The best way to experience Uganda’s highlights without following the traditional safari circuit. Explore both ends of the astounding Albertine rift valley, on safari along the Nile in the incredible Murchison Falls National Park and then experiencing the mystery of Bwindi National Park and its resident Mountain Gorillas.
This trip can be tailored as a 7-day itinerary (fly out on Day 7) or 10 days, with the additional time spent traversing Bwindi Forest on foot and trekking the gorillas again on the other side of Bwindi Forest.
This itinerary is written based on the lodges we suggest in each area – see the links in the descriptions below for individual lodge websites as well as alternative properties that will also work on this route.
Our VIP meet and greet service will welcome you off the plane then transfer you to our very own boutique hotel, Karibu Entebbe, just a few minutes’ drive from the airport.
Here you’ll have time to relax and decompress after your flight in the tropical surroundings before going through your itinerary with one of our team. Relax with a signature cocktail, or take a dip in the palm and bougainvillea-bordered pool, preparing for your drive to Murchison Falls National Park next day.
If you arrive during the day, we can recommend a relaxing sunset cruise along the papyrus shore-line of Lake Victoria
Approximately a 4 hour drive with your private guide will take you to Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary, where you will be able to observe the only rhinos found in a wild setting in Uganda. Ziwa rangers will take you on a leisurely walk through the reserve, where you will be able to watch the rhinos going about their day from a short but safe distance away.
After the rhinos, you will arrive in Murchison Falls National Park, where you will walk along one of the most powerful waterfalls in the world. Following this, your guide will drive you to your Deluxe Banda at Nile Safari Lodge, situated on the banks of the mighty Nile River. You'll be staying here for the next three nights. The rest of the afternoon and evening will be at your leisure.
Choose a relaxing breakfast at your lodge, or get moving early, heading into the park with your guide for a morning safari. As well as very good numbers of giraffes, elephants and buffalos, Murchison has a healthy population of lions, hyenas and leopards that lucky adventurers may encounter on safari.
When you return to your lodge, you’ll take a private boat safari to the base of the falls, then enjoy a sundowner on the way back downstream to the lodge jetty.
A short drive in the morning will bring you to Budongo Forest where you will spend the morning trekking the wild chimpanzee population. Chimpanzee sightings are very common in Budongo and you will spend an hour observing these remarkable and intriguing apes.
In the afternoon you can choose to go on another safari with your private guide in the park or simply relax and enjoy the luxury on offer at the lodge.
In the morning, take a private boat for another river safari, this time to the Nile Delta where all forms of aquatic and terrestrial wildlife can be spotted.
After returning to the lodge, your guide will transfer you to Pakuba airstrip for your flight south to Kihihi, near Bwindi National Park. Your private lodge transfer will then take you to Sanctuary Gorilla Forest Camp, just inside of Bwindi National Park itself. The rest of the afternoon and evening is at your leisure.
After breakfast the following morning, a short drive will bring you to the trekking headquarters and the start point of your gorilla trek. Here, experienced rangers and guides will go over the details of the trek with you before you set off in search of the majestic Mountain Gorillas. Finding the gorillas can take anywhere between 1 to 4 hours (sometimes longer), your lodge will provide you with plenty of drinking water and a packed lunch to keep you going during your hike.
Upon locating the gorillas, you will spend an hour with these magnificent primates, observing the family in their completely wild and natural habitat. The guides and rangers will provide detailed information on the gorilla family’s history and dynamics, giving you a rich and informed wildlife experience. Once you have returned from your trek, your private guide will take you back to the lodge, where you will be able to relax and reminisce on your unforgettable gorilla encounter.
Today you’ll traverse Bwindi Forest on foot, following the “Ivy River Trail”, an ancient pygmy trading route traditionally used by the Batwa people to cross from one side of the forest to the other.
The walk is at your own pace with an optional detour to the Munyaga River Falls in the heart of the forest. A short drive at the other end brings you to Clouds Mountain Gorilla Lodge in the Nkuringo sector of Bwindi.
After two days of trekking, take a well-deserved rest day to enjoy the lodge, or a few short local excursions if you are in the mood.
The following morning, a short drive will bring you to the trekking headquarters and the start point of your second gorilla trek. Here, experienced rangers and guides will go over the details of the trek with you before you set off in search of the majestic Mountain Gorillas. Finding the gorillas can take anywhere between 1 to 4 hours (sometimes longer), your lodge will provide you with plenty of drinking water and a packed lunch to keep you going during your hike.
Once you have returned from your trek, your private guide will take you back to the lodge, where you will be able to relax and reminisce on your unforgettable gorilla encounter.
Your guide will drive you back to the airport after breakfast. After an approximately an hour-long flight you will land back in Entebbe.
You can connect onto an international flight from here, or we can arrange accommodation, either for the day or overnight before your international flight departure.