Classic Southwest Safari

Game drives and boat safaris connect the dots between chimpanzee and gorilla trekking. An epic adventure across the wilderness of Uganda's southwestern safari circuit. Game drives and boat safaris connect the dots between chimpanzee and gorilla trekking. An epic adventure across the wilderness of Uganda's southwestern safari circuit.
12 Days

Classic Southwest Safari - 12 - $5,804

Trip Summary and Itinerary Map

Our time in the jungle was up, and in high spirits, we began the trek back to the lodge. By now, the mud had dried for the most part, and it was a relatively stable journey back. Here and there we stopped, pointing upwards into trees where a chimpanzee or two would be lounging, snoozing in the afternoon heat. 

Start from Entebbe and end at Entebbe

Landmarks visited on Classic Southwest Safari


Day 1: Entebbe

Fly into Entebbe International Airport. Upon landing, clearing Immigration and collecting your luggage, you will leave the airport to find your driver waiting outside of the terminal for the short transfer to your guesthouse where you will spend the night.

Overnight: Karibu Guesthouse

Day 2: Kibale Forest National Park

After a good night's sleep and breakfast, you will be met by your driver-guide for the beginning of your safari. Drive out of the city, through a fertile and changing landscape, to Kibale Forest where you will spend two nights in a luxury cottage in the only lodge within the forest.

Overnight: Primate Lodge

Day 3: Kibale Forest National Park

This morning you will be transferred the short distance to Bigodi Wetland for a guided exploration of the swamps and woodland, great for birding and seeing other primates. In the afternoon, go on a guided chimp trek deep into the forest. When contact is made with the chimps, you have up to one hour in which to observe their characteristics and interactions. When the hour is up, return to the lodge for a second night stay.

Overnight: Primate Lodge

Day 4: Queen Elizabeth National Park

Leave the forest this morning, taking a 3 hour drive down to the grasslands and waterways of Queen Elizabeth National Park, the most biodiverse area in Uganda. Enjoy an afternoon game drive on the Kasenyi Plains before heading to your lodge, the superbly located Mweya Safari Lodge for a two night stay.

Overnight: Mweya Safari Lodge

Day 5: Queen Elizabeth National Park

This morning you will join the lion research programme in the park for a specialised game drive in which you learn about the park's lion population, the challenges of sustainable conservation and get a chance to drive off-road into parts of the Park few tourists get to experience. In the afternoon, a change, take to the waters of the Kazinga Channel for a memorable boat safari. This is a shared excursion in a two decker boat that provides a great way to see both the land mammals at the water's edge and the aquatic life of Kazinga.

Overnight: Mweya Safari Lodge

Day 6: Queen Elizabeth National Park

Drive deeper into the park this morning on a two hour drive down into the southern Ishasha sector of the Park. Ishasha is a remote grassland area famous for the lion population that are often seen climbing the massive fig trees. Enjoy an afternoon game drive and sundowners before taking dinner and spending the night at Enjojo Lodge.

Overnight: Enjojo Lodge

Day 7: Bwindi Impenetrable National Park

After a lovely bush breakfast and morning game drive, the journey continues with an easy 2 hour drive to Buhoma, the village in the north of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and entry point for the famous gorilla treks. Arrive by late afternoon and settle into a 3 night stay at the charming Haven Lodge, a property run for the benefit of the local community with amazing views across the forest to Nkuringo.

Overnight: Haven Lodge

Day 8: Bwindi Impenetrable National Park

The Big Day arrives! Enjoy a good breakfast to give you energy for the day ahead. A short transfer will take you to Park HQ where you will be allocated to your gorilla family, receive a briefing on the ecology of the animals and meet your guides and porters (you can hire a porter for $15). The the trek begins. Expect to be walking for on average 3 hours in steep terrain before making contact with the gorillas. Then you have up to one hour to observe these amazing animals from a distance of 6 metres. When the magical hour is up, return through the forest to HQ and your lodge.

Overnight: Haven Lodge

Day 9: Bwindi Impenetrable National Park

Your second day of gorilla trekking. This will be to a different family so you can explore a second area of the forest and meet new characters.

Overnight: Haven Lodge

Day 10: Lake Mburo National Park

This morning you leave Bwindi, driving 4 to 5 hours to Lake Mburo National Park on the road back to Entebbe. Arrive in time for a lovely afternoon boat safari on the lake. Spend the night in one of the park's most popular properties.

Overnight: Mantana Camp

Day 11: Entebbe

This morning, explore the forests and grasslands on foot with a guide, working up an appetite for a late breakfast. Then leave the Park and complete the 5 hour drive back to Entebbe in time for your international flight home.

Overnight: Karibu Guesthouse

Day 12: Entebbe

Enjoy a leisurely morning. Late check out will be requested for you.  Later transfer to the airport for your flight home. 

Prices, Departures and Inclusions

  • Per person prices estimated based on two travellers.
  • All Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) permits are included at the documented UWA rate and are not subject to a mark up.


  • 2 gorilla trek permits and 1 chimp trek permit.
  • Ground transport in private 4WD safari vehicle.
  • Experienced English speaking driver-guide.
  • Accommodation as detailed in a single room.
  • Bottled mineral water in safari vehicle.
  • Activities as described in the programme.
  • AMREF insurance.


  • International flights.
  • Tourist visa ($50 pp).
  • Meals and drinks not specified.
  • Items of a personal nature.
  • Tips & gratuities.
  • International health insurance.

Questions about this Trip?