Set Departure Safari

8 Day Best of Uganda

“Trek for Gorillas & Chimps on this safari!“
Price 5,613 USD * (See price tab)
Country
Uganda
Duration
7 Nights
Safari Type
Lodge
Location
Bwindi Impenetrable & Mgahinga National Parks, Uganda's Wildlife Areas
Kids Min Age
16

7 Nights experiencing the best that Uganda has to offer! This tour is the 2 nights extension of the Gorilla Express Safari and takes you on an unforgettable journey visiting Uganda’s highlights!

The two-night extended version of the popular Gorilla Express Safari, this safari give you more game viewing opportunity in Queen Elizabeth National Park and a Chimpanzee trek! An action & activity packed 7 nights in Uganda!

This safari starts with a night in Entebbe to relax and recover from international flights and connections. The following day you will then fly to Bwindi where you will spend the following 2 nights in the luxury Buhoma Lodge. From here you have the opportunity to track Mountain Gorillas (twice if you want!) and experience other fascinating activities in the area. There are optional community walks, forest walks and birding in the region (many special and endemic birds occur here!).

On day 4 the group will then travel by customized vehicle to Queen Elizabeth National Park, allowing time to visit the local Ishaha Community project en-route. Spending the next 2 nights in the luxury tented camp Ishasha Wilderness Lodge, you will explore the famous Ishasha wilderness sector of Queen Elizabeth National Park on game drive activities. The area is well known for its local lions who like to climb and sleep in trees, so keen an eye out!

On day 6 head out on a morning game drive followed by an afternoon boat cruise on the wildlife filled Kazinga Channel in the north of the park! Animals tend to concentrate along the edge of the channel so game viewing and photographic opportunities are plentiful! The following day you have an amazing Chimpanzee trekking experience in the Kyambura Gorge!

On this hosted FLY IN safari is included domestic flights to save those long journeys by vehicle. Luxury accommodation, friendly hosts, professional guides and custom made safari vehicles promise to make this the Uganda trip of a lifetime!

For those wanting to stay longer, it is possible to add an additional 2 nights at Primate Lodge in Kibale for more Chimpanzee Action!

View the shorter Gorilla Express – 5 Night Safari here.

highlights

  • Includes domestic flights to reduce long journeys by vehicle!
  • Luxury accommodation, friendly hosts & professional guides!
  • Enough time for 2 Mountain Gorilla trekking experiences!
  • Game drives in the famous Ishasha sector of Queen Elizabeth National Park!
  • Community visits and cultural experiences!
  • Chance to see the famous tree climbing lions in Ishasha!
  • Track Chimpanzee’s in Kyambura Gorge!
  • Boat cruise on the wildlife filled Kazinga Channel!

map and overview

Day 1: Airport transfer Entebbe. Overnight Best Western Premier Garden Hotel, Entebbe or similar.

Day 2: Transfer to the airport for your flight to Bwindi. Transfer to Buhoma Lodge. Overnight at Buhoma Lodge or similar. (Optional forest walk/cultural visit)

Day 3: Gorilla trekking. Overnight Buhoma Lodge.

** Please note that days 3 and 4 are interchangeable depending on when we can secure trekking permits **

Day 4: Day at leisure. Optional extra second gorilla trek/community walk/forest walk/birding. Afternoon drive to Queen Elizabeth National Park. Overnight Ishasha Wilderness Camp.

** Note optional extra activities are for your own additional cost **

Day 5: Game Drive in Queen Elizabeth National Park – visit the Ishasha Communitiy Project. Overnight Ishasha Wilderness Camp 

Day 6: Game viewing in Queen Elizabeth National Park. Drive to the northern area of the park. Scheduled boat cruise on the Kazinga channel. Overnight Elephant Plains or similar.

Day 7: Chimpanzee trekking at Kyambura. Overnight Mweya Lodge or similar

Day 8: Return to Entebbe by air. Please do not book a flight out of Entebbe before 19h00

start dates

9 June 2024 - 16 June 2024
3 July 2024 - 10 July 2024
22 July 2024 - 29 July 2024
21 August 2024 - 28 August 2024
15 September 2024 - 22 September 2024
16 October 2024 - 23 October 2024
16 November 2024 - 23 November 2024
21 December 2024 - 28 December 2024

detailed itinerary

Day One

On arrival at Entebbe International Airport you will be met by a representative and transferred to your hotel. Rest of day at leisure to explore the town of Entebbe.

Set on the shores of Lake Victoria, Entebbe is a small town that is easy to explore on foot or local boda bodas (motorbike taxis).  Explore the markets, hunt for souvenirs or crafts, meander through the Botanical Gardens or enjoy a boat cruise on Lake Victoria. You’ll find a wide variety of restaurants, bars and clubs where you can sample the local beer, catch a game of football and meet the friendly locals.

Located adjacent to the Victoria Shopping Mall, Best Western Premier Garden Hotel Entebbe gives guests direct access to the mall and its facilities. The hotel is also within walking distance of the UN Base, Entebbe Golf Course and Botanical Gardens.

The hotel offers 51 modern rooms, all of which are equipped with Wi-Fi, a refrigerator and work area. Guests can enjoy a free American buffet breakfast at the hotel’s Garden Restuarant, which also served an international menu for both lunch and dinner. Guests can relax after a day of exploring at the hotel’s Terrace Bar. Other hotel facilities include a business room and banquet area.

Overnight: Best Western Premier Garden Hotel Entebbe, or similar. 

Day Two

This morning’s flight on a light aircraft to Kihihi airstrip takes just over an hour. Transfer through local villages and along mountain roads to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, a World Heritage site (a drive of +- 90 mins).

Considered the most diverse forest in Uganda, Bwindi is one of the richest ecosystems in East Africa and home to over 120 mammals, 345 species of birds, 200 species of butterflies and 160 species of trees. The park contains an estimated one half of the world’s population of the endangered Mountain Gorilla, making it an extremely valuable conservation site.

Set within the National Park, just steps away from the Gorilla Trekking headquarters, Buhoma Lodge offers cosy accommodation in wooden chalets with uninterrupted views of the pristine rain forest. Well loved for its warm welcome and attentive service, Buhoma is an eco friendly lodge operating on solar power, constructed using sustainable local materials. Each of the ten wooden chalets offers a private verandah and enchanting forest views.

Awaken to chattering forest birds, and watch out for the occasional mountain gorilla that has ventured right in to visit the lodge.

Overnight: Buhoma Lodge, or similar.

Day Three

Coming face to face with mountain gorillas is a rare and exhilarating wildlife encounter that is hard to capture in words. Experienced guides and trackers will accompany your party on an early morning trek into the dense rain forest on the steep mountain slopes.

Please note that gorilla trekking can be strenuous, with treks ranging from 45 mins up to eight hours, at high altitudes in often hot conditions. We do recommend hiring a local porter to assist you on your trek. Although mountain gorillas are wild animals and sightings cannot be guaranteed, viewing success rates are over 95%.

Once you have located your gorilla family, spend an hour quietly observing them. The time passes so quickly; be sure to enjoy this experience fully and not just through your camera lens.

On our scheduled departures, we typically buy permits for Buhoma & Ruhija, which are accessible from Buhoma area. One of the Buhoma families, and the Ruhija families, require a road transfer to the start point. This does not deviate from the enjoyment of the trek (and could be considered as enhancing your trip as you are seeing a different part of the region). Your permit may be organised for day 3 or 4 – depending on availability at the time of purchase.

Head back to Buhoma Lodge for a complimentary massage after your trek, or explore the surrounding Bwindi community.

Overnight: Buhoma Lodge, or similar. 

Day Four

Depart Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park this morning and travel to Ishasha in the southern part of Queen Elizabeth National Park (a 2-3 hour drive), with a brief stop en route at a community project near Ishasha Village.

Located in the western arm of the Great Rift Valley, the park is home to a wide variety of wildlife including elephants, leopard, lions, hippos, buffalo, Uganda kob, baboon, and many species of birds. With both a riverine and savannah habitat, the southern Ishasha area includes the massive Maramagambo, one of the largest surviving natural forests in Uganda, and is home to the tree climbing lions typically found in the area.

Afternoon game drives will be enjoyed in the Ishasha area, looking for the huge herds of buffalo, elephant, Uganda kob and of course the famous tree-climbing lion typically found in the area.

Ishasha Wilderness Camp is an idyllic retreat for people who truly enjoy the wilderness, coupled with superb accommodation and exceptional service.

The thatched central lounge and dining area provides a cosy and relaxed space for guests, although meals are often served ‘al fresco’ beside the river. In the evening, the outdoor fireplace beside the river is the perfect place for guests to relax over sundowners and share their day’s experiences.

Each of the ten spacious framed canvas rooms, privately nestled along the riverbank, is comfortably furnished and feature en-suite bathrooms. Wake to the delicious aroma of morning coffee served on your private verandah. Resident troops of Black-and-White Colobus and Vervet monkeys abound and if you are lucky you’ll spot Henry, the lone hippo, wallowing lazily below our viewing deck. Game roams freely through camp, with Elephant making frequent guest appearances.

Designed to respect and complement the environment, this low impact, eco-sensitive camp is really something special, and after a few days unwinding here, you may well not want to leave. Highly recommended to book in advance are the bush sundowners and the bush breakfast, both unique experiences in beautiful settings.

Overnight: Ishasha Wilderness Camp.

Day Five

Spend the day enjoying game drives in the Ishasha sector of Queen Elizabeth National Park, rounding things off with scenic bush sundowners including drinks and snacks. This is what memories are made of!

Highly recommended to book in advance is a unique bush breakfast (optional extra).

Overnight: Ishasha Wilderness Camp

Day Six

Head north toward the ‘Mweya’ sector of the park which is rich with wildlife, visitors will find vast numbers of Uganda’s unique and strange Euphorbia, or “candelabra” tree. The many nearby crater lakes and mountain ranges provide a beautiful backdrop for your journey.

In the afternoon enjoy a leisurely boat cruise along the Kazinga Channel, a 32-kilometre long natural channel linking Lake Edward and Lake George. Kazinga’s shores are dotted with herds of lazy buffalo, pods of hippos wallowing without a care, and countless bird species. Drift past local fishing villages and soak up the peaceful tranquillity of this beautiful African day. (Cruise normally departs at 14h00, although this depends on availability when booking and is subject to change – no drinks/ snacks included on boat).

You may encounter herds of elephant, buffalos and antelopes, families of warthogs, large groups of hippos, and crocodiles basking on the shore. Kazinga’s shores are a haven for numerous birds, including many migratory species as they make their way south to warmer climates. The cruise also provides a spectacular view of the beautiful Mweya Peninsula and life in local fishing villages set along the banks.

Elephant Plains is a small, luxury lodge located on a stunning view point in Queen Elizabeth National Park, with views stretching for miles over endless open grasslands to Lake George. Nestled next to beautiful Lake Kikorongo, this is where open plains merge into crystal waters and large Elephant herds come to drink.

The 6 spacious cottages and 2 family units all boast large private verandas and huge glass windows overlooking the lake, and are well spaced out on the hill top offering tranquil privacy. Elephant Plains operates on solar power, with an eco-friendly swimming pool, lounge, spacious restaurant with outside deck and well stocked bar with wine cellar.

Overnight: Elephant Plains Lodge, or similar. 

Day Seven

Enjoy chimp trekking in Kyambura Gorge and game drives in Queen Elizabeth National Park.

The forest is alive with noise! Chimpanzees can be quite active and may move quickly through the forest canopy… or, if you are lucky, you may find them resting or eating near the forest floors. It’s an exhilarating walk, in beautiful scenery. As with gorilla trekking, sightings cannot be guaranteed.

Overnight: Elephant Plains Lodge, or similar. 

Day Eight

Depart to Mweya airstrip (Kasese) for your scheduled flight back to Entebbe.

Please do not book a flight out of Entebbe before 19h00.

price

Prices 2024

  • High season: USD 5.613 per person (incl. flights Entebbe – Kihihi and Kasese – Entebbe); USD 825 single supplement
  • Low season (April, May, Nov): USD 4.969 per person (incl. flights Entebbe – Kihihi and Kasese – Entebbe); USD 488 single supplement
  • Gorilla permits excluded: USD 800 per permit
  • Chimp permits excluded: USD 100 Kyambura

 

Optional Extras:

  • Guided Forest walk & Park Fee Bwindi: USD 70
  • 2nd Gorilla permit inc trek transfer/booking fee: USD 870
  • Batwa (Pygmies) Community Visit: USD 85

 

Price includes:

Includes Meet & greet VIP services inside the airport, airport transfers to Entebbe/return, scheduled flight from EBB- KIHIHI and KASESE/MWEYA back to EBB, accommodation in top quality lodges and camps, meals as above, services of driver/guide, park entry fees. Game drives in QENP, boat cruise on Kazinga Channel, sundowner drinks in Ishasha. Ishasha Community visit included. Community fee donation via Ishasha/Buhoma USD10 pp/night. *Buhoma Lodge & Ishasha Wilderness Camp include selected drinks, should a different lodge be used instead, the rate would NOT include drinks. *Please note: The flight EBB-KIHIHI// MWEYA (KASESE)-EBB has been included in above price, value approx. USD 560. TOTAL WEIGHT LIMIT is 15kg in soft bags, XL seats can be booked for additional baggage or larger people.

 

Excludes:

Visas, permits, drinks not mentioned above, travel insurance, items of a personal nature. Gorilla & Chimp trekking permits. As well as optional excursions shown separately. Note: Should gorilla permits be booked at Ruhija, there is an additional shared vehicle transfer fee of USD 184 /vehicle return.

additional information

POPULAR TRIP EXTENSIONS:

MURCHISON FALLS: River Nile, game drives, chimpanzee trekking, fishing, bird-watching. Suggested add on 3-4 nights.

KIBALE: Chimpanzees and other primates, forest walks, crater lakes. Suggested add on 2 nights.

JINJA: Source of the Nile, adventure activities including white water rafting and quad biking. Suggested add on 2-3 nights. Perfect for active travellers seeking an adrenaline fix!

ENTEBBE: City life and local craft shopping, boat cruises or fishing on Lake Victoria, Botanical Gardens, Uganda Wild Life Education Centre/ Ngamba Island.

We offer 6, 8 and 10 day small group set departures.  

HEALTH REQUIREMENTS: 

Yellow fever inoculation is compulsory & malaria prophylactics are recommended. For gorilla trekking it is imperative that you are healthy and free of any disease or virus – officials do have the right to refuse entry if you are found to have or show any signs of communicable illnesses.  Should you opt to spend time participating in any UWEC Wildlife Integration programme, you may require additional inoculations and health clearances.  

VISA REQUIREMENTS: 

Most nationalities require a visa to enter Uganda. All visitors who require a visa should apply through the online application system prior to arrival at https://visas.immigration.go.ug.  Cost is USD 50,single entry.  Passports must be valid for a minimum of 6 months after return date of travel, or 12 months in the case of UK nationals, and have at least 3 blank pages in it.  The newly established EAC Visa allows entry into Uganda, Rwanda and Kenya for one fee of USD100 – handy if you are visiting all three regions.

TRAVEL INSURANCE:

A travel insurance is compulsory.

Ready for an adventure? Lets Talk!

Contact SAFARI FRANK to get started on your safari of a lifetime!