The Best of Uganda – Wildlife Safari

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
From £7022 pp
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What you'll do

Overview

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...Read All

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 ce...Read All

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 sauc...Read All

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 obser...Read All

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 f...Read All

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 a...Read All

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...Read All

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 meth...Read All

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...Read All

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, w...Read All

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 tou...Read All

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 tim...Read All

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 a...Read All

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 ...Read All

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 yo...Read All

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...Read All

What's included

Included

  • Private 4x4 safari land cruiser vehicle with an English speaking driver guide and fuel
  • 14 nights accommodation
  • Full board meal plan
  • 1 gorilla & 1 chimp tracking permit each
  • All entrance and other fees for the activities included in the itinerary
  • Mineral water in transit
  • All government taxes
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 addition, we actively work with community members to help them create tourism experiences like farm visits, home stays and boat trips with local fishermen. These provide our guests with an authentic insight into Ugandan life and ensure tourism supports community development.

We also employ the best professional guides who enrich holidays not only with their knowledge about wildlife but also their ... Read All

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 addition, we actively work with community members to help them create tourism experiences like farm visits, home stays and boat trips with local fishermen. These provide our guests with an authentic insight into Ugandan life and ensure tourism supports community development.

We also employ the best professional guides who enrich holidays not only with their knowledge about wildlife but also their insights into culture, politics and history. They love their country and want to share it with you. And don’t forget, Uganda is famous for its friendly, welcoming people!

Location

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 chimpanzees. Game spotting in national parks is also good at this time, as well as between February and March.

 

 

FAQs

When is the best time of year to visit Uganda?

Uganda is an all-year round destination with a pleasant climate and temperatures averaging in the mid 20s°C. The huge variety in altitude means temperatures vary around the country (but this also means increased biodiversity).

Most holidays, especially wildlife safaris, can be done at any time of year: you will see so much wildlife and have an amazing experience.

Dry seasons are Dec-Feb and June-Sept and rainy seasons Mar-May and Oct-Nov although the seasons have become less predictable in recent years and we can no longer put a date in our diaries when the rains will start.

What meals are included, and can you cater to dietary requirements?

This itinerary has a full-board meal plan meaning breakfast, lunch and dinner will be provided every day, 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.

What currency should I bring?

The Ugandan currency is the Shilling (UGX) although US dollars (USD) is the most useful hard currency, especially in small towns.

Credit cards are increasingly accepted in Uganda but are most commonly accepted in big/international hotels, restaurants, shops and supermarkets.

Forex bureaux are widely available in Kampala although rates vary tremendously. Your itinerary will not always allow time to visit a forex bureau, and money changing facilities may not be available, up-country so please ensure that you have changed enough money before you leave Kampala.

Do I need to apply for a visa to travel to Uganda?

Yes, all persons intending to come to Uganda are now required to apply and pay for a visa online. A decision will be communicated by email and, if your application is approved, an approval letter will be attached. This must be printed and presented, together with a valid passport / travel document upon arrival at Entebbe International Airport.. The Ugandan visa costs US dollars USD50 or its equivalent in Pounds (GBP) and Euros (EUR). Apply at least ONE MONTH prior to travel.

Where should I fly into?

All our experiences start in Kampala so you will need to fly into Entebbe International Airport, Uganda.

Do I need a certain level of fitness for the gorilla tracking?

While some areas of the forest may be a little steep and slippery, we can accommodate nearly all levels of ability, to ensure everyone can enjoy this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

During the morning briefing, you will be allocated to a group depending on your fitness/ability, to ensure you have the most enjoyable experience. Those who are less able or injured will take the easiest trek of the day. You will be given a walking stick, and you can also hire a porter to carry your bags and generally assist you (which we recommend).

Gorilla tracking isn’t a race though, so rangers and porters will make sure to go at your pace, sharing their knowledge of flora, fauna, and culture on your journey. And there will be plenty of stops along the way for a water break or while rangers are deciding which way to go or clearing the path. If you are disabled, injured, or elderly but still an adventure seeker at heart, you can join us by being carried by 4 porters on a seat, at an extra cost. This, of course, requires a little flexibility and patience, but with an open mind and a good sense of humour, the trek is a wonderful experience.

What is Ugandan food like?

One of the best things about Ugandan food is the fresh, local and often organic produce. From delicious tropical fruits, such as bananas, mangoes, pineapple, watermelon, pawpaw, and passion fruit, to fresh fish from the lake, you’ll never go hungry. And wait until you taste the creamy, fresh avocados! Then you can wash it all down with a selection of yummy juices like passion fruit and cocktail mix or the scrumptious sugar cane juice with lemon and ginger.

Although dishes vary across the regions, a standard Ugandan meal often consists of perhaps 2 or 3 ‘foods’ and a sauce: food could be matooke (green bananas), rice, potatoes, sweet potatoes, pumpkins, or posho (cornbread) and sauce could be boiled beef, goat’s meat, chicken, fish or ‘pasted meat or fish’ in a groundnut sauce.

Snacking isn’t popular in Uganda, but you will find roasted groundnuts, hard corns and small sweet bananas, known as Ndizi. In many busy roads and towns, you will also find street food, such as roasted cassava, meats and green bananas.

Vegetarian and veganism is only slowly beginning to gain popularity in Uganda, but there are plenty of international cafés and restaurants in the bigger towns and tourist areas. If you are vegetarian or vegan, let us know in advance and we can inform your accommodation about your dietary requirements.

What animals can I see on an Uganda Safari?

One of the biggest reasons people come to Uganda is to go on a safari because of the diverse array of wildlife, birds and plants. The Big Five - Rhino, elephant, lion, leopard and buffalo as well as Hippos's, Cheetahs and many more mammals. Gorillas and many other primates that are unique to Uganda.

Is Gorilla tracking responsible?

Yes! Tourism funds conservation. Gorilla tracking is a great example: gorilla numbers have increased while neighbouring communities have got jobs and boosted incomes by providing accommodation, activities and selling crafts.

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