This tour is perfect for people who want to experience the real Uganda and immerse themselves in the local culture and natural wonders including Gorilla, Birding and the unforgettable game viewing.
- Trip Outline
- Trip Includes
- Trip Excludes
– Cultural Encounters
– Safari in almost all national parks!
– Gorilla & chimp permits included
Customer score: 9,2
Day 1: Arrival in Kampala
Day 2: Travel to Murchison Falls N.P.
Day 3: Game drive and boat safari
Day 4: Boat Safari on Delta & to Lake Albert
Day 5: Travel to Fort Portal & Kibale Forest
Day 6: Chimpanzee Tracking & Swamp Walk
Day 7: Travel to Queen Elizabeth N.P.
Day 8: Game drive and boat safari
Day 9: To Ishasha, tree climbing lions
Day 10: Travel to Lake Mutanda / Bwindi
Day 11: Gorilla tracking in Bwindi forest
Day 12: Lake Mutanda/ Batwa Trail.
Day 13: Travel to Lake Mburo N.P.
Day 14: Walking safari/ To Entebbe.
Click here, for the day by day itinerary.
Our standard offering for mid-range tours is a 4wd minibus with pop-up roof for easy safari viewing. All passengers will have a dedicated window seat. Your professional and courteous driver/guide will be at your disposal for questions or translations.
See below for transport upgrade options:
Upgrade to 4wd a Full-Sized Toyota Landcruiser
The Toyota Landcruiser is the most used safari vehicle in Africa, It’s strong, it’s high up and spacious. Of course, it looks good, too! The car suits a maximum of 5 persons and has a pop-up roof for a perfect safari view!
The extra cost for this option is $50 per day. *Divided by the number of persons traveling; not per person.
Upgrade to 4wd Extended Toyota Landcruiser
The extended Landcruiser is for some the ultimate safari vehicle in Africa. It’s 4wd, spacious, high up and strong. The extended land cruiser has even a fridge on board! There is, of course, an open roof for an excellent safari view. The extended Landcruiser is suitable for a maximum of 7 persons. The extra cost for this option is $120 per day. *Divided by the number of persons traveling; not per person.
However, for bookings of a group of 6 people and above, such extra upgrade fees don’t apply.
Single Supplement: One single supplement is included when traveling with 3 persons. Any other single supplement is US$ 475.
Easter & Christmas supplements:
Some lodges and hotels charge extra fees during the festive season. For example the Easter and Christmas period. Please ask us for the rates when you wish to travel on these dates.
Since this is a private tour, departure can be organized for any time throughout the year subject to the availability of accommodation and transport.
When you book your trip with Safari Retreats Uganda – to any of our destinations – we will donate US$ 5 per person to our unique Girl Child Empowerment project through afforestation. With this donation, you fly climate neutral to Africa!
The bookings with the hotels mentioned in the itinerary depend on availability. Reservations will only be made after your booking. In case the mentioned hotels are not available during the requested period, we will do our best to book a hotel in the same class for you (of course we will only do this after consulting you). It is not possible to ‘reserve’ gorilla and chimpanzee permits so we will buy them only after your booking and down payment. Permits also depend on availability.
The information about this tour is subject to change. Accommodation and permits will be booked once a down payment has been received.
Experience Uganda at your own pace! Travel from North to West to South and see the diversity of Uganda's flora and fauna. The savannas of Queen Elizabeth and Murchison Falls and the rainforests of Kibale and Bwindi. This tour through Uganda is the perfect combination of nature, culture & animals and you will overnight in the best mid-range accommodations in Uganda.
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. You will stay in a nice lodge with beautiful views of Lake Victoria. The hotel has cozy safari style furnished rooms, equipped with satellite TV, fridge bar, telephone, fan, balcony with lake view and a comfortable bathroom. Journey Time 1 hour Accommodation Cassia Lodge Meal Plan No meals inclusive
To Murchison Falls National ParkToday you continue your journey by crossing to the west of the country to Murchison Falls National Park. You will game drive towards your lodge on the southern bank of the Nile. You will be staying at a great mid-range lodge, overlooking the River Nile. From here you can relax the rest of your day. Journey Time 4 Hours Accommodation Murchison River Lodge Meal Plan Breakfast and dinner
Murchison Falls National ParkGet 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! return back to your comfortable lodge, to enjoy a good meal and enjoy the views. Accommodation Murchison River Lodge Meal Plan Breakfast, lunch, and dinner Optional activity: Rhino Tracking – Possible on day 2 At the Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary, you will go – together with an experienced ranger for a safari hike to the rhinos. You will see the rhinos in a very close range! Kidepo Valley and Murchison Falls National Parks once had both black and white rhinos; however widespread poaching during the Idi Amin era resulted in the disappearance of these majestic animals from the wild. Founded in 1998, Rhino Fund Uganda works to reintroduce black and white rhinos into Uganda and runs a breeding program, as well as work to educate communities on endangered rhinos. Costing: $40 us dollar p.p. Optional activity: Chimp tracking Budongo forest Budongo Forest is located in the southern part of Murchison Falls NP., and has the highest number of wild chimpanzees of Uganda. The habituated groups are located in Kaniyo Padibi, where you can go for chimpanzee tracking. Budongo Forest has incredible biodiversity that – besides the chimpanzee – includes several other species like the Blue monkeys, Red-tailed monkeys, Vervet monkeys, and Olive Baboons. Costing: $95 us dollar p.p. in high season and $85 us dollar p.p. in low season Optional activity: Hot air balloon safari - Possible on day 3 Discover Murchison Falls from the air! Sign up for this optional activity and enjoy to the 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 sunrise over the park. After your balloon safari, you will have a bush breakfast in the park (inclusive). Costing: $380 us dollar p.p.
Boat Safari on the DeltaThe Nile Delta is the area where the Victoria Nile flows into Lake Albert. A boat safari down the river towards Lake Albert is a “must do” for every birdwatcher as the banks of the delta are home to hundreds of bird species including the rare and prehistoric-looking shoebill stork. As well you will see hundreds of hippo and maybe even bathing elephant and huge crocs! In the afternoon you will go for another game drive in the park, or you can decide to relax a bit at the lodge. Journey Time depending on the game drive Accommodation Murchison River Lodge Meal Plan Breakfast, lunch, dinner
Fort Portal & Kibale Forest National ParkToday you will begin your journey to Kibale Forest N.P. The drive is incredibly scenic, passing through tea plantations and the lush green countryside which characterizes so much of Uganda. After about seven hours' driving, you stop for lunch in the cozy town Fort Portal (lunch is not inclusive). After lunch, you have time to walk around town, observe local life and/or visit the local market. Then you drive one more hour to the lodge. Spend the late afternoon relaxing and enjoy a lovely view of the forest and its wildlife. Journey Time 5 hours Accommodation Kibale Forest Camp Meal Plan Breakfast and dinner
Chimpanzee Tracking & Swamp WalkToday 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! An experienced ranger will take you chimp tracking in the morning or afternoon; you might also see other monkey species that live here. Once you locate the chimpanzees 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. Your 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! 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. Journey Time 15 minutes each way Accommodation Kibale Forest Camp Meal Plan Breakfast and dinner
Queen Elizabeth National ParkIn the morning, you can relax at your lodge. 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 a 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 will go for a game drive into the park. Marafiki Safari Lodge is located on a unique location and has been designed and handcrafted using local materials, fitted by artisans from the local community. Overlooking Lake George in the Queen Elizabeth National Park it offers private safari tents on raised wooden floors and canvas walls that can be rolled up to allow you to sit comfortably watching the Savannah Plains with breathtaking views across the Park and the Rwenzori Mountains. Watch wildlife from your verandah and fall asleep to the roaring of Lions on the distant savannah. This truly is Africa! Journey Time 3½ hours Accommodation Marafiki Safari Lodge Meal Plan Breakfast and dinner
Park Game Drive & Boat SafariToday 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 drive back to the lodge. Journey Time Depending on the game drive Accommodation Marafiki Safari Lodge Meal Plan Breakfast and dinner Optional activity: Lion Tracking : For visitors who yearn to get up close to wild African fauna, a research trip is a rewarding adventure. This new and unique experience allows visitors to actively participate in monitoring some of the lions in the park, using locator devices and learn habituation calls, as well as monitoring weather, surroundings, and behavior. The results are added to researchers’ databases, contributing valuable information to the overall understanding of wildlife ecology - and helping to conserve this wonderful ecosystem. This will as well gives you a 95% chance to see the lions! The number of people on each outing is limited in order to reduce stress on the animals and to increase the quality of the experience for visitors. Experiential tours last between one and three hours. They usually take place in the early morning or evening, or occasionally at night. All activities must be booked through the Visitor Information Centre in Mweya at least 24 hours in advance. - See more at http://www.ugandawildlife.org/explore-our-parks/parks-byname-a-z/queenelizabethnational-park/activities/item/71-experientialtours#sthash.cFY8QRZI.dpuf Costing: $85 us dollar p.p. Optional activity: Chimp tracking Kyambura Gorge The spectacular Kyambura Gorge also called the “Valley of Apes”, is located in the eastern corner of Queen Elizabeth. The landscape is among the most impressive you will find in Uganda. Enter into the Gorge and you will be marveled by the verdant, rich Tropical Rain-forest right close to the Equator crossing. You can make a wonderful hike here looking for chimpanzees. Chances of seeing chimps are 50% and that is why we rather call it a nature walk. Don’t miss it; the gorge is simply amazing! Costing: $50 us dollar p.p.
Ishasha area and its tree-climbing lionsAfter 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 is the Enjojo Lodge, which is surrounded with acacia forest, lush vegetation with palm trees and scattered grasslands. Find birds, monkeys, and other wildlife around your cottage! Journey time 2 hours Accomodation Enjojo Lodge Meal plan Breakfast and dinner
Lake Mutanda/BwindiToday you drive to Lake Mutanda in the south-western part of Uganda; close to the borders with Rwanda and Congo. You cross a beautiful part of the country often referred to as ‘the Switzerland of Africa’. You will see a great country-side, bamboo forest and have great views over the Virunga Mountains. For lunch, you will stop at a local restaurant on the road (lunch is not inclusive). Perched on a peninsula in Lake Mutanda in the shadow of the Virunga Mountain Range, Mutanda Lake Resort offers comfortable accommodation combined with the most beautiful views on planet earth. Situated between Kisoro town, Mgahinga and Bwindi National Parks the Resort makes a perfect base for gorilla trackers, volcano hikers, bird lovers as well as those looking for a secluded place in nature. Journey Time 8 hours Accommodation Mutanda Lake Resort Meal Plan Breakfast and dinner
Gorilla Tracking in Bwindi ForestToday is the epic 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’. Accommodation Mutanda Lake Resort Meal Plan Breakfast, packed lunch, and dinner
Lake Mutanda/ Batwa TrailToday you can choose to unwind from your trip at this stunning location. You can as well opt for some wonderful optional activities from the lodge. The south-western part of Uganda is known as ''Little Switzerland'', a lush, mountainous region dotted with freshwater lakes, which makes it the perfect base for a number of activities beyond gorilla tracking. The area is great for walking, hiking, mountain biking, cultural village tours, bird watching or water sport activities. Check for options Here. Optional activity Batwa trail If you have interest in tribes/ culture you should not miss this: A new tourism trail, result of a collaboration between the Uganda Wildlife Authority and the United Organisation for Batwa Development in Uganda, is helping the indigenous Batwa pygmy people to keep their culture alive, following their eviction from the forests of southwest Uganda more than two decades ago. The Batwa are Uganda’s traditionally forest-dwelling pygmy people. About a century ago, there was a conflict between the Batwa and the Bantu speaking people in the region. The Bantu tried to expel the Batwa people from the area, so they hideout in Garama Cave. The Bantu had no idea there was a hidden cave in the forest and therefore could not find the crafty Batwa. Your guide will explain how the Batwa lived and fought out of this cave. The cave is 342 meters in length and 14 meters deep and is now only inhabited by bats, The walk to and from the cave passes through mountain woodland with plenty of opportunities to enjoy the scenery or watch birds ($85,- pp, including Mgahinga NP fee). Accommodation Mutanda Lake Resort Meal Plan Breakfast and dinner
Lake Mburo National ParkAfter 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)! Accommodation for tonight is Rwakobo Rock, a peaceful place with great views just outside the park. The comfortable and spacious cottages are dotted around the hill, all very private and offering great sunset views. At night the sounds of the bush come to life and allow your imagination to run wild. There is a swimming pool too! Journey time: 7 hours Accommodation: Rwakobo Rock Meal Plan: Breakfast and dinner Optional activity: Night game drive A night game drive in Lake Mburo national park is absolutely great! You have chances of seeing Hyena, different nocturnal animals and it’s probably your best chance to spot a leopard. Your night safari is either just before dinner or just after dinner and takes about 2 hours. Costing: $40 us dollars p.p.
Bush walk, to Entebbe/KampalaThis morning you will go for a bush walk. Lake Mburo N.P. is one of two parks in Uganda where bush walks with an experienced ranger is permitted. This opportunity should not be missed. From footprints and animal droppings the ranger will be able to tell you which animal has left it and how long ago. It is exciting to approach wildlife at such close range. Optional activity: Mountainbike Safari It’s very exciting to make a safari by mountain bike. Get active and get close to zebra, gazelle, Eland and sometimes even giraffe! Costing: US$ 30 pp extra. After brunch at the lodge, 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 10 pm or later. If you want us to book one (or more) nights in Kampala and/or Entebbe, please let us know. Journey Time: 5 hours to Kampala / 6 hours to Entebbe Accommodation: Not included Meal Plan: Late breakfast This is the end of a fabulous trip! Webale Nyo (Thank you!) Still interested in more adventure? If you want to extend your tour to one of our other destinations or if you'd like to add a few "off-the-beaten-track" side trips to the itinerary, click here to see our extensions.
- Transport in a 4WD minivan with pop-up roof for excellent safari view;
- All fuel for the tour;
- English speaking Ugandan driver/guide;
- Accommodation as listed in the itinerary;
- All breakfasts and dinners included;
- All meals in Murchison Falls NP;
- Packed lunch for the gorilla tracking;
- Park-entrance fees according to the itinerary;
- All activities described in the itinerary;
- 1 chimpanzee permit per person ( US$ 150 );
- 1 gorilla permit per person ( US$ 700 ).
- International airfares
- Entry visa Uganda
- Meals that are not part of your accommodation;
- A porter for during the gorilla tracking (someone who carries your daypack);
- Government tax or park fees increase;
- Personal (medical/travel) insurance;
- Tips and gratuities to rangers, driver/guide, porter, hotel staff, etc;
- All expenses of personal nature (e.g. drinks, laundry, optional activities, souvenirs, etc.).
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