11 days in Uganda is the perfect amount of time to really explore what western Uganda has to offer. This scheduled safari expertly combines 4 of the major national parks in the western Uganda whilst ensuring that you don't miss out on some of the gems that are off the beaten track as you journey around the ever changing and incredibly beautiful landscapes. Over the 11 Days you will be immersed in authentic Ugandan culture and tradition as you get the chance to visit local groups who are only to happy to respectfully welcome and show you their way of life as well as find out a little more about yours! And that is not it, this safari gives you a chance of seeing the Big 6 an achievement that can only be done in a few places. Can you guess what they are?
Papyrus Guest House, Pakuba Safari Lodge, Hoima Cultural Lodge, Kibale Guest Cottages, Parkview Safari Lodge, Mahogany Springs Lodge, Rwakobo Rock
On arrival you will be met at the Airport by your tour representative who will escort you to your safari vehicle and will introduce you to your Driver who will also be your Guide. The first stop will be a short drive to your accommodation where you will be able to relax and contemplate the adventure that lies ahead. Overnight at Papyrus Guest House | Bed & breakfast Standard room
An early morning rise will enable you to begin your journey to Murchison Falls National Park. The Safari will proceed north towards Masindi and onwards to the park via the southern entrance. The journey to entrance gate will take you through the beautiful Kaniyo Pabidi Forest until the Kichumbanyobo Gate. This journey sees you leave the traditional Buganda Kingdom and move into the area the Bunyoro Kingdom call home. Any trip towards north east Uganda just wouldn't be complete with out a visit to the Rhino Sanctuary at Ziwa. They provide trained rangers who will guide you through a Rhino Trekking expedition. You will have the opportunity to observe the rhinos at a very close and safe distance. While at the sanctuary you will also encounter a range of other wildlife species including uganda kobs, reed bucks, oribis, hippos and crocodiles. Murchison Falls National Park is spilt in to the its northern and southern sectors by The Nile that runs east to west through the Park. The majority of visitors access the park from the south and have to cross over to the north at the Paraa Ferry Crossing point using a regular vehicle ferry. On the north bank of the river, networks of game tracks explore the Buligi sector in the west and Chobe in the east. Overnight at Pakuba Safari Lodge (Half board)
After lunch it will be time for a boat ride along the Nile to the foot of Murchison Falls, be sure to have your cameras ready for this one. Expect to see birds perched on tree branches ready to hunt, mammals drinking or cooling down in the river and reptiles basking in the sun on the river banks. One of the highlights of the boat ride is getting up close to Murchison Falls itself, allowing you to feel the awesome power and beauty that comes when the worlds longest river is forced through a 7 meter gap before dropping 40 meters as is continues its journey to the Mediterranean Sea. This trip on the River Nile really harks back to the days of the intrepid explorers of days gone by and the best time to do the trip is at sundown. Overnight at Pakuba Safari Lodge I Full board standard room
After breakfast you will head south westwards to Hoima Town which acts as a midway stopping point between Murchison Falls National Park and Kibale Forest National Park. There is an interesting blend of rural and town life which you will not get to see anywhere else in Uganda. Hoima Town is historically known as the principal city of the Bunyoro Kingdom. No trip to the Murchison Falls area would be complete without a trip to The Boomu Women's Group! The Group was formed in 1999 in the village of Kihaguzi with aim of fighting poverty and creating more social and economic development. The Women now run a small scale accommodation facility that employs local people and is a source of income.During your viisit to the Boomu Group you will get to see the other activities that they run as part of their diversification to ensure a varied income base. These include handcrafts, weaving bedspreads as well poultry farming and bee-keeping. Overnight at Hoima Cultural Lodge - Half board I standard room
With the anticipation of your Chimpanzee Trek tomorrow the safari will head even further south into the Kibale Forest region. You leave the Bunyoro Kingdom and journey into the heart of the Tooro Kingdom towards the principal city Fort Portal, the only Ugandan town with an English name. The Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary is a part of the Magombe Swamp just south of Kibale National Park. A visit to the sanctuary enables you to see rare mammals and birds, like the webbed feet sitatunga as the great blue turaco call this place home. However if you aren't lucky enough to see them there are still plenty of other animals, including bush pigs, black and white colobus monkeys and over 200 species of birds that inhabit the swamp. The Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary is a community based programme that supports local residents and encourages a healthy link between tourism and the community it affects. Overnight at Kibale Guest Cottages | Full board cottage
Your Chimpanzee Trekking experience has finally arrived! It begins at the Uganda Wildlife Authority HQ at Kayanchu Gate where your trekking group will head into the forest with a guide after a short briefing. About 1 hour before your group sets off an advance party of guides will have entered the forest to locate where the Chimpanzees spent the night. Once located the advance party send a radio message back to your trekking group so that you can navigate through the forest. During the trek you will also get to see the different birds, animals and plant species within the forest. Once you locate the Chimpanzees you can only spend one hour with them this ensures that the Chimpanzees don't become accustomed to human contact. The excitement of Chimpanzee Trekking will probably still be with you as the safari continues to Queen Elizabeth National Park in the afternoon. Entry will be via the northern sector famous for the Kasenyi Plains and Kazinga Chanel. This part of the safari is all contained within the Tooro Kingdom and you will notice a distinct change in scenery as the lush green crater lake region of surrounding Kibale Forest gives way to the open savannah lands of Queen Elizabeth National Park. Overnight at Parkview Safari Lodge | Full board Standard room
One of the highlights of visiting Queen Elizabeth National Park is the boat ride along the Kazinga Channel. The boat ride is a round trip beginning at the Mweya Peninsula and lasting around 3 hours. The Channel is a 32-kilometre long natural channel that links Lake Edward and Lake George. The channel has one of the world's largest concentration of hippos, numerous nile crocodiles, buffalo, elephants and a whole host of birds. including african fish eagles, kingfishers, Herons, storks and skimmers. The Kataara Women’s Poverty Alleviation Group was formed in 2005 to combat the problem of human wildlife conflict in this particular area of Queen Elizabeth National Park. The group provides alternative income for Kataara families and an incentive to conserve Uganda’s precious wildlife. There is a proud mixture of Banaynkore, Bakiga, Batoro and Banayruguru tribe, which is reflected in the artistic diversity of the products that are created developed and sold. The women believe in maximizing the use of natural materials grown locally, even the dyes for the baskets are created by boiling leaves from local herbs like nyarwehindura, mushoroza and embatabata. A visit to the group will enable to find out more about how this incredible enterprise works and be inspired by the individual stories that the women have. There will also be a chance to support the group by purchasing reasonably priced crafts. Overnight at Parkview Safari Lodge | Full board Standard room
With the Kazinga Channel and the Game drives in the northern part of the park experiences ticked off your list, Queen Elizabeth National Park has a parting gift as you head south towards Bwindi and the Gorillas. The Southern Sector of the park is called the Ishsasha Sector and it is famous for the fig tree climbing lions that inhabit this area. Driving this way towards Bwindi will give you a opportunity to catch a glimpse of the lions which make a great photo. Overnight at Mahogany Springs Lodge | Full board Standard room
Your Gorilla Trekking experience is finally here, hope your camera is charged and you are ready for what lies ahead. An early start will see you transfer to the Park Headquarters for a briefing with the Uganda Wildlife Authority guides. An advance party of guides will have gone ahead into the forest to locate where the gorillas slept the previous night and will have began to track their movements. These guides will communicate with your team via a walkie talkie and the trek into the forest will begin. Locating the Gorillas can take a few hours or the whole day depending on how far they have moved from the place they spent the previous night. For conservation purposes, time allowed with the Gorillas is 1 hour. As you trek in the forest you will appreciate why the forest is called impenetrable. There are also a multitude of other animals that you might encounter including antelopes and rare monkeys not to mention the beauty of the forest itself. Once you have completed the trek you will return to the lodge, for a well earned rest and time to reflect on a truly magical experience. Overnight at Mahogany Springs Lodge | Full board Standard room
With your Gorilla Trekking experience still a vivid memory, it is time to leave the Gorillas and the Kigezi Kingdom all behind and head towards Lake Mburo National Park and into the heartland of the Ankole Kingdom. The drive is one of the most scenic in Uganda as you transition between the Impenetrable forest and into the Ankole grasslands, where the famous long horned Ankole cattle graze. One of the best activities to do in Lake Mburo is a scenic boat ride on the lake. This is one of the best ways to see the diverse wildlife that the Park has. The boat ride can be done at dawn or dusk depending on your safari itinerary and will normally take around 2 hours. All the rides begin at the Rwonyo jetty, it will not take you long before you begin to see large groups of hippos in the water as well as crocodiles and buffalo lining the banks of the lake. The lake is also famous for it's bird life, from majestic fish eagles, colourful kingfishers, to hammerkops and their enormous nests. Overnight at Rwakobo Rock Lodge | Full board Standard room
After an incredible safari it will be time to head back. During this final leg of the trip you will leave the Ankole Kingdom and head back into the Buganda Kingdom, heading eastwards towards Entebbe. There are not many places in the world that have the wide range of wildlife, nature and culture. We hope you took loads of great photos and had a wonderful experience that will live with you for a long time.