Uganda gorilla trekking safari

8 Day Short Gorilla Trek & Wildlife Safari


Encounter Uganda’s magnificent gorillas, but also learn about Uganda’s tribal/village life from the shores of Lake Victoria to lush forests stalked by Savannah tree-climbing lions.

This short gorilla safari & wildlife trip is perfect for those with limited time keen to get a rich experience of Uganda’s fantastic wildlife and local culture, from townships on the shores of Lake Victoria to pygmy villages in some of Africa’s richest forest. Ease into the trip at Entebbe, a small town on the shores of Lake Victoria where you can visit local markets, visit beautiful monkey-filled Botanical Gardens or just potter through colourful streets.

Moving onto a luxury nature lodge in the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, time spent tracking one of Africa’s finest populations of gorillas is complemented by forest walks, visits to a local school or Batwa pygmy village. As well as being home to around half of the world’s population of the endangered Mountain Gorilla, Bwindi’s wonderfully diverse ecosystem is home to over 120 species of mammal, 160 species of trees and nearly 350 bird species – including the rare shoebill stork and the remarkable grey crowned crane.

The Queen Elizabeth National Park provides a fantastic complement to Bwindi. Spend time in local homesteads, learn how villagers deal with crop-raiding elephants, and enjoy game drives to look for wildlife including Uganda kob and the unique tree-climbing lion!

Flights are included – to save those long journeys by vehicle. And though there can never be an absolute guarantee of seeing gorillas, guests on this trip enjoy a 90% success rate.

Please note – two gorilla trekking permits are available with this itinerary based on availability. Please make your request at the time of booking.

This package includes the following

  • Local English speaking guide/driver
  • The accommodation in Uganda incl. full board
  • Local flights
  • Queen Elizabeth National Park – Morning safari and boat trip
  • Chimpanzee tracking incl. license (value USD 200)
  • Ishasha – Morning safari in search of the tree climbing lions
  • Gorilla tracking incl. license (worth USD 700)
  • Batwa Pygmy Community visit
  • Park fees
  • Airport & Hotel Transfers
  • Emergency hotline staffed 24/7 throughout your trip


Uganda wildlife safari

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival and transfer to Hotel – Explore Entebbe

Arrive at Entebbe International Airport where you will be met and transferred to your accommodation. Depending on your arrival time, a half day trip to Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary can be arranged.

Entebbe is a small, quiet town located on the shores of Lake Victoria and is easy to explore on foot or local transport on motorbikes known as “boda bodas”. Visit the Uganda Wildlife Education Centre where you can see and learn about Uganda’s native wildlife, local markets to buy clothes and crafts, curio shops for souvenirs, and the Botanical Gardens on Lake Victoria where you can walk among beautiful trees, watch monkeys moving through the canopy above, and spot many native bird species.

Entebbe has a wide variety of restaurants serving many different cuisines as well as several bars and clubs where you can sample the local beer, catch a game of football and chat with the local Ugandans, known for their open and friendly nature.

You’ll be staying at the Boma Guest House.

Day 2: Domestic Flight to Kihihi – Bwindi Impenetrable Forest

Depart your lodge, for the short drive to the Entebbe domestic airport for your scheduled flight to Kihihi airstrip, near Bwindi/Queen Elizabeth National parks. The flight takes just over an hour (depending on the plane used) and on arrival you will be met and driven to Buhoma Lodge, located at Bwindi Impenetrable Forest. The drive to the lodge is through local villages and mountain roads – lovely scenery and very interesting en route! Guests will have the opportunity for two days of gorilla tracking (pre-booking essential). Other activities that can be enjoyed in and around the park include forest walks, visits to a local school or orphanage or Batwa pygmy village, and curio shopping.

Bwindi National Park, located in south western Uganda on the edge of the Great Rift Valley, is considered the most diverse forest in Uganda. The area, one of the few large expanses of forest in East Africa, where lowland and mountain habitats meet, contains a dense ground cover of herbs, vines, and shrubs. Home to over 120 mammals, 345 species of birds, 200 species of butterflies, and 160 species of trees, Bwindi is one of the richest ecosystems in East Africa. The park contains almost one half of the world’s population of the endangered Mountain Gorilla, making it an extremely valuable conservation site. Bwindi is also home to several endangered bird species with very limited ranges, and acts as an important catchment area for many rivers, supplying water for agriculture in the surrounding region.

You’ll be staying at Buhoma Lodge – Full Board

Day 3: Gorilla Trekking in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest

Following breakfast at the lodge, travel to National Park Headquarters to meet your guides for the day and begin your gorilla tracking experience.

Experienced guides and trackers will accompany your party on an early morning trek into the dense rain forest on the mountain slopes. The journey, through dense foliage and up steep climbs, is abundantly rewarded with the lifetime experience of viewing mountain gorillas in their natural habitat. You will have an opportunity to be within meters of these magnificent apes, sharing in their daily lives and experiencing their day to-day activities. Mountain gorillas are extremely rare with only an estimated 850 remaining in the wild. This is an experience you won’t soon forget! Following the trek, return to your accommodation and, if time allows, take a guided afternoon forest or community walk.

Kindly note: tracking may be fairly strenuous with treks up to six hours or longer, at high altitudes, not uncommon. Also, mountain gorillas are wild animals and, as such, sightings cannot be guaranteed. However viewing success rates are over 90%.

You’ll be staying at Buhoma Lodge – Full Board

Day 4: Second Gorilla Trekking (Optional) – Queen Elizabeth N.Park

Those with pre-purchased permits will depart for a second gorilla tracking experience following breakfast at the lodge. Guests not tracking gorillas may wish to enjoy other activities available in the area such as a forest walk, a visit to a local school/orphanage or Batwa pygmy village, and curio shopping.

In the afternoon depart Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park and travel (2-3 hours) to Ishasha in the southern part of Queen Elizabeth National Park. Time permitting, during our drive from Bwindi to Ishasha, we may visit a Community Project on the border of Queen Elizabeth National Park. Here the local people allow you to enjoy some time in their homesteads, as well as see some of the crops and curios they produce, and visit the local elephant trench project – which stops elephants coming into the village and raiding crops.

You’ll be staying at Ishasha Wilderness Camp

Day 5: Game Drive, Tree Climbing lions in Ishasha Sector

Morning game drives will be enjoyed in the Ishasha area, looking for the huge herds of buffalo, elephant, Uganda kob and of course the famous tree-climbing lion typically found in the area.

You’ll be staying at Ishasha Wilderness Camp

Day 6: Ishasha – Transfer to Entebbe

Transfer to Entebbe for your return flight to Entebbe. Rest of the afternoon/evening is at leisure before your evening flight home.

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    Trip Highlights

    Start/End: Entebbe – Uganda

    Places Visited: Queen Elizabeth N.P, Bwindi Impenetrable Forest & Entebbe

    Major Activities: Game Drive, Lion Safari, Gorilla Trekking and cultural/community tour.