Best of Uganda safari in 14 days – Overview
This 14 days Uganda adventure safari in Western Uganda features a perfect period that suites in the commonly given two weeks leave. The Uganda Adventure Safari incorporates wild game viewing, adventure, culture, primate tracking including gorillas and chimpanzees, culture, and recreation.
This Uganda adventure safari starts and ends at Entebbe International Airport taking you to the destinations of Lake Mburo National Park with counts of Rothschild giraffes, Impala, Burchell’s Zebra elands, and Topis among others.
The tour to the Banyankole community well known for their remarkable long horned cattle, Lake Bunyonyi known as the lake of a thousand Islands because of tits 29 islands, Bwindi Impenetrable National Park a re-known mountain gorilla trekking safari destination, Queen Elizabeth National Park which is the most popular Uganda adventure safari destination with four of the big five including tree climbing lions, the elephants, the Buffaloes, the leopards, aquatics like Hippos and Nile crocodiles.
Mountain hiking Uganda adventure safari to the Rwenzori Mountains known as the mountains of the moon, Chimpanzee trekking in Kibale National Park known as the primate capital of the world and eventually cycling in the Mpanga Tea Estates.
Day 1: Arrive in Uganda (Entebbe International Airport) & transfer to the hotel.
Arrive in Uganda following the flight from your respective country of origin. You land at Entebbe International Airport which is the main gateway to Uganda where you will find the company representative dedicated to offer you a courteous welcome.
The amazing weather and brightening atmosphere on the shores of Lake Victoria give you a remarkable first impression of Uganda. After briefing you about Uganda and this Uganda adventure safari, you will connect to the respective hotel for relaxation, dinner and overnight
Day 2: Drive to Lake Mburo National Park
After breakfast embark on the transfer to Lake Mburo National Park in the southwest of Uganda departing your place of stay at 6:30am. The drive to Lake Mburo National Park is 240km about 3 – 4 hours’ drive and you will break this journey after driving only 77km from Kampala at the Equator crossing Kayabwe which is a re-known site for photography since most of the travellers prefer taking pictures with one leg in one hemisphere and the other leg in a different hemisphere.
There are also geographical experiments that can be carried out for the keen geographers to demonstrate the geographical separation of the north and southern hemispheres. You retreat from this break and continue on the drive to Lake Mburo National Park.
You will check in at the lodge and rest for lunch and simple relaxation. In the early evening, you embark on a thrilling game walking safari passing through the impressive savanna ecosystem with lots of Acacia. You enjoy beautiful views of the area including open stretching plains.
The walk offers you an opportunity to explore a range of wild game including; Rothschild giraffes, Impala, Burchell’s Zebra, Topis, Warthogs, waterbucks, bushbucks, elands not forgetting acacia associated birds. Hiking the Kazuma hill offers you one of the magical scenic views in Uganda. Retreat from the activity for relaxation, dinner and overnight
Day 3: Undertake the cultural tour to the Banyankole community.
Wake up 6am and connect to the Enyemebwa center to catch up with the herds men getting up to do the milking and their daily routine. You arrive and get the milking equipment including the tying rope and the milking pot to actively participate in the traditional hand milking of the Ankole long horned cattle, from milking you participate in sick animal treating, caring for cows like brushing their body using the locally made fiber brush (Enkuyo) and set out to graze in the wilderness.
You enjoy the stimulating sounds that are made by the herds men as they set out to the grazing field and be mesmerized by the cows know how to align themselves forming a line headed by those that have special character of leading others. You retreat back and visit the traditional hut where you find the women churning milk in the churning gourd, from here the guide can take you to explore the crop bit of it exploring the extensive banana plantations where you learn about various banana types and their respective use participate in pruning and weeding using local methods and then participate in initial arrangements for traditional lunch.
You take a break from that and rush to the well with red soil that is used for smearing the soil made water trough, smear the trough and fill it with water and then wait for the cattle to come and water them accordingly. You can opt to have a bull slaughtered and grilled traditionally for you where you can also have it alongside the delicious local sauce that is made without fire called Eshabwe.
Join the women as they clean milk pots and smoking them with the help of handmade of ceramic and specially chosen tree and grass Species, making crafts and calf pen arrangement. In the evening after the cows have settle in their Kraal, you attend to the traditional performances including citations, dancing and singing. It is a whole day encounter that allows you to gain a deep immersion of the local culture. Retire for relaxation and overnight.
Day 4: Drive to Lake Bunyonyi.
Embark on the transfer to Lake Bunyonyi 199km about 4 – 5 hours’ drive making a stop at Igongo Cultural Center 12km before Mbarara town to visit the largest private Museum in Uganda featuring a range of artifacts of the tribes of southwestern Uganda. The sculpture and charts display a lot of history of the past and the well organize interpretation offered by the site guides make it thrilling to encounter.
You proceed to Lake Bunyonyi arriving in time for lunch. In the afternoon, you embark on thrilling canoe paddle on the lake of a thousand Islands. The canoe paddling adventure gives a local touch of navigation and is an active activity yet recreational. You have the opportunity to crack stories with the local fisher men and the Islanders connecting to and from the Islands. Retire in the evening for relaxation, dinner and overnight.
Day 5: Undertake a whole day Island hopping on Lake Bunyonyi.
After breakfast, embark on the Island-hopping exploration visiting the main Islands of Lake Bunyonyi. You explore the Bucuranuka (Upside down) Island which is believed to have buried people alive after refusing to offer local brew to an old woman and she cursed the Island turn upside down burying its inhabitants.
You also visit the Akampane (Punishment) Island where the girls with unwanted premarital pregnancies would be dumped to die of hunger or as they as try to swim back the mainland. There is also Bushara, Kyahugye and Njuyera Islands which can also be visited. The hopping experience exposes you to the local life of the Island communities including the process of brewing local beer.
You retreat from the activity and embark on the transfer to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in the evening driving through fascinating Kigezi Highlands. Arrive in the evening for relaxation, dinner and overnight.
Day 6: Gorilla trekking in the Impenetrable Bwindi
This is a special day dedicated for the mountain gorillas. The Bwindi Impenetrable National Park supports a minimum of 400 mountain gorillas which on global scale are given as critically endangered. Therefore, undertaking the gorilla trekking experience in the hilly forested landscapes of Bwindi is such a lifetime endeavour that will create lasting memories.
You gather at the respective park headquarters for briefing in the morning at 8am where you are also allocated the respective gorilla families to track. From here, you head to the forest in the company of the armed ranger guides that will lead you up the gorillas. The walk is beyond the ordinary as it involves traversing the dense jungle whose thickness would at some points necessitate using a machete to make a path, hiking the challenging landscapes some of which are steep and slippery at times under the canopy of the mature forest which forms darkness even during the day.
You are treated to the impressive bird songs and beautiful flowers through the Uganda adventure safari experience. The encounter tends to take 2 – 8 hours depending on the gorilla movements and one hour is availed to you to have a direct touch with the gorillas. Upon approaching gorillas, their reaction is not predictable as it can include them giving you a courteous welcome, minding less about you and charging against you.
However, as a result of habituation, Mountain gorillas are always welcoming with the Silver-back beating a little of his chest to demonstrate his might and also welcoming you to the group. The young gorillas are very playful and are at times not aware of the 7m rule thus can try to draw closer to even touching on your body – save it by taking some steps away to observe the distance.
You are not limited in any way to ask as many questions about gorillas and their habitats along with taking pictures so long as you have the opportunity to do so. Retreat from the activity and transfer back to the lodge for relaxation. In the evening, you are treated to the thrilling traditional performances of the local tribal groups of the Bakiga and Batwa depending on their preference. Their dances and songs are thrilling and would definitely make your evening colorful.
Day 7: Drive to Queen Elizabeth National Park
After breakfast, embark on the transfer to Queen Elizabeth National Park driving through southern sector of Queen Elizabeth National Park named Ishasha well known for its tree climbing lions. The Ishasha sector presents a remarkable encounter with the unique tree climbing lions which are only existing in two spots in the whole world with Ishasha sector having the best viewing opportunities.
You continue on the drive to the north of Queen Elizabeth National Park arriving in the evening for relaxation, dinner and overnight.
Day 8: Undertake a morning game drive.
After breakfast, drive to Queen Elizabeth National Park for a morning game drive exploring the park’s rolling savanna landscapes dotted with counts of Uganda adventure safari wild game including the big four of the big five like lions, leopards, buffaloes and elephants, antelope species like water bucks, Kobs, bushbucks among others, jackals among other wild game.
The stretch to Kasenyi and the Mweya peninsular offers you the best of these. You settle for lunch at Mweya lodge after which you gather at the Mweya jetty to embark on a thrilling boat cruise on the 45km long Kazinga Channel. The cruise takes 2 hours with possibilities of encountering the aquatic species such as Nile Crocodiles and Hippos not forgetting other wild game that tends to congregate on the channel shores to consume water. Retreat from the activity and drive to Kasese for relaxation, dinner and overnight
Day 9: Hiking experience to the Rwenzori Mountains.
Gather at Nyakalengija park station early in the morning to embark on the whole day hike to the Rwenzori Mountains. The Rwenzori Mountain rises to 5,109m above sea level with snowcapped peaks despite its closeness to the world’s main latitude – the Equator. Encounter the world heritage site which is greatly known for its impressive flora other than fauna. The impressive giant lobelias and groundsels are lovely to encounter.
The sights of the peaks can be viewed at a distance, the sights of glaciers flowing down the mountain is beautiful not forgetting the savanna landscapes of Queen Elizabeth National Park, the rift valley lakes of George and Edward and Kasese town below. You have lunch on the mountain and retreat in the evening around 5pm for relaxation, dinner and overnight.
Day 10: Visit the Rwenzori Art foundation.
After breakfast, tour the Rwenzori Art Foundation which apparently the only bronze casting centre in the whole of Africa. Its gallery features impressive works of art where you can choose to get memorabilia. The foundation also offers the opportunity to participate actively in the casting process.
From the Art foundation, you proceed to visit the Ruboni Community craft village where you have an opportunity to participate in African craft making and also view a range of already made crafts. You drive to Fort Portal for lunch after which you embark on the tour the Amabere g’ Nnyinmwiru Caves and the Fort Portal Crater Lake field. You visit the Amabere g’ Nnyinamwiru caves – the breast like features believed to have belonged to Nyinamwiru the daughter of Bukuku who was a self-enthroned King of the Bachwezi.
She was denied the opportunity to breastfeed her baby Ndahura as the father had been alerted that the child will take over his throne. The milk continues to flow out of Nyinamwiru’s breasts. Retreat from this encounter and embark on the hike to the Fort Portal Crater Lake field where you traverse the challenging slopes of Kyeganywa hill surrounded by a range of crater lakes and crater hollows presenting one of the beautiful scenic sites in Uganda.
The top of Kyeganywa hill offers the views of Rwenzori Mountains on a clear day. Retreat from the activity and transfer to Kibale National Park 26km from Fort Portal town for relaxation, dinner and overnight
Day 11: Chimpanzee trekking experience in Kibale Forest National Park.
Gather at Kanyanchu Tourism Center in Kibale National Park to catch up with Chimpanzee trekking which begins at 8am. The encounter commences with a briefing from the respective park rangers who will be your guides through the activity detailing the conduct of the exercise.
After this Uganda adventure safari, you head to the forest in search of the man’s closest relative. The dense forests of Kibale comprise of lush flora with mature trees marked with huge buttress and climbers, impressive bird species including the African Pitta, and Abyssinian Ground-thrush among others.
Apart from chimps, Kibale also supports other 12 Primate Species which may be viewed during the trek. Finally, you approach the common chimpanzees which have been fully habituated and thus offering you an opportunity to draw closer to them and take pictures.
Viewing them as they munch fruit, swinging in trees, socializing, patrolling, mating and making pant hooting calls may lure you into unforgettable excitement. You have hour availed to you to encounter these precious apes and you are free to take as many photos as you can. Retreat from the activity and get back to the starting point where you will rejoin your company safari guide and transfer to Fort Portal town.
You spend an afternoon with the Batooro people who are the local inhabitants of the area and encounter their famous traditional ceremony called Empaako or giving the pet name. Alternatively, you can opt to undertake Fort Portal town walk or relax at the lodge.
Day 12: Undertake cycling in Mpanga Tea Estate and then transfer to Kampala.
After breakfast, embark on the cycling in the Mpanga tea estates. The green tea plantation is spread over a beautiful undulating landscape with endless scenic views which makes it ideal to encounter on your mountain bikes. On your cycling, you encounter the estate staff plucking tea and you are free to participate in the exercise to gain the exact touch. Retreat from the activity and embark on the transfer to Kampala 300km about 5 – 6 hours’ drive.
You make a stop in Mubende to visit the Nakayima tree a heritage site of the Bachwezi demigods. The tree is named Nakayima who was the wife of Ndahura the first Muchwezi ruler notably known for expanding the Chwezi Empire in the interacustrine region. Arrive in Kampala in the evening for relaxation, dinner and overnight.
Day 13: Undertake the tour of Kampala City.
Undertake the Kampala city tour to explore the sites of historical, religious, cultural and political significance. These include; the Ugandan Parliament, the Uganda National Museum, Namugongo Martyrs Shrine where 45 converts were burnt because of converting to Christianity, the Rubaga Cathedral which is the headquarter for catholic faith in Uganda, the Namirembe Cathedral for Protestants and the Baha’i Temple which is the only temple of the Baha’i in Africa. You also visit the Christ Our Vision Child Care where Prime Uganda Safaris supports counts of orphans some of which are HIV positive.
Day 14: Departure
This is the last day and is entirely dedicated for your departure. You can do some last-minute shopping and connect to Entebbe International Airport for your flight departure back home.