13 Day Safari in Uganda Highlights

This 13 day safari will see you visit the Rhino sanctuary at ziwa, Murchison falls NP for game viewing, Kibale NP for chimpanzee tracking, Queen Elizabeth for game viewing, boat ride on the kazinga channel and chimpanzee tracking, Bwindi NP for mountain gorilla tracking, Mgahinga NP for golden monkey tracking and finally Lake Mburo NP for game viewing and boat cruise. This safari is designed to suite your expectations as it covers almost all the activities worth looking for.

Day 1: Kampala City Tour

Day 2: Transfer to Murchison Falls NP / Rhino sanctuary

Day 3: Morning Game drive and boat Cruise on the Nile

Day 4: Transfer to Kibale Forest NP / Bigodi swamp walk

Day 5: Chimps tracking and transfer to Queen ENP

Day 6: Game drive and boat cruise on Kazinga channel

Day 7: Kyambura gorge Chimps Tracking and Visit to Katwe Salt Mine

Day 9: Morning Game Drive and Transfer to Bwindi Forest NP via Ishasha

Day 10: Mountain Gorilla Trek and Batwa Pygmies

Day 11: Transfer to Mgahinga NP

Day 12: Golden Monkey Tracking

Day 13: Transfer to Lake Mburo NP

Day 14: Departure

gorilla treks

Day 1; Kampala City Tour

Start your day with a visit to the palace of the King of Buganda found at Lubiri Mengo, you will be able to see the Baganda show case their traditions and culture; you will then proceed to Kasubi Royal Tombs, the burial place of the kings of Buganda and members of the royal family, the royal tombs were declared a world heritage site by UNESCO in December 2001. Transfer to Namugongo Martyrs shrine – an important religious site where Christian converts were executed on the orders of the Kabaka of Buganda, these martyrs are remembered every 3rd of   June, with  pilgrims coming from all parts of the  world. You will then visit the National Museum, found in the suburbs of Kampala for cultural and historical exhibitions, and also visit the well renowned Ndere Troop center for cultural Entertainment.  You will wind up your day with a stroll around the Owino and Nakasero Market Centers and several other shops which may be of interest. Dinner and overnight in Kampala.

Day 2: Transfer to Murchison falls national park / visit to Ziwa Rhino sanctuary

Enjoy breakfast at your hotel in the morning or for those arriving at Entebbe international airport expect your driver guide to pick you up and begin the journey to Murchison falls National Park, you will drive through several towns along the way before having a stopover at Ziwa Rhino sanctuary where the endangered White rhinoceros are bred. This Rhino sanctuary was started to protect the White Rhino populations found in Uganda.  You will have a stopover in Masindi for your lunch. It is 2-3 hours’ drive from Masindi town to the park. As you drive through the Budongo Forest, you will comes across troops of Baboons, monkeys and several bird species. Over all the journey will take you 6-7 hours.

Depending on time of arrival at the park, one may have an evening game drive as you warm up for the morning game drive. Arrive at your preferred accommodation relax, refresh and wait for diner.

Day 3: Morning game drive and boat cruise along the Nile

Have breakfast by 6am and thereafter and proceed to the game drive. The morning game drive starts at about 6.30am,   look out for animals such as; the giraffes, lions, hyenas, water bucks, elephants, buffalos, antelopes- many species birds such as; hadada ibis, hamerkop, marabou stock, king fisher, egrets to mention but a few. As you have your game drive, you may relax and have a picnic on the river bank as you listen to the groans of the Hippos.

After the game drive, you will transfer to the lodge and enjoy your lunch as you prepare to have an afternoon boat cruise on the Nile River. This cruise is spectacular as it allows you to get up close to the aquatic animals such as; the hippos, crocodiles, water bucks, buffalos, elephants etc. Among the birds commonly sited on the boat cruise include the goliath heron, king fisher, weaver birds, bee eater, cattle egrets and the beautiful scenery along the bank. At the bottom of the falls, you may choose to trek to the top of the falls or choose to take photos at the rocks below the falls.

Accommodation (full board)

Luxury: Paara Safari Lodge / Chobe safari lodge

Mid-range: Pakuba Lodge, Murchison River Lodge, Fort Murchison River lodge

Budget:  Red Chili Rest Camp / Yebo safari camp

 

DAY 4: Transfer to kibale forest national park / Bigodi walk

After breakfast, have a fascinating drive through the country side as you will drive past road side markets, schools country homes, panoramic view of tea, banana, corn gardens and so many activities may be sited along the way. The journey takes approximately 8 hours.

Check-in to your preferred accommodation. Freshen up before embarking on an afternoon guided walk in Bigodi swamps, here you will interact with the locals and get to know their livelihood you will get to see their homes, the gardens and livestock. During the swamp walk you may encounter other wildlife, Vervet monkey, L’Hoest monkey, Black and white Colobus, Red tailed monkey and Mangabey etc. other animals such as the Antelopes, Bush pigs, Baboons, bush back etc. there are over 375 bird species including the hornbill, Hamerkop, yellow billed egret, water thick knee are  a common sitting.

A stunning location overlooking a dramatic Crater Lake and the stunning hills covered with tea plantations is worth looking out for.

You will return to the lodge after the adventure, freshen up, have dinner and wait for the exciting chimpanzee tracking in the morning.

Accommodation (full board)

Luxury: Papaya/Ndali lodge/Primate lodge/Kibale forest/Kyaninga lodge

Mid-range: Kibale forest camp / Mountains of the moon/ Isunga safari lodge

Budget: Ruwenzori travelers/Chimpanzee forest guest house/ Kibale forest camp

 

DAY 5: Chimpanzee tracking and transfer to queen Elizabeth NP

 

Start your day with an early breakfast, your driver guide will transfer you to Kanyanchu Visitor center at the park office. Here you will have a briefing on the do’s and don’ts before setting off for the long awaited chimpanzee tracking.

You will be allocated a group of not more than six people and given a ranger to guide you throughout the chimp tracking experience.

Tracking the chimps is an exciting experience on average it takes about 3 hours to find the chimps.  Locating the chimps depends on the weather and season, during dry spells the chimps move longer distance in search of food and water while in the wet seasons food is readily available so the chimps can easily be traced. The chimps also become illusive during times of patrolling territories, they move tens of kilometers thus making it difficult to be found.

During the chimp tracking you may come across other primates such as; Blue monkey, vervet monkey, red tailed monkey, mangabey, bush pigs, elephants, baboons, different bird species and butterflies.

When you finally get to see the chimps you are allowed one hour with the primates, during this encounter, you will get the see the chimps grooming, fighting, feeding, the young ones playing, adults swinging from tree to tree and   the ranger guide will brief you about the life history of the chimps and their interaction with the other inhabitants of the forest. You are allowed to take photos but you are advised to keep your distance and flash photography is not allowed.

After this wonderful experience you will transfer to the lodge freshen up and head for Queen Elizabeth National Park for your next adventure.

 

Day 6: Game drive and Kazinga channel boat cruise in Queen Elizabeth National Park

 

After an early morning breakfast  at 6.00am, transfer to Kasenyi sector for the morning game drive expect  to see early morning predators such as leopards, hyenas and lions- different antelope species, buffaloes, elephants, hippos, warthogs, waterbucks, etc. For birders, QE national park is a birders’ paradise with over 606 species including a variety of migratory and Albertine Rift Endemics. In the afternoon, at 2pm you will start your boat cruise on the Kazinga Channel between lakes Edward and George. The boat cruise is approximately 2hours.  This is the best place to see a cross section of all the wildlife in this park. After the cruise you can have a mini game drive before retiring for overnight at your preferred lodge.

 

Day 7 chimp tracking/ katwe salt mines visit

After breakfast transfer to Kyambura gorge for chimpanzee tracking, you will take along your packed lunch and there after visit the famous katwe salt Crater Lake and see how salt mining has been done for decades. Return to your lodge for dinner and overnight.

Accommodation Options (full board)

Luxury: Mweya safari Lodge, Elephant plains safari lodge, Mazike Valley lodge

Midrange: Kyambura game lodge, Ihamba Lake Side, Twin Lakes, Bush Lodge, Ishasha jungle lodge, Ishasha wilderness camp

Budget: Simba safari camp, Twin lakes safari lodge, Bush lodge

 

Day 8: Transfer to Bwindi NP via Ishasha

 

Have breakfast and transfer to Bwindi impenetrable Forest NP through Ishasha – the northern sector of Queen Elizabeth NP,  here you will be in search of the tree climbing lions in the fig trees of Ishasha, you will also view other wildlife like the Jacksons hartebeest, Uganda kob, Hippos, Water bucks etc. Stopover for lunch at Ishasha before proceeding to Bwind. Arrive in Bwindi in the evening check in and rest as you prepare for the big day ahead.

DAY 9; Gorilla trekking / community walk

 

Have an early breakfast 6:30am, then proceeded to the park headquarters by 7.30am for a briefing from the Park Wardens. Ensure to carry along rain jacket, drinking water, snacks, and ankle high jungle boots.

The park wardens will allocate you different gorilla families which you will track. Besides seeing Gorillas other animals such as antelopes, bush pigs, chimpanzees, baboons, elephants and over 350 bird species are a common siting this park.

Do not forget to take your lunch boxes and all the necessary gear to track the rare Mountain Gorilla, perhaps one of the most exciting wildlife experiences on earth.

When you finally get to meet the gentle giants you are allowed a maximum of one hour with them, photos are allowed, but no flash photography, minimum 5 meters distance must be kept, avoid contact with the gorillas as you can spread diseases but also coming close may mean invading their space which the silverbacks or dominate males may not take lightly thus this could lead to charging- also avoid running away in case of charging by the gorillas.

The tracking may take between 2 and 8 hours but its well worth the effort. The afternoon is spent on a village cultural walk which gives you a great opportunity to see how the people surrounding Bwindi Impenetrable Forest live. It also is a great way to support the local community in a direct way.

The walk begins at your accommodation- visit the local Doctor as he performs his trade- visit the pygmies locally known as the Batwa, who originally lived in the rain forest before it was gazette in to a national park in 1991, they will show case songs, dances- different skills – fire making, hunting and storytelling-you will also visit a school run by community NGO thus by visiting the school you will be the supporting the these dis-advantaged kids.

You will get to see the local home steads, local people see and learn their ways. The cultural excursion will showcase art and craft, dance and culture as well as way of life if you have time you can learn a few skills yourself.

You will see several souvenir shops, schools, churches and drinking joints. Other options includes taking the trails, to see the stunning waterfalls or you can choose to have a birding expedition in the forest addition to various primates.

Accommodation (full board)

Budget: Buhoma community Rest camp / Ruhija Gorilla Friends Camp / Trakkers Tarver/ /Gorilla Valley Lodge

Moderate: Gorilla Resort Bwindi /Gorilla Safari Lodge / Trakkers Tarver/Bakiga.

Luxury: Mahogany springs Lodge / Buhoma Lodge / Rushanga Gorilla Satari Lodge

 

Day 10: Transfer to Mgahinga NP

 

After breakfast transfer to Mgahinga National Park – home to one group of the mountain gorillas; the park also has the unique golden monkeys. Check in, have lunch and freshen up before you take a forest guided walk through the Mgahinga forest or take a hike to the top of Mt Mgahinga, here you will be able to see views of Uganda, Rwanda and the DRC. Dinner and overnight at Mgahinga Lodge.

 

Day 11: Golden Monkey Tracking / transfer to Bunyonyi

 

Have breakfast and transfer to Mgahinga park offices by 7:30am to be briefed by the park rangers on the golden monkey tracking dos and don’ts. After the tracking transfer to Lake Bunyonyi- one of the most iconic sceneries in Uganda. Enjoy the beautiful land scape of the Kigezi highlands and most of all the scenic view of the lake Bunyonyi is breath taking. On arrival check in refresh and embark on a Canoe ride to the different Islands, other activities include, swimming, fishing, birding etc. Dinner and overnight.

ACCOMMODATION (FULL BOARD)

Luxury, Arcadia Cottages

Mid- range, Bunyonyi over Land Resort

Budget, Bunyonyi Overland Camp.

 

Day 12: Transfer to Lake Mburo NP/boat cruise/game drive

 

After breakfast transfer to Lake Mburo NP. Upon arrival, proceed with an amazing game drive watching out for game like , zebras, antelopes, elephants, elands, Impalas etc. and several bird species. After the game drive transfer to the lodge for lunch and thereafter go on a 2 hour boat cruise on Lake Mburo- with plenty to see such as hippos, crocodiles, water bucks, impalas and so much more. Retire to your lodge, dinner and overnight.

 

Day 13: Departure

Have breakfast at leisure and Proceed with your drive to Kampala for drop off at either a hotel or airport for departure flight.

 

Safari inclusions

  • Transport  4*4WD safari vehicle
  • English-speaking driver/guide
  • Accommodation as mentioned in the itinerary
  • Three meals a day, apart from your stay in Kampala/Entebbe
  • Bottled water in the safari vehicle
  • All Park entrance fees
  • Gorilla permit / chimpanzee permit
  • Community cultural walk

 

Tour Exclusions

Kampala / Entebbe accommodation (the eve of the safari and the night after the safari),

Laundry services,

Drinks & Beverages

International flights,

Visas,

Tips.

 

END OF SAFARI