9 Day Self Drive Tour Uganda – Pure Primates


  • Chimpanzee Tracking in Kibale Forest
  • Gorilla Trekking in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest
  • Visit the orphaned chimpanzees in Ngamba Island

The trip is all about the special encounters with chimpanzees and gorillas, so its made for primates lovers

This 9 days self-drive safari is purely about primates. Chimpanzees, colobus monkeys, bush babies, and red-tailed monkeys are just a few examples of the 13 species of primates that live in Kibale Forest National Park. In Kibale Forest, you have the choice of a chimpanzee tracking or a day of walking with the team that does research on chimpanzees (Chimpanzee habituation). Of course, gorilla trekking in Bwindi Forest can’t miss on the list of a pure primates trip in Uganda! Finally, you will spend a night on Ngamba Island – for a special and very personal introduction to chimpanzees during the Caregiver for a Day program!

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Transfer to Entebbe

You will arrive at Entebbe International Airport and you will be warmly welcomed by your driver or a representative from Rental Cars Uganda Ltd and taken to your accommodation in Entebbe for your first night. Overnight: Papyrus Guest House, The Boma Guesthouse or Protea Hotel Entebbe.

Day 2: Transfer Kibale Forest

After breakfast at the lodge in Entebbe hit the road and transfer to the western part of the country to Fort Portal, which is known for its tea plantations. In the afternoon you arrive at your lodge in Kibale Forest for late lunch. In the evening you will make an evening walk through the forest, where you will look for bush babies, pottos and other night animals and then after you will return at the lodge for dinner and over night.

Day 3: Chimpanzees Tracking in the Park & Bigodi Swamp

Kibale Forest is known for the largest variety and the highest concentration of primates in East Africa. In the morning you take a guided walk through the tropical rainforest, where you go searching for chimpanzees. Usually, you will find them in the tops of trees, but with a bit of luck also foraging on the ground. You can also encounter the red-tailed monkey, the colobus monkey, and many other primates during your tracking. After lunch, you will be taken to Bigodi Swamp, a swamp area where you can spot many species of birds and various primates during a guided walk.

On day 3 still, you can opt for taking part in the ‘Chimpanzee Habituation Experience’ at an additional cost. A unique opportunity to be part of the habituation phase in which the chimpanzees become comfortable with the presence of tourists in their habitat. After this step, they can be visited with regular chimpanzee tracking. Under the guidance of researchers, you follow and observe the chimpanzees all day long. From the early morning, they leave their nests until the moment they build their new nests for the night. The researchers spend time with the chimpanzees on a daily basis and record the unique markings and characteristics of the individuals. You learn to identify them together with them and know their behavior. Prepare for a long and intensive, but very interesting day! dinner and Overnight at Kibale Forest Camp, Primate Lodge or Primate Lodge.

Day 4: Bwindi Impenetrable National Park

On this day you will have breakfast and then continue to the southern part of Queen Elizabeth National Park, which is called Ishasha Sector. On the way, you can see elephants, kobs, buffaloes or even tree-climbing lions. At the end of the afternoon, you arrive at your lodge in Bwindi Forest and it is time for dinner, after which you can prepare for the special gorilla trekking trip that is scheduled for day 5! Dinner and overnight will be at Engagi Lodge, Mahogany Springs or Volcanoes Bwindi Safari Lodge.

Day 5: Gorilla Trekking in Bwindi Forest

The gorilla tracking is one of the highlights of this trip! In a small group, accompanied by rangers, you go out early and search for the gorillas. It is impossible to predict the duration of the tracking in advance: you make your way through the dense forest, over steep and slippery mud paths. The tracking can take 2 – 8 hours. Do not hesitate to hire a carrier (porter), he gladly lends you a helping hand during this intensive trip! In case you find the gorillas, the reward is indescribable! You can observe them for an hour before returning to your lodge, an experience richer. Overnight and dinner will be at your lodge as on day 4.

Day 6: Return to Entebbe

You leave Bwindi Forest and return to Entebbe through the capital Kampala. Along the way, you will pass the equator, where you will have the opportunity to take photos and buy souvenirs. In the early evening, you arrive in Entebbe, where you dine and stay overnight at Papyrus Guest House, The Boma Guesthouse or Protea Hotel Entebbe.

Day 7: Ngamba Island

A stay on Ngamba Island is a perfect conclusion of your self-drive primate trip. In the morning you sail by speedboat to this small island in Lake Victoria. On this forested island, orphaned, seized and captive freed chimpanzees are taken care of and cared for. The DNA of the chimpanzee is about 98% similar to that of humans. The relationship between a chimpanzee and man is therefore many times greater than that between a chimpanzee and a gorilla! During your stay on Ngamba Island, you will learn all about the chimpanzees. From a platform, you can observe and photograph the animals. During the Caregiver program (inclusive) you are directly involved in the daily care of the chimpanzees. Among other things, you help with the preparation and distribution of the food and count the individuals when they return from the forest to the night quarters. You will not only be impressed by the chimpanzees with their unique characters, but also the passion with which the people on Ngamba Island offer these animals a second home! Dinner and overnight will be at Ngamba Island Camp.

Day 8-9: Ngamba Island

As a caregiver you will experience a day in the life of the chimpanzees on Ngamba Island, so your day starts early with the preparation of the food for the chimpanzees. Furthermore, you will help with all kinds of activities that are dealt with on the companion island, such as assisting during medical checks, observing the chimps and mucking out of the night quarters. The enthusiastic staff of Ngamba Island will show you enthusiastically what is involved in caring for these animals and you will explain how you can distinguish the individuals and what makes them so special.

At the end of the afternoon, you will say goodbye to Ngamba Island and sail back to Entebbe on the mainland. At the airport of Entebbe, you check in on your flight back home.