5 Days Uganda Chimpanzee and Gorilla Habituation experiences
This 5 days Chimpanzee and Gorilla habituation Safari is one in a life time experience for all primates’ lovers and best for those who wish to spend more time with the primates. Habituation is a process where researchers under the Uganda Wildlife Authority visit a selected group of gorillas on a daily basis to make them get used to human beings. This process also involves studying them in behavior, habits, population and they are later identified by sex, age and given names and once the researchers are confident about the group, they are introduced to visitors after 6 months of mock exercises. Bwindi impenetrable national park and Kibale forest national park are the only places in the world that will provide you such an experience to study these primates. Only 4 people are allowed to visit a semi-habituated gorilla family on a daily so visitors interested in habituation, must book in advance about 5 months before your travel date. With this kind of a trip, you will be able to compare both experiences.
This 5 days Chimpanzee and Gorilla habituation experiences expand on your understanding about primates. The trip will starts and ends in Uganda – Entebbe airport however, it can also be ended in Kigali Rwanda since its much closer to drive from Bwindi to Kigali Rwanda but at an extra cost as compared to driving from Bwindi to Entebbe taken given the travel distance.
- Day 1: Pick up and transfer to Kibale national park
- Day 2: Chimpanzee Habituation experience
- Day 3: Transfer to Bwindi Impenetrable national park
- Day 4: Gorilla Habituation experience
- Day 5: Transfer to Kampala/Entebbe/Departure
Day 1: Pick up and transfer to Kibale national park
Upon arrival at Entebbe airport in the morning hours before 12:00 am, you will be welcomed and briefed by our company representative who will also be your safari guide. Depart the airport and embark on your journey to Kibale national park located in the Western part of Uganda about 5-6 hours’ drive from Entebbe with en-route lunch. The drive is interesting as you drive through the countryside with its people. Arrive in Fort portal – the nearest town to the park late afternoon, proceed to your provided accommodation to check-in, relax as you wait for dinner to be served and overnight stay
Accommodation and meals (Full board)
- Luxury option; Kyaninga lodge
- Mid-range option; Chimpanzee Guesthouse
- Budget option: Isunga lodge
Day 2: Chimpanzee habituation experience
After early morning breakfast, you will report to the park head offices for a briefing from the park warden about the activity you will be going for. During the briefing, you are given expectations about the experience and for your own good, please listen and obey to the instructions provided.
After the briefing, with your trekking gears and water, enter the rain forest to start your search for the chimpanzee alongside your armed ranger guides and the researcher. Kibale forest is the best destination in the world where you are 99 percent guaranteed to see the chimpanzees. The park has about 13 different primates’ species including the chimpanzees and also a home to a number of different birds and some of them will be encountered during the trek. Kibale forest also has a corridor that connects to Queen Elizabeth national park and so some animals do come to the forest and during your trekking experience, you may encounter some of the animals including the forest elephants and antelopes.
The search for the semi-habituated chimpanzees is not the same as searching for the habituated ones because the semi-habituated ones are usually shy and run away upon sensing that they are being encroached or become violate. This usually takes a whole day in the forest while the researchers take you through the proceed of habituating the chimpanzees and on finding the chimpanzees, you will take about 4 hours in their presence while taking pictures. Later evening return to your lodge.
Day 3: Transfer to Bwindi Impenetrable national park
After early morning breakfast, check-out of the lodge and embark on your long day drive to Bwindi Impenetrable national park that is in the far southwestern part of Uganda in Kisoro district near Uganda-Rwanda border. It’s about 7 hours’ drive via Ishaka with en-route lunch and several stops to refresh. Upon arrival in Kisoro, proceed to your lodge close to Rushaga sector where Gorilla habituation experience is done, check-in and rest. Dinner will be served and sleep for the rest of the night
Accommodation and meals (Full board)
- Luxury option; Clouds Mountain Gorilla lodge
- Mid-range option; Ichumbi Gorilla lodge
- Budget option; Rushaga Gorilla Camp
Day 4: Gorilla habituation experience
After an early morning breakfast, drive to the park headquarters at 7 :00 am for briefing about the park and its habitants and also you will be advised on your expectations during trekking from the researchers. Bwindi impenetrable national park has the world’s largest population of the mountain gorillas with four different sectors with each having more than three gorilla families. On this trip, you will visit Rushaga sector which is the only sector provided for gorilla habituation for visitors. After briefing, drive to the starting point of the trek and enter the forest with your provided armed range guides and researchers to search for the mountain gorillas. This is a whole day experience because find the semi-habituated gorillas is not as the same as just trekking them as they move up and down the hilly jungle, and on meeting them, stay with the gorillas for a maximum of 4 hours before you descend back to the starting point to where your driver will be waiting for you to return and relax at the lodge for dinner and overnight stay
Day 5: Transfer to Kampala/Entebbe/Departure
After your delicious breakfast, check-out of the lodge and embark on your 8-9 hours’ drive back to Kampala/Entebbe. This drive is very interesting as you drive through the beautiful landscape and its people. Enjoy a lunch break in Mbarara town, one of the best towns in the western region of Uganda with a cultural treat at Igongo cultural center. Return on your journey and also stop at the Equator to refresh and have the equator experience before you proceed. Depending on your advice, your safari guide will drop you off at the location you advise in Kampala or Entebbe or drop you off at Entebbe airport for your flight. Note that to be on time for your flight, book an evening flight from 8:00 pm East African time. End of the 5 days Chimpanzee and Gorilla habituation experience