© Olaf Tamm

Gorillas, Chimps and Monkeys

7 Day Uganda Tour - Budget Option

Meet Uganda’s primate family! Experience East Africa's top primate destinations with some specially tailored activities to see ‘the greats’ such as tracking the endangered mountain gorilla, a full day with a chimpanzee family and forest walks to visit the countries old world monkey species. Of course you’ll also head to the savannah for some classic savannah game driving!

From $1,850 PP

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Highlights

- Visit a mountain gorilla family in the impenetrable forest.
- Spend a day with the chimps of Kibale National Park.
- Seek out golden monkeys on a extinct volcano.
- Explore the savannah of Queen Elizabeth National Park.

* Price includes your gorilla and chimpanzee tracking permits!

Brief Itinerary

Day 1 - Drive to Uganda's southwestern highlands.
Day 2 - Track golden monkeys troops on an extinct volcano.
Day 3 - Mountain gorilla tracking in Bwindi Impenetrable NP.
Day 4 - Savannah game driving and a water safari.
Day 5 - Discover the chimps in a sunken rainforest.
Day 6 - Spend a full day with the chimps of Kibale Forest.
Day 7 - Old world monkey spotting in Magombe Swamp.
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Day 1 - Heading to the highlands

You’ll be collected early in the morning from Kampala (or Entebbe) so you can make the nine-hour of driving time down to Mgahinga Gorilla NP. The journey will take you south, crossing over the equator into the southern hemisphere, before passing the edge of Lake Mburo NP (watch out for zebras along by the road). At midday you’ll reach the Igongo Cultural Centre where you can enjoy your lunch in their gardens. Then continue to the highlands and Mgahinga Gorilla NP. The journey passes rolling hills, tea plantations, and Echuya Forest to the shadow of the Virunga Mountain range. As you approach your camp you’ll get views of the three extinction volcanoes in Mgahinga NP, Mt. Muhavura, Mt. Gahinga and Mt. Sabyinyo dominating the skyline.

Watch out for zebras as you pass Lake Mburo NP. Image © William Boase
Golden monkeys are endemic to the Virunga Volcano chain. Image © Rachel Landman

Day 2 - Golden monkey troops

Meet your Uganda Wildlife Authority guide for a briefing on the golden monkey tracking. An estimated 3000-4000 individuals live in the Virunga region of which between forty to sixty of them are habituated in Mgahinga Gorilla NP. You will hike through bamboo forest on the extinct volcano’s slopes to seek out these primates. Once you’ve found the monkeys, spend an hour watching these unique primates play, feed and swing from the trees before returning to your camp for lunch. This afternoon you’ll be transferred to your lodge in a remote area on the edge of Bwindi Impenetrable NP, a UNESCO world heritage site. You’ll then have a leisurely evening to prepare yourself for your gorilla tracking the next morning.

Day 3 - Gorilla tracking

Experience Uganda’s greatest natural wonder, an intimate meeting with one of Bwindi Impenetrable NP’s gorilla families. Start early with an orientation from a Uganda Wildlife Authority rangers on tracking the gorillas, before they guide you through the rainforest. They’ll identify the local plants, birds and wildlife as well the general ecosystem of Bwindi Impenetrable NP for you. The trek length varies, depending on where the gorillas spent the night, ranging thirty minutes to six hours. Once you find these incredible creatures you will spend one hour with them. We think you’ll agree it’s one of the most magical experiences you can have with nature to see this unique family feed, socialise, nurse their young, patrol and display their prowess. After which make the return trek to your lodge to spend a sedate evening unwinding to the sounds of the African rainforest.

Mountain gorilla in Bwindi Impenetrable NP. Image © Steffen Schwörer
Ishasha Plains is well known for its population of tree-climbing lions. Image © Rachel Landman

Day 4 - Tree-climbing lions

This morning leave the impenetrable forest to the Ishasha plains in the south of Queen Elizabeth NP. These plains are particularly known for their iconic population of tree-climbing lions. After lunch overlooking the hippo pool you will be meeting a Uganda Wildlife Authority guide who will guide you through the bush to seek out these impressive cats. If you’re lucky you will find them in the branches of huge fig trees as they laze away in the shade, sheltered from the heat of the day. In the late afternoon you’ll leave Ishasha Plains and drive north alongside Maramagambo Forest to reach your lodge on the banks of the Kazinga Channel in the heart of Queen Elizabeth NP. Don’t be surprised if you hear the lions roaring or some visitors wander into camp in the night! Don’t worry you’re perfectly safe!

Day 5 - Chimps in a sunken rainforest

This morning explore a sunken rainforest in Kyambura Gorge. The gorge contains its own rainforest ecosystem in which you will be tracking the chimpanzees. After a briefing from your guides you’ll descend along the forest paths into the gorge to search for these illusive creatures. If you manage to track them down you can spend an hour with the chimps before to climb out of the gorge onto the savannah plains. This afternoon leave the savannah and follow the Rwenzori Mountain range north, passing through Ndali - Kasenda crater-lake fields. The volcanic explosions from the creation of the Rwenzori Mountain range formed the crater lakes, which dot the landscape. You will then continue on to your accommodation on the edge of the forest of Kibale NP where you’ll be able to relax for the evening.

Chimpanzee in Kyambura Gorge. Image © Steffen Schwörer
Chimpanzee in Kibale National Park. Image © Steffen Schwörer

Day 6 - A chimp's day

Kibale NP is famous for having the highest concentration of primates in East Africa. A Uganda Wildlife Authority habituation team will give you an orientation on tracking the chimpanzees in the forest. Your aim is to track down the chimps through dense rainforest after they descend from the trees. Once you have found them, you’ll have the day to observe their natural behavior in the wild as they feed, socialise, nurse their young, relax, patrol and display their prowess, before watching them weave their nests and retire for the night into the forest canopy. By dusk you’ll leave the rainforest and head back to your lodge to relax for the evening.

Day 7 - Magombe swamp and heading home

Close to your camp is Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary where you’ll meet a guide who will take you on your walk through Magombe Swamp, a RAMSAR site and part of the Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary. As you ramble around the swamp your guide will be able to identify the local flora and fauna as well as the eight species of monkey including red colobus, grey-cheeked mangabey, L’Hoest, vervet, black and white colobus, blue monkeys and baboons. This afternoon you will then pass back through the Ndali-Kasenda crater lake fields and make the return journey back to Kampala (or Entebbe) arriving by dusk.

Vervet monkey and baby. Image © William Boase
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Full Board Option

Our budget tour options do not include food. This is because some budget travellers prefer to take their own food with them in order to help manage their budgets. We can however add a ‘full board option’ on a per person basis if preferred.

If you would like to add a Full Board option to your tour, please contact us for more information.

Highland Lakes

Whether you’re tracking gorillas or hiking volcanoes you’ll want some time to relax on your travels. You can’t get much better then spending some time at Uganda’s highlands lakes. Here you can paddle canoes around the sparkling ‘lake of little birds’ and discover the islands and history of Lake Bunyonyi. Or you can relax, swim and bird watch at Lake Mutanda with its volcano panorama of the Virunga mountains including Mt. Muhavura, Mt. Gahinga and Mt. Sabyinyo which mark the Uganda / Rwanda / DRC border.

If you would like to add this destination to your tour, please contact us for more information.

Predator Tracking

Join the predator tracking team from the Uganda Carnivore Program (UCP) in Queen Elizabeth National Park to add something intimate to your savannah game drive. With your highly knowledgeable guides you’ll be able to get off the typical beaten track and search among the bushes and trees to get close up to lions, leopards and hyenas in truly natural savannah setting. Get your cameras ready! By partaking in this activity you are amongst many good things, contributing to establishing a comprehensive large predator database for the national park, which is used for conservation purposes.

If you would like to add this activity to your tour, please contact us for more information.

Virunga Volcano Trek

Take a hiking trip to explore one of Uganda’s three extinct Virunga volcanoes on the Uganda/Rwanda/DRC border. You’ll be accompanied by an experienced and qualified guide to summit either Mt. Gahinga ‘Small Pile of Stones’, Mt. Sabyinyo ‘Old Man’s Teeth’ or Mt. Muhavura 'the guide' to reach what feels like the top of the world.

If you would like to add this activity to your tour, please contact us for more information.

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4×4 Supercustom

This tour is based on using a Supercustom. On safari in Uganda, you need vehicles that you can rely on, vehicles with as much comfort as we can provide to make your journey a happy one! The 4x4 Toyota Supercustom is a practical option for group safaris as they offer space, comfort and are reliable vehicles. Each vehicle can comfortably seat eight clients as well as a driver and an extra seat for when we hire additional guides and rangers. They perform well off-road and have pop-top roofs for that intimate experience with nature in the parks. As a conscientious business, we chose this vehicle, as it is kind to the environment; running on diesel with low consumption. This is therefore our standard touring vehicle.

Please note this tour is based on your being collected and dropped off in either Kampala or Entebbe. For other locations please contact us for a quote.

Upgrade Option – Landcruiser with pop top

Some clients simply prefer a Landcruiser on their safari! They are after all the conventional way to travel on safari. Like the Super Custom, they offer comfort and reliability. They offer more intimacy for small groups of two to four clients and are optimal for single travellers. With their pop-up roof hatches, they give you up-close and personal interactions with nature.

For price quote please see "Prices Tab". Please note prices are based per car hired and on pick up and drop in Kampala or Entebbe. For other locations please contact us.

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Based on 6 PeopleBased on 5 PeopleBased on 4 PeopleBased on 3 PeopleBased on 2 People
$1,850pp$1,890pp$1,940pp$2,040pp$2,220pp

Foreign Uganda Residents Discount: -$180 Per Person

East African Citizens Discount: -$850 Per Person

Super Custom: Included

Land Cruiser Pop Top: +$420 Per Group

This Tour Includes

We use the following abbreviations our ‘Includes & Excludes’ section.
NP – National Park
NSC – Non Self Contained (communal toilets and showers)
SC – Self Contained (private toilet and shower)
UWA – Uganda Wildlife Authority

Full time use of a private vehicle (as per your itinerary)
A Full-Time Private Driver/Guide
Fuel for your entire journey (with an allowance for any necessary detours)
Accommodation (please view TripAdvisor links in itinerary for impartial ratings)
- 1 night at Amajamber Iwacu Camp (shared dormitory, NSC)
- 2 nights at Buhoma Community Camp (shared dormitory, NSC)
- 1 night at The Bush Lodge (single / double or safari tent, NSC)
- 2 nights at Kibale Forest Camp (single / double or safari tent, NSC)
Breakfast on days 2 to 7.
Bottled Drinking Water (1.5 liters per person, per day in your vehicle)
All Activities
- Golden monkey tracking (Mgahinga Gorilla NP)
- Gorilla tracking (Bwindi Impenetrable NP)
- Game drive on the Ishasha plains (Queen Elizabeth NP)
- Chimp tracking in Kyambura Gorge (Queen Elizabeth NP)
- Full days chimp habituation experience (Kibale NP)
- Magombe swamp walk (Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary)
Wildlife & Tracking Permits
- Golden monkey tracking (UWA)
- Gorilla tracking (UWA)
- Chimpanzee Habituation Experience (UWA)
Park & Vehicle Fees
- Mgahinga Gorilla NP x 1 day (Park Entry, Driver Entry, Vehicle Entry)
- Bwindi Impenetrable NP x 1 day (Park Entry, Driver Entry, Vehicle Entry)
- Queen Elizabeth NP x 1 day (Park Entry, Driver Entry, Vehicle Entry)
- Kibale NP x 1 day (Park Entry, Driver Entry, Vehicle Entry)
Specialist Guides and Rangers
- Golden monkey tracking guide (UWA)
- Gorilla tracking guide (UWA)
- Game drive guide (UWA)
- Chimpanzee Habituation guides and rangers (UWA)
- Magombe swamp guide (Bigodi Wetlands Sanctuary)
Collection from and drop-off at your desired location (in Kampala or Entebbe)
Lodging & food for your guide/driver (same lodge premises as you, where possible)
A dedicated Tours Manager based in Kampala in daily contact with your Driver/Guide and on call, 24/7 in case of an emergency.

This Tour Excludes

Items marked ‘(*for an additional cost)’
Additional meals (full board option available on request)
Alcohol (unless provided as complimentary by the accommodation)
Laundry (unless provided as complimentary by the accommodation)
Souvenirs & items of a personal nature
Personal Insurance
International or Domestic Flights
Visas (refer to your embassy)
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