13 Days Uganda Gorilla Wildlife and Cultural safari

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13 Days Uganda Gorilla Tour and Cultural safariThe 13 days Uganda safari is a blend of wildlife, culture, scenery and gorillas. It brings out the best of Lake Mburo National Park well known for its horseback safaris and populations of Impala and zebras, Bwindi Impenetrable National Park with its populations of critically endangered mountain gorillas, Queen Elizabeth National Park with its tree climbing lions, populations of elephants, buffaloes and antelopes, Kibale National Park nicknamed the primate capital of the world with its highest populations of habituated chimpanzees alongside 12 species of primates, Murchison Falls National Park with its famous Murchison falls, Nile boat cruise and the rare shoebill stork. The blend of scenery presented by Rwenjeru hill, Lake Bunyonyi, views of Lake Mutanda and the crater drive leaves you with a taste of natural beauty. The cultural encounters offered at Igongo cultural museum which presents the cultures of south western Uganda – their past and present and the Batwa heritage trail in Mgahinga will give you a taste of African tradition.

  • Safari Highlights
  • Safari day by day

Day 1: Drive to Lake Mburo National Park & do boat cruise
Day 2: Do horseback game riding & evening nature walks
Day 3: Visit the Igongo cultural center, hike the Rwenjeru hill & transfer to Lake Bunyonyi.
Day 4: Encounter Lake Bunyonyi
Day 5: Do Batwa cultural trail in Mgahinga & transfer to Bwindi via Lake Mutanda.
Day 6: Do Gorilla trekking
Day 7: Transfer to Queen Elizabeth National Park & boat cruise
Day 8: Do game drive & crater drive
Day 9: Transfer to Kibale National Park
Day 10: Do Chimpanzee trekking & Bigodi
Day 11: Transfer to Murchison falls National Park
Day 12: Do game drive & boat cruise
Day 13: Hike the top of the falls & transfer to Kampala.

Description:

Day 1: Drive to Lake Mburo National Park & do boat cruise

Depart from Kampala at your place of abode after breakfast in the company of our guide and set off for L. Mburo National Park 240km about 3 – 4 hours’ drive. Stop at the Equator crossing- Kayabwe 77km from Kampala for photography and amazing water experiments that bring out the divide between the northern and southern hemispheres.   Proceed on your journey through the farmed hill sides of Central Uganda and pass by towns of Masaka, Mbirizi, Kyazanga and Lyantonde before arriving at Lake Mburo National Park for check in and lunch. Relax for a while and prepare to do the boat cruise on Lake Mburo where you will have chances to see the wild game drinking on the Lake side including the Impala and Buffaloes, birds like African fish eagle perching on overlapping trees and Hippos as they thrive in their ancient waters.

Accommodation: Mihingo Safari Lodge (Upmarket/Luxury), Arcadia cottages (Midrange/ standard) or Eagles Nest (Budget/Basic).

Day 2: Do horseback game riding & evening nature walks

Wake up early for a horse back safari in the park. Options range from ½ hour to 1hour, 2 hours, 3 hours, 4 hours with picnic breakfast. You will enjoy this ride in the famous Warukiri valley in the company of well-informed guides and instructors. The horse ride safari offers you a great opportunity to draw closer to wild game than when in a safari vehicle. Animals like Buffaloes, Impala, Zebra, Bush bucks, Topi, Eland may be seen on this activity. Return to lodge for relaxation till lunch time. In the late afternoon, you will go a rewarding nature walk through this savannah park dotted with acacia woodland. The hike to Kazuma hill offers great scenic views of the park, the lake below and the wildlife grazing around it. Retreat to the lodge for overnight.

Accommodation: You will have dinner and overnight at your previous lodge.

Day 3: Visit the Igongo cultural center, hike the Rwenjeru hill & transfer to Lake Bunyonyi.

After breakfast, transfer to Igongo Cultural Center 33km from Lake Mburo National Park. You will take a tour around the museum where you will enjoy the themed interpretation of the cultural artefacts that have been gathered from all tribes of south western Uganda. The amazing sculptures stand in the compound and inside the museum to act as living justifications of the historical times of the area. The newly opened 1520 AD eclipse monument can also be visited. There is a craft shop where local arts and crafts are showcased. Alongside that, you will take a short hike of the Rwenjeru hill to gain the stunning views of the Ankole rangelands dotted with multitudes of Ankole long horned cattle and the modern exotic breeds. Have Lunch at the famous Kahwa Kanuzire restaurant after which you will embark on the drive to Lake Bunyonyi 166km from Igongo. Arrive in the evening for overnight.

Accommodation: Bird nest @Lake Bunyonyi resort (Upmarket/Luxury), Arcadia Cottages (Midrange/standard) or Byoona Amagara resort (Budget/Basic).

Day 4: Encounter Lake Bunyonyi

Dubbed the lake of a thousand islands, Lake Bunyonyi has a range of islands stretching up to 29 in number and can all be explored on 5 – 6 hours boat ride while on this safari in Uganda. The Lake Bunyonyi encounter is designed to maximize your relaxation and is entirely recreational. The tranquil waters of the lake and the surrounding views of Kigezi highlands dubbed the Switzerland of Africa combine to make this day a total complete experience. Options after the boat include; swimming, mountain biking, community tours and hiking. You will transfer in the evening to spend an overnight in Mgahinga National Park.

Accommodation: Volcanoes Mount Gahinga safari lodge (Upmarket/luxury), Mgahinga safari lodge (Midrange/standard) or Amajambere iwachu Camp (Budget/Basic).

Day 5: Do Batwa cultural trail in Mgahinga & transfer to Bwindi via Lake Mutanda.

After breakfast, set off for the Batwa heritage trail a half day activity that takes you through the forests of Mgahinga in the company of the indigenous Batwa guides as they interpret every forest landscape and what it mean tin their traditional life. The hike stretches up to the Garama cave the ancient dwelling of the Batwa – one can call it their capital in the forest of Mgahinga volcanoes. The cave is a natural shelter that always provided a refugee for the Batwa in times of danger. You will listen to the sorrowful songs being sung by the Batwa women taking you through the course of their tradition; it is a rich taste of the fading typical African culture. Return from this activity and embark on the transfer to Bwindi. You will pass by Lake Mutanda for amazing scenic views of this lava dammed lake and the Virunga Volcanoes where the three countries of Uganda, Rwanda and Democratic Republic of Congo inter join.

Accommodation: Chameleon hill (Upmarket/Luxury), Gorilla Valley Lodge (Midrange/standard) or Wagtail (Budget/Basic).

Day 6: Do Gorilla trekking

It is this long waited date when you will come across the critically endangered mountain gorillas that only exist in Bwindi and Virunga Volcanoes. You will wake up early for a heavy breakfast before gathering at the Park headquarters Rushaga for briefing at 08:00 about the conduct of gorilla trekking. You will head to the forest after briefing in search of these apes and though the trek is a bit challenging, it is one of those activities that you will never forget to have done in Uganda. The 2 – 8 hours activity involves hiking up the hills, descending down the valleys, walking through swamps and maneuvering the way through thickets which have formed the background of this Impenetrable forest before coming in direct contact with gorillas. The one full hour is at your disposal to maximize your experience with gorillas as you them forage, play, socialize and also gaze at you in a sign of welcoming and saying good bye. The experience is rewarding and worthy undertaking. Your picnic lunch will take you through the activity after which you will descend to the lodge for relaxation. In the evening, you can visit the communities in Rubuguri area to have a taste of the surrounding people.

Accommodation: You will spend an overnight at your previous lodge.

Day 7: Transfer to Queen Elizabeth National Park & boat cruise

After breakfast, embark on the transfer to Queen Elizabeth National Park 309km from Rushaga (Bwindi). The early departure will help you arrive in Ishasha in the midmorning to have chances to see tree climbing lions lying on tree branches. Continue to Mweya for an afternoon boat cruise on Kazinga Channel. Starting at 3:00pm, the 2 hour boat trip exposes you to a range of water birds, aquatic animals like Nile crocodiles and Hippos, wild game drinking on the channel side including elephants, buffaloes and antelopes. Retire in the evening for overnight.

Accommodation: Mweya safari Lodge (Upmarket/Luxury), Enganzi Lodge (Midrange/standard) or Simba safari Camp (Budget/Basic).

Day 8: Do game drive & crater drive

Wake up very for a cup of coffee before setting of for the game drive activity in the savannah game park of Queen Elizabeth. The early departure at 06:00 gives you an opportunity to see night hunters like hynas getting back to their hiding places and early risers setting off to look for what to eat. The drive through the Kasenyi tracks gives a probable opportunity to see a range of game including; Lions, buffalo, elephants, elusive leopard (if too lucky), antelopes among other wildlife. Return to the lodge after this 3 -4 hour game drive and relax till lunch time. After lunch, you will embark on the crater drive in the afternoon for amazing scenic viewing. The range of explosion craters lay in a sequence justifying the work of the earth processes that characterized the area. Crater lakes like Lake Nyamunuka, Lake Murumuli and Lake Kitagata can be seen on this drive.

Day 9: Transfer to Kibale National Park

After breakfast, embark on the transfer to Kibale National Park 157km about 4 hours’ drive from Mweya. The journey offers the scenic views of the magical Mountains of the moon that stand high above the snow line at a height of 5,109m above sea level towards the Democratic Republic of Congo border. Arrive early for lunch and relaxation after which you will hike the top of the world to gain the stunning views of the Ndali – Kasenda crater area.

Accommodation: Primate Lodge (Upmarket/luxury), Chimpanzee guesthouse (Midrange/standard) or Kibale Forest Camp (Budget/Basic).

Day 10: Do Chimpanzee trekking & Bigodi wetland walk.

Wake up early for a heavy breakfast before gathering at Kanyanchu tourism center at 08:00am for a short briefing after which you will head to the forest in quest of Chimpanzees – man’s closest relative. The trek involves passing through the jungle of Kibale dubbed the primate capital of the world with over 13 species of primates some of which you will luckily come across during your Chimpanzee trekking including colobus monkey, vervet monkey, olive baboon, Red tailed monkey among others. The enchanting songs of Birds will keep you entertained in this 2 – 5 hour trek. One full hour is at your disposal to explore the Chimpanzees in detail and ascertain the external considerations as to why they are dubbed man’s close relative. Watch the as they eat fruits, play, socialize and swing in tree branches as you take as many photos as you can. Return to the center after having had your picnic lunch. Encounter Bigodi wetland sanctuary in the afternoon to take the rewarding swamp walk with amazing bird sights including the Rwenzori Turaco and swamp animals like Sitatunga. The communities around Bigodi offer a close touch of tourist – host interaction.

Day 11: Transfer to Murchison falls National Park

The transfer to Murchson falls National Park – the largest savannah park in Uganda covering 3,840 square kilometers involves early departure for 441km journey taking about 9 hours of drive. You will pass through the lush country side of mid-western Uganda with the amazing sights of Albertine rift valley. Lunch en route in Hoima town and you will proceed to arrive in Murchison in the evening.

Accommodation: Paraa safari lodge (Upmarket/Luxury), Murchison River Lodge (Midrange/Basic) or Red Chili Rest Camp (Budget/Basic).

Day 12: Do game drive & boat cruise

Wake up very early for a cup of coffee and then head to Paraa ferry crossing at 7:00am to the northern sector of the Park where game drives are carried out. The possible sights of various wildlife including; elephants, buffalo, Jackson hartebeest, Kobs, lion, leopard, giraffe among other wildlife will leave you with a taste of African savannah wilderness. The activity takes 3 – 4 hours after which you will return to the Paraa ferry crossing at 11:00am to go back to your lodge for relaxation and memory sharing. After your stimulating lunch, gather at the Paraa for an after boat cruise on the Nile at 02:00pm. This boat trip has got captains and guides who have cruised on this waters for years and will be glad to share with every piece of information that you would wish to gather on this trip including any bird species and wildlife both aquatic and land that might present its self. The shoebill stork can be luckily seen on this boat while the great sights of Nile crocodiles – the second largest reptile in the world and the Hippos would make up your trip up to the base of the falls. The boat takes 3 hours after which you will have marked the end of your day’s adventures.

Day 13: Transfer to Kampala and visit Ziwa Rhino sanctuary en route.

After breakfast, embark on the transfer to Kampala 311km 5 hours’ drive excluding stops en route. Branch off for 7 km at Nakitoma after 196 km from Murchison to visit the Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary where the white rhinos can be seen in Uganda. The rhino tracking is one of those rewarding encounters that you can have to crown your 13 days Uganda safari. You will have picnic lunch and then continue on the journey to Kampala. Arrive in the evening and mark the end of your safari.

End of safari:

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