4-hours with the Gorillas –4-Hours with the Chimpanzees plus Wildlife
One-of-a-Kind – 8-Days in Africa on this Luxury Gorilla-Chimpanzee Habituation Experience-Wildlife Safari
This is a Private 8-Day Luxury – Gorilla-Chimpanzee Habituation Experience-Wildlife Safari that begins in Kigali and takes Gorillas to another level where incredible up-close encounters with the Gentle Giants become a reality.
Primates and Wildlife are abundant while staying in some of Uganda’s best Luxury lodges. Three great parks are Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, Queen Elizabeth Park, and Kibale Forest.
Bwindi Impenetrable Forest is home to the largest Mountain Gorilla Population; Kibale Forest is the Premier Chimpanzee Park in East Africa, plus Queen Elizabeth Park with its Tree Climbing Lions and a thriving Elephant Population.
This Luxury Safari is with the Gorilla Habituation Experience, and it can be taken as a Gorilla Trekking Safari when a 4-Hour Gorilla Habituation Experience is unavailable. If you are set on the 4-Hour with a Gorilla Family Habituation Experience, we suggest you book your Safari at least six months in advance with flexibility in Dates.
8-Day-Luxury-Gorilla-Chimpanzee Habituation Experience-Wildlife Safari Highlights:
- Gorilla Habituation Experience: Four Hours with a Gorilla Family – All-Day Trek with Only Four Participants.
- Tree Climbing Lions: See the lions sleep away the day in trees in Ishasha in Queen Elizabeth Park.
- Wildlife Game Drives: In Queen Elizabeth Park.
- Kazinga Channel Boat Cruise: Wildlife – Birds – Reptiles in Queen Elizabeth Park.
- Scenic Explosion Crater Drive: Featured in National Geographic.
- Bigodi Wetlands Sanctuary: Explore a Jungle Swamp on this hike.
- Chimpanzee Habituation Experience: Six-hour trek in Kibale Forest.
- Safari Begins In Kigali: Start in Kigali and end the Safari in Entebbe.
8-Day-Luxury-Gorilla-Chimpanzee Habituation Experience-Wildlife 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 – Drive to Rushaga – Bwindi Impenetrable Forest in Uganda:
Your 8-Day-Luxury-Gorilla-Chimpanzee Habituation Experience-Wildlife Safari begins. We leave your hotel in Kigali for Rushaga.
The drive time to Rushaga is about 4 hours, depending on the Border Crossing –Visa for Uganda is 50 USD. You can also get an East African Visa from Rwanda Migration online.
Additionally, you will need a Yellow Fever Card and COVID Vaccination certificate. You will also change your watch one hour ahead of East African Time.
The drive is most scenic through the Land of a Thousand Hills with its terraced hillsides, vat Tea Plantations, and colorful villages.
Usually, the border crossing is about 45 minutes, and you are in Uganda heading for the ancient Bwindi Impenetrable Forest through the Gorilla Highlands, Lake Mutanda, as we reach the Nkuringo – Rushaga Area of the Park.
Check into the Lodge you have chosen:
Clouds Mountain Gorilla Lodge:
Ultimate Luxury on top of the World 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 and a private bathroom.
The Lodge has become the favorite among our upmarket clients at a considerably lower price 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 blends modernity with traditional architecture and decor, providing a comfortable setting 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.
Activities for this day that can be included:
- Forest Walk with the Batwa: Spend time with the Batwa seeing the forest through the eyes of its first people.
- Guided Village Walk: Meet Ugandans on a walk where you learn how ordinary Ugandans live.
- Nature Walk: Take a guided nature birding walk.
- Relax with a good book: Read a book about Uganda. Find some here.
Day 2 – 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 make a difference in the quality of a Gorilla Habituation Experience.
Gorilla Wear and Gear are needed.
Here is practical advice about what to wear while on the Gorilla Habituation Experience
- Daypack: Preferably a waterproof daypack, you can use it as a carry-on flying to Uganda. Pack all essentials inside 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 protect 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 two liters from the Lodge. We supply the 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.
Read more about Gorilla Gear and Wear here.
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 – read 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 tickets 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 3- Queen Elizabeth Park-Ishasha Region:
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.
Most of all, Ishasha Wilderness Camp is about its setting in the Wilderness. 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 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.
Optional 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 to prevent Malaria. Today, the sundowner drink is not limited to Gin and tonic; 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.
Meal Plan: Breakfast-Lunch-Dinner
Day – 4 – 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. The drive through the park is quite scenic, and you will spot a lot of Wildlife along the way.
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 cabins 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. You can also visit a forest 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. An 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 to various animals.
Queen Elizabeth Park is one of the rare parks in Africa where the elephant population thrives.
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 leisure time around the swimming pool.
Meal Plan: Breakfast-Lunch-Dinner
Day 5 – 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 also have a learning experience about lions and their ways in the Wild.
The lion tracking research begins at dawn, and you can have Breakfast before or after the incident.
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, and 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, and you will also see elephant and buffalo herds, antelopes, crocodiles, and monitor lizards.
You will also come across Fishing Villages located on the banks of the Kazinga Channel. The boat cruise is especially great for photographers who might get an open-mouthed hippo picture here.
Meal Plan: Breakfast-Lunch-Dinner
Day 6 – 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 affordable for those who want 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.
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.
You might spot Chimpanzees, Colobus Monkeys, and baboons during the Afternoon. The area is well-known for birds, and the Blue Turaco is the chief attraction.
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 7 – 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 and a packed lunch.
Meal Plan: Breakfast – Lunch – Dinner
Day 8 – Entebbe:
Your 8-Day-Luxury-Gorilla-Chimpanzee Habituation Experience-Wildlife Safari comes to an end. We drive to Entebbe, which is a four-hour-plus drive. We can arrange a dayroom if your flight departs during the evening house, and we can further place a room for an overnight stay should your departure be the next day.
What is included in this 8-Day-Luxury-Gorilla-Chimpanzee Habituation Experience-Wildlife Safari?
- Experienced Ugandan Driver-Guide: A Safari becomes more enjoyable 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. We also 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 completed in most instances. Strictly kosher nutritional requirements cannot be met on safari. a.
- AMREF-Flying Doctors Air-Medivac Insurance coverage: Our clients have covered a rare need for medical evacuation to a hospital that meets international standards.
I have 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, 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. Read more about our No-Worries Safaris.
Please Note: This luxury safari can be done as a midrange safari.
For other Gorilla Habituation Experience Safaris – read more here.
Read more about other Luxury Gorilla Safaris.
Contact us about this 8-Day-Luxury-Gorilla-Chimpanzee Habituation Experience-Wildlife Safari.