12 days – Uganda Pearl of Africa Private Safari Mid Range

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12 days
Private Safari
Entebbe - Entebbe
Uganda
Min Age : 15
Tour Details

This private safari is a great value for money to experience the highlights of Uganda. The tour includes a Gorilla trekking, chimpanzee trekking, Jinja, Kampala, Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary, Murchison Falls National Park, Kibale Forest National Park, Southern Queen Elizabeth National Park, Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, Lake Bunyonyi and Lake Mburo National Park. If you have more time on your hands, we can include Kidepo National Park in the north, good for cheeta spotting and other wildlife, 

Your private driver guide has tons on knowledge and will make sure you get to experience the real Uganda with its wildlife and friendly people. An experience to never forget. 

[Detailed Itinerary]

Highlights

Gorilla trekking in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, chimpanzee trekking in Kibale Forest National Park, Jinja, Kampala, Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary, Murchison Falls National Park, Queen Elizabeth National Park, Lake Bunyonyi and Lake Mburo National Park

Extras/Upgrades

  • Accommodation upgrade
  • Extra nights
  • Pre-planned activities

Departure & Return Location

Entebbe – Entebbe

Departure Time

Any time

Price Includes

  • English speaking tourist driver guide
  • All accommodation and meals as specified (Detailed Itinerary)
  • Game drives and parking fees according to the itinerary
  • Entrance fees to national parks and excursions as per itinerary
  • 1 x Gorilla Permit pp (Bwindi)
  • 1 X Chimp Trek Permit
  • 1 x Jinja Sunset Cruise (excl. drinks)
  • 1 x Rhino Trek, Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary
  • 2 x Game Drive Permit Murchison Fall NP pp.
  • 1 x Murchison Falls River Cruise pp
  • 2 x Game Drive Permits Queen Elizabeth NP pp.
  • 1 x Lion Tracking Experience pp.
  • 1 x Kazinga Channel Boat Safari, QENP pp.
  • 1 x Game Drive Permit Lake Mburo NP pp.
  • Mineral water in the vehicle during the tour
  • AMREF flying evacuation doctors
  • Coverage by Calamiteitenfonds (for Dutch only) and Guarantee Fund
  • 24/7 support from our backup team

Price Excludes

  • International flights (bookable via African Travels)
  • Meals/drinks not mentioned in the travel schedule
  • All Insurance (travel and/or cancellation)
  • Tips (recommended $20 per person per day)
  • Any expenses of a personal nature
  • Visas
  • Park-/entrance fees not mentioned in itinerary
  • Laundry service

Accommodation

11 nights in tented camps and safari lodges, based on meals as specified in the detailed itinerary

Pictures of Accommodation  (see alternative options for mid range)

African Travels will send you to the most beautiful and unique accommodations in Africa. They are not only run by excellent staff, they also give back to the local community and operate as eco friendly as possible. Located in the most beautiful and safe locations, they will contribute to your ultimate Africa experience. We will make sure they tick all the boxes! Upgrades and extensions available. 

Itinerary

Day 1Jinja

We pick you up at your accommodation by 8am this morning and introduce you to your knowledgeable expert guide and will be briefed about your itinerary and the pearl of Africa which is Uganda. Then it’s off on a 2-hour drive to Jinja which is on the great River Nile and close to Lake Victoria. With all that water Jinja is considered the adventure playground of Uganda. The source of the Nile, at Coronation Park, is marked by a garden and a monument honoring British explorer John Hanning Speke. Owen Falls Dam and Bujagali Dam both span the Nile. Farther north on the river, Itanda Falls is known for its white-water rapids. East of Jinja, on Lake Victoria, Samuka Island is home to birdlife, including little egrets. Lunch will be at your accommodation of choice.

After lunch you have the following optional activities to choose from:
 Whitewater Kayaking – $160 (4-5 hours)
 Tandem Kayaking – $160 (4-5 hours)
 Family Float – $30 (1.5 – 2 hours)
 Horse Back Riding – $40
 Quad Biking – $55
 Mountain Biking – $30
 Nile Stand Up Boarding – $15
 Kayak Cruises – $20
 Fishing Safari – $80

At 5pm we will all meet for a Sunset Nile Cruise. Nothing beats an African sunset and particularly one over the Nile. Salute the end of another great day with good company, good food and an ice-cold beer or gin & tonic.

Day 2Kampala

This morning, you will enjoy your breakfast with fascinating views of the nile and again enjoy any of the adventure or more gentle activities Jinja has to offer.
Lunch will be at the accommodation and after lunch we will transfer back to capital city, Kampala for an overnight in readiness for our transfer to the game safari regions near Murchison Falls tomorrow.
Dinner and overnight at your accommodation

Day 3Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary

After breakfast, enjoy the panoramic drive northwest of Kampala through the famous battle zone of Luwero triangle. It’s a 4-hour drive and we will take lunch after arrival and checking in.
In the afternoon we have a super interesting White Rhino trek. Ziwa has 22 free roaming white rhinos. The trek takes about two hours in the company of well trained and knowledgeable local guide who will educate you on their habits, behaviors and conservation plans of this unique animal. You will fall in love with Rhinos after this experience. The Rhino re-introduction project is a project of Rhino Fund Uganda and Uganda Wildlife Authority.
Dinner and overnight at your accommodation

Day 4Murchison Falls National Park

This morning you have the early morning option of a unique Shoebill Trek and Canoe Ride. One of the most sought-after birds to be seen in Uganda is the shoebill stork. The Lugogo Swamp at Ziwa is one of the only places that you are almost always guaranteed to see the storks. The best sighting has been 11 in one trip! Within our swamps, these prehistoric-looking birds are nesting and the best time to view them is early at sunrise. The tour goes from 6am to 10am and costs $35.
After 10am we will drive to the top of Murchison Falls within Murchison Falls National Park. Hiking up Murchison Falls is a 45 minute plus trail from the bottom of the fall to the top. Disembark after a pleasant ride with lots of wildlife on the sides of the river. As you hike up, you are cooled and refreshed on the hike by the misty spray from the Nile pouring down over 43 meters through what is called “the Devil’ s Cauldron” – it is not the hardest hike that you can take in Uganda but it is one of the most invigorating.
As you take the Trail upward, guided by rangers go back in time to Winston Churchill who in 1907 trekked down the same path. It was not as well-worn in those days, however, the power of the River Nile pouring down was the same. The Top of Murchison Falls Hike will soon greet you with the churning waters of the Nile. It is quite a spectacle and if you take a short walk south on top of the Falls you will be able to also see Uhuru Falls (Freedom) which is also quite a sight.
Above the falls where the flows more calmly, Alice Auma Lakwena spent 40 days communicating with the animals and what she perceived as spirits before forming the Holy Spirit Movement that rebelled against the Government Forces and marched toward Kampala but only reached Jinja where her troops were routed.
After the falls we will transfer to your overnight accommodation for lunch, check in and enjoy nice rest close by the Nile.

Day 5 Murchison Falls National Park

Set off early morning on a game drive in the Nyamsika plateau to see the Cape buffaloes, Rothschild’s giraffes, Uganda kob, hartebeest and waterbucks. You may also spot oribi, bushbuck, Bohor reedbuck, bush duiker, warthog and bush pig plus large carnivores including lions, leopards and spotted hyenas and olive baboons head the list of six species of primates found in the park. We will take a packed lunch whilst on safari with us.
During the afternoon enjoy a boat safari on the Victoria Nile River. Over a 17km stretch enjoy sightings of hippos, crocodiles, elephant, waterbuck and Uganda Kob. The boat will stop just tens of metres from the sinister, frothing and bubbling base of the falls where you can take pictures of the majestic Murchison Falls.
After the boat safari we transfer to Budongo Eco Lodge near the Budongo Forest Reserve just outside of Murchison Falls Natinaol Park, in readiness for our amazing Chimpanzee Trek tomorrow. Dinner and overnight at your accommodation.

Day 6Chimpanzee Trekking in Kibale Forest National Park

Early this morning we enter the Budongo Forest Reserve. Budongo Forest is one of the best places for doing a chimpanzee trekking activity, it’s also the largest mahogany forest in East Africa. The forest is a habitat to over 360 bird species, 450 tree species, 24 mammal species, 130 moth species and over 250 butterfly species. Apart from chimpanzee trekking you may come across other primates like; olive baboon, white and black Columbus monkeys, red tailed monkeys and blue monkeys among the rest.

In this part of Uganda there are over 600 chimpanzees and the research centre at Budongo is key to studying our closest living animal relative and conservation efforts. You’ll be amazed at how many traits you recognize. After the trek we have a long 7-hour drive through remote Uganda on our way south to Kibale Forest where we stop for an overnight before going to Queen Elizabeth National Park. Lunch will be packed and eaten enroute.

Day 7Queen Elizabeth National Park

After breakfast we drive from Kibale Forest National Park to Queen Elizabeth National Park which is around a 2-hour transfer.
Immediately on arriving we have a full day’s game safari adventures planned, starting with a Lion Tracking experience. Normally spotting Lions is a 50/50 proposition, however this tracking program run by the Ugandan Wildlife Authority helps them monitor and research the Lions of Kassese but also allows us very high odds of finding and viewing the Lions for ourselves.
After the Lions tracking we will check in to your accommodation, have lunch and continue an afternoon of game drives. The number of animals in Queen Elizabeth National Park is impressive and you should see many Hippos, Waterbuck, Crested Cranes, Zebra, Buffalo, Wildebeest and possibly the elusive Leopard. Most of all Queen Elizabeth National Park is known for its Elephants and you are sure to see many of these majestic creatures.
At 5pm we head to Kazinga Channel which links Lake Edward and Lake George. We embark on a Boat Safari which is one of the best in Africa, because Kazinga Channel has possibly the highest density of Hippos in Africa. Not only Hippos, but you will see Water Buffalo, Crocodiles and much birdlife all living and interacting closely together. Sometimes the Elephants comes down in the evening for a drink as well. Keep your eyes open for giant lizards and snakes as well. This is a fascinating boat safari as the sunsets on this wonderful National Park.
Afterwards we head back to your accommodation for dinner and overnight.

Day 8Queen Elizabeth National Park

After breakfast we begin with a game drive and transfer to the southern sector of Queen Elizabeth National Park called Ishashsa. The transfer takes around 2.5 – 3 hours and there are game viewing opportunities along the way. We will arrive for check in and lunch at your accommodation. After lunch we game drive the Ishasha sector which his particularly well known for its Ugandan Kog, Antelope, Warthogs and famous tree-climbing lions, however hippos and elephants are frequently seen here as well. This is only one of two places in Africa where Lions spend a majority of their time in trees. They are not easy to find but should we locate them it’s a unique experience to watch them laze about in the trees. Dinner and overnight at your accommodation.

Day 9Bwindi Impenetrable Forest

After breakfast we have the morning to continue game driving Ishasha and searching for tree-climbing lions.
Late morning, we will start the 2 hour transfer to a whole new ecosystem of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park.
We will lunch at your accommodation then the afternoon is yours to explore the beautiful surrounds or rest before your amazing Mountain Gorilla trek tomorrow morning.
Dinner and overnight at your accommodation.

Day 10Gorilla Trekking

Your Mountain Gorilla trek is sure to be the highlight of your tour. Up early, have your breakfast and we head off on the short transfer to park headquarters where you are allocated guides and provided with a briefing before heading into the forest. The walk to find the gorillas may be as short as two hours, but it will generally take 2-6 hours to find them as their territory can range up to 40km. The park rangers and guides will clear the way and assist you through the forest. You will need a good fitness level to make this walk, as the going can be slippery and tough at times. Once the gorilla group is located you will spend an hour with them as they feed, rest and play. Sitting with the mountain gorilla is one of the most amazing wildlife experiences you will ever have. A dominant male silverback can weigh over 200 kilos and is the largest living primate. He will control your meeting as well as deciding when his group will eat, sleep and move on. His females care for their young with affection and playfulness but also with discipline. They are very curious, and are capable of making over 25 different vocalizations, including chuckling and purring. Communication also includes posturing, chest beating and if all else fails – the charge! The privilege of spending an hour with a family group is an experience that will never leave you. After your hour is up, you will wind your way slowly out of the forest and back to the camp to swap stories about your amazing experience. For the gorilla trek please bring walking boots, or waterproof trainers and socks, long pants and a light, long sleeved shirt. Gloves of the normal gardening variety are a good idea also. Layers of clothes are best, as conditions in the tropical rain forest can change from hot to wet and cold in an instant. We have packed lunch so immediately after your trek we will transfer to the beautiful Lake Bunyonyi. The drive is a scenic 3.5 hours. We then take a boat ride to your island accommodation. Enjoy the island trails, volleyball, badminton, rope swing, swimming in the lake or relax with the scenic farming terraces and stunning still lake of Lake Bunyonyi.
Dinner and overnight at your accommodation

Day 11 Lake Mburo National Park

After breakfast you can enjoy the Island complimentary activities – island trails, volleyball, badminton, rope swing, swimming in the lake or relax with the scenic farming terraces and stunning still lake of Lake Bunyonyi. Alternatively take an optional guided culture tours leaving at 8am. Choose one of the below options:

History of Bushara and Neighboring Islands
Transport: Your guide will canoe with you to nearby islands and will take you on a walking tour of some of them (if you like).

Bushara, Akampeine, Bwama, and Sharp’s islands have a long and fascinating history. On this tour you will learn about traditional history and visit the homes of founding missionaries. Bwama Island was acquired by Dr. Sharp following the government’s forced dispersal of a sinister cult lead by a powerful witchdoctor. Dr. Sharp established a hospital to treat the many lepers living within Uganda and surrounding countries. At one point, more than 2,000 patients inhabited Bwama and they used Bushara Island to grow food crops. Akampeine (Punishment) Island has a dark history. Girls who became pregnant outside of wedlock were exiled to Punishment Island and left to die, forturantely, some were rescued by single men from nearby villages. Dr. Sharp set up his lake home on Njuyeera (Sharp’s) Island, which now has a resort on it.

Duration: 4 hours;dugout canoe and walking
Cost: US$10/person
Mukoni Village

Transport: 15-minute canoe ride

After paddling for 15-minutes across the lake we will arrive at the shores of a charming farm with cows, goats, chickens, and a banana plantation. We will wander through a traditional village and observe the locals going about their daily business. We will then take a leisurely hike along an elevated trail to a fantastic lookout which provides stunning 360-degree views of Lake Bunyonyi, surrounding farms, villages, schools, and churches nestled on the steep slopes. A combination of forest groves, cultivated areas, and gardens are home to a large diversity of bird species. Hawks can be seen soaring on the thermals above the ridge on most days.

Duration: 3 hours; canoe, hike, and village visit
Lunch will be at your accommodation at Lake Bunyonyi before we take a boat ride back to the mainland and transfer 3 hours to Lake Mburo National Park.
Lake Mburo is Uganda’s smallest National Park but it packs a punch. Predators almost don’t exist so the populations of antelope, giraffes, zebras and more are prolific. The low predator count also allows for unique safaris such as walking, cycling and horse riding. There are 15 lakes in the park and a boat safari with the usual suspects is also available (hippos, crocodiles, water buffalo and birds).

Check in and have dinner at your accommodation overlooking this beautiful National Park.

Day 12End of Itinerary

This morning you have the choice of an inclusive game drive or special optional activities:

Game Drive (included in tour – ½ day)
The best way to fully explore Lake Mburo National Park is by driving. A game drive in Lake Mburo National Park gives you the best opportunity for seeing the impala, zebra and giraffes. Impala and zebras especially define Lake Mburo, because it is the only place in Uganda to see the majestic impala and the only easily accessible place to see Burchell’s zebra (the other being Kidepo which is hard to reach).

Guided Nature Walk (Optional – $70, 2 hours)
Guided nature walks in Lake Mburo are some of the most alluring and Unique activities that you’ll find in any of Uganda’s parks. This is so because once you are in the company of an armed park ranger, you are permitted to walk anywhere in the park. This gives tourists the unique chance to get out and about and absorb the wonders of the African bush without the confines of a vehicle.

Guided Cycling Safari (Optional – $95, 2 hours)
Guided nature walks in Lake Mburo are some of the most alluring and Unique activities that you’ll find in any of Uganda’s parks. This is so because once you are in the company of an armed park ranger, you are permitted to walk anywhere in the park. This gives tourists the unique chance to get out and about and absorb the wonders of the African bush without the confines of a vehicle.

Horse Back Safari (Optional – $70, 2 hours)
Horseback safaris are an exciting way to see wildlife in and around Lake Mburo National Park. Without any engine sounds and fumes you feel part of nature and often get the chance to see the more timid animals. Experiencing game from horse back is very special: zebra come towards you to check out the strange relative without strips. Even the normally very shy eland curiously look at the horses without running away, just keeping their distance.

Boat Safari (Optional – $30, 2 hours)
Horseback safaris are an exciting way to see wildlife in and around Lake Mburo National Park. Without any engine sounds and fumes you feel part of nature and often get the chance to see the more timid animals. Experiencing game from horse back is very special: zebra come towards you to check out the strange relative without strips. Even the normally very shy eland curiously look at the horses without running away, just keeping their distance.

We will then lunch at your accommodation before heading off around 1pm for Entebbe on our final leg. We should arrive at Entebbe at 6pm. We can take you to the International Airport or transfer to your hotel if you have arranged for additional overnight stay.

Map

Photos