big five safaris

Safari Overview

Ngamba – Kibale – Queen Elizabeth – Ishasha – Bwindi – Lake Mburo
A spectacular 10 day tour of the biggest and best Ugandan wildlife and primates. Through jungle, savannah and lakes we track the animals that make Uganda unique.

If chimp tracking doesn’t take your breath away, perhaps the hundreds of hippo crowding the banks of the Kazinga Channel, will. If that’s not good enough, try the tree-climbing lions of Ishasha, mountain gorillas at Bwindi and giant eland at Mburo. If that doesn’t do it … we welcome suggestions.


Day 1: Ngamba Chimpanzee Sanctuary
We start the tour by getting a close up view of chimpanzees at the Ngamba Chimpanzee Sanctuary. You can observe the chimps in an almost natural setting and gain a good idea of what is to come in the wild. The sanctuary is set on an island in the beautiful Lake Victoria and supports over thirty chimpanzees, most of them rescued from the pet trade.

The next time you see our ’cousins’ it will be in Kibale Forest and there will be no observation platform and no protective fence.

Day 2: Kampala – Kibale National Park
You may have noticed that several our itineraries follow the same route. This is true of most Uganda safari tours, regardless of the tour operator. What varies are the tour duration and the focus, whether it be on primates, large mammals, birds or general.

And so we continue our primate investigation by heading to the dense forests of Kibale (5 hours away) in southwest Uganda. This national park is said to contain the greatest variety and concentration of primates in Africa.

We stop at Fort Portal, on the outskirts of the national park and make our base for the night. This town is set beneath the Rwenzori mountains and following a brief excursion, we return for local entertainment (song and dance).

Day 3: Kibale National Park – Queen Elizabeth National Park
Our first chance to track primates is one of the best you will ever partake in. We focus on chimpanzee tracking but will most likely come across many black-and-white colobus, L’Hoest’s monkeys, grey-cheeked mangabeys, blue monkeys, vervet monkeys and red colobus. There are 13 primate species living within Kibale National Park and a visit usually reveals half of them.

In the afternoon we make the two hour journey to Queen Elizabeth National Park and begin our search for large mammals. The dense forests of Kibale give way to grasslands and lakes and accordingly the primates are changed for carnivores and large herbivores.

Our first game drive along the Mweya peninsula will typically reveal lion, elephant, hippo and a series of antelope species.

Day 4: Northern Sector – Kazinga
An early morning game drive across the plains and crater lakes of the northern sector in search of lions, elephant, Uganda kob, topi, hyena, warthog and olive baboon. This stunning area is a real gem in the sunrise and may provide the spectacle of flamingos on the lakes. Many of the park’s 95 mammal species are found in this northern sector and the Mweya peninsula.

In the afternoon it’s the incredible Kazinga Channel boat trip. An astonishing number of hippos, buffalo and birds line the banks of the channel and there are chances to see crocodile, African fish eagle and shoebill stork.

Day 5: Ishasha
We transfer to Queen Elizabeth’s southern Ishasha sector in the morning. This is a dry and wild savannah region, much less developed than the Mweya peninsula. The game viewing is very good and in particular the region is famed for its tree-climbing lions.

Day 6: Ishasha – Bwindi National Park
We make a morning tour of the Ishaha sector, in hope of seeing more lions and the elusive leopard. Then it’s back to the forests and the primates as we move on to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park and prepare for the following day.

Day 7: Bwindi National Park
Today is all about mountain gorilla trekking. If you would like details on this incredible experience, please click here. Suffice to say that it is an incomparable experience and many people’s reason for visiting Uganda.

Our free time is spent either relaxing (trekking can be very tiring) of exploring the local foothills on the look out for black-and-white colobus, vervet monkeys and beautifully coloured forest birds.
Day 8: Bwindi National Park – Lake Mburo National Park
Today is perhaps the only lie-in of the tour, and you have a chance to recuperate your energies a little before we set off to Lake Mburo.

This beautiful drive takes approximately 5 hours and allows time for an afternoon game drive in the splendour of Lake Mburo. Here we are back to viewing big game, with several species that we more than likely missed at Queen Elizabeth. The acacia forests and wetlands are home to an impressive variety of antelope including the giant eland and impala.
Day 9: Lake Mburo National Park
Our morning game drive through the humid and haunting acacia forests gives yet another aspect to Uganda’s beauty and will hopefully provide us with zebra, hippo, leopard, bushbuck and oribi.

In the afternoon we take a splendid boat trip across Lake Mburo and enjoy some excellent bird watching. There are also chances to see crocodiles, waterbuck and the rare sitatunga.

Day 10: Lake Mburo National Park – Kampala
In the morning we drive the last leg of our journey to the capital, Kampala. Depending on the time of your departure, we can take you straight to the airport or to a craft market, ideal for gifts and souvenirs.

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