12 Days Gorilla Safari in Uganda

Overview

12 Days Gorilla Safari in Uganda is one of the best medium Uganda safari packages allows you to fit it in your fortnight holiday as one day dedicated for arrival and another for departure. The safari involves rich wild game viewing in the national Parks of Lake Mburo with its Impala, eland and Zebras, Queen Elizabeth with its tree climbing lions, elephants and Buffaloes and Murchison Falls with its Jacksons Hartebeest Rothschild Giraffes and Rhinos in the nearby Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary. The water environments of River Nile and Kazinga Channel offer remarkable encounters with Nile Crocodiles and Hippopotamus.   The Mountain gorillas of Bwindi and the Chimpanzees of Kibale combine to make the safari above the ordinary and worth undertaking.

Safari Highlight  

Day 1: Transfer to Murchison Falls National Park. Visit Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary en route

Day 2: Do morning game drive & afternoon Nile Launch cruise

Day 3: Visit the top of the falls & transfer to Hoima. Visit Kibiro Salt Gardens en route

Day 4: Transfer to Fort Portal Area, Visit the Amabere g’ Nnyinamwiru caves, hike the Fort Portal Crater field and transfer to Kibale National Park

Day 5: Do morning Chimpanzee trekking & afternoon Bigodi wetland walk

Day 6: Transfer to Queen Elizabeth National Park, visit the Rwenzori Art Foundation en route and relax at the lodge

Day 7: Do morning game drive & afternoon boat cruise along the Kazinga Channel

Day 8: Transfer to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. Do a game drive in Ishasha in search of tree climbing lions

Day 9: Do gorilla trekking & relax at the lodge

Day 10:  Transfer to Lake Bunyonyi and do the Island Hopping

Day 11: Transfer to Lake Mburo National Park & an evening game drive as you connect to the lodge

Day 12: Do morning game walking safari & transfer to Kampala

Detailed Safari Itinerary

Day 1: Transfer to Murchison Falls National Park. Visit Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary en route

Following your breakfast in Kampala, embark on the transfer to Murchison Falls National Park 311km about 5 hours’ drive from Kampala. The drive will take you through the impressive flat scenic landscapes of Nakasongora which because of its terrain has the longest flat road stretch in the whole of Uganda. You branch off from the main road at Nakitoma after 175km from Kampala to drive on a dirt road 7km to the Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary Headquarters where you are briefed and assigned a respective guide to take you for the tracking experience. Hiking through rolling savannah thicket is very rewarding as you get close encounter with these impressive gigantic species that were reintroduced in Uganda in the year 2005 after their extinction in 1983. Retire from the activity and embark on the transfer to Murchison Falls National Park arriving in the evening for relaxation, dinner and overnight.

Accommodation: Paraa Safari Lodge (Upmarket/luxury), Pakuba Safari Lodge (Midrange/Standard) or Heritage Safari Lodge (Budget/Basic).

Day 2: Do morning game drive & afternoon Nile Launch cruise

river-nile-boat-cruise

After an early morning cup of coffee, embark on the drive to the park to explore its wilderness. The game drive carried out in the northern bank of the park presents remarkable encounters with one of the finest wild life species in Uganda and Africa at large giving a typical representation of African savannah. The counts of Rothschild Giraffe, lions, elephants, buffaloes, Jackson’s Hartebeest, Uganda Kobs, Oribis, Leopard, among others can be encountered in this 3 – 4 hour activity. Explore the designated tracks stretching to the delta area where the wildlife tends to congregate. Retreat from the activity and return to the loge for relaxation and lunch after which you will gather at the Paraa jetty for an afternoon boat trip to the bottom of the falls.  The boat trip starting at 2pm see you depart from the Paraa Jetty cruising along the Nile up to the bottom of the falls. The sights of the Nile crocodiles and Hippos may not be missed. The Shoebill stork tends to dwell on the River and can be luckily seen. The other wild game drinking along the river including elephants and a range of antelopes combine to make the boat worth undertaking. Retreat from this 3 hour cruise and get back to the lodge for relaxation, dinner and overnight.

Accommodation:  Paraa Safari Lodge (Upmarket/luxury), Pakuba Safari Lodge (Midrange/Standard) or Heritage Safari Lodge (Budget/Basic).

Day 3: Visit the top of the falls & transfer to Hoima. Visit Kibiro Salt Gardens en route

After breakfast, cross with the ferry to the southern section of the park, to visit the top of Murchison Falls. Murchison Falls is known to be the powerful waterfall in the world and the greatest natural feature to ever happen on the course of the Nile. The Nile River at this point squeezes itself to pass through an 8m ravine forming a plume of spray surrounded by a roaring sound that is marked by a trade mark rain bow before falling 43m below to what has been termed as the devils Cauldron. From the top of the falls, you embark on the drive to Hoima En route, you will pay a visit to Kibiro Salt Gardens and hot springs on the shores of Lake Albert which presents an amazing sightseeing feature on this journey. You will be impressed by the local women as they apply their traditional skills to extract salt. Continue on the drive arriving in Hoima in the evening for relaxation, dinner and overnight.

Accommodation: Hoima Kontiki Hotel

Day 4: Transfer to Fort Portal Area, Visit the Amabere g’ Nnyinamwiru caves, hike the Fort Portal Crater field and transfer to Kibale National Park

After breakfast, embark in the drive to Fort Portal which takes about five (5) hours. You enjoy the countryside landscapes with rural homesteads, animal farms, banana plantations and other crop gardens before approaching the rolling tea plantations of Mpanga with their undulating landscapes that pose a good scenic view in the area. Arrive in Fort Portal for lunch after which you embark on the visit to the Amabere g’ Nnyinamwiru caves which is an ancient Chwezi heritage site which dates a lot of cultural attachment to the local people. The other encounter is the hike to the Fort Portal Crater Lake Field where by you summit the raised Kyeganywa hill to gain impressive views of the crater lakes and hollows in the area and the views of Rwenzori Mountains on a clear day. Retreat from the activity and transfer to Kibale National Park for relaxation, dinner and overnight.

Accommodation: Primate Lodge (Upmarket/Luxury), Chimpanzee Forest Guesthouse (Midrange/Standard) or Rwenzori View Guesthouse (Budget/Basic).

Day 5: Do morning Chimpanzee trekking & afternoon Bigodi wetland walk

Following your breakfast at the lodge, gather at the Kanyanchu Tourism Center at 8am for briefing. The park staff will handle this session and talk about the chimpanzee trekking conduct after which you head to the forest in search of our closest cousins. The hike through the jungle with sights of birds, impressive flora and other primate species like Black and white colobus monkeys and eventual encounter with the chimpanzees as they roll themselves in their natural habitat gathering fruit, socializing and making pant hooting calls combine to make your chimp tracking experience memorable. The Chimpanzee trekking tracking tend to last 2 – 5 hours and this include one hour of direct encounter with them. You will retreat to the starting point for short relaxation and take your lunch. After this, you will drive to the neighboring Bigodi wetland for and afternoon walk. The Bigodi wetland walk allows you to have an encounter with nature and the people. The swamp has counts of birds including the Great Blue Turaco, swamp animals like Sitatunga antelope and the touch of the community where you visit the traditional healer makes it more interactive. Retreat from this as activity and transfer to the lodge relaxation, dinner and overnight.

Accommodation: Primate Lodge (Upmarket/Luxury), Chimpanzee Forest Guesthouse (Midrange/Standard) or Rwenzori View Guesthouse (Budget/Basic).

Day 6: Transfer to Queen Elizabeth National Park, visit the Rwenzori Art Foundation en route and relax at the lodge

After a relaxed breakfast, embark on the transfer to Queen Elizabeth National Park 157km about 3 hours’ drive driving along the impressive sceneries of the legendary Mountain of the moon – the Rwenzoris towering to 1509m above sea level with snowcapped peaks. A stop will be made at the Rwenzori Art Foundation to have a thrilling moment with the center of bronze casting in Africa. It has a range of sculptures on station and the casted works aligned impressively for encounter. The works of the workshop participants are also found at the site. This gives you an opportunity to view how culture blends with technology. Continue on the drive to Queen Elizabeth National Park for relaxation at the lodge and eventual dinner and overnight.

Accommodation: Mweya Safari Lodge (Upmarket/Luxury), Enganzi Game Lodge (Midrange/Standard) or Pumba Safari Cottages (Budget/Basic).

Day 7: Do morning game drive & afternoon boat cruise along the Kazinga Channel

After an early morning cup of coffee, embark on the drive through impressive rolling savannah plains of Queen Elizabeth in search of wild game. The stretch to the Kasenyi plains where the mating ground is found offers you opportunities of encountering a range of wild game including elephants, buffaloes, water bucks and Kobs along with predators like lions, leopards and jackals. The game drive takes 3 – 4 hours and you get back to the lodge after the activity for relaxation and lunch after which you connect to Mweya jetty for an afternoon boat cruise. The Kazinga Channel boat commences at 2pm and 4 pm for the Marasa boats and 3pm and 5pm for the UWA boats. The cruise offers you opportunities of spotting Hippos and Nile Crocodiles and other counts of wild game that come to quench their thirst on the channel side. Return for the activity and the drive along the channel track as you head back to the lodge.

Accommodation: Mweya Safari Lodge (Upmarket/Luxury), Enganzi Game Lodge (Midrange/Standard) or Pumba Safari Cottages (Budget/Basic).

Day 8: Transfer to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. Do a game drive in Ishasha in search of tree climbing lions

After breakfast, embark on the transfer to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. En route in the southern sector of Queen Elizabeth National Park named Ishasha, you do a game drive in search of tree climbing lions the unique Species that are only found in this part in Uganda with another group known to be living in Lake Manyara National Park in the south of Tanzania. However, low lying fig trees of Ishasha offers a close encounter to the tree climbing than any other part. You will eventually arrive in Bwind in the evening for relaxation dinner and overnight.

Accommodation: Chameleon Hill Lodge (Upmarket/Luxury), Gorilla Mist Camp (Midrange/Standard) or Broadbill Forest Camp (Budget/Basic).

Day 9: Do gorilla trekking & relax at the lodge  

gorilla-trekking-bwindi-impenetrable-forest

Following breakfast at your lodge, you will gather at the respective park headquarters in the region where you are going to track for briefing at 8am. The briefing which is conducted by the park staff details the conduct of gorilla trekking activity and at this moment, the gorilla family to track is also allocated per a group of eight (8) people. The eventual heading to the mist is a remarkable experience that will form part of your life time adventure. The forest tends to be covered by mist in the morning and hiking through the forest is an amazing adventure that is worthy your gorilla permit price. The activity tends to last between 2 – 8 hours inclusive of one hour direct encounter with gorillas. Encountering the mountain gorillas in their natural habitat is remarkably wonderful. These frightening and yet peaceful creatures would definitely welcome with fear and the silverback would have to punch a little on his chest to check your fighting status. Your concentration will be on your cameras as you tack as many photos as you wish without flash light to avoid provoking gorillas to reaction.  Retreat from the activity when your time is used up and then return from the activity to transfer to the lodge for an afternoon relaxation.

Accommodation: Chameleon Hill Lodge (Upmarket/Luxury), Gorilla Mist Camp (Midrange/Standard) or Broadbill Forest Camp (Budget/Basic).

Day 10:  Transfer to Lake Bunyonyi and do the Island Hopping

After breakfast, transfer to Lake Bunyonyi through the fascinating Kigezi Highlands with magical sceneries. Upon arrival you embark on the Island Hopping adventure exploring themain Islands of Lake Bunyonyi snce the l;aske is endowed with 29 of them. The main Islabda that can be explored include; Akampene Island which is traditionally known as a punishment Island for pregnant girls, Bushara Island with its impressive forest cover, Kyahugye Island which is a resort island a range of wildlife, Bwama and Njuyera/ Sharps Island known as the traditional leprosy treatment center, Bucuranuka known for killing a range of people who were brewing sorghum due to old woman’s curses. On the Islands, encounter the Batwa & Bakiga people brewing local wine, the transport means used across the islands, way of life, schools, traditional homesteads & an active canoe paddle on the lake interacting with fishermen.  Retire from the encounter for relaxation and overnight.

Accommodation: Bird nest @Lake Bunyonyi Resort (Upmarket/Luxury), Lake Bunyonyi Eco-resort (Midrange/Standard) or Byoona Amagara Island Retreat (Budget/Basic).

Day 11: Transfer to Lake Mburo National Park & an evening game drive as you connect to the lodge

After a relaxed breakfast, embark on the transfer to Lake Mburo National Park 199km about 4 hours’ drive. The drive will take your through the amazing country side landscapes of southwestern Uganda with extensive banana plantations and cattle farms not forgetting small towns that are built along the road. You will make a stop for lunch at Igongo Cultural Centre 12km from Mbarara town for a traditional buffet enabling you to explore the local cuisine in details. In the afternoon, you proceed for the next 33km to reach Lake Mburo National Park by branching off in Sanga town so as to access the park through the Sanga gate. Upon entering, you do an evening game drive to have possibilities of encountering Burchells Zebras, Impala, waterbuck, elands, warthogs, among other wild game grazing in the evening before retiring in the evening to your lodge for relaxation dinner and overnight.

Accommodation: Mihingo Safari Lodge (Upmarket/Luxury), Arcadia Cottages Mburo (Standard/Midrange) or Eagles Nest (Budget/Basic).

Day 12: Do morning game walking safari & transfer to Kampala  

game-drive-lake-mburo-np

After a morning cup of coffee, you embark on a thrilling nature walk through the savannah rolling combretum of Lake Mburo National Park with associated acacia species. The park’s landscape is impressive to encounter on foot while enjoying the views of the wild game including the Impala antelope, water buck, Burchell’s Zebras, warthogs, Elands, topis, buffaloes among others. The raised landscapes like the Kazuma Hill offers rewarding virus of the park and the series of five lakes that are within the surrounding vicinity. Retreat from this encounter which may last 3 – 4 hours and embark on the transfer back to Kampala 240km about 4 hours’ drive. A stop can be made at Uganda Equator crossing Kayabwe for amazing photo shoots and water experiments at the point of meet between the south and the north spheres.

End of safari.

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