Uganda Expedition: Experience moments with Gorillas, Waterfalls & the Big Five | 12 Days
Interested in exploration and adventure? You are covered with this travelers’ prized safari! We will spend well our 12 days by exploring the wilderness of Uganda that make her the pearl of Africa.
This safari is your great opportunity to stand in the vicinity of the Mountain Gorillas, it is a great chance to be in Kidepo Valley National Park, Murchison Falls and Queen Elizabeth National Parks where you will likely spot the elusive big cats (that comprise the cheetahs, lions and leopards) and as well interface with the Big Five Game Animals of Africa that many people “crave” to see! In between the first and last day of the safari, you will track man’s closest cousin-the chimpanzees and also explore the world’s longest river-the Nile River.
The road trip is really long and exhausting! You should be in for adventure if you opt for this safari. You will traverse arid and semi-arid areas of Karamoja, you will go through savannah grasslands, thickets, forests, escarpments and valleys! You will go past mountain ranges, cross rivers and laze at lake shores! You want to experience nature? All you need is here!
When you opt for this safari, we intend that you receive a life times’ moment with nature by exploring the wonders of Uganda, that you get to learn more about primates by physically observing them, that you narrow your bucket list by ticking more items on your list and that you optimally utilize your holiday by adventuring, meeting new people and enjoying life in Africa!
Highlights of this safari
- Exploration of River Nile
- Road travel and exploration of Uganda’s country side
- Cultural dances and social interaction
- Game drives and boat cruises in Kidepo, Murchison falls and Queen Elizabeth National Parks
- Chimpanzee tracking in Kalinzu Forest
- Boat cruises along the Nile and Kazinga Channel
- Relaxation and lake shores
- Gorilla trekking in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest
- Visit to the equator crossing
Day 1 — ARRIVAL AT ENTEBBE INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT AND RELAXATION IN PREPARATION FOR THE SAFARI
Upon arrival at the airport, you will be welcomed and transferred to your hotel by any company staff member. The company guide will brief you about the safari that will be commencing the next day.
Day 2 — TRAVEL TO KAPCHORWA WITH AND DISCOVERY OF THE SOURCE OF RIVER NILE
We embark on our 12 day intended interface with nature whilst taking the Eastern route of Uganda with Kapchorwa as the destination for this day. Your day’s first safari activity will be exploration of the Source of the Nile in Jinja. It is intended that you discover the area where the renowned Hanning John Speke presented to the world as the place where the Nile waters start to flow out of Lake Victoria. This will be done while having a boat ride along the waters of the Nile River.
After discovery of the source of the longest river in the world, you will proceed with the safari to Kapchorwa to explore Mount Elgon and hike the Sipi falls. On arrival, you will enjoy the beauty and scenery of the flow of the falls. You will also sight fauna and different floral species!
Day 3 — ROAD EXPEDITION TO KIDEPO VALLEY NATIONAL PARK
The third day of this Safari will be spent traversing the vast plains and semi-arid savannah of North Eastern Uganda with a motive of reaching Kidepo Valley National Park. Observing that this is quite a long journey, you will reach the park in the evening and proceed to your lodge for relaxation and overnight stay.
Kidepo Valley National Park is one of the wildest and most spectacular reserves in Africa with a landscape of small hills, rocky outcrops and inselbergs. The temperatures in Kidepo are usually high, and this will certainly give you a good taste of adventure! While in Kidepo you can get stunning panoramic views of the Narus River Valley and wildlife such as Elephants, herds of Buffaloes, Jackals, Jackson’s Hartebeest, and Klipspringer among others.
The park is renowned for its exceptional variety of birds of prey. While there, it is likely that you can spot Ostriches, Kori Bustards, Pygmy Falcons, Verreaux’s Eagles, Egyptian Vultures, Abyssinian ground Hornbills among others.
Day 4 — EXPLORATION AND DISCOVERY OF KIDEPO NATIONAL PARK AND SOCIAL INTERACTION WITH THE KARAMOJONG PEOPLE
Game viewing is central to this safari! This will be a great opportunity to encounter herds of buffalos, elephants, Zebras, Giraffes and antelopes among other animals of the wild. While big cats tend to be elusive, Kidepo Valley gives better chances to spot lions, leopards and cheetahs going about their hunting business! It is intended that you bisect the park such that you obtain more chances of encountering animals like the Hunting dog, Bat-eared Fox and other animals endemic to Kidepo National Park like the striped hyena.
We stated that this safari is designed to avail you with opportunity to learn more about Africa and experience life in Africa. After the game drive, you will have a cultural interaction with the Karamojong people at Karenna or Kapedo. You will meet the local elders and have an opportunity to interact with them as they show you the kraals, the grinding stones and many more interesting items used by them.
Day 5 — TRANSFER TO MURCHISON FALLS NATIONAL PARK
You will travel from Kidepo Valley on this day and head southwards to Murchison Falls National Park. Murchison Falls is Uganda’s largest national park and is a home to over 400 birds’ species. The park is also endowed with several attractions including mammal species with four members of the big five, the lion, the leopards, the elephants, and the Buffaloes.
Other species include Bushbucks, Uganda kobs, Waterbucks, warthogs, Giraffes, Jackson’s Hartebeest, Hyenas, Hippos and crocodiles among other resident creatures.
You will start the day in the morning and transfer through Gulu-Uganda’s biggest town in the North.
You will continue the drive through the flat scenic landscape with local traditional homesteads giving you the best views of a true Ugandan countryside. You will arrive at Murchison Falls National Park in the afternoon and check in at your lodge for relaxation and overnight stay.
Day 6 — EXPLORATION OF MURCHISON FALLS NATIONAL PARK WITH AN EARLY GAME DRIVE AND BOAT CRUISE TO THE BASE OF MURCHISON FALLS
You begin your exploration of the park with a game drive in the northern circuit of the park. There you will encounter beautiful rolling plains. While in these plains you may view Lions, Giraffes, Hartebeest, Buffalos, and Elephants, Bushbuck, Spotted hyenas, Wild cats, leopards as well as many of the other mammals of the park. For the birders, this area supports the Secretary Bird, Black Chested Snake Eagle, Tawny and Marshal Eagles Carmine and Swallow Tailed Bee-Eaters among others.
In the afternoon, you will go for a boat trip to the bottom of Murchison Falls where you will view the Nile as it thunders through a small 7-meter gap down to the delta. This experience is breathtaking and the mighty thunder of the falls should not be missed! The banks of the Nile are home to many animal and bird species. You may see huge Nile Crocodiles, Hippos and other wildlife that may come down to drink from this mighty river. You may see the prehistoric shoebill, saddle-billed stork and many other birds. Your camera should be with you such that you can keep those magical moments!
Day 7 — VISIT TO THE TOP OF THE FALLS AND TRANSFER TO QUEEN ELIZABETH NATIONAL PARK
Rise early and test your ability to dare with a thrilling trekking activity to the top of the mighty and ferocious Murchison Falls. The force, sound and speed of the Nile water as it is pushed through a small gap between the rocks is really frightening! If you are not that person who dares, you may not stand close to these falls! Test the person in you and get the thrill of this activity!
After the exploration and experience of the falls, we drive out of the park to embark on the journey to Queen Elizabeth National Park. The journey to Queen Elizabeth is quite long! You may take between 7-8 hours! To ensure that you remain in good shape to participate in all the activities ahead, we plan that you spend a night in Fort Portal town and continue with your travel the following day.
Day 8 — TRAVEL TO QUEEN ELIZABETH NATIONAL PARK WITH AN AFTERNOON BOAT CRUISE ALONG THE KAZINGA CHANNEL
Rise early and set sights on Queen Elizabeth National Park. On arrival, you will embark on exploration of the park by conducting a game drive through the tracks of the park. Queen Elizabeth is greatly inhabited by the big five, various primate species as well as over 600 species of birds! You intended to see animals! Exploration of Queen Elizabeth gives you opportunity to spot Elephants, Buffalos, lions, Leopards, Warthogs, Hyenas, water bucks, antelopes and many bird species including Ibis, Fish Eagles and vultures among others that live in this park.
Exploration of the park will be supplemented with an evening boat cruise along the spectacular Kazinga Channel which connects Lake Edward to Lake George. The boat ride along the banks will give you an opportunity to see yawning hippos, herds of Uganda Kob with their black and white spiraled horns, Nile crocodiles sunbathing, as well as elephants immersing themselves beneath the water while poking their trunks up and splashing themselves with water to cool off.
The channel also attracts several water birds like the Pelicans and the African Fish Eagle. Taking a boat cruise will therefore avail you with a chance to get into close encounter with such animals in addition to enjoying your time.
Day 9 — CHIMPS TRACKING IN KALINZU FOREST AND TRANSFER TO BWINDI IMPENETRABLE FOREST
Brace yourself for an encounter with Man’s closest cousins; the chimpanzees in the forest of Kalinzu. Get your jungle boots on early and join the forest wardens to track chimpanzees! Your time in the forest will also provide you with the opportunity to also see a variety of other primates (including the Colobus Monkeys and the Mangabey) and animals as well as birds and a variety of butterflies, flowers and other insects. Chimpanzees are the closest relatives to humans sharing about 98.7% of their DNA composition with humans.
hey are sociable, intelligent as well as communicative! Other interesting traits are their abilities to use stones to crush nuts, use empty pods to collect water plus using sticks for capturing termites from their holes. A successful track of the chimpanzees will give you good lessons about primates as well as beautiful lasting memories about Uganda.
After this expedition, you will have lunch and then transfer to Bwindi Impenetrable forest for yet another memorable highlight of this safari.
Upon arrival, you will relax at your lodge in preparation of the next day’s highlight. In the alternative, you may take an evening walk around the environs of the hotel to do bird watching or meeting with the people.
Accommodation will be in one of the nearby eco lodges.
Day 10 — GORILLA TREKKING IN BWINDI IMPENETRABLE FOREST
Wild animals may be found elsewhere in the world! However, Gorillas are only endemic to Uganda and some parts of Rwanda and DR Congo! Still, half of the world’s population is in Bwindi-Uganda! You get a great deal when you opt for this Safari to Uganda! You are almost certain that you will see the gorillas when you are in Uganda. Indeed you may not get any clear chance to encounter gorillas in any other place other than Uganda!
Be at your best and join the rest as you go gorilla trekking. This amazing activity is conducted through the densely forested steep hills until you finally meet these tranquil gorillas within the green plant cover. It is such a wonderful and memorable encounter.
Trekking Gorillas is a very interesting activity! It comes with anxiety before you meet the gorillas and when you spot them, you get filled with amazement!
Gorilla trekking groups are assigned on fitness levels. You can request a shorter or longer hike depending on your preferences. For many, the chance to trek in such exotic forest makes a longer hike worthwhile. Others might prefer to meet the gorillas that are closer to the trailhead. After this fun filled expedition, you will travel back to your lodge for relaxation or for any other preferred activity like walks or bird watching.
Day 11 — TRANSFER TO LAKE BUNYONYI FOR RELAXATION
We wind our expedition with a deserved relaxation at Lake Bunyonyi. Laze at the shore of the lake and watch the sun sink behind the hills of Bunyonyi and Kabale! It is a nice moment to wine and enjoy the breeze of the lake! While here, you will also enjoy canoeing and swimming. Bird life is in plenty for those who can do bird watching!
Day 12 — TRAVEL TO ENTEBBE INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT FOR A DEPARTURE FLIGHT WITH ENROUTE VISIT TO THE EQUATOR CROSSING LINE
We rise early and get our sights towards Entebbe! While the mood is somewhat somber due to the fact that the safari is ending the countryside offers great eye catching scenery such as the hills, vast banana plantations and herds of the indigenous Ankole cattle to keep you entertained. We will enjoy a short cultural expedition about the Banyankole tribe of western Uganda when we get to Mbarara. This expedition will certainly offer insights about the traditional and current cultural set up about the people of Ankole.
After Mbarara, you meet the equator crossing. You make a brief stop at the equator crossing, take the best photo shots and engage in some of the activities and experiments that people normally engage in when they reach the equator. The experiments engaged in are not scientifically tested/proved but fun to watch. These experiments involve pouring water in the basin while observing how it swirls in opposite directions in the northern & southern hemispheres of the equator line.
While here, enter the Curio and Souvenir shops and get some mementoes to keep your memories about this awesome Africa safari. After this exercise, we will be thinking departure and how to plan another awesome trip with Mukisa Safaris to the other magical parts of Uganda!
- Accommodation as per the itinerary
- Ground transport aboard a customized 4×4 Toyota Hiace Safari Van
- Gorilla permit
- Boat cruises
- Park entrance fees
- Vehicle entrance
- Services of an English speaking guide
- All meals during the safari duration
- Airport pick up and drop
- Bottled water in the safari vehicle
- Game drives
- Hiking fees to the top of the falls
- Wi-Fi in the Safari Van
- Chimpanzee tracking permit
- Ferry crossing fees
- Visa fees
- Air ticket
- All extras and optionals at the accommodation for example laundry, beverages
- Tips to the guide
- Charges by the porters during gorilla trekking
Price — US $ 3359 per person (For two people)
The price slightly increases if you decide to travel as a solo traveler. Conversely, the price payable per person reduces from the stated amount if the tour is booked by more than two people.