Ten Day Pearl of Africa Safari
If seeing the very best of Uganda's wildlife is what you're looking for, our ten day Pearl of Africa safari is the tour for you.
You'll visit five of Uganda's stunning national parks - Murchison Falls, Queen Elizabeth, Kibale Forest, Bwindi Impenetrable, and Lake Mburo National Park are all featured in this safari. The addition of Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary means you'll have the chance to not only see the entire Big Five but also mountain gorillas and chimpanzees as well!
After ten unforgettable days, you'll understand why Winston Churchill once described Uganda as "the pearl of Africa".
Details of Ten Day Pearl of Africa Safari
DAY ONE - ENTEBBE - MURCHISON FALLS NATIONAL PARK
You'll take an early breakfast today, as there's a long drive ahead of you as you make your way towards the beautiful Murchison Falls National Park.
With a picnic lunch in tow, you'll set off for this often overlooked but rarely underappreciated park.
One of the highlights of your day will undoubtedly be a visit to the Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary, where you'll have the chance to stretch your legs as you walk out into the reserve to spend some time with one of the resident rhinos. One of the only places on earth where you're able to have a close encounter with one of these endangered giants, Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary is sure to be a highlight of your tour.
You'll then press on to Murchison Falls National Park, where you'll overnight either in the park or on its very outskirts.
DAY TWO - MURCHISON FALLS NATIONAL PARK
You're sure to be awake bright and early for your first day on safari, and you'll take a packed breakfast with you as you aim to catch the earliest ferry across the Nile and into the park.
You'll then enjoy a morning game drive through the park. Home to 76 different species of mammal including four of the Big Five (there are no rhinoceros here), Murchison Falls National Park is home to a variety of wildlife you won't find on a conventional safari. The Ugandan kob, the semi-aquatic sitatunga antelope, and the ever-hungry Nile Crocodiles are just a few of the fascinating animals you'll spy during your game drive.
Your next stop will be the very top of Murchison Falls, where you can witness the awesome power of the mighty NIle as it churns through the relatively tight gorge that leads into the park.
Returning to your lodge for lunch, you'll then head out in the afternoon for a boat ride on the Nile Delta in search of the rare shoebill. Along the way, you'll also spot hippos, elephants, buffalo, Nile crocodiles, Nile monitors, and a startling variety of birds.
DAY THREE - MURCHISON FALLS NATIONAL PARK - KIBALE FOREST NATIONAL PARK
It's off to Kibale Forest National Park immediately after breakfast.
It's a long and sometimes bumpy ride, but you'll find plenty to occupy your attention as your journey takes you through bustling market towns and picturesque tea plantations.
Upon arrival in the Kibale Forest National Park, you'll take a leisurely afternoon forest walk to stretch your legs after the long drive. Your forest walk will give you just a taste of the diversity of bird, insect, and plant life in the forest - and you might even spot one of the thirteen primate species that call the park home, such as blue monkeys, L'Hoest's monkeys, and bushbabies.
DAY FOUR - KIBALE FOREST NATIONAL PARK
You'll get your opportunity for a close encounter with our closest living relative today, as you'll trek into the forest proper in search of its resident chimpanzees.
Habituated to humans, these animals are nonetheless wild, and you'll need to trek some distance into the park for your opportunity to observe their treetop antics. Watch them leap from tree to tree, play and fight, and even show off their fearlessness with daring displays of bravery.
You'll return to your lodge in time for a hot lunch, and then it's time to set off on a different kind of adventure as you pay a visit to the Bigodi Wetlands Sanctuary. Boardwalks allow you to move through the towering stands of papyrus as you observe the more than 130 species of bird and 8 species of primate that call the swamp home.
For those interested, a full day chimpanzee habituation experience can be arranged. On this experience, you'll forego the afternoon activity and instead spend your entire day tracking the movements of the chimpanzees as they eat, travel, and sleep.
You'll again overnight close to the park.
DAY FIVE - KIBALE FOREST NATIONAL PARK - QUEEN ELIZABETH NATIONAL PARK
After breakfast, you'll bid farewell to the cool mountain forest and prepare for warmer weather as you drive down to the wide open spaces of Queen Elizabeth National Park.
Uganda's premier game drive destination is sure to delight, and you'll have your chance to spot its resident lions, elephants, hyenas, antelope, baboons, and giant forest hogs on an afternoon game drive on your way to your lodge.
DAY SIX - QUEEN ELIZABETH NATIONAL PARK
You'll take an early breakfast before heading out for your full day Queen Elizabeth experience.
Your morning game drive will take you into the Kasenyi region of the park, which is famous for its large numbers of lions who prey upon the area's resident Ugandan kob antelope.
Home to four of the Big Five (the rhino again being absent), Queen Elizabeth National Park's savannah closely resembles the landscape you'd find in the Serengeti or on the Maasai Mara, and you can expect to see elephants, warthogs, lions, antelope, and possibly even the reclusive leopard during your game drive.
Your afternoon offers up a totally different kind of safari, as you'll take a boat out onto Kazinga Channel. This boat ride will not only show off the park's more than 600 bird species, but also offer you the chance to spot buffalo, Nile crocodile, hippos, and elephants as they wallow in the waterway that connects Lake Edward and Lake George.
You'll then overnight within the park.
DAY SEVEN - QUEEN ELIZABETH NATIONAL PARK - BWINDI IMPENETRABLE NATIONAL PARK
Today, you'll take a game drive en route to the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. A highlight is sure to be passing through the Ishasha section of the park, which is famous for its resident tree-climbing lions.
Upon arrival in Buhoma, you'll take a guided tour of the village that acts as the gateway to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. This is not only a great opportunity to learn more about Ugandan culture, but also a good time to buy some last minute souvenirs.
DAY EIGHT - BWINDI IMPENETRABLE NATIONAL PARK
It's time for what is sure to be the highlight of your trip: a once in a lifetime opportunity to hike into the mountain rainforest and spend some time with the famed 'gorillas in the mist'.
Starting after an early breakfast, you'll attend your pre-trekking briefing before being assigned into a group and heading out into the forest on foot. There's no guarantee how long or short your trek will be, as it depends on the gorillas and the weather, so you could be in the park anywhere from one hour to six or more.
Regardless of how long or short the hike, the reward at the end is the same: a magical hour observing these magnificent creatures as they relax, play, and feed at the heart of the jungle.
Once your hike is complete, you'll return to your lodge for dinner and some well-earned rest.
For those with a little extra energy, a guided waterfall hike or a village tour can be arranged upon request.
DAY NINE - BWINDI IMPENETRABLE NATIONAL PARK - LAKE MBURO NATIONAL PARK
You'll bid farewell to the mist-shrouded jungle today as you begin your journey back towards Entebbe.
Your next stop is the small Lake Mburo National Park. A dry park that exists in stark contrast to the verant forests of Bwindi, Lake Mburo is home to a variety of wildlife including zebras and giraffes. With no large predators to fear, it's the perfect place to take a guided walking safari, and that's precisely what you'll do after your lunch.
In the evening, you'll take a game drive to see a few more of the park's inhabitants before turning in.
DAY TEN - LAKE MBURO NATIONAL PARK - ENTEBBE
You'll make your way back towards Entebbe after breakfast today, with a stop at the equator line to snap a photo of yourself standing in two hemispheres at once.