- Duration 14 Days
- Difficulty 3/5
- Group Size 14
Gorillas, Chimpanzees & Shoebills
31 January – 14 February, 2024
If you think you have done Africa, think again. This trip is about big game, gorillas (with the option of two days of gorilla trekking. On day 12, for the cost of a second permit at US$700.00 per person, you have the chance to visit the gorillas for a second day) amazing chimp experiences, exotic birds and spectacular scenery. Uganda, the Pearl of Africa, is the name that Ugandans are rightly proud of. Uganda is home to an incredible natural abundance that comes from being in the transition zone between the savanna, rainforest, swamps and lakes. It has the greatest altitudinal range of any country on the continent, spanning the 5,000 meter heights of the Rwenzori Mountains –the Legendary Mountains of the moon – to the low shores of Lake Albert at just over 600 meters.
There are over 1050 species of birds in this small country half of those found on the African continent, and about 400 species of mammals. The greatest stands of endangered mahogany in east Africa are in Uganda, as is the largest population of endangered mountain gorillas and chimpanzees. And to top it off, Uganda is filled with some of the friendliest people in the world who are quick to greet you with a broad smile.
USD $8,100.00 – $8,800.00 Per person sharing
Single Supplement: USD $ 550.00 (limited to Four)
Arrival: Entebbe International Airport, Uganda
Departure: Entebbe International Airport, Uganda
Arrival Time: January 31st, 2024
- Land transportation as indicated in the itinerary.
- Accommodations in a standard room at hotels and lodges based on double occupancy.
- Airport arrival and departure transfers.
- Meals throughout the expedition.
- Boat cruises.
- Gorilla trekking permits for two days – second day optional extra.
- Chimpanzee trekking permit.
- All park and community fees as necessary in the itinerary.
- Window seat for everyone in 4WD vehicles where used.
- Cold drinking water in the vehicles – they have fridges.
- Local English-speaking driver/guide as well as one Pete Oxford Expeditions trip leader.
- International airfare to Uganda.
- Personal laundry and drinks not mentioned in the itinerary.
- Travel insurance (highly recommended).
- Excess baggage charges.
- Visa obtained online for USD $50.00.
- Yellow fever certificate which is mandatory.
- Tips for local guides and lodge staff.
- Any other services not mentioned as included.
- Any COVID 19 related tests or costs.
ADay 1, January 31st, 2023: Arrival Entebbe International Airport, Uganda
After arriving to Entebbe International Airport we will transfer you to the Boma Hotel for our overnight stay and dinner. The hotel is situated some 20 minutes from the airport.
BDay 2, February 1st, 2023: Mabamba Swamp & Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary
After an early breakfast we leave the Boma Hotel and drive west to the Mabamba swamp on the shores of Lake Victoria. Mabamba is one of the few remaining wetlands in the country protected by the local communities. An extensive papyrus swamp, classified as an Important Bird Area (IBA), it is criss-crossed with channels and lagoons and home to Uganda’s most famous avian resident – the enigmatic shoebill stork. We explore the swamp on an open boat. After lunch (B on Map) we continue on to the Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary, the only home of Uganda’s remaining white-rhinos. Our arrival time will determine the rest of the days activities and may include a night walk. However even from the lodge, which is set in a savanna / woodland system we can see Uganda kobs, olive baboons and a host of other wildlife and birds. Overnight Amuka Lodge (C).
EDay3, February 2nd, 2023: Rhino tracking to Murchison Falls
After breakfast we go rhino tracking on foot in the Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary from our base of Amuka Lodge. Rhinos of course are our target but while tracking them we will also see a host of other game and birdlife in the sanctuary. It is a privilege indeed to be on foot with rhinos! We continue in the afternoon to the famous Murchison Falls National Park, about 2-3 hours on a tarred road, stopping en-route to enjoy the people. Murchison Falls is Uganda’s largest national park, famous for its plentiful big game, spectacular scenery and the falls themselves. We stay for 3 nights in the tented Twiga Safari Lodge, overlooking the Nile River and set in a savanna / woodland / grassland area. Overnight Twiga Safari Lodge.
EDays 4 – 5, February 3rd & 4th, 2023: Murchison Falls NP
For two full days we will explore the Murchison Falls National Park, either by boat on a trip to the Nile Delta or in safari vehicles morning and afternoon. There is so much that we will see here apart from the magnificent falls themselves and this includes elephant, buffalo, lion, possibly leopard, oribi, Bohar reedbuck, Jackson’s hartebeest (Kongoni), Rothschild’s giraffe, warthog, waterbuck, Nile crocodiles, Patas monkeys and a plethora of new and exotic bird species.
Overnights Twiga Safari Lodge
FDay 6, February 5th, 2023: Kibale NP for primates
After leaving Murchison Falls National Park we drive to the famous Kibale National Park. On arrival we check in to the Kibale Forest Lodge for our 2 night stay. Our first activity is an impressive primate walk into the forest to see red colobus monkeys, black and white colobus, Uganda mangabeys, red-tailed monkeys, L’Hoest monkeys and olive baboons. Overnight at Kibale Forest Lodge.
FDay 7, February 6th, 2023: Kibale NP Chimpanzee time
This is a very special day. We plan to spend the whole day in the forest with a group of habituated chimpanzees. We eat a packed lunch out in the forest and stay with these amazing creatures observing their daily comings and goings. Expect to get close to them! There will be an escape option for those not wanting to spend the whole day out and you can return to the lodge to relax with the local wildlife. We are hoping that this will be a life-changing day! Overnight at Kibale Forest Lodge.
GDay 8, February 7th, 2023: Kibale to Queen Elizabeth NP & boat cruise
Leaving Kibale we head to the riches of the Queen Elizabeth National Park. After checking in to our cottages we have a beautiful boat cruise looking for big game such as elephant, hippo, crocodile and buffalo on the Kazinga channel. The park is extremely diverse and boasts ecosystems ranging from savanna, to acacia woodlands, tropical rainforest, papyrus swamps and lakes. Even from the lodge itself we can see elephant, hippopoomus, buffalo and very likely some giant forest hogs as well as many bird species. Overnight Buffalo Lodge.
GDay 9, February 8th, 2023: Queen Elizabeth National Park game drives
We do two game drives in the park today, always expecting the unexpected but may pick up more lion, spotted hyena, leopard (our best chance), mongoose and again myriad birds. Overnight Buffalo Lodge
HDay 10, February 9th, 2023: Ishasha and tree-climbing lions
After breakfast we leave for the Ishasha section of Queen Elizabeth National Park where we will search for the world famous tree-climbing lions. Leaving them to doze we continue on to Bwindi and the impenetrable forest area. We check in for our three nights stay at the women’s co-operative ‘Ride 4 a Woman’ Lodge. This afternoon we will socialise with the locals. Firstly the women who sew and weave, making crafts to support their families and possibly ranging further into the village to see ex-poachers producing coffee and even visiting the relocated Batwa pygmy community. Overnight at Ride 4 a Woman Lodge.
HDay 11, February 10th, 2023: Queen Elizabeth NP & Gorilla trekking
Today is a big day, we spend the day trekking for the indomitable gorillas! We will be fully briefed beforehand but expect to trek the day through a rainforest. Once again we hope for another life-changing day! Of course we will also come across other forest denizens including birds and perhaps colobus monkeys, blue monkeys and duikers. Overnight at Ride 4 a Woman Lodge.
HDay 12, February 11th, 2023: Queen Elizabeth NP & optional extra day Gorilla trekking
A second day of gorilla trekking for those who chose the option. For those not trekking there will be game / bird walks led by a naturalist guide. Overnight at Ride 4 a Woman Lodge. Anyone wanting to do the gorilla’s for a second day please indicate to us via email as soon a possible as we need to secure the permits which are on an individual basis only and non-transferable. Cost of permit is US$700.00 per person.
IDay 13, February 12th, 2023: Drive to Mburo NP & new species
This morning we drive to Lake Mburo National Park, the only place in Uganda to see the more southern species which will now include zebra, eland, impala, jackal, bushbuck, topi and again the chance for lion and leopard. We will have an afternoon safari drive. Set on the edge of the park our grass thatched cottages are between two worlds. On the one side we see the game on the other, in a fascinating juxtaposition, herds of Uganda long-horned cattle. Overnight Rwakobo Rock.
ADay 14, February 13th, 2023: Entebbe via the Equator
Today we head back to Entebbe stopping at the Equator en route and enjoying the local flavour at this well-known attraction. We end up back at the Boma Hotel where it all began for our final night in Uganda or freshen up in the room before departing later in the night. Overnight Boma Hotel. Some international flights will leave later this evening.
ADay 15, February 14th, 2023: Flights home
After breakfast in the hotel, for those that did not fly out the previous evening, transfer to Entebbe International airport for our return flights home. Here the trip ends.
Thanks to Rob Berry & Wayne Sentman for the use of their photos.
Discover the world with experienced travelers
Pete Oxford & Renee Bish
Photographers | Owners | Trip Leaders
Pete and Renee are residents of South Africa and are very familiar with this amazing continent. They worked as consultants for several years in a national park in South Africa. They have been involved in some major conservation related wildlife captures such as lions, elephants and rhinos in such places as Zimbabwe, Malawi, Mozambique and South Africa. They have worked with the African Parks network in the Congo. Uganda has always had a special calling for them, particularly with regard to the chimpanzees and gorillas. Let them take you there.