3 day Kibale chimp trek and Queen Elizabeth National Park wildlife safari tour in search of the ‘BIG 5’, chimps, primates and lots of birds.
Kibale National Park is an extension of the great rainforests of Central Africa. It is inhabited by three large communities of chimps, each numbering more than 100 individuals. Each community has a complicated social structure. The big adult males dominate the group and defend the community territory against incursions by male outsiders; the females usually wander in small family groups.
Typically, we locate the chimps by listening for their pant-hooting calls, then hustle to the area from which they are calling. We get to observe them as they feed in fruiting trees, lounge, and socialize with each other, or even, occasionally hunt.
Queen Elizabeth National Park incorporates dozens of mirror surfaced crater-lakes, salty and fresh water lakes. There are over 95 mammal including 10 primate species (chimpanzees, vervet, blue, red-tailed, L’Hoest monkey, colobus, baboons), up to 20 predators (lion, leopard, spotted hyena, etc), antelopes, buffaloes, hippos, elephants.
More than 610 bird species (probably the highest total for any national park in Africa, if not the world. In addition to 54 raptors, the checklist includes virtually every waterbird species of Uganda, a variety of woodland and forest species.
- Day 1: Kibale National Park & Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary
- Day 2: Chimpanzee tracking in Kibale National Park
- Day 3: Queen Elizabeth National Park game drive & boat trip
Briefing on the safari before we drive westwards towards Fort Portal to the Kibale Forest National Park (about 5 hours).
Traveling on both asphalt and unpaved roads,you pass through traditional Ugandan Villages where you see people at work tending their traditional crops of millet, sorghum, beans and maize. The lush rolling hills of this region provide good photo opportunities.
As you approach Fort Portal in the foothills of the Rwenzori Mountains, you enter Uganda’s famous tea plantation region. A carpet of green spreads before you, as far as the eye can see, and seems an unusual contrast to the countryside through which you have just passed.
You arrive at Fort Portal, then, continue toward Kibale Forest, one of the great African rainforest research reserves. Years of study by scientists (who have cut a grid through the forest) have habituated many of its animals to human observers. This forest is famed for the variety of primates found here and it is a terrific area for birds.
This rural Ugandan town (Fort Portal) is locally famous for its weaving and basketry, and we can spend some time briefly to examine some of this local art.
In the afternoon we visit a nearby forest swamp that is excellent for viewing primates and other forest animals. At the eastern edge of Kibale forest is Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary which is maintained by the local community. You will expect birds like the great blue turaco, blue monkeys, baboons, otters, mongoose, bushbucks, bush pigs and among others.
Accommodation options available (all on full board basis)
Up-market: Kyaninga Lodge | Primate Lodge Kibale | Ndali Lodge
Moderate: Kibale Forest Camp
Low Budget: Chimpanzee Forest Guesthouse
Day 2: Chimpanzee Tracking in Kibale National Park
Assemble at Kanyankyu River camp at 08:00 hours to go for the most popular activity in this park which is chimpanzee tracking.
Chimpanzees are man’s closest cousins though they are one of the most threatened primate species. More primates like black and white colobus monkeys, L’Hoest monkeys, grey-cheeked mangabey, red-tailed monkeys, bush babies, pottos and many bird species like the yellow spotted nicator, rumped tinker bird, little greenbul, green breasted pitta, the crowned eagle, black bee-eater and mammals like elephants can be seen in this walk.
After the tracking, we drive to Queen Elizabeth National Park (about 3 hours driving) which is dominated on its northern border by the snow-capped 16,000-foot Rwenzori Mountains – the famed “Mountains of the Moon”.
This 767-square-mile conservation area is bordered on the north-east by Lake George and on the south-west by Lake Edward; its western border adjoins the Congo Parc du Virunga. You will expect to see teeming herds of impala-like Uganda kob, as well as topi, elephant and lion, giant forest hog, Cape buffalo. There are also several soda lakes filling ancient volcanic calderas where flamingos reside seasonally.
Accommodation options available (all on full board basis)
Up-market/Luxury: Mweya Safari Lodge | Jacana Safari Lodge | Katara Lodge
Mid-range or moderate facility: Queen Elizabeth Bush Lodge (rooms) | Simba Safari Camp (rooms) | Buffalo Safari Resort | Enganzi Lodge | Ihamba Safari Lodge
Budget price: Kazinga Channel View Resort | Simba Safari Camp (tents) | Mweya Hostels | Bush Lodge (tents)
Meals included today: Breakfast, lunch and dinner
Day 3: Queen Elizabeth National Park Game Drive & Boat Trip
We set out early in the morning for a game drive in the northern part of the park on the Kasenyi Track in search of lions, elephants, solitary buffaloes. This is the best time for opportunities of viewing the cats in action owing to the vast population of Uganda kobs. We have an excellent chance to view just about every animal here at very close range.
Return to the lodge for your breakfast, before heading out for a launch trip along the Kazinga Channel. This gives you the opportunity to view wildlife up close: hippo’s huff and spray at a mere feet away from the boat, buffalo linger in the shallows. The shores of the channel are also home to an array of birds including pink backed pelicans, pied and malachite kingfishers, saddle billed stork and many others.
After the boat ride, we embark on our return journey to Kampala, arriving arriving early in the evening.
- Transport 4WD safari van
- 2 Nights accommodation self contained rooms
- Park entrance fees
- Boat ride
- Community walk
- An English/German /French/Spanish guide driver.
- Plus all Uganda Wild life Authority Taxes
- Gorilla Permit
- International and domestic flights
- All kinds of beverages
- Tips and personal expenditures such as laundry and communication