Uganda: The Primate Safari
10 days, 9 nights
Price Range: $6,664 – $8,978
(all-inclusive price per person, depending on dates & camps selected)
If you’re passionate about primates, there is no more captivating safari than this immersion in their natural realm in the heart of Africa. This detailed exploration of three parks gets close to mountain gorillas, chimpanzees and a delightful variety of monkeys as they preen and play. Discover Kibale Forest, home to 13 primate species; scout for chimps and a multitude of wildlife in Queen Elizabeth National Park, and finish with two life-changing days among the gorillas of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest.
Our Expert Says
My first safari -- so many years ago -- was a trip to see the mountain gorillas for my honeymoon. My most recent was a return trip to Uganda to see the gorillas alongside my 15-year-old son. Sandwiched in between have been dozens of safaris (all memorable) over the 25 years I've been in this business, but sitting with the gorillas holds a special place in my heart. This route is the optimal primate safari, offering not only a once-in-a-lifetime experience with the gorillas, but an exploration of Uganda's wild areas and its beautiful people as well.
– Ben Bressler
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.
Days 2-3: Kibale Forest Nat'l Park
The most accessible of Uganda’s major rainforests, Kibale harbors the greatest variety and concentration of primates in East Africa and is home to 13 species including chimpanzees and red colobus monkeys. The elusive forest elephant moves through the park seasonally. Kibale’s tremendous biodiversity also attracts a long checklist of rainforest birds. Activities include forest walks and wildlife viewing along the string of beautiful crater lakes that lie between Fort Portal and Kibale Forest.
Days 4-6: Queen Elizabeth Nat'l Park
Uganda’s most popular national park is arguably its most scenic. Stretching from the crater-dotted foothills of the Ruwenzori Mountains along Lake Edward to the remote Ishasha River, its mosaic of habitats includes savanna, wetlands, gallery and lowland forest. The park offers prime grazing for buffalo, elephant and myriad antelope, and boasts 600 bird species. Game drives, forest walks, chimp tracking and boat trips on the hippo-filled Kazinga Channel are popular activities.
Days 7-9: 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.
Day 10: Entebbe/Home
Your safari adventure ends today in Entebbe, Uganda.