Combined Gorilla – Chimpanzee Primate Safari in Uganda
5-Day Gorilla-Chimpanzee Trekking Safari in Bwindi & Kibale Forests
This 5-Day Gorilla-Chimpanzee Trekking Safari combines the Best Primate Treks in East Africa. Gorilla Trekking in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest which was picked by CNN in 2019 as the most beautiful place in the World.
Add to that, Chimpanzee Trekking in the best primate park in East Africa, Kibale Forest with 13 species of Primates.
The Safari begins in Entebbe or Kampala and ends there. You can, however, choose to complete the Safari in Kigali, Rwanda and save yourself from a long road trip back to Entebbe. Drive Time from Southern Bwindi Forest to Kigali is four hours.
Drive time to Entebbe from the same location is 9 to 10 hours. You can break that long drive time y adding a day in Lake Mburo National Park which is half-way to Entebbe or Kampala.
Instead of Gorilla Trekking, you can choose the Gorilla Habituation Experience which is four hours with a Gorilla Family on an all-day Trek in the Rushaga area of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest.
Your 5-Day Gorilla-Chimpanzee Trekking Safari in Detail:
Day 1 – Drive to Kibale Forest – Bigodi Wetlands Sanctuary Jungle Swamp:
The 5-Day Gorilla-Chimpanzee Trekking Safari begins early. Depart your Hotel in Kampala at 6:30 am for Kibale Forest. This is a 4 hour plus drive from Kampala – 5 hours from Entebbe.
We are heading West toward Fort Portal and the famed Explosion Crater Lakes region of Uganda. Kibale Forest is of the places in Uganda where the jungles of West and Central Africa meet East Africa.
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 the swamp. 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, 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.
Option-not included in the price: Nocturnal Forest Walk where you see the creatures of the night such as pottos and bush babies with spotlights, plus other creatures of the Night.
Meal Plan: Lunch – Dinner
Lodge: Isunga Lodge
Day 2 – Chimpanzee Trek in Kibale Forest
The alternative is the all-day Chimpanzee Habituation Experience. That begins early in the morning and lasts until the late afternoon. Please Note – Chimpanzees are on the move foraging for Food and the Chimpanzee Habituation Experience is not for everyone.
Normal Chimpanzee Trekking begins with an orientation at 8 am, afterward you are led into the forest where the chimpanzee group is to be found. This is determined by pre-trackers who go out at the crack of dawn looking for the group. There are almost 1,500 chimpanzees in Kibale Forest. They primarily seek out fruit for their diet. Also, ants eating with a stick and they are responsible for significantly reducing the red-tailed monkey population of the forest, hunting them down in packs.
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. Way 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.
Usually, you might see 4 to 6 primates here, many of the birds, the butterflies, mammals found here and of course the forest itself with its vegetation that is unique.
The Chimpanzee Trek is about 3 1/2 hours long, and you should wear the right clothing and have the right things with you.
After Lunch we take the Top of the World Hike where you pass by three crater lakes, go through villages, tea plantations, vanilla plantations. At the top of the Hill, you have splendid views of Crater Lakes, the Rwenzori Mountains of the Moon, Queen Elizabeth Park and beyond.
The Hike is about three hours in length, moderate fitness level is required. The views of the scenic Crater Lakes, Kibale Forest, the Rwenzori Mountains of the Moon, even Queen Elizabeth Park makes it well worth the effort.
Meal Plan: Breakfast – Lunch – Dinner
Lodge: Isunga Lodge
Day 3- Bwindi Impenetrable Forest:
After an early breakfast, we leave for Rushaga in the south of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest. Much of the journey takes us through Queen Elizabeth Park.
This is a six-hour drive and we stop for lunch along the way. Rushaga is the best area in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest for Gorilla Trekking. From there it is a four-hour drive to Kigali instead the normal nice to ten hours to Entebbe.
We arrive in the midafternoon at Lake Mulehe Lodge where you can relax and chill out or take a pleasant boat ride or paddle a dugout canoe on Lake Mulehe.
The lodge was formerly called Bwindi Jungle Lodge but the name was changed to reflect its location on Lake Mulehe.
If you have selected the Gorilla Habituation Experience, then Rushaga is the only location where you can participate in that activity.
Meal Plan: Breakfast – Lunch – Dinner
Lodge: Lake Mulehe Lodge.
.Day 4- Gorilla Trekking:
Breakfast and pick your packed lunch. As to what to wear, the full instructions are found here.
After a meeting at park headquarters, your assignment to a gorilla family you are off into the Impenetrable Forest. Be sure to use a porter. It will help to free you on the trek.
The trek itself can be between 3 to 5 hours or even longer depending on the location of the gorilla family on that day. You will spend one hour with them, something that is a once in a lifetime experience for most. You are within 6 meters of a gorilla family, and you get to observe as to how they live, what they eat, and the emotions that they express.
After getting your share of pictures just spending time observing the gorillas, it is that which will remain long after you return home.
Gorilla Trekking is well worth the money and time invested by you to be with the Gentle Giants of the Forest in Bwindi.
.Day 5: Return to Kampala or Entebbe: