Uganda has got more than thirteen species of primates with gorillas being the largest of all, chimpanzees, golden monkeys, grey cheeked mangabeys, white and black Colobus monkeys and the baboons just to mention but a few all gazzeted in the different national parks. Rating all the Uganda safaris I have made to Uganda, primates safaris so far is still the best experiential tour which I organized with nature adventure Africa during my holiday from work.
This was to take us five days in which we were to do gorilla trekking at $600 per person, golden monkey trekking at $50 per person and Chimpanzee habituation at $1500 per person and all these activities were to be done in three national parks of Mgahinga, Bwindi and Kibale forest national park. Accommodation was arranged basing on the areas we tracked form due to the long distances within these parks from one reaching the other.
Having been provided with an itinerary by Moses that indicated the various destinations we were to go to including the routes basing on the number of days we were to stay on the safari. It was Saturday morning that we were dropped at Entebbe airport by Fly Emirates fortunately Moses and the guide we already there to receive us in an air conditioned super custom with soft seats. The first activity was to track gorillas but since they were conserved in far places of Kabale and Kisoro away from Kampala, we couldn’t manage that day, instead we had an en-route break first as we were shopping some equipments we were to used on our safari including soft drinks and other beverages.
By 11am we started off the journey to Kabale and at this time we were to track the Nshongi gorilla group in the Rushaga sector in Bwindi impenetrable national park. The journey took us approximately 7hours to reach the sector and here we had our stage at Gorilla Safari Lodge where we even had an overnight including the entire buffet. The second day early in the morning after a warm milk tea we went to the park headquarters for briefing and it was from here that we were given a two ranger with guns one in front of us and the other behind us.
We passed through the trails at exactly 8am, surprisingly there were some trekkers who came after 10am to track without any reason but they were prohibited from trekking since it is not an easy activity. Fortunately before our trek, spotters were already in the field and this enabled us not to spend much time on searching gorillas in their habitat. We spent two hours on trekking and this wasn’t to much basing on the records on the time other trekkers spend. We used strictly one hour to enjoy being entertained by the baby gorillas that seat on the backs of their mothers.
Photos were taken in the all sorts of angles, though being endangered; Uganda has got the maximum number of mountain gorillas ranging to over 350 compared to its counterparts that’s Rwanda and DR.Congo, we had to take our snacks as some colleagues had restless breath which prompted them to take a lot of drinking water. We went back in the afternoon in the coldness though we were well equipped with sweaters and rain jacket fully put on gumboots.
We had to take a birth before we took lunch; it was around 4 pm that we left the hotel heading to Kisoro for the next day’s activity at Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, we slept at Mount Gahinga Lodge where we based to reach the park headquarters for a brief introduction plus the guide ready with our cameras, this added value on our primate tour since we got a chance to see the three cones of Sabinyo, Gahinga and Muhavura ranging to join the Virunga mountains in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
But this was hectic, even though we met a fleet of the endangered golden monkeys, due to their suspicious nature and the supreme boosting to the visitors that they are the king of the jungle, they used to jump over the trees high above despite of the stunning views we had hence giving us an opportunity to take photos. Golden monkeys in Uganda are only found here at Mgahinga Gorilla National Park and not elsewhere in Africa. By coincidence we met some buffaloes that were loitering around the park though we were not in the territories of the gorillas here.
We went back to the hotel since this activity didn’t take us much time, by 11am we were done with it but we couldn’t wait since time was our greatest enemy, we requested Nsubuga to drive us to Kibale but the journey its self was too long to the extent that we spent 5hours on the way, good enough we had our parked food. We chilled at Equator Snow Lodge. We reached at around 7pm hence many were tired and others were asleep.
The following day we had to go for a our greatest experience though other people fear it due to some conditions including the price but instead of spending with the chimps one hour, a full day is ideal for a nice amazing experience as we were helping the rangers to make these chimps getting used to human beings though it takes time. We enjoyed the chimps full day without restrictions where we chilled with them. Took photos but sharing them with eats was prohibited, unfortunately we rain caught us while in the forest though we had our jackets.
In the evening, we went back to the hotel but for fresh up and the fifth day we went back to Kampala via fort portal road and it took us 5hours on the way since the road is well maintained as we were boozing in our vehicle while enjoying the experiential stories from the colleagues as Nsubuga was driving, we reached Entebbe at 3pm since our flight was scheduled at 7pm. We discovered that if you combine, gorillas tracking with golden monkey and chimpanzee habituation or tracking, it can make up a nice memorable primate safari forever.