Big Five, Gorillas & Nature Safari

Big Five, Gorillas & Nature Safari

Big Five, Gorillas & Nature Safari

Trip Details:

Operator:   Home To Africa Tours & Travel
Price From: 5,890 USD
Program duration: 16 days

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About this program

Why we love it: African owned and operated, Home to Africa Tours & Travel are dedicated to giving travelers a truly authentic experience. With several opportunities to see a diverse number of species, travelers will enjoy comfortable accommodation, amazing scenery and more! Plus, 20% of the proceeds from each tour goes to their charity Global ICT Care, supporting women and children. www.globalictcare.org


Day 1: Arrive Entebbe Airport

Arriving at the airport you will be warmly welcomed by a Home To Africa Tours and Travels representative and transferred to your hotel in Kampala.

Day 2: Nile River/ Jinja

After an early morning breakfast, transfer from the hotel to Jinja for the most exhilarating adventure sport: white water rafting. En route, stop by Mbira forest, a natural rain forest, and enjoy the beautiful nature sights. At Jinja, you will enjoy a half-day of whitewater rafting. Prepare yourself for the most exciting, heart–pounding experience on the river. Choose to raft in the paddle-powered boats for one of the wildest rafting rides on the planet, or, opt to be rowed downstream by our professional guides in the safety raft. There are safety rafts and kayakers, a photographer and video-kayaker that record videos for your viewing at the end of the safari (you can buy a copy if interested). High-flotation life jackets, helmets, spray jackets and custom-made rafting equipment are provided. No rafting or swimming experience is necessary.

Day 3: Murchison Falls National Park

Transfer to Murchison Falls via Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary Drive from Jinja and head to Murchison Falls National Park. Enjoy your lunch before the drive by the Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary to enjoy a trek to see these magnificent endangered rhinos. A well-trained guide will take you on a 2 hr walk as you see firsthand how the rhinos spend their day. You will then drive to Murchison Falls National Park. Arrive and check into your accommodation for the night as you anticipate the next day’s activities.

Day 4: Murchison Falls National Park/Boat Ride/Game Drive

After breakfast, depart for an early morning game drive across the rolling plains of Uganda’s largest national park. Here you will have the chance to view lions, giraffes, hartebeest, buffalo, and elephants. For the birders amongst you, these areas support the secretary bird, and black-chested snake eagle, to name a few. In the afternoon, go for a boat trip to the base of Murchison Falls. Discover where the Nile thunders through a small 7-meter gap, plunging 43 m into Lake Albert.

Day 5: Hoima

Enjoy a game drive and transfer to Hoima. After an early breakfast, drive to the ferry crossing area and transfer to the northern bank, famous for game drives and the likelihood of seeing African elephants, giraffes, buffalos and more. We continue the game drive circuit to the delta point for a cocktail of birds and mammals. After, you will enjoy lunch at a lodge and later transfer to Hoima where you will spend the night.

Day 6: Kibale National Park/Fort Portal

After an early breakfast, you will head off for the drive to Fort Portal town. The drive is long but incredibly scenic, passing through villages, lush green forests and hills dotted with tea plantations which characterise this part of Uganda. You will stay at a wonderful lodge, just outside the town of Fort Portal, with spacious rooms and amazing views over one of the crater lakes in this area!

Day 7: Kibale National Park/Chimpanzee Tracking/Swamp Walk

Today you will experience some serious primate business! Kibale Forest National Park boasts the highest number of primate species in the world, including chimpanzees. Approximately 5,000 chimpanzees live in the wild in Uganda, which makes it a perfect place to spot them! An experienced ranger will take you chimp tracking in the morning or afternoon. Once you locate the chimpanzees, you will have a full hour with them. Your swamp walk will take you through grassland, small communities and some beautiful scenery, where the locals are likely to greet you with enthusiastic waves. It is not unusual to spot three to four different primate species during this walk, though the highlight is catching a glimpse of the great Blue Turaco!

Day 8: Queen Elizabeth National Park / Boat Safari

After breakfast, you will continue your journey to Queen Elizabeth National Park. Queen Elizabeth is Uganda’s second largest park, located at the base of the majestic Rwenzori Mountain range, adjacent to Lake Edward and Lake George. You stay overnight at the beautiful Mweya Safari Lodge, located in the heart of Queen Elizabeth National Park on the Mweya peninsula. Watch wildlife from your private veranda and fall asleep to the roaring of lions on the distant savannah. You will sleep in the exclusive deluxe safari tents. In the afternoon, you will take a private boat safari along the Kazinga Channel which joins Lake George and Lake Albert. Here, you will see loads of hippos (more than you can possibly imagine), as well as a variety of other animals which come to the water to drink or bathe. You can expect to see buffalo, crocodile, elephants, and a range of beautiful birds. This will undoubtedly be one of the highlights of your tour.

Day 9: Queen Elizabeth National Park / Game Drive

This morning you wake up early. A little before sunrise coffee, tea and doughnuts will be served in the lounge before we head out for a long game drive in time to see the first rays of light. You will search for all the wildlife in the park and are likely to come across Elephant, Buffalo, Lion, Waterbuck, Leopard, Uganda Kob, and many Warthogs. After breakfast, you will proceed to the southern part of Queen Elizabeth National Park, to an area called Ishasha. If you are lucky you might spot a few during your game drive. You will stay at Ishasha Wilderness Camp, a very luxurious lodge with wonderful views over the savanna and a river packed with hippos! Each of the ten spacious framed canvas rooms, situated in the wooded area beside the river, is comfortably furnished and has its own private en-suite bathroom with a hot water ‘bush’ shower.

Day 10: Queen Elizabeth National Park / Isasha Sector

Ishasha tree-climbing lions- To escape the heat during the day, the lions here have learned how to climb the fig trees. If you are lucky you might spot a few during your game drive, so keep your eyes open and look up! Besides these famous lions, there is other interesting wildlife to be seen, like buffalo and the Uganda kob.

Day 11: Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park

After breakfast, enjoy a game drive on your way out of Queen Elizabeth National Park and last chance to spot tree-climbing lions. Tonight you will stay at Buhoma Lodge, which boasts spectacular and uninterrupted views of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park, home of the mountain gorillas. The comfortable cottages have been masterfully built, each with its own private veranda, allowing wonderful views of the forest canopy of the national park. Get a good night’s sleep because tomorrow you will need to be rested for gorilla trekking!

Day 12: Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park

Today is the big day! Prepare yourself for an encounter with one of Bwindi’s gentle giants, the endangered mountain gorilla. For most people, this is the biggest highlight of their tour in Uganda. Bwindi Impenetrable Forest is home to both mountain gorillas and chimpanzees – the only forest in Africa that can make this claim. It also hosts 5 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. The time taken to track the gorillas can be as few as two hours to as many as seven hours. Once the gorillas have been located, your group will be allowed a maximum of one hour with them. Coming face-to-face with a mountain gorilla is a truly humbling and emotional experience. This is a fantastic and privileged opportunity to get up close and personal with Uganda’s very own ‘Gorillas in the Mist’. Later you will drive to Lake Bunyonyi to recuperate.

Day 13: Lake Bunyonyi

Lake Bunyonyi in south-west Uganda is between two districts of Kisoro and Kabale, close to the border of Rwanda. It’s located at 1,962 m (6,437 ft) above sea level, is about 25 km (15.5 mi) long and 7 km (1.35 mi) wide. The depth of the lake is expected to vary between 44 m (144 Ft.) and 900 m (2,952 ft), which if true would make the lake the second deepest in Africa. It is one of the few lakes in the region that is rumoured to be free of bilharzia and safe for swimming. Here you will relax at the beautiful Lake Bunyonyi as you enjoy some of the best scenery in the world, whilst involving yourself in various cultural and community activities, as well as birding and canoe rides.

Day 14: Mgahinga Forest National Park

It is a tourists and travellers haven for those who undertake a Gorilla trekking safari in Uganda or come to Uganda after their Rwanda gorilla safari experience. This afternoon embark on a 2 hr drive to Mgahinga Gorilla National Park and check into your accommodation. Golden Monkeys are unique to the Virunga mountain range which spans Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. They are some of the most beautiful monkey species because of their striking golden fur coats. The tracking session starts off with a briefing by the rangers at the park offices at 7.30am. Golden Monkeys travel in hundreds, spending most of the time in the bamboo canopy picking the shoot from the top, but will often come down to the ground as well. Golden Monkeys are photogenic and not shy to move within a small distance of humans. You follow them through the forest for about one hour.

Day 15: Lake Mburo National Park

It is time to say goodbye to the gorillas and the jungle. Your safari will continue to Lake Mburo National Park which is the smallest of the national parks in Uganda. Here, you can discover a variety of sometimes rare wildlife such as the Impala antelope as well as the chance of encountering an abundance of tropical birds. You can further enjoy a boat ride on the lake or game drive/bush walk through Lake Mburo National Park, which is famous for its scenic landscapes and dazzling variety of antelopes as well as large herds of zebras. Giraffes were recently introduced to the park and were relocated from other national park lands. Time permitted, the following optional for extra cost activities are available in the park: Safari either on horseback or mountain bike.

Day 16: Return to Entebbe

Before your departure and drive back to Entebbe, you have another opportunity to enjoy a game drive or bush walk in the Lake Mburo National Park. This afternoon's drive back to Entebbe also offers the additional chance to take a photo at the Equator crossing. Arrive back in Entebbe to enjoy your last night in Uganda at Lake Victoria Hotel

Country Fast Facts


Official Language(s)Swahili, English
Population37,873,253 (2015 estimate)
Climate(s)Warm Semi-arid, Tropical Savanna, Monsoon, Equatorial
Major Airport(s):Entebbe International Airport (EBB)
Economic Driver(s):Agriculture, Textiles, Mining

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