UGANDA SAFARI - 25 DAYS ADVENTURE SAFARI THROUGH UGANDA
‘There is a world of difference between a sightseeing tour and a well planned safari’ Hugh Cott 1959.
A tiny landlocked country supporting more than 1000 species, Uganda deserves its reputation as “birders’ Eden”. A short trip here to soak up the bizarre and mind-blowing Shoebills at Murchison Falls, or Albertine Rift endemics at Bwindi National Park, is incredibly rewarding, while the chance to come face to face with Africa’s most noble beast, the MOUNTAIN GORILLAS, is probably the most touching experience any wildlife enthusiast could hope for. Uganda is a superb destination for rainforest fanatics and those in search of the rare and elusive.
In terms of size, Uganda is the richest country in Africa for birds. It has an excellent infrastructure and a great diversity of habitats, from the papyrus-fringed swamps of the Lake Victoria Basin, through both lowland and its forest has one of the highest diversity and density of primates in Africa totaling 13 species including the black and white colobus, blue monkey and grey – checked mangabey, the threatened red colobus, bush babies and pottos'.
Day 1 Meet and greet at Entebbe International Airport by Adventure Trails Safari Guide who will warmly welcome you and transfer you to your hotel in Kampala. Your guide will brief you about your safari. Depending on the time of arrival e.g. if your flight arrives in the morning, you are advised to- have money changed this day. To get to know Kampala, you can visit some of the landmarks in town with the help of our driver/guide. Among the places you will visit includes, The Uganda Museum; this is a display of Uganda’s cultural heritage where on can see ethnological and natural-historical exhibitions. It is a vivid reminder of the country’s colorful past, The Bahai Temple; it’s called ‘MashriquI-Adhkar’, the Persian translation of the drawning place of the praise of God. It is also a mother temple of Africa. The Kasubi Tombs; this is a burial place for the Buganda Kings. Overnight at Speke Hotel/Hotel Africana (BB)
Day 2 After breakfast, depart for Murchison Falls National Park arriving in the afternoon. The drive will take approximately 5-6 hours and will give you a good insight on the Ugandan way of life. Take a stop over at Masindi hotel for lunch. We will continue through the park stopping at the top of the falls which is a fantastic sight. Here the Nile, the longest river in the world, is forced through a narrow gap in the rock (only 7 meters wide), before ferociously plunging down 43 meters. From here we will continue on, taking a ferry across the river to Paraa Safari Lodge. Game viewing on the way is very good; look out for hippos, elephants, buffalos and many other animals, seen grazing on the banks of the river.
Overnight at a Luxurious Paraa Safari Lodge/mid range Sambiya River lodge/Budget Red Chili Camp (Full Board)
Day 3 After breakfast, we will go for a morning Chimpanzee tracking in Kaniyo Pabidi Forest. This is an undisturbed area of natural forest within Budongo Forest Reserve where you can walk beneath mature mahogany and iron wood trees. Chimpanzee tracking is the most famous activity. You will certainly see many forest birds, including the chocolates-backed Kingfisher, the white-thigh hornbill and puvel's illadopsis found nowhere else in East Africa.Overnight at a Luxurious Paraa Safari Lodge/mid range Sambiya River lodge/Budget Red Chili Camp (Full Board)
Day 4 Following a morning breakfast, you will be transferred to the northern part of the park for a game drive. View Elephants, Buffaloes, Bushbucks, Lions, and a variety of bird species. After lunch, proceed for a two-hour launch cruise up to the substructure of the mighty Murchison falls where sinister water escapes from the narrow gorge, an opportunity to see the amazing hippos, crocodiles, water birds along the river banks enabling a wonderful birding safari. Overnight at a Luxurious Paraa Safari Lodge/mid range Sambiya River lodge/Budget Red Chili Camp (Full Board)
Day 5 After break fast, we will depart with our packed lunch to Kibale National Park. This scenic drive takes approx 9 hours. We will pass close to Lake Albert. On a clear day, the view on the top of the Albert rift is spectacular. We will arrive Fort portal town in the late afternoon. Tonight you will sleep in Ndali Lodge/Rwenzori View guest house prior to your chimpanzee tracking in the morning. Overnight at a luxurious Ndali Lodge/Mid range Rwenzori View Guest House/budget Kanyankyu Ecological site (FB)
Day 6 A relatively early morning start, to report to the ranger station in Kibale National Park at 08.00am 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. The incredibly diverse forest is home to over 13 species of primates including red Colobus monkey, the rare L’Hoest, blue monkey, grey mangabey, pottos, black faced vervet monkeys, baboons and also bush babies. A network of shady forest trails provides much to delight botanists and butterfly lovers, while birders are in for a treat with 335 species recorded including the endemic Prirogrine’s ground thrush. The elusive forest elephant, smaller and hairier that its savannah counterpart, moves seasonally into the developed part of the park, while other terrestrial mammals include buffalo, giant forest hog and a half dozen antelope species. Overnight at a luxurious Ndali Lodge/Mid range Rwenzori View Guest House/budget Kanyankyu Ecological site (FB)
Day 7 An early start – we will depart by road for Semliki Wildlife Reserve; this scenic drive will take you down the eastern side of Lake Albert. Semliki reserve is situated in the basin of the Western Rift Valley. It is one of the most diverse habitats in Africa with wonderful examples of Riparian forest, gallery rain forest, borassus palm forest, and short and high grass savannas. Chimps exist next to elephant, lion and buffalo as well as the usual western Uganda species. Following dinner we will go on a night drive. This is the only place in Uganda where you can do a spot lit night drive. You never know what you may see. Often the big cats are sighted as well as the diminutive genet and serval cats. Unusual nocturnal dwellers also show themselves, such as the white tailed mongoose and slender mongoose, standard and pennant winged nightjars depending on the time of year. There are always surprises on the night drives. Overnight at Semliki safari Lodge (FB)
Day 8 An early morning rise, tea in your tent, and then you will go down into the beautiful gallery rainforest to track wild chimpanzees. Chimps are tracked by researchers in Semliki at dawn and dusk, as they tend to disappear in the middle of the day. There are also a number of bird species which are found in this picturesque forest. You will return to the lodge for lunch and the chance to relax by the pool and enjoy the tranquility of the Lodge. In the late afternoon you will go for a game drive, stopping along the way to watch the African sun dip below the horizon. Overnight at Semliki Safari Lodge (FB)
Day 9 After breakfast, we will depart to Queen Elizabeth National Park. . We will enter the park via the Northern crater Area. With beautiful lakes and rich grasslands which are set deep in the crater valley, this is truly the most breathtaking scenery in the park. Queen Elizabeth is host to a large variety and volume of wildlife. It boasts one o the highest bio diversity ratings of any game park in the world, from the open Savannah to Rain forest, dense swamps and beautiful crater lakes to the vastness of Lake Edward. Almost 100 species that include Hippos, Lions, Buffaloes, Leopard, Spotted Hyena and the elusive giant forest hog. There are over 606 species of birds found here including the martial eagle, black-rumped buttonquail, Verreaux’s eagle owl and African skimmer to name but a few. The primates include Chimps, Black and white Colobus Monkeys, Blue, Black Faced Red Colobus, and Red Tailed monkeys and Olive Baboons.
After checking in and having some time to relax, you will head for an afternoon game drive. We often spot Elephants, waterbucks, warthogs, hippos and others. You might want to head to the Kasenyi area of the park where lions are frequently spotted.
Overnight at Mweya Safari Lodge/Institute of Ecology (FB)
Day 10 This morning we will leave for the 08.00am chimpanzee trekking in Kyambura Gorge. Expect to see various primates most especially Chimpanzee of different species, Black and white Colobus monkeys and other animals like antelopes, hyenas, Lion and many others in the middle of savanna grassland. This gorge is a home of very many bird species. We will continue to Jacana Lodge where we will have our lunch. This is a small intimate lodge situated in Maramagambo forest on a beautiful crater lake. After lunch, you will go for a nature walk in Maramagambo Forest to see other primates and visit the bat cave and the blue lake. Overnight at Mweya Safari Lodge/Institute of Ecology (FB)
Day 11 An early morning game drive in this park, provide excellent opportunities to see Lions, Leopards, Giant Forest Hogs, Cape Buffaloes, Elephants, Defassa Waterbucks, Uganda Kobs, Topi and Bush bucks and many more. After lunch, enjoy the unique 2-hour boat cruise on the Kazinga Channel and into Lake Edward. This trip passes through possibly the highest concentration of Hippos and many animals may be seen drinking at the water's edge. This launch cruise offers an excellent platform for photography, bird watching and game viewing, ideal for the Uganda safari .The prolific bird life is colorful and stupendous with well over 550 resident species. Over night at Mweya Safari Lodge/Budget Institute of ecology. (BLD)
Day 12 This morning, we will leave for Bwindi Impenetrable Forest. We will drive through the southern sector of Queen Elizabeth called Ishasha. Here we will take lunch by the Ishasha River and try to find the famed Ishasha tree-climbing lions before continuing on to Bwindi, home to the few remaining mountain gorillas. Bird life and primate life in Bwindi is quite superb, and there is an incredible variety of flora. Bwindi is the Bird watchers haven! It holds 348 species of birds and supports 24 of 26 Albertine Rift Endemics that occur in Uganda; and seven red data book species. Once continuous with the forests of the Virunga Volcanoes (Dian Fossey’s stomping ground), Bwindi is now an ecological island, surrounded by cultivation on the rich volcanic soils.
Overnight at Gorilla Resort/Buhoma Community Bandas (Full Board)
Day 13 You will rise relatively early for a hearty breakfast to give you the energy needed for gorilla tracking. Report to the ranger station at 08.00 am where the guides will take you through the forest, slashing at the undergrowth, parting thick creepers, to track gorillas. This trek can take from half an hour to five hours so a reasonable degree of fitness is required as well as a sturdy pair of walking shoes. You sit in the forest among the gorillas listening to them grumble at each other and marvel at the sheer size of the dominant male, the silverback. It is amazing to think that there are only 650 or so of these creatures left in the world!
If you have the afternoon free, you will take a guided village walk to see how the Ugandans live. Overnight at Gorilla Resort/Buhoma Community Bandas (Full Board)
Day 14 After breakfast leave for Rwanda. Time permitting; go for a tour of the city including a visit to the market, a pottery project, handicraft shops, the Franco-Rwandan cultural centre and the genocide memorial. Overnight at Gorilla Nest Lodge/Kinigi Guest house (FB)
Day 15 Early morning you enter the gorilla sanctuary of Parc National des Volcans, the rain tropical forest covering the hills surrounding Virunga Volcanoes. The trekking is a demanding but rewarding experience. Ensure you bring with you enough water and the packed lunch. The time spent in the forest depends on the movements of the primates in their natural environment. After the activity you return at leisure for dinner and overnight.
Overnight at Gorilla Nest Lodge/Kinigi Guest house (FB)
Day 16 After breakfast, we will depart to Lake Bunyonyi. This large and erratically shaped lake lies at an altitude of approximately 2000m, where it follows the contours of the hilly terrain that separates the towns of Kabale and Kisoro. It is a very scenic spot, dotted with small islands and ringed by steeped terraced hills. Bunyonyi means “place of little birds” and it is particularly good for water birds. You will be staying at Lake Bunyonyi Overland Camp in self contained cottages overlooking the lake.
Overnight at Lake Bunyonyi Overland Camp (FB)
Day 17 Explore the area; maybe visit the bright and colorful local market at Kabale or take a canoe ride on lake Bunyonyi it self.
Overnight at Lake Bunyonyi Overland Camp (Self Catering)
Day 18 Following a morning breakfast, we will depart for Lake Mburo National Park. We will drive through some of Uganda’s finest scenery. Lake Mburo National Park is an extension of the Tanzanian plains with big herds of zebra, impala, eland and other ungulates (cloved hoofed animals). For birders, this is one of the best places to find African fin foot and papyrus bush shrike. We will check in at the camp and relax for a little while before going in a dug out canoeon the lake or going for an evening game drive.
Overnight at Mantana Camp/UWA Bandas at Rwonyo (FB)
Day 19 Explore Lake Mburo. More than 310 bird species have been recorded in Lake Mburo National Park. It is probably the best place in Uganda to see Acacia associated birds and also of special interest to birders, are the swamps. The swamps are home to the highly localized Papyrus Yellow Warbler recorded nowhere else in Uganda.
Overnight at Mantana Camp/UWA Bandas at Rwonyo (FB)
Day 20 Following a morning breakfast, we will depart for Jinja stopping along the Equator for a photographic opportunity as well as an informative talk. We will head East passing coffee, Tea and Sugar plantations and the colorful roadside fruit/vegetable markets. The first stop is the Mabira Forest; here you will be able to see the primates, birds and butterflies. You will continue to the source of the Nile. This is a spot where John Speke first discovered the source of the Nile River. You will continue to Jinja Nile Resort/Sunset hotel where you will be staying. In the early evening, you will relax by the side of the swimming should you wish or go to Bujagali Falls where different cultural activities take place like Acrobatic, Dances, waterfalls. Overnight at Jinja Nile Resort/Sunset Hotel (FB)
Day 21 Following a morning breakfast, we will depart for a full day exploration at Mountain Elgon National Park. Mountain Elgon has been an extinct volcano that first erupted more than 24 million years ago. With the largest surface area of any extinct Volcano in the World (50Km by 80Km), Mount Elgon is the highest fourth mountain in East Africa.
A day hike area will allow you to explore Mount Elgon’s diverse mountane forest. The popular forest exploration center trail loop site (Sipi trailhead) can make one enjoy the cool mist at Chebonet falls, Kapkwai cave, the talking tree and a spectacular view point, which lies just beyond. Jungle walking shoes and rain gear are recommended in addition to extra cells for your torch if you wish to explore the caves. Overnight at Mbale Resort Hotel/Wash and Wills Country Home (FB)
Day 22 Following a morning breakfast, we will depart back to Kampala arriving in the afternoon. On arrival in Kampala, your safari guide will transfer you to your hotel. Should you have the energy, your guide will take you to the theatre craft market where you can buy souvenirs for your self. Overnight at Hotel Africana/Speke Hotel (BB)
Day 23 After a short briefing by your guide, you will be driven to the shores of Lake Victoria to meet your 9.00am launch. The boat takes about 45 minutes across to Ngamba Island, crossing the Equator en-route. On arrival at the island, home to 39 chimpanzees, you will be given a short introduction and briefing on the sanctuary. After which, it’s feeding time! It is fascinating to watch the chimps interact with each other and with their keepers. In the relatively short amount of time you are there you will be able to see such different personalities amongst the group, with some whistling for food and others clapping. Obviously the ideal option would be to re-introduce these orphaned chimpanzees to the wild however this is not possible for a number of different reasons and the sanctuary is not bad for second best. Overnight at Ngamba Island Camp (FB)
Day 24 For those who have had the required set of medical inoculations, a forest walk with the chimps is a unique experience. The playful chimps climb on you, pull your hair, or just walk along holding your hand! (Clients must have specific up to date vaccinations for this activity, which is restricted to three people at any one time, and should ask for further details before booking).
Overnight ion Ngamba Island Camp (FB)
Day 25 After breakfast, you will return to the main land where you will meet your safari guide who will transfer you to Entebbe International Airport to meet your flight back home.
Request for a quote for this safari
The above price includes;
- The cost of all ground transportation and Fuel
- Gorilla trek and permit @ $600 each (Uganda) & $750 each (Rwanda)
- Chimpanzee tracking
- Full time safari guide and his associated expenses
- Park entrance fees
- Accommodation and meals
- Boat trips
- Cano ride
- Volcano climbing
- Game drives and other related activities
- But it excludes; Items of personal nature like Laundry, Beers, tipping of staffs at the lodges.
OUR SISTER SITES : Gorilla Tours, Gorilla Safaris, Uganda Safari