18 Days Uganda Comprehensive Safari

Uganda Gorilla Tours

Uganda Wildlife Tours

Overview of the 18 Days Uganda Comprehensive Safari

The 18 Days Uganda Comprehensive Safari is an all round encounter of Uganda offering any Uganda Safari undertaker a complete experience of the Pearl of Africa. The safari features adventure white water rafting on the Nile River, the hike to the Sipi Falls, extensive wild game viewing in Pian Upe, Kidepo Valley National Park, Murchison Falls, Queen Elizabeth and Lake Mburo National Park presenting possibilities for viewing leopards, lions, Rothschild giraffes, Roan antelope, Impala, eland, tree climbing lions, cheetah, buffaloes, jackals, topis, Jackson’s hartebeest among others. The safari also features mountain gorilla trekking in the jungle of Bwindi National Park, chimpanzee trekking encounter in the Primate Capital of the world – Kibale National Park, Volcano climbing in Mgahinga and the magical recreational experience at Lake Bunyonyi.

water-rafting


Day 1 of the 18 Days Uganda Comprehensive Safari: Do Jinja tour. Do half day rafting and afternoon boat cruise to the source of the Nile

Day 2 of the 18 Days Uganda Comprehensive Safari: Transfer to Sipi falls and Visit Sipi falls

Day 3 of the 18 Days Uganda Comprehensive Safari: Transfer to Kidepo Valley National Park. Do a game drive in Pian Upe en route

Day 4 of the 18 Days Uganda Comprehensive Safari: Do game drive in Kidepo Valley National Park and afternoon Karamojong Community tour

Day 5 of the 18 Days Uganda Comprehensive Safari: Transfer to Murchison Falls National Park. Drive through the former Kony war zone

Day 6 of the 18 Days Uganda Comprehensive Safari: Do morning game drive, afternoon Nile launch cruise and hike to the top of the falls

Day 7 of the 18 Days Uganda Comprehensive Safari: Transfer to Kibale. Whole day drive

Day 8 of the 18 Days Uganda Comprehensive Safari: Do morning chimpanzee trekking and Bigodi wetland walk in the afternoon

Day 9 of the 18 Days Uganda Comprehensive Safari: Transfer to Semliki National Park and do the Sempaya nature walk to explore the hot springs. Visit the Amabere g’ Nnyinamwiru caves and Fort portal Crater Lake hike

Day 10 of the 18 Days Uganda Comprehensive Safari: Transfer to Kasese on the foothills of Mount Rwenzori. Visit the Bunyangabu bee keepers, Ruboni community craft village and Rwenzori Art foundation – the only bronze casting center in Africa

Day 11 of the 18 Days Uganda Comprehensive Safari:   Do whole day Mount Rwenzori hiking exploring the legendary mountains of the moon

Day 12 of the 18 Days Uganda Comprehensive Safari: Transfer to Queen Elizabeth National Park and afternoon Kazinga Channel launch cruise

Day 13 of the 18 Days Uganda Comprehensive Safari: Transfer to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. Do game drive in Ishasha in search of tree climbing lions

Day 14 of the 18 Days Uganda Comprehensive Safari: Do mountain gorilla trekking and relax at the lodge

Day 15 of the 18 Days Uganda Comprehensive Safari: Transfer to Mgahinga National Park. Trek from Bwindi south to Kisoro via Lake Mutanda. Do a canoe paddle on Lake Mutanda

Day 16 of the 18 Days Uganda Comprehensive Safari: Do Volcano Climbing / Batwa heritage trail / Golden Monkey tracking and relax at the lodge

Day 17 of the 18 Days Uganda Comprehensive Safari: Transfer to Lake Bunyonyi and spend the whole day relaxing at the lake not forgetting a recreational boat cruise

Day 18 of the 18 Days Uganda Comprehensive Safari: Transfer to Kampala. Make a stop at Igongo Cultural Center for traditional lunch and at Uganda Equator crossing Kayabwe for amazing water experiments & photo shoots


Day 1 of the 18 Days Uganda Comprehensive Safari: Do Jinja tour. Do half day rafting and afternoon boat cruise to the source of the Nile

Embark on the transfer to Jinja 80km about 2 hours drive from Kampala. You enjoy the fresh air as you drive past the rain forest of Mabira and also enjoy the impressive sights of the Sugar cane plantations of Lugazi. Upon arrival in Jinja, you embark on the white water rafting adventuring into the legendary cascades of the Nile River – the longest in the world and explore the rapids in your magical rafts. The experience is magical guided by the expert team meaning that you are safe. You retreat from this half day encounter and embark on the tour to the Source of the Nile to explore the point where the famous Nile River begins its 90 days journey to the Mediterranean Sea. Retire for dinner and overnight.

Accommodation

Upmarket / Luxury: Jinja Nile Resort

Midrange / Standard: Gately on the Nile

Budget / Basic: Source of the Smile Guesthouse

Day 2 of the 18 Days Uganda Comprehensive Safari: Transfer to Sipi falls and Visit Sipi falls

Following breakfast at the lodge, you embark on the drive to Sipi Falls. You enjoy the impressive scenic countryside en route including the extensive rice fields and sugar cane plantations of eastern Uganda including Swamps and flowing streams that characterise the area. You arrive in Sipi Area in time for lunch. Check in at your lodge; settle for lunch after which you embark on the hike to the Sipi Falls. The hike to the falls presents a fascinating scenic view of the area allowing you to explore the flowing water sprinkling from the mountain slopes. The views of Mount Elgon – the once tallest in Africa but now 8th and 4th in East Africa with the world’s largest mountain caldera, Bagisu farmlands and Karamoja plains present an exciting sightseeing opportunity. Retreat fro relaxation, dinner and overnight.

Accommodation

Upmarket / Luxury: Sipi River Lodge

Midrange / Standard: Lacam Lodge

Budget / Basic: Crown’s nest camp site

Day 3 of the 18 Days Uganda Comprehensive Safari: Transfer to Kidepo Valley National Park. Do a game drive in Pian Upe en route

kidepo-wildlife

Embark on the drive to Kidepo Valley National Park in the north east of Uganda after breakfast at the lodge. The journey is a long drive encounter allowing you to explore the scenic countryside before approaching the famous Pian Upe game reserve for an en route game drive to gain possibilities of viewing wild game like Jackals, Spotted hyenas, Civets, Servals, Wildcats, Leopards, Vervet monkeys, Olive baboons, Patas monkeys, vervet monkeys, Topi, Common eland, Cape buffalo, blue and common duiker, Klipspringer, Waterbuck, Günther’s dik-dik, Bohor and mountain reebuck and Ugandan Kob among others. From the game drive, you embark on the drive to Kidepo Valley National Park with the views of Mount Moroto arriving in the evening for relaxation, dinner and overnight.

Accommodation

Upmarket / Luxury: Apoka Safari Lodge

Midrange / Standard: Nga’ moru Wilderness

Budget / Basic: Apoka Rest Camp

Day 4 of the 18 Days Uganda Comprehensive Safari: Do game drive in Kidepo Valley National Park and afternoon Karamojong Community tour

Wake up for a cup of coffee before embarking on an early game drive through the Narus and Kidepo valleys to gain stunning views of not only fauna but also amazing scenic views of this semi-arid wilderness. On this game drive, you may see lions, giraffe, buffaloes, zebra, elusive leopard, cheetah, and Antelope species while the stretch to Kidepo valley exposes you to Ostrich that only thrive in this park in Uganda. Return to the lodge for relaxation and lunch after which you will visit the Karamojong communities in the afternoon. The traditional Manyattas have unique architecture while the general setting of their homesteads rotates around their pastoral occupation. Retreat to the lodge for overnight.

Accommodation

Upmarket / Luxury: Apoka Safari Lodge

Midrange / Standard: Nga’ moru Wilderness

Budget / Basic: Apoka Rest Camp

Day 5 of the 18 Days Uganda Comprehensive Safari: Transfer to Murchison Falls National Park. Drive through the former Kony war zone

You embark on the transfer to Murchison Falls National Park Uganda’s largest National Park. You drive through the impressive landscapes of northern Uganda with its flat open stretches marked with its horrific past of the Kony War. You make a lunch stop in Kitgum or Gulu before proceeding to Murchison Falls National Park arriving in the evening for relaxation, inner and overnight

Accommodation

Upmarket / Luxury: Paraa Safari Lodge / Bakers Lodge

Midrange / Standard: Murchison River Lodge / Fort Murchison

Budget / Basic: Heritage Safari Lodge / Tent @Fort Murchison

Day 6 of the 18 Days Uganda Comprehensive Safari: Do morning game drive, afternoon Nile launch cruise and hike to the top of the falls

murchison-falls-wildlife

Wake up early enough for a cup of coffee before arriving at Paraa to catch up with the ferry crossing at 7:00am to the northern bank of the Nile if you slept in the south. Upon crossing, you will drive through the amazing rolling savannah combretum dotted with enormous numbers of wildlife including; Elephants, Buffaloes, giraffes, Jackson hartebeest, Uganda Kobs, bush bucks, waterbucks, lions and if lucky elusive leopard. The 3 – 4 hour game drive is a rewarding encounter of typical African game. Return to the lodge for relaxation till lunch after which you will gather at Paraa for Nile Launch cruise starting at 2pm. The 3 hour boat cruise exposes you magical offerings of the Nile including the rare shoe bill stork, Nile crocodiles, Hippos, and wild game drinking on the river side. The launch trip stretches to the bottom of the falls. Upon reaching the bottom of the falls, you embark on the hike to the top of the falls. The hike takes you through a challenging narrow path following the Nile River as crushes its head on the ancient impermeable rocks that have stood in its way for centuries past. You enjoy the roaring sound of the Nile which is accompanied by a plume of spray and a trade mark rainbow. The top of the falls features a nice scenic view impressive for photography. Connect with your driver guide on the top of the falls to connect to the lodge for relaxation, dinner and overnight.

Accommodation

Upmarket / Luxury: Paraa Safari Lodge / Bakers Lodge

Midrange / Standard: Murchison River Lodge / Fort Murchison

Budget / Basic: Heritage Safari Lodge / Tent @Fort Murchison

Day 7 of the 18 Days Uganda Comprehensive Safari: Transfer to Kibale. Whole day drive

After breakfast, embark on the drive to Kibale 441km about 9 hours drive passing through the verdant lush countryside including Masindi, Hoima, Kagadi before approaching Fort Portal. You make a lunch stop in Hoima and while approaching Fort Portal, you are welcomed by the fabled mountains of the moon rising to 5,109m above sea level. The towering palace building of the Kingdom of Tooro also presents an impressive scenic welcome in the backyard of Fort Portal town. Proceed to the lodge for relaxation, dinner and overnight.

Accommodation

Up market / Luxury: Primate Lodge / Ndali Lodge / Kyaninga Lodge

Midrange / Standard: Chimpanzee Guesthouse / Kibale Forest Camp

Budget / Basic: Rwenzori View Guesthouse / Tent @Kibale Forest Camp

Day 8 of the 18 Days Uganda Comprehensive Safari: Do morning chimpanzee trekking and Bigodi wetland walk in the afternoon

bigodi-wetland-chimps

After breakfast, gather at Kanyanchu tourism center for briefing at 08:00am from the park rangers about the Chimp trekking conduct. Set off to this forest of Kibale after the short briefing in quest of Chimpanzees. The 2 – 5 hour trek will expose you amazing tree species and wildlife including other 12 species of primates like Colobus monkeys, vervet monkeys, Red tailed monkeys and olive baboons. The sights of Birds cannot be avoided while their songs will offer you natural entertainment through the jungle. You will marvel at the Chimpanzees as the roll themselves on tree branches, munch fruits and make their pant – hooting calls. After utilizing your one hour, you will return to the starting point for relaxation and preparing for another activity. In the afternoon, you will visit the Bigodi wetland to encounter the swamp animals like Sitatunga and birds like Ruwenzori Turaco and an encounter with local people including the traditional healer.

Accommodation

Up market / Luxury: Primate Lodge / Ndali Lodge / Kyaninga Lodge

Midrange / Standard: Chimpanzee Guesthouse / Kibale Forest Camp

Budget / Basic: Rwenzori View Guesthouse / Tent @Kibale Forest Camp

Day 9 of the 18 Days Uganda Comprehensive Safari: Transfer to Semliki National Park and do the Sempaya nature walk to explore the hot springs. Visit the Amabere g’ Nnyinamwiru caves and Fort portal Crater Lake hike

Following breakfast at the lodge, you embark on the drive to Semliki National Park 78km from Kibale about 2 hours drive. You are fronted by the scenic Rwenzori Mountain as you drive to Semliki. Upon arriving, you embark on the Semliki Nature walk traversing the lush jungle of Semliki which is a combination of East Africa and West African jungle with lovely flora, fauna including primates like Black and white colobus and counts of birds. The Sempaya hot springs are a magical wonder of their own. The female hot spring Nyansimbi and the male hot spring Bitente are thrilling to the encounter. The water at the female hit spring boil to over 100 degrees Celsius and can sprout to up to 2m high. You can boil some plantains and eggs for picnic experience. The walk do not exceed 4 hours after which you retreat to the starting point and drive back to Fort Portal for lunch. In the afternoon, you embark on the tour to the Amabere Caves. The Amabere are breast-like features with milky substance oozing from them to the ground. They are believed to be breasts of Nnyinamwiru the famous daughter of Bukuku who was a self enthroned King of the Bachwezi and tried to prevent her daughter from getting in contact with men as he had been foretold that the daughter’s child will overthrow him. After listening to the story attached to these caves and enjoying the beautiful Nyakasura falls, you embark on the hike to the Fort Portal Crater field surrounded by the magic explosion crater lakes including Kigere among others. The summit of Kyeganywa hill offers all round views of the area and the snow caped Rwenzori Mountains at a distance. Retreat from the experience and transfer to Fort Portal for relaxation, dinner and overnight

Accommodation:

Upmarket / Luxury: Kyaninga Lodge

Midrange / Standard: Mountains of the moon Hotel

Budget / Basic: Rwenzori View Guesthouse

Day 10 of the 18 Days Uganda Comprehensive Safari: Transfer to Kasese on the foothills of Mount Rwenzori. Visit the Bunyangabu bee keepers, Ruboni community craft village and Rwenzori Art foundation – the only bronze casting center in Africa

Rwenzori-Art-Foundation

Following a relaxed breakfast at your lodge, you embark on the transfer to Kasese on the foot hills of the mountains of the moon. This is day is dedicated to your encounter with the local people, the local developments that will enable you understand their way of life in detail. You make a stop at Bunyangabu bee keepers to explore the local bee keeping process and the range of products that are extracted from them including the wax candles. You proceed to visit the Rwenzori Art foundation – the only bronze casting center in Africa. Where a range of sculptures are viewed in the gallery and you can even participate in the casting process. This is an experiential touch that will form an exciting part of your tour. From the art foundation, you embark on the Ruboni Community exploration. Ruboni Community is a home to the Bakonjo that have lived in this place for over 300 years back. You explore the local way of life, the black smith, local housing, art and craft and music dance and drama. Retire for relaxation, dinner and overnight

Accommodation:

Upmarket / Luxury: Equator Snow Lodge

Midrange / Standard: Ihamba Safari Lodge

Budget / Basic: Ruboni Community Camp

Day 11 of the 18 Days Uganda Comprehensive Safari:   Do whole day Mount Rwenzori hiking exploring the legendary mountains of the moon

Embark on the hike to the legendary mountains of the moon departing at 8am from Nyakalengija ranger post. The hike offers you the opportunity to explore the snow capped range whose one of its Six peaks – Margarita stands as the third highest on the African continent rising to 5,109m above sea level covered with permanent snow. The elevated points offer you panoramic views of the Kasese town, Lakes George and Edward and the savannah stretches of Queen Elizabeth National Park and Semliki Valley. Retreat in the evening and transfer to Queen Elizabeth NP 72km about 1 – 2 hours drive for relaxation, dinner and overnight

Accommodation

Luxury: Mweya Safari Lodge / Kyambura Game Lodge

Midrange: Enganzi Lodge / Marafiki Safari Lodge

Budget / Basic: Pumba Safari Cottages

Day 12 of the 18 Days Uganda Comprehensive Safari: Transfer to Queen Elizabeth National Park and afternoon Kazinga Channel launch cruise

Wake up for an early morning 3 – 4 hour game drive starting at 7am driving though the Kasenyi tracks where you will have chances of viewing a range of wildlife. Some of these include; lions, elephants, Buffaloes, Antelopes, jackals, among others. You will marvel at them as they gather what to put in their stomachs and others taking a rest. The savannah landscape in which they thrive is an attraction in its self. Return to the lodge for relaxation till lunch time after which you will gather at Mweya for a launch cruise on Kazinga channel at 2:00pm. The 2 hour launch cruise takes you through the offers of the 45m long Kazinga channel including impressive views of the Nile crocodiles, Hippos, abundant bird life and a range of wild game quenching their thirst along the channel waters. Drive along the channel track exploring more game as you return to the lodge for relaxation and overnight.

Accommodation

Upmarket / Luxury: Mweya Safari Lodge / Kyambura Game Lodge

Midrange / Standard: Enganzi Game Lodge / Marafiki Safari Lodge

Budget / Basic: Pumba Safari Cottages

Day 13 of the 18 Days Uganda Comprehensive Safari: Transfer to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. Do game drive in Ishasha in search of tree climbing lions

Following breakfast at your respective lodge, embark on the drive to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park departing at 7am. You make a stop in Ishasha sector to undertake an extensive game drive in search of the famous tree climbing lions. The Ishasha sector is known to the home of these lions and its low lying tree branches presents a clear viewing opportunity than in other areas where similar lion behavior occurrences are known. Proceed to arrive in Bwindi in the evening for relaxation, dinner and overnight

Accommodation:

Upmarket / Luxury: Chameleon Hill Lodge / Buhoma Lodge

Midrange / Standard: Gorilla Mist Camp / Gorilla Valley Lodge

Budget / Basic: Broadbill Forest Camp

Day 14 of the 18 Days Uganda Comprehensive Safari: Do mountain gorilla trekking and relax at the lodge

gorilla-trekking-uganda

After a heavy breakfast, you gather at the respective gorilla trekking region headquarters for briefing at 8am by the Uganda Wildlife Authority Park rangers. During this time, gorilla family allocation takes place and in case one has a special requirement, it would be ideal to raise it for possible consideration. After this session, head to the jungle to search for the critically endangered apes in their natural habitat. You hike the steep hills of Bwindi covered with dense forest cover, slope down the narrow valleys, cross streams and minor rivers while enjoying the impressive jungle sounds of birds and other wildlife as draw close to the gorillas. The gentle giants treat you to a comfortable welcome. Enjoy the sight of the mighty silverback along with the black backs, the adult females and the youngsters that are so playful. The encounter takes 2 – 8 hours inclusive of one hour of direct viewing.   Retreat from the activity and connect back to the lodge for relaxation. In the evening, you enjoy the group of traditional dancers from the local Batwa or the Bakiga tribal groups at the lodge.

Accommodation:

Upmarket / Luxury: Chameleon Hill Lodge / Buhoma Lodge

Midrange / Standard: Gorilla Mist Camp / Gorilla Valley Lodge

Budget / Basic: Broadbill Forest Camp

Wild Camping

Day 15 of the 18 Days Uganda Comprehensive Safari: Transfer to Mgahinga National Park. Trek from Bwindi south to Kisoro via Lake Mutanda. Do a canoe paddle on Lake Mutanda

After a relaxed breakfast, drive to Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. This transfer would involve walking and driving. You traverse the fascinating hills that stand in the south of Bwindi fronted by the Virunga Volcanoes which is a chain of eight (8) mountains stretching from Democratic Republic of Congo through Rwanda to Uganda. You take a canoe ride on Lake Mutanda exploring one of the lava dammed lakes in the region famous for its amazing sceneries. The drive also involves another stop to explore the coffee plantations where you have an opportunity to learn about the coffee growing practices, harvesting and processing. Proceed to arrive in Mgahinga in the evening for relaxation, dinner and overnight.

Accommodation

Upmarket / Luxury: Mount Gahinga Lodge

Midrange / Standard: Travellers Rest Kisoro

Budget / Basic: Amajambere iwacu Community Camp

Wild Camping

Day 16 of the 18 Days Uganda Comprehensive Safari: Do Volcano Climbing / Batwa heritage trail / Golden Monkey tracking and relax at the lodge

batwa-dance-uganda safari

You connect to the Visitor Center at Ntebeko at 8am for the Volcano exploration. Mgahinga Gorilla National Park offers a range of options ranging from golden monkey tracking to Volcano climbing, gorilla trekking and Batwa heritage trail exploration. Thus you can choose between the heritage trail of the Batwa people who used to live in the forest with their main center at Ngarama cave inside the Park. The encounter can allow you to explore the Batwa’s way of life, their food, medicine, shelter among other aspects when they were still in the forest. Alternatively, you can hike any of the three volcanoes namely; Muhabura, Sabyinyo and Gahinga which can be done in one for the round trip. The other option is exploring the endangered golden monkeys known to be thriving in the Virunga massif and Gishwati forest on a world scale. The golden monkey encounter lasts 4 hours inclusive on one hour of direct viewing. Retreat from the activity and connect to the lodge for dinner and overnight.

Accommodation

Upmarket / Luxury: Mount Gahinga Lodge

Midrange / Standard: Travellers Rest Kisoro

Budget / Basic: Amajambere iwacu Community Camp

Wild Camping

Day 17 of the 18 Days Uganda Comprehensive Safari: Transfer to Lake Bunyonyi and spend the whole day relaxing at the lake not forgetting a recreational boat cruise

Following a relaxed breakfast, you drive to Lake Bunyonyi via the fascinating highlands of Kigezi creating the most scenic road section in Uganda. The drive is 80km about 2 hours drive. Upon arrival at Lake Bunyonyi, you embark on the Island hopping experience to explore the main Islands out of the 29 Islands that form Lake Bunyonyi. You can explore the Punishment Island known for its horrific past where pregnant girls would be dumped and left to die. The Bushara Island with good eucalyptus forest, Kyahugye Island which a resort Island with wildlife and birds and Njuyera Island which is the historical leprosy treatment centre coupled with a boat ride on Lake Bunyonyi – the second deepest lake in Africa presents a rich magical experience. You will rest for dinner and overnight.

Accommodation

Upmarket / Luxury: Birdnest @Lake Bunyonyi Resort

Midrange / Standard: Lake Bunyonyi Eco resort

Budget / Basic: Byoona Amagara Island Retreat

Resort Camping

Day 18 of the 18 Days Uganda Comprehensive Safari: Transfer to Kampala. Make a stop at Igongo Cultural Center for traditional lunch and at Uganda Equator crossing Kayabwe for amazing water experiments & photo shoots

Drive to Kampala after breakfast covering 437km about 7 hours drive enjoying the impressive scenic countryside of south western Uganda including the banana plantations and cattle farms before making a stop at Igongo Cultural Center for traditional lunch 12km past Mbarara. You proceed to make another stop at Uganda Equator crossing Kayabwe for impressive photo shoots and water experiments justifying the geographical divide between the north and south hemispheres where you can also visit the craft centers to get yourself souvenir to commemorate your Uganda Safari. Proceed for 77km to arrive in Kampala in the evening marking the end of the tour.

End of the 18 Days Uganda Comprehensive Safari


General Safari Inclusions

  • Gorilla Permit (for gorilla trekking safaris)
  • Chimpanzee Permit (for chimpanzee trekking safaris)
  • Full Board Accommodation on Safari
  • Transportation in either 4X4 Safari Van or 4X4 Safari Land Cruiser all with Pop up roof & AC
  • Fuel
  • Professional English Speaking driver guide. Any other foreign language speaking guide can be arranged on request.
  • Entrance fees to the tourist sites including Protected areas mentioned
  • Activity fees of the tourist activities mentioned
  • Bottled water while on safari
  • Border crossing fees (for cross border safaris)

General Safari Exclusions

  • General tips for the driver guide, site guides and service staff at the lodges
  • Laundry Services
  • Other Beverages / drinks of personal nature like Alcohol
  • International Flights (Arranged on request)
  • Domestic Flights (Arranged on request)
  • Visas
  • Optional Activity fees
  • Other extras not mentioned in the Itinerary
  • Airport Transfer (Arranged on request)
  • Accommodation in Kampala or Kigali unless it is part of the Itinerary (Arranged on request)


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