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21 Day This is Uganda! Safari

 

1. Lake Victoria Serena Hotel
2. Kidepo Valley NP - Apoka (fly-in)
3. Kidepo Valley NP - Apoka
4. Kidepo Valley NP - Apoka
5. Murchison Falls NP - Paraa (fly-in)
6. Murchison Falls NP - Paraa
7. Murchison Falls NP - Paraa
8. Lake Albert Safari Lodge (6 h)
9. Kibale NP - Ndali/ Kyaninga (6 h)
10. Kibale NP - Ndali/ Kyaninga
11. Queen Elizabeth NP - Mweya/ Katara (3 h)
12. Queen Elizabeth NP - Mweya/ Katara
13. Queen Elizabeth NP - Mweya/ Katara
14. Ishasha NP - Ishasha Wilderness Camp (3 h)
15. Ishasha NP - Ishasha Wilderness Camp
16. Bwindi NP - Mahogany Springs/ Buhoma (3 h)
17. Bwindi NP - Mahogany Springs/ Buhoma
18. Lake Mburo NP - Mihingo (7 h)
19. Lake Mburo NP - Mihingo
20. Lake Mburo NP - Mihingo
21. Kampala – Le Petit Village/ Cassia Lodge (5 h)

Day 1 - Apoka Lodge, Kidepo Valley National Park:

After arriving at Entebbe International Airport, Uganda, you will board a charter plane to Kidepo Valley National park tucked away in the far Northeast corner of Uganda. The airstrip in a short scenic drive away from Apoka Lodge. When you reach the lodge it is time to relax, acclimatize and prepare yourselves for an adventurous day in the park. The lodge offers stunning views over the valley. How about a sundowner on the lookout tower before heading to the restaurant for dinner?

Day 2 – Apoka Lodge, Kidepo Valley National Park:

Today will be dedicated to exploring whatever Kidepo Valley has to offer. Being in such a remote area of the country, not many people venture up here, so while you are looking for game, you won’t be disturbed by too many others on a similar mission.

Kidepo Valley National Park is known for it’s vast herds of Buffalo. In addition, it is the only place in Uganda where you can see the Rothchild’s Giraffe and the Burchell’s Zebra together, and nowhere else in the country do you have the chance of spotting Cheetahs.

You will be back at the lodge in time for sunset.

Day 3 – Chobe Lodge, Murchison Falls National Park:

The trip to Murchison Falls National Park will give you the opportunity to see more of upcountry Uganda with rugged but beautiful scenery. Lunch will be had in Kitgum, after which you continue the journey. Once you reach Chobe Lodge, relax while overlooking the Nile to the sounds of hippos grunting in the water. If you are lucky, the odd elephant may wander into the lodge grounds seeking shade under the branches of acacia trees.

Day 4 – Paraa Safari Lodge, Murchison Falls National Park:

Your guide will be waiting for you after breakfast to take you on a gamedrive into the Buligi area in further north in the park. The fully air-conditioned vehicle has a pop-up roof for uninhibited viewing of game, inverters to charge your camera batteries and a fridge, so that you will never miss a cold drink on the dusty road.

Being the largest national park in Uganda, Murchison Falls National Park is home to some of Uganda’s largest Elephants, Rothchild’s Giraffe, Uganda Kob, Cape Buffalo, Oribi, Jackson’s Hartebeest and many more. Also lions, spotted hyena and leopards can be seen, especially in the delta area in the northern sector of the park. Birdlife is stunning and even include sightings of the rare Shoebill.

Late afternoon you will proceed to Paraa Safari Lodge, also located on the banks of the mighty river Nile, where you will spend the night.

Day 5 - Paraa Safari Lodge, Murchison Falls National Park:

Today is all about the river Nile. While sitting in a boat launch, you have the opportunity to view hippo, the famous and feared Nile Crocodile and a variety of other game from close at hand while they come down to the river banks for a drink or a wallow. Your destination is the bottom of the falls. Being the largest cataract on one of the world’s most famous rivers, the sheer magnitude of the mighty Nile forcing itself through the narrow gap before crashing down 40 meters is bound to impress!

The second trip of the day takes you to the top of the falls, giving you an entirely different impression.

After that it is back to Paraa Safari Lodge to recover from an action-packed day.

Day 6 – Lake Albert Safari Lodge, Lake Albert:

Your route today takes you south along the shores of Lake Albert. After half a day’s journey, you will reach Lake Albert Safari Lodge, overlooking Lake Albert from a great vantage point. This is where you will be spending the night.

Day 7 – Ndali Lodge, Kibale Forest National Park:

Back on the road again! The journey takes us through remote villages as we slowly begin ascending to the higher altitudes of Fort Portal in close proximity with the Rwenzori Mountains. Kyaninga Lodge/Ndali Lodge (Description of Lodge follows) is your destination for now and is located conveniently close to Kibale Forest National Park, home to over 600 chimpanzees.

Day 8 – Ndali Lodge, Kibale Forest National Park:

It’s going to be a looong day! But full of marvel! Today, get ready to join the researchers in their work following a group of chimpanzees in the forest. The aim is to get the chimps accustomed or habituated to human presence without interfering in their natural behavior. This is important, as the only way to generate funds urgently needed for the conservation of man’s closest relative (Did you know that we share up to 98% of a chimp’s genes? That makes us 98% chimp!) is through enabling people to catch a glimpse of them. While accompanying the researchers in their work, you have the chance of seeing the chimps de-nesting early in the morning, foraging and playing during the day, and building new nests for the night in the evening.

After this you will be more than looking forward for some relaxing time at the lodge.

Day 9 – Katara Lodge, Queen Elizabeth National Park:

Today’s journey takes you due South, across the equator, and into Queen Elizabeth National Park. How about a short gamedrive in the Kasenyi Area of the park just to get a first impression of what this park has to offer? After that it is on to Katara Lodge, situated perching on the edge of the Albertine Rift Valley, with a sheer endless view of the savannah and the Rwenzori Mountains and the Blue Mountains in the Congo forming a perfect backdrop on a clear day. You can at times even see elephants crossing in the plain far below you.

Day 10 – Katara Lodge, Queen Elizabeth National Park:

An early start at 6am gives you the best chances of spotting lions, spotted hyenas and, if you are lucky, the lone leopard making himself comfortable in a tree to sleep through the heat of the day. Other wildlife worth noting are Elephants, Buffalo, Uganda Kob, Bushbuck and Giant Forest Hogs.

You will return to Katara Lodge for a late breakfast and couple of hours to relax before heading out to another boat ride – this time on the Kazinga Channel, which links Lake George in the North with lake Edward further South.

The channel boasts the highest density of hippos anywhere in the country and the sheer number of birds is out of this world. Many of the park’s over 612 species of birds can be spotted along the channel making this a must-go destination for anybody interested in birds.

On the way back to the lodge, it is the perfect time of day to see herds of elephants making their way to or from the channel. Don’t be surprised to find them in the road causing minor delays. After all, one of the most important rules to obey in the wild: Elephants have the right of way – at all times!

Day 11 – Katara Lodge, Queen Elizabeth National park:

Kyambura Gorge is located within Queen Elizabeth National Park and is home to a family of chimpanzees. A morning trek takes you down into the gorge for another chance of seeing the apes. The gorge itself is a deep cut through the savannah with rainforest at its bottom, lining the Kyambura River. It is quite a steep descent to the bottom of the gorge, so you will be surprised to see the tracks of hippo and elephant on the sheer sides.

Back to Katara Lodge for lunch and in the afternoon you are off to explore the explosion craters, which form the foothills of the Rwenzori Mountains. Although wildlife, especially elephant, can be seen from the track, this tour focuses on the stunning scenery. The craters were formed about 8000 years ago by volcanic activity and each crater varies from it’s neighbor. You will see craters lakes, craters with savannah at their bottom and forested craters. It is a rough ride but worth it! The culmination will be reaching Baboon Cliffs, where you will stop to enjoy the sun setting over Lake Edward. Driving back in darkness gives you an entirely different experience of the African Bush.

Day 12 – Ishasha Wilderness Camp, Ishasha Sector-Queen Elizabeth National park:

After having had 2 early starts in a row, breakfast will be a bit later today. Use the time to have a lie in so that you are fresh for the next adventure, because today you are going to look for the famous tree-climbing lions in Ishasha. Ishasha is the southernmost sector of Queen Elizabeth National Park. A good time to spot the lions is during the heat of the day, when they like relaxing on the branches of huge fig trees to protect them from the sun while offering a perfect vantage point for observing their surroundings.

After a short gamedrive you will be welcomed at Ishasha Wilderness Camp. This beautiful camp is located on the banks of the Ntungwe River and offers luxurious accommodation in self contained safari tents. Nothing beats falling asleep to the sounds of the bush all around you!

Day 13 – Ishasha Wilderness Camp, Ishasha Sector-Queen Elizabeth National Park:

In case you were unsuccessful spotting lions yesterday, you’ll give it another shot today. But Ishasha does have other things to offer as well. The Edward Flats, for example, are always worth a visit! So if you are up for an adventure, the roads in the area can be very…interesting… especially after a good rainfall.

You will be back at the Camp before sunset.

Day 14 – Mahogany Springs, Bwindi Impenetrable Forest:

You now leave the savannah and head deep into the jungle into the home of the Mountain Gorillas! Instead of driving, you take to the air again. Your next destination: The Mountain Gorillas! Enjoy a restful night while while mentally preparing yourselves for the following morning’s trek to see Diane Fossey’s world famous mountain gorillas.

Day 15 – Mahogany Springs, Bwindi Impenetrable Forest:

No other activities are planned for this day except for tracking the mighty mountain gorilla, as the trek can take anything from 1 ½ to 7 hours, depending on where you will find the gorillas. Chances of seeing the gorillas are very high, as each group is closely monitored and the rangers accompanying your trek go to great lengths to ensure 100% satisfaction.

Day 16 – Mihingo Lodge, Lake Mburo National Park:

The drive from Bwindi to Lake Mburo takes you from the stunning scenic beauty of “Africa’s Switzerland” into the heartland of Uganda’s pastoralist Ankole-tribe, who are famous for their long horned Ankole cows. Lake Mburo National Park lies in southern Uganda and apart from an incredible array of birdlife, is teeming with Impala and Uganda’s largest zebra population.

The breathtaking Mihingo Lodge will be your home for the coming three nights, so make yourselves comfortable with a sundowner overlooking the waterhole which attracts everything from buffalo, warthogs and impala to zebra, bushbuck and even the majestic eland. After nightfall use the opportunity to see the resident family of bush babie (Thick Tailed Galagos) interact with each other.

Day 17 – Mihingo Lodge, Lake Mburo National Park:

After Breakfast, a gamedrive through the park will reveal the multitude of game and stunning landscape the park has to offer. An afternoon boat ride on Lake Mburo itself gives you the chance to sit back and watch the wildlife activity on the lakeshore drift by.

After dinner at Mihingo Lodge, a night gamedrive in an open Land Rover will reveal a completely different side of the bush. Hyenas are regularly spotted on these drives and even leopards may be seen.

Day 18 – Mihingo Lodge, Lake Mburo National park:

If you are interested in horseback riding, there is no way you can forego the experience of riding through the African bush sitting on the back of a horse! You will find this to be a completely new kind of experience, as you get much closer to wild animals on horseback as opposed to approaching them with a car. For those who prefer walking on their own 2 legs, a walking safari through the park is also quite an unforgettable experience. After your horseback or walking safari, make use of the host of other things to do at the lodge. You can go for a swim in the pool overlooking the waterhole, conceal yourself in the hide while watching the wildlife from a concealed position, play tennis or go for another walk, this time maybe focusing on the cultural aspect of the Bahima.

Later on in the day, you embark on a trip to Kazuma Lookout for a sundowner with one of the best views in the country. Dinner will be served at the lodge again.

Day 19 – The Haven, Jinja-Source of the Nile:

Your journey takes you back to the river Nile, although this time to the Source of the Nile in Jinja, where it originates from Lake Victoria. It was here that Stanley confirmed the source of the Nile in 1872.

The Haven is located right by the river, close to the first rapids, and is ranked as one of the best accomodations in Jinja.

Day 20 – The Haven, Jinja-Source of the Nile:

Some action towards the end of your trip: Choose between braving the rapids on a raft with a bunch of other daredevils similarly fearless, horseriding along the banks of the river, or muddying yourselves on quadbikes! Whichever you chose, you can’t go wrong! Alternatively, could you imagine hurling yourself off a tower looming over the Nile with nothing breaking your fall other than a bungee cord? Maybe racing UP some of the world’s best rapids in a jet boat is more to your liking? The possibilities are endless…

The night will be spent at The Haven again.

Day 21 – Emin Pasha Hotel

You will head to Kampala today. It is your last day, which you can either spend reflecting on the past 3 weeks in the Pearl of Africa, while having a full body massage in the Spa, or, if you still haven’t had enough of the country and it’s people, go for a day trip into the seething, pulsating heart of Kampala.

You will be staying at the Emin Pasha, a boutique Hotel close to, yet seemingly a world apart from the hustle and bustle of Kampala street life. Excellent food and service will guarantee you a perfect ending to an amazing trip!

 

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