The safari will enable you to visit most of Uganda’s beautiful destinations including the source of R. Nile where the longest river originates and find its way to the Mediterranean Sea. Also visit the historical and cultural sites – the Amabere Ga Nyinamwiru caves in Fort-portal, Uganda equator in Kayabwe and also take part in primate watching for gorillas and chimpanzee.
Visit the local communities of Isunga where you will get to mix and mingle with both the Batooro and Bakiga community, visit the Sempaya hot springs in Semuliki N/park, Sipi falls in Kapchorwa and also you will take part in game drives and boat cruises in Queen Elizabeth and Murchison falls national parks.
Day 1: Pick up from Entebbe and transfer to Sipi falls
Transfer to Sipi after breakfast and pickup from the hotel in Kampala or Entebbe using Kampala-Jinja road passing through Mabira forest where you will spot primates like olive baboons, Vervet monkeys and many more. Sipi falls is found in Kapchorwa at the base of Mount Elgon; it derives its name from the wild plant called Sep that is grown on the banks of river Sipi.
This plant is used by the Bagisu and Sabiny communities – the two tribes that live around the falls as medicine for fever. On reaching, you will hike to top of Sipi falls from the bottom, passing through the coffee farms and other plantations.
Day 2: Visit the source of the Nile and transfer to Kampala
Take breakfast and start a journey to Jinja as you pass at the cable bridge and bujagali dam. Straight away head to the boat cruise along R. Nile that will take you to its source where the longest river originates and finds its way to the Mediterranean Sea.
This is a memorable experience as you take photos and after head for your lunch in Jinja town. After proceed with the road trip to Kampala as you make another stopover at Namawojolo for snacks and Road side Mchomo (barbeque). Another stopover will be in Kampala at the hotel for your accommodation.
Day 3: Travel to Murchison falls and rhino trekking
The journey begins after a cup of tea in the morning at the hotel as you use Kampala-Gulu highway via Kawanda and Matuga that are well known for their manufacturing factories. Reach in Luwero and buy fruits such as pineapples, oranges, and mangoes among others.
Reaching Nakasongola, you will drive to Ziwa rhino sanctuary the only area in Uganda you can trek southern white rhinos. A rhino is one of the big five animals and was re-introduced in Uganda recently from south Arica after they were poached for their horns in times of Idi Amin’s government.
Trekking can take 2-3 hours and it’s done on foot with the help of the armed ranger guide. Other animals that can be spotted are the bushbucks, Uganda kob, among others. Lunch en-route will be served at Kabalega dinner or Ziwa Rhino campsite.
Proceed with the journey passing via Karuma falls, and view primates along the road, like olive baboons, Vervet monkeys and more. Arrive and drive to the lodge and this will be the end of the day.
Day 4: Game drive, boat ride and hike to the top of the falls
An early game drive in the northern sector which is savannah covered with beautiful trees such as whistling acacia, Kigelia Africana, Borassus palm, among others. Expect to spot animal like lions, leopards, herds of buffalos, hippos, giraffes, antelopes like waterbucks, bushbucks among others. You will find your way to the hippo pool on the shallow waters of Albert Nile where you will be served with some fresh fruits. After 2-3 hours of game drive, you will transfer to the lodge for mid breakfast.
After lunch, head to the Nile for a boat cruise where you will be able to spot crocodiles, hippos, among others, also birds like African darter, goliath heron, white-faced whistling duck, African fish eagle among others.
The boat will take you to the bottom of Murchison falls where you will hike to the top of the falls and this will reward you with an amazing scenery of both Uhuru and Murchison falls. Listen to a thunderous sound that is produced when water with a lot of pressure ejects through a small tunnel hence forming a rainbow. The driver-guide pick you later and transfer you to the lodge.
Day 5: Transfer to Kibale forest national park
Transfer to Kibale national park in western Uganda – a journey taking 5-6 hours but very rewarding passing through the banana and tea plantations that give chances for photography. Kibale national park is Africa’s botanical research centre and over 13 primates including the endangered chimpanzees reside here.
Flora diversity include the wood trees that have spent over 100 years like Mahogany, mammal species like the spotted hyenas, elephants, bush pigs, primates like black and white colobus monkeys, Vervet monkeys, red-tailed monkeys, L’Hoest’s monkeys, and more. Also, bird species like the green breasted pitta, great blue turacos, the palm nut vulture, among others. On arrival, check-in the booked lodge for your dinner which will be the end of day five.
Day 6: Chimpanzee trekking and Isunga community tour
An early breakfast followed by a drive to the information centre in Kanyanchu where you will be briefed about Kibale forest and its inhabitants, the surrounding communities and also given instructions to help you while trekking the chimps like using long-sleeved clothes, not using flashlights, not making noise, among others.
Penetrate the forest with the help of the park ranger guide and begin the search for human’s closest cousins and while on the search, you will spot birds like the green breasted pitta, great blue turacos, and primates like black and white colobus monkeys, Vervet monkeys, red-tailed monkeys, L’Hoest’s monkeys, and more.
An hour will be allocated to you in their presence after locating them but trekking time depends on the distance where you can find these chimps and it takes between 2-4 hours. Trek out of the forest and meet your driver to transfer you back to the lodge for lunch.
Visit Isunga community near the Kibale National park headquarters where you will have a chance to see a crater lake called L. Nyabikere which is a “lake of frogs”, experience the two cultures that live in this community (Batooro and the Bakiga) and they will entertain you with their traditional dances, taste their traditional meals and meet local brewers if you are lucky enough. The day will end with dinner at the lodge.
Day 7: Visit Sempaya hot springs and Amabere Ga Nyinamwiru caves
In the morning you will embark on the journey to Semuliki national park in Bundibugyo district. The road trip offers an opportunity of viewing Rwenzori ranges with sharp corners. A warm welcome by the park ranger guide who will give you a brief history and rules and regulations about the park.
The park is a hub for butterfly species, bird and tree species. You will be rewarded with nature walks that will take you to the rewarding Sempaya hot springs which are both male and female. These boil at 100”C and will offer you a chance to cook some snacks, maybe eggs or Matooke. This water ejects from underground from molten magma that is pushed upwards forming hot springs. You may spot monkeys and birds as you are taking a nature walk in this park.
In the afternoon after taking packed lunch, you will visit the Amabere caves on the same route in Nyakasura about 10km from Fort-portal town. The area is full of history about the Bachwezi which is related to the stalactites and stalagmites. Experience the Nyakasura falls, Lake Saaka and a hike to Mwegenywa hill.
Day 8: Transfer to Queen Elizabeth NP and afternoon boat cruise
Transfer to Queen Elizabeth NP through its nearest town Kasese; Queen Elizabeth is the second-largest national park in the country spanning over an area of 1,978sq.km, and the most visited national park. It has the largest number of antelopes including the Uganda kobs, while other attractions are the crater lakes, the big cats, the big mammals like the elephants, buffalos, hippos, crocodiles. Others are the spotted hyenas, oribis, warthogs, chimpanzees in Kyambura gorge and also bird species like an African mourning dove, swamp nightjar, grey-headed kingfisher among others.
On arrival, you will head for the boat cruise on Kazinga channel after your delicious lunch at Mweya safari lodge. The boat cruise rewards you with the school of hippos, crocodiles, different bird species like African fish eagle, grey-headed kingfisher among others as the buffalos, elephants, warthogs on the banks of the river. After 2-3 hours of cruising, you will head to the lodge and wait for your dinner that will be served at 7:30 pm.
Day 9: Morning game drive and transfer to Bwindi impenetrable national park
Take an early game drive where you will be able to spot lions, spotted hyenas, jackals, leopards, elephants, buffalos, and different antelopes like the topis, oribis, bushbucks, waterbucks, and Uganda kobs, among others. The game drive is rewarding as you drive around the beautiful savannah plains for about 2-3hours. Head to Ishasha sector where you will spot tree-climbing lions.
After your buffet lunch, transfer to Bwindi NP in south-western Uganda where half of the remaining mountain gorillas can be trekked. This park is also a hub for unique bird species like Rwenzori nightjar, speckled mouse bird, black kite, white-napped among others, other mammals in this park are elephants, red-tailed monkeys, white and black colobus monkeys, Vervet monkeys among others. You will check in the accommodation facility in or outside the park depending on the booked option.
Day 10: Gorilla trekking and transfer to Lake Bunyonyi
Take breakfast and drive to the headquarters of the park to receive instructions that will enable you enjoy a smooth trekking adventure; this will entail the history of Bwindi national park and its inhabitants, be allocated to a group of 8 people to trek only one gorilla family and be assigned with an armed park guide who will protect you from any attack in the jungle.
Head and penetrate the impenetrable jungles to be able to spot the endangered species. While trekking, you may spot several other resident animals such as elephants, red-tailed monkeys, white and black colobus monkeys, Vervet monkeys; birds like Rwenzori nightjar, speckled mouse bird, black kite, among others.
It’s very hard to determine the trekking time because it depends on the site you find these apes but an hour will be allocated to you to enjoy their presence.
Transfer to Lake Bunyonyi in Kabale, a distance of approximately 60km taking only 1 hour from Ruhija gorilla sector. This lake is the second deepest in Africa with depth of 900m. The area is known as the Switzerland of Africa and recently termed as ‘Wakanda’.
The name Bunyonyi originates from the local language which means small birds which inhabit the numerous islands that make up this magical lake. The lake also has over 27 islands which are surrounded by the steep terraced slopes and this makes it the most loved destination in Uganda. You will relax at the resort as you enjoy the waters of the lake, soothing winds, beautiful scenery and birds.
Day 11: Full day exploring Lake Bunyonyi
Explore the beauty of this lake after a relaxed breakfast by taking a sunrise canoe made from local trees. This will take you to the islands which are well terraced and giving a spectacular and breath-taking view.
Spot different bird species on the lake; participate in a different activity taking place in and around the lake like fishing, farming, photography, visiting the traditional healer or engage in a more adventurous high rope climbing or just choose to relax at the resort.
Day 12: Transfer to Kampala and a stopover at the Uganda equator
Transfer back to the capital city of Uganda passing in Mbarara town and heading to Masaka road. The road trip is rewarding that offers a beautiful view of Kigezi highlands, tea plantations and also a marvellous stopover at the Uganda equator in Kayabwe where you will take memorable photographs, buy some souvenirs, take late lunch and proceeding with a journey to Kampala followed with a drop off at the hotel or Entebbe airport.