British Prime Minister, Winston Churchill called it ‘the Pearl of Africa’ which is perhaps an understatement considering its vast array of riches. The allure of adventure and discovery accompanies you as you travel around Uganda. A country of huge diversity, it is home to the endangered Mountain Gorilla and is a primate paradise. These national parks and wildlife areas play host to Africa’s ‘Big 7’: Lion, Elephant, Rhino, Leopard, Buffalo, plus Gorilla and Chimpanzee.
– Boat Cruise on the Nile.
– Abundant wildlife on game drive.
– Murchison Falls as the Nile crushes through a narrow gorge.
– Great rolling landscapes.
– The big five plus two: the mountain gorillas and chimpanzees
– Highland lakes and terraced highlands
– Cultural experiences
Day 1 – Off to the Source of the Nile
Day 2 – Mt Elgon and Sipi Falls
Day 3 – Into the Wild Savanna of Kidepo
Day 4 – A Walk into the Pride-Lands
Day 5 – Game Drive in the Endless Kidepo Valley
Day 6 – Off to the Murchison Falls National Park
Day 7 – Game Boat Cruise on the Nile
Day 8 – Tracking Southern White Rhino
Day 9 – Off to Kibale the Chimp Capital
Day 10 – Of Crater Lakes and Tales
Day 11 – Tracking in the Chimpanzee Capital
Day 12 – Game Drive and Kazinga Channel Cruise
Day 13 – Look Out for the Iconic Tree Climbing Lions
Day 14 – Meet the Mountain Gorillas of Bwindi
Day 15 – Let Nature’s Beauty Spoil You
Day 16 – Immerse Yourself in Culture, Tell Tales
Day 17 – Into The Cattle Corridor And Zebra Countryside
Day 18 – Walking Safari with the game
Your guide will pick you up early from your accommodation and set off east into the sunrise. Kampala is waking up and most of the traffic will be into the city as you go out. Your journey will take you through the expansive rainforest, the Mabira. This rainforest is a major catchment area for Lake Victoria, the world’s second largest fresh water body. Lake Victoria is the source of the world longest river, the Nile. Once in Jinja, you will take a boat cruise to source of the Nile, the point when the river leaves Lake Victoria.
In the afternoon, you can take on the a number of add ons that make this the adrenaline capital of East Africa. You could take on kayaking the great falls, or whitewater rafting, quad biking or an easy horse ride along the Nile. If you are in golf, there is a golf course along the Nile River. These adds ons come at an additional cost.
Rise early and after breakfast, drive into the sunrise to Mt. Elgon an extinct volcano, which thousands of years ago was once higher than Kilimanjaro. Today it is a humble 4321m, making it both safer and easier to climb as the 8th highest mountain in Africa. Today, you are exploring some of it magnificent waterfalls the most famous being Sipi Falls. After lunch, a community guide will take you on three-hour trek up the along the Sipi river allowing you to explore and enjoy the three falls that make up Sipi Falls. Close the day watching the sun set over the vast plains below the mountain.
Today you travel north east away from the lush green of the mountains down into the rolling and vast savanna of the Karamoja region. This is largely cattle country dominated by the Karamojong, a people with a way of life like the Masaai. Your trip will take you up northeast into Uganda’s most remote national park, and the gem among the must visit parks in Africa. By dusk, you will get to Kidepo Valley National Park just in time for the beautiful sunset in this “nowhere” land—you will feel like you are alone with the world. For the love of stars, look out for the clear sky after settling down for the night. Nights here are dark with no light pollution.
Brace yourself for a walk into the wilderness. You will be probably the only humans for miles around as far as the eyes can see. Walking safaris are a great way of experiencing the wild. Fear not, you will be walking with Uganda Wildlife Authority rangers and guides who are very familiar with this park. The guides will lead you in tracking animals and there will be many in this morning glow. The walk also gives the opportunity to see the diverse plant and birdlife in the park. After the safari, settle back at your accommodation and enjoy a much deserved lunch.
In the afternoon, take a cultural tour to one of the Karamojong villages near the people. The Karamojong are much like the Masaai in lifestyle, dress, culture and stature. A glimpse into their manyatta (homesteads) and a dance in the village is certainly something you must have on your tour. Return to your camp for the night.
Get up and about early to catch the wildlife coming out for the morning graze. Together with your Uganda Wildlife guide, you will drive through the expansive savanna plains looking for the big four- lions, elephants, buffalo and leopards. There are plenty of zebras too running the plains. Head back for the lunch break before continuing the game drive in the afternoon into the Narus Valley a popular meeting place for all wildlife. It is also famous for its seasonal river, sands and palm trees. Head back to camp to enjoy another sunset and a night of stars.
After breakfast hit the road through the remote wilderness on your way to the Nile and Murchison Falls National Park. The journey cuts across northern Uganda traversing wetlands, crossing rivers and streams some of which eventually drain into the Nile River. Have lunch in Gulu and proceed farther west until you get to the expansive Murchison Falls National Park. It will be early evening you have the chance to see the sunset over Uganda’s largest national park. Settle in and prepare for the next day’s safari drive.
Set out early for your game drive as the wildlife comes out to for the morning meal. Most animals will retreat to the shade as the day gets warmer. Murchison Falls National Park is rich in wildlife and you will get to see elephant, buffalo, giraffes, warthogs, the Uganda kob and a variety of birds. Look out for the lions out for the morning meal.
After lunch at your accommodation take the afternoon boat cruise Murchison Falls. Look out for the giant Nile crocodiles, pods of hippos, elephants, giraffes and plenty of birds as you sail along. Finally you get to the highlight of the game cruise- Murchison Falls. Here the mighty Nile River crushes down into the western rift valley through a 6-7 metre (19-23ft) gap making this probably the most powerful waterfalls in the world. It is an amazing sight to behold.
Have a late breakfast and drive to the final encounter with the Nile River at Murchison Falls (top). Feel the power of the Nile as it tumbles and crushes down the escarpment to the bottom of the western Great Western Rift Valley. Listen to the roar of world’s longest river, taste the spray on your face and feel the rock shake beneath your feet. Look out for the legendary rainbow, and sometimes twins. Certainly the wonder of Murchison Falls is worth more than a pot of gold.
You can have a picnic lunch here if you choose so. It is a perfect location. Then continue your drive south to the Ziwa Rhino- the only place you track rhinos in Uganda.
Set off early for the day’s drive to Kibale Forest National Park under the shadows of the Mountains of the Moon. The drive ahead is long but use this opportunity to unwind, soak in the green forests and hills; and awake with the towns and villages likes beads on the string of a highway. Over the days before and those to come, you will be taking tea – and it is likely some of it is from this plantations. And certainly some of the sugar you have enjoyed and will be taking is from the green sugarcane plantations you drive through! You will arrive at your accommodation in the late afternoon.
Many many years ago as the earth tagged and pulled to form, in our region of the world, the earth pulled apart to form the Great Rift Valley. The rift valley is a huge drop into the ground, which must have set off a string of volcanic explosion. Today morning you get to drive to the multiple crystal clear lakes. A community guide will take you around—immersing you in tales and stories that have formed the culture of the mountain, forest and plains people of western Uganda. Later in the afternoon, drive back to your accommodation for a leisurely evening over a cup of tea or coffee and the sounds of the forest.
Kibale National Park is most famous for the high concentration of chimps and the chimp tracking safari. Your expert guide from the Uganda Wildlife Authority will share the secrets of the chimps, the plants and animals, and the sights and sounds that make Kibale one of the loveliest and most varied tropical forest in Uganda. While tracking the chimps, look out for other primates such as grey-cheeked mangabey, L’Hoest’s, red colobus, red-tailed and blue monkeys..
After lunch drive farther south crossing the equator into the southern hemisphere and into Queen Elizabeth National Park. After checking into your accommodation, you could take a short evening game drive or simply relax and enjoy the sunset and the sounds of the wild.
Set out very early to catch the game in Queen Elizabeth National Park catch the animals enjoy the cool morning. Look out for herds of buffalo, elephants, warthogs, and a variety of antelopes. And if you are lucky, the elusive leopard in the thicket. Of course at the top of the list is the hunt for the lions. After the morning game drive, travel back to your hotel for an easy lunch before taking the afternoon cruise safari on the Kazinga Channel that connects lakes George and Edward. The two lakes are named after the brothers Kings Edward and George of the United Kingdom.
The game cruise on the Kazinga Channel brings you up close with more wildlife and lots of birds. There is plenty of birdlife representing some of the 600 species here. After the cruise transfer back to your hotel and enjoy the evening
Today you travel through the southern sector of the park on your way Bwindi. This route takes you through the Ishasha plains famous for the tree-climbing lions. But for the big cats of Ishasha, much of the day is spent in the fig trees of the western savanna. Your journey continues south leaving the plains as you rise through forests, and tea plantations. You will reach Bwindi Impenetrable National Park before dusk with time to soak in the great vistas of the ancient rainforest and the sunset.
This is the day that only one who has experienced it can describe. Today you get intimate and close with a family of the endangered mountain gorillas of Uganda. The tracking begins with an orientation by the Uganda Wildlife Authority rangers. It is about the history of this ancient forest, the forest residents, tracking and interacting with the mountain gorilla family and everything else that makes this park a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Your one hour encounter will allow you see mothers nurse, baby gorillas play and move around as the family feeds. This magical hour is like a handful of minutes and you will soon be on your way back to your hotel with memories of this wonderful new world. You are officially now one of few in the whole world to have this intimate relationship with the mountain gorillas of Uganda. Spend the evening in the listening to the sounds of one of earth’s oldest rain forests.
It has been a fast hike from park to park over the last five days. There is nothing more rewarding than chilling out in one of Africa’s most beautiful highlands and lake region. Welcome to Lake Bunyonyi in the Kigezi highlands. In the Rukiga language of the locals, “Bunyonyi” means “small birds” and this place has plenty of them. Take a canoe to explore the amazing beauty of Lake Bunyonyi and its 29 islands. Or take a swim in the cool and safe waters. Later in the evening enjoy a dish of crayfish under the beautiful starlight heavens (weather permitting).
A Luganda proverb goes: “To travel is to see; and to return home is to share memories and stories”. What stories will you share? Take the canoe trek and immerse yourself into the culture of the Bakiga and taste their life. Visit the local medicine who has a herbal solution for “just about everything”; drink “obushera” to celebrate a people known for their tenacity and strength; try your hands at craft making. Don’t miss out on the silent tour to Akampene or Punishment Island- yes there is a story to tell. At the end of the day, paddle back with the school kids who have their own dugouts. You now truly deserve the Lake Bunyonyi specialty, the highly recommended crayfish.
Set off early and descend from the gorilla highlands down to the rolling hill and plains of Lake Mburo National Park just 200 km out of Kampala on the southwestern tourism circuit. Lake Mburo is Uganda’s only southern hemisphere park with zebra and giraffe. Be on the lookout for these beautiful animals. From the savanna take the late afternoon to visit the community and immerse yourself in the culture. Learn about the marriage ceremonies, the milking culture and what makes the long horn Ankole cattle so special.
Set out early in the morning for a walking safari with your guide and ranger from the Uganda Wildlife Authority. The absence of the big cats like the lion makes Lake Mburo National Park a favorite for walking safaris. Walking will bring you up close to the zebras and the giraffes—giving you a totally different experience compared to being in a game drive vehicle. In the afternoon, head to Kampala, crossing the equator again and arriving in the sunset.
There are several options for accommodation offering different levels of comfort and pricing. These range from budget accommodation to mid-range and high end options. Sometimes, the choice of accommodation is influenced by the activities you are interested in taking. Contact us and we will work with you to choose your ideal safari accommodations within your needs and budget.