8 Days, Classic Uganda Safari Trip by Road

Lake Mburo, Bwindi Impenetrable, Queen Elizabeth, and Kibale Forest National Parks

Primates & Wildlife Classic Uganda Safari

Start and end the safari trip from Entebbe.

A Classic Uganda Safari Trip giving you the best of both the rainforest jungle experience and the savannah wildlife adventure. On this African safari trip, you’ll be traveling by road (or otherwise if you chose to tailor-make) between attractions. The trip starts and ends in Entebbe (35 km outside Kampala capital) and takes the southwestern route, visiting the small underrated savannah park first, Lake Mburo National park for a walking safari, boat launch, and game drive. You then continue to the southern sector of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, where you’ll trek the mountain gorilla, spend some time connecting with a gorilla family and later meet the former native tribes of the forest. After catching up with the Batwa cultures, you’ll get on the Kashasha trail across Bwindi to Buhoma and connect to Queen Elizabeth NP with a 4×4 safari truck. In Queen Elizabeth, expect to spend a day on the savannah plains with some of Africa’s famous savannah wildlife. Take a game drive on the tracks and a boat safari on the Kazinga channel for a classic Uganda safari experience. From Queen Elizabeth, your local guide will connect you to the primate capital where chimpanzee drama will awaken the animal in you. a walking excursion through the primeval forest will showcase several rare birds and many other primates never seen before. Just this one African safari trip gives you the best all African safari destinations have to offer. Take it while crowds are still low and enjoy the best pricing on accommodation.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Drive through the scenic southwestern Uganda countryside and see Africa’s beautiful landscapes
  • Hike through ancient Ugandan villages that have not been so much affected by modern developments and experience African village life. Take a boat canoe on Lake Mutanda.
  • Go trekking Uganda’s famous mountain gorillas and spend precious moments in a gorilla family’s presence.
  • Hike across the ancient impenetrable forest of Bwindi and get wowed by nature’s own oerfection
  • Take a boat safari and game drive on the tracks of two of Uganda’s most famous savannah parks and meet Africa’s wild game.
  • Walk with Kibale’s entertaining wild chimps and meet some of the rarest primates and birds on the continent.
  • Support sustainable tourism initiatives

INCLUDED

  • Transportation, local flights, and 4×4 vehicle transfers
  • Accommodation and Meals as per itinerary
  • English Speaking Guide

We will process the trekking permits on your behalf from the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA).

Please carry a pack of N95 Facemask and hand sanitizer with you. You’ll be required to have a negative PCR COVID-19 test certificate issued within 72 hours of your arrival in the country, and keep your mask on when with animals and people crowds. You’re are requested to adhere to COVID Operating procedures to keep you safe during your trip.

Your walking safari at a glance



Day 1 — Arrival in Entebbe, Optional Activity

Arrive in Entebbe as per your international flights and transfer to Papyrus Guest House.

OPTIONAL ACTIVITY

In the afternoon, depart your hotel at 14.30/15.00 hours by car and then local canoe boat to Mabamba Swamp, one of the best places for spotting the rare shoebill stork. Of course, some luck is needed, but rarely does one leave the swamp without seeing one. Many other water birds have chosen this area as their home, so birding is always exciting. Enjoy a relaxing sundowner on Lake Victoria and then return to the Guest House.

  • Accommodation: Papyrus Guest House (Garden Room)
  • Meal Plan: Bed & Breakfast basis; Lunch & Dinner on own’s account



Day 2 — Roat Trip to Lake Mburo National Park

Enjoy an early breakfast and then travel to Western Uganda across the beautiful landscape made of rolling hills and cultivated terraces. Stop-over en-route at the Equator and Mpambire, to watch the making of African local drums with old traditional methods. After lunch at the lodge, game drive in the park, and 1-hour boat ride on Lake Mburo to admire the beautiful landscapes and close encounters with the local fauna: bushbucks, bush duikers, crocodiles, hippos, plenty of water birds, etc.

The drive takes about 5-7 hours.

Accommodation: Rwakobo Rock Lodge (Cottage) on the edge of the national park
Meal Plan: Full Board



Day 3 — Drive to Bwindi, Nkuringo Bwindi Lodge

Enjoy an early morning game drive in the park, then continue to Western Uganda across its rolling hills, tea plantations, and tropical rainforest and towards the end the Virunga Volcanoes’ majestic chain. Pass via Mbarara, Kabale, and Kisoro before reaching Nkuringo, on the edge of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest. In the afternoon, stroll down to the Buniga Forest Trail Walk, an informative project run by USAID and the local Batwa community. The Batwa tribe was forced to leave their home in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park in 1991 when it was declared a UNESCO Heritage site for gorillas only. They lived in the forest as nomadic hunter-gatherers for millennia, in perfect balance with flora and fauna around. Moving out and suddenly living in communities with a completely different way of life has proven to be a huge challenge. They now survive as best as they can and earn a living explaining their previous life in the forest and their rich heritage—a continuation of the walk through the community to visit the traditional herbalist and the blacksmith.

The drive takes about 5-7 hours.

• You’ll be sleeping at Nkuringo Bwindi Gorilla Lodge (Private Cottage)
• Your meal plan includes: Breakfast (B), Lunch (L) and Dinner (D)



Day 4 — Gorilla Trekking in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest

After breakfast, at around 7:45 am, with packed lunch and drinking water, you will be transferred to the National Park Head Quarters to brief on the dos and the don’ts while with the gorillas. The beauty of this rain forest is spectacular. The area offers a dramatic, steeply forested landscape and is incredibly dense but crisscrossed by numerous animal trails allowing tourists access. The time is taken, and the terrain varies as per the movements of these great primates. The thrill of spending time observing these gentle and endangered giants is an awesome, exciting experience to be long savored. Many find it to be a rare and moving opportunity. The tracking can occur at Nkuringo or Rushaga (1 hr drive from Nkuringo), as per the gorilla permits obtained.

Upon return, relax at the lodge and, for those who like, at 5.00 pm either stroll through the community center or drive up to the “Top of the World” – the name given to the football field, high up in Nkuringo, which offers amazing views over the peaks and forests around Nkuringo. A great way to stretch your legs after the gorilla tracking and to enjoy a sundowner.

Accommodation: Nkuringo Bwindi Gorilla Lodge (Private Cottage)
Meal Plan: Full Board



Day 4 — Hike Across Bwindi and Drive to Queen Elizabeth NP

After a very early breakfast, drive along the Nteko Ridge to the Ivy River Trail’s junction with the forest (7 km) and then start the unforgettable hike across the forest (13km – 4-5 hours). Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park is a vast, unique natural reserve – monkeys, duikers, bush pigs, and some of Bwindi’s world-renowned bird species, plus many butterflies, can be sighted during your discovery walk through this pristine African jungle. If fortunate enough, a family of mountain gorillas may cross your trail. That’s one of the most intense moments hikers on this walk have testified to experiencing. Some find a troop of chimpanzees, now that’s everybody’s favorite encounter.

Once part of a much larger forest that included the Virunga Volcanoes in neighboring Rwanda, Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is an ecological island within a sea of villages and farmland. Its conservation importance to the wild species is immense. This activity emphasizes the use of your native walking safari guide’s knowledge of the jungle to squeeze out the most intense experience of this hike. It is not simply an A to B hike. It’s a lot more than I can describe with these words. The trail is also an important footpath for local people, particularly on market days, traveling between two African villages, Nkuringo and Buhoma, found on the park’s northern boundary. There is no road through Bwindi Impenetrable Forest. That’s why the name “Bwindi” meaning Impenetrable. So vehicles driving between the two locations have an incredible 170 km bone-jarring journey taking 6 to 8 hours. Natives between these two villages have used these trails for hundreds of years. You’ll be one of them.

Upon arrival at the park headquarters in Buhoma, meet with your safari driver and hit the road in a safe and comfortable 4×4 safari truck. Head north for the next 3-4 hours to Queen Elizabeth National Park. Driving through Ishasha Sector, you may see a pride of lions lazily hanging in fig trees. Ishasha is notably recognized for its resident ‘tree-climbing’ lions that are an exceptional attraction and one of the highlights of all safaris taken within the park. The lions can be spotted hanging on branches of huge fig trees, whereas the Uganda Kob (which is the major food to these lions) graze on the plains below. It’s such an exceptional sight that you may ask your safari guide to step on the brakes a little longer.

The drive takes about 4 hours (182kms)

  • Accommodation: Kasenyi Safari Camp (Safari Tent)
  • Meal Plan: Full Board



Day 6 — Take Morning Game Drive and Drive to Kibale Forest Later

The morning is dedicated to game drives in Queen Elizabeth National Park and the boat trip on the Kazinga Channel. Kazinga Channel is a waterway that connects Lake George and Lake Edward, creating a 36 km (22 mi) corridor of wildlife heaven. Hundreds of animal and bird species hand at the channel’s shores to get a sip of fresh water. This is like the real waterhole Rudyard Kipling wrote about in his 1984 bestseller, The Jungle Book.

A boat safari on the channel allows you special viewing of African savanna game and birds on the river banks floating right next to pods of hippos. Aso Crocs set their traps and busk in the sun on raised shores of the channel. They had disappeared for 8,000 years after they were eliminated from Lake Edward by toxic ash from local volcanoes.

QENP is one of Uganda’s oldest parks, gazetted by the government of Uganda officially in 1952. The park was initially known as ‘Kazinga National Park’ before it was renamed in 1954 to commemorate Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain. The park hosts 95 species of mammals, more than any other park in Uganda, and 619 bird species. The second-highest of any park in Africa – the sixth-highest of any park worldwide.

In the afternoon, your safari driver will lazily drive you to Primate Lodge in Kibale National Park via the town of Fort Portal. If you make it to Fort Portal before the sunset, take a late afternoon trek to the ‘Top of the World’ to enjoy fantastic views of the Rwenzori Mountains, crater lakes, tea plantations, and local villages.

The drive takes approximately 3 hours (180kms)

  • You’ll sleep at Primate Lodge (Luxury Cottage)
  • Meals include Breakfast (B), Lunch (L), and Dinner (D)



Day 7 — Chimpanzee Trekking & Nature/Community Walk

You’ll wake up early for another Classic Uganda safari trip experience with our closest cousins in another one of Uganda’s jungle heavens, Kibale Forest National Park. Known as the primate capital by animal enthusiasts and researchers, this ancient rainforest is teaming with about 13 species of primates, the highest of all Africa forests. Most notable of all primate species in Kibale Forest is the Chimpanzee. Kibale forest harbors over 1,450 chimpanzees and no other forest on the continent can have such numbers. Other notable primates include; the uncommon I’Hoest’s monkey and East Africa’s biggest population of the endangered red colobus monkey. The black & white colobus, red-tailed monkey, blue monkey, olive baboon, grey-cheeked mangabey, bush baby, and potto are among the other primates.

Afternoon excursion to the Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary, a great example of a community-based approach to natural resources management, which can be of good economic benefit to the residents living within this area and tourism industry. This sanctuary is a paradise for bird watchers, and skilled birders can spot up to 50 new species on a bird list. Today 138 species of birds have been recognized within the Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary, among which the Great Blue Turaco. Bigodi is also regularly visited by a diverse number of primate species from the nearby national park.

  • You’ll sleep at Primate Lodge (Luxury Cottage)
  • Meals include Breakfast (B), Lunch (L), and Dinner (D)

Day 8 — Head to Entebbe

After a relaxed breakfast departure back, with a lunch break en-route. In the afternoon, continuation to Entebbe where arrival is expected around 17.00. Transfer to the airport in time for the evening flight out—end of services. The drive takes about 5 – 6 hours (315 km).

  • No Accommodation, but depending on your departure flight, the possibility of booking a day-use or overnight room at Papyrus Guest House could be considered. Kindly note that we recommend booking only night flights or overnight in Entebbe to be on the safe side.
  • Meals include Breakfast (B), Lunch (L), and Dinner (D)

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    Travel safely

    Please make sure you have your facemask on when in contact with animals, especially the endangered creatures. Without a negative PCR Covid Test, you’ll not be allowed into the country. You’ll spend most of your time in open spaces away from human crowds, with that there’s minimal to no infections of the COVID virus.


    Flexible booking terms

    Your booking can be extended up to 12 months ahead with no extra fees, in case of any emergency (based on accommodation availability). Reservations are accepted after we receive a 30% deposit on the trip and the full payment for gorilla tracking and chimp tracking permits for each tour participant. For more details on our booking terms, please read our Terms and Conditions.

    Call us: +256 77 480 5580 / 702 805580
    or send an email to info@nkuringowalkingsafaris.com
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