18 DAYS UGANDA WILDLIFE

The Uganda’s wildlife is composed of its flora and fauna. Uganda has a wide variety of different habitats, including mountains, hills, tropical rain-forest, woodland, freshwater lakes, swamps and savanna with scattered clumps of trees. The country has a bio-diverse flora and fauna reflecting this range of habitats and is known for its primates, including gorillas and chimpanzees. There are ten national parks and thirteen wildlife reserves; some 345 species of mammal and 1020 species of bird have been recorded in the country.

Tour highlights

  • Gorilla trekking
  • Chimpanzee tracking
  • Cultural encounters
  • Boat cruise
  • Game drive
  • Bird watching
  • Nature walks

Day 1: Arrival at the Airport.

Upon the arrival at Entebbe airport, you will meet the safari guide form Prime Tours and Adventures who will brief you about the 18 days Uganda wildlife safari. Then transfer you to hotel in Kampala for dinner and overnight stay Rochester hotel.

Day 2: Drive to Kidepo valley.

After your morning breakfast, embark on the 10 hours journey to Kidepo National Park which is approximately 571km via Kampala – Karuma – Gulu – Kitgum – Kidepo. You will sight troops of baboons by the road. The spectacular view of the Karuma falls presents a beautiful scenery worth taking photos. Proceed with a lunch stopover along the way. Dinner and overnight stay Apoka Rest Camp.

Day 3: Cultural encounters and Nature walks

Have your early morning breakfast, visit the craft shops at Apoka tourism center, you could relax as you read some books and watch the beautiful sunrise over the rolling grassland plain enclosed by distant mountains-the Narus valley. The Narus dam and waterhole nearby is a perfect observation point for game especially in dry seasons. Drive to Mount Morungule and have a cultural tour of the IK people who live on the mountain slopes-this is the smallest ethnic group in Uganda with a unique culture. You will have lunch back at the lodge.

After lunch, start the guided walks through the Narus Valley extending over a 5km radius from Apoka Tourism Centre. You can also wander along the splendid Kidepo River Valley between banks of attractive borassus palm forest and Namamkweny Valley. Dinner and overnight stay Apoka Rest Camp.

 Day 4: Game drive and Bird watching

After your morning breakfast, game drive through the rugged savannah dominated by mount Morungole and transacted by the Kidepo and Narus rivers. Expect to see various wildlife dotted in the plains that include buffalos, warthogs, waterbucks, hartebeest, ostriches, lions, giraffes, zebras, elephants. Lunch back at the lodge.

After lunch, proceed to Namamukweny valley located north-west of the park to see various birds that include Eastern Paradise Whydah, Common Bulbul, Abyssinian Roller, Green Wood Hoopoe, White-crested turaco among others. Dinner and overnight stay Apoka Rest camp.

Day 5: Drive to Murchison falls National Park

After your early morning breakfast, you will transfer to Murchison falls national park with lunch en-route. Upon reaching the  park, check in at the lodge for dinner and overnight stay Red Chilli Rest Camp.

Day 6: Game drive and Boat cruise

Take your morning breakfast, you will head out for an early morning game drive to spot some animals such as giraffes, lions, buffaloes, antelopes, and hyenas. Lunch will be at the lodge.

In the afternoon, you will enjoy a 2 hours boat cruise upstream to the bottom of the Murchison Falls, to offer you a closer view of the mighty waterfall on River Nile. Expect to see schools of hippos and Nile crocodiles as well as elephants, buffaloes, waterbucks at the shores. The river bank has a variety bird species including the rare shoebill stork. Then return to the lodge for dinner and overnight stay Red Chilli Rest Camp.

Day 7: Chimpanzee tracking in Budongo

After your morning breakfast, you will drive to Budongo forest to track chimpanzees, you will have packed lunch. Return to the lodge for dinner and overnight stay Red Chilli Rest Camp.

Day 8: Transfer to Lake Mburo National park

Have your early morning breakfast, transfer to Lyantonde in western Uganda where Lake Mburo National Park is found with a lunch stopover en-route. Stopover at the equator to take photos and you could buy handcrafts you may need while on tour. Proceed to Lake Mburo National Park located about 30km east of Mbarara town. Upon the arrival at the park, check in at the lodge for dinner and overnight stay Eagle’s Nest camp

Day 9: Game drive and Boat cruise

After your morning breakfast, go for the morning game drive where you expect to see zebras, hippos, impala, African buffalo, warthog, common eland to name but a few. Lunch at the lodge.

In the afternoon, head to Lake Mburo for a boat cruise where there is also a great opportunity to see numerous species of birds, and its coupled with stunning scenery and panoramic landscape views that also keep the journey on the lake impressed and good and making those that fear the water be brave and not focusing on the journey but taken up the nature of the natural lakes and the cool winds blowing to them. Dinner overnight stay Eagle’s Nest camp.

Day 10: Transfer to Queen Elizabeth National park

Have your morning breakfast, after drive to Queen Elizabeth national park. Arrive in time for lunch, check in your lodge and have lunch. In the afternoon you will go for a relaxing boat ride on Kazinga channel. Expect to see hippos, buffaloes as well as different bird species. Return to the lodge for dinner and overnight stay Simba Safari Camp

 

Day 11: Game drive  and Crater lakes

After your morning breakfast, you will drive to Ishasha sector for a morning game drive, therefore expect to see the famous tree climbing lions in the acacia trees, elephants, lions, leopards among others.You will have lunch at the lodge.

After lunch, proceed to the crater lakes of Queen Elizabeth National Park. You will be stunned by the astonishing view of these small yet spectacular lakes. Dinner and overnight stay Simba Safari Camp

Day 12: Transfer to Semliki National Park

Have your morning breakfast, check out and then transfer to Semliki National park in Bundibugyo, upon reaching the park, check in, go for a walk to visit the sempaya hot springs, there is the male hot spring Bitende is about 12 meters in diameter, the female hot springs is called Nyasimbi and is a boiling geyser which spurts out bubbling water and steam about 2 meters into the air. You will return to the lodge for lunch.

After lunch, go for cultural encounters, the Bambuti pygmies live on both side of the Semliki river and are closely related to the Basu pygmies of the Democratic Republic of Congo rather than to Batwa pygmies around Bwindi Impenetrable forest and Mgahinga Gorilla park. Retire in the evening at the lodge for dinner and overnight stay Kirimia Guesthouse.

Day 13: Game drive and Bird watching

Take your morning breakfast, go for a  game drive into the park, the expectations are high while having a great time when meet different animals including leopards, buffaloes, mona monkeys, bush babies, big cats, buffaloes, antelopes, elephants, and lions among others. Also crocodiles and Hippos are seen along River Semuliki. You will have lunch back at your lodge.

After lunch, proceed to Mungilo waterfall for bird watching, there is number of beautiful birds such as the yellow throated cuckoo, chocolated-backed, red-rumped tinkerbird, African dwarf kingfisher among others and this is a great opportunity for a birder. Dinner and overnight stay Kirimia Guesthouse.

Day 14: Transfer to Lake Bunyonyi

Have your morning breakfast, check out and then transfer to Lake Bunyonyi, upon the arrival, you will check in at the lodge. After, you will go for zip-lining, sturdy ropes are connected between trees in the opposite banks of the Lake. You get to swing over the calm waters of the lake and even make half somersaults to touch the waters and feel the breeze on your face. You will turn back at the lodge for lunch.

After your lunch, go for canoe riding at lake Bunyonyi, a canoe ride is a perfect option, giving you extra time on the lake, a chance to stop right in the middle for a little serenity and panoramic view. You can choose to be paddled or even do the paddling yourself as long as you have a guide with you. Dinner and overnight stay Arcadia Cottages.

Day 15: Nature walk and swimming

After your morning breakfast, go fro a nature walks around the islands of Lake Bunyonyi, for example Akampene known as the Punishment island the smallest island on the lake and yet one that is most memorable. Young girls who got pregnant before marriage were taken to this island and tied to the one tree that sits on the islands to atone for their transgressions. You will have lunch back at your lodge.

After your lunch, you will go for swimming, The Lake is filled with fresh waters and is Bilharzia free. There is no shore but safe structures have been put in place to allow easy deep dives into the open waters. Take time to chill on the banks of the lake, sunbathe and deep dive any time of the day. Dinner and overnight stay Arcadia Cottages.

Day 16:  Transfer to Mgahinga Gorilla National park

Take your early morning breakfast, check out and then transfer to Mgahinga Gorilla National park, upon reaching the park, check in the lodge and then go for Batwa cultural experience. For generations, Mgahinga’s dense forests were home to the indigenous Batwa: hunter-gatherers and fierce warriors who depended on the forest for shelter, food and medicine. Turn back at the lodge for lunch.

After lunch, relax a bit and then go for nature walk, The walk to the Congo border transcends different vegetation zones. Hikers can sight the calderas on top of the Gisozi hill, look out for Kisoro and Bunagana towns and be captivated by Lake Mutanda. Dinner and overnight stay Mgahinga Gorilla lodge.

 Day 17: Gorilla trekking

Take your early morning breakfast, go into the forest with your packed lunch for Gorilla trekking. A day ‘trek through the forests of Mgahinga with a well-trained guide who explains the gorillas’ behaviours along the way is a lifetime experience. Normally, Gorilla trekking Safari starts from Ntebeko entrance gate at around 8:00am in the morning daily taking 2-4 hours. You are expected to budget for your time well while with a gorilla family since the maximum time allowed to spend with them is one hour. Dinner and overnight stay Mgahinga Gorilla lodge.

Day 18: Departure

Enjoy your morning breakfast, check out of the lodge, embark on the journey back to Kampala with a lunch stopover en-route, proceed to the city and you will be dropped at the location of your choice or at Entebbe International Airport for your departure flight.

END OF SAFARI

 

COSTING FOR 18 DAYS UGANDA WILDLIFE 

NO. OF PAX 1 2 3 4 5 6
PRICE ($) 10,240 10,180 10,110 10,030 9,940 9,840

 

COST INCLUSIONS

  • A 4×4 Safari vehicle
  • Park entrance fees
  • Accommodation
  • Gorilla permit
  • Chimpanzee permit
  • Tour activities as per the itinerary
  • Professional English speaking guide
  • Meals as per the itinerary
  • Bottled drinking water

COST EXCLUSIONS;

  • Flight fares
  • Insurance costs
  • Personal expenses like telephone costs
  • Laundry costs
  • Extra food and drinks
  • Extra activities not in the itinerary
  • Tips

Commonly Visited Gorilla Destinations

Bwindi Impenetrable national park a large primeval forest located in the South Western part of Uganda is a home to over half the worlds 1,000 mountain gorillas.

mountain-gorilla-in-bwindi-impenetrable-national-park

Bwindi Impenetrable national park

BWINDI IMPENETRABLE NATIONAL PARK

Bwindi Impenetrable National park is found in southwestern Uganda in Kanungu district. It covers an area of 332kms. When we talk of gorillas in Uganda, we talk of Bwindi and this is Africa’s oldest rainforest, it hides much more than just gorillas but more other wild animals but when gorilla tracking became an activity it made it even more appealing. Bwindi is commonly known for its 400 endangered gorillas with many families, Batwa trails, the Batwa are the first and last forest people who anciently lived in the forest for a long time also known as hunters, gatherers and fierce warriors and 350 bird species. Buhoma as one of the gates apart from gorillas it’s the right place for bird watching.

ACTIVITIES
Bwindi impenetrable National Park is found in southwestern Uganda in Kanungu district, when we talk of gorillas we talk of Bwindi, but it not being the only activity, Bwindi has a variety of activities all incredibly good and as Gorilla Trips Africa here are some of the activities

Gorilla Tracking
Gorillas in Bwindi are habituated making them less dangerous and this is one of great activity done, the tour guides guide tourists through the forest on their way to track gorillas, gorillas act more like humans which keeps you wondering about God’s will, you can interact with them offer them yellows and even can have pictures with them creating memorable moments. Bwindi has a number of gates for example Buhoma gate with three gorilla  groups habituated, Nkuringo gate with two groups , Ruhija with four groups of gorillas habituated, and Rushaga with the most habituated groups and others are still under habituation with six groups

Gorilla Habituation Experience
During habituation Gorillas are tamed to be more of human, not to be dangerous around people, tour guides will take you through the process they go through while habituating the gorillas, it’s a terrifying experience but worth to go through and this is so because the gorillas are not yet fully habituated, this is most popular at Rushaga gate it being with the large gorilla habituation

Batwa Trail
Experience the ancient life of Batwa people. The Batwa trail is a celebration of the forest first people and still they are the last forest people who are also known as hunters, gatherers and fierce warriors. When you get a chance to see them you can see the forest in their lives and all through their eyes, this trail is guided by the Batwa guides who provide insights into their traditional forest life and culture. It runs  from the lower slopes of the muhavura and Gahinga volcanoes and ends in the Batwa community, throughout the trail you will be surprised all through for example showing you how incredibly  they made fire using friction of sticks, having a taste of the wild berries which they used to eat before going to hunter, seeing the huts the built using the tree leaves lastly after reaching the Batwa community you will get the unforgettable performance of your life since the Batwa are well known for their music and dance.

Nature Walks
Tourists who have a short time for nature walk usually do it near river Munyanga and river Ivy on the way you get an opportunity to see baboons, monkeys and birds. And if you continue to the Batwa pygmy community you will be surprised by the energetic dance of the Batwa, you will meet woman making craft giving you and opportunity to buy craft from the Batwa. Nature walk to the Mubwindi swamp is the right spot for the birders and if you use the path of the forest descending through the majestic rainforest it will give you great scenery of the green nature. Amazingly the name Bwindi came from Mubwindi swamp.

Bird watching
Bwindi is one of the best birding destinations in Uganda the pearl of Africa, it being the oldest forest in Uganda surely means it’s the ideal habitat for the variety of bird species, Bwindi is estimated to have around 350 bird species for example Jameson’s Antpecker, pink-footed puff back, Waller, crested Guinea fowl, Barred long-tailed cuckoo, Grey crowned crane, White headed saw wing and so many more. Migratory birds are present from November to April and if you want the main spot for bird watching is along Buhoma waterfalls trails.

gorilla-in-mgahinga-gorilla-national-park

Mgahinga Gorilla national park

MGAHINGA GORILLA NATIONAL PARK

Mgahinga Gorilla National Park is in the southwestern corner of Uganda, located in Kisoro district although the volcanoes stretch to the far parts of Rwanda and DRC. Mgahinga National Park was gazzetted in 1991 despite it being declared an area of game sanctuary in the early 1930s by the British Administration and it covers 33.9 square kilometers. As the name “Mgahinga” suggests, the park was mainly established to protect gorillas that inhabit the depth of the forest, other than that the park has a significance to culture “the Batwa culture”. Most importantly Mgahinga National Park has great features which are the beautiful extinct volcanoes, a great fauna, primates which include mountain gorillas and golden monkeys, bird species include handsome francoin, red throated alethe, Rwenzori batis, collared apalis, mountain masked apails, stripe-breasted tit, blue- headed sunbird, strange weaver, red –faced woodland warber, regal sunbird, Rwenzori turaco among others.

Top Activities Done At Mgahinga National Park

Gorilla Trekking

Mgahinga National Park is the right place for gorilla trekking and that’s so because it has half of the world’s Gorillas thus making it the most popular activity done at Mgahinga, it has one habituated gorilla family called “Nyakagezi Gorilla family” and this family at times moves to the parts of Rwanda and DRC. Gorilla trekking at Mgahinga usually starts from 8:30 in the morning and it takes 3-8 hours, trackers take visitor through the routes to the place they had left Gorillas a day before and that’s where they begin the trekking from, Gorillas are habituated making them less dangerous to humans. All in all Gorillas trekking is best done in dry seasons because it makes the hikes easier for tourists.

Golden Monkey Trekking

Mgahinga National Park is the best place for Golden Monkey trekking and it’s among the most interesting activities done for primate safari, the estimated number of golden monkeys at Mgahinga is 3000-4000. If you participate in this activity you will have an excitement of your life time since it offers you an opportunity to view, take pictures of the monkeys before heading back to the lodges.

Volcano Hiking

At Mgahinga Gorilla National Park despite Gorilla trekking visitors have an opportunity for hikes to the summit of Mountain Muhabura which requires more than one day to hike it but still tourists who prefer a one day hike can opt Gahinga trail aa their best and this takes 6 hours. During this hikes you will come across various bird species, also have a view of the famous extinct volcanoes.

Batwa Trail

Batwa are also known as the forest people. While at Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, the Batwa trail begins from the Muhavura cave with the Batwa guides who will give you an insight of their ancient life and culture in the forests where they lived in harmony with the gorillas. Batwa people lived as hunter-gatherers, built houses using tree leaves but later they were displaced from the park although some are still with in the park taking part in tourism as tour guides and others as porters.

Bird Watching

Mgahinga Gorilla National Park is the ideal place for birders because its blessed and enriched with over 180 bird species all unique in one way or the other and these birds can be spotted in the wetland areas , forests, Buffalo wall among others. These unique bird species include Rwenzori turaco, regal sunbird, strange weaver, mountain masked apails, stripe-breasted tit, handsome francoin, red throated alethe, collared apalis among others.

Garama Cave Exploration

Beneath a plateau northern edge of Mgahinga Gorilla National Park you will come across the great Garama Cave lying on the length of 342meters and this believed to have been used as a retreat and council for the Batwa where they met to solve conflicts and problems among Batwa members.

gorilla-in-volcanoes-national-park

Volcanoes national park

Volcanoes National Park

Volcanoes National Park also referred to as Parc National des Volcano in French and Pariki y’Igihugu y’Ibirunga in Kinyarwanda local language. The park is situated in the north-western province of Rwanda in a small town called Musanze formerly Ruhengeri.

The park is the oldest national park in the African continent and harbors the endangered Mountain Gorillas of Rwanda. Gorilla tracking is Rwanda’s main tourism activity. Volcanoes National Park borders Virunga National Park in DRC and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park in south-western Uganda. Besides its huge population of Mountain Gorillas, it also harbors the endangered Golden Monkeys, primate specie that apparently offers the best diverse tourism activity within the national park at the moment.

Volcanoes National Park also shelters five of the eight volcanoes of the Virunga massifs which are: Mount Karisimbi, Bisoke, Muhabura, Gahinga and Sabyinyo: covering over 160 km2 of rain forest and bamboo. The park acted as a base for American zoologist Dian Fossey.

Fauna of the forest in addition to endangered species of mountain gorilla includes: golden monkeys, buffaloes, black-fronted duiker, hyenas then bushbucks. A few reports also clam that a small number of elephants can be found at the park but on very rare occasions. The bird life spans at 178 species, with about 12 of the main species and 15 of the subspecies being endemic to the Virunga conservation area and the great Ruwenzori Mountains.

The Volcanoes National Park is one of the three other only habitats for Mountain gorillas on the planet and the only possible destinations for Mountain gorilla trekking expeditions in Rwanda. The rainforests are at a higher altitude and temperatures are generally lowest in the African region. The tropical sun brings with it effects of heat, evaporation of vapor and rain forming. In Volcanoes National Park, it rains at any time regardless of the season. Factor is the volcanic soils that are fertile and very rich in plant mineral content, resulting in an evergreen rain forest; some parts have bamboo trees, small patches of shrubs and grassland areas, swamp and wetland vegetation in the valleys, and heath on the tips of the volcanoes. These are the ideal conditions for the survival and the existence of the Mountain gorillas and other unique wildlife species.

Mammal species

Volcanoes National Park is a rich ecosystem, a habitat with vibrant and unique mammal species. Mountain gorillas and Golden monkeys are most recognized than other wildlife species because the Virunga volcanoes region is their only habitat on earth. There is high mammal presence in the park, though harder to spot because of hilly and rugged terrain, coupled with  a thick and enclosed rainforest. The mammals in such habitat adapt to a solitary or pair lifestyle, shy away from intruders and are very aggressive if cornered. Save for rare physical encounters, there are signs that indeed show Forest elephants, buffaloes, bushpigs, bushbucks, giant forest hogs, spotted hyenas, bushbucks, duikers, vervet and colobus monkeys and other primate species reside in the park. Volcanoes National Park is very popular as a Rwanda gorilla trek and Golden monkey tracking destination. There are other Rwanda travel destinations to easily spot and have maximum interaction with the rest of mammal species.

Predominant activities include:

Gorilla tracking, Golden Monkey tracking, twin lakes visit, mountaineering, visiting Dian Fossey’s tomb, Iby’Iwacu cultural village and other community visits.

Rwanda is an exciting destination with a number of national parks in addition to the famous Volcanoes national park; say the Akagera and Nyungwe national parks plus Lake Kivu for water excursion.