Compact Uganda is a microcosm of African wildlife and environments, offering diverse safari experiences. Gorilla trekking is the high point of any itinerary. To track these wondrous creatures through misty forests and gaze into their equally curious eyes is a wildlife encounter without parallel. Chimps are the highlight at Kibale Forest, which harbors the greatest variety and concentration of primates in Africa, and an amazing assortment of tropical birds. Scenic Queen Elizabeth National Park stretches from the crater-pocked foothills of the Rwenzori Range the “Mountains of the Moon” to the remote Ishasha River. Its varied habitats range from gallery and lowland forest to wetlands and savanna, where classic plains game graze. Boat cruises on Kazinga Channel and in Lake Mburo National Park offer front-row views of hippo, crocodile and water birds. At Murchison Falls, witness the Victoria Nile plummet 130 feet into Lake Albert.
Safari in Details
Day – 1 Arrival
You will be welcomed by a representative of Great Lakes Safaris who will transfer you to your hotel in Kampala. Depending on the time of arrival, our guide will take you on a city tour for an exciting introduction with the capital. Visit some interesting and historical sites, including the Namugongo Martyrs Shrine, the Uganda Museum and of course the African Craft Village. We also advise you to have money changed today. Dinner and overnight at Hotel Le Bougainviller.
Day – 2 Kampala – Bwindi
Very early in the morning we leave Kampala for a long journey towards the western part of Uganda. It is a full day drive but via a scenic route. On our way we will pass the equator where we will stop for photos and shopping. We will have lunch in the calm town of Mbarara and proceed our drive through the verdant countryside. You will pass traditional homesteads and have panoramic views of the surroundings. In Bwindi dinner and overnight at Engagi Lodge.
Day – 3 Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park
The highlight of your safari: a meeting with the gentle giants of Bwindi! Especially hikers will love the gorilla trekking in the beautiful ecosystem of the park. It is difficult to foresee how many hours you will hike, it may take two to eight hours. Expect to walk a long distance in steep and muddy conditions, sometimes with rain overhead, before you encounter any gorillas. But it will definitely be worthwhile as you observe them closely while they eat, play and rest. A unique and unforgettable experience! For conservation purposes, time spent with the gorillas is limited to one hour. The ranger guide always briefs you on how to behave with these giant apes. Dinner and overnight at Engagi Lodge.
Day – 4 Bwindi – Queen Elizabeth National Park
After breakfast you can choose to have a guided village walk for a closer meeting with the local community. Learn about their way of living as you walk through coffee, tea and banana plantations. Afterwards we depart to Queen Elizabeth National Park. We will pass the southern sector of the park, called Ishasha and known for the tree-climbing lions. While we continue to our accommodation in the middle of the national park it is likely that you will spot some wildlife like kobs, waterbucks and warthogs. Dinner and overnight at Katara Lodge.
Day – 5 Queen Elizabeth National Park Uganda Safaris
The day begins early as we head for the mating ground of the Uganda kobs. We search for lions, elephants, buffaloes and other wild animals in their natural habitat, before returning for lunch. In the afternoon we take on a boat cruise along the Kazinga Channel, a natural channel between Lake Edward and Lake George. Thanks to the elephants, buffaloes and hundreds of hippos, this cruise will definitely be another highlight of your safari. Dinner and overnight at Katara Lodge.
Day – 6 Queen Elizabeth National Park – Kibale National Park
After breakfast you can visit the Maramagambo Forest for a walk through the tropical forest, known for the Blue Lake and the Bat and Hunters Cave. You will get the chance to have a close look at the bats and maybe even the rock python and forest cobras that feed on the bats. The same walk will provide you with views of primates, different bird species and beautiful flora. An alternative for the forest walk is a hike in the Kyambura Wildlife Reserve (not included). Driving through a grassland area, all of a sudden we come across an amazing gorge of one hundred meters deep, covered with tropical rain forest. You will hike into the gorge of the Kyambura River in search of the wild chimpanzees. It is a beautiful walk through the river valley, home to many birds and butterfly species.
After one of these activities we will leave Queen Elizabeth National Park and head towards Fort Portal. This lovely town rests in the shadow of the fabled Mountains of the Moon and is famous for the many tea plantations. From Fort Portal we will continue to Kibale National Park for a stay within the tropical forest. Dinner and overnight at Primate Lodge Kibale.
Day – 7 Kibale National Park & Bigodi Swamp
Today the forest opens it doors for a sensational chimp trekking. Kibale Forest is reputable of having the greatest variety and highest concentration of primates in East Africa. Enjoy a guided nature walk in the tropical rainforest in search of the wild chimpanzee, red-tailed monkey, black-and-white colobus monkey and many others. After a hearty lunch we transfer to the Bigodi Swamp for another, totally different nature walk. The Bigodi Swamp Walk is an initiative of the local community and takes approximately two hours. The swamp is known for its rich diversity of birds and primates. Dinner and overnight at Primate Lodge Kibale.
Day – 8 Kibale National Park – Kampala
Today we will explore the region of the Crater Lakes. Enjoy the beauty of the numerous small lakes, surrounded by gentle hills, and the stunning views. Then we continue to Kampala with lunch en route. Dinner and overnight at Hotel Le Bougainviller.
Day – 9 Departure
Enriched with an experience of a lifetime and unforgettable memories you will say goodbye to the Pearl of Africa. Depending on the time of departure you will be transferred to the airport for your flight back home. We are looking forward to seeing you again!
What’s Not Included