Day 1: Welcome to Uganda!
You will be picked up from the airport by a representative of your hotel. He will transfer you to your hotel. You will meet your driver/ guide tomorrow morning when he picks you up from your hotel.
Depending on the time of your arrival, you might be able to explore Kampala. All activities today are at your own cost.
Day 2: Jinja (Source of the Nile)
Today, you will make your way to the second largest town and the colonial manufacturing hub, Jinja. In Jinja the Nile River begins its journey from Lake Victoria all the way up to the Mediterranean Sea. Many activities are available around town (see options in Day 3) though please note that all activities today are at your own expense.
In Jinja, you will stay at the campsite of The Haven – a wonderful lodge in a peaceful spot overlooking the river Nile with breathtaking views of the river rapids and excellent opportunities for watching the birds and local fishermen paddling dugout canoes. You will pitch up your tent here.
Optional activities in Jinja
Today you can relax at the lodge or choose optional activities:
- White water rafting
- A horseback safari
- A day of whitewater kayaking on the river
- A sundowner cruise on the Nile
- A visit to the source of the Nile
- A visit to Jinja market
Day 3: Sipi Falls
After breakfast you drive through the eastern part of Uganda takes you to beautiful Sipi Falls, on a plateau 1800m above sea level.
The Sipi River flows over the foothills of Mount Elgon, forming a spectacular series of waterfalls (some nearly 100m high), surrounded by village walking trails and lush green coffee-producing hills. You will stay in the campsite of Lacam lodge with a nice view over the
Day 4: Sipi Falls
Prepare yourself for a beautiful day in paradise.
Today you can choose to go on a 3-hour or – for the real adventurers – a 7-hour hike through the region. A local guide accompanies you on your hike to explain flora, fauna and culture. This activity is paid on ground depending on which hike you choose
Whichever option you choose, you can be certain that you pass many picturesque waterfalls, plantations and caves. Local villagers will be sure to greet you with ‘Jambo!’ and beaming smiles.
Day 5: To Murchison Falls
The journey today goes – across Uganda – to Murchison Falls National Park. he park’s name derives from its famous waterfall: the mighty Murchison Falls. The Nile River divides the park into its north and south sections. At the spectacular Murchison Falls the world’s longest river explodes violently through a narrow cleft in the Rift Valley escarpment to plunge into a frothing pool 43m below. A game drive in the park allows you to be eye-to-eye with the African animal kingdom featuring elephants, giraffes, buffaloes, lions, leopards, different species of antelope and many bird species.
On arrival in the park, you will for your first game drive in the park.
Your accommodation for the coming two nights is at Murchison River Lodge. The lodge has been carefully and sensitively built on the edge of the mighty River Nile overlooking pods of hippos and Uganda’s stunning Murchison Falls National Park. There is a swimming pool overlooking the river.
You will stay at a lodge of your choosing. You can relax in the late afternoon and enjoy the swimming pool.
Day 6: Murchison Falls National Park
Get ready for an early wake up today! In the early morning hours animals are the most active, the sun is not yet so bright and temperatures are cooler. It offers the best time to spot wild animals. After an early breakfast you will go out on a game drive to explore the northern part of the park.
Come eye-to-eye with the African animal kingdom: elephants, giraffes, buffaloes, lions, leopards, different species of antelope and many tropical birds may all be spotted during the game drive. So keep your eyes open, they are all there in Murchison Falls National Park!
In the afternoon you will take a boat safari up the Nile River to Murchison Falls. Carefully watched by crocodiles, hundreds of hippos, buffaloes, water birds, monkeys and all the other thirsty wildlife that the Nile attracts, you will reach the base of the 43-meter high Falls which approach with a thunderous sound.
After the boat safari you will hike to the top of the falls. From here you have a wonderful view and fantastic photo opportunities!
Optional activity: Hot air balloon safari
Possible on day 6 in the early morning – (shorter) morning game drive can be done after the balloon safari.
Discover Murchison Falls from the air! Sign up for this optional activity and enjoy to unique experience of flying over Murchison Falls NP in a hot air balloon. You will have the most amazing views over the river Nile, Lake Albert, the great Murchison Falls and of course this is thé best way to spot lots and lots of animals. You will start early morning, so you will see the sun rise over the park. After your balloon safari you will have a bush breakfast in the park (inclusive)
Day 7: To Hoima
Today you will take a beautiful route through a valley, enjoy views on Lake Albert and small villages and stop for a relaxing night in a comfortable, mid-range hotel with a big garden and swimming-pool in the cozy town of Hoima.
Tonight you will sleep in a self-contained cottage and breakfast the next morning is included.
Day 8: To Kibale Forest NP
After an early breakfast at the Hotel it is time to leave Hoima and to continue your tour to Kibale Forest National Park.
The drive is long, but incredibly scenic, passing through tea plantations and the lush green countryside which characterizes so much of Uganda.
You will stay at a the accommodation of your choosing where you will camp at their lovely campsite.
Day 9: Chimpanzee Tracking
Today you will experience some serious monkey business! Kibale Forest National Park boasts the highest number of primate species in the world, including the chimpanzees. Approximately 5,000 chimpanzees live in the wild in Uganda, which makes it a perfect place to spot them!
In the early morning you will go with an experienced ranger for chimp tracking; you might also see other monkey species that live here. Once you locate the chimpanseez you will have a full hour of eye-to-eye contact with them. Since they are wild animals, we can never guarantee you to see them and might have to settle with hearing their hoots and hollers.
Optional activity Bigodi swamp walk:
This swamp walk (2-3 hours) will take you through grassland, small communities and some beautiful scenery, where the locals are likely to greet you with enthusiastic waves. It is usual to spot three to four different primate species during this walk, though the highlight is catching a glimpse of the great blue turaco! This activity can be paid on ground at US$15 per person.
Optional: Chimpanzee Habituation tracking:
At an additional fee of only $70 us dollar pp you do the chimpanzee habituation tracking instead of the regular chimpanzee tracking. This will take all day and you will be 100% sure to have a very close encounter with your closest relatives. Book this in time because only 6 persons per day are allowed to go. Your swamp walk can be postponed to the next morning.
Day 10: Queen Elizabeth N.P.
In the morning, you can relax at the campsite. You will then continue your journey to Queen Elizabeth National Park.
Queen Elizabeth is Uganda’s second largest park, located at the base of the majestic Rwenzori Mountain range, adjacent to Lake Edward and Lake George. The park has prolific game, including gazelle, Uganda kob, warthog and waterbuck. Lions are often sighted both in and at the entrance to the park. Be prepared for huge numbers of hippo and elephant, and keep your eyes peeled for a leopard lazing in the sunshine.
In the late afternoon you can go for a game-drive into the park.
Tonight you will camp in the wilderness in the middle of the park on the Mweya peninsular! Watch wildlife from the campsite and fall asleep to the roaring of Lions on the distant savannah. This truly is Africa!
Day 11: Park Game Drive & Boat Safari
Today you wake up early. A little before sunrise coffee, tea and donuts will be served in the lounge before we head out for a long game drive in time to see the first rays of light. You will search for all the wildlife in the park and are likely to come across Elephant, Buffalo, Lion, Waterbuck, Leopard, Uganda Kob, and many Warthogs.
A well-deserved brunch will be served back at the lodge in the late morning.
In the afternoon you will take a boat safari along the Kazinga Channel which joins Lake George and Lake Albert.
Here, you will see a lot of hippos (more than you can possibly imagine!), as well as a variety of other animals which come to the waterhole to drink or bathe. You can expect to see buffalo, crocodile, bathing elephant, and a range of beautiful birds. This will undoubtedly be one of the highlights of your tour.
After the boat-safari you game drive back to the campsite.
Day 12: Ishasha area and its tree-climbing lions
After a relaxed breakfast you will proceed to the southern part of Queen Elizabeth National Park, to the so called Ishasha area.
Ishahsa is home to the famous tree-climbing lions. While lion cubs around the world frequently climb trees for fun, adults rarely do. The adult lions in Ishasha are an exception to this. It is thought that they sit in the branches to get away from the tsetse flies and to enjoy a cool breeze. If you are lucky you might spot a few during your game drive!
Your accommodation for tonight will be of your preferance, which is surrounded with acacia forest, lush vegetation with palm trees and scattered grasslands. Find birds, monkeys, and other wildlife around the campsite!
Day 13: To Bwindi forest
A three-hour ride will take you to Ruhija the Eastern sector of the Bwindi forest.
Here you will camp at the campsite of Ruhija Gorilla friends camp so that you are close by the starting point of tomorrows Gorilla tracking!
Day 14: Gorilla Tracking in Bwindi Forest
Today is the big day… prepare yourself for an encounter with one of Bwindi’s gentle giants: the endangered mountain gorilla. For most people this is the absolute highlight of their tour in Uganda.
Bwindi Impenetrable Forest boasts both mountain gorillas and chimpanzees – the only forest in Africa which can make this claim. It also hosts five other species of primate, 113 species of mammal, over 200 butterflies and 360 birds. The gorillas you track belong to one of nine habituated family groups who can tolerate the presence of humans for a brief period every day.
The time taken to track the gorillas can be as few as 2 hours to as many as 7 hours. Once the gorillas have been located, your group will be allowed a maximum of one hour with them. Coming face-to-face with a mountain gorilla is a truly humbling and emotional experience. This is a fantastic and privileged opportunity to get up close and personal with Uganda’s very own ‘Gorillas in the Mist’.
Day 15: To Lake Mburo
After breakfast, you will travel to Lake Mburo National Park, one of Uganda’s smallest parks, but certainly not to be underestimated. It is the only Ugandan national park (besides to Kidepo Valley N.P.) which is home to zebras, elands and impalas, as well as to an abundance of other wildlife – not to mention the lake itself, which is teeming with hippos and crocodiles! Last but not least: The Uganda Wildlife Authority recently brought 15 giraffes from Murchison falls to lake Mburo (1st July 2015)!
Tonight you will camp inside the national park on the banks of Lake Mburo. The perfect place to end the tour.
Day 16: Departure
Today you will drive back to Kampala or Entebbe (Airport) stopping at the equator for the requisite snapshot and a bit of souvenir shopping.
Accommodation for tonight is not inclusive in the itinerary. If you wish to depart tonight from Entebbe Airport, make sure your flight is at 8 pm or later. If you want us to book one (or more) nights in Kampala and/or Entebbe, please let us know.