• Best of Northern and Western Uganda in 11 days
    Best of Northern and Western Uganda in 11 days

Sights and Sounds of Uganda: 11 days

The tour takes you to the best sights and sounds of northern and Southwestern Uganda in just 11 days

Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival to Uganda, Africa’s Pearl!

We shall be waiting for you at Entebbe International Airport for pick up. We shall transfer you to your hotel for overnight stay. If you arrive earlier in the day, we shall give you time to relax and then explore a bit of Kampala City later in the day. Your Kampala hotel has been chosen to offer a sense of place, comfort, hygiene and good service, including free Wi-Fi internet, satellite television, and warm shower.

Day 2: Murchison Falls National Park via Rhino sanctuary

Depart Kampala towards north of Uganda. Have a stop-over at Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary to view Rhino, animals that became extinct in the early 1980s due to excessive poaching. You’ll have a nature walk, accompanied by an experienced ranger to have a closer view of Rhinos. Proceed to Murchison Falls National park, through a plateau covered in green and typical African settlements. Expect to meet some primates (baboons, Colobus and Vervet Monkeys), butterflies and birds. Dinner and Overnight stay at a specially built safari lodge, overlooking the River Nile.

Day 3: Murchison Falls Game Drive, Boat Cruise and Hiking

 

Wake up to the sounds of birds and African wild fresh air. Have early morning breakfast and set off for morning game drive in the park. This is heartbeat of a typical African animal kingdom. You will treat your eyes to hundreds of thousands of Kobs, elephants, giraffe, lions, buffalos, leopards, hyenas, hippos, crocodiles, birds and so much more. All these live together peacefully (predators?) peacefully in the beautiful plains you have never seen before!

 

Later in the afternoon, you will take a boat cruise on the Nile towards the base of the Murchison Waterfall, a point where River Nile plunges into a 4 meter wide crevice, as it falls 43 meters down to produce a thunderous sound in front of you. You can spend a day, and a lifetime just enjoying this sight of the Nile without ever getting tired. In the vicinity are birds fishing and singing with butterflies enjoying the breeze and thirsty wild animals taking a drink. After the boat safari you will hike to the top of the falls. Quite challenging physically but the reward is incomparable! You’ll have a wonderful view and fantastic photo opportunities, and a story to share with your friends back home!

Day 4: Connect from Murchison to Kibale Forest National Park

Have early morning breakfast and go for an 8 hour ride to the South west of Uganda. The journey is insanely scenic, passing through beautiful rift valley plains, natural tropical rainforests, tea plantations and settlements of the people who battled fiercely with the British colonialists for nearly 30 years! You’ll have packed lunch which you will enjoy on the way. Spend the late afternoon relaxing and enjoying a lovely view of the Kibale forest and its wildlife.

Day 5: Chimpanzee tracking and community engagement

Welcome to the Monkey City! Kibale Forest National Park boasts the highest number of primate species in the world, including the chimpanzees. Your day will start with early morning breakfast and briefing from Uganda Wildlife Authority Rangers. In company of an experienced ranger, proceed to the depth of this natural tropical rainforest in search of our closest relative still living in the wild. Once you locate the chimpanzees you will have a full hour of eye-to-eye contact with them. But since they are wild animals, we can never guarantee you to see them and might have to settle with hearing their hoots and hollers.

 

After the lunch break, we shall proceed to Bigodi community for a walk through a community wetland. This wetland represents a remarkable example of the role of communities in conservation efforts.  The wetland supports the entire community and is managed entirely by the local people. It offers over 200 bird species, varieties of butterflies and primates. You’ll enjoy all of this, and will have a chance to plant a tree which will be named after you! Return to lodge for overnight stay.

Optional: Chimpanzee habituation experience

To be 100% sure of spending time with Chimpanzees, you can pay an extra fee of only $70 per person. In company of rangers and experienced researchers, you will go on the chimpanzee habituation tracking instead of the regular chimpanzee tracking. This will take all day. Book this in time because only 6 persons per day are allowed to go. Your swamp walk can be postponed to the next morning.

Day 6: Fort Portal Sights

Have breakfast and set off to Queen Elizabeth National Park, driving alongside the foothills of the Rwnzori Mountains, at the base of the Great East African Rift Valley. Have a stop-over at Mabere ga Nyinamwiru, stalactites and stalagmites forming as a result of underground water dissolving limestone rocks. You will learn about the ancient people’s interpretation of nature, and how society has evolved in this part of the world. You will hike three hills to have the most beautiful view of Fort Portal – the hilltop gives a spectacular view of three lakes, the Rwenzori ranges, volcanic hills and settlements. There is nothing more beautiful than this spot! Continue to Queen Elizabeth National park for overnight stay.

Day 7: Queen Elizabeth Savanna Wildlife Sights

Have early morning breakfast and set off for the morning game drive in the grazers mating area. Carefully search for lions, hyenas, elephants, buffaloes and many more wild animals. Be prepared for huge numbers of hippos and birds, and keep your eyes peeled for a leopard lazing in the sunshine.

 Return to lodge for lunch and take an afternoon boat cruise on the on the Kazinga Channel, connecting between lakes Edward and George. Your eyes will be treated to varieties of bird species, wild animals, including dozens of schools of hippos. This cruise is ranked by many as one of the most exciting activities in Uganda.

Optional activity: Lion Tracking

At an extra fee of US$100 p.p., you can join the research team for a unique lion monitoring experience. Here you have a 95% chance of seeing lions up close. This new and unique experience allows you to actively participate in monitoring some of the lions in the park, using locator devices. You will learn habituation calls, as well as monitoring weather, surroundings and behavior. The results will be added to researchers’ databases, contributing valuable information to the overall understanding of wildlife ecology - and helping to conserve this wonderful ecosystem. Because the number of people on each outing is limited to reduce stress on the animals and to increase the quality of the experience for visitors, you need to let us know of your interest in advance.  

Optional activity: Kyambura Gorge

You could also visit the Kyambura Gorge for a hike which will give you the opportunity to see habituated chimpanzees and other types of primates including red-tailed monkey, black-and-white colobus, baboons and vervet monkeys. Although the chance of spotting chimpanzees is only 50%, the landscape is among the most remarkable in Uganda and is absolutely worth it! 

Day 8: Tree Climbing lions and descent to the land of Mountain Gorillas

After early morning breakfast, we shall set off for Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park in the south, carefully driving through the southern part of Queen Elizabeth National Park for more wild animals and importantly, tree climbing lion. Driving through rural Uganda, with sights of green hills marked by agricultural terraces are truly refreshing. Reach Bwindi late afternoon and have good rest for the big day, gorilla sights and sights.

Day 9: Gorilla Tracking

Have an early morning breakfast, after which you will get to the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest information centre for briefing. You will then set off into this tropical rainforest, hilly and soggy, to track the mountain gorillas. It’s a fairly tough walk but one you’ll never forget – the sight of these apes as they feed, play and relax is not only a humbling and emotional experience but a privileged opportunity to get up close and personal with Uganda’s very own “Gorillas in the Mist”. Besides the gorillas, you will encounter hundreds of bird species, small mammals, primates and lots of plant life. Bwindi Impenetrable Forest boasts both mountain gorillas and chimpanzees - the only forest in Africa that can make this claim. It also hosts five other species of primates, 113 species of mammals, over 200 species of butterflies and 360 species of birds. The gorillas you track belong to one of nine habituated family groups who can tolerate the presence of humans for a brief period every day. You will be allowed a maximum of one hour with the gorillas but tracking them can take up to 7 hours. 

Day 10: Return to Kampala

Have morning breakfast and set off for Kampala with a stop-over at Igongo cultural museum for lunch and cultural museum experience. Proceed to Kampala with another stopover at the equator for some photos as you cross from the south to the northern hemisphere. Check into your hotel for overnight stay.

Day 11: Entanda Cultural experience: the best cultural encounter in Uganda

By this day, you will have a good understanding of most parts of Uganda except the central. After your breakfast we shall take you to one our community tourism initiatives, where we are working with universities to undertake research and produce inclusive community entrepreneurship models.  You will be welcomed to Kijjudde village, Mityana, home of Entanda, just under 2 hours’ drive from Kampala. You will be welcomed with a traditional Kiganda dance, entirely played by the local people with 100% local instruments. Please you are welcome to join the dance and playing of the instruments – in any case the sound of the music is irresistible.

While the cultural performance continues, you will be served with lots of fresh fruits ranging from organic sweet bananas (ndiizi), fresh jackfruit, sugar canes, guavas, mangoes, water melons, “ekitafeeri”, and local pineapples to passion fruits among others. We shall also serve you with 100% pure honey still in its combs, harvested just a few hours before your arrival. After relaxing your muscles, you will meet the Entanda members to tell you about the initiative, achievements and where it is going. This will take a few minutes to let you know how your visit impacts our community.

You will then listen to the sound of one of Uganda’s forgotten musical instruments, Sekitulege. It’s played by only adults and is useful in teaching visitors about sex, and how to make a woman ready! You’ll have a chance to play it.

We shall then take you through food preparation. Each of the luwombo (special meal only found in Buganda) is prepared with fresh vegetables with accompaniment of matoke, yams, sweet potatoes, cassava, kyetutumula (ancient Buganda wartime food), and Irish potatoes. All the food will be harvested fresh from the local gardens – growing organically. You will be taken through different ways of preparing two different types of Luwombo including local Chicken Luwombo; and ground nuts with Mushrooms luwombo. We shall eat everything we cook on the day.

We shall do a short hunting expedition (about 2 hours). We shall sit deep in the Kibibi tropical rainforest for a 30 minutes lecture on traditional hunting – the wisdom and experiences of these hunters are thrilling to listen to.  The expedition takes you through local homesteads, wetlands, forests and tea plantations – everything is authentic and non-staged. The beauty of this activity is that the lucky animal will be identified (and caught if lucky) but not killed – it will be released back to the wild. That’s our way of conserving wildlife! 

After ensuring that the food is on fire, the ladies will be guided by the ssenga (auntie) to the “bush” to learn about bedroom matters (apparently women do not hunt – unless they get special permission from chairman). The senior ssenga will share her secret for happily staying in marriage for 50 years and still counting. She will teach you how to look after a husband, how to play sex the traditional way, how to use certain local herbs to treat the sick, and how to manage a home in a typical kiganda tradition. Bed matters will be thoroughly discussed and any questions will be answered. Even necessary herbs will be provided for the ladies in need.

The Kojja (uncles) will also find their spot, where they will rest and talk about marriage issues with the fellow men. This discussion has always been extremely exciting as Kojjas share a combined experience of over 140 years! The talk is about roles of men in homes, and techniques traditionally used to excite ladies in bed! Please note that no recording is allowed during these sessions. Only your ears!

Finally, you will be served with luwombo, the same way it was served to kings and queens centuries ago. Moreover, this is food you will have participated in preparing. It is 100% fresh food, and it is eaten super-hot. You will enjoy the greens commonly enjoyed in this village. You will sit on mats, and you will use your hands to eat. All the visitors will sit around a central serving point to have the meal in a typical traditional way as the head of the family will be the only one to sit on a stool. There are no forks or spoons in this village.

 

Good bye from Entanda

After lunch, we shall take a selfie with you, park some fruits for you and say good bye! We shall drive you straight to the airport for your flight.