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Buffalo, Murchison Falls, Uganda

Uganda Savanna Game & Chimpanzee Safari - 5 Days

Overview
Itinerary
Accommodation
Inclusions
Overview

Uganda Savanna Game & Chimpanzee Safari - 5 Days

Enjoy more time at East Africa’s primate capital - Kibale National Park tracking the chimpanzees and other primates before spending 2 days in Queen Elizabeth National Park searching for lions, leopard, hippos, elephant and other wildlife.

The park is also excellent for birding with a record 631 bird species resident here. A boat safari along the Kazinga Channel is most rewarding for closer encounter sightings of wildlife coming to water in the hot of the day.

  • Day 1: Murchison Falls National Park
  • Day 2: Murchison Falls National Park safari drive & boat trip
  • Day 3: Kibale Forest National Park
  • Day 4: Chimpanzee tracking in Kibale National Park & Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary
  • Day 5: Depart to Kampala
Itinerary

Day 1: Murchison Falls National Park

After your breakfast, we drive through the famous Luwero triangle.

You can choose to visit and track white rhinos at Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary at $40/per person. This sanctuary has now been established to breed black and white rhino, and restore rhino populations in Uganda's protected areas in a later stage.

Take a stop over at Masindi Hotel for lunch. We will continue through the park stopping at

the top of the falls which is a fantastic sight. Here the Nile, the longest river in the world, is forced through a narrow gap in the rock (only 7 meters wide), before ferociously plunging down 43 meters. From here we will continue onto our accommodation place along the Nile River.

Murchison Falls National Park is the largest in Uganda at 3,840 square kilometres. Here is the awe inspiring Murchison Falls where the River Nile hurls itself in convulsions through a narrow crevice and then plunges 40 metres in one breathtaking leap.

The park has a variety of vegetation ranging from riparian forests and swamplands to broad savannah, and provides visitors the opportunity of seeing large concentrations of wildlife including lion, leopard, civet, hyena, elephant, giraffe, buffalo, hippo, crocodile, a host of smaller game, small primates and many bird species, including the rare shoebill stork. The park is especially famous for crocodiles and hippos.

Apart from game viewing, the launch trip to the bottom of the Falls is another memorable adventure giving you the experience of the mighty Biblical Nile. On the launch you may see schools of crocodiles and hippos basking on the river banks as well as a variety of birds.

Accommodation options available (all on full board basis)

Up-market: Paraa Safari Lodge | Nile Safari Lodge

Moderate: Sambiya River Lodge | Fort Murchison Lodge | Murchison River Lodge | Pakuba Lodge

Low Budget: Red Chilli Rest Camp

Day 2: Murchison Falls National Park Safari Drives & Boat Trips

After break fast head to the delta in search for bird life and enjoy the game drive to look for lions, giraffes, herds of elephants, buffaloes and many more.

We will drive back to the lodge for lunch before taking an afternoon boat cruise to the foot of Murchison Falls. This boat trip along the Nile is often cited as being the highlight of a trip to Murchison since it allows you to get up-close and personal with the animals. Along this stretch of the river, there are reported to be around 4,000 hippos in addition to some enormous Nile crocodiles.

The bird life is stunning with brightly colored kingfishers and bee-eaters darting along the riverbanks. If lucky, you may see the rare and prehistoric looking shoebill, which is a cross between the dodo and a dinosaur. The boat takes you to the base of the falls which only adds to their impressiveness.

Accommodation options available (all on full board basis)

Up-market: Paraa Safari Lodge | Nile Safari Lodge

Moderate: Sambiya River Lodge | Fort Murchison Lodge | Murchison River Lodge | Pakuba Lodge

Low Budget: Red Chilli Rest Camp

Day 3: Kibale Forest National Park

Leave Murchison Falls National Park for Kibale Forest National Park via the Lake Albert escarpment, having a good view of the lake.

Stopover at Kolping Hotel in Hoima for lunch and after drive across the interesting river Nkusi (flowing from the southern end of Lake Albert, through the villages of Kagadi, joining Victoria Nile). Both rivers join Lake Kyoga and flow through the Murchison Falls continue to Lake Albert and north to the Mediterranean Sea.

Traveling on both asphalt and unpaved roads, you pass through traditional Ugandan villages where you see people at work tending their traditional crops of millet, sorghum, beans and maize. The lush rolling hills of this region provide good photo opportunities.

As you approach Fort Portal in the foothills of the Rwenzori Mountains, you enter Uganda's famous tea plantation region. A carpet of green spreads before you, as far as the eye can see, and seems an unusual contrast to the countryside through which you have just passed.

You arrive at Fort Portal, then, continue toward Kibale Forest, one of the great African rainforest research reserves. Years of study by scientists (who have cut a grid through the forest) have habituated many of its animals to human observers. This forest is famed for the variety of primates found here and it is a terrific area for birds. This rural Ugandan town (Fort Portal) is locally famous for its weaving and basketry, and we can spend some time briefly to examine some of this local art.

Fort Portal is a small and attractive city. The fort was built between 1891 and 1893 and named after Sir Gerald Portal, the British Consul General of Zanzibar who arrived in Uganda in 1892 to formalise the protectorate of Uganda. He died of malaria a few months after the fort was completed.

During the afternoon we have time to visit the scenic crater lakes region, checking out the superbly terraced tea estates. In the south of Fort Portal is Kasenda Crater Lakes region. It sits on the rim of Lake Nyinambuga—the back of the main building looks down over the lake, while the other side of the lodge looks out over another lake in the distance and, further off, the Rwenzori Mountains, which were perpetually shrouded in the clouds, except early in the morning. There’s plenty to do in this area and we can also take an hour’s walk around Lake Nyinambuga.

Accommodation options available (all on full board basis)

Up-market: Kyaninga Lodge | Primate Lodge Kibale | Ndali Lodge

Moderate: Kibale Forest Camp

Low Budget: Chimpanzee Forest Guesthouse

Day 4: Chimpanzee Tracking in Kibale National Park & Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary

Assemble at Kanyankyu River camp at 08:00 hours to go for the most popular activity in this park which is chimpanzee tracking.

Chimpanzees are man’s closest cousins though they are one of the most threatened primate species. More primates like black and white colobus monkeys, L’Hoest monkeys, grey-cheeked mangabey, red-tailed monkeys, bush babies, pottos and many bird species like the yellow spotted nicator, rumped tinker bird, little greenbul, green breasted pitta, the crowned eagle, black bee eater and mammals like elephants can be seen in this walk.

Kibale National park, which averages about 3,300 feet in elevation, is an extension of the great rainforests of central Africa. It is inhabited by three large communities of chimps, each numbering more than 100 individuals. Each community has a complicated social structure. The big adult males dominate the group and defend the community territory against incursions by male outsiders; the females usually wander in small family groups.

Typically, we locate the chimps by listening for their pant-hooting calls, then hustle to the area from which they are calling. We get to observe them as they feed in fruiting trees, lounge, and socialize with each other, or even, occasionally hunt.

In the afternoon we visit a nearby forest swamp that is excellent for viewing primates and other forest animals. At the eastern edge of Kibale forest is Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary which is maintained by the local community. You will expect birds like the great blue turaco, blue monkeys, baboons, otters, mongoose, bushbucks, bush pigs and among others.

Accommodation options available (all on full board basis)

Up-market: Kyaninga Lodge | Primate Lodge Kibale | Ndali Lodge

Moderate: Kibale Forest Camp

Low Budget: Chimpanzee Forest Guesthouse

Day 5: Depart to Kampala

Breakfast and head for Kampala with our packed lunch through Fort Portal and Mubende. This route travels through breathtaking scenery and delightfully rolling plantations, some of the best in Uganda, arriving Kampala in the afternoon.

 

 

Accommodation
Inclusions
  • Chimpanzee viewing permits
  • Meals indicated on programme
  • Experienced driver/guide
  • Accommodation as per programme
  • Park fees for the various parks
  • Transport on tour as well as hotel transfers
  • Entrance fees for tours mentioned in the programme
  • Boat rides as on the programme

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