12 Days Uganda Safari, Gorillas, Chimpanzees, Wildlife, Culture, & Relaxation

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Plains Zebras in Lake Mburo National Park

Safari Overview

This relaxed 12 Days Uganda Safari combines gorilla trekking and chimpanzee tracking adventures with amazing wildlife game viewing, community cultural experiences, and Lake Bunyonyi tour & relaxation – all at an affordable price!

The 12 Days Uganda safari tour takes you for thrilling gorilla trekking adventure in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park, where half of the world’s remaining 1063 Mountain Gorillas live.

You’ll also track the intelligent chimpanzees in Kibale Forest National Park and wild rhinos Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary on foot.

You will have great game viewing in the 2 Uganda’s leading game parks, Queen Elizabeth and Murchison Falls National Parks. Here, you will enjoy thrilling boat cruises; game drives, and sees the world’s strongest waterfall.

On this 12 Days Uganda Safari, you’ll have a whole day of relaxation on lovely Lake Bunyonyi and many opportunities to learn about culture of Uganda.

Please let us know should you have any questions about this safari. We are happy to make any changes to the itinerary according to your exact safari interests and budget!

Main Safari Activities

  • Track rhinos on foot in Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary
  • Gorilla Trekking in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest
  • Chimpanzee tracking in Kibale Forest
  • Game drives in Queen Elizabeth & Murchison Falls National Parks
  • Track tree-climbing lions of Ishasha
  • Boat cruise on River Nile to the bottom of Murchison Falls
  • Boat cruise Kazinga Channel
  • View the powerful Murchison Falls by boat and on foot.
  • Relax on the beautiful shores of Lake Bunyonyi
  • Community walks in Bigodi Village
  • Walking safari in Lake Mburo National Park
  • Uganda Equator line crossing experience
  • Optional Canoeing, boat cruise, and Island Hopping at Lake Bunyonyi
  • Optional cultural walk around Lake Bunyonyi

Safari Highlights

Day 1: Arrive At Entebbe International Airport & Transfer To Your Hotel.

Day 2: Travel to Murchison Falls National Park, Visit Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary Enroute.

Day 3: Morning Game Drives in the Northern Savannah Plains & Afternoon Boat Cruise to the Bottom of Murchison Falls.

Day 4: Visit the Top of the Falls & Transfer to Kibale Forest National Park.

Day 5: Morning Chimpanzee Trekking in Kibale Forest & Afternoon Bigodi Community Walk

Day 6: Travel to Queen Elizabeth National Park, Afternoon Game Drive

Day 7: Morning Game Drive in Kasenyi, Afternoon Kazinga Channel Boat Cruise, & Evening Game Drive along the Channel Track.

Day 8: Search for Tree-Climbing Lions in Ishasha Sector & Transfer to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.

Day 9: Gorilla Trekking In Bwindi Impenetrable Forest & Transfer to Lake Bunyonyi for Boat Cruise & Relaxation.

Day 10: Whole Day Relaxation at Lake Bunyonyi; Optional Boat Cruise, Canoeing, Zip lining, Hiking or Community Village Walk.

Day 11: Transfer to Lake Mburo National Park. Have A Lunch Stop At Igongo Cultural Centre & An Evening Game Drive On Arrival.

Day 12: Morning Game Walk in Lake Mburo NP & Drive Back To Entebbe via the Uganda Equator.

Detailed Safari Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive At Entebbe International Airport & Transfer To Your Hotel.

Your 12 days Uganda safari tour begins when you step off your flight at Entebbe International Airport (EBB).

You will be met by a friendly guide and comfortably transferred to a nearby hotel in Entebbe for relaxation, dinner, and overnight.

Entebbe is a small, quiet town in central Uganda, approximately 40 kilometers southwest of the capital city, Kampala, stunningly located on the shores of Lake Victoria, Africa’s largest lake and the world’s biggest tropical lake.

If your flight arrives earlier in the day, you might choose to explore one or more of the nearby attractions.

You can take a leisurely stroll through the beautiful Entebbe Botanical Gardens to see over 300 varieties of exotic plants and indigenous bird species and admire the beautiful Black-and-white colobus monkeys.

You can also visit the Uganda Wildlife Education Centre (UWEC) where you can see and learn about Uganda’s native wildlife, local markets to buy souvenirs, Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary in Lake Victoria for chimpanzee close-up encounters, or Mabamba Swamp to see the rare shoebill stork.

Accommodation Options:

Luxury: Protea Hotel Entebbe/Hotel No.5/Serena Lake Victoria Resort

Mid-range: Boma Hotel Entebbe/2 Friends Beach Hotel Entebbe

Budget: Airport Guest House

Meal Plan: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Day 2: Travel to Murchison Falls National Park with a Visit Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary along the Way.

On day two of your 12 days Uganda safari, your tour driver or guide shall pick you up from your hotel at 6.30 am after breakfast. You will then embark on a drive of about 6 hours of drive northwest to Murchison Falls National Park.

You will pass through quite rural villages, exchanging waves with friendly locals, and admiring the impressive countryside landscape of Uganda, the Pearl of Africa.

Along the way, you have a stopover at the Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary for a 2 hour guided on-foot Rhino tracking adventure.

Ziwa is home to Uganda’s only wild Rhinos. The rhino tracking tour gives you an opportunity to see all the iconic African “Big Five” on this safari. After seeing the rhinos, you will have a delicious lunch at nearby Kabalega Dinners.

After lunch, continue to Murchison Falls National Park, where the other 4 members of the “big five” (Buffalo, Elephant, Leopard, and Lion) can be seen.

Much of the park is lovely savannah grassland dotted with beautiful palm trees. And flowing dramatically through the middle of the park is the longest river in the world, River Nile with its complement of crocodiles, hippos, and teeming birdlife.

Accommodation:

Luxury: Paraa Safari Lodge/Nile Safari Lodge/Bakers Lodge

Mid-range: Pakuba Safari Lodge/Murchison River Lodge

Budget: Hornbill Safari Lodge/Fort Murchison Safari Lodge

Meal Plan: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Drive Distance & Time: Approx. 311 km or 6-7 hours

Day 3: Morning Game Drives in The Northern Savannah Plains & Afternoon Boat Cruise to The Bottom Of Murchison Falls.

On day three of your 12 days Uganda safari, you’ll wake up for an early breakfast at 6.00 am. After that, you will set off for a 3-4 hour morning game drive in the savannah plains of the park’s northern section.

You’ll explore several tracks, looking out for animals and birds as you enjoy the beautiful savanna. You expected to see Giraffes, Patas monkey, Buffaloes, Elephants, Hyenas, Warthogs, Jackals, many antelopes such as Uganda Kob, Oribi, Hartebeest, Topi, Waterbuck, and Bushbuck.

You also have a good chance of seeing Leopards and Lions. After a game drive, you head back to the lodge for lunch and some time to rest.

In the afternoon, you’ll enjoy a leisurely boat cruise on Nile, spotting huge numbers of Crocodiles, Hippos, and Waterbirds as well as other animals like Giraffe, Buffalo and Elephant quenching their thirsts on the world’s longest river.

You may even be lucky enough to see the rare prehistoric-looking shoebill stork.

Your boat trip will take you to the base of the mighty Murchison Falls, the world’s most powerful waterfall. After this thrilling encounter, you’ll drive back to your lodge for relaxation, dinner, and overnight.

Accommodation Options:

Luxury: Paraa Safari Lodge/Nile Safari lodge/Bakers Lodge

Mid-range: Pakuba Safari Lodge/Murchison River Lodge

Budget: Hornbill Safari Lodge/Heritage Safari Lodge

Meal Plan: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Day 4: Visit The Top Of The Falls & Transfer To Kibale National Park.

Enjoy a relaxed breakfast on day four 12 days Uganda safari and then visit the top of Murchison Falls to get a sense of its awesome power.

Here, the 50m wide Nile River crashes through an 8-meter wide rocky gap in the rift valley escarpment at a rate of 300,000 liters per second and falls 45m to what has been termed the “devil’s cauldron”, forming a plume of spray marked by a thunderous roar and permanent rainbow.

After witnessing these awe-inspiring waterfalls, you will set off on a scenic drive of about 6 hours south to Kibale Forest, home to highest density and diversity of primates in Africa. You’ll travel through n rural villages and you’ll arrive in beautiful town of Fort Portal in time for lunch.

Fort Portal is situated in the shadow of the snow-capped Rwenzori Mountains or the “Mountains of the Moon”.

The town is also known for its tea plantations. After lunch, you will proceed on a drive of about hour to your overnight accommodation at Kibale Forest National Park.

Accommodation Options:

Luxury: Crater Safari Lodge/Kyaninga Lodge/Primate Lodge Kibale

Mid-range: Chimpanzee Forest Guest House/Kibale Forest Camp

Budget: Chimpanzee Forest Guest House/Kibale Forest Camp

Meal Plan: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Drive Distance & Time: Approx. 366km or 6-7 hours

Day 5: Morning Chimpanzee Trekking In Kibale Forest & Afternoon Bigodi Community Walk.

After breakfast on day five of your 12 days Uganda safari, transfer to Kanyanchu Visitor Centre for your Chimpanzee trekking adventure which starts at 8 am prompt.

The encounter starts with a briefing from Knowledgeable Uganda Wildlife Authority ranger guides. You then enter the lush rainforest on foot in search of wild chimpanzees.

The chimp trek takes around 2 to 5 hours and you have a chance to see plenty of birds (375 species). You will also have a chance to see a variety of other primates like Grey-cheeked Mangabeys, Olive Baboons, L’Hoest’s, Red-tailed, Colobus, Vervet, and Blue monkeys.

On encountering the chimps, you will have one hour to enjoy these precious creatures. Kibale offers about 95% success rate in seeing some of its 1,500 chimpanzees.

More closely related to us than any other living creature, chimps are a delight to watch as they squabble and play in fruiting trees.

After your time with them, return to the lodge for lunch and relaxation. In the afternoon, you’ll go for a cultural walk in Bigodi Village to gain an understanding of Uganda’s rural life.

You’ll join a local guide as you learn about the traditions and customs of the locals, visit a primary school and homesteads, see how crops are grown, and hear stories from a local Mzee (village elder).

Accommodation:

Luxury: Crater Safari Lodge/Kyaninga Lodge/Primate Lodge Kibale

Mid-range: Chimpanzee Forest Guest House/Kibale Forest Camp

Budget: Chimpanzee Forest Guest House/Kibale Forest Camp

Meal Plan: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Day 6: Travel to Queen Elizabeth National Park, Afternoon Game Drive.

Day six of the 12 Days Uganda Safari starts with a leisurely breakfast at the lodge. Next up is a visit to Uganda’s most popular game park, Queen Elizabeth National Park, an approximately 2 to 3-hour drive away.

Set in the Great Rift Valley, in the shadow of the snow-capped Rwenzori Mountains (5109m), Queen Elizabeth National Park offers a fantastic variety of scenery: rainforest, grass savannah, freshwater lakes, rivers, dense papyrus swamps, and extinct volcanic crater cones with saline lakes.

Here, you’ll have a chance to see the handsome Ugandan Kob, rare Tree-climbing lions, Giant forest hogs, Common warthogs, African bush elephants, Cape buffalos, Defassa waterbucks, Hippos, Nile Crocodiles, Spotted hyenas, etc…

And there are over 600 bird species’. On arrival, enjoy some lunch and relax before heading out on a game drive in search of the varied wildlife within the park, returning to your lodge at sunset.

Accommodation Options:

Luxury: Mweya Safari Lodge/Kyambura Gorge Lodge/Katara Safari Lodge

Mid-range: Enganzi Game Lodge/Marafiki Safari Lodge/Bush Lodge

Budget: Pumba Safari Lodge/Bush Lodge

Meal Plan: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Drive Distance & Time: Approx. 157km or 3-4 hours

Day 7: Morning Game Drive in Kasenyi, Afternoon Kazinga Channel Boat Cruise, & Evening Game Drive along the Channel Track.

Your day 7 of the 12 Days Uganda Safari will start with an early breakfast at 6.00 am. You then head out on a 3 to 4 hour game drive in the Kasenyi plains at sunrise. Some of the animals to see include elephants, buffaloes, lions, hyenas, antelopes, etc.

You’ll drive through the crater lakes and enjoy the breathtaking scenery. After a game drive, you will return to the lodge for lunch and sometime to relax.

In the afternoon, you will enjoy a leisurely boat tour of two hours on the Kazinga Channel, between George and Edward Lakes.

Some of the continent’s densest concentration of hippos lives here, as well as many Elephants, Buffalos, Nile crocodiles, and waterbirds like Pelicans, storks, and fish eagles.

After the boat cruise, you will enjoy a game drive along the channel track as you head back to your lodge for relaxation, dinner, and overnight stay.

Accommodation Options:

Luxury: Mweya Safari Lodge/Kyambura Gorge Lodge/Katara Safari Lodge

Mid-range: Enganzi Game Lodge/Marafiki Safari Lodge/Bush Lodge

Budget: Pumba Safari Lodge/Bush Lodge

Meal Plan: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Day 8: Search for Tree-Climbing Lions in Ishasha Sector & Transfer to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.

After a relaxed breakfast on day eight of your 12 days Uganda safari, you’ll head further south as you travel to your next park, the great Bwindi Impenetrable National Park (approximately 4 to 6 hours).

Your journey is like a game drive in itself, with the chance to spot various antelopes, huge herds of buffalo, elephants, baboon troops, and monkeys out the window.

Before leaving Queen Elizabeth National Park, you will undertake a game drive in the southern Ishasha sector in search of the famous tree-climbing Lions, which tend to lie on fig tree branches scanning the plains for prey.

You will then exit the Queen and proceed through scenic countryside to the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Bwindi Impenetrable Forest – an island of biodiversity surrounded by rural Ugandan farmlands.

Bwindi is one of the richest ecosystems on Earth and is home to over 120 mammals, 350 species of birds, 200 species of butterflies, and 160 species of trees.

The park contains half of the world’s population of the endangered Mountain Gorilla, about 459 individuals at last count.

Accommodation Options:

Luxury: Haven Lodge Buhoma/Gorilla Forest Camp/Buhoma Lodge

Mid-range: Ichumbi Gorilla Lodge

Budget: Trekkers Tavern Ruhija

Meal Plan: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Drive Distance & Time: Approx. 218km or 4-6 hours

Day 9: Do Mountain Gorilla Trekking In Bwindi Impenetrable Forest & Transfer to Lake Bunyonyi for Relaxation.

On day nine of your 12 Days Uganda Safari, you will wake up early for the tour’s main highlight, gorilla trekking!

The activity starts at 8:00 am with a briefing by the local park ranger guides.

Your ranger guides will lead you inside the jungle to see the family of gentle Mountain Gorillas, as well as look for other forest residents, smaller primates, exotic birds, and flocks of colorful butterflies.

The gorilla trek takes 2 to 6 hours and can be relatively strenuous. However, on successfully tracking them down, you’re generously rewarded with a once-in-a-lifetime sighting of these endangered apes interacting, playing, eating, grooming, and going about their daily lives in their natural habitat.

You spend one hour observing them, a truly privileged experience. You then have a picnic lunch and return to the park offices for your Gorilla trekking certificate.

After that, you will go relax on the nearby beautiful Lake Bunyonyi, driving through fascinating Highlands of Kigezi where locals apply terracing methods to cultivate their slopes deriving impressive scenery.

Accommodation Options:

Luxury: Birdnest @Bunyonyi Resort

Midrange: Lake Bunyonyi Rock Resort

Meal Plan: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Drive Distance & Time: Approx. 52km or 90 minutes

Day 10: Whole Day Relaxation at Lake Bunyonyi; Optional Boat Cruise, Canoeing, Zip lining, Hiking or Community Village Walk.

Bunyonyi means a “Place of Many Little Birds”. This lovely lake is surrounded by steep terraced hillsides. It contains 29 islands and many of them are inhabited.

The lake is magical place to wake up in, especially with the early morning mist lingering on the lake. At this time you can see school children paddling dugout canoes to school and farmers transporting their goods to the marketplace.

Here you can fill your time swimming, zip lining, canoeing, hiking, bird watching, and taking boat rides to any of the islands on the lake (Island hopping).

You can also go on a cultural hike in the area.

It offers a great opportunity to learn about the legends, traditions, and customs of the people who make a home on the shores of the lake. You can meet a traditional healer, a craft group, see beautiful views from one of the high points on the lake or you can try your hand at paddling one of the traditional dugout canoes.

Lake Bunyonyi is the perfect place for a bit of relaxation. The only chatter you’ll hear in this setting is that coming from the numerous birds.

Accommodation Options:

Luxury: Birdnest @Bunyonyi Resort

Midrange: Lake Bunyonyi Rock Resort

Meal Plan: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Day 11: Transfer to Lake Mburo National Park. Have A Lunch Stop At Igongo Cultural Centre, Evening Game Drive On Arrival.

Day eleven of your 12 Days Uganda Safari starts with a relaxed breakfast. You then embark on a drive northeast to Lake Mburo National Park, Uganda’s smallest national park at 100 square miles (260 square kilometers).

Although small, this beautiful quiet park hosts over 350 birds and 68 mammal species, including Buffaloes, Leopards, Zebras, Giraffes, Hyenas, and Buffalos.

It is the only places in western Uganda where you can see Zebras, Impalas, and Elands. There are 5 lakes in the park which are home to hippos, Crocodiles, and Waterbirds, while the papyrus swamps provide cover for Sitatunga antelopes.

The drive to Mburo will take about 4 hours, through small villages, coffee and banana plantations, and rolling hills. You will have a lunch stop at Igongo Cultural Centre in Mbarara town. After lunch, you will proceed to the park and look out for the herds of Ankole cattle on the way to the entrance.

You will check in your lodge and have some time to rest, before embarking on an evening game drive. You will return to your lodge at sunset to freshen up and have dinner after an amazing tour through the “Pearl of Africa”.

Accommodation:

Luxury: Mihingo Safari Lodge

Mid-range: Rwakobo Rock

Budget: Eagles Nest Mburo

Meal Plan: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Drive Distance & Time: Approx. 199km/3-4 hours

Day 12: Morning Game Walk in Lake Mburo National Park, Drive Back To Entebbe via the Uganda Equator.

Lake Mburo National Park is one of the best spots in Uganda for a walking safari.

After an early breakfast at 6.00 am, join a local park ranger who knows the area better than anyone and search for Giraffes, Zebras, Elands, Impalas, Topi, Waterbucks, Bushbuck, birds, and much more on foot (there are no lions or elephants to worry about here, so you’re safe without a vehicle!).

After a nature walk, embark on 3-4 hours back to Entebbe.

En route, stop at the Uganda Equator Line at Kayabwe, where you can stand in the middle of the world with one leg in the Northern hemisphere while the other in the Southern and pose for a photo!

It is also an impressive site for purchasing souvenirs to take back home as a memento of this incredible 10 days Safari in Uganda tour.

From here proceed to Entebbe, arriving at around 8.00 pm, and depending on your flight time your tour guide will take you directly to the airport or to a chosen hotel where you have arranged a day room if you have a late flight.

Meal Plan: Breakfast

Drive Distance & Time: Approx. 240km/3-4 hours

End of the 12 Days Uganda Safari

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