Best single-country combined big game viewing and primate experience
As we think about Jane Goodall’s achievements on her 80th birthday, we are reminded that primate encounters capture the imagination and the heart in a way that few other wildlife viewing experiences can do. “No one who looks into a gorilla’s eyes – intelligent, gentle, vulnerable – can remain unchanged, for the gap between ape and human vanishes…” said American biologist George Schaller, and we agree. We’ve found that only Uganda allows you to enjoy gorilla and chimpanzee trekking plus Big Five game viewing in a single-country safari experience. Progressing from north to south, you can experience the chimpanzees of Kibale, head on to big game viewing in Queen Elizabeth National Park, and conclude with mountain gorillas trekking in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in a straightforward program that requires no back-tracking.
Can be easily combined with Serengeti Game Viewing
However, if you want to super-size your Uganda safari, and see the wildebeests at their Mara River crossing, plus the big cats of Lamai Serengeti, we’ve lately discovered a fantastic flight that takes you from Entebbe, Uganda to the Northern Serengeti, and reduces back-tracking and forced overnights. To witness the crossing, however, you’d want to plan your safari for the late summer or fall, which tends to be a great time of year for gorilla trekking in Uganda, as well.
Active format is a great fit for families with teens
Gorilla trekking is an active safari experience which we’ve found can be an excellent fit for families with teens and young adults, who have both the energy and the need to engage with their surroundings more than they are able to in a four-by-four vehicle-based safari. Uganda’s mountain gorillas are found in the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, and the name fits the terrain. Accompanied by expert guides, your small group of 8 will set out in the morning, wending its way up and down hills, over and under logs and trees, and through brush, at moderate altitude, until you find the gorillas and enjoy their presence and social interactions for an hour. Then head back to camp where you will begin the nearly equally pleasurable process of endlessly sharing observations with your group, and comparing photos. When planning your safari, it’s important to know that only children 15 years and older are permitted on gorilla treks, and to assess your level of physical fitness with your travel planner too see if it’s the right program for you.