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35 Days Grand Uganda Safari including all Circuits and Destinations

The 35 Days explore Uganda safari is an exceptional long holiday offering you a lifetime opportunity to visit 8 (eight) National Parks, plus some Reserves in Uganda and the country’s most Important Birding Areas (IBAs). You will have a combination of primate encounter, birding, nature walks, cultural encounter and big game safaris.

Full Itinerary

Day 1: Transfer to a hotel

You will be welcomed into the pearl of Africa, and drive to the pre-booked hotel property for dinner & overnight sleep in Kampala/Entebbe.

Day 2: Entebbe to Mabira Forest (birding expedition)

Leave the hotel facility for Mabira Forest which is found between 2 cities- Jinja and Kampala. It expands on the edge of Najjembe Trading Centre, hosting about 312 species of trees, 218 butterflies and 315 bird species. The full-day birding expedition in Mabira allows you come across diversity of birds including the yellow-billed barbets, scaly francolins, red headed bluebill, Narina trogon, forest robin, spot flanked barbet, Cassin’s honey guide, little greenbul, red-capped robin chat, buff-spotted woodpeckers, grey-green bush-shrike, and others.

Day 3: Mabira-Sipi Falls

After an early morning breakfast, depart Mabira for Sipi Falls. En-route, enjoy the scenic view of the extensive sugarcane and tea plantations, cross via the new bridge while viewing the Nile River. Arrive early and you will have a hike to the triple Sipi waterfalls ranging in their varying altitudes:85, 65 and 100 meters.

Day 4: Sipi-Pian-Upe

After breakfast, check out of the lodge in Sipi Area and drive to Pian-Upe Wildlife Reserve, Northeastern Uganda. This is largest protected area Uganda has with land area coverage of 2043 sq.km.

Day 5: Explore Pian-Upe (Full-day)

Enjoy a cup of tea/coffee and after, set off for a long day wildlife and birding tour in Pian-Upe. Expect to keep an eye in a myriad of wildlife including antelopes, giraffes, buffaloes, elephants and birds like Abyssinian ground hornbills, ostriches, secretary birds, and more.

Day 6: Pian-Upe to Amudat

Depart from Pian-Upe to Amudat, located at the border with Moroto district. At Amudat, you will be exploring unique birds of Somali-Masai biomes and Sudan guinea savanna biome species.

Day 7-8: Explore birds in Amudat

After breakfast, you start your birding expedition in Amudat to identify diversity of semi-arid species that survive only in the Karamoja area. The expected species of birds to sight include Dark chanting goshawk, purple grenadiers, red-billed hornbill, Eastern paradise whydah, Karamoja apalis, sunbirds, grey-headed silver bill, and others.

Day 9: Amudat-Kidepo Valley NP

Depart Kidepo for game viewing safari. Lying in the Northeastern Uganda, Kidepo National Park contains a huge profusion of mammals, about 77 plus 475 bird species and other species.

Day 10: Kidepo NP bird watching

Have breakfast and after, set off for a full-day birding expedition in Kidepo N.P. This park alone holds up to 475 species of birds, including violet-tipped courser, pygmy falcon, eastern pale chanting goshawk, white-bellied go-away bird, 4 banded sand grouse, yellow-necked spur fowl, secretary bird, rose-ringed parakeet, black-headed plovers and more.

Day 11: Full-day game drive (Kidepo)

Leave the lodge for a long day game drive in Kidepo’s rich-wildlife track- the Narus Valley. Expect to see a variety of mammals including elephants, buffaloes, cheetahs, leopards, lions, giraffes, zebras, antelopes and birds. For bird watching, you will also explore Namamukweny Valley to sight birds such as Abyssinian ground hornbills, Abyssinian rollers, clapperton’s francolins, purple herons and others.

Day 12: Game drive & Kanangorok hot springs

Set off after breakfast and explore more wildlife in Kidepo Valley N/Park including zebras, caracals, elands, roan antelopes and birds. You will connect to Kanangorok hot spring to explore more about it, then later, return for dinner & overnight stay.

Day 13: Kidepo-Murchison Falls N. Park

Enjoy an early morning breakfast, after, leave Kidepo NP for Murchison Falls NP in Northwestern Uganda. This is Uganda’s biggest park, home to over 451 bird species, 76 mammal species including many primates like 800 chimpanzees. You will check in a classic lodge for relaxation and night stay inside the park.

Day 14: Game drive & boat cruise (Full-day tour)

Drive through the Northern tracks for the 6:00 am game drive and you will be using a 4×4 tourist car with pop-up roof. This will allow you enjoy excellent view of animals such as the giraffes, warthogs, cape buffaloes, lions, elephants, leopards, Uganda Kobs, oribis, hartebeests, and birds. Return from the first phase your expedition, enjoy a leisurely lunch and at 2:00 pm, report at the Paraa Jetty for a boat cruise. The 2-3 hours launch cruise excursion takes you along the Victoria Nile that separates the park into 2 sections: Southern & Northern parts. The afternoon excursion comes with aquatic life sightings, especially hippos, Nile crocodiles and water birds.

Day 15: The Delta boat cruise & evening game drive

Enjoy breakfast and after, set out for another remarkable launch cruise and today, head towards the Nile delta. You will be spotting some animal species and birds including the grey crowned cranes, shoebill storks and more. Return for relaxation and later, you meet the driver guide to enjoy an evening game drive that lets you see variety of animal species including nocturnal species as they become active.

Day 16: Top of the falls & Budongo Forest (birding)

Depart the Northern sector and drive to the top of Murchison Falls-the world powerful waterfall. Observe this natural wonder as it forces itself into a narrow rock measuring about 8 meters and plunging about 43 meters then flow to the Albertine Nile. After photography at the falls, drive to Budongo Forest, check in at the lodge and later, embark on an afternoon birding tour in the Royal Mille. The birds to expect to sight include white-spotted fluff tail, Cassin’s spine tails, grey-headed sunbird, Jameson’s wattle eye, blue-throated roller, yellow-browed carmoroptera, chestnut-capped flycatcher, crowned eagle, Cameroon sombre greenbul, Ituri batis and little green sunbird.

Day 17: Birding excursion (Budongo)

After breakfast, set off for another birding session in Budongo Forest Reserve. Expect to identify more birds including the yellow-footed flycatcher, and Puvel’s illadopsis.

Day 18: Budongo-Kibale National Park (Western Uganda)

A hot cup of tea/coffee, after, you will depart Budongo for Kibale NP another rich primate and birding location. This park holds 13 primates, 375 bird species, over 200 butterflies and 70 mammal species. You will have a relaxed evening till the next day when you will engage in exciting activities.

Day 19: Chimpanzee trekking & swamp walk

After breakfast, proceed to Kanyanchu for briefing about chimpanzee tracking rules and this will be carried out by Kibale NP official. The park guides will be leading each sub-group of 6 visitors during the actual chimpanzee trek that will begin at 8:00 am, lasting for 2-4 hours inclusive of one hour of a close encounter. Get back to the lodge for lunch at leisure and the afternoon tour includes visiting Bigodi Wetland for swamp walk/nature walk. More primates, birds and floral species, as well as butterflies will be spotted along this wetland.

Day 20: Birding/Chimpanzee habituation

You will set off for birding tour to search for the green breasted pitta and plenty of other endemic bird species in Kibale Forest or embark on a full-day chimpanzee habituation experience to explore in depth about daily behavior of chimpanzees while in the wild.

Day 21: Kibale-Semuliki (birding trip)

Semuliki NP is one of the underrated destinations in Uganda and this trip offers you a chance to uncover its hidden treasures. The park holds a variety of Congo-biome species it being home to the Ituri Forest.

Day 22: Semuliki NP bird watching

Over 441 bird species have been recorded in Semuliki and today’s birding excursion allows you keep an eye on a variety of birds. these include chestnut-flanked goshawk, spot-breasted ibis, white-bellied and African dwarf kingfishers, African piculet, eastern bearded greenbul, green-tailed bristle bill, red-rumped tinker bird, black-wattled hornbills, black-collared lovebird, shoebill stork, red-bellied malimbe, black-winged starling, grey-ground thrushes, brown-crowned eremomela, and others.

Day 23: Semuliki-Queen Elizabeth NP (Big game tour)

Enjoy a short birding tour to sight more avifaunal species in Semuliki and after, depart for Queen Elizabeth N.P. At Queen Elizabeth N/Park, you will be viewing several of mammals, birds and reptiles.

Day 24: Game drive Kasenyi Plains & Kazinga boat cruise

Drive through Kasenyi plains, the rick game track located in the Northern side of Queen Elizabeth National Park. This area allows you see animal species such as elephants, buffaloes, antelopes, warthogs, lions, spotted hyenas, and birds. Drive back for lunch at the lodge, relax and you will have an afternoon boat cruise on Kazinga channel. This natural channel presents you a chance to keep an eye on aquatic birds, hippos and crocodiles.

Day 25: Go birding (Maramagambo Forest)

After breakfast, you leave for Maramagambo Forest and here your focus will be birding. This extensive natural forest holds a number of forest birds which you will be spotting. The expected birds to come across on a birding tour here include pygmy kingfishers, Rwenzori turacos, black-rumped buttonquail, papyrus canary, Verreaux’s eagles, corncrakes, Chapin’s flycatchers, and more.

Day 26: Kyambura Gorge & Bwindi

After breakfast, embark on birding tour in Kyambura (birds to identify inc;ude red-chested sunbird, Northern brown throated weavers, black bee-eaters) or chimpanzee tracking. After your exploration in Kyambura Gorge, a natural gorge with a depth of 100 meters, drive to Bwindi through Ishasha sector with expectations to see tree climbing lions. In Bwindi, there are 11 primates, 200 butterfly species, 360 bird species and 1000 flowering plant species, etc.

Day 27: Gorilla trekking & Batwa visit

Get up early for breakfast, and leave the lodge when fully prepared for the long day gorilla trekking excursion in Buhoma sector. This is the Northern gorilla trekking region with 4 gorilla families (Mubare, Habinyanja, Rushegura and Katwe), but only one will be visited today. After enjoying 1 hour face-to-face with mountain gorilla family, taking pictures, walk back to the lodge for relaxation before you visit the Batwa community for evening cultural entertainment and exploring more about their cultures.

Day 28: Birding excursion (Ruhija)

After breakfast, depart Buhoma for Ruhija in the eastern side where birding will be done. This sector is blessed with a variety of birds including brown-capped warblers, montane oriole, yellow-eyed black flycatcher, grey-headed sparrow, Doherty’s bush-shrike, Rwenzori nightjars, and others.

Day 29: Transfer to Mgahinga N/P (golden monkey tour)

Have breakfast at leisure and you will set off for Kisoro to check in at the lodge in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. You may have a brief stop at Echuya Forest for birding and here, there are 150 bird species and they include the grauer’s swamp warblers, white-napped raven, Dusky crimson wings, purple breasted sunbird, Rwenzori batis, etc.

Day 30: Golden monkey tracking

After breakfast, gather at Ntebeko for briefing about golden monkey tracking regulations. The trek to see golden monkeys in Mgahinga begins at 8:00 am taking you about 2-4 hours and you will be guaranteed of one hour for taking photos and observing how these beautiful primates behave. Get back and have a relaxed evening at the lodge.

Day 31: Mgahinga-Lake Mburo National Park

Start your long day drive from Mgahinga NP to Lake Mburo N/Park. This park is found in Western Uganda, and it supports 350 bird species, mammals such as elands, impalas, zebras, buffaloes, hippos, waterbucks, giraffes, reedbucks, hyenas, leopards, and more.

Day 32: Game drive & boat cruise expedition

After an early breakfast, you will begin your game drive to see a variety of Lake Mburo N/Park wildlife. In a 4×4 safari car with a pop-up roof, expect to see giraffes, hyenas, buffaloes, impalas, elands, topis, reedbucks, waterbucks, leopards and plenty of birds. Drive back to the lodge for a leisurely lunch meal and later, go for a boat cruise along Lake Mburo to view hippos, crocodiles and aquatic birds (such as pelicans, fish eagles, black crakes, herons, & fin foot).

Day 33: Horseback riding/cycling & depart for Kampala/Entebbe

Get up early to enjoy breakfast, and later, set off for horseback ride/cycling excursion or straight away start your drive back to Kampala/Entebbe after breakfast. En-route- make a stopover at the Equator crossing to take photos and relaxation.

Day 34: Birding in Mabamba Swamp

After breakfast, embark on a long day birding excursion in Mabamba wetland. This swamp is rich in aquatic birds, and it is an excellent birding spot to find shoebill storks, African jacanas, swamp flycatchers, common squacco herons, blue swallow, malachite kingfishers, papyrus gonoleks and others.

Day 35: Departure

Today being the last day, you may choose an activity for instance visiting the Botanical Gardens –the oldest and the only national botanical garden that Uganda has. It is a rich birding spot to see plenty of eastern grey plantain-eaters, yellow-billed storks, African open-billed storks, black and white casqued hornbills, kingfishers, gull-billed terns, weaver birds and others.

End of safari

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