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35 Days Unique Uganda Safari

Unique Uganda Safari-Gorilla & Chimpanzee Watching

Looking for Unique Self drive safari in Uganda with a rented 4×4 Landcruiser ( rooftop tent)? Self drive East Africa offers the 35days Uganda safari takes you to the different attractions in Uganda visiting the best destinations with great activities during your trip. You will visit most of the national parks therefore you will have visited 90% of the attractions.

Safari highlights,

  • White water rafting
  • Hiking
  • Game drives
  • Boat cruises
  • Gorilla tracking
  • Chimpanzee tracking

DAY 1: Pick up from Kampala/Entebbe and transfer to Jinja Town.

After breakfast, you will meet your guide and drive to Jinja to start your 38 day best o Uganda. You will also see lush tea and sugarcane plantations plus several roadside markets, you will stop at Ssezibwa falls and later for Lunch, and you will then have a boat ride to the source of the Nile. Drive time: 3hours

DAY 2: White water Rafting and visit to crafts and down.

After an early breakfast you will transfer to the start point and taken through the does and don’t, the rafting experience has grades from which you can choose either to do a 3 grade raft or 5 grade raft. The experience is adrenaline driven and not for the fait hearted. You will be able to visit the craft shops as well, the community staying on the river side and then Jinja Town tour. You do have time to do also other optional activities in the area like Quad Bikes, Horseback riding, biking and nature trails.

DAY 3: Proceed to Sipi Falls for Lunch and Hike to the falls.

Today after an early breakfast, you drive to Sipi falls. You will arrive in Sipi in time for lunch and later, you will have the hike to the falls and photography which is such an amazing experience. You will later stay for overnight listening to the amazing sound from the falls, you will wake up the next day to breathtaking scenery of the Sipi waterfalls. Drive time: 5hours

DAY 4: Transfer to Pain-Upe Game reserve for an evening game drive.

Today you will drive to the stunning Pain-Upe game reserve in North-eastern Uganda and do a game drive in the reserve. The reserve is mostly unexplored and with virgin pristine habitat known to harbor unique wildlife including cheetahs, the greater Kudu, Roan Antelope, eland and a vast array of unique bird species including ostriches and other wildlife. You will have stops on the way and en-route Lunch and then proceed for overnight. Drive time: 4-5 hours

DAY 5: Morning and afternoon game drives in Pain-Upe Reserve.

Today you will have  game drives in the reserve which gives you an opportunity, Cheetah sightings measure up to 70% chances though nature dictates, making it the best place in the country to see earth’s fastest mammal. But popular among the other predators in the reserve include the jackals, wildcats, Spotted Hyenas, Serval Cats, Civets, the elusive Leopards and a healthy pride of Lions is reported to periodically travel between the nearby Amudat Wildlife Conservation Area and Pian Upe Wildlife Reserve.

The reserve is also home to large herds of ungulates including the Common Eland, a small population of Zebra, Hartebeests, Günther’s Dik Dik, the popular Oribis, and the impalas and Giraffes which were recently relocated here from Lake Mburo National Park and Murchison Falls respectively. Cape buffalo, the Uganda Kob, Waterbuck, Blue and Common Duiker, Klipspringers and the Bohor and Mountain Reedbuck also enjoy the homely Pian-Upe Game Reserve.

DAY 6: Drive to Kidepo Valley National Park

You will bid farewell to the lodge and start the drive to Kidepo Valley National Park in the morning, you will have en-route lunch and you will arrive in the late afternoon for relaxation and overnight. On your way, you will enjoy some scenic views of the few hills that separate Acholi Land and Karamoja, you will not miss the great Manyatas on the way, cross some few seasonal rivers Drive time: Approximately 7hours

DAY 7: Full day Game drives in Narus Valley.

After an early breakfast you will drive to Narus Valley for your morning game drive. Narus Valley is popular for mammals such as elephants, giraffes, buffalo’s antelopes, zebras and birds. Being the only permanent water point, many animals come to Narus valley to drink water and feed. It’s where you will find the largest buffalo herds than you can find anywhere on planet earth. Chances of spotting big cats hunting are very high as well. If lucky, you may spot the rare cheetahs too. Return to the Lodge for lunch, relaxation and then return to Narus Valley for an evening game drive.

DAY 8: Game drive in Narus and Hot springs visit in Kidepo Valley.

After breakfast, drive to Narus valley to do an extra game drive to trace wildlife that you could have missed on the two game drives done earlier on. Kidepo valley National Park is the best and you won’t be disappointed. The park has observation points with binoculars and it will be your pleasure to use one of them. Return to the Lodge for Lunch, short relaxation and then drive to Kidepo Valley to visit the hot springs, the Uganda-Sudan boarder and if lucky spot the giant Ostriches which are found in this place but have been seriously poached by Sudanese. There seasonal rivers on this side so if it is a rainy season, get ready to be interrupted for few hours. Return to the lodge for overnight.

DAY 9: Community Experience with the IK and Karamojong communities.

Visiting the community will compete your experience in Kidepo valley National Park, the dance and their unique culture in the ranges is worth a visit while in Kidepo Valley National Park. The Ik communities gather in Villages which are fenced to avoid intruders and wild animals. They will dance, and take you through their culture and you will have an opportunity to get crafts as well.

In the Afternoon, you will visit the Karamojong homesteads, known as the Manyatta. Here you will have the opportunity to interact with the elders and get to know more about their culture and lifestyle. Here you can contribute by making donations of any kind towards their social welfare. As part of our sustainability practice, we take our clients to appreciate their lifestyle and daily activities which include grazing and milking cows. This is the perfect opportunity for those who like to immerse themselves in the cultures of the communities they visit.

DAY 10: Transfer to Zziwa Rhino Sanctuary for overnight

Today you will drive to Zziwa Rhino Sanctuary in Nakasongola arriving in the evening for overnight. You will have lunch en-route from Kidepo, Rhino tracking completes the big five adventure in Uganda and you will have such a good time. Drive time: 6-7 hours

DAY 11: Morning Rhino tracking and drive to Murchison Falls National Park.

Early morning you will go for Rhino tracking with the guides, you will be briefed on dos and don’ts before heading out to look for Rhinos. Enjoy your lunch at the lodge and later transfer at leisure to Murchison Falls National Park and overnight stay.

DAY 12: Morning game drive and afternoon boat cruise on the bottom of the falls.

After early morning breakfast, you will go for your early morning game drive that gives you chance for wild game that include lions, buffaloes, elephants, several antelopes, leopards and so much more. The delta region is also very rich with water animals such as hippos, crocodiles and the rare shoebill stock. At Murchison Falls National Park, it is nature that gives so the fact that wild animals graze and move naturally, seeing any animal will depend on your luck of the day. Afterword’s, you will drive back to your lodge for lunch and then head for the afternoon boat cruise to the base of the falls. This boat cruise to the base of the falls is seen as the highlight of all activities at Murchison Falls National Park since many water and land animals can be sighted. Expect to see lots of Buffaloes, elephants, crocodiles, many water birds as you cruise up stream to the base of the falls where water squeezes itself into a narrow gorge to later explode as it flows down words. Return to the lodge for overnight.

DAY 13: Delta Cruise on the Nile and afternoon game drive.

Early morning departure from the lodge with picnic Lunch and transfer to catch the morning boat at the Jetty point. While on this boat cruise, you can spot several herds of buffaloes, Uganda Kobs, Jackson’s Hartebeest, Giraffes, Elephants, and several other wild animals that flock the River Nile to drink water. Not forgetting the several bird species that can as well be spotted while on the boat. You will in the afternoon have a game drive as you head to the lodge for relaxation and overnight.

DAY 14: Visit the Top of the falls and Drive to Hoima for cultural experience.

After breakfast, you will drive to the top of Murchison falls then after you will start your drive to Hoima town, on your way you will have stops for sightseeing and community visits, on your arrival in Hoima you will check in at your lodge and then have lunch, after lunch you will go for a cultural experience tour with major cultural activities including the traditional Banyoro cultural dance, community walks where  you will walk down to katasiha Fort where Omukama Kabalega’s cave is found and known as the magic hiding place where he could hide and the whites loose him during battle, then later you will retire back to the Lodge for overnight. Drive time: 3-4 hours.

DAY 15: Drive to Fort portal and markets.

Midway through your 38 day best Of Uganda, from Hoima you will drive to Fort portal for overnight, you will as well have en-route stops for sightseeing and community visits then proceed arriving in the afternoon, you will have a local lunch in Fort portal town and then you will proceed to your lodge for check in and a short relax. Later in the evening you will visit the local markets in town and art crafts. Drive time: 3-4 hours

DAY 16: Game drive in Tooro- Semuliki Game Reserve and visit to the hot springs.

After breakfast, you will drive to Semuliki National Park located across the floor of the Semuliki Valley on the remote, western side of the Rwenzori. Check in your accommodation property, relax and prepare for a visit to the Hot springs and afternoon game drive. The Semuliki Valley contains numerous features associated with central rather than eastern Africa. Thatched huts are shaded by West African oil palms; the Semuliki River (which forms the international boundary) is a miniature version of the Congo River, the forest is home to numerous Central African wildlife species, and the local population includes a Batwa pygmy community that originated from the Ituri. As a result, this park provides a taste of Central Africa without having to leave Uganda. While Semuliki species have been accumulating for over 25,000 years, the park contains evidence of even older processes. Hot springs bubble up from the depths to demonstrate the powerful subterranean forces that have been shaping the rift valley during the last 14 million years. Drive time: 3 hours

DAY 17: Transfer to Kibale National park, en-route visit and Hike of Nyakasura Caves

Today you will drive to Kibale Forest National Park via a visit and hiking of Nyakasura Caves to learn about the history and traditional values of the local community towards the stalactites and stalagmites then you will hike up the hills for sightseeing of the beautiful carter lakes. You will have a stop in Fort portal town for Lunch before proceeding to check-in at Chimpanzee Forest Guest House or Isunga Lodge. Drive time: 3-4 hours

DAY 18: Chimpanzee tracking and Community experience

After breakfast, you will be transferred to Kibale National Park headquarters located at Kanyanchu. Here, you will join other trekkers for briefing before you proceed into the forest for chimpanzee trekking. You will be led by a well-trained and experienced ranger/guide who will take you for a guided primate walk inside Kibale Forest National Park. This forest provides an opportunity to visit one of the habituated communities of chimpanzees. You are allowed to spend an hour with these Great Apes while observing their behavior. You are allowed to take photographs. So make sure your cameras are nearby. Kibale National Park is also home to other 13 primate species which can also be spotted while trekking the Chimpanzees. Of course there are also numerous species of forest birds. In fact, this is another haven for bird lovers.

DAY 19: Transfer to Queen Elizabeth National Park and game drive

After breakfast, your will drive for 3-4 hours from Kibale National Park to Queen Elizabeth National Park. You will have an opportunity of passing through small towns while seeing several foothills of the magnificent Rwenzori Mountain. You will as well as cross the Equator at Kikorongo. Of course you will also see several small rivers that originate from the Rwenzori mountain ranges. You will head to the lodge for lunch or drive to Mweya for Lunch and then go for afternoon game drive to search for late grazers. Drive time: Approximately 2-3 hours

DAY 20: Chimpanzee walks in Kalinzu or Kyambura

After breakfast, you will be transferred to Kyambura or Kalinzu headquarters for the Chimpanzee walk. Here, you will join other trekkers for briefing before you proceed into the forest for chimpanzee trekking. You will be led by a well-trained and experienced ranger/guide who will take you for a guided primate walk. Both forests provide an opportunity to visit one of the habituated communities of chimpanzees. You are allowed to spend an hour with these Great Apes while observing their behaviour. You are allowed to take photographs. So make sure your cameras are nearby.

DAY 21: Game drives and boat cruise on Kazinga channel

After an early morning cup of coffee, you will drive back to Kasenyi plains for a game viewing. It’s this time of the morning that the big cats are usually out to hunt for their prey. There will be high chances of spotting lions and or leopards on a hunt or feasting on their kill. Obviously, there is a guarantee that you will see buffaloes, hippos, and several species of antelopes, and many more. You may return to the lodge for lunch and relaxation and return later in the day drive to Mweya jetty for an afternoon boat cruise on the Kazinga Channel. This two hour boat cruise is one of the highlights of Queen Elizabeth National Park. It provides you with an opportunity to view over 300 out of the 600 water bird species recorded here. There are also antelopes, crocodiles, elephants, buffaloes and hippos which can be sighted while on the boat.

DAY 22: Community visits, Lake Katwe and Crater lakes visits in Queen Elizabeth National Park.

Today you will visit local communities in Queen Elizabeth National park for cultural experiences in Kasenyi and Katwe, you will have a chance as well to visit the Orphanage groups as a company we do recommend you carry any items that you can donate to the needy people in these communities, from here you will visit Katwe salt mines for a local experience and education on how slat is mined using local means, after you will proceed for sightseeing and visiting the beautiful carter lakes.

DAY 23: Transfer to Ishasha sector of Queen Elizabeth National Park.

Early morning departure from the lodge with picnic Lunch and transfer to catch the morning boat at the Jetty point. While on this boat cruise, you can spot several herds of buffaloes, Uganda Kobs, Jackson’s Hartebeast, Giraffes, Elephants, and several other wild animals that flock the River Nile to drink water. Not forgetting the several bird species that can as well be spotted while on the boat.

DAY 24: Full day Game drives in Ishasha to search for Tree climbing lions

Early morning departure from the lodge with picnic Lunch and transfer to catch the morning boat at the Jetty point. While on this boat cruise, you can spot several herds of buffaloes, Uganda Kobs, Jackson’s Hartebeast, Giraffes, Elephants, and several other wild animals that flock the River Nile to drink water. Not forgetting the several bird species that can as well be spotted while on the boat.

DAY 25: Morning Game drive and visit the Local community project in Ishasha.

Bush Breakfast Start the day with a very short drive to our amazing Bush breakfast spot. Accompanied by your driver guide, you will enjoy your morning breakfast with the view of the Ishasha beautiful wilderness. After breakfast you will embark on yet another game drive in the rich Ishasha areas in search of wildlife including warthogs, bush bucks, water bucks, Uganda Kob, Elephants and countless bird species. Remember you also still have yet another beautiful opportunity to see Tree Climbing lions that are only famously found in the Tree figs. You will visit the Ishasha community projects later on in the day.

DAY 26: Transfer from Ishasha to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.

After breakfast, you will drive to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park, with an en-route game drive, one more time to see what your luck will offer you.  Your journey to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park will take you through the rolling hills with terraced gardens of Irish potatoes and sometimes tea. Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is home to almost half of the world’s endangered mountain gorillas and the only National Park where wild chimpanzees co-exist with mountain gorillas. You will arrive at the lodge in time for lunch and after the meal relax and then later head out back to the community to visit the Batwa community, experience there culture and lifestyle, this usually includes performance in form of Dance and a guided walk to take you around there homesteads to get a picture of their life style.

Drive time: Approximately 3 hours

DAY 27: Gorilla tracking and optional Forest walk

After breakfast, you will transfer to the park headquarters to join other trekkers to be allocated a Gorilla family that you will trek. Of course the park staff will first give you a full briefing concerning the Dos and Don’ts while with the gorillas. After that, you will be driven to the starting point of your allocated gorilla family to start your trek into the beautiful Impenetrable Bwindi Forest. This trek may take between 30 minutes to three quarters of the day, depending on where the Mountain Gorillas will be found. Please noted that gorilla trekking can be strenuous and as such a certain level of fitness is required. Once you find the gorillas, you will be allowed to spend one hour to observe them and take photographs. Although this time may seem too short a time, the experience you get will be worth it. Thereafter, you will return to the park headquarters where you will be awarded a certificate in recognition of your effort in contributing to the conservation of these endangered mountain gorillas. Return to the lodge for relaxation followed by a visit from the local community for performances and dances at the lodge. Or use the rest of the day to take optional nature walks back in the forest, including bird walking safaris. Over 350 bird species have been recorded here and about 25 of them are Albertine endemics. Also we do have the chameleon walk where you get to see the three horned chameleon which is one rare species to find.

DAY 28: Spend a day for charity in our projects or Second Gorilla tracking.

If Gorilla tracking is your dream, you can have a second Gorilla trek to another family to boost your experience and compare the two or get involved in our charity projects. As a company we do support a number of community based projects Village Community Walk in Bwindi. You can participate in any of the community walks through the local villages surrounding Bwindi Impenetrable Forest. Optional activities include visits to a traditional home, local orphanage or school, banana brewing demonstrations and even meeting traditional medicinal healers. This four hours or more walk is easily tailored to your individual schedule and interests. Village walks are popular in Buhoma, Rushaga and Nkuringo. We encourage those who have anything to offer to carry with from scholastic materials for school going children to clothes all will be appreciated and will bring a smile to one less privileged child.

DAY 29: Transfer to Mgahinga Gorilla National Park.

Today you will transfer on a short drive to Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, get settled in the lodge and have lunch. The park is located in the south western part of the country boarding Rwanda and DR Congo. Boasted by one resident gorilla family (Nyakagezi) and the other visitor from the volcanoes (Hirwa) and Golden Monkeys this makes the park interesting to visit. The park offers many activities that one can involve in while here. Late in the afternoon you will head out for a boat ride on Lake Chahafi and visit the local community. Drive time: Approximately 3 hours

DAY 30: Golden monkey experience or Golden Monkey trekking

After breakfast, you will transfer to Mgahinga National Park headquarters for either full day golden monkey habituation experience or half day golden monkey trekking. You will be briefed about the dos and don’ts while with golden monkeys and then proceed to the mountain/forest for your trek. You will be allowed enough time with researchers if you choose to do golden monkey experience and only one hour if you choose to do golden monkey trekking. Return to your lodge for relaxation, dinner and overnight.

DAY 31: Early Morning Hiking of Mt. Sabinyo

Today, you will start your day with a short drive to the footsteps of Mountain Sabinyo and hike to the top, a Virunga Volcano that you can only access its summit from the park. Rising up, the mountain lies at 3,645 meters (11,959 ft), marks the intersection of the borders of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Rwanda, and Uganda. The slopes of Mt. Sabinyo are a habitat for the critically endangered mountain gorillas. The hike to the top and down the mountain is a one day experience which makes it something most can do for those who wish to hike. Basically would involve 4 hours climbing and another 4 hours to get down the mountain but depends on the pace and weather conditions. Walking sticks are provided for free meanwhile the porters are available for hire. You will go through vegetation ranges from the bamboo zone between 2400 – 2800m. After ascending to its park, have some rest and your packed lunch. Start descending the mountain. Return to the lodge for dinner and overnight.

DAY 32: Scenic drive to Lake Bunyonyi

Drive from Mgahinga National Park to Lake Bunyonyi in Kabale District. Lake Bunyonyi is one of the three Lava damned Lakes in Uganda dabbed to be “the lost city of Wakanda”. The Lake was formed when lava flowing from one of the volcanoes blocked a river channel and water was forced to flow back hence filling the space to create the Lake Bunyonyi. Bunyonyi locally means small birds. So the Lake got its name because of the abundance of small birds in this area in filled the area. Lake Bunyonyi is said to be the deepest lake in Uganda and the second deepest in East Africa. The beauty of this Lake Bunyonyi will surely not disappoint you. It is one of the best places in Uganda to relax after your gorilla trek. Take off the evening to relax after the long packed tour with a bottle of wine as you stare at the beautiful lake sceneries. Drive time: Approximately 3-4 hours

DAY 33: Canoeing or Hiking

After breakfast, you are free to admire the beauty of the lake and its surrounding hills. You will have a choice of either taking a canoe ride on the lake to explore the different Islands with exciting histories behind them. For example, you will visit the Punishment Island. The story about this Island, it is the place where girls who were known to have conceived babies out of legitimate traditional marriage would be dumped and left to die. This is a whole day activity and you will surely enjoy it. Alternatively, you can hike one of the hills around the Lake Bunyonyi. Return to the Lodge for overnight.

DAY 34: To Lake Mburo National Park

After breakfast, drive to Lake Mburo National Park via the Great Lakes Museum or Igongo Cultural center to learn more about the cultures of the ethnic groups in western Uganda and also have lunch here. You will arrive at Lake Mburo National Park just in time for an evening game drive. Lake Mburo National Park is popular for animals such as Impalas, Giraffes, Zebras and so much more. Return to the Lodge for overnight. Drive time: Approximately 6 hours

DAY 35: Morning game drive and afternoon boat excursion

After breakfast, you driver guide will drive you to the park for a game drive or for a safari walk depending on your interests. Lake Mburo National Park has a bad history of Wildlife and humans to the extent that major animals like lions were hunted/killed to extinction but due to improved relationship between the government and the local communities, animals and communities co-exist together. Because of this many animals have been re-introduced including lions (rarely seen though) and giraffes. A game drive in Lake Mburo National Park will guarantee you herds of buffaloes, zebras, impalas, birds and so much more without driving so much. Retire to the lodge for lunch, relaxation and then an evening boat cruise on the Lake.

After lunch and short relaxation, you will be driven to the lake to meet your captain of the day who will take you for a two hour boat excursion. Lake Mburo boat cruise is an opportunity to see hippos, crocodiles, water bird such as the African fish eagle and the rare African fin foot. Many animals such as buffaloes and antelopes gather here to drink some water so an opportunity to enjoy wildlife most especial marine animals. After your boat cruise, you will retire to your lodge for dinner and overnight.

DAY 36: Morning safari walk and departure

After breakfast, you will be met by a Uganda Wildlife Authority ranger guide who will take you through briefing and then for a safari walk on foot. This activity is suitable for those who would like to stretch their legs and view wildlife on foot.  At the moment, it’s only in Lake Mburo where you can do safari on foot. You will get an opportunity to see what you could have seen on any game drive except that this time around you will do it on foot. Check out of the lodge and drive back to Kampala with lunch served en route. Drive time: Approximately 5-6 hours

DAY 37: Kampala City tour.

Take this opportunity to have an experience that is different from what you have been seeing for the past days. Urban life, you will visit cultural sites around the city Centre among these including Visit Uganda Museum on your Kampala city tour, Buganda trail on your Kampala City Tour, Kampala City Tour-Markets, Cathedrals, Mosques and Temples on your Kampala City Tour. For those interested in politics, you can visit the parliament of Uganda and those for shopping, Kampala offers many options inform of shopping malls and cultural and Art Galleries.

DAY 38: Departure.

After breakfast you will bid farewell to the lodge  then proceed to the airport to catch your onward international flight out ending you 38 Day Best Of Uganda.

 

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