Not a usual short Uganda safari; this is a comprehensive 20 days Uganda safari that begins from Kigali and departs in Entebbe airport. The trip literally takes you to all the major national parks in Uganda, visit local communities and live like a local for a day, traverse the Albertine rift escarpments to feel the beauty of an African landscape and take romantic boat trips along Uganda’s most scenic lakes and rivers.
Visit the Kidepo national park, Africa’s top wilderness destination filled with lovely and unique wildlife species, lively Karamojong cultural encounters, to the Sipi falls on the foothills of Mount Elgon, and later end the trip from Entebbe airport.
20 Days Uganda Safari Package
Day 1: Arrival in Kigali & Hotel Transfer
Welcome to Kigali! Meet and greet with your safari guide at Kigali International Airport, who will pick you up and drive to your pre booked hotel in the heart of Kigali for an overnight stay.
Day 2: Transfer to Mgahinga NP
Have your morning breakfast, and if time allows take a city tour through Kigali city – arguably Africa’s cleanest and one of the safest cities in Africa. Visit different spots, such as the Genocide Museum in Gisozi, monuments, presidential palace, craft markets, shopping malls, etc. Your tour guide 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 3: Golden Monkey Trekking & Evening Cultural Tour
Wake up to an early morning breakfast, and drive to Ntebeko park headquarters for briefing ahead of your golden monkey trek. Thereafter, penetrate into the Mgahinga forest and begin your search for these great primates, usually harboring the bamboo forest zones on the foothills of Gahinga Mountain.
This national park harbors only two habituated troops of Golden Monkeys, one troop has a total of 80 – 100 members and inhabits the foot of Mt Gahinga. Just like gorilla trekking, treks to meet 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 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 4: Transfer to Lake Bunyonyi, Afternoon Boat Cruise & Proceed to Bwindi
Have an early breakfast in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park and depart immediately, transfer to Lake Bunyonyi – Uganda’s deepest lake and most scenic of all lakes, due to its overhanging terraced hills. Upon arrival on Lake Bunyonyi, immediately go on a 3 hour boat cruise to visit the numerous 29 islands and communities that call this lake home. Take lunch on a resort along the shores of Lake Bunyonyi and later drive to your lodge in Ruhija sector for dinner and overnight stay.
Day 5: Gorilla Trekking in Bwindi
Bwindi impenetrable national Park boasts host to Uganda’s most famous primates, the mountain gorillas and accounts for 50% of the world’s total population of these endangered species. Have breakfast at 7:00am, get your trekking gear ready, attend a pre-trek briefing at Ruhija headquarters and proceed to the gorilla trek starting point. Together with a ranger guide, porter (may be hired to carry your luggage) and gorilla trackers, you set off into the misty jungle and begin the search for mountain gorillas.
Gorilla trekking in Bwindi typically lasts for 1-8 hours, though highly unpredicted depending on the location of the allocated gorilla family, season and weather. Nothing matches the joy of meeting face –to – face with the mighty gorillas; find them deep in the jungles, watch them feed, play, breastfeed and care for the juveniles, though this experience will soon be cut short when your one hour maximum duration comes to an end.
Retreat back to the starting point, and join your driver to transfer back to the lodge. Relax in the afternoon, or take an optional community experience to visit the Batwa pygmies who inhabit the fringes of Bwindi forest.
Day 6: Transfer to Lake Mburo, Afternoon Boat Cruise
Have an early breakfast in Ruhija and immediately embark on a trip to Lake Mburo National Park. Lake Mburo national park is Uganda’s smallest savannah park, but nevertheless it still ranks as a top wildlife destination in the region. Arrive in the afternoon, ready to take on a relaxed boat trip along the region’s largest lake, Mburo. The boat allows you to get really up close with the water animals such as Crocodiles, Hippos, and the shores are marked with numerous mammals such as buffaloes, elephants, and numerous bird species. Overnight stay in Lake Mburo National Park.
Day 7: Walking Safari & Transfer to Queen Elizabeth NP
Today you leave the lodge early morning after breakfast to begin a walking safari experience in Lake Mburo National Park. Despite the park’s small size, it presents diverse remarkable vegetation, ranging from marshes / extensive wetlands, savanna grassland to the acacia woodland for which the park is well known for.
This diverse vegetation enables Lake Mburo national park to contain a notable population of inhabitants. In addition to an impressive setting and eye-catching surroundings, Lake Mburo national park’s notable attractions are its dazzling birdlife, huge herds of buffaloes, recently introduced Rothschild giraffes, elusive lions, leopards, hyenas, hippos which can be seen in Lake Mburo, and so many antelope species.
All these can be encountered at closer range during a morning walking safari amidst Lake Mburo National Park. Retreat from this experience, check out of the lodge and begin the transfer to Queen Elizabeth National Park. Arrive at your lodge in late afternoon, and spend the evening relaxing and admiring a beautiful scenery from the balcony of your room.
Day 8: Game Viewing drive & Boat Safari
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. Traverse the rolling plains of Uganda’s second largest National Park and its scenic sectors like Kasenyi and Queen’s Pavilion which are among the best places to view abundant wildlife in the park. Return later to the lodge for breakfast.
Uganda’s most premier and popular protected area is home to numerous species of animals, and visitors usually have many chances of seeing some of the park’s residents including elephants, buffaloes, antelopes, and antelopes. For avid birders, you will enjoy a cock tail of them as the park harbors the highest population of bird species in Uganda.
Embark on a leisurely boat trip along the Kazinga channel 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, Malachite kingfisher, Egyptian goose, Yellow billed stork, cattle and lesser Egrets and among others. Remain on the boat and sail back to Mweya jetty where your driver will be waiting to drive you back to the lodge.
Day 9: Transfer to Mount Rwenzori, Evening Community Walk
After the morning breakfast, your driver guide will transfer you to Rwenzori mountain national park in Kasese and check in at the hotel, located on the foothills of Rwenzori ranges. You will relax, have and in the evening embark on a cultural tour to the Bakonzo community where you will enjoy the region’s music, dance and drama synonymous with natives. You will have a chance to taste on their local cuisine which is fish and cassava flour.
Day 10: Full Day 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 11: Transfer to Kibale Forest NP, Crater Lakes Tour
After morning breakfast, you will be transferred to Kibale national park – the renowned primate capital in Uganda. Drive through undulating tea plantations and check in at your lodge in the afternoon. Have lunch, relax and in the evening, participate in one of the nature walks organized by an onsite guide and move to the nearby crater lakes, view these magnificent features synonymous with this region, or take a sunset canoe cruise, among others.
Day 12: Chimpanzee Trekking & Bigodi Wetland Tour
Early breakfast, then set off to Kanyanchu park headquarters for pre- chimp trek briefing. Thereafter, begin the trek. This walk will enable you view the beautiful chimpanzees in their natural home and learn about their lifestyle. These primates are so amazing and fun as they keep jumping from on tree to the other, sometimes even making photography so difficult. An experience with chimps is generally lively and memorable.
Return to the lodge for lunch, or have picnic lunch at a campsite in the forest. Dedicate the entire afternoon to visiting Bigodi wetland. Bigodi is a 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.
Day 13: Transfer to Hoima, Evening Bunyoro Cultural Trail
Depart from Kibale Forest National Park after breakfast and drive to Hoima district traversing the verdant landscapes and beautiful vista of western Uganda. Arrive in Hoima for an early lunch and embark on a brief tour to Karuzika palace – the seat of Bunyoro kingdom. The tour will bring you closer to the ancient traditions and heritage of the Banyoro people and their culture.
Visit Mparo Royal tombs where the Kings of Bunyoro are buried including the fierce Omukama Kabalega who became famous for having fought rebellions with many kingdoms and ardently rejected white colonialism and staged many civil wars to resist colonialism until he was defeated and together with his counterpart, Kabaka Mwanga of Buganda kingdom they were forced into exile. If you still have more time, you can do the Hoima town walk before you retreat for relaxation, dinner and overnight stay.
Day 14: Transfer to Murchison Falls National Park
After a relaxed breakfast, embark on a half day transfer north wards to Uganda’s largest conservation area, Murchison falls National Park. Take an en route tour to the historic Kibiro salt gardens which was Uganda’s and Bunyoro kingdom’s source of salt, both for export and subsistence use. Visit the salt mines and see the locals mine salt using rudimentary tools and how many of them still earn a living from this dilapidated salt mine.
Proceed with the drive passing through picturesque countryside and well-designed traditional home steads and extensive farms. Murchison falls National Park is a historic conservation area that was gazetted in 1952. It sits astride the world’s longest river, River Nile. You will pass by the Albertine rift escarpments, sight the scenic Lake Albert from a distance and Congo Blue mountains, many tea plantations and you may stop at any of them for numerous photo opportunities.
Day 15: Game Drive & Afternoon Boat Cruise
Early breakfast, head out for a game drive in the park’s most scenic trucks including Buligi that takes you to the delta. Spot different mammal species including Jackson’s hartebeests, giraffes, buffaloes, lions and elephants together with birds such as African jacana, stock, among others.
In the afternoon, go for a 2pm boat cruise along the Victoria Nile that takes you to the bottom of the falls. Along the river, you will view numerous reptiles, such as Crocodiles, hippos and other mammal and bird species. Optional hiking to view Murchison falls from the top. After these activities, you will relax at your lodge where you will have an overnight and dinner.
Day 16: Transfer to Kidepo Valley NP
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 17: 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, bushbuck, 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 Karamajong 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 Karamajong, 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 18: Transfer to Sipi Falls
Leave Kidepo national park after breakfast, proceed to the south heading for Sipi falls. Along the way, have a short game in the north-eastern based Pian Upe game reserve. This soft spoken and remote game reserve, Pian Upe Game Reserve boasts countless species of wildlife such as Jackals, Civets, Spotted hyenas, Serval cats, Leopards, Wildcats, Vervet monkeys, Patas monkeys. Furthermore, they include; Olive baboons, vervet monkeys, Topi, Cape buffalo, Common eland, blue and common duiker, Gunther’s dik-dik, Klipspringer, Waterbuck, Ugandan Kob and Bohor and mountain reedbuck among others. After the game drive, continue on the transfer to Sipi Area for dinner and overnight.
Day 19: Hike Sipi Falls, Afternoon Arabica Coffee Tour
After breakfast, take a hike to the romantic Sipi. The falls offer a picturesque view of 3 free falling streams of water, from an altitude of 100m. Refresh, relax, rewind and chill besides the soothing sound of Sipi falls. After the hike, return to the lodge for lunch and dedicate the entire evening to visiting neighboring villages, which are famous for growing coffee. Arabica coffee finds favorable conditions on the foothills of Mount Elgon. Take a tour to the plantations, participate in harvesting and tasting. Return to the lodge for dinner and overnight.
Day 20: Transfer to Kampala & Departure
Have breakfast and depart from Sipi area. Drive past Jinja town to Entebbe airport for departure, as this will be the last day of your 20 days all-round Uganda tour.
End of 20 days vacation in Uganda.