8 Days Self Drive Uganda Safari
The 8-day self drive safari tour involves engaging in wildlife viewing and gorilla trekking in Uganda. You will visit Queen Elizabeth national park for a game viewing and boat ride at Kazinga channel, get to Bwindi Impenetrable forest to trek one of the few left mountain gorillas in the world, mix and mingle with the Batwa. In the middle of the trip, you will find some time to relax at one of the most peaceful and scenic places in Uganda, Lake Bunyonyi and as you finalise your trip, you will visit Lake Mburo for another wildlife viewing session and boat ride experience.
- Game drives at the savannah parks
- Boat cruises
- Gorilla trekking at Bwindi
- Relaxation and unwinding at Lake Bunyonyi
- Cultural encounter Batwa
Day1: Vehicle Pickup and Traveling to Kasese (Western Uganda)
Our driver will deliver the vehicle in the morning at either the airport or the hotel, you will travel to western Uganda using Masaka-Mbarara Highway. As you’re about to reach Masaka, you will make a stopover at Kayagwe Equator point for the water experiment and photography. This will also be a chance to stretch your body and shake off some rustiness.
You will then hit the road again till Mbarara Town where you will have lunch and proceed to Kasese district, the home of Queen Elizabeth national park. You can opt to do a short evening game drive or drive straight to your lodge.
Travel distance: From Kampala to Kasese (Queen Elizabeth National park) is about 387km
Travel time: about 6hours
Day2: Morning Game Viewing Session & Boat ride at Kazinga channel
At the start of the day, you will have breakfast and head to the jungles of Queen Elizabeth national park, most notably in the savannah lawns of Kasenyi in search of the common game. You will possibly encounter animals like cape buffaloes, warthogs, savannah elephants, topis, oribis, elands, kasenyi lions, Uganda kobs and countless birds of different kinds. At the start of the afternoon, you will lead back to your lodge for a lunch break.
Later in the afternoon, you will drive to Kazinga channel for a boat ride experience. Kazinga channel is a 32kilometre water stretch that connects Lake Edward to George. The boat ride experience will start from Lake Edward in the west of the park through kazinga to Lake George and back. As the boat sails through the waters, you will have a chance to see water animals like waterbucks, hippos, nile crocodiles, birds like kingfisher, egrets, flamingos, the grey crowned cranes and so many more. The boat ride is such an adventurous experience with so many aquatic lives to look at. The boat ride will end at around 5pm and return to your rest place.
Day3: Ishasha Tree climbing lions encounter & Slope to Bwindi Impenetrable national park
When you are done with your breakfast, you will check out of the lodge and slope southwards of the park to connect to Bwindi impenetrable national park. But before you leave the park, you will make a stopover at Ishasha sector to have a glance at the tree climbing lions. Lions normally stay on the ground but the ones at Ishasha mostly stay on trees. How unique that is! This will blow your mind when you encounter these nature defying lions. After a date with the tree climbing lions, you will head to Bwindi impenetrable national park. The spot where you will have lunch and the time to reach Bwindi will be determined by the sector you will be tracking the mountain gorillas since the four sectors are detached from one another with some reasonable distance.
Travel distance: From Queen to Bwindi is about 170km
Travel time: About 3hours
Day4: Bwindi gorilla trekking experience and Batwa pygmies
On this day, you will have ones of your greatest moments in life. You will meet one of your closest relatives in the animal classification. You will wake up very early in the morning, prepare yourself for the trekking, have breakfast and head to the park headquarters for briefing. Your gorilla permits will be verified, you will be lectured about the dos and don’ts of gorilla trekking experience. By 8am, you will have entered into the tropical rainforest of Bwindi in search of your assigned gorilla family. The park ranger will indulge you in the history and background of the park and the gorilla family you will be meeting as you trek towards where it will be feeding and staying. You will walk some good distance to find the gorilla troop. For instance, it will takes you about 2-5 hours to track it down.
When you meet the gorilla family, you will adhere to the rules stipulated at the headquarters. Normally, you will find the gorilla doing their everyday business of feeding and playing. However, when they see you, the silverback will be the first to pop out. It is really very huge and scary but does not mean any harm. It will try to mediate if you are not enemies then it will get back to its business. That will act as a sign that you’re most welcome. The interaction with the gorillas will then start; you will observe them feed, play around and also communicate amongst themselves. The videos and picture will prevail as you watch the gorillas. At the lapse of one hour, you will leave the habitats of the gorillas and move out of the forest to get back to your accommodation base for lunch and prepare for an encounter with pygmies.
As the sun starts to get dime, you will go for Batwa cultural tour. The Batwa are very short in stature and lead a primitive way of life. But their down-looked life is a source of attraction to very many travellers who are interested in culture. The Batwa live a very authentic life without any modernity and technological advancement. Their lives totally depend on the surrounding nature as you will witness it when you will be visiting their villages. You will also get some entertainment from these humble people through music, dance and drama performances.
Late in the evening, you will back to your lodge for supper and night rest.
Day5: Transfer to Lake Bunyonyi for relaxation
When you get up in the morning, you will have a mini meal and travel to Kabale where Lake Bunyonyi is nestled. Lake Bunyonyi is one of the deepest lakes in the whole of Africa but what makes its special is its scenic islands full of greenery and seclusion. At one of the resorts of Lake Bunyonyi, a traveller finds the best place to rest, unwind and rekindle love. You will engage in the afternoon canoeing when you get to the lake. The canoe will lead you to the beautiful islands to enjoy the sea bliss. In the evening, you will check in at your lodge to relax and unwind as you have your dinner date with your travel partner.
Travel distance: From Bwindi to Lake Bunyonyi is approximately 70km
Travel time: about 1hour30mins
Day6: Drive to Lake Mburo national park
You will spend most of your day travelling since it is a five-hour drive from Kabale to Lake Mburo national park. You will have your lunch in Mbarara city before you head to Lake Mburo national park. In the late afternoon, you will enter into the park and do a mini game drive where you will randomly encounter several animal species, most notably; the buffaloes, antelopes, zebra, elephants, impala and many more. In the evening, you will check-in to your lodge for night rest and night meal.
Travel distance: From Lake Bunyonyo to Lake Mburo national park is about 272km
Travel time: about five hours
Day7: Lake Mburo Game drive and Boat ride experience
In the morning after breakfast, you will embark on a game drive around the park. Lake Mburo national park is a very small natural habitat and hence leading to the compaction of animals. You will really enjoy it as it is more relaxed and leisurely since the animals are easily seen due to the compaction of the park. At the game drive, you are likely to encounter animals like impalas, giraffes, zebra, elephants, cape buffaloes, elands, Uganda kobs etcetera.
After lunch, you will go for a boat ride experience at Lake Mburo. Lake Mburo is a centre water feature in the park and this is why the park was named after it. Lake Mburo is a habitat for different species of wildlife like hippos, water bucks and a variety of bird species. The boat ride at this lake is very rewarding and exciting.
Day8: Travel back to Kampala/Entebbe
You will leave Lake Mburo National park in the morning, drive to Kampala or Entebbe to drop off the rental car.
Travel distance: From Lake Mburo National park to Kampala or Entebbe is approximately 240km
Travel time: About 4hours