This Uganda Explorer safari (from Entebbe ) is primarily about visiting and tracking the Mountain Gorillas in Uganda. There is the opportunity to trek gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest as well as taking forest walks. You spend two days here so you have the choice to buy a second gorilla permit if you want.

The gorilla experience is followed by a visit to Queen Elizabeth National Park.  Then you head onto Kyambura and Kibale Forest where you have two opportunities to track the chimpanzees.

The tour is suitable for fairly fit people as it involves walking in rugged conditions. It operates with a minimum of 2 people and maximum of 6 people in specially customized 4 x 4 safari vehicles. The safari is based on staying in good lodges and luxury tented camps. And transport is a combination of scheduled flights and customized 4 x 4 safari vehicle.

Virtually all meals, a scheduled domestic flight, guiding and transport, set safari activities and park fees are included in our price as well as one Gorilla tracking permit and two Chimpanzee tracking permits in Kyambura and Kibale. (Please compare apples with apples as some tour prices you may see don’t include the permits or booking fees!)

9 night Uganda Explorer Tour at a Glance:

1 night Hotel No 5 in Entebbe, BB basis only

3 nights Buhoma Lodge, Bwindi National Park

2 nights Ishasha Wilderness Camp, Queen Elizabeth National Park

1 night Mweya Lodge

2 nights Primate Lodge or similar, Kibale Foret

Scheduled or Private departures?

The Uganda Explorer has 18 scheduled departures throughout the year, which may appeal to solo travelers.  The main reason for picking one of these dates is that there will be gorilla tracking permits reserved for guests on these dates. This will matter even more if you would like to track the gorillas on two consecutive days. With so few permits being issued each day, you can imagine this could be a real challenge, otherwise.

However, the same itinerary can be taken on a private basis on any departure date at a broadly similar cost. But we’ll only confirm the trip once we have obtained gorilla tracking permits. If you plan well ahead, it is still possible to track gorillas twice. But if you are booking within a few months of travel, this would be unlikely. On private safaris the game drives and vehicle will be exclusive use. But activities such as primate tracking and boat cruises will be shared with other guests.

Families – Given the focus on gorilla tracking, there is a strict age restriction. So scheduled departures are only suitable for families with near adults of 16 years and above.

Extra Activities you can do at Bwindi:
* Forest walk at $90 per person * Community visit at $40 per person * Batwa Pygmies Community Visit at $105 per person * Second Gorilla permit including admin and booking fee at $790 per person

Guaranteed Gorilla Express departures for 2019

March to April: 15th and 29th March, 20th April (Easter)

May to June: 22nd May, 2nd and 21st June

July to August: 5th and 19th July, 2nd and 30th August

Sept to Oct: 20th and 27th Sept, 18th and 25th October

Nov to Dec: 8th Nov and 20th December

Please note: This tour can be done on a PRIVATE BASE if you are 4 people. The price included 1 Gorilla permit and 2 Chimpanzee permits.


See Day by Day
Day 1

You are met at Entebbe Airport and transferred to  No 5 hotel in Entebbe. Bed & Breakfast basis only.

Depending on your incoming flight, your arrival could be relatively early in the morning, giving you a whole day to explore around Lake Victoria and Entebbe.

Set in the shores of Lake Victoria, Entebbe is a small town that is easy to explore on foot or by the local ”boda bodas” (motorbike taxis). Explore the markets, hunt for crafts, meander through the Botanical Gardens or relax with a boat cruise on Lake Victoria. You’ll find a wide variety of restaurants and bars where you can sample the local beer and meet the friendly locals.

Nestled in the leafy suburbs of Entebbe, Hotel No.5 is a stylish boutique hotel. The rooms all open onto the garden with its swimming pool. So this is a great option for guests looking for an intimate stay in a tranquil setting. Make yourself at home – unwind beside the swimming pool, pamper yourself with a spa treatment, or work up a sweat in the hotel gym. Attention to detail , outstanding dining and an attentive guest experience are synonymous with Hotel No 5.


Day 2

Transfer to the local airport for your scheduled flight to Bwindi (approximately 70 minutes). Here you are met and transferred to Buhoma Lodge . The transfer takes about 1½ hours through local villages and along mountain roads. Buhoma is very close to the start point for gorilla tracking.

Buhoma Lodge
Buhoma Lodge is a small friendly lodge situated actually in the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park. Buhoma is conveniently located less than 5 minutes walk from the Rangers Headquarters of Bwindi (starting point for the gorilla safaris) so it’s a great base for tracking some of the world’s last surviving mountain gorillas.

Buhoma Lodge offers cosy accommodation in wooden chalets with uninterrupted views of the pristine rain forest canopy. It’s an eco friendly lodge operating on solar power, constructed using sustainable local materials. Each of the ten wooden chalets has a private veranda and enormous windows, giving spectacular views. Awaken to chattering forest birds, and watch out for the occasional mountain gorilla that has ventured right in to visit the lodge.

Evenings are generally chilly at this elevation (1500m) and a homely fireplace adds warmth to both the bar and the atmosphere!

Uganda_Buhoma Lodge Bwindi Uganda Wild Frontiers Paul


Accommodation: Buhoma Lodge
Located in: Bwindi Impenetrable Forest - Uganda

Day 3 & 4

Gorilla trekking would take place on day 3 and again on day 4, subject to permit availability, for those guests who would like to track twice.

Gorilla Trekking

Gorilla trekking is strenuous with treks ranging from 45 mins up to eight hours, at high altitudes in hot African conditions. But the thrill of the hour you spend quietly observing these gentle giants when you find them is so worth the effort to get there. Although mountain gorillas are wild animals and sightings cannot be guaranteed, the viewing success rates is over 95%.

Check out some of our blogs for more about this.

Peter’s Gorilla trekking safari

Mila’s photo blog about Gorilla Trekking

Alternative Activities for Day 4

On day 4, you can do it all again with a second gorilla permit. Please note that the second permit is an optional extra.

Or you can opt to relax in this amazing forest environment. There are plenty of optional extra tours (additional cost). Such as doing a forest birding walk or a walk into the local community. Another option is a visit to the Batwa pygmy village.

Note: Days 3 & 4 are interchangeable depending on when we can secure gorilla permits.


Accommodation: Buhoma Lodge
Located in: Bwindi Impenetrable Forest - Uganda

Day 5

Today you leave Bwindi and travel about 3 hours to Ishasha Wilderness Camp, allowing time to stop at the local Ishasha Community project on the way.

In the afternoon there will be time to explore Queen Elizabeth National Park on a game drive, hoping to be rewarded with a sighting of the tree-climbing lion, for which this area is renowned. There is a great deal of other wildlife interest to enjoy both out on game drives and in the immediate area round the camp.

Ishaha Wilderness Camp

This exclusive 10 tented camp offers the only luxury accommodation in the remote southern sector of Queen Elizabeth National Park (QENP). So this allows guests to enjoy game viewing without the distraction of lots of other vehicles and people. Which can be the case in the northern part of the park. The location is idea for staying en route between Bwindi Forest and the crater lakes, Kibale Forest or a second stay in the Mweya area of Queen Elizabeth park.

Set on the banks of the Ntungwe River, the eco-friendly Ishasha Wilderness Camp is an idyllic retreat. The thatched central lounge and dining area offers a comfortable area for you to enjoy wholesome dining. But meals are often served ‘al fresco’ next to the river. The outdoor fireplace is the perfect place to relax with sun-downers after an exciting day’s game viewing.

Each spacious tent, which overlooks the pretty Ntungwe River, has two large beds under mosquito nets, shady veranda and has its own en suite bathroom and dressing area, providing hot water bush showers, running water and an eco-friendly flush toilet. Power is provided by solar energy.


Accommodation: Ishasha Wilderness Camp
Located in: Queen Elizabeth Park - Uganda

Day 6

Today you get to spend the day game viewing in Queen Elizabeth National Park.

One of the key attractions is to head out in search of the famous tree-climbing lion of the area. This is really quite something to witness (and photograph). Despite this unusual attraction, it is still remarkably quiet in this part of the park.

Queen Elizabeth National Park in the western Rift Valley is Uganda’s premier wildlife reserve. The protected area also encompasses Kyambura wildlife reserve and Kigezi wildlife reserve and runs from the foothills of the Rwenzori mountains in the north, to the Ishasha border post in the south, just over 2,500 km². Here, the grasslands of Uganda meet the eastern edge of the rainforest and magical scenery combines with abundant wildlife (predators as well as primates), a vast concentration of hippo and the tree-climbing lion.


Accommodation: Ishasha Wilderness Camp
Located in: Queen Elizabeth Park - Uganda

Day 7

Enjoy a morning Game drive in Queen Elizabeth National Park and a afternoon boat cruise on Kazinga Channel. After your boat cruise you will be transfered to Mweya Safari Lodge to overnight.

Mweya Safari Lodge
Mweya Safari Lodge is a large, first-class safari lodge in Queen Elizabeth National Park, overlooking the famous Kazinga Channel with its large hippo population.The Lodge is located on a peninsula and surrounded by the magical Rwenzori Mountains – the ‘Mountains of the Moon’. Mweya Safari Lodge offers a range of activities and attractions: game drives, boat trips, wild life viewing and more. All rooms have balconies, overlooking the Kazinga Channel and Lake Edward, private bathrooms and electricity. Other features include a beautiful swimming pool, a poolside bar, safari bar, souvenir shop and restaurant serving global cuisine.



Accommodation: Mweya Safari Lodge
Located in: Queen Elizabeth Park - Uganda

Day 8 & 9

Early morning chimpanzee trekking in Kyambura (Chambura) Gorge. And then you drive to Kibale Forest Lodge where you will stay 2 nights.

Kyambura (Chambura) Gorge
The stunning Kyambura (or Chambura) Gorge also called the “Valley of Apes” is located in the far eastern corner of the well- known Queen Elizabeth National Park in south western Uganda. Approximately 1 km across – at its broadest point and about 100 meters deep, this gorge is actually drained by River Kayambura. The landscape is among the most impressive you will find in Uganda and it is swarmed a rich wildlife bio-diversity that comprises of primates, wild animals as well as birds.


Kibale Lodge
The Primate Lodge is a mid-size and mid-range eco-lodge in the heart of Kibale Forest, very close to the Kanyanchu park headquarters, so guests don’t have an early-morning rush.

There is a choice of simple but comfortable accommodation. Eight luxury safari tents are raised on wooden platforms under thatch, each with a private veranda overlooking the forest. Tastefully decorated in African style, they have comfortable twin beds and en-suite bathrooms. Primate Lodge Kibale also offers 7 stone cottages and a tree house for the more adventurous. A solar power system handles lights and water and there is an environmentally sensitive water-management and harvesting programme.

The main lodge public area has WiFi, a bar, dining room and lounge plus a welcoming open fireside.

The lodge is only 400 metres from the Park gate and Visitor Briefing Centre, hub of the action in Kibale Forest National Park. Guided treks in search of chimpanzees take place both morning and evening, listening out for calls in the dense tropical rainforest. The walk through the forest also means the chance to see some of the 12 other species of primates to whom Kibale is home. The chimpanzee habituation experience gives guests the opportunity to learn a little more. You can watch as they wake up, search for food, rest and play and then sleep again.

Surrounding Primate Lodge are numerous crater lakes, ideal for a scenic hike to admire not only the sparkling waters but also the towering Rwenzori mountain range.


Accommodation: Primate Lodge Kibale
Located in: Semliki & Kibale - Uganda

Day 10

Return to Entebbe by road via the Kampala Markets and stalls.

View Interactive Itinerary
See Route on Map
A fully guided safari. Meet & greet service, airport transfers to Entebbe/return, one way flight from EBB to KIHIHI, accommodation, meals, services of driver/ giuide. Game drivers in Queen Elizabeth National Park & boat cruise on Kazinga Channel, sun-downers at Ishasha. Visit to Ishasha Community project. 1 x Gorilla permit & 2 x Chimpanzee permits
Second Gorilla tracking permits, visas, travel insurance, items of a personal nature, drinks other than bottled water on vehicle, other optional tours.
Best time to go:
All year
Minimum number:
Health requirements:
Anti-malarial precautions essential
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