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Murchison Falls Uganda safari with gorillas trekking wildlife safari Queen Elizabeth NP chimps trekking 9 days Uganda all inclusive private safari tour

All-Inclusive Uganda Gorillas, Primates Wildlife & Murchison Falls Safari - 9 Days

Gorillas and Wildlfe Safaris Hall of Fame Trip Advisor RecommendedAll inclusive 9 day Uganda tour and holiday to see primates, enjoy comprehensive game drives,  Uganda scenery,  with game viewing on the savannah plains of Queen Elizabeth National Park and Murchison Falls NP  - giraffe, elephant, lion, buffalo, hippo, and leopard among others. Track the fast moving chimpanzees in Kibale National Park and the endangered Mountain Gorillas in Bwindi as well as the unique tree climbing lions of Ishasha sector. The 9 days Uganda safari is mostly private transfer based but on the gorilla trekking in Bwindi, chimps tracking in Kibale and boat trips for closer wildlife viewing, we might have other tourists joining you. We also have a dedicated Uganda safari guide for the whole safari. S/he is very knowledgeable about the country and the national parks and will be communicating in good English. The transportation for this Uganda safari is mostly customized safari land-cruisers or land-rovers with wide-opening windows, popping-up roofs, air-conditioning, 4x4 off-road driving. In the several parks we go to, we also engage local park guides just in case we think they have more knowledge. The tour can start/end from Entebbe in Uganda or Kigali in Rwanda, on any day, so long as the corresponding gorilla permits are available.

Safari Overview
Detailed Itinerary
Route Map
Inclusions
Accommodation
Safari Overview

All-Inclusive Uganda Gorilla & Wildlife Safari with Murchison Falls - 9 Days

  • Day 1: Meet at your hotel in Entebbe or Kampala (or at airport if you are arriving this day in Uganda), drive to Murchison Falls National Park, enjoy tracking the white rhinos at Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary, lunch en-route. 
  • Day 2: Lots of game drives in Murchison Falls National Park, boat trip to the bottom of the falls, try looking for lions, hippos, giraffe, leopard, elephant, buffalo and other wildlife.
  • Day 3: Transfer to Kibale National Park, in the afternoon we have a guided primates' walk in Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary. The drive is not less than 6 hours but flights can be arranged on request. 
  • Day 4: Chimpanzee tracking in Kibale National Park. This forest also has 11 other primates species. The Chimpanzee Tracking could be done either in the morning or afternoon.
  • Day 5: Drive to Queen Elizabeth National Park. The route is very scenic with the Rwenzori Mountains and lots of beautiful crater lakes. We also attempt game drives as we proceed to your lodge. Our guides always have several engaging options for this day.
  • Day 6: Game drives in Queen Elizabeth National Park, a boat trip on Kazinga Channel. Again we shall be engaging gears looking for lions, hyenas,  hippos, giraffe, leopard, elephant, buffalo and other wildlife. This park has over 660 bird species! The park habitat diversity could keep you outdoors for the entire day - just watch out!
  • Day 7: Day to search for the tree-climbing lions in Ishasha as we drive to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. In the Ishasha Sector are also several other BIG 5 wildlife species. If you prefer, it is worthwhile to spend a night at one of the lodges here and proceed to Bwindi on the next day.
  • Day 8: Mountain Gorilla trekking in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park 
  • Day 9: Departure Day! We drive back to  Entebbe for departure back home;  or you could also request to be dropped at Rwanda's Kigali for home departing flight.

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Meet in Entebbe or Kampala, start your Uganda Safari with Murchison Falls National Park and tracking the white rhinos at Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary

To start your Uganda Safari, we shall arrange to meet up with you at your hotel in Entebbe or Kampala at 8am. We could also meet at the Entebbe airpot if you are planning to arrive on this day, but it shouldn't be later than 11am.

The safari guide will then give you a short brief about the tour and the country generally and after which you will be good to go off for your uganda safari.

Our first destination shall be Murchison Falls National Park but we have plenty of activities along the way.  

Our first stop is Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary where you track the wild white rhinos. 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 (Full Board)

Up-market: Baker's Lodge | Paraa Safari Lodge

Moderate: Pakuba Safari Lodge or  Murchison River Lodge

Budget: Fort Murchison Lodge (tents) | Murchison River Lodge (tents) | Red Chilli Rest Camp

Day 2: Safari Game drives in Murchison Falls National Park, and boat trip to the bottom of the falls

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 coloured 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 (Full Board)

Up-market: Baker's Lodge | Paraa Safari Lodge

Moderate: Pakuba Safari Lodge or  Murchison River Lodge

Budget: Fort Murchison Lodge (tents) | Murchison River Lodge (tents) | Red Chilli Rest Camp

Day 3: Kibale National Park; Guided Primate Walk in Bigodi Swamp (flights can be arranged if driving is challenge for you)

Early morning after breakfast we continue driving through the undulating highlands of southwestern Uganda on our way to the greener and beautiful Fort Portal area. 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. 

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, bush bucks, bush pigs and among others. 

Driving time: 6 hrs

Accommodation options available (all on full board basis)

Up-market: Kyaninga Lodge | Crater Safari Lodge Kibale | Ndali Lodge

Moderate: Isunga Lodge | Kibale Forest Camp

Low Budget: Tents at Kibale Forest Camp | Chimpanzee Forest Guesthouse

Day 4: Chimpanzee Tracking in Kibale National Park 

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 columbus 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 socialise with each other, or even, occasionally hunt.

Accommodation options available (all on full board basis)

Up-market: Kyaninga Lodge | Crater Safari Lodge Kibale | Ndali Lodge

Moderate: Isunga Lodge | Kibale Forest Camp

Low Budget: Tents at Kibale Forest Camp | Chimpanzee Forest Guesthouse

Day 5: Queen Elizabeth National Park & Rwenzori Mountains

Either a day’s walk in the foothills of the Rwenzoris, one of the great mountain ranges of the world, looking out for its forbidding peaks in the distance, or drive straight to Queen Elizabeth National Parl. The game seen will depend on the season; the Kasenyi plains are good for lion and the Mweya peninsula for a variety of animals.

Shift to Queen Elizabeth National Park this morning (about 3 hours driving). Leaving through Fort Portal town, you turn south and early this afternoon enter Queen Elizabeth National Park, which is dominated on its northern border by the snow-capped 16,000-foot Rwenzori Mountains - the famed "Mountains of the Moon".

This 767-square-mile conservation area is bordered on the north east by Lake George and on the south west by Lake Edward; its western border adjoins the Congo Parc du Virunga. You will expect to see teeming herds of impala-like Uganda Kob, as well as topi, elephant and lion, giant forest hog, Cape buffalo. There are also several soda lakes filling ancient volcanic calderas where flamingos reside seasonally.

In the afternoon enjoy a game drive in the northern part of the park, visiting the Baboon Cliff famous for its nice scenery, and good views of the shadows of the Mountains of the Moon – the Rwenzoris. The drive to the lodge leads through large expanses of savannah grasslands and plenty of wild game

Accommodation Options (Full Board)

Up-market/Luxury: Mweya Safari Lodge |  Katara Lodge

Mid-range: Ihamba Safari Lodge| Enganzi Lodge | Queen Elizabeth Bush Lodge | Simba Safari Camp | Buffalo Safari Resort 

Budget: Bush Lodge (tents)|  Simba Safari Camp (tents) | Pumba Cottages 

Meals included: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 6: Queen Elizabeth National Park Game Drive & Boat Trip

We set out early in the morning for a game drive in the northern part of the park on the Kasenyi Track in search of lions, elephants and solitary buffaloes. This is the best time for opportunities of viewing the cats in action owing to the vast population of Uganda kobs. We have an excellent chance to view just about every animal here at very close range.

In the afternoon we will go for a launch trip along the Kazinga Channel. This gives you the opportunity to view wildlife up close: hippos huff and spray at a mere feet away from the boat, buffalo linger in the shallows. The shores of the channel are also home to an array of birds including pink backed pelicans, pied and malachite kingfishers, saddle billed stork and many others.

Accommodation Options (Full Board)

Up-market/Luxury: Mweya Safari Lodge |  Katara Lodge

Mid-range: Ihamba Safari Lodge| Enganzi Lodge | Queen Elizabeth Bush Lodge | Simba Safari Camp | Buffalo Safari Resort 

Budget: Bush Lodge (tents)|  Simba Safari Camp (tents) | Pumba Cottages 

Meals included: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 7: Ishasha Tree-climbing Lions, Drive to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park 

With previous day’s memories, enjoy your breakfast ready to proceed to Ishasha. You will drive along the deep and wide dry craters that are occupied by savanna grasses and

acacia. The drive takes you through the unique western rift valley escarpment and the (southern part of Queen Elizabeth National Park) Ishasha sector where you will take on yet another game drive in search of tree climbing lions before proceeding to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.

The journey takes about 2-3 hours but driving through interesting features. We shall be arriving in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in the evening. This park is home of the rare mountain gorillas plus 11 other primates species including the blue and red tailed monkeys. The forest itself is lush and green and there are streams running through it.

Accommodation Options (Full Board)

Up-market: Buhoma Lodge | Mahogany Lodge | Chameleon Hill Lodge (Possible to upgrade to Gorilla Forest Camp or Clouds Mountain Gorilla Lodge)

Moderate: Engagi Lodge | Nkuringo Bwindi Gorilla Lodge | Gorilla Mist Camp

Low Budget: Rushaga Gorilla Camp | Ruhija Gorilla Friends Camp | Buhoma Community Campground

Day 8: Gorilla Trek in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park

After breakfast, proceed for the morning briefing before enjoying the highlight of the trip - gorilla trekking, which may last the entire day.

We trek through the rainforest and bamboo covered slopes, accompanied by a guide and trackers, in search of a mountain gorilla family. The walking can sometimes be tough and long, but when you catch a glimpse of the magnificent silverback, any discomforts will be quickly forgotten. When sighted, visitors will be guided to within 6 metres from the gorillas, sit around them for a whole hour while gazing into their big round eyes.

Gorilla trekking is unpredictable. It's difficult to foresee how many hours you will hike. The gorilla excursion can take from 2 up to 8 hours. Expect to walk along distance in steep and muddy conditions, sometimes with rain overhead, before you encounter any gorillas. A good physical condition is recommended. For conservation purposes, time spent with the gorillas is limited to one hour. A ranger will brief you on how to behave with the gorillas.

While most of today's forests are no more than 12,000 years old, Bwindi's vegetation has been weaving itself into tangles over at least 25,000 years, in the process accumulating a lengthy species list. This includes 310 species of butterfly, 51 reptiles, 200 trees, 88 moths and an exceptional 120 types of mammal including 10 primates. The latter includes chimpanzee, L'Hoest's, red tailed and blue monkey, black and white colobus, baboon, and Bwindi's most famous resident, the mountain gorilla.

Bwindi is a prime destination for birdwatchers. Its 350 species include seven which are IUCN red data listed and 90% of all Albertine rift endemics, species which are difficult or impossible to see in any other part of East Africa.

Bwindi Overnight Options:

Up-market: Mahogany Springs Lodge or Buhoma Lodge or Chameleon Hill Lodge (Possible to upgrade to Gorilla Forest Camp or Clouds Mountain Gorilla Lodge)

Moderate: Silverback Lodge Bwindi or Engagi Lodge or Lake Mulehe Gorilla Lodge

Low Budget: Rushaga Gorilla Camp | Ruhija Gorilla Friends Camp | Buhoma Community Campground

Day 9: Leave Bwindi and  Return to Kampala / Entebbe or to Kigali (Daily flights to Entebbe can be booked as well)

Rise early for breakfast before saying farewell to the camp’s friendly staff as we depart for Kampala / Entebbe.

En route we will stop at the Equator for photographs and ‘polar-water experiment', then local community crafts shops and fruit markets.

We will be in Kampala in the evening before for your flight back home.

 

 

Route Map

Inclusions
  • Gorilla permits (each at US$600)
  • Chimpanzee viewing permits
  • Game drives
  • Accommodation with all meals during the tour
  • Services of  a goos and experienced safari guide
  • Bottled drinking water on the vehicle
  • Park fees for the various parks
  • Transport on tour using a 4x4 safari land cruisers
  • Entrance fees for tours mentioned in the programme
  • Boat rides as on the programme 
Accommodation

Upscale accommodation:

Night 1&2: Baker's Lodge or Paraa Safari Lodge

Night 3 & 4:  Kyaninga Lodge or Crater Safari Lodge or Ndali Lodge

Night 5& 6: Mweya Safari Lodge or Katara Lodge

Nights 7 &8: Mahogany Springs Lodge or  Buhoma Lodge or Mt. Gahinga Lodge or Chameleon Hill Lodge 

(Upgrade to Gorilla Forest Camp or Clouds Mountain Gorilla Lodge)

Midrange (Moderate) accommodation:

Night 1&2: Pakuba Safari Lodge or Murchison River Lodge 

Night 3 & 4:  Isunga Lodge or Turaco Treetops Lodge

Night 5& 6: Ihamba Lakeside Safari Resort or Bush Lodge or Enganzi Lodge

Nights 7 &8: Silverback Lodge or Engagi Lodge or Lake Mulehe Gorilla Lodge 

 

Lower Budget accommodation:

Night 1&2: Tents Murchison River Lodge or Fort Murchison Lodge or Red Chilli Rest Camp

Night 3 & 4:  Tents at Kibale Forest Camp or Chimpanzee Forest Guesthouse

Night 5& 6: Tents at Bush Lodge or Simba Safari camp or Pumba Cottages 

Nights 7 &8: Gorilla Conservation Camp or Rushaga Gorilla Havens Lodge

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On your safari, you have a chance to experience some of the most spectacular yet undiscovered wildlife. Uganda has very beautiful scenery, comfortable weather year-round and above all friendly people that will make your holiday a journey to remember. Besides, Uganda has such a wealth of attractions that a single visit will not be enough to discover all its wonders…!

Uganda as a country is one of the most thought for destination when it comes to African safaris. This is due to its natural endowment with natural beauty, characterized by good natural physical features, amazing African landscapes and scenic views.

Uganda is also known both as a world of birds and world of wildlife.

Uganda lies a stride the equator between Kenya to the east and the Democratic Republic of Congo in the west. It covers an area of 236,000m2 with 25% of its surface made up of large lakes including lakes Victoria, Albert, Edward and George.

With our safaris you can expect to see Africa’s Big Five and other land animals, gorillas, chimpanzees and other primates, waterfalls, forests, islands, and plenty of bird life.

Uganda offers excellent Africa vacation tours to its national parks and game reserves where you may have the opportunity to see a diversity of wildlife through game drives and walking or chimpanzee trekking safaris.

Unlike Tanzania and Kenya safaris, Uganda includes gorilla safaris to Bwindi national parks where the Virungas extend to Rwanda and Congo. Hiking expeditions offer additional adventure in Rwenzori National Park similar to those of Mount Kenya.

The tourism and hospitality sector provides a variety of safari accommodation options including camping, safari lodges, hotels, resorts and guest houses. These may be luxury or discounted/cheap depending on what you want for your Uganda accommodation.

MAIN NATIONAL PARKS FOR YOUR 9-DAY ALL-INCLUSIVE UGANDA SAFARI FOR GORILLAS, WILDLIFE AND PRIMATES

Bwindi Impenetrable National Park

The park is located in southwestern Uganda, covering parts of Rukungiri, Kisoro, and Kabale Districts. It is situated in a hilly country-side that, together with some remnant lowland forest outside the boundary constitutes an important water catchments area for many rivers, supplying the agricultural land of the surrounding region.

Bwindi Impenetrable Forest is a true equatorial jungle, inhabited by four gorilla groups. Amongst the dense vegetation the columbus monkey jumps from branch to branch, chattering its warning to its fellows hidden by the foliage. Chimpanzees, in families of 20 or 30, make the rounds, searching for fruit and edible plants.

It is situated in a hilly country-side that, together with some remnant lowland forest outside the boundary constitutes an important water catchments area for many rivers, supplying the agricultural land of the surrounding region.

The best time to visit Uganda is late December to late February, and from June to September, as the weather at this time of year is generally dry, and warm. Temperatures average at around 25 degrees Celsius.

Kibale National Park

Once this tropical rainforest provided a (very substantial) dinner, bed and breakfast for large herds of migrating forest elephants and, even now, the park contain the largest population of this subspecies in Uganda. Although they're rarely seen, and dangerous, the signs of these elephants' presence are abundant.

However, Kibale's claim to fame is its enormous variety of primates and its families of habituated chimpanzees - it's home to an astonishing 12 species of primate and provides one of the highest primate densities in the world. Here, on a daytime or evening guided forest walk, you may find families of chimpanzees and red colobus monkeys chattering and swinging through the ancient forest trees.

The sightings of birds in the forest are no less impressive - there are at least 325 species, many of which are found nowhere else. In addition, there are over 144 species of butterflies.

Murchison Falls National Park

Murchison Falls National Park is one of the most spectacular in Uganda, and indeed in the whole of Africa. This is the largest game park in the country (3,840 sq.km.) and has the most intense concentration of animals along the river. The park is really spectacular that it is hard not to include it in an all-inclusive Uganda wildlife safari. On the way there, we track the white rhinos in Ziwa sanctuary. While on safaris in the park, we might encounter giraffes, lions, elephant, hippos, crocodile, buffalo and many other wildlife species for a Uganda safari.

Here is the awe-inspiring Murchison Falls, where the River Nile hurls itself in appalling convulsions through a narrow crevice and then plunges 40 metres in one breathtaking leap. Before the Murchison Falls themselves, in the eastern sector of the park, are the Karuma Falls where the Nile cascades over 23 kilometres of rapids in a breathtaking sight. This is some of the most exciting white water in Africa.

A launch trip upstream to the falls is one of the great experiences in Africa. Elephant, hartebeest, giraffe, buffalo, crocodiles and countless antelope and birds (including the rare shoebill stork) can be admired at the water's edge as the launch glides along the Murchison Falls National Park, with its variety of vegetation ranging from riparian forests and swamplands to broad savannah, provides the opportunity of seeing many of the animals found  in Uganda.

Queen Elizabeth National Park

The Queen Elizabeth National Park provides an unforgettable and unique experience for your Uganda safari in search of beautiful scenery and the BIG-5 - lions, leopard, bufallo, hippos, elephant and hyenas.

Queen Elizabeth National Park is 1,978 Km2 in area and is situated astride the Equator in the Western Rift Valley of South West Uganda, close to the southern-most tip of the tabled, mist-covered "Mountains of the Moon - Rwenzori Mountains and is contiguous with Virunga National Park in Democratic Republic of Congo.

It is a region of varied habitats including, open grassland with thickets, thick bush, forest, swamps and lake-shore. Queen Elizabeth National Park together with Virunga National Park in (DRC) completely encircles Lake Edward which is connected to Lake George by the Kazinga Channel.

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