From tracking mountain gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest to gazing at majestic lions on the savannah, this suggested itinerary showcases Uganda's stunning landscapes together with some of its incredible wildlife.
The trip begins in the mists of the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in search of mountain gorillas - one of the rarest animals on Earth and an icon of Uganda. The gorilla trekking is a once-in-a-lifetime experience and yet, Uganda has so much more to offer. This country is one of the few places in the world where it is possible to see chimpanzees alongside lion, elephant and buffalo.
After experiencing some of Uganda's top wildlife locations by safari vehicle, by boat and on foot, this captivating itinerary ends with a relaxing stay on the tranquil shores of Lake Victoria, the world's largest tropical lake.
Read Director Nick Joynes' account of his first trip to see Uganda's wildlife.
Day1: Depart the UK
Day2: Arrive Entebbe
On arrival in Entebbe, you will be met and transferred to your accommodation near Kampala, Uganda’s capital city, for an overnight stay. The journey to the hotel takes around 45 minutes giving you a chance to see some of the country after your long flight.
Accommodation: Lake Victoria Serena Resort, Kampala, 1-night
Day3: Travel to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
After an early start this morning you journey to the mystical forests of Bwindi in Uganda’s highlands. You fly by light aircraft to Kisoro (just over one hour flight) and transfer by road to your lodge. The stunning views will take your breath away and, as the mists begin to envelope the lodge, it only serves to further the anticipation for the following day.
Day4: Gorilla trekking in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
The day begins with a hearty breakfast, which will provide the energy for your gorilla trek. After reporting to the ranger station in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, your guide will take you into the forest to look for the mountain gorillas amongst the undergrowth. Once you find the gorillas you will be able to spend time in the forest amongst these majestic creatures as they go about their daily lives.
Days5-6: Transfer to Semliki Valley Wildlife Reserve
In the morning, you fly by light aircraft to Semliki. This 40 minute flight will give you a chance to see this amazingly scenic country from above. On arrival transfer to your accommodation.
The following day explore the Semliki Valley Wildlife Reserve to look for lions, leopards and chimpanzees. The Semliki Valley is situated in the Western Rift Valley and it has perhaps the most diverse array of wildlife and habitats of any park in the country. There will also be time to take a boat trip on a nearby lake in search of the elusive shoebill, as well as red-throated bee-eaters. The last vehicle safari of the day will end with a sundowner before you return to the lodge for dinner.
The day starts with breakfast before heading to the airstrip for a scheduled flight to Kidepo Valley National Park (normally via Entebbe, with a short layover). Arriving in Kidepo, you will be met and transferred to your lodge.
Days8-9: Wildlife viewing in Kidepo Valley National Park
Tucked away in Uganda’s north-east corner, Kidepo Valley National Park has a surprising variety of wildlife. Walking safaris provide a different perspective on the landscape and animals, and it may even be possible to track lions or cheetahs. Jackson’s hartebeest, patas monkeys and large herds of buffalo can also be seen.
Take some time to enjoy the swimming pool at the lodge, which overlooks the savannah and a nearby waterhole. You will also have an opportunity to visit a local Lorikul village during your stay for an insight into the culture and lifestyle of this local community.
Days10-11: Travel to the shores of Lake Victoria
Today, you depart Kidepo Valley on a scheduled flight to Entebbe. After landing, you will be transferred by car and boat to Lake Victoria, and spend the rest of the afternoon enjoying nature walks on the island or relaxing at the pool.
The next day you visit the Ngamba Chimp Sanctuary, where previously captive chimpanzees which have been rescued are rehabilitated. Your arrival here is timed to coincide with morning feeding at the sanctuary and there will be free time afterwards to spend as you wish.
Day12: Transfer to Entebbe & depart
Take the boat back to the mainland and continue to Entebbe airport for your homeward international flight.
Day13: Arrive UK
Our trip ideas are offered to inspire you and can be tailored to suit your requirements.
Duration and price including flights from/to UK: 13 daysfrom £5,295 pp
Duration and price excluding international flights: 11 daysfrom £4,545 pp
Single supplement: From £670
When to go: Dec-Oct: Gorillas are best seen during the dry seasons from late December to early March and May to early October. The rains can often make driving and walking difficult.
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park has an exceptional range of altitude and is one of Africa’s most extensive belts of primary montane forest. Although there is a fine array of birdlife, the prime attraction is its mountain gorillas (over 300), and four family groups have been habituated to allow human approach.
Where: Kanungu District
Ideal for viewing: chimpanzee, golden monkey, grey-cheeked mangabey, L’Hoest’s monkey, mountain gorilla
Excellent for: Gorilla trekking
Uganda’s oldest protected area is a 500 square kilometre reserve that lies in the Rift Valley, between the Rwenzori Mountains and Lake Albert. Its diverse habitats of riverine forest, woodland and acacia savannah support a wealth of wildlife, and the area is also rich in birdlife, with some 400 recorded species.
Located in Uganda’s northeast corner on the border with South Sudan, Kidepo Valley is one of the most isolated national parks in Africa, yet it is home to a unique and special array of wildlife, including cheetah. This region of idyllic savannah is crisscrossed by large riverbeds and rocky hilltops.
Where: Karamoja Region
Ideal for viewing: cheetah, eland, lion, red-throated bee-eater, ostrich
Excellent for: Walking safaris, Vehicle safaris
This sanctuary in Lake Victoria is home to around 50 orphaned chimpanzees that have been rescued from throughout Uganda and are unable to return to the wild. Here they enjoy the run of the island, safe from harm. Day or overnight visits are possible to watch the feeding sessions and explore the island.
Suggested accommodation options are shown below.
for further recommendations.
Situated in the heart of the Kidepo Valley National Park in northeast Uganda, Apoka Safari Lodge sits in a stunning location with breathtaking views across the savannah plains and distant mountains. The lodge has ten spacious canvas rooms and a rock swimming pool, which overlooks a waterhole.
This luxurious lodge is situated high on Nteko Ridge, on the southern edge of Bwindi National Park, just a short walk from the control point for tracking the Nkuringo group of mountain gorillas. Accommodation consists of eight stone cottages, two of which are double-roomed family units.
Pineapple Bay can be found on Bulago Island in the serene waters of Lake Victoria, and offers eight large chalets, including some suitable for families. Located less than an hour’s boat journey from Entebbe, it is easily accessible and offers a perfect place to relax after your Ugandan safari adventure.
Semliki Safari Lodge is a beautiful small tented lodge nestling on the crest of Uganda’s Wasa River Valley, ideally located for chimpanzee tracking. Tents have permanent thatched roofs and are furnished with a large four-poster bed, with private verandahs providing panoramic views across the bush.