13 Days Uganda Safari holiday – This classic route will take you on an 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: Transfer to Mgahinga Gorilla National Park
Depending on your time of arrival, you may 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
After morning breakfast you will go trekking the Golden Monkeys in the Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. Trekking to see the golden monkeys is another highlight of Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, apart from gorilla trekking. The Golden Monkey (Cercopithecus Mitis Kandti) is a local subspecies of the widespread Sykes Monkey, also referred to as the “Blue Monkey” and is unique to the alpine forests of the Virunga massif, only unique to Mgahinga gorilla national park and Volcanoes National Park in Uganda and Rwanda respectively.
The golden monkeys are naturally shy, playful and inquisitive and often spend their time leaping from bamboo branches or frolicking on the forest floor. There are two habituated troops of Golden Monkeys in this national park, one troop has a total of 80 – 100 members and inhabits the foot of Mt Gahinga. Just like treks to see the Mountain Gorillas, treks to see Golden Monkeys also happen in the mornings, at 8:00am and travelers are allowed to stay for 1 hour with these rare monkeys.
After the Golden monkey trekking adventure, go back to your lodge for lunch. 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. Retire back to the lodge after this experience for dinner and overnight stay.
Day 3: Transfer to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
You will have breakfast and leave Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, heading to Bwindi Impenetrable national park via Lake Bunyonyi. You will take a 3 hour boat cruise on Lake Bunyonyi to visit the numerous 29 islands and communities that inhabit 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: Bwindi Gorilla Trekking
Early morning after breakfast and a briefing 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 for relaxation, and overnight stay.
Day 5: Drive 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 and other mammal and bird species. Have a picnic lunch en-route to Queen Elizabeth national park and transfer to your lodge for dinner and overnight stay.
Day 6: Game Drive & Boat Cruise
Wakeup to an early morning game drive after a cup of coffee to meet the morning raisers and night nocturnal retiring to their dens. Enjoy magnificent views of herds of elephants, bush bucks, warthogs, the Uganda Kob and your guide will know best where to spot the leopard and lions, thereafter retreat for your lunch.
After lunch, head to Mweya jetty for a leisurely 2-hour boat cruise on the Kazinga Channel and into Lake Edward. The boat cruise takes you through probably the highest hippo concentration in Africa and many mammals may be seen drinking at the channel’s edge. Watch out for the enormous monitor lizards, as well as Nile crocodiles. The cruise offers an excellent vantage point for game viewing and photography. The bird life is colorful and abundant.
Day 7: Travel to Kibale Forest National Park
After breakfast, depart Queen Elizabeth national park for Kibale forest national park. Kibale is a famous primate capital of Africa and home to over 13 primate species. Pass via the towering Rwenzori ranges in Kasese. Soon you’ll be in fort portal, Uganda’s renowned tourism city, have lunch and if there’s some time, take a short town tour, and explore the local market or visit the crater lakes in the outskirts of Fort portal town. Arrive at your lodge for overnight stay and dinner.
Day 8: Chimpanzee Trekking & Bigodi Swamp Walk
After waking up; enjoy breakfast and head to Kanyanchu Park headquarters for morning briefing ahead of chimpanzee tracking expedition. With your tracking gear, parked lunch, bottled water, embark on this amazing exercise; where you will be rewarded with clear views of various primate species like L’Hoest’s, large troops of the Angola Colobus, Dent’s Mona Monkey, Red-tailed Monkey, vervet monkeys, Hamlyn’s Monkey, Silver Monkey, Olive Baboons and the Grey-cheeked Mangabeys etc.
Return to the starting point and have your picnic lunch and in the afternoon, proceed to Bigodi wetland. This sanctuary is hub to popular birds and other primates. Sight famous birds in this swamp that include the Great Blue Turaco and Papyrus Gonolek among other 137 species. There is also a wide array of butterflies, flowers and insects. Later return for dinner and overnight stay at your lodge.
Day 9: Transfer to Hoima Town, Bunyonyo Cultural Trail
Leave Kibale Forest National Park after breakfast and embark on the transfer to Hoima passing through the verdant landscapes and beautiful vista of Fort Portal. Proceed to Hoima for an early lunch and take a brief tour to Bunyoro Kingdom palace to encounter the rich traditions and heritage of the Banyoro people and their ancient culture.
Visit the Royal tombs where the Kings of Bunyoro lay in rest including the furious King Kabalega who is famously known for having fought rebellions with many kingdoms including Buganda kingdom and he ferociously resisted the British rule until he was defeated and together with Kabaka Mwanga were forced into exile. If you still have more time, you can do the Hoima town walk before you retreat for relaxation and overnight.
Day 10: Drive to Murchison Falls National Park
Embark on a half day drive north wards to the magnificent Murchison falls National Park. The transfer takes you through verdant countryside and past traditional home steads and farms. Murchison falls National Park is an ancient conservation area that sits astride the world’s longest river, River Nile. You will bypass the escarpments of the western rift valley, the scenic Lake Albert, many tea plantations and you may stop at any of them for numerous photo opportunities.
Day 11: Morning Game Drive & Afternoon Boat Cruise
You will wake up very early in the morning to go for a morning game drive where you will have a chance to spot early risers and nocturnal species before they return to their hideouts. Murchison falls national park is the one of the most sought after destinations for 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 usually have countless chances of seeing some of the park’s residents including giraffes, Jackson’s hartebeests, lions, buffaloes, antelopes, and elephants. For avid birders, you will enjoy a cock tail of them as these areas support the secretary bird and the black chested snake eagle, to name a few.
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
This morning, depart Murchison falls National Park via Kachumbanyobo gate. Proceed to Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary, a two-hour drive from Murchison falls national park, along the Masindi – Kampala highway. While you track the rhinos, look out for bushbuck, leopard, Uganda kob, oribi and several other wildlife that is present on the ranch.
The sanctuary has abundant bird life, including the elusive shoebill stork that can be sighted on a canoe in Lugogo wetlands. Retire from the Rhino tracking excursion, have lunch at Amuka lodge or Ziwa visitor’s camp. Continue on a drive to Uganda’s capital Kampala or Entebbe and overnight at the lodge.
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.