27 days ultimate Uganda safari and adventure vacation

This is your ultimate safari vacation in Uganda that is aptly referred to as the Pearl of Africa due her tremendous natural beauty and diversity. The 27 days road trip takes you through the whole of Uganda visiting all of Uganda’s 10 national parks and a range of other exciting spots along the way. Each park and destination has something unique to offer, from diverse landscapes to wildlife and to people with different traditions and cultures.

Tour itinerary

Day 1 – arrival in Uganda, optional sunset cruise on Lake Victoria

Arrive in Uganda via Entebbe International Airport, meet your tour driver and transfer to your hotel to relax and shake off the jet lag.

Day 2 – Kampala City tour

Today you shall start your Uganda vacation with a tour of the vibrant Kampala City, the capital of Uganda. You Kampala tour will include visiting historical, cultural, religious and commercial landmarks. Some of the places to visit include the Kabaka’s (King’s) Palace to learn about the traditional governance systems of Buganda Kingdom before and during colonial times, the beautiful Bahai Temple, the Gaddafi mosque, national museum, and the beautiful golf course, among others… You will also walk through some streets and visit the local markets thereby getting into the lives of the local people. You will have your lunch in a local restaurant and try out some local cuisines.

Day 3 – Jinja day tour including visiting Sezibwa falls, Mabira forest & source of the Nile

After early breakfast, at 7am you shall start your trip to eastern Uganda. Your highlight of the day is the visit to the famous source of the River Nile in Jinja. However en-route to Jinja you shall visit popular spots, first the Sezibwa Falls, a beautiful serene waterfalls that is a cultural heritage site. You shall take a guided walk to explore the waterfalls and surrounding wildlife plus also learn about the cultures and traditions associated with the waterfalls. You will spend only one hour here and thereafter continue to Mabira forest. The biggest forest in central Uganda is home to an array of wildlife including monkeys and birds. The Ugandan Mangabey is a species of monkeys only found in Uganda is one of the monkeys to look out for. You will go a 2 hour walk in the forest to get up close with beautiful nature of Mabira forest.

Optional: Zip line adventure in Mabira forest.

The Zip Line is a thrilling adventure you can do in Mabira forest in addition to the walk. On the Zip line you cruise through the forest canopy and experience a rush of adrenaline, and you will have a chance to get up close with the dwellers of the forest canopy which are not easily seen from the ground such the birds and monkeys.

After experiencing Mabira forest you shall continue to Jinja and have lunch by the Nile.

After lunch you shall go take a boat trip to visit the Source of the River Nile.

Day 4 – Quad biking along the Nile or Water rafting the Nile and transfer to Sipi/Mt. Elgon

Today you shall set out for an adventure in Jinja. You shall do a quad bike adventure along the Nile to experience the beauty along the Nile as it meanders through the lush countryside. The quad bike also takes you through the villages giving you the chance to the lives of the local people in countryside.

Optional: you can instead do the white rafting in the mighty Nile. The Nile has some of the best rapids for rafting that will give you a thrill of a lifetime.

After the adventures in Jinja you shall travel further east to Sipi Falls in the foothills of Mount Elgon

Day 5 – Sipi falls hike and abseiling adventure and Sipi tea experience

You will wake up to the views of the beautiful Sipi Falls. After breakfast you shall start your Sipi Falls hike at about 8am. The Sipi Falls are made up of a series of three waterfalls along the foothills of the Mountain Elgon. You will hike to each of the waterfalls starting with the top most coming down to the last one which is the biggest falling 100m. You can take a swim in the cold whirlpool which is famously referred to as “natural swimming pool”. At the main and biggest Sipi fall you shall do the epic abseiling and feel the adrenaline rush as you drop 100 meters and just a few meters from the waterfalls.

You shall go back to the lodge for lunch and some relaxation. After lunch you shall go for a coffee tour visiting the coffee plantation to see and learn how coffee is grown, harvested and processed for consumption – this is termed as the ‘lifestyle of coffee’.  At the experience you shall make a cup of coffee from your own processed coffee.

Day 6 – transfer to Kidepo National Park via Pian Upe Wildlife reserve

Today you shall rise early, have breakfast by 6.30am and start your long trip to Kidepo Valley National Park in the northeast of Uganda.

About an hour’s drive from the Sipi falls you shall visit the Pian Upe Wildlife reserve for your first safari experience. Pian Upe is one of the untouched safari spots of Uganda, yet to be discovered. You will set out for a game drive to watch wildlife and some of the animals to see include zebras, antelopes, buffaloes, etc… If you are lucky you may see the Cheetah.

After the safari in Pian Upe Wildlife reserve you shall continue driving to Kidepo Valley National Park where you shall arrival in the evening.

Day 7 – safari in Kidepo Valley National Park

Early rise and set out for a full day safari in Kidepo Valley National Park. Kidepo National park is often featured in international travel publication and media being ranked as one of the top national parks in Africa, especially for having the best landscape. When you imagine a safari in Africa, a Kidepo is what you are thinking about, a rugged landscape, dry savannah and lots of animals. You will visit the Narus valley which is main animal watching area of the park because it has permanent water sources and greener than other areas of the park. Some of the animals expected to see include zebras, buffaloes, giraffes, antelopes, lions, leopards, etc… You will travel to the drier north of the park and visit the Kidepo which has less animals but amazing scenery and unique features such as the dry river bed where you can have a picnic, and the Kanangorok hot springs.

After a fulfilling safari in Kidepo you shall retreat to the lodge for overnight.

Day 8 – morning safari and afternoon karimojong community experience

Today you shall go for another safari experience in Kidepo for more wildlife sightings. You can opt for the walking safari or can drive to more distant tracks and expect to increase on you animals sightings.

Return to the lodge for lunch.

After lunch you shall visit the Karamojong community outside the park for a cultural experience. The Karamojong live a traditional lifestyle that has not been influenced by modernity. You shall visit their unique houses, learn about their traditions and get treated to the Karamojong dance.

Day 9 – Ik tribe tour and Mt. Morongole hike in Kidepo Valley National Park

Today you shall go for a hiking adventure in Kidepo Valley National Park. You will have early breakfast and set off to Mount Morungole in the north of the park. As part of the hike you shall visit the IK tribe which lives in mountains. The IK are a small tribe of a few thousands and they live a unique lifestyle with unique cultures and traditions.

Day 10 – transfer to murchison falls national park

Breakfast at leisure and head off to Murchison Falls National Park

Day 11 – safaris in murchison falls national park – game drive, boat cruise and top of the falls hike

Today you will be exploring the Murchison Falls National Park, Uganda’s biggest park and the most popular destination for safaris in Uganda due its abundance of wildlife. Murchison Falls National Park is situated along the River Nile on which the spectacular Murchison Falls is located and gives the park its name.

You will have early breakfast and set out for the game drive on the northern bank of the Nile which is dominated by savannah and therefore harbors the biggest volume of wildlife. Expect to see among other animals; Nubian giraffes, buffaloes, elephants, lions, antelopes, warthogs, pattas monkeys, etc… The game drive will last about 4 hours and you shall return to the lodge for lunch and relaxation.

At 2pm you shall set out for the boat trip along the River Nile which offer sightings of hippos, crocodiles, birds and other wildlife, and will treat you to beautiful scenery as well. The boat trip which is 2 hours long takes you to the bottom of the Murchison Falls and from there you shall disembark and go on a hike to the top of the Murchison Falls, witness the Nile squeezing through the rocks and exploding into the world’s strongest waterfall. It is quite a spectacle! The Murchison Falls hike is about 45 minutes depending on fitness. On getting to the top you shall meet your tour driver and head back to the lodge.

Day 12 – Transfer to the Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary for rhino tracking and continue to hoima

You will rise up early for breakfast and leave for the Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary in Nakasongola which is 2 – 3 hours drive from Murchison Falls National Park. The Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary harbors the only Rhinos in the wild in Uganda and therefore it is a must visit to stand a chance of seeing all the big five (Rhino, Leopard, Buffalo, Lion, Elephant) as the rhinos are not found in any park you would visit. You will set out for a 1 – 2 hours guided trek to find the rhinos and observe them from a safe distance. Thereafter you shall go for lunch and then continue to Hoima town (located en-route to Kibale National Park) where you shall overnight.

Day 13 – transfer to kibale and crater lakes tour

You will rise early, have breakfast and travel to Kibale National Park in western Uganda.

Upon arrival in the region you will go on a crater lakes tour and explore this breathtaking landscape that is dotted with some of the most beautiful crater lakes. You will hike to great view points and enjoy views of the crater lakes. Later you shall continue to the lodge and check in for dinner and overnight.

Day 14 – chimpanzee tracking Kibale National Park and bigodi wetland walk

Early rise, have breakfast and transfer to Kibale National Park for your chimpanzee trekking adventure. Chimpanzee trekking or tracking gives you a rare opportunity to see chimps in the forest instead of a zoo. Kibale National Park has the biggest population of chimps in Uganda and is therefore the prime destination for chimp trips as it offers 100% chance to see them. You will meet the park guides by 7am at the park office and set off into the forest to track a community of habituated chimps. You will spend one hour with the chimps and return to the lodge for lunch.

Later in the afternoon you shall go for a walk in the Bigodi wetlands which are located at the edge of the Kibale National Park. The wetlands harbor a number of monkey species and birds.

Optional: chimpanzee habituation experience

You can opt to do the chimpanzee habituation experience in Kibale National Park which gives you more time with the chimps, seeing them from early morning when they are waking up till evening when its time to sleep.

Day 15 – early rise and transfer to Semuliki National Park for the sempaya hot springs hike, overnight in fort portal

Today you shall do a trip to Semuliki National Park, located farther west on the Congolese border. Semuliki is one destination that is often ignored as it is located slight off the main tourist trail, and yet it is a special destination. Semuliki protects an extension of the Ituri forest which is a central African forest and therefore brings in Central African wildlife into the East African region.

You will set out for hike which includes visit the Sempaya Hotsprings and the forest to watch different species of monkeys and birds.

Return in the evening and overnight in Fort Portal town.

Day 16 – transfer to kasese and day at leisure

Today you shall have breakfast at leisure, check out and transfer to Rwenzori Mountains National Park in Kasese.

You may do a leisurely hike in the communities to see their way of life and appreciate their cultures as well.

Day 17 – rwenzori hike; Trekkers Base Camp (1460 meters) – Sine Hut (2596 meters)

After early breakfast you shall transfer to Rwenzori Mountains National park for your hike. The Rwenzori Mountains have been ranked for the best mountain hike in Africa. The mountain is endowed with amazing scenery, diverse habitats and a lot of wildlife, and features such as glaciers, rivers, lakes, etc… The Rwenzoris have the third highest mountain in Africa, Mt. Stanley (5109m) which has snow peaks and it takes roughly 8 days round trip to hike to the summit. On this 3 day hike you shall explore the beauty in the lower areas of the mountains and also spot some of the peaks. You will hike up to altitude 3147 meters.

You will set off from the Trekkers Hostel in Kyanjuki (1460) and check into park to begin your hike. You will trek through the Afromontane zone that will give you encounters of different wildlife including monkeys, birds, chameleon, different types of trees, lichens, ferns etc… You will go through a bamboo zone shortly before reaching the Sine Hut for your overnight, or if still have energy cannot continue to Kalalama at 3134 meters which offers more scenic views

Day 18 – rwenzori hik; Sine camp(2596 meters) – Samalira Camp (3147 meters)

Today you shall continue the Rwenzori trek, going through bamboo zone and forest spotting more wildlife and accessing lovely views of the Rwenzoris and eventually reach the Heather Zone at about 3000m. You will find the fascinating Giant Heather trees. This zone also has beautiful flowery plants and moss. Continue and descend down to Samalira camp for the overnight

Day 19 – End of 3 day rwenzori hike  and transfer to Queen elizabeth national park

Today you shall descend back down through the bamboo and afro montane forest and exit the park.

After this beautiful experience in the Rwenzoris you shall drive to Queen Elizabeth National Park and relax away the rest of the evening.

Day 20 – game drive and afternoon boat cruise the Kazinga Channel

After early breakfast you will do a game drive in Queen Elizabeth National Park to watch animals and enjoy the beautiful scenery. Queen Elizabeth National Park is one of the top safaris destinations in Uganda, famed for its amazing scenery and landscape of grassy hills filled with sparkling crater lakes and lovely backdrop of the Rwenzori Mountains in the distance. Some of the animals include: elephants, buffaloes, hyenas, and antelopes among others. After 3 hours you shall return to the lodge for relaxation and lunch.

After lunch you shall go for the boat cruise on the Kazinga Channel to watch more wildlife and enjoy the amazing scenery. The Kazinga Channel is stream of water joining two lakes in the park, Lake Edward and Lake George. The channel hosts a lot of wildlife including lots of hippos and crocodiles, and big game such as elephants, buffaloes, antelopes frequent the channel to drink and take a cold bath on a hot day. Meanwhile for the bird lover, the channel is literally a bird magnet with lots of water species flocking on the banks.

Day 21 – transfer to ishasha and afternoon game drive and sundowner

After breakfast you shall check out and travel to the Ishasha region of the Queen Elizabeth National Park. The Ishasha is a remote area of the park located far from the main safaris area of the park. The Ishasha area is popular for the tree climbing lions and it is thus a great a stop for a chance to see the lions in trees and also experience the untouched wildness in this area of the park.

The drive is about 2 – 3 hours to Ishasha and on arrival you shall do a game drive and look for the tree climbing lions which often climb up in the trees to relax after the morning hunt. There also other animals to be seen such as the elephants, antelopes, etc…

Later you shall continue to the lodge for lunch and relaxation.

In the later afternoon you shall enjoy a sundowner and snack in a beautiful natural setting (bush) to wind up the day.

Day 22 – transfer to Bwindi National Park

After breakfast you shall check out and travel to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park – the home of the gorillas in Uganda.

Day 23 – gorilla trekking in Bwindi National Park

Today is you will go for the gorilla trekking tour in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. The gorilla trek is the most popular wildlife adventure in Uganda, giving you a once in a lifetime chance to see the gorillas in their natural habitat. Bwindi National Park has up to 459 mountain gorillas which is close to half of the world’s mountain gorilla population.

You report to the park office by 7am to attend briefing and allocation to the habituated gorilla families. No more than 8 people are can be allocated to the same group. Bwindi National Park has up to 18 habituated gorilla groups. By 8am you shall set off into the jungles to look for the gorillas, trekking through thick jungles, hike up steep hills and ridges and sometimes crossing water streams. The taken to find the gorillas varies from an hour to several hours depending on the movement and location of the gorillas. After finding the gorillas you shall spend only one hour. After the unforgettable gorilla encounter you shall return and travel back to the lodge.

Optional: Gorilla habituation experience

You can instead do the more exclusive gorilla habituation experience which is a 4 hour experience that includes tracking down the gorillas following clues and spend time observing the gorillas for the rest of the 4 hours. The gorilla habituation experience gives you a chance to spend more time with the gorillas.

Day 24 – transfer to lake mutanda

After breakfast you shall check out and transfer to Lake Mutanda in Kisoro and relax away at the incredibly beautiful lake while enjoying the breathtaking scenery. You shall do a canoe ride on the Lake Mutanda to explore the beauty.

day 25 – golden monkey trek in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park

Today you shall go explore the magnificent Virunga Mountains. The Virunga mountains is a chain of up to 8 volcanoes that straddle along the borders of Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Three of those volcanoes (Sabyinyo, Muhabura, Gahinga) are shared in Uganda and make up the Mgahinga Gorilla national park. The Virungas are the second home of the mountain gorillas after Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. The mountains are also home to the golden monkeys, a strikingly beautiful species of monkeys.

You shall trek the volcanoes to see the golden monkeys which live in the bamboo forest close to the base of the mountains. You shall spend one hour with the monkeys.

Optional: volcano hike

You can instead enjoy a full day hike on one of the volcanoes. Mount Sabyinyo is the most popular for hikes because of its location in the middle of the chain offering wonderful views of the Virungas. It is also located at the meeting point of the three countries’ borders – Rwanda, Uganda, and the Democratic Republic of Congo giving you a rare chance to step into all the three countries.

day 26 – transfer to lake Mburo national Park

After early breakfast you shall check out and travel to Lake Mburo National Park. This will a 6 hour journey. Lake Mburo National Park is the smallest of the savannah park. Despite the size, the park is well endowed with amazing scenery and a wide variety of wildlife and thus offers a wonderful stopover en-route to Kampala. After checking into your lodge you shall drive through the park and watch some of the common sightings include the Impala antelope which is not found in any other park in Uganda, lots of Zebras, buffaloes, bushbucks, waterbucks, warthogs, eland, etc… You continue and go for a soothing boat cruise on Lake Mburo which is the biggest lake in the park. Enjoy the beautiful scenery while spotting some wildlife including hippos, crocodiles and birds.

Day 27 – transfer to Entebbe for your flight back home

Today you shall do a walking safari in Lake Mburo National Park to enjoy the lovely scenery and spot animals up close. Thereafter you shall check out and depart for Entebbe to catch your evening flight back home.

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