Day 1 Airport transfer – Kampala
Your tour guide will pick you up from the airport in Entebbe. You will have the chance to draw money at an ATM, before you will check in at the first accommodation.
Day 2 Kampala – Murchison Falls National Park
After you receive a brief introduction about Uganda, you will drive to the beautiful Murchison Falls National Park.
Along the way, there is the possibility of a unique rhino tracking experience at Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary. Until about 30 years ago both species, the wide-mouth and the black rhino, lived in Kidepo Valley National Park and Murchison Falls National Park. Due to extensive poaching during the Idi Amin era these majestic animals disappeared. In order to reintroduce rhinos to Uganda, the Rhino Fund Uganda was founded in 1998. It established a rhino breeding program and started an initiative to educate the public about the endangered rhinos, poaching and environmental protection. Watch out for the latest addition to the rhino family: A rhinoceros-girl, born on 01.06.2013, named Uhuru!
Day 3 Murchison Falls National Park
After an early coffee you may enjoy the pleasure of a sunrise safari in the national park. Watch herds of elephants, giraffes, buffalo and different species of antelopes and look out for a lion or a leopard resting in the sunshine. In the afternoon you will go on an impressive boat tour around the foot of the waterfalls on the Nile. Here you will discover hippos and a variety of birds on the shores and of course the gigantic Nile Crocodiles. While approaching the lower base, you can listen to the thunders and electrifying sounds of the famous waterfall. Once you reached the lower base, you can enjoy a walk to the peaks of the waterfalls (approx. 45 minutes). You must not miss the spectacular view, that the world’s longest river offers you, when it runs through a 7 metres narrow cleft into the foaming pool of the East African Rift. Underneath the waterfall many birds and crocodiles feed off the dead animals that have been victims of the waterfall. (The return journey could possibly be done by boat without additional costs.) In addition, you will hike to the origin of the waterfall to enjoy the impressive view.
Day 4 Murchison Falls National Park
Murchison has so much to offer – today you will take a boat cruise to another part of the park, the delta. Watch out for bathing elephants and other African animals coming to the shores of the river to cool down and drink. The main attraction however is the sight of the rare Shoebill Stork. The chances are very high in the Delta to tick this impressive bird of your list! As an optional add-on you have the choice of having your breakfast on board. In the afternoon you will enjoy a game drive.
Day 5 Murchison Falls National Park – Kibale Forest
Today you will go to the Kibale Forest, a lovely starting point for chimpanzees tracking. It passes through beautiful landscapes, past tea plantations and the lush green nature which is characteristic of Uganda. While you are here to especially see chimpanzees, please notice, that there are more than a dozen species of monkeys living here, including the red-tailed monkeys, baboons and the Black-and-White Colobus Monkeys. Furthermore the bird life of the Kibale Forest is unique and diverse and if you are very lucky, you might also take a spot a herd of elephants, who weave their way through the forest.
Day 6 Kibale Forest National Park
In the early morning you have the opportunity to go on an exciting chimpanzee search or you can participate on a memorable hike through the Bigodi swamp. A third option would be a hike around the crater lake. Kibale Forest has the largest number of primate species in the world, our peaceful relatives, the chimpanzees included. Nowadays, there are about 4,950 wild chimpanzees in Uganda, which makes it an unique area for observations (still there is no guarantee!). During your guided walk through the forest you will learn a lot about the diverse flora and fauna of Kibale Forests.
Alternatively you can opt to take a swamp walk (about 2-3h). This excursion will take you through pasture land, small villages, passing tea areas and some gorgeous scenic backdrops, where the local people will welcome you with an enthusiastic wave. It is normal to meet up to three or four different kinds of monkeys on this hike, but the highlight of the tour is certainly the view of the Great Blue Turaco!
Day 7 Kibale Forest National Park - Queen Elizabeth National Park
Your last activity at Kibale is an unforgettable crater lake hike. Pass through villages while wandering around a beautiful lake. At lunch time you say good bye to the forest and take a short drive to Queen Elizabeth National Park, where the next highlight awaits you: An optional boat cruise on the Kazinga channel. Here you will see many hippos (more than you can probably imagine!) You will also see a variety of animals that come to the water to drink or to take a dip. Certainly you will discover lots of beautiful birds. This boat trip will undoubtedly be a highlight of your tour!
Day 8 Queen Elizabeth National Park – Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
Another highlight awaits you: Ishasha, which is located in the southern part of the Queen Elizabeth National Park. This area is famous for tree climbing lions, a phenomenon which was observed at only one other place worldwide, apart from the Ishasha National Park. You have a good chance to spot the lions up in the trees. You will continue your journey to reach another exciting attraction - the home of the mountain gorillas, the Southern part of the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest. The paths are pretty bumpy, but the breathtaking scenery along the way is worth it. You will pass expansive lakes, foothills and tropical rainforests.
Day 9- 11
Bwindi Impenetrable Nationalpark
Bwindi Impenetrable Forest: optional activities
Batwa Trail (Mgahinga National Park)
Golden Monkeys (Mgahinga National Park)
Volcanoe Climbing (Mgahinga National Park, e.g Mt. Sabinyo)
And many more activities are on offer (boat cruises to Punishment & Python island, village tours, nature walks and much more)
Prepare yourself for an encounter with Bwindi's gentle giants: the rare mountain gorillas. For most visitors, this is the highlight of their Ugandan trip!
The Bwindi Impenetrable Forest is the living space for both mountain gorillas and chimpanzees. It is the only forest in Africa, where these two species share their territory. In addition, it is home to five other primate species, 113 mammal species, over 200 butterfly species and 360 species of birds. The gorillas that you will see today belong to one of the ten gorilla families worldwide who accept the presence of humans. Your tour will be a very special, exciting journey - along the wooded slopes, tangled vines, bushes and bamboo plants before you finally get to the gorillas. On the tour, your ranger will show you the gorilla’s traces of previous activities, such as droppings, nests and nibbled bamboo shoots. You will learn a lot about the Ugandan Giant.
Please note: It may take 1-2 hours to find the gorillas but sometimes even up to 7 hours until you get back to the camp! If the gorillas are located, the walking group can spend up to 1 hour with them. It is an emotional, tantalising and very impressive experience to see a gorilla face to face. There is also a fantastic and unique opportunity to get close to the "Gorillas in the Mist" of Uganda.
Switch off your flashlight in the Ngarama Cave, as ghostly singing begins to echo in the pitch darkness. Making fire requires team work! Watch your Batwa guides create fire to smoke out bees. See a traditional Batwa grass hut - quick to build and to demolish - which was essential for this nomadic culture. Enjoy the lively dance at the cave´s entrance as the Batwa women sing a traditional song to welcome their guests. Walk through the pristine Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, with spectacular views of the Virunga Volcanoes
During this moving cultural encounter tour, the Batwa demonstrate hunting techniques; gather honey; point out medicinal plants and demonstrate bamboo cups. Guests are finally invited to the sacred Ngarama Cave, once home to the Batwa King, where the women of the community perform a sorrowful song which echoes eerily around the depths of the dark cave, and leaves guests with a striking and moving sense of the richness of this fading culture. This is a truly unique experience for visitors to learn about the traditional culture of the indigenous people.
Golden Monkey Tracking
At Mgahinga Gorilla National Park you are escorted by guides in small groups and hike to the Montane bamboo forest in the foothills of the majestic volcanoes. Golden Monkey tracking is a lively experience, not to be missed by those desiring to track chimpanzees and gorillas in Uganda. The viewing is kept to an hour and you get a close up look at the golden monkeys in their natural habitat. You can see them frolic in the bamboo forest, mothers carrying their children, feeding on bamboo leaves and totally at ease while you are there.
Day 12 Bwindi Impenetrable National Park - Lake Mburo National Park
After your breakfast your journey continues to Lake Mburo National Park. The National Park is one of the smallest parks in Uganda, but still not to be underestimated. It is the home to zebras, elands and impalas, and also an abundance of other wildlife animals – but do not forget the lake, it is full of crocodiles and hippos! Lake Mburo is a wonderful place to relax in nature. The lake and the surrounding marshes provide many opportunities for bird watching. En route to your accommodation you will enjoy an evening game drive. In the afternoon you will do a great boat trip on the lake, where you can see many crocodiles, hippos and plenty of birds.
Day 13 Lake Mburo National Park - Entebbe
In the morning you have the option to do a bushwalk with an armed ranger. He will show you footprints and animal "legacy". You might see zebras, gazelles and buffalos, as well as many different birds. Instead of bushwalks you can also go on an optional unique horse riding safari which takes about 2 hours. Afterwards, we will drive back to Entebbe with a stop at the equator. Take a few photos of the "water test" - it's worth it and you can also buy some souvenirs.
Day 14 Entebbe
Today you will drive to the beautiful Mabamba swamp. This is the second place in Uganda where you can see the unique Shoebill Stork and a lot of other beautiful bird species while you are sitting in a typical African canoe. After this you will have the chance to get some interesting impressions on an orientation city tour of Kampala. Before heading back to your accommodation you will visit the Botanical Gardens of Entebbe.
Alternatively you can chose to do the following excursion:
In the morning there is a boat tour on Lake Victoria towards Ngamba Island. Here you will see a Chimpanzee Sanctuary, which was opened in 1998. It provides protection and care for the animals living there while trying to preserve the ecosystem of the island. The tasks of the local organization are:
Taking care of captive chimpanzees and ensuring their protection and health
Development of long-term methods to provide a good location for chimpanzees
Awareness trainings for the Ugandan population with a focus on chimpanzees, Ecotourism, community participation in wildlife and conservation, creating viable, national, regional and international relations for the conservation of chimpanzees.
During your stay on the island take part in a guided, informative walk around the green island and view a chimpanzee feeding.
To end a wonderful trip you can enjoy your last dinner in Uganda together with your tour guide at the beach. Let your eyes wander over the beautiful Lake Victoria, where your journey began. You have time to relax and enjoy the food and the view before heading back to the accommodation to pack.
Day 15 Entebbe/ airport transfer
Time to say good bye. Early morning you will be picked up and taken to the airport for your journey back home.