The Best of Eastern Uganda

This is the greatest insight into the most exciting areas of Eastern Uganda; the Nile river whose source stood a mystery in Victoria age; Mount Elgon famed for the Embalu: a male initiation ceremony, where boys are circumcised as an initiation into manhood. The Karamojongo: a reminiscent of the Masai of Kenya still living traditionally depending on cow products solely. Kidepo Valley NP; a park boasting of an amazing exciting fauna of any Ugandan National Park; indeed, Africa’s finest wildness to Murchison Falls NP once described by Winston Churchill as ‘Kew gardens and the zoo combined on un limited scale’. To Ziwa where Obama lives; with a female Rhino from the US and male rhino from Kenya, a male calf was born. He is more assertive, aggressive and more in charge unlike the US former president who believed more in engagements.

Gallery

Itinerary

Day 1

Arrival

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 30min  
Accommodation:   mid-range 
Dinner and overnight stay at your hotel 

Day 2

Drive to Jinja via Sezzibwa falls

After Breakfast drive to Jinja, passing by Sezibwa falls: the falls that are believed to house spirits for good luck and all the blessings you need. These beautiful and spiritual falls have long been the favorite nature reserves for Buganda kings. The black river water falls is where traditional doctors offered sacrifices to traditional gods; gods of love, children, harvest or any cleansing from bad luck. Kabaka Mwanga and Mutesa 11 planted their remembrance trees here that up to today are regarded as sacred gifts. It is how ever a wonderful place for picnics as you visit the various shrines built in the area. The falls are very spectacular and very excellent for rock climbing, bird watching, traditional healing and cultural dances.

After lunch 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 Sipi falls on Mt. Elgon

After breakfast drive to Sipi falls on Mt Elgon; Elgon is a 4,321m high extinct volcano which in prehistoric time stood taller than Kilimanjaro does today. Although the mountain straddles the Kenyan boarder its loftiest peak Wagagai lies within Uganda and is best ascended from the Ugandan side. Elgon is an important watershed and its slopes support a rich variety of altitude vegetation zones ranging from montane forest to high open moorland studded with the worldly giant lobelia and grandsel plants. Spectacular scenery is the major attraction for hikers on this often neglected and relatively undemanding mountain.

Upon arrival visit Sipi water fall:  hike to the first, second and third water fall on the same river. Sipi Falls is a series of three waterfalls at the edge of  Mount Elgon National Park in Kapichorwa near the Kenyan border created by the Sipi River;  named after the ‘Sep’, a plant indigenous to the banks of the River; resembling a type of wild banana, thought to be medicinal.  This translucent green frond with a bolt of crimson rib is used for treating measles and fever.

Visit the community for a coffee experience; get orientated on how coffee is planted, harvested, dried, roasted, grinded and brewed. In other words, roast and brew your owned coffee, more so when you realize that it is grown organically; Sipi is famous for locally grown Arabica coffee, grown at an altitude of between 1,600 and 1,900 meters.  Coffee tours are organized through guides with knowledge of coffee farming, processing and roasting; while hiking around the local area and visiting the local waterfalls require reasonable fitness. Do not miss on the cave that housed the spirits of the Sabei people. 

  • Break fast 
  • Drive to Sipi 4 hrs. 
  • Lunch in the community 
  • Visit the Sipi falls 
  • Dinner and overnight at your hotel 

Day 4

Drive to Moroto town; Hike Mt Moroto

After breakfast drive to Moroto, the capital of the Karamojong. The karamojonga are reminiscent of Masai of Kenya still living traditionally and dependant on cattle. The Karamojong are part of the group of people that migrated to east Africa from the present day Ethiopia; who on reaching the current Kenyan boarder disintegrated into several groups; that one that went to present day Kenya, to the present day Sudan and to the current day Uganda that are currently referred to as the Teso / Karamojong cluster. The name Karamojong is derived from the words ekar ngimojong which means that old men can walk no father. They are always in constant conflict with their neighbors due to cattle raiding; this could be as result of their traditional belief that they own all the cattle by divine right, as a very important element in marriage and as source of food since they depend only on cattle products. 

Hike mount Moroto for 3 hours; get the insight into the formation of the mountain and how it used in the local economics. Pass by the gold mines; where the young and the old are using small hoes digging into the earth in such of this treasure. It is hard work; you real wonder if it gives a good return. 

  • Break fast 
  • Lunch enroute / packed 
  • Afternoon hike of Mt Moroto 
  • Dinner and overnight at your hotel 

Day 5

Karamajong Manyata and drive to Kidepo Valley NP

After breakfast, visit the homesteads of the Karamojong; to be amazed by the communal clusters they live in; the type of housing, their life style, their traditions and customs; this notch up in the traditional dance, drama. There after drive to Kidepo Valley NP on arrival to the Park Entrance, drive slowly to your hotel as you watch game. Kidepo expanse is largely inhabited by wood lands of the open tree savannah habitat colonized by dry mountain forest and water courses that supporting acacia forests. Though Uganda’s most isolated National Park, Kidepo Valley is the most magnificent wildlife National Park not only in Uganda but Africa’s finest wildness. The Park boasts of an amazing exciting fauna of any Uganda’s National Park; a checklist of 77 species of mammals, several of which are restricted to Kidepo and Karamoja region alone. The restricted species include the bat eared Fox, striped Hyena, Aardwolf, Caracal, cheetah, lesser Kudu, Chandlers, mountain Reedbuck, Klipspringer, and quencher’s Dikdik. 

  • Early morning Break fast 
  • Karamojong manayatta 
  • Drive to Kidepo NP 7 hrs. 
  • Packed lunch  
  • Dinner and overnight at your hotel 

Day 6

Full day game drive

 After breakfast Drive to a wood dominated savannah and hill tops capped with rock kopjes which provide ideal habitat for the klipspringers and wonderful panoramic view point for game as your search for Kidepo’s restricted mammal species; the bat eared Fox, striped Hyena, Aardwolf, Caracal, cheetah, lesser Kudu, Chandlers, mountain Reedbuck, Klipspringer, and quencher’s Dikdik. Other game includes; Lion, Leopard, Sported Hyena, Black backed jackal, Side striped Jackal, Elephants, Burchell`s zebra, Bush pigs among other.  Come back for lunch, leisure around and go back for an evening game drive to the Nerus River valley near Apoka where wildlife gets concentrated in an open savannah habitat, a prime game viewing location. 

  • Early morning break fast 
  • Full day game drive 
  • Hot Lunch at the hotel / Packed lunch 
  • Dinner and overnight at the hotel 

Day 7

Game viewing on foot and Ostrich Drive

After breakfast with armed ranger view game on foot; feel nature, smell nature and listen to sounds of nature. Observe how wildlife responds to the presence on humans; to give you a great feel of Africa for an unforgettable experience.  In the afternoon drive towards the Sudan boarder and before passing by the Kidepo Valley sand bay you will realize that you are in a special habitat; it has special species of trees like the white backed acacia, species of birds including the Ostrich and has the hot springs; get the stories and traditions related to these springs before heading back to your hotel.

  • Early morning break fast  
  • Game viewing on foot 
  • Lunch at the hotel 
  • After noon to drive in search for ostriches 
  • Dinner and overnight at your hotel 

Day 8

Drive to Murchison Falls National Park

After an early morning game drive or a leisurely morning drive to Murchison Falls NP through either Wankar or Tangi gate. This passes through concentrations of wildlife; the Heart beast, Cob, Orib, Elephants as you get amazed to the palm dominated plain, more so when you realize that they were planted by the elephant at the time they freely trans versed this plain from the Sudan to Uganda. 
 
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. This Eco-system was described by Winston Churchill in 1907 as `Kew gardens and the zoo combined on un limited scale`. Churchill hiked, boated and bicycled up the Nile. Since then, the park has seen many more other notables that include, Theodore Roosevelt in 1909, Humphrey Bogart, the prince of Wales (Edward VII) 1930 and the Queen Mother 1959. And today are is you. 
 

  • Morning Break fast  
  • Drive to Murchison falls NP, 7 hrs. 
  • Lunch enroute 
  • Dinner and over Night at your hotel 

Day 9

Game drive and Boat Cruise on the Nile

 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 hrs. boat cruise to see how the mighty river is funneling through a narrow fissure in the rift valley escarpment to gives comfort to a profuse of bird life, thousands of hippos, and huge open-mouthed crocodiles. Disband from the boat at the bottom of the falls for 60-minute hike to the top of the falls with a park ranger and to be driven back to your hotel by your driver guide. 

Murchison falls is the river Nile’s crowning glory; here, the river funnels through a narrow fissure in the rift valley escarpment, only to erupt out on the other side in a crushing 43m plume of white water. The calm river then gives comfort to a profuse of bird life, thousands of hippos, and huge crocodiles. The falls were named after the president of the Royal Geographical Society by the explorer Baker in 1864. He considered these falls to be the most important object throughout the entire course of the Nile. 

  • Early morning break fast 
  • Morning game drive 
  • Hot lunch at your hotel / Packed lunch 
  • Boat cruise on the Nile 
  • Dinner and overnight at your hotel 

Day 10

Drive to Budongo Forest for Chimp Tracking

After an early breakfast drive to Kanio Pabidi, a chimp Eco tourism center in Budongo forest, walk beneath a natural forest of about 120 chimpanzees but only 30 chimps are habituated for tourism under mature mahogany and iron wood trees. There are other primate species such as Black and white Columbus monkey, Red tailed monkey, Blue monkey, Velvet monkey and Baboons. 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 by noon; relax at the coffee terrace at Budongo Lodge have lunch before proceeding to your Hotel at Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary.

 Ziwa is a breeding centre for Rhino reintroduction into Uganda wildlife areas especially Murchison falls national park, where its Rhinos were hunted to extinction. The sanctuary has multiplied the original 5 brought in rhinos to 28 now. The sanctuary is still keeping them until they reach a satisfying number before they can be re introduced back to the wild. While tracking Rhinos watch out for a variety of Birds, Bushbucks, Hares and Mongooses. 

  • Early morning break fast  
  • Drive to Kanio Paidi for chimp tracking  
  • Chimp tracking 
  • Hot lunch at your hotel / Packed lunch 
  • Dinner and overnight at your hotel your hotel 

Day 11

Shoebill Canoeing and afternoon Rhino tracking

After breakfast drive to Kafu River swamp an ideal area for sighting Africa’s most sought bird, the Shoebill stork.  Walk along the swamp before taking a canoe in search of this pre historic looking bird. On a good day 2 to 5 birds may be seen on different locations. 
After lunch go for Rhino tracking which should take 30min to 3 hours, while tracking you have an opportunity to seeing a variety of savanna birds, Bush bucks, Hares and Mongooses.  

  • Early morning break fast 
  • Search for the Shoebill stork 
  • Hot Lunch at the hotel 
  • Afternoon Rhino tracking 
  • Dinner and overnight at your hotel 

Day 12

Drive back to Entebbe for Departure

After breakfast drive to Entebbe for your departure 
Morning breakfast 
Drive to Entebbe 6 hrs. 
Lunch enroute / Entebbe 
Departure