21 Days Around Uganda Safari

This 21 days Around Uganda Safari will take you to enjoy Uganda safari highlights like the Nile, savannah wildlife and gorillas.
Duration
21 Days
Destination
Uganda
Travellers
2

21 Incredible Days Around Uganda Raft the Nile, Explore the savannahs & Meet the gorillas

This 21 Days Around Uganda Safari takes you around Uganda for the top highlights such as seeing gorillas, the big 5 savannah game animals, adventure on the Nile, and so much more. The tour also digs deeper for less known activities such as canoeing, a coffee tour and a visit to the various communities in different parts of Uganda.
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This 21 days Around Uganda Safari will take you to enjoy Uganda safari highlights like the Nile, savannah wildlife and gorillas.

What's included

Destination
Departure Location
Entebbe International Airport
Return Location
Entebbe International Airport
Price includes
  • 1 Chimp tracking permit per person
  • 1 Gorilla tracking permit per person
  • Accommodation as mentioned in the itinerary
  • Bottled drinking water throughout the safari
  • English-speaking driver/guide
  • Ground transportation in 4WD safari car
  • Meals indicated in the itinerary
  • Park / Activity Fees
Price does not include
  • International flights
  • Personal expenses
  • Personal travel insurance
  • Services not specifically stated in the itinerary
  • Tips and gratuities
  • Visa fees

Destinations: Mabamba swamp, Kampala, River Nile, Sipi Falls, Kidepo Valley, Murchison Falls, Kibale Forest, Queen Elizabeth, Ishasha, Bwindi, Lake Mburo

Activities: Birdwatching, City tour, White water rafting, Coffee tour, Sipi falls walk, community tours, Game drives, boat rides, chimpanzee tracking, Gorilla trekking, Bigodi swamp, nature walk, predator tracking, Island hopping, cattle keeping experience.

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Day 1:

Arrival in Uganda

Today you will arrive at Entebbe International Airport and your safari guide will be ready to welcome you to Uganda. Depending on your time of arrival, you may have time for an optional city tour of Entebbe town.

Entebbe is one of Uganda's oldest towns with old buildings and monuments as well as fun places like the beach, fish market, reptiles village and botanical gardens. If you have enough time, you can check out some of these places and then check back at your lodge for your first night in Uganda.

Accommodation

  • Budget: Airport Guest House
  • Midrange: Boma Guest House
  • Luxury: Hotel No. 5

Meal plan: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 2:

Shoebill Birding in Mabamba, Kampala City Tour

You will have an early breakfast and proceed to Mabamba Swamp for birding - which is done by canoeing on a small locally-made canoe through small swamp channels.

Mabamba wetlands are well known as the best place to go if you want to see the elusive shoebill stork. Other birds found here include; African Water rail, Purple Gallinule, Squacco, Goliath, Grey Herons, a variety of Egrets and ducks.

After the birding trip in Mabamba, you will head to Kampala  - Uganda's capital city - where you will have lunch and then do a city tour. You will then explore Kampala's various attractions such as the Buganda Palace, Gaddafi Mosque, Uganda Museum, Bahai Temple and the bustling city centre.

We end the day by going to the hotel for relaxation and an overnight stay.

Accommodation

  • Budget: Hotel Sojovalo
  • Midrange: City Blue Hotel
  • Luxury: Sheraton Hotel
Meal plan: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 3:

Drive to Jinja, White Water Rafting & Boat Cruise on the Nile

In the morning, you will go to Jinja for white water rafting and a boat cruise on the Nile River.

You will be fitted out with life jackets and helmets before heading off downriver to the start point. Once down at the river’s edge, you will receive a detailed safety briefing, before launching into the river for some practical action.

During the rafting, you will go through meandering parts of the Nile with beautiful scenery and challenging rapids where your adrenaline will soar to new levels.

In the afternoon, you will have a small tour of Jinja city and then go for a sunset cruise to the source of the Nile - the recognised starting point for the world's longest river.

We shall end the day by going to your lodge for relaxation and an overnight stay.

Accommodation
  • Budget: Gately on the Nile
  • Midrange: Haven Lodge
  • Luxury: Wildwaters Lodge
Meal plan: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 4:

Drive to Mbale, Visit Sipi Falls & Community Walk

After an early breakfast, depart for Kapchorwa town to visit Sipi waterfalls. You shall have a nature walk to witness the Sipi Falls - a series of 3 magnificent waterfalls.

The Sipi Falls area is found on the slopes of Mount Elgon and is also known for the fertile volcanic soils that produce the best coffee in the world - the Bugisu Arabic Coffee.

The locals have a long history with coffee and they will lead you around on their farms for a wonderful coffee farming experience where you will learn about their entire process - from seed to cup. If you love your coffee, carry some cash to buy some Bugisu Coffee directly from the locals.

Accommodation

  • Budget: Lacam Lodge
  • Midrange: Mbale Resort Hotel
  • Luxury: Sipi River Lodge
Meal plan: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 5:

Hike Wanale Ridge, Relaxing

Today shall be a day to relax and take in Uganda's Eastern region. You can choose to spend the day at your lodge and slow down, or you can take a little adventure and hike the Wanle Ridge located outside of Mbale Town.

The Wanale Ridge is locally significant as the place where the Imbalu circumcision takes place every 2 years. This public circumcision tradition marks the initiation of boys into manhood.

Beyond the cultural significance of Wanale Ridge, you will enjoy spectacular views of the surrounding countryside.

Accommodation

  • Budget: Lacam Lodge
  • Midrange: Mbale Resort Hotel
  • Luxury: Sipi River Lodge
Meal plan: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 6:

Drive to Kidepo Valley National Park

Today you will start the long drive to Kidepo Valley National Park in northeastern Uganda. Gazetted as a national park in 1962, it has a profusion of big game and hosts over 77 mammal species and 475 species of birds.

Kidepo is Uganda’s most isolated national park, but the few who make the long journey north through the wild frontier region of Karamoja would agree that it is also the most magnificent. Kidepo ranks among Africa’s finest wildernesses with a picturesque savannah landscape extending far beyond the gazetted area, towards horizons outlined by distant mountain ranges.

Much of today will be spent on the road but depending on your time of arrival, you may time have a short evening game drive. You will then check in at the lodge for some relaxation and an overnight stay.

Accommodation

  • Budget: Savannah Kidepo Lodge
  • Midrange: Nga’Moru Camp
  • Luxury: Apoka Lodge
Meal plan: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 7:

All Day Wildlife Game Drive & Visit The Hot Springs

After breakfast, you will embark on an extensive all-day game drive in Kidepo Valley National Park. You will carry a packed lunch and with the company of a ranger guide, start your search for the animals and birds of Kidepo.

The park ranger will help you spot the lions that may be sitting on the valley’s various rocks. Other wildlife includes elephants, leopards, bush duiker, jackals, bushbuck, bush pigs, ostriches, buffalo and much more, in the wild Narus Valley.

The game drive will traverse open plains that extend past Kanangorok Hot Springs towards mountains across the Sudanese border. This is the part of the park where ostriches are most commonly seen. At the hot springs, you will take a brief walk to observe and photograph.

Accommodation

  • Budget: Savannah Kidepo Lodge
  • Midrange: Nga’Moru Camp
  • Luxury: Apoka Lodge
Meal plan: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 8:

Morning Nature Walk, Evening Community Visit

On this day, we shall explore the park on foot in the company of an armed ranger, and also visit the nearby community.

Kidepo Valley National Park offers a range of nature walks depending on your strength or preference.

Shorter guided walks of around two hours can be taken through the Narus Valley extending over a 5-kilometre radius from Apoka Tourism Centre. The walk to Lomej Mountains can last four hours, the hike starts at 7 am.

Guests can also wander along the splendid Kidepo River Valley between banks of attractive Borassus palm forests. Namamkweny Valley can be reached in one hour from Apoka.

In the afternoon you will visit a local community of Karimojong. You will learn about the unique culture of this remote tribe with the Lorukul Cultural Group, located just outside the park.

Their main livelihood is herding livestock, and the social and cultural importance will be explained as you walk with the guides to the traditional Karamojong manyattas (homesteads), granaries (food storage) and cattle enclosures. Learn how the villagers make their distinctive beads, sample the local cuisine, and even learn the tribe’s folklore and beliefs.

Accommodation

  • Budget: Savannah Kidepo Lodge
  • Midrange: Nga’Moru Camp
  • Luxury: Apoka Lodge
Meal plan: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 9:

Drive to Murchison Falls National Park

You will have an early breakfast and leave Kidepo for Murchison Falls National Park. You will go via Kitgum and Gulu, with a brief stop at Aruu Falls and lunch in Gulu town.

You will reach Murchison Falls in the evening with enough time to visit the top of the falls at the perfect golden hour. Here you will get to see the waters of the Nile as they squeeze through a narrow 7-metre gap to produce the thundering falls that you will be feeling from below your feet.

After your first moment with the falls and some photography, you will go to your lodge for relaxation and an overnight stay.

Accommodation

  • Budget: Heritage Safari Lodge
  • Midrange: Kabalega Wilderness Lodge
  • Luxury: Bakers’ Lodge
Meal plan: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 10:

Morning Gamedrive, Afternoon Boatride and hike to the top of the falls

The day will start with an early breakfast, and you will then go for a morning game drive to see wildlife. Murchison Falls National Park is the largest in Uganda with 76 mammal and 451 bird species.

Elephants, Cape buffalo, Rothschild's giraffe, Uganda kob, hartebeest and waterbuck are commonly seen. You may also spot Oribi, bushbuck, Bohor Reedbuck, bush duiker, warthog and bush pig. Large carnivores include lions, leopards and spotted hyenas.

After lunch, you will go for a boat safari upstream of the calm Victoria Nile. En route, marvel at the toothsome hippos and crocodiles and over this 17 km stretch where you may also see elephants, waterbuck and Uganda Kob besides the Nile.

This is also a zone of many bird species like the Goliath heron, Egyptian goose, pelican bee-eater, kingfisher, hornbill, cormorant and the rare shoebill stork. The boat will stop just a few metres from the sinister, frothing and bubbling base of the falls. 

You will then return to the starting point, and this time the water's direction will make the cruise take half the time. Your guide will be waiting to take you back to the lodge.

Accommodation

  • Budget: Heritage Safari Lodge
  • Midrange: Kabalega Wilderness Lodge
  • Luxury: Bakers’ Lodge
Meal plan: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 11:

Drive to Kibale National Park

After your breakfast, you will leave Murchison Falls and drive south to Fort Portal Town. This drive will take you around 5 hours through lush countryside, farms and small towns.

You will reach Fort Portal in time for lunch after which you will proceed for 30 minutes to your lodge near Kibale National Park.

Accommodation

  • Budget: Kibale Forest Camp
  • Midrange: Primate Lodge
  • Luxury: Papaya Lake Lodge
Meal plan: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 12:

Chimpanzee tracking, Visit Bigodi Swamp

After breakfast, you will go for a chimp tracking briefing by the park officials and then proceed to start your search for chimpanzees in the forest.

The tracking is led by an experienced ranger who will provide detailed information about the chimps, other primates and the entire ecosystem of the forests - making your walk enjoyable and insightful.

Upon meeting the chimpanzees, you will spend about 1 hour with them before heading back to the starting point of your hike. The whole experience takes about 3 to 4 hours depending on the pace of the group and the movement of the chimps.

In the afternoon you will visit Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary to see smaller mammals and primates - such as the rare red colobus monkey and the sitatunga. The guide circular trail offers great opportunities to see up to 6 primate species and many birds in a short period.

Accommodation

  • Budget: Kibale Forest Camp
  • Midrange: Primate Lodge
  • Luxury: Papaya Lake Lodge
Meal plan: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 13:

All Day biking tour of Fort Portal region

Fort Portal's gentle hills, dotted with craters are complimented by the Rwenzori ranges that stand prominent in the background to make it one of Uganda's most beautiful places.

Today you will have an opportunity to tour the area by bike. You will ride through numerous tea plantations and pay a visit to one tea factory where you will briefly observe the processing.

You will also ride to Saaka Crater Lake, then to Kichwamba Hills on your way to Amabeere ga Nyinamwiru caves where you will learn about the traditional myths behind the stalagmites and stalactites. Tour the dark caves and check out the series of waterfalls inside.

The biking tour shall end in Fort Portal town where you will be able to visit the Kings’ Palace, cathedrals and a children’s home if you wish. You will end the day back at your lodge for some relaxation.

Accommodation

  • Budget: ATACO Country resort
  • Midrange: Kluges Guest Farm
  • Luxury: Mountains of the Moon Hotel
Meal plan: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 14:

Drive to Queen Elizabeth National Park, Visit basket Makers

In the morning, proceed to Queen Elizabeth National Park following the mystical Rwenzori Mountain ranges for much of the journey.

Along the way, you will have a stop at Rubona Trading Centre where you will visit a group of women who make and sell colourful baskets. This association of women was started to support families affected by HIV in the area.

The women will demonstrate how they use local herbs to dye materials that they use in different colours. You may also purchase some baskets as souvenirs to support them.

You will reach Queen Elizabeth National Park when it is still early enough for a short evening game drive.

During the game drive, you will have great chances of spotting antelopes, elephants, buffaloes, and lions, among others.

Accommodation

  • Budget: Simba Safari Camp
  • Midrange: Marafiki Lodge
  • Luxury: Mweya Lodge
Meal plan: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 15:

Experiential Predator Tracking and afternoon boat ride

Starting the day early, you will join some researchers and go for the experiential predator-tracking game drive. This allows you to follow lions - with the help of tracking devices - around and observe their lives in the same way researchers do.

Queen Elizabeth National Park's diverse ecosystem of grassy plains, tropical forests, rivers, swamps, lakes and volcanic craters is home to an incredible abundance of wildlife. Along this game drive, you will also be able to see the leopard, giant forest hog, Cape buffalo, elephants, waterbuck, Uganda Kob, Topi and bushbuck.

In the afternoon, you will enjoy the unique 2-hour boat cruise on the Kazinga Channel- and into Lake Edward. This trip passes through possibly the highest concentration of hippos and many animals will be seen drinking at the water's edge. This launch cruise offers an excellent platform for photography, bird watching and game viewing.

Accommodation

  • Budget: Simba Safari Camp
  • Midrange: Marafiki Lodge
  • Luxury: Mweya Lodge
Meal plan: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 16:

Drive to Ishasha. All Day game drive

We shall start the day early and head south to the Ishasha Sector of Queen Elizabeth National Park. The part of the park is well known for the tree-climbing lions.

Ishasha's woodland and savannah landscape is ideal for more wildlife viewing. Animals like elephants, buffaloes, hippos, antelopes, leopards, and of course - the strange tree-climbing lions.

Much of today will go to your game drives in Ishasha and will end with an evening with a sundowner at the perfect spot inside the park.

Accommodation

  • Budget: Savannah Resort Hotel
  • Midrange: Enjojo Lodge
  • Luxury: Ishasha Camp

Meal plan: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 17:

Visit Community Conservation Initiatives. Drive to Bwindi

Today, you will leave Ishasha and drive to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park

First, you will visit a local home to learn about the measures that the locals have adapted to ensure harmonious coexistence with wildlife from the park.

You will also visit a school in Kihihi where you may take part in teaching the pupils about environmental contribution and also plant trees with them. You are free to donate any materials or support to the school.

Afterwards, you will drive through the "Switzerland of Africa" area known as the Kigezi Highlands with its terraced hillside and winding roads that ascend to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. Up on reaching your lodge/hotel, you will check in and relax as you await meeting gorillas the next day.

Accommodation

  • Budget: Buhoma Rest Camp
  • Midrange: Engagi Lodge
  • Luxury: Mahogany Springs Lodge
Meal plan: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 18:

Gorilla Trekking in Bwindi Impenetrable N.P, Drive to Lake Bunyonyi

After an early breakfast, you will be transferred to the park offices for a briefing about gorilla trekking. After the briefing, you will be assigned the gorilla family and experienced ranger guide to lead your gorilla tracking experience.

The rangers are experienced and know the forest very well and will lead your hike to see the gorillas. Your hike goes through dense untamed rainforest, steep slopes and simple trails and it can take 2-8 hours depending on how the gorillas move around.

During your gorilla trek, the rangers will share a lot of information and insights about the gorillas and the forest. You can ask any questions you have and they will answer you.

Upon meeting the gorillas, you will spend 1 hour with them, watching them play, eat, groom and go about their day. You will ask more questions, get to take pictures and take in the moment of peace among the gorillas.

After your time with gorillas, you will hike back to the starting point for your gorilla trekking certificate. You will go back to the lodge to refresh and then transfer from Bwindi to Lake Bunyonyi where you will spend the night. Depending on the time when you are done with the gorilla trek, you might have time for an optional community visit before leaving Bwindi.

Accommodation

  • Budget: Bunyonyi Overland Camp
  • Midrange: Arcadia Cottages
  • Luxury: Birdnest Resort
Meal plan: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 19:

Relaxing And Exploring Lake Bunyonyi

This day is at your disposal to relax and enjoy the idyllic setting of Lake Bunyonyi. You may choose to swim at the hotel or receive a massage. You can also swim in Lake Bunyonyi - Uganda's deepest lake - which happens to be Bilharzia-free and safe from life-threatening animals such as hippos and crocodiles.

There are also several optional adventure activities you may choose to do around Lake Bunyonyi. These include:

  • Biking around the Lake Bunyonyi
  • Island tours in canoe boats
  • Adventure park challenge and zip lining across the Lake.
  • A community and school tour.

All these optional activities can be arranged for you, just let your safari guide know the day before when coming from Bwindi.

Accommodation

  • Budget: Bunyonyi Overland Camp
  • Midrange: Arcadia Cottages
  • Luxury: Birdnest Resort
Meal plan: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 20:

Drive to Lake Mburo. Evening Ankole Cattle Experience

After breakfast, you will leave Bunyonyi and drive to Lake Mburo National Park - and have lunch along the way in Mbarara. Lake Mburo is well known for its large population of zebras, but the areas around it are equally popular for the Ankole long-horned cattle.

In the evening, we shall take you to visit the Bahima and their Ankole cattle for first-hand experience in their traditional ways of keeping cattle. From details like naming the cows, milking, grazing and utilizing the animal products, you will learn about the special place these cows hold, and get some hands-on experience from the locals.

After your cattle-keeping experience, you will go to the lodge for overnight and relaxation.

Accommodation

  • Budget: Mpogo Safari Lodge
  • Midrange: Marafiki Lodge
  • Luxury: Mihingo Lodge
Meal plan: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 21:

Morning Nature Walk, Return to Entebbe & Departure

For the final day, you will have an early start with a guided nature walk under the escort of an armed ranger. Enjoy the sights and sounds of nature, with many animals to see and even close encounters with the zebras and giraffes of the park.

You will return to the lodge for breakfast and then transfer to Entebbe for your flight. On the way to Entebbe, you will have enough time to stop for some photography at the equator.

Accommodation

  • (X) - Last day
Meal plan: Breakfast, Lunch, -

Notes of Chimp & Gorilla Trekking

Here are some important things to know about tracking gorillas or chimps in Uganda and Rwanda.

  • Minimum age allowed to track chimps is 12 years old.
  • Minimum age allowed to track gorillas is 15 years old.
  • Tracking gorillas is quite strenuous and one should be physically fit to best enjoy the experience.
  • Anyone with signs of communicable diseases will not be allowed to track chimps or gorillas.
  • Maximum time allowed with the gorillas or chimps is 1 hour.

Packing Recommendation

Here are some general safari packing recommendations to consider. Your agreed itinerary will have recommendations based on your trip and schedule.

  • Lightweight rain poncho
  • Long sleeve shirt
  • Sturdy hiking shoes
  • Waterproof trousers
  • gardening-type gloves
  • Sunscreen
  • Wide brim hat
  • Insect repellent
  • Camera with extra batteries and cards
  • Your regular medication
  • Phone/gadget chargers

Visas for Uganda or Rwanda

Both Rwanda and Uganda have simple to use online visa self-service portals where you can apply and get your visa in a few days. Here are the full articles to guide you about visas.

Best time to visit Uganda or Rwanda

For most people, it is more pleasant and enjoyable to visit Uganda or Rwanda during the dry season months (June to September and December to February). The general climate is warm and sunny all year round, and you can visit at any time of the year.

If you don't enjoy crowds, the shoulder seasons are ideal since the tourist numbers are lower and the attractions are more intimate to explore.

Safety. Is its safe to visit?

Both Uganda and Rwanda are very safe countries to visit and live in. They are some of Africa's most visited countries and hailed for the friendly locals and warm welcoming smiles.

If you have any safety concerns or specifics your are worried about, simply reach out to us and we'll do everything to help you.

Why Choose Exclusive African Safaris

We are a full service Destination Management Company started and operating in Uganda since 2008. In more than 15 years, we have served guests from all parts of the world and helped them to enjoy wonderful experiences of the wild places, cultures and people in Uganda and Rwanda.

Choosing Exclusive African Safaris, is choosing to go with a trusted company whose wide network, experienced guides and staff will make sure that your safari experience is all that you wanted - and more.

Customizing your safari experience

All our safari packages can be customized and personalized to fit your budget, preferences and schedule. You can start the process through an already existing safari which is speaking to you - but not quite fully, and we shall tailor that trip to your wishes.

You can also directly reach out for us and request for a custom safari, and we shall work closely with you, start from scratch and build a safari that is 100% you.

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Who We Are

Exclusive African Safaris Ltd is a Uganda-based company with 15+ years of experience creating great holidays in Uganda and Rwanda.We know what it takes to meet and exceed your expectations.

Our Address

Exclusive African Safaris Ltd

Imani Complex, First Floor,
Suite L2L, Plot 6522.
Mulawa – Kira, Wakiso – Uganda

+256 772 887 484
info@exclusiveafricansafaris.com

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21 Days Around Uganda Safari

Duration
21 Days
Destination
Uganda
Travellers
2