The 21 Days Uganda gorilla trekking tour is a comprehensive life time adventure. This safari is suitable for travelers on long holidays; and those that have retired from active service to shake off the stress of busy days. The safari is all round Uganda and presents you to the wildlife, culture and heritage not forgetting the romantic sceneries of Uganda dubbed the Pearl of Africa by Winston Churchill, traversing all the way from Kisoro to Karamoja and from Elgon to Rwenzori Mountains.
It involves trekking gorillas, chimpanzee habituation, hiking the Rwenzori Mountains, Virunga Volcanoes, Morungule Mountains and Sipi falls, white water rafting adventure at the source of the Nile in Jinja, boat trip on River Nile in Murchison Falls, Kazinga Channel in Queen Elizabeth and Lake Bunyonyi are also incorporated to derive a recreational experience. The cultural encounters among the south western tribes of Ankole with their long horned cattle and the north eastern groups of the Karamajong still flourishing in their natural environment make this safari surpass the usual classic wildlife.
Day 1: Arrive in Uganda (Entebbe International Airport) & relax at the lodge
Arrive on Uganda at her main entry point Entebbe International Airport where you will be warmly welcomed by one of our experienced company representative to transfer you to the lodge. Retire for relaxation, dinner and overnight Accommodation: Cassia Lodge or similar.
Day 2: Transfer to Lake Mburo NP. Make an en route stop at Uganda Equator & afternoon boat cruise upon arrival
After breakfast at your lodge, you embark on the transfer to Lake Mburo National Park, a journey of 240km about 3 – 4 hours’ drive. The drive to the south west of the country will be interrupted by a halt at Uganda Equator crossing Kayabwe 72km from Kampala to encounter the world’s main latitude that marks the point where the globe is divided into two halves, the southern and northern hemispheres.
A photo session at this world’s most unique position is a must for memories and remembrance for having stood in two different hemispheres at the same time. A local water experiment in a basin is also carried out to prove the geographical split-up between the two halves of the globe. Continue on the drive getting to the park in time for lunch after which you gather at Lake Mburo dock to wait for an interesting evening boat cruise exploring this lake that is in the interior of the park boundaries. The lake features impressive papyrus swamp on one side and clear waters on the other side where numerous populations of Hippos inhabit. The views of the African fish eagle and other wild game drinking on the banks should not be missed. The Nile crocodiles also exist in this lake. Retreat from the activity and return to the lodge or relaxation, dinner and overnight. Accommodation: Eagles’ Nest
Day 3: Morning game walking safari & evening Banyankole Community tour.
After breakfast, embark on a fascinating game walking safari after the sunrise to explore the magnificent savannah acacia landscapes with gentle rolling hills marked with the extrusive Kopje rocks and other ancient Precambrian rocks that have existed in that locality for the past 500 million years. The animals which can be encountered include; Impala antelope which only exists in this small but rich national park, Lake Mburo National park, Burchell’s Zebra, Rothschild Giraffes, Topis, water bucks, warthogs, among other wildlife.
Retreat from this 3 – 4 hour activity and embark on the transfer back to the lodge for relaxation and lunch.
In the afternoon, you will take a trip to visit the Enyemebwa center to experience the rich history of the natives that inhabit this locality including their traditional Ankole long horned cattle, their impressive arts and crafts, traditional homestead and interesting music and cultural dances. Retreat from the encounter and retire for dinner and overnight. Accommodation: Eagles’ Nest .
Day 4: Transfer to Lake Bunyonyi and relax the lodge.
Undertake an evening canoe paddle
After a relaxed breakfast, embark on the trip to Lake Bunyonyi in the south west of Uganda, a journey of 199km about 4 hours’ drive passing through magnificent country side landscapes of south western Uganda and the past the town of Mbarara notably the western region’s city. You will be in Bunyonyi early in the afternoon for relaxation. You can undertake a canoe paddle on the lake exploring the transportation methods that is common to the Islanders who have been the early inhabitants of this region for centuries. Retire for dinner and overnight.
Accommodation:Birdnest resort bunyonyi.
Day 5: Sun rise boat cruise and transfer to Mgahinga Gorilla National Park.
After a relaxed breakfast, you will undertake an early boat trip to assess the beauty of Lake Bunyonyi. You explore the attractive landscapes of the lake and impressive relief of Kigezi region. Reach out to some of its 29 Virgin Islands amidst the pleasantly undulating hills of Kigezi. You can also engage in a natural simple walk to explore the life of the islanders.
The 5 – 6 hour boat cruise is a rewarding experience worth venturing. Retreat from this activity, have lunch at the lodge awaiting transfer to Mgahinga gorilla national park later in the afternoon for relaxation, dinner and a night over. Accommodation: Mount Gahinga lodge or diffrerent.
Day 6: Volcano climbing / golden monkey tracking or Batwa heritage trail and transfer to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
After a warm cup of tea, undertake one of these adventurous activities, such as the volcano climbing in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park comprising of the three (3) Volcanic Mountains in the park namely Gahinga (3,474m) which is the shortest with a swamp filled crater and giant lobelia with opportunities of viewing golden monkeys in the bamboo zone followed by Sabyinyo (3,669m) which has a sharp ridge to be summited, and eventually Muhabura (4,127m) which is the tallest. Since all the peaks can be climbed, you can select on which mountain to climb. Alternatively, you can opt to undertake the golden monkey tracking where you have a chance to encounter the other critically endangered apes known to existing only in the Virunga massif in this part of the world.
The last option would be venturing into the famous Batwa heritage trail which takes you to explore the rich heritage of the Batwa, the inhabitants of the forest while studying their culture and traditions. Retreat from this long day trip and transfer to Bwindi for dinner and overnight. Accommodation:
Rushaga gorilla camp or similar.
Day 7: Gorilla trekking & relax at the lodge.
Wake up for an impressive warm breakfast to shake off all the morning cold conditions experienced in this part of the country before assembling at the respective park headquarters at 8am for briefing and pre tracking rules and regulations about gorilla trekking and allocating each group of individuals a respective gorilla family to track. You continue to the misty Bwindi forest in search of the world’s most sought after and endangered species, the mountain gorillas. The trekking adventure takes you through impressive hikes exploring the attractive forest landscapes characterized by rugged terrain which makes it quite challenging to explore. The duration of the activity is between 2 – 8 hours inclusive of one (1) hour direct encounter with these elusive creatures as they forage, socialize and make their joyous tactics with the frightening eyes of the Silverback. You have the freedom to shoot as many photos as you desire before you retreat from the activity to return to the starting point. After this encounter, you will return to the lodge for relaxation, dinner and overnight. Accommodation: Rushaga gorilla Camp.
Day 8: Transfer to Queen Elizabeth National Park & do a game drive in Ishasha sector en route in search of tree climbing lions
After breakfast, embark on the transfer to Queen Elizabeth National Park. You undertake a game drive en route in the Ishasha sector, the south region of the park in search of the rare tree climbing lions together with other wild game that dwell in this woodland part of the park. The tree climbing lions prefer to lie flat on fig tree branches in the mid-morning sun while waiting for their prey. After this encounter, proceed on the drive to the northern sector of Queen Elizabeth national park arriving in the evening for relaxation, dinner and overnight. Accommodation: Ihamba Safari Lodge or simliar
Day 9: Morning game drive & afternoon boat cruise along the Paradise of Hippos – the 45 km long Kazinga Channel
After a splendid morning cup of coffee at your hotel, embark on the drive across the fascinating rolling savannah range lands of Queen Elizabeth in search of wild game. The stretch to the Kasenyi plain, the renown mating ground offers you a lifetime opportunity of encounter numerous families of wild game in a single glance including elephants, buffaloes, water bucks and Kobs along with predators like lions, leopards and jackals. The game drive takes 3 – 4 hours and you retreat back to the lodge for relaxation and lunch. After lunch, you continue to Mweya jetty to catch up with a boat trip at exactly 4 pm. The 2 hour boat cruise offers a chance to explore the 45 km long Kazinga Channel which links the twin lakes, George and Edward, the channel is known to be the capital of Hippos and Nile crocodiles. Its banks are usually fully stocked with numerous wild game like elephants and buffaloes which can be seen along quenching their thirst from the Kazinga waters on a hot day. Retreat from the activity and do the game drive along the channel track as you proceed to the lodge for relaxation and dinner. Accommodation: Mweya Safari Lodge
Day 10: Do Morning Chimpanzee trekking.
The Kyambura Gorge, Maramagambo forest walk in the afternoon and transfer to Kasese
After breakfast, you transfer to Kyambura gorge for an afternoon Chimpanzee trekking. The 2 – 5 hour adventure takes you through the steep sided gorge slopes blanketed by a lush thick tropical forest which has flourished below sea level over the years. The gorge is 100m deep and has a river flowing on its bed. It’s an adventurous experience of its kind. The one hour of direct encounter with chimps is quite unforgettable as they stare at you in amazement, make pant hooting calls, socialize, munch fruit and make all the playful tactics that lure you into an unconscious state of taking pictures and uncontrolled happiness.
Retreat from the activity and transfer back to the lodge for relaxation and lunch after which you will transfer to Maramagambo forest for an afternoon nature walk. The nature walk in Maramagambo is very rewarding. This verdant forest cover shelters numerous populations of birds and other flora. It shelters numerous crater hollows and an amazingly well protected bat cave where counts of bats flourish harmoniously with the furious python. Retire from the activity and transfer to Kasese on the foothills of the legendary mountains of the moon – the Rwenzori Mountains for relaxation, dinner and overnight. Accommodation: Equator Snow Lodge
Day 11: Whole day Mount Rwenzori Hiking.
Explore the legendary mountains of the moon with snowcapped peaks & transfer to Kibale National Park
After breakfast, embark on a life time adventure to explore the legendary mountains of the moon – the Rwenzori Mountains towering to an altitude of 5,109m above sea level with its peaks blanketed with mist snow, a unique characteristic to this mountain since it stands along the equator line. This mountaineering adventure is a thrilling encounter from the foothills traversing through its lush flora that have earned it a status as a UNESCO heritage site. Mount Rwenzori stands as the tallest mountain range in Africa apart from mountains Kilimanjaro and Kenya which are free standing.
Retreat from the activity and transfer to Kibale National Park via Rwimi for relaxation, dinner and overnight. Accommodation: Primate Lodge.
Day 12: Undertake whole day chimpanzee habituation experience.
Wake up as early as possible to catch up with this lifetime chimpanzee habituation encounter starting as early as 6am in the morning. You traverse the foggy Kibale Forest to catch up with the chimpanzees as they move out of their nests and go about their daily activities in the forest to forage, patrol, and mate, socialize, make pant hooting calls, copulate, hunt until they retire to make new nests in the evening for overnight at 7pm. Unlike Chimpanzee trekking which involves one hour of direct encounter with these human’s closest relatives, chimpanzee habituation will require you to spend the whole day with these apes thus exploring them in their entirety as they go along their daily chores. Retire for dinner and overnight. Accommodation: Primate Lodge
Day 13: Transfer to Hoima & visit the Bunyoro Kitara Heritage Trail
After breakfast, embark on the transfer to Hoima passing through the unequalled beautiful vista of Fort Portal and the town its self, apparently the cleanest town in the country. You will arrive in Hoima for lunch and you drive to Bunyoro Kitara Kingdom to encounter the rich traditions and heritage of the Banyoro. You will visit the Royal tombs where the Kings of Bunyoro lay in rest including the furious King Kabalega who is famously known for having fought rebellions with many kingdoms including Buganda kingdom and he furiously resisted the British rule until he was defeated and together with Kabaka Mwanga were forced into exile. You can also do the Hoima town walk before you retreat for relaxation and overnight. Accommodation: Kontiki Hotel
Day 14: Transfer to Murchison Falls National Park. Visit Kibiro Salt Gardens en route
After breakfast, embark on the transfer to Murchison Falls National Park passing through impressive panorama of the Albertine rift and the rugged steep escarpments of the great western rift valley with the views of Lake Albert and the Blue Mountains of Congo in a distance. You will make a stop at Kibiro Salt Gardens and hot springs en route to explore the traditional means of salt extraction and how the local people especially women apply their indigenous knowledge to derive one of the fine salts you can ever have and how they have made a fortune out of this unique activity. The hike to the gardens is very challenging that will bring your imaginations to the reality. Continue on the drive to Murchison Falls National Park entering through Bugungu gate to check in at your lodge for relaxation, dinner and overnight. Accommodation: Pakuba Safari Lodge
Day 15: Morning game drive & afternoon Nile Launch cruise and hike to the top of the falls
After an early morning cup of tea at the lodge, continue to the park for a morning game drive which tends to last 3 – 4 hours exploring the park’s attractive wilderness in its authenticity. The activity is carried out in the northern sector of the park which is a renowned hub where numerous counts of wildlife dwell including lions, Rothschild giraffes, leopards, elephants, Buffaloes, Jackson Hartebeest, Oribis, and Kobs among others. Return from the activity and head back to the lodge for relaxation and a sumptuous lunch after which you assemble at Paraa Jetty for a thrilling afternoon Nile launch cruise departing at 2pm heading for the bottom of the waterfalls. The boat cruise avails you with opportunities to encounter numerous birds, terrestrial and aquatic species such as the Nile Crocodiles, Hippos and the elusive shoebill stork not forgetting other wild game that quench their thirst from the Nile waters during sunny afternoons. The stretch to the bottom of the falls and the eventual hike to the top of the falls soon you are exposed to the thunderous roar of the waters of the Nile, arguably the longest river in the world where it squeezes its self to penetrate through a less than 8m gorge forming a rapid drop of spray marked by a trade mark rain bow as it plunges 43m below to what has been termed as the Devil’s Cauldron. Retire from this rather interesting 3 hour activity for relaxation, dinner and overnight at the hotel. Accommodation: Pakuba Safari Lodge
Day 16: Transfer to Kidepo Valley National Park.
Drive through northern Uganda plains After breakfast, embark on the trip to Kidepo valley national park which is notably the largest national Park in Uganda perched far in the northeastern part of Uganda in natural stretching plain savannah vegetation at the boarders of south Sudan and Kenya. You will drive through the undulating savannah grasslands in Kitgum and Gulu which are noted to be former hiding grounds of Lord’s Resistance Army with their furious commander Joseph Kony. The area is now peaceful and secure with very humorous and hospitable people. You will only encounter the remains of the warfare and meet some of the war survivors who are still dwelling in the IDP (Internally Displaced People) camps and some people who are still suffering from war trauma. Arrive in Murchison Falls National Park in the evening for relaxation, dinner and overnight. Accommodation: Kidepo Savannah Lodge
Day 17: Morning game drive and afternoon Karamajong community tour
After a sumptuous breakfast, undertake a morning game drive encounter in the extensive dry savannah plain lands of Kidepo Valley National Park. The park is one of the beautiful parks that Africa has ever had and filled with counts of wild game including lions, elephants, buffaloes, Rothschild giraffes, cheetah among other wildlife. You drive through the magnificent Narus Valley where animals tend to flock to quench their thirst from the many water points in this place. The stretch to Kidepo Valley offers you chances to view an elusive Ostrich. Retreat from the 3 – 4hr activity and relax at the lodge for a luxurious lunch. In the afternoon, you embark on the exploration of the Karamajong pastoralist communities with their amazing culture and heritage that characterize these people. They will take you around their traditional home steads, cattle Kraals, calf pens, their cultural Manyattas and you can attend one of their musical performances. Retreat in the evening for relaxation, dinner and overnight.
Accommodation: Kidepo Savannah Lodge
Day 18: Hike to Morungule Mountains to the indigenous Karamajong
After breakfast, undertake the fascinating Morungule Mountains hike where the indigenous Karamajong are known to have originated. The native Karamajong are believed to be the initial inhabitants of the area before they were pushed to the mountains by the over haul of the pastoralist groups in the area. The hike to these mountains is very rewarding enabling you to enjoy the magnificent views of Karamoja plain lands and south Sudan Mountains. Retire for dinner and overnight at the lodge.
Accommodation: Kidepo Savannah Lodge
Day 19: Transfer to Sipi Area.
Do game drive in Pian Upe Game Reserve en route
After breakfast, drive to the Sipi Area in the eastern part of Uganda near the legendary Mount Elgon. You will be mesmerized by the impressive panorama of the Karamoja Plains and make a game drive in this soft spoken and virgin game reserve, Pian Upe Game Reserve with countless species of wildlife such as Jackals, Civets, Spotted hyenas, Serval cats, Leopards, Wildcats, Vervet monkeys, Patas monkeys, Olive baboons, vervet monkeys, Topi, Cape buffalo, Common eland, blue and common duiker Gunther’s dik-dik, Klipspringer, Waterbuck, Ugandan Kob and Bohor and mountain reedbuck among others. Retreat from the activity and embark on the transfer to Sipi Area for dinner and overnight.
Accommodation: Sipi River Lodge
Day 20: Hike Sipi falls and transfer to Jinja
After breakfast, venture on the hike to Sipi Falls. This experience is breathtaking offering the magnificent landscapes of eastern Uganda in details. The hike to this amazing feature is very interesting as it presents the views of numerous water falls in Elgon region and the landscapes overlooking not forgetting plain farmlands in the Bugishu region.
Retreat from the activity and transfer to Jinja driving through impressive landscapes of eastern Uganda marked by extensive rice fields and sugar cane plantations and natural swamps that mark the undulating landscapes in the area. Arrive in Jinja in the evening for relaxation, dinner and overnight.
Luxury: Jinja Nile Resort
Midrange: King Fisher Resort
Basic: Source of the smile Guesthouse
Day 21: Half day white water rafting, afternoon boat cruise to the source of the Nile and transfer to Kampala
Transfer early in the morning from your residence in Jinja to catch up with half day white water rafting exploring the Nile cascades as this legendary Nile River flows past extrusive impermeable rocks that have stood in its way for centuries past forming powerful water falls along the river namely, Owen falls and the Bujagali which have recently been turned into electricity generation dams. You get to your rafts and maneuver with the waters under the guidance of the experienced rafting team. You enjoy the breathtaking adventure amidst the cheers of the locals as they watch in amazement from the river banks. You return from the activity and later transfer to the source of the Nile for an impressive Nile boat cruise to explore the source of this famous river that was discovered many years ago by a British explorer, John Speke. The boat exposes you to numerous species of birds perching on the overhanging tree branches and the river banks
Retire from the activity and transfer to Kampala later in the afternoon to mark the end of your safari. You may catch your night flight if you have.
End of Safari with Epic Uganda vacation.