18 day Uganda safari trip

18 day Uganda safari trip

Day 1: Arrive Entebbe Airport

The 18 day Uganda safari trip will start when you Meet, greet transfer you to a hotel of your budget for overnight based on Bed and Breakfast. read more on Entebbe please to understand your bearing please, especially the places of interest; botanical gardens, Uganda wildlife education center, snake park.

Meal Plan: Breakfast
Lodging: Airport Guest House, Boma guest house

Day 2: Jinja Source of the Nile, Mabira forest, Sezibwa falls, Kampala heritage trail

Driving at 7am from Entebbe, visitors will be taken on a Kampala heritage trail visiting the Cathedrals, Kasubi tombs, Mosque, Makerere University, Mulago hospital, Bahi temple, Namugongo Martyrs. Lunch will be at Café Java before we drive to Sezibwa falls, visiting and walking in Mabira forest and then visiting the source of the Nile.

Activity time: Approximately 7 hours
Meal Plan: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Lodging: Sunset Hotel or  Kingfisher resort

Day 3: The drive will take you to Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary

The drive is 220km from Jinja to Ziwa rhino sanctuary on very good roads. Starting early morning we will head to Ziwa rhino sanctuary where we will track southern white rhinos that make Ziwa rhino sanctuary a must visit and a completion of the big five. Southern white rhinoceros and the Black rhinoceros once both occurred naturally in Uganda, but they have been both poached to local extinction. The northern white rhinoceros is a geographically isolated race of the white rhinoceros of southern Africa; formerly common in Uganda west of the Albert Nile, and at one time introduced into Murchison falls national park, its long-term future rests on the survival of the rhinoceros at Ziwa rhino sanctuary and perhaps the plans of re-introducing by releasing them in the wild.

The 18 day Uganda safari trip opens up to rhino excursion which is about 2hours from registration to tracking the rhinos. We will then spend the rest of the afternoon at the lodge in and by the pool.

Drive time: approximately 4-5 hours
Meal Plan: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Lodging: Amuka Safari Lodge

Day 4: Chimpanzee tracking budongo forest, visit Murchison falls

8am your 18 day Uganda safari trip takes you to budongo forest which is located in the south of Murchison falls national park conservation area. Park entrance will be sorted by your guide, while you attend to the registration. Drive for about 6kms to Budongo forest where a briefing will be attended before entering the forest for the chimpanzee tracking experience. The chimpanzee tracking experience take about 2hours. We will have lunch here and then after lunch we will take a drive following the honey moon track as we visit the Murchison falls an exciting place to visit read more about Murchison falls. We then travel to the overnight facility where you will be staying.
Drive time: Approximately 4-5 hours
Mealplan: Lunch, Dinner
Lodging: Murchison River Lodge or Kabalega Wilderness Camp

Day 5: Go for a long morning game drive, launch boat trip to bottom of the Murchison falls

6:30am we head to the crossing point to cross to the northern part crossing by raft which takes about 10mins.  Our search is among twenty predator species that have been recorded, including lion, leopard, side-striped jackel, spotted hyena, the latter probably locally extinct. Antelopes are represented by Jackson’s hartebeest, bushbuck, Uganda kob, Defassa waterbuck, Bohor reedbuck, oribi, blue duiker and common duiker. Other large mammals include elephant, Rothschild’s giraffe, hippopotamus, warthog and bushpig. Birds to look out for around Paraa include the white and pink-backed pelicans, saddle-billed and woolly-necked storks, fish eagle, black crowned crane, African jacana, wattled and spur-winged plovers, white-collared pratincole, African skimmer, carmine and red-throated bee-eaters, black-headed gonolek, black-winged red bishop, yellow-mantled widowbird and yellow-backed weaver. After the the exciting morning we’ll head to Paraa lodge where you will enjoy your lunch buffet style, starting at 12:30pm. 2pm we head to the river for another breath-taking boat ride. During the boat launch you may find elephants, buffaloes and hippos along the banks of the Victoria Nile, crocodiles are possible spotting. Return back to the lodge for overnight:

Meal Plan: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Lodging: Murchison River Lodge or Kabalega Wilderness Camp

Day 6: Head to Kibale forest area, We drive to 280kms to Kibale forest

Early morning departure from Murchison falls national park the journey to Kibale Forest. We will pass close to Lake Albert, on a clear day the view from the top of the Albert rift is spectacular.  Lunch will be along the way, although you will have a packed, we might have to find a hot lunch. In the afternoon we will arrive at Kibale Forest Camp, sleeping with the noises of the tropical rain-forest.

Drive time: 6 hours
Meal Plan: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Lodging: Kibale Forest Camp – Eco system self-contained Tents

Day 7: Chimpanzee tracking – 18 day Uganda safari trip

After breakfast, you will be transferred to Kibale forest National Park headquarters at Kanyakyu to join other trackers on briefing before chimpanzee tracking. An experienced, well-trained ranger/guide from Uganda wildlife authority will lead your tracking parky on a guided primate walk inside Kibale Forest National Park. There are 12 other primate species, including baboon and red, black and white colobus monkey.

Other mammals in Kibale forest national park include buffalo, duiker, civet cat and the third largest population of elephant in Uganda. These are forest elephants, smaller and hairier than their Savannah counterparts. Kibale forest national park is an enchanting park full of lakes, grasslands, marshes and forests.

The highlight in Kibale forest national park is to go chimpanzee tracking. There are five groups of chimpanzees that have been habituated to humans. Unlike the gorillas, they are less likely to be spotted. They are often high up in the trees or moving quickly away. On any such track, you have around a 70% chance of seeing them.

Chimpanzee tracking in Kibale forest national park lasts 2-5 hours and is restricted to four groups of four people twice a day.

Meal Plan: Breakfast, Packed Lunch, Dinner
Lodging: Kibale forest camp

Day 8: Bigodi Swamp walk and Community exploration

After breakfast we will explore Bigodi swamp a community initiative where that puts money in the local projects. The trail is well maintained with trails in and out of the swamp, forest, gardens, filled with lots of primates. Return to the lodge for lunch and afternoon rest. We later go for sunset watch at the Ndali lodge, as you have a drink.

Meal Plan: Breakfast, Packed Lunch, Dinner
Lodging: Kibale forest camp

Day 9: To Queen Elizabeth National Park

9:00am after breakfast you will drive 3-4 hours from Kibale National Park to Queen Elizabeth National Park. Check in at Bush Lodge, relax as you prepare for a late afternoon game drive. Possible sightings include Antelopes, Buffaloes, Warthogs, elephants and several other bird species other wild animals including lions and leopards whose sight depends on your luck since this is nature. Return to the Lodge for overnight.

Drive time: Approximately 3-4 hours
Meal Plan: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Lodging: Bush Lodge or Buffalo Resort

Day 10: Morning Game drive, Afternoon boat safari, evening game nature drive

In morning, you will have a game drive to the to the old mating grounds of the Uganda Kobs with possibilities of spotting lions, leopards, elephants, African buffalo, warthogs, Tsavo, Hyena, returning to the Lodge for breakfast. In the afternoon take a cruise along the Kazinga Channel, home to one of the largest concentrations of hippopotamus, as well as herds of elephants, buffalo, and other wildlife who come to the river to drink. The Kazinga channel also attracts tremendous variety of bird species including the African Eagle, Open-Billed Stork, and Pied Kingfishers. Return to your lodge in the evening for dinner after a nature drive to the crater lakes. The boat safari will provide you  with an opportunity to view over 300 out of the 600 water bird species recorded here, antelopes, crocodiles, elephants, buffaloes and hippos. Return to the lodge for overnight.

Meal Plan: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Lodging: Bush Lodge or Buffalo Resort

Day 11: Kyambura Gorge Chimpanzee tracking and Katwe salt mines

After breakfast, you will be driven to Kyambura gorge to join other trackers on a briefing before after starting the chimpanzee forest walk in the gorge. Chimpanzee families here are more illusive, moving fast within the forest. Return back from the tracking for lunch relaxation at the lodge before moving out again to visit Lake Katwe salt mines. Lake Katwe is an explosive crate which is gifted with salt and it’s the local community that mines/extracts salt from this lake. The local community guide will take you for a tour around salt mines explaining how salt extraction is done, challenges faced and opportunities available. Return to the Lodge for overnight.

Meal Plan: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Lodging: Bush Lodge or Buffalo Resort

Day 12: Drive to Ishasha

After breakfast, you will drive to Ishasha sector which supports a healthy hippo population, and the riparian fig forest which lines it harbours bushbuck, black-and-white colobus monkey, vervet monkey, olive baboon, and an interesting variety of birds. The rest of the area is dominated by light acacia woodland and Savannah. The most common large mammal species in this habitat are Uganda Kob, topi and buffalo. Elephants are also found in the area in some numbers. Ishasha is  most famous for its tree-climbing lions. I was unlucky on this score, but I understand that a significant proportion of visitors do see the lions in arboreal action. The game drive will allow us to see most of these species. We will then head to Savannah resort for lunch and overnight.

Drive time: 2hours

Meal Plan: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Lodging: Savannah Resort

Day 13: Drive to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park

After breakfast, you will drive to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park regarded to be one of the most biologically diverse forests in Africa, largerly due to its antiquity (it dates to before the Pleistocene ice age, making it over 25,000 year old) and an altitude range of between 1,160m and 2,607m above sea level. The area was gazzetted as the Impenetrable Forest Reserve in 1932, and as Bwindi National Park in 1991. Bwindi is a true rain-forest, spread over a series of steep ridges and valleys that form the eastern edge of the albertine Rift Valley. The Bwindi forest national park has got an average annual rainfall of almost 1,700mm, and it is a vital catchment area, the source of five major rivers which flow into Albert. Tourism to Bwindi focuses on gorilla tracking wth more than half the world’s wild mountain gorilla population is resident in Bwindi: an estimated 450-480 individuals living in the 15 troops. There are at least 93 mammal species more than any national park except Queen Elizabeth.

Ruhija or Buhoma will be our destination.

There will be time to take small walks or relax in preparation for the next day’s gorilla safari.

Drive time: Approximately 5-6 hours

Meal Plan: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Lodging: Broad Bill Forest Camp/Silverback lodge

Day 14: Gorilla tracking day 

Half the world’s remaining mountain gorillas live in Bwindi Impenetrable Rain-forest which makes it the best places in the world to see the mountain gorillas. A day in the life of the nearly extinct mountain gorillas is always the highlight of any Uganda safari. Bwindi impenetrable forest has several habituated groups open for visitors to track. The tracking is all part of the experience. Bwindi’s forest is twice as old as most of Africa’s forests, dating back more than 25,000 years, and the deeply fissure landscape shelters a huge number of animals. Ten primate species, including chimp, blue and red-tailed monkeys play in the canopy, amongst 120 mammal species found here. The birdlife is spectacular, with more than 350 species. If you want to marvel birds you can’t see anywhere else this is the place to do it as the sheer valleys and small clearings are home to 90% of Albertine Rift endemic species. Today you get to encounter these gorillas and make journal of your 18 day Uganda safari trip.

6:00am we recommend you wakeup, cleanup and head out for breakfast. 6:45am we head to the park headquarter where we will get to register, attend a briefing at 7:00am After the briefing you will get grouped as tracking party of 8 individuals. You get assigned a gorilla family that you will be visiting today.

8:00am then you will be driven to the starting point by your driver/guide or based on the family you are tracking you will enter the forest immediately. The tracking will take a good 2hours or more not more than 6hours. In the past trackers would walk up to 8hours searching for the location of the mountain gorillas. Due to the dedication of the rangers now the gorilla tracking experience has improved and it will make your gorilla trip a wonderful one. Along the trail you get to see other animals, primates, birds, plants and insects.

Condition of the gorilla tracking trail

The trail is usually wet and soggy due to the constant rain that falls in Bwindi forest national park. You are therefore required to bring trekking boots for you comfort and protection. The gorilla tracking trail will have thorny creeping plants. So please bring with you long trousers preferably hiking trouser, long sleeved shirts, a pair of garden gloves for used ones are fine to protect you from thorns. A rainy waterproof jacket is a must carry.

When you find the Mountain gorilla family that you are tracking

Once you come in contact with the gorilla family, the ranger leading the team will signal for everyone to leave your backpacks behind and you bring just the cameras. The gorilla tracking will bring you to a resting family on the forest floor. Sometimes you might find them feeding. The young mountain gorillas will be playing while the adults led by the silverback will be resting and keeping a very close eye on every forest movement.

You will have just one 1hour with the mountain gorillas so please use it very well. The Male Silverback gorilla will always vocally signal when the time is right to move on. When the top of the hour is up then your expedition leader will ask everyone to get ready to move back to the starting point. After the gorilla tracking you will be award a certificate of recognition for tracking the mountain gorillas. You will return to the waiting vehicle where the driver/guide will drive you back to the lodge.

Meal Plan: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Ruhija Gorilla Friends Camp / Gorilla Valley Lodge / Buhoma Community Campground

Day 15: To Lake Bunyonyi

Drive from Bwindi Impenetrable forest National Park to Lake Bunyonyi this large and erratically shaped lake, reportedly 900m deep in parts, lies at an altitude of roughly  2,000m where it follows the contours of the hilly terrain that separates the towns of Kabale and Kisoro. It is a very scenic spot, dotted with small islands and ringed by steep terraced hills, it is a popular day trip out of Kabale. The visit out to the lake is a worthwhile in its own right, as it passes traditional homesteads and patches of forest rustling with bird life.

You will relax at lake Bunyonyi during the 18 day Uganda safari trip!

Drive time: Approximately 3-4 hours
Meal Plan: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Lodging: Bird Nest Overseas Cottages or Crater Bay Cottages

Day 16: Drive to Lake Mburo National Park

8:30am after breakfast the drive to lake Mburo National Park starts, stopping for lunch en-route to the park at the equator. Lake Mburo National Park is popular for animals such as impalas, Giraffes, Zebras and so much more. The night game drive will be our activity with possibilities of seeing leopards, hyena, nocturnal animals.

Drive time: Approximately 6 hours
Meal Plan: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Lodging: Lake Mburo Safari Lodge

Day 17: Exploration of Lake Mburo national park

Morning game drive after breakfast, boat safari, evening game drive.

Meal Plan: Breakfast and Lunch
Lodging: Lake Mburo Safari Lodge

Day 18: Drive to Entebbe International Airport

Walking safari and depart at 11am heading to Entebbe International Airport, but first we stop at the equator for craft shopping. End of 18 day Uganda safari trip when you are dropped at the airport.

Drive time: Approximately 5-6 hours
Meal Plan: Breakfast and Lunch

COST PER PERSON SHARING A DOUBLE OR TWIN ROOM
2 pax on safari, the cost per person will be $ 5,455 including one gorilla permit.
3-4 pax on safari, the cost per person will be $4,868 including one gorilla permit.
5-6 pax on safari, the cost per person will be $4,545 including one gorilla permit.

The single supplement is 1090 for the whole trip.

What is included 18 day Uganda safari trip
1.1 Gorilla Permit per person + 1 Chimpanzee permit per person.
2. All Meals and accommodation as per the itinerary.
3. All ground transportation in a comfortable 4×4 vehicle.
4. Park entrance fees.
5. Services of a full time English speaking driver/guide.
6. Water, coffee or Tea while on safari.
7. All boat trips.
8. All game drives.
9. All airport pickups and drops.
10. All activities at stipulated in the itinerary.
11. And all government taxes/levies.

What is excluded 18 day Uganda safari trip
1. Drinks
2. Phone calls
3. Personal insurance
4. Laundry
5. Air fare
6. All other Services of a personal nature.
7. Driver guide’s gratuity.