The Best Of Uganda

This incredible Uganda tour offers the ultimate exploration of the country’s most prized landscapes as well as unforgettable encounters with the iconic primates: chimpanzee and the majestic mountain gorilla.

Description

This incredible 16-Day Uganda tour offers the ultimate exploration of the country’s most prized landscapes as well as a host of unforgettable wildlife encounters – most notably with Uganda’s iconic primates; the playful chimpanzee and the majestic mountain gorilla. Trekking through what is arguably the best gorilla habitat in the world, and be utterly overwhelmed when you first see these exquisite primates. Travel to the country’s most remote conservation area, the Kidepo Valley, famous for its mountainous terrain and large variety of big game. Discover the dramatic Murchison Falls, in the Murchison Falls National Park, which is bisected by the mighty river Nile. Strap on your hiking boots for a memorable trek in the foothills of Mountain Rwenzori. Delight in the enchanting and playful antics of the chimpanzees of Kibale National Park. Immerse yourself in the awe-inspiring surrounds of Queen Elizabeth National Park, which boasts one of the highest biodiversity ratings of any reserve in the world. Leaving the best for last; spend two, truly humbling and breath-taking days trekking the endangered mountain gorillas of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. Expect an adventure filled-to-the-brim with a range of wildlife and cultural activities, as well as exceptional accommodation throughout.

What we love about this journey

  • Trek gorilla in the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
  • Spend half a day (instead of just an hour) with a team of people habituating chimps
  • Trekking among chimpanzees and 12 other species of primates
  • Embark on a boat trip along the Nile, which is often cited as being the highlight of a trip to the Murchison Falls National Park
  • Cast your line and try your hand at fishing and catch a Nile Perch
  • Marvel at the array of fauna and flora in the Queen Elizabeth National park, set against a backdrop of beautiful lakes
  • Relax in tranquil beauty on a sunset cruise on the sparkling Kazinga Channel, home to one of Africa’s greatest hippo populations
  • Engage with the unique Ik people of Kidepo, one of Africa’s most isolated tribes
  • Delight in vehicle and boat safaris through one of Uganda’s best birding areas, and observe the Shoebill
  • Peer into tangled trees and observe the famous tree climbing lions of Uganda as well as the Uganda Kob

Specially created for:

  • Wildlife enthusiasts
  • Walking and adventure travellers
  • Repeat African addicts

Itinerary

Day 1 : Lake Heights Hotel

Upon landing at Entebbe Airport. You will be met by a representative from Brothers Safaris, who will drive you to Lake Heights Hotel. Spend 1 night at Lake Heights Hotel in a standard room with en-suite bathroom. Your stay includes breakfast.

A short distance away from the Entebbe International Airport and the city center, the stylish and modern Lake Heights Hotel offers guests a warm and personalised experience. Located along the Entebbe peninsula, the hotel sits in the fashionable suburb of Bugonga and offers spectacular 360-degree views of Lake Victoria and the historic State House.

Each of the hotel’s ensuite rooms are beautifully designed with comfortable beds, luxurious bathrooms, generous workspaces, natural lighting, flat screen televisions and high-speed WiFi. Guests can enjoy a delicious breakfast, alfresco dining on the terrace and drinks at the bar. There is also a sparkling outdoor pool, a gym equipped with treadmills, stationary bikes and exercise benches, and a wellness centre for those wishing to pamper themselves.

This welcoming hotel is perfectly situated for exploring the charming city of Entebbe, with the Entebbe Wildlife Educational Centre, the amazing Entebbe Botanical Gardens, and the upmarket Victoria Mall all a short distance away.

Enjoy magnificent lake views from your room; sip your favourite cocktail as you watch the sun set over Lake Victoria, Africa’s largest lake and get a good workout at the hotel’s gym or indulge in a relaxing massage at the wellness centre.

Day 2 – 4 : Apoka Safari Lodge

You will be collected from Lake Heights Hotel and driven to Entebbe Airport, for your scheduled flight to Kidepo Valley National Park. Spend 2 nights at Apoka Safari Lodge in a cottage with ensuite bathroom. Your stay includes all meals, teas & coffees and bar (except premium brands); two game activities per day (game drive | walking safari); Birding and Laundry.

On day 3 you will be thrilled by a Game Drive at Kidepo Valley, NP.

Located in the remote Kidepo Valley National Park, the ten rooms of Apoka Safari Lodge surround a rocky kopje and offer endless views across the grassy savannah. The décor takes its cue from the environment, featuring rock, wood and natural hues. Hand-hewn wooden beds are draped with soft, white mosquito nets, while hand-woven woollen carpets offer an element of added warmth. Secluded sitting rooms and private verandas cater for quiet moments, while the ensuite bathroom features a large tropical shower and deep outdoor bathtub.

Huge boulders surround a sparkling swimming pool hewn out of the rock, while the spacious lounge provides games and books for shared moments. Game drives set out in search of the local wildlife and includes thrilling spotlit night drives. Guests can venture out on guided walks, tracking game in the deep sand of dry riverbeds. Kidepo is renowned for its vast number of bird species and the area around the lodge offers rewarding birdwatching. Excursions to the local Karamajong community can also be arranged.

Lie back in the stone outdoor bathtub and enjoy a lazy soak beneath the African star. Take in the views from your private veranda. Don’t forget a pair of binoculars – giraffe, elephant, buffalo and zebra are frequently spotted on the grassy plains in front of the lodge. Find a comfortable spot among the big boulders that surround the guest area and watch as the sun sets behind the craggy mountains, bathing the entire valley in a soft, golden light.

Day 4 – 6 : Baker’s Lodge

You will be collected from Kidepo Valley National Park and driven to Murchison Falls.
Spend 2 nights at Bakers Lodge in a safari suite with en-suite bathroom. Your stay includes 3 multiple course meals per day, all hot beverages and bar snacks, drinking water with meals and in rooms, and other lodge services provided at Bakers Lodge.

Deriving its name from the historic English explorer Samuel Baker, Baker’s Lodge is situated on the South bank of the mighty Nile River which transects Murchison Falls National Park. This intimate, safari styled lodge is set within a large private area with direct river access, large shady trees and wetland areas hosting abundant bird life along the water’s edge. The views onto the river are vast and magnificent with islands hosting nesting egret birds, elephants bathing and pods of hippos regularly viewed.

Day 6 – 8 : Kyaninga Lodge

You will be collected for your scheduled flight to Kasese Airstrip and driven to Kyaninga Lodge. Set against a stunning backdrop of Lake Kyaninga and the legendary Mountains of the Moon beyond, Kyaninga Lodge offers eight beautiful cottages, built on platforms to make the most of the region’s spectacular views. The main guest area features a cosy fireplace, two intimate galleries and various outdoor areas, a sparkling pool, and tennis court.
After checking into the lodge, tuck into a mouth-watering lunch before grabbing a quick siesta before your afternoon game viewing experience. Alternatively, enjoy the afternoon at your leisure and after a scrumptious dinner, head out on a spotlit night drive.

Set against the striking backdrop of Lake Kyaninga and the legendary Mountains of the Moon, Kyaninga Lodge is the epitome of luxury and style in the wild heart of Africa. Built from over a thousand hand carved logs, the main building’s exceptional design and scale provides an extraordinary first impression, and sets the tone for the rest of the lodge. Once inside, the lodge offers comfortable seating areas around an arresting double-sided, open fireplace, and two raised galleries boast intimate spaces for those wishing to absorb the evocative landscape in a more private setting. The lodge’s eight cottages are built on platforms, which are set apart to offer privacy and tranquillity. Each beautifully appointed cottage boasts stylishly rustic furniture, a private deck and an elegant bathroom with a marble countertop basin, a claw-footed freestanding bath, and a glass-walled shower.

Delicious meals, using locally sourced ingredients, are served in the main building, while the swimming pool, which overlooks the lake, provides the perfect spot to soak up the surrounding natural beauty. Guests looking for a little more adventure can follow the steps down from the pool to the remarkably blue waters of the lake surrounded by primeval forest.

Day 8 : Semliki Safari Lodge

You will be collected from Kyaninga Lodge and driven to Semliki Game Reserve.
Enjoy 2 night at Semliki Safari Lodge in a Tent with ensuite bathroom. Your stay includes all meals, and all beverages (alcoholic or non-alcoholic with the exception of champagne & premium brands) and game drives (am and pm)

Day 9 : Semliki Safari Lodge

The only lodge in the Semliki Valley Wildlife Reserve, the traditional and rustic Semliki Lodge offers a truly private game viewing experience. Eight canvas tents under thatched roofs feature gleaming hardwood floors, hand-carved four-poster beds and soft Persian carpets. Private verandas open up onto panoramic views, while spacious interiors and sofas piled high with cushions invite guests to while the hours away.

The main lodge is a large, comfortable living space where guests can converge to watch the sunset, swap stories of the day’s adventures and gather around massive, hand-hewn tables to share mouth-watering meals. A sparkling swimming pool offers not only the ideal place to cool down but also spectacular vistas of the Blue Mountains. Apart from morning and evening game drives, guests can choose to take part in chimpanzee tracking or take a guided walk through the jungle. The ample birdlife is ideal for keen birdwatchers, while avid fishermen can try their luck during a boat trip on Lake Albert. Visits to the local community can be arranged for a glimpse of traditional life.

Waking up to a soft knock on the door, and savouring warm muffins and coffee while sitting on the private veranda, taking in the views of mountain, savannah, forest and river valley. The delicious food – everything is home-made, from fresh bread baked daily to tasty soups, relishes and chutneys. The incomparable luxury of knowing that, no matter how you chose to spend your day, you have the entire reserve all to yourself.

Day 10 – 12 : Kyambura Gorge Lodge

You will be collected from Semliki Game Reserve and driven to Queen Elizabeth National Park. Spend 2 nights at Volcanoes Kyambura Gorge Lodge in a standard room with ensuite bathroom. Included activities are Game Drive at Queen Elizabeth National Park.

On day Day 11 you can enjoy a boat safari at the Kazinga Chanel.

Once a coffee store and processing plant, surrounded by coffee plantations, the Kyambura Gorge Lodge is today a modern and stylish lodge, which boasts incredible views over the Queen Elizabeth National Park and the legendary Mountains of the Moon in the distance. Reflecting the local building style, the lodge’s eight rustic-chic cottages are nestled into the hillside, and provide spectacular views of the park. The cottages also offer eco-luxury comforts including an ensuite bathroom with a flushing toilet, double vanity, and a shower with hot and cold running water.

The main lodge building has been sensitively restored to create a stunning and contemporary living space, balancing the history of the building with a series of distinct luxury spaces for guests to relax and enjoy delicious meals. When not exploring the many wonders of the national park, guests can cool off by the sparkling pool, or take advantage of the complimentary massage offered by the lodge.

Go chimpanzee trekking in the Kyambura Gorge. Enjoy a boat cruise through the Kazinga Channel and catch glimpses of hippo, buffalo and elephant. Take a game drive through the famous Queen Elizabeth National Park.

Day 12 : Ishasha Wilderness Camp

Spend 1 night at Ishasha Wilderness Camp in a standard room with ensuite bathroom. Included activities are Game Drive at Ishasha.

Ishasha Wilderness Camp is situated within the Southern Ishasha sector of Queen Elizabeth National Park on the Ntungwe river, an idyllic retreat for people who truly enjoy the wilderness. This exclusive camp offers superb quality accommodation and services in this unspoilt remote sector of Queen Elizabeth National Park famous for its tree climbing lions that can sometimes be spotted resting in the branches of the large fig trees in the area.

Being within the park the wildlife is free to also pass through the camp and elephants can be seen bathing in the river, buffalo enjoy grazing and resident troops of Black-and-White Colobus and vervet monkeys are frequently viewed.

Day 13 – 16 : Clouds Mountain Gorilla Lodge

You will be collected from Ishasha Wilderness Camp and driven to Bwindi. Included activities are hikes through Bwindi Forest.

Set on a forested ridge near the entrance to the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, Clouds Mountain Gorilla Lodge boasts eight spacious cottages built from volcanic stone. Spectacular views stretch all the way to the Virunga Volcanoes of Rwanda, as well as across the border into the Congo, where the glow of Nyiragongo Volcano can be seen on a clear night. Warm and welcoming, each cottage features a bedroom, ensuite bathroom with walk-in shower and separate lounge. Comfortable chairs on the outdoor verandas provide the perfect vantage point to admire the unforgettable vistas of the forest below. Blazing fireplaces create a cosy glow as evening falls.

Meals are prepared using the freshest local ingredients and served in front of a roaring fire in the dining area or in the privacy of your stone cottage. The lodge is situated within easy walking distance of the trail where guests can begin their gorilla trekking adventure. Guided forest walks and birdwatching expeditions explore the surroundings, while local community visits give a glimpse of traditional life.

We love the delicious homemade cakes served on your private veranda by your personal butler each afternoon. Enjoy a relaxing foot massage booked for right after your gorilla trekking expedition. Marvel at the beautiful artworks displayed throughout the lodge – these are commissioned from a Ugandan artist and can be specially ordered for guests.

Day 16 : transit

You will be collected from Clouds Mountain Lodge and driven to Kisoro Airstrip for your scheduled flight to Entebbe Airport.

Photos

Included

  • Meals as specified in the itinerary (hotels in Entebbe are B&B)
  • Drinks as stipulated in itinerary
  • Accommodation as stipulated in the itinerary
  • Water in the vehicle for overland sectors
  • Amref Flying Doctors emergency evacuation
  • Scheduled flights, inclusive of airport taxes where applicable, as specified in the itinerary
    • NB: Baggage restriction of 15kgs per person (no more) is applicable on all flights in small, soft-sided bags. This includes hand luggage. Extra luggage will incur a charge of $3 per kg, per sector, to be paid directly to the airline upon check-in.
    • NB: Certain routings have restrictions on schedules and have minimum numbers: details will be confirmed upon booking
  •  All ground transportation and transfers as indicated, which are inclusive of fuel
  • Activities as stipulated in the itinerary
  • Game drives in a shared 4-wheel drive vehicle at Lodges where indicated
  • Park, ranger guide, conservation fees
  • Community bed night fees
  • All applicable taxes and administration fees
  • Gorilla and/or Chimpanzee permits as stipulated in the itinerary:
    • Gorilla and Chimpanzee tracking is subject to availability of permits, which are limited to 8 per Gorilla family per day and 6 per Chimpanzee family per ½ day.
    • Gorilla and Chimpanzee permits cannot be held/secured/booked with the Uganda Wildlife Authority or the Rwanda Development Board in advance of payment – they are only secured once physically paid for. We can check availability of permits but we cannot hold them.
    • We will invoice for the permits, and as soon as the funds clear in our account, we will go ahead and purchase.
    • Gorilla and Chimpanzee permits are always 100% non-transferable and non-refundable.
    • There is a minimum age limit for gorilla tracking of 15 years (no exceptions).
  • In Uganda, please be advised that if clients are staying at Clouds Mountain Gorilla Lodge, we shall endeavour to buy Nkuringo Gorilla group permits – the Nkuringo group tracking start point is close to the Lodge. If at the time of booking, Nkuringo group permits are not available, we shall secure permits from the Rushaga group (encompassing the Nshongi, Mishaya, Busingye, Kahungye and Bweza Families) which is a 45 – 60-minute drive from Clouds. There is an additional cost of approximately $188 (per vehicle) which transfers guests to the tracking start point, waits and returns them to the Lodge.
  • Administration fee

Excluded

  • All passport and visa fees:
    • Uganda: With effect from 01 July 2016, the Government of Uganda has introduced an online visa application system. Guests intending to visit Uganda for tourism-purposes are required to apply and obtain a visa online: https://visas.immigration.go.ug/. We have a separate document detailing more information on how-to apply – please advise us if you need this. Single entry tourist visas are available at a cost of $50 (reduced from $100 on 22 July 2016), and East African tourist visas (between Uganda | Rwanda | Kenya) are available at a cost of $100.
      Rwanda: All visa applications for Rwanda are applied via their online visa application system. Guests intending to visit Rwanda for tourism-purposes are required to apply and obtain a visa online: http://www.migration.gov.rw/. Single entry tourist visas are available at a cost of $50. East African tourist visas (between Uganda | Rwanda | Kenya) are available at a cost of $100.
  • All health vaccinations and medications, including, but not limited to:
    • Yellow Fever vaccinations are currently compulsory for entry into Uganda. All those entering Uganda must be in possession of a valid and original Yellow Fever vaccination cardI
  • International flights and associated airport departure taxes
  • Meals not specified (including lunch and other meal stops between properties on overland sectors)
  • Drinks where not stipulated in itinerary
  • Items of a personal nature
  • Laundry in Kampala / Entebbe
  • Gratuities for guides / drivers / hotel staff etc.
  • Any extras and additional activities not mentioned in the itinerary
  • Charges incurred as a result of delays or cancellations or other inconveniences beyond our control
  • Trip cancellation, travel delay or baggage insurance
  • All statutory increases beyond our control
  • Travel / medical insurance

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