12 day primates, wildlife and Rwenzori safari.  

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This great 12 day primates wildlife and Rwenzori safari takes you hiking in the beautiful slopes of the Rwenzoris. Mountain Rwenzori is Uganda’s tallest and Africa third highest mountain. The mountain peaks are snowcapped throughout the year. The water from the melting glaciers forms stream, collecting into rivers and lakes on the mountain. These water bodies are a life line to the amazing flora and fauna on the mountain. The Mountain is famous for her giant lobelia, heather and groundsel. The moorlands, alpine, bamboo and tropical forest are the different vegetation zones on the Rwenzoris.

Encounter the endangered mountain gorillas in the lush green Bwindi forest. Bwindi forest is a primeval tropical forest located in the southern part of Uganda. This is home to the endangered mountain gorillas. The park is home to 21 habituated gorilla families found in the various gorilla sectors. Trek through the Kibale forest, the primate capital of the world for encounters with the chimpanzees and the 12 other primates that call this home. Explore the savanna parks of Queen Elizabeth and Lake Mburo for excellent game viewing.

12 day primates wildlife and Rwenzori safari itinerary 

Arrive in Entebbe airport and receive a warm welcome by your safari director. Transfer to your lodge and receive a short briefing before checking in your hotel. You have the option of doing a city tour depending on the time of your arrival.

Day 1: Transfer Kibale national park.

Embark on this 12 day primates wildlife and Rwenzori safari by exploring the tropical forest of Kibale national park. The scenic route offers evolving landscapes found in the different regions of Uganda. The terrain in the central region is fairly gentle with a few patches of tropical forests. The roadside markets of fresh produce are illuminating of the Ugandan culture. The terrain gradually evolves into steeper hills of Fort Portal. The town seats at the foothills of Mountain Rwenzori. Proceed to Kibale Forest national park on the curving roads. Check into your accommodation and enjoy the sounds emanating from the tropical paradise.

Day 2: Chimpanzee trekking.

12 day primates wildlife and Rwenzori safariKibale forest is known as the primate capital of the world. Rightly so. With 13 primate species, you are in for a treat. Although chimpanzees are the most sought after primates in this park, other primate species include; the blue monkeys, grey checked mangabeys, l’hoest’s monkey, white and black colobus monkeys and more. This chimpanzee trek takes you through the untouched forest. Transverse through the lush green undergrowth following the ranger’s guidance.

The tall daunting evergreen trees buzz with activity. Birds sing in unison cheering you on. The chimpanzees live in big family with a dominant male in command. Their vocal calls are fascinating. The most fascinating aspect are their facial features. They are rather identical to humans and look intelligent. Spend the hour observing them as they socialize in their group. Capture the moment, take a selfie and enjoy the wild on your African adventure safari. Later in the afternoon, check out of Kibale forest national park and the 2-hour drive to the Mountain Rwenzori. The scenic drive offers spectacular views of the snowcapped peaks on a clear day. Enjoy a relaxing evening by the foot hills of the towering mountains.

Day 3: On to the mountain. Base camp (1,615m) to Omuka Kiiza camp (2,977m)

This hiking adventure takes you onto the Muhoma trail for a glorious 3-day expedition on the mountain side. Although you don’t summit, the views of the snowcapped peaks and the scenery is magical. Meet your porters and chefs and after a short briefing, embark on the trails. The trails take you to the forested ridge overlooking the Mubuku river in the valley. The trail is home to various wildlife and bird species. Forest elephants, blue monkeys, chimpanzees, colobus monkeys and the three horned chameleon as some of the common wildlife you will encounter on your hike. The rare Rwenzori turaco is one of the most sought after bird in the Albertine region. The hike to the Omuka Kiiza camp is 7.2km long.

Day 4: Omuka Kiiza Camp (2.977m) to Lake Muhoma camp (3,515m)

 A breakfast on the mountain is transcending. A freshly brewed cup of coffee with scenic views is something short of heavenly. Follow the trail through the bamboo and heather forests. Follow the elephant trail, watching their foot marks, jumping over the water paddles. If you are lucky, you will spot them drinking from the hot springs. The giant lobelia and everlasting flowers offers a glimpse into the beautiful flora on the mountain side. Arrive at Lake Mahoma camp and enjoy a well-deserved rest after the 6.6km hike.

Day 5: Lake Muhoma camp (3.515m) to Nyakalengija gate.

12 day primates wildlife and Rwenzori safariThis is the last day on the mountain. Descend to Nyakalengija via the Nyabitaba camp through the central circuit. The central circuit is the most popular trail used for those summiting. Explore the various viewing spots on the lake for the best camera shots. The trail leads you the bamboo, heather and tropical forest. Proceed past the Nyabitaba camp, through the Mubuku valley and finally to Nyakalengija. Check into your accommodation and recover from the hiking expedition.

Day 6: Onto the Savanna plains

Sleep in, enjoy a late breakfast and recover from your hiking expedition. Transfer from the towering mountain to the savanna grasslands of Queen Elizabeth. This game reserve is synonymous with infinite savanna grasslands beaming with game. Check into your accommodation in preparation for your next day’s adventures.

Day 7: Explore Queen Elizabeth

Queen Elizabeth national park is one of the most visited park in Uganda. Its location in the western rift valley creates picturesque landscapes of crater lakes, escarpments, tropical forest and savanna plains. The morning game drive takes you to the Kasenyi plains for game viewing. Lions and leopards are the big cats found here. The mating grounds in Kasenyi attract more predator like hyenas and jackals. More big mammals like elephants, buffalo and hippos freely graze in the plains. Antelopes like Jackson’s Hartebeests, kobs, oribi and bush bucks graze in their family groups. Some of the 660 bird species in the park can be seen as you drive through the savanna.

The afternoon boat cruise on the Kazinga channel relaxes you yet still offers excellent game viewing opportunities. Elephants, warthogs, waterbucks and kobs line the banks in the hot afternoon heat to quench their thirst. Small herds of buffalo wallow in the shallow ends on the banks to cool down and guard against predators. Schools of hippos and basks of crocodiles are spotted with their big mouth wide open.

Day 8: Visit Ishasha and transfer to Bwindi.

The Ishasha sector is famous for the tree climbing lions. Various theories have flaunted as to why they climb trees. To avoid the flies and insects or to enjoy the cooler air at a higher altitude, no one knows. More wildlife is present and is spotted in this sector of Queen Elizabeth. Proceed through the scenic terraced hills to Bwindi. Here, the tall evergreen trees form a thick canopy regularly covered by mist.

Day 9: Gorilla encounters.

Mountain Gorilla GroupGorilla trekking is one of the most prevalent safari activity on any African safari. This gorilla trek takes you through the lush green forest for close interactions with the various gorilla families. Bwindi is home to over 21 habituated gorilla families ready for trekking. The towering trees, the epiphytes and the thick undergrowth is quite dissimilar to the savanna plains in Queen Elizabeth. The sounds of the birds and whistling of wind in the trees breaks the silence during the trek. Gorillas are social and live in large families of up to 25 members.

Your trek takes you to one of the gorilla families. The dominant silverback eyes you with guarded curiosity. The females hang onto their young while the juveniles are overran with enthusiasm. Observe them as they feed and interact with each other. The hour long encounter flies by. Take photos and video to share with family and friends.

Day 10: Transfer to Lake Bunyonyi.   

Leave the forested paradise and transfer through the winding roads to Lake Bunyonyi, the second deepest lake in Africa. Scenic beauty is one of the words used to describe the lake. The Lava lake is dotted with islands and is surrounded by beautifully terraced hills. Explore some of the more prominent islands and learn about their history (In Africa, everything has a fascinating history). The Akampene island (Punishment island) is particularly interesting because of its dark history. Girls who got pregnant before marriage were abandoned on this small patch of land and left to die. Relax and enjoy the sweet sound of the birds on the island.

Day 11: Transfer to Lake Mburo

The 4-hour drive to Lake Mburo is magical. The rolling terraced hills of Kabale progressively turn into flat farm lands. The cold climate turns into a warm tropical wilderness. Lake Mburo is one of the wonders on any Uganda safari. This small game reserve packs a punch with her numerous herds of wildlife. The evening game drive offers sightings of the vast herds of Zebra, impala and eland. Giraffes, buffalo, topi, warthog and much more are spotted in the acacia woodland. There are rare sightings of the elusive leopard.

Day 12: Transfer to Entebbe:

Embark on a walk with the game on your morning nature walk. Get closer than you can ever imagined to the docile giraffes, topis, zebra and warthog. The smell of fresh grass and the sounds of the game leaves everlasting memories. Depart for Kampala and depending on the time of your flight, check out Kampala city and buy some souvenirs for your friends and family back home. This will mark the end of your 12 day primates wildlife and Rwenzori safari.

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