11-Day Safari - Exploring and Experiencing the Pearl of Africa
11 days Itinerary
1:Arrive Entebbe Airport, pick up and transfer to the 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). Optional (extra cost): In case you have had an early landing into Uganda and you’re interested, you can take a brief tour of the city. Places to visit may include the Buganda Royal Mile, the Gaddafi National Mosque, the Bahai Temple to mention but a few. Otherwise, you can check-in and just relax.
2:Drive to Jinja, visit Source of the Nile and then continue to Sipi.
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 (extra cost): If interested, you may choose to go for white water rafting on the Nile. There is also the option for Kayaking on the Nile before departing 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:Exit Sipi and transfer to Murchison Falls NP via Soroti, Lira.
After breakfast, the assigned driver-guide will pick you 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, hartebeest, buffalo, and elephants. Then surely, the concentration of hippos and the Nile crocodiles here will fascinate you. There will be a stop for lunch en route. Continue to the park and check into your accommodation to relax for the Evening.
5:Sunrise game drive, afternoon boat trip plus top of the falls walk
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 (extra cost): Hot-air balloon safari at ($380 pp) in place of game drive.
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 (approx. 45 minutes) to the top of the falls. The hike may be a bit strenuous but the thrill on reaching the top is unforgettable. Miss it only if you must. Return to your accommodation and have a relaxed evening.
6:Exit Murchison Falls NP and transfer to Kibale Forest National Park.
After breakfast at your accommodation, depart right away for Kibale Forest National Park. The drive is quite long but incredibly scenic – passing through villages, lush green countryside and hills dotted with tea plantations that characterize this part of Uganda. The beautiful scenery will amaze you all the way.
Kibale NP is popular for its primates like the chimpanzees, black and white colobus monkeys, red-tailed monkeys, L'Hoest's monkey, Uganda mangabey (Lophocebus ugandae). You will reach and do little but check into your accommodation where you will have dinner and the overnight rest. Optional: If time permits and you’re interested, you may do any of; Bigodi swamp walk, crater lakes tour, or visit Amabere Ga Nyina Mwiru cave for some historical/cultural insights.
7:Chimp tracking Kibale Forest, lunch and transfer to Queen Elizabeth NP.
Have breakfast and head to the rangers’ post where you will receive some briefing on the dos and don’ts during chimp trekking. Thereafter, you will proceed to trek the chimps in the Kibale Forest. An experienced ranger guide will take you chimp tracking (Kibale Forest) and you will be left amazed by the presence of primates here. Once you locate the chimpanzees, you will have a full hour in their presence. You will return to the lodge for lunch and thereafter you will head out for Queen Elizabeth National Park. You will arrive in the evening and overnight at your booked accommodation. Optional: If interested you may hike to the twin lakes or do a brief evening game drive.
8:Undertake morning game drive and go on a boat trip on the Kazinga Channel.
Be up early and have your breakfast. Proceed for a morning game drive to the Kasenyi plains and be on the look for Cape buffalos, herds of elephants plus the big cats: lions, leopards (though hard to spot) among others.
Return to the accommodation for some rest time and lunch. After lunch, you will go for a 2-hour boat trip on the Kazinga Channel that connects Lakes George and Edward. During the trip, the sight of wildlife including giant hippos, elephants and crocodiles among others will fascinate you. You will also see many varieties of birds at the water shores. You will have dinner and overnight at your accommodation. Optional (no cost): If interested, you can proceed for a brief evening game drive before return to the lodge.
9:Transfer to Bwindi via Ishasha sector in search of tree-climbing lions.
Have breakfast then set off for Bwindi Impenetrable National Park through the Ishasha sector of Queen Elizabeth National Park – famously known for its resident tree-climbing lions. The chance of spotting these lions is about 70% though sometimes they are hard to spot (most especially when they are down in the grassland looking for prey). Hoping you get the chance to spot them, the sight will be spectacular!
Continue to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. Bwindi is a big habitat for mountain gorillas in Uganda (harboring an estimated 400 mountain gorillas – roughly half of the world’s population) including several habituated groups, which you will trek. With a strenuous day ahead, you will do less on arrival but just check in your accommodation, relax as you prepare for the Bwindi gorilla trekking experience the following day.
10:Gorilla trekking Bwindi Forest and transfer to Lake Bunyonyi for relaxation.
Have breakfast and move to the rangers’ post. You will receive some briefing (from a ranger guide) on the dos and don’ts during trekking. Thereafter, you will enter the Bwindi Forest for your adventure. The beauty of this rain forest is spectacular! The area offers dramatic steeply forested landscape and is incredibly dense but crisscrossed by numerous animal trails allowing access to tourists. The time taken and the terrain vary with the movements of these great primates. Once you have located a gorilla group, you will be allowed an hour in their presence. The thrill of spending time observing these gentle but endangered giants is unforgettable. Return to the accommodation, check out and transfer to Lake Bunyonyi. Lake Bunyonyi is framed by lush, green-terraced hills that reach a height of (2,200 – 2,478m) but it’s the 29 islands of various shapes and sizes scattered across the water that make it most magical — you could admire them all day.
11:Depart Lake Bunyonyi and return to Entebbe Airport to catch flight out.
Have a relaxed breakfast at the accommodation with spectacular view of the Bunyonyi little islands just right in front of you and thereafter embark on your return journey to Entebbe Airport. Expect en route lunch and a stop at the Uganda Equator line mark in Kayabwe for some memorable photos and maybe buying some art pieces of interest. Proceed with the journey arriving late afternoon/evening for drop off at the airport to catch your flight back home. We hope to see you (or any referral) when next, you visit and thanks for choosing Home to Africa!