Luxury Gorilla – Chimpanzee – Golden Monkey Habituation Experience Safari
Exclusive 10-Day MORE TIME with the Primates Luxury Safari in Uganda
10-Day MORE TIME with the Primates Luxury Safari. On this safari, you will Spend MORE TIME with the Primates and see more wildlife on this one-of-a-kind Luxury Safari begins in Kigali, Rwanda, and ends in Entebbe, Uganda.
This is a hands-on experiential Safari. You are a participant in the Habituation Process of Golden Monkeys, Mountain Gorillas, and Chimpanzees. Add to that the unique Wildlife Experiences, such as the Tree-Climbing Lions of Ishasha and the Lion Tracking Research experience, and you have a one-of-a-kind safari experience.
Alternative: You can make this 10-Day MORE TIME with the Primates Luxury Safari a fly-drive Safari by flying to southwest Uganda from Entebbe to Kisoro, which is a short drive to Mgahinga Gorilla Park instead of driving three hours from Kigali, Rwanda. After the chimpanzee Habituation Experience, you can fly back to Entebbe for your flight out.
Highlights of the 10-Day MORE TIME with the Primates Luxury Safari
- Gorilla Trekking: Trek Gorillas in Mgahinga Gorilla Park on the sides of the Virunga Volcanoes. This is similar to trekking Gorillas in Rwanda or DR Congo.
- Golden Monkey Habituation Experience: This takes place in Mgahinga Gorilla Park.
- Gorilla Habituation Experience: In the Rushaga are in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest.
- Tree Climbing Lions: They are found in Ishasha Queen Elizabeth Park.
- Lion Tracking Research: In the northern Mweya area of Queen Elizabeth Park.
- Kazinga Channel Wildlife Boat Safari: A highlight of your time in Queen Elizabeth Park.
- Explosion Crater Drive: This is one of the most scenic drives in Uganda.
- Bigodi Wetlands Sanctuary: This is a walk on boardwalks through a Jungle Swamp.
- Chimpanzee Habituation Experience: Spend more time with the Chimpanzees in Kibale Forest.
10-Day MORE TIME with the Primates Luxury Safari in Detail:
Arrival Day in Kigali, Rwanda:
We will meet and greet you as you arrive in Rwanda. We can arrange a room and meals for you at a luxury Hotel such as Serena, Marriott, Raddison, or the Mille des Collines (Hotel Rwanda).
The exclusive Retreat Hotel is also an excellent hotel with complete spa treatment run by an American couple from San Francisco who owns the Heaven Hotel.
Depending on your arrival time, we can arrange a Kigali city tour that includes the Genocide Memorial.
Meal Plan: Depending on your arrival time
Day 1 – Journey to Mgahinga Gorilla Park:
Your 10-Day MORE TIME with the Primates Luxury Safari begins as we pick you up at the hotel you are staying at in Kigali.
It is a 3-hour drive to Mgahinga Gorilla Park, and you lose one hour at the border as you switch to East African Time from Central African Time.
The border crossing normally takes between thirty and forty minutes. Officials, both on the Rwandan and Ugandan sides, are very helpful in making your crossing an easy one.
You will need an East African Visa that is obtainable from the first East African country you Visit (Kenya-Rwanda – Uganda are participants in the East African Visa Program). A Yellow Fever card is also required. Additionally, you will have to show proof of COVID vaccinations.
You can obtain Ugandan shillings at an ATM or Forex Bureau I Kisoro, Uganda. Read more about money here.
Check into Mount Gahinga Lodge:
Arrive at the luxury Mount Gahinga Gorilla Lodge in the foothills of the Virunga Volcanoes, locally referred to as the Mufumbiro Mountains, the mountains that cook.
The Lodge opened in 1997 when Gorilla Tourism was still developing. The Lodge is the perfect base for Gorilla Trekkers, and it even has a private footpath directly to Park Headquarters. It is the only luxury gorilla lodge close to Mgahinga Gorilla Park.
There is a short, private trail from the Lodge to Park Headquarters, where you go for gorilla trekking orientation.
The Lodge was refreshed and updated in 2019. Now there are eight luxury Bandas or cottages and two deluxe Bandas. The lounge area, the dining room, and the gardens reflect the recent updates.
The luxury Bandas reflect the magic of the aesthetic traditions of the Bufimbira people with their distinct colors. Each Banda has an ensuite luxury shower room, fireplace, and private porch.
Guests have a personal butler who attends to their well-being during their stay there. Regarding meals, our clients rave about the culinary delights served at the Lodge. WiFi access and charging stations are located in the main Lodge. Non-Premium Beverages, including local Beers, Sodas, Spirits, and House Wines, are included. You are also offered a one-and-a-half-hour complimentary massage.
Activities are at Mount Gahinga Lodge:
Choose one of the following Activities offered by the lodge and included in your stay here.
- Kisozi Caldera Hike:
- Batwa Heritage trail:
- Gahinga Batwa Village Visit
- Relax and Chill Out:
Meal Plan: Lunch -Dinner
Day 2- Gorilla Trekking in Mgahinga Gorilla Park:
What Should I wear tracking Gorillas?
Here is practical advice about what to wear while Gorilla Trekking in Uganda. Often Trekkers are not dressed right for the occasion, which can spoil your day, and your focus might not be on the Gorillas but on personal discomfort and misery. Wearing suitable clothing and footwear is about protection.
Gorilla Wear and Gear you will need:
- Daypack: Preferably a waterproof daypack, you can use it as a carry-on flying to Uganda. Pack all essentials inside of the daypack.
- Hiking Boots: Make sure that they have good treads on them. You will need ankle support, something boots give you and give you reactions on muddy trails. Have a good pair of merino wool socks.
- Long Trouser: They will protect you from nettles and thorns. Tuck the trousers into your socks for added protection from ants.
- Long-Sleeved Shirt: Neutral in color. Again, this is for your comfort and protection.
- Rain Jacket or Poncho: Pack into your daypack. You never know when it will train. You are in an Afro-montane Rainforest.
- Tough Gardening Gloves: This protects your hands from thorns, nettles, and sharp branches.
- Wide Brimmed Hat: It gives you protection from the Sun.
- Camera Equipment – Binoculars: Ensure extra batteries and storage devices. Put them into Ziploc bags. Binoculars are not needed if you are not a birder.
- Packed Lunch and Bottled Water: You will need your lunch from the Lodge and two liters of bottled water.
- Insect Repellent – Sun Lotion – Sunglasses: We recommend the effective Australian RID Insect Repellent. Good Sun blocker cream and sunglasses.
- You will need a Porter and Walking Stick: The services of a porter free you on the often-difficult trail, and a local walking stick helps you and steadies you on the often-challenging path. We supply our clients with both.
The Gorilla Trek
After orientation, you are off on your Gorilla Trek up the volcanoes. You are trekking at an elevation above 2,200 meters, which is not problematic for most. Though the Trek is upward, it is not grueling and poses no problems for those with a moderate fitness level. The bamboo walking stick and the porter assist you in traversing the not-so-tricky trail.
You are off on your Safe and Secure Gorilla Trek with Rangers and secure escort to visit the Nyakagezi Family 10 members with five Silverbacks, which is highly unusual. The blackbacks have matured into Silverbacks, or the boys have grown into men.
Mark is the leader of the family. He is assisted by his brother Mafia and their father, Bugingo, who used to be the leader and has passed the leadership to his son and plays the role of grandpa. They are followed by the now Silverbacks Ndungutse and Rukundo. Females, Toddlers make up the rest of the family. Keeping up with Gorilla Families is not always easy. A respiratory ailment beset the family in 2019.
Intervention by the Gorilla Doctors saved the day, and they all recovered from what could have been a fatal ailment. Gorilla Trekkers need to go by the rules for Gorilla Trekking.
The length of the Trek is between four to five hours, including one hour with the Nyakagezi Gorilla Family, which is, for most, a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Usually, you are back at Mount Gahinga Lodge by about 1:00 pm.
Meal Plan: Breakfast -Lunch – Dinner
Day 3- Golden Monkey Habituation Experience:
Optional Golden Monkey Trekking- depending on the flight out time-$90 per person:
You embark on your Golden Monkey Habituation Experience Trek with Uganda Wildlife Authority Rangers. Hike up on the sides of the Virunga Volcanoes in Mgahinga Gorilla Park to the Bamboo Forest.
There are several thousand endangered Golden Monkeys found in the park.
They are beautiful and colorful monkeys, weigh about 30 pounds when mature, and are some of the liveliest monkeys you have ever seen.
The group will be about 100 in size, but you do not have time to count them since they are always on the move.
Drive to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest:
After the Golden Monkey Habituation Experience, we take the one-hour drive to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, where you can either stay at the exclusive Clouds Mountain Gorilla Lodge or the luxury Four Gorillas Lodge.
Clouds Mountain Gorilla Lodge –Exclusive Luxury:
Find Ultimate Luxury on top of the World above the Clouds at the exclusive Clouds Mountain Gorilla Lodge.
Clouds Mountain Gorilla Lodge combines its surrounding natural views and splendor, gorillas-birds-wildlife, with the luxurious comfort and World-Class Service it offers guests. A family cottage is available with two bedrooms.
The Lodge has become the favorite among our upmarket clients at a price less than comparable lodges in Rwanda.
Four Gorillas Lodge
Stay at the Luxury Four Gorillas Lodge – the Affordable Luxury Lodge for your Gorilla Trek or Gorilla Habituation Experience in the Rushaga area of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest. The Lodge overlooks the primeval Bwindi Impenetrable Forest. You can see primates, birds, and wildlife right from the balcony of your cottage as you have your morning cup of Ugandan coffee or a sundowner at sunset.
The newer Rushaga Luxury Four Gorillas Lodge is a welcomed upmarket addition providing trekkers with an away-from-it feel adjacent to the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest with scenic views of the lush rainforest from both the main-loge area where you will find the restaurant and bar to the cottages.
The Lodge is a blend of modernity with traditional architecture and decor, providing a comfortable setting where you are surrounded by subdued elegance with Bwindi Impenetrable Forest so near you.
A stay here is an immersion into Africa, from the Ugandan welcome and hospitality to the Lodge accentuating African decor and style. Even the meals come with an African twist, reflecting what comes from local gardens and the spices used. Read more here.
Day 4 – Gorilla Habituation Experience
Early Breakfast and take your packed lunch from the Lodge. For Gorilla Trekking Gear. Having the right gear and wearing the right clothes and boots makes a difference in the quality of a Gorilla Habituation Experience.
Please Note: Wear the same clothes as for the Gorilla Trek.
Gorilla Habituation Experience Orientation:
Meet the researchers, trackers, and guides and head for the location of your gorilla family group being habituated and your four hours in their presence and learning their ways.
You will receive instructions on how to behave and act in the presence of the gentle giants. For detailed Gorilla Guidelines. Rread more here.
The Habituation Experience Trek – more time with the Gentle Giants
With the trek in and out plus the 4-hour Gorilla Habituation Experience, this becomes an all-day trek. The advantage is that you see the Gorillas with only 4 participants, but you learn about the Gorilla’s habits and ways from the Gorillas and the Researchers.
Besides, you are a participant in the habituation process and not just an observer on the Gorilla Trek.
Being in the presence of a gorilla family is like being in someone’s house, and you observe their habits and ways. For many, it is the icing on the cake of their Safari in Uganda.
Physical Fitness for the Gorilla Habituation: You must be moderately fit for this trek. There are ridges and valleys, and that can wear one out.
Please return to the trailhead, and it is back to the Lodge.
This gives you all you need to know about the Gorilla Habituation Experience, including what to wear and bring while on your trek.
Note: The Gorilla Habituation Experience has few permits. Availability must be established well in advance – a range of dates should be given to work for us to secure the permits for you. A Private Trek just for you can be arranged with only you and a party with rangers.
Meal Plan: Breakfast – Lunch – Dinner
Day 5 – Queen Elizabeth Park Ishasha Area:
After Breakfast, we drive to Queen Elizabeth Park, the Ishasha Region of the park, where we check into the Lodge you have chosen. There is only one luxury Lodge in this more remote portion of Queen Elizabeth Park. Drive-Time is five hours, meaning we leave at 7 am for Ishasha from South Bwindi Forest. The drive, however, is one of the most scenic ones in Uganda.
Check into Ishasha Wilderness Camp
Ishasha Wilderness Camp is an experience in the African Wild in the unvisited part of Queen Elizabeth National Park in Uganda – the Ishasha region of the park.
Simply a place in the African Bush along the Ntungwe River- up-market luxury staying in an ensuite with bath Tented Cottages
Have lunch with elephants and hippos, and listen to the sounds of the African night.
The meals and care offered are restaurant-style, and with the new tents, you are near the best place in all of Africa for Tree Climbing Lions, yet most tourists bypass this significant part of Queen Elizabeth Park.
Ishasha Wilderness Camp, most of all, is about its setting in the Wilderness. Read more here.
Special Experiences at Ishasha Wilderness Camp:
Traditional Safari Bush Breakfast:
Enjoy a traditional Safari Bush Breakfast on the savannah with a game drive. Your eggs will be prepared just right with all the usual accomplishments. Staff from Ishasha Wilderness Camp will attend to your every need as you enjoy your morning cup of coffee in the bush. Read more here about a Bush Breakfast.
Traditional Safari Sundowner:
The traditional Safari Sundowner goes back to Colonial Times when the British Colonials would get together for Gin and tonic water which had a heavy dose of quinine in it to prevent Malaria. Today, the sundowner drink is not limited to gin and tonic, but a glass of wine will do.
Ishasha Wilderness Camp offers the Traditional Sundowner in the bush snacks around sundown. It is the most enjoyable experience and worth the extra money it costs. Read more here.
Afternoon Game Drive:
Afternoon Game drive in search of the famed tree-climbing lions who sleep in the fig trees up to 15 hours a day. They recently moved further into the park, but seeing them is still one of the best probabilities in East Africa.
There are about 50 of them here. You might also see some leopards and many elephants, which have increased vastly.
The elephants that you see here will be both Savannah and Forest Elephants. Most likely, you will not be able to tell the difference, but forest elephants are hairier and have straight.
The elephants that you see here will be both Savannah and Forest Elephants. Most likely, you will not be able to tell the difference, but forest elephants are hairier, have straight, shorter tusks, are slightly smaller, and have one less toe on each foot. You will also see large herds of buffaloes, Topi, and Uganda Kob antelopes.
Meal Plan: Breakfast-Lunch-Dinner
Day – 6 – Queen Elizabeth Park – Mweya Area:
Drive to the Mweya Area of Queen Elizabeth Park:
This morning we drive to the northern area of Queen Elizabeth Park, where we check in at Kyambura Gorge overlooking that Gash in the Savannah, with an underground forest below it, the Kyambura Gorge, the lost Valley as BBC called it, some refer to it as the Valley of the Apes.
Kyambura Gorge Lodge:
This classy Lodge is located near the Kyambura Gorge, a giant gash in the Savannah of Queen Elizabeth Park. The Lodge was created by taking an old coffee shop and giving it a new life as an exclusive luxury Lodge.
Today it is one of the most excellent lodges in Uganda, but it still has that rustic look. Exquisite Bandas, as the cottages are called here. There are both standard and deluxe cottages for you to choose from.
There is a swimming pool at the main Lodge where you take a drink and hear the stories about today’s Safari adventures that various guests had.
Excellent service is one of the trademarks of Kyambura Gorge Lodge, along with the outstanding meals served here.
The Lodge offers a visit to a women’s self-help Coffee growing and processing community, and you can also visit a forest that they are restoring, which will help the chimpanzee Population in the Kyambura Gorge.
Afternoon Game Drive:
Take a game drive on one of the game tracks in the Mweya area of Queen Elizabeth Park. A Uganda Wildlife Authority Ranger will join you for guidance and security. You will not miss many animals with the ranger and your knowledgeable driver-guide pointing various animals.
Queen Elizabeth Park is one of the rare parks in Africa where the elephant population is actually thriving.
There are also large buffalo herds to be seen here. You will see a multitude of antelopes, lions, leopards, hyenas, smaller cats and more.
The game drive is about three hours long and afterward we return to the lodge where you can have a time of leisure around the swimming pool.
Meal Plan: Breakfast-Lunch-Dinner
Day 7 – Queen Elizabeth Park:
Lion Tracking Research Experience:
On the Lion Tracking Research you are with Researchers from the Uganda Carnivore Project and track the Collared Lions and leopards in this part of the park,
Not only will you see lions, but you will have a learning experience about the lions and their ways in the wild.
The lion tracking research begins at dawn, and you can have Breakfast before or after the experience.
Alternate Choice: Kyambura Gorge Trek
Venture into the Kyambura Gorge along the River of the Blind and see a chimpanzee, other primates, and small mammals such as antelopes while exploring the lost Valley as BBC called it.
Kazinga Channel Wildlife Boat Cruise:
During the afternoon you take the two-hour Kazinga Channel Boat Cruise. This is one of the highlights of your time in Queens Elizabeth Par. The Wildlife Boat Cruise begins at the Mweya Landing site. A private boat cruise can be arranged at your request.
Kazinga Channel is a natural channel that connects Lake George with Lake Edwards. The Boat Cruise takes in the stretch with the most wildlife, birds and reptiles.
Kazinga Channel is home to the largest concentration of hippos in East Africa. There are hundreds of species of birds found here. Additionally you will see elephant and buffalo herds, antelopes, crocodiles and monitor lizards.
You will also come across Fishing Villages that are located on the banks of the Kazinga Channel. The boat cruise is especially great for photographers who might get a hippo open-mouthed picture here.
Meal Plan: Breakfast-Lunch-Dinner
Day 8 – Kibale Forest:
Explosion Crater Drive:
In the early morning, we take one of the most scenic drives – the 27-kilometer Explosion Crater Drive – this is the highest point in the park, where you have some incredible viewpoints of the Western Rift Escarpment, the Rwenzori Mountains of the Moon plus the craters themselves which were featured in National Geographic a few years past.
Afterward, continue to Kibale Forest, where we check into Crater Lake Safari Lodge.
Crater Lake Safari Lodge:
Crater Lake Safari is an affordable option for those who want that added comfort, extra service, and delightful meals from Luxury lodges.
There is a swimming pool for you to enjoy and a soothing massage here.
The Lodge has been featured in various international publications, including Vogue Magazine, as one of the best lodges in Uganda.
Enjoy the view from your most comfortable Cottage, the crater lake below you, the rolling hillsides in the distance, and the color green everywhere. Kibale Forest and Bigodi Wetlands are 20 minutes from the Lodge. We use the Lakeside Cottages, which our client prefers. Read more here.
Bigodi Wetlands Sanctuary:
Afternoon – Bigodi Wetlands Sanctuary Hike. This is a guided 3-hour hike through a Jungle Swamp; much of it is on planks that act like a boardwalk above it.
Your experienced guide is from the local community that has maintained the Wetlands for many years, with thousands visiting each year.
During the Afternoon, you might spot Chimpanzees, Colobus Monkeys, also baboons. The area is well-known for birds, and the chief attraction is the Blue Turaco.
When it comes to Mammals, you can see otters, bush pigs, mongoose, and the rare Sitatunga Antelope, to name a few.
Meal Plan: Lunch – Dinner
Day 9 – Chimpanzee Habituation Experience:
Early Breakfast and you are off to meet with your Ranger-Guide, who will take you into Kibale Forest, where a Chimpanzee Group is being habituated, a process that takes up to two years. Habituation teaches the Chimpanzees to allow humans in their presence.
A chimp community can number over 100 members. Chimpanzees live in a relational social structure. The alpha males defend against other chimpanzees trying to move into the territory. Females are part of smaller family groups and nurture the young.
Before you see the chimpanzees, you will hear their hooting calls in the distance. Soon you come upon them and spend one hour with them, observing their ways and habits.
Typically you might see 4 to 6 primates here, many of the birds, butterflies, and mammals found here, and, of course, the forest with its unique vegetation. You will see a lot more on all-day Habituation than on a trek.
You must wear the proper clothing and shoes and have at least 2 liters of water with you, plus a packed lunch
Meal Plan: Breakfast – Lunch – Dinner
Day 10 – Entebbe:
Your 10-Day MORE TIME with the Primates Luxury Safari comes to an end. We drive to Entebbe which is a four-hour plus drive. We can arrange a dayroom for you if your flight departs during the evening house. We can further arrange for a a room for an overnight stay should your departure is the next day.
What is included in this10-Day MORE TIME with the Primates Luxury Safari?
- Experienced Ugandan Driver-Guide: A Safari becomes more enjoyable when you go with a knowledgeable and professional Local Driver-Guide.
- Greet and Meet at Airport upon arrival: We provide meet and greet services, including a welcome gift and Safari Informational Packet.
- Full-Board Lodging: All meals are included except alcoholic drinks, sodas, and snacks that you might order apart from meals. Some luxury Lodges have non-premium alcoholic beverages and sodas.
- Private 4×4 Land Cruiser Safari Vehicle with pop-Up Roof: The vehicle has a car fridge, WiFi, and bottled Water.
- Permits: Habituation Experience Permits are included in your Safari. Additionally, we provide porter services, a walking stick for support, and bottled water. Read our Practical Gorilla Trekking Advice:
- WiFi Internet Access: Most Lodges only provide a WiFi Internet Connection in the main lodge. We offer you a MiFi Router that gives you and your party access to the internet in your cottage or room, depending on nearby transmission towers. Read Staying in touch with home.
- Spanish, French, Italian, German, Russian, Mandarin, Arabic Speaking Driver-Guides: At an extra cost.
- Your Dietary Needs can be met: Notify us if you are a vegan, vegetarian, or need a gluten-free diet. Halala dietary requirements can be met in most instances. Strictly kosher nutritional requirements cannot be met on safari. a.
- AMREF-Flying Doctors Air-Medivac Insurance coverage: Our clients have covered in the case of a rare need for medical evacuation to a hospital that meets international standards.
Not included: Visas, Travel Insurance, Laundry, Tips, drinks at lodges such as Alcoholic drinks and sodas, and optional listed activities.
For over a Decade since 2008, we have offered Hakuna Matata – No-Worries Safaris:
Our private Hakuna Matata – No Worries Safaris are full-service Value+ Midrange and Luxury Safaris that come with all needed for a successful Safari in Uganda. You have your own Safari Vehicle with an experienced driver. You stay at a quality midrange or luxury Lodge, and all the activities listed are included. The outcome of your safari is more important to us than income.
Contact us about this 10-Day MORE TIME with the Primates Luxury Safari