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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
Join a National Geographic-funded primatologist on treks in search of chimpanzees, gorillas, and endangered golden monkeys.
Watch the antics of chimpanzees up close at a sanctuary established in association with the Jane Goodall Institute.
Meet with scientists at the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund’s Karisoke Research Center to learn about ongoing conservation projects.
Get an in-depth perspective on National Geographic grantee Dian Fossey’s 18-year-long gorilla study as you trek through her living laboratory in Volcanoes National Park.
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; and 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 — 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)
National Geographic 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.
Prices are per person, double occupancy. For a single
room, add $3,500.
For 2018 departures, there is an additional $750 permit fee due to an increase in costs for gorilla-trekking permits in Rwanda.
Airfare to Entebbe and return from Kigali, as well as the domestic flight in Uganda, are not included in the expedition cost. The group flight from Entebbe to Kasese is between $300 and $330 (subject to change), depending on the departure date.
Travelers should be physically fit and prepared for multiple hours of activity (e.g. hiking, kayaking, biking) each day.
Click here for a description of all activity levels.
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