18 Days Great Uganda safari

Great Uganda - The Crested Crane

The Crested Crane – Uganda National Symbol

Great Uganda Safari Highlights

  • Mt Elgon Sipi Falls
  • Hiking and abseiling
  • Visit to Source of the Nile
  • White water rafting/bungee jumping/ quad biking/cultural tour
  • Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary
  • Scenic view of the Murchison falls
  • Boat launches on 3 lakes
  • Game drives in 6 National Parks
  • Chimpanzee and Gorilla trekking
  • Nature walks
  • Tree climbing lions in Ishasha
  • Canoe ride on Lake Bunyonyi
  • Village walk around Lake Bunyonyi
  • Volcano hiking / Golden monkey trek
  • Cultural visit
  • Equator experience
     

Great Uganda Safari Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival in Uganda

You will be met at the airport by our safari guide who will transfer you to the hotel of your booking in Kampala. Dinner and overnight will be at this hotel.

Day 2: Travel to Mt Elgon
You will after an early breakfast drive eastwards to Mt. Elgon. You will have a stopover at Ssezibwa Falls for a cultural feel and continue to Mbale town located on the foothills of Mt. Elgon. Enroute you will drive past tea and sugarcane plantations, lush green forests and grasslands, colorful fruits beautifully displayed by the roadsides and enjoy a varied display of landscapes and local communities. You will have lunch in Mbale and proceed to Sipi village located between beautiful hills and waterfalls. Your dinner and overnight will be at one of the lodges adjacent to the Sipi falls.

  • Luxury: Sipi River Lodge
  • Average Range: Lacam Lodge and Sipi falls Resort
  • Meal Plan: Breakfast Lunch and Dinner

Day 3: Exploration of Mt. Elgon

You will have breakfast and thereafter hike to the Mt. Elgon Forest Exploration Center for a briefing on the activities of the day. There are two hike option areas to choose one from. The popular forest exploration center trail loop site makes one enjoy the cool mist at Chebonet falls, Kapkwai cave, the talking tree and a spectacular viewpoint of the low land areas below. The other is the long ‘arm’ of Mt. Elgon that bears the Wanale trails loop with vertical cliffs of ridge and several cascading waterfalls that make a very scenic drive. These two-day hike areas have short walk trails ranging between 3km and 11km that offer an excellent opportunity to experience Mt. Elgon’s unique plants and wildlife in a short period. In both, you will enjoy views of regenerating forests, fields of colourful flowers, extensive stands of bamboo and a variety of birds and wild animals. You will retire to a dinner and overnight at your lodge in the Sipi areas.

  • Luxury: Sipi River Lodge
  • Average Range: Lacam Lodge and Sipi falls Resort
  • Meal Plan: Breakfast Lunch and Dinner

Day 4: Transfer to Jinja

We leave early in the morning and head to Jinja to visit the source of the Nile and to enjoy some of the adventurous activities whose options include white water rafting, jet boating, horse riding, mountain biking, quad biking or bungee jumping. Enroute, you will have a stopover at the Equator where you will have an opportunity to stand in two hemispheres at the same time and take some photos. You will arrive in the late afternoon and relax at the hotel of your booking till dinner and overnight.

  • Luxury: The Heaven
  • Moderate: Surgeous
  • Budget: Backpackers
  • Meal Plan: Dinner

Day 5: Adventure on the Nile

You will, after breakfast, go for the adventurous white water rafting on the Nile River. The rafting begins at the Source of the Nile at 09:30am with a comprehensive briefing and being fitted with the special rafting gear. The rafting is done on an 18 kilometre stretch of the Nile River and no prior experience of rafting is required. The first few rapids are of low grade (1, 2) to build the confidence of the participants before guiding them gradually into the more challenging grades. A total of eight major rapids are rafted to maximize the adrenaline rush of this adventure. You will, after the rafting adventure, be treated to a barbecue lunch and drinks before returning to Kampala.

Day 6: Travel to Murchison Falls National Park (5-6hrs)

You will have an early breakfast and drive to Murchison Falls National Park via the Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary where you will have the opportunity to trek the Rhinos. The sanctuary houses Uganda’s Rhino reintroduction project. There are 9 white rhinos and tracking is done on foot for 1 and half hours. You will continue to Masindi Town for lunch and later drive to Murchison Falls National Park. The entire journey takes 6-7 hours. You will have dinner and overnight at the lodge of your booking.

  • Luxury: Paraa Safari Lodge/ Nile Safari Lodge
  • Mid range: Fort Murchison (in rooms)/ Murchison River Lodge
  • Budget: Fort Murchison in tents/ Murchison River Lodge in tents / Red Chili
  • Meal Plan: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7: Game drive and Boat launch on the Nile

You will have an early start (6.30am) and set off at for a sunrise game drive in the Nyamsika plateau to see the Cape buffaloes, Rothschild’s giraffes, Uganda kob, hartebeest and waterbucks. You may also spot oribi, bushbuck, Bohor reedbuck, shy sitatunga, bush duiker, warthog and bush pig plus large carnivores including lions, leopards and spotted hyenas. Chimpanzees and olive baboons head the list of six species of primates found in the park. Crocodiles and hippos will be seen along the banks of the Nile. Some of the more common birds that can be seen include goliath heron, Egyptian geese, pelican, bee-eaters, kingfishers, hornbill, cormorant, saddle-bill stork and the rare shoebill stork. You will return to your lodge for a late breakfast and some relaxation before you set off in the afternoon for a boat cruise on the placid Victoria Nile, upstream, to the base of the falls. En route you will see hippos, crocodiles, water buck and a wide variety of birds like the unusual shoebill stork. The boat stops just tens of meters from the “Devil’s Cauldron” for pictures to be taken of the photogenic and majestic Murchison Falls. 

  • Luxury: Paraa Safari Lodge/ Nile Safari Lodge
  • Mid range: Fort Murchison (in rooms)/ Murchison River Lodge
  • Budget: Fort Murchison in tents/ Murchison River Lodge in tents / Red Chili
  • Meal Plan: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8: Visit to the top of the fall and travel to Kibale Forest National Park

You will after your breakfast visit the “top of the thunderous Murchison falls”, where you will observe the River Nile squeezing itself in a 7 meter gorge before tumbling 40 meters down in a thunderous explosion and then flows down into a very peaceful river whose water banks are swarmed with a profusion of water and land animals as well as birds. You will thereafter set off on a 9 hour journey to Kibale Forest National Park.  The drive is through verdant countryside interpassing traditional homesteads and farms and via the towns of Hoima and Fortportal which rests in the shadow of the fabled Mountains of the Moon. You will have dinner and overnight at the lodge of your booking

  • Luxury: Ndali lodge/Primate lodge/Kibale forest/Kyaninga lodge                                                   
  • Moderate: Mountains of the moon/Kibale forest camp
  • Budget: Rwenzori travelers/kibale forest camp/Chimpanzee forest guest house
  • Meal plan: Dinner

Day 9: Chimp tracking and nature walk in Kibale Forest
After breakfast you will report at the Kanyanchu Tourist Centre at 08.00 am for a briefing on the rules of chimpanzee tracking. Kibale Forest National Park has the greatest variety and highest concentration of primates in East Africa. The most famous of its 13 species is the Chimpanzee, a very delightful ape. The trek takes 2-3 hours and it will provide you with the opportunity to see a variety of other primates and animals as well as birds, and a variety of butterflies.  You will return to the lodge for lunch and in the afternoon go for a nature walk in the Bigodi Wetland to see a variety of birds and monkey species. You will have dinner and overnight at your lodge.

  • Luxury: Ndali lodge/Primate lodge/Kibale forest/Kyaninga lodge                                                   
  • Moderate: Mountains of the moon/Kibale forest camp
  • Budget: Rwenzori travelers/kibale forest camp/Chimpanzee forest guest house
  • Meal plan: Dinner

Day 10: Game drive and boat cruise in Queen Elizabeth National Park

After your morning breakfast, you will have an early morning Game drive where you will see the lion, leopard, giant forest hog, Cape buffalo, elephant, defassa waterbuck, Uganda Kob, topi and bushbuck among others. You will return to your lodge for lunch and in the afternoon go for a 2-hour boat cruise on the Kazinga Channel. It is a 42kms channel that joins Lake Edward and Lake George. This trip passes through possibly the highest concentration of hippos and offers an excellent platform for photography, bird watching and game viewing. The prolific bird life is colorful, with well over 550 resident species. Dinner and overnight will be spent at your reserved lodge.

  • Luxury: Ndali lodge/Primate lodge/Kibale forest/Kyaninga lodge                                                   
  • Moderate: Mountains of the moon/Kibale forest camp
  • Budget: Rwenzori travelers/kibale forest camp/Chimpanzee forest guest house
  • Meal plan: Dinner

Day 11: Game Drive and travel to Lake Bunyonyi

You will wake up early for a morning game drive in the park during which you will see Lions, Elephants, Topis, Leopards, Bush bucks, Cape Buffaloes, Defassa Waterbucks, Giant Forest Hogs, Uganda Kobs, among others. You will return to your lodge for a late breakfast after which you will travel to Lake Bunyonyi. The lake lies close to the border with Rwanda, and is said to be one of the most beautiful places in western Uganda. It is the second deepest lake in Africa and also one of the few places in the country where it is considered safe to swim as it is bilharzias free. The journey takes 6-7 hours and you will have your lunch enroute. Dinner and overnight will be at one of the many lodges near the lake.

Day 12: Canoeing and hiking on Lake Bunyonyi and transfer to Kisoro

This morning you can choose to either have a canoe-ride on the lake or a walk through the surrounding hills. The landscape around the lake is made up of steep slopes covered with lush green vegetation protruding from the water’s edge. Bunyonyi means “place of little birds” and as the name suggests, there is plenty of birdlife around the lake. You can get to know the seven islands, visit the local families and admire views of volcanoes. In the afternoon you will drive to Kisoro in the south-western part of Uganda; close to the borders with Rwanda and Congo. You will go through a beautiful part of the country often referred to as ‘the Switzerland of Africa’. You will see a great country-side, bamboo forests and have great views of the Virunga Mountains and if it is a Monday or Thursday you will see a large colourful market in Kisoro. You will have dinner and overnight at the lodge of your booking.

Day 13: Gorilla trekking in Bwindi

You will have an early morning breakfast and move to the Park headquarters to join other trackers in a briefing about the gorilla trekking rules at 7:45 am. You will trek through thick creepers and undergrowth with your guides to find the Gorillas, which can take you 2-8 hours. The steeply forested landscape is incredibly dense but crisscrossed by numerous animal trails allowing access by tourists. You will have one hour to stay with the Gorillas once sited before returning to your lodge to rest. You will have dinner and overnight at the lodge of your booking.

Day 14: Cultural Village Walk

You will, after breakfast, go for a guided 3-5 hour community walk through the farms and villages of the Bufumbira and Bakiga tribes to experience the livelihoods of these local communities. You will visit a traditional herbalist to see how he prepares native medicine to treat a wide array of human sicknesses, see how local beer is brewed using local methods and be entertained by the traditional dances offered by the local community entertainment groups. You will have dinner and overnight at the lodge of your booking.

Day 15: Game drive in the Lake Mburo Park and Boat cruise on the Lake

You will have an early breakfast and travel to Lake Mburo National Park centered on a series of swamp-fringed lakes rich in bird life while its green acacia woodland harbors wildlife like the Zebra, warthog, Elands, Impala among others. You will have lunch in Mbarara town and continue the drive to the park. In the afternoon you will go for a 2 hour boat ride on Lake Mburo and get quite close to the water animals that include crocodiles and hippos. You will have dinner and overnight at the lodge of your booking.

Day 16: Travel to Kampala

You will after breakfast go for a tour of the park on foot with an experienced game ranger who will explain to you which animals have left behind footprints and droppings and how long ago. Mburo is one of the two parks in Uganda where it is permitted to go for tour on foot. You will after the game walk return to the lodge for lunch and later set off on your return journey to Kampala. You will have a stopover at the Equator where you will have an opportunity to stand in two hemispheres at the same time and take some photos. You will arrive in Kampala in the late afternoon. Dinner and overnight will be at the hotel of your booking.

Day 17: Visit to the chimp sanctuary on Ngamba Island

After breakfast, you will be transferred to the pier on Lake Victoria pier for you to take a boat cruise to Ngamba Island. The boat cruise will be for one hour. You will arrive at the chimpanzee sanctuary and be briefed about the sanctuary after which you will proceed to spend time with the chimps as they feed, relax and do acrobatic swings in the tree branches. Later you will go for a nature walk on the island with the young chimps and cruise back to Entebbe. Dinner and overnight will be at the hotel of your booking.

Day 18: Departure

In line with the timing of your departure flight you will be transferred to the Airport for your scheduled flight back home.

 

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