14 Day Best of Uganda
The Mane Tours, Ltd. 14 Day tour is the best of Uganda. Uganda is a landlocked country in East Africa whose diverse landscape encompasses the snow-capped Rwenzori Mountains and immense Lake Victoria. Its abundant wildlife includes chimpanzees as well as rare birds. Remote Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is a renowned mountain gorilla sanctuary. Murchison Falls National Park in the northwest is known for its 43m-tall waterfall and wildlife such as hippos.
DAY 1: Entebbe Airport
The Mane Tours driver/guide will meet you at the Entebbe International Airport and transfer you to your lodging in Kampala the Capital City of Uganda.
DAY 2: Kampala – Lake Mburo National Park (4 Hrs.)
After a morning breakfast, you will go on a short tour of Kampala City, highlights including the bustling Nakasero market and the mysterious Kasubi tombs. The Kasubi Tombs is the site of the burial grounds for four Kabakas and other members of the Buganda royal family. You will also visit the Uganda Museum to view a display of all the many Uganda cultures.
You will return to the hotel for lunch then after, you will be driven through the lush green countryside to Lake Mburo National Park, stopping at the Equator for a photographic opportunity as well as an informative talk. Lake Mburo National Park is an extension of the Tanzanian plains situated between the towns of Masaka and Mbarara and is the only park that contains an entire lake in Uganda. The attractive acacia-dotted savannah is home to huge herds of impala as well as the uncommon topi, eland, klipspringer and other antelope. Zebra and buffalo also graze these peaceful acres. At the lake, there are hippo and crocodile, and a wonderful diversity of birds. Because of the different habitats of the lakeshore and the broad savannah, there is an endless variety of wildlife.
DAY 3: Lake Mburo National Park – Lake Bunyonyi (5 Hrs.)
The day will start with a guided nature walk to the Salt Lick area. A strategically placed wooden platform (observation point) will give you the chance to see at least four different species of animals at any one time while they lick the salty soil.
After the nature walk, you will then travel to Mbarara with a stopover at the Ankole long-horned cattle sighting area. You will have lunch at Mbarara and continue on past beautiful hills, ridges, and valleys in the Ntungamo area plus a long-flat stretch of savannah before reaching the Kigezi Hills (Switzerland of Africa) and Lake Bunyonyi. This large and erratically shaped lake lies at an altitude of approximately 2,000m (6,562 ft.) where it follows the contours of the hilly terrain that separates the towns of Kabale and Kisoro. It is a very scenic spot, dotted with small islands and ringed by steeped terraced hills. Bunyonyi means “place of little birds” and it is particularly good for water birds.
DAY 4: Lake Bunyonyi – Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park (2 Hrs.)
After breakfast, you will go for a boat ride on Lake Bunyonyi for a tour around the beautiful Islands on the lake. The lake gives a sanctuary to many different species of birds and also migrating birds from Europe. This is the only fresh water lake in the country where you can find otters. After lunch, you will depart for the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park passing through the Mafuga forest. On a clear day, the Virunga National Park’s volcanoes can be seen from a distance and also you can see a stretch of the Western Rift Valley as it disappears to the border of Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
DAY 5: Gorilla Trekking
An early morning trek into Bwindi National Park led by experienced trackers will bring you amongst a family of mountain gorillas. These massive primates are extremely rare, only 600 remaining. You will get within meters of the family and be privileged to spend time amongst them. After returning back to the lodge for lunch and should you have the energy, you may want to go for a village walk and see how Ugandans live and visit the local medicine man!.
DAY 6: Queen Elizabeth National Park (5 Hrs.)
After breakfast, we will depart early, with our packed lunches, for the five-hour drive to the Queen Elizabeth National Park. We will drive through the southern sector of Queen Elizabeth Park known as the Ishasha Sector, famous for its tree-climbing lions. Ishasha is a remote and beautiful extension of Queen Elizabeth National Park. We will see buffalo, topi and hippo among other species. It is a fabulous sight to see the lions draped on the trees and nowhere in Africa do you have a better chance of seeing this than in the large low-limbed fig trees of Ishasha. After checking in and having some time to relax, we will head for a late afternoon game drive. We often spot elephants, waterbucks, warthogs, hippos and others.
DAY 7: Wildlife Tour in Queen Elizabeth National Park
The early morning game drive will be to catch up with early risers and predators returning to their hideouts. During the game drive, you will be likely to meet grazing hippos, elephants, lions, spotted hyenas, bushbucks, water bucks, stripped jackal, leopard and of course the several warthogs. You will return to the lodge for lunch and to relax.
After lunch, you will enjoy the unique two-hour boat cruise on the Kazinga Channel and into Lake Edward. This trip passes through possibly the highest concentration of hippos, buffalos, elephants and many animals drinking at the water’s edge. The tour is an excellent platform for photography, bird watching, and game viewing. The prolific bird life is colorful and stupendous with well over 550 resident species.
DAY 8: Kibale Forest National Park
In the morning you will go on another game drive. After lunch, you will depart for the Kibale Forest National Park, which is home to Uganda’s chimpanzees (2 Hrs.).
DAY 9: Chimpanzee Trekking Tour
After breakfast, with a local guide, you will trek the chimps in their natural habitat. The Kibale Forest National Park is believed to have the largest concentration of primates in the world. Over ten different species of primates have been recorded in this park, not only the chimps but also the localized red colobus and L’Hoest’s monkeys. Tracking the chimpanzees is a very interesting experience. The way they feed, climb trees, respond to humans, caring for their young ones, is just phenomenal. A network of shady forest trails provides much to delight botanists and butterfly lovers alike, while birders have recorded over 300 species including the endemic Prirogrine’s ground thrush in this forest.
The elusive forest elephant, smaller and hairier than its savannah counterpart, moves seasonally into the developed part of the park, while other terrestrial mammals include buffalo, giant forest hog and a half dozen antelope species can also be seen.
DAY 10: Murchison Falls National Park (6.5 Hrs.)
After breakfast, we will depart for the drive to the Murchison Falls National Park. We will stop to eat our packed lunches, arriving late in the evening. We will enter the park through the Bugungu gate.
DAY 11: Murchison Falls National Park
After breakfast, you will go on a game drive with a local guide. The game drive is carried out on the northern bank of the River Nile where there are large concentrations of game, such as elephants, giraffes, antelopes, lions, leopards, hyenas, and many bird species. You will enjoy your picnic lunch in the park.
In the afternoon, you will go for a boat cruise on the famous River Nile to the bottom of the Murchison Falls. During the tour up to the bottom of the falls, you will see marine animals like the crocodiles, schools of hippos and many species of birds.
DAY 12: Murchison Falls – Kampala (3.5 Hrs.)
After checking out of the hotel, you will be driven to the top of the falls. At the top, there is a spectacular sight, when millions of gallons of water squeeze thru a 6-meter gap before it falls in a thunderous explosion at the bottom of the falls. Afterwards, you will then proceed to Kampala passing through the Budongo Forest. There will be a stop in the forest to view different species of flora, especially seeing the particular species of trees, like mahogany, muvule, etc. , that are characteristic of an African rain forest.
DAY 13: Jinja or Bujagali Falls and the Source of the Nile
After breakfast, you will be driven to Jinja town where you have the opportunity to go white water rafting. An alternative to white water rafting is a visit to the source of the Nile River and Bujagali Falls. If you have enough time, you can also visit the Namugongo Martyrs Shrine.
DAY 14: Entebbe Botanical Gardens
If time allows, you can visit the Entebbe Botanical gardens before your driver/guide takes you to the airport for departure.
END OF TOUR