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7-Day Uganda Gorilla Trekking & Safari Tours

4.4/5  –  376 Uganda Reviews

Uganda is Africa's most varied safari destination. Here, in the space of a few days, you can track mountain gorillas in the misty highlands of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, watch chimpanzees frolic in any of half a dozen different forests, track rhinos on foot at Ziwa Rhino and Wildlife Ranch, and embark on wildlife drives and boat trips into classic safari terrain inhabited by the rest of the Big Five (lion, leopard, elephant, buffalo and rhino). And when it comes to the visibility and variety of its monkeys and birds, no other country in eastern or southern Africa rivals Uganda. Best of all, since most of Uganda’s top wildlife attractions can be found in the compact southwest, a well-organized 7-day safari provides a superb introduction to the country’s rich variety of animals.

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7 Questions About 7-Day Uganda Tours


7 Questions About 7-Day Uganda Tours

Answered by Philip Briggs

Where should I go on a 1-week Uganda trip?

“By far the most popular 7-day itinerary focuses on Uganda’s southwestern cluster of national parks: Bwindi Impenetrable, Queen Elizabeth and Kibale. This southwestern loop is easily the recommended option if this is your first visit to Uganda and seeing gorillas and chimps is a priority. A variant itinerary that excludes gorilla trekking would focus on Ziwa Rhino and Wildlife Ranch, Murchison Falls National Park and Kibale National Park. For those who prefer to head seriously off the beaten track, a recommended alternative is an eastern loop that includes Ziwa, the fabulously remote but very rewarding Kidepo Valley National Park, a cultural tour in the remote Karamoja region, and a visit to lush Sipi Falls on the slopes of Mt Elgon.”


Is 7 days a good length for a tour in Uganda?

“One week is a good length for a Uganda safari and enough time to take in the main southwestern highlights. These include gorilla trekking in Bwindi, chimp trekking in Kibale, a boat trip on the Kazinga Channel in Queen Elizabeth NP, and a game drive in search of tree-climbing lions in the same park’s Ishasha sector. However, there’s a lot to be said for looking at a slightly longer safari. Many tours slot in an overnight stop at Lake Mburo National Park to break up the drive between Entebbe International Airport and the southwest, in which case we would recommend making it an 8-day safari. And if you want your itinerary to extend northwest to Murchison Falls and Ziwa without omitting any of the southwestern highlights, it’s best to increase the total duration to 10 days.”


What animals can I expect to see?

“You’ll encounter a huge diversity of animals on a 7-day Uganda safari. If you follow the southwestern circuit incorporating Bwindi Impenetrable, Queen Elizabeth and Kibale National Parks, and do all the popular activities there, you’re almost certain to see mountain gorilla, elephant, buffalo, hippo and an incredible variety of monkeys and birds. Less certain but also very likely are chimpanzee and lion, possibly even leopard and giant forest hog. Lake Mburo National Park is the only park in the southwest to support giraffe, zebra and impala. Elsewhere, for Big Five aficionados, Murchison Falls and Kidepo Valley National Parks both harbor lion, leopard, elephant and buffalo, as does Queen Elizabeth NP. Ziwa is the only place in Uganda where you can see rhinos.”


What kind of accommodations can I expect?

“Accommodations in Uganda cater to all tastes and budgets, and the kind of places you’ll stay on any given safari will depend on what you have paid. Most major attractions are serviced by at least one exclusive luxury lodge or camp comparable in quality to the finest elsewhere in Africa. There's also a good selection of mid-range and upmarket lodges, as well as budget-friendly guesthouses and simple but well-equipped campsites.”


What is the best time of the year for a 7-day Uganda safari?

“The best time for a Uganda safari is during the Dry seasons (June to August and December to February). These months offer the best climatic conditions for gorilla and chimp trekking and are also good for game drives in savannah reserves such as Queen Elizabeth and Murchison Falls. The months of September and October are also quite good. The wetter months of March, May and November are less ideal for travel, and we would urge against visiting in April, which is the wettest month in most of the country.”


How much will this safari cost?

“Budget to mid-range 7-day safaris that focus on the southwest and include gorilla trekking and chimp trekking typically cost US$2,400 to US$3,000 per person. This rate should include transport, accommodations, meals, park fees and permits relating to scheduled activities, as well as the services of a professional driver-guide. Cheaper camping tours are available, but if you book one of these, check carefully what is and isn't included in the price. Luxury tours using more exclusive accommodations generally cost upwards of US$4,500 per person.”


What beach extensions could be added to a 7-day Uganda safari?

“Uganda has no ocean frontage, so for a conventional post-safari beach experience, you’re best heading to Mombasa (Kenya) or Zanzibar (Tanzania). From Entebbe, there are no direct flights to either of these beach destinations, but it is easy enough to route through Nairobi for Mombasa, or through Nairobi or Kilimanjaro International Airport for Zanzibar. For a waterside experience within Uganda, Lake Bunyonyi is a popular chill-out spot. This bilharzia-free lake has a pretty highland setting, a scattering of pleasant accommodations, and good proximity to Bwindi Impenetrable and Mgahinga Gorilla National Parks (the country’s two gorilla trekking destinations). Because Lake Bunyonyi lies in the far southwest, around nine to 10 hours’ drive from Kampala or Entebbe, it makes more sense to add a visit onto a safari to Bwindi or Mgahinga, than to make a separate trip there. For a more active experience about two hours’ drive east of Kampala or Entebbe, the Nile immediately downriver of its source near the city of Jinja (on the shore of Lake Victoria) offers superb white-water rafting as well as kayaking, bungee jumping and quad biking.”


Uganda Reviews

4.4/5 376 Reviews
Lizzie Williams  –  
South Africa ZA

Lizzie is a reputed guidebook writer and author of the Footprint guides to South Africa, Namibia, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Zimbabwe.

Mountain Gorillas, Chimps and Birds in Lush, Well-Watered and Incredibly Green Hills and Valleys

Most of the superlative descriptions you read about Uganda are totally true: it really is a place of shimmering lakes, lofty mountains and mysterious forests. Uganda is best known as the place to see mountain gorillas, and no safari to the...

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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

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 nor such great...

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David Tredinnick  –  
Australia AU
Reviewed: Jun 2, 2024
The pearl of Africa lives us to expectations

Murchison national park & waterfall where an amazing experience. So beautiful and amazing to see all the animals and birds in their natural surroundings. Tour operators was first class & very knowledgeable about everything

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Erica  –  
United Arab Emirates AE
Reviewed: May 26, 2024
Uganda is a true description nature and beauty thus the Pearl of Africa.

I truly recommend 👌 the adventure, it was really remarkable being one with nature an awesome feeling to cherish. The adventure indeed exceeded my expectations. Thanks team for your service to give us such unforgettable memories.

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Sabine Reichow  –  
Spain ES
Reviewed: May 18, 2024
Unique experiance Uganda

After having been on Safari in Kenia and in South Afrika, we choose Uganda as a destination to experiance what we saw as the ultimate highlite in Safaris…… the chimpansee and Gorilla trekking in Uganda. We visited a week end of April,...

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Matthew Montanari  –  
United States US
Reviewed: May 15, 2024
A Lush Oasis with So Much to See

My wife and I did a 5 day Uganda safari. Our guide, Francis, picked us up from our hotel in Entebbe and we drove several hours to start our trip at Queen Elizabeth National Park (QENP). Even though we visited during the rainy season, we...

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