© Rachel Landman

Gorillas and Lions Safari

5 Day Uganda Tour - Mid-range Option

Journey out into the wild savannah of Queen Elizabeth National Park to search for tree climbing lions, elephants, game herds with this classic safari package, but with an added bonus! Travel onto the rainforest highlands of Uganda to visit the rare mountain gorillas. Trust us you’ll never forget this magical encounter with our distant relatives!

From $1,960 PP

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Highlights

- Tracking a rare mountain gorilla family.
- Seek out tree-climbing lions on Ishasha Plains.
- Game drives and water safari in Queen Elizabeth NP.

* Price includes your gorilla tracking permit!

Brief Itinerary

Day 1 - Travel to Queen Elizabeth NP, Uganda's most popular park.
Day 2 - Explore the savannah with a game drive and water safari.
Day 3 - Seek out the tree-climbing lions on Ishasha Plains.
Day 4 - Track a rare mountain gorilla family in ancient rainforest.
Day 5 - Drive back to Kampala arriving by dusk.
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Day 1 - Heading west

You’ll be collected from your chosen pick up point in Kampala (or Entebbe) and drive west through plains, tea plantations and passing Kibale NP (keep an eye out for the groups of baboons by the road), reaching Fort Portal town by midday for lunch. In the afternoon you will follow the Rwenzori Mountain range south stopping off at the equator and crossing into the southern hemisphere en route and enter Queen Elizabeth NP. Time permitting you can take a short game drive through the northern plains of the park before we take you to your accommodation on the banks of the Kazinga Channel where you can relax for the rest of the day and watch the sunset over the water.

Lion on the savannah at Queen Elizabeth NP. Image © Rachel Landman
Elephants on the banks of the Kazinga Channel. Image © Steve Cresswell

Day 2 - Savannah plains & water safari

You’ll be up early for your game drive to take advantage of the cooler hours when the wildlife is far more active before the heat of the day sets in. You’ll be accompanied by a Uganda Wildlife Authority guide, who are experts in tracking the lions and are very knowledgeable about the flora and fauna in the savannah. You’ll head to the Kasenyi Plains, known for their prides of lions. This is one of the prime places to find lions as well as a host of other wildlife such elephants, game herds, warthogs, vultures and if you’re one of the lucky ones, leopards! You’ll then head back to the lodge for a leisurely lunch. In the afternoon you’ll drive down to the Mweya peninsula looking out for elephants and game herds crossing the road. You’ll then take a boat cruise on the Kazinga Channel to the edge of Lake Edward. On the boat trip you will get the chance to search the riverside for elephants, buffalo, some of the many large hippo pods, crocodiles and many species of bird. If it’s clear, you may see the Blue Mountains of Congo on the horizon. It’s then just a short drive back to the lodge where you can relax for evening.

Day 3 - Tree-climbing lions

Take a slower start to the day and drive through Maramagambo Forest to Ishasha Plains in the south of Queen Elizabeth NP. These plains are particularly known for their iconic population of tree-climbing lions. Track through the bush to seek out these impressive cats in the branches of huge fig trees as they laze away in the shade, sheltered from the heat of the day. After lunch overlooking the hippo pool you will be leaving the savannah plains behind you. Take a winding drive through forest and tea plantations to the edge of the rainforest of Bwindi Impenetrable NP. You’ll then reach your camp before dusk so you can enjoy views across the rainforest and take a leisurely evening to prepare yourself for your gorilla tracking the next day.

Tree climbing lion on Ishasha Plains, Queen Elizabeth NP. Image © Rachel Landman
Mountain gorilla in Bwindi Impenetrable NP. Image © Steffen Schwörer

Day 4 - 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.

Day 5 - Heading home

Set off early from Bwindi Impenetrable NP to make the eight to nine hour drive back to Kampala (or Entebbe). So settle back and enjoy the ride as you descend from the highlands of Uganda back down to the plains and plantations by Lake Victoria. You’ll stop off along the way at Mbarara for lunch, at roadside markets you might like to explore and the equator. You’ll then arrive back in Kampala (or Entebbe) by early evening.

Watch out for zebras as you pass Lake Mburo NP. Image © Rachel Landman
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Chimpanzee Tracking in Queen Elizabeth National Park

Kyambura Gorge in Queen Elizabeth National Park contains its own rainforest ecosystem where you can track the local population of wild chimpanzees. You will trek down into the gorge and through the sunken rainforest to track these illusive creatures as well as spotting a variety of wild monkeys, birdlife and fauna. Once you find the chimps you’ll be able to spend one hour observing them before you climb back out of the gorge onto the savannah plains.

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

Flying Safari

We can arrange internal scheduled or chartered flights across Uganda so that you can fly both to and from the Uganda’s national parks and highlights. There are both public and private chartered flights available. This can allow you to fit more of Uganda into your schedule with us here in the ‘Pearl of Africa’.

If you would like more information on flying safaris, please contact us for more information.

Hot Air Ballon Safari

Fly silently over and across the African bush and savannah plains of Queen Elizabeth National Park with an early morning hot air balloon safari. You’ll be able to watch the sun rise across this stunning landscape with the chance to view elephants and game herds in the early morning light. After an hours flight you’ll land back onto the savannah in time for your bush breakfast.

If you would like to add this activity 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.

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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 – Classic VW campervan

The classic Volkswagen Campervan is our signature vehicle. It’s how the company started with its intrepid founders who wanted to test something a little unconventional. It worked! These Campervans were manufactured in Germany and bought to Uganda in the 1970’s. We currently own three Campervans that run trips over a large amount of the country. Clients need to bare in mind that these vehicles were not designed for off-roading. All of our drivers are certified VW mechanics and fix the odd hiccup. We won’t let you miss an activity but we do advise you to appreciate that there may be a few short stops along the way. We added the Toyota’s as some of our clients require speed and air conditioning but if you’re up for an adventure, you might want to consider something a little quirky. Each vehicle seats six around a table and has an MP4 jack (3mm amp) and a subwoofer to blast those 70’s tunes!

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.

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
$1,960pp$2,040pp$2,040pp$2,210pp$2,280pp

Foreign Uganda Residents Discount: -$120 Per Person

East African Citizens Discount: -$600 Per Person

Super Custom: Included

VW Kombi: +$180 Per Group

Land Cruiser Pop Top: +$300 Per Group

This Tour Includes

N.B. We use the following abbreviations in our list of what is included in this tour.
NP = National Park
SC = Self Contained (private toilet and shower)
NSC = Non Self Contained (communal toilets and showers)
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)
- 2 nights at Queen Elizabeth Bush Lodge (single / double or twin banda, SC)
- 2 nights at Mahogany Springs (single / double or twin room, SC) All Meals (as specified in the ‘Meal Plan’ above)
Bottled Drinking Water (1.5 liters per person, per day in your vehicle) All Activities
- Game Drives x 3 (Queen Elizabeth NP)
- Boat cruise on the Kazinga Channel (Queen Elizabeth NP)
- Gorilla tracking (Bwindi Impenetrable NP)
Wildlife & Tracking Permits
- Gorilla tracking permit x 1 (UWA)
Park & Vehicle Fees
- Queen Elizabeth NP x 2 days (Park Entry, Driver Entry, Vehicle Entry)
- Bwindi Impenetrable NP x 1 day (Park Entry, Driver Entry, Vehicle Entry)
Specialist Guides and Rangers
- Kazinga Channel boat cruise guide (Marasa)
- Game Drive guide and ranger (UWA)
- Gorilla tracking guide (UWA)
A $10 per person donation to the Uganda Conversation Foundation (see CSR Program)
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)’
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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