13 Days Uganda Safari holiday – This classic route takes you on an unforgettable adventure through Uganda’s best parks and reserves, ending with an unforgettable gorilla trek. It’s easy enough to conjure up images of Kenya or even the Serengeti in Tanzania – but what do you imagine when someone mentions Uganda? Well, this classic route through the country’s highlights will certainly give you a few ideas. This Uganda safaris tour includes 1 free gorilla permit worth $600.
13 Days Uganda Holiday Itinerary
Day 1: Kigali city to Mgahinga Gorilla National Park
Upon arrival (time dependent), have an optional city tour in Kigali city. Kigali is an ancient town which the former German colonialists had established as their administrative center and has many buildings that date over half a century ago. Kigali is a hub of bustling businesses, ancient monuments, African craft markets, genocide museums, and hospitable people. Leave Kigali and transfer to Uganda’s boarder in Northern Province. Cross via Cyanika boarder and proceed to your lodge near Mgahinga gorilla national park.
Day 2: Golden Monkey Trekking & Evening Batwa Cultural Tour
Golden monkey trekking begins early morning, after breakfast and a simple briefing, both conducted between 7:00am and 7:30am respectively. The real trek begins at 8:00am from park headquarters at Ntebeko.
Gorilla trekking is a highlight not only in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park but Uganda as a whole, as this is the only place where this activity can be undertaken. The golden monkeys are native subspecies of the sykes monkeys, also known as “blue monkeys” which are restricted only to afro-montane forests of Virunga region along the Rwanda, Uganda and D.R.Congo border.
This park is home to only two habituated families of golden monkeys, each with over 80-100 members inhabiting the base of either Gahinga or Muhabura mountains.
Just like mountain gorilla treks, the treks to visit golden monkeys take between 1-8 hours and done in groups of not morethan 8 individuals. Meeting the golden monkeys is purely magical, as these are naturally shy beings, always playful and they spend most times jumping between bamboo branches.
An eventual one hour with them allows you to learn more about their day to day lives, eating habits, genetics, and so much more.
Trek back to the starting point after this adventure, join your guide and transfer to the lodge for lunch and relaxation. In evening visit the nearby communities, primarily the Batwa who are the original inhabitants of the Virunga forests. Learn about their history, traditional songs, culture, performances and so much more. Move back to the lodge after this experience for dinner and night stay.
Day 3: Mgahinga gorilla N/P to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.
Breakfast and depart from Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, heading to Bwindi Impenetrable national park via Lake Bunyonyi. You will take a 3 hour boat trip along the historic Lake Bunyonyi and pay visit to 29 islands that are residents of this lake as well as ancient communities that surround the lake. Take lunch on a resort along the shores of Lake Bunyonyi and later drive to your lodge in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. Dinner and overnight stay will be spent at the lodge.
Day 4: Gorilla Trekking in Bwindi.
Have breakfast at 7:00am and a briefing at 7:30am from the park officials, set off for the gorilla tracking. This is a once life time experience and unforgettable adventure. The ranger guides will lead you into the impenetrable forest and start your search for the endangered Mountain Gorillas. You will move up and down the rugged terrain until you finally meet these harmonious creatures that will entertain you with performances for about 1 hour.
The activity can take between 2-7 hours since the gorillas move up and down and their movements can’t be pre-determined. This is an awe some and exciting moment. En route there are lots of birds, reptiles, abundant flora and several species of the primates such as the monkeys, baboons and much more.
You will eventually meet them, and maximize this moment while with them; take as many pictures, and ask as many questions as possible and acquaint yourself with their daily routine. Watch them feed, protect themselves and most importantly, observe their family bondage just like human beings. After 1 hour, retreat from the jungles and track back to the lodge to rest, and night stay.
Day 5: Bwindi to Queen Elizabeth National Park
You will have breakfast and drive north to Queen Elizabeth National Park via the Ishasha sector. You will have a 3 hour game drive in Ishasha sector in search for the tree climbing lions plus so many other birds and mammal species, such as elephants, antelopes including the elusive Topi, hippos, etc. Have a picnic lunch en-route to Queen Elizabeth national park and proceed to your pre-booked lodge for dinner and night stay.
Day 6: Game Drive & Boat Cruise.
An early cup of warm coffee to begin a day of adventure in Uganda’s most popular park. The morning game drive offers you chances to meet early risers and norcturnals retiring to their hideouts before dawn.
As the sun rises, huge herds of elephants and buffaloes begin to graze in the rolling plains of Queen Elizabeth National Park, alongside other small animals such as antelopes, warthogs, water bucks, cats such as leopards, lions, etc.
A game drive in Queen Elizabeth National park approximately lasts for 3-4 hours, return to the lodge for breakfast if you didn’t have it, relax and have lunch.
Drive to Mweya jetty, the starting point for a boat voyage along Kazinga channel. This boat trip lasts for only 2-3 hours and it is another opportunity to view mammals and reptile residents of the park at a much closer range.
As they come closer to the shores to quench their thirst, be the lucky one to have a selfie with an elephant, crocodile, hippo, monitor lizards, and amazing bird life. Kazinga channel is one of the richest animal hubs in Africa and world over.
Day 7: Drive to Kibale Forest National Park
Depart Queen Elizabeth national park after breakfast and head out to Kibale forest national park. This is a popular primate capital of Africa and hub to more than 13 species of primates. Traverse the jugged and rugged Rwenzori ranges, that stretch from Kasese to D.R.Congo.
The journey soon brings you to Uganda’s tourism capital – Fort-portal located in the midst of tea plantations and the scenic crater lakes on both sides. Have lunch and later a town tour through this legendary town, visit the neighboring crater lakes, local markets, Toro kingdom palace, etc. Continue to the lodge, have dinner, refresh and overnight stay.
Day 8: Kibale Forest N/Park: Chimpanzee Trek & Bigodi wetland Walk
Wake up early morning, have breakfast and drive to Kanyanchu ranger station for briefing ahead of chimpanzee trekking adventure.
Off to the forest you go, with your bottled water, packed lunch/snacks, and all the necessary gear. The trek goes through well maintained forest trails, and along the way trekkers are rewarded with views of other primate species including Grey-cheeked Mangabeys, Dent’s Mona Monkey, vervet monkeys, Hamlyn’s Monkey, Red-tailed Monkey, Olive Baboons, and Silver Monkey, among so many others.
The trek soon brings you to a habituated troop of chimps, and you are only given one hour to be in their midst, watch them swing between trees, communicating and doing their usual routine.
After this encounter, return to the starting point, have box lunch and proceed to Bigodi swamp in the outskirts of Kibale forest. This is a hub to famous species, mammals, butterflies and primates. It is a sanctuary to over 137 species including the Great Blue Turaco and Papyrus Gonolek.
Dinner and night stay at your lodge.
Day 9: Transfer to Hoima Town, Bunyonyo Cultural Trail
After breakfast, depart from Kibale Forest National Park and begin a 5 hour drive to Hoima town traversing the verdant landscapes and the green rolling hills of Fort Portal.
Arrive in Hoima town for an early lunch and immediately have a short tour to Hoima’s cultural and historical attractions including the King’s palace to learn about their rich traditions and heritage.
Move on to visit Royal tombs where fallen kings of Bunyoro are laid to rest, including the famous ones like Omukama Kabalega who was a fierce fighter and known to have rejected colonial rule and clashed a lot with Buganda kingdom.
The Hoima town walk is another interesting way to explore various monuments, meet the local people, and taste their cuisines.
Day 10: Drive to Murchison Falls National Park.
Leave Hoima town at leisure and embark on a drive headed for Murchison falls national park. This is Uganda’s largest and most beautiful national park located in the North-west, perched astride the R.Nile and home home to various mammals, birds, beautiful scenery, reptiles and so much more.
Along the way, you will stop for photo moments to view interesting scenery such as the rift valley escarpments, Lake Albert, tea plantations, etc.
Arrive at your lodge in Murchison falls national park in the evening to refresh, dinner and night stay,
Day 11: Morning Game Drive & Afternoon Boat Cruise
Start the game drive early in the morning to be able to view early risers and nocturnal animals as well as magnificent landscape for picture moments as the sun is rising.
Murchison falls national park has over time become one of the most sought after destinations for endearing wildlife safaris in Uganda and this is because 4/5 big 5 African mammals can be found here and it is also home to arguably the most powerful water falls in the world.
Traverse the rolling plains of Uganda’s largest National Park before returning later to the lodge for breakfast. The 3,893 sq. km park is home to a numerous species of animals, and visitors get uncountable chances of spotting most of the park’s most common residents including elephants, giraffes, lions, buffaloes, antelopes, Jackson’s hartebeests, and so many animals.
Bird lovers cannot leave Murchison falls national park without appreciating the numerous species of birds present. There is a cock tail of them, including endemics, elusive and migratory species, such as the Shoebill stork, secretary bird, black chested snake eagle, etc.
Embark on a leisurely boat trip to the base of Murchison Falls in the afternoon. Lots of bird diversity can be spotted and numerous animals resting and drinking water along the banks of the Nile. The most sighted ones are – hippos, Nile crocodiles, cape buffaloes, and abundant bird life including, the African fish eagle, Egyptian goose, Malachite kingfisher, Yellow billed stork, Egrets and among others. The launch cruise will take you close to the falls’ base where you will be shown the spot where Ernest Hemingway’s plane crashed during sightseeing tour to Murchison falls in 1954. Remain on the boat and return to the jetty where your driver will be waiting to drive you back to the lodge.
Day 12: Ziwa Rhino Trekking & Overnight stay in Kampala
Leave Murchison falls National Park this morning, exiting via Kachumbanyobo gate and Masindi town. Drive for two hours to Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary, the only place in Uganda where you can meet the endagered black rhinos. Take this chance to track rhinos, but also look out for other resident animals such as Uganda kob, bushbuck, oribi and several other cats present in the ranch like leopards.
Ziwa Rhino sanctuary has abundant bird life, such as the rare shoebill stork that can be viewed on a dugout canoe in Lugogo swamps. Return from the Rhino trek, have lunch at Amuka Safari lodge or any other camp at the ranger station and proceed to Kampala or Entebbe for departure flight.
Day 13: Departure
Have a leisurely breakfast, overlooking the magnificent Lake Victoria. Prepare to check out of your lodge and depart to Entebbe airport for onward flight (depending on flight time).
End of 13 days Uganda tour.