|For our clients interested in chimpanzees, this safari takes you to all the places in Uganda where these fascinating animals that are 98% identical to us people are found. Ngamba Island Sanctuary, Budongo Forest, Kibale Forest, Semuliki Valley & Queen Elizabeth National Park (Kyambura Gorge)|
|Day 01||ENTEBBE/NGAMBA ISLAND SANCTUARY|
Upon arrival at Entebbe Airport on the shores of Lake Victoria, you are met by your trip leader or representative and driven a short distance to the Hotel Lake Victoria, your lodging for the first night in Uganda
. The Hotel, completely refurbished, is surrounded by, pleasant gardens and a pool. Early Lunch, in the afternoon you will take a half-day boat trip to Ngamba Island. Ngamba Island is a project of the Cimpanzees Sanctuary and Wildlife Conservation Trust (CSWCT), established in 1997 by the Born Free Foundation UK, International Fund for Animal Welfare (USA), The Jane Goodall Institute (Germany and Uganda). The Uganda Wildlife Education Trust (UWECT) and other concerned organization that have helped raise funds for the sanctuary. This 100-acre beautiful forested Island provides a safe haven for 35-orphaned chimpanzees. Experience a rare and incredible opportunity to visit the Chimpanzees in a near-wild setting while helping to conserve their precious habitat and contribute to the conservation of their species. The trip to Island by speed-boat takes approximately 45 minutes or 1½ hours by motorized traditional boat.
Overnight Hotel Lake Victoria, Entebbe
|Day 02||ENTEBBE / BUDONGO FOREST RESERVE (Approximately 5-6 hours drive)|
Early morning breakfast, then head North to the Budongo Forest area. Lunch at Masindi hotel. Budongo forest is the largest mahogany forest in East Africa. It is famous for its chimpanzees, which have been studied at a research station based in the forest for decades. Five groups have fully habituated and you can watch this fascinating creatures at home in their natural habitat. This forest is also a paradise for bird watchers especially along the Royal Mile. It has a bird list of 366 species.
In the afternoon, drive North of Masindi town on the Paraa road to Kaniyo Pabidi Eco-tourism site for your first Forest Chimpanzee trek in Budongo. There are well marked trails that make the forest easily accessible. The lion, buffalo and leopard are occasionally present here. From Pabidi hill you will get magnificent views of Murchison Falls National Park
, Lake Albert and beyond to Congo. Return later in the evening to Masindi Hotel for the overnight.
Overnight Budongo Eco Lodge
Early morning breakfast, then drive West of Masindi to Busingiro Eco-tourism site still in the Budongo forest for our second day of Chimpanzee trekking. This day we will carry a picnic lunch with us and spend the whole day in the forest. A complex trail system has been developed here. The system offers the best chances for chimpanzee tracking, and loop system incorporates a range of forest features and good specimen trees.
Overnight Budongo Eco Lodge
|Day 04||MASINDI / KIBALE FOREST (Approximately 5 -6 hour's drive)|
After breakfast, drive south to the Northern end of the Rwenzori Mountains to Kibale Forest
. The road passes through villages and farmland where every imaginable tropical fruit and vegetable of the tropics can be seen growing. Birding is excellent as the road passes through the rainforest regions, agricultural land, papyrus swamps and scrubland before reaching the famous tea growing area around Fort Portal. Pass through Tea Plantations into Kibale Forest and to the camp.
Overnight Ndali Lodge/Primate Lodge
This morning you go hiking through the dense overgrowth of the Kibale Forest
in search of primates, both greater and lesser. The forest has well marked trails that make it easily accessible. Kibale is inhabited by three large communities of Chimpanzees. Typically you will locate the chimps by listening for their pant-hooting calls, then observe them as they feed in the trees, lounge or hunt (this is usually an adrenaline-filled moment!). Chimps move quickly through the bushy canopy hunting colobus monkeys and bushbabies, and will occasionally capture ground dwellers such as small duikers or dik-dik. Though they feed primarily on figs and other fruits, they are effective hunters. The chimp's strong social order and behavior is fascinating to watch. They are noisy, communicative, and often confrontational with each other.
Once you have encountered the Chimps, you will continue hiking through the forest, looking for birds and lesser primates, which may include red-tailed monkey, red colobus monkey, black-and-white colobus monkey, graycheeked mangabey, olive baboon and vervet monkey. The forest is the habitat of the spectacular great Blue Turaco and the African Gray Parrot; it is alive with the tantalizing sounds of the elusive birds such as the Angola Pitta. Expert national park guides will accompany you and will reveal some of the botanical secrets of the forest.
Overnight Ndali Lodge/Primate Lodge
|Day 06||KIBALE / SEMLIKI VALLEY WILDLIFE RESERVE (Approximately 3 hours drive)|
After an early morning breakfast, you will say goodbye to Kibale and head North to Semliki Valley Wildlife Reserve
. The valley has a magnificent view of the River Semliki meandering into Lake Albert arrive at the lodge in time for lunch. Relax by the pool; later go for an afternoon boat trip on Lake Albert. Which offers a fantastic opportunity to observe the extra ordinary shoebill, visit the Nkusi Waterfalls. Semliki is also a good spot for birders. Over 350 bird species have been recorded here.
Overnight Semliki Lodge
|Day 07||SEMLIKI / QUEEN ELIZABETH NATIONAL PARK (Approximately 3-4 hours)|
Early morning chimp and other primate tracking in the gallery Forest of Mugiri River, then return to Fort Portal. This rural Ugandan town is locally famous for its weaving and basketry, and stop briefly to examine some of this local art. Leaving Fort Portal town, you turn south and early this afternoon enter Queen Elizabeth National Park
, which is dominated on its northern border by the snow-capped 16,000-foot Rwenzori Mountains-the famed "Mountains of the Moon". This 767-square-mile conservation area is bordered on the North East by Lake George and on the South West by Lake Edward; its western border adjoins the Zaire Parc Du Virunga. You will expect to see teeming herds of impala-like Uganda Kob, as well as topi, elephant and lion, giant forest hog, Cape buffalo. There are also several soda lakes filling ancient volcanic calderas where flamingos reside seasonally.
Overnight Mweya lodge
|Day 08||QUEEN ELIZABETH NATIONAL PARK|
Game drives in Queen Elizabeth National Park
including a launch trip of about two hours on the Kasinga Channel to view some of the largest concentration of hippos in the world (reported to be about 30,000) and other game with excellent birding. Queen Elizabeth national park is one of the best birding places in Africa, with 560+ recorded bird species and 296 bird species seen in one 24-hour period. Overnight either Mweya or Jacana Lodge. Later a visit to the Maramagambo forest, visiting the bat caves, where one can see thousands of bats and possibly pythons and monitor lizards catching bats.
Overnight Mweya Lodge
|Day 09||QUEEN ELIZABETH NATIONAL PARK - KYAMBURA GORGE|
Today's exploration of Queen Elizabeth National Park
begins with an early morning breakfast, then, on to Kyambura on the Eastern edge of the park. With its steep cliff and green forest, the Chambura gorge has a "Lost World" feel. You hike deep into the gorge to trek the resident chimp family. During this half- day hike, you may come across colorful bird life, colobus monkey and look out for sleeping leopard or possibly a lion or two that come up from the plains. In the afternoon your driver/guide takes you to explore the park in a more traditional manner. Uganda Kob occur in the thousands, and expect to see Waterbuck, Bushbuck, Cape Buffalo, Hartebeest, Giant Forest Hog, Warthog, Elephant, and potentially Leopard and Lion. The scenic beauty of the park is a perfect backdrop for the wildlife drama that takes place before you.
Overnight Mweya Lodge
|Day 10||QUEEN ELIZABETH NATIONAL PARK / DEPARTURE (Approximately 6 hours)|
This morning return to Kampala, driving through Mbarara, the home of the famous Ankole cattle. These cattle are incredible with horns larger than one can imagine! Drive to Entebbe and if time permits it will be possible to stop at the Mpigi Royal drum makers en route. Shopping in Kampala, then transfer to Entebbe airport for your flight out. (Your departure flight should be late in the afternoon or in the evening; otherwise another night can be arranged in Entebbe)
By no means are you restricted to this itinerary. If you want a certain itinerary, we shall design it for you.
Meals as noted
Park fee and sightseeing as noted in the itinerary
International airfare or flights of any kind
Meals not noted on the itinerary
Insurance of any kind
Excess baggage charges
Items of a personal nature (alcoholic beverages, laundry. etc)
To expedite your request please fill out our Chimps Special Tour Request Form. We surely will get back to you sooner.