9 Days Gorillas and Chimps Safari

DAY 1: WELCOME TO UGANDA!
Today, Virunga Adventure Tours guide will pick you up from Entebbe Airport and transfer you to your hotel, depending on the time of arrival, If your flight arrives in the morning, you are advised to change your money in Ugandan Shillings for use on your safari.

DAY 2: TRANSFER TO KIBALE FOREST NATIONAL PARK.
Kibale Forest is a large protected block of rainforest, which has the highest number of primates in Africa such as chimpanzees, Grey cheeked Mangabey, Red tailed Monkey and Red Colobus. 
We transfer through the historic town of Fort Portal. Though the drive is fairly Long, the route is beautiful and picturesque – characterized by the lush  green and hilly landscapes which Uganda is known for. In the distance, you’ll be able to spot the majestic Rwenzori Mountain Range.

In the evening, we shall go for Bigodi swamp walk (2-3 hours) that takes you through grassland, small communities and some beautiful scenery, where the locals are likely to greet you with enthusiastic waves. It is usual to spot 3 or 4 different primate species during this walk, though the highlight is catching a glimpse of the great Blue Turaco!

Dinner and overnight at Kyaninga lodge/Primate lodge Kibale/ Kibale Forest Camp.

DAY 3: KIBALE FOREST CHIMP TRACKING.
Today, you will enter a completely different world, some serious monkey business here! Although you are here specifically to track chimps, the forest is a home to at least 12 primate species including: the Red tailed Monkey, Olive Baboon, Black and White Colobus Monkey, and the Blue Monkey. The bird life in the forest is also prolific and includes the beautiful great Blue Turaco.

Kibale Forest boasts the highest number of primate species in the world, including our delightful cousins the chimpanzees. In Uganda, there are approximately 4,950 chimps left in the wild, which makes it a perfect place to spot them!

This evening we transfer to Queen Elizabeth National Park. 
This is Uganda’s second largest park and is located base of the majestic Rwenzori Mountain Range adjacent to Lake Edward and Lake George.
The park has prolific game, including gazelles, Uganda kobs, warthogs and waterbucks; lions are often sighted both in and at the entrance to the park. Be prepared for huge numbers of hippos and elephants, and keep your eyes peeled for a leopard lazing in the sunshine.

Your lodge is located on the edge of Queen Elizabeth National Park, overlooking the
spectacular Kazinga Channel, which is often visited by elephants and hippos. Watch
wildlife at the waterhole from your own private veranda and fall asleep to the roaring of lions on the distant savannah. This truly is Africa!

Dinner and overnight at Mweya Safari lodge/ Bush lodge.

DAY 4: QUEEN ELIZABETH NATIONAL PARK (GAME DRIVE AND KAZINGA CHANNEL).  
Today before sunrise you will go for a game drive in the park to search for predator and nocturnal dwellers as they return to their hide outs. Expect species such as elephants, buffaloes, side stripped jackals, hyenas, leopards, lions, warthogs, Uganda kobs and giant forest hogs.

After lunch, you will take a boat trip along the Kazinga Channel. Here, you will see a lot of hippos (more than you can possibly imagine!), as well as a variety of other animals which come to the waterhole to drink or bathe. You can expect to see: buffalos, crocodiles, bathing elephants and a range of beautiful birds. This will undoubtedly be one of the highlights of your tour.

Dinner and overnight at Mweya Safari lodge/Bush lodge.

DAY 5: ISHASHA TREE CLIMBING LIONS AND TRANSFER TO KISORO.
Today after breakfast, we will drive through the southern sector of Queen Elizabeth known as Ishasha, famed for its tree-climbing lions, the lions have learnt to climb the fig trees to escape the midday heat and if you’re lucky, you will see some sleepy lions relaxing in the branches. Ishasha is a remote and beautiful extension of Queen Elizabeth National Park. We will see buffalos, topis and hippos among other species. It is a fabulous sight to see the lions draped from the trees and nowhere in Africa do you stand a better chance of seeing this than in the large low-limbed fig tree of Ishasha. 

Dinner and overnight at Golden Monkey Guest House/Travellers Rest/Mutanda Lake resort/ Chamelion Hill lodge.

DAY 6: GORILLA TRACKING BWINDI IMPENETRABLE NATIONAL PARK. 
Today, after an early morning breakfast prepare yourself for an  encounter with the Mountain Gorillas. Bwindi Impenetrable Forest boasts both Mountain Gorillas and chimpanzees - the only forest in Africa which can make this claim in fact. It also hosts five other species of primate, 113 species of mammal, over 200 butterflies and 360 birds.
Given the fact that gorilla tracking time is unpredictable, it is difficult to foresee how many hours you will actually hike. The escapade of tracking the gorillas in the superb ecosystem of the park will be passionate for the adventurers. It may take 2hrs up to 9 hours or more and you should be prepared to  walk long distance in steep and muddy conditions, sometimes with rain overhead, before you encounter any gorillas. “The excitement of seeing the gorillas makes it all worthwhile!” Briefing will always be given on how to handle or behave with these gentle giants. This is a fantastic and privileged opportunity to get up close and personal with Uganda’s very own ‘Gorillas in the Mist’.

Dinner and overnight at Golden Monkey Guest House/Travellers Rest/Mutanda Lake resort/ Chamelion Hill lodge.

DAY 7: SABYINYO VOLCANO HIKING ADVENTURE.
Climbing the extinct volcano is done in south western Uganda and this consists of climbing 3peaks. Our hike to Sabyinyo takes us through muddy trails often on wooden ladders with expectations of patchy/partial rain and clearing clouds as you get to the beautiful view of Rwanda and Democratic republic of Congo. At this time, the view is at times reduced to 10ft, reach the summit view and from here you will be able to see and stand in all the 3 countries: Uganda, Rwanda and Congo. This hike sometimes involves walking straight high up the mountain without going round it. The views and challenges of hiking Mt. Sabyinyo makes it worth for the adventurers.

Alternatively hike the Muhavura or Gahinga Volcanoes. 
Mt. Gahinga offers a gentler hike through the bamboo forest on the lower slopes and marshy craters at the peak. The lower slopes are rich with forest birds and the marshes near the summit are home to bushbuck, elusive duiker and Golden Monkeys.
Mt. Muhavura which has a crater lake on top is the most challenging peak in the park. The hike will take most of the day, but the adventurous will be rewarded with great sense of accomplishment and  on a good day - spectacular views.

Dinner and overnight at Golden Monkey Guest House/Travellers Rest/Mutanda Lake resort/ Chamelion Hill lodge.

DAY 8: TRANSFER TO LAKE BUNYONYI.  
After breakfast at 9:00 am you will head to Lake Bunyonyi or ‘Place of Little Birds’. The lake lies close to the border with Rwanda, and is thought of as one of the most beautiful places in western Uganda. It is the second deepest lake in Africa and also one of the few places in the country where it is considered safe to swim (as it is bilharzias free) and canoe tracking. 
The islands on the lake are wonderful for relaxing, trying water sports  and simply immersing yourself in the natural beauty of your surroundings. The nearby hills and papyrus swamps offer many opportunities for bird watching and the shady Eucalyptus trees provide peaceful places to sit and read a book.

Dinner and overnight at Birds Nest/ Arcadia cottages /Byona Amagara Island Camp.

DAY 9: TRANSFER TO ENTEBBE/KIGALI.
After an early morning breakfast, we transfer to Entebbe International Airport, stopping at the Equator for those last minute souvenirs and photos.

Uganda