Experience Uganda first hand: the spectacular scenery, most friendly people, view the big five, Man’s closest cousin – the chimps and the awesome gorilla.
- Tracking Rhinos , Game drives and boat rides to see wildlife and enjoy the thunderous water falls
- Bird watching
- Chimpanzee and Gorilla tracking in the tropical rain forest alive with butter flies and bees
- Enjoy the inexpensive lodges with great service.
DAY 1: ENTEBBE – KAMPALA (37 KMS)
On arrive at Entebbe International Airport; you will be met by the company driver who will also be your guide throughout your stay. He will transfer you to your hotel in Kampala.
Urban by City Blue: Superbly located, nestled on the Nakasero Hill adjacent to the site of the former Mamba Point restaurant and the regional headquarters of AIG, Urban by City Blue is a veritable oasis of calm amidst the mayhem than can be Kampala. And yet, our property is only 2 minutes by car from the city Centre (without traffic) and almost walking distance from some of the capital’s favourite eateries. Urban by City Blue is a classic boutique hotel; it has wonderfully-sized bedrooms with every possible amenity including complimentary Wi-Fi, power showers, luxury mattresses and flat-screen TVs. At the Centre of the property is a surprise: a resort-like swimming pool that carves up the hotel between its restaurant – known as Café Mamba, which serves superb Italian and Continental cuisine – and the rooms that sit above and around it.
Overnight at Urban by City Blue, Kampala. (BB)
DAY 2: KAMPALA – MURCHISON FALLS NATIONAL PARK (311 KMS)
This morning at 0800, you will depart by road to Murchison Falls National Park. This scenic drive will take approximately 7 hours. Have a lunch stop at Masindi Hotel. Continue to the park and go via the top of the Murchison Falls which is a fantastic sight viewed from above. Here the Nile, the longest river in the world, is forced through a narrow gap in the rock (only 7 meters wide), before ferociously plunging down 43 meters.
Visit Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary on the way to Murchison falls park 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 and takes about one and half hours. Pay $ 45.00 direct at the sanctuary per person.
At the lodge, check in and relax.
Murchison falls park Uganda’s largest park (3840 sq km) protects a chunk of untamed African savannah bisected by the mighty river Nile, covering an altitude from 600 – 1300 meters. It is named after the dramatic Murchison Falls, where the world’s longest river explodes violently through a narrow cleft in the Rift Valley escarpment to plunge into a frothing pool 43m below. The Nile itself hosts one of Africa’s densest hippo and crocodile populations, and a dazzling variety of water birds including the world’s most accessible wild population of the rare shoebill stork. A total of 76 mammal species and roughly 460 bird species have been recorded.
Landscapes range from savannah ecosystems and grassland to riverine woodlands. The South of the park is characterized by dense woodlands.
Overnight at Para Safari Lodge (FB)
Paraa Safari Lodge is a large lodge, which has recently been refurbished and is very well located for game viewing within Murchison National Park. The Lodge has 54 rooms, 4 which are double rooms and 50 twin rooms, all of which have en-suite bathrooms and mosquito nets. They have a large swimming pool looking out over the Victoria Nile with a bar, at which you sit while in the water. They have a boutique from which you can purchase clothing, local crafts, basic necessities and souvenirs. The meals are generally served as a buffet.
DAY 3: MURCHISON FALLS PARK.
Early morning at 0700, take a Nile delta cruise (3 hours) subject to minimum numbers of 4 people. The Victoria Nile delta, a 20km voyage downstream from Paraa, is home to rare wetland birds including shoebill and papyrus endemic species. Scheduled delta cruise with a “breakfast on board” departs from the jetty at Paraa on the South Bank at 07.00am. You will be dropped at the delta point mid-morning at 0930 to 1000 am where you will be met by your driver/ guide for more game drive experience by land for more wildlife viewing – giraffe, buffalo, lion, elephant, Nile crocodile, hippo, orib, bush buck, waterbuck and much more.
Return to the lodge for lunch and the chance to relax before taking a boat trip in the afternoon which takes around 3 hours. This boat trip along the Nile is often cited as being the highlight of a trip to Murchison Falls National Park since it allows you to get up-close and personal with the animals. Along this stretch of the river, there are reported to be around 4,000 hippos in addition to some enormous Nile crocodiles. The birdlife is stunning with eagles, brightly colored kingfishers and bee-eaters darting along the river banks. The boat takes you to the base of the falls which only adds to their impressiveness.
Overnight at Para Safari Lodge (FB)
DAY 4: MURCHISON FALLS NATIONAL PARK – KIBALE FOREST NATIONAL PARK (441KMS).
After your morning breakfast drive south via Hoima to Fort Portal through verdant countryside passing through traditional homesteads and farms. Fort Portal rests in the shadow of the fabled Mountains of the Moon. The drive takes approximately 8 hours.
Overnight at Crater Safari lodge FB
Crater Safari lodge comprises of seven ultra-luxurious double/twin cottages and two larger cottages each with two rooms to sleep up to four. These family cottages are ideal for larger groups or families. All the cottages have en-suite bathrooms with hot and cold running water as well as solar lighting, internet access, individually designed furniture and stunning scenery around Lake Nyinabulitwa. Amenities at the lodge include a restaurant, bar, lounge, crafts shop, mobile spa facility and campfire area overlooking the Crater Lake.
DAY-5: KIBALE FOREST NATIONAL PARK/ SEMILIKI GAME RESERVE -150KMS
After breakfast visit Kibale Forest National Park, where the greatest variety and highest concentration of primates in East Africa is exceptionally represented. Go tracking the most famous of its 13 species, the Chimpanzee, also known as ‘the delightful ape’. It is also a home of species like the rare I’Hoest’s monkey, the black and white Colobus, Blue monkey, Grey cheeked mangabey, Red tailed monkey, Olive baboon among others. The walk takes 2-3 hours. After lunch head for Semliki game reserve arriving at Semliki Safari lodge late afternoon. Relax at the lodge, either by the pool or in the main lodge:
Dinner and over-night, Semliki Safari lodge.FB.
Semliki Safari Lodge: Nestled on the crest of the beautiful Wasa River Valley is the small and luxurious semiliki lodge. The eight rooms are tented with large four-poster beds, Persian carpets and en-suite bathrooms. At night through the canvas you can hear the animals moving, the lions roaring and often the leopards harsh sawing as it hunts baboons. We have a lovely swimming pool area, ideal for relaxing, while still feeling as though you are truly in the heart of Africa. The food prepared by our chefs could best be described as ‘fusion food’, and we endeavor to use as much local, fresh produce as possible.
DAY 6: SEMLIKI VALLEY GAME RESERVE
Semliki Valley Wildlife Reserve, the oldest protected area in Uganda and home to a staggering array of flora and fauna. The Reserve is situated in the basin of the Western Rift Valley. It is one of the most diverse habitats in Africa with wonderful examples of Riparian forest, gallery rain forest, borassus palm forest, and short and high grass savannas. Chimps exist next to elephant, lion and buffalo as well as the usual Western Uganda species.
Wake up early to tea in your tent and a good breakfast before you depart on a Boat Trip on Lake Albert to try and see the incredible and rare shoebill, visually a cross between a dodo and a dinosaur. The lake is superb: there are sand cliffs where brightly coloured colonies of red-throated bee-eaters dart in an out of their burrows, there are several fishing villages along the way, virtually untouched by the ‘western world’. Then drive back to the Lodge through the borassus palm forest and the acacia savannah reveals different species of raptors and passerines.
Return to the lodge for lunch. In the evening go for a game drive to enjoy the Uganda Kob, the warthog, forest elephant and much more. Enjoy the specular sunsets, the bird life and white colobus monkey.
Dinner and overnight, ‘Semliki safari lodge. FB.
A spot light night game drive will give you the chance to see fantastic nocturnal species. This is the only place in Uganda where you can do a night drive!
You never know what you may see. Sometimes the big cats (lions and leopards) are sighted as well as the diminutive genet and serval cats. Unusual nocturnal dwellers also show themselves such as forest elephants, white tailed mongoose and slender mongoose, standard and pennant winged nightjars depending on the time of year. There are always surprises on the night drives. $ 30.00 per person
Day 7: SEMILIKI GAME RESERVE TO QUEEN ELIZABETH PARK 250 kms
This morning after breakfast we will depart by car for Queen Elizabeth National park.
This National Park covers 1,978 sq km and lies north and south of the equator in southwestern Uganda. From open savannah to rainforest, from dense papyrus swamps and brooding crater lakes to the vastness of Lake Edward, it is little wonder that Queen Elizabeth National Park boasts one of the highest biodiversity ratings of any game reserve in the world. Almost 100 mammal species and a remarkable 606 bird species makes this superb safari territory, with elephant, a profusion of hippos, the elusive giant forest hog and handsome Uganda kob all regularly sighted around the tourist village on the Mweya Peninsula – which also boasts a marvelous waterfront setting in the shadow of the Rwenzori Mountains. Bird species include the martial eagle, black-rumped buttonquail, Verreaux’s eagle owl and African skimmer to name but a few.
As you go through the game park you might spot some animals like the Elephant, Buffaloes, bushbucks, and Uganda Kob, Antelopes, Warthogs, among others. Arrive at Katara lodge in time for a late lunch. Relax at the lodge and enjoy the specular scenery at the mail lodge or by the swimming pool.
Katara lodge is situated on the Great Rift Valley escarpment with uninterrupted views of the savannah, Lake Edward and the Virunga and Rwenzori mountain ranges beyond, Katara Lodge is a 20 minute drive away from the main entrance of the Queen Elizabeth National Park, Uganda’s premier safari destination and one of the most biodiverse reserves in the world. At Katara Lodge offers luxury accommodation in seven luxurious thatched cottages on a beautiful stretch of hills overlooking the open savannah in a serene and relaxing atmosphere.
Each spacious cottage was hand crafted using locally available materials and carved into the hillside by the Katara village community. The cottages combine wooden floors, grass thatched roofs and canvas that can be folded away for uninterrupted views of the park stretching out below. Our water is heated using solar thermal energy.
Day 8: QUEEN ELIZABETH NATIONAL PARK.
This morning at 6.00 am go with a driver for game viewing. The park has excellent game viewing opportunities for buffalo, elephants, kob, topi and other species of antelope. Return to the lodge for a late breakfast.
In the afternoon, after lunch, take a boat ride on the Kazinga channel which connects Lake George and Edward. This will allow you to experience wildlife up close where hippos huff and spray mere feet away, buffalo linger in the shallows and a tremendous variety of birds grace the grasses on the river’s edge. Amongst those you will see are the malachite and pied kingfishers, great white and pink-backed pelicans and the open-billed stork. With some luck you will even spot elephants on the river banks coming for a drink and a bath.
We return to the lodge for dinner and overnight – Katara Lodge.
DAY 9: QUEEN ELIZABETH NATIONAL PARK TO BWINDI IMPENETRABLE NATIONAL PARK: 151 KMS
Today exit the park via the southern sector of the park, known as Ishasha. This remote and beautiful extension of Queen Elizabeth National Park is famed for its tree-climbing lions. It is a fabulous sight to see the lions draped from the trees and nowhere in Africa do you stand a better chance of seeing this than in the large low limbed fig trees of Ishasha. You will take a bush picnic with us and stop before continuing to Bwindi, home of the mountain gorillas, where we will arrive in the late afternoon.
BWINDI IMPENETRABLE NATIONAL PARK :
The journey offers excellent views including mountain lakes and the triangular peaks of the Virunga Volcanoes of Rwanda and the This rainforest is said to be 25.000 years old, making it one of Africa’s most biodiverse habitat. The altitude of this mountain park ranges from 1200 – 2600 meters. Five rivers and a high annual rainfall make it rather humid. Besides its mayor attraction, the mountain gorillas (gorilla gorilla berengeri) the National Park is also home to an amazing 120 mammal species, 350 species of birds, 202 species of butterflies and over 200 species of trees. It is believed that about 350 gorillas remain in several stable groups in the park. The great protection over the last years has led to a steady increase of the population.
Although best known for its mountain gorillas, Bwindi Impenetrable Forest also attracts spectacular birds. There are 23 of the 24 Albertine rift endemics including the African green broadbill, bar tailed trogan and other beautiful forest species.
Check into the Mahogany lodge late afternoon. FB.
Mahogany Springs Lodge offers privacy and serenity blended with optimal comfort in a spectacular setting. With some of the most luxurious accommodation in East Africa the feeling that you will experience when staying here is beyond compare
At Mahogany Springs it is the little touches that make the big difference, from the tiny details in the design of the lodge through to the unrivalled service levels provided by the highly trained management team. It is the perfect base from which to begin you Gorilla Tracking or Bird watching adventures. With more bird species per square kilometre than anywhere else in the world Bwindi is often described as bird watchers paradise and the fact that Mahogany Springs is set back on an open piece of land by the river ensures we have many rare species visiting us every day
Day 10: BWINDI IMPENETRABLE NATIONAL PARK
Get up early for breakfast to give you the energy needed for your gorilla trek. Before 8 am report to the ranger station for registration and a talk by one of the rangers; the guides will then take you through the bush pushing your way through the undergrowth, parting thick creepers, to track the gorillas. The trek can take from half an hour to 7 hours – a reasonable degree of fitness is required as well as a sturdy pair of walking shoes.
Once you are close to the group the guides will ask you to leave behind your bags as no food items should be carried close to the gorillas. Just take your cameras with you as you are about to meet the gentle giants! Sit in the forest amongst the gorillas, listening to them grumble to each other and marvel at the sheer size of the dominant male; the silverback. It is an extraordinary feeling sitting in the dense rainforest knowing you are with a few of the last remaining mountain gorillas – sadly enough there are only about 650 of these beautiful creatures left. You are allowed exactly one hour with the gorillas before returning to the base station.
Please note: please listen to the instructions of the local rangers at all times. It is forbidden to approach the gorillas closer than 5 meters, to feed them or to use flash photography. Likewise for your and their safety! You will be accompanied by armed guards which guarantee your safety in an area where wild buffaloes are sighted. While walking, please feel free to ask guides to slow down if they are going too fast and if you need a rest. There is the additional option to hire porters on site.
The Uganda Wildlife Authority does not allow a trekking when you are sick as gorillas are very susceptible of human diseases. Should you feel sick the day of the trek we urgently advise you to abide this rule. In order to receive a 50% refund of the permit cost you MUST get a doctor’s report that day (please ask your guide to arrange this for you).
We must also stress that, while you have a very good chance of seeing gorillas, success is NOT guaranteed. They are wild creatures with no fixed routine and finding them requires the skills and experience of your tracker sand guides, as well as luck. The trackers and guides have helped to habituate the gorilla groups and know them intimately. They will take you to the area where they left the gorillas the day before. Before leaving they may be able to suggest how long the hike might be.
DAY 11: BWINDI NATIONAL PARK TO LAKE MBURO NATIONAL PARK.250KM
This morning after breakfast at 0900am you will depart for Lake Mburo National park with a stopover at the Equator to take photographs and enjoy a cup of Uganda brewed coffee. Arrive in time for a late lunch at Mihingo lodge.
Lake Mburo National Park is located between Kampala and Bwindi National Park, making it a great location for a stopover on your way to the gorilla trek. It extends over 260 km2 and its altitude ranges from 1220 to 1800 meters above sea level. There are several large lakes in the park which are fed by the Rwizi River with Lake Mburo being the largest of them. The park mainly consists of open savannah and acacia woodland while papyrus swamps line the verges of the lakes. The park offers a harbor for some of the rarer species of Uganda such as impalas and zebras. Furthermore, there are several antelope species, hyenas, buffalos, leopards, jackals, wild pigs, hippos and around 300 species of birds to be seen in the park. Especially bird viewing opportunities are excellent – for birders, this is one of the best places to find African fin foot, papyrus bush shrike. Don’t miss the recently introduces giraffes.
Mihingo Lodge is a peaceful and exclusive retreat adjacent to Lake Mburo National Park. It features ten tents which are built on wooden platforms with stilts, covered by a thatched roof. Suspended under the thatched roof is a spacious and comfortable tent equipped with en-suite bathrooms. The main dining area is a large thatched structure built out of rocks, the wood of dead weathered olive trees found on the land, and native grasses. Below the dining area, an infinity swimming pool stretches out from the rocks; guests can enjoy the view over Park.
Overnight at Mihingo Lodge (FB) night
Day 12- LAKE MBURO NATIONAL PARK
This morning wake up to an early nature guided walk. You will see insects, birds, foot prints of mammals and much more. Return to the lodge for a late breakfast. In the afternoon go for a 2 hour horse ride to view game and enjoy the fascinating scenery of the savannah.
After dinner go for a night game drive to catch the big cats (lions and leopards) which are sighted as well as the diminutive genet and serval cats. Unusual nocturnal dwellers also show themselves such as forest elephants, white tailed mongoose and slender mongoose, standard and pennant winged nightjars depending on the time of year. There are always surprises on the night drives. Overnight, Mihingo lodge FB.
Day 13: LAKE MBURO TO KAMPALA 280KMS
After breakfast your guide will transfer you to Kampala. Your driver and guide will drop you at your hotel or at Entebbe international airport mid- afternoon.
Please note that check-in for international flights should be done 3 hours prior to departure of the flight. In the departure hall (after check-in) you will find a small restaurant, a sitting area and several duty-free shops for your convenience.
END OF SERVICES: ENJOY YOUR SAFARI!
The price includes:
- A private 4 wheel land Cruiser vehicle with a popup roof, mini fridge and charging system for phones and Cameras.
- A carton of bottled drinking water on board the vehicle
- An English speaking driver guide
- A accommodation BB in Kampala
- Accommodation FB on safari.
- Activities as listed in the itinerary
- All park and guide fees,
- Gorilla permit
- Chimpanzee permit
- Game activities in the park,
- Boat rides
- Horse riding
- Nature walks
The price excludes:
- Meals in Kampala
- Drinks, Tips and extra activities not mentioned in the itinerary.
- Visa Cost
- International air tickets
- Porter charge while gorilla tracking
- Health insurance – you are advised to get one before traveling