The 18 days Uganda Safari is a long safari for persons with enough time to their exposure to explore the beauty of Uganda and discover why it is referred as “the Pearl of Africa”. The Safari will start in Entebbe and will allow you to visit seven of the ten National Parks-Murchison falls, Queen Elizabeth, Semliki, Kibale Forest, Lake Mburo, Mgahinga and Bwindi Impenetrable National Parks, in addition to other magnificent tourist sites like Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary and Lake Bunyonyi.
One of the jaw-dropping activities to expect during this long safari is game drives with chances of seeing lions, Masai giraffes, warthogs, leopards, Rhinos, Uganda Kobs, Elephants, Oribis, Hippos, buffaloes, spotted hyenas, Jackson’s hartebeests, olive baboons, vervet monkeys, impalas, Topis and so much more. Chimpanzee trekking is also included in this safari and the highlight is encountering the mountain gorillas within Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.
Day 1: Arrival, meet and greet in Entebbe International Airport and drive to Kampala.
Welcome to Uganda, the land of mysteries and natural wonders unfold. Hope you enjoyed your Light to this amazing Paradise. This day marks the start of an unforgettable journey and be picked from the Airport by our company representative for a drive to Kampala where you will check-in at a Hotel for meals and overnight.
Day 2: Transfer from Kampala City to Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary.
Breakfast will be at the Hotel in Kampala to allow you leave for Entebbe, then undertake a boat ride on Lake Victoria to Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary to watch the chimpanzee population that live at the site.
These are orphaned chimpanzees rescued from all over the country and during your visit, take part in feeding them and learn about the remarkable conservation efforts of the Sanctuary. Lunch within the sanctuary and return back to Entebbe through a boat ride and to Kampala for relaxation, dinner and overnight at the Hotel and preparation for the trip to the next destination.
Day 3: Transfer from Kampala to the remarkable Murchison Falls National Park.
Be up early and served breakfast before checking out and leaving for Murchison falls National Park. Your driver/guide will be at the Hotel by 6:00am to allow you leave the City before the morning traffic and drive for 7-8 hours including en-route stops. Murchison falls National Park covers an area of 3840 square kilometers making it the largest Park in the country and was also gazetted in 1952 making it the oldest.
This epitome of beauty has opened its gates to prominent visitors like Ernest Hemingway, Theodore Roosevelt, Edward VII-Prince of Wales who later became King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain, Queen Mother and many other British Royals because of its timeless beauty characterized by the breathtaking Murchison falls, array of wildlife species and plethora of bird species.
Make a stop at Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary to track Rhinos in their natural habitat and continue to the beautiful Murchison falls National Park, with en-route Lunch and straightaway undertake a guided hike to the top of the falls. Continue for check-in at the Lodge where dinner and overnight stay will be catered for.
Day 4: Sunrise game drive and afternoon Launch cruise along the Albert Nile
On this chilly morning (typical of most Ugandan Parks), have an early breakfast and set-off for the sunrise game drive along the Northern banks of the Nile River, for exclusive wildlife viewing opportunities in this popular Park. While at it, spot several Oribis, lions, buffaloes, Jackson hartebeests, bushbucks and Rothschild giraffes, Uganda Kobs, leopards, common elands, Hippos, spotted hyenas, Defassa waterbucks and so many others.
After over 3-4 hours of the drive, get back to the lodge for lunch and in the afternoon embark on a launch cruise along the Albert Nile.
Let your camera start rolling during the boat cruise to capture the majestic views of the beautiful Murchison falls in addition to marveling at the huge Hippos, Nile crocodiles and numerous bird species some of which include black-bellied bustards, African skimmer, Egrets, shoebill storks, saddle-billed storks, Abyssinian ground hornbills, secretary birds, African fish eagles, cormorants as well as pied and giant Kingfishers. After this tremendously rewarding launch cruise, get into the vehicle for a ride to the Lodge for dinner and overnight.
Day 5: Drive to Kibale Forest National Park, home to Uganda’s highest chimpanzee population.
Another beautiful day in your long safari and will be for transfer to another exciting destination – Kibale Forest National Park. This Park shelters the most amazing and varied tracts of Tropical rainforests in the country and boasts of over 69 species of mammals that include about 13 primate species, more than 375 species of birds and many others.
This road drive is about 7-8 hours and involves Lunch break at the Town of Hoima and immediately driving to the Lodge for dinner and overnight stay.
Day 6: Unrivalled chimpanzee tracking experience and guided walk through Bigodi wetland Sanctuary.
This is another unforgettable day in your safari as you will be trekking and spending time with the chimpanzees (closest relative to humans, than mountain gorillas). Begin the day with early morning breakfast and assemble at Kanyanchu Visitor Center within Kibale Forest National Park, where a team of Park rangers will welcome, register and brief you on the Trek.
At exactly 8:00am, begin the trek that will last 1-4 hours, and once located, you are given one hour to be in their presence. Make sure your camera is ready to take perfect shots of them swinging on tree branches, feeding, mating, grooming, playing and most interestingly female chimpanzees breastfeeding their babies.
Return to the lodge for an amazing time with the chimpanzees, freshen-up, hot meal and relax. In the evening/afternoon be driven to the lush Bigodi wetland Sanctuary, adjacent to Kibale Forest National Park for a guided wetland walk. Expect numerous wetland and forest bird species such as the Black bishops, yellow-spotted barbets, Great blue Turaco, Superb starling, Papyrus gonolek and Hairy-breasted barbets among others. Return to the Eco-lodge for sumptuous dinner and comfortable sleep.
Day 7: Transfer to the charming Semliki National Park.
Breakfast at the Lodge in Kibale Forest National Park and embark on a transfer to Semliki National Park. Immediately head for a guided walk to the breathtaking Sempaya hot springs where you will be amazed by how the hot waters here can boil eggs in only 15 minutes. Drive to the Lodge for Lunch, dinner, relaxation and overnight stay.
Day 8: Morning game drive and visit to the nearby Batwa Communities
Wake up early for the first meal of the day that will start this wonderful day. Head for a game drive through the savannah grasslands of Semliki National Park where you will sight the Uganda Kobs, savannah and forest elephants, warthogs, buffaloes, Defassa waterbucks, common elands, common elands, spotted hyenas, lions, pygmy Hippos and leopards among others.
Return to the Lodge for Lunch and in the afternoon unwind by visiting the nearby Batwa Communities at Ntandi to learn about their mind-blowing culture and be entertained in some of their invigorating cultural dances. After this wonderful cultural experience, drive to Queen Elizabeth National Park and check-in at a Lodge for dinner and overnight.
Day 9: Game drive through Kasenyi area and afternoon boat cruise along the eye-catching Kazinga channel.
Have Breakfast and continue for a morning game drive that starts as early as 6:00am. This game drive will offer great chances of viewing nocturnal wildlife of the Park such as spotted hyenas, lions, serval cats, leopards and other species like Uganda Kobs, bushbucks, elephants, Defassa waterbucks, buffaloes and warthogs among others. This Park is also endowed with more than 600 species of birds, some of which will be spotted during the game drive.
In the afternoon you will head out for the boat cruise along the calm waters of Kazinga Channel, a narrow water channel connecting Lake Edward and Lake George. This water channel is where more of Queen Elizabeth National Park’s Hippopotamus population and Nile crocodiles are found.
Day 10: Experiential tourism adventure and evening community walk.
Queen Elizabeth National Park is so far the only Park offering experiential tourism activities in Uganda and with this safari, you will be one of the few people to undertake such an amazing adventure. Choose between Lion tracking, Bird counts or Hippo Census and head back to the Lodge for Lunch and relaxation.
In the evening head for the community walk to interact with Basongora and Bakonjo people to get a glimpse on their unique ways of life, learn about their historical background, learn about basket weaving and to sum up the day, be entertained in their cultural dances. Proceed to the Lodge for relaxation, delicious hot meal and overnight stay.
Day 11: Ishasha Game Drive and drive to the delectable Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.
Have a leisurely breakfast and check-out of the Lodge for a drive to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, for your interesting gorilla trekking adventure. First drive through the Park while viewing more wildlife species and get to Ishasha sector where you will see the rare tree climbing lions relaxing on fig tree branches.
Leave the sector and drive towards Bwindi, lunch at Savannah Resort Kihihi and arrive any of the four sectors of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.
Day 12: Mountain gorilla trekking adventure in one of the four sectors of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.
This is the day you have been eagerly waiting for and start off with breakfast, pick-up from the Lodge by the safari driver for a transfer to the Park Headquarters. Make sure to be there by 7am for registration, briefing from Park rangers and grouping (8 persons) to a particular gorilla family.
Trekking starts at 8am and takes anywhere between 1 and 3 hours, depending on the location of the gorilla family and once seen, you will be given one hour with them. Make good use of your time for photography and observation of their outstanding behavior and return to the Lodge for meals, relaxation and overnight stay.
Day 13: Transfer from Bwindi Impenetrable National Park to Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, also in south-western Uganda.
Have Breakfast within your Lodge in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and leave for Mgahinga Gorilla National Park for another adventurous activity. Lunch at Mutanda Lake Resort where you will also be rewarded with magnificent views of the Lake as well as a number of bird species.
On arrival at Mgahinga undertake a guided tour to Garama Caves, former home, King’s Palace and hiding place for the Batwa pygmies during cultural wars. Dinner and overnight will be at any of the beautiful Safari Lodges in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park or Kisoro Town.
Day 14: Golden monkey tracking and Batwa Cultural Experience.
On this day you will be tracking another interesting primate species in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park and will begin with briefing at Ntebeko Visitor Center. Start the activity at 8am and walk through the lower slopes of the Virunga Mountains, occupied by Bamboo forest. Find the Golden monkeys after only 1-2 hours of tracing and just like chimpanzees and mountain gorillas, spend one hour in their presence.
Spend your entire afternoon with the Batwa Pygmies, on the edge of Mgahinga Gorilla National Park to learn about their fascinating culture, being entertained in their lovely cultural dance performances and visit Craft shops to purchase local handicrafts. Leave this area with total satisfaction and return to the Lodge for dinner and overnight stay with fresh memories of the day.
Day 15: Mount. Gahinga hike and drive to Lake Bunyonyi.
Breakfast and meet again with Park ranger at Ntebeko Visitor Center for briefing on mount Gahinga Hiking and start the hike at 8am. Although is considerably-easy-to-hike volcano, you will need 6-8 hours to complete it and this also depends on the pace of movement and your fitness levels.
You will come across buffaloes, sometimes golden monkeys, giant forest hogs and many other wildlife species as well as birds while hiking. Your picnic lunch will be at the summit and get back to the bottom for a transfer to Lake Bunyonyi.
Day 16: Canoe/boat ride and transfer to Lake Mburo National Park
Have breakfast and undertake a boat/or canoe ride on the tranquil waters of Lake Bunyonyi to explore some of the isolated Islands. Have lunch and transfer to Lake Mburo National Park, a perfect game viewing spot for impalas, zebras, Topis, Oribis, Rothschild giraffes, Defassa waterbucks and warthogs among others. Drive through the Park to your Lodge (if within the Park) for meals and overnight stay.
Day 17: Morning game drive through the Park’s game tracks and boat ride on Lake Mburo.
Breakfast and embark on a 2-3 hour game drive where you will see Uganda’s most outstanding wild animals such as impalas, Reedbucks, Olive baboons, buffaloes, warthogs, zebras, common elands, vervet monkeys, Topis, waterbucks, spotted hyenas, warthogs, leopards and duikers among others.
Return to the Lodge for Lunch after this rewarding game drive and in the afternoon get on a boat for a ride through the calm waters of the Lake. Smaller basks of crocodiles, isolated hippos and many other antelopes, not forgetting bird species will be spotted.
Day 18: Bush walks and drive back to Kampala or Entebbe.
Enjoy breakfast and embark on a bush walk in the company of an armed Park ranger to hideouts of animals, identify unique vegetation types and other smaller wildlife species that would not otherwise be seen during game drives. Have Lunch and drive back Kampala for check-in at a Hotel or Entebbe International Airport for return flight.
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