15 Days Uganda Safari

15 Days Uganda Safari

Explore Uganda’s abundant wildlife; enjoy the breathtaking sceneries and unique cultural experiences on our exceptional 15-day trip. This 2-week long vacation takes you through Uganda’s unique experiences including mountain gorilla trekking, chimpanzee trekking, Batwa cultural experiences, whitewater rafting, and game drives.

Expect to encounter plenty of wildlife including chimpanzees, mountain gorillas, cape buffaloes, leopards, lions, rhinos, crocodiles, elephants, and diverse bird species.

Safari Highlights

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DAY TO DAY HIGHLIGHT

SAFARI OVERVIEW

  • Day 1: Arrival at Entebbe & transfer to the hotel
  • Day 2: Kampala to Jinja, for whitewater rafting
  • Day 3: To Murchison Falls National Park
  • Day 4: Game drive with a guide and boat cruise
  • Day 5: Drive to Kibale National Park
  • Day 6: Chimpanzee trekking in Kibale Forest
  • Day 7: Leave Kibale forest for Queen Elizabeth N/Park. Afternoon boat cruise on Kazinga channel
  • Day 8: Game drive experience & depart for Bwindi national park
  • Day 9: Mountain gorilla trekking
  • Day 10: Bwindi to Lake Bunyonyi (in Kabale)
  • Day 11: Boat ride to the Islands & relaxation
  • Day 12: Transfer to Lake Mburo National Park
  • Day 13: Game viewing experience & boat cruise
  • Day 14: Morning cycling tour & depart to Kampala
  • Day 15: Airport drop off after Kampala city tour

DAY BY DAY ITINERARY

Day 1: Arrival at Entebbe & transfer to the hotel

Upon arrival, you will be picked by your driver guide and transfer to the hotel in Kampala city. Entebbe International Airport is the only international airport and one of the main entry points into Uganda.

The airport is situated a short distance away from Lake Victoria and on this day, you will be picked up and transferred to a hotel in Kampala city.

Day 2: Kampala to Jinja, for whitewater rafting

Leave Kampala for 2 hour’s drive to Jinja, driving via the Jinja-Iganga route. Pass via the spectacular Mabira Forest, arrive early and today, you will have half day white water rafting experience.

Expect to conquer the tough rapids and grades, up to grade 5 along the Nile River. Get back to the lodge to relax and retire for the night.

Day 3: To Murchison Falls National Park

Pick up early in the morning to beat the traffic in Kampala. Cross the city as you head to Northwestern Uganda and your long day trip includes rhino trekking at Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary located in Nakasongola district. About 33 rhinos live in Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary, a 70sq.km conservancy area. From Ziwa, depart for Murchison Falls National Park but first, you will be provided lunch in Masindi/at the lodge around rhino sanctuary.

Day 4: Game drive with a guide and boat cruise

An exciting morning game drive will begin as early as 6:00am and you will be catching up with early risers and plenty of other animals. Using a 4×4 tourist vehicle, expect to see myriad of wildlife including African bush elephants, lions, warthogs, buffaloes, antelopes, and birds.

In the afternoon after enough rest, you will embark on a guided boat cruise taking you to the base of Murchison Falls. As you ride on the Nile River’s water, keep eyes on hippos, crocodiles, and water birds such as bee-eaters, fish eagles, kingfishers and more.

Day 5: Drive to Kibale National Park

Start your long day drive to Kibale National Park and navigate via Hoima city while viewing the stunning rift valley escarpment in the countryside. It will be 7-8 hours’ drive depending on the driver’s speed and nature of the route. Once you arrive at Fort Portal, have a brief stopover for lunch and relaxation then connect straight to the lodge for overnight stay.

Day 6: Chimpanzee trekking in Kibale Forest

With an experienced park guide, begin a 2-4 hours’ trek through Kibale Forest as you look for a habituated chimpanzee community. Chimpanzees are our closest relatives, sharing over 98% of their DNA with humans. During the 1 hour of close encounter, you will keep a distance of 7-8m away from chimpanzees as you observe how they behave and their body gestures.

Return to the lodge, relax and in the afternoon, the next session will be a guided nature walk in Bigodi wetland. This wetland is endowed with interesting primates and birds plus other mammals.

Day 7: Leave Kibale forest for Queen Elizabeth N/Park. Afternoon boat cruise on Kazinga channel

After breakfast, you will check out of the lodge in or around Kibale, and drive to Queen Elizabeth National Park. The 2-3 hours’ drive comes with magical views of the mystical Rwenzori Mountains, Crater Lakes and banana farms, etc.

Your afternoon in Queen Elizabeth National Park will include a boat cruise on Kazinga channel. A boat cruise tour comes with amazing sights of hippos, crocodiles and water birds.

Day 8: Game drive experience & depart for Bwindi national park

Begin the day with a hearty breakfast and you set off for morning game drive through Kasenyi plains. The 2-3 hours guided game viewing on Kasenyi track lets you look for variety of animals including elephants, lions, leopards, buffaloes, and antelope families, plus birds.

Return from the game drive and proceed to Bwindi National Park, driving via Ishasha sector where you will have brief exploration to look for tree climbing lions.

Day 9: Mountain gorilla trekking

Start your gorilla trekking adventure in the morning and the park guide will be accompanying you. This will take you 2-6 hours which includes one hour for up close and personal with a family of habituated mountain gorillas.

Over 459 mountain gorillas all exist in the lush Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and the park has 20 habituated families. In the afternoon, you will have good time in the Batwa community as you interact with the Batwa pygmies, exploring their traditions and cultures.

Day 10: Bwindi to Lake Bunyonyi (in Kabale)

A hearty breakfast will be enjoyed early in the morning and after, head off to Lake Bunyonyi, Uganda’s deepest lake. Drive at a pace that allows you to capture everything about Kigezi region and arrive at Lake Bunyonyi early to check in at the lodge. Have some time to relax and later join the afternoon boat or canoe ride taking you to one of the 29 magnificent islands on Lake Bunyonyi.

Day 11: Boat ride to the Islands & relaxation

Take a boat ride on Lake Bunyonyi and you will be visiting some of the famous islands. The popular islands here include Punishment Island, Bwama, Kyahugye, Bushara and others. Enjoy the stories told to you by a local guide about the Punishment Island and later return to relax at the lodge. You will have afternoon walk/hike to one of the nearby hills to have great views of the lake and surrounding while also spotting some birds.

Day 12: Transfer to Lake Mburo National Park

Start your road trip to Lake Mburo National Park to home to abundant zebras and impalas. You will be viewing the spectacular farms and landscapes in the countryside and have lunch on arrival at the lodge. In the afternoon, you will be taken through the memorable boat cruise on Lake Mburo, the best place in the park to see hippos, crocodiles and water birds.

Day 13: Game viewing experience & boat cruise

Have a hefty breakfast and after, you will be accompanied by an experienced guide on a game drive. This will let you see animals such as oribis, cape buffaloes, zebras, waterbucks, impalas, warthogs and birds. In the afternoon, you will spice your day with a boat cruise on Lake Mburo and this is for you to look for the hippos, crocodiles, and water birds.

Day 14: Morning cycling tour & depart to Kampala

Go cycling through Lake Mburo National Park; enjoy view of the park’s diverse wildlife while on a bicycle. Expect to see different animals such as zebras, oribis, warthogs, waterbucks, bushbucks, topis, elands, giraffes and birds. Return and check out of the lodge, begin your road trip back to Kampala/Entebbe with en route stopover visit at the Equator crossing for photography.

Day 15: Airport drop off after Kampala city tour

Enjoy breakfast and you may embark on a city tour, visit the national museum or Namugongo Martyrs Shrine plus other sites. Depart from Kampala for Entebbe for departure back home.

End of safari.

Included in The package/Price:

  • All Domestic Flights as mentioned in itinerary
  • Transfers in a exclusive 4×4 Customized jeep
  • All Airport Transfers.
  • Full Board Accommodations 14 Nights
  • All Activities as mentioned in the itinerary
  • 1 Gorilla Permit per person
  • 1 chimpanzee Permit Per person
  • All Boat Cruises Mentioned
  • Bottled water on safari
  • Planned Bush Breakfasts & Sun downers

Excluded in the Package

  • Personal International flight
  • Visa (USD $50 or $100 for east African tourist visa
  • Meals and drinks not mentioned in the itinerary
  • Items of personal nature
  • Laundry service
  • Tips

F.A.Q.

There is no standard price for Uganda, Rwanda or Congo gorilla permit –each country has its rates. In Uganda, the charges vary depending on the visitor category. The foreign non-residents are charged USD 700 to have their gorilla permits booked, USD 600 for foreign residents and Ugandans (East Africa citizens) pay shs. 250,000 per person. To have a gorilla permit secured/booked, you need USD 1500 for Rwanda and this is most ideal for luxury/high-end travelers interested in visiting the endangered mountain gorillas.

When booking a gorilla permit, it is also a good thing to have a destination of your desire in mind. The key places to consider a must-visit on gorilla tour include Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Mgahinga Gorilla National Park –these are gorilla trekking destinations for tourists on a tour in Uganda. In Rwanda, Volcanoes National Park is where you can locate habituated mountain gorilla families and crossing the D.R. Congo, you can explore Virunga National Park.

It is a good thing to also understand when best to book your gorilla permits to avoid having issues on actual date of gorilla trekking. Considering our experience, we always recommend our clients to have their permits booked early enough at least 2-4 months. This can save you from last minute stress, especially if you plan to travel during the dry season also considered to be the peak season. The peak months of the year fall around June, July, August to September, and December, January to February.

Gorilla permits are among the relevant documents visitors must have to be allowed to track gorillas in Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Not any gorilla permit should be presented on actual gorilla trekking adventure but a valid one. Booking gorilla permits is part of making the entire gorilla trip complete and should be done early enough before the actual visit to see mountain gorillas or eastern lowland gorillas.

To have your gorilla permit booked, there is a process one should undergo through and is generally tedious. Considering your tight schedule back home, you may wonder how easier you can have your permit booked in advance to avoid last minute stress.

The easiest way to secure your gorilla permit in Uganda or Rwanda is by dealing with a recognized tour operator/company on the ground. This is where our reservation team comes in. As part of your gorilla safari requirement, our team being on ground will ensure that your permit is booked early enough and everything else that is needed for gorilla trekking is put together.

The beauty about dealing with local safari company such as ours is that we have knowledge on the different gorilla groups and surrounding communities plus various accommodation facilities for your night stay. This is in addition to making the entire gorilla permit booking process easier on behalf of our clients.

There is also an option of booking the permit directly through the reservation team of respective park authorities. But the challenge is that you must undergo through the long process to have your permit booked and this may not favor you depending on your schedule. Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) is an organ in charge not only for conservation of wildlife in the Pearl of Africa but also sets prices for tourism activities in the parks including gorilla permits. In Rwanda, you can contact Rwanda Tourism Board/Rwanda Development Board to have your permit booked.

The East African tourist visa is a joint visa that permits one to travel to specific countries within East Africa, namely Uganda, Kenya and Rwanda only. A joint tourist visa can be used several times for various purposes as long as it’s not overdue. 

Tourists should therefore find it important to always remember that the tourist visa lasts for only 90 days.  Processing the tourist visa takes a maximum period of two working days. It is also important to note that the tourist visa prohibits employment.

The process of applying for a tourist visa has been made easier since it can be done with the help of a tour operator or by the individual themselves online through the Ministry of Internal Affairs immigration portal. Visitors are required to log in to the portal, go ahead and accept the terms and conditions for the tourist visa, select the Visa / permit type, the subcategory and category, complete the application form and upload the required documents. 

A reference number will be generated and sent to you through your email, submit it and proceed to payment. It’s important to note that the payment can be made using Visa cards.  An approval letter will be sent to your email after the above process.

Report at the immigration office or border post for the biometric capture with all the necessary documents, receipt of payment, approval letter and your passport. Visitors should regard it as important to enter through the home country issuing the visa.

The East African tourist visa costs a fee of $100 only, meaning that it can be obtained by all travelers ranging from the budget to luxurious ones.

  • Persons aged 15 years and above are allowed to trek gorillas.
  • Avoid sneezing in the presence of gorillas.
  • Always stay away from gorillas by observing distance
  • Do not try to feed gorillas
  • Do not chew in the presence of gorillas
  • Do not take photos with flash light on.