4 Day Gorilla Safari & Chimps

4 Day Gorilla and Chimp| Uganda Primates safari

The 4 days Primates trekking safari takes you to some of the most visited National parks of Kibale Forest National Park and Gorilla trekking in Bwindi impenetrable National park in Western Uganda.

Kibale Forest National Park – Chimpanzee haven

Kibale Forest National Park lies in Southern Uganda. It covers an area of 766 km2, with an elevation of between 1,100 and 1,600 meters. The park is located in Kabarole District in the Albertine Rift. With over 351 tree species as high as 55 meters and records show there some trees which are over 200 years old. Kibale forest national park has a range of eco systems i.e. forest woodland, swamps and patched savannah grasslands which cover most of the northern parts of the park. This is famous for Chimpanzee trekking.

The park has the highest number of primates in Uganda but the park is well known for the endangered chimpanzee. This park has 13 primates and over 70 other mammals including the elephants which roam the forest. The park is also surrounded by crater lakes which have supported the large bird species over 375 inhabiting the forest.

Chimpanzee tracking is the main attraction, although there are other activities such as the birding, community walk and nature walks in Bigodi and crater lakes

Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park – Gorilla haven

Located in the mountainous Kigezi sub region of southwestern Uganda, with an area of approximately 321KM2, is the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park. Its altitude ranges between 1,160m – 2,607m above sea level.

Declared a world heritage site in 1994, the park was gazetted in 1991. In 1993, the Mubare gorilla group was subjected to the park’s first habituation exercise. Currently, the park has eleven habituated groups. These include; Nkuringo, Mubare, Busingye, Mishaya, Habiyanja, Bitukura, Nyakagezi, Rushegura, Orruzogo, Nshongi, Bweza, Kahungye, and, Kyagururo for research. Due to its high altitude, the nights at Bwindi are extremely cold.

For over 25,000 years, Bwindi rainforests have been in existence. There are over 400 species of plants species and a variety of wild life, elephants, antelopes, bush pigs, chimpanzee, colobus monkey, baboons, black and white monkey, over 220 butterfly species,348 bird species, 27 frog species and most impressive of all the park has over 400 mountain gorillas – approximately half of the world’s population.

Beside gorilla tracking, birding is popular in this park with birders watching out for African emerald, Cuckoo, fly catchers, blue headed sun bird, short tailed warbler and many more, the main birding spots are in Buhoma- Water fall trail bamboo zone and Mubwindi swamp- Ruhija,

The cultural tour is quite informative as visitors get the real feel of the local natives, the local doctor performs his trade and you get to have a taste of the local food, see the how it is prepared, visit forest pygmies commonly known as the Batwa- You also visit the local schools which have directly benefitted from tourism.

All in all the, the Uganda primates trekking safari experience is a life changing experience which is will leave in in memories for years to come.

chimpanzee-kibale Uganda Primates Safari


Day 1: Travel to Kibale National Park – Bigodi Swamp

Leave Kampala or Entebbe after an early morning breakfast for the fascinating drive through the country side. Your safari guide will drive past road side markets, schools country homes, panoramic view of tea, banana, corn gardens and so many activities may be sited along the way.

There are different eco systems along the way, papyrus swamps, patched forested areas, and grasslands. You will go through several towns, Mityana, Mubende, Kyenjojo, stopover for hot lunch at Fort Motel in Fort Portal.

Check-in to your preferred accommodation. 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, the gardens and livestock. During the trekking and swamp walk you may encounter other primates, like the Vervet monkey, L’Hoest monkey, Black and white Colobus, Red tailed monkey and Mangabey etc. other animals such as the Antelopes, Bush pigs, Baboons, bushbuck 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.

You will return to the lodge after the adventure, freshen up, have dinner and overnight stay wait for the exciting chimpanzee tracking in the morning.

Accommodation (FULL BOARD)

Luxury: Papaya/Ndali lodge/Primate lodge/Kibale forest/Kyaninga lodge

Moderate: Kibale forest camp / Mountains of the moon

Budget: Rwenzori travelers/Chimpanzee forest guest house/ Kibale forest camp

Day 2: Chimpanzee trekking / transfer to Bwindi

Start your first day of the primates trekking with an early breakfast, your driver guide will transfer you to 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.

Trekking the chimpanzees is an exciting experience on average it takes about 3 hours to find these primates. Locating them depends on the weather and season. During dry spells, they move longer distance in search of food and water while in the wet seasons, food is readily available so the chimpanzees can easily be traced. Chimpanzees also become illusive during times of patrolling territories. They move tens of kilometers thus making it difficult to be found. During the tracking you may come across other primates such as; Blue monkey, vervet monkey, red tailed monkey, mangabey, bush pigs, elephants, baboons, different bird species and butterflies.

When you finally get to see them you have 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. The ranger guide will brief you about the life history of these animals and their interaction with the other inhabitants of the forest. You may take some photos, but at a distance, with no flash lights towards them

After this wonderful experience you will transfer to the lodge and head for Bwindi Impenetrable national park for next adventure. The drive takes you through the Ishasha sector in Queen Elizabeth National park well known for the Tree climbing Lions, arriving in the evening for relation, dinner and overnight stay.

Accommodations options with full board

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

Moderate accommodations: Ichumbi Safari Lodge/ Bakiga Lodge

Luxury accommodations: Four Gorillas Lodge/ Buhoma Lodge / Rushaga Gorilla Safari Lodge / Mahogany Lodge

Day 3: Uganda Gorilla Trekking / cultural walk

Rise up to an early served breakfast, meet your guide and drive to the park headquarter. At 7:30am, join the other trekkers for a briefing from the Uganda wildlife wardens. It is important to carry a rain jacket, drinking water, and jungle boots that reach your ankles. The Wardens will assign you to different gorilla families to track. In addition to gorillas, you may also spot other animals like antelopes, bush pigs, elephants, and over 350 bird species in the park. Do not forget to pack your lunch and all the necessary equipment during this Uganda Primates safari. When you find the gorillas, you have only one hour with them. Capture some pictures, but avoid using flash photography. Keep distance of 5 meters and abstain from any contact, as it may lead to the spread of diseases to the gorillas.

Although the trekking may last between 2 to 8 hours, it is worth taking. Spend your afternoon by embarking on a village cultural walk to witness how the people living near the Bwindi. Many of these local communities need support and always count on that given by the tourists’ generosity. The cultural walk commences from your lodge, starting with a visit to the nearby physician to watch their medical practices. You may visit the Batwa, a local community of pygmies, the natives of the rainforest. Enjoy their songs, dances, as they display their proficiency in a variety of skills such as hunting, and fire making. You may also pay a visit to NGO run projects like the local schools and Medical centers. The walk takes you past souvenir shops, schools, and churches, with an option to hike the trails that lead to stunning waterfalls. After this Uganda primates safari, return to your lodge for relaxation, and overnight.

Day 4: Transfer Back to Kampala / Entebbe

Early breakfast then start the journey back to Kampala, have a stopover for hot lunch at Igongo cultural center. Last stopover is at the equator, take some photos – arrive in Kampala or Entebbe. END OF SAFARI

Inclusions for the safari package;

– An English-speaking driver/guide,
– Transportation in a 4WD safari vehicle,
– A permit for chimpanzee (USD 200),
– Accommodation mentioned in the itinerary,
– A permit for gorilla trekking (priced at USD 700 per gorilla permit),
– Three meals each day (excluding your time in Kampala/Entebbe),
– Participation in a cultural walk within the community,
– Bottled water while in the vehicle,

Exclusions for the safari package;

– Drinks,
– Laundry services,
– Phone expenses,
– Tips,
– Any personal items not listed in the itinerary.

Note: The 4 days Uganda Gorilla and Chimpanzee trekking safari can also start from Rwanda. It takes you crossing through any of Cyanika or Katuna borders, driving straight to the parks.