Uganda is the land of the “Big 7”, where the popular African ‘Big 5’ i.e. Elephant, Lion, Leopard, Buffalo and Rhino , shares a home with the most significant 2 of the world’s 4 Great Apes; the rare Eastern Mountain Gorilla and man’s genetically closest relative the Chimpanzee.
In Uganda's 10 protected and fully accessible National Parks you will find hundreds of different mammal species in their multitudes including Olive Baboons, Black and White as well as Red Collobus Monkeys and so many other species amidst the most luscious futile, and green National Parks to be found anywhere in Africa.
In May 2017, following the news from neighbouring Rwanda that it is increasing its gorilla permits from an already high $750 to a jaw-dropping $1500, Uganda has responded positively. Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) and Uganda Tourism Board (UTB) have announced that their $600 permit fee will be maintained for a minimum of 12 months.
When it comes to adventure, nothing beats a coming face to face with a giant Mountain Gorilla silverback, eight times the power of a grown man, in its natural habitat.
Uganda's Bwindi Impenetrable National Forest which lies in the south west corner of the country is best known for its superb gorilla tracking being home to roughly half of the worlds mountain gorillas. It also provides refuge to elephant, chimpanzee, monkeys and various small antelope and bird species. Uganda has 16 habituated groups of gorillas, double that of Rwanda.
Following breakfast, you will transfer to the national park offices where you will be allocated a gorilla family as well as a gorilla tracking guide. After a pre-tracking briefing by your guide you drive to the trailhead for the start of a thrilling adventure. Expect to walk between 2 and 8 hours in steep and sometimes muddy conditions with rain overhead, which can be tough and require a degree of (average) fitness. However the thrill of coming face to face with a giant Mountain Gorilla silverback completely makes up for the effort! Upon sighting the gorillas, you will spend one hour with them as they go about their daily life; feeding, moving, playing, raising their young and sometimes wrestling with the juveniles – it is a totally unique and unforgettable experience!
Kibale Forest National Park is reputable of having the greatest variety and highest concentration of primates in East Africa. An encounter with the over 100 strong family of chimpanzees here must rank as the truest definition of ‘a walk on the wild side.’
After a pre-tracking briefing at walking distance from your accommodation, you will start your hike adventure into the forest. Follow the footsteps of a large habituated family of chimpanzees, with over 120 individuals, that has made Kibale one of the best locations in Africa for chimp viewing.
En route your guide will explain more about the forest and the other inhabitants, including other primates and birds such as the blue breasted Kingfisher, black billed Turaco, Pied Hornbill, Chestnut winged Starlings and many more. Upon sighting the chimpanzees, you will stay with them for one unforgettable hour as they continue their daily routine – growling, grooming, feeding, taking care of the young ones and agilely climbing up trees. It certainly is one unforgettable wildlife encounter and the hour is always over too soon.