16 Days Uganda the Pearl of Africa Tour
Looking for a once in a lifetime experience, Enjoy the highlights of the 16 Days Uganda the Pearl of Africa Tour; gorilla tracking. Visit the last mountain gorillas in the afromontane forest of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and spend an hour amongst these gentle giants. Have an extra day to explore Kisoro and surroundings. Spend time at a coffee tour or climb for example Mount Gahinga. Have to complete this great tour several game drives in Lake Mburo and watch for impala, plains zebra, eland antelope and topi, but don’t forget the wide variety of birds. Have a relaxing boat trip on Lake Mburo and look for the elusive African fin-foot and wonder yourself about the large numbers of African fish eagle.
Day 1: Kampala city tour
Kampala city is a designation of its self and thus worth to encounter on Uganda safari. The city is a hub of various attractions ranging from historical to cultural and religious attractions. On this 16 days safari in Uganda, you will wake for breakfast after which you will set off with the company guide to encounter the city. You will visit religious attractions like Namirembe and Rubaga Cathedrals, Bahai temple, Gaddafi Mosque, Cultural attractions like Kasubi tombs, Kabaka’s palace and Kabaka’s Lake, historical monuments and museums like the Uganda National Museum, National buildings like the parliament, educational Institutions like Makerere University, Traditional hospitals like Mulago hospital, Mengo and Nsambya hospitals. However, since all these cannot be seen on a single day, you will thus select from this list the possible attractions that you can visit on this day.
Accommodation: Sheraton Hotel, Cassia Lodge
You will wake up early for breakfast at your place of stay after which you will be transferred by your guide to Jinja 80km about 1-2 hours’ drive from Kampala. Upon reaching Jinja, the adventure town of Uganda, you will enroll yourself for the white water rafting experience that will see you contain the strength of waters of the Nile as they splash through the rapids. You will also participate in the bungee jumping that will see you fall from the cliff to touch on the waters of the Nile 140ft below, one of the active adventures you will ever have. The relaxing boat cruise to the source of the Nile will take you to the point where John Speke, the first European to see the source of the world’s longest river stood. You will see the Nile staring it 90 days’ journey to the Mediterranean Sea. Retreat to Kampala for overnight.
Accommodation: Sheraton Hotel (Upmarket/Luxury), Cassia Lodge (Midrange/standard) or the lodge (Budget/basic).
Day 3: Transfer to Semuliki National Park & a night game drive
After breakfast, you will transfer to Semuliki National Park 352km about 7 to 8 hours’ drive from Kampala. The journey will take you through the green landscapes of country side passing through Mpigi, Mityana, Mubende and Fort Portal towns. The Mubende inselbergs will give you a great scenic company while the unclear views of Lake Wamala can be enjoyed by the most interested Uganda safari undertaker. You will stop in Mubende for lunch before continuing to Semuliki through the organized and clean Fort portal town. Arrive in Semuliki in the late afternoon where you will relax till 7pm. Then you will embark on the night game drive accompanied by the armed park ranger to enjoy the sights of nocturnal animals like white-tailed mongoose and other day grazers having their overnight rest.
Accommodation: Semuliki safari lodge (Upmarket/luxury), Kirumia guesthouse (Budget/Basic)
Day 4: Undertake Sempaya Nature walk & evening game drive
After breakfast, embark on the nature walk for 2 to 4 hours passing through the forest of Semuliki which shares much of the characteristics with West African forests. It is a continuation of the Congo Ituri forest. The walk will expose to various birds like Rwenzori Turaco and primates including the rare De Brazza’s monkey before reaching the famous Sempaya hot springs. You will visit the female hot spring known as Nyasimbi and male hot spring known as Bitente where you will boil your plantains in this natural steam and they are ready in a couple of minutes, something to wonder about while on safari in Uganda. Retire to the lodge for lunch after which you will have an evening game drive in the reserve to have chances of encountering wildlife species like; savannah and forest elephants, waterbuck, buffalo, Uganda kob and warthog.
Day 5: Visit the Amabere caves & Crater Lake hike
After breakfast, drive for 52 km about 1 to 2 hours to Fort Portal town after which you will Continue to visit the Amabere ga Nnyinamwiru caves and undertaking the crater lake hike. The breast like features that stand beneath the seasonal flowing Nyakasura falls has a lot of traditional attachment that date back to the Chwezi era. You will be mesmerized by the local stories behind these geographical stalagmites and stalactites. Hiking the Kyeganywa hill is a move through multitudes of crater hollows some of which are filled with water to form a circle of crater lakes. The summit of Kyeganywa hill offers all round sights of the area and the distant Ruwenzori Mountains. Retreat to spend an overnight in Kibale National Park.
Accommodation: Primate Lodge (Upmarket /luxury), Chimpanzee guest house (Midrange/standard) or Kibale Forest Camp (Budget/basic).
Day 6: Do chimpanzee trekking & Bigodi wetland walk
Wake up early for a heavy breakfast before gathering at Kanyanchu tourism center at 08:00am for a short briefing after which you will head to the forest in quest of Chimpanzees, man’s closest relative. The trek involves passing through the jungle of Kibale dubbed the primate capital of the world with over 13 species of primates some of which you will luckily come across during your Chimpanzee trekking including colobus monkey, vervet monkey, olive baboon, Red tailed monkey among others. The enchanting songs of Birds will keep you entertained in this 2 to 5 hours’ trek. One full hour is at your disposal to explore the Chimpanzees in detail and ascertain the external considerations as to why they are dubbed man’s close relative. Watch the as they eat fruits, play, socialize and swing in tree branches as you take as many photos as you can. Return to the center after having had your picnic lunch. Encounter Bigodi wetland sanctuary in the afternoon to take the rewarding swamp walk with amazing bird sights including the Rwenzori Turaco and swamp animals like Sitatunga. The communities around Bigodi offer a close touch of tourist-host interaction.
Accommodation: You will spend an overnight at your previous lodge.
Day 7: Transfer to Queen Elizabeth National Park & visit the Salt Lake
After breakfast, embark on the transfer to Queen Elizabeth National Park 144km about 4 hours’ drive from Kibale. The journey offers the scenic views of the magical Mountains of the moon that stand high up in the clouds at an elevation of 5,109m above sea level towards the west. You will arrive in Queen Elizabeth National park early for lunch after which you will embark on the visit to the Salt Lake in the afternoon. You will enjoy the process of salt extraction and see how the communities around have developed a livelihood centered on salt mining.
Accommodation: Mweya safari lodge, Enganzi lodge, Simba safari camp
Day 8: Do game drive & boat cruise
Wake up very for a cup of coffee before setting of for the game drive activity in the savannah game park of Queen Elizabeth. The early departure at 06:00 gives you an opportunity to see night hunters like Hyenas getting back to their hiding places and early risers setting off to look for what to eat. The drive through the Kasenyi tracks gives a probable opportunity to see a range of game including; Lions, buffalo, elephants, elusive leopard (if too lucky), antelopes among other wildlife. Return to the lodge after this 3 -4 hours’ game drive and relax till lunch time. After lunch, you will gather at Mweya for a recreational afternoon launch cruise leaving at 03:00pm taking 2 hours exploring the magical offerings of Kazinga Channel including the sights of water birds and wild game drinking on the channel side, the Nile crocodile and the Hippos. The 45m channel that stretches from Lake George to Lake Edward has tranquil waters that always give pleasure and psychological satisfaction to any traveler on Uganda safaris. Retire from the boat at 5 pm for overnight.
Day 9: Transfer to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park & spot tree climbing lions en-route.
After breakfast, embark on the transfer to the Gorilla Trekking haven of Bwindi (Rushaga) 309km about 7 to 8 hours’ drive from Mweya. You will pass through the Ishasha sector of Queen Elizabeth National Park where you have chances of spotting tree climbing lions lying on tree branches in the midmorning warm sunshine. You will have lunch en-route and proceed to Bwindi south (Rushaga) where you will arrive in the evening for overnight.
Accommodation: Chameleon hill, Gorilla Valley Lodge, Wagtail eco safari Camp
Day 10: Do Gorilla Trekking & transfer to Mgahinga
It is this long waited date when you will come across the critically endangered mountain gorillas that only exist in Bwindi and Virunga Volcanoes. You will wake up early for a heavy breakfast before gathering at the Park headquarters Buhoma for briefing at 08:00 about the conduct of Gorilla Trekking. You will head to the forest after briefing in search of these apes and though the trek is a bit challenging, it is one of those activities that you will never forget to have done in Uganda. The 2 to 8hours activity involves hiking up the hills, descending down the valleys, walking through swamps and maneuvering the way through thickets which have formed the background of this Impenetrable forest before coming in direct contact with gorillas. The one full hour is at your disposal to maximize your experience with gorillas as you them forage, play, socialize and also gaze at you in a sign of welcoming and saying good bye. The experience is rewarding and worthy undertaking. Your picnic lunch will take you through the activity after which you will descend to the lodge for short relaxation after which you will embark on 53km transfer to Mgahinga Gorilla National Park passing by Mutanda Lake for rewarding scenic views of this lava dammed lake. You will arrive in the evening for overnight.
Accommodation: Volcanoes Mount Gahinga Lodge, Mgahinga safari lodge, Amajambere iwacu camp
Day 11: Volcano climbing.
By this time, you will have made up your mind about which volcano to climb. Options range from 3,474m Mt. Gahinga taking 6 hours, 3,669m Mt. Sabyinyo taking 8 hours and 4,127m Mt. Muhavura going beyond 8 hours. Climbing any of these is possible and they can be summited including the round trip. The highest Muhavura gives the great views of Virunga volcanoes, Lake Edward, Rwenzori peaks and the roof top views of the impenetrable forest of Bwindi. While climbing Mt. Gahinga offers chances of seeing golden monkeys in the Bamboo zone of this highland.
Day 12: Do Batwa heritage trail & transfer to Lake Bunyonyi
After breakfast, set off for the Batwa heritage trail a half day activity that takes you through the forests of Mgahinga in the company of the indigenous Batwa guides as they interpret every forest landscape and what it means in their traditional life. The hike stretches up to the Garama cave the ancient dwelling of the Batwa, one can call it their capital in the forest of Mgahinga volcanoes. The cave is a natural shelter that always provided a refugee for the Batwa in times of danger. You will listen to the sorrowful songs being sung by the Batwa women taking you through the course of their tradition; it is a rich taste of the fading typical African culture. Return from this activity and embark on the transfer to Lake Bunyonyi for relaxation and overnight.
Accommodation: Bird nest resort, Arcadia cottages, Byoona Amagara.
Day 13: Full day relaxation at Lake Bunyonyi.
Dubbed the lake of a thousand islands, Lake Bunyonyi has a range of islands stretching up to 29 in number and can all be explored on 5 to 6 hours’ boat ride while on this safari in Uganda. The Lake Bunyonyi encounter is designed to maximize your relaxation and is entirely recreational. The tranquil waters of the lake and the surrounding views of Kigezi highlands dubbed the Switzerland of Africa combine to make this day a total complete experience. Options after the boat include; swimming, mountain biking, community tours and hiking. Retire for overnight.
Day 14: Transfer to Lake Mburo National Park & visit Igongo cultural center museum.
After breakfast, start off the drive to Lake Mburo National Park passing through the farmed hill sides of south western Uganda. Make a lunch stop at Igongo cultural center Restaurant about 12km past Mbarara town.
After lunch, tour the Erijukiro cultural museum with the collections of all cultures of south western region. The amazing sculptures of an Ancient Warrior and the an Ancient Troubled Cow as (Muguta Ya Butaho and Mayenje ga ishinjo) that caused turmoil between the Kingdom of Ankole and Buhweju will leave with a true taste of African tradition. Afterwards, Continue for the drive to lake mburo and drive straight to the lodge for an overnight in Lake Mburo National Park.
Accommodation: Mihingo safari lodge, Rwakobo Rock, Arcadia cottages, Eagles Nest.
Day 15: Have a morning game drive & boat cruise on lake mburo.
After an early morning breakfast, embark on the game drive through the park. Use all the park tracks so as to gain sights of a wide range of wildlife including enormous numbers of Impala and zebra. Others to see include; buffalo, eland, bushbuck, warthog, Topi alongside birds and amazing savannah landscapes. Return to lodge for lunch time. afterwards embark on a 2 hour boat cruise on Lake Mburo so as to chance birds like African fish eagles, wild game drinking on the Lake side say buffaloes, zebras and antelopes, aquatic animals like Hippos, crocodiles.
Day 16: Do a morning nature walk & transfer to Kampala or Entebbe.
After breakfast, take a nature walk, get closer to wildlife, see them graze and also hike up the summit of Kazuma hill the rewarding views of the park with Lakes, Kachera and Mburo and acacia woodland that define the ecological setting of whole Nshaara. Return to the lodge for a short relaxation & have lunch. afterwards embark on the transfer journey to Kampala stopping at the equator for the water experiments if time permits.
End of 16 days uganda the pearl of africa tour.