Mountain gorilla, Uganda, Patricia Harling

Uganda Primate Safari with Ben Garrod: Trip Report

Natural World Safaris

Patricia Harling

19 Oct 2018

NWS client Patricia saw chimps and gorillas – and plenty more besides – on this exciting trip

We lived overseas for many years, including Kenya (five years) and have experienced many game drives/safaris. On retirement we decided to continue with our “adventures” and two years ago with Natural World Safaris (NWS) we enjoyed a memorable tiger/temple holiday in India, allowing us to see 12 different Bengal tigers (including a kill) in 15 game drives – great photos.
Olive baboon, Uganda, Patricia Harling
On learning about an NWS opportunity to trek gorillas and chimpanzees in Uganda over a 2-week period we decided to become part of a small group of persons led by Dr. Ben Garrod – an evolutionary biologist, expert primatologist and TV presenter – and noted that he had spent several years in Uganda developing a chimpanzee conservation field site for the Jane Goodall Institute.
NWS specialist leader Ben Garrod in Uganda, Patricia Harling

As a summary:

  • We saw gorilla families in Mgahinga and Bwindi Impenetrable Forest (the latter required a demanding trek of approx. eight hours – other groups only needed three hours – c’est la vie). We received our certificates for tracking the gorillas in both Mgahinga and Bwindi – nice idea – and these will be on display at home to bring back many happy memories.
Mountain gorilla, Uganda, Patricia Harling
  • Chimpanzee families in Kyambura Gorge (referred to as “Valley of the Apes”), Kibale Forest and Budongo Forest.
Chimpanzee, Uganda, Patricia Harling
  • Jeep safari in Queen Elizabeth National Park – many animals (including lions, leopard, hyenas and the largest herd of elephants we have ever seen) and birds.
African elephants, Uganda, Patricia Harling
Grey crowned cranes in Uganda, Patricia Harling
  • Boat safari in Kazinga Channel – again many animals and birds.
Buffalo, Uganda, Patricia Harling
Nile crocodile, Uganda, Patricia Harling
  • Visit to the Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary – walking amongst white rhino families.
White rhinos, Uganda, Patricia Harling
Every location followed a format of an introduction, then we were accompanied by experienced and friendly guides, porters and rangers – who in particular controlled our proximity to gorillas, chimpanzees and rhinos.
Black-and-white colobus monkey, Uganda, Patricia Harling
Accommodation was varied – but “bucket showers” were well received after a long day trekking in the rainforests, and the electrical supply problems were considered to be part of the adventure and bonding process with fellow travellers. No complaints though with the hospitality and food/refreshments.
Uganda, Patricia Harling
We decided on extending our duration in Entebbe by one day at the beginning and end of our trip to Uganda. This enabled us to see the shoebill in Mabamba Swamp and also to visit the Botanical Gardens – both well worth a visit.
Shoebill, Uganda, Patricia Harling

We set out to experience gorillas and chimpanzees and ended up thoroughly enjoying the overall adventure and experience that was Uganda, and a once-in-a-lifetime specialist-designed and specialist-led trip involving memories and anecdotes provided by Ben Garrod. The primate activities and involvement definitely exceeded all our expectations.

Our congratulations to NWS and in particular Dr Ben Garrod.


Contact one of our Destination Specialists to start planning your journey to Uganda. Please note we recommend a budget of from £7,000 / $10,000 USD per person for our style of trip to this destination.

Contact Us

Contact Us

Add Your Comment

By submitting this form, you confirm that you agree to our privacy policy. Please note our safaris are for a minimum of five days; we do not offer day tours.