Discover Uganda wildlife and culture in this 18 days’ safari where you will get involved in different activities such as primate watching – mountain gorillas and chimpanzees, boat cruise on the most renowned water bodies like the Nile River, game drives in the beautiful savannah parks, visit the local cultures of Batwa, Karamojong, Banyankole and Baganda, enabling you to learn and get entertained from the traditional activities like the dances.
Visit the source of the Nile in Jinja where the longest river in the world starts from, also the Uganda equator on Kampala-Masaka road and end the trip with a departure flight through Entebbe airport.
Day 1: Pick up and drive to a hotel in Kampala
Welcome to the pearl of Africa – Uganda and your assigned driver guide will transfer you to Kampala at the booked hotel. Uganda is a land locked country described by Sir Winston Churchill as the pearl of Africa.
It is known for its unique diverse culture, source of river Nile – the longest river in the world, ten diverse national parks and uniqueness of each park, the third largest water body – Lake Victoria among other tourist destinations. All these make it a unique and interesting area in for an intrepid traveller to visit.
Day 2: Full day Kampala city tour
After a spiced breakfast, head to the meeting point and start the excursion with a visit to the Namugongo shrines where committed Christians were burnt to ashes by the traditional king of Buganda (Kabaka Mwanga) for failure to denounce their faith, head to Bahai temple with its beautiful and great architecture, then the Uganda museum full of history and culture.
Head for lunch at a local restaurant to eat local food like Matoke, millet bread, beans among others and after a short break proceed to independence monument and then Nakasero market known for its fruits that are locally grown in the country.
After head to Buganda road to explore the local craft markets, and then old Kampala to Gadhafi mosque to know more about the Islamic faith and the last item maybe visiting the Kabaka’s palace in Mengo and here you will learn more about the Baganda culture. Late evening, return to the hotel for your dinner and overnight stay.
Day 3: Travel to Jinja, visit Sezibwa falls and source of the Nile boat cruise
Travel to Jinja – the industrial and historical city in the east and well known for harbouring the source of River Nile which is the longest river in the world. This will start after breakfast and head to Kampala-Jinja road which will be accompanied with several attractions on the way.
The first stopover will be at Sezibwa falls in Mukono where you will experience the magnificent waterfall that is filled with significant Buganda history and culture and also home to several traditional myths.
Proceed to Jinja and have your lunch and after head to for a boat cruise that will take you to the source of River Nile – the world’s longest river. You will see Nile crocodiles, tortoise, and snakes among others as you are heading to the source. After check in the hotel/resort in Jinja town
Day 4: Transfer to Kidepo valley National park
Transfer to Kidepo valley NP in far north eastern Uganda, bordering Kenya to the east and South Sudan in the north. This is the third largest national park with an area of 1,442sq.km and the remotest national park in the country making it to have some of the unique and untouched wildlife and beautiful scenery. This is therefore termed as the true wilderness of Africa due to its unique features.
It’s a home of over 86 mammals such as elephants, buffalos, zebras, bush pigs, jackals, lions, leopards, cheetahs, black fox among others, over 463 bird species like kori bustard, secretary birds, Abyssinian ground hornbill, ostriches among others. On arrival, you will be given a quick briefing about the lodge and then check in.
Day 5: Game drive and Karamojong (Manyatta) cultural experience
Explore Kidepo NP through an early game drive in the valleys and plains of the park to encounter early raisers mainly the predators like lions, leopards, jackals, black fox among others. Meet several herds of buffalos, elephants, giraffes among others.
Kidepo game drive takes 2-4 hours and with the help of a park ranger guide to give you required information about the national park and its inhabitants. Return the lodge for mid-morning breakfast, lunch and then drive to the nearby Karamojong community to learn more about their culture and history.
Day 6: Transfer to Murchison falls NP
Transfer to Murchison after breakfast via Kitgum and Gulu towns as to explore more about the attractions in Uganda like the rivers, hills, and valleys plus homesteads for different cultures.
Murchison falls NP is the largest national park in the country and it has the two falls Murchison and Uhuru falls and on top of that it’s where you can spot the big four of the big five minus the rhinos. It is divided into two by the Victoria Nile with the southern part covered with woodland forests that join Budongo forest and the northern having the savannah vegetation making it easy for spot the wildlife.
Among others, animals found here are elephants, buffaloes, Lions, Leopards, Hippos, Giraffes, bushbucks Antelopes, Uganda Kobs, Jackson’s Hartebeests, waterbucks and Oribis. Over 450 bird species like Abyssinian ground horn bill, secretary birds, black bellied bustards, open billed stork and the widow birds among others.
Day 7: Morning game drive, boat cruise and hike to the top of the falls
A morning game drive starts immediately after waking up which can take 2-3 hours and then return to the return to the lodge for mid breakfast and then lunch. Head for the 2:00pm boat cruise on the Nile where you will hike to the top of the falls to another experience. While carrying out these activities, you will spot a number of attractions like are elephants, Water buffaloes, Lions, Leopards, Hippos, crocodiles, Giraffes, bushbucks Antelopes, Uganda Kobs, Jackson’s Hartebeests, waterbucks and Oribis.
Over 450 bird species like Abyssinian ground horn bill, secretary birds, African fish eagle, black bellied bustards, and open billed stork among others can be found here. You will return to your overnight lodge.
Day 8: Travel to Kibale national park
Have a relaxed breakfast and transfer to the home of thirteen primates in western Uganda and famously know for chimpanzee trekking in their natural habitat. Kibale national park is not only a good destination for chimps but also a hub for bird species and the unique ones are the great blue turacos, the green breasted pitta among others also a research center due to its diverse wildlife.
Among other mammals are bushbucks, sitatungas, bush pigs, giant forest hogs, common warthogs, and African buffalo. The carnivores that are present include leopards, African golden cats, among others.
The journey from Murchison falls national park is rewarding and exciting and on the arrival in Fort-portal town, you may take an option activity and visit the king’s palace the only youngest king in the world (Oyo Nyimba Kabamba Iguru IV)
Day 9: Chimpanzee trekking and Bigodi community walk
Chimp trekking is fun because you can spend all the day luging with these chimps and it starts with briefing at Kanyanchu visitor’s center and with a help of the park ranger, you will enter the ores to search for these great cousins of ours. Trekking takes between 2-3 hours including an hour of adventure in their presence. Expect to encounter other primates like black & white colobus, red tailed monkey, blue monkey, olive baboon, grey cheeked mangabey, bush baby among others.
After lunch, you head to Bigodi for a community walk where you will be able to enjoy the Bakiga and Batooro cultures and enjoy their traditional dances, meals preparation classes and tasting among others.
Day 10: Visit Sempaya hot springs and Semuliki NP and Amabere Ga Nyinamwiru caves
Visit Sempaya hot springs in Semuliki national park on the foothills of Rwenzori ranges that gives a great impression in the viewing as water boils from the underground. Each spring is named according to the cultural and traditional belief and they are female and male springs. The road trip is rewarding through passing the valleys and ranges of Rwenzori ranges.
Semuliki is also known for its different bird species and butterfly species. It also inhabits several primates like the black & white colobus, red tailed monkey, blue monkey, olive baboon, and rare lowland chimpanzees.
After an experience, you will take your picnic lunch and head to Amabere caves in Fort portal where the history about king Bukuku and the Batembuzi will be narrated followed by the visit to these breast – like features, but which are in actual sense the stalactites and stalagmites formed by volcanicity. Drive back to the lodge or hotel and take your dinner
Day 11: Tea plantation visit and transfer to Queen Elizabeth national park
Take a visit of tea plantations and this is because Tooro is known for large scale growth of tea due to its acidic soils. The local guide will give you all the required information about tea from the nursery bed to the factory and the processing steps. If lucky enough, you will visit one of the tea processing factories in Fortportal.
Take lunch in one of the restaurants in town and after transfer to Queen Elizabeth national park in western Uganda with its nearby town being the Kasese. The park is a home to diverse wildlife, notably the rare tree climbing lions in Ishasha sector.
The journey takes you through the Rwenzori mountains of the moon as you view the glaciers on top of the ranges. As you approach the park, you will be welcomed by wild gem like buffalos, Uganda kobs, warthogs and elephants among others.
Day 12: Game drive in Kasenyi plains and launch cruise on Kazinga channel
Enjoy the game drive in the morning in Kasenyi plains where you will be able to spot several predators such as the lions, jackals, leopards, spotted hyenas and other animals like buffalos, Uganda kobs, warthogs, and elephants among others.
After lunch take a boat cruise on Kazinga channel that connects Lake Edward and George and here you will be able to spot a number of animals like crocodile, hippos, waterbucks, Uganda kobs, warthogs and many bird like African fish eagle. These two activities are rewarding through allowing you to spot wild game in the beautiful savannah vegetation.
Day 13: Drive through Ishasha sector and travel to Bwindi NP
Wake up early and take an early game drive as you head to Ishasha sector where you will have your mid breakfast and watch over the tree climbing lions in tree branches. Afterwards, head to Bwindi national park the only park in the world with the highest population of mountain gorillas and this makes it to the world heritage site.
It is also a birder’s haven with unique bird species like black-faced prinia, handsome francolin, Jameson’s anti-pecker, black-faced rufous warbler among others. The road trip to the park is rewarding through passing in the Kigezi highlands that are well terraced making it a beautiful sight. Check in the lodge in or outside the national park for your dinner and overnight on the arrival.
Day 14: Gorilla trekking and Batwa community walk
Begin the day with breakfast and the drive to the park headquarters for short instructions about gorilla trekking such as the trekking rules, history about gorillas and the park at large, and assignment to a group of 8 people to trek only one gorilla family. The trek starts using one of the trails and it can take 2-8 hours. This is due to the movements of the endangered species that cannot be predicated and they shift from one area to another.
You will encounter other primates like Vervet monkeys, Rwenzori monkeys, olive baboons among others. in the afternoon, head to experience the Batwa culture through their traditional dances, traditional meals, story tales, art and craft among others. This will be the end of the day as you take your dinner at the lodge.
Day 15: Drive to Lake Bunyonyi
Drive to Lake Bunyonyi in Kabale – the land of Wakanda and mostly referred to as the Switzerland of Africa due to its all year cool weather. Lake Bunyonyi gets its name from the small birds that live around its tens of islands.
The lake has 28 islands that are covered with terraced landscape giving a great view for sightseeing. You will relax at the resort on the arrival as you sip a cocktail juice.
Day 16: Half day exploration at Lake Bunyonyi and transfer to Lake Mburo N/P
Take a short canoe around the lake as you discover its beauty and then head to Lake Mburo national park in Kiruhura district which is the smallest savannah national park in the country with its diverse wildlife such as impalas, zebras, Ankole long horned cattle, among others.
This park is also a birder’s haven with over 315 different species and among others is rare shoebill stork, saddle billed stork, African finfoot, Abyssinian ground hornbill, carruther’s cisticola, brown chested wattled plover, paprus yellow warbler and tabora cisticola. On arrival you will check in the booked lodge in or outside the park with a stunning view.
Day 17: Full day Lake Mburo NP exploration (Game drive and boat cruise)
Explore the beauty of this park through taking part in morning game drive and afternoon boat cruise on Lake Mburo. These activities are exciting and reward you with several attractions in form of animals, tree species and bird species.
Some of the birds to view include the rare shoebill stork, paprus yellow warbler, African finfoot, saddle billed stork, brown chested wattled plover, carruther’s cisticola, tabora cisticola and resident animals include impalas, zebras, buffaloes, hyenas, topis, road antelopes, jackals, as well as the Eland among others.
Day 18: Transfer to Kampala/Entebbe with a stopover at the Uganda equator
Transfer back to Kampala immediately after breakfast and a stopover at the Uganda equator in Kayabwe where photos, experiment and purchase some local crafts will be done. Continue to Kampala, have lunch and a drop off at the international airport in Entebbe will be made.