The itinerary was full with some downtime. Many early mornings which is to be expected to see animals stirring in the cool of day. I spent a lot more on gratuities than listed as during trekking there are trackers, protectors, etc. Everyone had their hands out. The porters are Not happy with payment of 20USD plus 5 tip as listed in the notes. They were expecting almost double and became very unhappy. There is not really a guide but a driver, so don’t expect to get any information/details about the country, etc. They manly drive and keep everyone on schedule. Overall is was a worthwhile trip to see the chimps and gorillas. What an amaxong opportunity to see them within 6 ft of you.
Wildlife Holidays in Uganda
Uganda Wildlife Holidays
Constance Hoffman Chimps & Gorillas of Uganda
Kenneth Auld Gorillas & Masai Mara – Camping
We travelled on the same trip as Angela, and agree with everything that she said.
The wildlife sightings in the Masai Mara were excellent; the boat trip on the Kazinga Channel was every bit as good; the trip to the source of the Nile is fun; and then there is the big finale of the chimp and gorilla trekking, all making this a wonderful journey.
Only one site, near Lake Nakuru, had poorer facilities, although as it had baboons and colobus monkeys in the camp while we were having lunch, we could happily overlook that.
This is definitely a trip where you need to have the right mental attitude, and then just go for it. The trip notes say that you will remember the time with the gorillas for the rest of your life. That is not an exaggeration, but it could be applied to the rest of the trip as well.
Angela Beckwith Gorillas & Masai Mara – Camping
What an incredible trip. The scenery, the wildlife viewing and the people all combine to make a fabulous itinerary. We were incredibly lucky with the wildlife from the very start, with the Big 5 achieved between the Masai Mara and Lake Nakuru, along with five cheetah, lions, baby giraffe, elephants, zebra and so much more.
We were incredibly lucky with the boat trip in Queen Elizabeth NP, getting to spend time watching two herds of elephants, both with babies, come down to the water’s edge to drink.
The whitewater rafting in Jinja was intense but absolutely brilliant and the safety was top notch. There are options on the rafting for how intense you want the experience – our group did the highest class available and spent a fair bit of time in the water, but it was such a fun activity.
The chimp trekking in Budongo was on relatively easy paths, with only the last 5-10mins being properly ‘off-track’. The chimps stayed up in the trees, however we still had a great viewing, with a young chimp playing around and giving some fabulous poses and facial experiences. Beware of the chimps throwing things down at you – they are surprisingly accurate with their aim!
The gorilla trekking is everything you imagine and more. It is impossible to predict how far or how hard your walk will be, so go prepared for a tough hike. Our group had around an hour of reasonable hiking on established tracks, followed by around 30-40 mins of full scrambling up and down a steep ravine as the gorillas moved away in search of a different food source. Once the gorillas had re-settled, we were able to spend the hour with the whole family, from the massive silverback to the playful adolescents and the relaxing females. The trackers are awesome and the gorillas showed no signs of being even remotely bothered by our presence, coming up towards us and playing / posing for photos near by.
As other reviewers have previously mentioned, there are lots of early mornings, but you soon adjust and, as this is when the wildlife is most active, it is definitely worth it. The campsites were generally of a very good standard. We had a slight issue with very late and loud music at the Jinja camp (take earplugs), and one campsite did not have working showers when we were there, but as this was one night only it really did not have a big impact. Most of the facilities were good and some were excellent (lovely hot showers), but really this trip is not about the accommodation – with good food (thanks Ken!) and great company, you really do not need luxury and the experience of waking up to the sounds of baboons and hyena made everything worthwhile. The Exodus tents and mattresses are good quality and well cared for, and there were plenty of opportunities for upgrades if you wanted a break from camping.
The Adventure Begins Here
Get regular inspiration straight to your inbox from Exodus' experts.