15 - Day Safari into Uganda - Exploring Kidepo, Murchison, Bwindi
15 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:Drive to Pian Upe Wildlife Reserve. Explore the Reserve and proceed to Kara-tunga Safari Camp.
Have your breakfast and then drive to the pristine Pian Upe Wildlife Reserve. While there, you may decide to visit the Ngapedet Cave on a nature walk to gain some historical insights or go for game viewing in search of Pian Upe 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. From Pian Upe, head to Kara-tunga Safari Camp where you will have your dinner and the overnight stay.
5:Transfer to Kidepo Valley NP, and proceed out for an afternoon-evening game viewing.
Have breakfast and drive off to Kidepo Valley National Park, arriving early for some rest and lunch before going out for game viewing. You will proceed 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 to the accommodation for dinner and overnight stay.
6:Morning game drive and afternoon relaxation at the lodge.
Enjoy your breakfast then embark on a sunrise game drive where you will have the opportunity to encounter wildlife including; lions, herds of buffalos, elephants, zebras, or the elusive leopard among others. Return to the lodge for lunch and afternoon relaxation. Optional (extra cost): Just in case you feel like doing some activity, you may consider; A). the Karamojong community, cultural encounter where you will spend a wonderful afternoon (evening) with the Karamojong people and have an insight on their way of life and beliefs, B). another afternoon/evening game drive.
7:Early-riser game viewing and then transfer to Murchison Falls NP.
Be up early, have breakfast and proceed for an early-riser game viewing. 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, hartebeest, buffalo, and elephants. Then surely, the concentration of hippos and the Nile crocodiles here will fascinate you. You will reach Murchison and do little but check into your accommodation then have some rest, dinner and overnight stay.
8:Morning 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. 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 relax.
9:Exit Murchison and transfers 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 arrive at the booked accommodation, check-in and take your rest. Optional (extra cost): If time permits and you’re interested, you can choose to do Bigodi swamp excursion or explore the crater lakes. The other option is visiting The Amabere ganyinamwiru cave for some amazing cultural/historical insights.
10:Chimp tracking Kibale Forest and then 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. Optional (no cost): while in Queen, you may consider; A). Brief afternoon-evening game viewing, B). explosion crater drive (if you love scenery sighting). Else, just check-in and relax.
11:Morning game drive, afternoon boat trip on the Kazinga Channel.
Be up early and have your breakfast. Proceed for a morning game drive along the Kasenyi plains and be on the look for lions, leopard (hard to spot), herd of elephants, buffalos 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 shores. Return for relaxation at the lodge. Optional: If interested, you may consider; A). a brief evening game viewing after the boat trip or B). community + twin lakes hike.
12:Transfer to Bwindi via Ishasha sector in search of tree-climbing lions.
Enjoy your breakfast and thereafter, drive to Ishasha sector – 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! From Ishasha, continue to the booked accommodation in/close Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. With a strenuous day ahead, you will arrive at the accommodation, check-in and relax.
Accommodation: (Broadbill Forest Camp-Nice Budget Level) | Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner | Drive Time: Approx. 6hrs exclude time in Ishasha.
13:Gorilla trekking Bwindi Forest and transfer to 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.
14:Relaxation while enjoying the stunning beauty of Lake Bunyonyi.
After days of long drives and of course the strenuous gorilla trekking (previous day) in Bwindi, this day is at your disposal for relaxation. All meals will be served at the accommodation. Optional (extra cost): Should you wish to go out for an activity, you may consider the following; Historical Islands’ tour, visit to the Batwa/pygmies’ community, Nyombe swamp excursion, Mountain Bike cycling, Zip lining, canoeing or kayaking on the lake. The activity can be arranged while on the ground with the help of your driver-guide. Enjoy your stay.
15:Depart 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 (recommended for 19:00 onwards).