Luxury Safaris Uganda
Luxury Safaris Uganda
Our Luxury Uganda Safaris
Among one of the best safari experiences in Africa is a gorilla trek. As the largest of the apes, the mountain gorilla is an extraordinary primate, weighing anywhere up to 150kg. Although they are so large and intimidating, they are highly intelligent and caring animals. Trekking through their natural habitat, and coming face-to-face with these gentle giants really is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. It is both terrifying and humbling at the same time.
The mountain gorillas in Uganda can be found in two national parks – Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and Mgahinga National Park. These are both located in the south western part of the country and are both dense, vibrant forests with mountainous slopes and breath-taking views. There are ten habituated gorilla groups in Bwindi and one in Mghahinga but whichever group you see, the one-hour experience will be one to remember.
As well as mountain gorillas, Uganda offers some other fantastic primate experiences. For example, Kibale Forest in western Uganda, north of Bwindi, is home to more than 1,500 chimpanzees. The lush forests and dense vegetation make it the perfect home for these highly intelligent primates, and an opportunity to watch them in their natural habitat is one of the highlights of Uganda. Similar to the gorilla logistics, your guide will trek with you through the forest until you’ve found the group of habituated chimpanzees. Once found, you are limited to one hour with them before then hiking out of the forest.
Aside from primates, a safari in other national parks in Uganda offers the opportunity to see elephants, antelope, buffalo, crocodile, hippo and predators like leopards and lions. Although the landscape is very different to the dry savannahs in other safari destinations, Uganda’s landscape is beautifully green, with vibrant forests and a wealth of birdlife.
Talk to the Expert
With a Kenyan father, Indian grandparents, and a Portuguese surname, travel is in my blood. I am enthralled by East Africa and would happily talk about Africa’s wildlife, cultures and experiences all day, every day.
Africa Specialist+1 844 879 7838
Luxury Uganda Safari Packages
We have put together some luxury safari tours and itineraries to give you some inspiration. All of our trips are tailor-made and can be customized to suit you – our aim is to curate the perfect luxury safari for you, and with our friendly and knowledgable specialists, we are confident we will.
Entebbe, Kibale National Park, Queen Elizabeth National Park, Bwindi National Park11 nightsFrom $7,800 PPA 12 Day Uganda itinerary taking you through Murchison Falls, Kibale, Queen Elizabeth and Bwindi.
Entebbe, Kibale National Park, Queen Elizabeth National Park, Bwindi National Park6 NightsFrom $5,063 PPA week-long Uganda itinerary taking you through Kibale, Queen Elizabeth and Bwindi.
Uganda Safari Q&A
Gemma our Safari Specialist
How much is a gorilla trek?
The permit for a gorilla trek is currently $750 per person per trek (USD). This fee includes your entry into the national park, a safety briefing and a team of trackers and rangers, and when you find the gorillas, a one-hour visit with them. Although these gorillas have been habituated, it is important to disturb them as little as possible so there is a one-hour limit for every group visiting the gorillas – both Uganda and Rwanda. Although it may seem expensive, this money goes back into the protection and conservation of these endangered animals, and is used to pay all of the salaries of the ranger teams. On top of this fee, your accommodation (which will be on a full board basis), will be added to this.
Will I definitely see a gorilla?
Due to their endangered species status, the gorillas have a large team of people looking after them. The trackers are with the gorilla families every day and know their movements and where they are. The gorillas are wild so there is a tiny chance something may happen, and they may move on to somewhere unexpected. If that happens the guides will generally be able to pick up the trail for them again quickly.
Which is better, Uganda or Rwanda?
There are similarities between a gorilla trek in Uganda and Rwanda. Of course, the species of gorilla (mountain gorillas) are the same, and the way they have been habituated over the decades has been the same process. In Uganda, there are 11 gorilla groups that have been habituated (10 in Bwindi and one in Mgahinga). In Rwanda, there are 12 gorilla groups, all in Volcanoes National Park which is part of the Virunga Mountains in the African Rift Valley. Logistically, it is easier to get in and out of Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda as it is only a 2-hour drive from Kigali which has an international airport. This makes it very easy to do a short gorilla trek (2-3 days). Uganda however, has other parks nearby and offers much more in terms of a full Uganda itinerary. We (the Africa team) have personally done gorilla treks in both Uganda and Rwanda so we can answer any specific questions you have.
What should I wear on a gorilla trek?
Bwindi Forest is very dense, with bushy vegetation and quite mountainous landscapes. As a result, you are required to wear a long-sleeved shirt and trousers and walking boots. These will protect you from the branches and brambles in the forest, as well as helping to protect you from the sun and potential mosquito bites. You’ll also need a comfortable and sturdy rucksack for any camera equipment and water (provided by your guide). There are options for you to have a porter on your gorilla trek. This is usually a local member of the community who will carry your rucksack for you through the forest. Even if you are fit, we would recommend having a porter. This is because the forest slopes can often require balance and support, which you will have more of without a heavy rucksack on your back. It also helps the community as your contribution/tip goes a long way for them.
Is a gorilla trek dangerous?
Of course, like all safari experiences, the animals you see during your trip are all wild. Although the rangers and guides are extremely well-trained and experienced, they will not know the animals every move so there could always be surprises along the way. That said, these gorillas have been habituated for several decades and are used to the presence of humans. The gorilla families will often be unfazed by your presence and more often than not, the younger gorillas will be curious about you. The most important member of the family is the silverback. He is in charge of protecting the family, so your guide and ranger will have their eye on him most of the time. There are of course rules and restrictions in place to ensure the safety of both you and the gorillas – such as remaining a certain distance away, not eating or drinking in their presence, and keeping voices as low as possible. These will all be explained to you during your safety briefing beforehand to put any anxiety to ease.
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