11-day Uganda Group Gorilla Trekking Safari

This 11-day Gorilla Trekking Safari takes you to some of the popular National Parks in Uganda, including Lake Mburo National Park for game drives and boat cruises, Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National park for gorillas, Queen Elizabeth National park for game drives and a boat cruise on the Kazinga channel, Kibale National park for chimpanzee trekking and Bigodi wetland walk before you drive to Murchison Falls National park for game drives and a boat cruise to the bottom of the magnificent Murchison Falls.

Highlights

  • Entebbe
  • Southern Queen Elizabeth National Park
  • Murchison Falls National Park
  • Kibale Forest National Park
  • Lake Mburo National Park
  • Uganda
  • Bwindi Impenetrable Forest

Tour Summary

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Full Day by Day Itinerary

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Day 1 : Entebbe

Welcome to Uganda! On arrival, you will be met at the Airport by our Company representative who will escort you to your safari vehicle and will introduce you to your Driver who will also be your Guide. The first stop will be a short drive to your accommodation where you will be able to relax and contemplate the adventure that lies ahead.
Your journey will be approx; 8km. 15min drive

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Day 2 : Murchison Falls National Park

An early morning rise will enable you to begin your safari and head towards Murchison Falls National Park, traveling north to Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary which will be the first scheduled stop. The journey will see you leave the traditional Buganda Kingdom located in the central region of Uganda and move into the area the Bunyoro Kingdom call home with in the north west region.
Your journey will be approx; 210km. 4hrs drive  Lunch en-route

Afternoon Activity
Any trip towards north-east Uganda just wouldn't be complete without a visit to the Rhino Sanctuary at Ziwa. They provide trained rangers who will guide you through a Rhino Trekking expedition. You will have the opportunity to observe the rhinos at a very close and safe distance. While at the sanctuary you will also encounter a range of other wildlife species including Uganda kobs, reedbucks, oribis, hippos and crocodiles. After Rhino walk will fresh memories of the experience, it will be time for lovely drive from Nakasongola to Murchison Falls National Park via Masindi town. The journey to the park entrance will take you through the beautiful Kaniyo Pabidi Forest until the Kichumbanyobo Gate.  Murchison Falls National Park is split into its northern and southern sectors by The Nile that runs east to west through the Park. The majority of visitors access the park from the south and have to cross over to the north at the Paraa Ferry Crossing point using a regular vehicle ferry. On the north bank of the river, networks of gametracks explore the Buligi sector in the west and Chobe in the east.

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Day 3 : Murchison Falls National Park

Morning Activity
Game drives in Murchison Falls are incredible. The park is home to all of the Big 5 with the exception of the rhino. Also resident are the hippo, buffalo, giraffe as well as several antelope and monkey species. Most of the game viewing is done around the Buligi Game tracks in the northern sector of the park. The park also boasts the Nile - Lake Albert Delta which is home to a large number of birds including African fish eagles and the rare shoe-bill storks.

Afternoon Activity
After lunch, it will be time for a boat ride along the Nile to the foot of Murchison Falls, be sure to have your cameras ready for this one. Expect to see birds perched on tree branches ready to hunt, mammals drinking or cooling down in the river and reptiles basking in the sun on the river banks. One of the highlights of the boat ride is getting up close to Murchison Falls itself, allowing you to feel the awesome power and beauty that comes when the worlds longest river is forced through a 7-meter gap before dropping 40 meters as is continues its journey to the Mediterranean Sea. This trip on the River Nile really harks back to the days of the intrepid explorers of days gone by and the best time to do the trip is at sundown.

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Day 4 : Kibale Forest National Park

Morning Activity
No trip to the Murchison Falls area would be complete without a trip to The Boomu Women's Group! The Group was formed in 1999 in the village of Kihaguzi with aim of fighting poverty and creating more social and economic development. The Women now run a small-scale accommodation facility that employs local people and is a source of income.  During your visit to the Boomu Group, you will get to see the other activities that they run as part of their diversification to ensure a varied income base. These include handcrafts, weaving bedspreads as well as poultry farming and bee-keeping.  After breakfast you will head south westwards to Hoima Town which acts as a midway stopping point between Murchison Falls National Park and Kibale Forest National Park. There is an interesting blend of rural and town life which you will not get to see anywhere else in Uganda. This particular drive is a long and bumpy one but it is made worth while once you arrive in Kibale, whether is it Chimpanzee Trekking or exploring the natural landscape formed of rolling hills and breathtaking crater lakes, the long drive will soon be a distant memory.
Lunch en-route

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Day 5 : Kibale Forest National Park

Morning Activity
Your Chimpanzee Trekking experience has finally arrived! It begins at the Uganda Wildlife Authority HQ at Kayanchu Gate where your trekking group will head into the forest with a guide after a short briefing. About 1 hour before your group sets off an advance party of guides will have entered the forest to locate where the Chimpanzees spent the night. Once located the advance party send a radio message back to your trekking group so that you can navigate through the forest. During the trek, you will also get to see the different birds, animals and plant species within the forest. Once you locate the Chimpanzees you can only spend one hour with them this ensures that the Chimpanzees don't become accustomed to human contact.

Afternoon Activity
The Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary is a part of the Magombe Swamp just south of Kibale National Park. A visit to the sanctuary enables you to see rare mammals and birds, like the webbed feet sitatunga as the great blue turaco call this place home. However, if you aren't lucky enough to see them there are still plenty of other animals, including bush pigs, black and white colobus monkeys and over 200 species of birds that inhabit the swamp. The Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary is a community-based programme that supports local residents and encourages a healthy link between tourism and the community it affects.

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Day 6 : Southern Queen Elizabeth National Park

The excitement of Chimpanzee Trekking will probably still be with you as the safari continues to Queen Elizabeth National Park in the afternoon. Entry will be via the northern sector famous for the Kasenyi Plains and Kazinga Chanel. This part of the safari is all contained within the Tooro Kingdom and you will notice a distinct change in scenery as the lush green crater lake region of surrounding Kibale Forest gives way to the open savannah lands of Queen Elizabeth National Park.
Your journey will be approx; 150km. 3hrs drive

Morning Activity
The Kataara Women’s Poverty Alleviation Group was formed in 2005 to combat the problem of human wildlife conflict in this particular area of Queen Elizabeth National Park. The group provides alternative income for Kataara families and an incentive to conserve Uganda’s precious wildlife. There is a proud mixture of Banaynkore, Bakiga, Batoro and Banayruguru tribe, which is reflected in the artistic diversity of the products that are created developed and sold. The women believe in maximizing the use of natural materials grown locally, even the dyes for the baskets are created by boiling leaves from local herbs. A visit to the group will enable to find out more about how this incredible enterprise works and be inspired by the individual stories that the women have. There will also be a chance to support the group by purchasing reasonably priced crafts.

Afternoon Activity
One of the highlights of visiting Queen Elizabeth National Park is the boat ride along the Kazinga Channel. The boat ride is a round trip beginning at the Mweya Peninsula and lasting around 3 hours. The Channel is a 32-kilometre long natural channel that links Lake Edward and Lake George. The channel has one of the world's largest concentration of hippos, numerous Nile crocodiles, buffalo, elephants and a whole host of birds. including African fish eagles, kingfishers, Herons, storks and skimmers. Overnight at Parkview Safari Lodge | Standard room Day 7: Queen Elizabeth N.P- Ishasha

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Day 7 : Southern Queen Elizabeth National Park

Morning Activity
A game drive in Kasenyi sector of Queen Elizabeth National Park is a great place to see view differing landscape and ecosystems in Uganda. The park is the oldest and the most visited in Uganda. This game drive will take place on the Kasenyi Plains which are in the north-east section of the park and but west of Lake George. Today you will transfer from the North Eastern sector of the park to the Southern sector also known as the Ishasha sector. Queen Elizabeth National Park is just under 2,000km2, contained with in that area is a diverse environment that contains, forests, Savannah grassland and lakes. All this means that there are a wide range of birds, mammals and plant life that live within the park and all you have to do is sit back and enjoy the ride!
Your journey will be approx. 100km, 2hrs 30min drive.

Afternoon Activity
A game drive in the Ishasha sector gives you a chance to see the famous tree climbing lions that can be seen hanging out of large fig trees. No one really knows why lions in this area climb trees but there are many theories surrounding this behavior. However, lions are not the only animals to be found in the park. Large herds of Uganda Kob, Hippos, elephant and antelope also roam this part of the park making it an ideal place to view the wildlife at it's best.

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Day 8 : Bwindi Impenetrable Forest

With the Kazinga Channel and the Game drives ticked off your list, It will be time to leave Queen Elizabeth National Park and continue your journey towards Bwindi and the Gorillas, where the adventure of a lifetime awaits you! This section of the safari will see you enter the traditional area of Kigezi Kingdom which is the southern most Kingdom on Uganda.
Your journey will be approx; 70km. 2hrs drive

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Day 9 : Bwindi Impenetrable Forest

Morning Activity
Your Gorilla Trekking experience is finally here, hope your camera is charged and you are ready for what lies ahead. An early start will see you transfer to the Park Headquarters for a briefing with the Uganda Wildlife Authority guides. An advance party of guides will have gone ahead into the forest to locate where the gorillas slept the previous night and will have began to track their movements. These guides will communicate with your team via a walkie-talkie and the trek into the forest will begin. Locating the Gorillas can take a few hours or the whole day depending on how far they have moved from the place they spent the previous night. For conservation purposes, the amount of time allowed with the Gorillas is 1 hour. As you trek through the forest you will appreciate why the forest is called impenetrable. There is also a multitude of other animals that you might encounter including antelopes and rare monkeys not to mention the beauty of the forest itself. Once you have completed the trek you will return to the lodge, for a well earned rest and time to reflect on a truly magical experience.

Afternoon Activity
You will visist a community in the Buhoma area of Bwindi  called Ride 4 a Woman. You will get to visit these incredible women and learn more about their story!

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Day 10 : Lake Mburo National Park

With your Gorilla Trekking experience still a vivid memory, it is time to leave the Gorillas and the Kigezi Kingdom all behind and head towards Lake Mburo National Park and into the heartland of the Ankole Kingdom. The drive is one of the most scenic in Uganda as you transition between the Impenetrable forest and into the Ankole grasslands, where the famous long-horned Ankole cattle graze.
Your journey will be approx; 260km. 6hrs drive

Afternoon Activity
One of the best activities to do in Lake Mburo is a scenic boat ride on the lake. This is one of the best ways to see the diverse wildlife that the Park has. The boat ride can be done at dawn or dusk depending on your safari itinerary and will normally take around 2 hours. All the rides begin at the Rwonyo jetty, it will not take you long before you begin to see large groups of hippos in the water as well as crocodiles and buffalo lining the banks of the lake. The lake is also famous for its bird life, from majestic fish eagles, colourful kingfishers, to hammerkops and their enormous nests.

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Day 11 : Departure

Morning Activity
A Game drive in Lake Mburo National Park are a perfect way to begin or end a Safari in Uganda. The park has a variety of wildlife that almost contradicts it's small size in comparison to the other parks in Uganda. The park doesn't have any large cats apart from leopards who are normally only seen at night Lake Mburo has a large variety of antelopes and Rothschild's giraffe have recently been reintroduced. However, the highlights of the park have to be the Burchell's zebra and eland which are only found in two National Parks in Uganda.
After an incredible safari, it will be time to head back. During this final leg of the trip, you will leave the Ankole Kingdom and head back into the Buganda Kingdom, heading eastwards towards Entebbe. There are not many places in the world that have the wide range of wildlife, nature and culture. We hope you took loads of great photos and had a wonderful experience that will live with you for a long time.
Your journey will be approx; 270km. 6hrs drive
Lunch en-route

As your time in Uganda has come to an end, we truly hope you have had a memorable experience you will remember for many years to come. Have a safe onward journey and we hope that Uganda will always be close to your hearts!

Included

Transfers and transportation in a 4×4 Safari Vehicle with an English-speaking driver guide (Land cruiser)
Park entrance fees
1 x Chimpanzee tracking Kibale forest
1 x Gorilla Trekking Bwindi Forest
Game drives
Boat cruise on Kazinga Channel
Bigodi swamp walk
Accommodation as stated above or similar depending on availability at the time of booking Meals as stated above
1 litre of drinking water per person per day in the vehicle.

Excluded

Optional activities and activities not mentioned in above Tips
Personal expenses
Drinks
International Airfare
Visa
Travel insurance

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