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Uganda The Pearl of Africa

  • Highlights
See the shoebill at Mabamba swamp, reintroduced white rhinos at close distance in Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary and an amazing safari that combines the wide savannah plains of Queen Elizabeth National Park and Murchison Falls National with the dense tropical rainforests of Kibale and Bwindi. Excellent wildlife viewing and unforgettable encounters with the primates of Uganda!

Customizable tour itinerary

This tour idea is fully customizable

This itinerary has been crafted by our Local Agency with one idea in mind: to inspire you. Every element can be adapted to your needs and your interests, from duration to accommodation and activities.

Day 1: Arrival in Uganda

The approach to Entebbe airport over the string of tiny islets scattered through the iridescent waters of Lake Victoria is breathtakingly spectacular. Meet our representative at the airport and transfer to the hotel. 

​​Approximate travel time: 10 minutes, 10 km

Visited:
Entebbe
Accommodation
Night at Airport Guesthouse (Entebbe)

Day 2: Canoe Trip to the Natural Lagoons

Early in the morning, your driver-guide will transfer you to Mabamba Wetlands in Mpigi District. A specialized local guide will take you on a canoe trip through the natural channels and lagoons of the immense papyrus swamps. After some minutes in the canoe, the papyrus opens up into the big grassy swamps. Most of the times this is where the Shoebill can be spotted. After about three hours, you will return back to the vehicle for your lunch box. Then drive to Ziwa Sanctuary, home to rhinos and a range of other game and many bird species, where a guided rhino-tracking excursion is offered. 

Approximate travel time: 5 hours, 300 km

Visited:
Ziwa Sanctuary
Accommodation
Night at Amuka Safari Lodge (Ziwa Sanctuary)

Day 3: Murchison Falls National Park

After breakfast, transfer to the starting point of Rhinos trekking and meet the sanctuary ranger. Drive to the closest point and approach the rhinos while walking. Watch them in their habitat at a very close and very safe point. Afterwards, drive to Murchison Falls via Masindi Town.

At Kanyo Pabidi, as we enter the Budongo forest, we get our first glimpse of the chimpanzees. The Kabalega Waterfalls are undeniably one of the most remarkable sights in the park. Here the river makes a path across a narrow gorge and unleashes hundreds of gallons of water over the edge of a 50-meter high precipice. At the top of falls, take time to explore the area and descend the paths down to the river and enjoy the falls from another viewpoint. Also take a look at the "Bats cliff". At the end of the day, drive to the lodge for dinner and overnight.

Approximate travel times: 3h30, 200 km

Visited:
Murchison Falls
Accommodation
Night at Murchison River Lodge (Murchison Falls)

Day 4: Boat Trip on the Nile

After an early morning breakfast, enjoy a spectacular game viewing on the Northern bank of the Nile, with chances of seeing giraffes, elephants, lions, hartebeest and different species of birds. Game drive across the savannah, along Lake Albert Delta with an abundant wildlife as you move slowly as the sun rises. You are in Uganda: the heart of Africa.

The afternoon will be spent on an extensive exploration by boat on the Nile river, upstream towards the Falls. Launch trip on the Nile to the bottom of the falls for spectacular view as the mighty river is forced up a seven metre gap before plunging to depth below. As you travel up the Nile, look at the enormous Nile crocodile basking on the sand banks or gliding silently up the water. Animals to view here include elephants, lions, giraffes and a variety of antelopes. Bird life is prolific and chance of seeing the rare shoebill stork is high.

Full day game drive: 150 km

Visited:
Murchison Falls
Accommodation
Night at Murchison River Lodge (Murchison Falls)

Day 5: Daily Life of the Fishermen

After an early breakfast,  morning game drive. Then drive to Hoima after lunch. At the park exit is the village, home of the Waseko fishermen. Here the people live in tune to the rhythm of their spoils in the waterways with their changing currents at the mercy of the floodwaters and the wind. 

On the market place there is an incredible display of merchandise for sale, often to Congolese smugglers. Freshly caught fish is smoked on large open metal racks. Moving into the Eastern part of the Rift Valley we come to Lake Albert and its coastal fringes where flocks of small zebu are tended by the proud Alur herdsmen, while their women tend the fields of cassava and cotton or rebuild the thatch on their spacious huts. At Butiaba, previously an extremely active lakeside port, a narrow tongue of land flanked by Borassus palm trees pushes into the lake to the warm water. Further on the road, crosses the fertile agricultural area growing sweet potatoes and tobacco.

Approximate travel time: 3 hours, 200 km

Visited:
Murchison Falls Hoima
Accommodation
Night at Hoima Cultural Lodge (Hoima)

Day 6: Western Uganda and Bigodi Swamp Walk

Today we make the acquaintance of deepest Uganda, whose countryside and villages are accessed on a laterite slope. From Hoima to Fort Portal, the landscape is mainly high plateaus and valleys. Several villages of economic importance cling to the slopes and act as trading places for villagers who often have to carry their harvest on their backs. It is an area supporting mainly agriculture and cattle grazing. Further South the tea plantations display their resplendent green carpet as far as the eye can see. Once we branch off at Kyenjojo, the landscape becomes more tortuous as we reach the foothills of the Rwenzori Mountains. Upon arrival at Fort Portal, drive another hour to reach the Kibale area.

After lunch transfer to nearby Bigodi Swamp, a papyrus and tree filled swamp home to an abundance of birds including the Great Blue Turaco. The Bigodi Swamp Walk is an initiative of the local community and takes approximately two hours.

​Approximate travel times: 3 hours, 200 km

Visited:
Hoima Fort Portal Kibale Bigodi
Accommodation
Night at Chimpanzee Forest Guesthouse (Kibale)

Day 7: Chimpanzees Trekking and Queen Elizabeth National Park

Today the forest opens its doors for a sensational chimp tracking. Kibale Forest is reputable of having the greatest variety and highest concentration of primates in East Africa. Enjoy a guided nature walk in the tropical rainforest in search of the wild chimpanzee, red-tailed monkey, black-and-white colobus monkey and many others.

After lunch at the lodge, drive to Queen Elisabeth National Park along the foothills of the Rwenzoris. The game seen will depend on the season, the Mweya peninsula is good for a variety of animals including elephants. In the Kasenyi plains you will find mostly lion and Uganda cob. 

Approximate travel time: 2 hours, 150 km 
​Walking time: 5 hours

Visited:
Kibale Queen Elisabeth
Accommodation
Queen Elisabeth Bush Lodge (PN Queen Elisabeth)

Day 8: Launch Trip on Kazinga Channel

The day begins early with a morning game drive and head to the mating ground of the Uganda Kobs. We search for lions, elephants, buffaloes and other wild animals in their natural habitat before returning for lunch. In the afternoon, boat cruise along the Kazinga Channel, a natural channel between Lake Edward and Lake George. Thanks to the abundant birdlife and the elephants, buffaloes and hundreds of hippos that are cooling off at the shores, this cruise will definitely be one of the highlights of your safari. The launch trip is the most popular activity at Mweya. From the safe boat you can see elephants, hippo, Nile crocodile and many water birds, plentiful along the channel. 

​Full day game drive: 150 km

Visited:
Queen Elisabeth Kazinga Channel
Accommodation
Queen Elisabeth Bush Lodge (PN Queen Elisabeth)

Day 9: Ishasha Sector of Queen Elizabeth National Park

After breakfast, we will drive for two hours to the Southern sector of Queen Elizabeth National Park called Ishasha Sector, famous for its tree climbing lions. This place is an off-the-beaten-track destination where you will surely enjoy a game drive to search for the tree climbing lions. 

​Approximate travel time: 1h30, 150 km

Visited:
Ishasha
Accommodation
Night at Enjojo Lodge (Ishasha)

Day 10: Bwindi Impenetrable Forest

This is your last game drive in Queen Elizabeth. If you have missed the lions the previous days, it will be the last opportunity to try again. Start again with the Northern circuit and finish your game drive with the Southern part.

After lunch, head to Bwindi and have a stopover at Kihihi for refueling and some shopping at the local stores. The Muzungu (the white visitors) are an attraction for the children of the village! Bwindi is not far away and you will arrive at Buhoma in the end of afternoon. Time to have a cool drink, enjoy the sight and sounds of the rainforest.

Approximate travel time: 150 to 200 km, 3 hours or more

Visited:
Queen Elisabeth Bwindi
Accommodation
Night at Bwindi Jungle Lodge (Bwindi)

Day 11: Gorilla Tracking

The highlight of your safari: a meeting with the gentle giants of Bwindi! Especially hikers will love the tracking in the beautiful ecosystem of the park. Expect to walk a long distance in steep and muddy conditions, sometimes with rain over head before you encounter any gorillas. But it will definitely be worthwhile as you observe them closely while they eat, play and rest. A unique and unforgettable experience! After lunch, if time remaining, village walk around the lodge.

Approximate travel time: ± 1 hour
​Walking time: from 3 to 6 hours or more

Visited:
Bwindi

Day 12: Mburo National Park

After breakfast, we depart for Lake Mburo via Kabale and lake Bunyonyi. The arrival at Lake Mburo national park is foreseen in the afternoon just on time for a game drive before heading to the hotel. For bird lovers this will be the best place to see the African fin foot in Uganda! You will find some animals that you have not seen elsewhere like Impala, zebra and African Eland.

Approximate travel time: 5 hours 
Game drive: 250 km

Visited:
Mburo Kabale Lake Bunyonyi
Accommodation
Mburo Safari Lodge (Lac Mburo)

Day 13: Last Day in Uganda

After an early morning breakfast you will have a last game drive, before driving to Kampala. Lunch on the way. You will arrive at Kampala in the late afternoon then continue to Entebbe for your late evening flight.

​Approximate travel times: 5 hours, 400 km

Visited:
Kampala

Entebbe Ziwa Sanctuary Murchison Falls Hoima Fort Portal Kibale Bigodi Queen Elisabeth Kazinga Channel Ishasha Bwindi Mburo Kabale Lake Bunyonyi Kampala

Price details

This tour idea is fully customizable

The price reflects this specific itinerary and is designed to give you an idea of the budget required for this destination. Throughout the trip-planning process, our local agency will tailor your itinerary around your budget.

Approx. $4,960 / 13 days
Excluding international flights
Price per Person with a 4x4 Land Cruiser, based on double occupancy

Included in price:

  • Accommodation as stated or similar
  • Meals plan from breakfast on day 2 to lunch on day 12
  • Transfers in 4x4 vehicles as stated, open roof, with window seat guaranteed
  • Experienced English speaking driver/guide
  • Boat ride on Kazinga channel
  • Mineral water in vehicle and during walk
  • Entry park fees (Ziwa Sanctuary = 45, Murchison Falls = 80$, Chimpanzees permit = 150$, Queen Elisabeth National Park= 80$, gorilla permit = 600$, Lake Mburo = 40$)
  • Cost for Bigodi Swamp
  • Cost for Mabamba Wetlands

Not included in price:

  • Lunch and dinner on day 1
  • International flight
  • Drinks
  • Laundry service, tipping and other personal expenses
  • Festive season supplement

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