20 Days Uganda Safari Holiday

20 Days Uganda Safari Holiday

This safari holiday features visiting the smallest national park Lake Mburo, lake Bunyonyi tour, ultimate golden monkey trekking in Mgahinga gorilla national park, gorilla trekking in Bwindi impenetrable NP, game drives and boat cruises in Queen Elizabeth national park, chimpanzee trekking in kyambura gorge, hiking the mountains of the moon, Bigodi wetland birding excursion, nature walk and visiting the remote and serene Kidepo valley national park.

Safari Highlights

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DAY TO DAY HIGHLIGHT

SAFARI OVERVIEW

Uganda is one of the fantastic destinations for a safari holiday where you go and explore national parks, explore wildlife like gorillas, elephants, lions and leopards. This safari holiday features visiting the smallest national park Lake Mburo, lake Bunyonyi tour, ultimate golden monkey trekking in Mgahinga gorilla national park, gorilla trekking in Bwindi impenetrable NP, game drives and boat cruises in Queen Elizabeth national park, chimpanzee trekking in kyambura gorge, hiking the mountains of the moon, Bigodi wetland birding excursion, nature walk and visiting the remote and serene Kidepo valley national park.

Day 1: Arrival at Entebbe international airport.

Day 2: Transfer to lake Mburo national park.

Day 3: Morning game drive and Nature walk.

Day 4: Transfer to lake Bunyonyi and an evening canoe paddle.

Day 5: Enjoy sunrise boat cruise and transfer to Mgahinga national park.

Day 6: Golden monkey trekking or Batwa heritage trail and transfer to Bwindi.

Day 7: Gorilla trekking and Nature walks.

Day 8: Transfer to Queen Elizabeth national park.

Day 9: Game drive and Launch cruise.

Day 10: Morning chimpanzee trekking in Kyambura Gorge and transfer to Kasese.

Day 11: Whole day hiking mount Rwenzori and transfer to Kibale national park.

Day 12: Chimpanzee trekking and Bigodi wetland nature walk.

Day 13: Transfer to Hoima and visit to Bunyoro Kitara Heritage Site.

Day 14: Transfer from Hoima to Murchison falls national park.

Day 15: Game drive and launch cruise.

Day 16: Transfer to Kidepo valley national park.

Day 17: Morning game drive and Karamojong community tour.

Day 18: Trek to mount Morungole and visit the famous IK people.

Day 19: Transfer to Sipi Area.

Day 20: Trek to Sipi falls and transfer back to Kampala (End of safari)

DAY BY DAY ITINERARY

Day 1: Arrival at Entebbe international airport.

This is the first day of the 20 days Uganda safari holiday, at the airport, you will be able to meet the company representatives who will drive you to your booked hotel in Entebbe. At your hotel, check in, relax have dinner and an overnight stay.

Day 2: Transfer to lake Mburo national park.

After an early morning breakfast, the driver will pick you and transfer you to lake Mburo national park which is the smallest savannah national park in Uganda. You can have a stopover at the equator, have lunch, and stretch your legs a little bit.

Once you arrive, you will head to your lodge for relaxation, dinner and overnight stay.

Day 3: Morning game drive and Nature walk.

Wake up early in the morning and have breakfast, after that, the driver will pick you up and head out for the game drive. Game drives in lake Mburo national park is one of the opportunities you can get closer to the wildlife and observe them while they are most active. Some of the wildlife are zebras, buffaloes, warthog, leopards, elands, and hippos. After the game drive, you can head back to your hotel, have lunch and refresh as you prepare for an evening nature walk through the park.

Nature walks provide rare opportunities to get up close to the park’s vegetation, acacia trees and several wetlands. You are also able to spot different bird species like the rare shoe bill stock and elusive African fish eagle. On a lucky day, you are able to come across zebras, impalas and warthogs. After the nature walks, you will head back to your hotel for relaxation, dinner and overnight stay.

Day 4: Transfer to lake Bunyonyi and an evening canoe paddle.

After an early morning breakfast, the driver will pick you up and transfer you to lake Bunyonyi in Kabale district. You can have a stopover in Ntungamo, have lunch and stretch a little bit. Drive to the second deepest lake in Africa, lake Bunyonyi characterized with about 20 islands.

Once you reach lake Bunyonyi, feel free to relax and enjoy the cool breezes from the lake and the surrounding areas. Check in to your hotel, refresh and head out for an evening canoe paddle.

You will spend the whole evening relaxed as you connect with to a canoe paddle and visit some of the islands on the lake as you get to encounter different birds that surround this area. You can choose between a traditional dugout or modern canoes depending on your preferences and the experience you are looking for.

You get an intimate way to explore the lake’s islands like punishment island or Bushara island and you will be surprised that each of the islands has its own unique history and charm. After that, head back to your hotel to relax, have dinner and an overnight stay.

Day 5: Enjoy sunrise boat cruise and transfer to Mgahinga national park.

This is one of the magical experiences that allows you witness the tranquil beauties of lake Bunyonyi. You will start this boat cruise early in the morning after your breakfast as it helps you catch the first light of the day.

As the sun rises, you will be mesmerized by how the lake and its islands are bathed in soft and warm light creating a breathtaking and serene atmosphere. You are able to spot different bird species as the head out to become active.

After the boat cruise, head back to your hotel and pack the necessities to travel to Mgahinga gorilla national park. When you reach the park, the drive will transfer you to your booked hotel to relax, have dinner and on overnight stay.

Day 6: Golden monkey trekking or Batwa heritage trail and transfer to Bwindi.
wake up early morning and have breakfast, the driver will pick you up and transfer you to the park headquarters. You will he accompanied by an experienced guide who will lead you through the trail where golden monkeys are known to reside.

During the trek, you will be able to encounter other different primates that reside with the park. Once you get to encounter them, you will be given some time to be with them in their natural habitat as you learn different behaviors of feeding and socializing with each other.

Once you finish, you will head back to the starting point and meet your driver who will take you back to the hotel to have some lunch, refresh and prepare for the journey to Bwindi impenetrable national park.

These national park are relatively close to each other and it will take a short time for the driver to transfer you from Mgahinga to Bwindi national park.  Once you reach Bwindi, you can check in to your hotel, have dinner, relax and on overnight stay.

Day 7: Gorilla trekking and Nature walks.

Gorilla trekking is a remarkable and once in a life time experience that allows you get up close with the magnificent mountain gorillas. the driver will drop you at the park headquarters where you will attend the pre briefing session and told on how to behave once you get to encounter these primates.

You are accompanied by an experienced guide who will lead you through the trail and will help you identify the assigned gorilla family in a particular sector within the park, trekking takes about 2 to 4 hours depending on where the gorillas will be found. Once you get to encounter these gorillas, you are given one hour to be with them up close in their natural habitat as you watch them feed, hunt and socialize.

On finishing, you can head back to the starting point, rest, relax, eat lunch and refresh as you prepare for the nature walks.

After relaxing, head out for the ultimate nature walks in one of the impenetrable forests in Uganda. The nature walk allows you immerse yourself in this ancient and pristine environment. During the nature walks, you are able to encounter several bird species, butterflies and insects, the walks will usher you to stunning landscapes, misty hills and water falls. After the nature walks, the driver will be waiting for you at the park headquarters and transfer you back to your hotel to relax, eat dinner and have an overnight stay.

Day 8: Transfer to Queen Elizabeth national park.

After breakfast, the driver will transfer you to Queen Elizabeth national park whose distance is about 150 km that is 2 to 4 hours of drive. Upon arrival, the driver will take you to your booked hotel to have lunch and relax.

Day 9: Game drive and Launch cruise.

Queen Elizabeth national park offers excellent game drives giving you rare opportunities to see a wide variety of wildlife. The driver will pick you up early morning and transfer you to the park headquarters. Here, you will be accompanied with experienced guides who will guide you through the park.

Game drives are usually conducted in the morning when these animals are fully active, during the drive, you will encounter animals like leopards, elephants, buffaloes, lions and antelopes. Don’t forget to bring along your camera to take a few snaps of these amazing wildlife.

After the game drive, the driver will take you to kazinga channel which is about 40 km to enjoy the launch cruise. This water channel connects lake George to lake Edward. During the launch, you can spot elephants, crocodiles, hippos, buffaloes and different bird species.

You can as well relax and soak in the sights and sounds of the channel as the tour guide provides you with information about the channel and its inhabitants. After, the driver will head transfer you to the hotel to have dinner, relax and an overnight stay.

Day 10: Morning chimpanzee trekking in Kyambura Gorge and transfer to Kasese.

After and early morning breakfast, the driver will transfer you to the headquarters of kyambura gorge. Kyambura Gorge is also known as the ‘’valley of Apes’’ where you will get ultimate chimpanzee trekking experiences. This activity takes place in the morning with experienced guides who will lead you to where these primates are located.

During trekking, you will have the opportunity to encounter and observe chimpanzees in their natural habitat as they feed and socialize with others. You are rewarded with scenic views of lush vegetation and meandering rivers.

After trekking chimpanzees, the driver will be waiting to transfer you to Kasese where you will have lunch, stretch and relax. Once you reach your hotel, check in, have dinner and an overnight stay.

Day 11: Whole day hiking mount Rwenzori and transfer to Kibale national park.

Hiking mountain Rwenzori is a challenging and rewarding adventure for trekkers and mountaineers. After having your breakfast, the driver will transfer you to the headquarters where you get to start the hiking process.

Rwenzori mountains are the third highest mountain in Africa whose highest peak is Magherita rising over 5,100 meters above sea level. There are several trekking trails and routes which you can choose from since some are challenging and some are easier.

Since the Rwenzori mountains are part of the national park, you are able to encounter different wildlife like primates and several birds.

After the trek, the driver will be waiting for you and transfer you Kibale national park located within Rwenzori national park, these places are closer and will take a short transfer. Once you reach, the driver will take you to your booked hotel where you will relax, have dinner and have an overnight stay.

Day 12: Chimpanzee trekking and Bigodi wetland nature walk.

Kibale national park is also known as the ‘’primate capital’’ where you will have an immersive wildlife experience. After breakfast, the driver will transfer you to the park headquarters where you will attend the briefing session of how to behave once you get to encounter these primates.

Your chimpanzee trek will be guided by knowledgeable park rangers who are familiar with these chimps’ behavior in the forest. The activity takes about 2 to 4 hours since these primates tend to move from one place to another. Once you find your chimp family, you will be given some time observing and photographing these intelligent and social primates in their natural habitat.

After trekking, you will head back to the park headquarters where you can rest and have lunch as you prepare for the Bigodi wetland nature walks.

Bigodi nature walks are typically guided by knowledgeable local guides who are familiar with the area’s flora and fauna. The wetland is a haven for birdwatchers where you can spot numerous birds like great blue turaco, papyrus gonolek, western nicator and black crowned waxbill. It is also possible to spot different primates like red colobus monkeys, black and white monkeys and olive baboons. Butterflies and other insects can also be spotted during the Bigodi wetland nature walk.

Day 13: Transfer to Hoima and visit to Bunyoro Kitara Heritage Site.

After a morning breakfast, your driver will transfer you from the hotel to Hoima where you will have a visit to Bunyoro Kitara heritage site. The journey takes about 248 km that is approximately 4 to 5 hours of drive, you can a stop in Kagadi to refresh, have lunch and do some souvenir shopping.

On reaching Hoima, the driver will transfer you to your hotel where you will check in, and freshen up then later head out for the Bunyoro Kitara Heritage site. This site offers deeper dive into the history and culture of Bunyoro kingdom.

Many heritages sited have museums and exhibit showcases artifacts, historical documents and traditional clothing. You will have the opportunity to witness traditional dances, music and performances showcased by the kingdom’s heritage.

You will also visit some heritage sites including archaeological sites and historical landmarks significant to the kingdom. You are free to carry your camera and take a few snaps of the historical and cultural elements you encounter during your visit. After the visit, the driver will take you back to your hotel.

Day 14: Transfer from Hoima to Murchison falls national park.

The driver will transfer you from Hoima to Murchison falls national park taking about 3 to 4 hours. Murchison falls national park is known for diverse wildlife species like lions, giraffes, elephants, hippos and buffaloes.

Once you reach the park, the driver will take you to your booked hotel to relax, have dinner and an overnight stay.

Day 15: Game drive and launch cruise.

Have an early morning breakfast and the driver will transfer you to the park headquarters to get to the early morning game drive. Game drives in Murchison falls NP is one of the thrilling ways to experience the diverse wildlife and stunning landscapes of the park in Uganda.

Game drives are usually conducted in the morning when these animals are more active. The morning game drives are good spots for spotting predators. The park is home to a wide variety of animals including elephants, lions, leopards, buffaloes. Hippos and numerous antelopes. Some game drives may inquire river crossing which is an additional opportunity for wildlife viewing and bird watching.

After the game drives, head back to the hotel and have some lunch as you prepare or the evening launch cruise. The launch cruise takes you along the Nile river offering breathtaking views of the river banks, wildlife and falls themselves.

During the launch cruise, you can spot elephants, crocodiles, hippos, buffaloes and several water birds and raptors. The highlight of this cruise is reaching the base of Murchison falls where you can see the force of Nile river as it squeezes through a narrow gorge creating a powerful waterfall.

The launch cruise is a tranquil and leisurely way to enjoy the natural beauties of the park and relax while taking in sights and sounds. After the cruise, the driver will take you back to the hotel to take dinner, relax and have an overnight stay.

Day 16: Transfer to Kidepo valley national park.

After breakfast, the driver will pick you up and transfer you to Kidepo valley national park. This journey is approximately 315 km that is about 6 hours of drive via the Gulu-kitgum road. 

On reaching the park, the driver will take you to the hotel to check in, relax, have dinner and an overnight stay.

Day 17: Morning game drive and Karamojong community tour.

After breakfast, the driver will take you to the park’s headquarters where you will prepare to explore one of the remotest wilderness in area.

Kidepo is home to a diverse range of wildlife like leopards, buffaloes, elephants, and antelopes. During the game drive you are able to spot all these wildlife species and breathtaking scenery, rugged mountains and the famous Narus river that seems to meander through the valley.

You are also able to spot over 475 bird species and look out for the colorful ostriches, apalis and the marital eagles. Don’t forget to carry your cameras to take a few snaps of the striking landscapes and incredible wildlife of the park.  

Day 18: Trek to mount Morungole and visit the famous IK people.

After an early morning breakfast, the driver will take you to the starting point where you will start your hike. Hiking this mountain is challenging and rewarding adventure for the tourists seeking to explore Uganda’s northeastern region.

The hike takes you through picturesque landscapes like rocky outcrops, savannah and mountainous terrain.  The hike involves great interactions with the famous IK people one of Uganda’s most isolated and traditional indigenous communities where you can learn about their culture and way of life.

During the hike, you will encounter birds like dik diks and klipspringers, on reaching the summit, you are offered with panoramic views of the surrounding region which makes the challenge well worth it. After hiking, the driver will take you back to the hotel to relax, eat dinner and have an overnight stay.

Day 19: Transfer to Sipi Area.

After breakfast, the driver will take you from Kidepo valley national park to Sipi area. The distance is about 456.8 km that is approximately 8 hours and 35 minutes of drive via the Mbale- Soroti road with a few stop overs to have lunch and stretch. On reaching, the Sipi area, the driver will take you to your hotel, have dinner, relax and an overnight stay.

Day 20: Trek to Sipi falls and transfer back to Kampala (End of safari)

Today is the 20th day of your 20 days Uganda safari holiday, after an early morning breakfast, the driver will take you to where you will begin the trek to sipi falls. These falls are known for stunning natural beauty of series of three waterfalls in the foothills of mount elgon in the eastern part of Uganda.

There are several hiking trails taking you to different viewpoints of the falls and each of these having unique and perspectives and vantage points for photographing the falls and the surrounding landscapes.

Sipi is not only about falls but lush vegetation of cliffs and the valleys surrounding the falls. At the end of the trek, you will be rewarded with breathtaking views of one or more falls and get up close to the lower falls for a refreshing natural shower.

After this incredible trek, the driver will pick you up from the starting point and transfer you back to Kampala. This marks the end of your 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 19 Nights
  • All Activities as mentioned in the itinerary
  • 1 Gorilla Permit per person
  • 1 chimpanzee Permit Per person
  • 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

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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 the 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.

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