12 days from Entebbe to Entebbe
Why we love this itinerary
A fantastic 12-day adventure exploring Uganda, The Pearl of Africa, discovering the southern, central and north-western regions of the country.
Heading towards Bwindi through picturesque landscapes, remote hamlets dotting the hilly green countryside, and fertile volcanic slopes neatly planted with dense rows of cowpea and string beans as far as the eye can see. In Bwindi, you’ll spend three nights at the enchanting eco-retreat Nkuringo Gorilla Lodge: your base to explore Bwindi forest and the mountain gorillas. Trekking and spending peaceful yet electric (and well-chaperoned) time with mountain gorillas is a rare, heart-filling experience on this exploration trip. An exotic forest walk will complement that experience with Batwa cultural natives, where they’ll introduce you to local remote cultures.
More primate encounters with our closest cousin, chimpanzees, in the world-renowned Kibale National Park will be another highlight of this trip. You’ll walk with a human-habituated chimpanzee troop and spend another enchanting hour with the forest dwellers. Explosive game viewing drives and boat safaris in Queen Elizabeth National Park and the far-flung Murchison Falls National Park will introduce you to Africa safari’s big game players like lions, elephants, giraffes, hippos, buffalos, leopards, and crocodiles.
This is the ultimate Uganda trip with a really good amount of time to explore, enjoy, and see as much as you can. Meals, transportation in a four-by-four, and all permits and entry fees are included in the price.
- Unforgettable encounters with the Mountain Gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and chimpanzees in Kibale National Park
- Beautiful hike across Bwindi Impenetrable Forest
- Game drives and boat cruises in Lake Mburu, Queen Elizabeth and Murchison Falls National Parks and an encounter with white rhinos at Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary
- Meet, explore and learn from the local communities and support sustainable tourism initiatives
Days 1-2 | Entebbe and Lake Mburo National Park
Arrive in Entebbe from your international flight and you'll be met by our representative and transferred to Papyrus Guest House for your first night here. In the afternoon you'll depart by car and local canoe to Mabamba Swamp, one of the best places for spotting the rare shoebill storks. Of course, some fortune is needed but rarely does one leave the swamp without seeing one! Many other water birds have chosen this area as their home so birding is always very interesting. Enjoy a relaxing sundowner on Lake Victoria and then return to the Guest House for some sleep before your gorilla safari begins.
After an early breakfast you'll travel to Western Uganda across the beautiful landscape of central Uganda made of rolling hills and cultivated terraces, stopping en-route at Mpambire, to watch drums being made using old traditional methods, and at the equator. After lunch you'll enjoy a game drive in the park in search of resident favourites like buffalo, impala, zebra, eland, warthogs, and bushbuck.
Papyrus Guest House and Rwakobo Rock Lodge
Days 3-5 | Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and Hiking
On your 3rd day you'll enjoy an early morning game drive in Lake Mburu National Park, and then continue to Western Uganda across its rolling hills, tea plantations, and tropical rainforest and towards the end the majestic chain of the Virunga Volcanoes, reaching your lodge on the edge of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest.
The following day you'll go gorilla trekking in Bwindi. The beauty of this rain forest is spectacular, with dramatic, steeply forested landscapes and the incredibly dense area crisscrossed by numerous animal trails allowing access to tourists. The thrill of spending time observing these gentle and endangered giants is an awesome, exciting experience to be long savored.
There's time to enjoy a variety of activities and relax before you begin the unforgettable hike across the forest (13km - 4-5 hours) which is a vast unique natural reserve with monkeys, duikers, bush pigs and some of Bwindi's world-renowned bird species plus many butterflies can be sighted. If you are very lucky you may even encounter gorillas again! Once you reach Buhoma, you'll meet up with the vehicle and continue onto Queen Elizabeth National Park.
Nkuringo Bwindi Gorilla Lodge
Days 6-9 | Queen Elizabeth National Park and Kibale National Park
This part of the trip will give you a chance to get close to Africa safari’s big game players on an early morning or evening game drive and a boat safari on Kazinga Channel, famous for hosting the largest population of hippos. Games drives on Kasenyi tracks will encounter animals like enormous herds of elephants and buffalo. You’ll also spot out many interesting antelope species such as Uganda kob, topi, and bushbuck. The giant forest hog is unusually easy to spot. Search around the Kasenyi tracks for the elusive leopard. The southern area of Ishasha is notably recognized for its resident ‘tree climbing’ lions that are an exceptional attraction and one of the highlights of all safaris taken within the park.
Driving with Rwenzori ranges backdrop, you’ll drive for 2-3 hours into Kibale Forest and trek to the ‘Top of the World’ to enjoy fantastic views of the Rwenzori Mountains, crater lakes, tea plantations, and local villages. The density and diversity of primates in Kibale National Park is the highest in the whole of Africa. and you'll get to experience another primate viewing adventure here with a morning trek to find the chimps. It stands out as the best place to watch chimpanzees up-close in their natural setting, with over 1500 chimpanzees under the park’s rainforest canopy and a dozen other primate species. In the afternoon you'll embark on an excursion to the Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary for bird and primate spotting.
Katara Lodge and Turaco Tree Top
Days 10-12 | Murchison Falls National Park
After an early breakfast, you’ll drive 400 km north to Murchison Falls National Park which sits in the remote northwestern Ugandan region bisected by the Victoria Nile River. The “mythical” river plunges here 45m from the rift valley wall, creating the dramatic Murchison Falls, the centerpiece of the park and final “event” in an 80km stretch of rapids. The mighty cascade drains the last energies from the river and transforms it into a broad, placid stream flowing quietly across the rift valley floor into Lake Albert. This stretch of river provides one of Uganda’s most remarkable wildlife spectacles.
You’ll be out on an early morning game drive en route to the Victoria Nile Delta for a boat trip in this spectacular area teeming with birds and wildlife. If lucky, you may catch sight of four of the big 5 (no rhinos). There’s a healthy population of lions which your guide will be challenged to track on the morning drive. In the afternoon, there's a lovely boat trip to the Murchison Waterfalls, with the possibility of hiking to the top of the falls and catching that fantastic panoramic view of the falls.
Finally you'll head to the Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary on your last day, just outside Murchison Falls Conservation Area, to track Uganda’s only rhinos in the wild. More than 19 southern white rhinos are roaming the sanctuary’s savannah and wetland, many of which were born in the wild in Uganda. A guide will lead you on foot to get an up-close encounter.
Waving goodbye to the rhinos, your final road trip will be a leisurely drive back to Entebbe.
Murchison River Lodge
Price per person from:
*based on 2 people sharing, excludes international flights*