18 Days ultimate Uganda safari
18 Days ultimate Uganda safari : Uganda is known for its incredibly beautiful landscapes and very friendly people. On this 18 Day journey, we take through some of the most spectacular wildlife viewing sights in the country. This trip starts and ends in Kampala.
Day 1: Meet and Greet at Entebbe International Airport.
Welcome to Uganda! Hope you had a pleasant flight to the ‘Pearl of Africa.’ Today marks the start of an amazing 18 Days safari with us in Uganda. Your driver will pick you up from you’re the airport in Entebbe and drive you to your hotel in Kampala for dinner and an overnight stay at any of our partner hotels; Cassia Lodge/Sheraton Hotel/ Serena Hotel.
Day 2: Transfer to Ngamba Islands.
Have breakfast at your hotel, after which you will be transferred to the pier at the Zoo in Entebbe, where you will embark on a boat ride to the famous Chimpanzee Sanctuary at Ngamba Island. Here, you will get to spend half the day with the habituated chimpanzees on the Island. You can take part in feeding these lovely primates and getting to know more about them and the conservation works on the Island. Have Lunch, hop into the boat and head back to the pier where you will meet your guide/driver and drive back to your hotel in Kampala. You can have a brief city tour in Kampala if you wish, before heading back to your hotel. While at it, don’t forget to stop by the Craft Village on Buganda Road and grab yourself some souvenirs.
Day 3: Transfer to Murchison Falls National Park.
Wake up early in the morning and have a heartfelt breakfast before checking out of your hotel. Your guide will pick you up from your hotel and proceed with your drive to Murchison Falls National Park. This national park was first established in 1952 and covers a total surface area of 3,840km², making it the largest national park in Uganda. The national park is a habitat for a variety of wildlife animals such as; the African Savannah Elephants, zebras, giraffe, antelopes, buffaloes, warthogs, baboons, Hippos, Nile crocodiles and so many more. En route, you will visit the famous Luwero Triangle, have lunch in Masindi town. You will have a stopover at the Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary where you will get to see rhinos in the wild. The sanctuary is the only destination where visitors can get to see rhinos in the natural habitat.
Later proceed with your drive to Murchison Falls national park. Upon your arrival at the park, you will embark on a guided nature walk to the Top of the falls. The hike starts off at Barker’s point taking you through the devil’s cauldron and finally winds up at Murchison falls.
Later check into your Lodge, freshen up, have dinner and a good night’s rest. Accommodation at Heritage Safari Lodge/Pakuba/Paraa Safari Lodge.
Day 4: Morning Game drive and Evening Boat Cruise on the Albert Nile.
After an early breakfast, head out for a morning game drive on the northern bank of River Nile. Enjoy 3-5 hours of exclusive wildlife viewing in the park. While on the game drive, you will have a chance to sight wildlife species like Elephants, the Rothschild giraffes, zebras, buffaloes, Hartebeests, Uganda Kobs, Waterbucks, Oribis, Impala and so many others. Return to your lodge for Lunch and later in the afternoon, drive out for a boat cruise on the Albert Nile. While on your boat cruise, you will get a panoramic view of the majestic and mighty Murchison falls. Spend quality time marveling at nature’s beautiful gifts and enjoy seeing crocodiles, hippos and various bird species such as the Kingfisher, cormorants, and the Rare Shoebill Stork among others.
Later drive back to your lodge for dinner and an overnight stay.
Day 5: Dive to Kibale National Park.
Wake up to yet another beautiful day in Uganda. Today we drive to Kibale National Park which is located in the Western part of Uganda. . Kibale Forest national park is one of the loveliest and most varied tracts of tropical forests in Uganda. This national park is home to 70 species of mammals, 375 bird species and 13 primate species, including over 1500 chimpanzees. The drive from Murchison falls to Kibale National park will take you about 7 hours, so you will stop over for lunch in Kagadi. After having a hearty meal, we shall proceed with the journey to Kibale national park. Upon your arrival at the park, check into your lodge, have dinner and an overnight stay at the Chimpanzee Guesthouse/Primate Lodge/Kyaninga Lodge.
Day 6: Chimpanzee Tracking and Bigodi Swamp Walk.
This is the day you have been long waiting for. Wake up to an early morning breakfast and proceed to Kanyanchu Visitors Center in Kibale Forest National Park. You will be welcomed by the head ranger at the park, sign in and then have a short briefing before you begin tracking chimpanzees. Kibale Forest National Park is home to over 1500 chimpanzees, thus making the park a haven for all chimp trekking tours in Uganda. Chimpanzee trekking activities in this park will begin at exactly 8am in the morning, and last between 2-5 hours. Once you have located the chimps, you will be given exactly an hour to spend with the chimps; so make sure you have your camera ready with you.
After your chimpanzee trekking activity, you will head back to your lodge to freshen up, have lunch and relax. Later in the Afternoon, you will proceed to Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary which is just adjacent to the national park. Here, you will embark on a guided nature walk in the Swamp; where you will get to sight a number of bird species like; the Yellow-spotted Barbet, Hairy-breasted Barbet, Superb Sunbird, Black Bishop bird and the rare Shoe Bill Stock to mention but a few. There are about 138 bird species in Bigodi Swamp alone. Later head back to your lodge for dinner and accommodation.
Day 7: Transfer to Semuliki National Park.
After an early breakfast, transfer to Semuliki National Park in Western Uganda. Upon your arrival at the park, you will head out on a guided nature walk that will take you to the amazing Sempaya Hot Springs and wind up at the nearby Batwa communities at Ntandi. Get to spend some quality time with the Batwa pygmies, learning about their unique culture and watch entertaining dance performances from the locals. You will then proceed to do an afternoon game drive in the park; be sure to look out for wild animals like Leopards, Forest Elephants, Sitatunga and so many more.
Later drive to your lodge at Semuliki Safari Lodge for dinner, and then head out for a night game drive in search for nocturnal animals like serval cats, the slender mongoose, white tailed mongoose, leopards, bush babies and so on. Later retire back to your lodge for an overnight stay.
Day 8: Chimpanzee Tracking in Toro-Semliki Reserve.
Wake up to a beautiful morning, have your breakfast and drive to the park’s headquarters, where you will meet your park guide for a short briefing before heading out to track chimpanzees. You are surely in for a treat as you track some of the habituated chimpanzees in the forest. Chimpanzee tracking activities take between 2-3 hours with an entire hour that you get to spend in the presence of these lovely primate species.
Return to your lodge for lunch. If you wish, you can decide to embark on an afternoon nature walk along the Sempaya Nature Trail that winds up at the Sempaya hot springs. You can bring along with you some eggs, which you can boil while at the hot springs. Hiking expeditions on this trail take about 2-4 hours, and is filled with amazing birdlife like the Great blue, the Ross’s Turaco, the Red Billed Dwarf Hornbill and so many more.
Later drive to Queen Elizabeth National Park in Kasese district, and check into your lodge for dinner and overnight stay at Pumba Safari Cottages/ Elephant Hub Lodge/Mweya Safari Lodge.
Day 9: Morning Game Drive and Evening Boat Cruise on Kazinga Channel.
Have an early morning breakfast and proceed on a morning game drive in the park which begins at 6am. This morning game drive will give you a great chance to view nocturnal animals like leopards, serval cats and other wildlife such as African savannah elephants, hyenas, Uganda Kobs, heart beasts, giraffes, zebras and many more. Queen Elizabeth National Park is blessed with over 612 bird species thus making it a great destination for birding activities. While on your game drive, you may spot birds like the African skimmer, Chapin’s flycatcher, Shoebill stock, the great flamingos and Pink- backed pelicans.
Return back to your lodge for lunch and in the afternoon, head out for an evening boat cruise along the Kazinga channel. The boat cruise starts at exactly 1pm and can take approximately 2 hours. During your boat cruise, you may sight lots of wildlife such as hippos, Nile crocodiles, elephants and some species of birds like the great flamingos, Shoebill stock, Ibis and so many others.
Later return to your lodge for dinner and overnight stay
Day 10: Chimpanzee Tracking and Community Walk.
After an early morning breakfast, head out to track chimpanzees in Kalenju forest which is about an hour’s drive from Queen Elizabeth National Park. Chimpanzee tracking can take several hours since the chimps are always on the move unlike gorillas hence you are likely to finish this activity by noon. Head back to your lodge for lunch and relaxation. Later in the evening, head out for a cultural tour to the neighboring local communities and get to interact with the local Bakonjo people. While on the cultural tour, you will be taken through their historical and social lifestyle and also be entertained by local cultural groups in the community. Drive back to your lodge for dinner and overnight stay.
Day 11: Morning Game Drive and Transfer to Bwindi National Park.
Have your breakfast early in the morning and then embark on a morning game drive in the park. Do make sure that you look out for tree climbing lions while on your game drives. These rare tree climbing lions can be seen hiding up above in fig and sycamore trees, so if you have a keen eye, you will surely be able to spot one. You will have lunch in Ishasha and later transfer to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. You will have dinner and spend the night at Gorilla Friends Resort/Ichumba Gorilla Lodge/Buhoma Haven Lodge.
Day 12: Gorilla Trekking in Bwindi.
This is the day you have been anxiously waiting for! Have breakfast very early at you lodge as your guide will pick you up at 6am. You will embark on a short journey to the Parks headquarters in Buhoma. You are supposed to be at Buhoma at exactly 7am for a briefing by the park’s head ranger which will begin at 8am and then you will be put in groups of 8 individuals per group depending on the gorilla group you are going to track. Tracking begins at exactly 8:30 am hence endeavor to always keep time.
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park has a total of 15 habituated gorilla groups that are tracked from four trailheads. Of these 15 habituated gorilla groups, 3 are found in Buhoma area in the northwest part of the park; while 4 gorilla groups are situated in Ruhija in the eastern part of Bwindi and 8 gorilla groups in Nkuringo and Rushaga respectively, located south of Bwindi.
Each tracking group consists of strictly eight individuals with each group having a park guide and ranger. Tracking can take about 1- 6 hours depending how easily and quick the gorillas are spotted. Once you have located a gorilla group, you will be give exactly an hour with them; hence you should maximize your time well and don’t forget to take lots of pictures without using your camera’s flash. The tracking trails can be very wet, steep and slippery thus you should wear a good pair of hiking boots.
Later head back to your lodge for dinner and overnight stay.
Day 13: Batwa Cultural Experience.
Wake up early in the morning to the beautiful countryside breeze and sounds of birds whistling in the trees. Have your breakfast and get ready to spend the entire day with the Batwa Pygmies in Buhoma Village. Today you will spend quality time learning more about the Batwa culture, visiting craft shops, and watching amusing dance performances from the local dance groups. Later head back to your lodge for dinner and overnight stay.
Day 14: Transfer to Mgahinga National Park.
Have your breakfast and transfer to Mgahinga Gorilla National Park in Kisoro district. The national park is situated near Uganda’s border with Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. You will have your lunch at Mutanda Lake Resort, with stunning views of Lake Mutanda and the aquatic birdlife in the surrounding areas. After your lunch, you will be driven to the national park and sign into the park’s register before heading out to explore the popular Garama Caves. The caves previously acted as a home to the Batwa people before they were evicted out of the forest after it was gazetted into a national park. Currently, the caves act as a home for thousands of bats which you will be able to see during your tour of the caves.
Head back to your lodge for dinner and an overnight stay at Gorilla Resort/Travelers Rest Hotel/Mutanda Lake Resort.
Day 15: Drive to Lake Bunyonyi.
Today you will get to explore the beautiful and stunning Lake Bunyonyi. The lake happens to be the third deepest lake in the world, and it is popular for its 29 islands. You will take a boat ride on one of the traditional canoes and explore some of the popular islands on the lake such as ‘the punishment island,’ where young women long ago were abandoned to in isolation when they got pregnant out of wedlock. The lake is also rich with a variety of bird species, which you can get to view during your tour. Dinner and overnight at Bunyonyi Overland Resort/Bird nest Lodge.
Day 16: Transfer to Lake Mburo National Park.
Have breakfast at your lodge and later transfer to Lake Mburo National Park, which is one of the smallest national parks in Uganda. This national park is a great place for sighting Uganda Kobs, zebras, and elands among other wildlife species. You will have lunch in Mbarara town, and then proceed to the national park. Upon your arrival at the park headquarters, register and then head out for an evening nature walk along the Kigambara loop. This loop offers visitors stunning views such as Lake Mburo, which marks the highlight of any nature walk in the park. Dinner and overnight stay at Rwonyo Campsite/Mihingo Lodge.
Day 17: Game Drive and Boat Ride on Lake Mburo.
After having your breakfast, you will embark on a 2- 3 hour morning game drive in the park. While on your game drive, you will view wildlife like; buffaloes, zebras, waterbucks, warthogs, impala, topi, duikers, hyenas, reed bucks, over 100 elands and if you are lucky, some giraffes which are a recent addition to the park. After your game drive, you will head back to your lodge for lunch and afternoon rest.
Later in the afternoon, head out to Rwonyo for an evening boat cruise on the lake. The boat ride takes about 1- 2 hours and offers you great sights such as; crocodiles, hippos, buffaloes and some bird species such as; the white egret, fish eagles, kingfishers and Shoebill stock. The boat leaves Rwonyo every 2 hours starting from 8am.
After you boat ride, you can have an optional guided nature walk to the salt lake at Rwonyo. You will get to see wildlife converge at the lake as the take the salty water. Later head back to your lodge for dinner and an overnight.
Day 18: Community Cultural Visit and Drive back to Kampala/Entebbe Airport.
Have your breakfast and by 8am, embark on a return journey to Kampala city via Lyantonde- Masaka. You will stop over at Mpambire drum makers’ village where you will be taken through the art of traditional African crafts making. While at it, do support the local community by purchasing a few items as souvenirs for yourself and loved ones back home. Basing on your time of arrival in Kampala, you can either take a short tour of the city or have your guide drive you straight to your hotel or at Entebbe International Airport. End of Tour
Hope you had a fantastic time during your safari and we hope to see you again for a return visit. Thank you and safe travels back home.