20 Days Exploring Uganda Safari

Experience an abundance of wildlife, scenery, and cultural on this 20 day Uganda Safari. For most people mountain gorilla trekking and chimpanzee tracking are the highlight of this safari. There are amazing opportunities of seeing numerous exotic animals like Rhinos, lions, hippos, buffaloes, leopard, elephants, and several species of birds. Enjoy the thundering Murchison Falls and the crater lakes is the western and southwestern of the country. This journey will bring you close to nature and culture of Uganda – The Pearl of Africa!

Uganda Safari Highlights:

  • Game drives
  • Boat cruises
  • Chimpanzee tracking
  • Nature walk in Bigodi Swamp
  • Crater Lakes
  • Tree Climbing Lions of Ishasha
  • Gorilla tracking
  • Lake Bunyonyi
  • Water Rafting
  • Boat ride in Lake Mburo National Park
  • Photo session at the Equator

Day 1: Arrival to the Pearl of Africa

On your arrival, Kagera Safaris representative will welcome you to Uganda at Entebbe airport and transfer you to your hotel in Kampala or Entebbe depending on your time of arrival. Enjoy the breeze from Lake Victoria – 2nd largest lake in the world.

Journey time – 1 hour

Meal plan – Dinner

Accommodation

  • Up market – Kampala Serena
  • Mid range – Cassia lodge
  • Budget – Apricot Guesthouse

Day 2: Discover River Nile – White water Rafting

rafting the nile in jinjaIn Jinja, the Nile finds its origin; visit the Source of River Nile where it starts its 4000 km journey through Africa.  Your driver guide will transfer you to the starting point of the water rafting where you will find other people waiting for an adventure filled day.

You shall have a whole days rafting experience on River Nile. You will go through half the rapids before lunch and the other half after lunch. There is an option for half day rafting and you choose to rest in the afternoon or choose any of the optional activities.

Journey time – 2 hour

Meal plan – Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Accommodation

  • Up market – Wild waters Lodge
  • Mid range – The Haven Lodge
  • Budget – Nile Village Hotel

Day 3: Transfer to Sipi Falls

Today we leave Jinja, the source of river Nile after that exhilarating experience rafting the white waters of River Nile. We travel to Kapchorwa to hike the three water falls that together make up the Sipi Falls. The journey offers great views of mount Elgon on winding roads, scenery and roadside markets along the way.

You will trek the caves and bottom of Sipi falls with the natural splash of the water as it goes over the rocks. Later trek to the top of the falls to have another experience and view different activities. This will be on foot so one needs proper clothing, hiking shoes and enough energies to make it to all the three falls. According to Lonely Planet Guide, the sipi falls are “The most beautiful and romantic waterfall in the whole of Uganda”.

B, L & D

Day 4: Transfer to Kidepo Valley National park

Today morning after the experience exploring the Sipi falls, you start the journey to the beautiful Kidepo valley national park. The drive is long but very rewarding driving through the Karimajong villages with photographic moments.

You will have several stopovers en route with lunch in Moroto after which you proceed to Kidepo via Kotido.

Journey time – 10 hours

Meal plan – Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Accommodation

  • Upmarket – Apoka Safari Lodge
  • Mid range – Kidepo Savannah Lodge
  • Budget – UWA Bandas

Day 5: Games drives in Kidepo valley National Park

Wake up early and start the game drive in the beautiful Kidepo valley national park. The park is between several mountains in 2 main valleys i.e. the Narus valley and the Kidepo valley.

Most of the animals are found in the Narus valley where there is water all year round unlike the Kidepo valley which is dry is some months of the year leaving animals without source of water. Kidepo is home to the largest herd of Buffaloes anywhere in Africa. On your game drive you have chances of sighting Lions, Cheetahs, Leopards, Zebras, Uganda Kobs, Waterbucks, Giraffes, Elephants, etc.

B, L & D

Day 6:  Transfer to Murchison falls national park

After this fulfilling experience in Kidepo valley National Park you will be transferred to Murchison falls National Park. The drive will take you through  several villages until you finally arrive in Gulu town where you will stop for lunch. After lunch, you proceed to your lodge in the park or adjacent to the park for overnight.

Journey time – 7 hours

Meal plan – Breakfast, lunch & Dinner

Accommodation

  • Up market – Bakers Lodge
  • Mid range – Fort Murchison
  • Budget – Parkside Safari Lodge

Day 7: Game drive and Boat Safari on River Nile

giraffe-murchison-fallsMurchison Falls National park is the biggest national park in Uganda and offering fulfilling game viewing. The game drives start early morning right after breakfast which increases the chances of sighting different animals especially the predators that tend to go into hiding during the heat of the day. The game drive happen in the northern bank of River Nile, where we look out for giraffes, elephants, hartebeest, Waterbucks, Buffaloes, Leopards, Lions and different bird species.

In the afternoon, the safari will continue on River Nile on a boat towards the mighty Murchison falls . The relaxed boat safari provides more opportunities for spotting a variety of animals and birds and falls from the boat. You have an option to hike up to the top of the falls for a magnificent sight.

B, L & D

Day 8: Transfer to the Chimps in Kibale Forest National Park

Today we depart for the home of Chimpanzees in Kibale National Park. Kibale forest is home to 13 species of primates with the main attraction being chimpanzee tracking and bird watching. The journey to this tropical forest passes villages and colorful road markets, you will have lunch en route as a picnic carried from your lodge.

Journey time – 7 hours
Meal plan – Dinner
Accommodation

  • Up market – Papaya Lake Lodge
  • Mid range – Primate lodge
  • Budget – Chimpanzee guest house

Day 9: Chimpanzee tracking in Kibale national park

chimp-kibale-forestChimpanzee tracking is a fulfilling adventure that takes you deep in the tropical forests with streams of water and abundant wildlife. You will start with a briefing from the ranger guide about your chimp trek. After the briefing, you will divided in different groups and given a ranger guide to trek a specific chimp group.

Together with an armed guide, you will start your trek into the forest, you might have sightings of red-tailed monkeys, black-and white Columbus monkeys, butterflies, and birds calling from the canopies. With the help of your ranger guide, you will locate the chimps. Enjoy picture moments and watch them as they play, groom, and feed. You are allowed 1 hour with the chimps before starting the trek back to meet your tour guide.

Afternoon, you will visit the Bigodi swamp – a community project involved in conservation by restoring a wetland which land was previously used for rice farming. Bigodi swamp is known for its rich diversity of birds and primates acting as a buffer zone to the park. The community project provides employment for youth through tour guiding, some of the proceeds go into establishment of schools and teachers pay.

Day 10: Transfer to Queen Elizabeth National Park 

Today after breakfast, our wildlife tour continues to Queen Elizabeth National Park. Enjoy views of several crater lakes and the mystical Rwenzori Mountain ranges as you drive to the park. Have a relaxed afternoon at your lodge.

Journey time – 2 hours
Meal plan – Breakfast, Lunch Dinner
Accommodation

  • Up market – Mweya Safari Lodge
  • Mid range – Twin Lakes Safari Lodge
  • Budget – Bush Lodge

Day 11: Game drive in Queen Elizabeth National Park

The animals in their different families, clans, and groups are out starting on their day early and this is why we prefer early morning game drives before some of them get into hiding due to the scotching sun. The game drives often happen in the Kasenyi plains where  there is the large Kob mating ground thus often attracting predators like lions and leopards to the area. Other animals to look out for on a game drive are; Elephants, Waterbucks, Buffaloes, Bushbacks, Monitor lizards, and several colorful birds.

In the afternoon, continue the game drives on a boat safari on the Kazinga channel connecting Lake George to Lake Edward. Enjoy the boat ride watching the numerous bird life and animals coming to drink water and residents like Crocodiles and Hippos.

Day 12: Transfer to Ishasha Sector – Tree climbing lions

After experiencing Kasenyi area, we drive to Ishasha sector of Queen Elizabeth national park which is famed for the tree-climbing lions.

The lions in this side of the park often like to climb trees from morning until evening when they are ready to go hunting and overnight on the ground. You will carry packed lunch or have lunch at the lodge depending on time on arrival before you start the afternoon game drive.

Journey time – 2 hours
Meal plan – Breakfast, Lunch Dinner
Accommodation

  • Up market – Ishasha wilderness camp
  • Mid range – Ishasha Jungle lodge
  • Budget – Enjojo Lodge

Day 13: Expedition to the Mountain Gorillas in Bwindi Forest

And now we our next destination is the home of the gentle giants – Bwindi Impenetrable National park for the Mountain gorillas. The journey takes us through the terraced hills of Kigezi highlands. Lunch will be along the way or at the lodge depending on time of arrival. Take your well-deserved rest at your lodge in preparation for tomorrows experience.

Journey time – 2 hours
Meal plan – Breakfast, Lunch Dinner
Accommodation

  • Up market – Bwindi Lodge
  • Mid range – Haven Lodge
  • Budget – Rushaga Gorilla Camp

Day 14: Mountain Gorilla trekking

baby-and-mother-gorillaMountain gorillas are indeed gentle giants found in Bwindi impenetrable forest and Mgahinga gorilla national park in Uganda. Bwindi impenetrable forest abounds with life; hosting species of birds, butterflies, primates, mammals, and trees.

Your driver guide will drop you at the briefing area where you will allocated a ranger guide and gorilla group to track. The ranger guide will guide you in conjunction with early trackers until you locate the enormous and rare mountain gorillas. The trekking experience takes anything from a few minutes to several hours to accomplish. On locating the gorillas,  you are allowed only one hour in their presence to capture your finest moment.

B, L & D

Day 15: Walk in the footsteps of the Batwa

The Batwa are an indigenous tribe that lived in the forest and depended on it for livelihood because they were hunter-gatherers. With time the forest were converted into national parks which implied that the Batwa could not longer live in these forests.

Today a few of the Batwa who lived in the forest are still alive and will take you through the forest sharing how they lived and depended on it. This tour takes you through the Batwa trail showing you how they co-existed with the wildlife and raised families sharing medicinal plants and end with visit to the former palace.

B, L & D

Day 16: Transfer to Lake Bunyonyi

As you reminisce on your gorilla experiences we depart for Lake Bunyonyi, known to be among the deepest lakes in Africa. Enjoy the stunning scenery – interlocking hills terraced by the locals as they practice farming named the “Switzerland of Africa”.

Journey time – 2 hours
Meal plan – Breakfast, Lunch Dinner
Accommodation

  • Mid range – BirdsNest@Bunyonyi
  • Budget – Crater-bay Cottages

Day 17: Lake Bunyonyi Islands

lake-bunyonyiToday after a good night sleep, wake up and enjoy the rays of the sun over Lake Bunyonyi. It is surrounded by beautiful hills terraced by the locals as they grow potatoes and other crops for their food and excess for sale.

Take a canoe ride to some of the 29 Islands that will give you an overview of the cultural and history of the area. Most notable is the story of the ‘punishment island’ your guide will share this story while on your  boat ride.

In the afternoon, you can dive in the lake for a swim, go bird watching, or hike up a steep hill for more views of the lake and its islands. Alternatively you can set by the lake shores and enjoy reading a book.

B, L & D

Day 18: Journey to the home of Zebras – Lake Mburo national park

zebras lake mburo national parkLake Mburo National Park is a small gem in south western Uganda – it is the smallest savannah park in Uganda. As you transfer to Lake Mburo, you will pass through beautiful landscapes, plantations, and farms.

You will stop for lunch at Igongo cultural Museum- exhibiting the life of the native people of the area or your lodge depending on the time. In the afternoon on arrival to your lodge, you will check in and then rest before leaving for an evening walk in the park.

Journey time – 4 hours

Meal plan – Breakfast, Lunch Dinner

Accommodation

  • Up market – Mihingo Lodge
  • Mid range – Rwakobo Rock
  • Budget – Eagles Nest

Day 19: Transfer to Kampala via Equator Monument

uganda-equatorAfter an early breakfast, we take a short morning game drive and proceed to Kampala, with a stopover at the famous Equator line. At the Equator monument, take photos and do some shopping, have lunch after which you  proceed to Kampala for overnight.

Depending on your interests you can stop by the drum making places to learn about drum making and purchase some products of interest to you.

Journey time – 4 hours

Meal plan – Breakfast, Lunch Dinner

Accommodation

  • Up market – Kampala Serena Hotel
  • Mid range – Cassia Lodge
  • Budget – Apricot Guesthouse

Day 20: End of the Classic African Safari

We hope you had a fantastic time in the Pearl of Africa exploring this country both in the wild and engaging with the people of Uganda. Depending on your flight time, have breakfast, buy souvenirs and transfer to the airport.

B & L

Gorilla trekking tips

  1. Bwindi impenetrable national park requires hiking,  you should pace yourself and drink plenty of water.
  2. Eating, drinking and smoking near the gorillas is forbidden. Your ranger guide will communicate designated time and place for such.
  3. We encourage you to carry a rain poncho
  4. Waterproof walking shoes or hiking boots are essential.
  5. Gardening gloves for protection against stinging plants
  6. Long trousers and long sleeved sweaters or shirts while in the forest to avoid insect stings.
  7. Photography is permitted, although you must not use flash
  8. Porters are available to help you carry your day pack at a fee

Tour price includes

  • Ground transport
  • Gorilla permit fees
  • Chimpanzee permit
  • Park entrance
  • Boat trips
  • Water rafting
  • Bottled water in the safari vehicle
  • Full board accommodation for two nights
  • Service of an English-speaking driver guide
  • All mentioned activities except for the optional ones

Tour price excludes

  • Extras at the accommodation i.e. drinks, telephone, laundry etc.
  • Tips to porters and driver/ guide
  • Insurance