17 DAYS UGANDA BIG GAME, PRIMATES AND NATURE SIGHTINGS.

 

SAFARI OVERVIEW

Uganda is a land of natural wonders and this 17 days Uganda Safari will expose you to the gems in the Western and South western part of the country. You will uncover Toro-Semuliki wildlife reserve for game drive, Semuliki National Park for a nature walk and hot springs visit, Kibale Forest National Park for an ultimate chimpanzee tracking experience and Bigodi swamp nature walk, Queen Elizabeth National Park for yet another amazing game drive, cultural experience and thrilling Boat cruise. You will also visit Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park for a magical gorilla trekking expedition and the Batwa experience, Lake Bunyonyi-the Switzerland of Africa for a boat ride and community visit, Mgahinga Gorilla National Park for the golden monkey tracking experience and Lake Mburo National Park-Uganda’s smallest savannah park for a game drive, boat cruise and walking safaris.

TOUR AT A GLANCE

Day 1: Arrival and pickup at Entebbe International Airport

Day 2: Transfer to Semuliki via Entanda Cultural Centre

Day 3: Game drive in Tooro Semuliki and Hot springs visit

Day 4: Transfer to Kibale Forest National Park via Nyakasura

Day 5: Chimpanzee tracking and Bigodi Swamp Walk

Day 6: Transfer to Queen Elizabeth National Park- Crater drive

Day 7: Game drive and Kasoga community visit

Day 8: Game drive and Boat cruise

Day 9: Transfer to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park via Ishasha

Day 10: Gorilla trekking

Day 11: Batwa experience and transfer to Mgahinga Gorilla National Park

Day 12: Golden Monkey tracking and transfer to Lake Bunyonyi 

Day 13: Lake Bunyonyi Tour

Day 14: Transfer to Lake Mburo National Park via Igongo

Day 15: Game drive and Boat cruise

Day 16: Game walk and Horseback riding

Day 17: Transfer to Kampala

Tour in detail

DAY 1: ARRIVAL AND PICKUP

On arrival at Entebbe International Airport, you will be received and welcomed by the company representative who will transfer you to the hotel for relaxation, dinner and overnight.

Overnight: Two Friends Beach Hotel

Meal Plan: BB

DAY 2: ENTEBBE>SEMULIKI VIA ENTANDA CULTURAL CENTER

After breakfast, your safari guide will meet you at the hotel, brief about the safari and hit the road for your journey to the Western part of Uganda, with a stopover at Entanda Cultural Centre in Mityana. On arrival, you will be welcomed with a traditional dance followed by a brief introduction about the cultural centre. You will then enjoy the delicious fruit buffet that will be served before engaging in other activities like preparing local dishes, playing local music instruments and taking a village walk. You will have local lunch here and continue to Semuliki, arriving in the evening for dinner and overnight.

Overnight: Semuliki Safari Lodge

Meal Plan: Dinner

DAY 3: GAME DRIVE IN TOORO-SEMULIKI GAME RESERVE AND VISIT TO THE HOT SPRINGS

Start the day with an early breakfast and drive to Tooro Semuliki wildlife reserve, passing through the lush savannah grasslands, woodlands and swamps. On a lucky day, you may spot the rare shoe-bill stork and other animals like Uganda kobs, savannah elephants and buffaloes. This wonderful experience will also expose you to several wildlife species in this less-explored protected area. After lunch, you will transfer to visit the hot springs. The hot springs are the most visited and famous tourist attraction in Semuliki National Park and you will have an opportunity to visit both the male and female springs, passing through the forest with possibilities of encountering primates like the red-tailed monkeys, Grey-cheeked Mangabey, and black and white colobus monkeys. Later drive back to the lodge for an overnight.

Overnight: Semuliki Safari Lodge

Meal Plan: Full Board

DAY 4: TRANSFER TO KIBALE FOREST NATIONAL PARK VIA NYAKASURA

Have breakfast and hit the road to Kibale Forest National Park via Nyakasura. Arrive and get a briefing before being led to the Amabere Ga’Nyinamwiru caves, a cultural and historic site with rock formation of stalagmites and stalactites with a rich cultural history attached which form scenic caves and waterfalls. The guide will narrate to you the cultural perspective of the formation of the caves and waterfall.

You will return and go hiking to the Nyakasura hills. The hike is a strenuous one but so rewarding as the top of the hills give spectacular views of the beautiful crater lakes below, overview of Fort Portal town and the King’s Palace, Rwenzori mountain ranges and the surrounding communities. Later return and have lunch before proceeding to Kibale Forest National Park.

Overnight: Kibale Forest Camp

Meal Plan: Dinner

DAY 5: CHIMPANZEE TRACKING AND BIGODI SWAMP WALK

Wake up, have breakfast and drive to the chimpanzee briefing point in Kanyanchu in time for your briefing about the activity. Be assigned a tracking group and armed game rangers to lead your way as you navigate through the jungle. Walk through the forest as the ranger keeps in touch with the monitoring team on ground to easily locate the chimpanzees. This primate walk provides an opportunity to observe chimpanzees in their natural habitat. The ranger will also explain to you in detail about the entire ecosystem of the forest. Upon locating the chimpanzees, you will see them feeding, copulating, hunting, breastfeeding, resting and patrolling over their territories. An hour in the presence of these apes will quench your thirst. Later drive back to the lodge for lunch.

Shortly after lunch, head out for a nature walk. Bigodi swamp is biodiversity rich with extensive array of species and during the walk, expect to spot bird species such as Great Blue Turracco, Ross’s Turracco, Meyer’s parrot. You may also encounter primate species including Black and white colobus monkey, red-tailed monkeys and Guerezza colobus swinging from one branch to the other. Besides the guided swamp walk, you will also take a walk through the village for a cultural experience where you will get hands-on in activities like local liquor making, weaving of baskets, cultural dances, and also paying a visit to the cultural doctor. Return to the lodge for an overnight

Overnight: Kibale Forest Camp

Meal Plan: Full Board

DAY 6: TRANSFER TO QUEEN ELIZABETH NATIONAL PARK-AFTERNOON CRATER DRIVE

Have a relaxed breakfast and transfer to Queen Elizabeth National Park, driving through scenic views of different crater lakes like Lake Nyinambuga, Kasenda, Nyinabulitwa and Kifurukwa, seen along the way to Fort Portal town. As you approach Kasese town, you will have spectacular views of the Rwenzori ranges. Arrival in Queen Elizabeth National Park will be in the early afternoon in time for lunch. Later, you can opt to do an afternoon game drive encountering wild animals like the bushbuck, elephants, buffaloes, warthog to mention but a few or go for the crater exploration. This breath-taking drive will take you through beautiful sceneries of the park and its surrounding, with possibilities of coming across some wildlife especially Cape buffaloes and African elephants. Return for evening relaxation, dinner and overnight. 

Overnight: Enganzi Lodge

Meal Plan: Lunch and Dinner

DAY 7: GAME DRIVE AND KASOGA COMMUNITY VISIT

Be up early for breakfast. At about 6:30am, head out for a game drive in the Kasenyi plains exposing you to species like African elephants, African Cape buffaloes, Uganda Kobs and be on the look for the big cats like the leopard and lion. Return for short rest and lunch. Later drive to the Kasoga community in Hamukungu Fishing Village for an authentic cultural experience.

You may choose to participate in activities like community walks, fishing trips and canoeing. The community walk will equip you with knowledge about some of the traditional fishing practices and fish preservation methods here. During the canoeing experience, you are likely to spot bird species like African Fish Eagles on the shores of the lake and also have spectacular views of the Rwenzori mountain ranges. You will also get an opportunity to watch and interact with the local people grazing cattle, learn how to milk cows, make yoghurt and ghee. Later drive back to the lodge for an overnight.

Overnight: Enganzi Lodge

Meal Plan: Full board

DAY 8: GAME DRIVE AND BOAT CRUISE

Another day of fun-filled activities. An early breakfast will be followed by another spectacular game drive which will expose you to species like Defassa waterbucks, warthogs, African Cape buffaloes, Uganda Kobs, African elephants and many more game. High chances of catching the big cats like the leopard and lion once again. Drive back to the lodge for a brief relaxation and have hot lunch.

Shortly, take a 2 hour’s boat cruise on the Kazinga channel-a 42km stretch connecting Lake George and Lake Edward, with rewarding big herds of buffaloes, giant hippos, Nile crocodiles and different water birds like the rare African skimmers and Lesser Flamingos. After the cruise, you can opt for a sundowner at one of the crater lakes or transfer back to the lodge for relaxation.

Overnight: Enganzi Lodge

Meal Plan: Full board

DAY 9: TRANSFER TO BWINDI IMPENETRABLE FOREST NATIONAL PARK VIA ISHASHA

Today after breakfast, you will transfer to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park passing via Ishasha in the southern section of Queen Elizabeth famous for tree climbing lions. Ishasha sector is home to multitudes of animals including the tree climbing lions, elephants, buffalos, water bucks, and may more. You will have a brief game drive which possibilities of catching the tree climbing lions and later lunch before proceeding to Bwindi, arriving in the evening.

Overnight at: Four Gorillas Lodge

Meal Plan: Dinner

DAY 10: GORILLA TREKKING

After an early breakfast, carry your packed lunch then drive to the park headquarters for a briefing before the gorilla trekking activity. You will be told the dos and don’ts of gorilla trekking before being assigned a group to track a particular gorilla family. You will be led into the gorilla sanctuary by an armed ranger who will keep in touch with the monitoring team on ground in order to easily locate the mountain gorillas. The beauty of the rain forest is spectacular, offering dramatic steeply forested landscape and is incredibly dense but crisscrossed by numerous animal trails allowing access to tourists.  The activity takes between 3-7 hours depending on the terrain and movement of the gorillas. Once you locate the gorilla family, you will be given up-to an hour to watch them in their presence. The thrill of spending time observing these gentle and endangered giants is unforgettable.

Overnight at: Four Gorillas Lodge

Meal Plan: Full Board

DAY 11: BATWA EXPERIENCE AND TRANSFER TO MGAHINGA GORILLA NATIONAL PARK

Morning breakfast will be followed by a guided walk to the Batwa pygmy’s community. The Batwa were the first people to live in the forest. The trail begins with a nature walk, hike through the forest as you learn from the first keepers of the forest. The experience shows you how they lived in grass thatched houses, caves and hunted small animals for food. Other activities include the traditional dance, singing and storytelling, hunting demonstration, honey gathering and picking herbal medicine from the roots and leaves. You will return to the lodge, check out and transfer to Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, about 2 hours away on the border with Congo and Rwanda. The park is home to two rare primates-mountain gorillas and golden monkeys, both of which can be tracked through their forest habitat. Arrive in the afternoon.

Overnight at: Mount Mgahinga Lodge

Meal Plan: Dinner

DAY 12: GOLDEN MONKEY TRACKING AND TRANSFER TO LAKE BUNYONYI

After breakfast, you will drive to the park headquarters for a pre-tracking briefing. You will then begin the trek, moving through a range of habitats including forests, bamboo and moorland. The golden monkey trekking is not as strenuous as gorilla trekking. Once you encounter the golden monkeys, you will spend up-to an hour in their presence, watching them play, feed and going about their daily activities. If you want to spend a longer time with them, you can opt for golden monkey habituation which is booked in advance. Head back to the lodge for lunch.

Later transfer to Lake Bunyonyi. The lake is framed by lush, green-terraced hills and 29 islands of different shapes and sizes scattered across that make it most magical-you could admire them all day. Arrive in the afternoon for relaxation and overnight.

Overnight at: Bird Nest Bunyonyi

Meal Plan: Dinner

DAY 13: BOAT RIDE AND LOCAL COMMUNITY VISIT

After breakfast, you will take a canoe and go to explore the different islands on the lake i.e. Zebra Island, Leprosy Island and Punishment Island. Each island has a different interesting story about its formation. The canoe trek will also allow you to spot different bird species including Grey-crowned, Levillant Cuckoo, White-tailed Monad, Slender-billed Baglafetch, Weavers, African Harrier Hawk and African King Fisher. Thereafter, you will visit the local communities of the Batwa who live in the islands. You will explore and learn about their culture through traditional dance performances, poems and songs. You will also see other activities like collecting honey, firewood, hunting demonstration, and fruit gathering. Return for overnight. 

Overnight at: Bird Nest Bunyonyi

Meal Plan: Full Board

DAY 14: TRANSFER TO LAKE MBURO NATIONAL PARK VIA IGONGO CULTURAL CENTRE

Have breakfast, check-out and transfer to Lake Mburo National Park via Mbarara town. The park is Uganda’s smallest Savannah park whose acacia woodland supports substantial herds of Burchell’s zebras and various antelopes. This drive will take about 6 hours, arriving in the afternoon for lunch. Shortly after lunch, head out to visit the Igongo Cultural Center and Museum. While here, you will have a guided tour through the museum and learn about the history and culture of the Ankole and Bakiga. After the museum tour, proceed to the park for an overnight.

Overnight at: Rwakobo Rock

Meal Plan: Dinner

DAY 15: GAME DRIVE AND BOAT CRUISE

After an early breakfast, head out for a game drive with chances of seeing animals like gigantic eland antelopes, Burchell’s zebras, Nubian giraffes, African Cape buffaloes, impalas, Defassa waterbucks, Bohor’s reedbuck, Common Duicker and klipspringers. Later return for short rest and have lunch as you prepare for an afternoon boat cruise. While on the boat cruise, look out for more animal species including giant hippos, crocodiles, and bird species such as the African Fish Eagle, Pied King Fisher and African Finfoot in addition to the beautiful scenery and simple pleasure attached to being out on the water. Return to the lodge for evening relaxation, dinner and overnight. 

Overnight at: Rwakobo Rock

Meal Plan: Full Board

DAY 16: GAME WALK AND HORSEBACK RIDING

Enjoy your breakfast and head out for a walking safari. The park is the only one where walking safaris are allowed in the company of an armed ranger. The walk will give you an opportunity to experience the nature of the park and get a close encounter with the animals. Catch sight of various antelopes, zebras, giraffes, elands and buffaloes. Return for lunch and later go for horseback riding across the savannah with wonderful views of the park. This adventurous activity takes you to explore different areas of the park, seeing animals such as giraffes, warthogs, hippos, zebras, topis, elands, and duickers among other species. Return to the lodge for an overnight.

Overnight at: Rwakobo Rock

Meal Plan: Full Board

DAY 17: TRANSFER TO KAMPALA

After your breakfast at leisure, you will check-out and embark on your journey back to Kampala. You will have an en-route stopover at the equator for a photo session and you may also purchase some hand-made craft souvenirs before proceeding with your journey, arriving in Kampala in the afternoon. Drop off at your hotel in Entebbe for relaxation as you reflect on your trip or to the airport for your flight.  

End of service.

Overnight: Fly-out

Meal Plan: Breakfast

 

COST PER PERSON FOR A GROUP OF 2 PEOPLE = 7,265$

COST PER PERSON FOR A GROUP OF 4 PEOPLE = 5,965$

COST PER PERSON FOR A GROUP OF 6 PEOPLE = 5,531$

 

INCLUSIONS

  • Accommodation and meal plan as per
    itinerary

  • Ground transportation in a 4×4 coaster with
    an English speaking safari guide.

  • Activities in the park as per the itinerary

  • Chimpanzee permits

  • Gorilla permits
  • National park fees

EXCLUSIONS

  • Activities not listed in the itinerary
  • Phone bills

  • Lunch enroute fees

  • Laundry services
  • Tips
  • Travel insurance
  • Any personal bills

 

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