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Expedition Details


Set off on a once-in-a-lifetime journey into the lush hills of Uganda and Rwanda to encounter chimpanzees and mountain gorillas in the wild. Observe chimpanzees with a primatologist, and track gorillas in the forests of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Volcanoes National Park. Stay in stunning lodges, from a lakeside bungalow at the foot of the Rwenzori Mountains to a hilltop eco-lodge with spectacular views of Rwanda’s volcanoes.

Trip Highlights

    • Spend two days tracking chimpanzees, two days tracking gorillas, and one day tracking endangered golden monkeys.
    • Watch the antics of chimpanzees up close at a sanctuary established in association with the Jane Goodall Institute.
    • Go on safari and take a wildlife cruise in Uganda’s Queen Elizabeth National Park.
    • Meet with scientists at the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund’s Karisoke Research Center.

Itinerary - 11 Days

Days 1 & 2 — Entebbe, Uganda/Ngamba Island

Arrive in Entebbe this evening and transfer to our hotel. The next day, visit the Chimpanzee Sanctuary on Ngamba Island, established in association with the Jane Goodall Institute as a habitat for rescued and orphaned chimpanzees. Later, explore the Uganda Wildlife Education Centre.
Lake Victoria Serena Resort (Day 2: B, L, D)

Days 3 & 4 — Kibale National Park

Fly from Entebbe to Kasese en route to Kibale National Park and check in to our lodge, set on a crater lake. Meet with a local researcher and search for chimpanzees, black-and-white colobus, red-tailed, and blue monkeys, as well as the rare l’Hoest’s monkey. Explore the Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary.
Kyaninga Lodge (B, L, D daily)

Days 5 & 6 — Kibale National Park/Queen Elizabeth National Park

Spend a second morning tracking chimpanzees. Continue to Queen Elizabeth National Park, and go on safari to look for elephants, lions, and Ugandan kobs before an afternoon wildlife cruise.
Kyambura Gorge Lodge (B, L, D daily)

Days 7 & 8 — Queen Elizabeth National Park/ Bwindi Impenetrable National Park

Travel to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. The next morning, head into the park’s forests, home to roughly half the world’s remaining mountain gorillas. Sit among these gentle giants, observing one of the planet’s most endangered creatures up close.
Bwindi Lodge (B, L, D daily)

Days 9 & 10 — Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda

Settle into your private villa overlooking the surrounding volcanoes and lakes. Meet experts at the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund’s Karisoke Research Center to learn about ongoing conservation efforts. Spend the next day tracking mountain gorillas in Volcanoes National Park, where National Geographic grantee Dian Fossey conducted research on gorillas for 18 years. Enjoy a traditional dance performance this evening.
Virunga Lodge (B, L, D daily)

Day 11 — Volcanoes National Park/Kigali

This morning, search for endangered golden monkeys in the park. After lunch, visit a local school. Then transfer to the airport for your flight home.
(B, L)

Related Trips

National Geographic Expert

Elizabeth Lonsdorf

Elizabeth LonsdorfNational Geographic Emerging Explorer Elizabeth Lonsdorf began researching primates as an undergraduate student at Duke University. Later, while completing a Ph.D. at the Jane Goodall Institute's Center for Primate Studies at the University of Minnesota, she spent several months each year studying wild chimpanzees at Tanzania's Gombe Stream National Park. She returns annually to Gombe to maintain a research program focused on chimpanzee health and infant development. In addition to serving on the faculty of Franklin & Marshall College, Elizabeth is the Vice President for Education and Outreach for the International Primatological Society.

Elizabeth will join the following departure:

Dec 27, 2017 - Jan 06, 2018



  • Jul 10 - 20, 2017
  • Jul 24 - Aug 03, 2017
  • Aug 21 - 31, 2017 (waitlist only)
  • Dec 27, 2017 - Jan 06, 2018
  • Feb 18 - 28, 2018

Expedition Cost

February 2017 - February 2018


Prices are per person, double occupancy. For a single room, add $3,500. All primate-tracking permits are included in the expedition cost. Airfare to Entebbe and return from Kigali and the flight within Uganda are not included in the expedition cost. The group flight from Entebbe to Kasese is $300 to $330 (subject to change), depending on the departure date.

Featured Expedition Moment

What To Expect

This is an active expedition with moderate to strenuous hikes. Participants must be at least 15 years old, and should be physically fit. Each departure is limited to 16 travelers. While tracking primates, guests will trek through thick jungle at elevations ranging up to 10,000 feet, for as many as eight hours, depending on the location of the primates. Treks can be arduous; and the terrain can be steep, uneven, wet, and muddy. This trip is not suitable for those who suffer from a cardiac, respiratory, or circulatory disorder or a disability that limits mobility.

Extend Your Stay

Extend your trip to Tanzania with a stay at Rubondo Island Camp, a member of the National Geographic Unique Lodges of the World collection. Please call for details.