The Best of Western Uganda

Unto the niche of Uganda’s tourism potential; the forests, home to the world’s most diverse primates including man’s closest relative and a world class gorilla tracking experience; more so when you realize that there are only about 1000 individuals left on earth. To the savannah for the peerless sightings of game; the climbing lions, Giraffe, Hartebeest, Side striped jackal, Elephants, climbing lions of Ishasha, Cob Larks of Kasenyi, Euphorbia candelabra dominated bushes a strong hold for Elephants and Giant forest hogs.

Gallery

Itinerary

Day 1

Arrival Entebbe Airport

Upon arrival at Entebbe Airport and having passed immigration and luggage collected, you shall exit the arrival hall and as you look out, you shall be met by your guide. He will help you with your luggage to the car and transfer you to your hotel for an overnight stay. He will brief you about Uganda and highlights of your travel itinerary. 
Be met by Pearl Eco-Safaris staff 
Drive to your hotel, 30 min to 1 hr.  
Accommodation:   Mid range 
Dinner and overnight at your hotel 

Drive 2

Drive to Jinja

After breakfast drive to the source of the longest river in Africa, the Nile; whose source eluded too heavily in the ancient writings of Ptolemy AD150, and stood as one of the great geographical mysteries of the Victoria age Whose desire to uncover this geographical holy creel inspired the epic journeys of exploration under taken by Dr. Livingston, HM Stanley, Burton and Speke. It was Speke on a pioneering 1862 expedition around Lake Victoria who first controversially suggested that a small water fall flowing north words out of Lake Victoria might be the legendary source spring to the mighty Nile River, a theory that was confirmed by Stanley more than ten years later. 
Take a canoe ride for one hour to see the actual source of the Nile, as you realize that the source spring that stood as a geyser 2 meters above lie submerged by the Owen falls dam constructed in 1934 to produce electricity, but the bubbles are still vividly seen and if you are a chemist, you will find its Ph different from that of Lake Victoria water. 

Day 3

Drive to Budongo Forest via Ziwa Rhino sanctuary.

After breakfast drive to Budongo forest via Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary; a breeding centre for rhino reintroduction into Uganda wildlife areas especially Murchison Falls NP, where its Rhinos were hunted to extinction. The sanctuary has multiplied the 5 brought in rhinos to the current population of 28.  Rhino tracking take 1 to 3 hours, while tracking you have an opportunity to seeing a variety of savanna birds, Bush bucks, Hares and Mongooses. There after drive to Masindi town or Budongo forest and check in to your hotel for an overnight stay. 

  • Morning Breakfast 
  • Drive to Budongo Forest, 5 hrs. 
  • Track Rhinos at Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary  
  • Lunch enroute 
  • Accommodation:  Mid range 
  • Dinner and overnight at your hotel 

Day 4

Chimp tracking and Murchison NP

After an early morning breakfast drive to Kanio Pabidi, a chimp Eco tourism center in Budongo forest, walk beneath a natural forest of about 120 chimpanzees but only 60 chimps are habituated for tourism under mature mahogany and iron wood trees; other primate species such as Black and white Columbus monkey, Red tailed monkey, Blue monkey, Velvet monkey and Baboons are regularly seen. The Forest enjoys a prolific bird life especially the chocolate backed kingfisher and the Pruvels illadopsis found nowhere else in East Africa. The walk will take 2 to 3 hours in your search for the famed man closest wild relatives. Come back and relax at the coffee terrace, have lunch and head north to Murchison Falls.

Murchison Falls NP is the country’s largest Wildlife protected area whose palm studded grassland supports dense population of lions, Buffaloes, Elephants and Uganda Cob together with the localized Rothschild`s Giraffe and Patas monkey. Immerse concentration of Hippos and birds observed from the morning and the afternoon launch trips along the Nile below the spectacular waterfalls from which the park is named, named by explorer Baker and his wife Florence in 1864 after the president of the Royal Geographical Society then; an Eco-system described by Winston Churchill in 1907 as `Kew gardens and the zoo combined on un limited scale.  

  • Morning Breakfast 
  • Track Chimpanzees 
  • Lunch 
  • Drive to Murchison Falls NP, 4 hrs.  
  • Accommodation:  Mid-range 
  • Dinner and overnight at your hotel 

Day 5

Game drive and Boat, Murchison Falls NP

After your early breakfast you will go for an early morning game drive through the palm studded grassland that supports dense population of Lions, Buffaloes, Elephants and Uganda cob together with the localized Rothschild giraffe and Pattas monkey. Come back for lunch; relax to be ready for an afternoon boat ride.

After lunch go for a 3 hours boat cruise to see how the mighty river is funneling through a narrow fissure in the rift valley escarpment. The calm river then gives comfort to a profuse of bird life, thousands of hippos, and huge open-mouthed crocodiles. Come back in the evening to enjoy your sundowner at the hotel swimming pool terrace.  

  • Early morning Breakfast 
  • Game drive time 5 hrs.  
  • Lunch at hotel / packed 
  • Afternoon boat cruise on the Nile, 3 hrs. 
  •  Hike to the top of the falls, 1 hr. 
  • Meet your guide at the top of the falls 
  • Accommodation:    Mid-range 
  • Dinner and overnight at your hotel 

Day 6

Drive to Kibale Forest NP

After breakfast with packed lunch cross the Nile River with the ferry of 7:00am for 8 hours long drive to Kibale Forest, passing close to Lake Albert in Bulisa to view Lake Albert and Murchison falls atop the escarpment. Passing through beautiful country side; tea plantations that give it a serene of beauty. Arrive in your hotel near Kibale forest in the late afternoon.

With a lush of tropical forest and fascinating diversity of primates, Kibale forest National Park is one of the most beautiful and stunning forest in Africa. It is homes to the largest number of the human closest relative the endangered chimpanzees, the threatened red Columbus monkey and the rare L’Hoest’s monkey. The forest has one of the highest diversity and density of primates in Africa totaling to 13 species including the black and white Columbus monkey, blue monkey and Gray cheeked mangabey, Bush babies and Pottos.  

  • Morning Breakfast 
  • Drive to Kibale Forest: 8 hrs. 
  • Lunch enroute 
  • Accommodation:  Mid-range 
  • Dinner and overnight at your hotel 

Day 7

Chimp tracking and Bigodi swamp walk

After breakfast you will have an early morning start so as to report at Kanyanju ranger station at 8:00 Am the tracking start time for Chimps.  
This is a primatologist dream; it hosts a population of more than 1000 chimpanzees and an 80 strong community has been habituated to tourist visits as well as a half dozen readily observed monkey species including the acrobatic red Columbus, black and white red Columbus and the handsome L`Hohest monkey. These delightful apes are a tremendous fun to watch as they squabble and play in the trees; and the shady forest trails provides much more to delight Botanists, Butterfly lovers and Birders. 335 species of birds have been recorded including the endemic prirogrine’s ground thrush while the much smaller and hairy forest Elephant and other terrestrial mammals like Buffaloes, Giant forest hogs can also been seen. 

  • Morning Breakfast 
  • Chimp tracking time: 2-3 hours  
  • Lunch in Bigodi community 
  • After noon swamp walk / Crater, 2-3 hrs. 
  • Accommodation:  Mid-range 
  • Dinner and over Night at your hotel 

Day 8

Drive to Semuliki NP Via Amabere Ganyina Mwiru

After an early morning breakfast head west to Semuliki National Park. Two hot springs are situated in the track of hot mineral encrusted swamp land, where visitors see a two meter jet of 130 degrees Celsius hot water and a 12m diameter pool of oozing boiling 106 degrees Celsius boiling water. You could actually boil an egg naturally within 15 minutes and eat it.  
 
This is the lowest lying of Uganda’s national parks, an extension of Congo’s Ituri rain forest set at the base of the northern Rwenzori. It has 40 Congolese bird species recorded nowhere else in Uganda. The jangle life in Semuliki National Park is breathe taking for birders, primate and plant lovers. The jangle walk takes you up to the meandering river Semuliki, the only one of its type in Africa. Two hot springs are situated in the track of hot mineral encrusted swamp land, where visitors see a two meter jet of 130 degrees Celsius hot water and a 12m diameter pool of oozing boiling 106 degrees Celsius boiling water. You could actually boil an egg naturally within 15 minutes and eat it.

  On your way back, stop at the Amabere Ga’nyinamwiru; Amabere ga’ Nyinamwiru refers to a live stalactite formation supposedly shaped like a pair of breasts. According to the tradition in the area Nyinamwiru was a very beautiful daughter of King Bukuku who was always plagued with marital proposals from unsuitable contenders, consequently Bukuku cut off her breast in a move to reduce her charm. This however was not enough to deter his lovely daughter of admirers, thus hid her in a cave.  Whilst there she was impregnated by the king Isaza of the Batembuzi dynasty and give birth to Ndahura whom she fed on these cloudy milk that dripped from the breast like stalactite since she did not have any breast. Amabere ga’Nyinamwiru; literally mean the breasts of Nyinamwiru.  

  • Early morning Breakfast 
  • Journey time 4 hrs.  
  • Lunch enroute / Packed lunch 
  • Accommodation:  Mid-range 
  • Dinner and overnight at your hotel 

Day 9

Drive to Queen Elizabeth NP

After Breakfast depart to Queen Elizabeth National Park, entering the park via the northern creator area through a beautiful scenic view. This cluster of extinct volcanoes lies less than 30min north of Mweya. The winding 27km crater drive between the main equator gate provide awesome superb views into the depths of various craters, some filled with lovely lakes facing towards the Ruwenzori mountains and across the rift valley floor.

Set majestically in the shadow of the Ruwenzoris, queen Elizabeth NP 2,465 SQ km enjoys a stunning location on the rift valley floor between Lakes Edward and George of lush savannah where a mosaic of habitats offer prime grazing for 95 mammal, specialties include giant forest hog and the legendry tree climbing lions of the Ishasha and a checklist of 612 bird species that  testify to the extraordinary ecological diversity of this park. `There still exists no better introduction or a more inciting invitation to visit the park`, Douglas Warlocks remarked in 1952 owing to the Parks great mammal density by then. 

  • Morning Breakfast  
  • Journey time: 6 hrs.  
  • Lunch enroute / Packed lunch 
  • Evening game drive optional 
  • Accommodation:  Mid-range 
  • Dinner and overnight at your hotel 

Day 10

Game drive and Boat cruise on the Kazinga Channel

After an early morning coffee, you will go for an early morning game drive to provide you with excellent opportunities to view game. Head to the floor of the rift valley teamed up with a lot of wildlife making it one of the treasures of the continent. The Kasenyi sector is known for its abundance of lions that prey on the very many Uganda Cobs found in the area. Other game to be seen include; Elephants, Buffalo, Leopards, Waterbuck, Bushbuck, Warthog and the un expected Giant Forest Hog the African largest wild pig which is usually associated with dense forest rather than semi open forests. Come back at 11:00 am for a late breakfast.

 After lunch enjoy the unique cruise on the Kazinga channel, the 40km Kazinga channel connects two rift valley lakes Edward and George, these remember Queen Victoria sons and heir Edward vii and successor George v. the launch trip on this channel is an excellent opportunity to view the varied and abundant wildlife populations. These include: Elephants, Hippos, Buffaloes and Nile crocodile. Not to mention large numbers of resident and migratory bird species.  Come back early enough for a sundowner. 

  • Early morning Breakfast 
  • Game drive, 5 hours 
  • Boat cruise on the Kazinga Channel, 2 hrs. 
  • Packed lunch 
  • Accommodation: Mid-range 
  • Dinner and overnight at your hotel 

Day 11

Drive to Bwindi via Ishasha

After an early morning breakfast, drive to Bwindi Forest via Ishasha Sector the home of the climbing lions for a mid morning game drive. In about 124km from Mweya lies Ishasha, the southern sector of the park, a sector which provides a true wildness experience; diverse habitats including the marshy lake Edward flats and beautiful acacia studded savannah supporting a variety of wildlife including the famous tree climbing lions and the rare shoe bill; big mammals that can be seen in the sector include, Topi, Elephants, Buffaloes, Cob, Waterbuck and many more. After a packed lunch drive on to Bwindi Forest.

Bwindi is a magnificent verdant swathe across the steep ridges of the Albertine rift valley, an ancient rain forest that survived the last ice age situated in the south western Uganda covering 331 square kilometers with the highest altitude 2607m above sea level. The forests steep hills camouflage the wondrous mountain Gorillas in its vegetation. Bwindi alone is home to over 50% of 1000 mountain gorillas in the world. It is inspiring to Just sit in the forest among these gentle giants – the gorillas listening to them grumble to each other as you marvel at the sheer size of the dominant male, the silver back.  

  • Morning Breakfast 
  • Drive to Bwindi: 6 hrs. 
  • Game Drive in Ishasha for the climbing lions  
  • Lunch enroute 
  • Accommodation: Mid-range 
  • Dinner and overnight at your hotel 

Day 12

Gorilla Tracking

Have an early morning breakfast, carry packed lunch, go for registration at the park offices and be ready for briefing at 8:00am. Walk up the steep densely forested hills before coming across the gorillas’ camouflaged in the vegetation. This trek requires a reasonable degree of fitness as well as a sturdy pair of walking shoes. Sit in the forest among the Gorillas listening to them grumble to each other and marvel at the sheer size of the dominant male. It is amazing to think that there only 1000 individuals of these beautiful creatures left in the world. 
 If you still have energy, take a guided walk in the afternoon; the Munyaga River trail leads to three delightful crystal clear water falls, profusion of tree ferns, epiphytic ferns, orchids and Bwindi colorful array of butterflies. Or do community village walk; see how people live; the Batwa, medicine man, local banana juice and beer. 

  • Early morning Breakfast 
  • Gorilla tracking: whole day  
  • Packed lunch 
  • Accommodation:   Mid range 
  • Dinner and overnight at your hotel 

Day 13

Drive to Lake Mburo National Park

Following a morning breakfast depart to lake Mburo, have lunch enroute; driving through Uganda’s mountainous finest scenery. This is the closest savannah reserve to Kampala. It is centered on series of swamp fringed lakes known for their rich bird life notably the African fin foot. The green acacia wood land surrounding the lake harbors dense populations of Zebras, Warthogs, Buffaloes, Impala and various other grazers including the last surviving population of Elands, the largest African antelope.  Check in your hotel in the evening.

This is a special Park; every part of it is alive with variety, interest and color. Its sculpture landscape with rolling grassy hills and idyllic lake shore with a variety of mosaic habitats, forest galleries, rich acacia tree valleys, seasonal and permanent swamp support a wealth of wildlife. Its mammal diversity is second to none in western Uganda. It is the only place you can find the impala in Uganda and the only place you can find the Zebra, Eland, Oribi, Klipspringer Roan antelope in western Uganda. 

  • Morning breakfast 
  • Drive to Lake Mburo, 6 hrs.  
  • Lunch enroute 
  • Accommodation: Mid-range 
  • Evening game drive; optional 
  • Dinner and overnight at your hotel 

Day 14

Departure

Explore the park on foot, after breakfast transverse the acacia studded national park to view the Impala; the only place to get this antelope in Uganda, while Zebras, Elands, Topi, Oribi, Water Buck, Sitatunga the swamp antelope are the other animals to be seen.

  • Early morning Breakfast 
  • Game viewing on foot: 3 hrs. 
  • Lunch at hotel 
  • Night Game Viewing: 4 hrs.  
  • Accommodation: Mid-range 
  • Dinner and overnight at your hotel