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Day by Day

8-days Uganda - Exclusive Safari

Primates & Safari

Exclusive
Highlights

Explore the best highlights in Uganda in just 8 days on a journey that will take you from wildlife safaris on the sweeping savannah plains to incredible encounters with the mountain gorillas in the rainforest highlands. Accommodation is provided in some of the country’s very best lodges chosen for their good service and excellent views.

HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Safaris & primates
  • Wonderful luxury lodges
  • Gorilla & Chimp permits included
Customer score:
9,5ratingratingratingratingrating

 

 

 

Day 1: Welcome in Uganda!

Arriving to a new and foreign place can be overwhelming. All your senses are operating in overdrive as you take in the unfamiliar sights, sounds and smells of your new surroundings. This is certainly the case for a first visit to Uganda. Your Matoke Tours guide will be with you from the very beginning, welcoming you at the airport and navigating you expertly through the lively traffic, while you can lean back and watch your new world go by. If this is your first time traveling to Africa, you will never forget your first acquaintance with her.

The drive to your accommodation is abuot an hour. Along the way you will catch a glimpse of the shimmering waters of Lake Victoria on your right, see several matatus and boda bodas (local 4-wheel and 2-wheel taxis) weave daringly through traffic, smartly dressed residents in colorful fabrics negotiating the pot-holed streets, food stalls serving delicious Rolex and wooden carts heavily laden with our favorite staple food, the Matoke.  

 

Journey Time 1 hour
Accommodation   Latitude 0°
Meal Plan No meals included

Day 2: To Fort Portal/ Kibale Forest

Your journey to Kibale Forest is incredibly scenic, taking you through tea plantations, lively village markets and over rolling hills of lush green countryside that is so characteristic of western Uganda.

Kibale Forest National Park itself is an extensive tract of dense tropical rainforest located just south of the town Fort Portal. The various ecosystems in this space are reputed to harbor the highest density of primates in all of Africa. The rare red colobus monkey as well as the black and white colobus are just some of the primates you may encounter on your forest walks here. The highlight of a trip to Kibale Forest is of course to spend some time observing the wonderfully entertaining chimpanzees.

In the midst of the gently rolling evergreen hills of the Great Crater Lakes region you’ll find Papaya Lake Lodge with its series of luxurious cottages dotted along the slopes of an extinct volcano. Here you can enjoy the breathtaking views of the turquoise waters of Lyantonde Lake in complete privacy. Papaya’s fine cuisine combines culinary traditions from all corners of the world, prepared with top quality produce. This lodge has been built with great passion, esteem for local culture and the highest attention to detail.

Journey Time 5 hours
Accommodation Papaya Lake Lodge
Meal Plan Breakfast, dinner
 
 

Day 3: Chimpanzee tracking in Kibale Forest

No other animal reminds us so much of ourselves as the chimpanzee. Besides many common features and mannerisms, chimpanzees also share 98% of our human DNA, making them our closest living relatives. It is not so surprising then that we find the habits and biology of these primates so fascinating to study.

While Chimpanzees can be found in 21 countries throughout Africa, they are most easily sighted in Uganda due to the high concentration of the species here. On a Chimpanzee Tracking experience in Kibale Forest you will have the opportunity to follow an experienced guide into the forest to observe these fascinating creatures at a close range. Watching them interact with each other and go about their daily routine of grooming, playing and foraging is an incredible experience.

 

While your chances of encountering chimpanzees are high during your tracking excursion, it is never 100% guaranteed. These are, after all, wild animals with wills and minds of their own!

In the afternoon you will have time to enjoy the lodge which boasts a pool with beautiful views of the surrounding landscapes.

Journey Time 1 hour each way
Accommodation Papaya Lake Lodge
Meal Plan Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 4: Queen Elizabeth National Park

Queen Elizabeth National Park is Uganda’s most visited game reserve and arguably the most scenic. The national park protects the vast savannah plains, bushland, wetlands and forests that lie at the base of the Rwenzori mountain range. Kazinga Channel, which flows through the park and connects Lake George in the east to Lake Edward in the west, attracts a rich array of animals and birds, including the infamous Nile crocodile and one of the world’s largest concentration of hippos. On your first game drive you will explore the park along a 200-kilometre network of well-maintained game viewing tracks.

Journey Time 3½ hours
Accommodation Kyambura Gorge Lodge
Meal Plan Breakfast, lunch, dinner
 
 

Day 5: Lion Tracking & Boat Safari

In the morning we offer you an opportunity to contribute to an important conservation program in Queen Elizabeth NP. On this unique Lion Tracking research trip you will follow a research team, off the safari jeep tracks and into the bush, in search of one of the lion prides in the park. A tracking device in the vehicle will leady you directly to the lions where you will spend some time observing these charismatic cats. The data collected by the researchers will further the conservation program in the park, while you get a unique and intimate insight into the lives and habits of these fascinating predators.   

 

Later in the day when the sun is high in the sky and the animals make their way to the river for a drink, we will head to Kazinga Channel for a private boat safari. You will spot more hippos today than you can possibly imagine. Herds of elephants and buffalo will also wander down to the shoreline to bathe in the cooling waters. A boat safari is a fantastic way to get close to wildlife and for many visitors the boat safari is the highlight of their visit to Queen Elizabeth National Park. 

 

Accommodation   Kyambura Gorge Lodge
Meal plan Breakfast, lunch & dinner

 

 

 

Do you want to explore the Valley of the Apes?

If you find safaris to be a bit too sedentary for your taste, then a hike in the Kyambura Gorge is what you need to get your heart rate up. This stunning geological feature is known as “the Valley of Apes” and is another world unto itself. The view from the top is incredibly impressive with a deep sunken gorge covered in lush tropical vegetation. As its nick-name reveals, the gorge is home to several primate species including chimpanzees, the red-tailed monkey, black-and-white colobus, baboons and vervet monkeys. You will also see your fair share of colorful bird species. While the chances of spotting chimpanzees are not as high here as in Kibale Forest 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: Coffee Tour & Travel to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest

The beautiful place that you have been spending the past two nights used to be an old coffee store. The lodge is still very involved in the coffee industry in the area and this morning you will go on a Coffee Tour to explore the transformation of coffee bean into delicious Ugandan coffee. The process is all done by hand, by local community members. Sampling some of the coffee will make for a good start of your day and buying some coffee to take home will make a good souvenir as well as support the local community.

Your journey now continues to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, the home of the Mountain Gorillas of Uganda.

 

In the afternoon you will be introduced to the communities that live in the outskirts of the forest and welcomed to support the locally founded and managed women’s empowerment initiative, Ride 4 A Woman. Join these local women as they go about their daily lives and learn how to weave baskets, sew with traditional fabrics or cook a delicious Ugandan meal.  

For the coming two nights you will stay at Buhoma Lodge, an intimate lodge with spectacular views over the forest, and one of only two lodges that is located within the park. You will stay in one of the ten chalets which are carefully and spaciously designed using locally sourced materials. Your private veranda with wonderful vistas, complimentary house drinks and massage will ensure a sublimely relaxing stay.

Journey Time 3 hours
Accommodation Buhoma Lodge
Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
 
 

Day 7: Gorilla Tracking in Bwindi Forest

Encountering the rare and endangered Mountain Gorillas of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is an experience of a lifetime.

Half of the world’s population of gorillas live under the mist-covered canopies of Uganda’s oldest and most biologically diverse rainforest. In the company of an experienced park ranger you will be tracking the whereabouts of one of the nine habituated family groups who live in the park. 

Your tracking experience will be an exciting, yet challenging, journey along forested (often muddy and slippery) slopes, tangled vines, thick vegetation and bamboo forests before you reach the territory of these gentle giants. En-route, your ranger will point out telltale signs of previous gorilla activity like dung, nests and chewed bamboo shoots. Depending on the location of the gorillas on any given day the walk can take anything from 2 to 7 hours. Once the family of gorillas has been located, settle in to your surroundings and enjoy the hour you have to quietly observe these fascinating primates whose habits and mannerisms remind us so much of our own.

 

Encountering the mountain gorillas in the wild is a truly humbling and emotional experience, one that you are sure to remember for the rest of your life.

Accommodation Buhoma Lodge
Meal Plan Breakfast, packed lunch & Dinner

Day 8: Flight to Entebbe

Enjoy your last sunrise in this beautiful corner of Uganda. In the early morning your guide will drop you off at Kihihi airstrip for your domestic flight to Entebbe.

Departure time from Kihihi: 

08.25 AM or 09.10 AM 

Arrival time in Entebbe: 

11.25 AM

* Timings may vary depending on aircraft routing.
** Kihihi flights are subject to prevailing weather conditions.

Accommodation for tonight is not included in the program. If you require one (or more) nights in Entebbe or Kampala please let us know and we can arrange it for you. want us to book one (or more) nights in Kampala and/or Entebbe, please let us know.



Click here, for the rates for this tour. 

 

Optional departure routes:

There is more than one way to get home! Discuss your preferred option and the additional costs involved with your personal Travel Consultant.

  • Drive to Entebbe via Lake Mburo

If you add a day to the program you can stop over in the beautiful Lake Mburo National Park, which is located about half-way between Bwindi Forest and Entebbe. With activities like bush walks, mountain biking and night game drives this is the perfect extension for those who don’t want their safari to end.

 
 

Did we hit all the items on your travel bucket list for Uganda? 

If not, don’t worry. We specialize in tailor-made tours and can customize this program to create your dream trip. Get in touch with your personal Travel Consultant to create your personalized program.

Don't want the fun to end?

Why not combine this tour with a beach holiday in Zanzibar or spend a few days in the tropical paradise that is the Kenyan coast? We take care of everything from flights to transfers and accommodation so that you can relax and enjoy your holiday. Explore our other destinations or speak with your personal Travel Consultant for some expert advice on suitable combinations.

Webale Nyo! (Thank you!)

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8 Days Uganda exclusive
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