15 Days in Uganda Safari, Exclusive Trip

The 15 Days Uganda safari is designed to make your visit a memorable one in Uganda. You experience the best of Uganda in terms of culture and nature, Uganda is rich in terms of biodiversity and scenic beauty that’s why Churchill named it “The Pearl of Africa. The 15 Days, game and cultural safari will involve, tracking chimps in three different forests of Budongo in Murchison falls NP, Kyambura Gorge in Queen Elizabeth National Park and Kibale Forest National Park.  On this safari you will traverse the three savannah National Parks for nature drives and boat launches. Ride the boat up stream on the Nile river in Murchison Falls National Park, and also get up close to the shore of the Kazinga Channel in Queen Elizabeth National Park as you get to see the wildlife enjoy the waters in this natural channel, take to the local Canoes in Lake Mburo National Park and Lake Bunyonyi.

These vast National parks have variety in terms of, hippos, lions, elephants, buffaloes, leopards not to mention the over 600 bird species. There are many eye catching moments of this tour which includes the surging powerful Murchison falls, the tree climbing lions, the boat cruise on kazinga channel and the highlight is trekking the mountain gorilla in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. You will also enjoy the cultural excursions on this safari, interact with the Batwa pygmies, visit the native doctors and mid wives,  local communities leaving around the national parks, walks that will take you to the nearby villages to learn more about people and their cultures.

 

Brief Itinerary of our 15 Day primate, game and cultural tour

 

Day 01:   Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary / Chimpanzee tracking in Budongo forest

Day 02:  Chimpanzee tracking, and visit top of the falls

Day 03: Morning game on the northern bank and afternoon boat cruise

Day 04:  Hoima Town for a cultural walk

Day 05: Transfer to Kibale Forest National Park

Day 06: Morning chimpanzee tracking and Bigodi community walk.

Day 07: Transfer to Queen Elizabeth National Park and evening game drive.

Day 08: Morning game drive and afternoon boat cruise on Kazinga Channel.

Day 09: Morning chimp tracking in kyambura / afternoon visit to Katwe salt mining site

Day 1O: Transfer to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park

Day 11: Gorilla tracking and community cultural walk.

Day 12: Transfer to Lake Bunyonyi

Day 13: Boat ride / Canoeing and birding around Lake Bunyonyi

Day 14: Transfer to Lake Mburo National Park / visit Igongo Cultural center /evening boat cruise on the Lake.

Day 15: Morning game drive and then transfer to Entebbe Airport / Kampala, brief stop at the equator crossing.

End of safari.

15 days in Uganda

 

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Ziwa rhino visit and transfer to Budongo forest.

Start your long awaited safari visiting Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary to track endangered white rhinos that are protected on the 70 km2 sanctuary, you are allowed a maximum of one hour with the rhinos, have hot lunch en route at masindi town before proceeding  to Budongo Forest located in Murchison Falls National Park Conservation area. Overnight at your preferred lodge.

Drive time: Approximately 4-5 hours

Accommodation (full board)

Mid-range: Murchison River Lodge or Pakuba Safari Lodge

Day 2:  Chimpanzee tracking in Budongo forest / top of the Murchison falls

After breakfast, you will transfer to the forest headquarters for briefing about chimpanzee tracking Dos and Don’ts, on average it takes 3 hours to find the chimpanzees, and when you find them you are allowed one hour with these primates, will be guided by well-trained rangers. There are other primates in the forest such as the black and white Colobus, the red tailed monkey, the Vervet monkey, Baboons and a number of bird species and butterflies in this forest. After the tracking drive to the top of Murchison Falls to see spectacular falls as the water squeezes into a narrow gorge before dropping 42 meters below. Retire to your preferred lodge for overnight.

Accommodation (full board)

Luxury: Paraa safari lodge

Mid-range: Pakuba safari lodge / Murchison safari lodge

Budget:  Red chili’s

Drive time: Approximately 2 hours

 

Day 3: Morning game safari and boat cruise on the Nile

Have breakfast by 6am and thereafter and proceed to the wilderness in search of the early morning raisers, 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 of birds such as; egrets, ibis, shoebill stock, 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 either way you may take packed lunch with 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: Paraa safari lodge

Mid-range: Pakuba safari lodge / Murchison safari lodge

Budget:  Red chili’s

Drive time: Approximately 2 hours

 

Day 4: Transfer to Hoima Town for a cultural walk

Have breakfast and transfer to Hoima town from Murchison Falls National Park. Depending on the nature of the road, you may pass via Lake Albert for a scenic drive to the escarpments and then to Hoima town. Check in and go for a cultural walk or enjoy cultural performances at the lodge to learn more about cultures of the local people in the area.

Drive time: 4 hours

Accommodation (full board)

Lodging: Hoima Cultural Lodge / Kontik Hotel

Day 5: Transfer to Kibale forest National Park.

You will drive to Kibale National Park via Fort Portal town for hot Lunch before checking in your preferred lodge. No major activity on this day but if time allows, you may visit the kings palace located in Fort Portal town.

Drive time: Approximately 5 hours

Accommodation (full board)

Luxury: Primate Lodge, Papaya lake side lodge,

Mid-range: Chimpanzee guest house, Isunga lodge, Mountains of the moon

Budget: kibale forest camp, chimpanzee guest house, Rwenzori view guest house

 

Day 6: Chimpanzee tracking and Bigodi Wetland Walk

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 dos 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 to 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.

Freshen up have lunch- 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, bushbucks 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.

Accommodation (full board)

Luxury: Primate Lodge, Papaya lake side lodge,

Mid-range: chimpanzee corteges, Isunga lodge, mountains of the moon

Budget: kibale forest camp, chimpanzee guest house, Rwenzori view guest house

 

Day 7: Transfer to Queen Elizabeth National Park

Have breakfast then transfer to Queen Elizabeth NP. The safari will take us through several towns and trading centers, large scenic tea plantations, forests- with baboon and monkeys strolling along the roads, Rwenzori Mountain ranges can be seen far and wide. As we travel through the park, several wildlife will be sited- proceed to the lodge for lunch.

Drive time: Approximately 3-4 hours

Accommodation (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-tents

 

Day 8: Game drive and Boat Cruise

After an early morning breakfast, undertake a morning game drive to Kasenyi area expecting to view 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 birds. In the afternoon, at 14:00 hrs. You will transfer for a boat cruise along the kazinga channel between lakes Edward and George. This is the best place to see a cross section of all the wildlife in this park. Overnight stay at your preferred lodge.

 

Accommodation (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-tents

 

Day 9:  Chimpanzee tracking at kyambura and Katwe salt mines

After breakfast, you will be driven to Kyambura to join other trekkers for briefing and there-after start your chimpanzee trek in the gorge.  The gorge is such a natural spectacle to watch, with its stipe cliffs you will need to be at your best to find these primates. You will be allowed a maximum of one hour with chimpanzees for photography. Return to your lodge for lunch and refreshment before moving out to visit Lake Katwe salt mines. Lake Katwe was formed by volcanicity and has been in existence for thousands of years. You will be taken through the process of salt mining by the local guides, explaining how salt extraction is done, challenges faced and opportunities available. Return to the Lodge for overnight.

Accommodation (full board)

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

Mid-range: 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-tents

 

Day 10: Transfer to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park

Begin the day with early breakfast, have a morning game drive to view plenty of wildlife before proceeding to the Ishasha Sector; this takes you through the unique western rift valley escarpment; in search of tree climbing lions. Have a stopover for hot lunch at Savannah Resort Hotel in Kihiihi. Thereafter, go through the winding hills as you climb to higher altitudes, home to the mountain gorillas. Check-in to your preferred accommodation late in the evening and freshen up as you wait for your dinner.

Drive time: Approximately 5-6 hours

 

Accommodation (full board)

Budget: Buhoma community Rest camp / Ruhija Gorilla Friends Camp / Trackers tavern/ Gorilla Valley Lodge

Mid-range: Gorilla Resort Bwindi /Gorilla Safari Lodge / Trackers Tavern /Baima.

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

 

Day 11: Gorilla tracking in Bwindi impenetrable NP and community walk

Have an early breakfast 6:30am, then proceed 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)

Luxury: Mahogany springs, Buhoma lodge, Chameleon Hill lodge, Engaji lodge, Gorilla safari lodge

Budget: Trekkers tavern, Buhoma community camp, Nshongi Gorilla Resort, Ichumbi lodge

 

Day 12: Transfer to Lake Bunyonyi

Transfer to Lake Bunyonyi in Kabale District which is one of the most beautiful places to visit in Uganda. Lake Bunyonyi is a Lava damned Lake which was formed when lava flowing from one of the volcanoes blocked a river channel and water was forced to flow back hence filling the space to create Lake Bunyonyi. Bunyonyi locally means small birds due to the abundance of small birds in this area. Lake Bunyonyi is the deepest lake in Uganda with depth reaching 900 meters and second deepest in Africa. While in this paradise you will feel relaxed and it’s always chosen by many who wish to relax and enjoy nature. Overnight at your preferred lodge.

Drive time: Approximately 3-4 hours

Accommodation (full board)

 

Day 13:  Lake Bunyonyi Canoeing or Hiking

Have breakfast, and start your day by taking a canoe ride on the lake to visit the different islands with legendary history, one notable island is the Punishment Island where girls who would become pregnant before legitimate tradition marriage would be cast away and left to die on this island, another island of interest is on inhabiting the batwa pygmies, these people have quite a rich tradition and they are more than will to share it with visitors- the show case songs dance and drama. You can also choose to enjoy the boat or canoe ride on this lake. A village walk is also an option as you will get to share with the local people their day to day lives and also get to try out different skills for example local brewing, cooking, cultivation etc. surely there are plenty of options on table for you to choose from. Return to the Lodge for overnight.

Accommodation (full board)

Lodging: Bird Nest Overseas Cottages or Crater Bay Cottages

Day 14: Transfer to Lake Mburo National Park / boat cruise

Have breakfast and later transfer to Lake Mburo National park, the journey takes you through Mbarara town where you will have lunch, while there you will check out the cultural museum at Igongo.  You will then proceed to Lake Mburo home of the zebras and beautiful Lake Mburo. Check in at your lodge then embark on a boat cruise in the afternoon. The boat cruise has a lot in store for you, expect to see hippos, crocodiles, and lots of birds, and while on this cruise expect to see other animals like Buffaloes, Kobs, warthogs and Zebras. Return to your accommodation for dinner and overnight.

Drive time: Approximately 3 hours

Accommodation (full board)

Budget: Rwonyo Camp, Eagle’s Nest Camp

Mid-range: Mburo safari lodge, Arcadia cottages or Rwakobo Rock lodge

Luxury: Mantana Tented Camp, Mihingo

Day 15: Drive to Entebbe International Airport

After breakfast, you will start your journey to Entebbe International Airport with a stop at the Equator crossing for photography and stretching.

Drive time: Approximately 5-6 hours

Meal Plan: Breakfast and Lunch

Safari inclusions

  • Accommodation (full board)
  • English speaking professional driver/guide,
  • Boat cruise,
  • Chimpanzee permits
  • All activities detailed in the itinerary,
  • Bottled water while on safari,
  • Transport (4 wheel comfortable vehicle with adjustable roof in game drives)
  • Park entrance fees
  • Rhino permits

 

Tour Exclusions

  • Kampala hotel fees (the eve of the safari and the night after the safari),
  • Tips,
  • Laundry services,
  • Beverages/ drinks,
  • International flights,
  • Visas,
  • Items of a personal nature,
  • Optional activities and any other extras not detailed in the above itinerary