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12 days Uganda Safari

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Tour Details

This 12 days Uganda Safari takes you for amazing adventures in the popular nationalparks of Uganda.  By the end of the safari, you would have known why Uganda is referred to as the “Pearl of Africa”. Uganda is a small country but blessed with incredible beauty and biodiversity. The people are friendly and very outgoing. This 12
days Uganda safari will take you to Queen Elizabeth National Park, Lake Mburo National Park, Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Murchison Falls National Park and Kibale National Park. This 12 days Uganda Wildlife safari starts from Kampala or Entebbe town. It can also start from Kigali in Rwanda. For a shorter tour, you might want to check out our 11 days Uganda Wildlife Safari or the 8 days Uganda safari

Itinerary

Day 1Transfer to Murchison Falls national park with stopover at Ziwa rhino sanctuary

You will be welcomed by our Driver/Guide at the airport and then begin the journey to Murchison falls national park. Expect to spend about 5 hours on the road. You will be making stopovers along the way to stretch your bodies, ease yourself or check out the scenery. Before getting to the park, you will visit the Ziwa rhino sanctuary. This is one of the top places to visit in Uganda. It is the only place where tourists can observe rhinos in Uganda apart from the Uganda Wildlife Education Centre. Wild Rhinos got extinct in the 1980’s due to the civil wars and poaching. In order to reinstate them, the government with support from international wildlife organizations set up the Ziwa rhino sanctuary. The sanctuary started out with only five rhinos but now has over 25 individuals. You will be led by a resident Ranger to observe them graze as you also listen to their life stories. After observing the rhinos, you will drive to Masindi town for lunch and then proceed to Murchison falls national park. Once you reach the park, you will proceed to the top of the falls and have an aerial view of the powerful and iconic Murchison falls. You will retire to your lodge later in the evening after taking photos and marveling at the scenery surrounding the falls.

Safari lodges: Red chilli rest camp (economy), Pakuba safari lodge (mid-range) and Paraa safari lodge (executive).

Day 2Murchison falls National Park Game drive and boat cruise along the Victoria Nile

Wake up early in the morning, have breakfast and start off with a game drive through the Nyamsiki track. While on the game drive, look out for animals like lions, elephants, giraffes, hyena, wildebeests, reed-bucks, warthogs, antelopes, buffaloes, leopards and birds. Nyamsiki has the highest concentration of wildlife in the park. The game drive takes about 3 hours, so expect to go for lunch at the lodge in the afternoon.  After lunch, you will drive to the Paraa dock to begin a boat cruise along the Victoria Nile. A
boat ride along the Nile is one of the most popular activities in the park. While on the boat, you will be able to spot creatures like Nile crocodiles, hippos, waterbucks, birds, elephants and buffaloes on the banks of the river. As the boat moves upstream, tourists are rewarded with a front view of the Murchison and the smaller Uhuru falls. The boat ride ends at around 5pm after which you will go back to your lodge for refreshments and rest.
Safari lodges: Red chilli rest camp (economy), Pakuba safari lodge (mid-range) and Paraa safari lodge (executive).

Day 3Transfer to Kibale national park

After your breakfast, you will leave Murchison falls national park and start the journey
towards Kibale National Park. The journey takes long but you won’t be bored because there is so much to see. Expect to bypass trading centres, schools, rivers, lakes, the oil fields in Bunyoro, forests and much more. You may have lunch in Hoima town or wait till you get to Fort Portal. While in Fort Portal, you will take a tour of the city and visit the palace of the King of Toro. It is the tourism capital of Uganda and also considered one of the cleanest cities in Uganda. Safari lodge: Turaco Tree Tops (high-end) and Chimpanzee Forest Guesthouse (standard and mid-range).

Day 4Chimpanzee tracking experience in Kibale – Visiting Bigodi Wetlands sanctuary

Early in the morning, you will drive to the head offices of Kibale forest national park for the briefing about chimpanzee tracking. Kibale has about 1500 chimpanzees with five habituated chimpanzee groups. It is arguably the best place to observe wild chimpanzees in Africa. After the briefing, you will enter the forest to begin looking out for the chimpanzees. It does not take long to find the chimps. Chimpanzees are one of the most intelligent animals you will ever meet. They are able to use tools like stones, tree branches and other natural features to build their nests or gather food. The interaction with chimpanzees will last for 2 hours after which you get out of the forest and go to your lodge for lunch. Later in the afternoon, the driver will take you to visit the Bigodi wetland sanctuary for bird watching and viewing the other 12 primates. You will also meet the local community and visit an organization supporting women. You will be taken to check out women’s products including artisan products. You can support the women by buying some of their products. After visiting the wetland and nearby communities, you will go back to your lodge for dinner.

Safari lodge: Turaco Tree Tops (high-end) and Chimpanzee Forest Guesthouse (standard and mid-range).

Day 5Transfer to Queen Elizabeth National Park – Visit the Katwe Salt Mines

At sunrise, you will have breakfast and begin the journey to Kasese district where Queen Elizabeth national park is located. On your way to Kasese, you will bypass the Rwenzori ranges of mountains – popularly known as the mountains of the moon. You will have an opportunity of viewing its snow-capped summits and glaciers from afar. You will reach Queen Elizabeth national park in the afternoon where you will havenlunch at your lodge. In the late afternoon, you will visit the Katwe salt mines and explosion craters.

Day 6Kasenyi plains game drive – Kazinga Channel launch cruise

On this day, you will wake and have breakfast before embarking on a game drive around the Kasenyi plains. The Kasenyi plains have a variety of animals to look out for such as elephants, elands, topis, Uganda kobs, lions, hyenas, leopards, mongoose and a variety of bird species. It is a great place to see most of the Africa’s famous animals. The game drive takes about 3 hours and ends in the early afternoon. Once it ends, you will go back to your lodge for lunch as you also prepare for the afternoon boat ride at Kazinga channel which separates lake Edward from Lake George. The afternoon boat ride will start from lake Edward and then through the Kazinga channel (home to an amazing collection of crocodiles, hippos and other aquatic animals) before entering lake George. You will then turn back to see more animals like elephants, buffaloes, water bucks and different species of birds.  The boat ride will be the last activity of the day before driving back to your lodge for supper and rest.

Safari lodge: Mweya safari lodge (luxury), Parkview lodge (standard) and Bush lodge (budget).

Day 7Nature walk in Maramagambo forest and Game drive in the afternoon

Wake up early and finish taking breakfast. The office driver will take you to the park offices where you will have a guided nature walk in Maramagambo forest. Maramagambo forest is one of Uganda’s largest forests. It is home to several species of primates including the black and white colobus, red tailed monkeys, baboons, chimpanzees, l’hoest monkeys, bush babies and pottos. One can also spot butterflies, reptiles and numerous birds. The forest also has bats and pythons. Many of the savanna mammals visit the forest to graze. The nature walk takes between 1 to 3 hours under the guidance of the park ranger. Once you complete the nature walk, you will drive back to your lodge for lunch and rest. Later in the afternoon, you will go for another game drive to look out for mammals you may not have seen the previous day. This particular game drive will be conducted along the Kasenyi plains and Kazinga area.
Safari lodge: Mweya safari lodge (luxury), Parkview lodge (standard) and Bush lodge
(budget).

Day 8Spotting tree climbing lions in Ishasha – Travel to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park

After breakfast, you will check out of the lodge and embark on the journey to Bwind impenetrable national park. As you leave Queen Elizabeth national park, you will drive through the Ishasha sector. The Ishasha sector is a popular spot for tree climbing lions. Lions can be spotted resting on fig trees after hunting in the morning. We all know that lions are ground dwellers but these lions prefer resting on top of trees. Researchers think they do so to avoid ground dwelling bugs or to observe prey from an aerial view. After one hour of watching the lions, you will continue the journey to south-western Uganda through Kihihi. You may take lunch in Kihihi town before continuing to your final destination. Expect to reach Bwindi early enough to rest and prepare for gorilla trekking the next day.
Safari Lodge: Lake Mulehe Gorilla Lodge (standard), Ichumbi Gorilla Lodge (Luxury)
and Rushaga Gorilla Camp (budget).

Day 9Bwindi gorilla trekking expedition – Community visit of the Batwa

Before dawn, you will rise up, have breakfast and drive straight to the park headquarters for a briefing about the rules for gorilla trekking. After your gorilla permits have been validated in the system, you will be assigned a particular gorilla group before proceeding to the starting point of the hike under the stewardship of Park Rangers.  It will take you between 1 to 4 hours of searching before finding the gorillas. Although hiking for long distances can be tiring, it is worth it because observing a family of gorillas is a life changing experience. You will find the gorillas feeding, others resting and the young ones playing around. They normally live in a group of between 8 to 25 individuals with a silverback or alpha male as leader of the group. Gorillas are very peaceful and warm animals. They will let you observe them very closely as they feed, play around and communicate among themselves. You can also take photos and do mini films of them. The interaction with the primates is for only one hour. After your time with them has elapsed, you will be led out of the forest where you will find the company driver waiting to take you back to your lodge for lunch. After lunch, you will relax for a while and then prepare to be taken to visit the Batwa pygmies at around 4pm. The Batwa still live a primitive way of life after being evicted from the forests in Bwindi and Mgahinga. They had lived as gatherers and hunters for over 1000 years when everything changed. Now they are exposed to the harsh realities of life outside the forest. While visiting them, you will their homes, traditional medicine men, local bars and traditional artisan shops. They will also entertain you with their cultural dances, music and drama. Watching them lament and reminisce about their old way of life can be sad but it is what it is. Later in the evening, you will be taken back to your lodge for dinner and overnight.

Safari Lodge: Lake Mulehe Gorilla Lodge (standard), Ichumbi Gorilla Lodge (Luxury) and Rushaga Gorilla Camp (budget).

Day 10Drive to Lake Mburo National Park – Night Game drive

Wake up at your own time and take breakfast before checking out. The driver will start the journey to Lake Mburo National Park later in the morning or mid-day. As you leave Bwindi, you will drive through the undulating hills and beautiful green in the Kigezi region. Watch out for more beautiful sights of the Rwenzori Mountains, lakes, rivers and other amazing physical features. You will have lunch in Mbarara. This is the second largest city and one of the fastest growing metropolitan areas in Uganda. We hope you will choose to taste the local food (Matooke, sweet potatoes, cassava, chicken or meat with luwombo and a glass of fresh fruit juice). Lake Mburo National Park is close to Mbarara district and you should expect to get there later in the afternoon. Check into your hotel and freshen up as you wait to be taken for the night game drive. Lake Mburo National Park has one of the highest concentration of leopards in Uganda and they can be spotted in the night. There are also nocturnal birds and primates like pottos to look out for. After discovering Uganda’s night creatures, you will go back to your hotel for dinner and rest.
Safari Lodge: Mantana Tented Camp (luxury), Rwaboko rock (standard) and Rwonyo
Camp (economy).

Day 11Morning game viewing and Boat cruise at Lake Mburo

Wake up early and take your breakfast as you wait for the Guide to take you for the morning game drive in Lake Mburo National Park. Lake Mburo national park is Uganda’s smallest savanna park but with a variety of wildlife and amazing scenery. It has the highest number of antelopes in Uganda and one of the only two national parks in which one can spot zebras. It is also one of the few national parks in Uganda where you find wild animals mingling with domestic ones. Lake Mburo National Park is home to oribi, buffaloes, giraffes, impalas, elands and topis. The game drive around the park takes about 3 hours after which you will return to the lodge for lunch. After lunch, you will be taken for the afternoon boat ride along Lake Mburo. The Eastern margins of the lake is where you will get much of the action because there are crocodiles, hippos, buffaloes, waterbucks and other antelope species. Birders can spot over 300 species of birds including the hummer kop, king fishers and fish eagles. As the day ends, you will watch the sunset in the evening and take beautiful photos to show your friends back home. At around 5pm, you will disembark from the boat and drive back to your lodge for dinner and relaxation.

Safari Lodge: Mantana Tented Camp (luxury), Rwaboko rock (standard) and Rwonyo
Camp (economy).

Day 12Morning game drive (Horseback, quad bike or walking) – Return to Entebbe or Kampala

Wake up early and wait for the driver to take you for your final wildlife adventure. Instead of going with a standard tour van, you can choose to go with a horse, quad bike or on foot. This experience is different and not offered in other national parks in Uganda. After exploring the park one last time, you will start the journey back to Entebbe with a stop at the famous equator crossing in Kayabwe. The main things to do at the equator crossing are taking pictures at the equator mark and buying souvenirs from the artisan shop to take back home. Lunch will be taken close to the equator crossing before proceeding to Kampala city and then Entebbe for departure.

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