18-Day Best of Uganda Safari

Description

18-Day Best of Uganda Safari

Overview
This 18-Day Best of Uganda Safari is for those who have more time to explore and discover
Uganda, also known as ‘The Pearl of Africa’. This safari takes you through Uganda’s four
Savannah parks Kidepo Valley National Park in northeastern, Murchison Falls National Park in
northern, Queen Elizabeth National Park, and Lake Mburo National Park in southwestern Uganda.
It offers you a chance for game drives and boat cruises. You will have a boat cruise in Murchison
Falls National Park to the bottom of the magnificent Falls, a boat cruise on the Kazinga Channel
in Queen Elizabeth National Park, as well as a boat cruise in Lake Mburo National Park, and a
bonus Canoe ride on Lake Bunyonyi in Kabale district southwestern Uganda. These four Savannah
National Parks also offer the best of game drives with high chances of spotting thousands of
antelopes, hippos, elephants, buffaloes, lions, leopards and so much more. The highlight of this
tour is the chance to trek the world’s Great Apes. You will trek chimps thrice in the different
environments of Budongo Forest, Kyambura Gorge in Queen Elizabeth National Park, and Kibale
Forest National Park. The climax is definitely gorilla trekking in Bwindi Impenetrable National
Park. To make sure that you also interact with the local communities around these national parks,
we have several village and community walks that will take you to the nearby villages to learn
more about the people and their cultures. By booking this 18 Days Best of Uganda Safari, you will
definitely not regret it.

Itinerary of our 18-Day Best of Uganda Safari 

DAY 1: Arrive at Entebbe Airport

On arrival, our guide will welcome and greet you, then be transferred to Entebbe town for your overnight on Bed and Breakfast. Entebbe is a small town located just 5 minutes from the Entebbe International Airport. Entebbe is becoming Uganda’s top tourism city due to the high numbers of mushrooming Hotels and Guest Houses. There are optional activities for those that arrive early to participate in. You may choose to tour the town of Entebbe on foot, visit the Botanical Gardens, take a boat excursion to Ngamba Island, or visit the Uganda Wildlife Education Center.
Accommodations: Via via (Budget) Protea Hotel by Mariot (Luxury)
Meal Plan: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

DAY 2: Jinja Source of the Nile

This morning, you will drive to Jinja town, also known as the ‘adventure capital of Uganda’ via Kampala. The journey will take you through small towns, the Mabira forest, a tropical rainforest, roadside markets, tea, and sugar plantations. You will arrive in time for a lunch break and a boat ride to the Source of the River Nile. It would really be unfair for you to visit Uganda and then you miss out on visiting the Source of the River Nile. River Nile is the second longest river on planet Earth.
Accommodations: Home of the Nile (Budget) Lemala Wild Waters (Luxury)
Meal Plan: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

DAY 3: Jinja to Zziwa Rhino Sanctuary.

Drive from Jinja to Nakasongola via Kampala, towards the north of Uganda to visit the Zziwa Rhino Sanctuary for Rhino tracking. This is a perfect opportunity to track White Rhinos in the wild. Rhinos became extinct in Uganda in the 1970s due to over-poaching for their treasured horns. They have now been reintroduced in the Zziwa Rhino Sanctuary in the hope that when their population improves then they can be reintroduced in some of Uganda’s National Parks. Have an opportunity of tracking these endangered species and learn more about them.
Accommodations: Heritage Safari Lodge (Budget) Paara Safari Lodge (Luxury)
Meal Plan: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

DAY 4: Budongo Chimp trekking

After breakfast, you will walk to the forest headquarters for a briefing about Chimpanzee trekking Dos and Don’ts. Thereafter, start your primate walk in the Budongo Forest guided by well-trained and experienced ranger guides. Your walk will expose you to other primates, birds, and different plant species in the forest. Once you get into close proximity with the Chimps or one community/party of habituated chimpanzees, you will be allowed one hour of observations and photography before you return back to the Lodge. You may carry packed lunch or order for hot lunch which you can have when you return to the lodge. In the afternoon, you will drive to Murchison Falls National Park for a brief game drive via the top of the falls to see how the Nile waters squeeze through a narrow gorge only later to explode into what has been referred to as one of the strongest and most powerful waterfalls on planet Earth.
Accommodations: Heritage Safari Lodge (Budget) Paara Safari Lodge (Luxury)
Meal Plan: Lunch and Dinner

DAY 5: Game Drive and boat cruise to the bottom of the Falls

After breakfast, you will set off with our guide to catch some of the nocturnal animals before they return to their hideouts. Make your way down to the Nile Delta where you may spot giraffes, elephants, different varieties of antelope, buffalo, and a wide range of birds and if you are lucky, you may spot lions and leopards. You will return to the lodge for lunch. After lunch, you will go for a boat cruise to the bottom of the magnificent Murchison Falls. From the jetty point, as you head towards the bottom of the Falls, you will spot several herds of buffaloes, crocodiles, hippos, different species of water birds, and many other animals as they flock to the banks of the River Nile to drink water. You will continue upstream to the bottom of the falls to observe how water squeezes through a narrow gorge only later to explode in what has been referred to as the strongest
and most powerful falls on planet Earth. Return to the Lodge for overnight.
Accommodations: Heritage Safari Lodge (Budget) Paara Safari Lodge (Luxury)
Meal Plan: Breakfast, Packed Lunch and Dinner

DAY 6: Morning game drive and late afternoon Delta cruise

After an early breakfast, you will return to the northern bank of the River Nile for yet another game drive in search of some of the wild animals that you could have missed seeing during your previous game drives. Return to the lodge for lunch and thereafter go for a late afternoon boat cruise to the Albert Delta. Depending on how lucky you are, there are chances that you may find elephants, buffaloes, and hippos crossing the delta while crocodiles are also taking the opportunity of this crossing to catch the vulnerable animals. There are also high chances that you will spot the rare Shoebill stock. Return back to the lodge for overnight:
Accommodations: Heritage Safari Lodge (Budget) Paara Safari Lodge (Luxury)
Meal Plan: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

DAY 7: To Kibale National Park.

As part of your 18 Days Safari, you will drive to Kibale Forest National Park via Fort Portal town. You will have a stopover in Fort portal town for Lunch before proceeding to check in at your accommodation. No major activity on this day but if time allows, you may drive around Fort Portal town for sightseeing.
Accommodations: Kibale Forest Camp (Budget) Kyaninga Safari Lodge (Luxury)
Meal Plan: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

DAY 8: Chimpanzee trekking and Bigodi Wetland Walk

After breakfast, you will be transferred to Kibale National Park headquarters located at Kanyanchu. Here, you will join other trekkers for briefing before you proceed into the forest for chimpanzee trekking. You will be led by a well-trained and experienced ranger/guide who will take you for a guided primate walk inside Kibale Forest National Park. This forest provides an opportunity to visit one of the habituated communities of chimpanzees. You are allowed to spend an hour with these Great Apes while observing their behaviour. You are allowed to take photographs. So make sure your cameras are nearby. Kibale National Park is also home to other 13 primate species which can also be spotted while trekking the Chimpanzees. Of course, there are also numerous species of forest birds. In fact, this is another haven for bird lovers.
Accommodations: Kibale Forest Camp (Budget) Kyaninga Safari lodge (Luxury)
Meal Plan: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

DAY 9: To Queen Elizabeth National Park

After breakfast, you will drive for 3-4 hours from Kibale National Park to Queen Elizabeth National Park. You will have an opportunity of passing through small towns while seeing several foothills of the magnificent Rwenzori Mountain. You will as well as cross the Equator at Kikorongo. Of course, you will also see several small rivers that originate from the Rwenzori mountain ranges. You may head to the lodge for lunch or drive directly to the Mweya jetty for an afternoon boat cruise on the Kazinga Channel. This two-hour boat cruise is one of the highlights of Queen Elizabeth National Park. It provides you with an opportunity to view over 300 out of the
600 water bird species recorded here. There are also antelopes, crocodiles, elephants, buffaloes, and hippos which can be sighted while on the boat.

Accommodations: Tembo Safari Lodge (Budget) Mweya Safari Lodge (Luxury)
Meal Plan: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

DAY 10: Game drive and Boat Cruise

After an early morning cup of coffee, you will drive back to the Kasenyi plains for a game drive to catch up with what you could have missed out on your earlier game drive. It is at this time of the morning that big cats are out hunting for their prey and as such chances of spotting lions and or leopards are slightly high. Nevertheless, you will be guaranteed to see buffaloes, hippos, several species of antelopes, and many others. You may return to the lodge for lunch or drive directly to the Mweya jetty for an afternoon boat cruise on Kazinga Channel. This two-hour boat cruise is one of the highlights of Queen Elizabeth National Park. It provides you an opportunity to view over 300 out of the 600 water bird species recorded here, antelopes, crocodiles, elephants, buffaloes, and hippos. Return to the lodge overnight.

Accommodations: Tembo Safari Lodge (Budget) Mweya Safari Lodge (Luxury)
Meal Plan: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

DAY 11: Kyambura Chimp trekking and Katwe salt mines.

After breakfast, you will be driven to Kyambura to join other trekkers for briefing and after start your chimpanzee walk in the gorge. Your experienced ranger guide will help you identify several flora and fauna species resident in this gorge. Once you find a community of chimpanzees, you will be allowed to spend one hour with them for photography. Return from the trek for lunch and short relaxation at the lodge before moving out for a visit to Lake Katwe salt mines. Lake Katwe is an explosive crater that is gifted with salt. The local community has been mining/extracting salt from this lake for decades. You will meet a local guide (from the community) who will take you for a tour around the salt mines while explaining how salt extraction is done, the challenges faced as well as the opportunities available. Lake Katwe salt extraction project is one of the living examples of man and biosphere reserves or conservation areas in the whole world where man is
harmoniously co-existing with wildlife. Return to the Lodge for overnight.

Accommodations: Tembo Safari Lodge (Budget) Mweya Safari Lodge (Luxury)
Meal Plan: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

DAY 12: To Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.

After breakfast, you will drive to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park, located in southwestern Uganda and shared between three districts of Kabale, Kanungu, and Kisoro. Your journey to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park will take you through the rolling hills with terraced gardens of Irish potatoes and sometimes tea. You will arrive late afternoon for overnight at the Lodge. Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is home to almost half of the world’s endangered mountain gorillas and the only National Park where wild chimpanzees co-exist with mountain gorillas.

Accommodations: Buhoma Community Lodge (Budget) Mahogany Safari Lodge (Luxury)
Meal Plan: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

DAY 13: Gorilla tracking and Village walk

After breakfast, you will transfer to the park headquarters to join other trekkers to be allocated a Gorilla family that you will trek. Of course, the park staff will first give you a full briefing concerning the Dos and Don’ts while with the gorillas. After that, you will be driven to the starting point of your allocated gorilla family to start your trek into the beautiful Impenetrable Bwindi Forest. This trek may take between 30 minutes to three-quarters of the day, depending on where the Mountain Gorillas will be found. Please note that gorilla trekking can be strenuous and as such a certain level of fitness is required. Once you find the gorillas, you will be allowed to spend one hour observing them and taking photographs. Although this time may seem too short a time, the
experience you get will be worth it. Thereafter, you will return to the park headquarters where you will be awarded a certificate in recognition of your effort in contributing to the conservation of these endangered mountain gorillas. Return to the lodge for relaxation followed by a village walk in the evening to learn more about the local people living around Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. This walk will enable you to appreciate the effort of these people in conserving the forest and the gorillas. You can choose to support them through donations in any kind. Please note that this is a voluntary act.

Accommodations: Buhoma Community Lodge (Budget) Mahogany Safari Lodge (Luxury)
Meal Plan: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

DAY 14: To Lake Bunyonyi

Drive from Bwindi Impenetrable National Park to Lake Bunyonyi in Kabale District. Lake Bunyonyi is one of the three Lava damned Lakes in Uganda. The Lake was formed when lava flowing from one of the volcanoes blocked a river channel and water was forced to flow back hence filling the space to create Lake Bunyonyi. Bunyonyi locally means small birds. So the Lake got its name because of the abundance of small birds in this area. Lake Bunyonyi is said to be the deepest lake in Uganda and the second deepest in East Africa. The beauty of this Lake Bunyonyi will surely not disappoint you. It is one of the best places in Uganda to relax after your gorilla trek.

Accommodations: Paradise Eco Lodge (Budget) Birdnest Safari Lodge (Luxury)
Meal Plan: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

DAY 15: Canoeing or Hiking

After breakfast, you are free to admire the beauty of the lake and its surrounding hills. You will have a choice of either taking a canoe ride on the lake to explore the different Islands with exciting histories behind them. For example, you will visit Punishment Island. The story about this Island is about the place where girls who were known to have conceived babies out of legitimate traditional marriage would be dumped and left to die. This is a whole day activity and you will surely enjoy it. Alternatively, you can hike one of the hills around Lake Bunyonyi. Encounter Africa Safaris supports some projects around this area, which is part of our Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). So, for those who want to do something in the community while on their tour, this is another opportunity for you to go for volunteer work. Return to the Lodge forovernight.

Accommodations: Paradise Eco Lodge (Budget) Birdnest Safari Lodge (Luxury)
Meal Plan: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

DAY 16: To Lake Mburo National Park

After breakfast, drive to Lake Mburo National Park via the Great Lakes Museum or Igongo Cultural Center to learn more about the cultures of the ethnic groups in western Uganda. Lunch will be served en route. You will arrive at Lake Mburo National Park just in time for an evening game drive. Lake Mburo National Park is popular for animals such as Impalas, Giraffes, Zebras and so much more. Return to the Lodge for overnight.

Accommodations: Eagle’s Nest (Budget) Kigambira Safari Lodge (Luxury)
Meal Plan: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

DAY 17: Walks and Game Drives

After breakfast, you will head out for a morning walk in the park, it’s a nature-friendly park and hence allows walking, later return for lunch and then head out in the evening for a game drive in search of wildlife that is further and cannot be reached on foot hence look for wildlife and enhanceyour chances as well.

Accommodations: Eagle’s Nest (Budget) Kigambira Safari Lodge (Luxury)
Meal Plan: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

DAY 18: Drive to Entebbe International Airport

Today marks the end of your 18 Days Safari with Encounter Africa Safaris. But, depending on your flight time, you can have a morning walking Safari or just embark on your journey to Entebbe International Airport. Of course, you will have a stop at the Equator crossing in Kayabwe for photography and stretching.
Meal Plan: Breakfast and Lunch

End of our 18-Day Best of Uganda Safari 

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