8-Day Gorillas – Lions – Chimpanzees Luxury Safari in Uganda

Posted by on January 16, 2019

 Up-Close with Gorillas – Chimpanzees – Lions Luxury Safari

8-Day Close Encounters with Gorillas – Lions – Chimpanzees Luxury Safari in Uganda


Combine the Gentle Giants of the Forest – the Mountain Gorilla – the King of the Beasts – the Lion and the  closest relative in the Wild to Human – the Chimpanzee and you have a winning formula.  This 8-Day Close Encounters with Gorillas – Lions – Chimpanzees Luxury Safari gives you some of the Best Up-Close Encounters in Africa during your 8-day Adventure in Uganda.

Highlights of this 8 Day Safari in the Pearl of Africa are 4-Hours with a Gorilla Family – a morning where you go out on the Kasenyi Plains and track the Collared Lions and Leopards with the Uganda Carnivore Project Research Team plus all day with the Chimpanzees in Kibale Forest. 

This Safari is only available in Uganda, no other East African country can offer the unique one-of-a-kind of Primate and Wildlife Encounters you will have on one of our most popular Safari Offerings.

Add to this safari the touch and comfort of Wild Luxury – Lodges that give you that special comfort and care and you are all set.  The safari begins in Kigali – Rwanda and you fly out of Entebbe – Uganda – the longest drive time is 5 hours on this safari and that through some of the most Scenic parts of Uganda.

Add-On Possibilities:  You can add a Day or Two in Mgahinga Gorilla Park where you track Golden Monkeys and climb one of the 3-Volcanoes there.


 

Safari Highlights

  • Buniga Forest Walk with the First People of the Forest – the Batwa Pygmies .
  • Gorilla Habituation Experience -4 -Hours with a Gorilla Family on an All-Day Trek.
  • Tree Climbing Lions of Isasha – Queen Elizabeth Park.
  • Lion Tracking Research in Queen Elizabeth Park
  • Explosion Crater Drive – one of Uganda’s most Scenic Drives
  • Kazinga Channel Boat Safari – Hippos – Wildlife – Reptiles – Birds
  • Wildlife Game Drives
  • Bigodi Wetlands Sanctuary – a rare Jungle Swamp in East Africa
  • Chimpanzee Habituation Experience – All-Day with a Chimpanzee Group
  • Optional Golden Monkey Trekking Mgahinga Forest

Your Safari Itinerary in Detail


Arrival Day in Kigali Rwanda:  

Arrangement for airport pickup, Hotel arrangements can be made by us for you,   Kigali has a variety of luxury Hotels from Serena to the Marriott, plus many others for you to choose from.

 Day 1 – Drive to Rushaga – Bwindi Impenetrable Forest in Uganda:

Your private Gorillas – Lions – Chimpanzees Luxury Safari We leave your hotel in Kigali for  Rushaga. The drive time to Rushaga is about 4 hours plus depending on Border Crossing – Visa for Uganda is 50 USD.  You can also get an East African Visa which must be obtained from Rwanda Migration.  A Yellow Fever Certificate is a must for you to have in order for you to enter Uganda.

The drive is a most scenic one through the Land of a Thousand Hills with its terraced hillsides and vat Tea Plantations and colorful villages.

Normally the border crossing is about 30 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 Exclusive Clouds Mountain Gorilla Lodge or Gorilla Safari Lodge

Lunch

Buniga Forest Walk with the Batwa Pygmies: 

This is an interactive Cultural Walk with the Batwa Pygmies who lived in the forests of Southwest Uganda for thousands of years living in harmony with their beloved forest hunter-gatherers leaving a small ecological footprint.  They were evicted in 1991, in part to make room for Gorilla Tourism without compensation.  Today they live as squatters on land not belonging to them.  The forest walk is one way to keep alive the ways and culture of the Batwa People.  This is a two to three-hour walk that is also a learning experience as to how the first people of the forest lived.

Option- Golden Monkey Trekking: 

We drive from Kigali to Mgahinga Gorilla Park and trek the Golden Monkeys in the Bamboo Forest of the Ugandan Virunga Volcanoes.  We can do so on arrival by arrangement.  This is a 3-hour trek and you meet a large group of the Golden Monkeys.  Please let us now that you want to do the Golden Monkey Trekking in Mgahinga Gorilla Park.

Meal Plan: Breakfast – Lunch – Dinner

Lodge:  Clouds Mountain Gorilla Lodge or Gorilla Safari Lodge


 Clouds Mountain Gorilla Lodge –Exclusive Luxury:

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 to guests. A family cottage is available with two bedrooms.

The lodge has become the favorite among our upmarket clients and at a price that is considerably less than comparable lodges in Rwanda.

The lodge has been featured in Condé Nast and other major publications and online services.  The added plus is that a real part of the income of the lodge goes to the support of the local community.
Clouds Mountain Gorilla Lodge is simply one of the Best.

 Gorilla Safari Lodge – Upmarket:

The upmarket Gorilla Safari Lodge – quality and comfort in the Rushaga Area of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest,

It is the only up-market Lodge in the Rushaga Area. It has an excellent track record with our clients who have stayed here since its opening. The deluxe Cottages are especially nice with a fireplace and a sitting area where you can relax after trekking.

There is  Family Cottage here that sleeps 4 and can be used by any group of 4 and has two bedrooms and a joined sitting area where you relax after trekking.

It is a 30-minute drive to the Habituation trailhead in Rushaga from here.

The Lodge is the only upmarket lodge available in Rushaga, the only alternative is the much higher priced Clouds Mountain Gorilla Lodge.


 Day 2 – Gorilla Habituation Experience – Rushaga:
 Early Breakfast and take your packed lunch from the lodge, have a daypack,  3 liters of water, long trousers, gardening gloves for pulling yourself up on branches, long-sleeved shirt. waterproof boots, hat, rain jacket, We supply a Porter, Walking Stick, and Bottled Water

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.

With the trek in and trek out – the 4-hour Gorilla Habituation Experience – this is an all-day trek, not only do you see the Gorillas with only 4 participants, but you learn about the Gorillas habits and ways from the Gorillas and the Researchers.

Return to the trailhead and it is back to the lodge.

Tips – Advice for the Gorilla Habituation Experience:  This gives you all that you need to know about the Gorilla Habituation Experience including what to wear and bring while on your trek.

Meal Plan: Breakfast – Lunch – Dinner

Lodge:  Clouds Mountain Gorilla Lodge or Gorilla Safari Lodge


Day 3- 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.

Check into the lodge of your choice and Lunch

Afternoon Game drive in search of the famed tree-climbing lions who sleep in the fig trees up to 15 hours a day.

There are about 50 of them here in various pride.  You might also see some leopards, lot of elephants which have increased vastly in numbers.  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,

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.

Note – If you are staying at Ishasha Wilderness Camp a Sundowner can be arranged in the Bush for you hosted by Camp Staff reminiscent of the days of old in the African Bush.

Dinner

Meal Plan:  Breakfast – Lunch-Dinner

 


 Ishasha Wilderness Camp – Exclusive $$$$:

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 en-suite Tented Cottages

Have lunch with elephants and hippos, listen to the sounds of the African night.

There is restaurant quality food and care offered in an upmarket style that with the new tents is simply great and you are near the best place in all of Africa for Tree Climbing Lions and yet most tourists bypass this fantastic part of Queen Elizabeth Park.

Ishasha Wilderness Camp – a long Standing Tradition with Luxury Safari Goers.


Day  – 4 – Queen Elizabeth Park – Mweya Area:

Breakfast and morning game drive after 8 am – the lions do not climb up into the trees any earlier.  the safari vehicle is equipped with a pop-up roof for best game viewing.  The game drive is 3 hours in length.

 After the game drive, we continue to the Mweya area of the park where you check into the lodge of your choice.

Lunch

In the afternoon it is the fabulous Kazinga Channel Wildlife – Birding, Reptile Boat Safari that is one of the highlights of your Queen Elizabeth Park Visit.  Here you can see countless pods of Hippos, crocodiles, antelopes, elephant herds, countless birds, monitor lizards and more.  This is a natural channel that connects Lake Edward and Lake George.

Dinner

Meal Plan:  Breakfast-Lunch-Dinner

Mweya Lodges to choose


 Kyambura Gorge Lodge – Exclusive Luxury Lodge

This classy lodge is located near the Kyambura Gorge which is 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 finest lodges in Uganda, but still has that rustic look to it. Exquisite Bandas as the cottages is called here.  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 a trademark of the Volcanoes Lodges and certainly true at Kyambura Gorge.

Trek in the Gorge and spot a Chimpanzee in the valley of the Apes, Game drives and the boat safari on Kazinga Channel.


Day 5- Queen Elizabeth Park:

 Breakfast

Lion Tracking Research – here you are with Researchers from the Carnivore Project and track the Collared Lions, leopards in this part of the park, not only will you see lions, but a learning experience about the lions.

The lion tracking research begins at the crack of dawn and you can have breakfast after the experience.

Lunch

In the afternoon 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.

Dinner

Meal Plan:  Breakfast – Lunch-Dinner


Day 6- Kibale Forest:

Breakfast and early morning game drive after which we move to Kibale Forest where you check into the lodge of your choice.

Lunch

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.

Dinner

Take the 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:  Breakfast – Lunch – Dinner


 Crater Lake Safari Lodge – Luxury – $$$:

Crater Lake Safari is when it comes to Luxury lodges is an affordable option for those that want that added comfort, extra service and delightful meals.

There is a swimming pool for you to enjoy as well as a massage.  The Crater Lake itself is an attraction and the lodge has provided a beautiful gazebo where you can have a cool drink after a day of Chimpanzee Trekking.

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 and Luxurious Cottage, the crater lake just below you, the rolling hillsides in the distance and the color green everywhere. Kibale Forest and Bigodi Wetlands are 20 minutes from the lodge.

This is the Lodge chosen most often by our Clients.2


Day 7 – Chimpanzee Habituation Experience Kibale Forest

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.

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.

Normally 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. On  an all-day habituation, you will see a lot more than on a trek.

It is important that you wear the right clothing and shoes and have at least 3 liters of water with you, plus a packed lunch

Meal Plan: Breakfast – Lunch – Dinner


Day 8 – Entebbe:

Breakfast

Our Departure depends on your flight-time out of Entebbe.  We can stop at the Nakajima Tree where traditional, cultural practices continue to this day as they have for 300 years.

Arrive in Entebbe for the flight home – 4 1/2 hours drive-time.

Fly to Entebbe Option: You can fly with Aerolink directly to Entebbe International Airport.  There is a flight in the morning and an additional Flight in the afternoon.  Luggage Limit is 15 Kilos.


Safari includes All Permits and activities except where it says optional.  All lodging, full-board is included except drinks, tips, laundry at lodges.


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