Set Departure Safari

9 Day Best of Uganda Group Safari

“An affordable small group safari visting Uganda’s best destinations”

Price $3415 USD (See price tab)
Country
Uganda
When to Go
All Year
Duration
8 Nights
Safari Type
Lodge
Location
Bwindi Impenetrable & Mgahinga National Parks, Kampala & Entebbe, Kibale & Queen Elizabeth National Parks, Lake Mburo National Park
Kids Min Age
16

A 9 day small group set departure safari that visits Uganda’s most iconic destinations and experiences. Go searching for Gorilla’s and Chimps on this safari!

Although Uganda is famous for The Mountain Gorillas and Chimpanzees it is also home to, The longest river in the world, the River Nile. The most powerful waterfalls in the world, Murchison Falls, The third largest lake in the world, Lake Victoria. Those natural wonders coupled with The Ruwenzori Mountains it western Uganda and Mount Elgon in Eastern Uganda create an incredible habitat for animal and birds that is unrivalled in East Africa. However, we know that despite all those breathtaking attractions it is The People of Uganda that make this country the wonderful destination that it is.

This safari starts with an overnight stop in Entebbe to rest after your travels. The following day heading west for a night in the hidden gem of Lake Mburo National Park, which you will explore on activities, most notably by boat cruise on the lake. After Lake Mburo it’s off to the mega highlight of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest where you will spend 2 nights in a luxury lodge and enjoy a full day included Gorilla Trekking experience. There is also a multitude of other animals that you might encounter including antelopes and rare monkeys not to mention the beauty of the forest itself. After those 2 nights, will drive from Bwindi heading north to Queen Elizabeth National Park, the landscape changes as you move away from the thick forest into the open savannah lands. Here you will explore by game drives both the Ishasha area in search of tree climbing lions and the Kasenyi Plains which are in the north-east section of the park. A highlight here will be an afternoon boat cruise along the wildlife rich Kazinga Channel. After Queen Elizabeth National Park you will then make your way to Kibale where on your first afternoon you will explore the Bigodi Swamp looking for rare primate and bird species alongside incredible local guides. The following morning you will set out in the Kibale Forest in search of the resident habituated Chimpanzee groups which is another incredible highlight of your journey through Uganda. After this Chimp tracking experience, you will head back to Entebbe for a covid test and an overnight stay as you await the results.

Safari Rating

adventure
wilderness
wildlife
comfort
photographic
guiding

map and overview

  • Day 1 – Arrival at Entebbe – Airport Guest House. B
  • Day 2 – Lake Mburo National Park – Rwakobo Rock Lodge. B, L, D.
  • Day 3 – Bwindi National – Mahogany Springs Lodge. B, L, D.
  • Day 4 – Gorilla Trekking -_Mahogany Springs Lodge. B, L, D.
  • Day 5 – Queen Elizabeth National Park-_Parkview Safari Lodge. B, L, D._
  • Day 6 – Game drive & Boat cruise -_Parkview Safari Lodge. B, L, D._
  • Day 7 – Kibale Forest National Park – Kibale Guest Cottages. B, L, D.
  • Day 8 – Chimpanzee Trekking & drive back to Entebbe for COVID-19 testing – Airport Guest House. B,L,D
  • Day 9 – Receive COVID-19 (Negative) test results and transfer to Entebbe Airport . B

start dates

3 May 2021 - 10 May 2021
7 June 2021 - 14 June 2021
5 July 2021 - 12 July 2021
2 August 2021 - 9 August 2021
6 September 2021 - 13 September 2021
3 October 2021 - 10 October 2021
1 November 2021 - 8 November 2021
5 December 2021 - 12 December 2021

detailed itinerary

Day 1: Entebbe Airport- Entebbe

Welcome to Uganda! On arrival, you will be met at the Airport by a representative who will escort you to your safari vehicle and will introduce you to your Driver who will also be your Guide and drive to your accommodation, your journey will be approx; 8km. 15min drive.

Overnight at Airport Guest House | Standard room

Day 2: Entebbe- Lake Mburo N. P

Your Ugandan safari adventure begins in earnest with a trip to Lake Mburo National Park. You will head west on a scenic drive towards the heartland of the Ankole Kingdom, your journey will be approx; 270kilometers, 6 hours drive.

AFTERNOON ACTIVITY

One of the best activities to do in Lake Mburo is a scenic boat ride on the lake. This is one of the best ways to see the diverse wildlife that the Park has. The boat ride can be done at dawn or dusk depending on your safari itinerary and will normally take around 2 hours. All the rides begin at the Rwonyo jetty, it will not take you long before you begin to see large groups of hippos in the water as well as crocodiles and buffalo lining the banks of the lake. The lake is also famous for its bird life, from majestic fish eagles, colourful kingfishers, to hammerkops and their enormous nests.

Overnight at Rwakobo Rock Lodge | Cottage

Lake Mburo National Park may be one of Uganda’s smallest parks, but it offers more than enough delights to give it a high ranking on the Uganda safari circuit. Lake Mburo National Park is located in Southwest Uganda and is used as a gateway to the National Parks in Western Uganda. It was first gazetted as a controlled hunting area in 1933, upgraded to a game reserve in 1963 and finally to a national park in 1983. Lake Mburo National Park has the most extensive acacia woodland of any of Uganda’s parks. Lake Mburo, the largest of the five lakes found inside the park is part of a 50km-long wetland system that is linked by swamps. Unique to Lake Mburo National Park is the availability of both horseback and quad bike safaris, which allow for closer viewing and exceptional photographs of the abundant plains game.

Lake Mburo National Park is the only park in Uganda where you can see Eland and Impala and also has the largest population of Zebras. Other animals of note are, topi, oribi, reedbuck, warthog, and the mighty buffalo. 15 Rothschild’s Giraffe that was introduced from Murchison Falls National Park in 2015 adds to the diversity of the park, as do leopards, of which Lake Mburo has the highest concentration in Uganda. The park is also famous for boat rides on Lake Mburo where you can see plenty of Hippos, as well as King Fishers, Fish Eagles, Crocodiles as well as rare birds such as the African Finfoot.

Day 3: Lake Mburo N. P- Bwindi N.P- Buhoma

MORNING ACTIVITY

A Game drive in Lake Mburo National Park are a perfect way to begin or end a Safari in Uganda. The park has a variety of wildlife that almost contradicts it’s small size in comparison to the other parks in Uganda. The park doesn’t have any large cats apart from leopards who are normally only seen at night. Lake Mburo has a large variety of antelopes and Rothschild’s giraffe have recently been reintroduced. However, the highlights of the park have to be the Burchell’s zebra and eland which are only found in two National Parks in Uganda.

Transfer from Lake Mburo National, the safari will continue westwards leaving the Ankole Kingdom, heading towards Bwindi Impenetrable Forest in the Kigezi Kingdom, home of the remarkable mountain gorillas! Your journey will be approx; 280 kilometers, 6 hours drive.

Lunch en-route

Overnight at Mahogany Springs Lodge | Luxury Banda

Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is most famously known as the home of half of the world’s remaining mountain gorillas and is one of the most visited parks in Uganda. The park is a dense primaeval forest located in the remote southwest of Uganda, on the edge of the Albertine Rift Valley across from the DRC. The oldest and most biologically diverse rainforest in Africa, Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is a well-preserved slice of nature that has remained largely undisturbed to date. It is believed that Uganda’s first people, the Batwa have inhabited this forest for 400,000 years, and many continue to do so. The Park was first designated as Crown Forest Reserves in 1932; it changed name to Impenetrable Central Forest Reserve in 1964, and was finally designated as a national park and renamed Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in 1991. In 1994, it was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Bwindi means impenetrable a fitting description for the thick ground cover of ferns and vines and extensive bamboo and forest hardwoods that hinder direct access to the forest on foot. Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is a complex ecosystem within the forest that is inhabited by 120 mammal species of which 10 are primates, 346 bird species and over 200 butterfly species. Forest hogs, forest elephants and numerous primates roam beneath the thick canopy of trees. The park’s afro-montane forest has more than 200 tree species, over 1,000 flowering plants and 100 species of fern, many of which cannot be found anywhere else in East Africa. Still, Bwindi Impenetrable National Park remains best known for her gorillas, gorilla trekking and since 2016, gorilla habituation experiences. A gorilla encounter in Bwindi, where half of the worlds total gorilla population; about 400 gorillas live, is undoubtedly the absolute highlight of any trip to Uganda. The Park is run by the Uganda Wildlife Authority and is split into four sectors.

Day 4: Bwindi N.P- Buhoma

MORNING ACTIVITY

Your Gorilla Trekking experience is finally here, hope your camera is charged and you are ready for what lies ahead. An early start will see you transfer to the Park Headquarters for a briefing with the Uganda Wildlife Authority guides. An advance party of guides will have gone ahead into the forest to locate where the gorillas slept the previous night and will have began to track their movements. These guides will communicate with your team via a walkie-talkie and the trek into the forest will begin. Locating the Gorillas can take a few hours or the whole day depending on how far they have moved from the place they spent the previous night. For conservation purposes, the amount of time allowed with the Gorillas is 1 hour. As you trek through the forest you will appreciate why the forest is called impenetrable. There is also a multitude of other animals that you might encounter including antelopes and rare monkeys not to mention the beauty of the forest itself. Once you have completed the trek you will return to the lodge, for a well earned rest and time to reflect on a truly magical experience. After your trek there will be plenty of time to relax at your lodge or if you are up to it take a gentle exploratory stroll.

AFTERNOON ACTIVITY

We try and support the communities that we interact with as part of the safari, with a view to minimizing the impact we have on communities as well as ensuring that they too benefit. One such community in the Buhoma area of Bwindi is called Ride 4 a Woman. You will get to visit these incredible women and learn more about their story!

Overnight at Mahogany Springs Lodge | Luxury Banda

Day 5: Bwindi N.P- Ishasha Sector- Queen Elizabeth N.P

Today you will drive from Bwindi heading north to Queen Elizabeth National Park, the landscape changes as you move away from the thick forest into the open savannah lands. You will begin to notice the traditional home steds and farms that characterise this area. Entry to the Park will be via its southern sector also known as the Ishasha sector, your journey will be approx; 70 kilometers, 2 hours drive.

Lunch en-route

AFTERNOON ACTIVITY

A game drive in the Ishasha sector gives you a chance to see the famous tree climbing lions that can be seen hanging out of large fig trees. No one really knows why lions in this area climb trees but there are many theories surrounding this behavior. However, lions are not the only animals to be found in the park. Large herds of Uganda Kob, Hippos, elephant and antelope also roam this part of the park making it an ideal place to view the wildlife at it’s best.

Overnight at Parkview Safari Lodge | Standard room

Queen Elizabeth National Park is the only one in Uganda crossed by the equator. To its north and south, the Ruwenzori and Virunga mountain ranges form a stunning backdrop. In the centre of the park is the Kazinga Channel connecting two Great Lakes, Edward and George, and the northern section of the park is dotted with serene crater lakes and bubbling hot springs that are carved into rolling green hills. Queen Elizabeth National Park is divided into 3 sectors: Mweya Peninsula the hub for tourist activity, Kyambura Gorge to the east of Mweya and Ishasha in the remote south-west. The Ishasha plains to the south-west, are famous for the treeclimbing lions and in the breathtaking Kyambura Gorge, habituated chimpanzees steal the show. The Mweya peninsula and the Kasenyi plains provide, visitors with the most chance of seeing game Named in honour of the coronation of the reigning Queen Elizabeth of England in 1964, the park was initially gazetted as a reserve called Kazinga National Park. It is also a designated UNESCO Biosphere Reserve – a conservation area that is considered typical of the balanced relationship between people and nature.

Day 6: Queen Elizabeth N.P

MORNING ACTIVITY

A game drive in Kasenyi sector of Queen Elizabeth National Park is a great place to see view differing landscape and ecosystems in Uganda. The park is the oldest and the most visited in Uganda. This game drive will take place on the Kasenyi Plains which are in the north-east  section of the park and but west of Lake George. Queen Elizabeth National Park is one of the most famous National Parks in Uganda and for good reason. There diverse landscape houses a wide range of animals, birds and plants which enables any visitor to partake in games drives in different locations of the park, a boat cruise along the Kazinga Channel where animals and birds line the banks of this waterway that stretches between two lakes and Chimpanzee Trek in Kyambura Gorge.

AFTERNOON ACTIVITY

One of the highlights of visiting Queen Elizabeth National Park is the boat ride along the Kazinga Channel. The boat ride is a round trip beginning at the Mweya Peninsula and lasting around 3 hours. The Channel is a 32-kilometre long natural channel that links Lake Edward and Lake George. The channel has one of the world’s largest concentration of hippos, numerous Nile crocodiles, buffalo, elephants and a whole host of birds. including African fish eagles, kingfishers, Herons, storks and skimmers. The Kataara Women’s Poverty Alleviation Group was formed in 2005 to combat the problem of human-wildlife conflict in this particular area of Queen Elizabeth National Park. The group provides alternative income for Kataara families and an incentive to conserve Uganda’s precious wildlife. There is a proud mixture of Banaynkore, Bakiga, Batoro and Banayruguru tribe, which is reflected in the artistic diversity of the products that are created developed and sold. The women believe in maximizing the use of natural materials grown locally, even the dyes for the baskets are created by boiling leaves from local herbs. A visit to the group will enable to find out more about how this incredible enterprise works and be inspired by the individual stories that the women have. There will also be a chance to support the group by purchasing reasonably priced crafts.

Overnight at Parkview Safari Lodge | Standard room

Day 7: Queen Elizabeth N.P- Kibale N.P

Transfer to Kibale Forest National Park, you will leave the Rwenzururu Kingdom and journey into the heart of the Tooro Kingdom towards the principal city Fort Portal before arriving Kibale the Primate Capital! Your journey will be approx; 150 kilometers, 3 hours drive.

AFTERNOON ACTIVITY

The Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary is a part of the Magombe Swamp just south of Kibale National Park. A visit to the sanctuary enables you to see rare mammals and birds, like the webbed feet sitatunga as the great blue turaco call this place home. However, if you aren’t lucky enough to see them there are still plenty of other animals, including bush pigs, black and white colobus monkeys and over 200 species of birds that inhabit the swamp. The Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary is a community-based programme that supports local residents and encourages a healthy link between tourism and the community it affects.

Overnight at Kibale Guest Cottages | Cottage

Kibale Forest National Park has two notable distinctions that make it a superb safari destination in Uganda. First, the park has one of the highest diversity and concentration of primates in any habitat in Africa – a record 13 species. Second, it is home to a prolific 320 bird species including four that have not been recorded in any other park in Uganda. Not surprisingly, the two key activities that are done in Kibale Forest National Park are Chimpanzee Trekking and Bird Watching. Kibale Forest National Park was gazetted as a forest reserve in 1932 and acquired National Park status in 1993. Today, it ranks among Africa’s foremost research sites. Kibale Forest National Park t is located in Southwestern Uganda stretches over 795sq. km of magnificent tropical rainforest interspersed with patches of grassland and swamp. It adjoins Queen Elizabeth National Park to the south to create a 180km-long migration corridor for wildlife between Ishasha in the remote southern corner of Queen Elizabeth National Park and Sebitoli in the north of Kibale.

Day 8: Kibale N.P- Entebbe

MORNING ACTIVITY

Your Chimpanzee Trekking experience has finally arrived! It begins at the Uganda Wildlife Authority HQ at Kayanchu Gate where your trekking group will head into the forest with a guide after a short briefing. About 1 hour before your group sets off an advance party of guides will have entered the forest to locate where the Chimpanzees spent the night. Once located the advance party send a radio message back to your trekking group so that you can navigate through the forest. During the trek, you will also get to see the different birds, animals and plant species within the forest. Once you locate the Chimpanzees you can only spend one hour with them this ensures that the Chimpanzees don’t become accustomed to human contact. After an exhilarating experience with the chimpanzees you will begin your return trip to Entebbe. The journey will see you leave the Kibale Forest National Park in the Tooro Kingdom and head eastwards back to the Buganda Kingdom, this journey will be Approx, 350 kilometres, 6 hours drive.

Lunch en-route

As your time in Uganda has come to an end, we truly hope you have had a memorable experience that you will remember for many years to come. Have a safe onward journey and we hope that Uganda will always be close to your hearts!

accommodation

Airport GuestHouse

  • Airport Guesthouse Entebbe is the ideal solution for people arriving late in the evening or departing early in the morning. And if you stay at our guesthouse we will provide transfers to and from the airport free of charge, at any time of the day or night. The guesthouse is also ideal if you just want to spend a few days relaxing away from the noise of busy Kampala. While in Entebbe you can undertake many different activities.

Rwakobo Rock

  • Rwakobo Rock, an eco-friendly, family run hotel nestled on a scenic outcrop at the edge of Lake Mburo National Park. It is a peaceful and secluded retreat where you can breathe in the essence of wild Uganda and immerse yourself in the beauty the Park has to offer.

Mahogany Springs

  • Mahogany Springs Lodge offers privacy and serenity blended with optimal comfort in a spectacular setting. With some of the most luxurious accommodation in East Africa the feeling that you will experience when staying here is beyond compare. This is the perfect base from which to begin you Gorilla Tracking or Bird watching adventures. The Gorillas have been to know to the visit the lodge and coming face to face with one of these peaceful creatures is an indescribable experience.

Parkview Safari Lodge

  • Parkview Safari Lodge is situated on the out skirts of Queen Elizabeth National Park. There are spacious and tastefully designed self-contained grass-thatched cottages with private wooden balconies perched over the rolling savannah of Queen Elizabeth National Park.

Kibale Guest cottages

  • Kibale Guest cottages is located adjacent to Kibale National Park in Western Uganda and offers a spectacular views of the tropical forest, a few hundred meters from the Park’s main tourist centre of Kanyanchu.

price

2021 Price:

  • USD$3,413 per person sharing.
  • USD$429 single room supplement.
  • Only 2 bookings guarantee departure.

Package Includes:

  • Meet and greet at the airport upon arrival
  • Transfers and transportation in a 4×4 Safari Vehicle with an English-speaking driver guide
  • Park entrance fees
  • 1 x Chimpanzee tracking Kibale forest
  • 1 x Gorilla Trekking Bwindi Forest
  • Game drives in Lake Mburo, Ishasha and Kasenyi Sectors of Queen Elizabeth
  • Boat cruise on Kazinga Channel
  • Boat ride on Lake Mburo
  • Cultural and community visits mentioned
  • Accommodation as stated above
  • Meals as stated above, B- Breakfast, L- Lunch, D- Dinner
  • 1 litre of drinking water per person per day in the vehicle
  • COVID-19 Testing fees
  • Extra night in Entebbe for COVID-19 testing  before departure

Package Excludes:

  • All International Airfare
  • Meals in Entebbe
  • All Items of personal nature
  • Laundry services
  • Tips and gratuities
  • Drinks
  • Visas to Uganda
  • Travel insurance and any other services not mentioned above in the itinerary

Ready for an adventure? Lets Talk!

Contact safariFRANK to get started on your safari of a lifetime!