If you’re an adventurous traveler seeking a unique and unforgettable experience with the most celebrated primates in the world, a gorilla and chimps trekking combo safari in Uganda should be at the top of your bucket list. This extraordinary journey allows you to get up close and personal with both the mountain gorillas of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and the chimpanzees in Kibale National Park. With over half of the world’s mountain gorilla population and an impressive primate conservation program, Uganda stands out as the ultimate destination for these incredible encounters.
Two of Uganda’s national parks are perfect for a gorilla and chimps trekking combo safari. Kibale Forest National Park, located in western Uganda near the Rwenzori Mountains, boasts an astonishing thirteen primate species, including chimpanzees, mangabeys, red colobus, L’Hoest’s monkey, and more. However, the main attraction in Kibale is the habituated troops of chimpanzees, ensuring guaranteed sightings during your visit.
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, situated in the southwestern region of Uganda, is a wildlife paradise surrounded by misty mountain peaks and terraced slopes. This UNESCO World Heritage site is home to a rich variety of animal and plant species, with its most revered inhabitants being the mountain gorillas. With the highest population of mountain gorillas in any protected area, Bwindi offers an exceptional gorilla trekking experience, making it an ideal complement to the chimps trekking adventure in Kibale.
In Kibale Forest National Park, you’ll encounter a variety of primate species, but the most captivating are the habituated chimpanzees. At the Kanyanchu Visitor’s Center, highly trained Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) guides lead daily excursions into the forest to find chimpanzee families, allowing visitors to spend at least an hour observing these fascinating creatures. For a more immersive experience, the Habituation Experience permits visitors to spend an entire day with a chimpanzee family.
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is subdivided into four sectors, each with multiple habituated gorilla groups. The choice of sector for your gorilla trekking safari will depend on your plans for the chimps trekking in Kibale, as certain sectors offer better connections. Nkuringo, Rushaga, and Ruhijja sectors in the south connect well to Kibale, while the Buhoma sector in the north poses a challenging connection due to an unsurfaced road through Queen Elizabeth National Park’s Ishasha sector.
A well-designed gorilla and chimps trekking combo itinerary usually spans around 5 days and 4 nights. The journey typically begins and ends in Entebbe, with a night’s stay on both occasions. You’ll spend a night in each national park and plan for a day of travel between the destinations.
Kibale Forest is the nearest destination when entering Uganda through Entebbe International Airport (EBB). Driving west via Fort Portal City, you’ll reach Kibale after approximately 338 km or a 6-hour drive on a smooth-surfaced road. Bwindi, on the other hand, is around a 10-hour drive from Entebbe. While a local flight may be a faster option, driving is often the more common choice.
The best time to plan your gorilla and chimp combo safari in Uganda is during the annual dry seasons of June to September. During these months, the chances of rain disrupting your treks are minimal, ensuring an excellent opportunity to observe and spend time with the primates. However, keep in mind that the dry season is the peak season in Uganda, so booking permits and accommodation in advance is essential.
As you prepare for your safari, remember to pack appropriate clothing to handle Uganda’s tropical temperatures. Include items to keep you warm and dry, especially during chilly nights in the gorilla mountains. Packing essentials should consist of a lightweight rain jacket, a sweater, warm socks, a scarf, and comfortable, waterproof hiking shoes. Long trousers and shirts, gaiters, a waterproof backpack for your gadgets, and a hat for protection are also essential for gorilla and chimps trekking.
Planning a gorilla and chimps trekking combo safari can be challenging, especially for first-time travelers. The most crucial elements are booking permits and accommodation, as permits often sell out months in advance. To ensure a smooth and memorable safari, consider seeking the assistance of a local expert who can navigate the logistics and secure your permits and lodging.
With the help of a trusted tour operator like Trek Africa Expeditions, you can experience a seamless journey, with accommodation options ranging from budget-friendly homestays to luxurious forest lodges. A typical itinerary may cost less than $150 per person per night for budget options, $150-$350 per person per night for midrange accommodations, and above $400 per person per night for exclusive luxury lodges.
For those seeking an extraordinary gorilla and chimps trekking combo in Uganda, reach out to local consultants to get a free quote and receive quick assistance in planning your dream safari. By emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, you’ll be well on your way to an unforgettable African adventure.