13 days Uganda and Tanzania: Chimps, Gorillas and Serengeti

13 Days
From $0
Activity Level
Light
Transport
4X4 Land Cruiser
Comfort Level
Luxury

Trip Overview

Day 1: Arrival in Uganda, transfer to Kampala hotel

Day 2: travel to Kibale Forest National Park

Day 3: Chimpanzee tracking, drive to Queen Elizabeth national Park

Day 4: Road safari and Boat safari

Day 5: Lake Mutanda

Day 6: Gorilla tracking in Bwindi forest

Day 7: optional activities at Lake Mutanda, trip to Kigali

Day 8: Flight to Tanzania, Arusha

Day 9: Game drive in Lake Manyara National Park

Day 10: Arrival in The Serengeti, game drive en-route to Seronera Valley

Day 11: optional balloon safari OR whole day game drives in Serengeti Game Park

Day 12: Game drives in Serengeti National Park and Ngorongoro crater

Day 13: Airport transfer/ Optional Zanzibar extension

Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival in Uganda, transfer to Kampala hotel

An AA Safaris guide/driver will warmly welcome you to Uganda at Entebbe International airport and drive you through Entebbe town with an immediate view of beaches, local markets, and small businesses along the road till the highway. S/He will drop you at the hotel in Kampala city outskirts where you will spend the night.

You can go on a city tour where you can check out Kampala night life in different lounges, pubs, night clubs or visit Nakasero market or Gaddafi mosque. This will be at your own expense.

Meals included: No Meals
Accommodation: No accmmodation
Day 2: Kibale national park

Start the drive to Kibale forest national Park in Fort Portal district. It harbors the highest density of primates you may encounter during a primate walk. In this forest, one of the most memorable experiences is a visit to one of the habituated chimpanzee groups.  The most common primates seen here include the red tailed monkeys, rare red colobus monkeys, Grey-cheeked Mangabey monkeys, black-and-white colobus monkeys, olive baboons, blue monkeys and L’hoerst monkeys. Enjoy the sounds and fresh nature smells of the forest. Other sights to behold are the snow capped Mt Rwenzori and the forest canopy. The lush green vegetation is home to also countless bird and butterfly species.

When you reach at your hotel, rest for the day ahead.

Meals included: No Meals
Accommodation: No accmmodation
Day 3: Chimpanzee tracking and drive to Queen Elizabeth national park, Park game drive and boat safari

Chimpanzees share a 98% of human genes making them the closest living animals to humans. They can be found in at least 21 African countries but they have a big population in Uganda, about 5,000, so they are easily sighted here in the wild. The chimpanzee trekking experience starts from the park headquarters down well maintained walking trails in the Kibale forest. As you walk, you will see other primate species in the forest like the Grey-Cheeked Mangabey monkeys, black-and-white colobus monkeys, olive baboons, blue monkeys, nocturnal pottos, bush babies and olive baboons.Walk through the densely populated forest trails that will take you through the forest to see the chimpanzees live a normal day in their natural habitat.

Set off for the drive to Queen Elizabeth national park in the late afternoon.

Queen Elizabeth national Game Park is very scenic because it combines bush land, savannah plain lands, forests, and wetlands with the Kazinga Channel flowing through the park that connects to Lake George and Lake Edward thus attracting wildlife and birds to it because of the huge waters it offers for survival. This park has one of the largest hippo concentration numbers in the world. On your first game drive in the park you will explore Queen Elizabeth national park with 200 kms of well-maintained game viewing tracks. Be alert and proactive to help the ranger/guide and you spot as many animals as possible. Breakfast before day break lets you start the game drive early during the “golden hours” to enjoy watching the savannah land inhabitants like the elephants, buffalos, warthogs, kobs, antelopes wake up. See the African kingdom in its most active hours of the day as the first sunlight touches the savannah. See elephant, buffalo, kobs, lions, waterbucks, leopards, warthogs, birds and primate species during the drive.

Enjoy and relax with an afternoon boat ride when the sun is hot making the Kazinga Channel turn into a drinking spot for many animals especially the crocodiles, hippos, buffalos that immerse themselves in the water to cool off. The animals might be unbothered by your boat so you can take photos of them up close.

Optional activity: Chimpanzee tracking in Kyambura Gorge

You can opt for a morning hike in the Kyambura gorge which is also named “valley of apes” because it is a geological feature that is home to several primates like vervet monkeys, chimpanzees, baboons, red tailed monkeys. It’s a hidden gem in the far east of the park. It receives water from River Kyambura so it sustains a rich biodiversity and wildlife especially the primates like the 16 chimpanzee families and forest bird species living within.

 

Meals included: No Meals
Accommodation: Kasenyi Safari Camp
Day 5&6: Visit Lake Mutanda and Bwindi Forest, Mountain Gorilla Trekking

Allow the lush vegetation to enchant you as it is wrapped around hills forming the slopes of Kisoro, this is what will fascinate you as you drive south-west. Explore the volcanoes and reach Lake Mutanda’s calm waters. This lake is surrounded by islands and has a hilly terrain around it with lively human inhabitants who co-exist with the wild game and birds.

Uganda has 50% of the world’s total population of the rare and endangered mountain gorillas that live in Bwindi forest. They are currently 13 gorilla families in Uganda and you get to track one through their day’s routine. Meet the park ranger at the park headquarters who will be your guide throughout this encounter. The walk into Bwindi forest will be through well maintained walkways but dress appropriately because the forested slopes are often muddy and slippery, have tangled vines depending on how deep into the forest you have to trek to meet the gorillas. When the family is seen, you will in silence watch them play, hunt, groom, and sometimes copulate. Please keep silent during the trek so as not to startle the gorillas, no flash photography around the gorillas, no feeding the animals, no mimicking the sounds made by the gorillas and keep a distance of at least 6 meters.

It will take 2-9 hours to find and watch the gorillas depending on their movement. Lunch will be readily packed for the day. Stay hydrated through the day because of the long walk and energy you will need to move through the thick bushes.

Meals included: No Meals
Accommodation: Mutanda Lake Resort
Day 7: Optional activities at Lake Mutanda, drive to Kigali

Relax at Lake Mutanda or choose an optional activity organized by your accommodation choice.

The driver/guide will then drive you to Kigali in Rwanda. Depending on your arrival time, you can visit craft markets to buy sculptures, fabrics, musical instruments, leather, pottery though it will put your haggling skills to use. All these activities will be at your own expense.

 

Meals included: No Meals
Accommodation: Flame Tree Village
Day 8: Flight to Tanzania

A driver from Flame Tree Village will drive you to Kigali International Airport where you will catch your flight to Kilimanjaro international airport hence you will reach in Tanzania in the morning.

Note: if using RwandAir to Tanzania, the flights only depart on Mondays-Wednesdays-Fridays-Sundays. If the airlines decides to change flight times and/or days you might need to spend another night in Kigali at an additional fee. The cost of the flight is included in the price but prices are subject to change.

Your Tanzanian driver will pick you up from Kilimanjaro airport and take you to Ilboru safari lodge.

 

Meals included: No Meals
Accommodation: Ilboru lodge
Day 9: Game drive in Lake Manyara National Park

Go out of the park on a drive to  “Mto wa Mbu” village for a cultural tour that involves moving around this farming community as you tour through farms, schools, churches, markets and with 18,000 locals who have diverse cultures from 120 tribes. Visit the wood workshops where the Skilled Makonde carpenters carve wooden intricate household items, masks and figurines. Enter the local markets and put your haggling skills to use especially when buying vegetables, fruits, meat and spices in their stalls.

 

Meals included: No Meals
Accommodation: Manyara Wildlife Camp
Days 10&11: Arrival in The Serengeti, game drive en-route to Seronera Valley, optional balloon safari OR whole day game drives in Serengeti

You will set off for a whole day out in the Serengeti with close up opportunities during the drives in the wild. Do this early morning when most predators have just woken up and are up for hunting. Visit Seronera valley that has the lions and mongoose spending time there. Lunch will be a pre-packed picnic.

Float over the beautiful scenery of the Serengeti seen with a bird eye view. This safari activity will be early morning while its still dark so you see the nocturnal animals going to water shores to quench their thirst. In the middle of the park you can enjoy a bush breakfast with champagne.

You will set off for a whole day out in the Serengeti with close up opportunities during the drives in the wild. Do this early morning when most predators have just woken up and are up for hunting. Visit Seronera valley that has the lions and mongoose spending time there. Lunch will be a pre-packed picnic.

Today, you will return to Tortilis tented camp for the night.

Meals included: No Meals
Accommodation: Tortilis tented Camp
Day 12: Game drives in Serengeti National Park and Ngorongoro crater

Today’s morning game drive will be as you drive out of the park towards the Ngorongoro crater for an afternoon game drive. Within the crater, you will see cheetahs, jackals, Thompson’s gazelle, flamingo, and uniquely the Big 5; lions, elephants, buffaloes, rhinos, leopards. As well as for those who enjoy birding as an activity, there are around 400 bird species to add your drive.

 

Meals included: No Meals
Accommodation: Country Inn Lodge Karatu
Day 13: Airport transfer/ Optional Zanzibar extension

Sadly this will be your last day of this tour with AA Safaris.

Be driven to Kilimanjaro airport for your international flight out of Tanzania.

If you do not want the tour to end, extend it to Zanzibar Island.

Meals included: No Meals
Accommodation: No accmmodation

Expectations

Uganda has the friendliest people you will ever meet and its bio diverse ecosystems allow for various activities thus supporting both human and animal, plant life.

The Main highlights of this tour are gorilla tracking, chimpanzee trekking and boat safaris. Tanzania is known in the world for highest density of wildlife population in famous parks like the Serengeti and the Ngorongoro crater which has high predator numbers but is most famous for the Great migration of 2 million ungulates annually. This multi-country tour will blend the best of both countries’ wild life worlds to you.

Accomodations

Kasenyi Safari Camp
Optional upgrade: Kasenyi Safari Camp To enjoy a more luxurious and exclusive stay while on this tour, sleep in one of the en-suite safari tents on the rims of salty Lake Bunyampaka located within the reserve area of the park. The camp is located in the Kasenyi savannah of the park. Look out for the lion prides and other animals (hippos, leopards, elephants, waterbucks, kobs, hyenas and warthogs) coming nearby which adds to your African wilderness experience. The tents have private bathrooms, private decks with spacious living spaces inside. The camp’s location gives easy access to the park for game drives and is in the ‘Big cats arena’.
Mutanda Lake Resort
Mutanda Lake Resort will reward you with the best view since it is perched on a peninsular Lake Mutanda and it is isolated in the shadow of Virunga Mountain range. This resort has comfortable and luxurious accommodation in a unique corner of the country since it is between Mgahinga and Bwindi National Parks hence being a perfect base and starting point for gorilla trekking, volcano hiking, bird watchers as well as simply nature lovers who seek solitude. Take a swim in the lake or peddle board or canoe among the locals as they go about their daily routines on the lake. Enjoy the sunset on your veranda.
Flame Tree Village
Spend the night at the lovely Flame Tree Village ideally located on the outskirts of Kigali city. The rooms have en-suite bathrooms that overlook the tropical garden. Relax in or by the swimming pool. The residence is located within easy access of major facilities and amenities such as the Kigali International Airport which is less than 10 minutes drive and the Kigali Central Business District also a mere 10 minute drive. Within the area are also major shopping centers such as MTN Center Nyarutarama and the Nyarutarama Golf Club.
Ilboru lodge
Ilboru lodge is located on the lower slopes of Mt Meru and is popular to Kilimanjaro mountain climbers and travelers to northern Tanzania. Upon arrival you will be welcomed with a beverage and hot towel to clean your face. While here, enjoy the swimming pool, complimentary Wi-Fi, gift shops and the botanical gardens that attract birds.Enjoy your cottage with a balcony overlooking the gardens.
Manyara Wildlife Camp
Manyara Wildlife Camp will be your home for the night. This camp stands out because it overlooks the ManyaraLakeand the Rift Valley escarpment. It has an infinity swimming pool, full service sports bar, the rooms have flushing toilets, hot and cold water in the bathroom, the room furniture is traditional and rustic, enjoy the local art sculptures on the walls.
Tortilis tented Camp
Tortilis tented Camp gives an African safari experience to visitors with the comfort from the rooms where the beds are king size, exquisite furnishings in the bedroom and bathroom. Enjoy bush meals upon request to the chef. Relax with the Serengeti reserve in-front of your tent.
Country Inn Lodge Karatu
Country Inn Lodge Karatu will be your accommodation for the night.its located in a farming district in the centre of Northern Tanzania’s green belt area and on the great escarpment. Its between lake Manyara and Ngorongoro crater. Relax on your verandah or in the swimming pool or by your room fire place which adds a touch of sophistication to the wilderness experience.

Availability and Prices

Included
  • Transfers upon arrival and departure
  • Accommodation as indicated in the itinerary
  • Meals as indicated in the itinerary
  • Daily activities and excursions as indicated in the itinerary
Excluded
  • Airport pickup
  • Transfers as indicated in the itinerary
  • 1 chimpanzee permit per person (a US$ 150 value)
  • 1 gorilla permit per person
  • Park-entrance fees according to the program
  • English speaking driver/guide;
  • All gratuities
  • Airfare to and from destination
  • Trip cancellation insurance or any other travel insurance
  • Visas
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Domestic flights
  • All expenses of personal nature (e.g. drinks, laundry, optional activities, souvenirs cancellation insurance, or any other travel insurance)