16 Day Uganda primate, game and cultural tour
16 Day Uganda primate, game and cultural tour
This 16 Days Safari is for those who have more time to explore and discover Uganda, also known as ‘The Pearl of Africa’. This safari takes you through Uganda’s four Savannah parks of Kidepo Valley National Park in northeastern, Murchison Falls National Park in northern, Queen Elizabeth National Park and Lake Mburo National Park in southwestern Uganda. It offers you a chance for game drives and boat cruises. You will have a boat cruise in Murchison Falls National Park to the bottom of the magnificent Falls, a boat cruise on the Kazinga Channel in Queen Elizabeth National Park, as well as a boat cruise in Lake Mburo National Park and a bonus Canoe ride on Lake Bunyonyi in Kabale district southwestern Uganda. These four Savannah National parks also offer the best of game drives with high chances of spotting thousands ofantelopes, hippos, elephants, buffaloes, lions, leopards and so much more. The highlight of this tour is in the chance to trek the world’s Great Apes. You will trek chimps thrice inthe different environments of Budogo Forest, Kyambura Gorge in Queen Elizabeth National Park and Kibale Forest National Park. The climax is definitely gorilla trekking in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. To make sure that you also interact with the local communities around these national parks, we have several village and community walks that will take you to the nearby villages to learn more about the people and their cultures. By booking this 16 Days Best of Uganda Safari, you will definitely not regret.
What you need to know about
It can start any time on any date
This safari is guided by our SOPs for the new normal Covid 19 post lockdown
The tour is all inclusive with all activities, meals, Chimp and Gorilla permits, park fees, lodges, vehicle hire and guides fee. So, hidden costs are involved.
Minimum number of participants is two people and maximum number is six people.
Suitable for children aged 15 years and above.
- Safari starts and ends in Uganda
- You have an opportunity to trek Chimpanzees in Budongo Forest, Kibale National Park and Kyambura Gorge
- An opportunity to trek the endangered white Rhinos at Zziwa Rhino sanctuary
- You have an opportunity to trek chimpanzees in Budongo Forest, Kibale National Park and Kyambura Gorge
- You will visit three top National Parks in Uganda for game drives i.e. Murchison Falls National Park, Queen Elizabeth National Park and Lake Mburo National National Park.
- You will enjoy four boat cruises on this tour. One on the River Nile in Murchison Falls National Park, another on Lake at Bunyonyi, in Lake Mburo National Park and on the Kazinga channel in Queen Elizabeth National Park
- Zziwa Rhino sanctuary to visit the only remaining white rhinos in Uganda.
- If you enjoy walking safaris, a visit to the nearby villages will enable you tointeract with the local communities and to learn the cultures of the local people in Uganda
DAY 1: To Budongo Forest
Start you 16 day primate, game and cultural tour by driving to Zziwa Rhino Sanctuary to track the endangered White Rhinos that are being restocked in the country. Take sometime searching for the Rhinos in the wild and thereafter, drive to Budongo Forest, located in Murchison Falls National Park Conservation area. You will stay overnight at Budongo Eco-Lodge on Full Board. Drivetime: Approximately 4-5 hours Meal plan: Lunch and Dinner Lodging: Budongo Eco Lodge
DAY 2: Budongo Chimpanzee trekking and the top of the Falls visit
After breakfast, you will walk to the forest headquarters for briefing about Chimpanzee trekking Dos and Don’ts. Thereafter, start your primate walk in the Budongo Forest guided by well-trained and experienced ranger guides. Your walk will expose you toother primates, birds and different plant species in the forest. Once you get into close proximity with the Chimps or one community/party of habituated chimpanzees, you will be allowed one hour of observations and photography before you return back to the Lodge. You may carry packed lunch or order for hot lunch which you can have when you return to the lodge. In the afternoon, you will drive to Murchison Falls National Park for a brief game drive via the top of the falls to see how the Nile waters squeeze through an arrow gorge only later to explode into what has been refereed to as one of the strongest and most powerful waterfalls on planet Earth. There after you will proceed to Murchison River Lodge or Pakuba Safari Lodge for overnight. Drivetime: Approximately 2 hours Meal Plan: Breakfast, Packed Lunch and Dinner Lodging: Murchison River Lodge or Pakuba Safari Lodge
DAY 3: Morning game drives and boat cruise on the Nile
Your 16 day primate, game and cultural tour will be action packed. As such, you will need to wake up early to be transferred by ferry to the northern banks of the River Nile commonly known as Paraa for your early morning Game drive. The northern bank of the park provides a great opportunity to spot several antelopes, hippos, buffaloes, giraffes, buffaloes, and if you are lucky, you will spot some big cats such as leopards and lions. Return to the lodge for lunch and then go for a boat cruise to the bottom of the Falls. On your way from the jetty point to the bottom of the Falls, you will spot several herds of buffaloes, crocodiles, hippos etc. as they flock the River Nile to drink water as well as some water bird species. You will continue upstream to the base of the Falls to observe how the water squeezes in a narrow gorge to only later explode in what has been referred to as the strongest and most powerful water Falls on the planet earth. Return to the Lodge for overnight. Meal Plan: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner Lodging: Murchison River Lodge/Pakuba Safari Lodge.
DAY 4: Morning game drive and late afternoon delta cruise
After an early breakfast you will return to the northern bank of the River Nile for yet another game drive in search of some of the wild animals that you could have missed seeing during your previous game drives. Return to the lodge for lunch and thereafter go for a late afternoon boat cruise to the Albert delta. Depending on how lucky you are, there are chances that you may find elephants, buffaloes and hippos crossing the delta while crocodiles are also taking opportunity of this crossing to catch the vulnerable animals. There are also high chances that you will spot the rare Shoebill stock. Return back to the lodge for overnight. Meal Plan: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner Lodging: Murchison River Lodge or Pakuba Safari Lodge
DAY 5: Hoima Town for a cultural walk
After breakfast, you will drive to Hoima town, a distance of about 3hour’s drive from Murchison Falls National Park. Depending on the nature of the road, you may pass via Lake Albert for a scenic drive to the escarpments and then to Hoima town. After Check-in your hotel, you may go for a cultural walk or just enjoy the cultural performances at the lodge and learn more about the cultures of the local people in this area. Drivetime: 3 hours Meal Plan: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner Lodging: Kontik Hotel/Hoima Cultural Lodge.
DAY 6: To Kibale National Park
You will drive to Kibale Forest National Park via Fort Portal town. You will have a stopin Fort portal town for Lunch before proceeding to check-in at Rwenzori View Guest House. No major activity on this day but if time allows, you may drive around Fort Portal town for sight seeing. Drivetime: Approximately 4 hours Meal Plan: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner Lodging: Rwenzori View Guest House
DAY 7: Chimpanzee trekking and Bigodi Wetland Walk
After breakfast, you will be transferred to Kibale National Park headquarters located at Kanyanchu. Here, you will join other trekkers for briefing before you proceed into the forest for chimpanzee trekking. You will be led by a well-trained and experienced ranger/guide who will take you for a guided primate walk inside Kibale Forest National Park. This forest provides an opportunity to visit one of the habituated communities of chimpanzees. You are allowed to spend an hour with these Great Apes while observing their behavior. You are allowed to take photographs. So make sure your cameras are nearby. Kibale National Park is also home to other 13 primate species which can also be spotted while trekking the Chimpanzees. Of course there are also numerous species of forest birds. In fact, this is another haven for bird lovers. After lunch, you will drive to Bigodi Village for a wetland walk. This walk is designed and managed by the local community surrounding the park. All the fees you pay for this walk directly goes to benefit the local community living around Kibale Forest National Park. As Encounter Africa Safaris, we encourage our clients to take part in this walk as the money raised from it helps the communities to sustainably manage and utilize this wetland. Meal Plan: Breakfast, Packed Lunch and Dinner Lodging: Chimpanzee Forest Guest House or Isunga Lodge
DAY 8: To Queen Elizabeth National Park
After breakfast, your will drive 3-4 hours from Kibale National Park to Queen Elizabeth National Park. You will have an opportunity of passing through small towns, seeing several foothills of Mountain Rwenzori, small rivers that originate from Rwennzori mountain ranges as well as crossing the Equator at Kikorongo. You will check-in at Bush Lodge, relax as you prepare for a late afternoon game drive in Mweya. This section of Queen Elizabeth National Park is endowed with Antelopes, Buffaloes, Warthogs, elephants and many other wild animals including lions and leopards. Please note that a chance to sight lion and leopard can not guaranteed. Return to the Lodge for overnight. Drive time: Approximately 3-4 hours
DAY 9: Game drive and Boat Cruise
After an early morning cup of coffee, you will drive back to Kasenyi plains for a game viewing. It’s this time of the morning that the big cats are usually out to hunt for their prey. There will be high chances of spotting lions and or leopards on a hunt or feasting on their kill. However, we cannot guarantee it. Of course, there is a guarantee that you will see buffaloes, hippos, and several species of antelopes, and many more. You may return to the lodge for lunch or drive directly to Mweya jetty for an afternoon boat cruise on the Kazinga Channel. This two hour boat cruise is one of the highlights in Queen Elizabeth National Park. It provides you an opportunity to view over 300 out of the 600 water bird species recorded here, antelopes, crocodiles, elephants, buffaloes and hippos. Return to the lodge for overnight. Meal Plan: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner Lodging: Elephant Hab or Pumba Safari Lodge.
DAY 10: Chambura Chimp trekking and Katwe salt mines
After breakfast, you will be driven to Kyambura to join other trekkers for briefing and their after start you chimpanzee walk in the gorge. Your experienced ranger guide will help you identify several flora and fauna species resident in this gorge. Once you find a community of chimpanzees, you will be allowed to spend one hour with them for photography. Return from the trek for lunch and short relaxation at the lodge before moving out for a visit to Lake Katwe salt mines. Lake Katwe is an explosive crater which is gifted with salt. The local community have been mining/extracting salt from this lake for decades. You will meet a local guide (from the community) who will take you for a tour around the salt mines while explaining how salt extraction is done, the challenges faced as well as the opportunities available. Lake Katwe salt extraction project is one of the living examples of man and biosphere reserves or conservation are as in the whole world where man is harmoniously co-existing with wildlife. Return to the Lodge for overnight Meal Plan: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner. Lodging: Elephant Hab or Pumba Safari Lodge.
DAY 11: To Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
After breakfast, you will drive to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park, located in southwestern Uganda and shared between three districts of Kabale, Kanungu andKisoro. Your journey to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park will take you through the rolling hills with terraced gardens of Irish potatoes and sometimes tea. You will arrive late afternoon for overnight at the Lodge. Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is home to almost half of the world’s endangered mountain gorillas and the only National Park where wild chimpanzees co-exist with mountain gorillas. Drivetime: Approximately 5-6 hours Meal Plan: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner Lodging: Rushaga Gorilla Havens Lodge or Trekkers Tervan Lodge
DAY 12: Gorilla tracking and Village walk
After breakfast, you will transfer to the park headquarters to join other trekkers to be allocated a Gorilla family that you will trek. Of course the park staff will first give you a full briefing concerning the Dos and Don’ts while with the gorillas. After that, you will bedriven to the starting point of your allocated gorilla family to start your trek into the beautiful Impenetrable Bwindi Forest. This trek may take between 30 minutes to threequarters of the day, depending on where the Mountain Gorillas will be found. Please noted that gorilla trekking can be strenuous and as such a certain level of fitness is required. Once you find the gorillas, you will be allowed to spend one hour to observe them and take photographs. Although this time may seem too short a time, the experience you get will be worth it. Thereafter, you will return to the park headquarters where you will be awarded a certificate in recognition of your effort in contributing to the conservation of these endangered mountain gorillas. Return to the lodge for relaxation followed by a village walk in the evening to learn more about the local people living around Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. This walk will enable you appreciate the effort of these people in conserving the forest and the gorillas. You can choose to support them through donation in kind. Please note that this is a voluntary act. Meal Plan: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner Lodging: Rushaga Gorilla Havens Lodge or Trekkers Tervan Lodge.
DAY 13: To Lake Bunyonyi
Drive from Bwindi Impenetrable National Park to Lake Bunyonyi in Kabale District. Lake Bunyonyi is one of the three Lava damned Lakes in Uganda. The Lake was formed when lava flowing from one of the volcanoes blocked a river channel and water was forced to flow back hence filling the space to create the Lake Bunyonyi. Bunyonyi locally means small birds. So the Lake got its name because of the abundance of small birds in this area in filled the area. Lake Bunyonyi is said to be the deepest lake in Uganda and the second deepest in East Africa. The beauty of this Lake Bunyonyi will surely not disappoint you. It is one of the best places in Uganda to relax after your gorilla trek. Drivetime: Approximately 3-4 hours Meal Plan: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner Lodging: Birdnest Resort.
DAY 14: Canoeing or Hiking
After breakfast, you are free to admire the beauty of the lake and its surrounding hills. You will have a choice of either taking a canoe ride on the lake to explore the different Islands with exciting histories behind them. For example, you will visit the Punishment Island. The story about this Island, it is the place where girls who were known to have conceived babies out of legitimate traditional marriage would be dumped and left to die. This is a whole day activity and you will surely enjoy it. Alternatively, you can hike one of the hills around the Lake Bunyonyi. Encounter Africa Safaris supports some projects around this area, which is part of our Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). So, for those who want to do something in the community while on their tour, this is another opportunity for you to go for volunteer work. Return to the Lodge for overnight. Meal Plan: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner Lodging: Bridnest Resor
DAY 15: To Lake Mburo National Park
After breakfast, drive to Lake Mburo National Parkvia the Great Lakes Museum orIgongo Cultural center to learn more about the cultures of the ethnic groups in western Uganda. Lunch will be served en route. You will arrive at Lake Mburo National Park just in time for an evening game drive. Lake Mburo National Park is popular for animals such as Impalas, Giraffes, Zebras and so much more. Return to the Lodge for overnight. Drivetime: Approximately 6 hours Meal Plan: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner Lodging: Lake Mburo Safari Lodge or Rwakobo Rock.
DAY 16: Drive to Entebbe International Airport
Today marks the end of your 16 Days Safari with Encounter Africa Safaris. But, depending on your flight time, you can have a morning walking Safari or just embark on your journey to Entebbe International Airport. Of course you will have a stop at the Equator crossing in Kayabwe for photography and stretching. Drivetime: Approximately 5-6 hours Meal Plan: Breakfast and Lunch.