Lions, Gorillas, Chimpanzees and boat cruises

This tour takes you through the great plains of Murchison falls region, filled with thousands of tropical game in all form, playing and feeding - all on the banks of River Nile. You descend further south to the land of a thousand hills and rivers, to finally have time with the mountain gorillas. Beautiful sceneries, wildlife, cultures and people.


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. This is a breeding programme for the Rhinos. You’ll have a nature walk, and spend a few hours with these gentle giants, in company of an experienced ranger.

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 Murchison River Lodge in the wilderness. The lodge is specially built 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 – more like a storybook 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?) 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!

Optional Project Activity: Community activity with ex-poachers

Within the national and global context, Uganda’s Wildlife is experiencing a renewed and virulent wave of poaching on many fronts, affecting globally recognized endangered species like the African queen elephants for their tusks, rhinos for their horns, pangolins for their body shells, edible big mammals for bush meat, lions for encroaching on livestock, parrots for home pets, Chimpanzees for zoo and research purposes, theatres and many others for their body parts etc. These and other illegal activities seem to be happening at all times in all protected areas in Uganda. A number of poachers have surrendered their tools and have formed some associations. During your stay, you could meet up with these ex-poachers (as well as existing poachers) and do a small research study. The could aim at finding out the causes of poaching and what interventions can be designed to reduce poaching in protected areas; determining the type and for what reasons the animals are being poached; and finding out the most appropriate interventions /or recommendations by key stakeholders to reduce poaching in the protected Areas. This way, you as a visitor will help in creating awareness about poaching from an informed point of view, and may help in initiating projects to support the ex-poachers. This would also help us in spearheading the campaign against poaching and mitigating human – wildlife conflicts. We are available to support with the writing of the report, jointly working with you.

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: The Source of the Nile Cruise, Horse Riding and Bungee Jumping 

You will be picked by our representative guide from your accommodation in Kampala. Set off to Jinja located in Eastern region of Uganda. Enroute to Jinja, you will visit Hamu Mukasa Museum, a site which is a former home of the men who shaped Uganda's history in the early 19th Century. 

Hamu Mukasa produced a daughter, Kawalya Kagwa who was the the 1st Ugandan woman to drive a car. Mukasa went into active service during the religious wars on the Anglican side and later into the royal army during the Nubian rebellion in 1897 at Bukaleba. He gained distinguished service commendation and was consequently appointed private secretary to the Prime Minister of Buganda Apollo Kaggwa (later Sir) in 1900. It was in that capacity that he accompanied the Prime Minister to England on the coronation of King Edward VII in 1902. Hamu Mukasa was appointed county chief of Kyaggwe (Ssekiboobo) in 1905 a post he held until 1933, being the longest serving county chief in Buganda’s history. Sir Apollo Kaggwa and Hamu were the co-founders of Gayaza girls’ school in 1905 and King’s College Buddo in 1906. Hamu was the founder of the Boys’ scouts in Uganda. Hamu had been a Vice President while his wife Sarah was Honorary Governor for life of the Church Missionary Society. 

The museum showcases artefacts that portray the legacy of Ham (1868-1956). Some of this history is kept in hand-written and dated books and letters in which he wrote minutes of meetings, his letters to Captain Sir Daudi Chwa II, Buganda’s king between 1897 and 1939, as well as to British royals. The relic of the car (an old Dodge K7835 model) which was used by Ham Mukasa is also at the museum and is functional. There is also the Hamu Mukasa’s Library which contains all Hamu Mukasa’s original documents. At the museum you will further find Hamu Mukasa’s reception which has three doors i.e. the first door was used by the people from Mengo, the second door was used by the people of Kyaggwe and the third door was used by the people from Busoga. Inside the living room you will experience, first hand, the close relationship Hamu Mukasa enjoyed with the royal family and the perks that come with it, one of such being his journey to the United Kingdom.  You will see pictures of Lady Sarah Nalule Kisosonkole, mother of Kabaka Ronald Edward Frederick Muwenda Kimera Mutebi II, whose photographs are also patched on the wall as well as those of his father, Kabaka Edward Frederick Walugembe Mutebi Muteesa II. In the midst of the living room is his old piano which is still functional.

From the museum, you will proceed to Jinja. Lying just under two hours’ drive, Jinja is commonly regarded as the adventure capital of East Africa. This is because of the many activities one could engage in. You will start with the visit to the Source of the Nile, a spot where the World’s longest River starts it journey to Egypt. You will also engage into  a unique horse ride which goes through a typical Uganda village and a stunning section along the banks of the Nile. This will take 1 hour. After enjoying the horse ride you will head for Quad biking which goes besides the river Nile. This will consume only 30 minutes.

Once you have finished all these activities you will either head for optional activities or go relaxing at the lodge. The optional activities include the city tour of Jinja town, or Bungee Jumping.

Day 12: White water rafting on the Nile

Have early morning breakfast. You will then head for half day water rafting on River Nile. This is an extremely adrenalin testing adventure which takes you through the roaring waters of the Nile. You are guaranteed of enjoying yourself!

After Rafting it will be time to head back to Kampala/Entebbe for departure.