18 days Uganda Safari

Overview

Let’s journey around the “pearl of Africa” in 18 days. This is a perfect chance to know one of Africa’s most peaceful and hospitable destinations. Going to the north, west, central, east and south to tell stories of the wildlife, people, geographical features and hospitality. You will have a rest of mind, eat, meet and merry. The best of the eighteen days are spent upcountry, engaging in several activities in different destinations.

You will explore the natural wonders of the north in Kidepo valley national park, and the Karamoja region. Explore Sippi falls in Mountain Elgon National park. The source of the Nile in Jinja; Murchison Falls National park with the world’s most powerful waterfalls. Chimpanzees at Kibale forest National park. The crater lakes in fort portal city, Isunga community, Bigodi swamp, tree climbing lions in Queen Elizabeth NP; the birds in Semuliki national park, Lake Bunyonyi and the sought after Mountain Gorillas in Bwindi impenetrable National Park. The activities lined up include; game drive, boat cruise, primate trekking, city tours, photography, nature walk and more.

Day 1: Arrival

Upon landing at Entebbe international airport, our driver guide will meet and greet you, ushering you to this rewarding 18 days safari to the central, east, west and northern part of this nation. Uganda is a tiny landlocked country in East Africa, surrounded by Rwanda, Kenya, Tanzania, South Sudan and DR Congo. Sounding the airport is Lake Victoria; world’s second largest freshwater lake.

Enjoy the view of this vast lake on a transfer to your hotel in the city for an overnight stay. The next day is to have rest from the Journey, understand Kampala city, and get ready for a trip Upcountry.

Day 2: City tour in Kampala

After breakfast, you will leave your Hotel at about 11:00 hrs to take around tour Kampala City, surrounded by 7 hills. History says the name Kampala was derived from Antelope called “Impala”. These animals often came to the place in big numbers and stay, thus for that reason, the name was adopted but they are now found in Lake Mburo national Park. Impalas are the largest in the Antelope family. Kampala is one of the busiest cities in the African continent. It is a city that never sleeps, with vibrant bars and cinema places regardless the day of the week. It is with amazing infrastructure, security and hostility. 

On a day like this, you will take a ride to Nakasero Market to watch the natives as they trade and bargain for commodities. The other places include Kasubi tombs to uncover Uganda’s road to independence, and who were the ancient kings of Buganda. Lunch will be served and thereafter, we take you to Uganda Museum to see numerous African artifacts. The craft village is the last place before you have dinner and Ndere cultural center. The option then will yours to experience Kampala’s vibrant night life, or return to the lodge for a nap.

Day 3: Transfer to Mountain Elgon NP

At day break, have a mouthwatering breakfast at the lodge, and thereafter hit the road to Mount Elgon National park. You will follow the eastern safari circuit with lots to watch. This include among others Mabira forest, one of the few existing natural forests in the country; plantations, and busy towns. The stunning Jinja Bridge will welcome you to Jinja city, as you drive to the source of the Nile. There will be a boat ride to the point where the Nile starts its three month Journey to the Mediterranean Sea. River Nile is the longest river on earth.

There will be lunch here, and photography before you transfer to Mount. Elgon National park, with the view of breathtaking landscape, plantations, and more. Arrive in Mbale for dinner and then proceed to your accommodation for check-in, and peaceful night stay.

Day 4: Hike via the Sipi Trail

At day break, there will be a Sipi falls Hike. Sipi Falls is located in Kapchorwa region. The hike takes you to watch beautiful scenery, relax and listen to the thundering three falls. Many take bath under this water, whereas others engage in other activities like zip-lining. Yours will be take photos and enjoy each passing minute of your time.

As you hike to the falls, you will identify coffee plantations, Bamboo plants which is used by the natives of the place for food (malewa), the banana plantations, birds and some primates. There will be Lunch to energize you for a positive feel and hike experience. After the Sipi falls experience, there will be a visit to the local community to see how rural life is, and then a late return to the park for dinner and a nap.

Day 5: Mount. Elgon to Kidepo Valley NP

From the breakfast table to an amazing journey north of the republic of Uganda. The wilderness surely calls, and thus the reason why to spend 8-9 hours on road, through the vibrant Soroti city. There will be an enroute stopover at Nyero rock painting to study the ancient paintings and try interpreting if you can.

The drive is largely on a marram road, through the country side with lots of plantations, the dotted homesteads, and the Karamojong people to wave to. It shouldn’t be any surprise to see a person half naked, a grass thatched house, and a group of people seating under a shed with pot in their midst. It is the culture in the north, and the people are proud. You will also see some donkeys, herd of cattle, and more. Northern Uganda is relatively hot, and thus you will expect a change of weather. There will be Lunch enroute, and an evening arrival at the park for dinner and a nap.

Day 6: Game drive and Karamojong cultural tour

After a peaceful night, wakeup for a sunrise game drive around the Narus and Kidepo valley. Kidepo is a true wilderness, and the only park in Uganda with the ostrich bird; which is the heaviest land bird yet so keen and fast. Hopefully you are able to spot it while in the quest for the other park residents. Notably; the lions, leopards, cheetah, hyenas, herds of elephants, giraffe, buffaloes, warthogs, Uganda Kobs, the Oribis, and more.

Around the park, you are open to learning and growth. You have so much to uncover, from the animals to plants, birds, the permanent rivers, to the dry desert. The animals can be seen freely roaming in search for what to feed on, where to rest, and also surveying the territory. You will have bush breakfast. 

After the wilderness session, return to the lodge for Lunch, and thereafter, a cultural entertainment with the Karamojongs warriors who will entertain you through stories, have a walk to the manyattas, cattle kraals, and their dress code. Karamojongs pride in cows, and it is to them a symbol of wealth and prestige. You will end you time with them after a thrilling session of songs and dance, of which all have to participate. End the day with dinner and a nap

Day 7: Transfer to Murchison Falls NP

Start your day with a finger linking sweet breakfast prepared at the lodge. A cup of coffee will steer your spirit to amazing start and continuity of the day. After, head to Uganda’s oldest and largest national park. There will be an enroute stopover for site seeing and to uncover the treasures in the northern part of Uganda as you connect to the Albertine region.  The drive goes through Gulu city where you will have a stopover for lunch and some refreshments.

At sunset, you will enter the park with a sunset game drive, identifying some animals by name and sight. After checking and settling in, have dinner and settle in for an overnight sleep.

Day 8: Game drive and boat cruise

Wakeup very early in the morning for a tasty cup of coffee. At 08:00 hours, there will be game drive in the open savannah grass land in the northern part of the park. Without having a lot of expectation on what mammal to spot, you will follow the game drive trail with eyes and eyes so attentive. The view covers among others the prey, predators, birds, plants, and the landscape. The warthogs, Buffaloes, African elephants, warthogs, lions, leopards, giraffes, Kobs, Jackson hartebeests, jackals, jackals, baboons, monkeys, and more call Murchison falls national park home, but we can’t guarantee which one you will tick on your bucket list. 

After game drive, you have lunch break, followed by an evening boat cruise to the bottom of the fall. This experience takes about 2 hours, with the view of the world’s most powerful waterfall-Murchison, the hippos, crocodiles, and more. End this day at the lodge with dinner and a peaceful nap.

Day 9: Murchison Falls NP to Kibale NP

At day break, start the morning a perfect way, with a cup of coffee and well-made breakfast at the lodge. Thereafter, embark on an 8-9 hour journey to Kibale forest national park; a true haven for primates. It is a host to over 13 unique primate species, dominated by chimpanzees that are regarded as Mans closest relatives as they share over 98% human like DNA.

During the drive, you will have an enroute stopover for Lunch, and stunning view of the landscape and plantations. You will get at your lodge late in the evening for dinner and a nap.

Day 10: Chimpanzee trekking and Bigodi swamp tour

Start your day with an energizing cup of coffee at the lodge. Thereafter, you will transfer to the park headquarters for a morning chimpanzee trekking exercise. This starts with a document verification and pretrekking briefing. Chimpanzee trekking lasts for only 1-4 hours, with the ranger guides who are masters of the Jungle. Kibale forest is famous for its unique tree species, numerous bird species, and the over 13 primate species. There are also the forest elephants, buffaloes and curvets. As you walk through the Jungle, you keep appreciating mother nature, as your flora knowledge is boosted, you do physical exercise also have a chance of coming across some of the over 13 primate species; notably; the white and black colobus monkeys, grey-cheeked monkeys, baboons, and more. Upon locating the Apes, you have an hour with them, taking photos, and asking the guide different questions. Hopefully you will discover how man is related to chimpanzees. 

With the different sounds of the chimpanzees lingering in your mind, you will return to the lodge for lunch, and thereafter spend the evening at Bigodi swamp; one of the most renowned Ramsar sites in Uganda. It is a local initiative by the natives of the place, and as they welcome you for a nature walk, there are some more birds, primates and cultural life to lookout for. End this day at the lodge with dinner and a peaceful nap.

Day 11: Crater lake tours, Isunga community and night life

Wakeup relaxed and have your lip-smacking breakfast meal. Afterword’s, you will head for crater tour around fort portal city. Fort portal has several crater Lakes, but our tour guide will take you around the city to see these geographical features, take photos and have a study.

Lunch will be around town, and then you will visit Isunga community for a cultural experience. As you interact with the natives of the place, they tell stories, have a community walk, and plantation experience.  When the sun sets, you will go for dinner, and then close the day with a night life experience around the fort portal city. Visit the bars and different places of happening for relaxation, drinks and music.

Day 12: Visit Semuliki NP - Hot springs and Bird watching

After breakfast, you will transfer to semiliki national park. The journey is for about 2 hours. This is the smallest national park in the country, yet adored with beauty and natural wonders. The forest is an extension of the Ituri forest of the democratic republic of Congo, thus the reason why you will see different species of the Albertine birds, and plants. You will register and be briefed at the park headquarters, and then have a forest walk, with your guide who will show the different plants, the birds, animals, and more.

Get the day going with the sight and sound of among others the Turacos, sunbirds, eagles, Kori bustards, shoe bill stock, cranes, francolins, Albertine owlets, kivu ground thrush, Rwenzori Turacos, mountain masked Apalis, and more. Semiliki national park is a habitat to over 40% of the bird species in Uganda. 

You will head to the Sempaya hot springs to watch the geyser through the hot springs. This water is believed to be a cure by the natives of the place. Carry an egg and boil as the water is hot enough to a boiling point. After the photo moments, you will depart at sunset for relaxation, dinner and overnight at the lodge.

Day 13: Depart to Queen Elizabeth National Park

Get started with a delicious breakfast at the lodge, and thereafter checkout of the lodge for a two-hour drive to Queen Elizabeth National park. Queen Elizabeth National park is one of the most visited national parks in Uganda. The drive offers a lovely view of rolling hills, plantations and the homesteads in the countryside. You will arrive at the lodge in the afternoon hours, check-in to the lodge for Lunch and then have a free evening to relax. End this day with dinner and a night stay.

Day 14: Lion tracking experience and boat cruise

First thing today is having a lip-smacking breakfast meal at the lodge. Thereafter, you will join the Lion researchers who will guide you through the wild to find the king of the jungle. Lions are the fiercest animals on earth. They feed on nothing but flesh, and are hard to find though present in a specified destinations. This day, you will learn more about them, how they mark territories, and rule the jungle.

There are signals that will help you locate them with ease, in addition to other animals that will come your way, hopefully the warthogs, Kobs, elephants, Buffaloes, waterbucks, leopards, and more. Upon finding them, you will take the photos, and there after return to the lodge for lunch and refreshment. 

This evening is for boat cruise at Kazinga channel. The takes about 2-3 hours, as you enjoy the cool river breeze, watch animals at the river banks, school of hippos, crocodiles, aquatic birds, and the swamps. After the boat cruise, you will return to the lodge for dinner and a nap.

Day 15: Transfer to Bwindi Impenetrable NP

After breakfast, you will checkout of the lodge for a transfer to Bwindi impenetrable National park. Your drive is through the Ishasha sector where tree climbing lions found a home. There will be a game drive around the sector with the hope of encountering some lions lazily lying on the tree branches.

After, proceed for lunch and thereafter, the journey to the asylum of the endangered mountain Gorillas. Researchers reveal that mountain gorillas share over 95% human like DNA, and have a common ancestry. The lush forest will that amazing view that welcomes you to the park, and ushers to the lodge for dinner and a peaceful nap.

Day 16: Gorilla trekking and Batwa Pygmies tour

Wakeup to a tasty cup of coffee, followed by a transfer to the park headquarters for a pretrekking briefing. This is a safe activity, happening deep in the forest where the gorillas call home. Gorillas are the world’s most powerful primates. They live in groups dominated by female but led by an alpha male with a silver-like lining at the back. You have 98% chance of encountering the group assigned after a briefing session that lasts for approximately30 mins. The trekking trail follows the path where they were last spotted, for about 1-8 hours, plus an additional hour for watching and taking photos of your cousins play, feed and nurse their young ones. 

Bwindi is a host to over 20 Gorilla families, dwelling the four sectors of the park. You are expected to follow the trekking rhythm, but also pay attention to what happens in your surroundings. There are other primates you can encounter, birds and forest mammals. The hike is tedious, but worth each passing minute. Lunch will be in the forest. After lunch, you will return to the lodge to refresh, and thereafter visit one of the world’s shortest people, and former forest dwellers; the Batwa pygmies. They entertain visitors through stories, songs, dance and community walk. End this day with dinner and a night stay.

Day 17: Visit Lake Bunyonyi; canoe ride

At day break, you will greet your intestines with a cup of coffee, and thereafter get to the comfort of your car on a 2-hour drive to Lake Bunyonyi; once referred as the second Switzerland in Africa. Lake Bunyonyi is a great resting place, with lots of trees and birds. The lake is the 2nd deepest in Africa and surrounded by over 29 islands each with historical significance.

One of them is the Punishment Island; a place where the unmarried young girls caught in sexual activities were banished to death. Reach your lodge and check-in for lunch, later on have a rewarding canoe ride with the experts.

During this ride, you will take photos, visit different islands, interact with some fishermen, and appreciate the tranquility of the place. At sunset, you will return to the comfort of the lodge, relax at the terrace, do dinner and retire to bed happily.

Day 18: Departure

With the songs of numerous birds, you will wakeup relaxed and happy, ready for a mouthwatering breakfast meal. Depending on the time of your flight, you can do one hour bird watching or nature walk at the designated trails. Lake Bunyonyi is a habitat to over 350 bird species. At 10:00hrs, the journey to Entebbe international airport starts, lasting for approximately 8-9 hours, with an enroute stopover at the Equator for lunch, photography and site seeing.

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