()
()

The Best of Uganda – Wildlife Safari

From £7384 pp

Uganda

14 Nights/15 Days

Private Tour

The Best of Uganda – Wildlife Safari

From £7384 pp

What You'll Do

This comprehensive wildlife and primates safari takes you to a range of habitats where you will get the chance to encounter a host of wildlife and enjoy exquisite scenery.

Experience primate tracking through lush forests and spend time with Uganda’s mountain gorillas and chimpanzees. Visit the only site to view southern white rhino in the wild and learn about the conservation project which has restored them to Uganda. Enjoy boat rides on some of the country’s most beautiful stretches of water. This safari is an excellent way to sample Uganda’s wildlife!

Experience
Highlights

Experience gorilla and chimpanzee tracking

Visit Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary - the only place in Uganda where you can track rhinos

Search for amazing tree-climbing lions

Your Local Host:

Lesley Harris and Byaruhanga Michael

Our team provides you with a great local experience because we are on the ground in Uganda. We live here, speak the local languages, understand the cultures of the different tribes and regions and we are passionate about tourism. Between us, we have probably tried most of the tourism activities available throughout the country.

In additio Read More

Experience Itinerary

Arrival Day

Your guide will be at Entebbe International Airport to welcome you and transfer you to your hotel, a short drive away. They will be with you throughout your holiday and, as well as driving, they will share their knowledge of Uganda’s flora and fauna with you and provide some insights into culture, history and politics. They will help you check-in to hotels, translate during community activities, if necessary, and generally do all they can to ensure you get the most out of your visit. At certain times a site guide or park ranger will take over, for example, during gorilla tracking.

Although you have an agreed itinerary, there will be the possibility for a few impromptu stops along the way perhaps to take photos, admire a view, visit a roadside market or check-out a honey cooperative.

Depending on your time of arrival, you can relax and enjoy a meal at The Boma.

Meals:

This itinerary has a full-board meal plan meaning breakfast, lunch and dinner will be provided everyday, often at your lodge. There will be opportunities to have both local and international cuisine and both vegetarians and vegans can be catered for with advance notice.

All meals come with a soft drink or drinking water and additional drinks, including alcohol, can be bought from the lodges and restaurants. You will be given a reusable water bottle which can be topped-up from a big bottle inside the vehicle throughout your holiday. Tea, coffee and some small snacks will also be available in the vehicle during certain activities like game drives.

Accommodation: The Boma Hotel

Your accommodation for the night is set in the quiet environs of Entebbe. This Irish-owned, family-run, boutique hotel is full of personality and is definitely one of our favourite hotels in Entebbe. Although the hotel is conveniently sited in the middle of Entebbe, only 10 mins drive from the airport, this is a quiet, safe location and the well planned, lush tropical gardens are peaceful.  The décor boasts lots of personal touches and the attractive rooms are comfortable and thoughtfully furnished. 

There is a pool area where you can enjoy a relaxing swim and delicious food, using locally-sourced ingredients, is served in the restaurant.

boma lodge inuganda

Visit Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary

After a hearty breakfast, your Ugandan adventure starts as you drive north, leaving the city behind. Your first stop will be at a local farm to enjoy some time in nature and learn more about local farming and, in particular, traditional medicinal plants.

Lunchtime will be your first opportunity to try local food which is simple, tasty and plentiful. It consists of a main food, such as potatoes, sweet potatoes, rice, posho (maize flour), matooke (steamed mashed green bananas) and a sauce (e.g. meat, chicken, fish, beans, peas, Gnut sauce). It’s not very spicy, and delicious! You may also find other regional dishes and a lot of roasted meat (muchomo). 

After lunch, your journey continues up to Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary where your lodge is located. Rhinos were wiped out in Uganda in the 1980s and the sanctuary at Ziwa is the only place in Uganda where you can see them.

There is a successful breeding programme, supported in large part by tourism and, with time, the rhino will be re-introduced to some of our national parks. A great conservation success story.

There will be time to relax before dinner.

Accommodation: Amuka Safari Lodge

Amuka lodge provides a real East African safari experience and is located in pristine woodland. The unfenced chalets, tucked in the woodland, give you the feel of the African bush. All rooms are en-suite, constructed from hardwood and stone with personal verandas where guests can relax.

Amuka Lodge specializes in safari cuisine which integrates outdoor and indoor cooking and baking. 

lodge in uganda

Rhino Tracking and visit to Murchison Falls National Park

There is plenty to eat at breakfast but look out in particular for the world famous Ugandan coffee, the tropical fruits and freshly squeezed fruit juices.

The rhino tracking experience this morning starts with a briefing from the rangers before they lead you on a 1.5 to 2 hours nature walk around the sanctuary. The terrain is generally flat and you may see animals like bush buck and wart hogs along with a huge variety of bird species. You will be able to spend time with the rhino observing their behaviour and learning more about them from the rangers. Our top tip: get up early when the rhinos are more active.

Enjoy a tasty lunch back at the lodge, before transferring to Murchison Falls national park (approx. 3 hours). This is Uganda’s largest conservation area and takes its name from the mighty falls on the River Nile. You will have the chance to see the falls from the top where the Nile is forced through a narrow cleft, dropping about 45m in a haze of spray, often producing a lovely rainbow. There are great views over the falls, down the Nile and across the park.

From here, it is only a short distance to your lodge.

Accommodation: Twiga Safari Lodge 

Your accommodation for the next two nights will be at Twiga Safari Lodge, a beautiful property overlooking the Nile. The comfortable safari tents each have a thatched roof and are fully-furnished, with an en suite bathroom.  As with many safari lodges, Twiga uses solar power and therefore charging is done from the bar/lounge area. There is a large restaurant with open views across the Nile and a viewing tower with a telescope. The service is excellent and friendly staff accompany you to your room after dark as hippos come out of the river to munch on the grass in the lodge gardens.

Game Drive and Boat Cruise on River Nile

Your day starts early with a dawn game drive: cross the Nile and explore the north bank, searching for animals at their most active, before the day becomes too hot.

Each track takes you to a different part of the park and your guide will know all the best places to find lion, leopard, elephant, giraffe, wart hogs, hartebeest, kob, water buck, Patas monkeys and more. There are also over 450 bird species to search for. Sit back and see what nature has to offer you today.

After a few hours exploring the park and a mid-morning tea break in the wild, it will be time to head back to your lodge for a delicious lunch. From there it is not far to the jetty where you will start your boat cruise to the bottom of the falls.

The type of boat used varies according to the number of passengers on the day. The cruise takes around 2-3 hours as you relax in the sunshine, watching the hippo, buffalo, elephant, crocodiles and other inhabitants of the riverbanks. See the birds nesting in the sandy cliffs or diving into the water for fish. The boat has an excellent guide who has knowledge to share and stories to tell and will enrich the experience for you. The return journey is much quicker.

In the evening, there is an opportunity to learn more about the conservation work of the park over relaxed drinks with a warden, followed by another delicious dinner.

Accommodation: Twiga Safari Lodge 

Visit a Local Honey Co-Operative and Kibale National Park

It is now time to see more of this beautiful country as you transfer to Kibale national park (approx. 5-6 hours). Leave the savannah behind and travel up the Albertine Rift Valley escarpment overlooking Lake Albert with the Blue Mountains of Congo in the distance. Continue through villages, forests and tea plantations with plenty of stops en route and then have lunch in Fort Portal where there will be a choice of local food or international dishes like burgers or fish and chips perhaps with an ice cream dessert. 

A 30-minute drive from Fort Portal takes you to Rubona where you’ll have a choice of activities. Join some ladies from the women basket weavers group and try your hand at dying the raffia, with natural plant dyes extracted from plants grown in the garden, and then weaving. The baskets produced here are among the best in Uganda. Chat with the ladies as you weave for an insight into the daily life in this rural area. Across the road is a local honey cooperative producing honey, candles, propolis and other bee-related products. You can visit, take a tour or get more involved as time allows. Your guide will advise you in advance on how best to plan this visit.

It is a 1-hour drive to Kibale National Park where you can relax at your lodge.

Accommodation: Turaco Treetops Lodge 

Home for the next two nights is this lovely lodge overlooking the forest. The comfortable, spacious cottages have a private deck, perfect for some time-out and there is an open-sided, first floor restaurant and a bar/lounge with a roaring fire on chilly evenings. Outside, in the gardens, there is a swimming pool perfect for kids.

The Dutch managers give a warm welcome and provide some great food and local guides offer great community and nature walks.

turaco treetops lodge in uganda

Chimpanzee Tracking

Kibale forest is known for its large primate populations and wide array of bird species. This morning, join a small group for a guided jungle trek in search of your chimpanzee family. When you find them, spend one hour watching them play, groom and forage – their similarity to humans is astonishing. Your guide will tell you all about them, and the other flora and fauna in the forest, as you walk.

The lodge will have lunch ready for hungry trekkers and, after a break, you’ll then be ready to head out again. This time you’ll visit a successful community-managed conservation project which uses tourism to protect a local wetland and support the local community. A nature walk in this swamp can be damp and slippery but often brings sightings of baboons, Grey-cheeked Mangabeys, Red-tailed monkeys and Black and White Colobus monkeys as well as birds like Turacos, hornbills and more.

Accommodation: Turaco Treetops Lodge

Queen Elizabeth National Park

Your 2-3 hour journey today provides stunning scenery as you travel through the crater lakes region, alongside the Rwenzori Mountains, and down onto the Rift Valley floor to Queen Elizabeth national park.

You’ll go straight to your lodge for lunch and are likely to see a number of animals along the way.

In the afternoon, there is a fascinating visit to the nearby Bunyampaka salt lake where you will have a guided walk and see how local people extract salt using traditional methods. These lakes are part of the amazing geology of this Rift Valley region.

Accommodation: Kasenyi Safari Camp

Kasenyi Safari Camp is in the heart of the park, overlooking the salt lake, with particularly good views from the dining and lounge areas. The camp has comfortable, en suite tented-rooms with thatched shelters. It provides a real wilderness experience with grazers wandering around during the day and the park coming alive with animal sounds at night – a real African bush experience.

Lion Tracking and Boat Cruise on Kazinga Channel

Today provides another outstanding wildlife experience as you leave early to spend 2-3 hours with the lion researchers. Participate in their activities on the day which may include monitoring species, climate and habitat, learning about tracking and how tracking devices are used and learning about the animals. This is another great example of tourism contributing directly to conservation work.

Then enjoy a game drive as you head back to the camp spotting animals and birds along the way.

In the afternoon, while the sun is high in the sky, many animals make their way to the river for a drink and or to cool off from the heat. So this is the perfect time for a relaxing 2-3-hour boat cruise along the Kazinga Channel that connects Lakes Edward and George. Expect to see elephant, buffalo and hippo and many water birds. This is undoubtedly a highlight of Queen Elizabeth national park and a fantastic way to get closer to the wildlife – especially good for photographers.

Accommodation: Kasenyi Safari Camp

Transfer to Southern Sector of Queen Elizabeth National Park

Wake up to the sounds of the park and enjoy a tasty breakfast before transferring to Ishasha, the southern sector of Queen Elizabeth national park. This journey takes approximately 2-3 hours on a very bumpy road – giving you what we call an African massage! However, there is plenty to see along the way and you’ll have the rest of the day to search for animals.

Lunch will be served at Ishasha Jungle Lodge, a short distance from the park entrance and you can decide, on the day, whether to have a little rest in the afternoon or to spend the maximum available time on game drives.

Ishasha is famous for its tree-climbing lions and they can often be seen sprawling lazily in the fig trees, enjoying the shade, avoiding the ground insects and keeping an eye out for dinner. Ishasha is also known for its large herds of buffalo, elephant and kob and the Ntungwe river, bordering DR Congo, where hippo like to bask in the water during the day. The savannah woodland is also great for birds.

Accommodation: Ishasha Jungle Lodge

This small eco-friendly lodge has individual tented rooms, raised up on wooden decks. The rooms are spacious, have en suite facilities and are tastefully decorated with African art pieces. There is a large dining area serving international dishes and delicious local fruits. The staff are very friendly and keen to please. Lodge guides also offer local walks through the forest, along the river and through farms to Kameme village where the lodge supports a local primary school.

Bwindi National Park

After a lazy start, head back into the park for a mid-morning game drive. This provides a second chance to find the animals and, as no two days are the same, who know what you might see today.

After lunch, transfer to Bwindi National Park (approx. 2-3 hours). The drive takes you through some stunning countryside and rich, tropical rainforest. Bwindi is home to a number of gorilla families and, although still endangered, gorilla numbers are increasing, reflecting the contribution of tourism to conservation and the care and protection provided by the Wildlife Authority and the local community. 

Accommodation: Mahogany Springs Lodge

It’s time to relax, eat and get a good night’s sleep and Mahogany Springs is the perfect place to do that. Located close to the Park Headquarters and in the heart of the community, the lodge sits in beautiful gardens, overlooking the River Munyanga with views across to the forest.

You will stay in spacious, well-presented thatched cottages with en suite facilities and charming private decks. Attentive staff provide a friendly, personalised service.

The impressive main building has stunning views of the forest, a large veranda, a cosy lounge with a roaring fire and a comfortable restaurant where tasty home-grown food is served.

Gorilla Tracking in Bwindi Forest

Gorilla tracking is a very special and unusual experience where you feel that these gentle giants have allowed you into their world. It is an experience you are likely to cherish and remember.

Start with a briefing at the park headquarters where you will also be assigned to a small group, tracking a particular gorilla family. Then, head into the forest and hear about the forest, the gorillas, the community and more from your ranger as you walk. The trek can be steep and slippery at times but the rangers will always go at your pace and provide support. Once you find your family, you will have one hour quietly observing their behaviour in their natural habitat – watch as they eat, groom, play and even snooze. You will take a packed lunch with you to eat on your walk back. A sustainable travel tip is to take a porter with you to carry your bag/camera/water and generally assist you – this makes your trek easier and also provides an income for a local community member. 

Tracking takes anywhere between 3-8 hours, so if time allows when you return, and you feel like it, you can take a leisurely stroll in the community and visit Ride 4 A Woman, a locally managed women’s empowerment initiative. Meet the local women, chat as you join in their crafting activities and enjoy relaxed cultural entertainment.

Accommodation: Mahogany Springs Lodge

Lake Mburo National Park

Transfer to Lake Mburo national park (approx. 5 hours). This area is one of the most fertile regions of Uganda and you will see green rolling hills full of matooke plantations, coffee farms and pineapple gardens. Sit back and enjoy the sights and sounds of rural Uganda from the children in colourful school uniforms to men pushing bicycles of food to market and, of course, stop along the way wherever you fancy!

Lake Mburo National Park is one of the smallest in Uganda but punches well above its weight. It is the only park on your itinerary to see zebra, eland and impala and see the giraffe that were successfully translocated here from another park – another conservation success story. Though the park has no elephants and lions, its home to buffalos, water bucks, a number of antelope species, leopards and hyenas.

Arrive at your lodge in time for a lovely lunch and a little downtime, perhaps by the rock pool overlooking the park.

In the afternoon, visit the Bahima cattle-keepers, another initiative designed to conserve traditional culture and bring tourism into the communities. This enables you to gain a deeper insight into Ugandan life and provides them with some additional income. Your hosts are warm and welcoming and happy that visitors appreciate their culture.

You’ll see their treasured Ankole long-horn cows and learn about their place in Bahima culture, visit the calves and perhaps try your hand at milking. Also see the wooden milk pots, how ghee is made and even perfumed deodorant powder. This is a fascinating and authentic experience.

Accommodation: Rwakobo Rock

This friendly, relaxed lodge sits atop a rocky outcrop on the edge of Lake Mburo National Park and offers eco-friendly, comfortable, private cottages with en suite facilities, tucked away in the bush.

The restaurant has a lovely atmosphere, serves delicious home cooked food and you can watch the wildlife, including zebra and impala, roam freely and drink at the nearby waterhole.

Safari Walk and Game Drive

Lake Mburo is also one of the few savannah parks where you can do a safari walk and this morning you will have that chance. Head out early for a 2-hour safari walk, accompanied by a ranger guide, getting close to wildlife and reaching points a vehicle doesn’t reach. You’ll learn more from your ranger guide about the habitat, flora and fauna. 

After a morning walk, perhaps a dip in the pool and a 3-course lunch, you may need 40 winks or some time in a hammock but then you head off on a game drive to explore more of the park. Look out for eland, topi, giraffe, buffalos, mongoose, duiker, leopard and water buck among other wildlife. Then return to the lodge for a relaxed evening. 

Accommodation: Rwakobo Rock

Bark Cloth Experience

This morning starts with a transfer to Rakai district (approx. 3 hours) for another great cultural experience.

This friendly community will show you how they make bark cloth and tell you all about its traditional and artistic uses. See how the bark is removed and the tree bandaged in banana leaves so it grows back. Then join in as it is boiled and bashed with special mallets and then dried in the sun. You will see a typical rural village of this region with its homes and gardens and you can find out all about village life.

Enjoy a hot local lunch in one of the towns en route back to Entebbe (approx. 2-4 hours) as well as a stop at the Equator for photo moments with a foot in each hemisphere and a chance to see if water goes down a plughole in the same direction in the north and the south. There are also a number of craft shops where you can grab a souvenir.

Accommodation: The Boma Hotel

Relax and Fly Home!

There are a number of options today depending on the time of your flight home.

You can either decide to relax at the hotel in the gardens or by the private pool. Alternatively, the botanical gardens, on the shores of Lake Victoria is only a short drive from the hotel and is the perfect spot to enjoy a nature walk among the tropical trees and plants. Look out for birds and different primate species. Finally, you may like to visit the local crafts shops for art pieces, clothes, jewellery and more.

Whatever you decide, lunch will be provided, and you will have use of the hotel room until 21:00pm and your guide will take you to the airport in time to check in for your flight. We hope you’ll leave with cherished memories and plans to return soon. 

Location Information

This once in a life time trip starts at Entebbe airport and takes you  Cruising the river Nile, exploring the National Parks of Murchison falls, Kibale, Queen Elizabeth, Bwindi and Lake Mburu exploring the awe inspiring landscapes and the wildlife that lives here.

Uganda is home to around 15 primate species, nearly 100 mammals and over 1,000 bird species. Coupled with spectacular scenery, this makes it a nature lovers paradise. But Uganda has more to offer than its amazing wildlife. It is also well known for its outdoor activities hiking, kayaking, white water rafting, mountain biking and abseiling to name but a few. It has a rich, diverse culture with over 50 tribes all with their own customs and traditions, with the famously friendly and welcoming Ugandan people.

The best time to visit Uganda is during its two dry seasons: between December and February, and between June and August, when conditions are particularly good for trekking to see mountain gorillas and chim

  • A professional knowledgable guide, who will ensure you get the most out of your visit
  • A double room in accommodation with a full board meal plan
  • Private safari vehicle with driver
  • All entrance and other fees for the activities included in the itinerary
  • Mineral water in transit
  • All government taxes

FAQs