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8-Day Uganda Gorilla Trekking & Safari Tours

4.3/5  –  327 Uganda Reviews

No matter how many safaris you’ve done elsewhere in Africa, Uganda offers something fresh and different. True, like most other safari destinations, this lush equatorial country incorporates some excellent savannah reserves and is home to all the Big Five. But what makes Uganda stand out is its wealth of forest-associated wildlife: gorillas, chimps, a dozen or so monkey species, and a long list of birds that cannot easily be seen elsewhere. As a result, you’ll experience plenty of variety on a well-organized 8-day Uganda safari: gorilla and chimp trekking through the jungle, boat trips on tropical waterways alive with hippos, and game drives in search of lions and elephants are just some of the highlights of this diverse land.

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1-20 of 89 Uganda 8-day gorilla & safari trips, holidays, vacations and packages

6 Questions About 8-Day Uganda Safaris


6 Questions About 8-Day Uganda Safaris

Answered by Philip Briggs

Is 8 days a good amount of time for a trip in Uganda?

“Yes, 8 days is a good length for a safari that focuses on the highlights of southwest Uganda. It is sufficient time to track gorillas and chimps, which are the country’s most popular activities, as well as to explore some of its aquatic and savannah habitats. That said, it pays to be realistic about what can be covered comfortably in 8 days, and we would recommend allocating a day or two longer to any itinerary that combines gorilla trekking and chimp trekking in the southwest with a safari in the more northerly Murchison Falls NP and Ziwa Rhino and Wildlife Ranch.”


Where should I go on an 8-day safari in Uganda?

“Most 8-day Uganda safaris concentrate on the world-class southwestern cluster of national parks. This is definitely the area to visit if you plan to track gorillas, as it’s home to Bwindi Impenetrable and Mgahinga Gorilla National Parks, the two places in Uganda where this can be done. Both these parks also offer other worthwhile activities, for instance, golden monkey trekking and volcano hikes in Mgahinga, and guided forest walks in Bwindi. Other highlights of the southwest are Queen Elizabeth and Kibale National Parks. Queen Elizabeth is a savannah reserve where plains wildlife includes elephants, tree-climbing lions and the prolific hippos that haunt the Kazinga Channel. Kibale is Uganda’s top chimp trekking destination, but it’s also good for other forest monkeys and birds, and the surrounding area contains some beautiful crater lakes. If a gorilla visit is not on your agenda, a great 8-day itinerary that offers a good chance of seeing all the Big Five combines Murchison Falls NP with chimp trekking in Budongo Forest and rhino trekking in Ziwa Rhino and Wildlife Ranch. A more off-the-beaten-track option is the far northeast, where Kidepo Valley NP ranks as one of East Africa’s most underrated and untrammeled safari destinations. Four of the Big Five are present in Kidepo, and the fifth can be seen en route at Ziwa Rhino and Wildlife Ranch. Other highlights of the east include cultural visits to Karamoja, the lovely Sipi Falls, and white-water rafting near Jinja.”


Which animals can I expect to see?

“You’ll encounter a diverse selection of wildlife on any 8-day Uganda safari. Assuming that your itinerary includes one of the three major savannah reserves (Queen Elizabeth, Murchison Falls and Kidepo Valley) you’re all but certain to see elephant, buffalo, warthog and a variety of antelope including the endemic Uganda kob. Lions are quite common in all these parks, and leopards are present but somewhat more secretive. Many other species are very site- or activity-specific. If you track gorillas in Bwindi or Mgahinga, you can be 99% confident of seeing these magnificent apes, while most chimp trekking sites boast a success rate above 80%. Likewise, you’re almost certain to get close to white rhinos if you track them in Ziwa. Giraffes are common in Murchison Falls, Kidepo Valley and Lake Mburo, and zebra also occur in the last two parks, but neither is present in Queen Elizabeth. Hippos are an abundant feature of boat trips in Murchison Falls, Queen Elizabeth and Lake Mburo, but absent from Kidepo Valley. Because it incorporates so much forest, Uganda is Africa’s most diverse safari destination for monkeys. Depending on exactly where you visit, you might see the endemic Uganda mangabey and near-endemic Uganda red colobus, along with Rwenzori colobus, olive baboon and vervet, patas, red-tailed and l’Hoest’s monkeys. Birds are generally very conspicuous in Uganda and dedicated bird-watchers could hope to see up to 250 species in the space of 8 days.”


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

“You can track gorillas and chimps, and visit any of Uganda’s national parks, throughout the year, but the optimum time to travel is in the Dry seasons, which run from June to August and December to February. Gorilla trekking and other forest walks are easiest in dry conditions, and it is also when wildlife tends to be most conspicuous. If you can’t make it to Uganda during the above months, September and October are also good for travel, but try to avoid the peak rainy months of March to May and November if at all possible.”


How much will an 8-day Uganda safari cost?

“Traveling to the southwest, you should be looking at a price of around US$2,500 to US$3,000 per person for a budget to mid-range 8-day safari that includes gorilla and chimp trekking. Prices of upmarket gorilla trekking tours that use more luxurious accommodation are generally around US$4,000 per person, more if domestic flights are involved. By contrast, 8-day safaris that focus on Murchison Falls or Kidepo Valley tend to be a lot cheaper than tours that include gorilla trekking. Rates are generally all-inclusive, the only extras will be drinks, tips and other one-off purchases.”


What beach extensions could be added to a Uganda trip?

“Because Uganda is a landlocked country, visitors seeking to combine a safari there with a few days relaxing on the beach generally fly on to neighboring Kenya or Tanzania. The offshore island of Zanzibar, which forms part of Tanzania, is probably the region’s most popular beach destination, but Kenya also enjoys plenty of Indian Ocean frontage. Within Uganda, Lake Bunyonyi is a great place to relax for a few days, while the Nile near Jinja is popular with active travelers as it offers good white-water rafting, kayaking, bungee jumping and quad biking.”


Uganda Reviews

4.3/5 327 Reviews
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 or such great...

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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, and it really is a place of shimmering lakes, lofty mountains and mysterious forests. Best known as the place to see mountain gorillas, no safari to the country...

Full Review

Marion Schöbel  –  
Germany DE
Reviewed: Nov 14, 2023
Indescribably beautiful

The country is beautiful, the people are friendly, approachable, open, funny and always in a good mood. The safari with NganiSafari was an unforgettable experience for me. I hit the jackpot with my driver, David. He always knows where and...

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Dany Punie  –  
Belgium BE
Reviewed: Oct 26, 2023
Our new favorite country!!

We had the most beautifull experience in Uganda! In 3 weeks, we enjoyed Sipi Falls, Kidepo NP, Queen Elisabeth NP, the magnificent Murchison Park and the Falls (never seen such a stunning and powerfull Fall!), Kibale NP, with an...

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Karen  –  
United States US
Reviewed: Oct 15, 2023

Uganda is an underrated destination. I had a wonderful time. The people were so kind and I felt completely safe. I visited Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary, Kibale Natinal Park, Queen Elizabeth National Park, and the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest. I had...

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Cristina  –  
Italy IT
Reviewed: Oct 9, 2023
Stunning country, full of explosive and lush nature. Wonderful!

Uganda is a wonderful country, full of explosive and lush nature. We saw many animals (elephants, giraffes, hyenas, lions, leopards, antelopes, zebras, hippos, buffaloes, all types of birds) and the encounter with chimpanzees and gorillas...

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