With over 400 mountain gorillas in Bwindi National Park and 320 bird species identified, Uganda is a favorite location for people looking to hike primates, particularly gorillas. It is also a refuge for bird watchers in a country with numerous lakes and lush, mountainous scenery.
12 days on a Uganda safari is the definition of heaven on earth for many as you’ll be enthralled with the ancient rainforest in Bwindi, one of the few forests in Africa to have flourished throughout the last Ice Age. The national park has 17 gorilla families and 90 mammal species, an incredible sight to behold.
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The best 12 days Uganda Tours
Price of a 12 days Uganda safari?
Prices for a 12 days tour in Uganda range between $3,500 to $4,000 per person. Mid-range tours mostly range between $4,100 to $4,500 per person, while luxury tours start at about $4,700 per person.
Uganda safari packages can vary in price depending on a number of factors. The quality of lodging has a significant impact on a safari’s cost. This will finally divide tours into three categories: cheap, midrange, and premium and of course private tours are often more expensive than shared ones.
This is particularly the case for single travelers and you might wish to think about a fly-in safari on a 12-day journey, although they are significantly more costly than road safaris. Visitors should also take note that low-season costs can also be advantageous, and even if it may rain more during this time, the countryside is at its most beautiful.
Tour breakdown for a typical 12 days in Uganda
Trekking safari tour highlights
- Trek the Ugandan jungles seeing gorillas, chimpanzees, black-and-white colobus, golden monkeys, buffalo and the occasional elephant
- Discover the famous Bwindi Impenetrable and Mgahinga Gorilla National Parks
- Private tour guide in English and other languages
- All-inclusive tours including lodging, entrance fees, meals, and transport
- Guided walks with professional and knowledgeable guides
- Unique accommodation including safari lodges and tented camps
The following details typical tour inclusions and exclusions on the best 12 days Uganda safari package:
|Tour inclusions||Tour exclusions|
|Gorilla permits||Visa fees, laundry services & alcoholic drinks|
|Chimpanzee Permits||International/domestic flights|
|Experienced english-speaking guide||Tips to the driver guides, waiters and porters|
|Park entrance fees||Optional canoe trekking & Batwa Cultural Experience|
|Luxury lodge accommodation|
|Breakfast, lunch, dinner and bottled water|
Safari essentials and information
Is a 12 day safari in Uganda sufficient?
12 days is plenty to see, hear and experience the incredible wildlife and sights of Uganda. The number of days needed to properly do a Uganda safari can range from 1-2 days to 1-2 weeks, depending on how much time and budget a visitor has.
Each day consists of an early morning breakfast before going gorilla and chimpanzee tracking. The activity can last 3 to 4 hours in one forest such as Kalinju forest before later transferring to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park with lunch en-route in Ntungamo or Kabale town.
Evening times typically involve an incredible dinner and wine whilst staying overnight at a luxury lodge such as Ichumbi Gorilla Lodge. The following day can include spending some or all of your time at the incredible Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, a range of freestanding volcanoes that rises to a maximum altitude of 14,787ft on the border with Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
Alternatively you can spend all of your time in the famous Bwindi NP. With full days in the jungle, you’ll have plenty of opportunity to explore this iconic destination including a full morning and afternoon of getting close to these incredible primates with lunch served at one of the scenic picnic spots.
Overall, 12 days is a good amount of time for a mountain gorilla trekking safari in Uganda if it is part of a larger tour, but if not, allocating a few more days to your trek would be ideal if possible.
Accommodation offered on a 12 days Uganda safari?
After a long day surveying the incredible landscape and Uganda wildlife on offer, guests can look forward to the very best safari accommodation Uganda has to offer. The accommodation here is excellent with numerous options from tented camps, luxury lodges to camping grounds.
From camping in the bush with amenities to mid-range and luxury lodges, there’s something for everyone here. There are various accommodation options in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park including Gorilla Heights Lodge, a 4-star lodge with 12 rooms and conveniences like a full-service spa, an outdoor pool and free in-room WiFi.
This luxury lodge also offers a seating area with a flat-screen TV and a private bathroom with bathrobes, slippers and shower. There is also a kitchen in some of the units equipped with a microwave, an oven, and a stovetop.
Chameleon Hill Lodge in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park is a luxury lodge built overlooking Lake Mutanda. The lodge has a beautiful compound with great views of the three volcanoes and a superb spot for those who have come for gorilla trekking, bird watching, golden monkey tracking or canoeing on Lake Mutanda.
Must do on a 12 day Uganda safari
The most popular option for a 12 days Uganda safari is Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. The airport is about 29 miles from the capital city of Kampala and it’s possible to fly by domestic carrier from Entebbe or Kampala (Kajjansi Airfield) to Kihihi or Kisoro near Bwindi.
Bwindi is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the best place in Uganda to track mountain gorillas. The park protects 40% of the world’s mountain gorilla population and has an incredible 350 species of birds.
A 12 days safari to Mgahinga Gorilla National Park is also a great option and home of one habituated gorilla family, the Nyakagezi, which are available for trekking on a daily basis. Trekking of mountain gorillas in Mgahinga gorilla national park takes about 30 minutes to 6 hours and during trekking you will be able to view different wildlife species.
This includes primates such as chimpanzees, black and white colobus monkeys, l’hoest monkeys, different bird species, mammals, plant and tree species among others.
Animals on a Uganda trek?
Gorillas and chimpanzees are of course incredibly popular and visible in Uganda however you’ll find a lot more than these primates here also! Primates are especially well represented in Uganda.
Patas monkey, red-tailed monkey, l’Hoest’s monkey, golden monkey, Ugandan red colobus and Uganda mangabe are some of the special species, many found near Lake Bunyonyi in south-western Uganda.
Uganda is also home to a wide variety of antelope species. The Uganda kob, the national antelope, is locally common, while the rare sitatunga antelope is found in six national parks in the country but rarely seen.
In Bwindi, aside from the endangered mountain gorillas, nine other primate species are found in the forest. These include chimpanzees, olive baboons, black-and-white colobus and l’Hoest’s monkey. Elephants are present but seldom seen.
Uganda’s most popular savannah reserve is Queen Elizabeth National Park and it has four of the Big Five animals present and the widest variety of wildlife of any Ugandan park across grassland savannah, forests, wetlands and lakes.
How much spending money do I need for a 12 day Uganda safari?
Visitors should budget for approximately $300 for a Uganda safari per person per day, including food and accommodation. Uganda safaris can be expensive due to the cost of accommodation and food.
How difficult is a 12 day gorilla trek in Uganda?
Gorilla trekking in Uganda is relatively difficult depending on your fitness levels as the treks involve walking through thick forests, valleys, hills and swamps as well as walking in high altitudes with stinging nettles.
What is the best time to go on a 12 day gorilla trek in Uganda?
The best time to go on a 12 days gorilla trek in Uganda is during its two dry seasons: between December and February, and between June and August, when conditions are particularly good for trekking to see mountain gorillas and chimpanzees.