Day 1 – Arrival,reception and transfer to Kampala
Upon your arrival in the beautiful endowed pearl of Africa, our enthusiastic safari guide will warmly welcome you to Uganda. Your airport reception at Entebbe international airport will be done with our safari customized fleet of safari land cruisers or modified safari land rover defender. Ashort and precise briefing from your guide will be conducted,luggage fitted in the vehicle and after you’re driven to your hotel in Kampala the capital city of Uganda.Uganda being the hub for the second fresh water body lake in the whole world,Entebbe sits at the shore line of Lake Victoria and this provides magnificent views for your first Uganda safari impression.Your hotel in Kampala is built on one of the seven hills that makeup this glamorous city. Our chosen hotels for your first overnight in the pearl of Africa are Cassia Lodge (Backpacker/Medium) located on Buziga hill in Kampala’s south and offering magnificent views across lake Victoria and downtown on an elevated point of view. Emin Pasha Hotel (Luxury) is situated on Nakasero Hill, in a quiet yet central part of Kampala with a wine garage. Having reached to your hotel,checked in and enjoyed ahot shower. Together with your safari guide, you will sit either at the garden or up the elevated canopy dining with a cup of hot African pot of coffee or grab a cocktail of fresh glass of passion fruit juice and review your 13 days safari to Uganda as was booked in advance. This is done for our transparency and to confirm that you booked the exact itinerary with Instinct safaris. Depending on your time of arrival, we may reserve time to explore some of Kampala’s magical sights. These includes a visit at Gaddhafi mosque, Kasubi tombs, one of the cultural entertainment theaters at Ndere troupe or the Kabaka’s palace on the evening to serve as a great way to round off your first day in the Pearl of Africa.
Day 2 – Whole day road trip to Murchison falls National park and Rhino tracking at Ziwa sanctuary.
After Breakfast from your lodge, your second day in Uganda will take you out of Kampala to experience the first glimpse of Big five search in the Northern conservation circuit of Uganda at Ziwa white Rhino sanctuary.After driving through Luwero and Nakasongora witnessing the memories of vast roadside tourism, your next stopover is at Ziwa Rhino sanctuary. At this sanctuary you will learn that White Rhinos are being reintroduced into the wild places of Uganda after becoming extinct in 1980s. After this first activity of today, we want to extend our trip a little bit further in the North of Uganda to connect two potential conservation areas i.e Ziwa Rhino sanctuary and Murchison falls national park. We will stop for this critically endangered white Rhino tracking at Ziwa,you will meet your Rhino tracking ranger guide fully trained militarily. Rhino conservation today comes at acost,well armed, well financed poachers require a military style response.You will be ready for your white Rhino tracking dressed in trekking wear.Your Rhino and ranger guide will take you through activity general briefing for your safety and start to walk into this forested sanctuary. Your safari guide will make sure you’re motivated on your trek with photo shoot and Rhino conservation facts, you will be kept active through the day including the drive to Murchison National Park with all the information you need to know. After tracking the white Rhinos we will proceed to enter Murchison conservation area through Budongo Eco-forest. Our safari continuation on this evening will introduce you to the major safari highlight of this biggest safari park of Uganda that is the legendary Murchison falls. Together we will follow the foot steps of the Great explorer Sir Samuel Baker on what is currently known as “Baker’s trail” to witness amazing natural scenes of River Nile at the top of the falls. Such an impressive waterfalls “Murchison Falls”, gave the national park its present name. As the best feature in this park, the Great River Nile is the longest river in the world and this spot the Nile river is forced through a gap of only 6 m and then falls over 43 M deep-we call it “the bottom of the falls”. The overriding water masses are so vast that many fish do not survive the fall over the rocks underneath.The river provides a conducive shelter to many animals like Gap mouthed crocodiles at the foot of the waterfall. Elephants and more animals always come to the river for a drink. After this we will proceed to get the evening ferry crossing from the southern bank of the Nile to have our overnight in Murchison falls Northern conservation circuit.Our overnight is planned in the northern sector of the park at Pakuba safari lodge (Backpacker/Medium) or Paraa safari lodge (Luxury) – where we get a chance to learn about the local history of the conservation area and Pakuba a residential and hiding place where Uganda’s dictator president Iddi Amin was hiding during our dinner table.Animals like Pumba,impalas,giraffes and more do come to pay a visit at the hotel compound.The Nile delta a favorite birding spot and Hipo school is few meters away from this lodge.
Day 3 – Morning ferry crossing, Hot air balloon ride,game drive and Boat launch inside Murchison falls National park.
After breakfast at the lodge and checking out, we leave the lodge driving to meet the hot Air ballooning crew. Together we will have the Early morning game drive at paraa proceeding to meet the crew while we capture the Morning breathe of the forest.You will meet the crew and witness them prepare the balloon,here you’re allowed to photograph the experience cold inflation to Hot inflation. You will be mesmerized to enjoy the magnificent views of the palm dotted Savannah forest as you float up the palm tree top and this time you will view animals grazing and running in their tracks from above. You will admire the serenity of Murchison falls biodiversity and Lake Albert bisected by the Nile River all in your balloon ride, this is another safari opportunity to keep on the search for big cats and more safari highlights of this park at a glance.From the balloon we will proceed with game watching inside your vehicle and by lunch time as the sun gets too hot,we will drive to have aboat cruise to the bottom of the falls.You will enjoy your aquatic safari style by taking a boat launch to the narrow cliff at the bottom of the falls,while at the bottom you will capture the trip memories of and witnessing the powerful Nile River crashing more than forty meters deep to leave a refreshing breeze from down and at no doubt this will be another tranquil safari memory. From the cruising,we will land on the next bank of the river to meet your guide and drive to your next lodge in the south of the park.This brings us closer to next days drive to Kibale national park with ease in case some thing wrong happens on the ferry,our overnight is planned at Murchison River Lodge (Backpacker/Medium) or Baker’s safari lodge (Luxury) for the overnight at our lodge.
Day 4 – Whole day roadtrip from Murchison falls national park to Kibale tropical rain forest.
After a delicious breakfast from your lodge, we are today looking forward to fall in love with another different tropical forest experiences in the evening of your safari to Uganda.This will involve transferring from Murchison falls national park to the primate capital of the world atitle it earned due to the highest numbers of primates that reside inside Kibale national park.This will be a whole day of road experience but we will have multiple stopovers for photosque moments,cultural interaction and lunch along the way.The evening will lead you to Kibale national park for your relaxation,dinner and an overnight stay. Accommodation at Kibale Primate Lodge (Budget/Medium) or Kyaninga (Luxury) or Ndali Lodge (Luxury).
Day 5 – Whole day Chimpanzee habituation experience inside Kibale tropical rain forest.
Today is reserved for another great forest Trek, we plan to enter this dense and tropical rain forest on a full day chimpanzee habituation experience. On this tour, we expect to find large troops of chimpanzee families amidst other primates inside the forest and spend time with it. Note that Kibale is a natural home to 13 primate species both diurnal and nocturnal. We have more monkeys like red-and-white colobus monkey and black-and-white colobus monkeys. Your Instinct safaris guide will drive to the visitor reception center at Kanyancu,while here you meet your UWA ranger guide to lead your whole day chimpanzee habituation experience. He will talk to you before the activity, this general briefing is for your safety and please do pay attention. Chimpanzee habituation experience is meant for your whole day inside the forest with chimpanzee families but should you feel the need to have the activity ended in your favour like having no more interest to proceed,feel free to tell your guide and he will feel free to withdraw the activity for this case. Again your ranger guide reserves the rights to end the activity depending on his professional experience within the forest,this can be due to something uncommon on the chimps or any other animal or from tourists them selves. So please listen to your guide and always respect nature. For your information,Kibale forest is one of Uganda’s most forested areas and has the highest concentration of wild and freely roaming chimpanzees totaling to 4,500. Expect to see a buffer zone of tea plantations scattered all over the forest boundary to solve animal crop problem,numerous explosion craters and hills form the majority of the forest neighborhood which give the region its characteristic name – the “Mountains of the Moon”. While with chimpanzee you will be allowed to take as many photographs as you can but never pretend to imitate their calls as you might not know their language hence not sure what you’re doing. Maintaining the required distance between you and the chimps is beneficial to you and the chimps,they can break this rule but for you don’t. Chimps being our closest neighbors to whom we share about 99% of our DNA with,you can spread diseases to chimps or them spread to you easily hence the need to observe all the rules and regulations for your tranquil wild experience.You will always find Keeping your voices very low and dressing appropriately with no shouting colours any time you’re in the forest to yield much for your encounters. Later in the evening you will come back to your hotel for diner and relaxation. Accommodation at Kibale Primate Lodge (Budget/Medium) or Kyaninga (Luxury) or Ndali Lodge (Luxury).
Day 6 – Morning Bigodi swamp walk and transfer to Queen Elizabeth national park.
With having spent the whole day inside the tropical rain forest,today we will give the region outside of the park the last chance. Today’s activity will take us to the morning community owned swamp walk,with your community local guide you will walk while identifying more primates on your checklist and more Albertine endemic birds.Your experience will be dominated with cultural interactions and after you will come back and together with your Instinct safaris guide drive to Queen Elizabeth national park in the evening.Along this journey, will encounter additional safari memories like Equator line,stop for photos and Kasese town. Your day will reveal the authenticity of awell preserved cultural value where ladies carry bulky loads at the back whereas children are carried and suckles from the front. While in Kasese the land of Bakonzo,we will proceed to our next destination passing through the Rwenzori blocks and Queen Elizabeth conservation area. Mt.Rwenzori has the highest peak and a point in the country with snow at 5,109 M above sea level.The plight of this trip are the road side tourism potentials available for your discovery,these includes local markets like Rwimi,road side curio shops, children going to school will stop and pose the “Muzungu” smile, weddings and all sorts of daily life taking place in this community. Finally we will enter Queen Elizabeth national park,your guide will drop you at the Queen’s pavilion for photos and history of the park.After knowing why the park acquired its name from here,together we proceed to have your first overnight into this park at Enganzi Lodge (Budget/Medium) or Mweya safari lodge (Luxury). Your evening game drive to the lodge will involve Kyambura gorge and Kasenyi koblek,as the sunsets in the evening to the reddish sky over the Savannah plains, more wild animals will be joining the cool breeze for the night to graze like Hippos, African elephants,Cape buffaloes, lions, leopards, and more permanent residents of this forest.
Day 7 – Whole day game watching experience,boat cruise and the southern Savannah plains of Queen Elizabeth national park at Ishasha sector.
This day is meant for your whole day game experience inside Queen Elizabeth national park. An Early morning breakfast is the start of the day preparing you for this whole-day safari game viewing experience.Before the morning sunrises over this flat undulating Savannah meadow we will drive to the forest once again, remember park gates are opens at 7;00 Am and closes at 7:00 Pm. Today we will wake-up,have Breakfast from the hotel,checkout and with packed lunch to commence driving through numerous defined game tracks of Kasenyi and Mweya sectors while identifying and spotting varieties of wildlife.Later you will continue to do game watching over Kazinga channel with aboat cruise once again capturing those moments of an aquatic safari style at Mweya. An extension of your game watching can include visiting Katwe salt pans and Bunyampaka and a small community that got concession from UWA to own and manage a fishing village inside the park.Your launch cruise will be carried on Kazinga channel connecting two Great lakes of the Albertine rift valley i.e Edward shared by both Uganda and Congo and Lake George. After this,you will proceed to you next hotel with safari memories of an evening game drive in the southern sector of Queen Elizabeth national at at Ishasha Jungle lodge (Budget/Medium) or Ishasha Wilderness Camp (Luxury). Remember your safari to Uganda will be nothing other than an album full of photos and those beautiful stories to tell,so take as many photos as you can but don’t touch or tempt to feed any wildlife.
Day 8 – Morning Ishasha game experience and transfer to Northern Bwindi impenetrable national park at Buhoma.
An early morning wake up call will take you to have the last game experience in Ishasha ,this area is known to be a home of antelope species which cannot be found in other parts of Queen Elizabeth conservation area for example Topis. It is within Ishasha sector where we have lions pulling out their rare magics to survive by climbing the fig trees,with your guide you will be able to prove why?This endemic safari moment is only enjoyed here in Uganda and Tarangire national park of Tanzania. Game driving in Uganda is monitored and controlled for responsible Eco-tourism, on all the game drives we will observe the rule of procedure not to off track throughout all experiences. Later we come back to the lodge,check out and transfer to the northern sector of Bwindi impenetrable national park. You will arrive at your next hotel for lunch and later join aself guided and short discovery trip of the community and its surroundings at Buhoma. Accommodation is planned at Haven Lodge (Budget) and Gorilla Sanctuary Camp (Luxury).
Day 9 – Bwindi Great forest adventure hike through the forest from the Northern sector to the southern sector at Nkuringo.
Today, we continue with an integration of the offbeat Nyandwi trail leading us through the forest before reaching Kashasha river valley and swamp. From Buhoma you will enter Bwindi impenetrable forest and walk from the north to the south boundaries.Walking cross this rush of rich mosaic and green cascading mountains will lead i inside the national park and later exit to the community fields of tea plantations after crossing river Ivi.You will be surprised with how Bwindi looks from this walk at Nteko ridge! Bwindi impenetrable forest is an escarpment of verdant swathe and by walking under the forest cover of trees arranged in different canopies you feel fresh and cool. As a tourist you will find Bwindi impenetrable forest’s ground a blanketed layer and sponge like floor of dead plants and leaves, on this trails are high chances of encountering Olive baboons, several species of monkeys,bush pigs can be found wallowing in the mud and many butterfly species. Sometimes, this trail also reveals wild and habituated groups of mountain gorillas and should this happen, don’t worry all the walking safaris are carried in respect of Uganda wildlife Authority’s conservation mission and you will have escort rangers on the trail. The Great forest adventure hike starts at Buhoma taking us to the southern gate of the rain forest at Nkuringo. This is where your guide transfers the vehicle to wait for you and together you will proceed to your next hotel. Accommodation at Nkuringo Gorilla Camp (Backpacker/Medium) or Clouds Mountain Gorilla Lodge (Luxury).
Day 10 – An introductory day into the Gorilla Highlands for your Mountain gorilla encounter in their natural home.
This day of your safari is meant for the Mountain Gorilla encounters.Currently considered as the greatest of the wildlife trails on the plane, your time spent while tracking mountain gorillas will be quite memorable and humbly exciting. You will leave your lodge early at sunrise after a healthy breakfast and today’s goal is to penetrate the forest interior either at Rushaga or Nkuringo, the two southern park entrances of Bwindi National Park for visitor reception. We want to track the rare mountain gorillas in their natural habitat i.e Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. After breakfast and with appropriate dressing code for the day,your driver guide will take you to UWA center to meet your ranger and attend the general safety briefing about your Mountain gorilla tracking.You will be partitioned in groups of eight pax maximum and each group will be entitled to track one family of Mountain gorillas for one hour each day.Your gorilla trek is led by trained ranger guide and feel free to ask him any question about your gorilla tracking while expecting an answer in return.By following atrail you will be guided inside the tropical rain forest,each trail is used once and left to regrow.Your ranger guide will keep in touch with the advance team of trackers who leaves early to allocate the gorillas for you. Mountain gorillas are mobile and they do allocate their current position basing on their nests of the last night. Together with your guides and porters you will be led to follow Gorilla trails inside the forest and finally come in presence of your tracking group. With no windows, metal bars and doors you will find yourself in their home, the silverback (adominant adult male) will be happy to welcome you and endure your presence for one hour. Your allowed one hour time for responsible Eco-tourism is for your for photography and note the use of flash is not recommend while with the gorillas as this can scare them to charge.Feel free to interact, ask questions,learn about the wild while discovering the gorilla behavior on adaily basis. Even though tracking the gorillas is a one hour activity, you have the whole day for this activity, so afterwards, we will take the chance to drive back to the lodge in the evening and relax at our lodge.There are also opportunities to discover the surrounding of your lodge on aself guided short walk for additional photography of the Virunga massif from the highest point in the region while sipping a bottle of locally brewed Ugandan beer from home grown sorghum and natural waters of Nile River. Accommodation again at Nkuringo Gorilla Camp (Backpacker/Medium) or Clouds Mountain Gorilla Lodge (Luxury).
Day 11 – Getting to know the indigenous off-trails of Bwindi and Mgahinga conservation areas.
On the fifth day, we want to discover local cultures of the Virunga massif.The Batwa forest trail will take you through mesmerizing experiences involving community walks, traditional cultural entertainment and a canoe trekking trip on the volcanic waters of Lake Mutanda. During your evening or morning canoe trek,you will visit Hakaboko village to meet your local site guides for the canoe trek and the walking safari. From the starting point, we will be briefed and commence the canoeing. Your canoe trekking will be conducted on a locally made ( dugout canoe) locally known as Obwato, here you will not need an engine or motor only to taste your hand skills as you roar the boats yourself. This activity is quite Eco-friendly with no fumes, no engines just listening to sounds of the jungle as the sea vibrates responding to waves, the singing birds from the numerous islands and don’t forget all the stories and myth as will be narrated by your guide for the day.We will paddle to Punishment Island, Forest Island, and others, as we learn about the history of the Kigezi region. On the way from island to island, we will be able to spot more than 150 different bird species. Accommodation again at Traveler’s Rest Hotel (Backpacker/Medium) or Mt. Gahinga Lodge (Luxury).
Day 12 – Aday of Silverbacks and Golden views tucked in the Virunga massif.
Having slept your night in the medley of Albertine wonders at the foot hill of the extinct volcanic chains of Mt.Muhavura,Sabinyo and Gahinga, this is your day to immerse yourself into the natural fabrics of the Virunga massif.After your delicious breakfast from the lodge, you will be driven to meet your rangers at Ntebeko visitor center who will lead your whole day trek inside this forest. After general safety briefing, you will be partitioned into groups of maximum eight individuals and commence your walking trail at Ntebeko to the bamboo zones and Afro-montane vegetative cover to later identify this specie of monkeys. Golden monkey is a specie of Blue monkeys only restricted to high altitude regions of Africa,they like playing on the ground when its windy but some times are found while frolicking the bamboo.After your time with them inside the forest, you will come back and relax at the foothill of the 3 gallant volcanic chains catching those rare and golden moments of sundowners in the valleys and ontop of the volcanoes as the sun sets to reddish blue skies if the weather is clear. Accommodation again at Traveler’s Rest Hotel (Backpacker/Medium) or Mt.Gahinga Lodge (Luxury).
Day 13 – Transferring from Mgahinga to Lake Mburo via Lake Bunyonyi and an evening game drive.
After your breakfast in the Virunga massif, you will be transferred to Lake Mburo National Park.This is the smallest of the Savannah parks but quite interesting. On your arrival,you will be allowed time to check in to the park and go straight for an evening game drive inside the forest. You will have wonderful views of many wildlife species including; the zebras, buffaloes, leopards, antelopes, Uganda kobs and many different bird species. You will have lunch at your lodge with in the park as you prepare for an afternoon session of your game watching to the lake. This is another way of getting closer to Kampala and Entebbe international airport,accommodation is planned at Rwakobo Rock Lodge (Backpacker/Medium) or Mihingo Lodge (Luxury).
Day 14 – Morning wild forest walk and transferring to Entebbe international Airport.
Your last trip to Uganda memories is crowned with a wild walking safari inside Lake Mburo national park,You will leave Early with your packed Breakfast to be enjoyed in form of a picnic breakfast inside the forest. Together with your ranger guide,you will learn all about this national park made up of the rare vegetative covers of semi-deciduous forests of the a cassia hoki plants,under these trees wild animals spend most of their time feeding and get shade during the day. On this wildlife trail to this park you cant fail to appreciate the plight of walking safari in the morning,your walking safari will start very early in the morning led by an experienced ranger guide from Uganda wildlife Authority. Together you will decide on a trail off the Acacia Hoki the common plantations of the forest, you will learn more about this forest which have been challenged by its past that saw her size reduce to currently 370 Km surrounded by communities and cattle ranches on both sides. You will have Breakfast amidst herds of grazing plain Zebras. The biggest specie of the Antelopes is found here known as the Elands, Bush backs and water backs are also permanent residents in Lake Mburo national park, warthog and their piglets will be encountered as well, cape buffaloes will doing mud bathing to cool down their body temperatures, impalas etc all through your eyes.Later in the day you shall leave the park and proceed to Kampala, it will be a great drive as there will be a stopover at the equator, here you will have chance to take some photos and a polar water experiments. Another stop will be at the local place where drums are made commonly known as Mpambiire Village, after the stop, continue with your journey arriving Kampala in the late afternoon and proceed to Entebbe international airport for your flight back.Your Uganda total safari experience will end with your successful check in your connecting flight back home!