16 Day Best Of Uganda Safari National Park Highlights

  16 Days 15 Nights

Queen Game drive

Overview

The 16 Day Best of Uganda safari National Park highlights is a magical journey into the isolated jungles of East Africa where you should expect an experience like no other; the journey starts and ends in Entebbe/Kampala on this safari you will be able to trek gorillas in Bwindi National Park that encompasses almost a half of mountain gorillas in the world, trek chimpanzees, enjoy boat cruises and game drives and cultural experience.

This 16 Day Safari is a budget safari that is designed to allow every traveler to have a chance to spend time in the wilderness. If you’re a luxury traveler, don’t be bounced off yet. This Uganda safari can be tailor made to suit your style too. inquire with the Encounter Africa Safaris’ team of experts to make sure you get your desired safari package – including the right accommodation, transportation and meals

Things To Note before you book this 16 Day Best of Uganda safari National Park Highlights

  • Accommodation is Inclusive
  • Gorilla trekking permit USD800
  • Chimpanzee permit USD300
  • Small Group Safari: Max 6 People per group
  • Tour Can Depart any day
  • Tour can be customized
  • Solo travelers can join this tour

SUMMERIZED ITINERARY

Day 1: pick up and transfer to Lake Mburo National Park for an evening boat cruise

Day 2: Morning game drive and transfer to Bwindi impenetrable national park

Day 3: Gorilla trekking

Day 4: Morning cultural experience and transfer to Mgahinga National Park

Day 5: Golden monkey tracking

Day 6: Transfer to Queen Elizabeth National Park and afternoon game drive

Day 7: Morning game drive and afternoon boat cruise

Day 8: Morning game drive and Transfer to Kibale National Park

Day 9: Chimpanzee trekking and Bigodi wetland walk

Day 10: Transfer to Murchison falls National Park and visit the top of the falls

Day 11: Morning game drive and afternoon boat cruise at the bottom of the falls

Day 15: Morning delta cruise and afternoon game drive

Day 13: Transfer to Kidepo National Park

Day 14: Full day game drives in Kidepo valley National Park

Day 15: Visiting Karamajong villages to explore the local cultures and transfer to Gulu for overnight to break the journey for the next day.

Day 16: Transfer to Entebbe for drop off to end the tour

 

 

DETAILED ITINERARY

Day 1: Pick up and transfer to Lake Mburo National Park for an evening boat cruise

After breakfast our professional driver guide will pick you from the hotel and transfer you to Lake Mburo National park well Known as the “whispers of the wild”, you will have a stop in Kayabwe at the equator crossing for equator experience and photography and later proceed and reach in time for lunch, you will check in at the lodge have lunch and rest, you will later have an afternoon activity which is a boat cruise where you will be able to sight different animal species such as crocodiles, hippos and also bird species while enjoying your boat cruise.

Lodge: Basic: Rwakobo Rock lodge

Mid-Range: Mantana Tented camp

Luxury: Kigambira safari lodge/ Mihingo lodge

Drive time: Approximately 5-6 hours


Day 2: Morning game drive and transfer to Bwindi impenetrable national park

After breakfast you will have a morning game drive for chances of spotting early morning raisers and later embark on your vehicle to south western Uganda in Bwindi impenetrable National Park passing in the rolling hills, tea and banana plantations which gives a scenic view. You will reach in the evening and check in at the lodge have dinner and overnight.

Meal plan: Breakfast, Lunch and dinner

Drive Time: Approximately 6-7 hours

Lodge: Basic: Rushaga Gorilla Havens Lodge

Mid-Range: Gorilla Leisure lodge/ 4 Gorillas Lodge

Luxury: Gorilla Heights Lodge/ Nkuringo lodge


Day 3: Gorilla trekking in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park

After your early morning breakfast, you will be transferred to the park headquarters with your packed lunch to join other trackers for registration and briefing about Dos and don’ts during your trekking activity, you will be welcomed by the local community entertainment as they perform cultural dances. Later, you will start your trekking activity escorted by the armed ranger, this trek may take half an hour or three quarters of the day depending on the movements of the mountain gorillas, once you find them you will be allowed to spend one hour interacting with them, taking pictures and you will later return to the headquarters to be awarded certificates and you will be driven back to the lodge for relaxation and overnight.

Meal plan: Breakfast, Lunch and dinner

Drive Time: Approximately 6-7 hours

Lodge: Basic: Rushaga Gorilla Havens Lodge

Mid-Range: Gorilla Leisure lodge/ 4 Gorillas Lodge

Luxury: Gorilla Heights Lodge/ Nkuringo lodge


Day 4: Morning Batwa cultural experience and drive to Mgahinga National Park

After your early morning breakfast, you will have community walk where you will have cultural experience as they entertain you through cultural performances, you will later return to the lodge, check out and transfer to Mgahinga National Park for relaxation and overnight.


Day 5: Morning golden monkey tracking in Mgahinga National Park

After your breakfast, you will drive to Mgahinga National Park for briefing and then go for your golden monkey trekking. This golden monkey walk will expose you to other attractions in the park before returning back to your lodge for relaxation and overnight.

Meal plan: Breakfast, Lunch and dinner

Lodge: Basic: Lake Mutanda

Mid-Range: Lake Mutanda/ Chahafi Resort

Luxury: Gahinga lodge


Day 6: Transfer to Queen Elizabeth National Park and evening game drive

After breakfast you check out and set off for Queen Elizabeth National Park the Medley of Wonders upon reaching, you will check in at the lodge, have lunch and rest later on you will have an afternoon game drive to have a chance of spotting a wide number of wildlife such as Buffaloes, elephants, warthogs mention but a few not forgetting a variety of bird species, you will have a chance of having a sunset view while on a game drive, later you will return at the lodge for dinner and overnight.

Meal plan: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Lodge: Basic: Bush lodge

Mid-Range: Elephant Hab lodge/ Buffalo Safari lodge

Luxury: Kyambura Gorge lodge/ Buffalo Safari lodge

Drive Time: Approximately 4-5 hours


Day 7: Morning game drive and afternoon boat cruise

You will have an early morning game drive to have a chance of spotting various animals such as elephants, warthogs, waterbucks, Buffaloes, Topis, and some wild cats such as Lions and leopards on a lucky day and also different bird species, you will have an afternoon boat cruise at Kazinga channel that connects Lake Edward to Lake George as you have a chance of spotting wildlife such as hippos, Crocodiles, Buffaloes along the banks and a variety of bird species while on the cruise, you will later return at the lodge for dinner and overnight.

Meal plan: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Lodge: Basic: Bush lodge

Mid-Range: Elephant Hab lodge/ Buffalo Safari lodge

Luxury: Kyambura Gorge lodge/ Buffalo Safari lodge

Drive Time: NA


Day 8: Morning game drive and Drive to Kibale National Park

After an early breakfast, you will again drive to Northern bank of the Queen Elizabeth National Park (Kasenyi) area in search of some wild animals which include: Elephants, Buffalo, and some wild cats, different species of antelopes such water buck, Uganda kobs etc. as well as Savannah birds. This will give you a chance of spotting some wildlife that you missed in previous drives After lunch you will drive to Kibale National Park arriving at your lodge in the evening.

Meal plan: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Lodge: Basic Chimpanzee Forest Guest House

 Mid-Range: Turaco Tree Tops lodge/ Primate lodge

Luxury: Papaya Lake lodge/Kyaninga


Day 9: Morning Chimpanzee trekking and Bigodi wetland walk

In the morning you will be transferred to the park headquarters located in Kanyanchu and join other trekkers for briefing later start chimpanzee trekking activity, this activity will take approximately half a day as you enter into the forest escorted by an armed ranger as your looking for habituated chimpanzees, Kibale is also known for other 13 primate species which you may encounter while on your way, the moment you find these chimps you will be allowed to spend one hour with them and you will later return and prepare for an afternoon Bigodi wetland walk. You will have a chance to encounter Primates such as black and white colobus monkeys, red-tailed monkeys, L’Hoest’s monkey, and baboon and birds such as the Great Blue Turaco, shoebill stork among others while on the walk, you will also appreciate the role of the local community towards conservation of this wetland, you can choose to support them through donations.

Meal plan: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Lodge: Basic Chimpanzee Forest Guest House

 Mid-Range: Turaco Tree Tops lodge/ Primate lodge

Luxury: Papaya Lake lodge/Kyaninga


Day 10: Transfer to Murchison falls National Park and visit the top of the falls

After breakfast you will check out and transfer to Murchison falls National Park via small towns, villages and greater views of escarpments, you will visit the top of the falls and later return at the lodge have dinner and overnight.

Meal plan: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Basic: Murchison River lodge

Mid-Range: Pakuba safari lodge

Luxury: Paara safari lodge

Transfer Time: Approximately 8-9 hours


Day 11: Morning game drive and afternoon boat cruise at the bottom of the falls

After breakfast, you will set off for an early morning game drive across the rolling plains of Uganda’s largest National Park you will have chances of spotting various wildlife including Giraffes, antelopes, buffaloes and wild cats such as lions, leopards on a lucky day. For any birder, there are quite a number of birdspecies to sight too while on the drive.you will return to the lodge after your morning drive for lunch and later head out for a boat cruise to Pier for 2-hour boat cruise at the base of splendid Murchison Falls where you will also be able to catch sight of more animals including school of Hippos and Crocodiles and several water birds as well as witnessing how the River Nile water squeezes itself in a narrow gorge only to later explode out giving you an experience of a lifetime.

Meal plan: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Basic: Murchison River lodge

Mid-Range: Pakuba safari lodge

Luxury: Paara safari lodge

Meal plan: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner


Day 15: Morning delta cruise and afternoon game drive

In the morning you will set off for the cruise downstream with breakfast on board on the cool calm morning water to have a chance of spotting endemic bird species, a variety of wild animals such as hippos, Buffaloes, elephants, Nile crocodiles, you will later have an afternoon game drive to have a chance to spot animals that you may have missed in previous drives.

Meal plan: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Basic: Murchison River lodge

Mid-Range: Pakuba safari lodge

Luxury: Paara safari lodge

Meal plan: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner


Day 13: Transfer to Kidepo National Park

after breakfast you will embark on your vehicle and drive to Kidepo valley national park the True Africa’s wilderness, you will have lunch enroute and reach in the evening relax, have dinner and overnight

Lodge: Apoka safari lodge/ Adere safari/ Kidepo savannah lodge

Transfer Time: Approx. 7-8 hours.

Meal plan: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner


Day 14: Full day game drives in Kidepo valley National Park

After breakfast you will embark on a sunrise game drive where you will have a chance to encounter diverse wildlife including; lions, herds of buffalos, elephants, zebras, or the elusive leopard among others. You will Return to the lodge for lunch you will proceed for game viewing in the Narus Valley in the south sector of Kidepo. Narus is the sector 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 in this part of the park. To have a chance of spotting large herds of Buffaloes, elephants, many Zebras, antelope species and the lions, the elusive leopards. You will later drive back to the lodge for dinner and overnight.

Lodge: Apoka safari lodge/ Adere safari/ Kidepo savannah lodge

Transfer Time: Approx. 7-8 hours.

Meal plan: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner


Day 15: Visiting Karamajong villages to explore the local cultures and transfer to Gulu for overnight to break the journey for the next day.

After an early morning breakfast, you will drive back to Narus valley to enjoy a morning game drive and proceed to Kidepo river as pave way to the Karamajong community, the valley is surrounded by hills which make the scenery exciting, you will visit the homesteads of these cattle keepers well termed as Manyatas, you will have entertainment from them as they showcase different dances later enlighten about their culture. You will later drive to Gulu city for dinner and overnight

Lodge: Churchill Hotel/Hotel Boma

Meal plan: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner


Day 16: Transfer to Entebbe for drop off to end the tour

After breakfast you will check out at the lodge and drive back to Entebbe/Kampala via Ziwa Rhino sanctuary for Rhino tracking activity

Meal plan: Breakfast & Lunch

Transfer Time: Approximately 8-9 hours

 

 

This safari is available on private basis so you can contact us for a quote. Provide us with details of how many people you will be in a group, when you intend to travel and one of our specialists will respond to you as soon as we receive your email

Cost Includes

  • Airport transfers on first and last day,
  • Chimpanzee trekking Permit (We book it for you)
  • Gorilla trekking Permit (We book it for you)
  • Game drive and boat cruise
  • Transport in a 4×4 safari vehicle
  • Services of an English-speaking driver guide
  • Fuel for the whole trip
  • Accommodation and meal plan as per the itinerary
  • All park entrance fees
  • Drinking water while in the vehicle

Cost excludes

  • Pre and post tour accommodation in Entebbe or Kampala
  • International airfares
  • Uganda Visa (USD50.00
  • Items of personal nature such as tips, drinks, and laundry

Safari Vans

STANDARD: 4X4 SAFARI VAN

Our standard mode of transport is by road and we use 4×4 Safari Vans customized for game viewing and photography. Each safari van comes with a professionally trained driver guide and fuel for the whole safari. Our Safari vans have viewing hatches and each client is entitled to a window seat. Our Vans can take up to eight people. We also have 4×4 Super Customs very comfortable and stable on the road. These carry up to 5 people with their luggage. We also have 4×4 RAV 4 for a group of two people

Safari land cruiser

UPGRADE: 4X4 LUXURY SAFARI LANDCRUISER

We have luxury latest Land cruisers each driven by professionally trained driver guides and fuel. They have pop-up roofs for proper game viewing and photography. They come with a small fridge for cooling your drinking water while on safari (which is always included while IN THE VEHICLE). They have inverters for charging small gadgets such as your smartphones and cameras. They can seat five to a maximum of seven people and each client is guaranteed of a window seat.

New Normal Travel Guidelines (SOPs)

At Encounter Africa Safaris our core value is to provide you with an authentic safari experience during these new and changing times when the whole world is alert about the ongoing pandemic of the Coronavirus. Encounter Africa Safari Travel SOPS have been put in place to ensure the wellbeing, safety and health of our clients and as such guidelines and measures have been put in place as we return to the new normal post covid-19. All these are in line with advice, guidelines and procedures for a post covid-19 traveler put in place by WHO, UNWTO, UWA, AUTO, UTB and Civil Aviation.

General recommendations for personal hygiene, cough etiquette and keeping a distance of at least one meter from persons showing symptoms remain particularly important for all travelers and even those without symptoms. These include:

  • Perform hand hygiene frequently, particularly after contact with respiratory secretions. Hand hygiene includes either cleaning hands with soap and water or with an alcohol-based hand rub. Alcohol-based hand rubs are preferred and are not easily soiled. All travelers are advised to carry with.
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a flexed elbow or paper tissue when coughing or sneezing and disposing immediately of the tissue and performing hand hygiene; the recommended type of mask is the N95.
  • Refrain from touching mouth, eyes and nose, in general areas of the face.
  • Postponing travel plans in cases of illness, and avoiding contact with people suffering from acute respiratory infections, hence social distance of at least one meter apart and if you are not sure of your health then postpone travel until you feel

On arrival at the airport or any entry point

  • Mandatory temperature screening using non-contact infra-red thermometers at the key tourism gates at the Airport.
  • Clients are required to have tested for the Virus prior to travel dates and should carry with medical documents supported by medical evidence and consistent with health best practices.
  • A non-contact system (digital travel) has been introduced at the Airport for clients to check in and out and at visa points, you will be attended to by someone behind a glass shield and they will also wear face masks and protectors to maintain as little contact as possible.
  • It’s now a must for all travel bags to be wrapped in plastic bags for travelers who are checking in at the Airport.
  • Mandatory hand washing / sanitizing at all entrances of the Airport for all travelers and staff.
  • Face masks are a must for all travelers, the recommended mask is an N95.
  • Tours should not exceed more than 4 in a group to maintain social distancing and walk marks in place around the airport.

In the vehicle while traveling.

  • Regular communication of safety protocols and responsibilities to clients, and to keep them informed and reminded to stay vigilant while enjoying.
  • Onboard sanitizing tissues and/or fluids to clients (travelers) and staff (driver guides and the like) will be available and we encourage you to use them.
  • Making stops along the way for gas, food, or bathroom breaks can put you and your traveling companions in close contact with other people and surfaces. Hence we will minimize the stops and set designated stopping areas that we prove to be safe for our health and we will encourage a takeaway food system to seating in hotels during stops. We rather encourage picnic eating along the way.
  • Cleaning all surfaces more frequently, using products and disinfectants that meet requirements with special attention to high-touch surfaces like vehicle door knobs, picnic boxes, hand rests, refrigerators, etc.
  • Redesigning all processes towards a more digital and touchless approach in all possible touch-points. Like cashless payment points as money has been found to spread the virus.
  • Reduce the number of objects on board. Limit luggage quantities while traveling to only what is enough for your tour.

At the lodge.

Encounter Africa Safaris is working with only those lodges that have proven to uphold the health of our clients first and practicing as per the guidelines of WHO as below;

  • Our partner hotels, lodges and restaurants are those that have increased the frequency of cleaning in common areas and contact surfaces and rooms. The lodges have also gone further to put hand sanitizers in both the common room and in bedrooms.
  • Social distancing is a must in lodges we use of at least one meter which is the standard around the world.
  • Upon arrival standard safety protocols will be outlined and how the lodge is practicing them to prevent spread of the virus in case a person is found to be sick.
  • Our partner hotels and lodges keep spare rooms for possible sick or quarantine guests that are suspected to have the virus and later inform authorities about it.
  • The hotels and lodges we use have implemented contactless check-in and provide guests with a hygiene welcome kit where possible (this may include gloves, masks, and sanitizers).
  • Where possible temperature will be taken using a contactless infra-red thermometer as a basic standard for checking the common symptom of covid-19.
  • The partner lodges have adopted new services such as room service or picnic takeaway to reduce convergence in the common dining area at the lodge and also you are encouraged to avoid buffets while ordering for meals as these attract many people.
  • Our partners lodges and hotels foster flexibility in all their operations, such as those that can amend bookings if clients are not able to make it at suggested times and those that can keep credit for the client until when they are fit to travel.

At the national parks.

  • All Staff and visitors shall wear the right face masks that have been prescribed by Ministry of Health (Visitors will carry their own masks an N95).
  • Staff of Uganda Wildlife Authority will inform the visitor of the general government approved covid operational guidelines. They will explain to the visitor the UWA safety COVID measures (DOs and DONTs) during their tour and stay within the protected areas.
  • The tourists shall be required to provide a certificate that shows that they are COVID negative, either provided by our Ministry of Health or the relevant authority from the country most recently visited.
  • Temperature screening will be done at the key tourism gates of the different National Park. Those with temperatures above 37.6 degrees Celsius shall not be allowed into the protected areas and shall be advised to seek medical help through the mechanisms set up by authorities to get to the nearest quarantine location.
  • Every tourist shall have wash and disinfect their hands at all entry points to the protected areas. Sanitary alcohol sanitizer dispensers as well as hand washing facilities with soap shall be installed at all entry points.
  • There will be regular disinfecting of common areas with heavy tourist contact before, during and after visiting hours. These include information counters, service desks, waiting areas, park offices and toilets. Toilets in particular should be cleaned at least every 2 hours
  • Where applicable, transparent screens will be fitted at all, park gate counters. The staff manning the gate will only allow visitors who have the prescribed face masks and who have washed/ sanitized to enter the park

Tourist vehicles and boats within the national parks

  • The National guidelines issued by MoH shall be enforced by tourists while in visiting the National Parks i.e
    • Saloon cars – 3 persons (This does not include the guide, where one is requested and paid for)
    • Buses, mini buses and omnibuses – Half capacity
    • Overlanders – Half capacity
    • Concessionaire delivery vehicles, pick-ups and lories – 2 persons
    • Private boats and launches – Half capacity
    • Tour operator game drive vehicles and UWA owned game drive vehicles – 6 persons
  • Social distancing should be observed within the vehicles
  • Tour operators and service providers will be regularly reminded to disinfect their cars regularly
  • UWA owned vehicles will be washed every day before use and disinfected daily through spray pumps
  • Every protected area shall provide a safe location where this spraying can be done, and where they tour operators can also park their cars to disinfect them
  • All tour operators shall be encouraged to provide their drivers with an alcohol rub/hand sanitizer for frequently or alternatively wear gloves. Caution should however be taken to remove this sanitizer whenever the car is parked
  • All other precautionary measures have to be enforced ie washing hands, social distancing and cautiously using masks

Key Tourism Activities

Briefing of tourists

  • Before engaging in any tourism activities, the tourists shall be given the usual briefing regarding the activities they are about to engage in. In addition to this, the guides shall remind the tourists about the risk / looming dangers of covid and brief them on the general preventative measures government has instituted and the measure they will be expected to abide by while in the Protected Areas, and remind them that it’s both for their safety and that of the wildlife.
  • These guidelines and measures shall also be printed and displayed in key visible areas within the park such as the briefing areas, the gates, the information centres, the canteens, to mention but a few.

Gorilla and Chimpanzee Tracking

  • The existing gorilla and chimpanzee tracking rules and guidelines (see annex) will remain in force to prevent any human to animal transmissions. These include
    • 8 and 6 tourists will be allowed to track the gorillas and chimpanzees respectively
    • The tourists must keep 7m away from the gorillas and chimpanzees
    • Tourists who during the briefing are observed to be overly coughing shall not be allowed to track
    • Tourists who during the briefing are observed to be sick shall not be allowed to track. These include tourists with signs flu, and those who report to have diarrhoea and stomach upsets, malaria etc
  • While the forests are dense and don’t have any specific trails for tracking, the assigned UWA guides shall try as humanly possible to ensure that there is social distancing among the tourists while the tracking takes place
  • The tourists shall be encouraged to carry light equipment to minimise the need for potters while they undertake the tracking. This will be communicated to potential tourists through the tour operators and other fora
  • Due to the reported side effects of putting on masks for long periods and in high altitudes, the number of breaks during the tracking shall be doubled to give tourists time to breathe fresh air.
  • During these breaks, social distancing should be observed

Game Drives

  • The regular park rules shall apply
  • The vehicle guidelines above shall also apply
  • Where a guide is requested, the guide shall sit at the front and shall continuously remind the tourists about the need to social distance
  • Masks shall be worn at all time
  • Where a tourists gets side effects due to putting on a mask for a long time, the tourist shall inform the guide who will find a safe and secure place to park the vehicle and allow for the tourists to get fresh air while maintaining social distance

Boat Cruises

  • The regular park rules shall apply
  • The boat and launches guidelines above shall also apply
  • The UWA owned boats must be cleaned and disinfected every day before any boat cruise activity
  • The concessionaire shall also be required to clean and disinfect their boats every day before any boat activities
  • The guide shall enforce social distancing while on the boat.
  • Masks shall be worn at all time while on the boat
  • Where a tourists gets side effects due to putting on a mask for a long time, the tourist shall inform the guide who will find space within the boat for this client to get some fresh air for a few minutes. This shall be away from the other tourists

Anticipated travel needs for anyone traveling post Covid-19

  • Bring enough of your medicine to last you for the entire trip.
  • Pack enough alcohol-based hand sanitizer (at least 60% alcohol) and keep it within easy to reach.
  • Bring a cloth face covering to wear in public places. Mask N95 is recommended while traveling to Uganda.
  • Prepare food and water for your trip where possible and avoid eating at places providing buffets.
  • Limit the number of people you get in contact with while on safari.

For more information about safety and healthy responses and updates on Covid-19 in Uganda and East Africa, do not hesitate to contact Encounter Africa Safaris

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