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12 DAYS BIG FIVE, CHIMPANZEE AND GORILLA PHOTOGRAPHY SAFARI

Photograph the pearl of Africa from the roaming Murchison falls (World's most powerful water falls), Visit the mountain gorillas and the tree climbing lions

Safari tour package: A custom, tailor-made, private safari
Prices: $9758 - $14139
Includes internal flights: No
Length of safari: 12 days
Best months: All year
Countries visited: Uganda Uganda
Parks visited: Bwindi Impenetrable, Kibale, Queen Elizabeth, Murchison Falls, Lake Mburo
Activity level: Easy - Game drives, bush dinners
Safari type:
  • Cultural
  • Boating
The 12 days safari will take you to the west and southwestern parts of the pearl of Africa which have the largest concentration of protected areas, beautiful landscapes and a rich culture. The trip features savanna and forest parks that are habitats to different fauna and flora. The safari includes game drives, rhino/chimp tracking and encounters with Africa’s big 5 including the climbing lions of Ishasha plains.

 

Safari Summary
Day1 Airport Pickup
Day 2 Transfer from Kampala to Murchison falls National Park
Day 3 Game Drive and Boat Cruise in Murchison Falls National Park

Day 4 Transfer from Murchison Falls National Park (Albertine Rift valley) to Kibale Forest National Park.
Day 5 Chimpanzee tracking and Bigodi Swamp
Day 6 Transfer from Kibale to Queen Elizabeth National Park
Day 7 Morning game drive and afternoon boat cruise
Day 8 Transfer from Queen Elizabeth to Bwindi Impenetrable
Day 9 Gorilla tracking
Day 10 Transfer from Bwindi to Lake Mburo

Day11 Game Drive  and Boat Cruise in Lake Mburo National Park.
Day 12 Transfer from Lake Mburo back to Kampala/Entebbe.

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Airport Pickup 

You arrive at Entebbe International Airport and a representative from Snap Uganda Tours will meet you and drive you to Sheraton Kampala Hotel (luxury) {1hr} or to Cassia Lodge (mid-range). Please feel free to ask questions about Uganda along the way.

Dinner and overnight at Sheraton Kampala Hotel- Luxury

Dinner and overnight at Kaazi Beach Resort - Mid-range

Meal Plan. D, B

Day 2- Kampala to Murchison falls National park and Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary

Ziwa Rhino and Wildlife Ranch located in Nakasongola, 176km north of Kampala (2hrs, 20min)on the Gulu high way towards Murchison Falls National Park is home to the only wild rhinos in Uganda. Presently the sanctuary is home to twenty-two (22) southern white rhinos. As these rhinos are free to move around on 7000 hectares of land, it is often necessary to drive to the areas where the rhinos before tracking them on foot. While at the sanctuary you may also encounter a range of other wildlife species including Uganda kobs, oribis, bush bucks, water bucks among others. You will need 1½ to 2½ hours depending on the location of the rhinos. After Rhino Tracking, you will have lunch and Proceed to Murchison Falls National Park (1hr 40min)

Meal Plan- L, D, B, L, D

Accommodation: Up market- Paraa Safari Lodge

                                 Midrange-Murchison River Lodge

 

Day 3:  Game Drive and Boat Cruise in Murchison Falls National Park

Wake up early at around 6.00 am you go for a game drive with packed breakfast. Murchison Falls National Park is bisected by the Rive Nile and is composed of woodland, wetland, savannah as well as tropical forest. The game drives are done in the savanna plains on the northern bank up to the delta where the Nile powers its waters in Lake Albert up to lunch time. Among the mammals to look out for are: lions, Cape buffalo, Jackson’s hartebeest, elephants and    Rothschild’s giraffe. Murchison hosts the biggest number of the Rothschild’s giraffe species in the world.

After lunch you go for boat cruise. A boat cruise to the bottom of Murchison Falls is another rewarding experience to view wildlife and birds. Hippos, waterbucks, crocodiles, buffaloes and elephants can be seen along the banks of the Nile.   Birds usually seen during the cruise include: Cormorants, African fish Eagles, Spur-winged goose, African darter, Giant Kingfisher, Red-throated Bee-eater, Water thick knee among the many. At the bottom of the falls, you leave the boat and take 20-minute hike to the top of the falls for sunset pictures over River Nile.  At the top of the falls, you will see the Nile waters forced into a narrow gap 7m wide as they plunge down in a 35m drop in a majestic cascade that has been named the “Cradle of the Nile”. Your driver will pick you and drive you Paraa where you will cross to the hotel by boat.

Meal Plan- B, L, D, B

Accommodation: Up market- Paraa Safari Lodge

                                 Midrange-Murchison River Lodge

 

Day 4 Transfer from Murchison Falls National Park (Albertine Rift valley) to Kibale Forest National Park.
Have breakfast and transfer to Kibale Forest National Park  via top of Murchison Falls.  In case you are travelling by road, the trip will take you 7-8 hours, passing through the valley escarpment. You will have a glance over the Albertine rift valley which is a result of tectonic cracking, faulting and uplift that happened about 15 million years ago to Fort portal town, then to the Park.

Meal Plan- L, D

Accommodation: Up market-Kyaninga Safari Lodge

                                 Midrange- Primate Lodge

 

 

Day 5 Kibale Forest (Chimpanzee tracking) and Bigodi Swamp
Wake up early, have breakfast and drive for one hour from Kyaninga to Kibale Forest National Park visitors’ center at Kanyanchu for a pre- chimpanzee tracking briefing. If you stay at Primates Lodge, it’s just a stone throw away.

At 8.00 am, enter the forest to track the chimpanzees and other primates. You will have a picnic lunch in the forest. The Park is famous for Chimpanzee tracking. With 13 primate species, Kibale National Park is known is the Primates Capital of the world.   The park hosts about 1500 chimpanzees out of the 5000 recorded in the country and has 375 and 250 bird and butterfly species respectively in addition to 70 mammal species.

After tracking, you drive to the nearby Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary for a nature walk and community visit. There is a craft center manned by the local women group.

After the community tour, you return to Kyaninga or to Primates Lodge.

Dinner and overnight at Kyaninga Lodge- Luxury

Dinner and overnight at Primates Lodge- Mid-range

 

Day 6 Transfer from Kibale Forest National Park to Queen Elizabeth National Park
After breakfast, transfer to the Queen Elizabeth National park.  During the drive, you will  appreciate the beautiful landscape with rolling hills and craters  on your way to Uganda’s second largest national park and home to climbing lions. It will take you approximately 2-3 hours to reach the park. You will check in at the lodge relax and have lunch. Then in the afternoon, do a 27 km crater drive in the park and to Katwe salt mining village  for landscape and people photography.

Meal Plan- B, L, D

Accommodation: Up market- Mweya Safari Lodge

                                 Midrange- Enganzi Game Lodge

 

Day 7 Morning game drive and afternoon launch cruise in Queen Elizabeth National Park
Wake up very early in the morning and  Go for an early morning game drive to the  kob mating area in Kasenyi plains. Lions are usually not far from the mating ground.   Expect to see elephants, buffaloes, lions and other fauna of the 95 mammals that call the park home in their natural habitat. Return to the lodge for lunch. In the afternoon, go for an exciting boat cruise along the Kazinga channel which 40 km long and 8m deep joining two lakes Edward and George. The channel is a meeting point for animals that come to drink,  reptiles like the Nile crocs and monitor lizards. The channel joins Lake George to Lake Edward. Wild life can be viewed while on a scheduled or hired boat cruise. The Kazinga Channel is an oasis for many of the fascinating species that inhabit the park. A boat cruise gives you a chance to watch hundreds of enormous hippos, buffalo’s elephants along the shoreline.

Kazinga Channel is a haven for water birds that are easily seen during a boat cruise. Some of them are: Great and Long-tailed Cormorants, Common Squaco Heron, White-faced Whistling and Knob-billed Ducks, African Fish Eagle, Great-white and Pink-backed Pelicans, African open-billed Stork, Water Thick-knee, Malachite and Pied kingfishers, Swamp flycatchers and Yellow backed Weavers, Black Crake, African Jacana, Spur-winged and African Wattled Plovers. Hundreds of African Skimmers may be seen roosting on sandbars near the entry to Lake Edward but are migrants from southern tropics and typically present only from December to May.

 

Meal Plan- B, L, D 

Accommodation: Up market- Mweya Safari Lodge

                                 Midrange- Enganzi Game Lodge

 

 

Day 8 Transfer from Queen Elizabeth to Bwindi Impenetrable
Have breakfast then check out from your lodge and transfer f to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.  You will pass via the Ishasha sector  is in the southern part of the park. Ishasha  is  famous for  tree climbing lions. You will also visit River Ishasha, which marks the boundary between Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to look for sunbathing hippos.   It will take you 3-4 hours to reach Bwindi. You will have lunch en route. In the evening you can do a community tour and get close to the locals by visiting handcraft shops. The neighboring  Batwa community in Buhoma performs songs and dances about their former life in the forest.

Meal Plan- B, L, D

Accommodation: Up market- Gorilla Forest Camp

                                 Midrange- Silver back Lodge

 

Day 9 Gorilla tracking

Wake up early have breakfast and assemble for a briefing before 8:00am. At 8.30 you enter the forest to track the Mountain Gorillas.  You will enter into the amazing rain forest (gorilla sanctuary) that offers an exciting, heavily forested and dense landscape interrupted by  animal trails.  Tracking can take from half a day  to a full day  depending on how far the gorillas are and which gorilla family you track.

Meal Plan- B, L, D

Accommodation: Up market- Gorilla Forest Camp

                                 Midrange- Silver back Lodge

 

 

Day 10 Bwindi to Lake Mburo National Park
After breakfast, transfer to Lake Mburo National Park.  You will have lunch  at Lake Bunyonyi. Lake Bunyonyi (‘place of many little birds’) is undoubtedly the loveliest lake in Uganda. Its contorted shore encircles 29 islands, surrounded by steep terraced hillsides. The sights of the Lake include women rowing dug-out canoes, mist over the numerous islands in the lake and stunning sunsets on clear days.  Unlike many lakes in East Africa – Bunyonyi is bilharzia, croc and hippo. You will reach Lake Mburo National Park in the evening. Lake Mburo  is Uganda’s smallest savannah National Park. It is conveniently close to the highway that connects Kampala to the parks of western Uganda. The park is underlain by ancient Precambrian metamorphic rocks which date back more than 500 million years.  The park is home to over 350 bird species and has the biggest concentration of Zebras, impala, and eland in Uganda.  Other animals are: buffalo, waterbuck, leopard, hippo, hyena, topi and reedbuck.

Lake Mburo National Park with 13 other lakes forms part of a 50km-long wetland system linked by a swamp. Five of these lakes lie within the park’s borders. In the western part of the park, the savanna is interspersed with rocky ridges and forested gorges while patches of papyrus swamp and narrow bands of lush riparian woodland line many lakes.

In the mid-1980s, half of Lake Mburo National park was de-gazetted by the Government of Uganda to resettle some communities. Livestock ranches were curved out in some of the gazetted area. But the animals remained. About 50% of the wildlife is outside the park in the livestock ranches that were once their home range. It is common to see zebras and impalas grazing with livestock outside the not so obvious park boundaries.

 

 

 Day 11 Game Drive  and Boat Cruise in Lake Mburo National Park.

Have an early morning breakfast, check out and start off the game drive through the Park for about  three hours. This will give you an amazing glimpse of the Savannah park, and its fauna and flora. Animals to watch out are: Zebra, impala, buffalo, eland, waterbuck, warthog and giraffe, topi and   You will also see various animals such as buffaloes, antelopes, zebras, hyenas, topis, hippos, also the different bird species on the acacia trees and near the lake making beautiful sounds.

In the evening you will have a boat ride along the lake where you will have a great time having a chance to see different animals like the crocodiles, hippos, topis  and birds like the  African fish Eagle, Giant and Pied Kingfishers, African Fin foot, Bee eaters among others.

Later return to the lodge for diner and an overnight.

Meal Plan ( B,L, D)   

  Accommodation: Up market- Mihingo Lodge

                                 Midrange- Rwakobo Rock

 

 Day 12 Transfer to Kampala/ Entebbe
Have breakfast at the lodge then drive back to Kampala. Make a stopover at the Equator where you will buy yourself handicrafts as souvenirs of your African trip and take some photos in two hemispheres. It is a 3-4-hour drive to Uganda’s capital City-Kampala and 45 minutes to reach Entebbe International Airport.

Meal Plan- B, L

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tour Prices

This is a private Photographic Safari and can be booked by an individual or a group of a maximum of people per vehicle.

Cost Includes

Airport transfers

Transport in a 4×4 Safari vehicle

Services of an English speaking driver guide/ Photography guide

Fuel for the whole safari

Private Boat cruise and game drives

All park entry fees

All the activities mentioned in the itinerary

Drinking water in the Vehicle

Gorilla permit (600 USD)

Chimpanzee permit (150 USD)

Cost excludes

Visa fees  and Air ticket

All expenses of personal nature

Commercial photography and filming fees in National parks

 

Thank you for choosing Snap Uganda Tours. We will be pleased to hear your comments after the   Photographic Safari.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Listed below are hotels/lodges/resorts that the safari tour operator can accomodate for you.

  • SHERATON KAMPALA HOTEL
  • GORILLA FOREST CAMP
  • KYANINGA LODGE
  • PARAA SAFARI LODGE
  • MIHINGO LODGE
  • MWEYA SAFARI LODGE
Chimpanzee in Kibale National park
Chimpanzee in Kibale National park by Snap Uganda Tours
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Tree climbing Lion in Ishasha (Queen Elizabeth National park) by Snap Uganda Tours
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African Elephant by Snap Uganda Tours
Baby Gorilla in Bwindi Impenetrable N...
Baby Gorilla in Bwindi Impenetrable National park by Snap Uganda Tours
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Cape Buffalos by Snap Uganda Tours

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