13 Day Uganda Safari

13 Day Uganda Safari

This itinerary combines visits to 5 National Parks in Uganda, including Murchison Falls National Park, Kibale Forest National Park, Queen Elizabeth National Park, Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park and Lake Mburo National Park.

Murchison Falls National Park is Uganda’s largest park and protects a chuck of untamed African savannah bisected by the mighty River Nile. One of the attractions of Murchison Falls NP is its namesake. The dramatic Murchison falls is where the world’s longest river explodes violently through a narrow cleft in the Rift Valley escarpment to plunge into a frothing pool 43m below. Murchison Falls NP is occupied mainly by lush and unrefined grasslands. The diversity of wildlife in the park is astonishing and includes 4 of the Big Five – elephants, lions, buffalo and leopards. It is also the most accessible park in Uganda for seeing hundreds of giraffe. A boat trip on the Nile is a must as the Nile boosts one of the densest hippo and crocodile populations in the world. The boat trip will also provide an opportunity for an encounter with a wild population of the rare shoebill.

This 13 day itinerary gives you a taste of everything Uganda has to offer. The variety of different habitats and environments in Uganda is nearly unbelievable and this itinerary offers them all. From wild, open savannahs to rich, refreshing rainforests and also the shimmering freshwater crater lakes.

Day 1:
Arrive Entebbe, meet and greet and transfer to Lake Victoria Hotel. If time permits visit the famous Entebbe Botanical Gardens.

Overnight at Lake Victoria Hotel (on an accommodation and breakfast basis).

Day 2:
This morning we start our journey in Uganda and drive to Murchison Falls National Park. Murchison Falls National Park is Uganda’s largest national park, with an area of 3840km². It lies in the core of the Murchison Falls Conservation Area. This impressive park protects a chunk of untamed African savannah bisected by the mighty river Nile. The dramatic Murchison Falls, where the world’s longest river explodes violently through a narrow cleft in the Rift Valley escarpment to plunge into a frothing pool 43m below strikes an exhilarating impression on all 5 senses. Murchison Falls is occupied mainly by lush grasslands. The highest diversity of wildlife is found on the open plains north of the Nile, where elephant, buffalo, giraffe and a huge variety of antelope are regularly encountered. The Nile itself boasts one of Africa’s densest hippo and crocodile populations, and a dazzling variety of water birds including the world’s most accessible wild population of the rare shoebill.
Your accommodation for the next three nights is Nile Safari Lodge.

Overnight at Nile Safari Lodge (BLD)

Day 3:
Today we get to explore the wonders of this magnificent park, by safari vehicle and private boat. The launch trip takes you along the Nile to the bottom of the falls. Murchison Falls National Park is said to be the best game park in Uganda. During a typical game drive you can be expected to see a large number of antelope species, including the bush buck, the water buck, Thomson’s gazelle and the dik dik to name but a few. Larger herbivores, such as giraffe and elephant are present in the park in great numbers and often the lumbering giraffe will cross the roads right in front of you. MFNP is the most accessible park in Uganda to see the giraffe. Huge groups of buffalo are a common sight whilst exploring the park on a game drive. Primates, such as the baboon and the patas monkey, stare at you as you pass by and if you are a bird lover then Murchison Falls National Park will not disappoint.

Overnight at Nile Safari Lodge (BLD)

Day 4:
Drive and take a ferry across the Nile to game drive in the northern sector of the park, most of the game is to be found in the area north of the Victoria Nile River and East of the Albert Nile and Lake Albert. This is where part of the movie The African Queen was filmed. Game is now returning quite rapidly and game drives can be very exciting. Game often seen includes elephant, oribi, giraffe, waterbuck, hartebeest, topi, buffalo, sitatunga, bushbuck, warthog, bush pig, lion, leopard, mongoose, genet, hyena, jackal and bat eared fox.

Overnight at Nile Safari Lodge (BLD)

Day 5:
Drive to Kibale Forest area, the drive is a full day of approximately eight hours. After leaving the Rift Valley pass through beautiful agricultural countryside where every type of fruit and vegetable imaginable is grown. Upon reaching Kyanjojo, in the lower foothills of the Rwenzori Mountains {Mountains of the Moon}, we drive through beautiful tea plantations and into Kibale tropical rain forest. Beautiful Ndali Lodge is situated on a high saddle between two crater lakes. The breathtaking views and cooler climate at Ndali are just some of its best features.

Overnight at Ndali Lodge or Kyaninga Lodge (BLD)

Day 6:
This morning we get the opportunity to explore Kibale Forest National Park. Kibale Forest is home to 13 primate species and a guided forest trek can be taken in search of one of the most popular primate species in the world – the chimpanzee. There are 9 diurnal primates, these include, vervet, red‐tailed, L’Hoest’s, blue monkeys, grey‐cheeked manabey, red colobus, black and white colobus, olive baboon and the most famous of all, the chimpanzee. Although chimp sightings are not guaranteed, the odds are good with the chance of encountering them standing at higher then 90%. This morning you will go on a forest walk in search of primates. Whilst trekking in the depths of the lush green forest, you will be surrounded by bird song and can expect to see at least 5 or 6 other types of primate, most probably the grey‐cheeked managebey and the red‐tailed monkey and of course the chimpanzee. The walking is fairly easy due to the well‐maintained trails and reasonably flat terrain. This afternoon we have a swamp walk.

Overnight at Ndali Lodge or Kyaninga Lodge (BLD)

Day 7:
Drive to Queen Elizabeth National Park. The drive passes through Fort Portal and then south along the eastern length of The Rwenzori Mountains, with the hope of viewing the glaciated peaks. We again gently descend into The Great African Rift Valley and Queen Elizabeth National Park and Mweya Lodge, situated on a peninsula overlooking Lake Edward and Kazinga Channel, offering beautiful views of the park with the Rwenzori Mountains in the background.

Overnight at Mweya Lodge or Kyambura Lodge (BLD)

Day 8:
Game drives in Queen Elizabeth National Park in the morning and after lunch, we will drive down to the Kazinga Channel and take a boat ride along the river. The launch trip along the Kazinga Channel is one of the most popular activities in Queen Elizabeth National Park. It provides an amazing chance to sit back, relax and enjoy the fresh river breeze whilst observing a large selection of animals. Those species commonly seen along the riverbank are elephants, buffalo, waterbuck and Ugandan Kob. Large breeding pods of hippos are also seen on a daily basis. On occasion visitors will also see giant forest hog, leopard and lion. The waterbirds in the area are plentiful; in particular, water thick knee, yellow‐billed stork, various plovers, white pink‐backed Pelicans and white‐bellied cormorants.

Overnight at Mweya Lodge or Kyambura Lodge (BLD)

Day 9:
Today we drive through the park to the Ishasha region. Game drive in search of tree climbing lion (75% success rate) and other game. Afternoon drive to Bwindi Impenetrable (a World Heritage Sight) passing through the scenic area known as The Switzerland of East Africa. The driving today is about 5 1/2 hours (not including game drives).

Overnight at Gorilla Forest Camp (BLD)

Day 10:
Gorilla tracking day.
After breakfast take a short drive to Park Headquarters and meet with excellent local guides and trackers who will give a talk on the etiquette of gorilla trekking. We then hike into the forest where the gorillas were seen the night before and track from that point. The trekking can take from 1 to 6 hours and climb to altitudes in excess of 7,500 feet. The terrain is rough and at times muddy. Although the hike is physically demanding the beauty of the forest and surrounding scenery make the trekking worthwhile. Once the gorillas are located all fatigue is forgotten, as the experience is often described as being the most profound natural history experience in the world. Picnic lunches are provided and it is important to take plenty of water. Cameras and plenty of fast speed film are recommended. It can rain at a few minutes notice; hence waterproof clothing is a good essential including zip lock bags for cameras and film.

Overnight at Gorilla Forest Camp (BLD)

Day 11:
Second gorilla tracking day.

Overnight at Gorilla Forest Camp (BLD)

Day 12:
Drive to Mbarara passing through the Switzerland of East Africa area and eventually into Ankole Cattle country around Mbarara. These cattle are incredible with horns larger than one can imagine. Continue to Lake Mburo National Park, game drive. The drive today is 6 to 7 hours. Lake Mburo National Park is a small park, excellent for birding, antelope and other grazers, one of the only places to easily see Impala and zebra in Uganda. Game drives offer particularly picturesque game viewing with the Parkʹs mixture of savannah, acacia woodlands, grassy valleys, rocky outcrops, swamps, lakes and rolling hills. Herds of impala (found nowhere else in Uganda), buffalo and zebra, plus waterbuck and eland are amongst the variety of wildlife to be seen. Birders will enjoy the Parkʹs 310 recorded water and dry land species. In this valley we can operate night drives and walks. This is the only park where we will see Impala and Burchellʹs Zebra. It is an excellent place for walking and exploring a nearby Khopji to perhaps see Klipspringer. Game drive to the lodge.

Overnight at Mihingo Lodge (BLD)

Day 13:
This morning we have an early morning game drive before heading back to Entebbe, this takes approximately 5 hours – road and weather dependent. If time permits it is possible to stop in Kampala for shopping and lunch and a visit to the Mpigi Royal Drum Makers. You are then transferred to Entebbe International airport to connect with your departure flight. Please note the departure flight must be in the late afternoon or evening, alternatively we can arrange another overnight in Entebbe.
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Classic Africa Safaris is 100% Carbon Neutral

Carbon Neutral 2012

As part of our corporate social responsibility program Classic Africa Safaris is carbon neutral. We are the FIRST safari company in Uganda and Rwanda to become carbon neutral, and one of the first safari/travel companies in East Africa to officially 'GO GREEN'.