0 Adults


  • Adult

• All highlights in 12 days
• Mid-range & semi-luxury lodging
• Gorilla & Chimp permit included!

Uganda is known for its friendly people and incredible diversity of landscapes and activities. On this 12-day journey, let us show you the best that Uganda has to offer from boat rides to the mighty Murchison Falls and safaris on the savannah plains of Queen Elizabeth National Park, to intimate meetings with the chimpanzees in Kibale Forest and mountain gorilla encounters along the canopy covered trails of Bwindi Forest. The tour wraps up with visits to two of the most beautiful lakes in Uganda, Lake Mutanda and Lake Bunyonyi.
Day 1: Welcome to Uganda
Day 2: Travel to Murchison Falls NP
Day 3: Game Drive and Boat Safari to the Murchison Falls
Day 4: Travel to Kibale Forest NP
Day 5: Chimpanzee Tracking & Visit to Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary
Day 6: Travel to Queen Elizabeth NP
Day 7: Game Drive and Boat Safari in Queen Elizabeth NP
Day 8: Travel to Lake Mutanda
Day 9: Gorilla Tracking in Bwindi Forest
Day 10: Lake Bunyonyi
Day 11: Lake Mburo NP
Day 12: Bush walk and return to Entebbe

Day by Day: 12-day Uganda Highlight
Day 1: Welcome to 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 expertly navigating you 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.

Your accommodation for the night is set on the shores of Lake Victoria, about a 40-minute drive from Entebbe. Along the way you will catch a glimpse of the daily pulse of Uganda, like the matatus and boda bodas (local 4-wheel and 2-wheel taxis) weaving 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 staple favorite food, the Matoke.

Journey Time 40 minutes
Accommodation Kaazi Beach Resort

Meal Plan No meals inclusive

Day 2: To Murchison Falls national park
Your journey in Uganda will begin with one of the oldest conservation areas in the country; Murchison Falls National Park. The drive to Northern Uganda is long but rewarding, taking you through ever-changing landscapes, busy roadside markets and quiet rural villages.

Murchison Falls National Park is Uganda’s best-known and biggest nature reserve. Its most memorable feature is the Victoria Nile which cuts through the park, running along a series of rapids before shooting out of a narrow crack in an incredibly powerful waterfall. A boat safari during your stay will offer a closer look at the majestic falls while providing ample opportunity to see some of the incredible wildlife that the park is known for along the way

Your accommodation will add to the safari experience as you will be spending your nights in en-suite furnished safari tents set by the Nile. This is the real African bush and you will need to be escorted by a ranger when you leave your tent after night fall. There is nothing quite as exciting as your first night falling asleep to the sound of active wildlife around you. If you listen carefully you will hear the hippos serenading you to sleep with their charming laugh-like grunts.

Journey Time 7 to 8 Hours
Accommodation Murchison River Lodge

Meal Plan Breakfast and dinner

Want to take a walk amongst the Rhinos at Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary?
A nice way to break off your drive to Murchison Falls NP is to stop off at the Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary for a Rhino Hike. Uganda used to be home to a healthy population of both black and white rhinos. That was until civil war, widespread poaching and urbanization wiped out the species from our lands back in the 1980’s. In an effort to re-introduce the species to Uganda’s parks the Rhino Fund Uganda together with Uganda Wildlife Authority have set up a breeding program at Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary. To date there are 22 Southern White Rhinos roaming the 7000 hectares of land that comprise the sanctuary, many of which were born in the wild. On a visit to the sanctuary you will join an experienced ranger on a hike to find these magnificent creatures. This is a wonderful opportunity to see the endangered rhinos in the wild from a close range, while at the same time learn about the breeding program and the steps taken to involve the local communities in the conservation efforts.
This activity is optional at an additional cost of $60 per person
Day 3: Murchison Falls National Park
On your morning game drive a professional ranger with extensive knowledge of the park and its inhabitants will join you in your vehicle. As this is a private game drive you can ask your guide to tailor your trip towards specific birdlife and/or wildlife if you like.

The park is especially known for its massive elephant population, wide array of bird species and big herds of buffalo. Giraffes, lions, antelope and waterbucks can also be spotted here and if you search the trees carefully, you may even spot one of the elusive leopards.

The afternoon boat safari towards Murchison Falls is a special highlight of the day. On this 3-hour journey upstream on the Victoria Nile to the base of the falls you will pass by breathtaking scenery, as well as many crocodiles, hundreds of hippos, buffaloes, water birds, monkeys and other animals that come down to the Nile for a cool drink in the hot of the day. For humans, cold drinks are for sale onboard. The boat will drop you near the waterfall for your hike (1-1.5 hrs) up to the top of the falls. Make sure you are properly hydrated for the walk and be prepared to be blown away by the amazing views from the top.
Accommodation Murchison River Lodge

Meal Plan Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Add an extra day in Murchison and go Chimp Tracking in Budongo Forest!
With an extra day in Murchison Falls NP you can visit the chimpanzees in Budongo Forest. This southern region of the park is home to the biggest mahogany forest in East Africa and habitat to the largest number of chimpanzees in Uganda. During your walk in the forest you may also come across other primates like the Blue Monkeys, Red-tailed Monkeys, Vervet Monkeys and Olive Baboons.
This activity is optional at an additional cost of $110 per person. (cost for an extra night not included)

Add a Birding Tour on the famous Royal Mile
If you are a keen birder, consider adding an extra day in Murchison Falls NP to visit the Royal Mile. The Royal Mile is located in Budongo Forest Reserve in the southern part of Murchison Falls NP. The forest trails here were popular jaunts for Ugandan royalty once upon a time, but is now better known among the birding community for being the best bird watching spot in the country. Among the 350 species reportedly seen in the area, including some rare species, you will see several types of flycatchers, spinetails, sunbirds, kingfisher, barbets, hornbills and eagles.
This activity is optional at an additional cost of $40 per person (site guide of $30 is not included).

Have you always wanted to go on a hot air balloon safari?
Discover Murchison Falls NP from above! Sign up for this optional activity to experience the most amazing views of the Nile river, Lake Albert, the great Murchison Falls and of course to get a unique aerial view of wildlife below. The launch starts in the early morning, while it is still dark, so that you can see the sun rise over the park. Upon landing you will watch the park wake up while you enjoy a champagne bush breakfast (included).
This activity is optional at an additional cost of $380 per person.

Day 4: Travel to Kibale Forest
Your journey to Kibale Forest will be your longest drive on this tour, but possibly the most scenic. The drive will take 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.

Your lodge for the next two nights offers a unique jungle experience near the boundaries of the park. Immerse yourself in the sights and sounds of nature in one of the property’s beautifully decorated cottages, each set in a private nook in the forest. The rooms are spacious and have large terraces from where you can watch the activities of the forest inhabitants. The main lodge building offers stunning views of the forest canopy below and on a clear day you can see all the way to the snow-capped Rwenzori Mountains.

Journey Time 9 hours
Accommodation Turaco Treetops

Meal Plan Breakfast and dinner
Day 5: Chimpanzee tracking and swamp walk
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!
After socializing with the chimps you will be invited to engage in the human custom of a hot lunch. Served by local residents you will learn about the traditional cuisine of the region and its preparation. This meal will offer a nice insight into the local culture, as well as giving a real taste of Uganda!

In the afternoon you can choose whether you would like to spend more time with the local communities and learn more about their day-to-day lives on a Community Walk or go deeper into the forest on a Swamp Walk in the Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary. The Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary is home to 8 primate species, over 200 bird species, butterflies and various reptiles. For bird lovers the highlight of the afternoon is spotting the beautiful great blue turaco.
Both the Community Walk and Swamp Walk are operated by KAFRED, a registered community-based organization. The income from the walk is used for community development projects such as schools and hospitals.
Please let your Matoke Tours Travel Consultant know which walk you prefer at the time of booking.
Journey Time 15 minutes each way
Accommodation Turaco Treetops

Meal Plan Breakfast and dinner

Day 6: Queen Elizabeth National Park
Scenic 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 Marafiki Safari Lodge

Meal Plan Breakfast and 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 USD 50 per person

Join a research team and track the majestic lions of QENP
For visitors who yearn to get a closer look at African wildlife, while contributing to an important conservation program at the same time, a Lion Tracking research trip can be a rewarding adventure. This unique experience allows visitors to join a research team who track and monitor some of lions in the park though locator devices. The data collected will further the conservation program, while you get a unique and intimate insight into the lives and habits of these fascinating predators.
The additional cost for this optional activity is USD 100 per person

Day 7: Game drive & boat safari
Safari breakfasts are traditionally served before the day breaks so that you can start your morning game drive as the sun comes up. Sunrise is the best time for wildlife spotting as animals tend to be the most active during the “golden hours”, when the first rays of sunshine come to rest on the savannah. Elephants, buffalo and several species of antelope are some of the characters you may come across today, and if you’re lucky, you may even spot a lion or leopard.

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 an exciting 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. For many visitors the boat safari is the highlight of their visit to Queen Elizabeth National Park.

Accommodation Marafiki Safari lodge

Meal Plan Breakfast and dinner

Day 8: To lake Mutanda
Your journey today will continue south-west toward Kisoro, a bustling town to the south of Bwindi Forest, near the borders to Rwanda and Congo. This is one of our favorite drives in Uganda.
The serpentine roads wind through lush rainforests, skirting hill tops (keep your eyes open for the volcanos!) and dipping into lively villages in the valley before arriving to the serene waters of Lake Mutanda.
Offering some of the best views in Uganda, Mutanda Lake Resort is perched on a peninsula overlooking a series of small islands scattered across the water and the volcanoes from the Virunga Range rising out of the mist in the distance.

Gorilla Tracking is the main highlight of a visit to the southern parts of Bwindi Forest, but you are also in the perfect place for volcano hikes, birding, nature and culture walks and canoe and paddle board excursions. The sunset scenes are unforgettable so make sure to find your way to the veranda in time for sundowners.
Journey time 8 hours
Accomodation Mutanda Lake Resort

Meal plan Breakfast and dinner

Day 9: Lake Mutanda
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.
Journey Time 1 – 1½ h each way
Accommodation Mutanda Lake Resort

Meal Plan Breakfast and dinner

Optional upgrade: Luxury Cottage
The spacious Luxury Cottages at Mutanda Lake Resort boast the best views of the lake and the volcanoes. From the comfort of your private veranda you can enjoy the seclusion and tranquility of this beautiful spot on the lake.
Optional on day 8 and 9 at an additional cost of USD 40 per person per night.

Day 10: Lake Bunyonyi
Bunyonyi means ‘place of many little birds’. This beautiful lake, surrounded by steep terraced hillsides, contains 29 islands, many of which are inhabited. It is a magical place to wake up in, especially with the early morning mist lingering on the lake. At this time you will see school children paddling dugout canoes to school and farmers transporting their goods to the market place. Here you can fill your time swimming, hiking, bird watching, and taking boat rides to any of the islands on the lake. Lake Bunyoni is bilharzia, croc and hippo free so you can relax and enjoy its cool waters.

One of our recommended activities is to go on one of the cultural hikes in the area. This is nice opportunity to learn about the legends, traditions and customs of the people who make a home on the shores of Lake Bunyonyi. On a 5-hour tour you can meet a traditional healer, a craft group, see beautiful views from one of the high points on the lake and try your hand at paddling one of the traditional dugout canoes.
Journey Time 4 – 5 hrs
Accommodation Bird Nest Resort

Meal Plan Breakfast, lunch and dinner
Day 11: Lake Mburo National Park
Lake Mburo National Park may be a small national park but it should certainly not be underestimated. Besides the beautiful scenery, this is the only place in southern Uganda where you can see zebras and the only park in the country with impalas, slender mongoose and giant bush rats. On your game drive in the afternoon you can also look for hyenas, leopards, topis, elands and the beautiful Rothschild’s giraffes. The lake itself is home to both hippos and crocodiles. Besides game drives there are many activities on offer in the park, such as horse-riding, mountain biking, bush walks and boat safaris on the lake.
Journey Time 5-6 hours
Accommodation Rwakobo Rock

Meal Plan Breakfast and dinner

Want to explore Lake Mburo NP at night?
A whole new world of animal species (nocturnal) await you on a night game drive. It is the best chance of spotting the elusive and solitary leopards, who come out to hunt at night. Keep your eyes peeled for glowing eyes in the dark as you could be passing one of these rare and beautiful cats.

This activity is optional at an additional cost. Please contact your personal Travel Consultant to find out more.

Day 12: Bush walk, to Entebbe
You will rise early today to head out on bush walk in the park. The park is a completely different place when you are removed from the constraints of a safari vehicle. Your senses are aware of every sound and movement in the bush and you see things at ground level that you would otherwise miss. With an experienced guide you will also learn a lot about the inhabitants of the park.
After a hearty breakfast back at the lodge it is time to return to Entebbe. Along the way we will stop at the equator for some souvenir shopping. It is possible to connect with an international flight tonight, but the earliest departure must be at 10pm. If you would like an extra night in Entebbe or
Kampala this can be arranged for you at an additional cost.

Journey Time 5 hours to Kampala / 6 hours to Entebbe
Accomodation Not included
Meal Plan Late breakfast

You might also like

Travel is my life. Since 1999, I’ve been traveling around the world nonstop. If you also love travel, you’re in the right place!

    Your Bookings
    Your cart is emptyReturn to Safaris