GORILLAS, CHIMPANZEES & BIRDS OF UGANDA TOUR : JEWELS OF UGANDA - Gorillas, Chimpanzees & Birds, Wildlife and Primates in Kibale & Budongo Forests, Murchison, Queen Elizabeth, Semliki, Lake Mburo Parks - 14 Days

This safari starts and finishes in Entebbe.  [The Bwindi gorilla permit is included in the safari cost but the other gorilla trackings require a supplement to be paid at time of booking.]

This is one of our longest safaris, this tour visits 8 of Uganda's 10 National Parks. Five of these Murchison Falls, Semliki, Kibale, Queen Elizabeth, and Bwindi are in the Western arm of the Great East African Rift Valley! Your trip starts with Murchison Falls Conservation Area, the largest in the country, with chimps, birds, crocodile, and game. Visit the dramatic Falls from which the park derives its name. Drive the long journey westwards to Semliki Game Reserve for chimps, birds and game. Kibale Forest, nearby, is home to thirteen species of primates the highest in tropical Africa.

Animal species such as red, black and white colobus, blue monkeys and baboons and a large number of chimpanzees can be seen. Continue to Queen Elizabeth National Park, passing the foothills of the Rwenzori Mountains: a half day walk into the mountains is possible. The launch trip along the Kazinga Channel in QE is especially good for viewing hippo, buffalo, elephant and a large host of birds. The beautiful steeply forested Kyambura Gorge nearby, is home not only to chimpanzees but also the red-tailed monkey, black and white colobus and many bird species.  Around Ishasha go on the hunt for the famous tree-climbing lions which lounge nonchalantly on old fig trees. Further south in Bwindi go gorilla tracking and see other primates, birds and butterflies. Have an opportunity to track gorillas again or climb a volcano, go birding or take in the breathtaking landscape.  Return to Kampala via Lake Mburo, one of Uganda's most conspicuous parks rich in birds, hippo, buffalo, and zebra.







African Roots Guest House




Murchison River Lodge

Murchison falls



KonTiki hotel




Chimpanzee Forest Guest House

Kibale Forest



Semliki Safari Lodge




Simba Safari Camp

Queen Elizabeth Park



Mutanda Lake Resort




Crater Bay Cottages

Lake Bunyony



Mburo Safari Lodge







B&B: Bed and breakfast
HB: Dinner or Lunch, bed and breakfast
FB: Full Board: All meals dinner, lunch and breakfast included in tour cost
O/N: Over Night

Geographical touring

Day 1:    African Roots Guest House, Entebbe-Kampala


Entebbe, Uganda
Uganda has a total area of 236,040 sq km, bordered by Kenya in the East and Tanzania in the South, Rwanda in the South west, DR Congo to the west and South Sudan to the North, making it a landlocked country. It lies at 10S to 40N Latitude and 300 to 350 East Longitude, so it is astride the Equator.1 00 N, 32 00 E. The country, however, is well watered and fertile. Although it lies at the Equator, it receives about three rainy seasons a year, with Lake Victoria, The Nile, the many forests and the Rwenzori mountains determining much of the climate. In forest ecosystems it rains regularly and weather is unpredictable. Water covers36,330 sq km, about 15% of Uganda’s area.The country is rich in wildlife, game, birds, and a vast culture of over 50 tribes occupying this beautiful, green country. In Uganda alone a birder will enjoy twelve percent of bird species in the world; a tracker will find half of the world’s gorillas; an explorer will have an opportunity to see more than 7% of the world’s mammals. For the discerning traveller the potential for Ecotourism here is enormous, and the discreet have tapped into it.

Day Itinerary

Arrive Entebbe airport. Meet, greet and transfer to African Roots Guest House for overnight (BB) 

Overnight: African Roots Guest House 

Conveniently located close to Lake Victoria and its beach side amenities including restaurants and bars, African Roots guesthouse Entebbe offers traditional home-from-home hospitality in a comfortable, modern and tastefully designed setting. Hotel is located in a quiet suburb close to Greenfields and is just 5 minutes’ drive from Entebbe International Airport.

Day 2: Kampala to Murchison  


Murchison Falls National Park

Murchison Falls National Park lies at the northern end of the Albertine Rift Valley, where the sweeping Bunyoro escarpment tumbles into vast, palm-dotted savanna. First gazetted as a game reserve in 1926, it is Uganda's largest and oldest conservation area, hosting 76 species of mammals and 451 birds.
The park is bisected by the Victoria Nile, which plunges 45m over the remnant rift valley wall, creating the dramatic Murchison Falls, the centerpiece of the park and the final event in an 80km stretch of rapids. The mighty cascade drains the last of the river's energy, transforming it into a broad, placid stream that flows quietly across the rift valley floor into Lake Albert. This stretch of river provides one of Uganda's most remarkable wildlife spectacles. Regular visitors to the riverbanks include elephants, giraffes and buffaloes; while hippos, Nile crocodiles and aquatic birds are permanent residents.

Day Itinerary

Briefing from your guide before taking a gentle drive for Murchison Falls Conservation Area. Drive through Luwero.  Lunch en route and continue to the park. Visit the top of the stimulating Murchison Falls, crashing through a narrow gorge. [Approximate driving time: 6 hours] O/N: Murchison River Lodge.

Overnight: Murchison River Lodge

Murchison River Lodge is located on the southern bank of the River Nile overlooking Murchison Falls National Park, pods of hippos and papyrus islands.
In beautiful surroundings we offer comfortable and relaxing mid-range accommodation to suit all budgets; well appointed en-suite thatched cottages, thatched safari tents each with private facilities and comfortable camping tents already set up around our shaded campsite.  If you would prefer to bring your own tent we have covered areas for self catering in the campsite, including a fire pit and excellent shower and toilet facilities.

Day 3: In Murchison       

Day Itinerary

An early morning game viewing north of the Nile. Launch trip to the bottom of the mighty exciting Falls, with crocodiles, and a vast array of birds including the rare shoebill stork, lounging on the banks of the Nile. Hippos are everywhere! Evening game drive.
Day 4: Murchison to Budongo to Hoima 
The Budongo Forest is an important East African forest. This is because it is a particularly well-studied area and was, in the past, well-known for its mahogany.
The ecology of the Budongo Forest was first studied in detail by W.J. Eggeling (1947). He described the succession of the forest, from Colonising Forest, through Mixed Forest, to Climax Forest characterised by ironwood (Cynometra alexandrii), the dominant species. In his view the whole forest would eventually, if left undisturbed, become dominated by Cynometra alexandrii.

Day Itinerary

An early start. Game drive on your way to Kaniyo-Pabidi in Budongo Forest. Go for a guided nature walk (optional chimpanzee tracking on payment of extra $95pp). Budongo is also known for its many plant and bird species. On return drive to Hoima via the mesmerising Lake Albert, view fishing villages, local communities and local fishermen.
[Approximate driving time: 5 hours].     
  Over Night: Kon-Tiki Hotel in Hoima
Enjoy the greenery of the Victoria gardens, great food in Gabbie's restaurant, the ambience of Amooti's bar and great service,  when at KonTiki you will always feel at home. With a swimming pool, Horse riding activities, a well maintained fruit orchard where guests get to harvest fresh fruits for their breakfast, KonTiki has positioned itslef as the main lodge of choice for many travelers.



Day 5: Hoima to Fort Portal  


The fort may be gone, but this city is definitely a portal to places that offer sublime scenery, abundant nature and genuine adventure. Explore the beautiful Crater Lakes, track the chimps in Kibale National Park or drop into Semuliki National Park with its hot springs and central African wildlife.
Fort Portal is the heartland of a verdant tea-growing area and an important commercial centre. Its pleasant cool climate and central location make it a very convenient base from which to explore the area, so many people end up staying here for a few days.

Day Itinerary

Drive south to Fort Portal, past big tea plantations, lunch en route. Proceed to your lodging in Kibale. Either explore a crater lake nearby or relax at your lodging. [Approximate driving time: 5 hour(s)]

Overnight: Chimpanzee forest guesthouse  

For visitors planning to spend time in the region of the Kibale Forest National Park then you will not be disappointed with Chimpanzee Forest Guest House. It's location on the Kamwenge Road with easy access from Fort Portal some 25 minutes drive away on a well graded road. When you arrive, the views of the adjacent Isunga tea estate and the Kibale Forest are sublime and you know you are going to enjoy yourself.  They have the main lodge building and garden cottages. All around are manicured lawns, and very friendly and helpful staff. There is a chance for you to conduct nature walks from the Guest House with a resident guide to the nearby crater lakes, whilst with so much tea growing on the doorstep a visit to the local tea factory can be an added enjoyment.

Day 6: In Kibale Forest

Day Itinerary

A guided nature walk in Kibale Forest, which has the highest number of primates in Africa - including red, black and white colobus, blue monkeys and baboons and a large number of chimpanzees. A forest walk provides a high possibility of seeing and hearing a vast number of chimps and other primates crashing around through the forest. Birdlife is also fabulous, with over 300 species recorded in the forest. An afternoon walk in Bigodi wetland gives the opportunity of seeing the unusual birds, baboons, chimpanzee and other primates which live around the swamp.

 Day 7:  Kibale to Semuliki National Park

Semuliki National Park sprawls across the floor of the Semliki Valley on the remote, western side of the Rwenzori. The park is dominated by the easternmost extension of the great Ituri Forest of the Congo Basin. This is one of Africa’s most ancient and bio-diverse forests; one of the few to survive the last ice age, 12-18,000 years ago. 

While Semuliki’s species have been accumulating for over 25,000 years, the park contains evidence of even older processes. Hot springs bubble up from the depths to demonstrate the powerful subterranean forces that have been shaping the rift valley during the last 14 million years.

Day Itinerary

Drive to Semliki Safari Lodge. Boat trip on one of the lakes. Hippos, crocodile and a vast array of birds can be seen. Evening game. [Approximate driving time: 3 hours]

Over Night: Semliki Safari Lodge
Staying at Semliki is like stepping back in time. It evokes the spirit of the old explorers, it piques curiosity and inspires discovery. Semliki is secluded and intimate. With a maximum of 18 guests expect excellent service and attention to detail…and an unforgettable experience. Guests stay in golden-hued tents with gleaming hardwood floors. Staying under canvas is one of the most romantic and exciting things to do in on safari in Africa. You hear the sounds, you feel the wind, you smell the rain before it comes. But this isn’t roughing it either: the tents are protected by a thick thatch roof and feature en-suite bathrooms with running water, hot showers and flush toilets. Tea or coffee is brought to you in the morning so you can lie in bed or sit on your veranda and drink in the view before the day begins.


DAY 8: To Queen Elizabeth Park
Queen Elizabeth NP has the widest variety of wildlife of any Ugandan park. Elephant and buffalo are very common, and lions are surprisingly easy to spot. Hyena can be spotted occasionally, while Giraffe and zebra are absent. There are many interesting antelope species like Uganda kob, topi and sitatunga. Hipposand crocodiles are common in Kazinga channel. A troop of chimpanzees has been habituated for tracking. Nine more primate species are found, including the black-and-white colobus monkey.

Wildlife highlights
Tree-climbing lions are a specialty of the Ishasha sector of the park, where they can often be found in huge fig trees.
Day Itinerary 
Leave for Queen Elizabeth Park, passing via the Rwenzoris, or Mountains of The Moon as they are sometimes called. Continue to QE. Evening game drive. [Approximate driving time: 4 hours]

Overnight: Simba safari camp   

Simba Camp is a lower mid level safari accommodation at Queen Elizabeth National Park. Here you will find a variety of comfortable and affordable guest rooms, in a large expanse of compound. Perched on a hill, the camp offers spectacular views of Lake George, Lake Kikorongo and the classic African savannah plains stretching to the distant horizon. It is the closest accommodation for game drives in the Kasenyi plains, and elephants and buffalo can even be viewed from the camp. Delicious meals are served at an open air restaurant, to give you a taste of real African cuisine. Guests can also choose a wake-up call with fresh tea or coffee served on their verandas.



DAY 9, In Queen Elizabeth Park

Day Itinerary
Visit Kyambura gorge to track chimpanzees, man's closest relation. In the afternoon, a game drive on your way out of the park. A boat cruise on the Kazinga Channel is a rewarding experience, for birds, hippos, elephant and a vast array of other animals. 

DAY 10, Queen Elizabeth Park to Bwindi 
Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park and Virunga Gorilla National Park (Congo) are on the edge of the western rift valley. Both parks are also rich in birds, chimps, monkeys and butterflies. Bwindi is one of the largest natural forests in East Africa, with both montane and lowland forest. About half of the world's population of mountain gorillas - about 350 animals - are found in Bwindi. Djomba and Bukima in Congo, have their unique features. Seven gorilla families are open to visitors in Uganda(Rushegura, Mubare, and Habinyanja accessed through Buhoma; Ruhija accessed through Ruhija; and, Ishongi, Nkuringo, and Gahinga accessed through Kisoro); six in Congo. Other activities include volcano climbing, guided nature walk in the forest for primates, birds and butterflies or enjoy the breathtaking landscape!
Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park is on the edge of the western rift valley. The park is also rich in birds, chimps, monkeys and butterflies. Bwindi is one of the largest natural forests in East Africa, with both montane and lowland forest. About half of the world's population of mountain gorillas - about 400 animals - are found in Bwindi. There is Bwindi-North and Bwindi South. In Bwindi South, where we visit, five gorilla families are open to visitors in Uganda. Other activities include volcano climbing, guided nature walk in the forest for primates, birds and butterflies or enjoy the breathtaking landscape!

Day Itinerary

We go for an early morning game drive. Afterwards, start for Bwindi Impenetrable Forest. We may drive via Ishasha, weather conditions permitting where you may see tree-climbing lion - or drive through farmland to Bwindi. [Approximate driving time: 7 hours]

Overnight: Mutanda Lake Resort

The resort is spaciously set up on a 3.5 acres private peninsula stretching into Lake Mutanda. The thirteen cottages are built on a wooden platform, each with private veranda and en-suite bathroom. We offer single, double/ twin and family or triple rooms with comfortable beds and mosquito nets. Mutanda Lake Resort is spectacularly located on a private peninsula stretching into Lake Mutanda. With small islands dotting the surrounding lake and a backdrop of misty volcanoes in nearby Rwanda and DR Congo, this setting never fails to impress visitors. The main building where the restaurant is located resembles a Swiss chalet with an African touch. The perfect place to enjoy a sun downer on the veranda watching otters visiting the shore, or to cuddle up next to the fire place.

Day 11: Gorilla tracking


Go gorilla tracking (subject to availability of gorilla permits at time of booking), carrying a packed lunch. You will be accompanied by a guide and porters who will carry your shoulder pack for you. You will then set off to the thick forest in search of gorillas. The terrain can be difficult, with steep slopes covered in dense vegetation that gives the park its name. In addition, the altitude of 5200 feet and more means participants do need to be physically fit. The time taken to track the gorillas varies enormously, from as little as half an hour to as much as 7 hours before one returns to camp. Difficulty, however, is not impossibility and coming face to face with the great primates is well worth it!

Day 12: Bwindi to Lake Bunyonyi


Lake Bunyonyi ("Place of many little birds") lies in south western Uganda between Kisoro and Kabale close to the border with Rwanda. Located at 1,962 m (6,437 ft) above sea level, it is about 25 km (15.5 mi) long and 7 km (1.35 mi) wide. The depth of the lake is rumored to vary between 44 m (144 ft) and 900 m (2,952 ft), which if true would make the lake the second deepest in Africa. The lake appears on the 5,000 Ugandan shilling Note under the title "Lake Bunyonyi and terraces".

Overnight: Crater Bay Cottages Bunyonyi: On the lake shores, craterbay cottages is offering you a base to explore the lake bunyonyi or a wonderful stop over after you visit the mountain gorillas in the national parks of Rwanda or Uganda . Each of our 12 cottages is located in a terraced block with amazing views of the lake. The cottages are self contained, with wonderful gardens where you can sit and read a book or listen to the birds singing.



Day Itinerary

After breakfast, drive to Kabale and on to Lake Bunyonyi. Afternoon relax at the sandy beaches of Lake Bunyonyi, explore the lake, visit various islands and the local communities including a pygmy community.

Day 13: Lake Bunyonyi to Lake Mburo Park

Mburo Park       

Lake Mburo National Park is located in the western part of Uganda with varied habitats that support about 68 mammals to include Impalas, Burchell’s Zebra and Eland, around 350 bird species including the Red-Faced Barbet, the African Finfoot and the Shoe bill.

Day Itinerary

Start for Mbarara, enjoying natural and other arresting attractions en route. Excursion to Lake Mburo National Park for some unusual game. [Approximate driving time: 5 hours]

Overnight: Mburo Safari Lodge

Mburo Safari Lodge comprises of the main Lodge, guest cottages and honeymoon house, all raised on a wooden platform. All cottages are covered by a grass-thatched roof, perfectly blending with the natural environment, and have a private balcony with views of the Lake Mburo Park. The cottages all have king-sized beds, private bathroom with hot shower and flush toilets.


Day 14: Mburo Park to Entebbe airport for your flight

Day Itinerary

Start for Kampala arriving early afternoon and transfer to Entebbe airport for your flight (HB). [Approximate driving time: 6 hours]


Tour Ends.

UGANDA GORILLAS TOUR UG10: Jewels Of Uganda runs every first Tuesday of the month. 14 Days standard safari departs from Kampala, group departures 2 - 6 persons. 

Group Price USD 5,506 per person. One gorilla permit included in cost.
Single Room Supplement USD 595












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*With a minimum of 2-3 pax, each person would pay a supplement of $450

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ChimpanzeeThis 14-day safari allows visitors to see the gorillas of Bwindi, see Chimpanzees & Birds, Wildlife and Primates in Kibale & Budongo Forests, see game and do launch cruises in Murchison, Queen Elizabeth, Semliki, and Lake Mburo Parks. See the chimpanzees in Kyambura Gorge and Kibale Forest. Also see birds and enjoy a visit to the islands of Lake Bunyonyi. Tour ends with Lake Mburo Park and a visit to the Source of the River Nile in Jinja.