This tour offers you to track the mountain gorillas in Bwindi and also track the chimpanzees in Kibale National Park. Kibale has at least 12 other primates species and Bwindi has another 11 primates species. While most of today’s forests are no more than 12,000 years old, Bwindi’s vegetation has been weaving itself into tangles over at least 25,000 years, in the process accumulating a lengthy species list. This includes 310 species of butterfly, 51 reptiles, 200 trees, 88 moths and an exceptional 120 types of mammal including 10 primates. The latter includes chimpanzee, L’Hoest’s, red tailed and blue monkey, black and white colobus, baboon, and Bwindi’s most famous resident, the mountain gorilla. Bwindi is a prime destination for birdwatchers. Its 350 species include seven which are IUCN red data listed and 90% of all Albertine rift endemics, species which are difficult or impossible to see in any other part of East Africa. We drive through other national parks like Queen Elizabeth National Park and you get to see more wildlife.

Accommodation

Accommodation is based on a standard double/ twin or single room in your choice of accommodation. This can either be budget, mid range or high end.  All accommodation options are selected by its location and service standard compared to its price. When you are with 1, 3 or 5 persons 1 single supplement is included. When you want more single supplements you can contact us at info@travelexploreafrica.com

Inclusions / Exclusions

  • Inclusions
    • Transport in a 4wd safari motor vehicle for excellent safari view viewing
    • All fuel for the tour;
    • English speaking Ugandan driver/guide;
    • Your choice of accommodation as listed in the program
    • Meals according to the program;
    • Park-entrance fees Kibale Forest
    • Chimpanzee/gorilla tracking, including permit
  • Exclusions
    • International air fares;
    • Entry visa Uganda;
    • Accommodation in Kampala
    • Meals that are not part of your accommodation;
    • Tips and gratuities to rangers, driver/guide, hotel staff, etc;
    • All expenses of personal nature (e.g. drinks, laundry, optional activities, souvenirs etc.).

Meal plan

The cost of the tour includes most meals. Please check in the program what meals are included with your choice of accommodation.

Day 1: Morning briefing about  the safari before we we drive to Kibale National Park for Chimps
Briefing on the safari before we drive westwards towards Fort Portal to the Kibale Forest National Park (about 5 hours). Traveling on both asphalt and unpaved roads, you pass through traditional Ugandan Villages where you see people at work tending their traditional crops of millet, sorghum, beans and maize. The lush rolling hills of this region provide good “photo opportunities”. As you approach Fort Portal in the foothills of the Rwenzori Mountains, you enter Uganda’s famous tea plantation region. A carpet of green spreads before you, as far as the eye can see, and seems an unusual contrast to the countryside through which you have just passed. You arrive at Fort Portal, then, continue toward Kibale Forest, one of the great African rainforest research reserves. Years of study by scientists (who have cut a grid through the forest) have habituated many of its animals to human observers. This forest is famed for the variety of primates found here and it is a terrific area for birds. This rural Ugandan town (Fort Portal) is locally famous for its weaving and basketry, and we can spend some time briefly to examine some of this local art.

Accommodation options available (all on full board basis)
Up-market: Ndali Lodge
Moderate:Primate Lodge
Budget: Kibale Safari Lodge                                                                                                          

Day 2: Chimpanzee tracking in Kibale Forest
Assemble at Kanyankyu River camp at 0800hours to go for the most popular activity in this park which is Chimpanzee tracking. Chimpanzees are man’s closet cousins though they are one of the most threatened primate’s species. More primates like Black and white Columbus monkeys, L’Hoest Monkeys, Grey cheecked Mangabey, Red tailed monkeys, bush babies, pottos and many bird species like the yellow spotted nicator, rumped tinker bird, Little greenbul, green breasted pitta, the crowned eagle, black bee eater and mammals like Elephants can be seen in this walk.
Kibale National park, which averages about 3,300 feet in elevation, is an extension of the great rainforests of central Africa. It is inhabited by three large “communities” of chimps, each numbering more than 100 individuals. Each community has a complicated social structure. The big adult males dominate the group and defend the community territory against incursions by male outsiders; the females usually wander in small family groups.
Typically, we locate the chimps by listening for their pant-hooting calls, then hustle to the area from which they are calling. We get to observe them as they feed in fruiting trees, lounge, and socialize with each other, or even, occasionally hunt.
In the afternoon we visit a nearby forest swamp that is excellent for viewing primates and other forest animals. At the Eastern edge of Kibale forest is Bigodi Wetland sanctuary which is maintained by the local community. You will expect birds like the great Blue turaco, blue monkeys, baboons, otters, mongoose, bush bucks, bush pigs and among others.
Accommodation options available (all on full board basis)
Up-market: Ndali Lodge
Moderate:Primate Lodge Budget: Kibale Safari Lodge                                                                                                          

Day 3: Drive to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park for Gorilla Trek
Depart early morning after taking breakfast and head for Bwindi, for your gorialla trek.
Seasons allowing, you will drive through the Ishasha sector in search for the tree-climbing lions. Nowhere in Africa do you stand a better chance of seeing this than in the large low limbed fig trees of Ishasha. This game drive en route will expose you to some of the animals that you might have missed seeing while on your game drives in Kasenyi and Queens Mile. Arrival in Bwindi is in the late afternoon.
Overnight (for 2 nights) at Gorilla Forest Camp (upmarket) Engagi Lodge (Moderate)  Buhoma Community Camp (Budget) (Full board).

 Day 4: Gorilla trekking (Bwindi Impenetrable NP), Tracking the Mountain Gorillas and other primates
Today enjoy surely. After breakfast, proceed for the morning briefing before enjoying the highlight of the trip- Gorilla trekking, which may last the entire day. We trek through the rainforest and bamboo covered slopes, accompanied by a guide and trackers, in search of a mountain gorilla family. The walking can sometimes be tough and long, but when you catch a glimpse of the magnificent silverback, any discomforts will be quickly forgotten. When sighted, visitors will be guided to within 6 metres from the gorillas, sit around them for a whole hour while gazing into their big round eyes.
Gorilla trekking is unpredictable. It’s difficult to foresee how many hours you will hike. The gorilla excursion can take from 2 up to 8 hours. Expect to walk along distance in steep and muddy conditions, sometimes with rain overhead, before you encounter any gorillas. A good physical condition is recommended. For conservation purposes, time spent with the gorillas is limited to one hour. A ranger will brief you on how to behave with the gorillas.

Day 5: Leave the Gorilla trek park, Return to Kampala
Early breakfast before embarking on our return to Kampala, driving down the grassed and terraced escarpments of southwestern Uganda while taking in the breathtaking sights of the hills of the region dubbed ‘the little Switzerland of Africa’. This area is a highly fertile, mountainous region with steep sided hills covered from top to bottom in neatly terraced cultivated rows. Not to miss as we traverse Mbarara are the impressing long horn Ankole cattle. A remarkable highlight of this journey is the Equator line and surely you will cross it as we have a brief stopover here. We will be in Kampala in the evening before for your flight back home.

End of Safari

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