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13 Nights Best of Uganda Safari

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Overview

This Ultimate Uganda Safari Tour adventure takes you to the country’s iconic wildlife and spectacular landscape destinations while educating yourself through cultural encounters.
This safari starts in the Capital Kampala considered as one of the most exciting cities in Africa. Explore the city on foot, on a bicycle or driven in a car- whatever suits you, Kampala city tour offers cultural lovers lots of opportunities to appreciate the country’s cultural diversity. The following day is the start of your countryside exploration. After a mouth-watering breakfast at your hotel, you will be collected by your driver-guide who will head North towards Murchison Falls National Park, Uganda’s largest national park for some big four wildlife spotting and spectacular waterfalls hiking.

The next stop on this epic journey is at Kibale Forest National Park home to Uganda’s largest population of Chimpanzees and one of the top birding spots in the country. Enjoy a walk-through Bigodi Swamp and see wild chimpanzees exciting chimp walk.
There is more chimpanzee trekking ahead as our next visit is to Queen Elizabeth National Park known for its abundant wildlife, including African elephant, African buffalo, Ugandan kob, hippopotamus, topi, waterbuck, warthog, giant forest hog, Nile crocodile, leopard, spotted hyena, chimpanzee and lion.

The excitement on this epic Journey is getting high this morning as our next visit is Bwindi National Park for a unique close encounter with mountain gorillas during a gorilla tracking excursion.
The last stop of this trip takes us to Lake Bunyonyi and Lake Mburo National Park considered as the best locations for some layback activities after days of a wildlife Safari.

Summary of your Trip
  • 1 Night Cassia Lodge (Kampala Central) | Uganda
  • 2 Nights Murchison River Lodge (Murchison Falls National Park) | Uganda
  • 2 Nights Rubalika Safari Lodge (Kibale National Park) | Uganda
  • 1 Night Crater Safari Lodge (Kibale National Park) | Uganda
  • 2 Nights Elephant Hub Safari Lodge (Queen Elizabeth National Park) | Uganda
  • 2 Nights Gorilla Safari Lodge (Bwindi Impenetrable Forest) | Uganda
  • 1 Night Bunyonyi Overland Bandas (Lake Bunyonyi) | Uganda
  • 1 Night Mburo safari Lodge (Lake Mburo National Park) | Uganda
  • 1 Night Cassia Lodge (Kampala Central) | Uganda
Price Includes
  • All ground transportation in A 4x4 safari vehicle with all fuel
  • Full-time driver/guide with all his associated expenses
  • Full board accommodation as per above itinerary apart from Kampala where it is Bed and breakfast only.
  • Boat cruises, Game drives and Ferry crossing
  • 1 Chimpanzee permit per person
  • Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary
  • Top of the Falls
  • Any other items included in the above itinerary
Price Excludes
  • Visas and International Air tickets
  • Personal insurance
  • Personal expenses such as drinks, tips, telephone calls, etc
  • Any other items not mentioned as included in the above itinerary
Day by Day Itinerary

Day 1Arrival Entebbe Airport and Transfer to Hotel

Meet and greet at Entebbe International Airport by our representative who will warmly welcome you and facilitate seamless arrival formalities. Your will then be transferred to your hotel where you will be briefed about your adventure safari.

Driving time: ± 1 hour (45 km)

Depending on your arrival time you may embark on a city tour with your driver-guide, visit the shopping malls around town and craft villages OR you may also visit the Botanical gardens – a Uganda Wildlife Educational centre or go for a cheese and wine sundowner on Lake Victoria. Overnight at the hotel

Accommodation: Golf Course Hotel
Meal Basis: Bed & Breakfast
Activity and Services: Itinerary Briefing
Included: Airport transfer

Day 2Ziwa Rhino sanctuary and to Murchison Falls National Park

Driving time: 5-6 hours (around 374 km)

After morning breakfast at your hotel, you will be picked up from by your driver-Guide. We head northwest to Murchison Falls National Park with a stop at Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary for some rhino tracking.

This sanctuary is a 70 square kilometre property protected by an electric fence which keeps the rhinoceroses from escaping. This is the only location in Uganda where anyone can see rhinos. There are 15 Rhinos which were reintroduced after their extinction in the 1970s through poaching. With the ongoing breeding program, the number of rhinos has risen to 32 animals. Visitors to the sanctuary are registered at the park office before they are taken to track and see the rhinoceros in the wild. The process is very easy and enlightening for the visitors to understand the ever-present dangers facing rhinos. Dressing in shorts or trousers or skirts is fine as long as you apply mosquito repellent and sunscreen.

A local ranger guide will lead you on foot to an up-close encounter with the rhinos and it may take about 1 and half hours.
After successfully tracking the rhinoceros, we proceed to Masindi Town for lunch and later continue to Murchison Falls National Park arriving at your lodge late afternoon. Dinner and overnight at your lodge

Accommodation: Murchison River Lodge
Meal Basis: Full Board (Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner)
Activity and Services: Rhino Tracking at Ziwa Rhino and Wildlife Ranch
Included: Rhino Tracking & Park entrance fees

Day 3Full Day Murchison Falls National Park – Game Drive & Boat Cruise

The morning starts with breakfast before your departure on a morning game drive where you look for the animals as the sunrises. During the sunrise game drive, you will see animals such as Giraffes, spotted hyena, pangolin, Jackson’s hartebeest, African elephant, leopard, African buffalo, oribi antelope, Kobus kob, side stripped jackal, African long-tailed mongoose, bushbuck, waterbuck, warthog, red mongoose, and lion. As the game drive continues into daylight the large animals with be evident. Many birds will be spotted, and hippo will the seen at the hippo pool.

After the morning sunrise game drive, we head back to the lodge for rest until lunch is served. After lunch, we go for a boat safari upstream the calm Victoria Nile to the base of the falls stopping just few of meters from the ‘Devil’s Cauldron’, marvel at the toothsome hippos, home of crocodiles and over the 17km stretch you may see elephant, waterbuck and Uganda Kob. This is also the zone of many birds, species like goliath heron, Egyptian goose, pelican bee-eater, kingfisher, hornbill, cormorant and the rare shoebill stork. After taking shorts of the photogenic Murchison Falls, return to your Lodge. Dinner and overnight at your lodge.

Accommodation: Murchison River Lodge
Meal Basis: Full Board (Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner)
Activities and Services: Game Drive; Boat Cruise on the Nile, Top of the Falls Hike
Included: Game Drive; Park Entrance Fees; Ferry Crossing; Boat Cruise on the Nile; Top of the Falls Hike; Vehicle Entrance fees

Day 4Transfer to Kibale National Game Park

Driving time: ± 8 hours ( ± 488 km)

After the morning breakfast head for Kibale Forest National Park, driving south via Hoima.
You will be rewarded with breath-taking scenery of the great Rwenzori Mountains in Kasese, as well as the homesteads of local people in Hoima, tea plantations, bananas among others.
Drive through Fort Portal town a region with the youngest monarch in the world the King Rukirabasaija Oyo Nyimba Kabamba Iguru Rukidi IV. of Toro kingdom in Uganda. Your guide will point out interesting sights in this town as your drive. Dinner and overnight at your Lodge

Accommodation: Rubalika Safari Lodge
Meal Plan: Full Board (Breakfast, lunch and dinner)
Activities and Services: Kasenyi Sector
Included: Transfer to Kibale National Park, Game Drive, Park entrance fees

Day 5Day Trip to Semuliki National Park - Nature walks, visiting the Batwa Pygmies

Driving time: ± 1h30 (± 28 kms)

Depart early after breakfast for the hot springs and crown the day in the pygmy villages located near the Ituri Rainforest away from the crowds. The visit to the villages has proven to be an interesting cultural experience. The guide will have lunch arranged for you to be served as a picnic while you experience the “real Africa”.

Visit Semuliki national park in the Western parts of Uganda in Bundibugyo district and it is the newest destination than other national parks of Uganda that cuts across Semuliki valley in the western Rwenzori Mountains and also stretches in the eastern parts of Ituri forest of the Democratic Republic of Congo to the Zaire River.

The park is home to over 400 bird species, 300 butterfly species and other wildlife including a variety of primate species as well as elephants, buffalo, waterbuck, crocodile, and warthog.
With 4 different ethnic groups live along the park such as Batwa pygmies on the edges of the forest and they are traditionally hunter-gathers, Bwamb in the base of the Rwenzori mountains who depend on farming whereas; the Bakonjo cultivate the mountain slopes and the Batuku dwell on the open plains and they are known as cattle keepers.

Visitors can look forward to an array of wonderful hikes through the lush forests of the park, experience a cultural encounter with the Batwa hunter-gatherers, visit the steaming hot springs and enjoy a thrilling game drive. After a rewarding day of cultural Interaction, kikes and nature walks, drive back to your lodge for a mouth-watering dinner and overnight.

Accommodation: Rubalika Safari Lodge
Meal Plan: Breakfast, lunch and dinner
Activities and Services: Kasenyi Sector
Included: Community Visit, Hot Springs, Park entrance fees

Day 6Full Day Kibale Forest National Park – Chimpanzee tracking & Bigodi swamp walk

Today is an early rise followed by breakfast after which you will be driven by your Driver-Guide to the starting point of your Chimpanzee tracking experience in Kibale Forest National Park.

On arrival you will have a briefing for chimpanzee trekking. There are more primates in Kibale than any other country in East Africa. The most famous of its 13 species is the Chimpanzee, man’s closest relative. Kibale’s 1450 Chimpanzee represent Uganda’s largest population of this endangered primate and the largest populations of habituated chimpanzees resides here.

Although chimpanzee tracking is the most known activity here, Kibale is also a home to the rare I’Hoest’s monkey as well as other primates such as the black and white Colobus, Blue monkey, Grey cheeked mangabey, Red tailed monkey, Olive baboon to mention but a few. So, you will enjoy a guided nature walk in the tropical rainforest in search of the wild chimpanzees, red-tailed monkeys, black and white colobus monkeys and many others. Although chimp sightings are not guaranteed, visitors stand a good chance of hearing and seeing our distant cousins as they gloom and bond with one another.

After lunch we explore the Crater Lake region, which has many crater lakes and the local people in the area. Dinner and overnight at your Safari Lodge.

Accommodation: Crater Safari Lodge
Meal Plan: Full Board (Breakfast, lunch and dinner)
Activities and Services: Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary chimps tracking
Included: 1 chimp Permit per person; Explore Crater Lake region

Day 7Drive Queen Elizabeth National Park – Boat Cruise

Driving time: ± 2 hour (around 157 km)

After breakfast you all depart for a two-hour road trip to Queen Elizabeth National Parks. You will have spectacular views of the Rwenzori Mountains.

Queen Elizabeth national park is the most visited national park in Uganda as it serves as a transit to the Bwindi impenetrable forest national park. Unique elements make this national park a standalone destination. You will reach the park early enough to go check in at your lodge and as you go through the game park you might spot some animals. After lunch enjoy the unique 2-hour boat cruise on the Kazinga Channel into Lake Edward. The launch cruise will reward you with views of the most famous water loving animals like crocodiles along the riverbanks, elephants taking water, and hippos among many bird species and offers an excellent platform for photography. The prolific bird life is colourful and stupendous, with well over 550 resident species. Return back to your lodge for dinner and overnight.

Accommodation: Elephant Hub Safari Lodge
Meal Plan: Full Board (Breakfast, lunch and dinner)
Activities and Services: Game Drives & Boat cruise on Kazinga channel
Included: Game Drive, Boat Cruise on Kazinga channel, Park entrance fees

Day 8Full Day Queen Elizabeth National Park – Morning & Afternoon Game Drive

Queen Elizabeth National Park¹s diverse eco-system of grassy plains, tropical forest, rivers, swamps, lakes and volcanic craters is home to an incredible abundance of wildlife. Have an early morning Game drive where you have an opportunity to view the massive Rwenzori as a backdrop, which provides excellent opportunities to see lion, leopard, giant forest hog, Cape buffalo, elephant, defassa waterbuck, Uganda Kob, topi and bushbuck. These two game drives and the boat trip (taken prior) are memorable methods of discovering a vast array of Ugandan wildlife. After stretching our legs, we visit the bat cave and hunters cave where we take a close look at the bats, rock python and forest cobras. The same walk will provide a chance of seeing birds, primates, tree species etc.

Alternatively, embark on an afternoon visit to the bat and hunters cave where we take a close look at the bats, rock python and forest cobras at a supplement of $30 per person. The same walk will provide a chance of seeing birds, primates, tree species and more. Dinner and Overnight at your Lodge.

Accommodation: Elephant Hub Safari Lodge
Meal Plan: Full Board (Breakfast, lunch and dinner)
Activities and Services: Kasenyi Sector
Included: Game Drive, Visit to the Bat Cave (optional), Park entrance fees

Day 9Drive to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park

Driving time: 6-7hours (± 265 kms)

After Breakfast we start the drive to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park through the Ishasha sector for an opportunity to spot tree climbing lions. A brief game viewing drive in the Ishasha southern sector of Queen Elizabeth national park is unique on Ugandan tour getting you to uniquely large fig trees and giant acacias in whose branches prides tree climbing lions cool off the tropical heat.

Tree climbing lions are very rare and only found in Uganda’s Queen Elizabeth National Park, Tanzania’s Lake Manyara and Kruger National Park in South Africa. As you head to Bwindi, you will pass through some of the most beautiful scenery anywhere in East Africa. The area around the Kigezi highlands is known as “the Switzerland of Africa”. The rolling hills, lakes, rivers, forests and the views of The Rwenzori Mountains will keep you awake and engaged. Dinner and Overnight at your Safari Lodge.

Accommodation: Gorilla Safari Lodge
Meal Basis: Full Board (Breakfast, lunch and dinner)
Activities and Services: Ishasha Sector
Included: Game Drive & Transfer to Bwindi

Day 10Gorilla Tracking in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest – Batwa Cultural Visit

Today is an early rise followed by breakfast by 7:00am and thereafter you will be driven by your driver-guide to the Gorillas Head Quarters for briefing at the park station. Your lodge will give you packed snack. During the briefing, the park Rangers let you know what to expect, how to act around the gorillas and what you need to carry along. After being assigned a gorilla family, the rangers and the armed guards will then take you to the forest for tracking. Early morning entry into the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest is spectacular. As you move searching for the gorillas, you will pass through thickets, steep and muddy slopes. Mountain gorilla tracking can take between 2 to 5 hours depending on which gorilla family you were allocated. Once you get to the gorillas, you are expected to be with them for 1 hour. While with the gorilla group, observe and take as many photos/videos as you can. The thrill of spending time and observing the gorillas is a rare moving, awesome and exciting adventure. There is always a ranger guide to interpret the Fauna and the Flora.

After gorilla trekking, you will go back to the lodge to freshen up and have lunch. Later in the afternoon, you may visit the Batwa People. They are hunter-gatherers and fierce warriors who depended on the forest for shelter, food and medicine thanks to ancient knowledge passed down through many generations. They were the first people to inhabit the tropical rainforest who used to stay with mountain gorillas in harmony, it has been once their home for centuries. They used to eat the same food as mountain gorillas considering gorillas as part of their forest family. Visiting the Batwa tribe listen to ancient legends and traditional songs and learn a thing or two about their daily lives and traditions. Return to the lodge where you will enjoy dinner with fellow travellers before retiring to your room, relax and get to sleep to the sounds of nature.

Accommodation: Gorilla Safari Lodge
Meal Plan: Full Board (Breakfast, lunch and dinner)
Activities and Services: Gorilla Tracking/Uganda Wildlife Authority
Included: 1 Gorilla permit per person; Batwa Community visit (Optional)

Day 11Drive to Lake Bunyonyi for relaxation

Driving time: ± 2hours (± 110 kms)

You will be excused this morning if you oversleep today. After a leisurely breakfast we depart for Lake Bunyonyi, the second deepest lake in Africa after Lake Tanganyika. This lake is also considered the best place to unwind after multiple day on a safari for some layback activities such as nature walks, boat rides, walks around the villages and school visits for some upliftment projects.

You may try your hand at paddling at dugout canoe or eating freshwater crayfish. You can also opt to visit the famous punishment island where you will learn about its tragic past. Young girls who got pregnant outside marriage were left to die in this particular island. Most were saved by poor men who had failed to find a bride. The lake has 29 islands, and you will spend your time canoeing, watching birds, going for nature walks and visiting the different islands. Lake Bunyonyi is a small paradise for travellers looking for a place to relax.

Accommodation: Bunyonyi Overland Bandas
Meal Plan: Full Board (Breakfast, lunch and dinner)
Activities and Services: canoe ride
Included: canoeing on lake Bunyonyi

Day 12Drive to Lake Mburo National Park

Driving time: ± 4hours (± 275 kms)

Enjoy Breakfast at the lodge before taking the road to Lake Mburo National Park. You will pass through Kabale, a region with great scenery, stunning hills and highlands. On arrival check-in at your Safari Lodge and later have lunch.

Rest for a short while and then go for a 2-hour boat ride in Lake Mburo. The Lake is great for bird watching and spotting animals as they drink along the lake shores. Look out for animals such as crocodiles and hippos. Thereafter a sunset game drive on the way back to the hotel. Dinner and overnight at the lodge.

Accommodation: Mburo safari Lodge
Meal Plan: Full Board (Breakfast, lunch and dinner)
Activities and Services: Boat cruise on Lake Mburo; Game Drive
Included: Game Drive; Boat Cruise on Lake Mburo & Park entrance fees

Day 13Drive Lake Mburo National Park to Kampala

Driving time: ± 4h40mn (± 235 kms)
After breakfast, leisurely drive back to Kampala with lunch en route. Then stopover at the Equator where you will have an opportunity to stand in 2 hemispheres at the same time and take some photos. Enjoy a second stop at the Mpigi Royal Drum Makers where you will be able to watch the ceremonial drums being crafted using methods passed down through the generations, therefore arriving in Kampala in the late afternoon. Overnight at your Safari Lodge.

Accommodation: Cassia Lodge
Meal Plan: Full Board (Breakfast, lunch and dinner)
Activities and Services: Photography at the Equator; Watching ceremonial drums at Mpigi Royal Drum Makers
Included: Transfer to Kampala, Stopover the Equator; Stopover at Mpigi Royal Drum Makers

Day 14Departure

Driving time: ± 1 hour (± 44 km)

Depending on the departure time, go for a city tour and visit the craft markets before being transferred to Entebbe International Airport to catch your flight back home.

Included: Airport transfer

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