13-Day Primate Trekking Safari in Uganda

The 9-night/10-day Primate Tour in Uganda takes you from the vibrant city of Kampala in Uganda to the magnificent Murchison Falls, Kibale National Park for chimpanzee trekking, Queen Elizabeth National Park for a Big 5 safari tour and more.

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  • Duration: 6 Days
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Description

Uganda is renowned for its incredible biodiversity. The scenery is spectacular, birds and wildlife sightings are outstanding and, of course, the opportunity to spend precious time with the gentle mountain gorillas of Uganda makes this a once-in-a-lifetime experience. 

Highlights 

  • Murchison Falls National Park 
  • Lake Albert boat cruise 
  • Kibale Forest National Park safari tour and chimpanzee trekking 
  • Bigodi Wetlands Sanctuary nature walk 
  • Queen Elizabeth National Park safari tour 
  • Kazinga Channel boat cruise 
  • Bwindi Impenetrable National Forest gorilla trekking  

Accommodation

Méstil Hotel 

Accommodation in Kampala 

98 suites, sleeping up to 200 guests

Méstil Hotel & Residences offers business people and travellers state-of-the-art accommodation on the outskirts of Kampala. Located on Nsambya
Hill, guests stay in stylish suites with a panoramic view of the city skyline and the historic sites of Kampala. 

Each ensuite suite is air-conditioned and stylishly decorated in a unique African/Moroccan theme. The apartments have a fully-equipped kitchenette for self-catering accommodation in Kampala as well as an elegant lounge and dining area. 

Méstil Hotel & Residences is well-known for its restaurants and bars which includes Amber Restaurant, the Times Bar and the Blend Coffee Shop. Facilities include an outside pool, fitness centre and spa treatment centre. 24/7 room service, security guarding and complimentary airport shuttle makes Méstil Hotel & Residences one of the most popular places to stay in Kampala. 

Paraa Safari Lodge 

Accommodation in Murchison Falls National Park 

54 rooms, sleeping up to 108 adult guests

Paraa Safari Lodge is located in north-west Uganda in the Murchison Falls National Park. It lies nestled in lush vegetation overlooking the magnificent River Nile. From the lodge, you can hear the rushing river water as it cascades over the gorge, making its way from Lake Victoria to Lake Albert. 

Paraa Safari Lodge offers a unique blend of comfort, relaxation and adventure. Each ensuite room is stylishly decorated and fully-equipped for comfort and convenience, complete with its own private balcony with a panoramic view of the surrounding wilderness. 

Primate Lodge Upgrade 

Accommodation in Kibale National Park 

16 units, sleeping up to 32 adult guests

Primate Lodge Upgrade is a luxury safari lodge located in a lush forested area in the heart of Kibale National Park. It’s ideally located to Kanyanchu Visitor Centre which is where you set off from to find chimpanzees in the forest. 

Guests have the choice of 9 spacious, ensuite luxury cottages that are fully-equipped for comfort and convenience. A double-story Banda (grass-thatched cottage) is suitable for families.  

Papaya Lake Lodge 

Accommodation in Fort Portal 

9 cottages, sleeping up to 18 adult guests

Papaya Lake Lodge is located in Fort Portal, close to Kibale National Park and Queen Elizabeth National Park. It’s a popular destination for travellers visiting Uganda for chimpanzee trekking. The lodge falls within the Great Crater Lake region and has sweeping views of Lyantonde Lake and Kifuruka Lake. 

It’s a peaceful paradise in a lush forested area; stylish and elegant with high-beam ceilings, warm wooden décor and unique local craft pieces. Each ensuite cottage is fully-equipped for comfort and convenience, including a spacious living place and lovely wooden decks. 

Mweya Safari Lodge 

Accommodation in Queen Elizabeth National Park 

Mweya Safari Lodge offers discerning travellers luxury accommodation on a peninsula in the heart of the Queen Elizabeth National Park with the magical Rwenzori mountain range forming a spectacular backdrop. The Rwenzori mountains are renowned as the ‘Mountains of the Moon’ from the epic movie of the same name.  

Each ensuite suite at Mweya Safari Lodge boasts breathtaking views of the Kazinga Channel. They’re fully equipped for comfort and convenience. Luxury facilities include an excellent restaurant serving authentic Uganda cuisine and the Mweya Health Club for spa treatments. 

Buhoma Lodge 

Accommodation in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park 

10 chalets, sleeping up to 20 adult guests

Buhoma Lodge offers discerning travellers luxury accommodation in the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. It’s one of only two lodges located
within the national park and the ideal place to stay if you’re travelling to Uganda for gorilla trekking. 

The elevated main lodge offers guests panoramic views of the gorgeous forest surrounds and a cosy place to relax after an exciting day on a
gorilla safari tour. Each ensuite chalet is fully-equipped for your comfort and convenience, with its own private deck. 

Mahogany Spring Lodge 

Accommodation in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park 

6 luxury suites and a Presidential Suite, sleeping up to 20 adult guests

Mahogany Springs Lodge is located in Buhoma on the northern side of Bwindi Impenetrable National Forest, and the ideal location if you’re
visiting the area for gorilla trekking. In fact, the endangered mountain gorillas are regularly spotted in the forest below from the lodge terrace. 

It’s a private and serene lodge, offering guests spectacular views of the Bwindi forested landscape and the river below. Each ensuite room is stylishly decorated and exudes warmth and comfort. Beds are draped in mosquito nets and the rooms lead out onto private decks. Fee Wi-Fi is available in the main lodge.  

Itinerary

Day 1: Kampala

Guests collected at an agreed destination; either Entebbe International Airport or a hotel/guest house within the city precinct. Transfer to your hotel in Kampala; ‘meet and greet’ and safari tour briefing. 

Overnight at Biraj Hotel (budget accommodation) or Méstil Hotel & Residences (luxury accommodation) in Kampala. Dinner served in the lodge restaurant. 

Includes: Dinner  

Day 2: Kampala - Murchison Falls National Park (285 Kilometers)

Early wake up for breakfast (6h30). Check out of hotel and depart for Murchison Falls Conservation Area in northwest Uganda.  

This region comprises Murchison Falls National Park, Bugungu and Karuma Falls Wildlife Reserves. Murchison Falls National Park lies on the course of the Victoria Nile River and is well-known for its magical waterfall where the great Nile surges through a narrow gap over a massive drop. It then continues its westward journey to the magnificent Lake Albert.   

Overnight in Paraa Safari Lodge. Dinner served in the lodge restaurant. 

Includes: Breakfast and dinner  

Day 3: Murchison Falls National Park

Wake up early for breakfast (6h30). Depart for an early morning safari tour of the Murchison Falls National Park. Return to your lodge for lunch and a rest. 

Depart mid-afternoon for a magical boat cruise on Lake Albert. The Lake Albert Delta is home to rare shoebill storks.   

Overnight in Paraa Safari Lodge. Dinner served in the lodge restaurant. 

Includes: Breakfast, lunch and dinner  

Day 4: Murchison Falls National Park - Kibale Forest National Park (335 Kilometers)

Early wake up for breakfast(7h00). Check out of your hotel and depart for Fort Portal. Stop for lunch and then continue to Kibale Forest National Park in western Uganda. It contains one of the most spectacular forests in the country and the best destination for chimpanzee trekking in Uganda. 

Overnight at Primate Lodge or Papaya Lodge Dinner is served in the hotel restaurant. 

Includes: Breakfast and dinner  

Day 5: Kibale Forest National Park

Early wake up for breakfast (6h30). Depart for a full morning in Kibale Forest National Park on a chimpanzee trekking excursion. Return to your hotel for a light lunch and rest. 

Depart early afternoon (14h00) for a 3-hour guided nature walk in Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary. It’s a breathtakingly-beautiful area located in the Magombe Swamp; known for its incredible biodiversity and home to several rare and endangered primates including the colobus species. 

For an extra fee, you can opt for a full-day chimpanzee habituation experience. 

Overnight at Primate Lodge or Papaya Lodge. Dinner is served in the hotel restaurant. 

Includes: Breakfast, lunch and dinner  

Day 6: Kibale Forest National Park - Queen Elizabeth National Park (142 Kilometers)

Early wake up for breakfast (7h00). Check out your hotel and depart for Queen Elizabeth National Park in western Uganda. Enjoy a leisurely safari tour once inside the national park enroute to your accommodation. 

Queen Elizabeth National Park is one of the most popular safari destinations in Uganda; it stretches from Lake George in the north-east to Lake Edward in the south-west and includes the world-renowned Kazinga Channel which connects the two lakes. It’s also famous for its volcanic rock formations and craters. 

Overnight in Mweya Lodge. Dinner is served in the lodge restaurant. 

Includes: Breakfast and dinner  

Day 7: Queen Elizabeth National Park

Spend the whole day in Queen Elizabeth National Park. Enjoy a wonderful morning safari tour, followed after lunch by a stunning 2-hour boat cruise on Kazinga Channel. 

Overnight in Mweya Lodge. Dinner is served in the lodge restaurant. 

Includes: Breakfast, lunch and dinner  

Day 8: Queen Elizabeth National Park - Bwindi Impenetrable National Park (155 Kilometers)

After an early breakfast, check out your lodge and depart for Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in southwestern Uganda. It’s a breathtakingly-beautiful forested region and world-renowned as home to the world’s remaining mountain gorillas. 

Stop for lunch in Ishasha which is known for its tree-climbing lions.  

Overnight in Buhoma Lodge or Mahogany Springs Lodge. Dinner served in the lodge restaurant. 

Includes: Breakfast and dinner  

Day 9: Bwindi Impenetrable National Park

Today is the most exciting part of your 10-day safari tour of Uganda. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to find and sit with gorillas in the thick lush undergrowth in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. There are fewer than 900 mountain gorillas in existence and gorilla trekking provides a rare opportunity to observe the everyday interactions of these gentle, mysterious primates. 

Return to your lodge for lunch. The afternoon activity is a visit to the Buhoma Community Centre where you can spend time meeting the Batwa people and finding out more about their traditional way of life.  

Overnight in Buhoma Lodge or Mahogany Springs Lodge. Dinner served in the lodge restaurant. 

Includes: Breakfast, lunch and dinner 

Did you know?

The Buhoma Mukono Community Development Association (BMCDA) has brought together over 7 000 community members for the benefit of development, improved livelihoods and conservation of natural resources. BMCDA assists local people to obtain gainful employment and empowers them with the necessary skills required for their jobs. Revenue earned from our guests transfers to BMCDA and is then dispersed to local community projects. The following are some of those projects: Buhoma Community Primary School, Buhoma Community High School, Buhoma Gravity Water Flow Scheme, Rainwater Harvesting, Pineapple and Vegetable Growing Project, Buhoma Cooperative Savings and Credit Society.  

Day 10: Bwindi Impenetrable National Park - Kampala (456 Kilometers)

Early wake up for breakfast and then depart for the long drive back to Kampala, stopping along the way for lunch at Mbarara. Guests are dropped off at Entebbe International Airport or their hotel in Kampala. 

Includes: Breakfast  

Day 11: Lake Mburo National Park - Kampala (235 Kilometers)

After a leisurely breakfast, join a guided nature walk around the lodge or enjoy some time relaxing on the patio. Check out of your lodge and depart mid-morning for the journey back to Kampala. Enjoy a leisurely game drive on the way out of the national park and a stop over at the Equator for photographs, water experiments and souvenir shopping. 

Arrive in Kampala late afternoon. Overnight at Méstil Hotel. Dinner at the hotel or a good restaurant nearby. 

Includes: Breakfast and pack lunch  

Day 12: Kampala - Jinja - Kampala (160 Kilometers Return Trip)

After breakfast, depart for Jinja which is famously the source of the Nile. Jinja is situated on the shores of Lake Victoria in southern Uganda. The source at Coronation Park is marked by a garden and a monument which honours the intrepid British explorer John Hanning Speke. 

Stop enroute along the way at Mabira Forest for a guided nature walk and Bujagali Falls. It’s a feast of stunning scenery and a splendid collection of primates, birds and colourful butterflies.  

For an extra fee, the more adventurous can go rafting on the Victoria Nile River or explore the area on a quad bike with a guide.  

Return to Kampala early evening. Overnight at Méstil Hotel. Dinner at the hotel or a good restaurant nearby. 

Includes: Breakfast and pack lunch 

Day 13: Kampala

After a leisurely breakfast, your driver will take you to Entebbe International Airport to catch your connecting flight. If you have a late afternoon flight, you can request (at an extra cost) a guided tour of Kampala and its famous historical sites.  

What’s included

  • Transfer from/to Kampala 
  • 12 nights’ accommodation  
  • English-speaking driver/safari guide 
  • Chimpanzee trekking in Kibale National Park 
  • 3-hour nature walk in Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary 
  • Guided safari tour in Queen Elizabeth National Park 
  • Gorilla trekking in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park 
  • National park fees, where applicable 
  • Meals as per itinerary 
  • Still water/ tea or coffee on primate trekking and safari tour  

What’s excluded

  •  Scheduled flights to/from Kampala  
  • Other domestic airfares 
  • Permit for gorilla trekking (approx. USD 600) 
  • All purchases of a personal nature 
  • Meals not specified in the itinerary  
  • Alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks 
  • Laundry services 
  • Phone call and Wi-Fi charges 
  • Extra activities/day excursions not included in itinerary 
  • Gratuities visa fees if required 

Important information

Gorilla trekking is dependent on the availability of permits at the time of your booking. Gorilla permits in all the national parks of Uganda and Rwanda are in high demand; we advise that you book your tour well in advance to avoid disappointment. 

If gorilla permits are not available for Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, it’s possible to see the mountain gorillas at Rushaaga which is 7 kilometres from the town of Kisoro in Uganda or you can opt to cross the border into Rwanda.   

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