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Pearl of Africa Wildlife, Community, and Cultural Safari

Pearl of Africa Wildlife, Community, and Cultural Safari

Price From: 3,846 USD

Overview

Operator: Home To Africa Tours & Travel

Price From:  3,846 USD

Ideal Age Range: Suitable for Children (under 15), High School (15 to 18), 19 to 30, 31 to 50, Over 51

Fitness Needs: Moderately Fit

Program duration: 18 days

Discover Uganda and the proud home to many of Africa’s most iconic wildlife. Spend 18 action-packed days venturing through lush jungles, cruising down rivers, exploring the savannahs and keeping a watchful eye of animals.

Trek through the mountains of Bwindi National Park in search of gorillas, chimpanzees and a plethora of wildlife. Enjoy incredible sunsets, comfortable accommodations, and falling asleep to the roar of lions in the distance.

Here are some of the exciting experiences you can look forward to: 

  • White Water Rafting at the Source of the Nile River
  • Game Drive at Pian Upe Game Reserve
  • Game Drive at Kidepo Valley National Park
  • Community Tour at Karamonjong Village
  • Game Drive at Murchison Falls National Park
  • Boat Trip to base of Murchison Falls
  • Bird watching at Budongo Forest, Royal Mile, and Busingiro
  • Explore Kibale Crater lakes & Mahoma Falls
  • Chimpanzee tracking at Queen Elizabeth Park
  • Gorilla trekking at Bwindi Impenetrable National Park 

That’s just a sample, there is so much more in store, making this 18-day adventure an incredible value! Don’t miss out!

Itinerary

Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive Entebbe Airport / Transfer to Jinja

 

Hopefully, you flight is scheduled for an early landing in Uganda. Upon arrival at Entebbe International Airport you will be met by a Home to Africa Guide/driver who will welcome you to Uganda – the Pearl of Africa. Thereafter, he will brief you about the safari and then hit the road to Jinja where you will have an overnight stay at the booked accommodation.

Day 2: Nile River/ Sipi River Lodge

You will have your breakfast and thereafter go to the white water rafting point (at the source of the Nile). What better way to start your safari than to experience this most exciting, exhilarating, heart-pounding adventure firsthand? Get wet! Get wild! Get rafting! In fact, no experience is required to undertake this epic adventure on the Nile. 

 

After enjoying the white water rafting, you will have lunch and proceed with the journey to the Sipi River Lodge. Be sure to enjoy the spectacular view of the Elgon Mountain (natives call it Mount Masaba). Check into your accommodation on arrival and then enjoy your dinner plus the overnight stay.

Day 3: Pian Upe Game Reserve / Kara Tunga Guesthouse

Be up early and have your breakfast then proceed for game drive in the pristine Pian Upe Game Reserve. During this game drive, you will have the chance to catch sight of different wildlife like Harte beast, including the big cats like cheetah, lions, savannah zebras, buffaloes and the greater kudu and the only remaining numbers of roam antelope in the whole of Uganda. 

A reserve is also a good place for Uganda birding experience. Some of the birds include the Ostrich, the Jackson’s Hornbill, the white-headed Buffalo-weaver plus more. These birds can best be viewed in a swamp called Loporokocho. After the game drive and of course (packed) lunch, exit Pian Upe then heads out for Kara-Tunga Guesthouse where you will have your dinner and the overnight stay.

Day 4: Kidepo Valley National Park

Have breakfast then set off to Kidepo Valley National Park. You will reach early enough to have your lunch at the accommodation in Kidepo. After lunch you will go out for the afternoon game drive in the Narus Valley in the south of the park. 

This is the section of Kidepo that has savannah grasslands mixed with acacia woodland. It is also the area of the park with permanent water sources throughout the year and for that matter, most of the animals are found in this part of the park. During the hot afternoons, many animals collect around water sources. Expect to see large herds of Buffaloes, lots of Zebras, and antelope species and surely the lions. You will return to the accommodation for dinner and overnight stay.

Day 5: Game Drive / Community Tour

Enjoy your breakfast then embark on yet another game drive into the park but this time head to Kidepo Valley in the northern area. The biggest highlight in this area is the famous sand bed of River Kidepo that is a seasonal river that does not flow during the long dry spells. It is lined with lush Borassus palms, creating a sight akin to an oasis in a desert. Enjoy the sights and sounds of birds in the Borassus palm. 

Be on the look for ostriches, leopard (if you are lucky) and tortoises along the way. You may choose to have packed lunch or return for lunch at your accommodation and have a rest at the accommodation or undertake the Karamojong community tour.

Just in case you undertook the community tour, you will spend a wonderful evening with the Karamojong people and have an insight into their way of life and beliefs. At the end of the day, you will retire to your accommodation where you will enjoy your dinner and overnight rest.

Day 6: Murchison Falls National Park

After an early breakfast, check out of the accommodation and travel to Murchison Falls National Park. The highlights of this park include the roaring rapids of the Murchison, the rolling plains of Uganda’s largest National Park where you will have the chance of viewing lions, giraffes, hartebeest, buffalo, and elephants. Then surely you will be fascinated by the concentration of hippos and the Nile crocodiles here. For any birder, Murchison Falls boasts 450 bird species including the elusive shoebill stork, dwarf kingfisher, the white-thigh hornbill, and the Goliath heron among others.

You will reach Murchison and do little but check into your accommodation then have some rest. Later, you will enjoy your meal and the overnight stay awaiting next day’s activities. 

Day 7: Murchison Falls Game Drive & Boat Trip

Have your breakfast, depart for an early morning game drive across the rolling plains of Uganda’s largest National Park where you will have the opportunity of viewing lions, giraffes, hartebeest, buffalo, and elephants. For any birder, these area supports the secretary bird and black chested snake eagle to name a few. Return to your accommodation for lunch.

After lunch, you will head out for the boat trip to the base of Murchison Falls where you will also be able to catch sight of more animals including Hippos and Crocodiles and several water birds. Continue with a hike (if you like) to the top of the falls. The hike may be a strenuous one but the thrill of reaching the top is unforgettable. Miss it only if you must. Return to your accommodation and have a relaxed evening.

Day 8: Bird-sighting Budongo Forest

Budongo Forest reserve, one of the most important bird-sighting areas in Uganda, lies on then escarpment north-east of Lake Albert. It consists of a medium altitude moist semi-deciduous forest with areas of Savanna and woodland. 

You will go bird-sighting the Budongo’s famous Royal Mile in the early morning. It is a wide forestry track considered by many to be the country’s premier forest bird-sighting locality. This is the best place in Uganda for Nahan’s Francolin, Cassin’s Spinetail and Chestnut-capped Flycatcher. There are many confusing forest Greenbuls to test you including Xavier’s, White-throated. Canopy flocks support Yellow-mantled Weaver, Rufous Thrush, and Uganda Woodland Warbler. The undergrowth along the track holds numerous skulkers including Brown and Pale-breasted Illadopses, Fire-crested Alethe, Blue-shouldered Robin-Chat, Rufous Flycatcher-Thrush, Yellow-browed Camaroptera. You will need to keep an eye on any openings in the forest canopy expecting to see: Cassin’s and Crowned Hawk Eagles and White-throated Bee-eaters are all possible. Proceed to the accommodation for lunch and relaxation.

Day 9: Kibale Forest National Park

After breakfast at your accommodation, drive off to Kibale Forest NP. The drive is incredibly scenic, passing through villages, lush green countryside and hills dotted with tea plantations which characterize this part of Uganda.

Kibale is popular for itsprimates likethechimpanzees,colobusmonkeys, grey-cheeked mangabeysandred-tailedmonkeys. On your chimpanzee trails,theseareregularlyseen swingingintheforesttrees and othersfeedingonthewildfruits. You will reach and do little but check into your accommodation where you will have dinner and the overnight rest.

Day 10: Kibale Crater / Mahoma Falls

Have a calm breakfast before you head off for an exploration of the crater lakes. Enjoy the beauty of the numerous small lakes, surrounded by gentle hills, and the stunning views. Take a hike at Lake Nkuruba to encounter different species of primates and birds, and visit the Mahoma Falls. Meet the local people as you walk through their villages, learn about the customs of the Batoro tribe and enjoy the panoramic views. You will have relaxation and overnight stay at your accommodation.

Day 11: Chimp Tracking / Queen Elizabeth National Park

Have breakfast and head to the trekking point where you will receive some briefing on the dos and don’ts during chimp trekking. Thereafter, you will proceed to trek the chimps in the Kibale Forest. An experienced ranger guide will take you chimp tracking and you will be marveled by the sights of primates here. Once you locate the chimpanzees, you will have a full hour with them. 

 

You will return to the lodge for lunch after which you will head out for Queen Elizabeth National Park. You will arrive in time to relax, enjoy your dinner and overnight at your booked accommodation.

Day 12: Game Drive and Boat Trip on Kazinga Channel

On this day, you will have a game drive and launch trip (boat trip) on the Kazinga Channel. Early in the morning, you will go out for a game drive through the park with magnificent views of the plains, valleys, terraced hills and abundance of wild animals like reedbuck, bushbuck, kob, warthogs, elephants, lions, buffaloes and so much more. Have a break and relax as you eat lunch served at the lodge.

 

The afternoon adventure entails a launch trip (boat trip) on the Kazinga Channel, a water stream joining Lake Edward and Lake George. The channel attracts a large school of hippos and Nile crocodiles, besides the variety of birds that flock the reed shores like: the pelicans, kingfishers, saddle billed stork and sometimes the crowned cranes. Return to your accommodation in time for your dinner.

Day 13: Bwindi Impenetrable National Park / Ishasha

Have breakfast then set off for Bwindi Impenetrable National Park through the Isasha sector of Queen Elizabeth National Park – famously known for its resident tree-climbing lions. The chance of spotting these lions is about 70% though sometimes they are really hard to spot (most especially when they’re down in the grassland looking for prey). Hoping you get the chance to spot them, the sight will be spectacular!

Continue to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. Bwindi is a big habitat for mountain gorillas in Uganda (harboring an estimated 400 mountain gorillas – roughly half of the world’s population), including several habituated groups, which can be tracked. With a strenuous day ahead, you will do less on arrival but just check in your accommodation, relax as you prepare for the Bwindi gorilla trekking experience the following day.

Day 14: Gorilla Trekking at Bwindi / Transfer to Mgahinga Gorilla National Park

After an early breakfast and a briefing by a ranger guide, you will enter the gorilla sanctuary for your adventure. The beauty of this rainforest is spectacular! The area offers dramatic steeply forested landscape and is incredibly dense, but crisscrossed by numerous animal trails allowing access to tourists. The time taken and the terrain varies with the movements of these great primates. Once you locate a gorilla group, you will be allowed an hour in their presence. The thrill of spending time observing these gentle and endangered giants is an awesome, exciting experience to be long savored. 

Return to your lodge for some rest time and lunch. Thereafter, embark on a transfer to Mgahinga Gorilla NP. You will reach and do little but check into your accommodation, relax, enjoy your dinner and overnight stay.

Day 15: Batwa Trail & Transfer to Lake Bunyonyi

Have breakfast and proceed out for the Batwa trail experience. For generations, the Mgahinga dense forest was home to the indigenous Batwa (hunter – gatherers and fierce warriors) who depended on the forest for shelter, food and medicine. Now, they lead visitors through the forest and introduce them to their old home and the techniques they used to survive in it. 

The remarkable trail unveils the hidden historical secret of the Batwa people. It expresses the true cultural background of the Batwa who are the famous traditional owners of the hilly forested areas occupied by Mgahinga Forest in the district of Kisoro. 

Proceed to Lake Bunyonyi after the Batwa trail experience for relaxation with impeccable stunning view of the Bunyonyi little islands. Lake Bunyonyi is framed by lush, green-terraced hills that reach a height of (2,200 – 2,478m) but it’s the 29 islands of various shapes and sizes scattered across the water that make it most magical — you could admire them all day.

Day 16: Explore Lake Bunyonyi / Community Interraction

After breakfast, you will have the option of visiting the Orugano rain Forest which has diverse plants and animals or spend some time interacting with the Batwa (pygmies) community who inhabit parts of the forest and its surrounding areas. Birders will treat themselves with well over 300 bird species recorded.

Alternatively, you could opt for a canoe trek on Bunyonyi which will introduce you to the major islands and their rich history but also there will be some great time spent in a traditional dugout canoe. Return to your accommodation for lunch and relaxation probably reflecting on your trip so far.

Day 17: Lake Mburo

After an early morning breakfast, set off to Lake Mburo National Park. Drive past the intensely terraced Kigezi hill slopes and finally into Lake Mburo NP.

 

Arrive in the park in the early afternoon for a boat ride on the lake or evening walk in the park. On the game walk, there are different animals to see such as the Eland, Zebras, Cape Buffalos, Sitatunga and other mammals. The boat ride on the lake is good for birders with several birds like African Harrier Hawk, yellow-backed, cormorant fish eagles, spectacled weavers, and heron to be seen. The shores of the lake also boast a good number of crocodiles and hippos. Later, relax at your accommodation, where you will spend the night.

Day 18: Mburo Game Drive / Transfer to Entebbe Airport

Enjoy your breakfast as early as possible then proceed for an exciting morning game drive to see the gigantic eland antelope, zebras in big numbers, topis, impalas, Warthogs, Uganda kob, Buffaloes and other savannah animals. Thereafter, exit Mburo for Entebbe Airport.

Else, have breakfast and drive off for Entebbe Airport arriving in the afternoon to catch your flight out to the next destination or home. We hope to see you (or any referral) when next, you visit and thanks for choosing Home to Africa!

Country Fast Facts

Country Fast Facts

Uganda

Flag2000px-Flag_of_Uganda.svg
Continent:Africa
Official Language(s)Swahili, English
Capital:Kampala
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

Map

Map

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