17-Day The Birds and the Beasts of Uganda - 17 Days

A great value mid-range tour of some of the great parks of Africa from the stunning wilderness of Pian Upe and Kidepo, with lion, cheetah and the birdlife of the arid Karamoja plains, down to the thundering falls at Murchison and river and forest birds as well as chimpanzees and the giants of the savannah. Then down the rift to Semliki and its central African birdlife and onto Queen Elizabeth and Ishasha, home to Congolese species and tree climbing lions. Finally a bit of Tanzania at Lake Mburo.

Arrival

  • You’ll be collected from the airport (or hotel).
  • Accommodation before the tour starts can be arranged for an extra cost.

Day 1
Bird watching and boat trip at the source of the Nile

At around 09:30 you will leave Entebbe and head to Jinja, arriving in time for lunch at your camp situated high above the Nile. You will have time in the afternoon to enjoy the pool and the birdlife around the lodge before, in the late afternoon you will take to the river at the source of the Nile on a guided bird watching trip.

Main Destination:

Jinja

Accommodation:

Nile Porch

• Mid-range tented camp located in or near Jinja

Meals & Drinks:

• Lunch & dinner (Breakfast not included)

• Drinking water (Other drinks not included)

Day 2
The distant Karamoja Plains

An early start as you head east through the agricultural heartlands of southern Uganda until you reach the town of Mbale for a break. You will then skirt the lower slopes of Mount Elgon before turning north onto the arid Karamoja plains. The contrast is stark in every way. Having taken a packed lunch along the way, you will arrive at your accommodation in the early afternoon and enjoy the scenery from the cool shade. In the late afternoon you will head into the reserve, shared with the native cattle herders, on a game and birding drive. We will be on the lookout for roan antelope, eland, waterbuck, ostrich, hyena and cheetah. We may even chance upon the extremely rare and endangered Karamoja Apalis. This reserve is recovering from years of poaching and is rarely visited by tourists. For these reasons many animals are not familiar with vehicles and are skittish and hard to view.

Main Destination:

Pian-Upe Wildlife Reserve

Accommodation:

Hunters Camp

• Mid-range tented camp located inside Pian-Upe WR

Meals & Drinks:

• All meals included

• Drinks not included

Day 3
The Rugged Beauty of the Karamoja Countryside

After breakfast overlooking the acacia and rock studded plains you will head further north through the dramatic scenery of Karamoja until you reach Kidepo Valley NP in the late afternoon. Rated by CNN travel as the most picturesque park in Africa, Kidepo is a true hidden gem with breathtaking scenery. In the evening you will climb Amapuis Rock to enjoy the best of the views as the sun sets, while your chef prepares dinner, which you will enjoy beneath the amazing night skies.

Main Destination:

Kidepo Valley National Park

Best Time to Visit September to March (Dry season)

High Season September to March (The park rarely gets crowded)

Best Weather September to November (End of the rains)

Accommodation:

Budget camping

• Inside Kidepo Valley NP

Meals & Drinks:

• All meals included

• Drinking water (Other drinks not included)

Day 4
Stunning Kidepo Valley NP

Wake up in the middle of the action and watch the sunrise over the Morongole mountains. Then you begin your day of game viewing with a visit into the Narus valley in search of lion, elephant, giraffe, eland, zebra, and leopard and to marvel at the sight of the huge herd of buffalo grazing in the wetland. After brunch back at camp you’ll drive towards the seasonal Kidepo River in search of cheetah and ostrich. We’ll take a cold drink and light lunch among the Barassas palms at the Kidepo sand River, from which the area takes its name before returning to camp where you chef will have prepared dinner for you.

Main Destination:

Kidepo Valley National Park

Accommodation:

Budget camping

• Inside Kidepo Valley NP

Meals & Drinks:

• All meals included

• Drinking water (Other drinks not included)

Day 5
Journey through the North

After an early breakfast we’ll leave the lodge and have one last chance to enjoy the beauty of Kidepo and maybe get a sight of any animals we missed. From the park gates it is a two hour drive through the rugged landscape (and roads) of northern Uganda to Kitgum and then a further two hours to Gulu where we will stop for lunch. From Gulu we’ll head south on good roads to the northern gates of Murchison Falls NP. We’ll have the opportunity to take a slow drive in the late afternoon through the park before reaching your bush camp for the night in time for dinner.

Main Destination:

Murchison Falls National Park

Best Time to Visit December to February (Easier to spot animals)

High Season June to September (Peak time for Uganda)

Best Weather June and July (Less rain and lower temperatures)

Accommodation:

Budget camping

• Inside Murchison Falls NP

Meals & Drinks:

• All meals included

• Drinking water (Other drinks not included)

Day 6
Murchison Falls Game Drives and Relaxing

Again we’ll wake up in the middle of the action with the best chance of sighting big game. Murchison is home to elephants, buffalo, Uganda kob, many giraffe and hippos as well as lions, hyena and leopards, and a variety of birds. After your morning game drive you will enjoy a light breakfast before we break up camp and take the short journey across the Nile to your lodge. At this point you will have spent the best part of a week on the move and sleeping in our luxury bell tents. There is no more comfortable or glamorous way to camp, but camping is still camping so now it is time for a bit of a break and a touch of home comforts. You will have the afternoon to explore around the lodge, relax in the lovely swimming pool or just take things easy and enjoy the view of the park across the river from the comfort of a hammock.

Main Destination:

Murchison Falls National Park

Accommodation:

Murchison River Lodge

• Mid-range lodge bordering Murchison Falls NP without fences

Meals & Drinks:

• All meals included

• Drinking water (Other drinks not included)

Day 7
Guided Birding and Cruise to Murchison Falls

An early breakfast before taking a local guide around the lodge grounds and into the surrounding villages and farmland on a birding walk. Where agriculture meets bush is often a very fruitful area for birding and here is no exception. You will hope to find a variety of fly-catchers and bee-eaters, plovers and kingfishers as well as shrikes, cuckoos, woodpeckers and warblers. There are also several birds of prey in the area. After a relaxing lunch at the lodge you’ll take the scheduled cruise to Murchison Falls where we’ll moor midstream at a safe distance from the falls and marvel at their power. From the foot of the falls you’ll be greeted by a ranger who will guide you up the steep path to the top of the falls. You can cool off in the mist here as the ground beneath your feet trembles with the thundering force of the most powerful waterfall in the world. Your guide will meet you here and drive you back to the lodge.

Main Destination:

Murchison Falls National Park

Accommodation:

Murchison River Lodge

• Mid-range lodge bordering Murchison Falls NP without fences

Meals & Drinks:

• All meals included

• Drinking water (Other drinks not included)

Day 8
Shoebill River Cruise

You will take the morning scheduled boat trip to the delta, where the Victoria Nile flows into Lake Albert. Here the river slows and splits into several channels separated by mud banks and floating islands of papyrus. This forms the perfect environment for hippos and crocs and many river birds, but most notably the bizarre shoebill stork. After lunch at your lodge the afternoon is yours to decide what to do. You can take one of a couple of game drive options on the north or south bank, you can go on a guided walk around the lodge or you can just relax around the lodge.

Main Destination:

Murchison Falls National Park

Accommodation:

Murchison River Lodge

• Mid-range lodge bordering Murchison Falls NP without fences

Meals & Drinks:

• All meals included

• Drinking water (Other drinks not included)

Day 9
The Long drive South

An early start as we first head along the scenic Lake Albert drive to Hoima. From there you pass through the agricultural lands of the west to the pleasant town of Fort Portal, set among the tea plantations of western Uganda, in the shadow of the Rwenzori Mountains.

Main Destination:

Fort Portal

Accommodation:

Rwenzori View Guesthouse

• Mid-range guest house located in or near Fort Portal

Meals & Drinks:

• All meals included

• Drinking water (Other drinks not included)

Day 10
Where Central Africa meet East Africa

After breakfast head down the spectacular twisting road into the valley floor and Semliki Wildlife Reserve. West of the Rwenzoris, this is the reserve where central African forest, flora and fauna meets East African savannah, and the results are spectacular. It has a great wilderness feel to it and on your evening game drive you may find savannah or forest elephants, leopard, buffalo, kob and various antelope, and maybe even the rare pygmy hippo.

Main Destination:

Toro-Semliki Wildlife Reserve

Best Time to Visit December to February and June to July (Dry)

High Season June to September (Peak time for Uganda)

Best Weather Mid-December to February (Less rainfall)

Accommodation:

Semliki Safari Lodge

• Luxury lodge located inside Toro-Semliki WR

Meals & Drinks:

• All meals included

• Drinking water (Other drinks not included)

Day 11
Exploring Semliki

An early start as you take to the waters of Lake Albert for our boat trip, primarily in search of the bizarre shoebill stork, but also to enjoy the breeze and see what else is in store. You will head back to your lodge for lunch. In the afternoon you have the option of heading across to the Semliki forest where you can walk to the sulphurous hot springs and see the remarkable variety of birds the area is famed for. You can, if you prefer, take an evening game drive or you can just relax around the lodge.

Main Destination:

Toro-Semliki Wildlife Reserve

Accommodation:

Semliki Safari Lodge

• Luxury lodge located inside Toro-Semliki WR

Meals & Drinks:

• All meals included

• Drinking water (Other drinks not included)

Day 12
Back East of the Rwenzori Mountains

Your options this morning are as of yesterday afternoon, but we will leave the area in the mid-morning and climb up to the highlands once more before dropping down onto the valley floor and the plains of Queen Elizabeth NP. The route takes us directly through the park and you will arrive at your lodge in the late afternoon.

Main Destination:

Queen Elizabeth National Park

Best Time to Visit January to February and June to July (Dry seasons)

High Season June to September (Peak time for Uganda)

Best Weather June to July and January to February (Less rainfall)

Accommodation:

Queen Elizabeth Bush Lodge

• Budget tented camp bordering Queen Elizabeth NP without fences

Meals & Drinks:

• All meals included

• Drinking water (Other drinks not included)

Day 13
The Kasenyi Plains and Kalinzu Channel

After an early breakfast you’ll depart for the Kasenyi Savannah, Queen Elizabeth National Park, for an early morning game drive. The savannah offers a great safari experience, with the opportunity to see lions, Uganda kob, hyena, elephant, warthog, waterbuck and possibly even the elusive leopard all with the stunning Rwenzori Mountains as a backdrop. You will then take your packed lunch on the Crater Explosion drive enjoying beautiful views of the enormous craters, the Rift Valley Escarpment and Lakes Edward and George and the Kazinga Channel below. After lunch we’ll head back down and you will take the two hour boat cruise on the Kazinga Channel, where you may see buffalo, elephants, monitor lizards and of course vast numbers of different bird species as well as hippos and crocs.

Main Destination:

Queen Elizabeth National Park

Accommodation:

Queen Elizabeth Bush Lodge

• Budget tented camp bordering Queen Elizabeth NP without fences

Meals & Drinks:

• All meals included

• Drinking water (Other drinks not included)

Day 14
Chimpanzees and Tree Climbing Lions

After an early breakfast you’ll head back into the park to Kyambura Gorge for your chimpanzee trek. The terrain is gentle (with steep bits! ) and the trek normally takes 3 to 5 hours and hopefully we’ll find some chimps. If we do (around a 60% chance) you will get to spend an hour in the company of our closest cousins, enjoying watching them interact with each other. Even if we don’t find chimps, Kyambura gorge is a really lovely place to enjoy nature at its best, with plenty of other forest animals and birds to enjoy. After lunch back at the lodge we’ll drive to the Ishasha sector of Queen Elizabeth NP. Here we’ll have a short evening game drive, on the lookout for its famous tree climbing lions and healthy population of hyena.

Main Destination:

Queen Elizabeth National Park

Accommodation:

Enjojo Lodge

• Mid-range lodge located just outside Queen Elizabeth NP

Meals & Drinks:

• All meals included

• Drinking water (Other drinks not included)

Day 15
Tranquility and Wilderness of Ishasha

You’ll have an early morning game drive on the lookout for lions, hyena, leopard, elephants and topi among others. Weather permitting, you’ll stop for lunch on the Lake Edward pan before heading back through the park hoping to see lion taking refuge from the heat of the day in the fig trees. The late afternoon and evening is yours to enjoy the tranquility of your lodge as the sun sets.

Main Destination:

Queen Elizabeth National Park

Accommodation:

Enjojo Lodge

• Mid-range lodge located just outside Queen Elizabeth NP

Meals & Drinks:

• All meals included

• Drinking water (Other drinks not included)

Day 16
Night Time Adventures at Lake Mburo

Breakfast overlooking the forest gallery before the journey back east to Lake Mburo NP. You’ll take lunch en route and arrive at the lodge in the mid-afternoon. You’ll have time to cool off in the rock top swimming pool with its commanding views of the park before heading into the park for an after dark game drive, to see what the night can reveal.

Main Destination:

Lake Mburo National Park

Best Time to Visit June to August and December to February

High Season June to September (Peak time for Uganda)

Best Weather June, July and January to February (Little rainfall)

Accommodation:

Rwakobo Rock

• Mid-range lodge bordering Lake Mburo NP without fences

Meals & Drinks:

• All meals included

• Drinking water (Other drinks not included)

Day 17
Guided Nature Walk at Lake Mburo

Before the day warms up we’ll head into the park for a guided nature walk. With few buffalo, no elephants and only very occasionally a lion, Lake Mburo lends itself to walking. This way you get to see the smaller things and enjoy seeing antelope and zebra on foot. We’ll leave the lodge at around 11am and stop for lunch and souvenir shopping at the equator. From here we’ll head back to Entebbe, arriving in the early evening.

Main Destination:

Entebbe

Accommodation:

No accommodation (End of tour)

Meals & Drinks:

• All meals included

• Drinking water (Other drinks not included)

End of tour

• Additional accommodation can be arranged for an extra cost.

• You'll be dropped off at the airport (or hotel).

Included

  • • Park fees (For non-residents)
  • • Chimp permits (One per person, non-resident)
  • • All activities (Unless labeled as optional)
  • • All accommodation (Unless listed as upgrade)
  • • Camping equipment (Sleeping bag excluded)
  • • A professional driver/guide
  • • All transportation (Unless labeled as optional)
  • • All Taxes/VAT
  • • Roundtrip airport transfer
  • • Meals (As specified in the day-by-day section)
  • • Drinks (As specified in the day-by-day section)
  • • Bed linen
  • • Bath towels

Excluded

  • • International flights (From/to home)
  • • Additional accommodation before and at the end of the tour
  • • Tips (Tipping guideline US$10.00 pp per day)
  • • Personal items (Souvenirs, travel insurance, visa fees, etc.)
  • • Government imposed increase of taxes and/or park fees

Rates Per Person

Solo 1 room 2 people 1 room 3 people 2 rooms 4 people 2 rooms 5 people 3 rooms 6 people 3 rooms 7+ people
Jan 1, 2018 – Dec 31, 2018 $7,400 $4,970 $4,970 $4,090 $4,970 $3,480 Get Quote
Jan 1, 2019 – Dec 31, 2019 $7,400 $4,970 $4,970 $4,090 $4,970 $3,480 Get Quote

  • Rates are per person and exclude the international flight from/to your home country.
  • This tour must be paid in US Dollars (USD).
  • This tour accepts children who are 15 years and up. Children under 16 receive a discount.

You can send your inquiry via the form below.

Price From USD $ 7,400/person
7400
Total $ 7,400 USD