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Destination

SAFARI OVERVIEW

During this comprehensive and packed Uganda wildlife and cultural adventure, you will track the elusive shoebill stork, lions, do game drives in more than 2 savanna parks, do gorilla trekking in the pristine natural forests and encounter some of the most ancient and remarkable local communities for your culture episodes of this tour.

On this safari also are episodes of extreme adventure i.e. cycling in the open savanna, kayaking, hiking and abseiling and others. You will begin your safari with a visit to Mabamba swamp for the shoebill stork, transfer to Jinja, on the Nile. After here, you will head to Sipi falls in Kapchorwa then continue to Moroto. You will have the experience of the Karimojong people for culture, and drive to Kidepo for wildlife experience. From Kidepo Valley National Park, you will head to Murchison Falls National Park, from where you will connect to Kibale Forest National Park for chimpanzee habituation. From Kibale National Park, you will head to Queen Elizabeth National Park and after your activities here, you will drive to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, with Lake Mutanda in the vicinity. Your last connection after here will be Lake Mburo National Park.

Day One – Arrival at Entebbe International Airport, pick-up and transfer to your booked hotel.

Upon arrival at Entebbe International Airport, you will be welcomed by one of our English-speaking professional tour driver guides. He will receive and welcome you to Uganda the Pearl of Africa, and then drive you to hotel. You will check in and take your rest recovering from jet lag, and adjusting to the time difference.
“In case you arrive early during day time, you can pay a visit to the Entebbe Botanical Gardens.

Accommodation: ViaVia Uganda Entebbe

Meal plan:      Lunch and dinner

PICTURE GUIDE: An exemplary accommodation tent at ViaVia Entebbe.

Day Two – Visiting Mabamba wetlands in search of the Shoebill stork and transfer to Jinja

This morning you will have breakfast at around 7am and then drive to Mabamba Wetlands where you will get a wooden canoe. The area is considered one of only a few places in Uganda with a higher chance of spotting the prehistoric shoebill stork. It’s fascinating to watch this bird in its natural setting.
It may stand absolutely still for a long time awaiting its prey’s movements and then suddenly strike with a marvelous speed. From Mabamba, you shall return for lunch and thereafter, you shall be driven and transferred to Jinja, a city famous as the historical source of the Nile River. You will arrive, check-in your hotel and have the evening at leisure.

Accommodation: 2 Friends Guest House

Meal plan: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

PICTURE GUIDE: Typical canoe used for Shoebill tracking at Mabamba swamp

Day Three –  Kayaking, source of the Nile boat cruise and transfer to Kapchorwa. 

You will wake up early in the morning and have breakfast. After it, you will be driven to the Nile river for kayaking. A trip to Jinja, Uganda, is not complete without the river Nile, and we believe that the best way to explore the world’s longest river is on the water itself. Away from engines and noise, kayaking on this majestic river will be a soul-healing activity. You will have lunch and lunch time relaxation which will be followed by a private boat cruise at the source of the Nile. After boat cruise, you will be transferred to Kapchorwa, check in at Rafiki Lodge Sipi for dinner and over night

Accommodation: Rafiki Lodge Sipi

Meal plan: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

 Day Four – Hiking Sipi falls and Sipi coffee tour.

You will have breakfast and thereafter, you will proceed to explore the 3 Sipi Falls. The hiking (about 2½ – 3 hours) takes you to explore the nearby Sipi Falls which is a set of 3 tall waterfalls. For the majority of this hike, you follow a river, making it easy to stay on track. It will take you through farmlands and local communities. The views there are breathtaking and will offer you an amazing experience while in Kapchorwa. After this hike, you will go for lunch which will be followed by the coffee tour around the communities of Sipi. Here, you will have the opportunity to join the local farmers on their coffee plantations, learn about the coffee’s journey from nursery beds to mature trees, understand the ins and outs of Arabic coffee and so much more. You would also have the opportunity to grind the beans and brew your own coffee using traditional means.  After this activity, you will just relax at the accommodation with a spectacular view of Sipi right in front of you.

Accommodation: Rafiki Lodge Sipi

Meal plan: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day Five – Sipi to Moroto , visitation of  Tepeth community, overnight at Kara-Tunga Safari Camp.

On this day morning, you will enjoy breakfast and then embark on journey to Moroto via Soroti. Moroto is a town situated at the foot of the massive Mount Moroto and the surrounding savannah plains. A visit here gets you closer to one of Uganda’s most indigenous communities, the Karamojong and the Tepeth.
Expect to arrive around 12:00 pm or 1:00 pm where you will check-in at the camp. There will be lunch before you proceed to visit the Tepeth community. They are hunter-gatherers from origin and were the first inhabitants of Karamoja land. When the nomadic pastoral Karamojong migrated into their land, they moved into the highlands till today.
After this amazing experience, you will return to your camp for dinner and overnight stay.

Accommodation: Kara-Tunga Safari Camp

Meal plan: Breakfast, lunch and dinner.

IN THE PICTURE: Hunter-gatherers with their hunting tools.

Day Six – Half-Day trek – Mt. Moroto and afternoon-evening Karamojong village experience.

On this day, you will wake up in the morning, have breakfast and move out to explore a bit of Mount Moroto on a short trek (half-day). This will be a less strenuous climb offering a mix of rich encounters with Uganda’s highland people. The breathtaking views of the landscapes and unique sights along the trail will live you wowing.
After, you shall return to the camp for lunch and rest a bit before moving out again to encounter the local people of the community. The Karamojong village experience will offer a firsthand impression of Uganda’s last living traditional cultures. Experience traditional life, domestic duties and colorful dances and games.
Thereafter, you will return to the camp for dinner and overnight stay.

Accommodation: Kara-Tunga Safari Camp

Meal plan: Breakfast, lunch, dinner.

The Karamajong cultural dance in action.

Day Seven – Transfer to Kidepo National Park and evening nature walk.

After your breakfast, you will be driven off to Kidepo Valley National Park, arriving in time for lunch before going out to explore the African savannah on foot. Accompanied by an armed ranger-guide, you will venture along dry river beds, over rocky outcrops through bush land to track the resident wildlife in a nature walk  along the  Narus Valley in the south sector.
It is also the area of the park with permanent water sources throughout the year and for that matter, many animals gather here to quench their thirst. This will grant you a vast opportunity to observe and embrace nature in close range. Later after this activity, you will return to the accommodation for dinner and your overnight stay.

Accommodation: Kidepo Savannah Lodge (Safari Tent)

Meal plan: Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day Eight – Morning game drive and transfer to Murchison Falls National Park for the night game drive.

You will wake up early in the morning, have breakfast and proceed for an early morning game drive. To make up for what you missed out on the previous day’s nature walk in terms of wildlife viewing, this morning game drive will give you a bigger opportunity. You will most likely pass by herds of grazing buffalo, various species of antelopes, lions if lucky. It is also in this park that you only find cheetahs in Uganda in their natural habitat, therefore if you are lucky on this day, you will be able to see these cats.

After this game drive, you will exit the park and head to Murchison Falls National Park via Gulu town, with lunch en route. The highlights of this park include the roaring rapids of the Murchison falls, the rolling plains of Uganda’s largest national park where you will have the chance of viewing the big 4 “lions, buffalo, elephants and leopards”, as well as giraffes, hartebeest among so much more.
The concentration of hippos and Nile crocodiles on the Victoria Nile will fascinate you. You will reach Murchison Falls National Park and check into your lodge, have some moments of relaxation, and an early dinner after which you will do a night game drive, with our driver and an armed ranger guide. After your night game drive, you will return to your lodge for overnight sleep

Accommodation: Fort Murchison (Tent)

Meal Plan: Breakfast, lunch, dinner.

Day Nine – Murchison boat trip, spot fishing and evening game drive.

Early in morning, you will have your breakfast as you prepare for your boat safari. You will head out for the boat trip to the base of Murchison Falls where you will also be able to catch sight of more animals including hippos, crocodiles and several water birds. A boat safari here grants you the best safari moments where you will see millions of gallons of water plunge into a narrow cliff, creating some of the most spectacular scenes mother nature can ever present.  After this marvelous activity, you will go for lunch at the accommodation then rest a bit to prepare your minds for spot fishing which you will do at the bottom of the falls. While here, you shall need to take caution of the hippos and Nile crocodiles that normally haunt these fishing grounds. After, you will have an evening game drive across the rolling plains of Uganda’s largest national park. Be on the look for the remarkable wildlife including lions and leopards plus other giant herbivores like buffalos, elephants, many antelopes, giraffes among others. After this adventure, you will be driven back to the lodge for dinner and overnight sleep.

Accommodation Fort Murchison (Tent)

Meal plan: Breakfast, lunch and dinner.

DESTINATION GUIDE: The ‘African Queen’ cruising to the base of the Murchison Falls.

Day Ten – Drive to the top of the falls and transfer to the edge of Kibale National Park

You will after your breakfast be driven to the top of the falls to truly appreciate the beauty and magnificence of the Murchison Falls. Here on top, you will be granted two-in-one opportunity where you will be able to watch the birds and also enjoy the spectacular view of the Nile and the landscape of Murchison Falls National Park. From the top of the falls, you shall do a transfer that will see you overnight at the edge of Kibale Forest National Park.
The drive is quite long but incredibly scenic passing through villages, lush green countryside and hills dotted with tea plantations that characterize this part of Uganda. The beautiful scenery will amaze you all the way. Upon arrival, you will check-in at Kibale Forest Camp and just relax.

Optional (extra cost 15$): If interested, you can proceed with the crater lakes excursion. You will enjoy the beauty of the numerous small lakes, surrounded by gentle hills, and stunning views all over. Else, just enjoy your rest at the facility.

Accommodation: Kibale Forest Camp (Camping)

Meal plan: Breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Some of the crater lakes around Kibale National Park.

Day Eleven – Chimpanzee trekking and Bigodi swamp walk.

You will wake up early morning for breakfast and head straight to the headquarters for the briefing from the guides as you start on the chimpanzee tracking expedition by 7:30 am. You will head into the forest and look for these intelligent creatures that share over 90% DNA with humans, which makes them very intelligent and behave almost like humans. Meeting these animals will depend on the last nesting location of the previous night, and when you reach them you will be given one (1) hour around them, following their trails, learning their behavior and discovering more about the park.  After this activity, you will have your lunch that you will have packed. After lunch, you will head to Bigodi swamp for another episode of the safari experience. Here, you will explore the swamp and aquatic vegetation, there are also various species of birds in this area that you will have a great opportunity of viewing.

At sun set, since this day already involves enough walking, you will head back to your accommodation earlier for relaxation, dinner and overnight sleep.

Accommodation: Kibale Forest Camp (Camping)

Meal plan: Breakfast, lunch and supper

PICTURE GUIDE: Chimps in Kibale National Park.

Day Twelve – Bigodi community experience

On this day, you shall a full day community and cultural experience around one of the neighboring Bigodi communities. After your breakfast, you shall be driven to Bigodi village for a community walk, to interact with the local people, learning about their livelihoods, enjoying and participating in their cultural dances and listening to their music and folktales, appreciating their art and crafts, you will have the opportunity to learn how to make local brews and possibly taste them, taste on the coffee locally processed there. Still on the livelihood point of view there is a traditional healer whom you will have an opportunity of visiting, schools, churches and homes of elderly people that you will have a chance to visit. A community walk supports the community and teaches them not to encroach on protected areas.

You shall have lunch with in the community, where by if you so wish, you will have the opportunity of tasting on the local and traditional meals prepared within the communities. After this day’s activities, you shall head back to the accommodation for resting and refreshment as you wait for next day’s activities.

Accommodation: Kibale Forest Camp (Camping)

Meal plan: Breakfast, lunch and supper.

Part of the tradition, in communities around Bigodi.

Day Thirteen – Transfer to Lake Mburo National Park and evening game drive.

You will wake up and have breakfast, and check out of, and start on your journey to Lake Mburo National Park via Mbarara city, where you will have lunch. This drive will take you maximum 5 hours, but you will reach in time for relaxation before doing an evening game drive. Elands, buffalo, waterbuck, zebra, giraffes, warthogs, hippos and many other animals call this park home, so will have a great opportunity of viewing them in them in an evening game drive here. After this activity you shall go back to your accommodation for dinner and overnight sleep.

Accommodation Hyena Hill Lodge

Meal plan: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day FOURTEEN – cycling in the park and WALKING SAFARI

After your breakfast, you will go for the Mburo morning park (bush) cycling in the presence of an armed Uganda Wildlife Authority ranger guide. On this early morning guided cycling, you will have the opportunity to encounter (at close range) zebras, giraffes, eland, topi and other antelopes, Cape buffaloes among others. So, after cycling, you will return to your lodge for lunch and and then go for a walking safari in Lake Mburo National Park. With the rich biodiversity here comprising of both woodland vegetation and swamp vegetation, various species of fauna including the giant herbivores, a guided walking safari on one the trails in here grants a traveler a great opportunity to enjoy nature at its best in this savanna park.

Accommodation: Hyena Hill Lodge

Meal plan: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Cycling safari in Lake Mburo National Park

 DAY FIFTEEN :  Transfer to Queen Elizabeth National Park, visit to Katwe salt lake, evening game drive.

On this day, you will wake up with a warm meal and drive down to Kasese for a refreshment, then continue to Queen Elizabeth National Park. You will drive to Lake Katwe for the salt mining experience.
Lake Katwe is a customary lake on which salt mining is done, formed through long ago volcanic eruption close to 10,000 years back. There are two activities that take place there, Rock salt activity and salt winning. Rock salt activity is carried out in the main lake by only men whereas salt winning is carried out in the salt pans by both sexes.
You will have lunch, after which you will head for a visit to the crater lakes in the park, and then continue for an evening game drive. During the game drive, expect to see animals such as Buffaloes, elephants, hippos, lions and leopards luckily resting under the trees after a day hunt.
Later you will be driven Buffalo Safari Lodge, check in and have dinner and overnight stay.

Accommodation: Buffalo Safari Lodge

Meal plan: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

DESTINATION GUIDE: Saltpans at Lake Katwe salt mines

Day sixteen – Experiential Lion Tracking in Ishasha and afternoon boat cruise at Kazinga channel

On this day, after your breakfast, you will head to the southern section of the park Ishasha where you will interface with the predators under the guidance of a ranger guide and researchers who drive around the park with radiation trackers which will help them to find lions that have radio collars placed around the neck.
Lion tracking experience takes about 3 hours and after, you will continue with a morning game drive. You will have lunch in the park and after it, you will head to Mweya peninsular at Kazinga channel for a boat cruise.
A boat cruise along the Kazinga Channel will offer you one of the greatest wildlife experiences. Prepare to see countless hippos, crocodiles, buffaloes, elephants, very many water birds including the migratory ones, and many of the other park animals that come to the banks of this channel to quench their thirst. It also a mating and breeding ground for many animals.
The boat will go for around 2 hours on the Kazinga channel that connects Lakes George and Edward. After the boat trip you will return to the lodge.
You will also have beautiful sunset views while resting at your accommodation.

Accommodation: Buffalo Safari Lodge

Meal plan: Breakfast, lunch and supper

Example sceneries of what to expect during a boat cruise on the Kazinga channel.

Tree climbing lions of Ishasha sector, Queen Elizabeth National Park

Day seventeen – Kasenyi morning game drive and transfer to Lake Mutanda for canoeing and relaxation

 Be up early and proceed for an early morning game drive in the Kasenyi plains. Be on the look for cape buffalos, herds of elephants, lions and leopards (though hard to sport) among others. And after we shall continue our journey   to Lake Mutanda with enroute lunch. On reaching, you will immediately go for canoeing to one of the nearby islands. Lake Mutanda Islands are blessed with diverse species of birds and butterflies so on reaching there you will have a feast for the eyes.  After, you will drive to your accommodation for checking in, dinner and overnight sleep

Accommodation: Mutanda Eco Community Center

Meal plan: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Exemplary wooden canoes used at Lake Mutanda. Note the banana plantations in the background

Day Eighteen –transfer to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and relaxation

After an early break first we shall embark on jour journey to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park. The park which is best known for holding half of world’s total population of mountain gorillas this   forested park is located on the lowlands of the outer fringes of a mountainous area. on reaching we shall check in at the accommodation have lunch and relax at the lodge as you prepare for Gorilla tracking experience in the following morning

Day Nineteen- Gorilla Trekking in Bwindi Forest.

Half of the world’s population of gorillas live under the mist-covered canopies of Uganda’s oldest and most biologically diverse rainforest. In the company of an experienced park ranger, you will be tracking the whereabouts of one of the habituated family groups who reside here.
Your tracking experience will be an exciting, yet challenging journey along forested (often muddy and slippery) slopes, tangled vines, thick vegetation, and bamboo forests before you reach the territory of these gentle giants.
You will have an early morning breakfast, and be led to the park headquarters for briefing. After it and with an experienced guide, you will start on this activity which is one of the top highlights of this safari. Depending on the location of the gorillas on any given day the walk can take anything from 2 to 7 hours. Once the family of gorillas has been located, you will settle into your surroundings and enjoy the 1 hour you have to quietly observe these fascinating primates. You will travel with packed lunch which you will enjoy during this activity. After tracking you will transfer to the lodge for relaxation.

Accommodation: Gorilla Safari Lodge

Meal plan: Breakfast, lunch and din

FAMILY TIME: A gorilla family is led by the dominant male, known as the ‘silverback’

Day Twenty – transfer to Kampala with stop-over at the Equator.

  You will wake up for an early morning breakfast and then start on your journey back to Entebbe. You will have a stop-over at the equator where you will have both lunch and moments of photography. There are craft shops so you can do so shopping in case you so wish. After here, you will continue on your journey to Kampala/Entebbe where you will check in ViaVia Uganda- Entebbe for your last night in Uganda. You will have dinner here and overnight sleep as you wait for your flight the next day.

DESTINATION GUIDE: Equator Uganda with crafts shops in the background.

Day Twenty-One – Fly-out of Uganda.

After your breakfast, and depending on your flight schedule, you will check out of the hotel and be transferred to the Entebbe International Airport for your flight back home. This will bring your 21-days comprehensive Ugandan safari to an end.

Meal plan: Breakfast

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