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Private guided round trip - Uganda

In the Land of Mountain Gorillas

Highlights

  • Experience adventurous moments

  • With the rangers, hike through the dense jungle

  • Enjoy the unique experience

  • In the Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary, have an up-close experience with a majestic rhino

  • Includes chimpanzee and gorilla tracking experience

Description

Are you ready for your long-cherished bucket list dream to come true? It’s time to see gorillas and chimpanzees in their natural habitat! Follow your guide through the lush green jungle of Uganda, and listen attentively to the slightest rustle because it could come from the gentle animals. Feel your goosebumps rise as you capture unique photos of an experience you will never forget.

Destination

Africa

Entebbe - Murchison Falls National Park - Kibale Forest National Park - Queen Elizabeth National Park - Bwindi Impenetrable Forest - Kampala

Uganda has a balanced climate despite its position close to the equator. Temperatures are between 16 and 28°C. However, December to February and June to September are the driest months. The dry season in Uganda doesn't mean there's no rain, but the amount of rainfall is half as much. This season is also the best time to observe the fascinating animal world. Between March and May and October to November, the rainfall is highest.

Your approach to Uganda and the Entebbe International Airport is a highlight in itself. Enjoy the unique view of Lake Victoria and the endless green jungle. These first impressions are what you can expect in the next few days.

Upon your arrival at the airport, your guide will pick you up and drive you to your guest house. Catch another glimpse into the life of Ugandans.

When you arrive at the hotel, you will receive a welcome drink! What a pleasant start to your exciting trip.

Travel time Entebbe Airport - Entebbe Hotel: about 15-40 minutes / approx. 10 km

One night at The Boma Guesthouse**** or Karibu Guesthouse**** with breakfast in a standard room, Entebbe, Uganda

Today you will venture out of the city and into the breathtaking nature. The 4000 km² Murchison Falls National Park welcomes you with its private land. On your way, you will make a pit stop at the Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary, where you’ll see their thick gray skins up close and the intimate nature. The rhinos enjoy their time in the sanctuary because they are fed back to good health before being released into the wild.

Not only are 76 mammal species and 451 bird species native to the Murchison Falls National Park, but also many Nile crocodiles, hippos, the semi-aquatic Sitatunga antelope, lions, leopards, elephants, warthogs, and giraffes. Don’t forget to grab your camera and binoculars and discover the diversity of the stunning wildlife.

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If you have a few more minutes to spare, take the time to visit the top of the falls. What is extraordinary about this? You’ll feel the mighty Nile River under your feet! The river ranges anywhere between seven meters and then rushes a dizzying 45 meters in the depths.

Today's destination: Murchison River Lodge. Located on the south bank of the Nile River, it's a dream come true for those who don't want to miss out on nature. Enjoy views of hippo herd, the Papyrus Islands, and Murchison National Park.

Travel time Entebbe - Murchison Falls National Park: about 5-6 hours / approx. 350 km

Two nights at Murchison River Lodge***+ with full board in a Thatched Cottage, Murchison Falls National Park, Uganda

Start your day with a replenishing breakfast, then experience your first game drive in the pleasant morning temperatures. With your guide, drive over Lake Albert and the Nile Delta. What will you see? We can’t tell you precisely because every day the national park holds a new surprise for you!

Your guide will take you to a place that may seem familiar in the afternoon but will be a new perspective. You will revisit the Murchison Falls, but this time from the water. Take a boat to the bottom of the falls and past large Nile crocodiles that bask on the banks.

Please note that your plans are customizable and flexible. You can arrange the program with your guide and change the boat trip times after checking availabilities.

If you were already thrilled by yesterday's experience at Murchison Falls National Park, then expect to make more exciting memories in the Kibale Forest. Stretching almost 800 km², you will experience one of the most diverse natural wonders the country has to offer. Around 335 species of birds, including some rare ones, and 13 primate species live in the forest. Similar to a green oasis, this national park is close to the peaceful Ndali-Kasenda Crater, only 30 minutes from Queen Elizabeth, and near the Semuliki National Park. Observe the giant trees that climb 55 meters into the sky. Did you also discover iron trees, the world's most durable wood?

Travel time Murchison Falls National Park - Kibale Forest National Park: about 8 hours / approx. 350 km

Two nights at the Kibale Guest Cottages*** with full board in a standard room, Kibale Forest National Park, Uganda

If you dreamed about chimpanzees last night, we know why! Today it's finally time to go into the jungle for chimpanzee tracking. In the morning, make sure to eat a hearty breakfast to prepare yourself for the day ahead. At about 8:00, you will start your hike with the rangers to find the settled chimpanzees.

Do you hear rustling in the trees? Or does it wobble a bit further away in one of the green treetops? Head deep into the green forest with your experienced ranger to discover the hidden chimpanzees. The unique animals are very active and can often be seen playing or fighting in the fruit trees. With a little luck, you will meet a family of chimpanzees in the lush, green jungle — a breathtaking moment that will give you goosebumps. Your experienced ranger will explain the family structure, and they will provide background knowledge about the chimpanzees’ lives. Even though it’s hard to get away from the peaceful animals after discovering their beauty, we will move on because the forest has much more to see.

Your guide will take you down paths through the forest, where you will learn about exotic plants. Many of the plants are beautiful to look at and are also essential herbal ingredients for all kinds of recipes. Some of them are said to have healing properties.

Depending on the season, you can meet another rare inhabitant of the forest. Compared to its relatives living in the savannah, this resident is a little smaller and has a bit more of a coat— the forest elephant. These animals move depending on the season in the Kibale Forest. Keep an eye out for other animals, such as buffalo, forest pigs, and antelopes. The abundant food sources bring these animals to the area. Three hundred and thirty-five exotic birds and countless colorful butterflies make this jungle uniquely alive. Hiking through the national park is an authentic experience you will never forget.

For lunch, visit Tinka Johns Homestay and experience Uganda's culture and cuisine. Try one of the many culinary highlights like Matooke, Casava, or Luwombo!

In the afternoon, the rest of the program will take you to the neighboring Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary, where beautifully laid paths will lead you through the papyrus. Keep your eyes open and observe the surroundings, as many birds fly silently through the air or butterflies camouflage amongst the exotic plants.

After breakfast, you will leave with your driver for the Queen Elizabeth National Park. Experience its indescribably beautiful scenery at the Rift Valley’s foot. If it’s not too cloudy or foggy, you will even have an excellent chance to see the tops of the Rwenzori Mountains!

Experience a contrast to the landscape of the last days, and get an impression of how diverse the country is. Craters nestle into the small hills and shape the landscape and a real paradise for bird lovers. You will find more than 600 different native bird species, and thus about twice as many as Uganda's other national parks.

On the way to your next accommodation, keep an eye out for elephants and leopards!

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Travel time Kibale National Park - Queen Elizabeth National Park: about 2 hours / approx. 100 km

Two nights at the Queen Elizabeth Bush Lodge with half board in a standard room, Queen Elizabeth National Park, Uganda

Set your alarms for 06:00 because today, you will go on another exciting game drive at sunrise. The hotel staff will happily pack your lunch so you can eat on the go. Is your camera charged? Did you dress appropriately? Then the drive to the most famous route for game drives awaits you! The Kasenyi Sector is a magnet for numerous animals that finds refuge, especially in the mating season. Not only do lions and the largest antelopes find a home in the national park, but also hyenas, elephants, and warthogs. Stay alert because you may soon have another animal checked off your list of things you want to see in Uganda.

In the afternoon, you will change from vehicle to boat for another safari. The Kazinga Channel is a highlight of your trip because of its beautiful connection between Edward and George Lakes. Nestled in the national park center, Kazinga Channel is a popular destination for many hippos, elephants, and buffaloes to quench their thirst and hunger on the fertile banks.

Listen to the guides' exciting stories about the many bird species — e.g., the African skimmer, the great white pelican, the spoonbill, and some small bee-eaters. As you whiz across the sometimes rough or shallow waters, take a closer look as the hippopotamus dive below the boat or come to the surface to catch their breath. You will also discover other curious animals that come close to the ship! Experience a whole new perspective from the water and take this opportunity to soak in beautiful close-ups of sun-bathing crocodiles or thirsty elephants on the shore.

In the southern part of Queen Elizabeth National Park is the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and considered one of the world's most abundant biological and botanical regions. The forest spreads over 125 m² from the southwestern end to the western Rift Valley. Bwindi's most famous inhabitants are the approximately 400 wild mountain gorillas that make up half of the world's population.

A short game drive in Ishasha will give you a taste of what this area has in store for you. Lions prowl all around, but they are not like their relatives from the desert. Instead, they are known for their climbing skills! Unfortunately, as with all animals, we can't guarantee a sighting. The low-hanging fig trees offer optimal conditions for animal sightings.

After the eventful day, you can look forward to your afternoon destination in Bwindi. Buhoma Village is the perfect place for a pleasant afternoon walk where you can stretch your legs. The craft markets are ideal for tranquil strolls. Or how about visiting the ancient Batwa tribe that lives in the forest?

Travel time Queen Elizabeth National Park - Bwindi Impenetrable Forest: about 3-5 hours / approx. 210 km

Two nights at The Haven with full board in a standard room, Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, Uganda

Uganda is a country that surprises you every day with something new. Wake up early once again so that you can begin making your way to the Uganda Wildlife Authority Ranger Station. We will make sure you're registered because you will need to listen to a short briefing before your journey.

Today is the highlight of your vacation and the reason for your journey: gorilla tracking! In the next three to six hours, you will experience an incredible tracking adventure. Goosebumps will begin to cover your body as the adventure starts in the village gardens that lead into the jungle. The rangers carry a machete with them to cut your way through the jungle's rough terrain and underbrush.

For protection from the poachers, the gorillas are under 24-hour observation. That means that animal sightings are very likely because the rangers are in constant contact with their current whereabouts. Unfortunately, these jungle dwellers are still threatened with extinction, even though their numbers are slowly recovering. Since humans are very similar to the gorillas in terms of genetic material, it's our job to protect the animals' health. Therefore, it's essential to keep a distance of seven meters not to exchange diseases.

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A rustling, sudden silence, and patient pause — go on a sensory journey for the next few hours in search of the gorillas. Your ranger is an experienced tracker and will signal you when you finally meet a family. Armed only with your camera, leave all your belongings behind and slowly approach the gentle giant. Listen to your guide because they know how to interpret the behavior and movements of the creatures. Take a closer look, as most of the younger ones hide in the undergrowth or play close to their parents. Females and males, or even a dominant silverback, might cross your path for rare photos. Feel the goosebumps rise as the gorillas play and interact with each other. What an unforgettable experience!

On your way back to your accommodation, let the impressions sink in and truly think about the uniqueness of the experience you just had.

What you do with the rest of the afternoon is entirely up to you! Visit Batwa, where the indigenous people will show you a traditional dance and introduce you to their culture and traditions.

Today, you will head back to Kampala. Even though it’s a long drive back to your hotel, you’ll have a stopover in Lake Mburo National Park. After driving through diverse landscapes with beautiful panorama views over the country, you will reach Lake Mburo just in time for lunch. The scenery around Kabale, aka "Gorilla Highlands," is a colorful pattern of many mountains and deep valleys. Despite the rough and steep terrain landscapes, the locals use the grounds for fields. The highest point here, and in Kabales, is 2347 meters. In front of this mountain, you will experience a beautiful panorama.

In contrast, Lake Mburo is very hot and dry. Instead of monkeys and jungle dwellers, you'll find zebras and giraffes living in the Murchison Falls National Park. Since there are not many large predators, Lake Mburo is one of the few Ugandan national parks that offer safaris. Our tip: A night safari where you can meet the nocturnal animals.

Travel time Bwindi Impenetrable Forest - Kampala: about 8 hours / approx. 500 km

One night at Rwakobo Rock with half board in a standard room, Lake Mburo, Uganda

How has time passed so quickly? Today is already your last day in Uganda. Depending on the time of departure, you can embark on a short nature walk around Lake Mburo National Park and experience the diversity and beauty of this country one last time. You will return to the Entebbe International Airport, where you can buy lunch and take pictures at the equator.

A room at Boma or Karibu Guesthouse is available for the day so you can freshen up before your flight.

Half board and transfer are included for this day.

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The Boma Guesthouse****, Entebbe, Uganda (One night)

Nestled in a beautiful garden just outside the center of Entebbe is Boma Guesthouse. The 15 rooms come individually decorated with an authentic, Ugandan charm. Enjoy garden views and the exotic vegetation. Amenities include mosquito nets, a veranda, a bathroom, and a safe.

OR

Karibu Guesthouse****, Entebbe, Uganda (One night)

Karibu Guesthouse lives up to its name because translated, and it means "welcome." Experience a warm atmosphere that greets you with open arms. The seven rooms are cozy and have a bathroom with shower and comfortable beds with mosquito nets.

Murchison River Lodge***+, Murchison National Park, Uganda (Two nights)

Breathtaking views of the surrounding countryside and passing herds of wildlife make this a unique accommodation. In a beautiful environment, this comfortable and relaxing lodge offers something for everyone. The four thatched cottages are spacious, comfortably furnished, and include a shower and open spaces with a double bed.

Kibale Guest Cottages***, Kibale Forest National Park, Uganda (Two nights)

Kibale Guest Cottages is an ideal starting point for jungle adventures because of it's proximity to the national park. The sustainable cottages get their electricity via solar energy, and each one includes a bathroom with showers and terraces. What a magnificent view of the garden and surrounding area! There’s also a bar, restaurant, and lounge.

Queen Elizabeth Bush Lodge, Queen Elizabeth National Park, Uganda (Two nights)

This lodge offers accommodation for a wide variety of needs. The 12 spacious bandas are built out of canvas and local materials and stand on raised decks. Each of the bandas and tents has an eco-toilet and a shower. Experience an incredible outdoor safari atmosphere amidst pristine nature. Thanks to its excellent location, wild inhabitants visit the lodge and make this stay even more extraordinary.

The Haven, Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, Uganda (Two nights)

The three lovingly decorated bungalows of The Haven are in a spectacular location near the jungle. Experience unparalleled views on your private terrace and enjoy the benefits of authentic decor. The restaurant will immerse you with authentic African flavors because the delicious dishes combine with local cuisine.

Rwakobo Rock, Lake Mburo, Uganda (One night)

In a peaceful and secluded area, eight comfortable cottages nestle upon the hill. With enough privacy and space, it's a romantic place to admire the most beautiful sunsets. The main area offers views of the landscape with its rock formations and green landscape. The eco-lodge is supplied with solar power and reflects the African way of life in its decor.

Duration of the trip: 11 days / 10 nights

Including

  • 10 nights in the accommodations mentioned

  • Meals as described in the program

  • Safari vehicles with petrol

  • English speaking guide

  • One gorilla tracking permit per person

  • One chimpanzee tracking permit per person

  • Safari trips and guided tours

  • Entrance fees to the national parks

  • All boat trips

  • Taxes

  • Free mineral water while driving

  • AMREF emergency evacuation insurance

Excluding

  • International flights

  • Visa fees

  • Drinks/alcoholic beverages

  • Additional meals

  • Tips

  • Optional activities and excursions not mentioned in the program

  • International travel insurance

  • Personal expenses

Services & Notes

  • Good fitness is required for gorilla tracking.
  • The gorilla tracking included in the safari depends on the availability of the permits at the booking time. These permits are strictly limited and sell out quickly, especially in the high season around Christmas and school holidays. Therefore, we strongly recommend booking early.
  • The program depends on weather and road conditions; therefore, courses could change accordingly.
  • Please note that the price is based on two people. If there are more people, the starting price is reduced.

Additional experiences

White Water Rafting

  1. Per person from 123 € excl. Flight
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Horseback riding in Lake Mburo National Park

  1. Per person from 40 € excl. Flight
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Pineapple Bay Resort

  1. Night per person from 129 € excl. Flight
  2. 2 nights per person from 232 € excl. Flight in a Lake Cottage incl. full board
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Wildwaters Lodge

  1. 1 night incl. boat transfer per person from 198 € excl. Flight in a double room incl. full board
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