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12 Days Secret of the North Safari in Uganda

  • Sipi Falls - Kitgum - Kidepo Valley National Park - Murchison Falls National Park - Jinja

Uganda Wildlife Safari

Go off the beaten track and explore the unknown east and north of Uganda. Travel to Uganda’s most remote national park in Kidepo Valley and meet the local Karamojong tribe. Combine a true jungle experience in Budongo Forest with a visit to Uganda’s sole rhino sanctuary. This is a unique safari that combines Uganda’s most beautiful national parks with authentic community experiences and traditional safari lodges.

Highlights

  • Chimpanzee tracking
  • Morning hike to Sipi Falls
  • Visit to Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary
  • Game drives at the national parks
  • Transfers to and from Entebbe International Airport (EBB)
  • Ground transportation in a safari vehicle
  • Daily breakfast, lunch, and dinner
  • 11 nights accommodation
  • 11 activity days
  • English
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The Boma

This welcoming guesthouse is situated on the outskirts of Entebbe and only 5 to 10 minutes from Entebbe International Airport (EBB). It is a tastefully restored colonial homestead consisting of comfortable bedrooms. Each of them is decorated along African themes and has their own private bathroom. A diners’ bar is set in a landscaped garden with lake views.

The main house includes a private dining veranda and living room for overnight guests. You will be staying here on the first night of the safari tour.

Sipi River Lodge

Sipi River Lodge is located in Sipi Falls, on the foothills of Mount Elgon. The lodge is set amongst 17 acres of private grounds, where you will find the 80 meters Kapsururu Falls, several caves, and peaceful gardens. Sipi River Lodge offers a variety of accommodation styles located close to the main house. Included is a cozy private cottage with en-suite bathroom, two thatched roundhouses, and a bunkhouse with shared washing facilities.

Within the main house there is an intimate dining room with a log fire, stylish bar, comfortable reading lounge, and airy veranda. You will be staying here on the second and third night of the safari tour.

Fugly’s Guesthouse

Fugly’s Guesthouse is an intimate guesthouse located in a quiet area, outside the city center of Kitgum. The rooms vary from dorm style rooms with shared bathrooms up to comfortable guestrooms with private modern bathroom facilities. You will be staying here on the fourth night of the safari tour.

Nga’Moru Wilderness Camp

Nga’Moru Wilderness Camp is found at the edge of Kidepo Valley National Park, on a hill with breathtaking views of the impressive Narus Valley, as well as the savannah plains extending up to the towering Morungole Mountains. The lodge provides cottages and safari tents under thatched roofs, both with en-suite bathrooms. You will be staying here on the fifth and sixth night of the safari tour.

Paraa Safari Lodge

Paraa Safari Lodge is located in an elevated position on the northern side of the river Nile, enjoying astounding views. Set in a small area of landscaped gardens, the lodge offers comfortable rooms with en-suite bathroom and private balconies. Moreover, it features a swimming pool, pool bar, and restaurant with local and international cuisine. You will be staying here on the seventh and eighth night of the safari tour.

Budongo Eco Lodge

Situated in the heart of Budongo Forest Reserve, part of Murchison Falls National Park, Budongo Eco Lodge provides excellent and pocket friendly accommodation.

Set in the midst of one of the largest and most beautiful rainforest locations in Uganda, its incredible biodiversity includes nine different species of primates, 360 species of birds, over 290 different types of butterflies and some of the oldest trees in Uganda. All within utterly easy access of available forest activities, an exciting jungle experience guaranteed for lasting memories!

Guests accommodation comprises six intimate, and eco log cabins, each secluded in the forest for maximum privacy and fitted with two double size beds or one king size bed, and a sitting area with a day bed. Each cabin is also en-suite with hot and cold showers, an ash-based eco-loo, and a private veranda overlooking the forest.

The lodge also offers four dormitory rooms each fitted with two bunk Beds for a maximum of four persons per room with shared outside bathroom facilities for all. All beds are fitted with mosquito nets. Other lodge amenities include a spacious lounge with comfortable chairs, a terrace restaurant, and a well-stocked bar, the perfect place for a refreshing drink before or after your forest activities. They also have a small library as well as free Wi-Fi in the public areas.

You will be staying here on the ninth night of the safari tour.

The Haven

The Haven is a peaceful and relaxed river lodge located at a big rapid on the river Nile. The luxury bungalows are very spacious, containing one double and one single bed and a cozy reading area. The shower has hot running water and offers stunning views of the rapid. Moreover, each bungalow has its very own private shaded terrace with a swinging couch and great view as well.

The restaurant, offering European cuisine with a touch of Africa, and the bar are situated in the middle of the compound overlooking the mighty river Nile and the waterfall. You will be staying here on the tenth and eleventh night of the safari tour.

Upgraded accommodations

Apoka Safari Lodge

Apoka Lodge is located in the middle of Kidepo Valley National Park, surrounded by expansive grassy plains and abundant wildlife. Ten expansive rooms are built of wood, thatch, and canvas and have an uninterrupted view of the Narus River Valley, which can be enjoyed from your private veranda or outdoor stone bathtub.

Each room has an inside sitting room, big hand-sewn beds, and en suite bathroom with a large tropical shower. More relaxation can be found at the main lodge with dining room and lounge or at the swimming pool. This upgrade costs 494 USD per night for high season and 250 USD per night for low season.

Bakers Lodge

Bakers Lodge is the newest facility on the banks of the Nile River in Murchison Falls National Park, opened late 2014. The lodge, which is part of Uganda Exclusive Camps, derives its name from the historic English explorer, Samuel Baker. It features a thatched central lounge, bar, and dining area which is raised with wooden decks all around, allowing guests to savor the morning sunrise for breakfast, sunset in the evening and 180-degree river views.

The six large riverside cottages offer en-suite bathrooms with flush toilets, warm solar showers, and some rooms have bath tubs. Wi-Fi is available here. This upgrade costs 113 USD per night for high season and 56 USD per night for low season.

Wildwaters Lodge

Nestled in luxuriant rainforest on its own private island in the middle of the mighty Nile, Wildwaters Lodge is breathtaking. It is located at only 30 minutes from Jinja and one and half hours from Kampala. The ten rooms are situated amidst the forest with king size beds, private decks with freestanding baths, and breathtaking views over the river Nile and its rapids. Elevated wooden walkways link the rooms to the restaurant and bar area.

Other amenities include a day spa with massage facilities, library, and an adjacent natural swimming pool. This upgrade costs 222 USD per night for high season and 113 USD per night for low season.

Day 1

Welcome to the pearl of Africa! Arrival at Entebbe International Airport (EBB) where you will be welcomed and transferred to your hotel. You will have an overnight stay at The Boma. Please note that the airport pick up will be arranged by your guesthouse.

Day 2 - Entebbe to Sipi Falls

Today, you will depart to the unknown east. Via Jinja, you will proceed to Mbale, a charming town at the foot of the Mount Elgon. This area is full of rich heritage and fascinating culture. You will have a lunch stop at Mbale and with beautiful viewpoints on the way, you will reach Sipi Village, nestled between mountains and waterfalls. You will have dinner and an overnight stay at Sipi River Lodge.

Day 3 - Sipi Falls

In the morning, you will enjoy a hike to the lovely Sipi Falls. It is a beautiful walk to the bottom of the famous waterfall. You will then continue with a steep climb to a series of caves. As you follow the challenging trail to the other waterfalls, you will pass maize fields, banana plantations, and typical bandas.

You will return to the lodge for a delicious lunch and some relaxing. In the afternoon, you will visit a coffee project and find out why Sipi Falls is home to one of the finest coffees in the world. Talk to the farmers, see the plantations, and learn more about the process behind coffee making. Then enjoy your freshly brewed cup of coffee as you relax and watch the sunset. You will have dinner and an overnight stay at Sipi River Lodge.

Day 4 - Sipi Falls to Kitgum

After breakfast, you will continue your journey and head to the north. It is a long but beautiful drive as you pass different types of landscapes and traditional villages. This area is really off-the-beaten track and not visited by many tourists yet.

You will witness what the many years of civil unrest have done to this region, but also how it is slowly but steadily developing again. It is completely safe to travel and with a lunch stop en route, you will arrive in the late afternoon in Kitgum. You will have dinner and an overnight stay at at Fugly’s Guesthouse.

Day 5 - Kitgum to Kidepo Valley National Park

In the morning, you will visit a primary school in the surroundings of Kitgum. Then you will continue towards the border with Sudan and enter Kidepo Valley National Park. Lunch will be served at your accommodation in the middle of the national park, with beautiful views over the vast plains. You will then go for a game drive in the afternoon for a first introduction with the wildlife. You will have dinner and an overnight stay at Nga’moru Wilderness Camp.

Day 6 - Kidepo Valley National Park

You will spend a full day in one of the most beautiful and certainly most remote national parks in Uganda. Early in the morning, you will explore the Narus River Valley by game drive or safari walk. Go in search of giraffes, ostriches, zebras, elephants, and lions. The park is also a birders' paradise as it boasts a bird list with over 475 species.

You will have lunch and relax before going on a visit to one of the local Karamojong communities. The Karamojong tribe is well known for their unique nomadic

lifestyle and rich traditions of storytelling. You will have dinner and an overnight stay at Nga’moru Wilderness Camp.

Day 7 - Kidepo Valley to Murchison Falls National Park

Today, you will head south to Murchison Falls National Park. You will enter the park from the north and will continue south with a game drive towards the famous river Nile. Look out for buffaloes, hartebeests, Uganda kobs, and elephants while you pass the savannah dotted with borassus palm trees. You will have dinner and an overnight stay at Paraa Safari Lodge.

Day 8 - Murchison Falls National Park

After an early breakfast, you will start the day with another game drive on the northern banks of the Nile. In the afternoon, the safari will be continued with a boat cruise on the river Nile for game viewing at close quarters. You will have dinner and an overnight stay at Paraa Safari Lodge.

Day 9 - Murchison Falls National Park

In the morning, you will visit the magnificent top of the falls where you can marvel at the mighty Nile. Watch how the fall is being forced into a seven meter crevice to thunder 45 meters below in a series of cascades. After this spectacular scenery, you will continue to the southern part of the national park, the Budongo Forest Reserve.

Here, you will go for a guided chimp tracking in the forest. Together with your guide, you will look out for tracks well hidden in the forest in search of the habituated

chimpanzee family. You will have dinner and an overnight stay at Budongo Eco Lodge.

Day 10 - Murchison Falls National Park to Jinja

After a delicious breakfast in the midst of the tropical rainforest, you will calmly depart the national park and drive towards the south. En route, you can make a stop at Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary, home to the only wild rhinos in Uganda. The reserve was created to reintroduce rhinos, which have been extinct since 1982, to the country.

Together with a guide, you will track the rhinos and observe them in their habitat at a very close and safe distance. After this activity, you will continue to Jinja for

an overnight stay at the source of the Nile. You will have dinner and an overnight stay at The Haven.

Day 11 - Jinja

No better way than to end your safari at the banks of the river Nile! You can spend the day at your own leisure and read a book, relax at the natural pool, or enjoy the breathtaking views of the Nile. Those who wish to experience some adventure can decide to go rafting at the source of the Nile. After receiving instructions, you will start peddling and enjoy the beautiful scenery and thundering rapids at its fullest.

Other optional activities include the wild Nile jet, bungee jumping, quad bike safari, horseback riding along the Nile, village walk, or a visit to the true origin of the Nile. You will have dinner and an overnight stay at The Haven.

Day - 12 Jinja to Entebbe

Enriched with an experience of a lifetime and unforgettable memories, you will say goodbye to the pearl of Africa. You will be transferred to Entebbe International Airport (EBB), on time for your international flight.

  • Hiking in the Sipi Falls
  • Trip to a coffee plantation in Sipi Falls
  • Trip to the the Nile River
  • Visit to one of the local Karamojong communities
  • Visit to Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary

Mount Elgon

Mount Elgon is an extinct volcano of 4321 meters high, located on the border between Uganda and Kenya. The mountain straddles into Kenya but its peak, Wagagai, lies within Uganda and is best ascended from this side. This often neglected national park reveals spectacular scenery with hidden caves, clear waterfalls, mysterious historic rock sculptures, and impressive peaks.

The park also boasts a variety of mammals and 300 bird species. Mount Elgon is the fourth highest mountain in Africa with a relatively easy climb.

Sipi Falls

The nearby Sipi Falls is a series of three waterfalls north of Mbale. Beautiful nature walks are arranged to the bottom of the famous waterfall, followed by a steep climb to a series of caves, and continue to the other waterfalls, while passing banana plantations and small African villages. This area also provides panoramic views over the Karamoja plains.

Kidepo Valley National Park

Kidepo Valley National Park is one of the most spectacular, but also most remote national parks in Uganda. Hidden in the northeast corner of the country, on the border with Sudan and Kenya, Kidepo ranks among Africa’s finest wildernesses. The landscape ranges from rolling hills and rocky kopjes to vast savannah plains, with the peaks of the Lotukei and Morungole Mountains rising at the horizon.

The Narus Valley, split from the Kidepo Valley by two rivers, is teemed with wildlife including some of the rarest species that are not found anywhere else in Uganda. The park boasts an extensive bird list.

Murchison Falls National Park

Murchison Falls National Park is the largest conservation area in Uganda and, without a doubt, one of the most beautiful and spectacular national parks in Africa. The landscape is extremely diverse with palm-dotted hills and vast savannah plains in the north, and riverine woodland and forested slopes in the southern part of the park.

Apart from the wildlife, which includes different types of antelopes, elephants, giraffes, buffaloes, lions, patas monkeys, and much more, the national park is also a paradise for birders with 450 different bird species. It is one of the best places to find the rare shoebill stork. Chimpanzees can be tracked in Budongo Forest, while large hippo families and crocodiles are observed on the shores of the Nile.

The biggest attraction of the park, however, is the Murchison Falls, where the world’s longest river is forced into a seven meter crevice to thunder 45 meters below.

Jinja

Jinja lies on the shores of Lake Victoria and is famous for being the source of the mighty river Nile. The colorful center is characterized by old Asian-style buildings but the main attractions are found at a small distance from the city. In the source of the Nile gardens, an obelisk monument was raised to commemorate the 19th century explorer Speke who discovered the origin of the world’s longest river.

From here you, can make a boat ride to the true origin while enjoying the beauty of the Nile and the many water birds. Those who wish to experience great adventure can decide to go rafting the source of the Nile. With rapids up till grade five, the Nile is one of the world’s best places for white-water rafting!

Other activities include a quad bike safari along the shores of the Nile, bungee jumping, jet boat tour on the Nile, kayaking, horseback riding, and village walks.

You will be provided with daily breakfast, lunch, and dinner throughout this safari tour. Your meals are included in the price.

  • Book massages
  • Enjoy hiking in the Sipi Falls
  • Explore the grounds
  • Interact with the locals
  • Observe the animals
  • Relax in your accommodation
  • See the stunning scenic views
  • Take a relaxing dip in the swimming pool of your accommodation
  • 11 nights accommodation
  • AMREF evacuation air ambulance insurance
  • Bottled mineral water in the safari vehicle
  • Daily breakfast, lunch, and dinner
  • Detailed map of Uganda
  • Entrance fees and ranger fees for national parks
  • Game drives at the national parks
  • Ground transportation in a safari vehicle
  • Hike to Sipi Falls
  • Permit for chimpanzee tracking in Budongo Forest
  • Transfers to and from Entebbe International Airport (EBB)
  • VAT for hotels and lodges outside Kampala
  • Visit to Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary
  • Additional meals and drinks
  • Any optional activities
  • International flight
  • Items of personal nature
  • Tips
  • Visa

Arrival by airplane

Please book your flight to arrive at Entebbe International Airport (EBB). Transfer from and to the airport is included. Great Lakes Safaris Limited will pick you up from the airport.

  • The deposit is fully refundable if the booking is cancelled up to 2 days before the arrival date.
  • The rest of the payment should be paid on arrival.