12 Day Uganda gorilla & chimpanzee trekking

Uganda is known as “the pearl of Africa,” with the largest mountain gorilla population on the continent and more than 1,030 bird species. Uganda boasts the “Big 7,” which includes elephant, lion, leopard, rhino, Cape buffalo, gorilla, and chimpanzees. For many centuries, Uganda has been known for its vast elephant herds.

For you thrill-seekers, you may want to fly in early to Entebbe and stay a couple of days at Jinja, the birthplace of the Nile River. Before we pick you up, experience some serious class V rapids on the Nile or perhaps take a scenic flight over its headwaters.

The following is your itinerary…

day 1

Complimentary pick up in Entebbe’s general area, including Jinja. It’s a scenic 5-hour drive along the Nile River wetlands from Kampala (where the nightlife is) to Murchison Falls National Park, the oldest and largest National park in the whole of Uganda, and the highlight of the East African Safari circuit. (3 nights)

The moderate property is Twiga Safari Lodge, located within Murchison Falls National Park. Its tented suites offer bush luxury with a Nile view. Their 3-course meals are full board. Sit by the campfire on a starry night and muse over the milky-way while sipping on a cold one. They offer hippos serenading you at night, Wi-Fi, a bar, lounge, and a restaurant to round out your stay.

The luxury property, Kabalega Wilderness Lodge, overlooks the wild banks of the Nile River just inside the park. The deluxe safari cabins offer spectacular African sunset views over the Nile from your private deck or perhaps from your river view bathroom. The lodge has an understated luxury with a gentle environmental footprint. They offer Wi-Fi, a private hot tub, and full board. Their bar and restaurant also have Nile River views. Dine in
elegance by soft lights and the bush coming alive in the dark.

day 2

Explore Murchison Park, the largest of Uganda’s reserves, where you can photograph an abundance of wildlife against dramatic backdrops.

day 3

You are on your own. The most popular activity is a cruise up the Nile to Murchison Falls. You hear it before you round the bend in the river. It takes your breath away as its stunning volume of water explodes through a narrow gorge called the Murchison Funnel, creating the most powerful stretch of water in the world.

For you thrill-seekers, get dropped off at the base of the falls and climb a steep trail to the top. Stand on the cliff’s edge with the ground vibrating beneath your feet. The incomparable Murchison Falls roars by, a rushing rage of water seeking its escape in a mad dash to Lake Albert. There are many ways to mess around on the river, including sundowner chilled drinks on a Nile cruise, with views of hippos and elephants.

day 4

A scenic 4-hour drive along Lake Albert’s wetlands to Kibale National Park, a lowland tropical rain forest. It’s home to over 1,500 chimpanzees and the best place in Uganda for trekking. Serious birders will enjoy more than 200 different wetland bird species, including the 5’ tall giant shoebill. (2 nights)

The moderate accommodation is Isunga Lodge, perched on a hillside with excellent views of Kibale National Park. They have full board with excellent cuisine, a private deck view from your room, Wi-Fi, a fitness center, pool, bar, restaurant, and all beautifully decorated in African chic.

The luxury accommodation is Kyaninga Lodge, perched on the rim of an ancient volcanic crater lake with spectacular views of the Mountains of the Moon. It offers the ultimate luxury experience in one of Uganda’s most beautiful locations. Raised on stilts and entirely built from hand-carved eucalyptus logs, the main lodge is a stunning engineering achievement, as are the eight beautifully appointed thatched cabins with private terraces and endless views. With international standard cuisine, the lodge offers full board, a bar and restaurant, Wi-Fi, a helipad, a 200-seat ballroom, swimming pool, spa/wellness center, tennis, and croquet.

day 5

You’ll need waterproof boots for a guided 3-mile chimpanzee trek through the forest by a ranger with a rifle (included). It’s a good idea to hire a porter for a nominal fee to carry your camera equipment, water, snacks, etc. This gives you flexibility in your photography and supports the locals.

day 6

Drive through wild country for 3 hours to Queen Elizabeth National Park, where you will see an astonishing 600 different bird species, more than any other park in Africa. (3 nights)

The moderate accommodation is Engiri Game Lodge. It’s in the heart of Queen Elizabeth National Park on the shores of Kazinga Channel’s wildlife experience. The sleeping rooms are private huts built on stilts, offering unbelievably beautiful views. To top it off, you get excellent food in their restaurant and bar, which includes full board and Wi-Fi.

The luxury accommodation is Mweya Safari Lodge. It’s in the heart of the park and situated on the Mweya peninsula overlooking the Kazinga Channel, a popular watering hole for big game. More than a safari lodge, it’s an experience in bush luxury. The main area consists of a dining and lounge area, a breakfast deck, bar, infinity pool, and an open fire pit where you can enjoy the African night skies while listening to good bush stories. The secluded rooms are spread out with views of Lake George and Kasenyi Savannah Plains, perfect for watching the sunrise from your bed. They also offer full board and Wi-Fi.

day 7

A 2-hour boat trip on the Kazinga Channel in Queen Elizabeth Park, which joins Lake Edward and Lake George (included). Relax with cold drinks while your launch glides past hippos, elephants, Cape buffalos, and waterfowl. The Nile draws all to her bosom.

day 8

Explore Queen Elizabeth Park’s southern section in the Ishasha sector, a wilder, more remote bush destination. Its rolling plains are home to vast herds of elephants, and lion prides are known to climb giant fig trees.

day 9

Drive to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, home to over half of the world’s remaining endangered mountain gorillas. Designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Bwindi is one of the largest forests to contain both lowland and montane species. It is the only place you can see gorillas and chimpanzees in the same forest. We’ve heard tell that Tarzan visited the Impenetrable a long time ago. (3 nights)

The moderate property is Bwindi Forest Lodge, overlooking Bwindi Impenetrable. You feel totally immersed in its misty beauty. Breakfast, packed lunches, and suppers are part of full board. They offer mountain jungle views and Wi-Fi. It’s a 5-minute walk to the gorilla trekking gate for an early morning briefing and the starting point.

Sanctuary Gorilla Forest Camp is the only concessionaire luxury camp within Bwindi Impenetrable Forest. This is the perfect base for tracking the park’s most famous resident, the mountain gorilla. They offer a lounge, bar, and restaurant with jungle views, and your tent’s bathtub looks straight into the jungle.

Enjoy a spa with a wide selection of treatments to ease your sore muscles from trekking, and finish your day sipping cocktails by the outdoor fireplace as the sun goes down. With the dusk, the sounds of the jungle come alive. Their camp offers the best bird and wildlife viewing in the Bwindi area.

Park rangers go into the forest at dawn, find the different troops, and report back for the first tours. This guarantees a rare gorilla visit up close and personal.

day 10

You package (includes) a magical hour in the company of these gentle giants, the mountain gorilla. You can also purchase a 4-hour personal gorilla experience for $1,200 per group.

day 11

Explore Bwindi, the impenetrable…

day 12

An early morning game drive through the park, then off to Entebbe in the afternoon.

Truly, a trip of a lifetime!

When to go: Because Bwindi is a rain forest, it experiences rainfall year around. The wettest months are March through May, October, and November. It is somewhat drier from June to August and from December to February. If you want to book in the wet months and don’t mind the mud, we won’t mind it either.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to email us


Starting at $4,993 each –– $9,986 for 2 adults


Starting at $6,868 each –– $13,736 for 2 adults

*The lodges mentioned are not guaranteed as they may be sold out on the dates you require.
When this happens, we go with a comparable property in quality and price.