Introduction of your 18-Days Uganda Self Drive Safari
Explore the best of Uganda safari destinations for spectacular encounters with the wildlife, primates and adventure on this Self-Drive Safari. Trek the endangered mountain gorillas, the chimps, golden monkeys and explore the savanna plains of Kidepo, Murchison falls and Queen Elizabeth national parks for amazing game viewing. Get your adrenaline pumping with adventure activities in Jinja all in one full pack of our 18-Days Uganda Self Drive Safari
Day 1: Welcome to Uganda.
Arrive at Entebbe international airport where you will be met by a representative from Laba Africa. Transfer to your accommodation in Kampala. Depending on the time of your arrival, you have the option of checking out the busy life in Kampala, the capital city. Your 4×4 Car for your 18-Days Uganda Self Drive Safari will be handed to you and an orientation of the driving style and camping equipment will be provided by Laba Africa staff.
Estimated distance: 1 hour drive
Day 2: Transfer to Jinja
Drive towards the adventure capital of Uganda, Jinja. The sugar plantations and the tropical forest of Mabira offer a scenic drive. We recommend a late start(10am) to avoid the morning rush. Explore the source of the Nile, the exact spot the Nile departs from Lake Victoria. Later in the evening, relax on the sunset boat cruise on the Nile. Return to your camp site for the night.
Estimated distance: 2-3 hours drive.
Accommodation: Camping Nile River Explorer’s camp
Day 3: Rafting and transfer to Sipi falls
White water rafting is once in a lifetime experience. Done on the Nile is a whole different ball game. The grade 5 rapids offer thrilling encounters on your Africa self-drive safari. You will be briefed about safety and led by expert guides through your rafting adventure. This is a half day activity. After lunch, depart Jinja for Sipi falls in the Eastern part of Uganda. Here, the terrain drastically changes from flat lands to rocky upcrops, waterfalls and scenic views. These slopes are the foot of Mt Elgon.
Estimated distance: 5-6 hours
Day 4: Explore Sipi falls
Sipi falls is a series of 3 waterfalls ranging from 75-100m high. The falls are fed by water running down from Mountain Elgon. Explore each of the 3 waterfalls. A walk through the local community leads to each of the waterfalls. Take a dip in the pools created by the swift running water. Abseil down the tallest waterfall(100m) and enjoy the spectacular views of the low lands of Karamoja. The King’s rock offers amazing sunsets walks. Enjoy a glass of wine or cup of coffee overlooking flat landscapes.
Day 5: Transfer to Kidepo
An early morning departure gives you enough time for the rather long drive ahead. The drive takes you through the Karamoja plains with exciting views of the manyatta(Karamajong) homesteads, rock up crops and the local trading centers depicting the lives of the Karamajong people.
Estimated distance: 7-8 hours drive
Day 6: Wildlife encounters
Kidepo valley national park was named “the hidden gem of Africa” by CN travel largely because of her scenic beauty. The Narus valley is the main source of water in the dry season, drawing wildlife from afar making it the perfect spot for game viewing. The park is famous for her large herds of Buffalo, drawing predators like lions after them. Leopards, hyenas and cheetahs are commonly seen. Big herds of elephants, eland, giraffes, Jackson’s hartebeests, oribi and many more wildlife can be seen on a game drive.
With 56 species of raptors found in the park, birders find this incredible. Northern bishop, black bellied bastard, secretary birds and many more can be seen during your game drives.
Day 7: Transfer to Murchison falls
Break camp and transfer to Murchison falls national park, the biggest nature reserve in Uganda. En-route, visit the Aru falls, take a dip in the pool to cool off. Have lunch in Gulu town before proceeding to Murchison falls. Enjoy the magnificent sunset over the Albert Nile.
Estimated distance: 7-8 hours
Day 8: Explore the Murchison falls wilderness.
Murchison falls national park has the highest diversity and quantities of wildlife in Uganda. The different eco systems favor a variety of habitats in the park. The tropical forest is home to chimpanzees, black and white colobus monkeys, baboons and plenty of bird species. The woodlands comprise of tall acacia trees which in turn nourish the giraffes. Elephants, buffalo, hippos, Jackson’s hartebeests, oribi, bush backs, waterbucks and many more species of antelopes can be seen in the park. The major predators that are common are lions, leopards and hyenas.
The afternoon boat cruise takes you upstream to the Murchison falls. The river’s banks are lined with elephants, waterbucks, buffaloes and crocodiles. The hippos relax in their families by the shallow ends of the river. The bottom of the falls offer majestic views of the Nile forced through a narrow gorge. The 50 meter drop into the Albert Nile creates a thundering roar and a spray, creating a rainbow in the afternoon sun.
Day 9: Transfer to Kibale
Break camp and visit the top of Murchison falls. The rumble in the ground alerts you to the sight ahead. The immense waters of the Nile struggle to fit through the 7-meter gorge, falling 50 meters in the Albert Nile. These are arguably the strongest falls in the world.
Proceed through the beautiful landscape of Bulisa. At Biso escarpments, enjoy a picnic with spectacular views of the fishing villages and Lake Albert. Have a lunch stopover in Hoima before proceeding to Kibale national park. Camp by the crater lakes.
Estimated distance: 7-8 hrs
Day 10: Chimpanzee tracking
Kibale forest national park is the primate capital of the world. The forest is home to 13 primate species, chimpanzees being the most sought after. Other primates include; grey checked mangabeys, red tailed monkeys, black and white colobus monkeys, blue monkeys and more. The trek begins with a briefing at the park headquarter. Expert guides will lead you into the forest in search of the primates. Similarities with humans is evident from the facial features to the vocal calls, cementing the fact that we share 95% of our DNA with these primates. You are allowed an hour with the chimps observing them as they eat, play and groom each other. Spend the rest of the day relaxing and recovering from your trek.
Day 11: Transfer to Queen Elizabeth national park
Sleep in and have a late start to Queen Elizabeth national park. Drive through the crater regions of Rwimi, stopping at view points along the way. The magnificent views of the towering Rwenzori mountains is a sight to behold.
Day 12: Wildlife encounters.
Located right in the rift valley is this unending wilderness. Nourished by Lake George and Lake Edward, the wildlife thrives. The kob mating grounds in the Kasenyi plains attracts predators like lions, leopards and hyenas. Elephants, buffalo, hippos are an occasional sighting in this national park. This experiential game drive allows you to drive off the tracks for close encounters with lions and leopards.
The 3-hour afternoon boat cruise on the Kazinga channel avails a rare opportunity for very close interactions with elephants close to the banks of the channel. Crocodiles, buffalo and hippos can be seen as they wallow in the shallow ends of the channel. This cruise allows spectacular photography opportunities. Birders find this a haven. Most of the 660 bird species in Queen Elizabeth national park are found on this peninsular.
Day 13: Transfer to Bwindi
Break camp and set for the enchanting primeval forest of Bwindi. The route takes you through the Albertine rift. The steep escarpments dotted with immaculate tea plantations offer a scenic drive. The road through the Ishasha is seasonal, be sure to ask the hotel or guides for better preparation. Because of the low temperatures in and around the forest, it would be wise to check into a lodge to avoid a cold night in the tent.
Estimated distance: 5-6 hours
Day 14: Gorilla trekking
Gorilla trekking is the most popular safari activity on any Uganda safari. These endangered mountain gorillas are only found in the Virunga ranges which are found in Uganda, Rwanda and DR Congo. Gorilla trekking entails a trek through the lush green forest to encounter the gorillas. Depending on the location of the gorilla family, gorilla trekking will last up to 8 hours. Your encounter with these species is special. The cold stare of the dominant silver buck, the shaggy coats of the babies and the playful juveniles is a once in lifetime experience. It’s not surprising that people opt to trek more than once. You are allowed an hour to observe these primates.
Day 15: Transfer to Kisoro
Travel further south to the bordering district of Kisoro. The 3 mountain ranges of Muhabura, Sabinyo and Gahinga are spectacular. On rare occasion, a mushroom like cloud can be seen at the summit of these 3 ranges. The winding roads leading downhill are scenic. The view point offers epic photography moments.
Drive time: 4 hours
Day 16: Golden monkeys tracking
Mgahinga gorilla national park is famous for her big sized silver bucks due to the abundance of food. On this occasion however, the golden monkeys are our target. Golden monkeys derive their name from their yellowish/golden tone of their coat. They are swift and one needs a steady hand for a clear picture. They live in the bamboo forest on the mountains. You will need to keep pace with them as they move from one tree to another. With luck, they will find a good source of food where they will stay still for your pleasure. They are habituated and accustomed to people. Depending on their location, golden monkey trekking will last between 2-5 hours.
Day 17: Transfer to Mburo national park
The drive from Kisoro to Lake Mburo national park is dramatic, filled with stunning terraced hills of Kabale and fresh produce stalls by the side of the road. It gradually turns into the flat lands with plantations and farm lands. Lake Mburo national park. The park is home to numerous wildlife species but is famous for her big herds of zebra and impala.
Drive Time; 5-6 hours
Day 18: Explore Lake Mburo and transfer to Kampala
This small national park packs a punch when it comes to her wildlife. Although lions and elephants are not found her, her other species largely makes up for it. The vast herds of Zebra, impala and eland are captivating. Giraffes, topi, buffalo, warthogs, hippos and many more can be seen in the park. If you are lucky, you will be able to encounter the elusive leopard. Proceed to Kampala and then Entebbe. You will then hand over the self drive safari vehicle to a representative from Laba Africa before catching your plane to your next destination. End of your 18-Days Uganda Self Drive Safari