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5-Day Uganda Gorilla Trekking & Safari Tours

4.4/5  –  351 Uganda Reviews

Mountain gorillas, chimps, tree-climbing lions and an astonishing tally of 1,000-plus bird species are among the many attractions that lure wildlife enthusiasts to Uganda. Situated at the ecological crossroads of the eastern savannah and western jungle, this well-watered country is also home to Africa’s largest lake and the snowcapped peaks of the legendary Mountains of the Moon. Elsewhere, the seething headwaters of the world’s longest river offer superb white-water rafting and host the breathtakingly eruptive Murchison Falls. True, you might face some difficult choices when it comes to deciding which highlights to include in a 5-day Uganda itinerary, but whatever you choose, you won’t be disappointed by this truly amazing country.

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6 Questions About 5-Day Uganda Safaris

 
 

6 Questions About 5-Day Uganda Safaris

Answered by Philip Briggs

Is 5 days enough time for a trip in Uganda?

“Yes, provided you don’t try to cram too much into the itinerary. A 5-day Uganda tour allows you enough time to cover several wildlife highlights, including gorilla trekking, chimp trekking and at least one boat safari and game drive. Having said that, if you want to fit all of this into 5 days, you’ll be looking at a very busy schedule, so if at all possible, there is a lot to be said for allocating another day or two to the safari.”

1

Where should I go on a 5-day safari in Uganda?

“The most popular 5-day itinerary heads southwest from Entebbe International Airport (the main port of entry to Uganda) to combine Bwindi Impenetrable and Queen Elizabeth National Parks with any of several chimp trekking destinations, and possibly Lake Mburo National Park. The main reason to visit Bwindi is to track gorillas, but this forested national park is also great for monkeys, birds and scenic walks. Highlights of Queen Elizabeth NP include boat safaris on the Kazinga Channel and game drives in the Ishasha sector to look for tree-climbing lions. You can also include Kibale National Park, Uganda’s most popular chimp trekking destination, on a combined 5-day itinerary with the above parks. However, less travel is involved if you substitute it with Kalinzu Forest or Kyambura Gorge, both of which offer chimp trekking on the border of Queen Elizabeth. For those who don’t want or can’t afford to track gorillas, a popular option for a 5-day safari is scenic Murchison Falls National Park. Here, four of the Big Five (lion, leopard, elephant and buffalo) might be seen on boat trips on the Nile or game drives north of the river. Murchison Falls is easily combined with Ziwa Rhino and Wildlife Ranch and/or chimp trekking in Budongo Forest. An off-the-beaten-track alternative to Murchison Falls is a 5-day day safari to Kidepo Valley National Park, which also hosts lion, leopard, elephant and buffalo, and could be combined with a stop at Ziwa Rhino and Wildlife Ranch.”

2

Which animals am I likely to see?

“That depends on your itinerary for the 5 days. On a tour package that includes Bwindi and Queen Elizabeth NPs, you can be all but certain of mountain gorilla, elephant, buffalo, hippo, warthog and Nile crocodile. You’ll also see plenty of antelope, most notably the endemic Uganda kob, and a variety of monkeys including Angola colobus, olive baboon and vervet monkey. You’re also quite likely to see lions in Queen Elizabeth, and lucky visitors might even encounter leopard and giant forest hog there. If you go chimp trekking, you probably stand an 80% to 90% chance of seeing chimps too. If you head north to Murchison Falls or Kidepo Valley NP, you’re almost certain to see elephant, buffalo, lion, giraffe, warthog, patas monkey and a variety of antelope. Hippo and Nile crocodile are common on the Nile as it flows through Murchison Falls, while Kidepo Valley is home to plenty of zebras. Leopards are present but rather uncommon in both parks. White rhinos can be tracked on foot at Ziwa Rhino and Wildlife Ranch and are almost 100% certain to be located. Chimp trekking at Budongo Forest, which borders Murchison Falls, also has a high success rate. Although the focus tends to be on large mammals, you can expect to see a huge variety of colorful tropical birds wherever you travel in Uganda.”

3

What are the options to extend my 5-day Uganda trip?

“Within Uganda, if you have a day or two spare at the end of your 5-day safari, popular add-ons include white-water rafting on the Nile near Jinja and boat trips into Mabamba Swamp to look for the bizarre shoebill. If you’re looking for somewhere to chill out by the water, your best option in Uganda is Lake Bunyonyi. Further afield, a 5-day Uganda safari focused on gorilla and chimp trekking pairs well with a Big Five safari in neighboring Tanzania or Kenya. For the more recreationally minded, the obvious coastal extension is Zanzibar Island, which lies in the Indian Ocean offshore of Tanzania.”

4

What is the best time of the year for a trip in Uganda?

“The top months to travel in Uganda are June, July, August, December, January and February. These are generally the driest months in the southwest, and thus ideal for gorilla trekking and other rainforest hikes. Wildlife viewing in savannah reserves also tends to be best during the Dry season, and there’s less chance of activities being rained out. While it is possible to track gorillas and chimps over March, April and May, these are the wettest months in Uganda, and best avoided if at all possible.”

5

How much will this safari cost?

“Budget 5-day Uganda safaris that don’t include gorilla or chimp trekking might come in at under US$1,000 per person, while those that need to allow for the US$600 gorilla trekking fee are typically in the US$1,700 to US$2,000 range. Upmarket 5-day gorilla trekking safaris using more luxurious accommodation and/or domestic flights generally fall into the US$2,500 to US$4,500 price bracket. Safari prices in Uganda generally include everything except drinks, tips and purchases of a personal nature.”

6

Uganda Reviews

4.4/5 351 Reviews
Expert
Mark Eveleigh  –  
United Kingdom UK

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

Fantastic wildlife and some of the friendliest people in Africa make Uganda unbeatable
5/5

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

Expert
Sue Watt  –  
United Kingdom UK

Sue is an award-winning writer who specializes in African travel and conservation. She writes for national newspapers, magazines, Rough Guides and Lonely Planet.

Great apes, great landscapes, great adventures
4/5

Most people understandably come to Uganda for its gorillas. Almost half of the world’s population of around 1,060 mountain gorillas lives in Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable and Mgahinga Gorilla national parks, and spending that precious...

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Dieter Fenner  –  
Switzerland CH
Reviewed: Feb 22, 2024
very beautiful country, pleasant climate, with friendly people and delicious food
5/5

we booked a safary by Karumuna Safari. we got the chance to see lots of the beauty of the country, especially the western part. we came across many different landscapes, from very fertile parts to the savannahs'. also the many different...

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Mateusz  –  
Poland PL
Reviewed: Feb 22, 2024
Excellent country, with beautiful nature, kind and polite people, safe place to visit.
5/5

Uganda is marketed as the pearl of Africa and this is true! This country is green, with beautiful nature and animals (GORILLAZ!). The country is safe. People are kind and polite. The food is delicious. If you go to Uganda, you should book...

Full Review

Dilsher Nawaz  –  
United States US
Reviewed: Feb 18, 2024
We went gorilla trekking , Uganda provides an idea opportunity
5/5

Beautiful visit we visited Kampala, Lake Victoria, Jinja to see the origin of the Nile and last but not the least Gorilla trek in the Biwindi Impenetrable Forrest. Beautiful country very safe with hospitable people. Very easy and safe to...

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John Wall  –  
Canada CA
Reviewed: Feb 14, 2024
5 Day Safari with Gorilla Viewing
5/5

My daughter and I spent 5 Days in Uganda on safari and viewing the mountain gorillas. Both the culture and scenery were amazing. We always felt safe and Home to Africa was an efficient tour company. Highly recommended!!

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