This 21-day self-drive adventure offers an opportunity to discover Uganda’s stunning wildlife, landscapes, and friendly people. All self-drive safaris start with booking a 4×4 safari vehicle which you can get from the many car rental agencies in the country, you can choose from hiring a 4×4 with a rooftop tent and camping gear for those who prefer camping or you can choose to just get a 4×4 safari vehicle with a pop-up roof that offers perfect wildlife watching experience. Uganda is the perfect safari destination for self-drivers, as most of the roads are paved, the infrastructure is good, and the locals are so friendly.
The booking for accommodations, park entrances, as well as permits for gorilla trekking and chimpanzee tracking can be done by the car rental agency, so you can embark on your self-drive trip worry-free.
Day 1: Arrival at Entebbe International Airport
Upon your arrival at Entebbe International Airport, you will be welcomed by our driver and transferred to your hotel in Entebbe. Depending on your arrival time, you may visit the Entebbe Botanical Garden for relaxation or have the opportunity for a boat tour in the Mabamba Swamp.
Day 2: Vehicle Handover and Orientation at the Hotel
After breakfast at the hotel, you will take over your vehicle and receive thorough instructions and start your self-drive safari heading northwestern part of the country to the Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary which can take approximately 4-5 hours to drive.
Day 3: Rhino Tracking – Transfer to Murchison Falls NP
After breakfast at the lodge, you’ll gather at the offices of Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary for a short briefing, and later together with an experienced ranger, you will walk through the bush in search of these amazing creatures. It’s advisable to stay calm and composed. From up close, you can witness these rarely encountered majestic animals. The walk will take something like 2 hours and in the afternoon you will return to the lodge for lunch and later you’ll get ready to transfer to Murchison Falls National Park. Travel time is approximately 3-4 hours.
Day 4: Murchison Falls National Park – Game Drive and Boat Safari
Today you will wake up early in the morning for breakfast and then embark on the first game drive in the park. Murchison National Park offers a rich diversity of wildlife, including lions, elephants, leopards, kudu antelopes, giraffes, oribis, and, of course, the famous kob. In case you hire a ranger, he will take you to the most beautiful spots and gladly answer any questions you may have. Murchison Falls National Park’s amazing vegetation, savannah, and riverine forest will leave you enthralled. After this amazing morning game drive, you return to the lodge/campsite for lunch. After lunch, you will rest for some time and then get ready for a boat cruise that will take you up to the bottom of Murchison Falls. On the cruise, you will get a chance to see a variety of animals like Crocodiles, hippos, and various water birds. Just before the roaring spray of the falls, the boat docks by a rock, allowing you to enjoy the river view and capture some photos. You can choose to hike up a steep path to the top of the waterfalls. Alternatively, the boat will take you back. After this amazing boat cruise, you will return to the lodge/campsite relax and wait for dinner and overnight.
Day 5: Transfer to Lake Albert
After breakfast, you will get ready to leave Murchison falls national park with an en-route game drive. You will continue with the drive to Lake Albert with a few stops on the vantage points where you will get a chance to take photos and record videos of the lake. You will reach late afternoon and you will sleep in the lodge overlooking Lake Albert.
Day 6: Lake Albert and Explore Kabwoya Game Reserve
On this day, you will wake up early enough and go for a game drive in the Kabwoya Game Reserve, explore the countryside, and see a variety of wildlife like Uganda Kobs, Dycker, warthogs, bushbuck and others later you will return to the lodge for lunch and relaxation as you wait for an evening nature walk in the reserve. You should not worry about your safety because there are no predators in this reserve.
Day 7: Transfer to Fort Portal
In the morning, you will get ready and transfer to Fort Portal, a vibrant town situated at the base of the Rwenzori Mountains. Here, you’ll have the chance to explore the local market or enjoy a snack at one of the cafes in the town. You can choose to visit the local attractions in the city like the amabere ga nyina mwiru caves or Crater Lakes. Later in the evening, you will proceed to your lodge just outside the town for dinner and overnight.
Day 8: Chimpanzee Tracking in Kibale Forest National Park
This morning you will have breakfast and pack some food and water and then transfer to Kilable Forest National Park headquarters where you will have a short briefing from the park ranger then you will enter the forest following the tracks of the chimpanzees in the rainforest accompanied by an experienced guide. After something like 1 -3 hours of tracking in the jungle, the silence is broken by the unfamiliar sounds of some birds. The chimpanzees will also announce you loudly. With a bit of luck, you will soon discover the first primates! Watch the chimpanzees play, eat, sniff, cuddle, and even mate for one hour and then you will return to the park headquarters for a chimpanzee tracking certificate and the transfer back to the lodge for late lunch and relaxation.
Day 9: Transfer to Queen Elizabeth National Park
After breakfast, transfer to Queen Elizabeth National Park which is found in just a 2hours drive from Fort Portal town by the time you will reach the park you will start with an afternoon game drive in Kayenyi tracks where you expect an encounter with herds of elephants, Buffaloes, African lions, leopards, and several antelope species among others. After an exciting game drive, you will reach your lodge for late lunch and relax and you wait for dinner and overnight.
Day 10: Morning Game Drive and Afternoon Boat Cruise
Today you will start a day with breakfast and later embark on an early morning game drive in Queen Elizabeth National Park. This large national park is situated at the foothills of the Ruwenzori Mountains, also known as the Mountains of the Moon. On this game drive you will encounter a variety of wildlife like buffaloes, hyenas, antelopes, lions and others after the game drive you will drive back to the lodge for lunch and later get ready for an afternoon boat cruise on Kazinga Channel will offer you a chance to see animals up close. The Channel connects the two lakes, where crocodiles and hippos reside, along with a variety of bird species found only in this region.
Day 11: Game Drive in Ishasha Sector
This day will be spent in the Ishasha sector in Queen Elizabeth National Park the main attraction here is the tree-climbing lions which are always spotted lazily lying up within tree branches. Alongside the tree-climbing lions, there are other animals you will spot in the sector which include elephants, buffalo, hippos, baboons, Uganda kob, and many species of birds. In the evening, you will return to the lodge for dinner and overnight.
Day 12: Transfer to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
Today you will start a day with breakfast and then hit the road and drive to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park which is found in the southwestern part of the country. The park is famous for being home to rare and endangered mountain gorillas and the main tourist activity in Bwindi National Park is the gorilla trekking. You will reach the park at lunchtime and you will have a relaxed evening at the lodge or you can choose to do a nature walk to the nearby villages.
Day 13: The Highlight of Uganda Tour – Gorilla Trekking in Bwindi
Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park is believed to be home to almost half of the world’s remaining population of rare and endangered mountain gorillas. Despite recent records which show that there is an increase in the population of these animals, they are still considered endangered species. The Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) has played a significant role in changing the situation, as it has contributed to protecting these animals rather than having them hunted by the local people.
In the morning, you will transfer to the national park headquarters with your packed lunch and bottled drinking water for a short briefing from the ranger guide and then you will hike into the jungle with an experienced guide, a ranger, and a few porters. Your guide will point out the animals’ tracks, and answer your questions about the vegetation, and soon you’ll find yourself face-to-face with these majestic animals. You’ll have a full hour with these animals as you watch them as they play, eat, sniff, cuddle, and even mate. Later after this amazing experience, you’ll return to your lodge, where you’ll have time to relax and reflect on the day’s experiences.
Day 14: Transfer Lake Bunyonyi
Following breakfast at the lodge, you will proceed towards Lake Bunyoni, despite the day’s relatively short distance of approximately 120 km. The scenic route winds through the mountains, providing breathtaking vistas of the lake and the distant Virunga volcanoes. By afternoon, you will reach your amazing lakeside lodge, where you can unwind and enjoy the serene surroundings.
Day 15: Explore Lake Bunyonyi
Lake Bunyonyi is found in the southwestern part of Uganda and is famous for its 19 islands and impressive landscape, which always offers new fascinating impressions. Today, you have the opportunity to take a boat tour or traditional canoe tour with a local fisherman. On one of the islands, you might even have the chance to observe some of the zebras that inhabit the area. With about 900 meters deep, the lake is considered the second deepest lake in Africa. Explore the surroundings with a hike or visit a Batwa community to experience more exciting activities.
Day 16: Transfer to Lake Mburo National Park
After breakfast at the lodge, you will get ready and then transfer to Lake Mburo National Park which is found in Kiruhura District in the Western Region of the country. The drive takes you along winding roads through small villages and towns with lively life towards the Park. Upon arrival at the lodge, you can enjoy the view of the park from the swimming pool.
Day 17: Explore Lake Mburo National Park
Your day in Lake Mburo National Park, will start with breakfast and then start your game drive in the Park, where you’ll encounter the striking Ankole cattle adorned with their impressive long horns. Beyond the park’s borders, keep an eye out for the graceful presence of zebras, impalas, and reedbucks. Lake Mburo from which the park got its name, teems with wildlife, including crocodiles, hippos, and a variety of different rare bird species.
One unique aspect of Lake Mburo National Park is the opportunity to partake in a walking safari, accompanied by a knowledgeable ranger. Delve into the wilderness and discover animal footprints, with the guide adeptly identifying the animals that left their marks. Alternatively, a boat cruise on the lake promises awe-inspiring encounters with amazing animals like hippos, crocodiles, and a diverse array of birdlife.
If you seek a different kind of adventure, the lodge also offers horseback riding safaris, though an additional cost applies. This adds a thrilling dimension to your wildlife experience, allowing you to explore the park from a different perspective. after this amazing time in Lake Mburo National Park, you will return to the lodge/campsite for dinner and overnight.
Day 18: En-Route Game Drive & Transfer Back to Kampala
Very early in the morning after breakfast, you will have a luxury drive through the pack as you heading the park gate. You will be heading to Kampala with an en-route stop at the Equator for lunch and taking some photos. Later you will proceed to Kampala reaching there in the evening and checking in to the hotel for dinner and overnight.
Day 19: Kampala City Tour and Transfer to Jinja
You will start with breakfast at the hotel in Kampala and then get ready to ride around the city as u explore different tourist attractions in Kampala like visiting Kasubi tombs, Bahai temple, Uganda Museum, Art and crafts shots, and local markets, and later return to the hotel for lunch and in the evening you can decide to either rest at the hotel or go explore Kampala nightlife. You can visit several nightclubs in the country.
Day 20: Source of the Nile and Bujagali Falls Rafting
After breakfast at the hotel, you will get ready and then transfer to Jinja and try out the wonderful experience of white water rafting on the mighty Nile. Visit the source of the Nile and drive through Jinja town with colorful gardens and an Asian-colored building style. In the evening you will return to the lodge for dinner and overnight.
Day 21: Departure Day – Transfer to Entebbe Airport
On the last day, you will wake up early in the morning have breakfast at the hotel have a simple drive through Jinja City, and continue directly to Entebbe Town for lunch as you wait for your departure time.