Safaris & Gorillas of Uganda

Combine safaris in Murchison Falls National Park and Queen Elizabeth National Park with a 4 day gorilla trek in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest. Top and tail with overnights in the bustling capital of Kampala.

12 Days

$8,724

Safaris & Gorillas of Uganda - 12 - $8,724

Itinerary Map

Start from Entebbe and end at Entebbe

Landmarks visited on Safaris & Gorillas of Uganda

Itinerary

Day 1: Entebbe

Fly into Entebbe. Upon landing, clearing Immigration and collecting your luggage, leave the airport to meet your driver waiting outside for the short transfer to the Protea Hotel where you will spend the night.

Overnight: Protea Hotel


Day 2: Kampala

After a good night's sleep and breakfast, you will be met by a driver and transferred first 1 hour to the Mabamba Swamp for a dug out canoe trip on the trail of the Shoe Bill Stork. Then drive into Kampala (just over an hour on the new Expressway) for the Changing Horizons Martyrs and Kings Tour. This take you through the history of the city over the past 150 years. Your first stop is the Protestant Shrine at Namugongo. It is here that 12 Catholics and 13 Protestants converts were burnt to death for refusing to renounce their faith. You then head to the Catholic Shrine, 1.5km down the road. Here, one Catholic martyr was executed separately. The shrine is built over the spot where he died, and is a minor Basilica. The Pope visited both shrines in 2015.

Next, the tour takes you to Wamala Tombs, the palace, and now final resting place of the 29th Kabaka (King) of Buganda, Ssuuna II. It is here that the first Arab traders came to the kingdom in 1844. You then visit Fort Lugard in Old Kampala, which was the seat of the first colonial governor, Captain Frederick Lugard, once Buganda became part of the British Protectorate. This is followed by the  royal palace at Mengo. It was built in 1885 by Kabaka Mwanga, and has had a long colourful history, including being a military barracks for three decades. Your final stop is a hotel that used to serve as a headquarters, entertainment centre and occasional torture chamber for post independence rulers Idi Amin and Milton Obote. Throughout the tour, your guide will tell you the story behind each site, and give an account of the larger historical context within which these events took place. Spend the night in the new Latitude 0 Guesthouse.

Overnight: Latitude 0


Day 3: Murchison Falls National Park

Met this morning by your driver-guide, you will leave the city for the beginning of your safari. A fascinating 7 hour drive through a changing landscape will stop first at the Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary, where you can walk to the rhino and learn all about the conservation programme, before continuing to Murchison Falls National Park to settle into a 3 night stay in a charming lodge on the banks of the mighty Nile River.

Overnight: Baker's Lodge


Day 4: Murchison Falls National Park

Cross the river on the first ferry to spend the morning on a game drive in the wildlife-rich Paraa sector of the Park. This area has the best elephant, lion and giraffe population. In the afternoon, enjoy a private, small boat, Nile cruise to the famous Murchison Falls. This is a beautiful experience in itself, but is also a great way to see the large mammals drinking from the river banks and the acquatic bird species. Get off the boat before the water gets to rough and then join a short guided walk along the cliff path to the Falls themselves. Your driver will meet you at the head of the Falls for the drive back to the lodge.

Overnight: Baker's Lodge


Day 5: Murchison Falls National Park

This morning you will drive an hour down to the Budongo Forest Reserve on the outskirts of Murchison, to join a guided chimpanzee tracking experience. Originally established by the Jane Goodall Institute, this is one of the best chimp guided experiences in the country. Return to the park in the afternoon for a final game drive.

Overnight: Baker's Lodge


Day 6: Queen Elizabeth National Park

Transfer to the airstrip for the scheduled light aircraft flight to Kasese. Met upon landing by a second driver-guide, you will be transferred 1.5 hours to Queen Elizabeth National Park in time for the afternoon boat safari on the Kazinga Channel. Queen Elizabeth NP is one of Uganda's finest birding destinations, and the Kazinga Channel is partly why. The boat safari is a scheduled group departure. Back on shore, drive to the beautifully located Kyambura Gorge Lodge to enjoy a luxurious two night stay.

Overnight: Kyambura Gorge Lodge


Day 7: Queen Elizabeth National Park

This morning, join the lion research programme to learn more about the lion population, their ecology and the challenges facing their sustainable conservation. This also enables you to drive off road and access parts of the Park normally off limits to tourists. After lunch, venture into a part of the Park seldom visited for a lovely guided walk: the Maramagambo Forest. This is a wonderful, pristine, habitat excellent for birders (and bat enthusiasts!). 

Overnight: Kyambura Gorge Lodge


Day 8: Queen Elizabeth National Park

After a leisurely breakfast in camp, you will be driven from Kyambura two hours through the park to the beautiful and remote Ishasha sector for an afternoon game drive. Sundowners are lovely here! Spend the night at the wonderful Ishasha Wilderness Camp.

Overnight: Ishasha Wilderness Camp


Day 9: Bwindi Impenetrable National Park

After a good night's sleep and breakfast, leave Ishasha and make the leisurely 2 hour drive to Buhoma, then entry point to the north of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, home of the mountain gorillas. Arrive in time for lunch and a relaxing afternoon at the luxurious Gorilla Forest Camp where you will spend the next three nights.

Overnight: Gorilla Forest Camp


Day 10: Bwindi Impenetrable National Park

The Big Day arrives! Up early for a hearty breakfast (food is fuel!), you will walk to the nearby Park HQ for your trek briefing. There you learn about the ecology of the animals, meet your guides and have the chance to engage a local porter ($15) who can hold your day bag. Then the trek begins, moving slowly through dense forests and steep hills and valleys. You should expect to be walking for on average three hours before contact is made with the gorillas. You then have up to 1 hour with these magnificent animals, often only 7 metres away (and even closer if they approach you). Take photographs, observe their behaviour and just enjoy this unique experience. When the hour is up, return on foot to your lodge.

Overnight: Gorilla Forest Camp


Day 11: Bwindi Impenetrable National Park

Today is about the people of the forest as you join the Batwa Experience, an ethical and moving encounter with the original inhabitants of the forest. Accompanied by a local guide, you will trek through plantations into a part of the forest owneed by the Batwa Development Project and set aside for the exclusive use of the Batwa. As you enter the forest, you will be met by representatives of the community who will go on to lead you on a trail, introducing you to their old way of live through the enactment of different activities. The excursion takes most of the morning leaving the afternoon free for you to relax or explore the village of Buhoma more, your guide assisting.

Overnight: Gorilla Forest Camp


Day 12: Kampala

Transfer 1.5 hours to Kihihi airstrip. Say goodbye to your driver-guide and take the scheduled  light aircraft flight back to Entebbe. Upon landing and collecting your luggage, you will leave the airport to meet a driver for your transfer to Kampala. Here you can explore the city further, looking for the galleries and eating out before returning to Latitude 0 to spend the night.

Overnight: Latitude 0


Day 13: Kampala

After a final good night's sleep and breakfast, you will be transferred to Entebbe Airport for your international flight home. 

Prices, Departures and Inclusions

  • Per person prices estimated based on two travellers.  
  • All Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) permits are included at the documented UWA rate and are not subject to a mark up.

Includes

  • 5 seater Lancruiser, fuel and driver.
  • Scheduled internal flights.
  • Accommodation as listed in a Single room. Superior Room at Latitude 0.
  • All meals, except at The Boma (drinks at Bakers and Ishasha) Tea, coffee and water in the vehicle.
  • Flying Doctors Insurance.
  • Professional safari driver-guide.
  • All government fees and conservation taxes and permits.

Excludes

  • International flights
  • Tourist visas
  • Tips, gratuities and personal items
  • Drinks at The Boma

Questions about this Trip?