12 Days Primates and Wildlife Self Drive Safari
Embark on this epic wilderness adventure into the heart of Uganda exploring on your own with our rented 4X4 car . Experience the savanna plains, the tropical and primeval forest and indulge in the most exciting wonders that Uganda has to offer. Trek the endangered mountain gorillas in Bwindi, the Chimps in Kibale and explore the savanna landscapes for game in Queen Elizabeth and Murchison falls. Get up close and personal with the white rhinos in Ziwa rhino sanctuary. This 12 Days Primates and Wildlife Self Drive Safari allows you to visit Uganda’s top safari destinations. A self- Drive Safari is one way of enjoying Uganda and all what it has to offer
- Rhino tracking
- Game drives
- Boat cruises
- Chimpanzee trekking
- Gorilla trekking
- Community visits
- Crater lake exploration
Day 1: Arrival in Uganda.
On landing at Entebbe International Airport, a representative from Laba Africa will welcome you and transfer you to your hotel here you will go through the briefing for your safari, inspecting the car and the gear for your self drive safari. The guide will further take you through the driving tips and expectations in Uganda. Relax and recover from your journey.
Day 2: Rhino Trekking
Raise to an early breakfast and head north to the Nakasongola plains. Here, you will have your first stop at Ziwa rhino sanctuary. Home to over 35 rhinos, this is the only place in Uganda where rhinos can be encountered in the wild. After a safety briefing, you will trek on foot in search of the rhino families. You will be led by an experienced guide to the different rhinos in the vast sanctuary. Watch them as they graze and interact with one another. This trek will last up to 2 hours check out this short video of rhino trekking up close
Enter Murchison falls national park through the Kichumbanyobo gate and proceed through the park. The scenic drive through the Budongo forest and the escarpments is dotted with a baboon welcome committee. Make a stopover at the top of the Murchison falls. These are arguably the strongest falls in the world. The thundering of the water as it cascades through the narrow 7-meter gap creates a low rumble in the ground. The crashing of the waters into the Albert Nile creates a spray 50 meters high creating a rainbow in the afternoon sun. Take selfie to commemorate the tour. Proceed further into the park and set up camp at your designated camp site. Relax and enjoy the view of the wilderness.
Drive time – 7 hours
Day 3: Into the Wilderness
Murchison falls national park offers a unique eco system and habitat ranging from woodland, open savanna, marsh land and tropical forest. These support a vast array of wildlife making the park a perfect destination for wildlife viewing. Your morning game drive will start as early as 6;00am. This gives you the chance to spot the nocturnal and the big cats while they do their last minute hunting. Predators that can be seen in the park include; Lions, leopards, hyenas and jackals. Grazers include; elephants, buffalo, giraffes, oribi, hippos, kobs, Jackson’s Hartebeests, waterbucks and many more. Plenty of bird species are seen during the game drive. Saddle billed stork, open billed stork, Egyptian geese, woodland kingfisher, crested cranes, lapwing, denim’s bastard, jacana and Abyssinian ground bill are a few of the birds to encounter on your drive.
Return for an early lunch in preparation for an afternoon boat cruise. This cruise takes you to the bottom of the falls. Relax and enjoy the sightings of elephants, waterbucks, kobs and crocodiles by the banks of the river. Big hippo families can be seen in the water. More bird species can be seen nesting in the trees. At the bottom of the falls, you will be able to clearly see the Nile struggling through the narrow gorge. This cruise will last up to 3 hours. Return to your campsite and relax for the evening.
Day 4: Transfer to Kibale Forest
Break camp, exit Murchison falls and drive for Kibale National park. The scenic route along the shores of Lake Albert is captivating. At Biso escarpments, you will be rewarded by the views of the fishing villages and the shores of the Lake. Proceed to Kibale through Hoima, Kagadi, Kyenjojo and finally arrive in Kibale. Set up your tent by the shores of the crater lakes and enjoy the cool breeze and magnificent views of Mountain Rwenzori.
Drive time: 6 Hours
Day 5: Chimpanzee treking and Bigodi Community Walk
Known as the primate capital of the world for not only chimpanzee trekking but Kibale national park is home to 13 primate species. Chimpanzees are the most sought after in this park. However, other species are easily encountered on this trek. They include; the grey checked mangabeys, black and white colobus monkeys, blue monkeys, red tailed monkeys, olive baboons and many more. Check out how your trekking might look like https://www.youtube.com/shorts/mRM5SH0SJ5A
On your chimpanzee trek, you will head to the park headquarters for registration and a briefing. You will then be led into the forest by expert guides to search for the chimps. On locating the chimps, you will be amazed at the similarities they share with humans. They share 95% of our DNA and this is evident in the similarities in facial features, their vocal calls and intelligence to use tools in their daily activities. You are allowed an hour to observe and take photos/videos. Remember to switch off the camera mode of your camera.
Return to your campsite for lunch. Relax and recover from the trek in preparation for your evening nature walk in the Bigodi wetlands. Bigodi wetlands have a rich diversity of primates and bird life. Black and white colobus monkeys, red tailed monkeys and grey checked mangabeys are spotted on this walk. More to that, your participation in this tour greatly contributes to the community projects like education, water and local financial institutions
Day 6: Transfer to Queen Elizabeth National Park
Wake up to a late breakfast, break camp and transfer to Queen Elizabeth national park. This drive will take you through the crater lake region of Fort portal. Marvel at the magnificent views of the towering Rwenzori as you drive to Kasese town. On arrival in Queen Elizabeth, enjoy a delicious lunch and relax. This down time allows you to contemplate on the adventures of your safari. Share your photos with family back home and catch up with loved ones.
Drive time – 2 hours
Day 7: Explore the wilderness in Queen Elizabeth National park
Early mornings are always the best time to encounter the wildlife in any savanna park. The temperatures are favorable for the big cats to hunt and the grazers are up to catch the fresh morning grass. The mating grounds on the Kasenyi plains are the ultimate destination to view both predators and prey. As the antelopes are fighting for dominance, the prey wait around to catch the weary after the fight. With some luck, catch sight of the tree climbing lions, leopards, hyenas, buffalo, hippos, waterbucks, elephants, warthogs and many more. Explore the local salt mines and experience the rudimentary mining techniques. Buy a souvenir from the local craft shops in remembrance of your visit.
Continue your safari with an afternoon boat cruise on the Kazinga channel. The 600 bird species in the park are mostly found in the Mweya Peninsula where the boat cruise is launched. More to that, herds of elephants, buffalo, hippos, waterbucks and crocodiles can be seen by the banks of the channel as they quench their thirst in the afternoon heat. This cruise lasts up to 2 hours. Return to the camp site and check in for the night.
Day 8: Onwards to Bwindi impenetrable Forest
Have a late breakfast, break camp and depart Queen Elizabeth for Bwindi impenetrable national park. This is home to the endangered mountain gorillas. The drive offers spectacular scenery of the rift valley. The steep escarpments, the tea plantations and the small villages are a sight to behold. On arrival in Bwindi, check into your lodge. Because it may be too cold to camp, you may consider staying in a comfortable lodge. Relax in great anticipation of the most popular Uganda safari activity, gorilla trekking. Make sure your hiking boats, long pants and water bottles are ready.
Drive time – 4 hours
Accommodation: Camping/Optional Lodge
Day 9: Gorillas trekking in Uganda
Gorilla trekking, the highlight of any Uganda safari. Although Gorillas are the main attraction, the trek through the lush green forest offers epic safari moments. After a warm breakfast, you will drive to the park headquarters for registration, orientation and allocation of a gorilla family to trek. You will then be led into the primeval forest in search for the gorillas. The whistling of the wind through the tall trees, the chirping of the birds and the thick undergrowth is transcending. On encountering the gorillas, you will be thrown off guard. The pictures you might have seen don’t do the primates justice. The intelligent look of the silverback, the nursing mothers, their beautiful shaggy babies and young playful juveniles are a sight to behold. Watch them as they eat, play and groom. You are allowed an hour with them. Take videos and pictures but remember to switch off the flash mode of your camera. Depending on the location of your assigned gorilla family, the trek will last up to 6 hours. Return to the lodge and enjoy a well-deserved rest.
Accommodation: Camping/Optional lodge.
Day 10: Transfer to Kampala
In preparation for the long drive ahead, have an early departure for Kampala. This drives takes you through the beautiful scenery of Kabale. The hairpin bends, the terraced hills and the road side markets are spectacular. Have a lunch stopover in Mbarara before proceeding on your journey to Kampala. At Kayabwe, stop at the equator monument. Take a few pictures and participate in the hemispheric experiment. On arrival in Kampala, check into your lodge and relax. Venture out in the evening and experience the life in Kampala.
Drive time: 9 Hours
Day 11: White Water Rafting on River Nile
Let’s end this 12 Days Primates and Wildlife Self-Drive Safari with a bang. Jinja is the adventure capital of the world. An early start will see in in Jinja in time for white water rafting. This takes place on the Nile, the world’s second longest river. As she departs Lake Victoria, she leaves in her wake a series of rapids begging to be rafted. You will enjoy a full day rafting experience. Explore the exact point the Nile departs Lake Victoria to make it’s 4,000km journey to the Mediterranean sea. Check into your campsite by the river and relax with the rapids as your white noise.
Drive time: 2 hours
Day 12: Transfer to Entebbe
This is the last day of your 12 Days Primates and Wildlife Self Drive Safari. You will depart Jinja for Entebbe airport. Here, you will meet a representative from Laba Africa, return the safari vehicle and board your flight back home.
Drive time – 3 hours