13 Days in Uganda: Wildlife Safari, Chimpanzees, Village Life and Culture, with Optional Gorilla Trek

This 13-day safari in late September of this year will bring you close to nature and to the people and culture of Uganda. You will enjoy seeking out the Big Five animals in our custom-made safari vehicle, boat safaris, rhino and chimpanzee tracking, community walks, and so much more.  We have added an optional Gorilla Trek in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest for anyone wishing to take advantage of being so near to the Mountain Gorilla habitat. All activities are set against a backdrop of dramatically beautiful Ugandan scenery: mountains, forests, savannahs, lakes, waterfalls, gorges, and, of course, the people.

Safari Highlights

  • Rhino tracking on foot at the Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary
  • Wildlife safaris in Murchison Falls and Queen Elizabeth National Parks
  • Boat cruises in Murchison Falls and Queen Elizabeth National Parks
  • Chimpanzee tracking in Kibale National Park
  • Photo session at the Equator
  • Cultural performances at the Ndere Center in Kampala
  • Coffee Tour/Village Life in Kyarumba

Download the most current version of the Itinerary here:

Day 1: Arrival

Tuesday, September 29. Upon your arrival at the Entebbe Airport, your friendly guide will meet you, welcome you to Uganda, and drive you from the airport to your accommodations in Kampala.

  • Travel time: 1 hour
  • Accommodations (2 nights): Forest Cottages Bukoto

Day 2: A relaxing day of adjustment to Uganda Time

Wednesday, September 30. Enjoy the lush grounds, the pool, and the kind, attentive services of the staff at Forest Cottages.  In the evening we will attend a cultural performance, the ultimate “dinner and a floor show”, at the Ndere Cultural Centre.

Day 3: Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary

Thursday, October 1. Today, after an early breakfast, we embark on our journey into Uganda’s interior. Upon arrival at Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary we will go out with a guide to trek the endangered white rhinos.  We’ll lunch at the Sanctuary, then check in to our accommodations.

  • Travel time: 2 hours
  • Accommodations (1 night): Ziwa Rhino and Wildlife Ranch

Day 4: Travel to Murchison Falls National Park

Friday, October 2. We travel overland to Murchison Falls National Park. Murchison Falls is home to a wide variety of animal and bird species, and we’ll try to see them all!

  • Travel time: 2 hours
  • Accommodations (2 nights): Red Chilli Rest Camp

Day 5: Wildlife Safari

Saturday, October 3. Following an early breakfast, and taking a packed lunch, we’ll head out on the savannah in search of the wildlife that populates this area, keeping our eyes open and our cameras ready for the Big Five: Elephants, Cape Buffalo, Lions, Leopards, and Rhinos!  Could we forget to mention giraffes, hippos, and all the birds? Relax in the evening with a romantic cruise on the River Nile.

Day 6: Transfer to Kibale National Park

Sunday, October 4. Another early breakfast (is there any other kind here?), then we’ll start off on our long day of sightseeing on the way to Kibale Forest National Park.

  • Travel time: 8 hours
  • Accommodations (1 night): Kibale Guest Cottages

Day 7: Chimpanzee Tracking

Monday, October 5. This will be one of the more memorable days of our trip! After breakfast, we’ll travel to the Park Headquarters gathering point for a briefing before setting out with our guide to track a family of chimpanzees. We are allowed only a one-hour visit with our cousins, once we find them, so let’s keep our cameras handy for family portraits.  We’ll explore the flora and fauna of the Katera Forest, with its crater lakes and stunning views, and lunch at The Top of the World. In the afternoon we travel to our next destination, the busy city of Kasese, with sightseeing stops and photo opportunities along the way.

  • Travel time: 1 hour
  • Accommodations (2 nights): Sandton Hotel Kasese

Day 8: Kyarumba Coffee Growers/Musasa Primary School

Tuesday, October 6. Today we visit the village of Kyarumba, deep in the beautiful Rwenzori Mountains.  In the morning, we’ll meet with the Bukonzo Joint Coffee Collective to see how coffee is grown and processed from the field to the market. Then we go up the hill for a visit with the students of Musasa Primary School. There will be plenty of surprises in store, so prepare to be overwhelmed by the talent and enthusiasm of these wonderful kids and their dedicated teachers!

  • Travel time: 1 hour

Day 9: Transfer to Queen Elizabeth National Park

Wednesday, October 7. This morning we’re off to our next destination in Queen Elizabeth National Park, stopping along the way for sightseeing and photos.  A boat cruise on the Kazinga Channel in the early evening will complete the day.

  • Travel time: 1 hour
  • Accommodations (3 nights): Queen Elizabeth Bush Lodge

Day 10: Queen Elizabeth National Park

Thursday, October 8. Today we’ll have an early morning safari through the park, a stop for souvenirs at Lake Katwe, then a fine lunch at our favourite little restaurant overlooking the Kazinga Channel.

Gorilla Trekkers: You will be transported to Mweya Airfield where you will fly to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest. Travel time: 3 hours; Accommodations TBD (2 nights)

Day 11: Queen Elizabeth National Park

Friday, October 9. We will continue to explore the great beauty and variety of wildlife in this historic park.  There’s so much to see and do here.

Gorilla Trekkers:  Today is the day you will remember for the rest of your life, as you track the glorious mountain gorillas until you finally have a chance to sit with them face to face.

Day 12: Return to Entebbe

Saturday, October 10. Today we head back to Entebbe and gather our strength for saying our goodbyes.  Rest, repack, bring our journals up to date, and get a good night’s sleep.

Gorilla Trekkers: You will fly back to Entebbe today and meet up with the rest of us.  So much for getting a good night’s sleep — we’ll want to hear all about it!  In fact, we’ll all have so much to share with each other; this could take a while.

  • Travel time: 8 hours (Gorilla Trekkers: 2 hours)
  • Accommodations (1 night): Victoria View Guest House

Day 13: Transfer to Entebbe International Airport for the trip home

Sunday, October 11. Transportation to the airport will be arranged through the hotel.

Cost per person: $4,300 USD (Gorilla Trek option, add $1300-$1500 p/p)

This tour is limited to six guests. A $250 non-refundable deposit – applied to the tour cost – is necessary by March 1, 2020 to reserve your place. When you’re ready to commit, begin the process by completing the Booking Form, and send your deposit using the secure Book Online button at the top of the page.

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Tour includes:

  • Ground transportation
  • English-speaking driver and guide
  • Accommodations and breakfast
  • Chimpanzee tracking permit
  • Gorilla tracking permit (Gorilla option)
  • Interior Flights to/from Bwindi (Gorilla option)
  • Cultural performances
  • Community walks
  • All park and activity admission fees and permits
  • Game drives; boat cruises
  • Bottled water in the safari vehicles

Tour excludes:

  • International air fares
  • Health and travel insurance
  • Visas
  • Meals and beverages outside of accommodations
  • Personal expenses (telephone, laundry, souvenirs, etc.)
  • Gratuities to our driver and guide (we suggest $5-$10 per day/per person offered at the end of the safari)
  • Miscellaneous tips for porters, servers, etc.
  • Activities that you book directly with lodges, hotels, or other vendors

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