Chimps & Gorillas of Uganda

10 days
from
3 935 €
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Traveller ratings
4.9 / 5 from 19 reviews >
Trip code: 
WQU
Way to Travel:
Guided Group Adventure Holidays
Activity:
Wildlife Holidays
Min age:
16
Group size:
4–14

Looking through Uganda for some of Africa's most emblematic and amazing wildlife

Uganda is renowned for its abundant wildlife. With landscapes ranging from savannah to lush forests the animal count is high: over 300 mammal species and more than 1,000 types of birds. This trip is a true adventure into the heart of Africa. Kibale Forest is possibly the best place in the world to track chimpanzees whilst Queen Elizabeth National Park is home to hippos, elephants, buffalo, leopards and elusive tree-climbing lions as well as a huge variety of birds. Continuing on our journey we reach Bwindi where we have the option of tracking the gentle giants of the forests, Mountain gorillas.

Highlights

  • Track chimpanzees and other primates in Kibale Forest
  • Search for the elusive tree climbing lions in Queen Elizabeth N.P.
  • Spend a magical hour with Mountain gorillas in Bwindi
  • Discover just how friendly and hospitable the Ugandan people are

Key information

  • 9 nights in a mixture of hotels and lodges, all en suite
  • Travel by specially designed 4WD vehicles
  • Reasonable fitness required for chimpanzee and gorilla tracking

What's included

  • All breakfasts, 10 lunches and 9 dinners.
  • All accommodation
  • All transport and listed activities
  • Tour leader throughout
  • Flights from London (if booking incl. flights)
  • 1 chimp permit and 1 gorilla permit

What's not included

  • Travel insurance
  • Single accommodation (available on request)
  • Visas or vaccinations
  • Optional 2nd chimp and optional 2nd gorilla permit
Call us on
+45 (0)70 12 03 03
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Responsible Travel

At Exodus we believe in the power of Responsible Travel.

Every time we travel, we are part of a global movement that creates jobs, builds more sustainable societies, encourages cultural understanding and safeguards common natural and cultural heritage. To learn more about what Responsible Travel means to Exodus click here… 

Itinerary

  • Day 1

    Start Entebbe; drive to Kibale Forest.

    Those on the group flights arrive in the late morning and we depart on the drive to Kibale Forest. The length of the drive does depend, in large part, on traffic in Kampala but should take approximately 7 hours. Upon arrival at Kibale Forest we can relax at our lake-side eco-lodge. Kibale Forest National Park is home to 13 primate species. There are 9 diurnal primates, including Vervet, Red-tailed, L’Hoest’s, Red colobus, Black-and-white colobus and Blue monkeys, as well as Grey-cheeked mangabey, Olive baboon and the most famous of all, the chimpanzee. Although chimp sightings are not guaranteed, the odds of encountering them are very good.

    Accommodation: Kibale Guest Cottages or similar
    Standard Hotel

    Meals included: Lunch Dinner
  • Day 2

    Chimpanzee tracking in Kibale; visit Bigodi wetlands.

    Today we will explore the Bigodi Wetlands Sanctuary located in the Magombe wetland. The sanctuary is a major eco-tourist attraction in the Kibale Forest area and is operated by the Kibale Association for Rural and Environmental Development (KAFRED), a local community based organisation. We will also go on a forest walk in search of primates. Whilst trekking in the depths of the lush green forest, you will be surrounded by bird song and can expect to see at least 5 or 6 other types of primate, most probably the Grey-cheeked mangabey and the Red-tailed monkey and of course the chimpanzee. The walking is fairly easy due to the well-maintained trails and reasonably flat terrain. The order in which we do these activities may vary.

    Accommodation: Kibale Guest Cottages or similar
    Standard Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 3

    Optional second chimpanzee trek; to Queen Elizabeth N.P.

    There is the option of doing a second chimp trek this morning in order to increase the probability of seeing them (due to limited permit availability we recommend you pre-book the second chimp trek). In the afternoon, we drive to Queen Elizabeth National Park (QENP). The drive goes south along the eastern length of the Rwenzori Mountains, where, weather permitting, we can see the glaciated peaks. We gently descend into The Great Rift Valley and QENP. The park resides in a fertile, equatorial area and has beautiful scenery. It is Uganda’s most popular and accessible savannah reserve, with a total area of 1978 square kilometres. It is primarily associated with grassy savannah plains, but this impressive park also includes within its boundaries leafy rainforests, dense papyrus swamps and natural volcanic crater lakes. As a result it has one of the highest biodiversity ratings of any game reserve in the world, including a total of 95 recorded mammal species and more than 610 species of birds.

    Accommodation: Park View Safari Lodge or similar
    Standard Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 4

    Game drive in Queen Elizabeth N.P.; boat safari on the Kazinga Channel.

    This morning we will explore QENP on a game drive in search of wildlife including elephants, lions, buffalo, leopard, hyena, jackal, topi, kob, bush buck and various others. In the afternoon we have a boat trip of about two hours along the Kazinga Channel to view some of the largest concentration of hippo in the world (reported to be about 30,000) and other game with excellent birding.

    Accommodation: Park View Safari Lodge or similar
    Standard Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 5

    Game drive in the Ishasha region of Queen Elizabeth N.P.; to Buhoma.

    Today we drive through the park to the Ishasha region. We game drive in search of tree climbing lion and other wildlife. This afternoon we head to Bwindi Impenetrable National Forest, a World Heritage site, passing through the scenic area known as 'The Switzerland of East Africa'. The driving today is about 5 1/2 hours (not including game drives).

    Accommodation: Gorilla Mist Lodge or similar
    Standard Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 6

    Mountain gorilla tracking in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest.

    For many, coming toe-to-toe with a Mountain gorilla is one of the most emotional wildlife experiences possible. Tracking these gentle giants can take anything from under an hour to over six hours depending on where the family is located. The number of permits allocated daily are limited so we recommend early booking. Should the permits for gorilla families close to where we stay be unavailable, there are more permits for another area of the park, though this will mean a long drive to the starting point of the trek.

    The trek itself can be along steep, slippery trails and through the bush so you should be in reasonable physical condition, but the rewards of spending an hour with our close cousins more than makes up for the effort of getting to them.

    Accommodation: Gorilla Mist Lodge or similar
    Standard Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 7

    Optional second Mountain gorilla trek.

    Today is a free day and there is the option of getting a second gorilla permit for this day, though due to the limited number of permits, this should be obtained at time of booking. For those who choose not to go on a second gorilla trek, there are other walks which you can do nearby or you can relax at our lodge, reminiscing about the previous day’s encounters.

    Accommodation: Gorilla Mist Lodge or similar
    Standard Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 8

    To Lake Mburo N.P.

    Leaving the forests behind we head towards Lake Mburo National Park. En route we will stop in Kabale near the Rwandan border for lunch. The drive time should be about five hours (not including stops). Lake Mburo is the only place in southern Uganda where you can see zebra, giraffe and impala and is a great place to try and see leopards. It is also home to over 300 species of birds and offers the possibility of game walks as well as game drives.

    Accommodation: Mburo Safari Lodge or similar
    Standard Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 9

    Game drive; optional game walk or boat safari.

    Today we go on a final game drive looking for plains wildlife. The park has a network of game tracks in the eastern part of the park passing a variety of landscapes; acacia woodland, wetlands, grassy hillsides, rock outcrops and seasonally flooded valley floors. The early morning and late afternoon are the best times to roam the park in search of wildlife.

    There is also the option of tracking game on foot through the savannah and going on a boat excursion, particularly good for birdlife. You have the option of going on an early morning game walk this morning. Accompanied by a ranger guide, you will walk to a salt lick where many animals are attracted to the salty rocks. At this time of day you may encounter hyenas returning to their dens and hippos retreating to the lake The lake itself is rich with a diversity of animal and plant species, and these can be viewed clearly while on a boat trip. These include crocodiles, hippos and birds such as pelicans, Black crake, heron, cormorant and Fish eagle, but you may also see the rare Shoebill stork if you are lucky.

    Accommodation: Mburo Safari Lodge or similar
    Standard Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 10

    Drive to Entebbe; visit Mabamba swamp en route to search for Shoebill storks; end Entebbe.

    Today is our final day and we make our way back to Entebbe and the shores of Lake Victoria. The driving time will depend on the amount of traffic in Kampala, but we will make regular stops to break up the journey.
    En route back to Entebbe we will visit the Mabamba Swamp (Mabamba Bay Wetland System), which lies about 40 km from Entebbe. This swamp is the perfect spot in Uganda for watching the globally threatened Shoebill stork and the Papyrus yellow warbler. The Mabamba Swamp is said to support over 190,000 birds.  
    Our adventure ends in the afternoon in Entebbe. Those on the group flights will return to the airport in time for their overnight flight.

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Essential Info

Visas

Uganda

Most nationalities require a visa for Uganda. The Government of Uganda has introduced the online visa application system with effect from 01 July 2016. Applications should be filled at the following link: https://visas.immigration.go.ug/.
The decision taken on the application will be sent electronically through the email provided by the applicant. If approved, an approval letter will be sent as an attachment to the email provided. Print it out and present it together with a valid passport / travel document at the port of entry.
The cost of a standard, single-entry visit visa had been reduced to $US 50. You’ll need to bring this amount with you in cash (US dollars only) on arrival. Check the Ugandan Directorate of Citizenship and Immigration Control website for the latest information on visa fees.
Information about documents required in the online visa application is found here:
https://visas.immigration.go.ug/#/help/visa
If after visiting Uganda, you will also travel to Rwanda and Kenya, you may apply for East African Visa that will cover all three countries. Please contact the Ugandan High Commission to obtain more information about the combined visa from Uganda.

Vaccinations

Uganda

Vaccination against Yellow Fever is necessary , and you must bring a valid certificate of vaccination. Recommended vaccinations are: Polio, Tetanus, Diphtheria, Typhoid, Hepatitis A, Yellow Fever. Malaria prophylaxis is essential and we suggest that you seek advice from your GP or travel health clinic about which malaria tablets to take. Bilharzia is known to occur in some of the lakes or rivers visited on this itinerary, we therefore advise all to take advice from your guide or leader locally before venturing for a swim.

Eating and Drinking

All breakfasts, 10 lunches and 9 dinners included.

The service can be either a la carte or buffet, depending on the lodge. For early game drives and in order to maximise the time spent in the parks, a packed breakfast or lunch may be provided in some instances. The food provided is a mix of good local and international food throughout.

It is possible to cater for vegetarians or clients with special requirements, however please make sure you will advise your Sales Consultant at time of booking or our Customer Operations department before departure.

Please also note that in Uganda the availability of certain specialised products for restricted diets, e.g. gluten-free or dairy-free, is minimal or non-existent and we strongly recommend you bring these specialized dietary items from home.

Weather

The wettest areas are concentrated along the shores of Lake Victoria and the western mountain districts. Although rains are normally more frequent during the two rainy seasons which occur in April-May and October-November, wet spells can occur also during the dry season, so please come prepared for this. Uganda can be visited at any time, as over most of the country the weather is pleasant for much of the year and temperatures are never excessively high.

The temperatures are usually cooler at night and this depends more on the altitude than on the actual area of the country.

Kampala, Uganda

Is this trip for you?

This trip has been graded 2 (Leisurely/Moderate) with a safari rating of 4.

The grading of moderate applies specifically to the gorilla trek and the chimp trek, the rest of the itinerary is graded as leisurely in relation to the activity level.

Gorilla Trek: Owing to the nature of the terrain and the need to explore to find the gorillas, the trek doesn't follow a path in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and instead the guides will cut a route through the undergrowth.  You should expect a minimum of three hours walking on rough terrain, with the possibility of climbing up to 2607m, in order to find the gorillas; steep ascents and descents over muddy slopes are the norm.  Strong footwear is essential and we recommend hiring a local porter to help you carry your bag/camera equipment and provide a steady, supportive hand (porters will be arranged and paid for locally on the day).

This is a busy and active trip with some early starts as we explore as much as we can of this wonderful country.  There are some long drives, sometimes on bad roads, but we use comfortable safari vehicles and the fantastic scenery does make time on the drives go by.


BOOKING CONDITIONS
Please note that at the time of booking a £600 (or equivalent in booking currency) non-refundable deposit to cover the cost of chimpanzee and gorilla permits is required. If for any reason we are unable to secure the permits and we have to cancel the trip, you will of course receive a full refund.

 

Call us on
+45 (0)70 12 03 03
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Accommodation

Hotel and Lodges

The accommodation on this trip is a mixture of hotels and lodges. All the accommodation is en suite and relatively comfortable, though not luxurious. We have selected, whenever possible, properties in or near the national parks we visit to enrich the wilderness experience of this trip.

Please note that due to the size of the Gorilla Mist Lodge, we will use a mix of cottages, tents and standard rooms. The facilities are the same in all the rooms, but the structure of the rooms do vary.

Single supplement available.

Call us on
+45 (0)70 12 03 03
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Experts

Contact a member of staff who has done this trip

Call us on
+45 (0)70 12 03 03
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Expert Blog Entries

African sunset

From the volcanic slopes of Kilimanjaro to the highland plateaux of the Simien Mountains, Exodus has cultivated an ar

  • Reviewed September 2017
    Rob Pitt

    Gorilla and Chimp Trek

    First time I have used Exodus and will certainly be using them again. Well organised and action packed. Good condition of transportation vehicles and the guides were simply superb and couldn't do enough for you. The Gorilla and Chimp Trek not only exceeded my expectations, but also the other 13 travellers we met on the same tour. Couldn't fault it. Well done Exodus!!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing the Gorilla's was one of several highlights but the they were the reason for this particular trip

    What did you think of your group leader?

    David was fantastic. Always happy, laughing, good language skills and couldn't do enough for you. Benjamin was also an excellent guide.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Accommodation is of very high standard but you are out in the jungle so expect insects
  • Reviewed September 2017
    Jill Moore

    Chimps & Gorillas of Uganda

    An amazing holiday, made special by our excellent guides, David & Lawrence. The lodges we stayed in were very comfortable & unique, with helpful & friendly staff. I cannot begin to list the variety of wildlife seen on this trip & also the variety of ways to view the wildlife -walking safaris, boat safaris, sunset & sunrise safaris. The highlight was obviously seeing the chimps & gorillas in their natural surroundings & at close quarters. A wonderful holiday all round!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    On the second Gorilla trek, observing them as they came down from the trees for breakfast. Being so close as the silverback went by, with his young followers close behind him. Also on our return to Entebbe, seeing the almost prehistoric Shoebill in the wetlands. As someone who is not particularly "into" birds, I found this one fascinating & to be able to observe it at close quarters was truly astounding.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    David was an excellent group leader. A very open & friendly man with an amazing knowledge of the animals we saw & where he could find them! Nothing was too much trouble & he was always in good humour. Both he & Lawrence worked extremely hard, & always with good humour, to find as many species as they could for us to see. They obviously knew the area extremely well & had good links with other park workers regarding where animals (such tree lions & leopards) may be. Therefore ensuring that we were able to see as much variety as possible. They were both absolute stars & went the extra mile to make our experience special.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    It is important to have appropriate clothing & footwear for the Chimp & Gorilla treks. we were lucky as all of our visits were dry, but rain had fallen at night, so good waterproofs are needed. I strongly recommend booking the additional visits offered. We all did 2 Chimp & 2 Gorilla Treks. All 4 visits were very different & our second visits gave us better encounters (which could have been coincidence of course!). On our 1st Gorilla Trek the group took a long time to find & the terrain was very steep, so be prepared for tough terrain. The porters were a fantastic help. As well as carrying your rucksack, they help & support you all the way. Well worth employing them & helping the local economy too!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I knew it would be a good trip, but it exceeded all expectations in every way. Great accommodation, great service, wonderful guides in David & Lawrence & of course, unforgettable animal encounters. Well done Uganda & Exodus!
  • Reviewed September 2017
    William Grimshaw

    Uganda: Chimps and Gorillas

    This trip was extraordinary in every sense of the word. The diversity of the landscape seen in Uganda is breathtaking, and coupled with the various forms of wildlife we were so close to in the wild made this trip unforgettable. From our arrival at the airport we were made to feel welcome by our brilliant guides and although there are some long car journeys on some very bumpy roads, they are all worthwhile once you arrive at the fabulous accomodation. The food is phenomenal and the staff at each lodge are attentive and greet you with a smile when returning from a long day of travelling or searching for exotic animals. We managed to spot a leopard, lions, elephants, hippos, crocodiles, gorillas, chimpanzees and so many species of primates and birds that I lost count! Truly a once in a lifetime experience.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Definitely reaching the mountain gorillas for the first time when trekking. It is truly awe-inspiring to be so close to such a magnificent and rare creature, and their calmness towards the human visitors means photo opportunities are plentiful. Additionally, another source of inspiration for myself was seeing children while we were driving carrying heavy bags, but once hearing or seeing the car a smile lighting up their face to wave. The warm nature of the Ugandan people is another aspect of this country I will never forget.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    David was a superb leader and with his partner Laurence I am sure we were graced with the most knowledgable pair in Uganda! Both men were wonderfully funny and kept spirits high while also being informative of the areas we were visiting.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Book this trip now!
  • Reviewed March 2017
    Yvonne Storr

    A superb trip which will stay with us for a long time...

    A fantastic trip with almost daily opportunities to see a huge range of game, wildlife and birds. The chimpanzee trekking was great with two very different encounters, the safari park game drives were superb and the gorilla trekking in Bwindi was absolutely amazing, again with two very different encounters. The chance to see these incredible creatures close up really is a once in a lifetime experience which we thoroughly enjoyed. Uganda is a really very beautiful country and our fellow travellers, leader and guide all worked together to make this a incredibly memorable holiday.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Almost every day held magical moments of some sort, chimp trekking was a great start, gorilla trekking was just amazing - being able to get far, far closer to this beautiful animals than we had ever dreamed, and having the time to be able to watch them interact with their family was just incredible. Watching lions in the early morning, having zebras outside our window, watching monkeys swing around the swimming pool, watching the sun go down over the savannah, being caught in the middle of an incredible storm, eating by torchlight, the boat safari seeing elephants and hippos, and the amazing variety and range of bird life - superb. Taking time to chat the very friendly locals, especially our visit to one of the orphanage schools in Bwindi. The penny dropping that the reason the bell boy is introducing us to the toilet, basin and shower in our ensuite bathroom is because he doesn't have one at home and can't imagine that you do either.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our group leader and guide, David and Benjamin were fantastic, doing everything they could to make sure we had a great trip. David's daily briefings were superb and made sure we knew exactly what we would be doing when, what we needed to wear, how long the day in front of us would be and how much extra money, if any, we might need. Benjamin has a truly in-depth knowledge of wildlife, birds and animals and an incredible number of 'contacts' to ensure we got the very best out of our holiday at all times.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Some of the lodges provide mosquito spray for the rooms, some don't - you will probably benefit from taking your own so you can spray your room at night as in most locations (not Bwindi) mosquitoes and other insects are rather persistent. A good personal anti-muzzy for your own skin is also essential. Working out how much money to take and how much to exchange from the trip notes is a challenge - you do need cash, there are next to no ATMS or banks anywhere on route. We took $500USD and changed $200USD into Ugandan schillings - we could probably have done with another $100USD on us to buy a few more souvenirs, or if you want to drink a lot more Nile Special in an evening. David and Benjamin organised a group kitty for us for tipping purposes which worked brilliantly, you'll need $50 per person to contribute to this for the entire holiday. The gorilla trek porters costs $15 plus $5 tip (the only tip you pay yourselves if you do a kitty) - but you can pay them in almost any currency, including Ugandan of course. When the trip notes say 'basic' they mean basic - you will be living out of your bag for most of this holiday with nowhere to unpack even if you had time! In two of the lodges there is electric light in your room, but no power sockets, charging is done in reception, however be prepared for relatively frequent power cuts - bring fully charged spare batteries and don't expect there to be working WiFi all the time. Gaiters are a useful addition to your walking boots; they prevent your laces getting caught on undergrowth in Bwindi and prevent ants from getting in your pants elsewhere. I was really surprised that gluten free can be done (in the main, not pudding!) by most places - make sure Exodus and the group leader know what you can and cannot eat. There are no snacks anywhere, so take your own if you can't live without. Be prepared for some very long days in the 4X4 jeeps - if you have a bony bum, you may want to bring something to sit on.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The local children tend to point and shout 'Muzungu' at you - this means 'white traveller' and they are just being friendly; white people are relatively few and far between and we spent a lot of time waving and saying hello as we drove along - their huge smiles in return were fantastic. Depending on which gorilla family you trek, it can be a long slog over tricky terrain - we went through a muddy swamp and subsequently almost vertically up through dense trailing vines and thick undergrowth over uneven terrain, fording streams and climbing around and under trees and bushes at relatively high altitude (1,190 to 2,607 metres (3,904 to 8,553 ft). Walking in the Lakes or the Peaks doesn't come anywhere near in terms of what you are likely to encounter. I can't begin to describe how stunningly beautiful it is or how magical it is to spend time with the gorilla families, and it's categorically worth every drop of sweat. The group does go at the pace of the slowest person, porters are worth their weight in gold whether you think you can manage without one or not, but do make sure you are physically fit enough to take this on - you need to be able to keep up with the trackers and the gorillas if they swing off through the undergrowth rather than conveniently sit down in front of you and pose for photos - your 60 minutes goes very fast.
  • Reviewed September 2016
    Adrian Hockney

    Chimps and Gorillas Uganda

    A wonderful trip which will remain with me forever.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    It has to be the gorilla trek. Despite having read all the favourable reviews before my holiday the trek exceeded my wildest dreams.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Excellent nothing was too much trouble for them and they always had a smile on their faces. They were also very knowledgeable

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Add three days to the trip and visit Murchison Falls.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Exodus should seriously consider offering an optional extra of a trip to Murchison Falls.
  • Reviewed September 2016
    Adrian Hockney

    Chimps and Gorillas Uganda

    A wonderful holiday with unforgettable experiences.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    It has to be the gorillas at Bwindi National Park. Despite having read very favourable reviews before the holiday the gorillas were way above any expectations I had.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Excellent. Were always accessible and cheerful. Nothing was too much for them.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Do an extra thre days to Murchison Falls. The Red Chilli company do an excelent package.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Maybe Exodus could look at offering an extra three days to Murchison Falls.
  • Reviewed July 2016
    Jennifer Ollerhead

    Chimps and Gorillas of Uganda

    Had a fabulous time on this trip. Chimps and gorillas were the highlight for me, but the boat trip on the lake was amazing as well as we saw many hippos, elephants, water buffalo etc along with a variety of bird life.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Trekking chimps and gorillas. It was a real life experience getting so close to them in their natural environment. Magical moments that I will never forget.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    The group leader was knowledgeable. However, communication wasn't his strong point, and we were often just driven and dropped at places with no idea what was happening next or what the plan was. I think there should be a driver and group leader on this trip as it is a lot to expect someone to drive so many miles each day on badly made of unmade roads and lead and guide a group at the same time.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be prepared for a long car drive on arrival at Entebbe. We expected a 5 hour drive, but it turned out to be nearer 9. Also there is a lot of driving throughout the holiday, although scenery is amazing and some of the miles covered where as a safari drive.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    All in all a fabulous holiday. We had a lovely group who all got on really well. The Nile Special beer was very popular!
  • Reviewed July 2016
    Paul Legg

    Chimps and Gorillas of Uganda

    This trip was truly an adventure including our encounters with chimps & gorillas. Both the chimps & gorillas were on the ground & plentiful. We purchased permits for a second day for both & would highly recommend doing so. You will get to see different families, each with their own character. The safaris were incredible, as were cultural events where we met children at an orphanage/school, a pigmy family, and many more. Uganda has a diverse landscape including rainforest, savannah, & steep mountains. It was all so beautiful - friendly people with a very different culture than ours, wonderful places, breathtaking scenery, & of course a diverse & delightful variety of wildlife - especially the primates.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Of course, the chimps & gorillas were the stars of the holiday - so humanlike & gentle. I got the impression they were looking at us considering our likeness' & differences just as we were with them. However, the people of Uganda left an impression we will carry with us for the rest of our lives. They are incredibly hard working people living a much different lives than our own. It takes so little to be happy!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Five out of five stars. Our group leader was fluent in many of the 31 languages/dialects of different areas of Uganda. This trip would have been very difficult without their expert guidance.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    We would suggest bringing a few items to give to the children at the orphanage/school and communities you will get to visit. The children and adults treasure them - pencils & pens, crayons, coloring books, paper, toys such as balloons, beach balls which are compact & light to carry, clothes - just about anything. Remember, however, you want to please them with these gifts without unintended insult, so ask your group leader to help you know when, where, & to whom they should be given. He/she will know the customs of the people. Also, during your travels, please be courteous & ask people before you take their pictures. As a side note, if at all possible, we would recommend avoiding Kenya & Delta Airlines on the trip there & back. Emerates or Ethopian Airlines were recommended by people who have traveled extensively in Africa.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Our primary focus for this holiday was on the primates which in themselves were extraordinary, but we were pleased with the diversity of activities. On the safaris we saw elephants (some with babies), wart hogs (quite the characters), giraffes, a variety of antelope-like game, a rare tree dwelling leopard, a many zebras, monkeys, baboons, to name just a few. On boat and canoe trips we saw hippos, water buffalo, crocodiles, many rare & beautiful species of birds and so much more. The cultural education was especially wonderful. We got to visit a pigmy family who shared with us different aspects of their lifestyle (a real family, not just costumed people attempting to educate the public), a school/orphanage, community members - their music & so much more. The communities you visit welcome you freely. As you travel from place to place, you will witness some of the most beautiful, diverse landscapes you will ever see in the world.
  • Reviewed March 2016
    Richard Vernon

    Chimps and Gorillas of Uganda

    The main objective of the holiday was to see chimps and gorillas. The local organisation was well set up to see both of these and we had excellent sightings, and while nothing is certain, one would be very unlucky not to see them both. In addition we saw a lot of other animals including lions, giraffes, elephant, buffalo and various antelope. While this was not a dedicated bird watching trip we nevertheless saw and identified almost 170 species including such specialities as Crowned Crane, Finfoot and the weird, but much sought after, Shoebill Stork.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    There was no just one special moment! Being so close to gorillas, seeing a pair of Shoebill storks rise out of the marsh yards from us, getting to within a couple of yards of a Malachite Kingfisher....

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Jude, our leader was outstanding - as good as they come. His knowledge of animals and birds was exceptional and his ability to pick up distant birds enviable. He new where we were likely to see key species, and regularly checked with locals, resulting our seeing giraffe and lion, species not so common in the area we were visiting, and missed by other groups around. I doubt we would have seen the Shoebills without his knowledge and determination In addition to all this he was very caring and incredibly hard working all helping to make this and exceptional holiday

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    The gorillas live in demanding terrain - steep sided valleys - climbing down and getting back up is strenuous! No problem for anyone who goes hill walking regularly, but if one doesnt do much walking of any description, it will be hard work (but worth it!). There are porters available to carry ones pack (local lads who appreciate the cash) importantly they will also give you a pull up on the steeper bits if you need one - much appreciated by some members of the party -so hire one and couples, hire one each if you both think you might need a pull!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I have been on a lot of wildlife holidays, including several to Africa - this was as good as any. A combination of place, wildlife and an excellent leader.We saw all the key animals and birds - great!
  • Reviewed March 2016
    Hilary Humphreys

    Chimps and Gorilas of Uganda Holiday

    A busy trip to see unique animals and some interesting birds. Particularly good for primates. Quite a few early starts. Most accommodation in basic lodges. Food good. Local people friendly and willing to show us round. The holiday gave me an insight into how people live with basic amenities. Wonderful scenery, particularly towards the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. The gorilla trek is tough and the advice to hire a porter to help you with the terrain is good to accept. I would definitely go on this holiday again.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The gorilla and chimp treks are amazing and the highlight of the trip for me. Although I found it tough personally.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    The local leaders wow fantastic and extremely knowledgable.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Drink plenty of water throughout the trip and take some dextrose sweets to help give you some energy for the gorilla and chimp treks. Also take your own walking poles although the lodge does provide some wooden ones.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    If you like wildlife this is a unique experience to see amazing primates.

Dates & Prices

An overview of flight options

Exodus is committed to making joining our tours as easy as possible, wherever you live. We generally only block book seats from London, but this certainly does not mean that you need to fly from there. Depending on the route and airlines available, there will usually be various options available for those who want to fly from their local airport.

This page aims to provide a useful overview of the options available to our clients. However, the best flight arrangements should be tailored to your personal requirements, so please contact our Sales team for expert advice.

 

What kind of options do I have ?

1. We can book for you: Flights from anywhere in the world - not via London  

Depending on the route, this may be direct or via an overseas hub like Amsterdam, the Middle East or elsewhere. On short haul routes there may be direct flights with low cost airlines, charter flights or scheduled airlines. Exodus can book most, but not all, of these for you. The most appropriate airline may be different to that which we use for the group flight from London, but many people now travel on different airlines and meet up with their fellow passengers at the destination.

Pros Cons
  • May be the most direct route
  • Often the extra fare compared to the London flight is minimal.
  • As you will be in the hands a single airline for your entire journey, the airline will be responsible for your bags and your connections.
  • You may not be able to join the group transfers. However, we can usually arrange private transfers, or book your flights to try and coincide with the group transfers. See notes on transfer arrangements below.

 

2. We can book for you: Connecting flights from your local airport to London

Exodus can book connecting flights to London so you can join the group flight there. Connecting times will be followed according to airline advice, or as requested by clients. There are two types of fares we can use for this option: a 'through-fare' or a 'published fare'.
 
a) A 'through-fare' is where you will be in the main airline's care throughout. You change planes, but your bags are checked all the way through to your final destination. 

b) A 'published fare' ticket is completely seperate from your onward ticket from London. It is usually cheaper than a through-fare but will need to be paid for and issued as soon as it is booked. This can be a problem if your tour has not yet reached minimum numbers. On 'published fares' neither airline is aware that you have connecting flights, so Exodus is responsible for timing your connection, not the airlines involved. The tickets are also usually non changeable and non refundable.

Pros Cons
  • Depending on the fare type, Exodus or the airline is responsible for flight connections.
  • Through fare tickets can be expensive.
  • On a published fare, tickets must be issued immediately; tickets on published fares can be very difficult to change if onward flight times change; bags are not checked though to your final destination.
  • Published fares are non-refundable.

 

3. Booking some or all of the flights yourself

You can also book connecting air travel yourself, either to London, or all the way to the start point. There may be certain airlines or routes we don't have access to, so this is always an option. However, if you make your own travel arrangements you become liable for any delays, cancellations or missed connections, and Exodus is not required to offer refunds if you have trouble reaching the start of your trip.

Pros Cons
  • You might find cheaper fares, or routes not available to Exodus.
  • You are responsible for any delays or missed connections, and the cost of the tour is not protected should you miss your flight be cancelled.

 

 Notes on transfer arrangements

Sometimes it is possible to travel on a different airline to the group flight from London. Where this is the case, we need to think about ensuring you meet up with the group with minimum extra cost and hassle.

  • On certain trips, it is easy to arrive on a different flight and still meet the group at the hotel with time in hand. We can usually arrange private transfers (at extra cost) or offer advice on taking a taxi to the start hotel.
  • On other trips (especially in Europe), the transfer meets the group flight and then travels some distance to the first night's accommodation. Where this is the case, our Sales team will try to arrange flights that arrive before (and depart after) the group. However, we do have to make it clear in your final documentation that if your flights are delayed, the transfer cannot wait for you. While Exodus or our local operators will do what we can to help you reach the start point of the tour, any additional costs must be paid by the client. 

 

Next steps? 

Call our Sales team on: 0203 733 0698

Email your query: [email protected]

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