18 Days Uganda Safari Tour – Overview
This 18 days Uganda safari is an eighteen days Uganda tour exploring the best/top Uganda safari sites in detail. This 18 days safari Uganda tour starts and ends in Entebbe.
It features combined adventures, culture, wildlife, primates like Gorillas and Chimpanzees, and recreation.
The top destinations in this Uganda are Jinja the source of the Nile River (Africa’s longest river) and a good spot for white water rafting. It also features Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary for Rhino tracking on foot.
You then embark on Murchison Falls National Park for extraordinary wildlife viewing. When here, you can see 4 of the African safari big 5 except the Rhino and you will enjoy a thrilling boat cruise.
This 18 days safari in Uganda will take you to Kibale National Park for epic Chimpanzee trekking and to Mpanga tea estates for cycling. It will take you to the Rwenzori Mountains National Park and Virunga Volcanoes for mountain climbing
You will also visit Semliki National Park for the Sempaya hot spring tour, Queen Elizabeth National Park for tree-climbing lions, and the Kazinga channel boat cruise.
On your 18 days safari Uganda trip, you will visit Bwindi Impenetrable National Park for Gorilla trekking. And you will visit Lake Bunyonyi for amusing encounters, and Lake Mburo National Park for charming game viewing.
Finally, you will embark on cultural tours to the Banyankole community, Batwa of Ntandi, and Bakonzo of Rwenzori.
18 Days Uganda Safari Tour – Highlights
- Day 1: Arrive in Uganda & transfer to the lodge
- Day 2: Drive to Jinja and explore the legendary Nile River
- Day 3: Drive to Murchison Falls National Park. A stopover en route at Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary
- Day 4: Do morning game drive and launch cruise in Murchison Falls National Park
- Day 5: Visit the top of Murchison Falls and drive to Hoima. Have a stop at Kibiro Salt Gardens en route
- Day 6: Drive to Fort Portal Area, settle for lunch in Fort Portal town, and either cycling in Mpanga tea estates or visit Amabere Ga’ Nnyinamwiru caves, hike the Fort Portal crater lakes and transfer to Kibale National Park
- Day 7: Do chimpanzee trekking in Kibale Forest National Park and afternoon nature walk in Bigodi wetland
- Day 8: Drive to Semliki National Park. Visit Sempaya hot springs, Batwa of Ntandi & drive to Kasese.
Upon arrival, tour Africa’s only bronze casting center – the Rwenzori Art Foundation and Ruboni Community craft village
- Day 9: Whole day hiking Rwenzori Mountains- the 3rd tallest mountain in Africa rising 5,109m with snow-capped peaks
- Day 10: Do a morning game drive in Queen Elizabeth National Park, and settle for lunch at Mweya. Then undertake an afternoon launch cruise at Kazinga channel
- Day 11: Drive to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park via the Ishasha sector where you will spot tree-climbing lions
- Day 12: Do mountain gorilla trekking in Bwindi National Park
- Day 13: Do an adventure hike to any of the 3 Volcanoes or do golden monkey tracking in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park.
- Day 14: Undertake the Batwa trail cultural experience and transfer to Lake Bunyonyi
- Day 15: Do a canoe/ boat ride on Lake Bunyonyi, visit islands, communities & school
- Day 16: Drive to Lake Mburo National Park, settle for traditional lunch at Igongo Cultural Center and do a night game drive in Lake Mburo National Park
- Day 17: Undertake the cultural tour of the Banyankole community at Enyemebwa center. In the afternoon drive back to Kampala with a stop at Uganda Equator Kayabwe en route
- Day 18 of the 18 Days Uganda Safari Tour: Departure
You can book, or customize this 18 Days Uganda Safari Tour and enjoy the best safari encounter in Uganda.
18 Days Uganda Safari Tour – Detailed Itinerary
Day 1: Arrive In Uganda (Entebbe International Airport) & Transfer To The Lodge
Upon your arrival at Entebbe International Airport, you will meet and greet your safari guide from Prime Safaris & Tours Ltd. Your guide will humbly welcome you to Uganda and after transfer you to your hotel for relaxation, dinner, and overnight.
Your safari guide will brief you about the whole safari on this very day.
Day 2: Head To Jinja- The Source Of The Fabulous Nile River
After, an amazing breakfast, you will drive to Jinja which is 80km away from Kampala Uganda’s capital. This drive to Jinja is about 2hrs taking you past the striking landscapes of the city outskirts.
And, this journey continues taking you through the sugarcane plantations at Lugazi, Mabira Forest, and finally arriving in Jinja for white water rafting.
River Nile flows out of Lake Victoria at the submerged Rippon Falls and courses on its 6650km distance to the Mediterranean Sea in Egypt. On its journey, it encounters a series of solid thick rocks that form cascades and rapids. This creates rafts where you can undertake a challenging adventure that is worth it.
During your rafting adventure, you are accompanied by expert guides who are there to rescue you in case the rafts push you off the raft.
When rafting, you can hear cheers from the locals who are along the Nile banks seeing how you are struggling with the white waters. This makes you part of the community and you will feel much love and welcome.
White water rafting is for half a day and after enjoying the adventure you will relax for a short time as you await to connect to the source of the Nile. The afternoon boat cruise to the source of the Nile is more adventurous and rewarding as it gives you clear views of Kingfisher birds.
This is your chance to step to the point where John Speke stood when he was discovering the source of the Nile. And, this experience will take you back to ancient times when the beautiful Nile River attracted many great men into the world of the unknown.
After this wonderful day, return to Kampala for overnight.
Day 3: Drive To Murchison Falls National Park. Make A Stop En Route At Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary
Enjoy breakfast before you drive to Murchison Falls National Park. The distance to the park is 311km with a drive distance of around 5 hours. Before reaching the park, branch off to Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary in Nakitoma for Rhino tracking on foot.
This en-route is 115 km from Kampala and the sanctuary is just 7 km from the man road.
Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary is the only place in Uganda where you will meet White Rhinos. These Rhinos were reintroduced in the sanctuary in 2005 following their extinction in the country in 1983.
You will trek 32 majestic southern white Rhinos in their natural habitat. When trekking the Rhinos, you will walk past the beautiful flora, amazing landscapes, and beautiful birds making this encounter worth undertaking.
Seeing the White Rhinos will streak the beginning of your instant with the African safari big 5. Retreat from the wonderful activity and have lunch before heading to Murchison Falls National Park. You will arrive in the evening for relaxation, dinner, and overnight.
Day 4: A Morning Game Drive & A Boat Cruise In Murchison Falls National Park
Have an early morning breakfast at your lodge at around 7 am. After your guide will transfer you to the northern sector (Buligi game area) for a 3-4 hours game drive adventure.
During your safari game drives, you will see large herds of Giraffes, Buffaloes, Elephants, and several Antelope species, Warthogs, Hippos, etc.
On top of that, you will as well spot a variety of bird species and if lucky you can see Lions and Leopards.
After the encounter, return to your lodge for lunch and relaxation. You will then head for a 2-hour boat cruise at 2 pm. And, during this adventure, you will encounter many aquatic and land animals including Hippos, Nile Crocodiles, Elephants, and Buffaloes.
You will as well spot other wonderful birds like African Fish Eagles, Cormorants, Kingfishers, Pelicans, etc.
This Murchison Falls Boat cruise will expose you to the everlasting scenery of the gigantic Murchison Falls. After the boat cruise, you can return to the lodge for relation, dinner, and overnight.
Day 5: Visit The Top Of Murchison Falls And Drive To Hoima. Make A Stop At Kibiro Salt Gardens
Have breakfast and afterward transfer to the top of Murchison Falls. When here, you will get clear sightings of the world’s most powerful waterfall from a different perspective.
You will witness the amazing 50m wide River Nile squeezing to pass through an 8m gorge and falling 45 m into the Devil’s Cauldron. This is so charming for photo-shoots.
After seeing the falls, you will then transfer to Hoima en route to a historical site at Kibiro Salt Gardens. This site has embraced the living of the surrounding communities for over 900 years ago.
Many locals extract salt from here using traditional skills and barter it for food. You will explore the site which will expose you to walking on a steep and challenging landscape that is only accessible on foot.
Later commence with the journey to Hoima arriving in the afternoon for relaxation, dinner, and overnight.
Day 6: Drive To Fort Portal, Have Lunch And Do Either Cycling In Mpanga Tea Estates Or Hike Amabere Ga Nyina Mwiru Caves
Enjoy a hearty breakfast before transferring to Fort Portal Area which takes about 5 hour drive. You will pass through the scenic countryside of Kagadi and Kyenjojo which are dotted with lush green, rural homesteads, and farmlands.
Upon arrival in Fort Portal town, you will enjoy a hot lunch and afterward head for a cycling adventure in the Mpanga tea estates. This tea estate is spread over a continuing landscape with endless scenic views which is ideal to explore while on a Mountain bike.
During this encounter, you will come across estate staff plucking tea and you are free to engage in the activity as well.
Alternatively, you can opt to visit Amabere Ga Nyina Mwiru caves and hike the Fort Portal Crater Lake field. On your arrival, you are welcomed by the residents who are deeply knowledgeable about the places’ history.
Amabere Ga Nyina Mwiru is breast-like features that are believed to have belonged to Nyinamwiru. She was the daughter of Bukuku who had self-enthroned himself as the King of the Bachwezi.
He denied his daughter breastfeeding her son Ndahura as he was informed that the boy would eventually take over his throne. To date, milk-like structures keep on dripping from the breast-like structures meaning that Nyinamwiru’s breasts are dripping.
You can then head out and engage on a hike to Fort Portal Crater field. You can hike the challenging slope of Kyeganywa hill bounded by many crater lakes and crater hollows. It showcases the charming scenic sites in Uganda.
Also, the top of kyeganywa hill gives you clear sightings of the Rwenzori Mountains on a clear day. You can then now head to Kibale National Park for relaxation, dinner, and an overnight stay.
Day 7: Chimpanzee Trekking In Kibale Forest National Park And Nature Walk In Bigodi Wetland
Enjoy a thrilling breakfast and afterward transfer to Kibale National Park headquarters for briefing at 8 am. This is to prepare you for the Chimpanzee trekking that lasts about 2-5 hours depending on the location of the Chimpanzees.
Once you spot the Chimpanzees (human cousins), you are permitted to be in their presence for 1 enchanting hour. You will watch them play, feed, groom, and swing in trees. Also, you will get to understand their special wonderful pant-hooting calls.
This will be a great time for you to take pictures for remembrance of meeting the great apes.
While on this encounter, you can as well see other primates like;
- L’Hoest’s Monkey
- Blue Monkey
- Red-tailed Monkeys
- Black-and-white Monkeys
- Olive Baboon
You will also encounter various bird species. After the thrilling adventure, you will return to your lodge for lunch.
After enjoying your meal, you can embark on Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary for a sensational nature walk. This sanctuary is home to over 138 bird species counting the charming Great Blue Turaco and many primates.
End the activity and retire at your lodge as you await dinner and overnight stay.
Day 8: Drive To Semliki National Park. Visit Sempaya Hot Springs, Batwa Of Ntandi & Drive To Kasese
After an outstanding breakfast, transfer to Semliki National Park with a drive distance of 78 km taking about 2-3 hours. Upon arrival, embark on the well-known Sempaya nature walk to explore the hot springs.
These hot springs are both female (Bitente) and male hot springs (Nyansimbi). They can both boil to over 100oc and the female hot springs have a hot boiling geyser sprouting up to 2m high.
For a great adventure, when here, you can have deep eggs to boil so that you have a picnic bite. While you navigate the hot springs, you will get to see the lush flora Semliki forest which is an extension of the Congo forest biome.
Also, look out for some of the primates like olive Baboons and Black-and-white Colobus Monkeys.
You can then end the encounter and visit the Batwa people in Ntandi. These people were the original forest keepers before they were evicted to conserve nature. The Batwa will perform for you a dance and also share their ancient cultural heritage.
After this superb exploration, proceed to Kasese. On arrival in this beautiful town, visit the Rwenzori Art Foundation which is the only bronze casting center in the whole of Africa.
You will get a great opportunity of navigating the gallery and see an assortment of artworks and you can also engage in the casting process.
In case time is on your side, you can also opt to visit the Ruboni Craft Village and see women making magnificent craft products. You can learn a skill like a basket weaving.
You can then retire and relax at your booked hotel, have a dibber, and overnight stay.
Day 9: Whole Day Hiking Rwenzori Mountains
After an amazing early breakfast, you will transfer and gather at Nyakalengija park station to encounter a full-day Rwenzori Mountains hike. This Mountain rises to over 5,109m altitude with snowcapped peaks even though it is near the Equator.
Rwenzori Mountain is a UNESCO World Heritage site. It is well recognized for its amazing flora more than the fauna. The flora includes the stunning giant lobelias and the groundsels.
Also, you see the unbelievable glaciated peaks and glaciers dropping down the mountain while on a hike. Also on this hike, you will enjoy the panoramic views of the savannah plains of Queen Elizabeth park, the rift valley, and Kasese town.
You have a fabulous lunch on the mountain and later in the evening at around 5 pm, you can end the activity. You will then retire and relax as you await dinner and an overnight stay.
Day 10: Game Drive & Boat Cruise In Queen Elizabeth National Park
After breakfast, transfer to Queen Elizabeth National Park and embark on a morning game drive. During this encounter, you will sight the 4 of the African safari big 5 these are Lions, Leopards, Buffaloes, and Elephants.
You will see many antelope species like Waterbucks, Kobs, Bushbucks, and Oribis. These are mostly spotted on a stretch to Kasenyi and the Mweya peninsular.
You can then return to your lodge for lunch. Later in the afternoon (2 pm), aboard a 2-hour boat cruise along the Kazinga Channel. You will witness the highest concentration of hippos in one place in the world and see many bird species.
Keep an eye on the channel shores as their clear sightings of Elephants, Buffaloes, and Crocodiles basking on the water edges. After this thrilling voyage, do a short game drive along the channel track.
Return to your lodge for relaxation, dinner, and an overnight stay.
Day 11: Drive To Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. Undertake A Game Drive In Ishasha Of Queen Elizabeth National
After an outstanding breakfast, embark on a journey to Bwindi National Park which is about 160km is taking 3- 4 hour drive. You will drive through the remote southern sector (Ishasha) of Queen Elizabeth park well known for the tree-climbing Lions.
However, you can still see other wildlife like Uganda Kobs, Topis, Buffaloes, and Elephants. After encountering the fascinating tree-climbing Lions, commence to Bwindi park.
You will arrive in the evening for relaxation, dinner, and overnight.
Day 12: Gorilla Trekking In Bwindi Impenetrable Park
Enjoy an energizing breakfast, and head to Bwindi National Park headquarters along with your packed lunch for briefing at 8 am. After the briefing, you embark on the activity within the misty and hilly Bwindi Impenetrable Forest.
You will be accompanied by rangers, trackers, and a park guide. The hike requires some bit of physicality though the result is worth the challenge. Gorilla trekking in this forest lasts about 2-8 hours.
Once you encounter the giant apes, you are given 1 full stunning hour to be with them. You get to see them feeding, playing, grooming, kissing, etc. This is a great opportunity to take nonstop photos for remembrance.
You can then enjoy your packed lunch and afterward trek back to the starting point to meet again with your guide. He will transfer you to Mgahinga Gorilla National Park.
Day 13: Do An Adventure Hike To Any Of The 3 Volcanoes Or Do Golden Monkey Tracking In Mgahinga Gorilla National Park
After breakfast, transfer to Ntebeko park headquarters for briefing at 8 am. After you will encounter the adventure of hiking a volcano of your choice and you can opt for Muhabura, Gahinga, or Sabinyo.
The Sabinyo peak climb is at 3,669m taking approximately 8 hours to complete a 14-kilometer round trip.
Gahinga rises to 3,474 m and takes about 6 hours, providing opportunities to see Golden Monkeys in the Bamboo zone. The hike up Muhabura Mountain (4,127m) takes about 8 hours which is a 12km round trip and offers distant views of the Bwindi forest.
On a clear day, you can also see the Rwenzori Mountains, the entire Virunga Mountain chain, and the 3 countries of Uganda, Congo, and Rwanda.
You can also opt to go for Golden Monkey tracking where you get a great opportunity of exploring the golden Monkeys. This park is home to about 3000 -4000 Golden Monkeys though only 120 individuals are habituated.
Visitors can always find these gorgeous creatures within the bamboo zone of Mount Gahinga. The golden patch on these monkeys and their playful tactics make them interesting to track for those on safaris to Uganda.
You can end the day’s adventure and then return to the lodge for evening relaxation, dinner, and an overnight stay.
Day 14: Do Batwa Trail Cultural Experience And Transfer To Lake Bunyonyi
The Batwa (Pygmy) people were originally inhabiting in Mgahinga Mountain Forest before they were evicted so that it can be gazetted as a park. These people settled on the forest margins and the trail has been developed to help visitors explore the Batwa heritage.
Along this trail, you will be accompanied by expert Batwa guides. This adventurous trail starts from Ntebeko in the morning. As you follow this designated trail, the Batwa will show you several items and what they meant to their tradition.
These include medicinal plants, wild honey extraction, Bamboo cup, tree-house making, and forest hunting techniques. You will then reach the Ngarama cave which was home to their chief.
While on this encounter, the Batwa women will sing a range of amazing traditional songs. The sounds of the songs will take you back to life in the forest of these people representing their astonishing cultural heritage.
This epic experience lasts about 5-6 hours. Afterward, you will transfer to Lake Bunyonyi and you will be driving along the scenic Kisoro-Kabale road with its puzzling road sections.
However, you will en route to Muko and head to Lake Bunyonyi for relaxation, dinner, and overnight.
Day 15: Do A Canoe/ Boat Ride On Lake Bunyonyi, Visit Islands, Communities & A Local School
Enjoy a joyful breakfast and afterward embark on an amusing boat ride on Lake Bunyonyi. This lake is known to be a lake of a thousand islands because of its 29 islands.
Also, it is the 2nd deepest lake in Africa bounded by the amazing hills of Kigezi which give you stunning scenery when sailing on the calm waters.
This boat cruise sails though it makes several stops on the different Islands so that you explore them on foot. You get to see the local people and learn about their daily life like their traditional foods and traditional musical performances.
And also, get to witness how they make their local brew or you can visit some of the local schools.
After this rewarding day, retire at your lodge as you await dinner and have an overnight.
Day 16: Drive To Lake Mburo National Park For Night Game Drive
This is a busy day, so you’ll eat breakfast early and then spend the rest of the day island hopping. The main islands of Lake Bunyonyi will be explored here.
You will visit Bucurunuka (upside down) island, which is said to have buried people alive. This occurred when young people refused to give a local brew to an elderly woman, who cursed the island, turning it upside down and burying the people.
Explore the Akampene (Punishment Island), where unmarried pregnant girls were left to die of starvation or drown trying to escape.
Other few islands are Bushara, Kahugye, and Njuyera Islands. You will retreat from the activity returning to your lodge for lunch.
From here, you will head to Lake Mburo National Park which is 199km and about a 5- 6 hour drive. This journey will take you through the stunning countryside landscapes before reaching Mbarara town.
This town is just 45 km away from Lake Mburo National Park. However, you can also choose if you want to explore the Igongo Cultural center. It is the biggest private museum in Uganda and consists of artifacts from southwestern Uganda or explore the Biharwe eclipse monument.
After engaging in any of the epic experience, you proceed to the park and check in at your lodge, and await dinner. Later at around 7 pm, head out for a night game drive as it is the best opportunity of seeing nocturnal animal species.
You will spot creatures like;
· Side-stripped Jackals
· Bush Pigs
· Spotted Hyenas
· Serval Cats
|· Honey Badgers|
· White-tailed Mongoose
If lucky, you will be able to see day grazers having a night’s rest. You can then retire for overnight.
Day 17: Undertake A Cultural Tour To The Banyankole Community At Enyemebwa Center
Wake up at 6 a.m. and travel to Enyemebwa center to meet the herd’s men who are preparing to milk cattle as part of their daily routine. You will also participate in the traditional hand milking of Ankole long-horned cattle while here.
You can assist in the treatment of sick animals. Or you can care for cows by brushing their bodies, and going graze the cows in the wild.
After this encounter, go to the traditional hut where women are shaking milk in a churning gourd. You will visit the extensive banana plantations and engage in pruning
You will also weed the gardens using traditional methods before engaging in the preparation of a traditional lunch.
After the exciting experience in the afternoon, you can drive back to Kampala which is 240km about 3-4 hours. However, on this journey, you can en route to the Uganda Equator monument at Kayabwe for superb photo shoots.
Proceed to Kampala arriving in the evening for relaxation, dinner, and overnight.
Day 18: Departure
On this day, you will participate in or do a farewell souvenir shopping and later transfer to Entebbe airport for the flight back home.
End Of The 18 Days Uganda Safari Tour
- Gorilla permit
- Chimpanzee Permit
- Full Board Accommodation on Safari
- Transportation in either 4X4 Safari Van/4X4 Safari Land Cruiser all with Pop up roof & AC
- Professional English Speaking driver guide. Any other foreign language speaking guide can be arranged on request.
- Entrance fees to the tourist sites including protected areas mentioned
- Activity fees of the tourist activities mentioned
- Bottled water while on safari
- Border crossing fees (for cross-border safaris)
- General tips for the driver guide, site guides, and service staff at the lodges
- Laundry Services
- Other Beverages/drinks of personal nature like Alcohol
- International Flights (Arranged on request)
- Domestic Flights (Arranged on request)
- Optional Activity fees
- Other extras not mentioned in the Itinerary
- Airport Transfer (Arranged on request)
- Accommodation in Kampala or Kigali unless it is part of the
- Itinerary (Arranged on request)