19 Days Grand Uganda Expedition : This 19 Day Uganda safari is arranged to include nine major destinations and several stopover sites. We shall visit Jinja, Sipi falls, Mt. Elgon, Kidepo Valley National Park, Murchison Falls National Park, Kibale National Park, Queen Elizabeth National Park, Bwindi, and Mgahinga National Park.
Highlights of the safari range from primate treks for Chimpanzees, gorillas and golden monkeys to game drives. Savannah national parks expose you to animals like African elephant, buffalos, hyenas, lions, antelopes, warthogs, zebras, hippos, and giraffes among others. Our community tours will take us to the Batwa pygmy’s community in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Isunga cultural community at the edge of Kibale forest, and Karamojong homesteads in Kidepo National park. Hiking will be done at Sipi falls, Soroti rock, Mount Elgon and much more.
Day 1: Arrival at Entebbe International airport and transfer to hotel in Entebbe or Kampala
Arrive at the airport, meet your safari driver and transfer to your booked hotel in Kampala or Entebbe. The company representative/ safari driver will give a briefing of the next day’s program before he leaves and you will have your dinner and overnight at the hotel.
Day 2: Head to Jinja for a boat cruise to the source of R. Nile with stopovers at Sezibwa falls, Mabira forest
You will have breakfast at the hotel and set off for Jinja. The journey involves stopovers; first at Sezibwa falls. This place and the falls in particular have a big significance to the Buganda Culture. You will hike around the rocks, and have a chance to meet a traditional healer. Proceed and have another stopover in Mabira forest where you will enjoy a short nature walk or opt for a zip lining experience. Both activities allow you to briefly explore the natural forest with interesting wildlife to spot including monkeys, baboons and several bird species.
Continue to Jinja and have lunch at one of the resorts where you will also spend the night. From here, head for the afternoon boat cruise to the source of the Nile. This will give you a chance to enjoy the breathtaking scenery of the surrounding and the cool breeze on the waterbody. At the end of the launch cruise, your safari driver will receive you and transfer you to your booked lodge.
Day 3: Transfer to Kapchorwa and Sipi falls hike.
Leave Jinja and head to Kapchorwa District after your breakfast. On arrival, you will check in to your lodge, have lunch and relax. Later in the afternoon, hike to Sipi falls and this will be a great adventure that involves passing through coffee farms of the locals heading to the 3 different falls, at heights of 100m, 85m and 70m. Learn about the traditional beliefs behind these falls, facts about the surrounding and capture great photos as you relax before heading back to your lodge. The exploration takes about 4 hours.
Day 4: Day Hike on Mount. Elgon.
Go for a day hike on Mount Elgon which is found within Mount Elgon National Park and this will begin with a briefing that will last for about 20 minutes. It will be a short hike of about 6 hours and it will take you exploring caves, watching several bird species, chances to spot primates and see rare plant species. You will have a picnic lunch as you enjoy the tranquility of the mountain. Return to your lodge in the evening for dinner and the overnight.
Day 5: Transfer to Soroti town with a stopover at Nyero rock paintings
After having breakfast, you will leave Kapchorwa and head to Soroti Town, have a stopover at Nyero Rock Paintings where you will get insights about the history of the Batwa pygmies and Bachwezi while they were living here many years ago. Hiking the Nyero rocks here is fun and rewards with scenic views of the surrounding. You will also learn the interpretations of the paintings on the rocks. From here, you will go have lunch and proceed to Soroti town where you will spend the night.
Day 6: Hike Soroti rock and transfer to Kidepo Valley National Park
You will have breakfast and head out to hike Soroti rock, an interesting feature that offers breathtaking views of Soroti Town and other areas at a distance. Learn about this rock including the traditional beliefs and thereafter set off for Kidepo Valley National Park, the true African wilderness. You will arrive at the destination in the evening, check in to your lodge and rest after having dinner.
Day 7: Game drive and community visit
You will have an early morning breakfast and go for a game drive that will last for approximately 4 hours. Take in the beautiful views of the plains of Kidepo Valley National Park, while the drive gives a chance to see some of the wild animals here including Zebras, cape buffaloes, warthogs, antelopes, elephants, lions and cheetahs among others. The adventure also gives a great feeling of being amidst a typical African wilderness with views of mountains at a distance, vast savannah plains and ant-hills.
Return to the lodge for lunch, and later go for a community visit in the Karamojong homesteads. Learn about their way of life, traditions and culture. You will also be entertained by their traditional dances which involve jumping high in the air. The Karamajong have a culture that is alike to that of the Maasai in Kenya and Tanzania.
Dinner and overnight stay at the lodge
Day 8: Nature walk
The highlight for this day is a guided nature walk. Go explore Kidepo on foot and immerse yourself in the wilderness. You will move with an armed ranger guide who will help you sight more animals and enjoy the views of the park plus its tranquility. After about 4 hours of the walk, return to the lodge, have lunch and spend the rest of the day relaxing and enjoying the peaceful space.
Day 9: Transfer to Murchison Falls National Park
Check out of the lodge after breakfast and embark on the journey to Murchison Falls National Park. You will have an en-route lunch and arrive at your lodge in Murchison in the late afternoon or in the evening.
Day 10: Game drive and boat cruise
Morning game drive in the plains of Murchison Falls National Park; this nature reserve is known for its big populations of giraffes, hippos, Jackson’s hartebeest, Uganda kobs, and buffaloes which will most likely be spotted several times. Elephants, lions, leopards and hyenas are present and you have a chance to spot them. After about 5 hours of the exploration, drive back to the lodge, have lunch and head for the afternoon boat cruise on the Nile. This takes you to the bottom of the Murchison falls after viewing crocodiles along the shores and hippos in the water. The 3 hours boat cruise is followed by a drive to the top of the falls where you will witness the stunning and powerful waterfalls. Refresh with showers from the falls and thereafter return to your lodge.
Day 11: Transfer to Kibale National Park
This day will be spent on the road, transferring from Murchison falls national park to Kibale. It is a scenic drive offering stunning views of the rift valley escarpment. En-route lunch and arrival at your booked lodge in Kibale in the late afternoon or in the evening.
Day 11: Chimpanzee tracking and Bigodi Community walk
Morning: Go out to Kibale forest for chimpanzee tracking. You will track in company of the ranger guides who will share facts about chimpanzees when you spot them. You will also learn about other wildlife and tree species in the park.
Return to the lodge for lunch and head out for a community visit in the afternoon. You will visit local homes in Bigodi, spend the evening with the family engaging in things like cooking local foods and other house chores as well as games. This is the best way you will learn about the African way of life in this region. Dinner and overnight stay at the lodge.
Day 12: Drive to Semuliki National park and back to Fort Portal
You will visit Semuliki National park for an adventure that includes a guided nature walk through the forested park, to the Sempaya hot springs. You may spot colobus monkeys, red tailed monkeys or other primates and birds along the way. At the female hot springs, you will boil eggs and have them ready to eat in less than than 10 minutes. Go and explore the male hotsprings, and later head for the boat cruise on Lake Albert. Drive to Fort Portal. Overnight stay in Fort Portal.
Day 13: Amabere Ga’Nyina Mwiru and transfer to Queen Elizabeth national park
After breakfast, you will head to Amabere Ga’Nyina’Mwiru caves, learn about the cultural beliefs attached regarding the Bachwezi, visit the waterfalls and hike Mwegenywa Hill where you will be in position to view 3 crater lakes, Rwenzori mountain ranges, the surrounding villages and Fort Portal town. After your lunch break, transfer to Queen Elizabeth National Park, enjoy a short game drive and retire to the lodge.
Day 14: Game drive and boat cruise
You will spend this morning exploring Queen Elizabeth national park with more hours spent in Kasenyi plains where most animals are spotted. The drive may give a chance to see Uganda kobs, waterbucks, elephants, lions and leopards among others. You will also go scenic viewing at Bunyampaka for about 20 minutes or so, and return to your lodge. Later in the afternoon, you will go for a boat cruise on Kazinga channel. Lots of animals congregate here on hot days; elephants, buffaloes and warthogs. It is almost a guarantee to see hippos and crocodiles. After 2 hours of the cruise, you will drive back to the lodge. Dinner and overnight stay at the lodge.
Day 15: Transfer to Bwindi via Ishasha
Check out of your lodge in the morning and set off to Bwindi Impenetrable national park. You will have a short game drive in Ishasha for a chance to sight the tree-climbing lions. Proceed with the journey, have an en-route lunch and arrival anticipated to be in the evening.
Day 16: Gorilla trekking tour, Batwa cultural experience
You will head to the park offices where you will attend a briefing about the gorilla trekking experience. This will take about 20 minutes and it will create knowledge about gorillas and what to follow while in the forest. Enter the forest, and start the search for these great apes. Once they are spotted, a maximum of one hour will be utilized to observe their behavior, learn facts about them and take enough photos. Pick your trekking certificates from the park offices and drive back to the lodge. Later in the afternoon, head out to the Batwa community and meet the Batwa pygmies for an insight about their culture, previous way of life in the forest and then enjoy an entertainment of their traditional dance.
Day 17: Transfer to Lake Bunyonyi
After Breakfast, leisurely drive to the scenic Lake Bunyonyi. Lunch break and evening take a boat ride. Lake Bunyonyi is a beautifully dotted waterbody with more than 20 islands, some of which you will reach while boat cruising. They are homes to numerous bird species. The experience is full of beautiful views of the terraced hills and the Virunga volcanoes.
Dinner and overnight stay
Day 18: Transfer to Kampala with a stopover at Uganda equator.
After having breakfast, leave Lake Bunyonyi in the morning and transfer to Kampala. You will have an enroute lunch, stopover at Kayabwe for the equator experience and proceed to Kampala or Entebbe by evening. Overnight stay
Day 19: Airport transfers
Transfer to the Airport for your homebound flight. Depending on your departure time, visit the craft villa for souvenirs before check in at the airport.
End of trip