Uganda Wildlife and Culture Safari
To experience everything Uganda has to offer, this itinerary is a must. Uganda is most famous for its primates and bird life, but also has extensive mammal wildlife viewing and authentic cultural experiences.
We recommend Uganda for experienced safari travellers looking for a new authentic place to discover different species of wildlife, as well as those looking for the very best primate viewing, trekking and birdwatching - Uganda is arguably the best destination in Africa to see an array of beautiful birdlife.
Uganda offers a throwback in time to how safaris were in years gone by, before the commercial 'congestion' in the most popular parks around the continent. So get ready for some very unspoilt experiences with minimal tourism. The only draw back if you are seeking the utmost in luxury is that some of the places we feature offer accommodation more on the rustic side, so we will need to tailor a trip around certain areas to accommodate your needs.
This safari is all by road as we take the opportunity to seek out local culture and see some of the countryside only accessible this way, but we can tailor elements by air for those shorter on time.
As always, every element will be tailor-made by our experienced safari experts to meet your individual needs and requirements.
Entebbe & Kampala
Upon your arrival, we recommend a stop locally to catch your breath before you start your adventure. If you are on an early arrival, we can bypass this, but middle of the day onwards we recommend this due to traffic and distances. We recommend a couple of local small family run hotels that are comfortable and get you into the feel of being in this wonderful county. If you want the bustle of the city we have a couple of great options in Kampala itself or luxury resort hotels on Lake Victoria if you want a longer more relaxing stay. Recommended overnight at the Karibu Guest House - Bed & Breakfast.
Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary
Head off early this morning with your private driver/guide as we have a lot of mile to cover. Start your day by taking in the wonders of Mabamba Swamp - just a short distance from Entebbe, this swamp area is brimming with birdlife. For keen birders this will be your first opportunity to see the rare and elusive, prehistoric looking Shoebill Stork. Boasting more than 30 species in a compact area you can get up closer than you could believe to beautiful species such as the Malachite Kingfisher for the most fabulous photograph opportunities.
After this trip continue your journey up to Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary, the only place in Uganda where you will see rhino. You will be able to take a guided trek with local guides through the sanctuary to see twhite rhino in their natural habitat – a breath-taking experience.
Accommodation here is fairly rustic with a lovely lodge area for dining and excellent service so quite sufficient to take in this experience.
Overnight at the Amuka Safari Lodge - Full Board
Murchison Falls National Park
The next day you will continue your short journey towards the north of the country and within an hour or so you will be in Murchison Falls National Park. Your wildlife safari starts on your journey to your lodge. After check in, have lunch then head out for your afternoon game drive. Take the small ferry to head into the north of the park and see the vast herds of giraffe as well as plentiful elephant and buffalo spotting.
Baker's Lodge will provide you with your first 'under canvas' experience. With a pool and gorgeous communal dining area, this rustic retreat offers great relaxing opportunities.
You'll be spending two nights here, so your second day will be spent heading back to the northern side of the river for a morning safari drive before coming back to the lodge for lunch.
We have lots of options available during your stay, but for birders we recommend a delta boat safari where you will see plenty of species and again seek out the Shoebill. For those more active we recommend the waterfalls hike. Take a boat trip from the river banks and head an hour or so along the river, keeping your eye out for great wildlife spots along the way with animals drinking at the water's edge and hippo wallowing about. When you arrive at the falls, you can disembark and take the fairly strenuous hike up alongside the waterfalls and your driver will pick you up at the top for your return.
Overnight at Baker's Lodge for two nights - Full Board.
Kibale National Park
Another early start as the drive will take quite a while - not so much the distance this time but the route of the journey. You will take some rural roads and wind your way to your next stop whilst seeing how the Ugandans live and farm. A lack of vehicles will make you feel like you have gone back a few decades. The friendly children will love to wave at you with the excitement of seeing a vehicle and tourist.
A truly stunning view meets you when you are approaching your next stop at Kibale National Park. This is the area where the Great Rift Valley meets the Congo Basin. Volcanic crater lakes scatter the landscape which is a truly awesome site.
After check in and lunch, you will have the afternoon to take a leisurely walk around the crater lake the lodge overlooks, or if you prefer take the opportunity to wind down at this very comfortable lodge on the veranda or maybe take a dip in the pool.
Overnight Kyaninga Lodge - Full Board
An early start is needed as you head into the National Park for your chimp trek. Your guide will help you explore the forest until you manage to track a chimpanzee troop. They are often in the trees so they're tricky to spot and photograph, but certainly noisy to get the adrenalin going. This is an experience well worth doing.
After your trek, head south again to your next stop and take some lunch on route (Some customers prefer to stay at the more rustic Primates Lodge which is right by the Chimp Tracking station so saves you extra early starts or a more relaxed afternoon after your trek).
Check in and relax by the pool taking in the impressive views over the plantation.
Overnight at Ndali Lodge - Full Board
Queen Elizabeth II National Park
After breakfast, head to Bigodi Swamp. This is another opportunity to stretch your legs with a leisurely walk through the swamp. You will see a good variety of primates and birds on this lovely community project walk
Continue your journey to Queen Elizabeth National Park and enjoy a game drive on route to your lodge and again in the evening before dinner.
Overnight Katara Lodge - Full Board
Ishasha – Queen Elizabeth II National Park
After breakfast head out on safari, and on your journey you will board a small river boat to experience a water based safari in the Kazinga Channel joining Lake George and Lake Edward. See hippo up close as well as plenty of larger mammals drinking at the channel's edge.
Explore the Ishasha part of the park in the afternoon including seeking the famous tree climbing lions who love the low branches in the fig trees growing in this region.
Overnight Ishasha Wilderness Camp - Full Board
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
After a morning game drive to try to spy some more lions in trees, head to Bwindi as your ultimate experience awaits.
Take in a nice meal and a decent early night as you will need your energy in the morning! You'll be spending the next two nights at Engagi Lodge, a luxurious lodge that looks out over the lush jungle.
The next day brings an early morning start, taking a packed breakfast and lunch with you. Head to the gorilla trekking station where you will be allocated your guide and gorilla family you will be seeking and watching.
We highly recommend you hire a porter to take your rucksack for you. Whilst they will only hold a few items – food, drink and possibly a coat, you will find it helpful as it is generally hot, humid, steep and hard work – but rewarding. Hiring a porter is a great way to help local employment as well as helping your back and provides a pair of hands to give you a shove up the steepest parts of the mountain.
After returning back after your trek, it's great to freshen up and head to the bar to compare stories with fellow guests before a well deserved dinner.
Overnight Engagi Lodge for two nights - Full Board
Lake Mburu National Park
This is a really convenient stop-off point on your way back to Entebbe. The lovely small park has a range of herbivores including the only zebra to be found in Uganda. There are leopard, but they are of course allusive as ever.
Enjoy an evening game drive where you can stay out a little later as you are staying so close.
Overnight Mihingo Lodge - Full Board
After a leisurely breakfast and short game drive, head back towards the capital city. Why not stop off at the roadside in Masaka where you can grab a picture by the Equator monument as you cross and watch the street entertainers demonstrating the 'water down the plug hole' effect.
Enjoy a late afternoon exploring the capital's markets and the hustle and bustle African cities offer.
Overnight Kampala Serena - Bed & Breakfast
Your driver will wish you farewell as they drop you at the airport the next day for your onwards journey home or to the next stage of your journey.
This safari can be tailored in any way to meet your personal needs including length of trip, accommodation and experiences included, with or without international flights. Contact one of our safari designers now to discuss your safari ideas.
- International flights
- Domestic flights and transfers
- Driver/guide for safari experiences
- 12 nights accommodation as detailed above
- All National Park fees and entrance fees for activities detailed
- Gorilla Trek permit $600pp
- Chimp Trek permit $200pp
Prices start from £5395pp/€5795pp/$7495pp