10-Day Big 5 Trip to Uganda - Exploring Kidepo and Murchison
10 days Itinerary
1:Arrive Entebbe, pick up and transfer to Kampala booked accommodation
Upon arrival at Entebbe International Airport, a Home to Africa assigned English-speaking professional driver-guide will receive and welcome you to Uganda – the Pearl of Africa. Thereafter, you will transfer to the booked accommodation (Kampala). In case, you have had an early landing in Uganda, you may opt for an afternoon (evening) ride around the city. This excursion may include; a drive along the Buganda Royal Mile, a visit to the Gaddafi Mosque, the Bahai temple and time permitting, the Uganda National Museum. Note: Some places may ask for some little fee which you can pay on site.
2:Drive to Jinja, visit Source of the Nile and then continue to Sipi Falls area.
Have breakfast and then drive off to Jinja. En route, you will drive through Mabira Forest then head to Jinja where the Nile begins its flow to the Mediterranean Sea. Visit the Source of the Nile then proceed to Sipi where you will have an overnight stay. Optional (at extra cost): While in Jinja & depending on interest, you may proceed to enjoy half-day water rafting. What better way to start your safari than to experience this most exciting, exhilarating, mind-blowing adventure on the Nile firsthand! Get wet, get wild, get rafting. In fact, no experience is required to undertake this unforgettable adventure on the Nile! Get wet, get wild, get rafting. In fact, no experience is required to undertake this unforgettable adventure on the Nile.
Accommodation: Sipi River Lodge(Mid-range Level) | Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner | Drive Time: Approx. 5-6hrs exclude time in Jinja.
3:Sipi Falls walk/hiking experience and afternoon coffee tour plus community encounter.
You will have breakfast and thereafter proceed out to explore the Sipi falls. The hiking (about 2½ - 3 hours) takes you to explore the nearby Sipi falls which is a set of 3 falls. The views are breathtaking and make for a great excursion while in Sipi. The (afternoon) coffee tour on the other hand will enable you to trace the story of coffee from seed to that in the cup and you don’t want to miss this informative experience. Later, just relax at the accommodation with some spectacular view of Sipi right in front of you.
4:Go explore Pian Upe Game Reserve then proceed to Kara-tunga Safari Camp.
Be up early and have your breakfast then proceed for game viewing in the pristine Pian Upe Wildlife Reserve. Pian Upe is located between Mt. Elgon NP and Kidepo Valley NP, established as a game (wildlife) reserve in the 1960s. The Reserve is part of the Mount Elgon Conservation Area (MECA).
While in Pian Upe, look out for its inhabitants such as ostriches, common elands, plain zebras, the greater kudu, savanna monitor lizards and the only remaining numbers of roan antelope in the whole of Uganda. It is also only in Pian Upe that you may have the chance to see cheetahs while on a Uganda safari. After the game viewing and of course (packed) lunch, exit Pian Upe then head to Kara-tunga Safari Camp where you will have your dinner and the overnight stay.
Accommodation: Kara-tunga Safari Camp(Mid-range Level) | Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner | Drive Time: 3-4hrs exclude time in Pian Upe.
5:Hiking Morungole Mountains including the IK community encounter
Be up early, have breakfast and set off to hike Mount Morungole, located in the northern hills of Karamoja. You will find stunningly beautiful Scenery the higher your climb takes you, simply breathtaking scenes in the valleys below you and into the Eastern Rift Valley of Kenya and over to Southern Sudan. While in Morungole, expect to encounter the smallest tribe of Uganda called the Ik. The Ik have always lived in nowadays Kidepo Valley National Park but have been displaced over 50 years ago whereby they now live on the mountain ridges. Visiting the IK gives you a rare insight of a very unique tribe in Africa. From there, you will head to the booked lodge.
6:Full day exploring Kidepo - Morning game drive and afternoon game drive.
Enjoy your breakfast and move out for game viewing in the Narus Valley in the south sector of Kidepo. Narus is the sector of Kidepo that has savannah grasslands mixed with acacia woodland. It is also the area of the park with permanent water sources throughout the year and for that matter, most of the animals are in this part of the park. Be on the look for large herds of Buffaloes, many Zebras, antelope species and the lions. You will return for lunch at the lodge and then go out again for an afternoon-evening game drive. Return to the lodge for dinner and overnight stay.
7:Another game drive and later enjoy Karamojong community, cultural encounter.
Enjoy your breakfast then embark on yet another game drive into the park but this time head to Kidepo Valley in the northern sector. The biggest highlight in this area is the famous sand bed of River Kidepo – a seasonal river that does not flow during the long dry spell. There are lush Borassus palms, creating a sight akin to an oasis in a desert. Also, be on the look for ostriches, leopards (but hard to spot) and tortoises along the way.
Return for lunch at the accommodation. Later, move out for the Karamojong community, cultural encounter. You will spend a wonderful afternoon (evening) with the Karamojong people and have an insight of their way of life and beliefs. At the end of the day, you will retire to your accommodation where you will enjoy your dinner and overnight rest.
8:Exit Kidepo and transfer to Murchison Falls National Park. Enjoy game drive.
Enjoy your breakfast and thereafter, exit Kidepo and hit the road to Murchison Falls National Park. The highlights of this park include the roaring rapids of the Murchison, the rolling plains of Uganda’s largest National Park where you will have the chance of viewing lions, giraffes, buffalos, elephants, leopard (but hard to spot) among others. Then surely, the concentration of hippos and the Nile crocodiles here will fascinate you. You will reach, check into the accommodation and take some rest before moving out for a late afternoon into evening game viewing. Return for dinner and overnight stay.
9:Morning game drive, afternoon boat trip to the base of the falls + top of the falls’ hiking.
Have your breakfast, depart for an early morning game drive across the rolling plains of Uganda’s largest National Park and be on the look for wildlife including: lions, leopards (though hard to spot) among others. For any birder, there are quite a number of birds to sight too during the drive. Return to the accommodation for some rest time and lunch. OPTIONAL: If interested, you may opt for the hot air balloon safari (instead) at an extra cost (on ground).
After lunch, you will head out for the boat trip to the base of Murchison Falls where you will also be able to catch sight of more animals including Hippos and Crocodiles and several water birds. Continue with a hike (if you like) to the top of the falls. The hike may be a strenuous one but the thrill on reaching the top is unforgettable. Miss it only if you must. Return to your accommodation and have a relaxed evening.
10:Rhino tracking in Zziwa and head to Entebbe Airport to catch flight out.
Be up early, have breakfast and then drive off to Zziwa Rhino Sanctuary where you will proceed for an hour of rhino tracking in the presence of a trained ranger-guide. Zziwa was set up as a conservation effort to protect the rhino population that were close to extinction in Uganda. From Zziwa, you will hit the road to Entebbe Airport to catch flight out (recommended for 18:00 onwards).