21 Days of Wildlife Safari, Hiking & Uganda Cultural Experience

Hiking Rwenzori Mountain - Wildlife Safari, Hiking & Uganda Cultural Experience

Wildlife Safari, Hiking & Uganda Cultural Experience

Duration: 21 Days

Starting from: USD$5,895

  • Rates are per person and based on 2 people sharing 1 room
  • Excluding international flights (from/to your home country)

This safari brings you to see the best of Uganda, visiting Murchison Falls National Park, Kibale National Park home for the Chimpanzees, a hike to the Rwezonris also re-known as the “mountains of the moon”, Queen Elizabeth National Park, Bwindi National Park for gorilla tracking, a visit to Lake Bunyonyi the home of “little birds” Lake Mburo National Park, a community stay in eastern Uganda, and complete your holiday with white water rafting in the River Nile the world’s longest river.

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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)

Overview

The tour starts and ends in Entebbe taking us on an adventure to western Uganda and south west to bwindi and back. A one of a kind Africa Safari adventure.

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’ll end the safari with the scenic little park, Lake Mburo national park that is close to Bwindi and is home to several wildlife species not easily seen elsewhere in Uganda. These include – Rothschild’s giraffe, Burchell’s zebra and impala. Although elephants are absent from the park, there is plenty of other wildlife to see. This is the only park in Uganda where people can view savanna animals on foot, from a mountain bike, horseback and in a vehicle.

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 ages16 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 Kamapala (city), Murchison Falls, QENP, Rwenzori Mountains, Bwindi, Lake Bunyonyi, Lake Mburo & Jija, Sipi Falls.
  • Activities: Gorilla Trekking, Mountain Hike, Game Drive, Bird Watching, Game Drive, Site Seeing
  • Getting around: 4×4 Safari Landcruiser / Minivan
  • A transfer from and back to the airport (or hotel) is included

Day One

Arrival
Arrive Entebbe International Airport. You will be picked by our driver/guide and transferred to Kampala city where you will spend the night today. Depending on your time of arrival, we will take you for a city tour and also get you oriented with Ugandan money and culture.  Arrivals on Sunday morning or early afternoon can allow for a cultural dance and drum extravaganza.

Dinner and overnight in Kampala, accommodation options: Red Chilli Hide Away-budget, Cassia Lodge-mid-range, Serena Hotel-up-market. Meal plan: B-L-D

Day Two

Murchison Falls National Park
Your safari starts with the drive to Murchison Falls National Park driving, via Luwero and Nakasongola making a stop at the Zziwa Rhino and Wildlife Ranch for Rhino tracking. Have lunch at the Rhino canteen or Masindi depending on your time flow before entering the park. We will head straight to 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.

We will then drive to check in for dinner and overnight, accommodation options: Red Chilli-budget, Murchison River Lodge-mid -range, Paraa Safari Lodge-up-market. Meal plan: B-L-D

Day Three

Murchison Falls National Park
Early riser today, 06:30 am we head out on a game drive in the park to find; Wildlife populations have largely recovered from the poaching of the 1980s; in the lush borassus grassland to the north of the Nile, elephant, buffalo, giraffe and a variety of antelope are regularly encountered on game drives, while lions are seen with increasing frequency. We return to our accommodation to relax and have lunch. After lunch, we will take a boat cruise on the Nile River. The Nile River – the longest in the world, hosts one of Africa’s densest hippo and crocodile populations, and a dazzling variety of water birds including the world’s most accessible wild population of the rare shoebill stork.

Dinner and overnight accommodation options: Red Chilli-budget, Murchison River Lodge-mid range, Paraa Safari Lodge-up-market. Meal plan: B-L-D

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, more closely related to humans than to any other living creature, are tremendous fun to watch as they squabble and play in fruiting trees.

Dinner and overnight, accommodation options: Rwenzori View Guest House-budget, Primate Lodge-mid-range, Kyaninga Safari Lodge-up-market. Meal plan: B-L-D

Day Five – Kibale Forest National Park – Kasese

Chimpanzee tracking – after breakfast, we will embark on the popular chimp tracking. This experience lasts from 2 to 4 hours. A network of shady forest trails provides much to delight in for 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, we drive south to get ready for our ascent to the mountains of the moon.

Dinner and overnight accommodation options: Ruboni Community Camp, Simba Safari Camp- Budget, Hotel Margherita, Sandston Hotel-mid range. Meal plan: B-L-D

Day Six

Rwenzori Mountains – Nyabitaba hut 2650 metres (8694ft.)
After an early breakfast, we drive to the foothills of the Rwenzori Mountains and prepare to climb. The Rwenzori Mountain is elevated at 5,109m (16,761ft). We will start climbing the mountain today from Nyakalengija and will spend the night at Nyabitaba hut – 2650metres (8694ft.). Meal plan: B-L-D

Day Seven

John Matte Hut 3350m (10990ft.).
Start early after breakfast and climb through the Kurt Shafer Bridge that crosses the Mobuku River Confluence. This 5 hour hike takes us through the bamboo, Lobelia and heath finally ending at John Matte Hut – 3350m (10990ft.). This is as high as we will go. Please bring your hiking boots, insect repellent, a hat, rain coat and other essentials to make your mountain hike as great as it should be.

Meal plan: B-L-D

Day Eight

Queen Elizabeth National Park
After early breakfast, we will begin our descent of the mountain and be transferred for dinner and overnight rest. Accommodation options: Simba Safari Camp-budget, Ihamba Safari Lodge-mid-range, Mweya Safari Lodge-up-range. Meal plan: B-L-D

Day Nine

Queen Elizabeth National Park
We will be up early today at 06:30 am for a morning game drive. This morning we aim to catch the big cats i.e. lions as they hunt or feed on their morning kill. Lions mostly hunt as the morning dawns because the temperatures are cooler and more hunting-friendly for the king of the jungle. Other sights to expect are hyenas before they disappear into the thickets, Cape buffalo, the handsome Uganda kob, warthog, elephant, leopard, and waterbuck.  Return to Simba camp for late breakfast and lunch. Right after lunch, we will drive to to Mweya to take a cruise on the Kazinga channel. Queen Elizabeth National Park boasts one of the highest biodiversity ratings of any game reserve in the world.

Dinner and overnight accommodation options: Simba Safari Camp-budget, Ihamba Safari Lodge-mid-range, Mweya Safari Lodge-up-range. Meal plan: B-L-D

Day Ten

Gorilla Trekking in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park
After breakfast, we depart our accommodation and drive through the Ishasha sector of the park. This sector of the park is famed for its tree-climbing lions. We will then proceed 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 at Buhoma Camp, relax or go for an evening village walk and shopping at the craft market.  At an altitude of up to 2,607 meters (8553ft). Expect some cooler temperatures in the evenings.

Dinner and overnight, accommodation options: Buhoma Community Rest Camp-budget, The Haven Lodge-mid-range, Mahogany Springs-up-market. Meal plan: B-L-D

Day Eleven

Bwindi National Park
After a 0645am breakfast, head to the information center for a briefing before embarking on the long awaited Gorilla trekking 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, accommodation options: Buhoma Community Rest Camp-budget, The Haven Lodge-mid-range, Mahogany Springs-up-market. Meal plan: B-L-D

Day Twelve

Bird Watching Lake Bunyonyi
After breakfast, we leave the mountain giants and move on to Lake Bunyonyi. Over 200 bird species have been recorded here. “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; accommodation options: Bushara Island- budget Birdnest-mid-range. Meal plan: B-L-D

Day Thirteen

Lake Bunyonyi
Another day to relax, unwind in one of East Africa’s most beautiful and highly elevated locations 7,000ft above sea level With some of the most organized mountain farming in the world. Today we will visit a local family and experience the local culture in this south western Uganda community.

Dinner and overnight with local family. Meal plan: B-L-D

Day Fourteen

Lake Mburo National Park
After breakfast, we head out to Lake Mburo National Park. Lake Mburo is the best place in the country to see the gigantic eland antelope, as well as zebra, topi, impala, and several acacia-associated birds. You will take an afternoon game drive/walk accompanied by an armed ranger.

Dinner and overnight, accommodation options: Lake View Hotel Mbarara-budget, Lake Mburo Safari Lodge-mid-range, Mihingo Lodge-up-market. Meal plan: B-L-D

Day Fifteen

Return to Kampala
After early breakfast, take a game drive through the acacia savannah and woodlands of the park. Animals common here are; zebra, impala, eland (the largest antelope specie), buffalo, topi, warthog and the occasional leopard. There’s many savannah bird species including; cocqui francolin, lapwings, hornbills. Return for late breakfast then transfer to Kampala via Masaka making a stop at the equator for souvenir shopping, lunch and picture taking; we will make another stop at the drum makers shop and get so see how they make the local traditional drums. Arrive Kampala this afternoon to visit the craft markets for some more souvenir shopping.

Dinner and overnight in Kampala, accommodation options: Red Chilli Hide Away-budget, Cassia Lodge-mid-range, Serena Hotel –up-market. Meal plan: B-L-D

 

Day Sixteen

Village house – Community Tour
Drive eastward after breakfast, heading to Mbale with a lunch break at the Mbale Resort Hotel. This region is home of Arabica coffee growing which some of the best coffee in the world. We will drive to a local village 25 kilometers outside Mbale, which will be your home for the next two days. Remember there is no electricity, no running water or indoor plumbing in this village. You will experience the long-drop latrine (toilet) facilities. You will be able to share in the food, the laughter and culture of the Gishu people of eastern Uganda.

Dinner and overnight at the village house. Meal plan: B-L-D

Day Seventeen

Village house – Cultural Tour
Arise to the alarm of the rooster.  We will walk through the village and experience the subsistence tradition of the local people, the coffee growth and coffee processing. Today you will visit some local village schools. We will share in the local food and hospitality and friendliness of the people we may also have a chance to witness an initiation ceremony as is the culture among the people here to initiate young men who reach the age of 14 and above through a circumcision procedure. This happens only during even numbered years.

Dinner and overnight at the village house. Meal plan: B-L-D

Day Eighteen

Sipi Falls – Mt. Elgon
After breakfast, we will depart this rural eastern Uganda village with memories of our culture experience. We will then drive to Sipi Falls. Activities here include caving, hiking, and abseiling. Hikes around the falls offer stunning views of the Karamoja plains and the slopes of Mt. Elgon.

Dinner and overnight at Sipi River Lodge. Meal plan: B-L-D

Day Nineteen

Jinja, source of the Nile
After breakfast, we depart Sipi Falls and head for Jinja through Mbale to arrive Jinja for lunch at a local African restaurant. We will visit the source of the Nile River as well as Bujagali Falls. Jinja is the adventure capital of Uganda with unending adventure opportunities including; white-water rafting, bungee jumping, and quad biking along the shores of the Nile.

Dinner and overnight accommodation options: Black Lantern, 2friends Hotel-mid range, Wild Waters Lodge –up-market. Meal plan: B-L-D

Day Twenty

Jinja, rafting, bungee etc
After an early breakfast, we will head out for a white-water rafting adventure on the Nile River. There’s an option to bungee into the Nile before the rafting and taking the jetty on the Nile – Race up the rapids at breathtaking speeds powered by 450HP of motor. The whitewater rafting experience will cover 31 kilometers and will last up to 6 hours plunging through some awesome grade 5 rapids. After these activities continue for overnight in Kampala

Accommodation options: Red Chilli Hide Away, Cassia Lodge, and Serena Hotel. Meal plan: B-L-D

Day Twenty One

Drive Back to Kampala
This day is open, you can take a city tour, shop for souvenirs etc., and transfer to the airport depending on the time of your flight. Meal plan: B-L-D

Transportation

By Road (4×4 Custom Safari vehicle), it will take you around 5hours from Kampala with about 305 km. Paara covers a distance of about 85km from Masindi town by the shortest route.

Accommodation Options:

Kampala options:

  1. Red Chilli Hide Away – budget,
  2. Cassia Lodge-mid – mid range,
  3. Serena Hotel – up-market
  4. Meal plan: B-L-D

Murchison Falls Options:

  1. Red Chilli – budget
  2. Murchison River Lodge – mid -range,
  3. Paraa Safari Lodge – up-market.
  4. Meal plan: B-L-D

Kibale options

  1. Rwenzori View Guest House – budget,
  2. Primate Lodge – mid-range,
  3. Kyaninga Safari Lodge – up-market.
  4. Meal plan: B-L-D

Kasese – Rwenzori Options:

  1. Ruboni Community Camp,
  2. Simba Safari Camp- Budget,
  3. Hotel Margherita,
  4. Sandston Hotel-mid range.

Meal plan: B-L-D

QENP Options:

  1. Simba Safari Camp-budget,
  2. Ihamba Safari Lodge-mid-range,
  3. Mweya Safari Lodge-up-range.

Meal plan: B-L-D

Bwindi Options

  1. Buhoma Community Rest Camp-budget,
  2. The Haven Lodge-mid-range,
  3. Mahogany Springs-up-market.

Meal plan: B-L-D

Lake Bunyonyi Options

  1. Bushara Island – budget
  2. Birdnest-mid-range.

Meal plan: B-L-D

Lake Mburo Options

  1. Lake View Hotel Mbarara – budget,
  2. Lake Mburo Safari Lodge – mid-range,
  3. Mihingo Lodge – up-market.

Meal plan: B-L-D

Jinja, Nile options

  1. Black Lantern,
  2. 2friends Hotel – mid range,
  3. Wild Waters Lodge – up-market.

Meal plan: B-L-D

Included in the price

 

  • Ground transport
  • An English speaking driver/guide
  • A visit to Sipi Falls
  • A boat activities in the park as indicated
  • A chimpanzee permit
  • A gorilla permit
  • A hike to the foot hills of Mount Rwenzori
  • Game drives as indicted
  • A visit to the source of the Nile
  • A village experience
  • A visit to Lake Bunyonyi
  • Either water rafting or bungee jumping
  • Accommodation for 20 nights
  • Meals as indicated against each day.
  • Park entry fees
  • 2litres of bottled water daily while in the vehicle

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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