Uganda: A Primate Paradise
Based on the expeditionary nature of our trips, there may be ongoing enhancements to this itinerary.
Below please find the day-by-day itinerary for this expedition. Unless otherwise noted, daily excursion options are included in the cost of the trip. We do our best to adhere to the scheduled itinerary, but in the spirit of our expeditionary style of travel we may deviate slightly to take full advantage of encounters with the destination and its people, culture, and wildlife.
Depart USA / Entebbe, UgandaJuly 17
Board your independent flight to Entebbe, Uganda.
EntebbeJuly 18 — July 19
Arrive in Entebbe late on Saturday evening and transfer to the Boma Guesthouse. On Sunday enjoy a relaxing morning at leisure. After lunch, join a tour of Entebbe and its environs. Dinner and overnight at our hotel.
Entebbe / Murchison Falls National ParkJuly 20
This morning transfer to the airport for the short flight to Murchison Falls National Park, which straddles the Victoria Nile at the Western Rift Valley. Uganda’s largest national park—a scenic wonderland of rolling palm-studded grasslands, acacia woodland, papyrus swamp, and the meandering Victoria Nile—is home to some of the most impressive concentrations of animals in all of Uganda. You have two full days to enjoy the magnificent scenery and bountiful wildlife of this unique area. An upriver foray brings you to the foot of Murchison Falls; this memorable ten-mile journey delivers you to one of Africa’s most powerful and dramatic waterfalls. En route, keep an eye out for large herds of hippos and enormous Nile crocodiles, with Cape buffalo, waterbucks, and elephants in close attendance. Birders will thrill to a variety of species including Goliath herons, rock pratincoles, red-throated bee-eaters, and possibly the shoebill—surely one of the world’s strangest birds. Meals and overnights at Paraa Safari Lodge, offering beautiful vistas overlooking the Nile.
Murchison Falls National ParkJuly 21
Continue your exploration of the park by safari vehicle and river boat in search of the elegant Rothschild giraffe, Cape buffalo, and savanna elephant. Smaller herbivores such as Jackson’s hartebeest, bush duiker, oribi, and Ugandan kob are plentiful and support a healthy population of lions. With luck, you should also see bands of terrestrial Patas monkeys.
Kibale National ParkJuly 22
After an early breakfast, begin your long but fascinating drive to Kibale, traveling from the Rift Valley into a patchwork of colorful villages and agricultural lands. Eventually you reach a mixture of forest and tea plantations at the foothills of the looming Rwenzoris, or “Mountains of the Moon.” Overnight at beautiful Ndali Lodge, situated on a high saddle between two crater lakes.
Kibale National ParkJuly 23
Spend a full day in Kibale National Park, one of Africa’s most researched and documented forest reserves. Chimpanzees are abundant here—these fascinating creatures are well studied and accustomed to human observers. Also spend time searching for other species, including gray-cheeked mangabeys; red-tailed and vervet monkeys; and both red and black-and-white colobus monkeys. Return to Ndali Lodge for dinner and overnight.
Kibale National Park / Queen Elizabeth National ParkJuly 24
After an early breakfast, return to Kibale to continue your exploration. Enjoy lunch and head for Queen Elizabeth National Park, arriving in time for an evening game drive. Dinner and overnight at Mweya Safari Lodge, which overlooks Lake Edward.
Queen Elizabeth National ParkJuly 25
Start your day early with a game drive to explore the rich thicket savanna along the Kazinga Channel, one of the best sites to spot giant forest hogs, then continue south through Maramagambo Forest to the remote southern sector of the Park. Return to the lodge for breakfast, then take a cruise along the famous Kazinga Channel, which connects Lake George to Lake Edward. Birds here are both numerous and spectacular, including multiple species of eagle, stork, waterfowl, kingfisher, and bee-eater. Regarded by some as one of Africa’s best birding locations, more than 560 bird species have been recorded in this area. Dinner and overnight at the Ishasha Wilderness Camp which overlooks the Ntungwe River.
Queen Elizabeth National Park / Bwindi Impenetrable ForestJuly 26
The remote Ishasha sector protects a wilderness of swamps and thorn savanna and is home to large herds of Cape buffalo and topi. The Uganda kob is also conspicuous, with large aggregations gathering at traditional lekking grounds. A special attraction of Ishasha is its population of tree-climbing lions, one of the few places where this behavior may be seen. After lunch, drive to the permanent luxury-tented Sanctuary Gorilla Forest Camp, set on the edge of the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, a World Heritage Site and one of the most biologically diverse areas on the planet. In the evening attend a briefing on gorilla-watching etiquette followed by dinner and overnight.
Bwindi Impenetrable ForestJuly 27 — July 28
Spend two days at Bwindi tracking mountain gorillas. Each day you will divide into two groups and, following an early breakfast, depart for the forest. Under the supervision of trained local guides, head to the site where the gorillas were seen the previous day and then begin your search. Once the gorillas are located, you have time to observe, photograph, and enjoy this unique experience. Other activities at Bwindi include forest trekking for the lesser primates and looking for the many bird species that make this montane forest their home.
Bwindi Impenetrable Forest / Entebbe / USAJuly 29 — July 30
After breakfast board your charter aircraft for the short flight to Entebbe. Transfer to the Boma Guesthouse for dinner and a chance to relax before your independent homeward flight. Arrive in the USA the next day.