Day 1: Kampala or Entebbe to Kibale Chimpanzee Forest National Park:
Depart your accommodations in Kampala or Entebbe at 6.30am for Kibale Forest. A tropical Rain Forest that is a jungle and has so many great surprises just for you. The journey is a pleasant through various regions of Uganda. The Rwenzori Mountains will be seen in the distance as you approach Kibale Forest.
Lunch along the way.
Check into Kibale Forest Camp which gives you the unique experience of a Tented Camp in the Jungle. 7 African Safari Style Tents, all self contained are in this small camp, where you will not be a mere room number, but a person with a name. Get situated in your tent and settled in. You may consider checking on other accommodations and lodging options in the Kibale Forest Park area
Enjoy the late afternoon on the verandah of your tent, take a walk around the camp and discover some of the 300 plus species of birds found here at Kibale Forest.
Dinner in the jungle of Kibale Forest - the food here is delightful and thoughtfully prepared, the presentation is simply lovely
Nocturnal Walk in the Jungle - This is simply an awesome experience. You are guided through Kibale Forest by Uganda Wildlife Authority Guides and there are spotlights. Bushbabies and Pottos are often found with their big eyes and other nocturnal animals.
Day 2: Chimpanzee tracking, plus 12 primates in Kibale Forest National Park:
Breakfast at Kibale Forest Camp and off to Kibale Forest Headquarters for Chimpanzee Tracking. This is a guided walk and with 13 primates in the park, one usually finds at least 5 or six different types of primates. Then there is the forest itself with its beauty and ruggedness. Butterflies and exotic birds abound in this park and the tracking experience takes in a lot more than Chimpanzee tracking. The chimpanzees you will encounter are habituated meaning that they are used to human beings. Not all chimpanzees in the park are habituated. The process takes up to two years.
Lunch at Kibale Forest Tented Camp.
You may consider spending more time with the Chimps and not just the 3-hour chimp trek of which just one is spent with them. You can do the Chimpanzee Habituation Experience (CHEX) and spend 4 hours watching and following the chimpanzees through the forest.
Common Question; What is the difference between regular Chimpanzee Trekking and Chimpanzee Habituation Experience?
Habituation here is simply a process of getting the chimpanzee oriented to human presence while in thier natural habitat. When you go for Chimpanzee Trekking, you are one hour with a fully habituated Chimpanzee Group after finding them. That means they are used to human beings. When you go on a 4-hour Habituation Experience, you are observing a Chimpanzee Group that is in the process of being habituated, – a process that takes up to two years long and you are a participant in the process. You go down in to the rainforest with a guide in a small group - max of 4 plus ranger. Once you find the chimps, you watch and follow them through the rainforest for a few hours. Expect the experience to differ each day as these are wild animals who are not trained to perform as if they are in a circus. On some days the trek may however be hard as you are often moving fast through dense forest so as to not lose the chimps. Learn more about Chimp Habituation Experience Vs. regular chimp trek.
Please Note – As of July 1, 2020, the Chimpanzee Habituation Experience increased in price from $200 to $250. Regular Chimpanzee Trekking in Kibale Forest increased from $150 to $200. Advance planning is necessary as this is not something you are going to decide on ground.
Afternoon Walk at Bigodi Swamp Wetlands which is next to Kibale Forest and you just might see chimpanzees again and of course lots of birds are found there including the Shoebill Stork, the great Blue turaco, Blue monkeys, Baboons, otters, Mongoose, Bush bucks, Bush pigs and many more. Kibale Forest is also home to Forest Elephants who are hairier and smaller than their savannah cousins. They also have smaller tusks which allows them to roam the forests. You can also find Forest Buffaloes which are redder in color than the ones on the savannah. Kibale Forest is a part of a migration corridor that extends through Queen Elizabeth Park into the Democratic Republic of Congo. Look at the toes of a forest Elephants if you have time. they have one more toe than do its savannah cousins.
Bigodi Swamp Wetlands is a community project that has been put together quite well and entrance and guide fees benefit the local community.
Day 3: Drive to Queen Elizabeth Wildlife Park and Boat Safari on Kazinga Channel
Breakfast at Kibale Forest Camp and off for lunch at Queen Elizabeth Park where we check into another moderately priced but favorite amongst our guest who rave about the food - Bush Lodge Tented Camp. The location is overlooking the famous Kazinga Channel which is a natural channel connecting Prince Edward and Prince George. The tents are en-suite with bath in the back, a shower with two shower heads and each tent is elevated on a wooden platform and has a verandah. This again is a small and intimate camp.
Lunch at Bush Lodge Tented Camp and the food is great. After lunch a boat ride on Kazinga Channel with the highest concentration of hippos in Africa. At one time there were too many hippos and their grazing denuded the surrounding grasslands. Before independence they would be culled by the wildlife authorities. The locals ate the meat and after Idi Amin came to power, poachers and soldiers, and again at the fall of Idi Amin, many hippos were shot by locals, rebels and soldiers.
There are also crocodiles, countless of birds on the shore and overhead and in the water of the channel. This is a pleasant boat ride where you can get some great pictures of elephants and buffaloes on shore. Hopefully an open mouthed hippo shot.
Day 4: Safari/Game drive to Ishasha for Tree Climbing Lions
Breakfast at Bush Lodge Tented Camp and then we are off for an all day Game Drive.We drive south to the Ishasha Plains in search of the Tree Climbing Lions and other wildlife. This is a more deserted section of the park but is home to over 40 tree climbing lions, lots of elephants, antelopes, buffaloes, birds, some monkeys and baboons and more.
We will have a Uganda Wildlife Authority Guide to assist us in finding the wildlife and pointing out various animals to you while the driver drives and makes sure you are comfortable. Our Safari vehicle will allow you to stand on the seat and look over the top, a bean bag is great for steady pictures.
Return to Bush Tented Lodge for dinner and a quiet evening on your verandah.
Day 5: Visit the crater lakes region, Baboon cliffs and 14th Century Katwe Salt works, Depart for Kampala:
Breakfast and morning game drive through the Mweya region of the park. visit the crater lakes region, Baboon cliffs and Katwe Salt works for a glimpse into traditional salt mining. This is one of the oldest salt mines in Uganda established in the 14th Century. Sadly we must depart for Kampala, lunch in Masaka, and we will arrive in the evening before for your flight back home or dinner time. On the way we stop at Lake Mburo, along the road and take pictures of Zebras, then it is the Equator and if there is time the Buganda Royal Drum Makes.
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