Uganda gorillas

Uganda: Great Apes & Wild Savannas with AWF (2022)

10 days
from
£14,300
Loading...
Wildlife
Suitable for:
Age 16+
Activity level:
Leisurely / Moderate
Activity Rating - Leisurely/Moderate
Trip code: 
WZG
Way to Travel:
Guided Group
Activity:
Gorilla Trekking Trips
Group size:
6–10
Min age:
16

Exclusive Safari in the 'Pearl of Africa'

Winston Churchill dubbed Uganda the “Pearl of Africa” for good reason. This is a diverse country, green and tropical, with savannahs, forests, lakes, branches of the Nile and snow-covered peaks. We've partnered with the African Wildlife Foundation (AWF) to develop this comprehensive itinerary that reveals wildlife and plants characteristic of both East and West Africa. Plus, seeing Moutain gorillas in the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest has to rank among the greatest thrills in natural history!

Highlights

  • Enjoy the convenience and comfort of scenic bush flights to the remote wildlife savannas of Kidepo Valley, Semliki Wildlife Reserve and Bwindi Impenetrable Forest
  • Track chimpanzees and gorillas on foot, take game drives among herds of buffalo and zebra and enjoy a boat cruise on Lake Albert, home to the rare shoebill.
  • Two gorilla treks and one chimpanzee trek included
  • Discover the important work the AWF is doing in Uganda with a visit to an AWF Classroom Africa school in Kidepo Valley
  • Take a scenic drive that winds through slopes of ancient volcanoes and offers panoramic views of rural Uganda.

Key information

  • Travel by 4WD vehicle, scenic bush flight and boat
  • 9 nights in wonderful premium accommodation: hotel, lodges and an intimate safari camp 
  • Accompanied by AWF leader throughout 
  • Reasonable fitness required for chimpanzee and gorilla tracking 
  • Countries visited: Uganda

What's included

  • All breakfasts, 9 lunches and 9 dinners.
  • All accommodation
  • All transport and listed activities including 2 gorilla treks and 1 chimpanzee trek
  • Tour leader throughout

What's not included

  • Travel insurance
  • Single accommodation (available on request)
  • Visas or vaccinations
Call for general departures:
020 8772 3859
Call for private group trips:
020 8772 3874
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

Entebbe, Uganda
to
Entebbe, Uganda
  • Day 1

    Entebbe, Uganda

    Arrive in Entebbe and transfer to the Protea Entebbe, overlooking the shores of Lake Victoria. Meet your African Wildlife Foundation leader – Carter Smith or Craig R. Sholley – and fellow travelers for a briefing on your journey ahead. 

    Carter Smith and Craig R. Sholley share a passion for wildlife conservation in Africa which has spanned decades. From Carter’s years living in the bush rehabilitating birds of prey and working closely with Sir Iain Douglas-Hamilton on Save the Elephants, to Craig’s work studying Mountain gorillas with Dian Fossey at Rwanda’s celebrated Karisoke Research Centre, acting as scientific advisor for the award-winning IMAX film, Mountain Gorilla, and most recently, serving as senior vice president of AWF, they each have a long-standing love affair with this spectacular continent making them the perfect guides for your adventure.

    Meals included: Dinner
  • Days 2-3

    Kidepo Valley

    Board a bush flight to the serene Kidepo Valley in the northeastern tip of Uganda. Spend your days here enjoying extended game drives through this wildlife-rich habitat. Buffalo, zebra, waterbuck, and warthog are abundant, and so are the lions. The Apoka Safari Lodge is the only one in the park, complete with a waterhole frequented by wildlife. While in the landscape, you will visit the Karamojong tribe and the site of an AWF Classroom Africa school. 

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Days 4-6

    Semliki Wildlife Reserve

    Fly to Kasese and then transfer by road to Kibale National Park where you’ll have an opportunity to trek chimpanzees in their natural habitat, before transferring to Semliki Wildlife Reserve where you’ll spend the next two days.  Enjoy a morning boat cruise on Lake Albert in search of the elusive, prehistoric-like Shoebill and an evening game drive in search of wildlife with a sundowner.  You will also have the chance to take an exploratory walk along with one of the many forest trails in Semliki - track the rare forest elephants or explore the swamp – this is one of the only places where you can walk extensively. On your final night there will be a night game drive to see the nocturnal species in the area.

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Days 7-9

    Bwindi Impenetrable Forest

    A private charter flight takes us to the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest — home to half the world’s population of Mountain gorillas. A scenic drive winding through the slopes of ancient volcanoes offers panoramic vistas and a glimpse into rural community life. Clouds Mountain Gorilla Lodge, a conservation enterprise lodge developed by AWF and owned and operated by the Nkuringo community, addresses human/gorilla conflict by building income from gorilla tourism. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is the home of your two Mountain gorilla treks. Tracking gorillas is a life-changing experience. Hike the steep slopes of this mountainous forest, and have an eye-to-eye encounter with these magnificent animals. 

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 10

    Entebbe

    This morning, fly back to Entebbe and return to the Protea Hotel for lunch and relax in your dayroom before transferring to the airport for your independent homeward 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 and can be paid online. 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. 

Zika fever is a mosquito‐borne viral disease and a known risk in places visited on this trip. There is currently no vaccine or prophylaxis available, we therefore strongly recommend you take the usual precautions to avoid mosquito bites. 

Eating and Drinking

All breakfasts, 9 lunches and 9 dinners included.

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.

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.

Is this trip for you?

This safari has been rated 2 (Leisurely/Moderate) with a Safari Rating of 5

The grading of moderate applies specifically to the gorilla trek and the chimp trek, the rest of the itinerary is generally 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.

This is a busy and active trip with some early starts as we explore as much as we can of this wonderful country.  We maximise our time in wildlife areas by travelling using scenic bush flights and comfortable 4WD vehicles.

Please note that a baggage restriction of 15kgs per person is applicable on all flights in small, soft-sided bags. We take 4 scenic flights on this itinerary.

Following a review of all our trips we have categorised this trip as not suitable for full wheelchair users, but it may be suitable for other persons of reduced mobility. Please contact customer services to discuss the trip and your personal condition.

Call for general departures:
020 8772 3859
Call for private group trips:
020 8772 3874
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

Hotels, lodges and safari camps

Protea Hotel

The 73-room Protea Hotel Entebbe is ideally located on the glistening shores of Lake Victoria and a convenient 1km from Entebbe International Airport.  The Tides Restaurant, Terrace and Bar, serves full breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Nile perch is a signature dish. Standard rooms include a marble bathroom, hairdryer, in-room safe, coffee and tea maker, AC, TV with cable, free Wi-Fi, and a mini-bar. 

Apoka Safari Lodge

The large, spacious rooms at Apoka were built with comfort in mind. The canvas tents feature handmade furniture created by local craftsmen, with big hand-carved beds with soft duvets, hand-woven woolen carpets, extra-large plush towels, and over-sized dressing gowns. You'll have plenty of places to relax and enjoy the views, with comfy sitting areas and a private veranda with your own outdoor bathtub! Another unique feature at Apoka is the inviting swimming pool that has been carved out of a giant rock. 

Semliki Safari Lodge

Semliki Safari Lodge in Semliki Wildlife Reserve is a secluded and intimate lodge, with a maximum of only 18 guests.  It is surrounded by trails of riverine forest and savannah where the wildlife is plentiful. The main lodge has a soaring thatched roof and contains a lounge area with inviting armchairs and sofas, as well as the dining area. It is lit by lanterns and open to the elements on one side allowing guests to feel connected to surrounding environment. Guests stay in golden-hued tents with thick thatched roofs and hardwood floors. Each tent features an en-suite bathroom with running water, hot showers and flush toilets.  Staying under canvas on safari in Africa is a wonderful experience – hearing the sounds of the wildlife, feeling the wind and even smelling the rain. Tea or coffee is brought to you in the morning so you can start the day sitting on the veranda enjoying the views.

Clouds Mountain Gorilla Lodge

Set on a forested ridge near the entrance to the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, Clouds Mountain Gorilla Lodge boasts eight spacious cottages built from volcanic stone. Spectacular views stretch all the way to the Virunga Volcanoes of Rwanda, as well as across the border into the Congo, where the glow of Nyiragongo Volcano can be seen on a clear night. Warm and welcoming, each cottage features a bedroom, ensuite bathroom with a walk-in shower, and a separate lounge. Comfortable chairs on the outdoor verandas provide the perfect vantage point to admire the unforgettable vistas of the forest below. Blazing fireplaces create a cosy glow as evening falls.

Call for general departures:
020 8772 3859
Call for private group trips:
020 8772 3874
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

Have you been on this adventure? Tell others what it’s like by writing a review.

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]

Trips you might also like

Chimps & Gorillas of Uganda

26 reviews

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

Wildlife
Suitable for:
Age 16+
Activity level:
Leisurely / Moderate
10 Days from £4,299
Guided (Excl. Flights)
View More Details