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Matoke Tours tours

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Safari tour package: A custom, tailor-made, private safari
Prices: $7000
Includes internal flights: No
Length of safari: 17 days
Best months: All year
Countries visited: Uganda Uganda
Parks visited: Bwindi Impenetrable, Kibale, Queen Elizabeth, Murchison Falls, Lake Mburo
Activity level: Active - Hiking, horse riding
Safari type:
  • Cultural
  • Boating
Uganda is all about its friendly people and the diversity of landscapes and activities. This tour will show you the best of what Uganda has to offer. Sipi Falls is a little paradise with waterfalls, flowers and local villages all around. In Jinja you can relax at the source of the Nile and in Lake Mburo N.P you can take a bush walk or even a horseback safari. All of this is on top of all main highlights like gorilla tracking, chimpanzee tracking and boat safaris. And after each day of intense activity and sightseeing, you will rest in some of the best lodges in the country.

Day 1: Welcome to Uganda!

Your driver/guide will be at Entebbe Airport to pick you up from your flight and bring you directly to your lodge in Kampala. Depending on the hour of your arrival, you may be able to explore the sites in and around Kampala.

Gracious and elegant, the Emin Pasha evokes another era when taste, gentle service, ambience and comfort were the hallmarks of a good hotel. By being located on one of the calm hills of the city, you will have the option of eating at the excellent on-site restaurant or any of a number of nearby choices.

Journey time 1½ hours
Accommodation Emin Pasha
Meal Plan No meals inclusive today


Day 2: Jinja (Source of the Nile)

Today, you will make your way to the second largest town of Uganda and the colonial manufacturing hub. Jinja straddles the Nile River where it begins its journey from Lake Victoria to the Mediterranean Sea.

Many activities are available around town (see options in Day 3) though please note that all activities today are at your own expense.

You will stay just downriver from Jinja at Wildwaters Lodge, a wonderful lodge on its own private island in the middle of the mighty Nile. The lodge has breathtaking views of the river rapids and provides excellent opportunities for bird-watching and watching local fishermen paddling dugout canoes.

Journey Time 2½ hours
Accommodation Wildwaters Lodge
Meal Plan Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 3: Jinja (optional activities)

You can choose from any of the following optional activities (not inclusive in the program, prices mentioned are from December 2013):

White water rafting on the mighty Nile - guaranteed to be the wettest and wildest ride of your life! (full day $125 / half day $115)
A horseback safari through local communities and beautiful countryside with great views ($50 for 2 hours / $70 for 3 hours)
Quad-biking through local communities with great views on the Nile ($70 for 2 hours / $90 for 3 hours)
A sunset cruise on the Nile ($40)
A visit to the source of the Nile
Visit the local market
Or, you can simply choose to relax by the pool at the lodge.

Accommodation Wildwaters Lodge
Meal Plan Breakfast, lunch and dinner


Day 4: Sipi Falls

After breakfast, a drive through the eastern part of Uganda brings you to beautiful Sipi Falls, on a plateau 1800m above sea level.

The Sipi River flows over the foothills of Mount Elgon, forming a spectacular series of waterfalls (some nearly 100m high), surrounded by village walking trails and lush green coffee-producing hills.

You will stay in a very comfortable cottage near one of the waterfalls and eat in a restaurant known for its excellent cuisine.

Journey Time 4 hours
Accommodation Sipi River Lodge
Meal Plan Breakfast, lunch, and dinner

Day 5: Sipi Falls

Prepare yourself for a beautiful day in paradise. After breakfast, choose to go on a 3-hour or, for the real adventurers, a 7-hour hike through the region. A local guide accompanies you on your hike to explain flora, fauna and culture.

Whichever option you choose, you can be certain that you pass many picturesque waterfalls, plantations and caves. Local villagers will be sure to greet you with ‘Jambo!’ and beaming smiles.

Accommodation Sipi River Lodge
Meal Plan Breakfast, lunch and dinner


Day 6: The Journey to Murchison Falls N.P.

Today you continue your journey by crossing to the west of the country to Murchison Falls National Park. By roughly following the old train line to the northwest, your route will give you views of Lake Kyoga and tributaries of the Nile River. Lunch will be in a local restaurant by the side of the road (not inclusive).

A first game drive in the park brings you to Paraa Safari Lodge located in the heart of the park! This lodge offers a unique blend of comfort, relaxation and adventure. Each room has full facilities. There is an impressive restaurant with remarkable views, a swimming pool and bar.

Journey Time 9 - 10 hours
Accommodation Paraa Safari Lodge
Meal Plan Breakfast and dinner

Day 7: Murchison Falls National Park

You will need to rise for breakfast and an early start on your game drive while the animals are the 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. They are all there!

Covering an area of over 3,840 km², Murchison Falls National Park is the largest conservation area in Uganda. The park’s name derives from its famous waterfall: the mighty Murchison Falls!


In the afternoon you will make a 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-meter high falls which approaches you with a thunderous sound.

Upon arriving at the base of the falls you will have the option (not inclusive) of taking a tough hike (about 50 minutes) to the top, from where you have a perfect view of the impressive falls. 

Accommodation Paraa Safari Lodge
Meal Plan Breakfast, lunch and dinner

 Day 8: To Fort Portal

After an early breakfast, you pick up your packed lunch, cross the Nile River by ferry and exit the park via the southern gate. The drive to Fort Portal is long, but incredibly scenic. You pass through villages, lush green forests and hills dotted with tea plantations which characterize this part of Uganda.

You will stay at a wonderful lodge, just outside the town of Fort Portal, with spacious rooms and amazing views over one of the crater lakes in this area!

Because you stay at such a wonderful lodge and location AND because you are half way through your tour we believe it’s time to relax. You have a free day tomorrow!

Journey Time 9-10 hours
Accommodation Kyaninga Lodge
Meal Plan Breakfast, packed lunch, and dinner


Day 9: Free day Fort Portal

You have reached the half-way point in the tour, so it is time to just relax, enjoy the wonderful views from the lodge or read a book.

If you prefer to get active, you can take a crater lake hike or swim or go visit Fort Portal town with its botanical garden and local market. All activities are optional and any entrance/guide fees at your own cost.

Accommodation Kyaninga Lodge
Meal Plan Breakfast, lunch and dinner


Day 10: Chimpanzee tracking in Kibale Forest N.P.

Kibale Forest National Park boasts the highest number of primate species in the world, including our delightful cousins, the chimpanzees. Today, in Uganda, there are approximately 5,000 chimpanzees in the wild, which makes it a perfect place to spot them! An experienced forest ranger will take you chimp tracking in the morning or afternoon; besides the chimps, you might also see other monkey species that live in this tropical forest. Once you locate them, you will have a full hour of eye-to-eye contact with the chimpanzees. Since they are still wild animals, we can never guarantee you to see them and might have to settle with hearing their hoots and hollers.


The forest and swamp of Kibale Forest are home to 12 primate species including the Red Tailed Monkey, Olive Baboon, Black and White Colobus Monkey, and the Blue Monkey. The bird life in the forest is also prolific and includes the beautiful Great Blue Turaco.

Your swamp walk (2-3 hours) will take you 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!

Journey Time 1 hour, each way
Accommodation Kyaninga Lodge
Meal Plan Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 11: Entering the savannas of Queen Elizabeth NP

After breakfast you will continue your journey to Queen Elizabeth National Park. 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. The park has prolific game, including gazelle, Uganda kob, warthog and waterbuck. Lions are often sighted both in and at the entrance to the park.


After about 2 hours driving, you reach the entrance of the park. The last 1½ hour of today’s journey is a game drive towards the lodge.

You stay overnight at the beautiful Mweya Safari Lodge, located in the heart of Queen Elizabeth National Park on the Mweya peninsula. Watch wildlife from your private verandah and fall asleep to the roaring of lions on the distant savannah. This truly is Africa!

Journey Time 3½ hours
Accommodation Mweya Safari Lodge, Luxury tent
Meal Plan Breakfast, lunch and dinner


Day 12: Game drive & Boat safari

Today you wake up early. A little before sunrise coffee, tea and donuts will be served in the lounge before you head out for a long game drive in time to see the first rays of light. You 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. A well-deserved brunch will be served back at the lodge upon your return.

The variety of habitats in Queen Elizabeth NP is very diverse. The park has almost 100 types of mammals, many different types of reptiles and more than 600 different types of birds.


After lunch, you will take a boat safari along the Kazinga Channel which joins Lake George and Lake Albert.

Here, you will see a lot of hippos (more than you can possibly imagine!), 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. This will undoubtedly be one of the highlights of your tour.

Accommodation Mweya Safari Lodge, Luxury tent
Meal Plan Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 13: Ishasha - Tree climbing lions

After breakfast you will drive in about 3 hours to the southern part of Queen Elizabeth N.P. - an area called Ishasha famous for its tree-climbing lions. To escape from the heat during the day, the lions have learned how to climb the fig trees and if you are lucky you might spot a few during your game drive.


Overnight in a wonderful lodge!

After the morning game-drive, you will head for Ishasha Wilderness Camp, a very luxurious lodge with wonderful views over the savannah and a river packed with hippos! After a well-deserved lunch at the lodge, you will go on an afternoon game drive.

Each of the ten spacious framed canvas rooms, situated in the wooded area besides the river, is comfortably furnished and has its own private en suite bathroom and dressing area providing a hot water 'bush' shower and a flushing eco friendly toilet.

Journey time: 3 hours
Accommodation Ishasha Wilderness Camp
Meal Plan Breakfast, lunch and dinner

 Day 14: Bwindi Impenetrable Forest

After breakfast you will game drive on your way out of the park for a last chance at spotting those tree climbing lions. Lunch will be provided at the lodge in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest: home of the Mountain Gorillas.

Mahogany Springs Lodge offers privacy and serenity blended with optimal comfort in a spectacular setting. Get a good night's sleep because tomorrow you have to be fresh for the gorilla tracking.

Journey Time: 3 hours
Accommodation: Mahogany Springs
Meal Plan Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 15: Gorilla Tracking in Bwindi Forest!

Today is the big day… prepare yourself for an encounter with one of Bwindi’s gentle giants: the rare mountain gorilla. Bwindi Impenetrable Forest boasts both mountain gorillas and chimpanzees - the only forest in Africa which can make this claim, in fact. It also hosts five other species of primate, 113 species of mammal, over 200 butterflies and 360 birds. 

The gorillas you track belong to one of nine habituated family groups who can tolerate the presence of humans for a brief period every day. En route, your guide will point out signs of previous gorilla activity, including dung, nests and chewed bamboo shoots. Your track will be an exciting journey along forested slopes, entwined vines, bushes and bamboo before you eventually reach the gorilla family.


Coming face-to-face with a Mountain Gorilla

The time taken to track the gorillas can be as few as 2 hours to as many as 7 hours. Once the gorillas have been located, your group will be allowed a maximum of one hour with them. Coming face-to-face with a mountain gorilla is a truly humbling and emotional experience. This is a fantastic and privileged opportunity to get up close and personal with Uganda’s very own ‘Gorillas in the Mist’.

Accommodation Mahogany Springs
Meal Plan Breakfast, packed lunch and dinner


Day 16: Lake Mburo N.P.

After breakfast, you will begin your journey to Lake Mburo National Parkwhich is one of Uganda’s smallest parks, but certainly not to be underestimated. It is the only Ugandan national park home to zebra, eland and impala, as well as an abundance of other wildlife - not to mention the lake itself, which is teeming with hippos and crocodiles!

Upon entering the park, you drive along tracks searching for animals on your way to the tonight's accommodation. Mihingo Lodge features ten rooms built on wooden platforms with stilts. From the dining and pool area, you can enjoy the view of a west-ward oriented valley and its stunning evening sunsets over Lake Mburo N.P.

Journey Time: 7 hours
Accommodation: Mihingo Lodge
Meal Plan Breakfast and dinner

Day 17: Bush walk - Airport Transfer

Lake Mburo N.P. 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.

Note: Instead of going for the bush walk, you can relax at your lodge or go on a horseback riding safari in the park (USD 70 p.p. for 2 hours).

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