Uganda: Land of the Apes
September 21 to October 1, 2024
Trek deep into Uganda’s mountainous jungles seeking elusive chimpanzees and mountain gorillas. You’ll be enamored by these complex, social beings as you witness their intriguing behaviors. Morning and afternoon hikes in Kibale National Park offer ample time to enjoy the charming chimpanzee families as they groom, forage, interact, and play. At Bwindi National Park, your three awe-inducing journeys into the mysterious Impenetrable Forest provide precious time with the critically endangered mountain gorillas as these gentle giants trudge among the trees to feed, socialize, and care for their young. You may come across up to 13 species of primates on this safari, and you will undoubtedly connect with our closest relatives in a most life-altering way.
- Observing and photographing a full range of chimpanzee behaviors in Kibale National Park.
- Encountering critically endangered mountain gorillas during the three one-hour windows in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest.
- Visiting villages and meeting the charming people of Uganda.
- Begin your journey early on our Zimbabwe trip from September 9 to 23, 2024. Safari on private concessions where you will share wildlife sightings only with others from our small camps and lodges. Enjoy the proximity and flexibility to, at a moment’s notice, jump in a Land Cruiser and rush to watch a lion’s sunset hunt.
Updated: July 2023
Print Trip Safari Options
|Sep 21-22||Travel to Entebbe Uganda from our Zimbabwe trip or home.|
|Sep 23||Arrive in Entebbe||Karibu Guesthouse|
|Sep 24||Fly to Kibale Forest and visit a local village.||Papaya Lake Lodge||B, L, D|
|Sep 25||Trek for chimpanzees.||Papaya Lake Lodge||B, L, D|
|Sep 26-29||Fly to the Impenetrable Forest and trek for gorillas||Bwindi Lodge||B, L, D|
|Sep 30||Fly back to Entebbe for lunch and transfers to the airport for flights home.||B, L|
|Oct 1||Arrive home.|
Our Trip Leaders
A glimpse into our journey
Arrive in Entebbe
Our local agent will meet you at the airport and transfer you to the Karibu Guest House.
Travel to Kibale
Fly from Entebbe to Kasese and drive to popular Kibale National Park. Arrive in time for a village visit in the afternoon.
Visit the Chimpanzees
Kibale National Park is known for its rich variety and concentration of primates such as vervets, l’Hoest’s monkeys, red colobus, black-and-white colobus, and olive baboons in addition to its 1,500 chimpanzee residents. You may also see forest elephants, bush pigs, dukiers, many amphibians and reptiles, and some of the more than 375 birds that inhabit this area.
Wake up before dawn to hike into the forest arriving at your focal chimp group just in time to see them stir and wake from their nests. Observe their daily routines while they interact in their natural habitat, and watch them eat, groom, play, and care for their young. Your expert guide will describe their behaviors and help locate other animals that share the tropical forest.
Spend time with the Gorillas
Take a flight south to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, home of the critically endangered mountain gorillas (Gorilla beringei beringei). This forest is part of a national park that lies on the edge of the Albertine Rift Valley with a wide altitude range between 1,160m and 2,600m (peaking over 8,500ft above sea level) in southwestern Uganda. The forest dates back to the ice ages and is one of Uganda's oldest and most ecologically diverse regions. It is home to almost 400 plant species, 350 bird species including 23 Albertine Rift endemics, and 120 mammal species including rodents, bats, mountain gorillas, olive baboons, chimpanzees, elephants, and antelopes.
Your knowledgeable guide will lead you on your venture to track mountain gorillas each day. Following a morning briefing by your gorilla guide, who will tell you about your assigned gorilla family and appropriate safety precautions, you will drive to the trailhead to start your thrilling quest. You may have a full day of hiking long distances (taking anywhere from two to eight hours to find the elusive mountain gorillas) in steep and sometimes muddy conditions.
Once you find your gorilla family, you will spend one hour with them as they engage in their daily lives. You will witness mundane, yet enthralling behaviors such as feeding, playing, and tending to their young. These face-to-face encounters with giant mountain gorillas create an inspiring adventure that few are lucky to have.
When not tracking and spending time with the gorillas, you can enjoy lodge activities (such as complementary spa treatment or river walk) or visit to Ride 4 a Woman, a pangolin rescue experience and/or go on a waterfall hike or Batwa Experience.
Fly back to Entebbe for lunch and flights home
Connect with our primate relatives in the Ugandan jungles as chimpanzees and mountain gorillas go about their daily tasks.
View Our Gallery
Cost & Payments
Costs (in US$)
|Type||Cost Per Person|
|Trip Cost, double occupancy||$12,050|
Costs are per person, double occupancy, not including airfare (except for three internal flights), singles extra. See Included and Not Included sections for more details.
If you are a single traveler, we will try to find a roommate for you, but if we cannot pair you with a roommate, we will charge you a single supplement.
|Payment||Due Date||Amount Per Person|
|Deposit||Due now to reserve your space||$2,500|
|Final||March 10, 2024||Remaining Balance|
Payments are due based on the schedule above. All reservations require a deposit to confirm reservation of your space.
Until the Final Payment due date, deposits are refundable except for a cancellation fee of $2,500 per person ($2,500 per person is for the pre-purchased, non-refundable and non-transferable gorilla and chimpanzee permits). Cancellations are non-transferrable. No refunds are given after the Final Payment due date.
- Carbon offsets for the duration of this trip.
- All leaders, transport, park entry fees, landing fees, and permits for all activities unless described as optional.
- Permits for 1 full day of tracking chimpanzees in Kibale National Park (non-refundable and non-transferable).
- Permits for three full days of tracking gorillas in Bwindi National Park (non-refundable and non-transferable).
- Gorilla porters including gratuity.
- Three internal flights.
- Accommodations (double occupancy) for the nights of September 23 through 29.
- Meals from breakfast on September 24 through lunch on September 30.
- Alcoholic beverages (except French champagne) at Bwindi Lodge.
- Transfers on September 23 and September 30 to and from the Entebbe Airport.
- Trip Planning Materials – information about entry requirements, flights, packing, gratuities, etc.
- Short-term AMREF Flying Doctor emergency evacuation insurance. This does not include hospital or treatment costs.
- Carbon offsets for your flights to/from this trip.
- Airfare is approximately $1,500 to $2,000 from the US to and from Entebbe, depending on origin.
- Passport and visa fees.
- COVID tests.
- Divergent airport transfers and extra hotel nights.
- Gratuities – tipping is always discretionary. However, we suggest budgeting about $10 per participant per day for 8 days with our leaders (about $80 total per participant), plus $5 per chimp trek per participant and $45 per participant for each gorilla trek to be divided among the team. It is customary to tip porters $1 per service and waitstaff $2 per client.
- Optional trip cancellation insurance.
- Items of a personal nature such as laundry, telephone calls, medical costs or hospitalization, room service, alcoholic beverages (except included at Bwindi Lodge, besides French Champagne), items not on the regular menu, etc. If you have special dietary needs, please indicate them on your Traveler Form.
- Optional VIP Meet and Greet to facilitate customs in Entebbe ($65 to $130 depending on number of people).
- Optional tours such as a Batwa Experience, Pangolin Encounter, or guided waterfall hike.
Uganda’s temperatures generally stay the same year-round. Daytime temperatures range from 65 to 85°F and nighttime temperatures in the mid-50s°F, but with climate change weather is more variable, so prepare for varying climate conditions. September through November are the transitional months between the rainy and dry seasons in Uganda, so expect some rain. The Bwindi Impenetrable Forest is rainy and fairly damp year round.
You may hike to search for gorillas and chimpanzees for two to six miles per day (sometimes spending more than four to eight hours) in steep, uneven, and muddy terrain. You’ll hike regardless of the weather conditions. A local porter will carry your gear during the hikes so that you can focus on photography and the rugged terrain. Please contact us if you have any health concerns that may make this trip challenging.
Detailed logistical information is included in the Trip Planning Materials we will send you.
Flights you book
- Arrive in Entebbe, Uganda (EBB) by 11:50pm on September 23. If you are arriving from our Zimbabwe trip, see the Flights section in its itinerary for arrival information.
- Depart from Entebbe, Uganda (EBB) after 4:00pm on September 30.
Flights we book
- Three internal flights are included in the trip cost.
Your lodging throughout the trip is high end, and Bwindi Lodge is particularly luxurious and includes a complementary spa treatment and an open bar (except for French Champagne).
Our company ethos has always regarded conservation as inseparable from responsible tourism. We struggle with the dilemma that traveling worldwide expends climate-changing carbon. However, we wholeheartedly believe that traveling with us will cultivate your passion for conserving our beautiful world while stimulating each destination’s local economy. We encourage you to explore the various ways in which Cheesemans’ operates within this context:
- Ecotourism and Conservation in Uganda
- Cheesemans’ Trips are Carbon Neutral
- Offsetting your Travel to/from our Trip: We ask you to pledge to offset the carbon emissions for your travel to and from our trips. You can purchase offsets with most airlines (Delta includes them automatically), use our handy carbon calculator and donate to Sustainable Travel International, or contribute to your favorite offsetting organization.
Read our current Terms and Conditions.