Explore Uganda with its amazing habitats, including Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and Kibale Forest. Search for Uganda's highly endangered highland gorillas and other endemic wildlife. Meet members of the Batwa, traditional people of the forest, and learn something of their struggle to save their culture. Please note: Big Five's journeys into Uganda are fully carbon neutral.

Country Information

Rwanda & Uganda

Uganda Enrichment Series

(Countries Visited)

Rwanda & Uganda

(Interest Type(s))

Sustainable Travel


Safari Tours


Adventure Travel

(Tour Length)

11 Days

Tour Highlights

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  • Trek into Bwindi Impenetrable Forest for the chance to have an unforgettable encounter with some of the few remaining mountain gorillas left in the wild
  • Explore Kibale Forest National Park, home to 13 primate species and a multitude of bird species
  • Discover Uganda’s Queen Elizabeth National Park on game drives and on a private boat on the Kazinga Channel to see some of the largest concentrations of hippo in the world, estimated to be about 30,000
  • Go on safari in Lake Mburo National Park, excellent for bird watchers and home to antelope and other grazers, including impala and Burchell’s zebra
  • Drive through the Ishasha region, where you may encounter some of the area’s famed tree-climbing lions, including males that sport black manes

Please note: Big Five’s adventures in Uganda are carbon neutral.

Day 1: Entebbe, Uganda
Welcome to Uganda!  Arrive at Entebbe International Airport, where you are welcomed and transferred to your hotel.  Later this afternoon, you have the opportunity to visit the Papercraft Project or the botanical gardens. The Papercraft Project is a community-based business halfway between Entebbe and Kampala. It uses natural materials such as banana leaf, pineapple and elephant grass to make everything from gift boxes to books. You see the entire process and can even try your hand at if you wish. The money from any items you may wish to purchase used to help local communities. This year, the company expanded their crafts to include the soaps that they supply to the lodges and jewelry made from recycled glass. The lovely Entebbe Botanical Gardens is located close to town. A variety of bird species thrive here as well as several primate species.  Lake Victoria Hotel

Day 2: Entebbe / Kibale Forest
After breakfast, set out for a full day discovery of the Kibale Forest area. Travel out of the Lake Victoria Basin, and pass through agricultural countryside with its rich variety of crops. Upon reaching Kyanjojo, in the lower foothills of the Rwenzori Mountains, Mountains of the Moon, you drive through lush tea plantations and into Kibale tropical rain forest and your lodge. Ndali Lodge or Kyaninga Lodge (B,L,D)

Day 3: Kibale Forest National Park / Bigodi
Kibale Forest National Park is home to 13 primate species and a multitude of bird species. This morning, enjoy a guided forest walk, trekking in the depths of this verdant green forest. You are surrounded by bird songs. You will likely encounter five or six of six types of primate, most probably the grey-cheeked managebey, red-tailed monkey and chimpanzee. The walking is fairly easy due to the well-maintained trails and reasonably flat terrain. You will stop for a traditional Ugandan lunch in the home of a local resident in Bigodi village, and learn about the local foods. After lunch, walk into the Bigodi Wetlands Sanctuary, part of the Magombe Wetland. The sanctuary is operated by the Kibale Association for Rural and Environmental Development, a registered local community-based organization. Ndali Lodge or Kyaninga Lodge (B,L,D)

Day 4: Kibale Forest / Queen Elizabeth National Park
Today set out past Fort Portal, driving south along the eastern length of Rwenzori Mountains. You gently descend into the Great African Rift Valley and Queen Elizabeth National Park and your lodge on a peninsula overlooking Lake Edward and Kasinga Channel. The Queen Elizabeth National Park is in a fertile, equatorial area with stunning scenery. It is Uganda’s most popular and accessible reserve, this grassy savannah also encompasses areas of leafy rainforests, dense papyrus swamps and natural volcanic crater lakes. It has a high biodiversity rating, with 95 recorded mammal species and more than 610 species of birds. In the afternoon, you head out for a drive to explore the park and its wonders. Mweya Lodge or Kyambura Lodge (B,L,D)

Day 5:  Queen Elizabeth National Park
During game drives into the park, you scout for elephants, leopards, chimpanzees and lions. A private boat trip takes you on the Kazinga Channel, which links Lake George and Lake Edward, to see some of the largest concentrations of hippo in the world, estimated to be about 30,000. The park is renowned as a bird-watcher’s paradise with more than 560 species. A record 296 bird species were spotted in one 24-hour period. Mweya Lodge or Kyambura Lodge (B,L,D)

Day 6: Queen Elizabeth National Park / Bwindi Impenetrable Forest
Drive through the park to the Ishasha region, where you may encounter some of the area’s famed tree-climbing lions, including males that sport black manes. Later this afternoon, continue to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, which became a UNESCO World Heritage Site because if of its ecological importance. This old forest has some of the richest populations of trees, small mammals, birds, butterflies and reptiles. Your forest camp is exclusively located within the rainforest. Designed to blend seamlessly into the fragile environment, accommodation is offered in eight spacious tents, raised on wooden platforms, each with an en suite bathroom that includes a bathtub overlooking the forest. Each tent has a large wooden deck for relaxing or savoring private dining. The tents are exceptionally spacious inside with two queen-sized beds with headboards carved by Ugandan artisans.  At night, you can gather by the campfire and admire the brilliance of the night sky. Gorilla Forest Camp (B,L,D)

Day 7: Bwindi Impenetrable Forest
This day will likely be the highlight of your Uganda adventure, for today you set out in search of the critically endangered mountain gorillas. After breakfast, take a short drive to park headquarters to meet with excellent local guides and trackers who present a talk on the etiquette of gorilla trekking. You then hike into the forest, where the gorillas were seen the night before. You must be in good physical shape because the trekking can take from one to six hours, and climb to altitudes in excess of 7,500 feet. The terrain is rough and, at times, muddy. Although the hike is physically demanding, the beauty of the forest and surrounding scenery make it worthwhile. Once you have found the gorillas, all thoughts of fatigue vanish. Those who have spent time in their company describe the encounter as the most profound natural history experience in the world.  Others speak in terms of a spiritual experience. Whatever your reaction, you will be profoundly moved by these gentle animals. Picnic lunches are provided.  Rain can come anytime in the forest so waterproof clothing is essential, including zip lock bags for cameras, video equipment, etc. Please be aware that you will be trekking wild animals and although the chances of seeing them are high, no one can guarantee a sighting as they move through their home range. Gorilla Forest Camp (B,L,D)

Day 8: Bwindi Impenetrable Forest
Bwindi Forest is home to a fantastic diversity of flora and fauna, including some exotic plants and rare and endangered animals. The forest is thought to have one of the richest fauna communities in East Africa. The forest is also home to the Batwa pygmies, the original dwellers of the ancient forest. They were known as the ‘keepers of the forest.’ The Batwa lived in harmony with the forest and survived by hunting small game using bows and arrows, and by gathering plants for both food and medicinal purposes. But, in 1992 the lives of the Batwa changed forever, when the forest became a national park for the protection of the gorillas. The Batwa were evicted from the park and became conservation refugees in a world that was very unfamiliar to them. Their skills and means of subsistence were not useful in this modern environment and they began to suffer. In 2001, when the Batwa tribe was on the edge of extinction, two American medical missionaries came to their rescue, purchasing land for the tribe and establishing programs to improve the conditions and lives of the Batwa. This included the building of a school, hospital and housing. They also developed water and sanitation projects, and found ways that the Batwa could generate income and to sustain their community. These projects are now managed and operated by the Batwa Development Program (BDP). BDP works closely with the Batwa community to try to ensure that their indigenous rights are respected and they also benefit from the forest being a national park and a tourism site. The Batwa cultural experience was created to educate their children and to share their amazing heritage and traditions with the world. Here, you have the opportunity to hike through the forest with a Batwa guide, who shares his knowledge of the forest and see it through his eyes; or, visit a traditional Batwa homestead and learn from the women how to prepare, cook and serve a meal; or, talk to a medicine man about the medicinal properties of the forest flora; and hear ancient legends and traditional songs. Gorilla Forest Camp (B,L,D)

Day 9: Bwindi Impenetrable Forest
Today, you have a second day to track gorillas, and see them in their natural habitat. There are only about 340 individuals in the park. They are known as the Bwindi population and make up almost half of the population of mountain gorillas in the world. It takes just a few minutes in the presence of these magnificent creatures to understand how imperative it is that we save them from extinction. This is an encounter you will never forget. Gorilla Forest Camp (B,L,D)

Day 10: Bwindi Impenetrable Forest / Lake Mburo National Park
Leave the forest and drive to Mbarara, and eventually into Ankole Cattle country around Mbarara. Continue to Lake Mburo National Park, a small park that is excellent for bird watchers, and home to antelope and other grazers, including impala and Burchell's zebra, which are found nowhere else in Uganda. Game drives offer particularly picturesque game viewing with a mix of savannah, acacia woodlands, grassy valleys, rocky outcrops, swamps, lakes and rolling hills. Herds of impala, buffalo, zebra, waterbuck and eland are among the variety of wildlife found here. Birders will enjoy spotting some of the park's 310 recorded species. In this valley, you can also enjoy a night drive and even a safari on foot. This is the only park where you will also glimpse Burchell's Zebra. You enjoy a game drive en route to the lodge, a peaceful and exclusive retreat adjacent to the park. There are 10 private, comfortable tents on wooden platforms under thatch roofs, all with en suite bathrooms with hot and cold running water, showers and flushing toilets. The main dining area is a large thatched structure built of rocks, the wood of dead weathered olive trees found on the land and native grasses. Below the dining area, an infinity swimming pool stretches out from the rocks and seems to disappear into the vast landscape beyond. Mihingo Lodge (B,L,D)

Day 11: Lake Mburo National Park / Entebbe / Depart
This morning, you relish a last early morning bush walk in the park. After breakfast, you leave for Entebbe, where a dayroom at Lake Victoria Hotel has been reserved for your convenience.  You relax and freshen up before being transferred to the airport for your international departure flight. Lake Victoria Hotel – Dayroom (B,L,D)

Land price, per person, double occupancy:  From US$9oo per person per day

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