Small Group Safari

Uganda Primate Safari with Ben Garrod

Accompanied by primatologist and great ape conservationist Ben Garrod, journey through the forests and national parks of western Uganda tracking the endangered mountain gorillas of Bwindi Forest National Park and the chimpanzees of Kibale Forest. You will also enjoy some big game viewing in Queen Elizabeth National Park, including the famous tree-climbing lions of Ishasha.

Duration 11 days
Price From $8,393
When Sep
Destination Uganda

Safari Overview

Join evolutionary biologist and conservationist Dr Ben Garrod on this primate specialist safari to the forests of Western Uganda. Ben spent many years working with chimpanzees in Uganda, developing a chimpanzee conservation site for primatologist Jane Goodall, and is an expert on the regions great apes. Starting in Bwindi Forest National Park, you will have two opportunities to track the endangered mountain gorillas through dense jungle and mist-enshrouded valleys, before heading north to witness the tree-climbing lions of Ishasha. You will also seek out the chimpanzee troops of Kyambura Gorge, Murchison Falls and Kibale Forest, assisting a team of researchers with a chimpanzee habituation project. In addition to these great apes, you will also have the chance to observe several other primate species in their natural habitat, including endangered red colobus monkeys and olive baboons. 

What makes this trip extraordinary

  • Track the endangered mountain gorillas of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest.
  • Accompany researchers on a chimpanzee habituation project in Kibale Forest National Forest.
  • Big game viewing in Queen Elizabeth National Park, witnessing elephants, leopards and lions.
  • Learn more about the great apes and their conservation from specialist leader Ben Garrod.

Ben has spent the past decade working to conserve these great apes, and has an in-depth knowledge of chimpanzees and their habitats.

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Day by day

Day 1

Arrive Entebbe

Today you will arrive into Entebbe International Airport, where you will be greeted by our local representative and transferred to your guest house in the city. Take the time to relax before your primate adventure begins tomorrow.

Day 2

Entebbe - Bwindi Forest National Park

This morning you will transfer back to the airport for your flight to Kisoro airstrip, where you will be met by your specialist guide - primate expert and conservationist Ben Garrod - and transferred to your lodge on the outskirts of Bwindi Forest National Park. In the afternoon you will head out for a walk in the Buniga Forest, guided by members of the Batwa Community who have lived in these forests for thousands of years, learning about their way of life and identifying the herbs and plants used in their traditional medicines. Return to your lodge for dinner, where the rest of the evening is yours to relax and prepare for your first gorilla trekking experience the following day.

Overnight: Nkuringo Bwindi Gorilla Lodge B, L, D

Day 3

Bwindi Forest National Park

This morning you will set off into the impenetrable forest for your first gorilla trekking experience with Ben. Bwindi is home to approximately 340 mountain gorillas, and you will spend your time tracking one of the park's habituated families. The time spent tracking the gorillas can vary greatly, depending on their location within the park, but your expert guides will use their knowledge of the groups habits and whereabouts the previous day to locate them. Coming face to face with these incredible great apes is a truly unforgettable experience, and Ben will be on hand to give you expert guidance and information on their behaviour and social structure. While these gorillas have been gradually habituated to human presence over many years, they are wild animals and should not be approached too closely.

Overnight: Nkuringo Bwindi Gorilla Lodge B, L, D

Day 4

Bwindi Forest National Park

Today you will have your second gorilla tracking experience in Bwindi National Park, hiking through dense montane rainforest in search of one of the family groups. When not tracking the mountain gorillas, you can spend your time on a nature walk in the forest, observing the diverse fauna and smaller wildlife species that call the region home.

Overnight: Nkuringo Bwindi Gorilla Lodge B, L, D

Day 5

Bwindi Forest - Queen Elizabeth National Park

After breakfast this morning you will transfer to Nteko village from where you will set off on a four to five hour hike to northern Bwindi, walking along the Ivy River trail passing through beautiful areas of rainforest and overlooking valleys shrouded in mist. When you have reached your destination, your driver will be waiting to transfer you to your next camp in the Ishasha sector of Queen Elizabeth National Park. En route, keep an eye out for the big game species that can be found in this region of the park, including the famous tree-climbing lions.

Overnight: Ishasha Wilderness Camp B, L, D

Day 6

Queen Elizabeth National Park

An early start this morning as you head out for a game drive in the park, searching for wildlife including elephants, leopards and lions relaxing up high in the trees. Return to camp for a hearty bush breakfast, after which you will be driven approximately three hours north to the Mweya Sector of the national park and check in to your camp. In the afternoon you will enjoy a private boat cruise along the Kazinga Channel, which connects Lake Edward and Lake George. The channel attracts a wide variety of bird and mammal species who come to the river banks to drink, and is home to one of the highest concentrations of hippo in Africa.

Overnight: Mweya Safari Lodge B, L, D

Day 7

Queen Elizabeth National Park - Kibale Forest

This morning you will go for a walk in the densely forested Kyambura Gorge, home to a troop of semi-habituated chimpanzees. Spend a few hours tracking the chimpanzees with your guide, before being transferred (approximately three hours) to Kibale Forest National Park. Kibale Forest encompasses an area of pristine tropical rainforest which is home to the greatest density of primates in East Africa, including chimpanzee, red colobus monkey, olive baboon and the elusive nocturnal potto. On arrival, the rest of the day is at leisure.

Overnight: Primate Lodge B, L, D

Day 8

Kibale Forest National Park

Today you will enjoy a full day chimpanzee habituation experience in the park. Accompany a group of Kibale researchers as they follow a family of chimpanzees throughout the day, helping them to get used to human presence without changing their natural behaviour. Ben spent many years working to habituate chimpanzees in Uganda with primatologist Jane Goodall, so is the expert in all things chimp! After spending a whole day in the forest, return to your lodge for dinner and relaxation in the evening.

Overnight: Primate Lodge B, L, D

Day 9

Kibale Forest - Murchison Falls National Park

Today will be spent travelling northwards to Murchison Falls National Park, the largest protected area in Uganda centred around the impressive 40 metre falls. Upon arrival, check in to your lodge where the remainder of the day is yours to relax.

Overnight: Budongo Eco Lodge B, L, D

Day 10

Murchison Falls National Park

You will have two opportunities to track the chimpanzees of Murchison Falls, with morning and afternoon treks in the national park. The population is concentrated in the Budongo Forest in the southern sector of the park, home to over 600 chimpanzees including over 100 habituated individuals. These forests are also home to other primates such as black and white colobus monkeys and olive baboons.

Overnight: Budongo Eco Lodge B, L, D

Day 11

Murchison Falls National Park - Entebbe

This morning you will depart Murchison Falls and drive south to Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary, where you will have the chance to track some of Uganda's recently reintroduced rhinos and learn more about the important conservation work that takes place at the sanctuary. Afterwards you will continue south back to Entebbe, where you will catch your international flight back home.

Trip Details

Trip Information

This safari is a small group safari with set departure dates. Please note, park fees are not included in the price of this safari and will cost an additional £960. 

 2018 Departure   Prices 
 Sep 2 - 12  From £5,995 per person
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