12 Days Best of Uganda Safari

12 Days Best of Uganda Safari

12 Days Best of Uganda Safari

12 Days Best of Uganda Safari tour takes you to Uganda’s main tourist attraction for the specific attractions including wildlife safaris, Gorilla trekking safaris, birdwatching safaris, chimpanzee trekking safaris and nature tours. Destinations featured in this safari include; Murchison falls national park, Kibale forest national park, Queen Elizabeth national park, Bwindi impenetrable national park, Lake Bunyonyi and Mabamba swamp. These are the most popularly visited places in Uganda blended with different activities and experiences all enjoyed in 12 days. Murchison falls National Park is the largest national park covering an area of about 4,300 square kilometres, named after the dramatic Murchison falls that flow into a gorge where the world’s longest river blasts and flows down to become a River. The park is characterised with Uganda savannah, riverine forests, woodland vegetation and large animals. It is known to be a home for big 4 game including the lions, leopards, Buffaloes and Elephants. Other animals include; the Giraffes, Hartebeests, Oribis, Kobs to mention a few. Murchison falls National Park is one of the top ranking birding destinations in Africa hosting about 460 different bird species.  Kibale national park is Africa’s best chimpanzee trekking destination with guaranteed best views of the chimpanzees and other 12 existing primates in the park. It is also a home to 138 species of birds, 250 tree species and 60 species of forest wildlife including forest elephants, bushbucks, warthogs, giant forest hogs and buffaloes. Queen Elizabeth national park is the second largest wildlife national park located in the western part of Uganda in Rubirizi district near Kasese district. Queen Elizabeth national park has a massive biodiversity with landscape including bushland, savannah, wetland and lush vegetation. The park covers an area of 1,978 square kilometres and was first founded in 1952 as Kazinga national park however later after the visit of Queen Elizabeth 11; it was renamed Queen Elizabeth national park. The park inhabits about 95 mammal species including the big 4 game (Lions, Leopards, buffaloes, and Elephants), other animals including; hyenas, hippos, waterbucks, Oribi to mention a few and over 600 bird species. Bwindi Impenetrable national park is one of Uganda’s oldest national park with diverse rainforest of over 25,000 years ago and contains about 400 plant species. Bwindi Impenetrable national park inhabits half of the remaining endangered mountain gorillas in the world and it is divided into 4 sectors including; Buhoma sector which is the oldest trekking sector, Rushaga sector which has the largest number of gorilla families, Ruhija sector and finally Nkuringo sector. Bwindi forest also shelters some species of mammals including the forest elephants and the different species of antelopes. The park is also rich with different bird species including Albertine Rift endemics. You will start and end this trip in Kampala as the nearest city to connect to Entebbe airport. Book this safari and enjoy a lifetime experience. 

Safari highlights of the 12 Days Best of Uganda Safari

  • Day 1: Transfer to Murchison falls national park
  • Day 2: Morning game drive and boat cruise 
  • Day 3: Transfer to Kibale national park
  • Day 4: Chimpanzee trekking and Bigodi swamp – Drive to Queen Elizabeth national park
  • Day 5: Lion tracking/game drive – boat cruise in Kazinga channel
  • Day 6: Drive to Bwindi Impenetrable national park (6 hours)
  • Day 7: Gorilla trekking experience
  • Day 8: Transfer to Kisoro – Mgahinga national park
  • Day 9: Golden Monkey tracking – Lake Bunyonyi
  • Day 10: Explore Lake Bunyonyi
  • Day 11: Transfer to Entebbe
  • Day 12: Mabamba swamp tour for bird watching – Departure 

Detailed itinerary

Day 1: Transfer to Murchison falls national park

Upon arrival at Entebbe airport in the morning or depending on your location in Kampala, you will meet our company representative/guide who will be waiting to receive you and transfer to Murchison falls national park. It takes about 5-6 hours’ drive with en-route stop at Ziwa rhino sanctuary for rhino tracking for about 2-3 hours with en-route lunch. Later afternoon, proceed to enter Murchison falls national park. Connect to your booked accommodation for dinner and overnight stay

  • Luxury option: Paraa Safari Lodge/Bakers’ Lodge
  • Mid-range option: Pakuba Safari lodge/Murchison River Lodge 
  • Budget option: Red Chill Rest Camp/ Heritage Safari Lodge 

Day 2: Morning game drive and boat cruise on River Nile and hike to the top of falls

After breakfast, embark on a game drive at the delta area where you will find most of the animals. Murchison falls National Park is the only park where you will be able to see most of the animals in the park. This will take about 2-3 hours depending on availability of the animals including Elephants, Rothschild giraffes, Buffaloes, Lions, Hartebeest, Uganda Kobs, Oribis and waterbucks. 

Thereafter return to the lodge for lunch and later at 2 pm, you will set off for the boat cruise on the along the Nile which will give you an exciting panoramic view at the bottom of the mighty Murchison falls. Along the cruise, you will encounter crocodiles, hippos, and birds on the river banks like kingfisher, cormorants and bee-eater. Upon viewing the falls from the bottom, hike to the top of the falls. The hike a little bit difficult to hike so physical ability to hike is required. Upon reaching the top, the falls are refreshing with close views of the falls. Meet your guide at the top and drive back to the lodge for relaxation, dinner and overnight stay as above.

Day 3: Transfer to Kibale national park

After breakfast, set your day early to depart the park and transfer to Kibale national park, it’s a 6-7 hours’ drive from the south-north of Uganda with en-route lunch. Upon arrival, proceed to explore the crater lakes as you connect to check-in your lodge to rest. Dinner and overnight stay in 

  • Luxury option: Kyaninga lodge  
  • Mid-range option; Chimpanzee Forest Guesthouse
  • Budget option: Isunga lodge for budget

Day 4: Chimpanzee trekking and Bigodi swamp

After breakfast, drive to Kibale park head offices for briefing about the chimpanzees. Enter the forest and start trek the chimpanzees in their natural habitat, its take 2-5 hours to find them and on finding them, you are allowed 1 hour to be in their process as they swing from the branches in the canopy high above the forest floor. 

After lunch visit the Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary. The reserve is abundant with butterflies, plants, animals, in particular, birds and primates. Spectacular birds like Great Blue Turaco and rare Papyrus Gonolek will be of great interest to birders. The swamp is also home to more elusive animals such as Red Colobus monkeys and Sitatunga antelope. There is also the opportunity to visit local community projects that have been financed by tourism. Later evening, transfer to Queen Elizabeth national park. It’s a 3 hours’ drive from Kibale national park to Queen Elizabeth national park. Dinner and overnight stay at;

  • Budget option: Pumba Safari Cottages 
  • Mid-range option: Parkview Safari lodge 
  • Luxury option: Mweya Safari Lodge/Kyambura Gorge Lodge

Day 5: Lion tracking/game drive – boat cruise in Kazinga channel

After your breakfast, you will set off to an early lion tracking experience where you are guaranteed to encounter lions before a game drive. You will also encounter other animals like buffaloes, elephants, waterbuck, Uganda Kob, and other types of antelopes. Then go back for lunch.

Afternoon, go for a 3 hours launch cruise along the Kazinga Channel into Lake Edward, this cruise will let you pass through a place of the highest concentration of hippos and you may also see many animals drinking at the water’s edge. The cruise also offers a good platform for photography, bird watching, and games. Dinner and overnight stay at as above

Day 6: Drive to Bwindi Impenetrable national park 

After breakfast, meet your driver to depart for Bwindi. Drive via the Ishasha sector for changes in seeing the tree-climbing lions. Proceed to Bwindi with en-route lunch. Connect to your lodge in the Buhoma or Ruhija sector of the Bwindi forest. Dinner, and spend a night at 

  • Budget accommodation option: Buhoma Community Rest Camp 
  • Mid-range option: Buhoma Haven Lodge 
  • Luxury option: Buhoma Lodge/Silverback Safari lodge for luxury

Day 7: Gorilla trekking experience

Have breakfast and transfer you to park offices for briefing about Mountain Gorilla trekking by a local guide. The time taken is usually between 2-8 hours depending on the movement of the gorillas. Meeting the gorillas unexpectedly is one of the most captivating lifetime experiences. You will have a chance to observe and take pictures at very close range. You will observe adults feeding and groaning among themselves. After an hour with the long-awaited gorillas, your guide and rangers will lead you back to the starting point where your driver will readily be waiting to transfer you back to the lodge. Depending on the time you return from the trekking activity, you may do an optional community tour. Have dinner and overnight stay as lodge above.

Gorilla trekking experience
Gorilla trekking experience

Day 8: Transfer to Kisoro – Mgahinga national park

After breakfast, meet with your guide for a Batwa community tour which will take about 2 hours, thereafter transfer to Kisoro which takes about 3 hours from Buhoma. Have lunch in Kisoro town. Later afternoon visit Lake Mutanda for a canoe ride and visit some of the interesting islands on the lake. Later in the evening, connect to for dinner and overnight stay at 

  • Budget option: Travellers’ Rest Hotel 
  • Mid-range option: Lake Mulehe Safari lodge 
  • Luxury option: Gahinga Lodge for luxury option

Day 9: Golden Monkey tracking – Lake Bunyonyi

After breakfast, transfer to Mgahinga Gorilla national park for your golden monkey tracking experience. You will meet with the park officials who will brief you about the experience and allocate in groups. Thereafter enter the forest to start your trekking experience of the golden monkeys. It takes about 5-6 hours in search of the creatures and on finding them; you will be allocated 1 hour to be in their presence while taking pictures and videos. Return to the starting point where your guide will be waiting to drive you back to the lodge. Refresh and check-out of the lodge and drive to Lake Bunyonyi. Dinner and overnight stay at 

  • Luxury option: Bunyonyi BirdNest lodge 
  • Mid-range option: Bunyonyi Eco-resort
  • Budget option; Bunyonyi Overland Resort

Day 10: Explore Lake Bunyonyi

After breakfast, explore Lake Bunyonyi on a canoe ride. This is the place to relax after all the hiking experience. Lake Bunyonyi is the second deepest lake in Africa with about 29 islands such as the punishment island, Bushara, Bwama and Njuyeera islands to mention a few. The lake is surrounded by steep terraced hillsides and best of all, unlike other lakes, Lake Bunyonyi is Bilharzia, hippo and crocodile free with crystal clear waters good for swimming.

Lake Bunyonyi
Lake Bunyonyi

After lunch, you can either relax at the lodge or go for Zip-lining at your one cost or do any other interesting activity of your choice. Return to relax at the lodge with great views of the hills and the lake. Dinner and overnight stay at lodge as above 

Day 11: Transfer to Entebbe

After breakfast, set off for Kampala then to Entebbe, it’s about 8-9 hours’ drive with en-route lunch in Mbarara town and stop at the equator for the equator experiment. Upon arrival in Entebbe, drive to our booked lodge for dinner and overnight stay 

  • Budget option: Via Via Guesthouse
  • Mid-range option: 2 Friends Guesthouse Entebbe 
  • Luxury option: Entebbe Protea Hotel 

Day 12: Mabamba swamp tour – Departure

After breakfast on the final day of the 12 Days Best of Uganda Safari, meet your guide and connect to Mabamba swamp on a canoe ride. Mabamba swamp is a prime wetland birding site famous for the Shoebill stock bird commonly regarded as “Uganda’s most sought bird” by nature lovers. Mabamba Swamp is located west of Entebbe on the northern shore of Lake Victoria hosting over 300 bird species including the many globally threatened species, 7 of Uganda’s 12 Lake Victoria biome restricted species that is the Papyrys Gonolek and plenty of wetland specialties. Later afternoon, return to your lodge for lunch, relax and later evening connect to Entebbe airport for your flight back home.

End of the 12 Days Best of Uganda Safari

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