14 Classic Africa Safari - Murchiso Falls National Park

Classic Africa Safari

Duration: 14 Days

Safari Highlights

A tour of Murchison Falls National Park Uganda’s largest park, Kibale Forest National Park the home of chimpanzees, a hike to the the foot hills of the Rwenzoris, Queen Elizabeth National Park the home of tree climbing lions, Bwindi National Park to track the mountain gorillas, Bunyonyi the home of little birds, a visit to the source of River Nile, plus Sipi falls with visit to a Jewish Community in Mbale

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Best time to go
June to August and December to February (Drier trails make for easy mountain gorilla tracking)

High Season
June to September (Gorilla permits need to be booked long in advance at any time of the year)

The tour starts and ends in Entebbe taking us on an adventure to western Uganda, southwest to bwindi and back then journey off to the source of mighty nile and catch the beautiful view of Sipi Falls in Mout Elgon National Park, Eastern Uganda.

We start this Africa Safari with a trip to the thundering Murchison Falls to catch Africa’s Big Five Game. Murchison Falls NP, part of the greater Murchison Falls Conservation Area (MFCA), offers excellent wildlife viewing. The MFCA includes Kaniyo Pabidi, which is a great place for chimpanzee tracking. Most big safari animals are easily seen, including four of the Big Five. The park is bisected by the Victoria Nile. At Murchison Falls the Nile gets channeled through a narrow cleft in the Rift Valley escarpment. Perhaps the most impressive waterfall in East Africa, boat trips to the spectacular Murchison Falls are a highlight.

From Murchison we head to Kibale national park to trek the playful chimpanzee. Kibale National Park (formerly Kibale Forest NP) is the best place for chimpanzee tracking in Uganda. There are 13 species of primates that have been recorded in the park, which is the highest number in Uganda. Aside from chimps, several species can usually be found on the primate walks. Birds and butterflies are abundant.

We then head to Queen Elizabeth National Park Ishaha Sector to track the famous tree climbing lions.  Queen Elizabeth National Park is Uganda’s most popular savanna reserve and has the widest variety of wildlife of any Ugandan park. The variety of habitats include grassland savanna, forests, wetlands and lakes. This provides the setting for an extensive range of large mammals and primates. Four of the Big five are present and regularly seen. Rhinos are absent but we will have seen them on our way to Murchison Falls at Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary.

Our adventure will take us gorilla trekking in the misty jungles Bwindi Impenetrable forest. Bwindi Forest is the best place in Uganda to track mountain gorillas. The park protects half the world’s population and has several habituated groups. The forest is also a bird-watcher’s paradise with 350 species recorded, including many Albertine Rift endemics.

We will then head back to Entebbe to relax and catch some breath before heading on our second part of the Safari adventure to Eastern Uganda for the beautiful sites of the Source of the Mighty Nile and Sipi Falls on Mbale.  Head eastward to Mbale town with a stop in Jinja town where the source of the longest river in the world, the Nile River is found. A boat ride on the river will take us to see the very starting point of the river as it makes its 6400 kilometer journey to the Mediterranean Sea. Have lunch in Jinja and continue on a relaxed drive to Mbale. Wake up to a relaxed breakfast (opt for a swim in the hotel’s swimming pool) before heading to Sipi for a hike to see the falls and thereafter descend for lunch. After lunch return to Mbale via Nanamanyonyi to visit a Jewish Community on the suburbs of Mbale town before returning to our hotel.

Things to consider:

  • Mid-range tour – Accommodated tour
  • Group Tour – The tour is run for more than 2 people at a go
  • Can depart any day? – This tour can depart any day
  • Can be customised? – This tour can be customized
  • Minimun require age – Suitable for ages 16 and older

Tour Summary (See full day-by-day for more details)

  • You’ll go to Uganda uganda safaris
  • This tour starts and ends in Kampala (Uganda) – Getting there & away
  • You’ll visit Murchison Falls, Kibale Forest, QENP, Bwindi Forest, Mabira Forest, Nile Source, Mbale, Sipi Falls
  • Activities: gorilla tracking, savannah game drives, bird watching, historical sightseeing
  • Getting around: 4×4 Safari Landcruiser / Minivan 
  • A transfer from and back to the airport (or hotel) is included
  • Additional accommodation before and at the end of the tour can be arranged for extra cost

Day One – Arrival

Arrive Entebbe International Airport: meet and greet by our driver/guide and transferred to your hotel. Depending on your time of arrival, go for a city tour, visit Garden city mall to acquire local currency. Welcome! Dinner and overnight at Cassia Lodge/Sheraton Hotel/Serena Hotel

Day Two  – Murchison Falls National park

After breakfast head to Murchison Falls National Park at 8:00am via Luwero and Nakasongola with a stop to track the rhinos at Zziwa Rhino Sanctuary and have lunch. After lunch head to the park to be welcomed by baboons that have made the roadside a common rendezvous, drive to see the top of 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. After the top of the falls drive to check in at your accommodation. Options are; Fort Murchison Lodge/Murchison River Lodge/Paraa safari Lodge.

Day Three – Game drive and Boat cruise to the Murchison falls

Start the day early today at about 06:30am and head out on a game drive in the park to search for elephant, buffalo, giraffe and a variety of antelope which are regularly encountered on game drives plus lions, and leopards among others. We return to the hotel to relax and have lunch. After lunch, we will take a boat cruise on the Nile River. The Nile itself hosts one of Africa’s densest hippo and crocodile populations, and a dazzling variety of water birds with chances of seeing the world’s most accessible wild population of the rare shoebill stork. The boat cruise will last up to 3 hours starting off at 2:00pm. Fort Murchison Lodge/Murchison River Lodge/Paraa safari Lodge.

Day Four – Kibale Forest National Park

Today, after breakfast we head south to Kibale Forest National Park, the most accessible of Uganda’s major rainforests. Kibale is home to a remarkable 13 primate species, including the much localized red colobus and L’Hoest’s monkey. Kibale’s major attraction, however, is the opportunity to track habituated chimps, these delightful apes are more closely related to humans than to any other living creature. They are tremendous fun to watch as they squabble and play in fruiting trees. Dinner and overnight: Rwenzori View Guesthouse/Primate Lodge/Kyaninga Lodge

Day Five – Chimpanzee tracking – Kibale National Park

After breakfast, embark on the popular chimp tracking. This experience lasts from 2 to 4 hours. A network of shady forest trails provides much to delight botanists and butterfly lovers, if you love birds; you are in for a treat with 335 species recorded including the endemic Prirogrine’s ground thrush. Return to your accommodation for lunch. After lunch, take the swamp walk in the Bigodi sanctuary a habitat rich in bird life some of the most common and sought after being the great Blue Turaco.   Dinner and overnight PRwenzori View Guesthouse/Primate Lodge/Kyaninga Lodge

Day Six – Queen Elizabeth National – Isasha Sector

After breakfast, transfer to Queen Elizabeth National park at a relaxed pace to check in and get lunch at Mweya Safari Lodge. After lunch, take a boat cruise on the Kazzinga channel a haven for hippos and hundreds of different bird species. More than 6oo different bird species have been spotted in this location alone. In fact Queen Elizabeth boasts of more than 1000 sightings of different bird species. Dinner and overnight: Simba Safari Camp/Ihamba Lodge/Mweya Safari Lodge

Day Seven – Game drive in Kasenyi Track/Visit Katwe salt mines

After a morning coffee, head out on a game drive to look for wildlife on the Kasenyi track on the park. Common sightings here are; elephant, warthog, waterbuck, kob, leopard, lions, hyena, buffalo and so much more. Return to lodge for breakfast and relax till lunch. After lunch, visit the Katwe fishing village and witness the local salt mining procedures. In season, you will see plenty of flamingos in this part of the park. Dinner and overnight: Simba Safari Camp/Ihamba Lodge/Mweya Safari Lodge

Day Eight – Isasha/Bwindi

After a relaxed breakfast and with bags ready head out to the Ishasha section of the park famous for its tree-climbing lions. We will spend a few hours looking for the tree climbing lions and afterwards continue to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park host to the famous endangered mountain gorillas. A magnificent verdant swathe across the steep ridges of the Albertine Rift Valley, this ancient rainforest -one of the few in Africa to have flourished throughout the last Ice Age -is home to roughly half of the world’s mountain gorillas. Arrive to check in and have lunch, relax or go for an evening village walk and shopping at the craft market before dinner. At an altitude of up to 2,607 meters (8553ft). Expect some cooler temperatures in the evening. Dinner and overnight: Travelers Inn/Silverback Lodge/Mahogany Springs Lodge

Day Nine – Gorilla Tracking

After breakfast, head to the information center for a briefing before embarking on the long awaited Gorilla tracking which may last from 3 hours up to 8 hours or more of the day. Looking deep into the expressive brown eyes of these gentle giants is surely the most exciting and poignant wildlife encounter that Africa has to offer. Return to lodge for a well-deserved hot shower and rest. This evening you could shop for souvenirs at the craft market, go for a village walk and interact with some locals in the community. Dinner and overnight: Travelers Inn/Silverback Lodge/Mahogany Springs Lodge

Day Ten – Lake Bunyonyi

After breakfast, we leave the mountain giants and on to Lake Bunyonyi where over 200 bird species have been recorded. “Bunyonyi” actually means “the place of many little birds” Lake Bunyonyi is one of the few African lakes completely safe for swimming -there is no bilharzia. The lake’s altitude is 1,950 m, and it is surrounded by hills that are 2,200 to 2,478 m high and intensely cultivated. The data on the lake’s maximum depth varies, from 44 m to 900 m in parts Lake Bunyonyi probably is the second deepest lake in Africa. The temperature on the surface rises to 25 degrees Celsius. Dinner and overnight; Bushara Island/Bunyonyi Safaris Resort/Birds Nest

Day Eleven – Lake Bunyonyi

Another day in paradise. Spend today swimming, canoeing, taking village walks. Lake Bunyonyi is peaceful and quiet and a full day here will leave you absolutely refreshed. Dinner and overnight; Bushara Island/Bunyonyi Safaris Resort/Birds Nest

Day Twelve – Lake Mburo National Park

After breakfast, depart Lake Bunyonyi and drive to Lake Mburo National park. This is one of Uganda’s smaller parks but it is the only other park besides Kidepo Valley National park where you will find zebra and eland (the biggest antelope in Africa). You will arrive Lake Mburo National park to check in and have lunch at your lodge. After lunch, you will take an afternoon game drive/walk to enjoy the wildlife through the acacia trees. Wildlife here includes; zebra, warthog, eland, buffalo, hippo, waterbuck, impala and more…Dinner and overnight Rwonyo Camp/Lake Mburo Safari Lodge/Mihingo Lodge

Day Thirteen – Lake Mburo/EquatorKampala

After breakfast, we will check out of the lodge and then depart taking a game drive to see more wildlife. We will then proceed to exit the park and on to the equator where we will stop for lunch, souvenir shopping and photos. Proceed to Kampala to check in at the Cassia Lodge. Dinner and overnight; Cassia Lodge/Sheraton Hotel/Serena Hotel

Day Fourteen – Jinja Today, depending on your flight time, we will take you to visit the source of the Nile River, the longest river in the world as it starts its journey from Lake Victoria. You will have a delicious lunch at the Nile Porch before we return to Kampala and head straight Entebbe International airport for your departure flight.

End of Safari

Accommodation Options:

Meals provided against each day indicated as: breakfast-Lunch-Dinner (B-L-D)

  • Cassia Lodge a mid-range facility. Meal plan: D
  • Paraa safari Lodge an upmarket facility. Meal plan: B-L-D
  • Primate Lodge a mid-range facility. Meal plan: B-L-D
  • Ishasha Wilderness Camp a mid-range. Meal plan: B-L-D
  • Silverback Lodge –mid range facility. Meal plan: B-L-D
  • Bird Nest- a budget facility. Meal plan: B-L-D
  • Mbale Resort Hotel. Meal plan: B-L-D
  • Cassia Lodge a mid-range facility. Meal plan: B-L-D

Included in the price

  • Ground transport
  • An English speaking driver/guide
  • Accommodation as indicated
  • Meals as indicated
  • Park entrance fees
  • 1 chimpanzee permit each
  • 1gorilla permit each
  • Activities in the parks as indicated
  • 2litres of bottled water each while in the vehicle
  • Airport transfers
  • 1 city tour of Kampala
  • Flying doctors evacuation

Excluded:

  • Entry visas and flights
  • Items of personal nature/tips/laundry
  • Personal insurance
  • Sodas/alcohol/ teas and extra water
  • Extra meals and activities
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