The Best of Uganda Safari – Gorillas and Chimpanzee Trekking.

The Best of Uganda Safari is a bucket-list expedition that travels to some of the best regions in Africa to witness none other than the great apes. The safari travels between three national parks of Uganda. Each one with its own unique character.

Ugandas scenic beauty is almost unrivalled in Africa. with its rain forest regions being characterised by rolling mountains, crater lakes and ancient volcanoes and its lower regions such as Queen Elizabeth National Park are known for marshlands, lakes and savannahs that are dotted by an unusual amount of euphorbias making it a completely unique and diverse landscape to travers whilst on safari.

Chimpanzees and the mountain gorilla are the main focus on this safari in Uganda but are far from the only thing this incredible place offer. Tree climbing lions, leopards, elephant, hippo and many more large mammals are common in Queen Elizabeth National park as well as exquisite bird life and even the chance to witness the elusive shoe-billed stork. The rain forests themselves, apart from the great apes, are known for a large number of other primates, beautiful birds and butterflies.

There is barely a moment whilst on this dynamic experience where one is not treated to a sight or encounter that is truly unique to the scenery and wildlife of Uganda

Kibale National Park.

Kibale Forest or National Park is located in western Uganda and is 766 square kilometres of undisturbed and pristine and evergreen rainforest. Its significance, apart from both low land and montane forests, is mainly due to it being the last significant expanse of pre-montane forest in Africa. first gazetted in 1932 the park was originally allocated as a logging reserve. Now Kibale forest is linked by a 180 kilometre wildlife corridor make it part of a vast expanse of protected wilderness. The forest claim to fame is its diverse group of primates that inhabit the forest. twelve species of ape and one great ape, the chimpanzee, are found in the forest including serval families that are completely habituated to humans which allow for incredible viewing experiences of these animals in their natural habitat

 

Getting there

After a night at the Boma Lodge in Entebbe, Uganda’s capital, we take a short charter flight to Kasesse where our local guide will pick us up and transfer us to Primate Lodge deep within Kibale Forest.

Where we are staying: Primate Lodge

This exquisite lodge is located deep within Kibale Forest and boast a beautiful lounge and outdoor area that is lit up by a beautiful fire at night where guests can relax and reminisce about the days trekking through the forest. 16 different rooms make up the collection at Primate lodge including nine luxury cottages, a sky tree house and a campsite. The resident chefs produces delicious meals throughout the day to replenish the energy used on chimp trekking. The chimps themselves have been known to visit this lodge as it is located in the heart of one of the well known families territory.

 

Queen Elizabeth National Park

Queen Elizabeth National Park is a vast region stretching from lake George in the north east until lake Edward in the south west. These two lakes are connected by the famed Kazinga channel. Exploring this region we are likely to encounter buffalo, kob, giant forest hog, elephant and the two favourites…leopard and lion. The region is dotted with euphorbia’s which are large, strikingly beautiful, cactus-like trees that on some occasions are known to be a good resting place for leopard and lion. A sight almost unique to this area. The area is also famous for tree-climbing lions that are commonly found sleeping up in the canopy of acacias or sausage trees in the area.

 

Getting there

After a hearty breakfast we depart along the game corridor that links Kibale and Queen Elizabeth National Park. Our trusty and comfortable 4x4 will take us threw scenic areas along the way and the trip that usually takes a few hours can sometimes be lengthened as there is always beautiful landscapes and wildlife to see along the way.

Where we are staying: Ishasha Wilderness Camp

An award winning camp situated in the heart of the Ishasha region best known for tree-climbing lions, Ishasha Wilderness Camp is an unparalleled experience in Uganda when it comes to the authentic safari. Its ten spacious and beautiful safari-tent chalets boast their own veranda looking over the river which hippo, elephant and buffalo travers regularly. Hot showers, flushing toilets and running water in the basins combined with this authentic canvas design and the best food in Queen Elizabeth Np make it the premier experience in the region.


  

Bwindi Impenetrable Forest or National Park

Bwindi Impenetrable Forest or National Park is in the south-east of Uganda and is the last area we visit on the safari. Bording the Democratic Republic of the Congo and what is known as the Virunga Massive of mountain range, this area is prime habitat for the mountain gorilla. This 321 square kilometre World Heritage Site is one of the last remaining strong holds of the endangered mountain gorilla and in fact hosts roughly 800 of the estimated 1200 individuals left in the wild. A number of these gorilla groups have been habituated in the region make it the premier destination to view these majestic animals.

Getting there

Back into our trusty 4x4 we head for Bwindi. The route takes us threw some of Uganda’s most beautiful areas. Montane forest and crater lakes are found the route a are a must stop as it’s a site like nothing else.

Where we are staying: Buhoma Lodge

Buhoma is one of the few lodges situated in Bwindi Impenetrable forest itself. What this means is that at night after your gorilla trekking for the day is done you get to relax to the cacophony of writhing life that exists in the forest. Eight comfortable chalets built in log cabin style make it an exclusive experiences as well as renowned cuisine to fill that hunger that only a gorilla trek can factory.

 

Gear Recommendations

 Since the focus of this trip is the great apes and both gorillas and chimps are found in rainforest regions there is a few essential items one must bring. Firstly, rain gear is essential as there is a high chance you will be rain on on one of your treks. Due to the low light, wide aperture lenses such as the 70-200 f2.8 is your most important piece of camera gear. A 24-70 will also come in handy for those wide shots when the apes get close and the background compliments the idea. If it fits in your bag, then a large lens for Queen Elizabeth NP will come in handy. Something of about 400mm will do just fine. Good hiking boots, gators, gardening gloves, trousers and long-sleeved and light weight shirts are also recommended for trekking. A laptop for editing sessions will also be advised.

This is why travel with Wild Eye.

  • Three iconic regions of Uganda.
  • Two chimp treks and three gorilla treks.
  • Expert guidance from local guide and Wild Eye host.
  • Lightroom and photoshop tutoring.
  • Create a diverse portfolio of the larger flagship mammals of the savannah, birds, apes and the great apes.

Until next time,

Andrew Danckwerts

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