Mountain Gorillas in Bwindi National Park. The hike was tough, the insects plentiful, but was amazing. We decided to go from Kigali as it was closer to Bwindi than Kampala, which involved a border crossing. Our guide Joseph was excellent guiding us through this, as well as dealing with all accommodation and even showed us around his local town’s (Kisoro) market. The food at the accommodation was excellent.
5-Day Gorillas, Wildlife, and Chimpanzee Trekking at Kalinzu Forest
Game Drives in Queen Elizabeth NP
Chimpanzee Trekking in Kalinzu Forest
Gorilla Tracking in Bwindi NP
Wildlife safaris in Uganda might not be as well-known as others, but they certainly do not disappoint. See Africa’s ‘big four’ on this 5-day adventure, go to the home of half the world’s mountain gorilla population, go on game drives through QE National Park to see hippos, elephants, and tree-climbing lions, and finally trek through a kaleidoscope of wildlife and nature in the Kalinzu Forest to track chimpanzees.
Track mountain gorillas in a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Bwindi National Park
Spot unique tree-climbing lions in the Ishasha sector of QE National Park
Drive through the Kasenyi Plains to glimpse the ‘big four’: lions, buffalos, elephants, and leopards
Cruise down the Kazinga Channel to see crocodiles, buffaloes, elephants, and birds
Track chimpanzees through Kalinzu Forest Reserve with expert guides
Click the Tabs to Find out More
Adults (15-80): $2,947
Please inquire for the budget accommodation price, this is our mid-range accommodation tour
2 persons or more: $2,161 per person
3 persons or more: $2,130 per person
4 persons or more: $1,929 per person
Anytime between 7:00 am to 12:00 pm Kigali time
We offer pick-up to the following places for this experience:
- Downtown Kigali
- Kigali International Airport
Monday to Sunday, year-round
Moderate – uphill trekking
1 to 5 persons
- One gorilla trekking permit per person (value of $700)
- One chimpanzee trekking permit per person (value of $50)
- Transport in a 4×4 safari vehicle
- Accommodation as described in the itinerary
- Meals (breakfast, lunch, and dinner) as specified in the itinerary
- Drinking water when in the safari vehicle
- Park entrance fees and other costs described in the itinerary
- Domestic flights in Uganda
- International flights from the country of origin
- Accommodation for days not listed in the itinerary
- Airport transfer only available on the day of the trip
- Soft and alcoholic drinks
- Visas, travel and medical insurance
- Gifts, gratuities, and tips
- Other costs of personal nature
- Optional activities (see tab 4)
What to Bring
- Hiking boots
- Garden gloves
- Rain jacket or poncho
- Long-sleeved shirt/blouse
- Cameras and extra batteries
- Hat/cap and sunglasses
- Pair of binoculars
- Flashlight (torch)
- Mosquito repellent
- Other items to include: zoom lens for wildlife shots and energy bars/bites
- Age restriction: 15-80 years old
- A valid passport is required on the day of travel
- This tour is not wheelchair accessible
- We advise against people with heart problems or other serious medical conditions participating on this tour
- Travelers should have a moderate physical fitness level
Good to Know
Depending on the availability of gorilla permits, we may propose trekking gorillas at Mgahinga Gorilla National Park.
What You’ll Do
Our representative will pick you up at Kigali Airport or downtown Kigali and drive you to Bwindi National Park. The 4 to 5-hour scenic drive to Uganda will go through Rwanda’s northern town of Ruhengeri where you will cross over into Uganda via the Cyanika or Katuna border posts. The trip continues through the nearby towns of Kisoro or Kabale and finally into Bwindi National Park. Arriving at the park early afternoon will allow you to choose from our optional activities such as hiking, visiting the Batwa community, or trying your hand at the local industry: coffee making.
After an early morning breakfast, we will have a short drive to the Bwindi National Park gate to receive a gorilla-trekking briefing. The national park guide will conduct the presentation that covers the basics of what to expect during the gorilla trek and how to act to ensure the safety of both guests and the gorillas. Once you are assigned to a group, our adventure into the rainforest begins! Follow your guide through dense vegetation until you encounter these impressive creatures in their natural habitat. Depending on how far inside the forest the gorillas are, the trek can take from between 3 hours up to 8, but most last between 3 and 6 hours. After the gorilla trek, we will take you back to the lodge to enjoy a well-deserved dinner and an evening of relaxation.
We will start the journey in the morning from Bwindi National Park and drive to Queen Elizabeth National Park. The tour will take you through the stunning landscapes of western Uganda and get you to the park by early afternoon. We will drive through the Ishasha sector of Queen Elizabeth National Park, popularly known for the tree-climbing lions. Unlike their counterparts at the Kasenyi Plains, the lions at Ishasha have found a way to climb the fig trees to enjoy the warm temperatures. While the sighting of the tree-climbing lions is not 100% guaranteed, a stopover at Ishasha is well worth a visit!
We start our action-packed fourth day with an early morning breakfast at the lodge. Afterward, we proceed to the famed Kasenyi plains of Queen Elizabeth National Park to spot various species of wild animals. The Kasenyi plains are found in the vast savannahs of the Albertine Rift in Queen Elizabeth National Park and it will be a morning full of adventure! Expect to encounter lions, herds of buffalos, elephants, Uganda kobs, topi, and bushbucks. While spotting the ‘big five’ in the park is not guaranteed, on a lucky day, you may sight leopards to make it the ‘big four.’ We will return to the lodge for lunch.
After lunch, join the Kazinga Channel boat cruise for an afternoon of wild game viewing. We’ll have the chance to spot crocodiles, buffaloes, elephants, and a wide range of bird species on the channel waters.
After an early morning breakfast, we will drive to the Kalinzu Forest to experience tracking the chimpanzees in their forest home. Visitors to Kalinzu Forest have more than a 50% chance of encountering these creatures. Kalinzu Forest is not only a haven for chimps but it’s also home to 6 more species of primates, and if you’re lucky, on the Kalinzu trek you might encounter other different colobus monkeys, olive baboons, and red-tailed monkeys.
After our trekking adventure is over, it’s time to end the tour with the transfer to either Kigali or Kampala/Entebbe.
Accommodation & Meals
Optional Activities on Day 1
- Golden Monkey Trekking in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park – $90 USD
- The Batwa Trail Cultural Tour inside Mgahinga Gorilla National Park – $80 USD
- Visit the Batwa Community in the Village – $30 USD
- Canoe Trekking at Lake Mutanda – $30 USD
- Coffee-Making Experience – $30 USD
- Mabungo Community Village Tour in Kisoro – $30 USD
See our Local Experiences(opens in a new tab) page for more information on each activity.
See What Our Previous Guests Have Said...
We instantly felt a bond with Fred. He was a safe driver and very knowledgeable about the parks and the animals. But most importantly, Fred was a real person. He shared with us personal details about his life and lifestyle that gave us a unique perspective and insight into everyday life in Uganda that we otherwise would not have had. Being American, I don’t hug very many other men but when Fred dropped us back at our hotel in Kigali, we both gave him a big heartfelt bear hug knowing that our time with him had come to an end way too soon. As a businessman, my standards for customer service are quite high Bamboo Ecotours met and exceeded them! Edison is an honest and trustworthy businessman. Do not hesitate to book your trip with this company.
Despite the timing, Edison was able to secure a gorilla permit at Mgahinga as well as for chimps at Kibale (both magical of course). Four out of five lodgings were perfect – one can use some work (I understand they had recent management changes and Edison confirmed he will speak with them). The very best part of the experience, however, was the work ethic, knowledge, and overall pleasant nature of my guide, Herbert. He was an utter delight to work with and of the four or five guides I usually spend time with each year, he easily ranks as one of my favorite.