13 Days Uganda Self Drive Safari Tour

 

The 13 days Uganda self drive safari tour is the one of the longest tour experiences you can ever take in the pearl of Africa. Two weeks is really some time to enjoy most of the tourist attractions of this nature gifted country. This self drive trip will lay an opportunity to visit the three most popular savannah parks in Uganda- Murchison Falls National park in the North, Queen Elizabeth National Park in the West and Lake Mburo National Park in the Central West. The three national park hosts a wealth of common big mammals and innumerable bird species, making a tourist engage in activities like game drives and boat rides.

Apart from the savannah parks, there are two primate parks to visit on this self drive safari, namely Kibale Forest National Park, the capital of small primates and Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park- the home to one of the critically endangered species in the world, the Mountain gorillas. In the midst of your safari, you will have a rest to reenergise at one of the most pristine places in the country, Lake Bunyonyi.

 

Activities to Do

 

  • Sightseeing of Entebbe tour
  • Game drive
  • Boat ride experiences
  • Chimpanzee Tracking
  • Mountain gorilla trekking
  • Lake Bunyonyo Relaxation

 

Detailed Itinerary:

 

Day1: Vehicle pick up at The Airport and Entebbe Tour

As you get out of the Entebbe Airport building, you will be welcomed by the rental deliveryman with an airport sign under your name. He will lead to the rental vehicle to finalize the rental process; making payments, inspection of the car and reading and signing of the agreement. You will then go for a tour around Entebbe to enjoy the soothing and chilly environment the lakeside brings. You can either go to one of the beaches around Entebbe (Spenah, Resort beach, Aero or sport beach) to tack some fish and also enjoy the sea breeze or you can visit one of the sumptuous shopping malls (Victoria mall and imperial mall) for widow shopping and may be brag something at any of the various eateries in the malls.

At the death of the evening, you will check in at your guest house for a night rest.

 

Day2: Drive to North of Uganda- Murchison falls national park

You will have breakfast at your lodge and then set off to the north of Uganda. You will use the Entebbe express Highway connect to the northern by pass and get off from the Bwaise round about to join Bombo Road, the highway that leads to the north of Uganda.

 

After some kilometres of driving, you will make a stopover in Luwero Town to stretch your body and get some refreshments and hit the road again. As you reach Nakasongola district, you will branch off to Zziwa Rhino Sanctuary which is a few kilometres off the main highway. At Zziwa Rhino centre, you will watch the rhinos feed, move around the short green grass as the destination guide gives you the insights about the sanctuary and its rhinos. You may have lunch at the restaurant of the sanctuary or drive to Masindi Town to any of the tourist branded restaurants.

After lunch, you will drive towards Murchison Fall national park and enter the park through Kichumbanyobo gate. You will get to the top of the falls to witness, River Nile arguably the longest river in the world forcing its way through a narrow gorge to plummet into the Albert Nile Basin. This is a very beautiful occurrence to watch as the waterfall is so cascading and powerful. The top of the falls is also great site for photography and videography. When it gets to the evening, you will drive to your lodge for dine and night rest.

 

Note: if you are going to spend a night at the lodge in the northern part of the park, you will have to cross the bridge before 7:00pm.

The newly constructed river bridge opens at 7:00am in the morning and close 7:00pm in the evening.

Travel distance: From Entebbe to Murchison Falls national park is approximately 325km

Travel time: About 6hours

 

Day3: Murchison Falls National Park Game Drive and Boat Ride

 

Early in the morning after breakfast, you will go for a half day game drive within the Buligi track or Pendero track. You are advised to hire a park guide at about 20$ per day to have a great chance of seeing the popular animals in the park. These guides are park experts who know most of the breeding places of the wild mammals. The most likely animals to sight include lions, elephants, elands, Rothschild giraffes, hartebeests, warthogs, buffaloes and a mammoth of bird species. In addition, if you are luck enough, you will see the rare shoebill around the wetlands of Buligi section near the river.

 

At midday, you will leave the game drive track areas and go for lunch either at your lodge or any restaurant of any lodge nearby. In the afternoon, you will lead to Paraa dock to enjoy your boat cruise on River Nile, one of the most iconic water bodies in the world. The boat will sail you towards the Victoria Nile Delta where so much aquatic beauty will be unravelled, for example; hippos, waterbucks, Nile crocodiles and a wealth of water bird species. The site of the Victoria Nile Delta its self is enthralling.  The boat ride starts at 2pm and ends around 5pm, therefore 2-3 hours on the waters of the Nile is something surreal and not equalled by any water experience around the world.

In the evening, you will get back to your lodge for supper and night rest.

 

Day4: Travel to Kibale National Park Area

 

On this day, you will leave Murchison Falls national park and travel southwards through Bunyoro escarpment where you will have a chance to see the rift valley, to Hoima-Kagadi- Kyenjojo and then to Fort Portal where you will have lunch at any great restaurant of your choice around the city. In the afternoon, you will get to your lodge to get rid of the fatigue of long haul driving. You will spend your evening at the lodge enjoying the nonchalant environment and the special treats from the lodge staff.

Driving distance: From Murchison Falls national park to Kibale is about 264km

Travel time: About 5 hours

 

Day5: Kibale Chimpanzee Trekking and Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary

After your early morning breakfast, you will drive to Kibale Forest national park headquarters in Kanyanchu. You will be briefed about chimpanzee trekking etiquettes, afterwards you will lead to the forest in a group of 8 people maximum, being led by the park ranger. Kibale forest has over 1500 chimpanzees living in the various communities but only five communities are habituated for tracking experiences. On your trek, you will lead to one of the habituated chimpanzee community. It will only take about an hour to relocate the chimpanzees in their actual abodes. The chimpanzees are agile and arboreal animals; their interaction is not so intimate. You will have to be very observant and keen to get the best out of the experience. On a positive note, chimpanzees are the most interesting animals to watch in the wild, they are very smart animals, playful and lively. You will really enjoy interacting with the chimpanzees as you will also take some candid and remarkable photographs of them. The interaction with the chimpanzees will last for 1-2 hours and get out of the forest.

 

By the time, you will complete your chimpanzee trekking experience, it will be around mid day and you will lead back to your lodge for lunch and relax a bit.

 

Later in the afternoon, you will drive to Bigodi Wetland sanctuary which is more of a buffer Zone for Kibale forest national park. The sanctuary is a home to over 100 bird species and different species of small primates which migrate from the park. A nature walk at the sanctuary will enable you encounter some of the birds and small primates. There is a craft centre at the sanctuary where women sell different souvenirs like bangles, necklaces, wrists, kitengi attires, sandals and earrings. We advise to try buy something from the craft centre as a way of supporting the local community.

 

Late in the evening, you will drive to your lodge for dine and night stay.

 

Day6: Fortal Portal City Tour and Ambere Cave Exploration and Drive to Queen Elizabeth National Park

 

This day will offer little in activities; in the morning after your mini meal, you will go to visit the King of Tooro’s Palace in fort portal to learn and discover the culture and traditions of the Batooro people. The Batooro are one of the peaceful and welcoming people in the country. They have a very young king still in his youthful age. He took up the throne of the kingdom when he was still a toddler after the demise of his father in the early 1990s. After the visit of Omukama’s Palace, you will have lunch at any good restaurant around the city and then head to Ambere ga nyinamwiru.  These are stalagmites with an interesting myth about the Queen of one of the ancient descendants of the area.  A guide at the caves will give you an in-depth story about the caves as you take a tour around.

 

In the late afternoon, you will drive southwards of Fort portal city to access Queen Elizabeth national park. Along the way, you will be rewarded with a smoky view of the mountains of the Moon (Mt. Rwenzori). You will enter Queen Elizabeth national park through Katunguru gate to get to your lodge for a night stay.

Travel distance: From Fort Portal to Queen Elizabeth national park is about 78km

Travel Time: About 1 and half hours.

 

Day7:  Kasenyi Plains Game Drive and Kazinga channel Boat ride

 

This will be an engaging day which will start with a game drive. We advise to have a heavy breakfast because the game drive will take about four hours of your time.  There are very many game drive tracks but the best track to take is the Kasenyi plains due to the colossal number of animal species it anchors. The likely animals to see within the Kasenyi plains include; topis, duikers, Uganda kob, cape buffaloes, lions, elephants, warthog, reedbucks, mongoose and different bird species. If you still have enough time and energy after the Kazinga game drive, you can go to North Kazinga plains to also look at the animal species it offers.

 

At 12:30pm, you will have to get back to your lodge for lunch and prepare for a boat ride at Kazinga.

By 2:00pm, you must be at Mweya dock to start off your boat ride experience on Kazinga channel, a 32km water way that connects the Lake Edward and George. The sail starts from Lake Edward and goes to lake George and back. It takes about 2-3 hours. The highlights of this water experience are the sights of numerous hippos, crocodiles, waterbucks and aquatic birds, the insightful commentary from the guide and the soothing sea breeze.

At around 5pm, you will be docked off and then lead back to your lodge or camp site for dinner and night stay.

 

Day8: Tree Climbing Lions Tracking at Ishasha and Slope to Kisoro-Bwindi

 

You will start off your day with breakfast and check out of your lodge to set off to Bwindi Impenetrable national park area. As you leave Queen Elizabeth national park, you will make a stopover at Ishasha sector to have a sight at the tree climbing lions. In this area, the lions are spotted relaxing on fig trees after a long morning hunt of prey.

 

After the observation of the predators, you will lead out of the park through katookye gate, get to Kanungu where you will have your lunch.  Then proceed to Bwindi impenetrable national park area to your lodge for supper and sleepover.

Travel distance: From Queen to Bwind is approximately 180km

Travel time: 3hours

 

Day9: Bwindi Gorilla tracking and Community Walk

 

You will leave your lodge at dawn to drive to the park Headquarters for gorilla trekking briefing. At around 8:30am, you will dive into the jungles of Bwindi in a group of eight people under the guidance the park ranger. You are advised to hire a porter to carry your back pack luggage because of the challenge posed by the sloppy and steep terrain of the forest and the long distance involved to reach the abodes of the gorillas.  The gorillas are found in a group of 8-20 individuals led by the Silverback, the alpha. It is such a huge and ugly looking creature in that most of the tourists get frightened at first sight of it. However, it is a very peaceful and gentle animal that will welcome you will open arms. The interaction with the gorilla strictly takes one hour where you will observe the gorilla feed around, relate with each other and play around. Additionally, you will take pictures and videos of the gorillas as they go about their business.

 

At an hour mark, you will lead out of the forest to drive to your lodge for lunch and short rest. In the evening around 4pm, you will visit the local villages around Bwindi impenetrable national park area. The most notable people to encounter are the Batwa. The Batwa are short in stature people (pygmies) who live a raw life as they looked at the forest resources as their source of livelihood. A stroll around their communities will enable known more about their traditional beliefs and norms. On request, they will also entertain you with their music, dance and drama.

 

At the completion of the village walk, you will drive back to your lodge for a night meal and stay.

 

 

Day10: Drive to Lake Bunyonyi for Relaxation

 

After so many days of long distance traveling and engaging in adventurous activities, you will take off some time to relax and unwind at Lake Bunyonyi. Lake Bunyonyi located between the districts of Kisoro and kabale offers a nonchalant environment for relaxing and reenergizing. It has so many islands with resort lodges which offer various leisure activities like swimming, boat ride, romantic dates and cozy dinning. Bufuka, a town on the shores of the lake also harbours resort beaches and hotel for relaxation. You will choose any of the numerous lodges around the lake to relax and enjoy the pristine atmosphere of the Kigezi region.

Travel distance: From Bwindi to Lake Bunyonyi is about 70km

Travel time: About 2hours

 

Day11: Transfer to Lake Mburo National Park

When you wake up from the chilly night spent at Lake Bunyonyi, you will drive eastwards to Lake Mburo National park. En route to the park, you will have a stopover in Mbarara city to have lunch and then proceed to the park area where you will spend a night.

Travel distance: From Lake Bunyonyi to Lake Mburo National park is about 270km

Travel time: About 5 hours

 

Day12: Game Drive and Lake Mburo Boat Experience

At sunrise after breakfast, you will go for a game drive around the park. Lake Mburo National park is a compact savanah park with lots of herbivorous animals to search. Some of the animals to see in the fields of the park include; zebras, impalas, elands, antelopes, giraffes, elephants and a wealth of birds.

 

At noon, you will get back to your lodge for lunch and prepare for a boat cruise on Lake Mburo. Lake Mburo is the centrepiece of the park and a boat ride on its water is memorable. The lake is a home to numerous aquatic species like hippos, crocodiles and a wealth of birds. The boat cruise will take 2-3hours of your time and around 5pm, you will have completed the task to drive back to your lodge for dinner and night stay.

 

Day13: Get Back to Kampala for Departure

 

This will be the last day of your Uganda self drive trip; after breakfast, you will check out of the lodge and drive straight to either Kampala or Entebbe to drop off the rental vehicle.

Driving distance: From Lake Mburo National Park to Kampala is about 230km

Travel time: about 4hours

 

End of self drive safari trip.