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12-Day Uganda Gorilla Trekking & Safari Tours

4.3/5  –  300 Uganda Reviews

Uganda is a vastly underrated safari destination. True, it lacks the huge migratory herds associated with the likes of Tanzania and Kenya, but it more than compensates with its extraordinary diversity of tropical habitats, landscapes and wildlife. Despite being smaller than the United Kingdom or the US state of Michigan, Uganda is one of only two places where wild gorillas and chimps can be seen alongside all the Big Five. It also supports a staggering diversity of forest monkeys and a bird checklist of 1,000-plus species. A 12-day Uganda safari comfortably allows you to see the best of the country and its diverse wildlife on a compact road loop that runs west from the capital city Kampala and nearby Entebbe International Airport.

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1-20 of 35 Uganda 12-day gorilla & safari trips, holidays, vacations and packages

6 Questions About 12-Day Uganda Tours


6 Questions About 12-Day Uganda Tours

Answered by Philip Briggs

What can I expect from a 12-day Uganda safari?

“A well-planned 12-day Uganda tour package will provide you with an excellent overview of this varied safari destination. The itinerary should include one or two boat trips on tropical waterways alive with hippos, crocs and birds, and several game drives to look for savannah dwellers such as lion, elephant, buffalo and giraffe. The itinerary should also provide you with a few opportunities to explore Uganda’s rainforests on gorilla and chimp trekking excursions and other guided walks. Wherever you go in Uganda, you can expect to see lush tropical scenery and plenty of colorful birds. You’ll also enjoy the friendly atmosphere, the high standard of guiding in the parks, and attentive service in lodges and camps.”


Where should I go in Uganda on a 12-day trip?

“Most 12-day safaris in Uganda loop through the varied array of national parks and other attractions in the country’s far west. This loop can be traveled in a clockwise or anticlockwise direction from Entebbe, a decision that will often rest on gorilla trekking permit availability, especially during busy seasons. Working clockwise, a recommended first stop is Lake Mburo National Park, a relatively low-key park inhabited by leopard, giraffe, hippo, zebras and a wide variety of antelope. From here, continue to the southwest highlands to chill out at Lake Bunyonyi and track gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable or Mgahinga Gorilla National Parks. A good next stop is Queen Elizabeth National Park, where the Ishasha sector is famed for its tree-climbing lions and boat trips on the Kazinga Channel usually provide close-up encounters with elephant, buffalo and hippo. Heading north from Queen Elizabeth, Kibale National Park harbors a rare wealth of forest primates and is Uganda's premier chimp trekking destination. Highlights of the more northerly Murchison Falls National Park are boat trips to the base of the eponymous waterfall or to look for the rare swamp-dwelling shoebill in the delta formed by the Victoria Nile as it flows into Lake Albert. On the drive back to Entebbe, stop at Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary to track Uganda's only rhinos on foot (either as a day trip or overnight stay), or divert to the upper Nile near Jinja for white-water rafting.”


Is there an ideal time of the year for a trip in Uganda?

“Travel conditions in Uganda are best during the Dry seasons, which run from June to August and December to February. The relatively dry conditions at this time of year are ideal for forest walks (including gorilla and chimp trekking) as well as for game drives in Lake Mburo, Queen Elizabeth and Murchison Falls National Parks. If you can't travel during the Dry seasons, the next best options are September and October. April is the wettest month and best avoided.”


Which animals am I likely to see?

“You will be amazed at the amount and variety of wildlife you'll see over the course of 12 days on safari in Uganda. Assuming that you choose to track mountain gorillas and chimps, you can be all but certain of encountering these charismatic apes in their natural habitat. (The success rate for chimp tracking is slightly lower than for gorillas, but most itineraries allow for a second opportunity should you fail on the first attempt.) When it comes to the legendary Big Five, elephant and buffalo are very common in Queen Elizabeth and Murchison Falls National Parks, and both parks are quite reliable for lions and more occasionally leopards. Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary is home to Uganda’s only rhinos, which can be tracked on foot. Over the course of a 12-day safari, you’re also likely to see half a dozen forest monkey species, a similar number of different antelope, and other iconic African creatures such as giraffe, zebra and hippo. Most visitors to Uganda are struck by the incredibly varied and colorful birdlife. Depending on how closely you pay attention, you might spot anything from 100 to 350 bird species on a 12-day safari, including the likes of great blue turaco, African fish eagle and shoebill.”


How much does a 12-day safari in Uganda cost?

“Budget 12-day safaris through western Uganda start at around US$3,000 per person. More upmarket tours using exclusive accommodation are usually in the US$4,500 to US$9,000 range. The rate of most such packages will include at least one gorilla and one chimp trekking permit, as well as transport, accommodation, meals, park fees and the services of a skilled driver-guide. It’s safest, however, to check all inclusions and exclusions before you book.”


What kind of accommodation can I expect?

“The type of accommodation you can expect on your Uganda safari will depend greatly on the price you pay. Options range from simple campsites to exclusive luxury game lodges and almost everything in between. Unless you are camping, however, you can at the very minimum expect to stay in a comfortable room or large, walk-in tents with electricity, balcony and en suite hot showers and flush toilets. Usually, meals provided by your lodge or camp will be included in the safari price too.”


Uganda Reviews

4.3/5 300 Reviews
Mark Eveleigh  –  
United Kingdom UK

Mark is a travel writer who grew up in Africa and has written over 700 titles for CNN Traveller, Travel Africa, BBC Wildlife and others.

Fantastic wildlife and some of the friendliest people in Africa make Uganda unbeatable

I spent a month travelling around Uganda with a self-drive, expedition-prepared Landcruiser and visited almost every national park in the country. Uganda was a revelation! I had not expected such a richness of wildlife or such great...

Full Review

Alan Murphy  –  
Australia AU

Alan is a travel writer and author of over 20 Lonely Planet guidebooks, including the guides to Southern Africa and Zambia & Malawi.

Uganda – Wildlife secrets revealed

The word is getting out about Uganda. If you haven’t got it on your list of East African safari destinations I suggest you add it…quickly. Uganda does not have the reputation for the variety or density of wildlife, especially the large...

Full Review

Sergio Ypiranga dos Guaranys  –  
Brazil BR
Reviewed: May 18, 2023
Exceeded my expectations

Uganda exceeded my expectations. It was quite clean and organized and very very indeed very much green! And that pleased me much. Many nice places to go: Islands in Victoria and bunyoni lake among others. Of course traffic is a big problem,...

Full Review

Jennifer Luanda  –  
Papua New Guinea PG
Reviewed: May 16, 2023
Uganda is rich and diverse in all it nature.

My trip to Uganda was drying the month of April. I was told it was going to be raining but quite the opposite happened and it turned out to be mostly sunny the entire week. I did my tour with Home to Africa and my tour guide was William....

Full Review

Christopher Niebuhr  –  
United States US
Reviewed: May 5, 2023

The gorilla Leisure Lodge is the absolute best lodge to stay at for the Gorilla Trekking. It's the same price as all the others but since it has only been open since Nov. 2022 the facilities are still like brand new. Everything about it...

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Caroline  –  
United Kingdom UK
Reviewed: Apr 20, 2023
Totally awestruck

Uganda was a perfect Safari destination for us - lush green scenery, friendly people and the Big Five plus gorilla trekking. We chose to go low season for less crowds and cooler weather which was perfect. Our tour operator Kajie Safaris put...

Full Review