8 days Uganda safari itinerary gives more time to travel from central through west to southwestern Uganda. Expect to cover a lot of ground driving in a vehicle – over 1,600 sq.km. But it makes sense passing through rural regions with equator crossing and photography. Of course, you’ll have rest stops in towns like Fort Portal city, Hoima and Kabale. Destinations on this 8 days Uganda safari are Ziwa rhino sanctuary, Murchison falls, Kibale Forest National park, Queen Elizabeth National park and Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park. Regarding the lodges, we shall include a community or an Eco lodge such as Bakiga lodge and Agandi Uganda. This is part of our responsible travel policy.
Suggestion on routing: Given that the last day of the 8 days Uganda safari will find you at Lake Bunyonyi. The journey is shorter to Rwanda than driving back to Entebbe airport. You may consider to chose one leg of the flights to/from Kigali city Rwanda rather than going both times through Entebbe Uganda. It might save some time. But, the advantage of driving from Lake Bunyonyi back to Entebbe is to pass via Lake Mburo National Park for zebras and impala.
Highlights of 8 days Uganda safari
- Rhino trekking at Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary
- Mountain gorilla trekking i Bwindi Impenetrable Fores National Park
- Nile River boat cruise and safari game drive Murchison Falls National Park
- Chimpanzee trekking in Kibale forest and Bigodi swamp walk
- Second boat cruise on Kazinga channel and a chance t spot tree climbing lions in Ishasha wilderness Queen Elizabeth national park
- Lake Bunyonyi
Detailed itinerary of 8 days Uganda safari
Day 1: Arrival and transfer to Murchison Falls National Park
Your guide will welcome you on arrival at Entebbe international airport. Your flight should be well timed and transfer to allow for transfer immediately to Murchison Falls National Park. Approximately, the journey time is 5-hour drive. On the way, you will visit Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary for on-foot rhino tracking with an armed ranger. This is a conservation initiative, supporting rhino breeding program in Uganda. Proceed to the southern part of Murchison and visit the top of Murchison falls – the park’s most spectacular feature.
Day 2: Game drive and Nile River boat cruise
If you stay in the south, expect to start earlier than normal. Given that we have to drive across the bridge to the north – the main area for safari games in Murchison Falls National Park.
You stand a great chance to spot a variety of wildlife big cats such as lions and leopards. But, the chance to see one comes naturally, it’s not guaranteed. Animals commonly seen include elephants, buffalo, giraffe, topi, oribi, Uganda kob, hartebeest and patas monkey. No zebras and impalas. The climax of the game drives is at the hippo pool – a place that has a feeling of a desert beach.
Good rest for lunch.
Afternoon boat cruise on Nile River which attracts hippos, crocodiles, water birds. Often see are the elephants and buffaloes that come to drink water. Stopping 10 meters away from the base of the falls, you will get off and hike to the top of the cliff where the view is most spectacular.
Day 3: Transfer to Kibale Forest
From Murchison to Kibale Forest National Park is about (253 sq.km) 7-hour drive. Some rest stopovers will be made through Fort Portal town and Hoima towns. Arrive at your lodge and check-in for dinner and overnight. Inside forest, there’s only one lodge and the rest are found outside the park. Kibale Forest is home to 13 primate species including chimpanzees, L’hoest monkeys, Red colobus monkeys, grey checked mangabays etc.
The main activity is chimpanzee trekking. But there are options for bird watching Bigodi swamp walk and Kibale forest night walk (don’t expect to see a lot but this walk gives you a feel for nature). In addition, Bigodi village offers typical Ugandan art and culture. There are women weaving baskets, banana beer activity and visiting a traditional healer for his stunning metaphysics.
Accommodation: Chimpanzee Guest House (budget)/ Turaco Treetops (medium)/ Papaya Lake Lodge (luxury)
Day 4: chimpanzee trekking and Bigodi swamp walk
Visitors will assemble at the Kanyanchu visitor centre and attend a briefing at 07:30 am on what to expect of the chimp trekking experience. You will be guided by rangers into the forest to search for chimpanzees. It will take time and effort as you walk through the thick jungles. Finally, you get to see chimps for about an hour with the help of rangers.
From the forest, you come back to your lodge for lunch. There’s time for you to choose one of the optional activities. You can go for a community and nature walk in Bigodi swamp to see birds and monkeys or a village walk to learn the local people’s lifestyles.
Return from there back to the lodge for dinner and overnight.
Day 5: Transfer to Queen Elizabeth national park for Kazinga channel boat cruise
After breakfast, you will transfer from Kibale in about a 3-hour drive to Queen Elizabeth national park. Arrive check in your lodge and transfer to Mweya for a boat cruise on the Kazinga channel. The boat cruise lasts 3 hours as it takes you close to the shores. The waters attract elephants, buffaloes, hippos, Nile crocodiles and a variety of water-loving birds like African fish eagles. You will do a game drive in the kasenyi plains when returning from kazinga back to your lodge. Dinner and overnight.
Day 6: Transfer to Bwindi Impenetrable forest national park
After breakfast, you will game drive from Kasenyi to Ishasha wilderness south of Queen Elizabeth on your way to Bwindi forest. Ishasha wilderness is known for its tree-climbing lions. These cats are rare and do not climb trees all the time. So, don’t be shocked if you miss spotting tree lions. But, other animals can be seen such as topis, bushbuck elephants and buffalo. Arrive at Bwindi and check in your lodge for dinner and overnight.
You will stay in one of the four Bwindi gorilla areas depending on your gorilla permit booking. The Bwindi gorilla tracking areas are Buhoma (HQ), Rushaga, Ruhija and Nkuringo.
Day 7: Gorilla tracking and transfer to Lake Bunyonyi
Visitors will assemble at the park visitor centre and attend a briefing on the gorilla rules. The briefing is meant to prepare your mind. To know that it takes effort and time about 2-6 hours or more as you walk on foot through the jungle searching for the gorillas. So, it is important to follow the advice the rangers tell you. Okay, you are guaranteed to see gorillas in their natural habitat. But, keep in mind it’s not a bed of roses.
Those doing gorilla tracking have 1 hour to spend with gorillas. In case you want more time with the gorillas, go for a habituation experience and spend up to 4 hours with a semi-habituated family of gorillas.
After returning from the bush, you will have lunch. We recommend you transfer from Bwindi to Lake Bunyonyi. The waters and scenic islands of Lake Bunyonyi are pleasant to look at. And it can be a good fit for you to relax after gorilla tracking.
Accommodation: Birds Nest Resort (luxury)/ Lake Bunyonyi Rock Resort (mid-range)/ Bunyonyi Overland Resort (budget).
Day 8: Departure
You can choose to depart through Kigali Rwanda or through Entebbe. End of Safari