Primates of Uganda Tour

Uganda – Primates of Uganda Tour – a 12 day Small Group Tour.

Uganda’s rich wildlife is recognised by its people as one of the country’s major resources. As such efforts combining tourism and conservation are well developed.

Among its well-managed national parks, verdant landscapes of jungles, forests and rivers, plains game and birdlife are as rich as anywhere on the continent. However, for many the major draw is a chance to encounter primates.

Gorillas and chimpanzees are highlights of this tour, and if your goal is to get close to either of these great apes Uganda offers a professional experience with none of the essential wildness removed.

Uganda is known as one of the most stunning countries in Africa, and with good reason. On this tour we visit some of its most beautiful areas in search of incredible wildlife, much of which has long since disappeared from the rest of the continent.

From the bustling capital Kampala, we see the source of the Nile and then head north via Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary to Murchison Falls National Park to search for elephant, lion and buffalo on game drives, then search for chimpanzees in the Kibale Forest. From there we head to the spectacular Queen Elizabeth National Park, with its plains, forest, swamps and lakes – a wide diversity of landscapes means that wildlife viewing here is varied.

But the highlight of this trip is perhaps one of the highlights of all of Africa – tracking a family of gorillas in their natural habitat through the forests of Bwindi National Park. Make no mistake; this is a truly astonishing wildlife experience that will leave you lost for words.

Tour ratings.

  • Fitness
  • Off the beaten track 
  • Culture
  • History
  • Wildlife

Tour Pace


Tour style


Relaxed Pace

Relaxed tours are easy paced with plenty of leisure time built in. The tour will in all probability still be off the beaten track, with the occasional early start and there may still be occasional long drives. In general on a relaxed pace tour you can enjoy easy-going activities and experiences with opportunities to absorb the sights and immerse yourself in the local surroundings.

Moderate Pace

Moderate pace tours are ideal if you want a tour experience that combines activities and experiences with some time to relax. Typically you will be active and busy for part of the day but then also have time to rest and recharge your batteries. In general on a moderate paced tour there may be some long journeys involved but the tour is not an expedition or a road trip. On a moderate paced tour it will be necessary to have some early starts.

Busy Pace

A busy paced tour means that you can expect to be doing, seeing or experiencing something new almost every day, and moving on from place to place to pack in as much as possible. There may be early starts, long journeys and tiring days along the way, but you’ll return home feeling you’ve really experienced as much as you possibly could.

Pioneer Class Tours

On our Pioneer tours, you will be amongst an elite group of intrepid travellers and some of the first to explore a country that few have been privileged enough to discover. Of course, exploring such areas of the world will come with its challenges; it may mean several nights camping, long journeys by 4WD and the need to maintain a degree of flexibility for when carefully laid plans change. These are challenging tours in countries and areas that may have poor infrastructure, high levels of poverty and illiteracy. This can translate in to low standards in hotels, bad roads and poor driving standards among other issues. We try and smooth out as much of these issues as we can but you should be prepared to experience the bad with the good.

Traveller Class Tours

Our Traveller itineraries are at the core of our programme. These journeys are designed for travellers who still want to discover a land away from the tourist crowds but expect minimum standards. Accommodation will be primarily hotel based, although you could still find yourself camping, or the guest of a local family. Depending on the destination and itinerary, you’ll likely be travelling in a private vehicle, with occasional use of public transport. This is adventure travel with some of the rough edges smoothed out.


Upon arrival in Entebbe, you will be met and transferred to your hotel. Overnight Admas Hotel Entebbe or similar. No meals or excursions included today.

The day begins with a drive to Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary. The sanctuary is home to around 41 southern white rhinos which were reintroduced after their extinction in the 1970s through poaching. A local ranger guide will lead you on foot to an up-close encounter with the rhinos and it may take about 1 and half hours. After lunch at the sanctuary continue to Murchison Falls National Park arriving at your lodge late afternoon. Overnight: Murchison River Lodge or similar (BLD)

An early start for a game drive on the northern bank of the River Nile in your open-roof vehicle which will give you an excellent opportunity to view and photograph the diverse wildlife. Species may include elephant, lion, cape buffalo, Roth child’s giraffe, hartebeest, waterbuck, oribi, bushbuck, bohor reed buck, hyena and if you are lucky, the leopard. After lunch, cruise upstream the calm Victoria Nile to the base of the falls stopping just few of meters from the ‘Devil’s Cauldron’, marvel at the schools of hippos, crocodiles and over the 17km stretch you may see elephant, waterbuck and Uganda Kob. This is also an area with prolific birdlife, species such as goliath heron, Egyptian goose, pelican bee-eater, kingfisher, hornbill, cormorant and the rare shoebill stork. Continue to the top of the falls, and admire the amazing views where the Nile -world’s longest river explodes violently through a narrow cleft in the Rift Valley escarpment to plunge into a frothing pool 43m below. Later, return to your lodge. Overnight at Murchison River Lodge or similar (BLD)

(approx. 6 hours’ drive)

Drive south to Fort Portal, past big tea plantations and arrive in Fort Portal town in time for lunch (own expense). The fort may be gone, but this town is definitely a portal to places that offer sublime scenery, abundant nature and genuine adventure. Fort Portal is the heartland of a verdant tea-growing area and an important commercial centre. Upon arrival, visit the Toro King’s palace to learn about the culture of the Batooro and also visit the burial grounds of their kings to understand more on the traditional leadership in Uganda. Learn how they name petty names, and probably get one yourself. Toro Kingdom is one of the few surviving kingdoms in Uganda with the youngest king. Overnight: Chimpundu Lodge or similar (BD)

(approx. driving 2-3 hours)

After breakfast enjoy one of the highlights of the trip, the Chimpanzee tracking experience in Kibale Forest National Park which is reputed to have the greatest variety and highest concentration of primates in East Africa. With an expert guide, walk in the tropical rainforest in search of the wild chimpanzees, red-tailed monkeys, black and white colobus monkeys and many others. Although chimp sightings are not guaranteed, visitors stand a very good chance of hearing and seeing our distant cousins as they gloom and bond with one another, a sight never to be forgotten. After spending the morning searching for these beautiful animals, head back to the lodge for lunch. This afternoon we take a scenic drive to Queen Elizabeth National Park. Overnight Buffalo Safari Lodge or similar (BLD)

Please note that long sleeves and trousers and robust walking shoes/boots are recommended in Kibale Forest.

After breakfast, drive through looking for game with the impressive Rwenzori Mountains as a spectacular backdrop. After lunch at the lodge, cruise on the Kazinga Channel, to view buffalo, hippo and other animals at the edge of the channel as they cool off. European migratory birds, including flocks of terns and gulls can also be seen in the area. We visit Lake Katwe community before heading back to the lodge for the evening. Overnight Buffalo Safari Lodge or similar (BLD)

After breakfast, transfer to Kyambura Gorge a few minutes’ drive away from the lodge for a briefing before starting your Chimpanzee trek. Afterwards return to the lodge for lunch afternoon at leisure or you may wish to take an afternoon game drive. Overnight Buffalo Safari Lodge or similar (BLD)

After breakfast, have a scenic short drive (approx. 2 hours) to the southern part of Queen Elizabeth National Park famous for the tree climbing lions. Upon arrival, enjoy a game drive where you may have a chance at seeing these infamous animals that this area is known for. The lions climb up the Candelabra trees running away from the hot ground during dry seasons and the small ants that bite them. On the tree branches as they hang, they also get to rest from their hunt and spy for more prey. Whilst driving through the savannah plains you will spot other wildlife like elephants and a good number of birds. This region offers a feeling that you are on that safari just by yourself, enjoying this pristine African Ugandan nature. Afterwards travel onwards to Bwindi (approx. 4-5 hours’ drive). Overnight Lake Mulehe Gorilla Lodge or similar (BLD)

Today, tick off gorilla tracking from your bucket list! With gorilla permits included in your package, along with a guide and porters who will carry your shoulder pack, set off to the thick forest in search of gorillas. The terrain can be difficult, with steep slopes covered in dense vegetation that gives the park its name. In addition, the altitude of up to 1600m a means participants do need to be reasonably fit. The time taken to track the gorillas will vary enormously, from as little as half an hour to as much as 8-9 hours before returning to camp but coming face to face with these amazing primates will reward you. For those not wishing to participate, you are welcome to relax at the lodge and enjoy the day at leisure. Overnight Lake Mulehe Gorilla Lodge or similar (BLD)

Please note that long sleeves and trousers and robust walking boots are recommended in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest.

After breakfast we head to Lake Mburo National Park. En route we stop at Mbarara City or ‘land of the milk’ where we have lunch. Continue to Mburo National Park for an evening boat cruise on the famous Lake Mburo, known for rewarding wildlife such as crocodiles, antelopes, different bird species especially the famous African fin foot, which is quite often spotted here! Overnight Kigarama Wilderness Lodge or similar (BLD)

After breakfast take a spectacular morning game drive in Lake Mburo National Park. After lunch back at the lodge, we head back to Entebbe, with a stop at the equator. Overnight Admas Hotel Entebbe or similar (BL)

Transfer to the airport in time for your departure flight. End of services (B)

Dates & Price.

Tour Notes

Single supplement starts from £825.

Mapped itinerary.

Want to see details of your itinerary on a map?

Download PDF.

Download the full tour dossier for this trip here.

For expert advice get in touch now with our passionate,
well-travelled team.

+44(0) 191 296 2674 from THE UK
1-800-614-2967 from THE US & CANADA
1-300-956-415 from AUSTRALIA

Tour inclusions.

  • Airport transfers
  • All accommodation as per itinerary or similar
  • Services of English speaking guide / tour leader
  • Meals as listed (B – Breakfast, L – Lunch, D – Dinner)
  • Entrance fees for sites listed as part of the itinerary
  • 1 Gorilla permit per person
  • 1 Chimpanzee permit per person

Tour exclusions.

  • International flights
  • Items of a personal nature
  • Supplements for Chimpanzee and/or Gorilla habituation experiences
  • Any airport taxes
  • Travel Insurance
  • Visas if applicable
  • Drinks
  • Tips (discretionary)

Matia Lugamwa was the best. Maybe the best in all Uganda. We enjoyed being with him every day.

He was so helpful and caring, making sure that everything was as it should be. He was fun and funny, as well.

Everything was wonderful. We had a fantastic time. We highly recommend the Uganda trip and Undiscovered Destinations.


Nancy Becher, US