Hop between five of Uganda's greatest national parks on this two-week itinerary for nature lovers. Spot lions in rugged Kidepo, cruise along the Nile at Murchison Falls, embark on incredible wildlife safaris in Queen Elizabeth, and track chimpanzees through the jungle in Kalinzu. After a visit to the lush "Mountains of the Moon" in Rwenzori, you'll trek into the Bwindi Impenetrable forest to see endangered mountain gorillas in their natural habitat.

Highlights

  • See the diverse wildlife & habitats of Uganda's national parks
  • Take a boat trip to the breathtaking Murchison Falls
  • Tour the modern metropolis of Kampala
  • Spot lions, elephants, giraffes & crocodiles on safari in Queen Elizabeth
  • Watch chimpanzees swing through the trees of Kalinzu
  • Track mountain gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Welcome to Uganda! Entebbe
Day 2 Transfer to Kidepo National Park Kidepo Valley National Park
Day 3 Game Drive in Kidepo National Park Kidepo Valley National Park
Day 4 Transfer to Murchison Falls National Park Murchison Falls National Park
Day 5 Morning Game Drive & Afternoon Boat Trip Murchison Falls National Park
Day 6 Transfer to Buddo, Kampala Kampala
Day 7 Transfer to Queen Elizabeth National Park Queen Elizabeth National Park
Day 8 Land & Water Safari in Queen Elizabeth National Park Queen Elizabeth National Park
Day 9 Chimpanzee Tracking in Kalinzu Forest Queen Elizabeth National Park
Day 10 Transfer to Rwenzori National Park Rwenzori National Park
Day 11 Transfer to Bwindi National Park Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
Day 12 Gorilla Tracking in Bwindi National Park Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
Day 13 Transfer Back to Queen Elizabeth National Park Queen Elizabeth National Park
Day 14 Transfer to Entebbe, Departure  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Welcome to Uganda!

A red-throated bee-eater, one of Uganda's many brilliant bird species

Welcome to Uganda! Upon arrival at Entebbe International Airport, you'll be welcomed by your guide and transferred to your evening's accommodation. The rest of the day is free for you to rest up and prepare for tomorrow's adventures.

Day 2: Transfer to Kidepo National Park

Today's drive takes you towards Kidepo National Park

After breakfast, you'll set out towards Kidepo National Park. Along the full day's scenic drive, you'll stop for lunch in Gulu, one of Uganda's fastest-growing towns. Continue to the next small town of Kitgum before reaching your destination of Kidepo National Park. Here you'll get settled in and enjoy a relaxed dinner, resting up for tomorrow's safari.

Day 3: Game Drive in Kidepo National Park

Giraffes on the plains of Kidepo

After a hearty breakfast, it's time to embark on an unforgettable game drive through the Kidepo National Park. Following the park's many tracks and circuits, you'll have the opportunity to see a vast array of wildlife at a close range—from elephants to zebra to lions. Return to the lodge for lunch and some time to relax, then head back out onto the plains in the evening for another safari with a superb southern view of the park.

Day 4: Transfer to Murchison Falls National Park

River rapids at Murchison Falls

This morning you'll meet your guide and transfer southwest across the country to Murchison Falls National Park. Murchison lies at the northern end of the Albertine Rift Valley, where the sweeping Bunyoro Escarpment tumbles into vast, palm-dotted savanna. First protected as a game reserve in 1926, it is Uganda's largest and oldest conservation area, hosting over 76 species of mammals and 451 birds.

Day 5: Morning Game Drive & Afternoon Boat Trip 

Spot hippos on today's boat trip to Murchison Falls

Rise early today for a sunrise game drive through the park. You'll have the chance to see an endless parade of wildlife like lions, buffalo, giraffes, elephants, antelopes, waterbucks, and many unique birds. Return to the lodge for lunch, then set out again on an afternoon boat cruise to the foot of Murchison Falls. You'll observe more wildlife and birds along the banks of the Nile River, before returning to the lodge for dinner.

Plan your trip to Uganda
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.

Day 6: Transfer to Buddo, Kampala

Tour the Ugandan capital of Kampala by motorbike

This morning you'll leave Murchison Falls behind and transfer to Buddo in Kampala. The traditional capital of the Buganda Kingdom, Kampala was famously built on seven hills. Today, the capital of modern Uganda sprawls haphazardly over more than 20 hills and is still expanding rapidly. Viewed from a distance the skyline features glassy skyscrapers interspersed with thick green vegetation, dusty red roads, clustered roofs, and imposing cathedrals and mosques. There is no more authentic way to tour this friendly city than on a boda boda (motorbike taxi), which will take you through every nook and cranny, saving you the task of climbing the numerous hills to see the city from various vantage points.

Day 7: Transfer to Queen Elizabeth National Park

The African savannah
The African savannah

Continue your journey today with an early transfer to Queen Elizabeth National Park. Set on the floor of the vast Rift Valley, the park is is understandably Uganda’s most popular tourist destination. Its diverse ecosystems include sprawling savanna, shady, humid forests, sparkling lakes, and fertile wetlands, making it the ideal habitat for classic big game, ten primate species, and over 600 species of birds. The landscape of northern Queen Elizabeth comprises dozens of ancient craters carved into gentle rolling hills, against a backdrop of the majestic Rwenzori Mountains

Day 8: Land & Water Safari at Queen Elizabeth National Park

Buffalo and hippos at watering hole in Queen Elizabeth National Park
Buffalo and hippos at a watering hole in Queen Elizabeth National Park

This morning, you'll enjoy an exciting game drive in Queen Elizabeth. A popular route is the Kasenyi Sector, known for its numerous lions that prey on the large population of Uganda kob (antelope). If you are very lucky, you may spot a giant forest hog—Africa’s largest pig—or an elusive leopard!

In the afternoon, hop on a boat for a water safari on the Kazinga Channel, which connects Edward and George Lakes. The Uganda Wildlife Authority guides leading the trip will identify many of the channel’s 100 bird species. You’re likely to see African skimmers, great white pelicans, spoonbills, and a number of bee-eaters. Hippos wallow at the edge of the water, huge Nile crocodiles bask in the sun, and elephants often come down for a refreshing drink.

Day 9: Chimpanzee Tracking in Kalinzu Forest

Track chimpanzees in Kalinzu

After breakfast, another early start takes you towards the Kalinzu Central Nature Reserve, a tropical forest known for its biodiversity. Here you'll find over 400 tree and shrub species, 379 bird species, including great blue turaco, cuckoos, and sunbirds, and a dizzying array of rare butterflies and moths. The forest is also home to six primate species, including blue, velvet, and colobus monkeys.

Today you will be tracking one of the forest's most remarkable residents and our closest relatives: chimpanzees. These great apes are incredibly fun to watch as they play and fight in the trees. Your experienced guides will introduce you to the members of the chimp families that inhabit the forest, and there will also be plenty of opportunities to see different species of birds and plants along the way.

In the afternoon, you'll embark on a walk through a nearby village, where you can meet the locals and learn about the way of life here. The evening takes you back to your lodge for dinner and some downtime.

Day 10: Transfer to Rwenzori National Park

The lush slopes of the Rwenzori

Today takes you to the Rwenzori National Park for an unforgettable nature walk. The Rwenzoris—known as the fabled "Mountains of the Moon"— lie in western Uganda along the Uganda-Congo border. Their equatorial snow peaks include the third highest point in Africa, while the lower slopes are blanketed in moorland, bamboo, and rich montane forest. Huge tree-heathers and colorful mosses are draped across the mountainside with giant lobelias and “everlasting flowers” creating an enchanting, fairytale scene. In the afternoon you'll walk to a local village before retiring to your accommodations for the night.

Day 11: Transfer to Bwindi National Park

Morning mist at Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park
Morning mist at Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park

Get ready for the start of your gorilla adventure! In the morning, you'll depart for Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park. This UNESCO Natural World Heritage Site is considered one of the richest biological and botanical regions in the entire world. Its rainforest is over 25,000 years old and contains almost 400 species of plants. It is also the best place on the planet to see wild mountain gorillas. 

There are only about 800 wild mountain gorillas left worldwide, and Bwindi is home to about half of that number. A visit to the national park—especially one focused on meeting these great apes—helps conservation efforts by incentivizing ecological preservation as a part of the local economy. Besides gorillas, the region provides shelter for another 120 species of mammals, including several primates such as baboons and chimpanzees, as well as elephants and antelopes.

Day 12: Gorilla Tracking in Bwindi National Park

Young gorillas playing
Young gorillas playing in Bwindi National Park

Rise bright and early today for a gorilla tracking adventure! Before beginning the trek, park rangers will brief the group to ensure your safety and that of the great apes. The trek usually takes three to six hours, so make sure to bring along a good pair of walking boots or shoes.

The rangers will guide you through the village gardens and into the jungle-like forest. Follow them through the thick bush as they hack through the dense undergrowth with a machete as you search for gorillas. As part of anti-poaching efforts, the apes are under 24-hour monitoring, so you’re almost guaranteed to see them! 

Once you have located a gorilla family, you will be asked to leave all your belongings on the side and approach the gentle giants with only your camera. It is advised that you keep a distance of 23 feet (7 m) from the apes to reduce the risk of transmitting human diseases to them. This also helps the guides interpret the animals' behavior and easily retreat if danger is perceived.

Settle in and watch the gorilla families in their natural environment: feeding, playing, interacting with each other, or just sleeping. The gorillas are usually quite curious to see humans as well! You'll be allowed exactly one hour with the apes before returning to your base for the afternoon.

Day 13: Transfer Back to Queen Elizabeth National Park

Lions napping in Queen Elizabeth National Park

A transfer takes you back to Queen Elizabeth National Park today, passing through the endless Ishasha Plains, whose fig trees hide lions lying in wait for the herds of unsuspecting antelope. After a scenic drive filled with stunning landscapes and plentiful wildlife, you'll head back to your accommodations for the evening.

Day 14: Transfer to Entebbe, Departure

Goodbye, Uganda!

After breakfast, you'll begin the journey back to Entebbe International Airport. Along the way, stop for a delicious picnic lunch and have a fun photo opportunity at the Equator before reaching the airport and catching your departing flight. Safe travels!

More Uganda Itineraries

Looking for more inspiration for your trip to Uganda? Check out these other Uganda itineraries, with outdoor adventures, cultural trips, and best-of tours to hit the highlights. 

Or, describe your ideal trip and we will connect you with a local specialist to make it happen.