Day 1: Welcome to Uganda
Your driver/guide will pick you up from Entebbe airport and transfers you to ViaVia Guesthouse, only a 10 minute drive. This is where your Matoke Tours driver/ guide will find you tomorrow morning for the start of your tour after a good breakfast.
Depending on the time of your arrival, you might be able to explore the area. There are many options in Entebbe and easily organized through the reception of ViaVia Guesthouse. For example a visit to the Botanical gardens or the Ugandan Wildlife Education Centre (UWEC). Please note, all activities and transportation for today are at your own cost.
ViaVia Entebbe is a very cosy accommodation in Entebbe, only 10 minutes away from the airport. All the rooms are self-contained and have a private terrace overlooking the dazzling garden. Relax in one of the hammocks while the resident monkeys play around in the trees, you can bath in your hot-tub, enjoy a romantic sunset and sit aside the campfire at night. The restaurant serves you fresh and healthy food, spiced with world flavours for a well-balanced international and local menu. ViaVia will give you a truly heartwarming experience that’s very hard to beat!
Day 2: Fort Portal/ Kibale Forest
Today, you will undertake the journey to green Kibale Forest. The drive is incredibly scenic, passing through tea plantations and the lush green countryside which characterizes so much of Uganda. On arrival at the forest, you will enter a completely different world… some serious monkey business!
Kibale Forest National Park lies just outside the colonial town of Fort Portal and is made up of dense tropical rainforest. This park is considered one of the big highlights of Uganda due to some serious monkey business going on here. A big number of primates residing can be found here and particularly a visit to one of the habituated chimpanzee groups is a very memorable experience. The rare red colobus as well as the black and white colobus, red tailed monkey, olive baboon, the blue Monkey and l’hoest’s monkeys are also regularly seen here. Where would you find a better spot to experience encounters with nature; smelling the forest and listening to the many sounds. Your safari tent or cottage is surrounded by lush green diversity filled with countless bird species and butterflies.
This brand new Lodge offers you a unique jungle experience at the border of Kibale Forest National Park with the most stunning view over the forest canopy and the snow-capped Rwenzori Mountains. You will stay at a modern and comfortable cottage at quiet locations in the forest. This lodge is all about a relaxing atmosphere, family friendly and with a refreshing swimming pool. In the restaurant and lounge areas you’ll be welcome to try tasty meals meanwhile you have high chances of spotting the Red Colobus and Grey Cheeked Mangabey monkeys on the premises.
||Breakfast and dinner
Day 3: Chimpanzee Tracking & Swamp walk
Chimpanzees share 98% of human genes making them our closest living relatives. They are found in 21 countries throughout Africa, but are most easily sighted in Uganda due to their dense populations. Today, in Uganda, there are approximately 5,000 chimpanzees left in the wild. The Chimpanzee Trekking experience here is done on several well maintained walking trails. There is also a wonderfully diverse concentration of other primates, more than any other forest in East Africa, in fact. Besides our delightful cousins, the chimpanzees, you can find red colobus, red-tailed guenon, white-nosed monkey, gray-cheeked mangabey, blue monkey, L'Hoest's monkey, and the black and white colobus monkey. In addition, you may see olive baboons, bush babies and nocturnal pottos.
The aim for your trekking through the jungle under the care of professional guide, is 1 hour of eye to eye contact with the chimpanzees. We can however cannot guarantee 100% for you to see them as they are still wild animals, nevertheless your chances are very good.
Your next activity will take you to the Bigodi Wetlands Sanctuary which features 8 primate species, over 200 bird species and many reptiles. During the walk – which takes 2 to 3 hours - you have a chance to many animals but the highlight is catching a glimpse of a famous bird; the Great Blue Turaco. The sanctuary is operated by KAFRED, a registered community based organization. The income from the walk is used for community development projects such as schools and hospitals.
||15 minutes each way
||Breakfast and dinner
Day 4: To Queen Elizabeth National Park
Scenic Queen Elizabeth National Park is located in south western Uganda and is most often included in visitors’ itineraries. It is the second largest park in the country and located at the base of the majestic Rwenzori Mountain range, next to Lake Edward and Lake George which are joined by the Kazinga channel. Few reserves in the world have such a high biodiversity with landscapes including savannah, bushland, wetlands and lush forests. On your first game drive, it is time to explore the Queen Elizabeth National Park with her 200 kilometers of well-maintained game viewing tracks. We advise for you to be alert and pro-active on your game drive to help the ranger spot as many animals as possible.
Marafiki Safari Lodge is set in a unique location and has been designed using local materials fitted by artisans from the local community. This lodge offers private safari tents on raised wooden floors with canvas walls, which can be rolled up. You can sit comfortably when watching the savannah plains with breath taking views across the park, the Rwenzori- and Virunga Mountains. With an en-suit open-air shower, you can experience an African sunrise properly or shower in the moonlight under the stars. Enjoy your delicious meals (made with fresh and local produce) on the restaurant veranda or next to the campfire. There is a new swimming pool which really invites for a refreshing dip in between game drives on a sunny day in this beautiful setting.
Optional upgrade : Kasenyi Safari Camp
For a more luxurious and exclusive stay you can sleep in one of the en-suite safari tents on the rim of lake Bunyampaka inside the game drive area of Queen Elizabeth National Park. This small camp only has 4 tents where lion prides and other animals might accompany you during your stay. So keep your eyes open while enjoying this true Africa-experience!
Optional for day 4 & 5 at an additional costs of $40 per person per night
Day 5: Park Game Drive & Boat Safari on the Kazinga Channel
After an early breakfast, you go for a long game drive in time to see the sun rise. The morning is the best time for a game drive as the African animal kingdom tends to me most active when during the golden hours of the first sunlight touching the savannah. You will continue the search for all the wildlife; elephant, buffalo, lion, waterbuck, leopard, Uganda kob, warthog and do not forget about the birds and the primates.
After lunch, you will take a boat safari along the Kazinga Channel. Here, you will see a lot of hippos (more than you can possibly imagine), as well as a variety of other animals which come to the waterhole to drink or bathe. You can expect to see: Buffalo, Crocodile, bathing Elephant, and a range of beautiful birds. This will undoubtedly be one of the highlights of your tour. After the boat-safari you game drive back to the lodge.
Optional activity: Lion Tracking
For visitors who yearn to get up close to wild African fauna, a research trip is a rewarding adventure. This unique experience allows visitors to actively participate in monitoring some of lions in the park, using locator devices.
The additional cost for this optional activity is $85 per person
Optional activity: Chimp tracking Kyambura Gorge
Early in the morning you will go for a hike in the Kyambura gorge; another gem in the far eastern corner of Queen Elizabeth National Park. This gorge is also called the “Valley of Apes” and is another world on its own. Drained by River Kayambura it now has a rich wildlife bio-diversity, including a family of 16 chimpanzees and many bird species. The view from the top is very impressive as you look down a gorge filled with lush green tropical vegetation amidst an impressive valley. A hike through the gorge gives you the opportunity to see chimpanzees and other types of primates including red-tailed monkey, black-and-white colobus, baboons and vervet monkeys. This green-riverine forest also offers shelter to several forest birds. Although the chance of spotting chimpanzees is not as high as on an official trekking in Kibale or Budongo forest, this landscape is among the most impressive in Uganda and absolutely worth visiting.
The additional cost for this optional activity is $50 per person
Day 6: To Lake Mutanda/ Bwindi Forest
Today you drive to Kisoro in the south-western part of Uganda; close to the borders with Rwanda and Congo. You cross a beautiful part of the country often referred to as ‘the Switzerland of Africa’. You will see a great country-side, bamboo forest and have great views over the Virunga Mountains. For lunch you will stop at a local restaurant on the road (lunch is not inclusive).
Mutanda Lake Resort offers one of the best views in Uganda! Perched on a peninsula in Lake Mutanda, isolated in the shadow of the Virunga Mountain Range, this lodge offers comfortable accommodation in a very unique corner of the country. Situated between Kisoro town, Mgahinga and Bwindi National Parks the Resort makes a perfect base for a gorilla trekking, volcano hikers, bird-lovers as well for those looking for a secluded magical place in nature. Don’t forget to take your chance to dip in the lake as it is Bilharzia free, so safe to swim, peddle board or canoe amongst the locals going about their daily business on the lake! The sunset scenes are spectacular so make sure to be on one of the verandas (with a sundowner drink in hand) at that time.
Optional upgrade : Luxury Cottage
The spacious Luxury Cottages at Mutanda Lake resort in combination with the serene environment and outstanding views will make your stay unforgettable. With small islands dotting the surrounding lake and a backdrop of misty volcanoes this setting is a beautiful hide-away. Be mesmerized by the starry sky on a clear night from your private veranda and enjoy ultimate relaxation.
Optional on day 6 and 7 at an additional cost of $40 per person per night.
Day 7: Gorilla Tracking
Today is the big day… Prepare yourself for an encounter with one of Bwindi’s gentle giants: the rare Mountain Gorilla. For most people this is the absolute highlight of their tour in Uganda.
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is a highlight for many visitors as this is where they will be visiting the home of the gentle giants. The park lies in southwestern Uganda on the edge of the Rift Valley. Uganda's oldest and most biologically diverse rainforests lies on the mist-covered hillsides. This magnificent forest dates back over 25,000 years, even surviving the last Ice Age (most forests disappeared). Bwindi forest has an incredible diversity of flora and fauna and is the only forest in Africa which can make claim to host both mountain gorillas and chimpanzees. In fact, half the worlds’ population of gorillas live here divided over nine habituated family groups. Also 5 other primate species, 120 species of mammal, over 220 butterflies and 360 birds species call Bwindi home. This it THE place to see the critically endangered mountain gorillas up close for your very own ‘Gorillas in the Mist’ moment.
The gorillas you will trek belong to one of nine family groups who can tolerate the presence of humans for a brief period every day. Your trek will be an exciting (for some also challenging) journey along forested (sometimes slippery) slopes, entwined vines, bushes and bamboo before you eventually reach the gentle giants. En-route, your guide will point out signs of previous gorilla activity. Think of dung, nests and chewed bamboo shoots. The time to complete the gorilla trekking can be as little as 2 hours to as much as 7 hours! Once the the family of gorillas has been located, you will be allowed a maximum of one hour observing them. Coming face-to-face with the mountain gorillas is a truly humbling and emotional experience. This is a fantastic part of your tour you will definitely remember for the rest of your life.
||1 - 1,5 h each way
||Mutanda Lake Resort
Breakfast, lunch and dinner
Day 8: To Nairobi via Kigali
Today you have some time to relax at Lake Mutanda. After lunch the driver of Mutanda Lake resort will take you to Kigali airport in Rwanda. Please note that activities in Kigali and accommodation in Kigali are not inclusive in the itinerary. If you would like us to book one (or more) nights in Kigali, please let us know.
We highly recommend that you opt for the East Africa visa which allows you to access Uganda, Rwanda and Kenya in one visa.
You will fly with Kenya airways from Kigali to Nairobi. This one way flight is included in your tour price!
Flight details Kenya airways:
On arrival at Jomo Kenyatta international airport your driver/guide will be waiting to pick you up from you flight.
You will spend your first night in Wildebeest Eco camp located outside of the busy town centre of Nairobi. The beautifully-appointed deluxe safari tents and other comfortable accommodation, will be a welcome place to stay before and after your safari. You can enjoy the peaceful tropical gardens, which are home to hundreds of varieties of plants and birds, while still being close to shops, markets, cinemas, banks, Nairobi National Park and transport links.
Day 9: Lake Nakuru National park
After an early breakfast you head to the first national park of your trip! Lake Nakuru national park. On your way you will have a stopover at Thomson Falls and the Rift valley view point from where you can take beautiful landscape pictures.
On the floor of the Great Rift Valley, surrounded by wooded and bushy grassland, lies the beautiful Lake Nakuru National Park. You will enjoy the ecological diversity and varied habitats that range from Lake Nakuru itself to the surrounding escarpment and picturesque ridges. Lake Nakuru National Park is ideal for game drives, bird watching and hiking.
On arrival you will go for a long game drive in the park to spot lions, buffalos, antelopes, warthogs and many other wildlife. You will go back to the lodge for a nice lunch and some time to relax. Around 4 PM you will go for an evening game drive when the light is the most beautiful to make excellent landscape pictures.
Day 10: To the Masai Mara
After an early breakfast you will head to the world famous Masai Mara game reserve on the border with Tanzania. An excellent year round animal concentration and known for its typical short savanna plains. Home to the great migration in the months July – October when two million Wildebeest make their way northwards from the Serengeti in Tanzania.
On arrival at the gate you will have a long en-route game drive towards the tented camp where you will spend the coming two nights. After a nice lunch you will continue with an afternoon game drive to spot lions, buffaloes, antelopes and hippo’s and crocodiles in the Mara River.
The coming three nights you will sleep at Mara Eden camp. The camps location is sublime located directly on the Mara River in the center of the reserve. Our tents are placed along the banks of the Mara River, with a seating area at the front for relaxed game and bird viewing. All the tents have hot and cold running water, a flush toilet, 24 hour solar lighting and tasteful décor.
Day 11 & 12: Full day game drives in Masai Mara
Today you will have a full day of game drives ahead. Before sunrise you will try to spot different predators that might made a kill last night. You will return for breakfast at the camp while the sun rises over the game reserve.
You can decide to take a packed lunch for a full day game drives or come back at the camp for a hot lunch. The secret on sighting a lot of animals is to do different game drives on different time and areas for the highest success rate.
After this exciting day you will come back to the camp where you can relax with a cold drink on your veranda with a view of the Mara river!
||depending on game drive
||Mara Eden safari camp
||Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Day 13: To Lake Naivasha, Boat safari
An en-route game drive will take you to the gate of Masai Mara. You will arrive at Lake Naivasha for a late lunch.
Lake Naivasha is home to a wide variety of wildlife including a sizeable population of hippos which usually invade our property during their nightly forays for food. Being a freshwater lake, it also has a healthy fish population to include Black bass, Tilapia and Crayfish which attract a variety of fish-eating birds such as Long-tailed and Great Cormorants, along with Fish Eagles, Pelicans, and various types of Kingfishers. In the afternoon you will do a boat safari on the lake to see the birds and hippos.
Tonight you will spend the night in the beautiful Naivasha Sopa lodge. Set in one hundred and fifty acres of grassland studded with Acacia bushes and trees, the resort is not only home to the resident giraffe, waterbuck and both Vervet and Colobus monkeys, but it is also a night stop for the hippos when they leave the lake every night to come and trim the grass on our expansive lawns.
Day 14: Departure
Today is unfortunately the last day of your trip with Matoke Tours! After breakfast you head back to Nairobi.
Depending on the time your flight departs, there might be some time left today to do an optional activity in Nairobi. All activities today are at your own expense. Your driver/guide will take care of your transfer to Jomo Kenyatta international Airport.
Note: your international flight must be in the afternoon after 1 PM. If you need an extra night in Nairobi please contact firstname.lastname@example.org and we will make arrangements for you at an additional cost.
Click here, for the rates of this tour.
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If you want to extend your tour to one of our other destinations or if you'd like to add a few "off-the-beaten-track" sidetrips to the itinerary, click here to see our extensions.