This magnificent 18 days Uganda holiday tour will take 18 days incorporating 9 major national parks and other iconic destinations in Uganda such as, Amabere Ga’nyinamwiru caves in Fort portal, Sipi falls, Uganda museum, among others. Visit the towering Rwenzori and Elgon mountain ranges for adventurous nature treks, mix and mingle with traditional communities for great cultural experiences. The Uganda safari trip starts from Kigali, Rwanda and ends in the bustling Kampala, Uganda.
18 Days Uganda Safari Itinerary
Day 1: Arrival & Transfer to Mgahinga Gorilla National Park
Upon arrival at Kigali International Airport, you will have a pick up by your tour guide who will later transfer you to Mgahinga national park. Drive through the picturesque landscapes of Rwanda, cross via the Cyanika boarder, until you arrive at your lodge on the outskirts of Mgahinga Gorilla Park. Have dinner under the star – filled skies of Uganda and later slumber at the lodge.
Day 2: Gorilla Trekking & Batwa Community Tour
After an early morning breakfast, be briefed by the park’s head ranger and start your gorilla trekking right away. Mgahinga gorilla national park is home to only family, Nyakagezi that is historically known to be nomadic, moving from Uganda to D. R. Congo back and forth. The family is now settled and it has made Mgahinga its permanent home.
The Nyakagezi inhabits the lower of slopes of Virunga Mountains and viewing them is extremely magical, as it is the only mountain gorilla group with more than one silverback, all living in harmony. Along the trek, you have endless chances of spotting other forest dwellers such as primates, forest mammals, ancient trees, extinct volcanoes, golden monkeys among others.
In the evening, take a visit to the traditional Batwa communities who stay on the foothills of Mount Gahinga. The Batwa are the former forest people who have now embraced the life outside the forest since they were degazzeted from the forest decades ago. You will listen to their great history on how they lived in the forest and depended on it in harmony with other forest dwellers.
Day 3: Transfer to Queen Elizabeth NP
On this day after breakfast, get on the road for a 4 hours’ drive to Queen Elizabeth national park passing through Ishasha sector. Ishasha is located in the southern region of Queen Elizabeth national park, and a famous home to the tree climbing lions. You will have lunch enroute and continue to your lodge in the heart of Queen Elizabeth National park.
Queen Elizabeth National Park has over 600 species of birds and presents amazing opportunities for game viewing since a number of big mammals have made it their home like elephants, lions, water-bucks, warthogs, buffaloes among others. Upon arrival at your lodge, refresh and have an overnight stay after dinner.
Day 4: Morning Game Drive & Evening Boat Cruise
Early in the morning after breakfast, you will go for a game drive via the Kasenyi region in the center of the park, the Queen’s pavilion in search of rare cat species like lions, leopards, and other wild game such as elephants, cheaters, buffalos, and antelopes, Uganda Kobs, among others. This will take 3 to 4 hours and after you will be transferred back to the lodge for lunch or have a picnic lunch.
Transfer to Mweya jetty, along Kazinga channel waiting go for an afternoon boat cruise at Kazinga channel where you will spot a number of animals and birds such as crocodiles, hippos, elephants, buffalos, antelopes among others. This will take 2-4hours and after you will be transferred to the lodge for dinner.
Day 5: Transfer to Rwenzori Mountains, Bakonzo Community Tour
After the morning breakfast, your driver guide will transfer you to Rwenzori national park in kasese and check on the hotel. You will relax and have lunch and in the evening embark on a cultural tour to the Bakonzo community where you will encounter music, dance and drama for Bakonzo. You will have a chance to taste on their tradition meals which fish and cassava flour.
Day 6: Mountaineering & Nature Walk
After an early cup of tea, be briefed by the park rangers about Mt. Rwenzori hiking procedures and what to expect. A day’s nature walk at Mount Rwenzori takes you to the lower levels of the mountain and exposes you to numerous mammals, amphibians, primates and birds. The trek exposes you to a dense montane forest, three honored chameleons, leopards, olive baboons, bushbucks, blue monkeys, hyenas, and different bird species.
Day 7: Transfer to Kibale NP, Evening Nature Walk
After morning breakfast, you will be transferred to kibale national park and check in the lodge and have lunch. In the evening, participate in one of the nature walks organized by an onsite guide and move to the nearby tea plantations, where you will be able to participate in harvesting tea, interact with tea plantation workers, view magnificent craters synonymous with this region, among others.
Day 8: Morning Chimpanzee Experience & Relax at the lodge
After an early breakfast, leave the lodge to the park ranger station for briefing about chimpanzee trekking rules by one of the park officials. Straight away be taken for trekking. During this activity you will spot a number of animals such as blue monkeys, baboons, red tailed monkeys, elephants and also different bird species. You will be able to see tropical rain forested trees which have spent more than 150 years. After 5 hours, trek back to the starting point and be transferred to the lodge, have lunch and relax the entire afternoon, or take a leisurely walk to the nearby craters.
Day 9: Transfer to Semuliki NP with stopover at Amabere Caves
At around 8am after your breakfast, transfer from Kibale NP to Semuliki NP enroute the historic Amabere Ga’nyinamwiru caves in the out skirts of Fort portal. Here you will be told the story about the Chwezi dynasty, and you will spot a number of other breathtaking sites such as the Nyakasura falls, crater lakes, and the caves among others and have picnic lunch at this place. This activity takes 3 -4 hours and after you will head to semliki national park. While on the way you will sight a number of physical features such as rivers, Albertine rift escapements, Rwenzori ranges among others.
Day 10: Nature Walk & Hot-springs Visit
At around 9:00am after breakfast, you will be briefed by the head ranger about Semuliki national park and head to the hot springs. Here two stories will be told to you about the two hot springs basing on a traditional story and geographic scientific story. Nature walks in Semuliki will bring you closer to a number of birds, primates and mammal species, such as baboons, monkeys, butterflies, and bird species such as White-crested Hornbill, Black-casqued Wattled Horbill, Red-rumped Tinkerbird, African Piculet, and Yellow-throated Nicator, among others. After this long day excursion, you will drive back to the lodge for overnight stay.
Day 11: Transfer to Murchison Falls National Park
After an early morning breakfast, you will be transferred to Murchison national park. Enroute Hoima town for lunch stop. This journey will take around 8-9 hours and you will check in at the lodge, have lunch and take on an evening game drive (if you have time). Here you will spot a number of attractions such as elephants, buffalos and bird species. And later in the evening, retire back to the lodge for dinner.
Day 12: Game Drive & Boat Cruise
After an early morning breakfast, you will set off for a game drive around the park. And here you will be able to view many attractions such as buffaloes, Jackson’s hartebeests, bushbucks, Uganda kobs, waterbucks, warthogs, giraffes, elephants among others. Numerous bird species can be sighted as well during a morning game drive, such as Abyssinian Ground-Hornbill, Black-headed Gonolek, Black-billed Barbet, Piapiac, Eastern Grey Plantain-eater, Silver bird, African Quail-Finch and Speckle-fronted Weaver among others.
You will be transferred to the lodge for lunch and at 2pm be ready at the Paraa jetty to begin your luxurious boat trip to the bottom of the thunderous Murchison falls. A boat cruise along Victoria Nile presents a myriad of water animals such as hippos, crocodiles among others. Mammals such as buffaloes, elephants, and numerous antelopes as they come around the shores of the river to quench their thirst.
Later in the evening you will be driven back to the lodge for dinner.
Day 13: Transfer to Kidepo Valley National Park
Early in the morning after your breakfast, leave Murchison falls NP and transfer to Kidepo NP, situated in the north eastern corner of Uganda with unique climate and breathtaking landscape. The journey to this wildlife gem takes about 7 hours, traversing Northern Uganda’s biggest city, Gulu where you’ll have lunch stop. Continue via Kitgum until you reach Kidepo, check in the lodge and spend the entire evening admiring the undulating landscape marked with unique wildlife.
Day 14: Morning Game Drive & Afternoon Karamojong Community Tour
While in the park, after breakfast be briefed by park ranger who will lead you on the drive in the park to view other interesting unique animals like giraffes, lions, elephants, leopard, bush-duiker, jackal, bush-bucks, bush pig, ostrich, buffalo and much more, with in the wildlife – filled Narus Valley.
A game drive takes approximately 3 hours and after you will be transferred to the lodge for lunch. In the evening you will go for Karamojong community tour, these are cattle keepers and they share the boundary with the Masia of Kenya. A community tour here will bring you closer to the traditional Karamojong, learn how they live, history, and be welcomed by their traditional dance and drama. Later in the evening you will be transferred to the lodge for dinner.
Day 15: Transfer to Mount Elgon National Park
After breakfast, you will be transferred to mt. Elgon in the eastern part of Uganda and the journey will take between 5-6 hours. You will check in your hotel, have lunch and relax.
Day 16: Nature Walk & Sipi Falls Visit
At around 8:00am you will hike mountain Elgon and view the longest volcanic base in the whole world mt. elgon is located on the Uganda-Kenya border. During this trek, encounter numerous bird species most of them endemic to this place including African Blue Fly-catcher, Cinnamon Bee Eater, Luhders Bush-shrikes, Mackinnon’s Fiscal, and Hartloub’s Turaco, Baglafecht Weaver, Mustached Tinker-bird, Chinspot Batis, etc.
Other resident mammals include forest buffaloes, forest elephants, Defassa waterbuck, duikers, forest hogs, bush pigs, etc. You will have lunch at the hotel and in the evening you will go for Sipi falls tour where you will be able to see the three water falls plummeting from a high cliff creating one of the spectacular scenery in this region.
Day 17: Transfer to Kampala
After morning breakfast, you will be transferred to Kampala city which is located in the central Uganda. Upon arrival, visit the Uganda museum; here there’s plenty to interest you with a varied and well-captioned ethnographic collection displaying ancient dress code, hunting tools, ancient kingdoms, African traditional religions, traditional medicine, recreation and sports, agriculture, and so many other archaeological displays. After this, you can drive to one of the city’s renowned craft markets to purchase some African souvenirs to take back home with you. Later, you will be transferred to your hotel for dinner and resting.
Day 18: Transfer to Entebbe Airport
Today, you will have a relaxed breakfast and depending on the flight time, you can undertake another city tour in Kampala and Entebbe towns. Later be transferred to Entebbe airport for your flight back home as you bid farewell to Uganda, marking the end of your 18 days safari in Uganda.
End of 18 days Uganda holiday.