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14 nights
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Ultimate Uganda

A unique escorted exploration of Uganda’s wildlife & wonders

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  • Wildlife Tours/ Natural World
  • Bwindi Impenetrable Forest

We are delighted to offer this new and exclusive exploration of Uganda devised by our field staff member, Pierre Thomas who will accompany the tour and share with you his passion for this remarkably beautiful East African country. Despite its recent turbulent past, Uganda is experiencing a resurgence and emerging as one of the top safari destinations and areas that were off-limits in the past have now become havens for wildlife that might have otherwise perished. Once described by Winston Churchill as the ‘Pearl of Africa’, there is a wealth of unique and awe-inspiring sights on offer: bustling cities; gamefilled national parks, scenic lakes; prolific birdlife; lush forests and of course the big draw, the mountain gorilla.

Highlights of the itinerary will include the spectacular Murchison Falls, Kibale Forest, boasting the highest number of primate species in the world including chimpanzees and Queen Elizabeth National Park with its incredibly rich biodiversity. Here we can expect to see big game including buffalo, lions and the rare Uganda kob as well as hippos, crocodiles, waterbuck, elephants and leopard along the shores of the Kazinga channel. We also visit Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, one of Africa’s most ancient and magnificent habitats and home to an incredible diversity of flora and fauna, many bird species and over half of the world’s remaining mountain gorilla population. No amount of travel books or documentaries can prepare you for your first up close encounter with one of these elusive mammals - this a powerful and intimate experience only experienced by the lucky few.

With fewer visitors than neighbouring Kenya and Tanzania, Uganada offers a wonderful feeling of seclusion and, in the company of just twelve or so fellow travellers you will be able to enjoy game viewing and the raw beauty of the African wilderness at its most endearing. Added to this, we have personally selected the finest luxury lodges and accommodations; all ideal places to unwind after the eventful days and from which to enjoy the wonderful African hospitality.

Useful links & Travel Advice

Please find a selection of useful websites to refer to for information from the Foreign & Commonwealth Office, on visa requirements, NHS travel health advice and other useful travel tips.  

  • Your Tour Leader

    Pierre Thomas

    Born in Belgium, Pierre moved to Zaire (the former Belgian Congo) with his family in 1978 where he lived and attended the Belgian School until 1989. Promising himself he would return to Africa after his studies, he moved to Ghent, Belgium to study tropical animal husbandry, specialising in tropical fish farming. His studies took him to Rwanda where he completed a five week apprenticeship in Butare, and then to Ecuador where he worked with an Aquaculture Research Centre. This second apprenticeship allowed him to discover the Galapagos Islands, and soon after he moved there permanently to work as a Naturalist Guide and Expedition Leader for 10 years. Since 2003, Pierre has lectured and worked within the travel industry. Nowadays Pierre still works as a lecturer on board our expedition cruises and organises high end motorbike expeditions and fine explorations of the natural world. Pierre has led several tours to Uganda in recent years.

    More information

Ultimate Uganda

Ultimate Uganda

For this trip we have personally selected the finest luxury lodges and accommodations; all ideal places to unwind after the eventful days and from which to enjoy the wonderful African hospitality.

View accommodation details

Itinerary

Day 1 - London to Kampala, Uganda.

Fly by scheduled flight. Arrive this evening and transfer to the Emin Pasha Hotel in Kampala, our base for the next two nights.

Day 2 - Kampala.

We spend the morning exploring Kampala including Kabaka’s Palace and the local markets before visiting a social project in the city’s slums. Here we will see some of the projects designed to help the local residents. We will return to the hotel for an afternoon at leisure before dinner at the Ndere Cultural Centre where we will enjoy a performance of local music and dance.

Day 3 - Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary & Murchison Falls National Park.

Today we travel north from Kampala to Murchison Falls National Park. En-route we will stop at the Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary where we will meet our ranger for a safari hike during which we hope to see the rhinos at very close range. Kidepo Valley and Murchison Falls National Parks once had both black and white rhinos however widespread poaching during the Idi Amin era resulted in the disappearance of these majestic animals from the wild. Founded in 1998, Rhino Fund Uganda works to reintroduce black and white rhinos into Uganda and runs a breeding programme, as well as work to educate communities on endangered rhinos. After our visit we continue towards Murchison Falls National Park arriving in the afternoon at Baker’s Lodge for our three night stay. Covering an area of over 3840 square kilometres, Murchison Falls National Park is the largest conservation area in Uganda and its name derives from the famous waterfall. The Nile River divides the park into its north and south sections and, at the spectacular Murchison Falls the world’s longest river explodes violently through a narrow cleft in the Rift Valley escarpment to plunge into a frothing pool 43 metres below.

Days 4 & 5 - Murchison Falls National Park.

We have two full days in the park and a range of activities will be on offer including a dawn game drive to see the animals at their most active. A drive through the park brings you eye-to-eye with the African animal kingdom: elephants, giraffes, buffaloes, lions, leopards, different species of antelope and many tropical birds. Enjoy a private boat safari up the Nile River to Murchison Falls. Carefully watched by crocodiles, hundreds of hippos, buffaloes, water birds, monkeys and all the other thirsty wildlife that the Nile attracts, you will reach the base of the 43 metre-high falls which approaches you with a thunderous sound. Upon arriving at the base of the falls you will have the option of taking a tough hike (about 1 hour) to the top, from where you have a perfect view of the impressive falls. Another boat safari will take us to the Nile Delta where the Victoria Nile flows into Lake Albert. This is a “must do” for every birdwatcher as the banks of the delta are home to hundreds of bird species including the rare and prehistoric-looking shoebill stork. Here you will see hundreds of hippo and maybe even bathing elephant and huge crocodiles. There will be time to relax in the comfortable lodge and soak up the surroundings or, the adventurous may wish to take an optional hot air balloon ride above the park with views to the Nile, Lake Albert and Murchison Falls and lots of wildlife to spot.

Day 6 - Kabwoya Wildlife Reserve.

After breakfast we will depart for Lake Albert Safari Lodge which is situated on the banks of Lake Albert in the Kabwoya Wildlife Reserve and is a convenient place to break our journey to Kibale. During an afternoon game drive we will look for some of the resident animals including waterbuck, duiker, buffalo, monkeys and chimpanzees and the keen birders may see African fish eagle and giant kingfisher. On our return we enjoy dinner at the lodge this evening.

Days 7 & 8 - Kibale Forest National Park.

After an early breakfast we will return to our vehicles and make our way to Kibale Forest. Our scenic drive passes through villages, lush green forests and hills dotted with tea plantations which characterise this part of Uganda. On arrival we will check in to the Papaya Lake Lodge, located just outside the town of Fort Portal with amazing views over one of the crater lakes in this area. The following day we will make our way to Kibale Forest National Park which boasts the highest number of primate species in the world, including our delightful cousins, the chimpanzees. Today, in Uganda, there are approximately 5000 chimpanzees in the wild which makes it a perfect place to spot them. An experienced forest ranger will take you chimp tracking and en-route you might also see other monkey species that live in this forest. Once located, you will spend time with the chimps. Since they are wild animals we can never guarantee that you will see them so you might have to settle with hearing their hoots and hollers. Our walk will take us through grassland, small communities and some beautiful scenery, where the locals are likely to greet you with enthusiastic waves. It is usual to spot three to four different primate species during this walk, though the highlight is catching a glimpse of the great blue turaco.

Days 9 & 10 - Queen Elizabeth National Park.

After breakfast we will continue our journey to Queen Elizabeth National Park and check in for our two night stay at Mweya Safari Lodge. Queen Elizabeth is Uganda’s second largest park, located at the base of the majestic Rwenzori Mountain Range adjacent to Lake Edward and Lake George. Here we will take a private boat safari along the Kazinga Channel which joins Lake George and Lake Albert. We will see a lot of hippos as well as a variety of other animals which come to the water to drink or bathe. You can expect to see buffalo, crocodile, bathing elephant, and a range of beautiful birds. During a game drive we will search for all the wildlife in the park and are likely to come across elephant, buffalo, lion, waterbuck, leopard, Uganda kob, and many warthogs. There will also be another opportunity to take an optional hot air balloon ride above the park to admire the herds of buffalo and elephants and the serene tranquillity of the African bush.

Days 11 & 12 - Bwindi National Park.

After breakfast we will enjoy a game drive on our way out of the park for a chance at spotting tree climbing lions before arriving to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, home of the mountain gorillas and Bwindi Lodge for our two night stay. After lunch, our first afternoon is free to relax and enjoy the camp and prepare for our gorilla tracking the following day. Bwindi Impenetrable Forest boasts both mountain gorillas and chimpanzees - the only forest in Africa which can make this claim. It also hosts five other species of primate, 113 species of mammal, over 200 butterflies and 360 birds. The gorillas we track belong to one of nine habituated family groups who can tolerate the presence of humans for a brief period every day. Our track will be an exciting journey along forested slopes, entwined vines, bushes and bamboo before we eventually reach the gorilla family. The time taken to track the gorillas can be anything from two hours to up to seven hours. Once the gorillas have been located, each group is allowed a maximum of one hour with them. Coming faceto- face with a mountain gorilla is a truly humbling and emotional experience.

Day 13 - Lake Mburo National Park.

This morning we will travel to Lake Mburo National Park and check in to Mihingo Lodge for our overnight stay. Lake Mburo is one of Uganda’s smallest parks but certainly not one to be underestimated. It is one of the few Ugandan National Parks which is home to zebra, eland and impala, and an abundance of other wildlife as well as the lake itself, which is teeming with hippos and crocodiles. Last but not least, the Uganda Wildlife Authority recently brought 15 giraffes from Murchison falls to Lake Mburo.

Day 14 - Lake Mburo National Park to London.

Lake Mburo National Park is one of two parks in Uganda where it is permitted to go for a bush walk with an experienced ranger. This opportunity should not be missed. From footprints and animal droppings the ranger will be able to tell you which animal has left it and how long ago. It is exciting to approach wildlife at such close range. We will continue after lunch to Entebbe where we join our scheduled indirect flight to London.

Day 15 - London.

Arrive this morning.

Dates and Prices

Prices per person based on double occupancy
15 to 29 November 2018 • 24 January 2019 to 7 February 2019 • 16 February 2019 to 2 March 2019
Category Price
Twin £7395
Single £8395

Tour Reference Code: LAUGANDA

Please note that to best enjoy your experience in Uganda you should be in good physical condition and be able to participate in moderate hikes over rough or uneven terrain. There will be opportunities for hikes of varied lengths and for most activities a moderate level of exertion is required. As an approximate guide, for chimpanzee tracking the hikes will be between two to four hours and, for gorilla tracking, between four to eight hours. Some days may entail early starts and long drives, however the vehicles used are modern and comfortable.

Price Includes: Economy class scheduled air travel, two nights at Emin Pasha Hotel in Kampala, three nights at Baker’s Lodge in Murchison Falls, overnight at Lake Albert Safari Lodge in Kabwoya Wildlife Reserve, two nights at Papaya Lake Lodge in Kibale Forest, two nights at Mweya Safari Lodge in Queen Elizabeth National Park, two nights at Bwindi Lodge in Bwindi, overnight at Mihingo Lodge in Lake Mburo National Park, breakfast, lunch and dinner daily, excursions, entrance fees, gratuities, English-speaking guides and drivers, Noble Caledonia Tour Leader, transfers, airport taxes, one day chimpanzee trekking permit for Kibale National Park, one day gorilla trekking permit for Bwindi National Park.

Not Included: Travel insurance, Uganda visa, optional hot air balloon rides in Murchison Falls & Queen Elizabeth National Parks.

NB. Please note that, due to the small size of some of the lodges, these are subject to change.

Ultimate Uganda

For this trip we have personally selected the finest luxury lodges and accommodations; all ideal places to unwind after the eventful days and from which to enjoy the wonderful African hospitality.

 
  • Emin Pasha Hotel, Kampala
    Emin Pasha Hotel, Kampala
  • Emin Pasha Hotel, Kampala
    Emin Pasha Hotel, Kampala
  • Baker’s Lodge, Murchison Falls
    Bakers Lodge
  • Baker’s Lodge, Murchison Falls
    Bakers Lodge
  • Lake Albert Lodge
    Lake Albert Lodge
  • Lake Albert Lodge
    Lake Albert Lodge
  • Papaya Lake Lodge
    Papaya Lake Lodge
  • Papaya Lake Lodge
    Papaya Lake Lodge - Pool
  • Mweya Safari Lodge
    Mweya Safari Lodge
  • Mweya Safari Lodge
    Mweya Safari Lodge
  • Bwindi Lodge
    Bwindi Lodge
  • Mihingo Lodge
    Mihingo Lodge
  • Mihingo Lodge
    Mihingo Lodge
  • Emin Pasha Hotel, Kampala

    Located near the centre of Kampala, the Emin Pasha Hotel is set within two acres of peaceful park-like tropical gardens. Big mature trees, flowering shrubs and scented vines abound. With only 20 rooms, personal attention and excellent service is offered together with privacy and tranquility in an otherwise hectic city. Each has a small outside sitting area facing the beautiful lush gardens or courtyards. All have en-suite bathrooms with either a slate-tiled tropical shower or deep long bath. All rooms are air-conditioned, with Wi-Fi internet access, flat screen television, direct dial telephone, coffee making facilities, mini bar, mosquito nets over the beds and two complimentary bottles of drinking water. The hotel also offers an outdoor pool and terrace, restaurant and lounge.

  • Baker’s Lodge, Murchison Falls

    Baker’s Lodge boasts eight beautifully appointed safari suites on raised decks, set along the southern bank of the mighty Nile River. Named after the English explorer Samuel Baker – the first European to view and name the Murchison Falls – the lodge rests amongst large shady trees and wetland areas with an abundance of bird life along the water’s edge and hippos and elephants are regular visitors. With a thatched central lounge, dining and bar area, and a refreshing swimming pool, the eco-friendly lodge offers an ‘Africa of olde’ feel. Built on raised wooden decks to take full advantage of cool breezes and spectacular river views, each spacious thatched cottage includes a fan, room safe, and beautifully appointed bathroom with solar-heated shower and some also feature a bath. Bush breakfasts and multi course dinners are a real treat, all served by well trained, attentive staff.

  • Lake Albert Safari Lodge, Kabwoya Wildlife Reserve

    Lake Albert Safari Lodge is situated on the banks of Lake Albert in the Kabwoya Wildlife Reserve. The main lodge, with a pool and ten thatch cottages, faces Lake Albert with magnificent views of the Blue Congo Mountains to the West. The Lodge has been designed and furnished with nature in mind creating a feeling of comfort and relaxation in the African bush. Meals are prepared with fresh fruit and vegetables supplied by local farmers and the friendly staff offer a home from home atmosphere.

  • Papaya Lake Lodge, Kibale Forest

    Papaya Lake Lodge is situated about 350 kilometres away from Uganda’s capital, Kampala, in one of the country’s most scenic regions. Papaya Lake Lodge offers nine spacious and bright cottages. They are all situated on the extinct volcano crater’s slope and have breathtaking views of the Lyantonde Lake. Each of the cottages offers complete privacy, hidden from view by a green wall of treetops. Each cottage has local stone-decorated bathrooms with shower units and verandas equipped with deckchairs. Facilities include a restaurant, bar and swimming pool.

  • Mweya Safari Lodge, Queen Elizabeth National Park

    The Lodge is located on a peninsula within the heart of the Queen Elizabeth National Park and surrounded by the magical Rwenzori Mountains – the ‘Mountains of the Moon’. Mweya Safari Lodge offers visitors a spectacular experience of luxury in the wilderness. Each room has a breathtaking view of the Kazinga channel. You can watch the forest hogs grazing the grass outside, as well as the odd curious hippo. The food is of the highest quality, featuring a range of exquisite continental, Indian and international cuisines. All rooms have balcony doors, fans, en-suite bathroom, telephone and an electronic safe. For those who want to unwind and relax, The Mweya Health Club and Spa offers treatments to revitalise you after a long day out in the game park. With an abundance of game, and some of the best bird watching in Africa, Mweya Safari Lodge is the perfect place.

  • Bwindi Lodge, Bwindi

    Overlooking the primeval Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, Bwindi Lodge is the finest luxury lodge at Bwindi. With dramatic intense views of the forest canopy across a serene stream, it is one of Africa’s most unique properties. The gorillas frequently come to relax in the verdant bush around the lodge. The lodge boasts eight large plaster and timber glass-fronted guest bandas facing the forest. Each of the guest bandas has a sitting area, a terrace and an en-suite luxury shower room. The main living area has a central fireplace which acts as a focal point for guests to relax and discuss their gorilla tracking experience. A large terrace overlooking the forest is a great place to spot the monkeys and birds hidden in the foliage.

  • Mihingo Lodge, Lake Mburo Nationa l Park

    Mihingo is a luxurious, family owned lodge in a magical setting adjacent to Lake Mburo National Park. Perched high on a rocky kopje, whose pre-Cambrian granite boulders were formed over 500 million years ago, it has spectacular views over a vast savannah landscape. Designed to blend in with its fragile surroundings, this environmentally friendly lodge offers comfort, relaxation and the experience of being at one with nature. An infinity pool overlooks the valley below where buffalo, eland, impala, warthogs, bush buck and zebra can be seen at the waterhole. On the rocks you may have the rare chance of seeing the resident family of klipspringers. Mihingo Lodge has 12 luxury, tented rooms designed to provide guests with privacy and tranquility. Each room has its own unique charm and character, whether it is nestled in forest, overlooking the lake, perched on a rocky outcrop or down by the water hole. Although no two rooms are the same, they all offer stunning views and provide guests with a light and airy sanctuary and a feeling of being alone in the bush. Each spacious canvas tent is equipped with en-suite bathroom, hot and cold running water, shower and a flush toilet.

Your Tour Leader

Pierre Thomas

Born in Belgium, Pierre moved to Zaire (the former Belgian Congo) with his family in 1978 where he lived and attended the Belgian School until 1989. Promising himself he would return to Africa after his studies, he moved to Ghent, Belgium to study tropical animal husbandry, specialising in tropical fish farming. His studies took him to Rwanda where he completed a five week apprenticeship in Butare, and then to Ecuador where he worked with an Aquaculture Research Centre. This second apprenticeship allowed him to discover the Galapagos Islands, and soon after he moved there permanently to work as a Naturalist Guide and Expedition Leader for 10 years. Since 2003, Pierre has lectured and worked within the travel industry. Nowadays Pierre still works as a lecturer on board our expedition cruises and organises high end motorbike expeditions and fine explorations of the natural world. Pierre has led several tours to Uganda in recent years.

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