8 days wild adventure safari in Uganda

TRIP HIGHLIGHTS

On this eight-day safari, you will go on a game drive in Murchison Falls National Park, Uganda’s oldest conservation area and home to more than 90 animal species; track chimpanzees in the lush Kibale Forest National Park, home to more than 5,000 chimpanzees; and also trek the prized mountain gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.

INCLUDED IN THIS PACKAGE
>>Airport pick-up and return
>>Fully escorted by Mutanda Gorilla Tours guide
>>Ground transportation
>>7 nights accommodation
>>Daily breakfast, lunches and dinners
>>All sightseeing and park entry fees as per itinerary

Day 1: Welcome to Uganda!

Once you arrive at Entebbe International Airport, you will be picked up by a Mutanda Gorilla Tours driver/guide who will take you to the capital Kampala, a 40-minute drive from Entebbe.

Upon arrival in Kampala, you will check into your hotel for dinner, relaxation and overnight ahead of tomorrow’s eight-hour journey to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.

In case you have enough time on your hands, you will go a brief tour of Kampala –a city that has been christened East Africa’s Entertainment Capital – and browse local markets, eateries and hangouts. What’s more, Kampalans are famous for their outstanding friendliness so expect to have a great time!

Distance from Entebbe: 40 minutes

Hotel options: Kampala Serena Hotel | Tourist Hotel |Pearl of Africa Hotel | Hotel Africana | Naguru Skyz Hotel

Day 2: Kampala to Murchison Falls

Today you will wake up as early as 6:00 am and begin your journey to the scenic northwestern Uganda, going through the Luwero Triangle, the region where the current Ugandan government launched its guerilla war in 1980 and successfully captured power in 1986.

You will make a stopover at the Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary – midway through the journey – and track rhinos on foot. You will have lunch at a restaurant near the sanctuary before continuing your journey to Murchison Falls National Park, about three hours away from here.

Once in the park, you will head straight to the peak of the falls to have a glimpse of the majestic flow of River Nile, the longest river on earth, and see how the waters of the mighty river squeeze through a small gorge before dropping down several metres below with a thunderous roar.

Hotel options: Sambiya River Lodge | Nile Safari Lodge | Paraa Safari Lodge
| Chobe Safari Lodge

Journey time: 6 hours

Day 3:  Game drive in Murchison Falls National Park

Today you will wake up as early as 5:30 am and get ready for the 6:00 am game drive. You will go on a guided game drive in the northern part of the park, where you will get to see numerous wildlife, including bushbucks, elephants, Cape buffaloes, hyenas, lions, bohor reedbucks, the endangered rothschild’s giraffes, oribis, waterbucks and the Jackson’s hartebeests – which are endemic to Murchison Falls National Park – as well as the elusive leopards (if you’re lucky).

After the morning game drive, you will return to the lodge for a late breakfast and relaxation ahead of the afternoon boat ride to the bottom of the falls near the “Devil’s Cauldron”, where you will be rewarded with sightings of the giant Nile crocodiles, buffaloes, hippos, waterbucks, Uganda Kobs and elephants, among other species.

What’s more, if you’re a birding enthusiast, you will also get to see some of Murchison Falls national Park’s over 400 bird species, including pelicans, cormorants, bee-eaters, kingfishers, Egyptian goose, hornbill, as well as the rare shoebill stork and the Goliath heron.

Later in the evening, you will leave the boat and hike to the top of the falls for a clear view of the mighty Nile thunderously exploding through a small gorge to create the magical Murchison Falls, the world’s most powerful waterfall.

You will later on head back to the lodge for dinner, relaxation and overnight ahead of tomorrow’s trip to Kibale National Park, home to the world’s biggest concentration of chimpanzees.

Hotel options: Sambiya River Lodge | Nile Safari Lodge | Paraa Safari Lodge
| Chobe Safari Lodge

Day 4: Transfer to Kibale National Park

In the morning after breakfast, you will be driven to Kibale National Park through Hoima and Fort Portal, a journey that will produce enchanting views of the beautiful countryside close to the Albertine Rift escarpment dotted with lush green vegetation and traditional homesteads and farms.

This being a long, eight-hour journey, you will have lunch at a local restaurant in Fort Portal before continuing your journey to Kibale National Park, arriving there in the evening.

Hotel options: Ruwenzori View Guest House | Kyaninga Lodge | Chimp Nest Lodge |Chimpanzee Guest House | Primate Lodge | Ndali Lodge | Mountains of the Moon

Journey time: 8 hours

Day 5: Chimpanzee trekking & transfer to Queen Elizabeth National Park

After you have had breakfast in the morning, you will head out to the lush Kibale Forest for chimpanzee trekking. It’s an awe-inspiring experience not just because chimpanzees are human’s closest relatives, but also because you will get to see some other interesting residents of the forest, including various primates such as l’hoest monkeys, blue monkeys, grey cheeked mangabeys, baboons, white & black colobus monkeys, and the red colobus monkeys, among other wildlife.

After an hour or so of scouring the forest, you will eventually come face-to-face with the chimpanzees and observe them play, feed and care for each other. You will be allowed to stay with them for one hour, after which you will return to your lodge for lunch and then continue your odyssey westwards to Queen Elizabeth National Park, about three hours from here.

Hotel options: Ihamba Safari Lodge | Kyambura Game Lodge | Queen Elizabeth Safari Camp | Mweya Hostel Simba Safari Camp | Bush Lodge | Mweya Safari Lodge | Katara Lodge

Journey time: 3 hours

Day 6: Game drive and transfer to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park

Today’s morning game drive will take you through the Kasenyi and Queen’s Mile, an area that is frequented by a wide range of animal and bird species, including lions, kobs, waterbucks, elephants, warthogs, cape buffalos, spotted hyenas and mongooses. After a short drive, you will head back to the lodge for breakfast and also get a chance to rest by the poolside.

After lunch in the afternoon, you will head out for a game drive in the Ishasha area of Queen Elizabeth National Park for an encounter with the famous tree-climbing lions of Ishasha and other residents of the park. This open savannah on the rim of the Albertine Rift Valley is also home to over 600 bird species – the largest concentration in a single reserve in the whole of eastern Africa.

This drive will lead you through the spectacular western rift valley escarpment from where you will continue your journey to the magical Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.

Once in the park, you will check into your lodge for relaxation, dinner and overnight ahead of tomorrow’s gorilla trekking expedition.

Hotel options: Gorilla Safari Lodge | Gorilla Resort Lodge | Clouds Lodge | Mahogany Springs Lodge | Silverback Lodge

Journey time: 4 hours

Day 7: Gorilla trekking

Today is the highlight of your eight-day trip to Uganda. You will have an early morning breakfast and then head out for Africa’s most coveted travel adventure: mountain gorilla trekking in the thick jungles of the impenetrable Bwindi rainforest.

Your starting point will be the park headquarters, where you will be taken through the dos and don’ts of mountain gorilla trekking before park rangers divide you into about 14 trekking groups – and each group of 10 will track its own gorilla family.

The trek through the slippery trails of Bwindi Forest can sometimes be exhausting as it takes anything from 2-8 hours before you finally come across the gorillas.

But once you find them, you will realize how the trek is worth every penny spent and energy expended; it’s such a memorable and humbling experience to come face-to-face with these majestic species that have been on the verge of extinction for decades.

Bwindi Impenetrable National Park’s rules dictate that you can only spend one hour with the gorillas as you watch them feed and play. Take note: despite the mountain gorillas’ enormous physiques, they are not aggressive at all as they are accustomed to human presence; expect them to simply stare at you.

After the once-in-a-lifetime gorilla trekking adventure, you will be taken back to the lodge for lunch and a brief relaxation before going out again to check out the Batwa, the famous pigmies who previously inhabited Bwindi Forest.

Expect a thrilling evening as these former hunter-gatherers dance and sing for you. As a token of appreciation, don’t forget to buy yourself a souvenir in their crafts shop! From here you will head back to your lodge for dinner and overnight.

Hotel options: Gorilla Safari Lodge | Gorilla Resort Lodge | Clouds Lodge | Mahogany Springs Lodge | Silverback Lodge

Day 8: Return to Kampala & departure

After breakfast in the morning, you will be driven back to Kampala, making a stopover at the Igongo Cultural Centre for an insight into the cultures of the Banyankore, one of Uganda’s biggest tribes.

You will also make another stop at the Equator, the monument that marks the centre of earth, and take photos with one of your legs in the southern hemisphere and the other in the northern hemisphere.

Upon arrival in Kampala, you will either check into a hotel or head straight to Entebbe International Airport, depending on your departure flight schedule.

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