Cultural and Wildlife Safari Uganda – 16 Days

Day 1: Arrival and hotel transfer.
On arrival at Entebbe international airport, you will be met and warmly received by your driver guide from African Crane Safaris who will then brief you as he transfers you to your hotel for overnight (depending on your arrival time)

Day 2: Kampala Cultural tour.
karamoja culture ugandaThe Kabaka’s cultural Trail offers a unique journey through the kingdom of Buganda’s rich heritage, shaped by the region’s kinds and their descendants. It gives you a chance to learn about the hidden and the forgotten history of Buganda, as well as to experience an authentic, traditional culture – with dance, music, craft making, spiritual healing, storytelling, traditional herbal medicines and traditional food preparations. The trail consists of about seven cultural sites all within easy reach of the capital Kampala like:
Kabaka’s lake (a manmade lake in honor of the then Kabaka of Buganda)
Kasubi Tombs where the Buganda's former four kings were buried;
Naggalabi Buddo Coronation site – Where Buganda's kings are crowned;
Katareke Prison – where the Kabaka's imprisoned and punished law breakers;
Wamala King’s Tombs – Where King Wamala was burried. A place of ritual and cultural ceremonies.
Nnamasole Kanyange Tombs – linking mother and son forever;
Nnamasole Baagalayaze Tombs and Cultural Centre – a place of hope, celebration and learning.
According to Buganda culture, a king does not die but gets lost in the forest. Inside the royal tomb, for example the Kasubi Tombs and the Wamala Tombs above, one is shown the entrance of the forest. It is a taboo to look beyond the entrance to the forest. Meet a King's representative who takes you through the history and culture of the heritage site. Brief history and a short guided walk around the site is offered. If time allows, proceed to the Uganda Museum housing Uganda’s rich cultural and historical heritage and proceed to Namugongo matters shrine before retiring to your hotel for overnight.

Day 3: Kampala – Murchison falls
After an early morning breakfast, depart Kampala for Murchison falls national park with an en route visit to Ziwa rhino sanctuary for rhino tracking before proceeding to Masindi for lunch and after lunch proceed to Murchison falls national park with a brief stopover at Bomu women’s group for a short community walk and cultural explanations. After this short visit, proceed to the park. Along the way you will encounter a variety of birds, monkeys, and baboons.

Day 4: Murchison Falls National Park.
comfortable lodge in murhison fallsAfter an early morning warm up tea/coffee, you will transfer for a game drive to the northern bank in search of animals like: lions, leopards, elephants, giraffes, hartebeests, oribis, Uganda kobs, buffaloes among other animal and bird species that your guide will help you spot. This will see you return to your lodge, for lunch. After lunch, transfer for a three hours boat ride on the Nile River to the bottom of falls where you will have the opportunity to view animals like; hippos, crocodiles, waterbucks, buffaloes and elephants on the river bank with an option to hike to the top of the falls. Returning to your lodge for a relaxed evening, dinner and overnight.

Day 5: Murchison falls – Hoima.
After your breakfast transfer to Hoima with a visit to the top of the falls. Drive Southwest via the Albertine Escarpment of the Western Rift Valley, passing through verdant countryside traditional homesteads. Lunch will be served in Hoima Kolping hotel. After lunch visit Bunyoro Kitara Kingdom’s rich cultural and historical sites of the former kings and palace, burial grounds/tombs, before returning for an easy evening, dinner and overnight.

Day 6: Hoima – Fort portal.
After your breakfast, transfer to Fort portal town arriving for your lunch, after lunch visit the palace of the youngest king ever crowned in the world-Tooro kingdom palace for a rich cultural and historical explanations, proceed to yet another famous cultural site-Amabere ga Nyinamwiru where you will have an interesting twin story of this treasured waterfalls. One has a cultural formation and the other geographical with stalagmites and stalactites. Enjoy the scenic views of the fabled Mountains of the Moon, if time allows, you will proceed to visit the crater lakes before returning for a relaxed evening, dinner and overnight.

Day 7: Fort portal – Semliki hot springs (pygmies visit)
After an early morning breakfast, transfer to Semliki national park about 1hour drive. Visit the fuming female and male hot springs with a two meters jet of hot water (130oC) and a pool of oozing boiling water at 106o C also referred to us the natural boiler. Proceed to visit the Pigymies community to see this people’s traditional way of life and cultures where you can optionally join them in their performances/dance with a great birding experience in this virgin birding paradise. Returning late evening to your hotel for dinner with an opportunity to go for a night game drive before returning for overnight.

Day 8: Kibale forest (Chimpanzee tracking)
kibale chimpanzee trackingAfter an early morning breakfast, you will be transferred to the Chimpanzee tracking information office for a pre-briefing by the ranger guides who will then lead you into the rain forest in search of chimpanzees. These primates are very mobile and viewing them is unpredictable but a forest walk is an enriching activity that starts at 8.00 am taking about 4 to 5 hours. This forest is home to a large number of chimpanzees and other primates including Lhoestes, Red-colobus, Blues, Red-tailed, grey cheeked mangabeys, birds, and butterflies. The guide will provide a detailed explanation on not only primates but all the forest’s fauna and flora. Returning to have your lunch at primate lodge. After lunch, transfer for a swamp/community walk to KAFRED, a local community initiative in Bigodi for yet more primates and bird watching and the opportunity to meet and interact with the local communities living here. Dinner and overnight.

Day 9: Kibale – Kasese
After your breakfast transfer to Kasese home to the Rwanzururu kingdom where you will have the opportunity to visit the Obusinga bwa Rwenzururu for yet another dynamic cultural treat here. Lunch will served at Margherita hotel. Tour Kesese town, dinner and overnight.

Day 10: Kasese/Ruboni community visit – Queen Elizabeth national park.
After an early morning breakfast, you will be transferred to the explore the foot hills of the Rwenzori mountains to the local organized Ruboni community group where you will be guided to various projects under taken by this local group with more cultural performances, after lunch, proceed to Queen Elizabeth national park taking an en route game drive on arrival at park as you transfer to your lodge for a relaxed evening, diner and overnight.

Day 10. Queen Elizabeth national park.
boat cruize in Queen elizabeth national parkAfter an early morning warm up tea or coffee, you will head for a game drive along Kasenyi tracks and Queens mile in search of animals like: lions, elephants, cape buffalos, warthogs, spotted hyenas, mangoose, waterbucks, kobs and, if you’re lucky the leopard, with a remarkable 606 bird species, this will see you return for a full breakfast, relax at your lodge into the lunch break and after lunch, enjoy a unique two hours boat cruise on the Kazinga Channel. This launch cruise gives you a great opportunity for photography, bird watching and game viewing at close range. The prolific bird life is colorful and stupendous with well over 550 resident species recorded, return for a relaxed evening, dinner and overnight.

Day 11: Queen Elizabeth – Bwindi impenetrable gorilla forest.
After breakfast, transfer to Bwindi impenetrable gorilla forest national park with your parked lunch via Ishasha sector of the tree climbing lions; take an en route game drive in search of these great cats. Proceeding later to Bwindi through the Kigezi highlands in the beauties of the “Switzerland of Africa” arriving at your lodge to relax for the rest of the day, dinner and overnight.
Day 12: Gorilla trekking.
After an early morning breakfast, you will be transferred to the gorilla tracking information office for a pre-briefing by the ranger guides who will then lead you into the forest trekking this great relatives of ours (Gorillas). The rainforest is dense and is crisscrossed by numerous animal trails, the thrill of spending time and observing the gorillas is a memorable one.  Gorillas are shy and peaceful animals and it is an unforgettable experience to watch and photograph them as they interact with each other. After this day’s gorgeous adventure, you will return to your lodge for lunch (if not parked) and if time allows, transfer for a short community/nature walk to see this local people’s way of life and cultures or just relax at your lodge, dinner and overnight.

Day 13: Bwindi – Nshengi village.
bwindi gorillasAfter an early morning breakfast, depart Bwindi for Mbarara where you will you’re your lunch before proceeding to Nshenyi Village. Nshengi village is a hidden, rural farm, where you will experience the traditional way of living. Enjoy the rolling countryside of the Ankole Kingdom as you listen to the silence that will engulf you while in this beautiful village. Dinner and overnight at Nshenyi Village.

Day 14: Nshenyi village.
A traditional village life here will this time not start with breakfast but rather an early rise to the farm/field to milk the long horned Ankole cows. Return from farm/field for breakfast before taking a short walk to the village of the Bahima tribe. Experience the lifestyle of this tribe as you learn more on how they live, what they eat and their native habits. In the afternoon you may go for a nature walk along River Kagera, on the border with Tanzania. This trail leads through undulating hills overlooking Nshenyi Village. Watch the unparalleled richness of bird species as you look right into Tanzania. In the evening you will enjoy traditional dancing and singing of a non-professional local group. Dinner and overnight at Nshenyi Village.

Day 15: Nshenyi village.
On this day, you will enjoy a second day of raw comforts of nature that Nshenyi village offers. You may choose join the traditional pastoralists here grazing the cows. Or take a look and optionally participate in the process of turning milk into ghee as you sit in an enchanting traditional hut. You may also choose to visit a local school, have another nature walk or spend a day on an open market as you see how Wall Street comes to life in rural Africa. Dinner and overnight at Nshenyi Village.

Day 16: Nshenyi village - Kampala
After breakfast we depart Nshenyi village with an en route scenic drive that allows you a stopover at the Equator to perform a simple experiment and experience a tropical balance before proceeding to arrive in Kampala. Relax for the rest of the day or go shopping some souvenirs. You will crown your cultural tour with a spiced cultural performance and dinner at Ndere center before transferring to your hotel for overnight.

Day 17: Airport transfer.
You will be transferred to Entebbe airport for your flight back home.

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