This 4 days Gorilla and chimpanzee tracking safari will take you to Kibale Forest National Park, one of the most beautiful tropical forests in the whole of East Africa. Here you will get up close with man’s closest cousins the endangered chimpanzee and later you will transfer to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National park for another thrilling activity-trekking Uganda’s mountain gorillas. Here you will also view the terrain of the forest, animal life, and birdlife.
Empathy Africa Tours guide will pick you up early in the morning from your hotel in Kampala / Entebbe and together you will drive to Kibale National Park that has been nicknamed the primate capital of the world with the stars being the chimpanzees. You will have lunch in Fort Portal and then proceed to Kibale for relaxation as you prepare for your adventure the next morning.
After your early morning breakfast, your driver-guide will pick you up and drive you up to the park head office for a morning briefing session from Uganda Wildlife Authority officials. From here you will set off for a morning chimpanzee trekking inside the vast jungles of Kibale, a home for large wildlife most especially 13 species of primate coupled with Chimpanzees. With the tracker, you come across chimpanzees, swinging from tree to tree, others nesting in the trees and making pat hoots (their way of communication). These chimpanzees are habituated and comfortable with human presence but will go about their lives. You will spend one hour with them and then return to the lodge for lunch as you prepare to set off to Bwindi later in the afternoon. After your delicious lunch, your driver-guide will pick you up and together you will start your journey to Bwindi, whereby you will arrive in the late afternoon. You will check-in at the lodge, relax in the evening and have dinner.
After breakfast, you will gather at the respective park headquarters for a briefing at 08:00 and eventually start your gorilla trekking encounter. You will follow the trails of your respective gorilla family traversing the forest within hilly forested landscapes and deep saddles. The hills are forested with mature trees and dense undergrowth that have earned it the name, impenetrable.
Once you come face to face with these awesome gorillas, the rangers will also guide you on how to handle them most especially by giving them a six-meter distance as you experiment with them. Kindly note that it’s also not so easy to predict the time we take you while trekking, and this will mainly depend on the location of some families.
Seeing the critically endangered apes as they forage, socialize, the young gorillas rolling themselves on tree branches, and the silverback showing his authority is a moment of wonder that drives remarkable excitement.
After having an early breakfast, you will check-out and start your journey back to Kampala passing through rolling hills with terraces and also you will have a great time viewing the lush vegetation of the different areas you will go through.
You will have lunch in Mbarara, and another stop will be at the Equator, where you will take fascinating photos. Also, buy some crafts and souvenirs. You will then continue arriving at Entebbe/ Kampala late in the afternoon. Your driver/guide will drop you off to your hotel or at the airport to catch your flight back home. And that will mark the end of your wonderful Gorilla and Chimpanzee trekking safari.
You are required to purchase a tourist visa before you enter Uganda. Tourist visas can be bought in advance via the embassy or consulate in your country or simply purchased upon arrival at Entebbe International Airport or at any overland border. Photos are not required and a single entry tourist visa costs US$ 100 per person for up to 90 days stay in Uganda.
If you are planning to combine Uganda with a visit to Rwanda or Kenya it is recommendable to request for the East African Tourist Visa instead of a single entry visa. This special visa costs US$100 per person and allows 90-days multiple entries to Uganda, Rwanda, and Kenya. Regretfully, Tanzania is not (yet) a member of the East African community and therefore not part of this special visa arrangement.
A number of different vaccinations are recommended and/or required before entering Uganda. A certificate proving you have had the Yellow Fever vaccination is mandatory for entry into Uganda. Immunizations against DTP (Diphtheria, Tetanus, and Polio) and Hepatitis A are recommended as well.
Besides bringing mosquito repellent, we also advise you to take malaria ‘prophylactics’ (prevention medication).
The following cancellation charges apply to the basic program rate:
60 days or more prior to arrival 10% charge
59 – 32 days prior to arrival 25% charge
31 – 8 days prior to arrival 50% charge
7 – 3 days prior to arrival 75% charge
48 hours or less prior to arrival 100% charge
Empathy Tours reserves the right to deduct all expenses incurred from money paid.
Gorilla & Chimpanzee permits and air tickets are 100% non-refundable.
No refunds will be made for any unused services, late arrival or no-show of any of the members of the tour.
Solo travelers are very welcome! However, to minimize your costs we would suggest joining a group. Although we can try and arrange this for you, we cannot guarantee we can find a group whose interests, budget and preferred route correspond to yours, especially during the low season.
If you would like to stay in a single room please notify us well in advance and we will try to meet your request. Please bear in mind that single rooms are not common and it is more likely that you will be offered single occupancy of a double room. A single room supplement will apply.
Once you have confirmed the final itinerary with us, you will be asked to pay a deposit of 30%. Gorilla permits must be paid for in full at the time of booking. Note that the availability of accommodation and permits is not guaranteed until officially confirmed by Empathy Tours. Accommodation, permit and activity reservations will be made as soon as payment has been received on our account.
For your convenience, the balance payment of 70% should be settled before the start of your safari. We accept payment by bank transfer in either dollar to our bank account in Uganda. Please note that all bank charges are at the expense of the client.
Accommodation falls into three categories: budget, mid-range or luxury.
Budget accommodation may be simple and basic rooms, bandas or tents, with double/twin beds and mosquito nets when necessary. Private bathrooms are not always available and you may have to share bathroom facilities.
3-star, 4-star and 5-star accommodation offer comfortable rooms or luxury furnished safari tents with a private bathroom. Flush toilets and hot and cold running water are available. Mosquito nets will be provided where necessary.
All Uganda lodges are carefully selected and frequently visited by Empathy Tours staff, to monitor quality and service levels. The majority of safari lodges and hotels are small-scale, offering a unique location and ambiance, and usually have a maximum of eight rooms.
We offer tailor-made safaris for any number of participants. There is no minimum number for a group tour, although the bigger the group, the more attractive the price will be.
Officially, Uganda’s dry seasons are from December/January through to mid-March and from June through mid-September. These dry months are the most popular with tourists, with July and August and Christmas and New Year being the peak seasons.
The most rain falls in October-November and April-May. However, this doesn’t mean that it rains all day, nor does it mean it will rain every day. Usually, there’s a tropical shower at night or a shorter shower during the day, but in Uganda, you can trust that after rain comes sunshine!
The weather is no reason to avoid traveling in the wet season – you might even consider it because of the easy availability of gorilla permits.
As in the rest of the world, the East African climate is changing, making it more difficult for us to predict the weather during your safari. However, in Uganda, the temperature is very stable and pleasant, with sunshine almost 365 days a year. During the day, the temperature averages between 23 and 27°C, although in some places it can be quite cool at night.
One remarkable aspect of Uganda safaris is: whether you travel in the dry, dusty months or in the wet season, you will never find the crowded tourism like in Kenya or Tanzania. If you spot a lion or leopard, it is very likely that you will be the only one to see it – even in peak season!