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Trip Extensions

Rwanda Gorilla Tracking Extension

Duration: 4 days

This is a great extension if you wish to spend more time seeing mountain gorillas up close at Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda. This extension also allows you the chance to see the rare Golden Monkey and learn more about Rwandan cultures.

Anticipated itinerary; actual route may vary.

Day 1: arrive entebbe

Paul Tamwenya, Journeys senior naturalist guide in UgandaPaul Tamwenya, Journeys senior naturalist guide in Uganda

Arrive in Entebbe, Uganda, and transfer to the Cassia Lodge offering a panoramic view of Lake Victoria. Early arrivals will visit the Entebbe Wildlife Education Center or enjoy a first day of birding at the botanical gardens, good for spotting the Vervet, Red tailed, Black, and White Colobus monkeys. The Wildlife Education Center (UWEC) is a great place to learn about the animals of Uganda and the ecosystems in which they live. UWEC is not a zoo in the conventional sense, nor is it a safari park. It is a center for wildlife education where you can observe many indigenous species of wildlife in a semi-natural environment.

Meals
None
Lodging
Cassia Lodge (or similar)

Day 2: murchison falls national park

Beautiful Murchison FallsBeautiful Murchison Falls

After breakfast, drive north through the Luwero triangle to Murchison Falls Conservation Area (MFCA) via the Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary, the only place in Uganda where you can see them in the wild. The Sanctuary, a Rhino re-introduction project, is currently home to 15 southern white rhinos. Before arriving at Murchison, stop for lunch in the town of Masindi. Bisected by the Victoria Nile, Murchison Falls N.P. is the largest protected area in Uganda and contains three different ecosystems. This park has a variety of wildlife which includes lions, leopards, elephant, giraffe, buffalo, a variety of antelope, and chimpanzees as well as the largest population of crocodiles in Uganda. The park is also one of the best birding sites in all of Africa according to the African Bird Club and includes a large variety of birdlife including the rare Shoebill Stork.

Overnight at the Nile Safari Lodge, located in perhaps one of the most beautiful settings in Africa with views of the Nile. From the lodge, it may be possible to spot herds of elephants, hippos, and crocodiles, as well as a variety of birdlife. You'll stay in a charming wood chalet with private bath facilities and a deck overlooking the river.

Meals
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Lodging
Kabelega Wilderness Lodge (or similar)

Day 3: game safari at murchinson falls

Ferry across the NileFerry across the Nile

Today you'll start early for a breathtaking game drive in northern Murchison falls and the chance to spot many African antelopes such as the leaf-eared Oribi, Jackson's Hartebeest, the beautiful Uganda Kob, and the Bohor Reedbuck. Drive towards the delta and Albert Nile for encounters with hunters such as lions, leopards, hyenas, and jackals and herbivores such as the African Elephant, Chad or Cape Buffalo, Hippos and many loose societies of Rothschild’s Giraffe. Birder's will delight in the large number of birdlife including the Abyssinian Ground Hornbill, and Denham’s Bustard and large eagles such as the Bateleur and Brown Snake as well as large flocks of vultures. You'll return to the lodge for lunch and some down time.

In the afternoon, take a boat safari up to the bottom of the falls and be rewarded with a view of the wildlife that come to cool off from the afternoon's hot, dry sun including the resident hippos and crocodiles. Return to your lodge for dinner and overnight.

Meals
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Lodging
Kabelega Wilderness Lodge (or similar)

Day 4: drive to masindi via top of murchison falls

A room at the charming Masindi HotelA room at the charming Masindi Hotel

Depending on the success of the last days' drives, today you'll have another chance to find what might have been missed, or you can take a walk around the lodge or even relax or take a swim at the lodge pool. Afterwards, make the drive to Masindi via the top of the falls, enjoying the fantastic scenery along the way. In Masindi, enjoy a western Ugandan dance called "Entogoro" from the Banyoro people living around Masindi. 

Overnight at one of Uganda's oldest hotels offering clean, comfortable, and spacious rooms with attached bath. 

Meals
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Lodging
Masindi Hotel (or similar)

Day 5: drive to kibale national park

Black and white Colobus MonkeyBlack and white Colobus Monkey

Today, start after an early breakfast for a long drive to Kibale National Park with lots of stops for birds, animals, and photos along the way. You may encounter large congregations of Olive Baboons and Black and White Colobus, Red Colobus, Red-tailed and Velvet monkeys. Kibale National Park is a popular habitat for 13 known primate species, including the closest living cousin of man - the chimpanzee. You'll arrive at your lodge, located on the edge of Kibale National Park amidst beautiful gardens, tea plantations, and indigenous forests. Enjoy beautiful views of the park, crater lakes, and Rwenzori Mountains from your cottage.

Meals
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Lodging
Chimpanzee Forest Guesthouse (or similar)

Day 6: primate tracking in kibale

See the curious chimpanzeesSee the curious chimpanzees

After breakfast, head out on chimpanzee tracking adventure in Kibale. These impressive creatures are the most human-like of mammals, sharing about 98% of the same dna as humans. During the tracking, you may encounter other primates such as the L’Hoest’s, Red Colobus, Gray-cheeked Mangabey, and Red-tailed Monkeys, and the Olive Baboon.

In the afternoon, visit the Bigodi wetland, which is managed by the local community. This project was started by an American Peace Corps volunteer who was trying to develop ways for the local people to derive income by protecting their forest for ecotourism. These efforts have survived as a successful model which funds a school and employs local people as hosts, guards, and guides. Here, you might spot the elusive Sitatunga Antelope among the papyrus and several interesting species of birds such as the White-winged Warbler, Papyrus Gonolek, and Carruthre’s Cisticola. Enjoy a traditionally-prepared lunch from the local group that manages this wetland then return to your lodge in Kibale.

Meals
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Lodging
Chimpanzee Forest Guesthouse (or similar)

Day 7: queen elizabeth national park

Queen Elizabeth National ParkQueen Elizabeth National Park

Journey through Uganda’s beautiful scenic areas with a potential clear view of the Mountains of the Moon, depending on the cloud cover. As you near your destination, stop for a game drive on the way to Queen Elizabeth National Park -  the second-largest national park in Uganda. In terms of diversity, this park is amazing - with 612 known species of birds. Special birds of this park include the Harlequin and Blue Quails, Red-capped Lark, African Crake, Broad-tailed Warbler, Martial Eagle, African Skimmer, Verreaux's Eagle-Owl, and the Amur Falcon. Primates include the Olive Baboon, Valvet Monkey, and Tantalus monkey. In the Chambura Gorge, you'll find chimpanzees, as well as the Blue and Red-tailed Monkeys. In the afternoon, embark on a boat ride along the Kazinga Channel where you'll get close to hippos, buffalos, and crocodiles. Elephants often swim here as well. The birdlife is very rich and quite approachable, including Saddle-billed Stork, both species of Pink-backed and Great Pelicans, and other migratory species. The Striated Heron, Water Thick-knee, Three-banded Plover, Marsh, Green, Wood, and Common Sandpipers, Gray-headed Gull, and Yellow-billed Oxpecker are typically seen. 

Overnight at the Parkview Safari Lodge (or similar), one of the best lodges in the park. The cottages here are built using natural materials that blends in nicely with their surroundings and offers fantastic views of the park savannah. 

Meals
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Lodging
Park View Safari Lodge (or similar)

Day 8: bwindi impenetrable national park

Tree climbing lionsTree climbing lions

After breakfast, head out to the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park for a wildlife safari. The seasonal Ishasha sector provides a good chance of seeing the area's tree-climbing lions. On a good day, you might also catch a glimpse of a leopard or two. Troupes of Olive Baboons also frequent the roads. Be on the lookout for other interesting savannah animals and birds, including the Black-lored Parrot, Arrow-marked Babbler, Ovambo Sparrow Hawk, African Cuckoo Hawk, stout, zitting, Wing-snapping and Trilling Cisticolas, Brown Snake Eagle, Holub’s Golden Weaver, Black Cuckoo, and Blue-naped Mousebird.

Overnight at the Bakiga Lodge (or similar), located at top of a beautiful valley overlooking the Bwindi Forest for the next 2 nights. You'll stay in traditional style cabins or luxury tents with private baths.

Meals
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Lodging
Bakiga Lodge (or similar)

Day 9: gorilla tracking in bwindi

Muhare Group 6 (large male)Muhare Group 6 (large male)

Set off early with a packed lunch to Bwindi's park headquarters for a briefing prior to the gorilla tracking. The gorillas are gentle animals, and it is an unforgettable experience to locate, observe, and photograph their family groups. You'll be assigned a family group and it may require walking anywhere from 20 minutes to three hours to reach them, depending on where they've been located after sunrise. Game scouts are likely to have pre-located them and radioed back their location to your guide, but the animals are wide-ranging and don’t stick to the trails. Each encounter is different and has its own rewards. You are likely to enjoy a close view of the adults feeding, grooming, and resting as the youngsters frolic and swing from vines in a delightfully-playful display. Gorilla tracking involves part or all of a day in the Impenetrable Forest. In rare instances, finding, reaching, observing, and returning from a group takes an entire day of rather difficult trekking through thick, sometimes muddy vegetation and hilly terrain.  You need to be physically fit if you wish to maximize your chances. Very occasionally, in spite of all efforts, the gorillas prove elusive. Depending on the time you return to the camp, you might be able to visit some of the communities around the gorillas' habitat or spend an evening birding around Buhoma. 

Meals
Breakfast, Box Lunch, Dinner
Lodging
Bakiga Lodge (or similar)

Day 10: lake mburo national park

Spot the zebra up closeSpot the zebra up close

After breakfast, make the estimated four hour drive to Lake Mburo National Park, a former game reserve until it became a national park in 1983. This is the smallest of Uganda's savannah national parks and a portion of the park's entrance fees are used to fund local community projects. Together, with 13 other lakes in the area, Lake Mburo forms part of a 30 mile long wetland system that is linked by a swamp. Five of these lakes lie within the park's borders. Because there are no elephants to tame the vegetation, the park contains many forests. Here you'll enjoy a game safari to possibly see zebras, topis, elands, buffaloes, hippos, and leopards as well as a number of water birds such as pelicans, cormorant, fish eagle, and storks. Other bird species include the rare white-winged warbler, brown parrot, and African grey hornbill. This is the only park in the country where you can see impalas, slender mongoose, and the giant bush rat.

If you like, take a night safari for the best chances to see some of the more elusive species of the park such as leopards, hyena, porcupines, etc. Recently a giant ground pangolin was spotted on a night drive not far from Rwakobo Rock.

Dinner and overnight will be at Rwakobo Rock (or similar), an eco-friendly, family run hotel situated on a scenic outcrop at the edge of Lake Mburo National Park. Zebras, warthogs, impalas, and bushbucks often congregate at the water-hole below the dining area and the sounds of the wild come to life at night. Every night (weather permitting), the staff set up a camp fire from where you can watch the sunset and enjoy the starlit sky.

If adding on the Rwanda extension, today you'll cross into Rwanda and stay at a lodge at Volcanoes National Park.

Meals
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Lodging
Rwakobo Rock (or similar)

Day 11: entebbe via mabamba swamp & depart uganda

Seek out the Shoebill Stork (photo by Tom Tarrant)Seek out the Shoebill Stork (photo by Tom Tarrant)

After breakfast, dpeart for Entebbe via the Mabamba Swamp for the chance to encounter Uganda's most famous bird - the Shoebill. This prehistoric looking bird really has to be seen to be believed and is a great way to end your memorable Uganda experience. Many other water birds you may also see include a variety of herons and ducks, African and lesser jacanas, malachite kingfishers, and swamp flycatchesr. As African fish eagles soar overhead and as your canoe is paddled deeper into the swamps, be on the look-out for species that live among the papyrus plants (a reed-like swamp plant) including the white-winged warbler and papyrus gonolek.

Afterwards, transfer to the airport for your evening flight, or extend to other parts of Africa.

Meals
Breakfast, Lunch
Lodging
None

Price and Date Details

Land Cost:
$6,050
- $7,900
2-3 travelers: $7,900 4-5 travelers: $6,450 6-10 travelers: $6,050 Uganda Gorilla and Chimp permits included
Single Supplement:
$600
The single supplement is applicable if a roommate is not available or if single accommodation is specifically requested. While single accommodation is not available on all trips, we will try and honor this request whenever possible.
Custom & private on your dates
Jul 21-31, 2019
Jul 19-29, 2020

Need to Know

See Journeys’ FAQ about Mountain Gorillas for detailed information on the animals and the logistics for visiting them.

Duration:
11 days
The number of days, or duration, in a destination corresponds with the itinerary as published. This is the time period covered by the land cost.
Comfort Level:
●●○○○
(see full descriptions)
Activity Level:
●●●○○
(see full descriptions)
Possible strenuous trekking in unpredictable weather during gorilla mountain hike.
Group Size:
2-10
The stated range indicates minimum required for guaranteed departure and maximum accepted on the scheduled dates. Exceptions can often be made for private departures.
Terms & Conditions: 

Standard

Below is a summary of our complete Trip Terms & Conditions, which explains each of the items below in more detail. 

Expenses covered

Normally, our stated land costs include the cost of all guides, leaders, permits obtained after arrival, lodging accommodations, food and entry fees as specified, and all surface transportation associated with the planned itinerary. We do our best to avoid increasing prices after receipt of your deposit, but, rarely, factors beyond our control might require us to change our prices without prior notice, even after you have signed up. 

Expenses not covered

Costs not included in the price may include: meals not indicated as included in itineraries; meals prior to arrival in starting cities; transfers, if not arriving or departing on the scheduled group flights; soft drinks, bottled water, and alcoholic beverages; medical expenses, costs of hospitalization, or evacuation from remote areas; laundry; airport departure taxes not included on your airline ticket; accommodations en route to starting cities; visas; airfares; gratuities; and insurance. 

Pricing and Payment

For most group departures, the booking deposit is $500 per person per trip, though for some trips it may be more, as noted in the trip description. The minimum booking deposit requirement for custom trips is $800 per person, and this deposit is non-refundable. A trip-planning fee of $250 per itinerary is also charged to cover costs of preparing itinerary proposals for custom trips. This fee is credited to the cost of the trip, but is nonrefundable if you do not take the trip. Custom travel during holiday seasons may require a deposit prior to trip confirmation.

For both group departures and custom trips, a second deposit of $1,000 per person is due 120 days prior to departure or at the time of booking for reservations made fewer than 120 days before departure. The balance as shown on your invoice is due 60 days prior to departure regardless of whether extensions or other arrangements are pending. Late payments may jeopardize confirmation of your itinerary and in some cases may result in additional fees. If we have not received final payment 30 days prior to departure your reservation may be canceled and subject to our Cancellation & Refund Policy stated in the complete Terms & Conditions.

We accept payments by Visa, MasterCard, American Express, or check drawn on a U.S. bank account. Payment for airfare is required at the time of ticketing. Discounts that may be available for some trips are not available toward bookings made through travel agencies.​

Airfare

We can help you secure air travel arrangements to correspond with land travel booked through Journeys International. We work with an airfare consolidator to assist in booking the flights that suit your needs. If you decide to make your own flight arrangements, you must provide Journeys International with a complete copy of your itinerary showing departure and arrival flights and times. You should plan to arrange your own air travel if you are using mileage credit or originating outside North America, but please be in touch with our office before you finalize ticketing so that we can help you to coordinate the correct arrival and departure dates and times.

Insurance

When you make your application, we strongly recommend the purchase of comprehensive travel insurance in case of emergency situations. Please contact us for a recommended policy.

Itinerary Change Fee

There will be a $40 fee for changes once an itinerary has been confirmed and approved. Additional cancellation penalties or change fees may apply as per our terms and conditions. The passenger is responsible for such fees.

From the Bird's Word Blog

FAQ for Gorilla Safari Packages

It's the moment you'll never forget. That moment when, after trekking through mountainous terrain, it's time to remove your backpack and follow quietly. When the tracker …

Your guides know where to find gorillas
Your guides know where to find gorillas
Gray-crowned Crane
Gray-crowned Crane
Red-chested Sunbird
Red-chested Sunbird
Ferry across the Nile
Ferry across the Nile
Queen Elizabeth National Park
Queen Elizabeth National Park
Crocodile in the Nile
Crocodile in the Nile
Muhare Group 6 (large male)
Muhare Group 6 (large male)
Elephant crossing the road
Elephant crossing the road
Breakfast with Slender-billed and Yellow-backed Weavers
Breakfast with Slender-billed and Yellow-backed Weavers
A bushbuck peers at visitors
A bushbuck peers at visitors
Seek out the Shoebill Stork (photo by Tom Tarrant)
Seek out the Shoebill Stork (photo by Tom Tarrant)
Elusive Narina Trogon (male breeding plumage, photo by Patty McGann)
Elusive Narina Trogon (male breeding plumage, photo by Patty McGann)
Look for the area's unique tree-climbing lions (photo by Cody Pope)
Look for the area's unique tree-climbing lions (photo by Cody Pope)
See zebras in the parks
See zebras in the parks
Baboon grooming its young
Baboon grooming its young
Augur Buzzard
Augur Buzzard
Safari Vehicle
Safari Vehicle
Paul Tamwenya, Journeys senior naturalist guide in Uganda
Paul Tamwenya, Journeys senior naturalist guide in Uganda
Saddle-billed stork
Saddle-billed stork
A black and white Colobus Monkey poses for the camera
A black and white Colobus Monkey poses for the camera
See the beautiful Murchison Falls
See the beautiful Murchison Falls
Massive hippos roam freely
Massive hippos roam freely
Gray-crowned cranes are a sight to see
Gray-crowned cranes are a sight to see
Baby gorillas will steal your heart
Baby gorillas will steal your heart

Primates and Parrots in Uganda

Queen Elizabeth and Volcanoes National Parks, Murchison Falls, Kibale, and Bwindi

overview

Many naturalists claim that Uganda offers an experience that is richer and more diverse than the great wildlife safari destinations of Tanzania, Kenya, and Botswana. Mountain Gorillas are the featured species of the country and you will have the necessary permits to see them up close. But there is so much more.  The valley of the upper Nile, the vast savannas of Queen Elizabeth National Park, and many smaller sanctuaries protecting lakes, rain forests, and volcanic landscapes hold more species of plants, primates, birds, and other animals than any comparable region on the continent.

On this trip, you will sample all the major habitats of Uganda. The emphasis will be on seeing and photographing as many birds and animals as possible, but will also afford the opportunity to enjoy the hospitality of many friendly people representing different tribes who will be your hosts.  Expect early morning starts, opportunities to explore on foot, and small comfortable hotels and lodges located close to interesting natural areas.  Most tourists visiting Uganda focus just on the locations where chimps and the Mountain Gorillas occur. You will have the chance to see the gorillas close up (see Will's 2009 Gorilla Video), but the main emphasis will be active exploration of your naturalist-guide’s favorite sanctuary haunts species of birds and other animals.

itinerary

See Trip Extensions
View Map

overview

Many naturalists claim that Uganda offers an experience that is richer and more diverse than the great wildlife safari destinations of Tanzania, Kenya, and Botswana. Mountain Gorillas are the featured species of the country and you will have the necessary permits to see them up close. But there is so much more.  The valley of the upper Nile, the vast savannas of Queen Elizabeth National Park, and many smaller sanctuaries protecting lakes, rain forests, and volcanic landscapes hold more species of plants, primates, birds, and other animals than any comparable region on the continent.

On this trip, you will sample all the major habitats of Uganda. The emphasis will be on seeing and photographing as many birds and animals as possible, but will also afford the opportunity to enjoy the hospitality of many friendly people representing different tribes who will be your hosts.  Expect early morning starts, opportunities to explore on foot, and small comfortable hotels and lodges located close to interesting natural areas.  Most tourists visiting Uganda focus just on the locations where chimps and the Mountain Gorillas occur. You will have the chance to see the gorillas close up (see Will's 2009 Gorilla Video), but the main emphasis will be active exploration of your naturalist-guide’s favorite sanctuary haunts species of birds and other animals.

Continue to detailed itinerary...

itinerary

Anticipated itinerary; actual route may vary.
  • Day 1: arrive entebbe
    Paul Tamwenya, Journeys senior naturalist guide in UgandaPaul Tamwenya, Journeys senior naturalist guide in Uganda

    Arrive in Entebbe, Uganda, and transfer to the Cassia Lodge offering a panoramic view of Lake Victoria. Early arrivals will visit the Entebbe Wildlife Education Center or enjoy a first day of birding at the botanical gardens, good for spotting the Vervet, Red tailed, Black, and White Colobus monkeys. The Wildlife Education Center (UWEC) is a great place to learn about the animals of Uganda and the ecosystems in which they live. UWEC is not a zoo in the conventional sense, nor is it a safari park. It is a center for wildlife education where you can observe many indigenous species of wildlife in a semi-natural environment.

    Meals
    None
    Lodging
    Cassia Lodge (or similar)
    Show on a map
  • Day 2: murchison falls national park
    Beautiful Murchison FallsBeautiful Murchison Falls

    After breakfast, drive north through the Luwero triangle to Murchison Falls Conservation Area (MFCA) via the Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary, the only place in Uganda where you can see them in the wild. The Sanctuary, a Rhino re-introduction project, is currently home to 15 southern white rhinos. Before arriving at Murchison, stop for lunch in the town of Masindi. Bisected by the Victoria Nile, Murchison Falls N.P. is the largest protected area in Uganda and contains three different ecosystems. This park has a variety of wildlife which includes lions, leopards, elephant, giraffe, buffalo, a variety of antelope, and chimpanzees as well as the largest population of crocodiles in Uganda. The park is also one of the best birding sites in all of Africa according to the African Bird Club and includes a large variety of birdlife including the rare Shoebill Stork.

    Overnight at the Nile Safari Lodge, located in perhaps one of the most beautiful settings in Africa with views of the Nile. From the lodge, it may be possible to spot herds of elephants, hippos, and crocodiles, as well as a variety of birdlife. You'll stay in a charming wood chalet with private bath facilities and a deck overlooking the river.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging
    Kabelega Wilderness Lodge (or similar)
    Show on a map
  • Day 3: game safari at murchinson falls
    Ferry across the NileFerry across the Nile

    Today you'll start early for a breathtaking game drive in northern Murchison falls and the chance to spot many African antelopes such as the leaf-eared Oribi, Jackson's Hartebeest, the beautiful Uganda Kob, and the Bohor Reedbuck. Drive towards the delta and Albert Nile for encounters with hunters such as lions, leopards, hyenas, and jackals and herbivores such as the African Elephant, Chad or Cape Buffalo, Hippos and many loose societies of Rothschild’s Giraffe. Birder's will delight in the large number of birdlife including the Abyssinian Ground Hornbill, and Denham’s Bustard and large eagles such as the Bateleur and Brown Snake as well as large flocks of vultures. You'll return to the lodge for lunch and some down time.

    In the afternoon, take a boat safari up to the bottom of the falls and be rewarded with a view of the wildlife that come to cool off from the afternoon's hot, dry sun including the resident hippos and crocodiles. Return to your lodge for dinner and overnight.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging
    Kabelega Wilderness Lodge (or similar)
    Show on a map
  • Day 4: drive to masindi via top of murchison falls
    A room at the charming Masindi HotelA room at the charming Masindi Hotel (Photo: )

    Depending on the success of the last days' drives, today you'll have another chance to find what might have been missed, or you can take a walk around the lodge or even relax or take a swim at the lodge pool. Afterwards, make the drive to Masindi via the top of the falls, enjoying the fantastic scenery along the way. In Masindi, enjoy a western Ugandan dance called "Entogoro" from the Banyoro people living around Masindi. 

    Overnight at one of Uganda's oldest hotels offering clean, comfortable, and spacious rooms with attached bath. 

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging
    Masindi Hotel (or similar)
    Show on a map
  • Day 5: drive to kibale national park
    Black and white Colobus MonkeyBlack and white Colobus Monkey

    Today, start after an early breakfast for a long drive to Kibale National Park with lots of stops for birds, animals, and photos along the way. You may encounter large congregations of Olive Baboons and Black and White Colobus, Red Colobus, Red-tailed and Velvet monkeys. Kibale National Park is a popular habitat for 13 known primate species, including the closest living cousin of man - the chimpanzee. You'll arrive at your lodge, located on the edge of Kibale National Park amidst beautiful gardens, tea plantations, and indigenous forests. Enjoy beautiful views of the park, crater lakes, and Rwenzori Mountains from your cottage.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging
    Chimpanzee Forest Guesthouse (or similar)
    Show on a map
  • Day 6: primate tracking in kibale
    See the curious chimpanzeesSee the curious chimpanzees

    After breakfast, head out on chimpanzee tracking adventure in Kibale. These impressive creatures are the most human-like of mammals, sharing about 98% of the same dna as humans. During the tracking, you may encounter other primates such as the L’Hoest’s, Red Colobus, Gray-cheeked Mangabey, and Red-tailed Monkeys, and the Olive Baboon.

    In the afternoon, visit the Bigodi wetland, which is managed by the local community. This project was started by an American Peace Corps volunteer who was trying to develop ways for the local people to derive income by protecting their forest for ecotourism. These efforts have survived as a successful model which funds a school and employs local people as hosts, guards, and guides. Here, you might spot the elusive Sitatunga Antelope among the papyrus and several interesting species of birds such as the White-winged Warbler, Papyrus Gonolek, and Carruthre’s Cisticola. Enjoy a traditionally-prepared lunch from the local group that manages this wetland then return to your lodge in Kibale.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging
    Chimpanzee Forest Guesthouse (or similar)
    Show on a map
  • Day 7: queen elizabeth national park
    Queen Elizabeth National ParkQueen Elizabeth National Park

    Journey through Uganda’s beautiful scenic areas with a potential clear view of the Mountains of the Moon, depending on the cloud cover. As you near your destination, stop for a game drive on the way to Queen Elizabeth National Park -  the second-largest national park in Uganda. In terms of diversity, this park is amazing - with 612 known species of birds. Special birds of this park include the Harlequin and Blue Quails, Red-capped Lark, African Crake, Broad-tailed Warbler, Martial Eagle, African Skimmer, Verreaux's Eagle-Owl, and the Amur Falcon. Primates include the Olive Baboon, Valvet Monkey, and Tantalus monkey. In the Chambura Gorge, you'll find chimpanzees, as well as the Blue and Red-tailed Monkeys. In the afternoon, embark on a boat ride along the Kazinga Channel where you'll get close to hippos, buffalos, and crocodiles. Elephants often swim here as well. The birdlife is very rich and quite approachable, including Saddle-billed Stork, both species of Pink-backed and Great Pelicans, and other migratory species. The Striated Heron, Water Thick-knee, Three-banded Plover, Marsh, Green, Wood, and Common Sandpipers, Gray-headed Gull, and Yellow-billed Oxpecker are typically seen. 

    Overnight at the Parkview Safari Lodge (or similar), one of the best lodges in the park. The cottages here are built using natural materials that blends in nicely with their surroundings and offers fantastic views of the park savannah. 

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging
    Park View Safari Lodge (or similar)
    Show on a map
  • Day 8: bwindi impenetrable national park
    Tree climbing lionsTree climbing lions

    After breakfast, head out to the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park for a wildlife safari. The seasonal Ishasha sector provides a good chance of seeing the area's tree-climbing lions. On a good day, you might also catch a glimpse of a leopard or two. Troupes of Olive Baboons also frequent the roads. Be on the lookout for other interesting savannah animals and birds, including the Black-lored Parrot, Arrow-marked Babbler, Ovambo Sparrow Hawk, African Cuckoo Hawk, stout, zitting, Wing-snapping and Trilling Cisticolas, Brown Snake Eagle, Holub’s Golden Weaver, Black Cuckoo, and Blue-naped Mousebird.

    Overnight at the Bakiga Lodge (or similar), located at top of a beautiful valley overlooking the Bwindi Forest for the next 2 nights. You'll stay in traditional style cabins or luxury tents with private baths.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging
    Bakiga Lodge (or similar)
    Show on a map
  • Day 9: gorilla tracking in bwindi
    Muhare Group 6 (large male)Muhare Group 6 (large male)

    Set off early with a packed lunch to Bwindi's park headquarters for a briefing prior to the gorilla tracking. The gorillas are gentle animals, and it is an unforgettable experience to locate, observe, and photograph their family groups. You'll be assigned a family group and it may require walking anywhere from 20 minutes to three hours to reach them, depending on where they've been located after sunrise. Game scouts are likely to have pre-located them and radioed back their location to your guide, but the animals are wide-ranging and don’t stick to the trails. Each encounter is different and has its own rewards. You are likely to enjoy a close view of the adults feeding, grooming, and resting as the youngsters frolic and swing from vines in a delightfully-playful display. Gorilla tracking involves part or all of a day in the Impenetrable Forest. In rare instances, finding, reaching, observing, and returning from a group takes an entire day of rather difficult trekking through thick, sometimes muddy vegetation and hilly terrain.  You need to be physically fit if you wish to maximize your chances. Very occasionally, in spite of all efforts, the gorillas prove elusive. Depending on the time you return to the camp, you might be able to visit some of the communities around the gorillas' habitat or spend an evening birding around Buhoma. 

    Meals
    Breakfast, Box Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging
    Bakiga Lodge (or similar)
    Show on a map
  • Day 10: lake mburo national park
    Spot the zebra up closeSpot the zebra up close

    After breakfast, make the estimated four hour drive to Lake Mburo National Park, a former game reserve until it became a national park in 1983. This is the smallest of Uganda's savannah national parks and a portion of the park's entrance fees are used to fund local community projects. Together, with 13 other lakes in the area, Lake Mburo forms part of a 30 mile long wetland system that is linked by a swamp. Five of these lakes lie within the park's borders. Because there are no elephants to tame the vegetation, the park contains many forests. Here you'll enjoy a game safari to possibly see zebras, topis, elands, buffaloes, hippos, and leopards as well as a number of water birds such as pelicans, cormorant, fish eagle, and storks. Other bird species include the rare white-winged warbler, brown parrot, and African grey hornbill. This is the only park in the country where you can see impalas, slender mongoose, and the giant bush rat.

    If you like, take a night safari for the best chances to see some of the more elusive species of the park such as leopards, hyena, porcupines, etc. Recently a giant ground pangolin was spotted on a night drive not far from Rwakobo Rock.

    Dinner and overnight will be at Rwakobo Rock (or similar), an eco-friendly, family run hotel situated on a scenic outcrop at the edge of Lake Mburo National Park. Zebras, warthogs, impalas, and bushbucks often congregate at the water-hole below the dining area and the sounds of the wild come to life at night. Every night (weather permitting), the staff set up a camp fire from where you can watch the sunset and enjoy the starlit sky.

    If adding on the Rwanda extension, today you'll cross into Rwanda and stay at a lodge at Volcanoes National Park.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging
    Rwakobo Rock (or similar)
    Show on a map
  • Day 11: entebbe via mabamba swamp & depart uganda
    Seek out the Shoebill Stork (photo by Tom Tarrant)Seek out the Shoebill Stork (photo by Tom Tarrant)

    After breakfast, dpeart for Entebbe via the Mabamba Swamp for the chance to encounter Uganda's most famous bird - the Shoebill. This prehistoric looking bird really has to be seen to be believed and is a great way to end your memorable Uganda experience. Many other water birds you may also see include a variety of herons and ducks, African and lesser jacanas, malachite kingfishers, and swamp flycatchesr. As African fish eagles soar overhead and as your canoe is paddled deeper into the swamps, be on the look-out for species that live among the papyrus plants (a reed-like swamp plant) including the white-winged warbler and papyrus gonolek.

    Afterwards, transfer to the airport for your evening flight, or extend to other parts of Africa.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch
    Lodging
    None
    Show on a map

Price and Date Details

Land Cost:
$6,050
- $7,900
2-3 travelers: $7,900 4-5 travelers: $6,450 6-10 travelers: $6,050 Uganda Gorilla and Chimp permits included
Single Supplement:
$600
The single supplement is applicable if a roommate is not available or if single accommodation is specifically requested. While single accommodation is not available on all trips, we will try and honor this request whenever possible.
Custom & private on your dates
Jul 21-31, 2019
Jul 19-29, 2020

Need to Know

See Journeys’ FAQ about Mountain Gorillas for detailed information on the animals and the logistics for visiting them.

Duration:
11 days
The number of days, or duration, in a destination corresponds with the itinerary as published. This is the time period covered by the land cost.
Comfort Level:
●●○○○
(see full descriptions)
Activity Level:
●●●○○
(see full descriptions)
Possible strenuous trekking in unpredictable weather during gorilla mountain hike.
Group Size:
2-10
The stated range indicates minimum required for guaranteed departure and maximum accepted on the scheduled dates. Exceptions can often be made for private departures.
Terms & Conditions: 

Standard

Below is a summary of our complete Trip Terms & Conditions, which explains each of the items below in more detail. 

Expenses covered

Normally, our stated land costs include the cost of all guides, leaders, permits obtained after arrival, lodging accommodations, food and entry fees as specified, and all surface transportation associated with the planned itinerary. We do our best to avoid increasing prices after receipt of your deposit, but, rarely, factors beyond our control might require us to change our prices without prior notice, even after you have signed up. 

Expenses not covered

Costs not included in the price may include: meals not indicated as included in itineraries; meals prior to arrival in starting cities; transfers, if not arriving or departing on the scheduled group flights; soft drinks, bottled water, and alcoholic beverages; medical expenses, costs of hospitalization, or evacuation from remote areas; laundry; airport departure taxes not included on your airline ticket; accommodations en route to starting cities; visas; airfares; gratuities; and insurance. 

Pricing and Payment

For most group departures, the booking deposit is $500 per person per trip, though for some trips it may be more, as noted in the trip description. The minimum booking deposit requirement for custom trips is $800 per person, and this deposit is non-refundable. A trip-planning fee of $250 per itinerary is also charged to cover costs of preparing itinerary proposals for custom trips. This fee is credited to the cost of the trip, but is nonrefundable if you do not take the trip. Custom travel during holiday seasons may require a deposit prior to trip confirmation.

For both group departures and custom trips, a second deposit of $1,000 per person is due 120 days prior to departure or at the time of booking for reservations made fewer than 120 days before departure. The balance as shown on your invoice is due 60 days prior to departure regardless of whether extensions or other arrangements are pending. Late payments may jeopardize confirmation of your itinerary and in some cases may result in additional fees. If we have not received final payment 30 days prior to departure your reservation may be canceled and subject to our Cancellation & Refund Policy stated in the complete Terms & Conditions.

We accept payments by Visa, MasterCard, American Express, or check drawn on a U.S. bank account. Payment for airfare is required at the time of ticketing. Discounts that may be available for some trips are not available toward bookings made through travel agencies.​

Airfare

We can help you secure air travel arrangements to correspond with land travel booked through Journeys International. We work with an airfare consolidator to assist in booking the flights that suit your needs. If you decide to make your own flight arrangements, you must provide Journeys International with a complete copy of your itinerary showing departure and arrival flights and times. You should plan to arrange your own air travel if you are using mileage credit or originating outside North America, but please be in touch with our office before you finalize ticketing so that we can help you to coordinate the correct arrival and departure dates and times.

Insurance

When you make your application, we strongly recommend the purchase of comprehensive travel insurance in case of emergency situations. Please contact us for a recommended policy.

Itinerary Change Fee

There will be a $40 fee for changes once an itinerary has been confirmed and approved. Additional cancellation penalties or change fees may apply as per our terms and conditions. The passenger is responsible for such fees.

Trip Extensions

Rwanda Gorilla Tracking Extension

Duration: 4 days

This is a great extension if you wish to spend more time seeing mountain gorillas up close at Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda. This extension also allows you the chance to see the rare Golden Monkey and learn more about Rwandan cultures.

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× comfort level
Choose accommodations and amenities that fit your personal style
●○○○○ Simple
Our most natural accommodations. Bath facilities often shared, sometimes rustic.
●●○○○ Delightful
Comfortable and especially personal. Small to mid-sized lodges, typically with private bath.
●●●○○ Superior
Lodges and hotels with additional amenities, refined artistry, or extra-special settings.
●●●●○ Deluxe
Exclusive or luxury lodges, hotels, or safari camps with fine dining options.
●●●●● Uncommon
The most indulgent accommodations arranged specially for private trips.
× activity level
Match the trip’s intensity to your ability and motivation.
●○○○○ Gentle
Easy walking, with opportunities for low-key physical activity.
●●○○○ Active
Energetic exploration with optional day hikes, leisurely cycling, or light canoeing.
●●●○○ Vigorous
Day-long active excursions and options for demanding activity in varied environments.
●●●●○ Challenging
Strenuous hiking or other intense activity that may be at high altitude or over rough terrain.
●●●●● Demanding
Multi-day trekking and other activities requiring endurance or strength. Steep trails. No technical expertise necessary.
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