous adventures and look forward to the coming adventures.

You will check into your preferred accommodation late in the evening- relax, wait for your dinner and get ready for the morning chimpanzee adventure.

You will spend approximately 8 hours on this journey


(Meals inclusive; breakfast, lunch, and dinner)

Luxury: Primate Lodge, Papaya lakeside lodge,

Mid-range: chimpanzee guest house, Isunga lodge, mountains of the moon

Budget: Kibale forest camp, chimpanzee guest house, Rwenzori view guest house

Day 4: Chimpanzee tracking in Kibale NP / Bigodi swamp walk

Start your day with an early breakfast, your driver guide will transfer you to the Kanyanchu Visitor center at the park office. Here you will have a briefing on the dos and don’ts before setting off for the long-awaited chimpanzee tracking.

You will be allocated a group of not more than six people and given a ranger to guide you throughout the chimp tracking experience.

Tracking the chimps is an exciting experience on average it takes about 3 hours to find the chimps.  Locating the chimps depends on the weather and season, during dry spells the chimps move long distances in search of food and water while in the wet seasons, food is readily available so the chimps can easily be traced. The chimps also become illusive during times of patrolling territories, they move tens of kilometers thus making it difficult to be found.

During the chimp tracking you may come across other primates such as; Blue monkeys, vervet monkeys, red-tailed monkeys, mangabey, bush pigs, elephants, baboons, different bird species, and butterflies.

When you finally get to see the chimps you are allowed one hour with the primates, during this encounter, you will get to see the chimps grooming, fighting, feeding, the young ones playing, adults swinging from tree to tree and the ranger guide will brief you about the life history of the chimps and their interaction with the other inhabitants of the forest. You are allowed to take photos but you are advised to keep your distance and flash photography is not allowed.

Freshen up before embarking on an afternoon guided walk in Bigodi swamps, here you will interact with the locals and get to know their livelihood you will get to see their homes, gardens, and livestock. During the swamp walk you may encounter other wildlife, including Vervet monkey, L’Hoest monkey, Black, and white Colobus, Red tailed monkey and Mangabey, etc. other animals such as Antelopes, Bush pigs, Baboons, and bushbucks, etc. there are over 375 bird species including the hornbill, hamerkop, yellow billed egret, water thick-knee are a common sitting.

A stunning location overlooking a dramatic Crater Lake and the stunning hills covered with tea plantations is worth looking out for.

Day 5: Transfer to Queen Elizabeth National Park/boat cruise

Have breakfast then transfer to Queen Elizabeth NP. The Wildlife safari will take us through several towns and trading centers, large scenic tea plantations, and Uganda forests- with baboons and monkeys strolling along the roads, Rwenzori Mountain ranges can be seen far and wide. As we travel through the park, several wildlife will be sited- proceed to the lodge for lunch.

After lunch, the Uganda wildlife safari will continue with a boat cruise on the Kazinga channel. This channel joins the two lakes, Lake Edward and Lake George. The journey on the cruise is 2 hours. Enjoy the hippos, crocodiles, and waterbucks, the sessions are filled with relaxation as you feel the cool breeze on the channel after the adventure retires to your accommodation.

Accommodation Options (full board)

Luxury: Mweya safari Lodge, Elephant plains safari lodge, Make Valley lodge

Midrange: Kyambura game lodge, Ihamba Lake Side, Twin Lakes, Bush Lodge, Ishasha jungle lodge, Ishasha wilderness camp

Budget: Simba safari camp, Bush lodge-tents

Day 6: Uganda Wildlife Safari in Queen Elizabeth National Park/boat ride

The morning game drive will start at about 6:45 am, view the early morning risers in the Kasenyi track. These include, lions, elephants, buffalos, kobs, antelopes, etc. View these animals at close range with our open adjustable roof vehicles that offer more flexibility while in the game. Transfer to the lodge for lunch and brief rest before heading to the Kazinga Channel for an afternoon boat cruise. You will see more of the same wildlife as well as plenty of bird species as Queen Elizabeth NP has the highest number of bird species, with over 600 recorded. Retire to your lodge and enjoy the beautiful sunset as you wait for your dinner.

Day 7: Transfer to Bwindi impenetrable Forest for gorilla tracking

Have breakfast, and drive through the Ishasha Sector; this takes you through the valley in search of tree-climbing lions. After the game drive, have a stopover for hot lunch at Savannah Resort Hotel in Kihiihi. Thereafter, go through the winding hills as you climb to higher altitudes, home to the mountain gorillas. The journey will take you approximately five hours depending on the weather. Check in to your accommodation late in the evening and freshen up as you wait for your dinner

Accommodation (full board)

Exclusive Upgrade Lodges: Clouds Lodge /Gorilla Forest camp

Luxury: Buhoma Safari Lodge /Mahogany Spring Lodge / 4 Gorillas Safari Lodge / Kiho Gorilla Safari Lodge

Moderate: Bakiga Lodge/ Ichumbi Safari Lodge.

Budget: Ruhija Gorilla Friends Camp / Buhoma community Rest camp/ Gorilla Valley Lodge/Ride 4 a Woman

Day 8: Gorilla trekking in Bwindi NP / Community walk

Ultimately the most exciting of all, meeting the gentle gorillas of the mist. Have an early breakfast at 6:30 am, then proceed to the park headquarters by 7.30 am for a briefing from the Park Wardens. Ensure to carry along a rain jacket, drinking water, snacks, and ankle-high jungle boots. The park wardens will allocate you different gorilla families which you will track. Besides seeing Gorillas other animals such as antelopes, bush pigs, chimpanzees, baboons, elephants, and over 350 bird species are commonly siting in this park.

Do not forget to take your lunch boxes and all the necessary gear to track the rare Mountain Gorilla, perhaps one of the most exciting wildlife experiences on earth. When you finally get to meet the gentle giants you are allowed a maximum of one hour with them, photos are allowed, but no flash photography, minimum 5 meters distance must be kept, avoid contact with the gorillas as you can spread diseases but also coming close may mean invading their space which the silverbacks or dominate males may not take lightly thus this could lead to charging- also avoid running away in case of charging by the gorillas.

The tracking may take between 2 and 8 hours but it’s well worth the effort. The afternoon is spent on a village cultural walk which gives you a great opportunity to see how the people surrounding Bwindi Impenetrable Forest live. It also is a great way to support the local community directly.

The walk begins at your accommodation- visit the local Doctor as he performs his trade- visit the pygmies locally known as the Batwa, who originally lived in the rain forest before it was gazette into a national park in 1991, they will showcase songs, dances- different skills – fire making, hunting, and storytelling-you will also visit a school run by community NGO thus by visiting the school you will be the supporting these disadvantaged kids.

You will get to see the local homesteads, and local people see and learn their ways. The cultural excursion will showcase art and craft, dance and culture as well as the way of life if you have time you can learn a few skills yourself.

You will see several souvenir shops, schools, churches, and drinking joints. Other options include taking the trails, to see the stunning waterfalls or you can choose to have a birding expedition in the forest in addition to various primates.

Day 9: Transfer to Lake Mburo National Park and boat ride

After the wonderful encounter with the mountain gorilla, have an early breakfast and transfer to Lake Mburo NP the smallest Wildlife Safari park in Uganda. The journey will take you approximately 4 hours, and en route. Enjoy hot lunch at Igongo cultural center. While there, you can check out the cultural museum which is quite interesting. Proceed and check in before you go for your late afternoon boat ride. Retire and have overnight at your accommodation.

Accommodation (meals inclusive)

Budget: Eagles Nest, Mpogo lodge

Mid-range: Rwakobo safari lodge, Mburo safari lodge

Luxury: Kigambira Safari Lodge, Mihingo safari lodge

Day 10:  Morning game drive and Transfer to Jinja

Have an early breakfast, take a wildlife game drive in Lake Mburo national park. And enjoy the different wildlife in Lake Mburo Park. After the game drive transfer to your lodge for checkout and start your journey to Jinja having a stopover at the equator for some photos-you will drive through several towns including the capital Kampala- have a stopover in Mabira forest, they finally arrive in Jinja for the day’s activities.

Accommodation (meals inclusive)

Luxury – Wild waters Lodge

Mid-range – Haven Lodge

Budget – Nile River Camp

Day 11: White water rafting / Bungee jumping /horse riding/Quad biking

After breakfast, you will be transferred to the starting point for the white water rafting. A team of well-trained divers and guides will help you enjoy the thrill of the mighty river Nile. After rafting you have a range of options to choose from, these include, horse riding, quad biking, and bungee jumping. After the day’s activities retire to your lodge.

Day 12: Departure to Kampala / Entebbe

After the wonderful adventure, you will be transferred back to Kampala or Entebbe airport.

End of the Uganda Wildlife and Primate safari.

Tour inclusions

English-speaking guide at all times

Full board accommodation

Transfers where necessary

Transport a 4*4 wd vehicle

Drinking water on board

Park entry fees

Gorilla permit

Chimpanzee permit

Boat trips

Water rafting

All activities included except for the optional ones

Tour exclusions



Visa fees