20 Days Gorilla Tracking & Cultural safari
Overview of the 20 Days Gorilla Tracking & Cultural safari
The 20 Days Gorilla, wildlife, scenic and cultural safari in Uganda is a comprehensive trip that is crafted to make your encounter in Uganda memorable. It includes the Nile adventures in Jinja, game viewing in the National parks of Murchison and Queen Elizabeth, relaxing boat cruise amidst populations of wildlife on River Nile and Kazinga Channel, white Rhino encounter in Ziwa, Chimpanzee trekking and gorilla trekking in Kibale and Bwindi respectively, natural scenic encounters of Sempaya hot springs and the Fort Portal crater area, active Ruwenzori mountains climbing and a cosmopolitan Kampala city encounter as a crown of your safari in Uganda.
Safari Highlights of 20 Days Gorilla Tracking & Cultural safari
- Day 1 of the 20 Days Gorilla Tracking & Cultural safari: Do Jinja adventure tour
- Day 2 of the 20 Days Gorilla Tracking & Cultural safari: Transfer to Murchison falls National Park – visit Ziwa rhino sanctuary en route & top of the falls.
- Day 3 of the 20 Days Gorilla Tracking & Cultural safari: Do game drive & Nile Launch cruise
- Day 4 of the 20 Days Gorilla Tracking & Cultural safari.: Transfer to Kibale National Park
- Day 5 of the 20 Days Gorilla Tracking & Cultural safari.: Do chimpanzee trekking & Bigodi wetland walk
- Day 6 of the 20 Days Gorilla Tracking & Cultural safari.: Encounter the Sempaya hot springs – Semuliki National Park.
- Day 7 of the 20 Days Gorilla Tracking & Cultural safari.: Encounter the Crater Lake hike, Amabere caves & transfer to Mount Rwenzori.
- Day 8 , 9, 10, 11, 12, 13 & 14 of 20 Days Gorilla Tracking & Cultural safari.: Climb Mount Rwenzori – the mountains of the moon.
- Day 15 of the 20 Days Gorilla Tracking & Cultural safari.: Full day relaxation & transfer to Queen Elizabeth National Park
- Day 16 of the 20 Days Gorilla Tracking & Cultural safari.: Do game drive & boat cruise.
- Day 17 of the 20 Days Gorilla Tracking & Cultural safari.: Transfer to Bwindi & view tree climbing lions en route.
- Day 18 of the 20 Days Gorilla Tracking & Cultural safari.: Do gorilla trekking
- Day 19 of 20 Days Gorilla Tracking & Cultural safari.: Transfer to Kampala
- Day 20 of the 20 Days Gorilla Tracking & Cultural safari.: Do Kampala city tour.
Detailed Itinerary of the 20 Days Gorilla Tracking & Cultural safari
Day 1 of 20 Days Gorilla Tracking & Cultural safari.: Do Jinja adventure tour.
You will wake up early for breakfast at your place of stay after which you will be transferred by your guide to Jinja 80km about 1-2 hours’ drive from Kampala. Upon reaching Jinja – the adventure town of Uganda, you will enroll yourself for the white water rafting experience that will see you contain the strength of waters of the Nile as they splash through the rapids. You will also participate in the bungee jumping that will see you fall from the cliff to touch on the waters of the Nile 140ft below – one of the active adventures you will ever have. The relaxing boat cruise to the source of the Nile will take you to the point where John Speke, the first European to see the source of the world’s longest river stood. You will see the Nile starting it 90 days journey to the Mediterranean Sea. Retreat to Kampala for overnight.
Accommodation: Sheraton Hotel (Upmarket/Luxury), Cassia Lodge (Midrange/standard) or the lodge (Budget/basic).
Day 2 of 20 Days Gorilla Tracking & Cultural safari.: Transfer to Murchison falls National Park – visit Ziwa rhino sanctuary en route & top of the falls.
Leave Kampala after breakfast as early as 6:00am from your place of stay and head to the north of Uganda accompanied by the company guide. The journey is 311km about 5 hours’ drive to Murchison Falls National Park passing through the flat Nakasongora landscapes before diverting at Nakitoma from the main road 115 Km from Kampala to drive further for extra 7 Km to Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary. You will spend some time tracking the magnificent white Rhinos which only exist at this place in Uganda after which you will proceed to Masindi for Lunch. In the afternoon, you will continue on the drive to Murchison Falls National Park and upon arrival, you will hike the top of the falls to take time gaze at the splendid powerful waterfalls and listening to its roaring sound as it squeezes itself through the 8m ravine before falling 43m below the devils cauldron forming a plume of spray with a trade mark rainbow – the greatest feature to have ever happened on the course of the Nile River which happens to be the longest river in the world. Check in at your lodge for dinner and overnight.
Accommodation: Paraa Safari Lodge (Upmarket/luxury), Murchison River Lodge (Midrange/standard) or Red Chili Rest Camp (Budget/Basic).
Day 3 of 20 Days Gorilla Tracking & Cultural safari.: Do game drive & Nile Launch 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.
Accommodation: You will spend an overnight at your previous lodge.
Day 4 of 20 Days Gorilla Tracking & Cultural safari.: Transfer to Kibale National Park
The drive to Kibale National Park is not an ordinary journey; it involves driving through the lush country side dotted by amazing features of earth movements including the Albertine rift valley. The farmed landscapes bring out the typical African villages that you have always heard of or wished to see on your safari like this safari in Uganda. Kibale is 441km about 9 hours’ drive from Murchison Falls National Park. The lunch stop will be made in Hoima town dubbed the oil city and continuous drive will see you arrive in Fort Portal and Kibale in particular in the evening overlooking the mystical Ruwenzori Mountains famously known as the mountains of the moon.
Accommodation: Primate Lodge (Upmarket/luxury), Chimpanzee guesthouse (Midrange/standard) or Kibale Forest Camp (Budget/Basic).
Day 5 of 20 Days Gorilla Tracking & Cultural safari.: 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.
Accommodation: You will spend an overnight at your previous lodge.
Day 6 of 20 Days Gorilla Tracking & Cultural safari.: Encounter the Sempaya hot springs – Semuliki National Park.
After breakfast, drive for 78km about 3 hours to Semuliki National Park for an amazing nature walk. You will pass through this forest of Semuliki which shares much of the characteristics with West African forests. It is a continuation of the Congo Ituri forest. The walk will expose to various birds like Rwenzori Turaco and primates including the rare deBrazza’s monkey before reaching the famous Sempaya hot springs. You will visit the female hot spring known as Nyasimbi and male hot spring known as Bitente where you will boil your plantains in this natural steam and they are ready in a couple of minutes – something to wonder of while on safari in Uganda. This is an eco-encounter that will bring you in close contact with nature and will ultimately refresh your body from the routine work back at home. Return to Fort Portal for relaxation and overnight.
Accommodation: Kyaninga Lodge (Upmarket/luxury), Mountains of the moon hotel (Midrange/standard) or Ruwenzori guest house.
Day 7 of 20 Days Gorilla Tracking & Cultural safari.: Encounter the Crater Lake hike, Amabere caves & transfer to Mount Rwenzori.
After breakfast head for the Crater Lake hike and Amabere caves walk. You will first visit the Amabere g’ Nnyinamwiru caves an ancient landmark with a lot of historical and cultural significance to the local people as it dates from the Chwezi era. Geographically, the caves are breast like features of stalagmites and stalactites with the seasonal Nyakasura water falls falling from their roof top. It is a great sight to encounter on Uganda safari. Continue to hike the crater lakes by hiking the famous Kyeganywa hill to gain the surrounding view of various crater lakes and hollows plus the overlooking views of Ruwenzori Mountains. After this activity, transfer to Mount Rwenzori 118km about 3 hours’ drive from Fort Portal and arrive in the evening for overnight.
Accommodation: Equator Snow Lodge (Luxury/upmarket), Mihunga safari Lodge (Midrange/standard) or Ruboni Community Camp (Basic/budget).
Day 8 of 20 Days Gorilla Tracking & Cultural safari.: Climb from Nyakalengija (5400ft /1646 m) to Nyabitaba Hut (8700ft /2652m)
After an early breakfast, gather at the park Headquarters at Ibanda which is also the Logistics support center for Ruwenzori mountaineering services. The climb commences off at this point and Nyabitaba hut is about 5 – 7 hours
Day 9 of 20 Days Gorilla Tracking & Cultural safari.: Nyabitaba- John Matte hut (11200ft/3414 m)
After an early breakfast, continue on the climb of about 7 hours. It takes you through Kurt Shaffer Bridge and crosses the Bujuku and Mubuku rivers. You will rest your day at John Matte hut.
Day 10 of 20 Days Gorilla Tracking & Cultural safari.: John Matte – Bujuku Hut (13000 ft 3962 m)
This takes you by Scott Elliot up to Elena hut to mark the end point of central circuit. You need extra two days to summit 5,109m Margarita peak from this point. After reaching here, you descend to Lake Kitandara hut for overnight.
Day 12 of 20 Days Gorilla Tracking & Cultural safari.: Lake Kitandara hut – Guy Yeoman hut (10700ft/3261m)
Slope from Lake Kitandara hut amidst the views of the Democratic Republic of Congo and Margarita peak to the north before arriving at Guy Yeoman hut for overnight.
Day 13 of 20 Days Gorilla Tracking & Cultural safari.: Descend from Guy Yeoman hut to Nyabitaba Hut
This takes over 5 hours to descend up to Nyabitaba hut where you will spend an overnight.
Day 14 of 20 Days Gorilla Tracking & Cultural safari.: Descend from Nyabitaba hut to Nyakalengija.
This takes about 3 hours to arrive at Nyakalengija park headquarters to mark the end of your adventure Uganda safari to Mountain Rwenzori.
Accommodation: Equator Snow Lodge (Luxury/upmarket), Ruboni Community Camp (Basic/budget) or Mihunga safari Lodge (Midrange/standard).
Day 15 of 20 Days Gorilla Tracking & Cultural safari.: Full day relaxation & transfer to Queen Elizabeth National Park
Have a very relaxed breakfast and spend the whole day at your lodge doing some simple stretches and relaxing entirely to allow the body to rejuvenate from the strenuous Ruwenzori Mountain climbing. In the evening, drive for 72km about 2 hours to spend an overnight in Queen Elizabeth National Park.
Accommodation: Mweya safari lodge (Upmarket/luxury), Enganzi lodge (Midrange/standard) or Simba safari Camp (Budget/basic).
Day 16 of 20 Days Gorilla Tracking & Cultural safari.: Do game drive & boat cruise.
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 gather at Mweya for a recreational afternoon launch cruise leaving at 03:00pm taking 2 hours exploring the magical offerings of Kazinga Channel including the sights of water birds and wild game drinking on the channel side, the Nile crocodile and the Hippos. The 45m channel that stretches from Lake George to Lake Edward has tranquil waters that always give pleasure and psychological satisfaction to any traveller on Uganda safaris. Retire from the boat at 5 pm for overnight.
Accommodation: You will have dinner and overnight at your previous lodge.
Day 17 of 20 Days Gorilla Tracking & Cultural safari.: Transfer to Bwindi & view tree climbing lions en route.
After breakfast, embark on the transfer to the gorilla trekking haven of Bwindi 160km about 5 hours’ drive from Mweya. You will pass through the Ishasha sector of Queen Elizabeth National Park where you have chances of spotting tree climbing lions lying on tree branches in the midmorning warm sunshine. Proceed to Bwindi in the afternoon and check to your lodge for relaxation and overnight.
Accommodation: Gorilla Forest Camp (Upmarket/Luxury), Engagi lodge (Midrange/standard) or Bwindi View Bandas (Budget/Basic)
Day 18 of 20 Days Gorilla Tracking & Cultural safari.: 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 Buhoma 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 attend the local performances to see the amazing cultural performances of the Bakiga and the Batwa.
Accommodation: You will spend an overnight at your previous lodge.
Day 19 of 20 Days Gorilla Tracking & Cultural safari.: Transfer to Kampala
After breakfast, embark on 527km about 10 hours’ drive to Kampala. Have en route stops at Igongo Cultural Center 12km past for Lunch at the famous Kahwa Kanuzire restaurant and at the Equator crossing at Kayabwe 77km to Kampala to have amazing photo poses and participate in water experiments that justify the divide between southern and northern hemispheres. Continue to arrive in Kampala in the afternoon for relaxation and overnight.
Accommodation: Sheraton Hotel (Upmarket/luxury), Cassia Lodge (Midrange/standard) or the Lodge (Budget/Basic).
Day 20 of 20 Days Gorilla Tracking & Cultural safari: Do Kampala city tour.
The Kampala city tour is designed to allow you to explore the heritage of Kampala while giving yourself time to pass through relaxing centers, do some shopping and preparing for your departure. You can visit religious attractions like Namirembe and Rubaga Cathedrals, Baha’i temple and Gadhafi mosque. You can also visit the royal palace of the Kingdom of Buganda, Kasubi tombs once re-opened to visitors, Uganda museum, and craft centers like the famous Exposure Africa. National buildings like the parliament, educational institutions like Makerere University and National Hospitals like Mulago can also be visited.
End of the 20 Days Gorilla Tracking & Cultural safari
Safari package includes
Airport transfers Transportation by safari van Accommodation and meals as per itinerary Gorilla permits, one per person to be paid in advance Driver allowances En-route lunches Visit the equator and igongo cultural Centre.
The package excludes
personal nature expenses of excludes: laundry, tips to local guides, telephone, porter fee while trekking, Air fare, Visa, drinks, personal insurance, personal shopping bills and cigarettes.
Price per Person for Different Numbers of People
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