19 days: Wildlife Spectacular

This really is a spectacular wildlife experience as you visit some of Uganda’s finest national parks and nature locations. Spend enough time in each place to discover what it truly has to offer and enjoy some very special wildlife experiences such as gorilla tracking or joining the lion researchers. There are also great opportunities for bird watching and Uganda has over 1,000 bird species.

HighlightsItineraryOptions & extensionsGuide priceAccommodation & TransportTravel advice
  • Gorilla, rhino & chimpanzee tracking
  • Lion research experience
  • Visit a variety of national parks and other habitats
  • Enjoy the wildlife by air, road, boat and on foot
Day 1: Arrival at Entebbe
On arrival at Entebbe International Airport you will be met by your guide who will take you to your accommodation. He will be with you throughout your safari.

Day 2: Transfer to Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary
Drive to Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary where you will track the southern white rhino. Spend the night at Amuka Lodge located within the sanctuary.
Day 3: Transfer to Murchison Falls National Park
Drive approx 3-4 hours into the park. Visit the spectacular top of the falls, then cross the River Nile and take a game drive on the north bank.
Day 4: Game drive. River Nile boat cruise
Have an early morning game drive in the park while animals are most active. After lunch relax and enjoy a 3-hour boat cruise along the Nile to the falls, seeing the animals and birds along the river banks as you go.
Day 5: Game drive. Transfer to Gulu
Take a last short game drive in Murchison Falls NP and, after lunch, transfer to Gulu (approx 2-3 hours).
Day 6: Transfer to Kidepo Valley NP. Evening game drive
Drive to Kidepo in northern Uganda. On arrival, and if time allows, take a late afternoon game drive around the plains.
Day 7: Karamajong tribal experience. Game drive
Spend some time visiting a Karamajojng village and learning about their culture. Then enjoy more time viewing the game in  the park.
Day 8: Nature walk. Flight to Entebbe
On your last morning in Kidepo, have a guided nature walk to experience the wildlife in a different way. Then take a domestic flight out of the park, over the Ugandan countryside to Entebbe. The hotel’s representative will be there to transfer you to the hotel.
Day 9: Transfer to Kibale. Swamp walk
Drive approx 5 hours west to Kibale stopping in Fort Portal for lunch. Visit a community wetlands protection project to see primates and birds.
Day 10: Chimpanzee tracking. Transfer to Queen Elizabeth NP
Start your day with chimp tracking in the tropical rain forest and spend an hour with them. The drive through the beautiful crater lakes region towards Queen Elizabeth NP. If time allows, you have an evening game drive.
Day 11: Lion tracking experience. Boat ride on Kazinga Channel
Starting early join researchers for a lion research experience. After lunch enjoy a boat ride to see the wildlife along the Kazinga Channel.
  Day 12: Game drive in Ishasha and transfer to Bwindi
As you head south, take one final game drive around Ishasha in search of tree-climbing lions and large heards of various antelope. Continue to Bwindi Impenetrable national park.
Day 13: Gorilla tracking
An exciting day lies ahead as you join your group for a briefing and start tracking through the forest. When you find the gorillas, enjoy watching them in their natural habitat.
  Day 14: Bwindi Impenetrable forest
There is more to see in Bwindi so enjoy some amazing bird watching and a village walk to see how tourism is supporting the community to value and protect the gorillas.
  Day 15: Transfer to Lake Mburo national park. Game drive
Travel through this beautiful region approx 4-5 hours to Lake Mburo national park. Enjoy a game drive on arrival.
Day 16: Lake Mburo national park
Today is a packed day starting with a guided nature walk to get off-track. This is followed by a boat ride to see the hippos, crocodiless and birds like the African Fish Eagle, African Finfoot and perhaps a Shining Blue Kingfisher. Then take a 2 hours guided night game drive in search of aardvark, pangolin, honey badger and more.
Day 17: Ankole Cow Conservation Association
Spend the day in the bush with these tribal cattle keepers bordering the park learning about their culture and animal husbandry. Visit the calves and the milk processing room where wooden milk pots are smoked and milk is turned to ghee.
Day 18: Transfer to Entebbe via the equator. Botanical Gardens
Drive back to Entebbe (approx. 5-6 hours) stopping at the equator en route. Take a walk at the botanical gardens in the late afternoon for monkeys, birds and some great lake views.
Day 19: Mabamba swamp and free afternoon
Spend the morning relaxing on the water in a local fishing boat looking for birds including the famous Shoebill. The afternoon is free to relax and ensure you go home refreshed. Your guide will drop you at the airport for your flight home.

Wildlife sightings cannot be guaranteed.

Responsible tourism: where possible, we use locally owned accommodation with good environmental credentials.

Any of the activities below can be swapped for activities in this itinerary or you can extend this itinerary to add any of them. This may involve additional costs. We will be pleased to advise you about options and extensions.

  1. 2-4 days extension to Kisoro and Lake Bunyonyi for Golden monkey tracking, Batwa tribal experience with hunter-gatherer pygmies, canoe rides on the lake
  2. more emphasis on bird watching 
  3. horse back or mountain bike safari in Lake Mburo national park

Please see our activities & experiences page for more information.

Guide price: USD 7,070 per person, based on 2 people travelling.

Price includes:

  • 1 gorilla & 1 chimp tracking permit each
  • Full-board, mid-range, non air-conditioned accommodation
  • Private safari vehicle with a driver and fuel for this itinerary
  • All entrance and other fees for the activities included in the itinerary
  • Mineral water in transit
  • All government taxes

Price does not include:

  • International flights
  • Visas
  • Travel insurance
  • Personal expenses: alcohol, laundry services and souvenirs
  • Tips (normally 5–10% and around $100 for your guide).

Why do we use guide prices?
The price for every safari depends on the number of people travelling, their ages, the time of year, whether or not international flights are included, the type of transport and accommodation used and the activities undertaken.

We calculate according to the specific dates of your booking because after we publish our itineraries some things may change. For example, hotels may increase their prices, the government may introduce new taxes or some discounts may become available. Unfortunately, we also have to pass on surcharges imposed on us by, for example, airlines when fuel prices or airport taxes are unexpectedly increased.

We would be happy to prepare a quotation, based on your requirements. We normally include most costs in the price so all you need to bring with you is ‘pocket money’ for items like drinks, tips and personal shopping e.g. souvenirs.

Insurance

AMREF flying doctors provide a medevac service in case of illness or injury during your safari. This costs $25pp for 31 days. We recommend this service and can include it in your package price.

Booking

Once you have selected one of our safari packages you need to send us a booking form. When we receive this we will check availability and inform you if any changes are necessary and issue an invoice for a 50% deposit plus the full cost of any tracking permits (in case of cancellation permit fees are non-refundable). Only once this payment is received can we guarantee availability and issue a booking confirmation. Full payment is required 70 days before travel.

Payments and cancellation

We charge in US dollars. Payment is by bank transfer into our Standard Chartered USD bank account in Uganda. You can also pay by credit card although there is a 5% administration charge. For those booking from within Uganda, cash payments are possible at our office.

When we book your safari, we have to pay non-refundable deposits on your behalf, for example to hotels. Therefore, we charge cancellation fees as follows:

30% of reservation costs if you cancel more than 50 days before your arrival date

100% of reservation costs if you cancel less than 50 days before your arrival date

We strongly recommend that you include cancellation cover in your travel insurance.

Disclaimer: We enter into an agreement with you in good faith but we sometimes encounter unexpected changes in local conditions which can affect your itinerary or price. These changes are beyond our control and we are not liable for them. While we endeavour to protect you against the effects of these changes, we reserve the right to amend the agreed itinerary and price in response to them. Such changes include but are not limited to weather conditions, road conditions, supplier price increases, fuel increases, government tax increases, supplier service changes e.g. cancellation of ferry services for river crossings or national park operations (track maintenance, animal translocations). We assure you that, we will always give you as much notice as possible of changes, suggest alternative plans and keep additional charges to a minimum.

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Accommodation

To help us select the right accommodation for your safari (and in the absence of a complete national hotel classification system e.g. 1*–5*) we use four levels: high-end, mid-range, budget and backpackers. These terms can mean different things to different people but are helpful to an extent.

Air-conditioned rooms are not available in all hotels. Where AC is available, there is usually an extra charge.

Some locations have a limited choice of accommodation and so, to stay there, you must accept what is available. Where possible we prefer to work with responsible accommodation providers. This means hotels and lodges which are locally owned, employ local staff, support their community and protect the local environment.

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Transport

As standard, we use a spacious 7-seat, 4×4 safari Land Cruiser, with pop-up roof, fridge and phone/camera charging facilities. This is the perfect safari vehicle.

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Alternatively, we offer a slightly cheaper 7-seater, 4×4 safari van with a pop-up roof.

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For large group tours we use small buses called Coasters. These usually seat around 28 people, including 5 jump (fold-down) seats in the aisle. They do not have a boot/trunk so luggage is carried on the back seats which reduces the seating capacity. The overhead luggage shelves are small and can only accommodate small bags. Therefore, we recommend you do not over pack.

All vehicles include a driver/guide and fuel for your itinerary. Additional activities, not included in your itinerary, may incur an additional fuel charge. Our vehicles are comprehensively insured, in good mechanical condition and have seat belts fitted.

Please let us know if you have any special travel requirements. For example, if your group has disabled members we will do our best to accommodate your needs.

Fly-in safaris

Fancy a fly-in safari, hopping from one location to another by small plane? Or save time by travelling to one of the farther destinations on your itinerary by air instead of road? Domestic flights are available to a variety of locations in Uganda so you can visit all or some of the places in your itinerary by plane, enjoying stunning aerial views of the countryside and wildlife below.

Scheduled and charter flights are available. Scheduled flights have some limitations in terms of routings and days of operation and in some cases minimum numbers are required. We will be pleased to advise you if you wish to fly.

Note: The luggage limit on small aircraft is 15kg per person, including both hand and hold luggage.  This must be in soft bags not hard suitcases.

See our Responsible Tourism pages for information about our approach to tourism and advice on how to travel responsibly.

For general advice please see our travel advice webpage.

Specific advice for this safari

This tour includes some sensitive and possibly upsetting visits such as the Rwandan genocide memorial gardens and the history and impact of HIV/AIDS from the womens’ craft group. These activities can be removed from the tour should you wish.

Permits are required to track gorillas. The minimum ages is 15 years.  Gorilla permits are limited to eight people per gorilla family. Permits are also required to track chimps and the minimum age is 12 years.

Please read the information about primate tracking on our primates web page and remember to look at our suggested packing list.