A primate safari means you will be visit those sites famous for being homes for different primates and this means, you will be visiting two famous primates trekking national parks and these are Bwindi Impenetrable forest known for Mountain gorilla and the Kibale National Park famous for Chimpanzees.
Day 1: Kampala – Kibale Forest
On day one, you will meet our tour guide/ driver who will come pick you up from any place where you will be in Kampala so this means, you should arrive in the country before the day of travel. He will brief you about the trip and then drive through Mubende to Fort portal or drive Via Mbarara –to Kasese and then Fort portal-Kibale where the park is located. This drive is about 4-6 hours which means you will have a break to have lunch along the way and may stop over at the equator if you take the Masaka-Mbarara-Kasese route but this is a bit far while the other route is nearer and can be there by afternoon. Kibale National park is composed of different flora like the wet tropical ever green forest on Fort portal Plateau, a dry or semi dry forest, then woodland and savannah grassland on the rift valley floor. There is also variety of fauna which include a huge population of primates and Kibale has the highest population of chimpanzees in Africa. There are over 13 species of primates in that park which include the chimpanzee which are humans’ closest cousin, there are the L’Hoest monkeys , red colobus monkeys , black and white colobus monkeys , blue monkeys olive baboons, pottos monkeys, olive baboons, grey cheeked mangabeys and many others. Besides the primates, Kibale NP is a home to more than 325 species of birds , which include 6 endemic species of the Albertine rift region like the black capped apalis, callared apallis, blue headed sun bird, dusky crimson wing , red-faced woodland warbler and purple-breasted sunbird. Other bird species include the African pitta, black bee- eater, yellow spotted nicator, green breasted bee eater, black –eared ground thrush, blue breasted kingfisher, brown chested alethe, Narina Trogon, Pied Hornbill, Yellow Spotted, Hairy Breasted and Yellow-Billed Barbets, crowned eagle and the Abyssinian ground thrush. You will drive to your hotel, this is chosen depending on your budget and this where you will have your dinner. Hotel may be;
Luxury: Kyaninga lodge/ Ndali lodge/ Primates Lodge
Mid range accommodation: Chimps nest lodge/ Mountains of the moon
Budget accommodation: Rwenzori view / Chimpanzee guest house/ Kanyankyu Ecological bandas / Cottages in Primates lodge/ Rujuna Guest house/ Ataco country resort.
Day 2: Chimpanzee Trekking in Kibale Forest
Breakfast will be served early at the lodge where you spent the night and after that, have your driver take you for briefing about Chimpanzee trekking at the starting point at Kanyankyu tourist centre. Together with that ranger that will be allocated to you, will walk into the forest to find the Chimpanzees. The forest has a sum of almost 13 Primate Species that includes the red Colobus monkey, the unique L’Hoest, blue monkey, grey mangabey, pottos, black faced vervet monkeys, baboons and also bush babies and that ranger will give you all the information that you need to know about the flora and fauna that will come across and also he will help you find the chimpanzees as he will know where they were the primates and so may have a cruel as to where they may be on that day. This is an interesting adventure but by afternoon, you will most likely be back and then have your lunch. Later in the afternoon, you will go for the guided walk all the way through Bigodi Swamp which is a Wetland Sanctuary managed by Kibale Association for Rural and Environmental organization and was initiated in 1992 with the main aim of achieving social and economic development for local communities. This is a great place for those interested in watching birds to visit as this swamp is a habitat to about 137 bird species and it also has a rich vegetation cover which include the wild palms, figs and of course the well-known papyrus. From this walk, you will be returning to the lodge to shower, have your dinner and sleep, then wait for the next day’s activities;
Day 3: Kibale Forest – Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
After your breakfast and your driver will then take you to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, a journey which will take you about 5-7 hours drive. Bwindi is very much know for being a home for the famous Mountain Gorillas and it is covered with the Montane vegetation with lots bird species , are 23 of the 24 Albertine Rift endemics like African Green Broadbill, Bar Tailed Trogon and many other species like small rodents, butterflies, waterfalls, to mention but a few. You will be there late afternoon and you can check in the hotel/ lodge and rest or go for a short nature walk and this is at an extra cost of $15 per person. The walk will take you to the Munyaga Waterfall and while there you may get to spot out primates like the Grey Cheeked Mangabey Blue Monkeys and others species. Your dinner and over night will be at that lodge of your budget and this may be;
Budget package- Nkuringo campsite/ Nshongi campsite/ Buhoma Community bandas /Bwindi View bandas /Virunga Hotel / Nkuringo safari centre
Moderate package- Gorilla mist lodge/ Chameleon lodge/ Nkuringo camp site / Ruhija gorilla resort/ Lake Kitandara camp/ Wagtail Eco lodge and others.
Up market package- Engagi lodge / Mahogany springs/ Buhoma lodge/ Gorilla Resort camp/ Traveler’s rest camp/Silver back lodge
Luxury package- Gorilla Forest Camp/ Clouds Lodge /Gahinga Volcanoes Lodge/ Volcanoes Bwindi safari Lodge.
Day 4: Gorilla Tracking in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.
This is the most exciting experience you can ever have with primates, so you will have your breakfast very early and then prepare for the most stimulating activity of Gorilla tracking. The guide/ driver will take you to the ranger station for briefing before 8:00am since tracking starts at 8:00 am. You will carry your lunch boxes because you will not have time to come back for lunch plus all your tracking gears like boots, cameras. Your ranger guides will escort you to track the scarce Mountain Gorilla. The tracking takes between 3- and 8, so it can be very tiring but worthwhile. The park guides with you will give information about the flora and fauna and the way of life of the Gorillas, you will have a n hour to spend in the forest with the gorillas, taking pictures, watching them play, mothers care/ feed their little ones and then later walk out of the jungle back to the lodge. But if trekking ends early, you will go for a village walk to interact with the Local Batwa Community, this visit cost an extra cost of US$ 30 per person. In the evening, you return to that lodge for dinner and over night.
Day 5: Departure
This is the last day of this trip and you start driving back to Kampala immediately after breakfast, your stop over will be to have lunch and may be to buy some souvenirs like at the dram place in Mpambire or at the equator in Masaka to take some pictures . When you get to Kampala, the driver will drop you at the airport if you are leaving the country or anywhere if you are still in the country.