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12 Days Uganda Safari Tour

  • Kampala - Murchison Falls National Park - Kibale National Park - Queen Elizabeth National Park - Bwindi - Lake Mburo National Park

12 Days Uganda Safari Tour

  • Kampala - Murchison Falls National Park - Kibale National Park - Queen Elizabeth National Park - Bwindi - Lake Mburo National Park

Gorilla Trekking Safari Uganda

This trip will take you to Uganda's most spectacular highlights: safaris on the savanna, chimpanzees in tropical forest, hippo viewing from the boat and, of course, tracking the rare mountain gorillas. Plus, in Lake Mburo National Park you can take a bush walk or even a horseback safari. You will overnight in the best mid-range accommodations Uganda has to offer.

Highlights

  • Game drive and boat safari
  • Gorilla and chimpanzee tracking
  • Travel to Murchison Falls National Park
  • Travel to Queen Elizabeth National Park
  • Transport in a 4WD minivan with pop-up roof for excellent safari view
  • English speaking Ugandan driver and guide
  • Most breakfasts, lunches, and dinners
  • 11 Nights accommodation
  • 12 activity days
  • English
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Bush lodge

Bush Lodge offers a budget-friendly option in the form of semi-permanent tents. Inside you will find two single beds and a solar lantern. The tents are placed under a grass-tatched roof and are spread over the verdant campsite. As the tents share a communal ablution block a few paces away and the site is often frequented by wildlife, lodge staff will escort you to and from your tent. All bedding and towels are provided by the camp. Naturally, the restaurant and bar are open to all lazy camping guests as well.

Cassia lodge

Cassia Lodge is located on Buziga Hill, one of the highest hills of Kampala, close to Lake Victoria. Cassia Lodge offers an astonishing view over Lake Victoria and the city. With an excellent international cuisine in a serene environment, you will be able to unwind after - or before your tour in Uganda. In addition, they have wireless Internet connection, a large swimming pool, and twenty spacious rooms with satellite television, bar and balcony overlooking the lake.

Enjojo lodge

Enjojo lodge is bordering the Ishasha sector of Queen Elisabeth National Park. The lodge is situated on forty hectares amidst acacia forest, lust vegetation with palm trees and scattered grass line. There is a lot of birdlife around and herds of elephants, buffaloes, and antelopes, but also vervet monkeys and the black and white colobus monkey are regularly spotted around the lodge.

The thatched cottages at Enjojo Lodge have an en-suite bathroom and an outdoor shower. On the wide verandas you can relax and overlook the surrounding bush and savanna, it is the perfect place for a quiet and intimate retreat. The cottages are interlinked with an elevated wooden walkway.

Kibale forest camp

Kibale Forest Camp offers a unique classic canvas experience in the form of African-style safari tents set in a lush forested surrounding. Complemented by excellent food and service it forms your perfect base to explore the area. The safari tents are comfortably furnished with twin or double beds. Each tent has its own private en suite bathroom with an eco friendly toilet, a dressing room and a bush shower. Seated from your own verandah, the red- and black and white Colobus monkeys can often be observed in the dense camp surrounding.

Mutanda lake resort

Mutanda Lake Resort offers most likely the best view in Uganda! Perched on a peninsula in Lake Mutanda, in the shadow of the Virunga Mountain Range, Mutanda Lake Resort offers comfortable accommodation combined with the most beautiful views on planet earth. Situated between Kisoro town, Mgahinga and Bwindi National Parks the Resort makes a perfect base for gorilla trackers, volcano hikers, bird lovers as well as those looking for a secluded place in nature. The cuisine is among the best in Uganda. Activities on the lake are organized by the lodge and the lake is safe to swim as it's Bilharzia free.

Rwakobo-rock

Set on a massive granite outcrop, just outside Lake Mburo National Park, the accommodation at Rwakobo Rock offers thatched chalets blending into the natural landscape. The rooms are dotted around the hill taking advantage of rocky ledges and private corners. The chalets celebrate the natural lines of the surrounding wilderness. They also provide guests with real comfort and luxury that doesn't cost the earth. From the spacy restaurant you have great views over the national park.

Day 1 - welcome to Uganda

Your driver / guide will be at Entebbe International Airport (EBB) to pick you up from your flight and take you directly to your lodge in Kampala. Depending on the time of your arrival, you may be able to explore the sites in and around Kampala.

You will stay in a nice lodge with beautiful views on Lake Victoria. Here you can relax during the rest of your day. The journey time of today is one hour and no meals are inclusive.

Day 2 - via rhino sanctuary to Murchison Falls

Today's journey will take you north from Kampala to Murchison Falls National Park. Along the way, you will visit Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary where you will go for a game walk with an experienced ranger, which gives you a unique opportunity to view the rhinos from a close distance.

Kidepo Valley and Murchison Falls National Parks once had both black and white rhinos; however, widespread poaching during the Idi Amin era resulted in the disappearance of these majestic animals from the wild. Founded in 1998, Rhino Fund Uganda works to reintroduce black and white rhinos into Uganda and runs a breeding programme.

You will be staying at a great mid-range lodge, overlooking the River Nile. Here you can relax during the rest of your day. The journey time of today is seven hours and the included meals are breakfast and dinner.

Day 3 - Murchison Falls National Park

Get ready for an early wake up today! In the early morning hours animals are the most active, the sun is not yet so bright and temperatures are cooler. It offers the best time to spot wild animals. After an early breakfast you will go on a game drive to explore the northern part of the park.

Come eye-to-eye with the African animal kingdom: elephants, giraffes, buffaloes, lions, leopards, different species of antelopes, and many tropical birds may all be spotted during the game drive. So keep your eyes open, they are all there in Murchison Falls National Park!

In the afternoon you will take a boat safari up the Nile River to Murchison Falls. Carefully watched by crocodiles, hundreds of hippos, buffaloes, water birds, monkeys, and all the other thirsty wildlife that the Nile attracts, you will reach the base of the 43-meter high falls which approach with a thunderous sound.

After the boat safari you will hike to the top of the falls. From here you have a wonderful view and fantastic photo opportunities!

You will be staying at Murchison River Lodge and the included meals are breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Day 4 - travel to Kibale Forest National Park

Today you will begin your journey to Kibale Forest National Park. The long drive is incredibly scenic, passing through tea plantations and the lush green countryside which characterizes so much of Uganda.

A packed lunch is included, which you can join on the way. Spend the late afternoon relaxing and enjoy a lovely view of the forest and its wildlife.

You will be staying at Kibale Forest Camp. The journey time of today is eight hours and the included meals are breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Day 5 - chimpanzee tracking and swamp walk

Today, you will experience some serious monkey business! Kibale Forest National Park boasts the highest number of primate species in the world, including the 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; you might also see other monkey species that live here. Once you locate the chimpanzees you will have a full hour of eye-to-eye contact with them. Since they are wild animals, Matoke Tours can never guarantee you to see them and might have to settle with hearing their hoots and hollers.

Your swamp walk (two - three hours) will take you through grassland, small communities and some beautiful scenery, where the locals are likely to greet you with enthusiastic waves. It is usual to spot three to four different primate species during this walk, though the highlight is catching a glimpse of the great blue turaco!

You will be staying at Kibale Forest Camp. The journey time of today is 15 minutes each way and the included meals are breakfast and dinner.

Day 6 - Queen Elizabeth National Park

In the morning, you can relax at your lodge. You will then 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. The park has prolific game; including gazelle, Uganda kob, warthog, and waterbuck. Lions are often sighted both in and at the entrance to the park. Be prepared for huge numbers of hippos and elephants, and keep your eyes peeled for a leopard lazing in the sunshine.

In the late afternoon you will go for a game-drive into the park. You stay at Bush Lodge in a nice eco cottage-tent with eco-toilet and a private outside bathroom with a “bush” shower with hot water on request. Of course, your outside bathroom is fenced for your privacy.

Your lodge is located on the edge of Queen Elizabeth National Park, overlooking the spectacular Kazinga Channel. Watch wildlife from your own private verandah and fall asleep to the roaring of lions on the distant savannah. This truly is Africa!

You will be staying at Bush Lodge. The journey time of today is three and a half hours and the included meals are breakfast and dinner.

Day 7 - game drive and boat safari

Today you wake up early. A little before sunrise, coffee, tea and donuts will be served in the lounge before you 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 elephants, buffaloes, lions, waterbucks, leopards, Ugandan Kobs, and many warthogs.

A well-deserved brunch will be served back at the lodge in the late morning. In the afternoon you will take a boat safari along the Kazinga Channel which joins Lake George and Lake Albert. Here, you will see a lot of hippos (more than you can possibly imagine!), as well as a variety of other animals which come to the waterhole to drink or bathe. You can expect to see buffalo, crocodile, bathing elephant, and a range of beautiful birds. This will undoubtedly be one of the highlights of your tour. After the boat-safari you game drive back to the lodge.

You will be staying at Bush Lodge. Included meals are breakfast and dinner.

Day 8 - Ishasha area and its tree-climbing lions

After a relaxed breakfast you will proceed to the southern part of Queen Elizabeth National Park, to the so called Ishasha area.

Ishahsa is home to the famous tree-climbing lions. While lion cubs around the world frequently climb trees for fun, adults rarely do. The adult lions in Ishasha is are an exception to this. It is thought that they sit in the branches to get away from the tsetse flies and to enjoy a cool breeze. If you are lucky you might spot a few during your game drive!

Your accommodation for tonight is the Enjojo Lodge, which is surrounded with acacia forest, lush vegetation with palm trees and scattered grasslands. Find birds, monkeys, and other wildlife around your cottage!

You will be staying at Enjojo Lodge. The journey time of today is two hours and the included meals are breakfast and dinner.

Day 9 - Lake Mutanda / Bwindi

Today you drive to Lake Mutanda in the south-western part of Uganda; close to the borders with Rwanda and Congo. You cross a beautiful part of the country often referred to as ‘the Switzerland of Africa’. You will see a great country-side, bamboo forest, and have great views over the Virunga Mountains. For lunch you will stop at a local restaurant on the road (lunch is not inclusive).

Perched on a peninsula in Lake Mutanda in the shadow of the Virunga Mountain Range, Mutanda Lake Resort offers comfortable accommodation combined with the most beautiful views on planet earth. Situated between Kisoro town, Mgahinga, and Bwindi National Parks the Resort makes a perfect base for gorilla trackers, volcano hikers, bird lovers, as well as for those looking for a secluded place in nature.

You will be staying at Mutanda Lake Resort. The journey time of today is seven hours and the included meals are breakfast and dinner

Day 10 - gorilla tracking in Bwindi Forest

Today is the big day for you to prepare yourself for an encounter with one of Bwindi’s gentle giants: the endangered mountain gorilla. For most people this is the absolute highlight of their tour in Uganda.

Bwindi impenetrable forest boasts both mountain gorillas and chimpanzees - the only forest in Africa that can make this claim. It also hosts five 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’.

You will be staying at Mutanda Lake Resort. The journey time of today is one hour each way and the included meals are breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 11 - Lake Mburo National Park

After breakfast, you will travel to Lake Mburo National Park, one of Uganda’s smallest parks, but certainly not to be underestimated. It is the only Ugandan national park (besides to Kidepo Valley National Park) which is home to zebras, elands and impalas, as well as to an abundance of other wildlife - not to mention the lake itself, which is teeming with hippos and crocodiles! Last but not least, The Uganda Wildlife Authority brought, on July 1, 2015, fifteen giraffes from Murchison falls to lake Mburo.

You will stay just outside the park boundaries, but it will feel like being in the middle of the park. From your verandah and restaurant you have a great view over the park and its wildlife.

You will be staying at Rwakobo Rock. The journey time of today is seven hours and the included meals are breakfast and dinner

Day 12 - bush walk and travel to Kampala or Entebbe

Lake Mburo National Park is one of two parks in Uganda where bush walks with an experienced ranger are permitted. This opportunity should not be missed. From footprints and animal droppings the ranger will be able to tell you which animal has left it and how long ago. It is exciting to approach wildlife at such close range.

After brunch at the lodge, you will drive back to Entebbe International Airport (EBB) stopping at the equator for the requisite snapshot and a bit of souvenir shopping.

Accommodation for tonight is not inclusive in the program. If you wish to depart tonight from Entebbe Airport, make sure your flight is at 10 pm or later. If you want Matoke Tours to book one (or more) nights in Kampala or Entebbe, please let Matoke Tours know.

The journey time of today is five hours to Kampala and six hours to Entebbe and the included late breakfast.

  • Boat safari along the Kazinga channel which joins Lake George and Lake Albert
  • Boat safari up the Nile River to Murchison Falls
  • Bush walk in Lake Mburo National Park
  • Chimp tracking in the Kibale Forest National Park
  • Gorilla Tracking in Bwindi Forest
  • Trip to Ishahsa, home to the famous tree-climbing lions
  • Visit to the equator for the requisite snapshot and souvenir shopping
  • Visit to Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary

Uganda is first of all known for the mountain gorilla tracking, but this beautiful country has way more to offer. You can see big game the wonderful safari parks like Queen Elizabeth National Park and the still unknown Kidepo Valley National Park, the primates in the rainforests, the amazing waterfalls, and the beautiful lakes.

Uganda is called “The pearl of Africa” for many good reasons. As Winston Churchill wrote: “For magnificence, for variety of form and color, for profusion of brilliant life - bird, insect, reptile, beast - for vast scale - Uganda is truly “The Pearl of Africa.”

During the safari tour, you have included in the price nine breakfasts, three lunches, and eight dinners.

Chimpanzee habituation tracking

On day five, at an additional fee of only 70 USD per person you do the chimpanzee habituation tracking instead of the regular chimpanzee tracking. This will take all day and you will be 100% sure to have a very close encounter with your closest relatives. Book this in time because only six persons per day are allowed to go. Your swamp walk can be postponed to the next morning

Horseback riding safari

On day twelve, you may go for a horseback riding safari at an additional fee of only 60 USD per person for two hours.

Hot air balloon safari

On day seven, at an additional fee of only 380 USD per person you can experience the wildlife of Queen Elizabeth National Park in a new and unique way. Wake up early to catch the sunrise, as you silently fly over the plains of Queen Elizabeth National Park. Admire the herds of buffaloes and elephants, while you enjoy the serene tranquility of the African bush.

You will take off early at dawn for a flight that lasts for approximately one hour. Rise as the sun rises, and float in whatever direction the winds of the morning takes you. Fly higher than the trees and hills, and enjoy the best of Uganda, with many great photo opportunities of the scenery and wildlife below.

After a smooth landing you can celebrate this amazing adventure with a glass of sparkling juice before returning to your lodge to continue your safari.

Lion tracking

On day seven, for those who yearn to get up close to wild African fauna, a research trip is a rewarding adventure. This new and unique experience allows visitors to actively participate in monitoring some of lions in the park, using locator devices and learn habituation calls, as well as monitoring weather, surroundings and behavior. The results are added to researchers’ databases, contributing valuable information to the overall understanding of wildlife ecology - and helping to conserve this wonderful ecosystem. This will as well give you a 95% chance to see the lions!

The number of people on each outing is limited in order to reduce stress on the animals and to increase the quality of the experience for visitors. You may book this trip at an additional fee of only 85 USD per person.

Mountain bike safari

On day twelve, you may go for a mountain bike safari at an additional fee of only 15 USD per person for two hours.

Visit to Kyambura Gorge

On day seven, you may visit the Kyambura Gorge in Queen Elizabeth National Park. A hike through the gorge gives you the opportunity to see habituated chimpanzees and other types of primates including red-tailed monkey, black-and-white colobus, baboons and vervet monkeys. Although the chance of spotting chimpanzees is only 50%, the landscape is among the most impressive in Uganda and is absolutely worth it! You may book this trip at an additional fee of only 50 USD per person.

  • 1 chimpanzee permit per person (150 USD)
  • 1 gorilla permit per person (600 USD)
  • 9 breakfasts, three lunches, and eight dinners
  • 11 nights accommodation as listed in the program
  • All activities described in the itinerary
  • All breakfasts and dinners included
  • All fuel for the tour
  • English speaking Ugandan driver / guide
  • Packed lunch for the gorilla tracking
  • Park-entrance fees according to the program
  • Special bush dinner at Lake Albert
  • Transport in a 4WD minivan with pop-up roof for excellent safari view
  • A porter for during the gorilla tracking (someone who carries your daypack)
  • All expenses of personal nature (drinks, laundry, optional activities, souvenirs etc.)
  • International air fares and entry visa Uganda
  • Meals that are not part of your accommodation
  • Personal medical and travel insurance
  • Tips and gratuities

Arrival by airplane

Please book your flights to Entebbe International Airport (EBB). Transfers from and to the airport are included in the price. Matoke Tours will have the driver / guide send to pick you up from the airport.

  • The deposit is fully refundable if the booking is cancelled up to 7 days before the arrival date.
  • The rest of the payment should be paid on arrival.

Testimonials

  • Review by Sara D from United States
    10 out of 10

    "We just got back from a 9 day safari followed by 3 days in Zanzibar. We had a group of four, two couples in our 30’s. We worked through Matoka Tours. I found them online. They had the best reviews by far. Most importantly everyone raved about their guides. This was a huge sell for me. Connecting with you guide can make or break your trip."

    Matoke Tours website , edited

  • Review by Irmi
    10 out of 10

    "Our first trip to Uganda turned out to be a wonderful experience thanks to the very good organisation through Matoke Tours. We saw them all, Shoebill, lions, leopards, buffalos, mountain gorillas, chimps, and, and, and. Our driver Richard was, beside being a very skilful and experienced driver, a walking dictionary when it came to questions about fauna and flora, about history, politics and culture regarding this wonderful country. He knew it all. A good choice of lodges and a very professional planning and organisation makes us looking forward to going back to Uganda for another exciting trip. Still lots to discover !"

    Matoke Tours website , edited

  • Review by Robert from United Kingdom
    10 out of 10

    "A safari which will live long in the memory. Chimps at Kibale were great - suggest you pay extra for habituation walk. need to start early at Swamp Walk (9a.m.) if you are to get to QENP for game drive. Saw tree climbing lions at Ishsha and gorillas at Bwindi were wonderful with one even visiting us at our verandah in Bwindi Lodge!. Over 70 bird species seen in total. Accommodation first class. Driver could have been a bit more enthusiastic but he was very careful and safe on the roads and 4WD vehicle very comfortable for two. Expensive but worth it!"

    Matoke Tours website , edited

  • Review by Nelly
    9 out of 10

    "Although we decided to visit Uganda on a last minute basis, the trip worked out very well. Matoke Tours helped us make up for the last minute arrangements and bookings. We greatly enjoyed visiting the chimps (Kibale Forest), gorillas (Mutamba area), swimming and canoeing at lake Mutamba, and meeting so many friendly people along the way! I wouldn't recommend Queen Elizabeth Park (QEP) to anyone who has done a game drive in Tanzania or Kenya, as the wildlife in QEP is minimal and the savannah is quite bare. I would recommend Matoke 100%! Make sure to rent one of their comfortable shuttles or 4x4 cars and enjoy the journey!"

    Matoke Tours website, edited

  • Review by Jenny
    8 out of 10

    "Like ‘lovethattravel’ I was a little worried about choosing a company that I found on the Internet but any concerns were baseless. The whole experience with Matoke Tours was professional, friendly and hassle-free. Lionel in the office was always prompt in responding to my many, many questions and was very helpful. Anatoli was not just our driver but our very knowledgeable guide who gave us some really interesting insight and history about both Uganda and Rwanda. If you are considering an African adventure then definitely contact Matoke Tours. You will not be disappointed."

    Matoke Tours website, edited

  • Review by A traveler
    8 out of 10

    "Despite the good reviews, I was a little worried about using an operator that I found on the Internet to book my Fly-in Gorilla tour to Bwindi. This was my once in a lifetime opportunity to see the gorillas and I didn't want anything to go wrong. Matoke Tours proved to be everything I could wish for in a tour operator, and everything went perfectly. Lionel in the office was very responsive to all my emails, providing quick and helpful responses on all my issues, while Ronald the driver was always on time in a clean modern 4WD, was an safe driver on terrible roads and was friendly and informative. He was more than happy to wait patiently whenever I wanted to take photos, or while I was out on the gorilla trek and even when it looked like my plane back to Entebbe might not be able to land because of the strong winds. He even offered to give up his Sunday to drive me for 4 hours to another airstrip if necessary (which in the end, it wasn't, fortunately). Mutanda Lake Resort, while fairly rustic, has the most glorious view across the lake to the volcanos. Don't expect 5-star, but the staff are obliging, and the food is pretty good considering that everything except the vegetables has to be brought in. For birdwatchers, a sunset trip on a leaky boat to see the vast range of birds is a must. The gorilla trek itself at Nkuringo was a Bucket List experience. I would highly recommend it for people who are fairly fit, though even the less fit would probably be OK with the help of one or two of the wonderful porters. Overall, a great experience."

    Matoke Tours website, edited