Uganda Deluxe Safari
Uganda is a land of contrasts. In half a day you can drive from mist-shrouded volcanic mountains to hot hazy savannah, dappled with wildlife. Serene undulating hills of tea plantations, lush but ordered, give way to tangled jungle and rainforest with the musical accompaniment of chaotic, cacophonous birdlife. Uganda is alive with these contrasts: The tiniest sunbirds, iridescent in the morning light, the massive lumbering yet silent elephant, disappearing like a vapor behind the trees, the chimpanzees crashing about the forest canopy, the lugubrious gorilla, chewing thoughtfully in the bamboo thicket. There is the Nile, twisting its way north like a shimmering ribbon, through arid semi-desert scattered about with rocky kopjes. Snow-capped peaks, tropical, sandy, freshwater beaches, and smiling faces everywhere. It is all here, a feast for all the senses. Let us show you the Uganda we know and love. This is Africa: the way it should be!
10 DAYS | 9 NIGHTS
Day 1 – Arrive at Entebbe International Airport in the morning, later transfer by The Age Safaris driver to Entebbe International Airport (+/- 15 minutes) for a scheduled flight to Kidepo Valley National Park Estimated depart time 8am. Evening game drive / walk. Overnight at Apoka Safari Lodge
Day 2 – Game activities in Kidepo and visit to Lorukul Village Overnight at Apoka Safari Lodge
Day 3 – Thursday, 4th April 2019 Early morning breakfast. Pickup by our guide who will transfer you to Bakers Lodge (+/-8 hours).
Day 4 – Morning game drive to Northern side of the park. Afternoon boat excursion in Murchison Falls National Park, Hike to the Top of the falls.
Day 5 – Saturday, 6th April 2019 Early morning breakfast, transfer by road (-/+8hours) to Fort portal with a packed lunch from Bakers lodge to Kyaninga lodge.
Day 6 – Morning Chimpanzee tracking in Kibale National Park (+/- 1 hours). Later drive to Bigodi for a swamp walks and then lunches at Ndali Lodge to then drive to Semliki Wildlife Reserve for 2h30 hours. Overnight at Semliki Safari Lodge
Day 7 _ Sunrise boat trip on Lake Albert to view the endangered Shoebill. Evening sundowner-game activity. Overnight at Semliki Safari Lodge
Day 8 – Early morning Breakfast, Transfer to Semliki airstrip for a scheduled flight to Kisoro (07h45/09h30). Meet and greet with the lodge representative to transfer by road to Sheba’s Camp where guests will embark on a boat cruise on Lake Mutanda for about +/- 2 hours. (the boat cruise is weather dependent) After return to your vehicle and proceed to Clouds Mountain Gorilla Lodge in the southern sector of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park. We will have a picnic lunch before proceed to Clouds. In the afternoon go for the Buniga Forest Walk and visit the Batwa Community. Overnight at Clouds Mountain Gorilla Lodge
Day 9 – Full day Gorilla tracking. In the evening, you will enjoy a traditional dance at Clouds in the evening. Overnight at Clouds Mountain Gorilla Lodge
Day 10 – After breakfast, transfer by road for 2 hours from Clouds Mountain Gorilla Lodge to your connective flight
Arrive at Entebbe International Airport in the morning, later transfer by The Age Safaris driver to Entebbe International Airport (+/- 15 minutes) for a scheduled flight to Kidepo Valley National Park Estimated depart time 8am. Evening game drive / walk.
On arrival, you will be met at the Airport by your personal guide who will escort you to your safari vehicle and introduce you to your driver. A short drive will bring you to your accommodation where you will be able to unwind, relax and contemplate the adventure that lies ahead.
On arrival you will be met by the staff of Apoka Safari Lodge at the Airstrip, and then driven to the lodge which takes only about 10 minutes. Please talk to the lodge manager about the many places you can visit and activities you can do. They will be in the best position to advise you which areas to venture out to for the best game viewing and also weather conditions that might create a change in your plans. You will have an evening game drive.
Tucked into the corner of Uganda's border with Sudan and Kenya, Kidepo is a truly stunning park (voted 3rd best in Africa by CN Traveler in 2013) boasting a real sense of wilderness that enchants visitors. The mountainous terrain of the park is broken by the Narus Valley in the Southwest and the Kidepo Valley in the Northeast; and is more typical of Kenya than the rest of Uganda. Whilst the park is large (1,442km²) most of the wildlife is concentrated within the Narus Valley revealing fantastic panoramic views of vast herds of buffalo with elephant, giraffe, waterbuck and zebra grazing alongside. There are also a number of predators present including lion, cheetah, leopard, and spotted hyena. Activities enjoyed here are cultural visits to the interesting Lorukul Village, walking safaris, game drives, night drives and hikes (including the strenuous hike to the remote and rarely-visited, but fascinating, Ik tribe on Mount Morungole).
Apoka Safari Lodge is located in the middle of Kidepo Valley National Park. Everything at Apoka is handmade by local craftsmen, everything is large and capacious. 10 expansive rooms with natural canvas walls surround a rocky kopje with endless views. Inside sitting rooms and private verandas provide plenty of places to relax, read and sprawl.
Big hand-hewn beds with soft duvets are draped with mosquito nets, hand-woven woolen carpets… you may be as far away from the city as you’ll ever be, but you won’t miss a thing. Step outside to a sheltered terrace and slip into your own outdoor stone bathtub. The swimming pool – deep and cool – has been carved out of the big rock. This is the kind of pool that makes you want to jump in, splashing and yelling, feeling like a kid again. Do you want stride out across the savanna and walk with zebras? Spend time in a Karamojong village learning about their traditional way of life? Enjoy a sundowner in the arms of a massive fig tree? Overnight at Apoka Safari Lodge .
Meal Plan: Full-Board
Early morning breakfast. Pickup by our guide who will transfer you to Bakers Lodge (+/-8 hours).
Game activities in Kidepo and visit to Lorukul Village. In the morning, take a walking safari or drive in a land cruiser along a sandy dry riverbed fringed with palms, climb to the top of a rocky outcrop and take in the views. Guides move slowly along isolated tracks. Afternoon visit to the Karamajong Community with game drive en-route. The name Karamajong is derived from the phrase “ekar ngimojong” meaning “the old men can walk no further” … according to tradition, they are said to have migrated from Abyssinia between 1600 & 1700 AD. As both a rite of passage into manhood, as well as a requirement for engagement, a young Karamojong man is required to wrestle the woman he desires to marry. If he is successful in winning the wrestling match against the woman, he is now considered to be a man and is permitted to marry the woman. This ensures that the man will be strong enough to care for and protect his wife. After a successful match, the dowry negotiations are allowed to commence. In an instance where the young man is unable to defeat the woman in the wrestling match, he will not be considered by his people to be a man and will often leave to marry a woman from a different people-group where a test of strength is not required. If a non-Karamojong man desires to marry a Karamojong woman, he is also required to go through this ceremony. They settle in small clans and stay in their homesteads called Manyattas.
Overnight at Apoka Safari Lodge .
Meal Plan: Full-Board
Morning game drive to Northern side of the park. Afternoon boat excursion in Murchison Falls National Park, Hike to the Top of the falls. Afternoon boat excursion in Murchison Falls National Park, Hike to the Top of the falls. Time allows enjoy a sundowner in the park. The newest lodge in this park is our personal favorite: Bakers Lodge, with 10 safari tents. Each of the individual cottages is raised from the ground on supporting pillars and has its own deck overlooking the river. Privacy guaranteed but with a beautiful view. The main area offers a lounge, restaurant and bar with a 180-degree river-view.
Enjoy their great menu that and have a sundowner drink on deck while enjoying the sounds of nature. It’s a carefully constructed lodge, with attention-to-detail, and excellent service levels. The ideal base to explore Murchison Falls National Park. The sight of the Nile River, the world's longest river, winding its way through the park and plunging through a narrow gap is unforgettable. The falls are stunning, notable not so much for their size as for their immense power, caused by the 50m-wide Nile being funneled through a narrow cleft (7m-wide) in the rocks before falling into a pool 43m below.
The park is vast and beautiful. Predominantly wooded savannah, the 3,980km² area is home to many of Africa's best-known plains animals including giraffe, lions, leopards, elephants, buffaloes, hartebeests and many more. Fishing beneath the falls is quite an experience where Nile perch and tiger-fish provide an exciting challenge to anglers. Game drives, birding,viewing of the falls and fishing are the main attractions in the park.
Go for lunch and the chance to relax before taking a boat trip in the afternoon which lasts around 3 hours. This boat trip along the Nile is often cited as being the highlight of a trip to Murchison Falls National Park since it allows you to get upclose and personal with the animals. Along this stretch of the river, there are reported to be around 4,000 hippos in addition to some enormous Nile crocodiles. The birdlife is stunning with eagles, brightly colored kingfishers and bee-eaters darting along the river banks. The boat takes you to the base of the falls which only adds to their impressiveness. You will disembark the boat and hike to the Top of the falls. Later Return to the lodge late evening.
Overnight at Baker’s Lodge
Meal Plan: Full-Board
Saturday, 6th April 2019 Early morning breakfast, transfer by road (-/+8hours) to Fort portal with a packed lunch from Bakers lodge to Kyaninga lodge.
Kyaninga Lodge, set against a backdrop of Kyaninga Lake with the legendary Mountains of the Moon in the distance.
The 8 cottages at Kyaninga Lodge are built on platforms set apart to ensure peace and intimacy. There are large beds with soft duvets and cushions in the spacious bungalows, as well as freestanding baths and large showers in the en suite bathrooms. In the main area, a cozy fireplace, two intimate galleries and outdoor platform with comfortable loungers are available. If the numerous outdoor decks are not enough, the view from the pool overlooking the valley is pretty spectacular. Tennis and cricket fanatics will also love this lodge with its grass tennis court and cricket field surrounded by a Britishinspired landscape. With Kibale National Park and Queen Elizabeth National Park just a few hours away, you will be able to track down some of Uganda’s most impressive wildlife. Kyaninga is one of our favorites in the area.
Overnight at Kyaninga Lodge .
Meal Plan: Full-Board
Morning Chimpanzee tracking in Kibale National Park (+/- 1 hours). Later drive to Bigodi for a swamp walk and then lunch at Ndali Lodge to then drive to Semliki Wildlife Reserve for 2 hours. This 760 km² area of rainforest, interspersed with patches of grassland and swamp, supports a rich variety of fauna, 250 species of animal and around 375 bird species. There are 13 different primates here, the highest total for any Ugandan National Park, including a large population of chimpanzees, some of which have been habituated. The main activity in Kibale is chimpanzee tracking.
Chimpanzee tracking is a fascinating experience. You will be allowed to spend some time (at most an hour, unless doing a habituation experience) with our mesmerizing relatives, as you observe them swing from one tree to another, feed, play about or progress speedily on the ground right in front of you. The track lasts 3 to 5+ hours depended on where the Chimpanzees are. Chimpanzees are the most sought after primate by visitors in this park, but you should also look out for the black & white colobus, red tailed monkey or the grey cheeked mangabey. Your guides will be able to show you pittas & other bird species and will give details of the plant species within the forest.
You will have lunch at Primate Lodge and later transfer by road to Semliki Game Reserve for 2 hours. Afternoon game drive / Walk
Semliki Valley Wildlife Reserve, the oldest protected area in Uganda and home to a staggering array of flora and fauna. The reserve is situated in the basin of the Western Rift Valley. It is one of the most diverse habitats in Africa with wonderful examples of Riparian forest, gallery rain forest, borassus palm forest, and short and high grass savannas. Chimps exist next to elephant, lion and buffalo as well as the usual Western Uganda species.
Nestled on the crest of the beautiful Wassa River Valley is the small and intimate Semliki Safari Lodge. The eight rooms are tented with four-poster beds, Persian carpets and en-suite bathrooms. At night through the canvas you can hear the animals moving, the lions roaring and often the leopards harsh sawing as it hunts baboons. We have a lovely swimming pool area, ideal for relaxing, while still feeling as though you are truly in the heart of Africa. The food prepared by our chefs could best be described as ‘fusion food’, and we endeavor to use as much local, fresh produce as possible.
Overnight at Semliki Safari Lodge
Meal Plan: Full-Board
Sunrise boat trip on Lake Albert to view the endangered Shoebill. Evening sundowner-game activity.
An early morning rise, tea in your tent and a good breakfast before you depart on a boat trip on Lake Albert to try and see the incredible and rare shoebill, visually a cross between a dodo and a dinosaur. The lake is superb: there are sand cliffs where brightly colored colonies of red-throated bee-eaters dart in an out of their burrows, there are several fishing villages along the way, virtually untouched by the ‘western world’. Then drive back to the Lodge through the borassus palm forest and the acacia savannah reveals different species of raptors and passerines. Afternoon game activity and sundowners.
Overnight at Semliki Safari Lodge .
Meal Plan: Full-Board
Early morning pickup at 07h00 transfer to Semliki airstrip (+/- 15 minutes) for a scheduled flight to Kisoro (07h45/09h30). Meet and greet with the lodge representative to transfer by road to Sheba’s Camp where guests will embark on a boat cruise on Lake Mutanda for about +/- 2 hours. (the boat cruise is weather dependent) After return to your vehicle and proceed to Clouds Mountain Gorilla Lodge in the southern sector of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park. We will have a picnic lunch before proceed to Clouds. In the afternoon go for the Buniga Forest Walk and visit the Batwa Community.
Nestled down in the Southwest of the country, on the edge of the Western Rift Valley this 331km² of montane rainforest is the only forest in Africa where gorillas and chimpanzees occur together. The world population of mountain gorillas is currently estimated at about 880, half of which live in Bwindi, alongside an estimated 350-400 chimpanzee. In addition, this ancient rainforest – one of the few in Africa to have flourished throughout the last Ice Age (making it over 25,000 years old) – is home to several other mammals (approximately 93 species) as well as roughly 360 species of bird, including 22 of the 23 Albertine Rift endemic species. The most sought-after activity in and around Bwindi is gorilla tracking; but there is also opportunity for Community and Batwa experiences and bird watching excursions.
Built of local volcanic stone, each of the 7 cottages has a large sitting room with fireplace, vast overstuffed armchairs, and hand-woven carpets. There are soaring ceilings, massive exposed wooden beams, big picture windows with endless views of treetops, volcanoes and mountains. There is a gentle, warm welcome, serene dedication from the personal butlers and smiles on the faces of all the staff. It is a short walk from the lodge to the Nkuringo trailhead or transfer to the Rushaga base in order to track the gorillas. Clouds, with the ultimate goal of protecting the natural habitat of the mountain gorilla, directly benefits the community of Nkuringo in a multitude of ways as they have a significant stake in the lodge and its income. It was built in conjunction with AWF, USAID, IGCP and NCCDF and offers many community-based activities. It is the ultimate in accommodation in either Northern or Southern Bwindi. Overnight at Clouds Mountain Gorilla Lodge .
Meal Plan: Full-Board
Full day Gorilla tracking. In the evening, you will enjoy a traditional dance at Clouds in the evening and talk about gorilla from Gorilla doctors Up relatively early for a hearty breakfast to give you the energy needed for your gorilla track. By 08h00, report to the ranger station for registration and a talk by one of the rangers. The guides will then take you through the bush pushing your way through the undergrowth, parting thick creepers, to track the gorillas. The track can take from half an hour to 7 hours – a good degree of fitness is required as well as a sturdy pair of walking shoes. Once you are close to the group the guides will ask you to leave behind your bags as no food items should be carried close to the gorillas. Just take your cameras with you as you are about to meet the gentle giants! Sit in the forest amongst the gorillas, listening to them grumble to each other and marvel at the sheer size of the dominant male: the silverback. It is an extraordinary feeling sitting in the dense rainforest knowing you are with a few of the last remaining mountain gorillas – sadly enough, there are only about 880 of these beautiful creatures left. You are allowed an hour with the gorillas before returning to the base station.
Please note: please listen to the instructions of the local rangers at all times. It is forbidden to approach the gorillas closer than 5 meters, to feed them or to use flash photography. Likewise, for your and their safety! While walking, please feel free to ask guides to slow down if they are going too fast and if you need a rest. There is the additional option to hire
porters on site (something we highly recommend: one is supporting sustainable employment and they can be invaluable in slippery and steep terrain). The Uganda Wildlife Authority does not allow tracking when you are ill as gorillas are very susceptible to human diseases. Should you feel sick on the day of the track we urgently advise you to abide by this rule. In order to receive a 50% refund of the permit cost you must get a valid doctor’s report that day. We must also stress that, while you have a very good chance of seeing gorillas, success is not guaranteed (although success is at least 99.5 %!). They are wild creatures with no fixed routine and finding them requires the skills and experience of your tracker sand guides, as well as luck. The trackers and guides have helped to habituate the gorilla groups and know them intimately. They will take you to the area where they left the gorillas the day before. Before leaving they may be able to suggest how long the hike might be.
Overnight at Clouds Mountain Gorilla Lodge .
Meal Plan: Full-Board
After breakfast, transfer by road for 2 hours from Clouds Mountain Gorilla Lodge to your connective flight.