HIGHLIGHTS: Chimpanzee trekking, game drives, boat rides and Gorilla Trekking
Uganda is a country of many surprises with rolling hills, sparkling crater lakes, abundant wildlife with numerous animals and countless breathtaking views, cultural experiences with the local communities and the endangered Mountain Gorillas. Within 11 days, this tour gives you an opportunity to explore the virtually untouched and spectacular 4 major National Parks in Uganda. You will enjoy game drives, cultural encounters, come across beautiful landscapes, boat rides, chimpanzee trekking and the high light of the tour – trekking of the gentle giants. After this tour you will have a rewarding and memorable experience ever.
Day 1: Arrival in Entebbe
Day 2: Fly to Kidepo National Park, game drive
Day 3: Nature walk, game drive and community visit
Day 4: Drive to Murchison Falls National Park
Day 5: Game drive and boat ride
Day 6: Drive to Kibale National Park
Day 7: Chimpanzee trekking, drive to Queen Elizabeth National Park
Day 8: Game drive and boat ride
Day 9: Game drive in Ishasha sector, drive to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
Day 10: Gorilla trekking
Day 11: Fly to Entebbe and depart
Day 1:ARRIVAL IN ENTEBBE
Upon arrival at Entebbe International Airport in Uganda and after all the formalities, you shall be welcomed by our safari guide, who will then drive you to your hotel for an overnight.
Day 2: FLY TO KIDEPO NATIONAL PARK
Today you will be transferred to Kajjansi Airstrip and the fly to Kidepo National Park. Kidepo Valley National Park is a 1,442 square kilometers national park in the Karamoja region in northeast Uganda and lies in the rugged, semi-arid valleys between Uganda’s borders with Sudan and Kenya, some 700km from Kampala. The park consists of the two major valley systems of the Kidepo and Narus Rivers. Most of the park is open tree savannah. Because of differences in rainfall, vegetation and animal populations vary between the two valleys. Gazetted as a national park in 1962, it has a profusion of big game and hosts over 77 mammal species as well as around 475 bird species. It is said to be Uganda’s most isolated national park, but the few who make the long journey north through Karamoja would agree that it is also the most magnificent, for Kidepo ranks among Africa’s finest wildernesses. You will have a game drive in the park, where you will be able to spot the lions that may be sitting on the valley’s various rocks. Other wildlife includes elephants, leopard, bush duiker, jackal, bushbuck, bush pig, ostrich, buffalo and much more, in the wild Narus Valley.
Day 3: NATURE WALK, GAME DRIVE AND COMMUNITY VISIT
After your breakfast, you will have a nature walk in the park. With the help of the guide, you will be able to spot some lions, elephants, leopard, bush duiker, jackal, bushbuck, bush pig, ostrich, buffalo and much more. After lunch you will have another game drive in the park, this is the best opportunity to see some of the animals you did not see on previous game drives. Kidepo National Park is a savannah landscape that extends in all directions, It is home to various wild animals such as herds of buffalo, warthog, duiker, Jackson’s Hartebeest, lion, leopard, cheetah and hundreds of bird species, other animals that may be seen roaming around include: Jackal Roan, Antelope, Waterbuck, Eland, Oribi, Klipspringer and Lions. The park also boasts of being the highest concentration of birds endemic to Uganda like: Ostrich, Kori bustard, vultures, pygmy falcon, hornbills, eagles and more. After your game drive you will return to your lodge and rest. Time allowing you may visit the Karimojong community that lives in the north-east part of Uganda and are sharing the same roots as the Masaai of Kenya. They make their living as cattle herders and mostly still live in a traditional way. The traditional clothing is a blanket like cloth in patterns of black and red and the women make and wear beautiful beadwork. You will have a cultural performance and interaction with the great cattle keepers.
Day 4: DRIVE TO MURCHISON FALLS NATIONAL PARK
After Breakfast, you will drive to Murchison Falls National Park in the north-western part of Uganda. Murchison Falls National Park sits on the shore of Lake Albert, in northwest Uganda. It’s known for the famous Murchison Falls, where the Victoria Nile River surges through a narrow gap over a massive drop. Park wildlife includes elephants and hippos, and there are chimpanzees in the Kaniyo Pabidi mahogany forest. The Lake Albert Delta is home to rare shoebill storks. The park is also bisected by the renowned River Nile into two parts such as the Northern bank and the Southern bank. Game drives are best done in the Northern bank since that’s where you can find a large concentration of wildlife in the Savannah plains whereas the Southern bank a lesser number of antelope herds and other few animals. Upon arrival, you will embark on your first game drive through the beautiful Murchison Falls National Park. This is a beautiful drive across savannah, Borassus Palm Forest and grassland down to Lake Albert where the Albert Nile heads north. Drive in the open African savanna in search for Lions, Leopard, Hyena, Buffalo, Elephant, Jackson Hartebeest. Oribi, Waterbucks, Uganda Kobs, and enjoy spotting various Bird species such as the Secretary Bird, Black Chested Snake Eagle, Tawny and Marshal Eagles Carmine and Swallow Tailed Bee-Eaters, and many more. Retire to your lodge for an overnight
Day 5: GAME DRIVE AND BOAT RIDE
Today you will go for a morning game drive in the Park. Murchison falls is a home to different wildlife species; over 76 mammal and 451 bird species including the Buffaloes, Jackson hartebeests, Antelopes, Lions, Kobs, Giraffes, Hyenas, Bushbucks, and Warthogs among others. They are widely spread all over the Savannah grasslands, grazing or hunting for prey. This makes the park’s landscape so amazing for game viewing/game driving. In the afternoon, you will go for an exciting boat ride on the Nile to the bottom of the falls where the park derives its name. You will see a number of hippos, crocodiles basking by the river banks, other animals like the Elephants, Waterbucks, Buffaloes, kobs and rarely the Giraffe gather by the banks of the river to drink water, you will also spot a number of bird species like; the Heron, African fish eagle, pied and Malachite king fisher’s and the African skimmer among others. Thereafter you will hike to the Top of falls where the Nile squeezes through a 7meter gap and at the bottom of the Nile. Enjoy these spectacular views. Return to the lodge for an overnight
Day 6: DRIVE TO KIBALE NATIONAL PARK
After breakfast, you will drive to Kibale National Park. Kibale National Park is suited in the western part of Uganda and covers an area of about 795km and its acknowledged to have one of Uganda’s most gorgeous tropical forest, and the park’s highest point is at 1590m above sea level. It is one of Uganda’s most rewarding destinations to explore. The park is home to a total of 70 mammal species, most famously 13 species of primate including the chimpanzee. It also contains over 375 species of birds. Along the way you will pass many tea plantations, you will arrive later in the afternoon, stopover in Fort Portal town, and then proceed to your accommodation for an overnight. Depending on the time you arrive, you may visit the nearby crater lakes, or visit the Kings Palace in Fort Portal; otherwise you will relax at the lodge.
Day 7:CHIMPANZEE TREKKING DRIVE TO QUEEN ELIZABETH NATIONAL PARK
After an early breakfast, you will head to the park headquarters for briefing about the does and don’ts while trekking chimpanzees thereafter proceed for chimpanzee tracking. Led by an experienced ranger guide, trekking the chimpanzees might take about 2 to 6 hours depending on the location of chimpanzees. You will also be able to see different birds, monkeys like the black and white colobus, grey cheeked Mangabey, golden monkeys among others, and various trees species as you walk through the forest. After lunch you drive to Queen Elisabeth National Park, enjoy a game drive on your way in. Named after her Majesty the Queen of England, the park is Uganda’s most famous national park and traveler’s destination. The park’s sites include several beautiful crates lakes that winding through the rolling hills, the panoramic display of the Kazinga Channel. The park stretches from the crater-dotted foothills of the Rwenzori range in the north, along the shores of Lake Edward to the remote Ishasha River in the south, incorporating a wide variety of habitats that range from savanna and wetlands and lowland forest. Arrive later at the lodge for an overnight.
Day 8:GAME DRIVE, BOAT RIDE ON THE KAZINGA CHANNEL
Today you will head out for an early Morning Game Drive in the park, there are over 100 mammal species in the park that include Lions, Spotted Hyena, Elephants, Hippos, Buffaloes, the elusive Giant Forest Hog and Leopard. The Primates include Chimpanzees, Blue, Black faced Red Colobus, Black and White Colobus Monkeys, Red tailed monkeys and Olive Baboons. In the afternoon, you shall have a boat ride on Kazinga Channel, you will enjoy the fresh river breeze whilst observing a large selection of animal’s and views of numerous flora and fauna while on the launch cruise. The shores of this channel attracts a great number of wild animals like the hippos, elephants, crocodiles, antelopes and others which makes the channel a marvelous place that draws many visitors on a wildlife safari in Uganda. The boat cruise takes about 2-3 hours and is a spectacular experience along the channel as you explore more about African wildlife like birds, animals, reptiles among others.
Day 9: GAME DRIVE IN ISHAHSA TO BWINDI IMPENETRABLE NATIONAL PARK
After an early morning breakfast, you will depart for Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. Along the way, you will have an en route game drive in Ishasha sector, the southern part of Queen Elizabeth National Park, only here the lions have a habit of climbing trees and it is one of the few places in Africa where lions are found in Fig trees preying on other animals like the Uganda Kobs and Topi. Thereafter continue to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park the home to endangered mountain gorillas which lies in southwestern Uganda on the edge of the Rift Valley. Its mist-covered hillsides are blanketed by one of Uganda's oldest and most biologically diverse rainforests, which dates back over 25,000 years and contains almost 400 species of plants. More famously, this “impenetrable forest” also protects an estimated 400 mountain gorillas – roughly half of the world’s population, including several habituated groups, which can be tracked. There are 23 of the 24 Albertine Rift endemic bird species including Blue-throated Broadbill, bar-tailed Trogon and other beautiful forest species.
Day 10: GORILLA TREKKING
After an early morning breakfast, you will head to the park headquarters and meet with excellent local ranger guides and trackers who will brief you about the etiquette of gorilla trekking. Thereafter head off to the forest for Gorilla trekking in the company of an experienced ranger who will tell you interesting facts about flora and fauna and the lifestyle of the Gorillas. Trekking the Mountain Gorilla is one of the most exciting wildlife experiences, although the hike is physically demanding the beauty of the forest and surrounding scenery makes the trekking worthwhile. The trek will take between 2 and 6 hours, but is well worth the effort and such an amazing experience. As an alternative to gorilla trekking, you could choose to take a guided forest walk in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. A forest walk in Bwindi rewards the travelers with an exclusive feeling of a natural virgin forest, sweet melodies of birds singing up in the trees as well a close encounter with wild animals such as baboons, vervet monkeys, L’Hoest’s Guenon, duikers, giant forest hogs and bush pigs among others.
Day 11: FLY BACK TO ENTEBBE AND DEPART
After breakfast, you will be transferred to the Airstrip and then fly back to Entebbe. Along the way, you will enjoy the beautiful aerial view of south western Uganda, the hills and thick vegetation as well the terraces. Later on, you will arrive at the Airport and take your flight back home.
Transit Flight Time: Approximately 1hour and 30 mins