The Greatest Incredible African Primate Expeditions Itinerary

On this once-in-a-lifetime 10-day African Primate Expeditions with a small group of no more than six individuals, you will get up close and personal with some of the most fascinating monkeys on Earth. Start your adventure in the “Primate Capital of the World,” the Kibale Forest in Uganda, home to colobus monkeys, chimpanzees, and other primates. The next step is to go to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest with the famous veterinarian and conservationist Dr. Gladys Kalema for an unforgettable experience with mountain gorillas.

Next, head to the bamboo forests of Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park in search of the lively golden monkeys. In the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s Kahuzi-Biega National Park, you can have an exciting encounter with lowland gorillas, rounding out your primate journey.

Get your place on this once-in-a-lifetime adventure and the required permits by reserving your space in advance with Kabira Safaris. The treks will include a variety of weather conditions, including rain, mud, and difficult terrain; having a regular exercise regimen will greatly benefit you. We prioritize your safety above all else. This guided tour guarantees a memorable and risk-free encounter with these extraordinary primate habitats thanks to knowledgeable guides and meticulous preparation.

Go-To Guide: Track Gorillas in Uganda, Rwanda & DR Congo

Itinerary Overview:

  • Spend a lot of time in the company of chimpanzees in the Kibale Forest, Habituation Experience, where you can learn all about these fascinating primates.
  • Discover the majestic Bwindi gorillas up close and personal on a gorilla trekking adventure with Dr. Gladys Kalema, a world-renowned authority on the subject of gorilla conservation.
  • Volcanoes National Park is the perfect place to go on a trek with golden monkeys so you can see these energetic monkeys in their natural bamboo forest setting.
  • Explore the depths of the Congo to meet a unique subspecies of gorillas at Kahuzi-Biega, where you will see lowland gorillas.
  • Transnational Journey: Immerse yourself in the diverse cultures of Rwanda, Uganda, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
  • Helping the Cause: Your excursion will make a direct contribution to important primate conservation initiatives.

African Primate Expeditions Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Welcome to Uganda

Upon landing in Entebbe, Uganda, your primate excursion in Africa will officially begin. Upon arrival at the airport, your knowledgeable guide will be waiting to take you to the cozy Boma Guesthouse. Get ready for an optional yet once in a lifetime encounter that will set the stage for your primate adventure once you’ve settled down and showered.

If your plane lands earlier than expected, you might want to take a side trip to the beautiful Mabamba Swamps near Lake Victoria. If you’re a birdwatcher, you’ve got to visit this swamp paradise. It’s home to the prehistoric-looking shoebill stork, an avian must-see! Wetland birds abound, so be on the lookout for fascinating creatures like the papyrus gonolek, the African jacana, the colorful blue-breasted bee-eater, the breathtaking malachite kingfisher, and many more. If you’re interested in primates and want to see some of Uganda’s amazing biodiversity, this exciting tour is a great place to start.

Return to the Boma Guesthouse after your daring expedition (or a much-needed nap if you opt out of the shoebill safari). Relax in the tranquil gardens of this delightful getaway while taking in the lively Ugandan ambiance. In the morning, you will formally begin your tour among the African primates, so enjoy a hearty breakfast and get some rest.

Day 2: Drive to Kibale Forest National Park

Kibale National Park | Uganda

Say goodbye to Entebbe as you continue your African Primate Expedition through Uganda. Along this picturesque route, you’ll pass through picturesque landscapes, where busy cities and markets give way to gentle hills and quaint little towns. As you travel down the roadside, you may see the ordinary people and breathtaking scenery of Uganda.

After you arrive in Kibale, a rainforest sanctuary, check into the cozy Primate Lodge and enjoy a hearty meal. After that, spend some time in the Bigodi Swamp and its thriving ecosystem. Join us for an afternoon stroll and prepare to be enchanted by nature. Along meandering trails, you and your expert guide can listen for the unique sounds of primates. As colobus monkeys swoop and dart across the canopy, keep an eye out for a red-tailed monkey darting through the underbrush. As a home to many interesting animals and birds, the marsh is bustling with activity.

Make your way back to the Primate Lodge as the sun goes down for another night of relaxation in the lush, tropical jungle. As the jungle’s nighttime symphony starts, savor a mesmerizing meal beneath the stars. The meeting with our extended family in Kibale Forest tomorrow will be an experience you will never forget.

Tip: The swamp trek, particularly after a storm, can become rather muddy, so be sure to bring sturdy shoes and rain gear.

Day 3: Chimpanzee Trekking

Your adventure with the primates of Africa is about to reach new heights as you rise with the rainforest. The primate lodge will provide a delicious breakfast before you go on the Chimpanzee Habituation Experience, an unforgettable adventure. You are invited to accompany researchers and trained trackers on an expedition into Kibale Forest, which is inhabited by a sizable chimpanzee population in East Africa.

Navigate your way through the thick underbrush by listening for the chimpanzees’ calls that reverberate through the treetops. The suspense increases as we progress. Chimpanzee social dynamics, including interactions, grooming routines, and group hierarchy, are interesting to observe up close. Thanks to the habituation process, you can get up close and personal with these amazing primates in their native environment for longer periods of time than ever before.

You will leave this day’s activities with a deeper appreciation and wonder for our primate ancestors when you return to the Primate Lodge. As you enjoy your meal together, think back on this remarkable bond and recount the adventures you’ve had around the campfire. Your primate expedition will continue with an exciting new chapter tomorrow!

Tip: An advance authorization is necessary to participate in the Chimpanzee Habituation Experience, and space is limited. To guarantee your place on this once-in-a-lifetime monkey encounter, make your reservation far in advance.

Day 4: Bwindi Forest National Park

It is time to say goodbye to Kibale Forest after a satisfying breakfast at Primate Lodge. Your journey with the monkeys of Africa will continue with a scenic flight that will take you over some absolutely stunning landscapes. The 45-minute flight to Kisoro begins at the Kasese airport, which is reached after a short drive. Take in the breathtaking scenery as you glide across the mountain range, with its towering peaks and verdant valleys.

A pleasant car will be ready to take you on a 1.5-hour ride to Nkuringo Bwindi Gorilla Lodge the moment you touch down in Kisoro. Winding its way into the high mountains, the route has some bumpy parts that make the journey more exciting. As you climb, take in the breathtaking views, stopping to see the picturesque towns and lush farmlands that dot the landscape.

At long last, you’ll reach the sanctuary that will serve as your overnight residence – Nkuringo Bwindi Gorilla Lodge. Relax in your lovely room and have a hearty meal before an educational evening. An enthralling talk about the heroic attempts to save the magnificent mountain gorillas will be given by a ranger from UWA. The successes and failures of preserving these remarkable apes will be illuminated in this informative seminar.

As the sun sets over the mountains, savor a delicious dinner at the lodge. Your exhilarating adventure will continue tomorrow with a trek to see gorillas!

  • The distance between Primate Lodge and the Kasese airfield is about 1 hour.
  • About 45 minutes is the flight time from Kasese to Kisoro.
  • The 1.5-hour drive from Kisoro to Nkuringo Bwindi Gorilla Lodge is on a rough dirt road.

Accommodation: Nkuringo Bwindi Gorilla Lodge (Full Board)

Day 5: Gorilla Trekking in Bwindi National Park

Exploring Bwindi Impenetrable National Park

Your journey with the monkeys of Africa has reached a powerful and emotionally charged peak today. Following a filling breakfast at Nkuringo Bwindi Gorilla Lodge, get ready for an unforgettable adventure: hiking with world-renowned veterinarian and conservationist Dr. Gladys Kalema.

You will descend into the foggy depths of the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest accompanied by expert trackers. As you make your way along the paths, you can hear the leaves rustling and the sounds of various birds. Step by step, you approach the home of a magnificent gorilla family, and the anticipation mounts. At last, the forest’s gentle giants have materialized. Observe in wonder as they go about their everyday lives, foraging, playing, and grooming each other. Witness the tenderness and strength of their interactions and you will sense a profound bond with these incredible animals.

An alternative encounter, which takes place later in the day, sheds light on Bwindi Forest’s long and illustrious human past. The Batwa are an indigenous tribe that formerly lived in the Buniga Forest; you can meet them when you visit. Get to know their culture, hear their tales, and understand their deep bond to the forest and the gorillas who live there. Your African primate excursion will be enhanced by this cultural encounter, which will bring to light the intricate connection between people and their natural surroundings.

It is time to get some rest, so head back to Nkuringo Bwindi Gorilla Lodge. Think back on how lucky you were to see these amazing monkeys in their own environment and how profoundly the day’s events affected you.

Important Note: As its name suggests, Bwindi Impenetrable Forest is impenetrable. You should be ready for all kind of weather, from rain to lower temperatures. Bring a raincoat, long pants, long-sleeved shirts, waterproof hiking boots, and a cozy sweater or fleece. If you want to be ready for anything, wearing layers is the way to go.

Day 6: Transfer to Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park

As you pass into Rwanda on today’s portion of your African primate trip, you’ll experience a change of scenery! Your journey to Volcanoes National Park, the fabled habitat of mountain gorillas, will begin with a hearty breakfast at Nkuringo Bwindi Gorilla Lodge.

The trip will take around [estimated travel time], giving you plenty of time to think about all the incredible things you experienced the day before. Be on the lookout for local artisans peddling their wares and the ever-changing scenery as you cross the border.

Enjoy a hearty lunch and some down time when you get to your cozy Virunga Lodge lodging. Join the world-renowned Gorilla Doctors for an enthralling session in the afternoon. Providing veterinary treatment and health monitoring, this committed staff plays an essential role in mountain gorilla conservation. During their presentation, they will discuss the importance of their work and the continuous endeavors to preserve these remarkable animals.

After the talk, you should go to the Iwachu Center to learn about Rwandan culture. Here, you may experience authentic Rwandan culture through performances of song, dance, and storytelling. Get to know Rwandan craftspeople, discover their methods, and understand more about the country’s history and culture. Come back to Virunga Lodge for dinner and a good night’s sleep as the day winds down. The lush slopes of the Virunga Mountains in Volcanoes National Park will be the site of another thrilling primate encounter tomorrow!

Travel Time: Nkuringo Bwindi Gorilla Lodge to Virunga Lodge (2 hours)

Accommodation: Virunga Lodge (Meals are full board)

Tip: Remember to pack your passport and any necessary visas to cross the border into Rwanda.

Day 7: Gorilla Trekking in Volcanoes National Park

Gorilla Trekking in Rwanda’s 🇷🇼 Volcanoes National Park

Today, you’ll discover a different sort of ape in Volcanoes National Park as your African primate trip continues. You will embark on an exciting hike to see the park’s renowned golden monkeys after an early breakfast at Virunga Lodge. The lively disposition and brilliant golden fur of these remarkable animals make them a sight to see.

Traverse the verdant bamboo forests with the help of knowledgeable guides while keeping an ear out for monkey calls and the rustle of leaves. Hikers should be on the lookout for these nimble monkeys as they swing between the trees and forage in the thick underbrush. One of the most memorable parts of any primate expedition in Africa is getting to see the monkeys’ social interactions and incredible acrobatic leaps.

Once the trip is over, head back to the Virunga Lodge for a relaxing night’s sleep and, maybe, a celebratory drink to share the story of your golden monkey sightings. From the docile giants of Bwindi to the brilliant golden monkeys of Volcanoes National Park, think about the variety of primates you’ve seen thus far.

Accommodation: Virunga Lodge

Tip: In contrast to trekking gorillas, which often entails navigating the impenetrable forest’s rough terrain, trekking golden monkeys usually follows more well-established pathways through the bamboo forests. Those looking for a moderate climb with the possibility of seeing these playful monkeys close up will find it to be an excellent alternative.

Day 8: Transfer to Bukavu in DRC via Cyangungu (Rusuzi) Border

A fresh country and a change of scenery await you today on your African primate journey! Leaving Rwanda’s Virunga Lodge after a hearty breakfast, you’ll travel to Bukavu in the DRC. You will arrive in Cyangungu, a town on the border with Rwanda, at the end of your tour. Your guide will be there to help you with the border and visa procedures, so you can enter the DRC easily.

A pleasant vehicle will be ready to take you to Bukavu, a lively city set amid rolling hills, as soon as you pass the border. Keep an eye out for the local towns and the ever-changing terrain as you travel. Rest easy at the Orchid Safari Club, where you’ll find cozy lodgings upon your arrival in Bukavu.

An enthralling study of the cultural and historical heritage of Bukavu is scheduled for the afternoon. Take in the sights and sounds of this exciting metropolis as you go on a guided tour. The interesting Xaverians Museum will be one of your destinations. The objects housed at this cultural treasure reveal the rich history of the region’s many different peoples and their customs. Get to know the locals and their history better by perusing the exhibitions and displays.

Additional stops on your city tour can include quaint churches, lively marketplaces, or tranquil vantage points with breathtaking views of the city, all according to your interests and the amount of time you have. Finally, before calling it a day, head back to the Orchid Safari Club for dinner (see to your agenda for specifics) and some much-needed sleeping. In Kahuzi-Biega National Park, you will have an exciting experience with lowland gorillas tomorrow!

Travel: Going from Virunga Lodge in Rwanda to the Cyangungu border crossing in Rwanda and then to Bukavu in the Democratic Republic of the Congo


  • Guide aid for crossing the border (from Rwanda to the DRC)
  • Tour of Bukavu city, maybe including a stop at the Xaverians Museum (times and locations may vary per program).

Accommodation: Orchid Safari Club (Meals are full board)

Important Note: In order to make sure you have all the required paperwork for your DRC visa, check the embassy information boards before you go.

Day 9: Lowland Gorilla Trekking in Kahuzi-Biega National Park

Kahuzi-Biega National Park: Gorilla Trekking in DRC

You’ll be venturing far into the Democratic Republic of the Congo today on your trip with African primates, to the lush Kahuzi-Biega National Park. Trekking with lowland gorillas is an experience you won’t soon forget, so fuel yourself at the Orchid Safari Club for breakfast.

You may see a different subspecies of gorilla—the eastern lowland gorilla—than the mountain gorillas you saw in Rwanda earlier in Kahuzi-Biega National Park. The park’s verdant bamboo slopes and verdant rainforests are home to these docile giants.

The Lowland Gorilla Trek

Follow the gorillas’ footprints as they make their way through the thick rainforest, guided by knowledgeable park rangers. Immerse yourself in nature’s symphony as you hear exotic birdcalls, leaf rustling, and the faraway chimpanzee drumming. As you approach the gorillas’ habitat, the anticipation grows with each stride.

After a long day of hiking, you will get the opportunity to spend one priceless hour with a habituated gorilla family. Watch as they go about their day, eating leaves and fruits, interacting with one another, and playing with their young. Behold their gentleness and resilience as you follow them into their sanctuary in the rainforest.

It is an honor and a highlight of any primates excursion in Africa to have such a close experience with the giant apes. Remember to take pictures without flash (as it is usually not allowed) and treasure the bond you develop with these incredible animals.

You will be returned to the cozy Orchid Safari Club in Bukavu during this transfer. Kick back and enjoy the evening, maybe even catching up with other travelers over photos and tales of your gorilla experience. You will leave Bukavu tomorrow, and your incredible primates trip in Africa will come to a close.

Activity: Lowland Gorilla Trekking in Kahuzi-Biega National Park (half-day)
Accommodation: Orchid Safari Club (Full Board meals)

Tip: Trekking with mountain gorillas typically requires hiking through thicker vegetation and higher elevations. Lowland gorilla trekking, on the other hand, is usually done in more manageable terrain and at lower heights. Both provide unforgettable adventures through one-of-a-kind sceneries and interactions.

Day 10: Farewell to African Primate Expedition

Your incredible journey with the monkeys of Africa comes to a close today. You will return to Rwanda after having your last breakfast at the Bukavu Orchid Safari Club. To make sure everything goes off without a hitch, your guide will be available to help with the paperwork.

A pleasant vehicle will be ready to take you to Kigali, Rwanda’s lively capital, as soon as you cross the border. As you journey, pause to think about all the amazing things that have happened on your adventure so far: your meetings with the gorillas, the fascinating civilizations you’ve learned about, and the stunning landscapes you’ve seen.

You might have time for one last excursion of Kigali before your flight leaves. Staying at the Heaven Boutique Hotel will provide you with a nice place to unwind and rejuvenate before your departure.

Indulge in a farewell meal (your choice) this evening as you reflect on the incredible experiences that have molded your primates expedition in Africa.

Departure: Transfer to Kigali International Airport for your onward flight.
Accommodation: Heaven Boutique Hotel (depending on your flight departure time)

Tip: Verify that your flight leaves at the specified time to see if it includes lodging in Kigali for the night.

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