Grand Uganda & Rwanda Gorilla Safari
9 days, 8 nights
Price Range: $6,717 – $13,299
(all-inclusive price per person, depending on dates & camps selected)
Gorillas are at the heart of this adventure into the forested mountains of central Africa, but a day in Uganda’s Lake Mburo National Park extends the focus to include encounters with Africa’s classic safari game as well. Game drives into the savanna and wetlands reveal zebra, buffalo, giraffe, hippo and more. Then spend four days trekking into Volcanoes National Park and Bwindi Impenetrable Forest for close encounters with habituated gorilla families—among the last remaining mountain gorillas on earth.
Our Expert Says
Observing mountains gorillas in their natural habitat is one of the most amazing nature experiences on earth. If you're passionate about gorillas, this safari offers a chance to make four separate treks (twice in Uganda and twice in Rwanda) to spend time with different gorilla families. The effort is well worth it, as each trek can offer a completely unique experience, not to mention more time to observe how similar these primates' behaviors are to humans.
– John Holahan
Day 1: Entebbe / Kampala
Safaris in Uganda typically start and finish in Entebbe or nearby Kampala. Entebbe, on Lake Victoria, was a former British colonial administrative center. The National Botanical Gardens, laid out in 1898, are a must-see here. Uganda’s capital, Kampala, was established during the 13th century Buganda kingdom, one of the oldest in Africa. Built among lush hills and wetlands that were once royal impala-hunting grounds, Kampala today is a modern city of 1.7 million.
Day 2: Lake Mburo Nat'l Park
While this small park in southern Uganda is famous for its zebra herds, its acacia woodlands also provide the best place in Uganda to see the huge eland antelope, topi, impala, common duiker and reedbuck. The rare sitatunga, a water-adapted antelope, is found in the interior swamps alongside papyrus gonalek and some 300 bird species. Lake Mburo is the largest of the five lakes in this park, which together attract hippo, crocodile and a variety of water birds.
Days 3-5: Bwindi National Park
Named for the dense forests it encompasses, Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is home to roughly half the world’s remaining mountain gorillas. Though the park is best known for its outstanding gorilla tracking, it also provides refuge to chimpanzees, monkeys, elephants and various small antelope. Bwindi is a key Uganda birding destination, with 23 of Uganda’s 24 Albertine Rift endemics, including threatened species such as African green broadbill and Shelley's crimson wing.
Days 6-8: Volcanoes Nat'l Park
Track gorillas in the early morning on the forested slopes of the ancient Virunga volcano chain in Africa’s oldest national park. Established in 1925 to protect the mountain gorilla, the park was the base for famous American naturalist Dian Fossey’s research. On the western edge of Rwanda bordering parks in both Uganda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the combined region is home to approximately 604 mountain gorillas, just over half the world’s total.
Day 9: Kigali/Home
Your safari adventure ends today in Kigali, Rwanda.