From mountain gorillas to Rothschild's giraffes and white rhinos, Uganda's untamed wilderness is home to some of the rarest and most remarkable animals on earth. You'll have the chance to see them all on this epic 18-day adventure. Journey through four spectacular national parks, embark on wildlife safaris, game drives, and trekking expeditions, and take part in cultural experiences that help support conservation and the local community.


  • Come face to face with some of the world's last white rhinos
  • See hippos, crocodiles, and elephants on an exciting water safari 
  • Track mountain gorillas through the volcanic slopes of Mgahanga
  • Meet the rescued chimps of Ngamba Island
  • Take a sunset boat trip to find the source of the Nile

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Entebbe Entebbe
Day 2 City Tour of Kampala, Ndere Cultural Center Show Entebbe
Day 3 Transfer to Jinja, Sunset Boat Ride to the Source of the Nile Jinja
Day 4 Transfer to Murchison Falls National Park Murchison Falls National Park
Day 5 Murchison Falls Game Drive & Boat Ride Murchison Falls National Park
Day 6 Transfer to Entebbe via the Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary Entebbe
Day 7 Fishing Excursion on Lake Victoria Entebbe
Day 8 Transfer to Lake Mburo National Park, Evening Game Drive  Lake Mburo National Park
Day 9 Farm Experience, Transfer to Queen Elizabeth National Park Queen Elizabeth National Park
Day 10 Queen Elizabeth Game Drive, Kazinga Channel Water Safari Queen Elizabeth National Park
Day 11 Chimpanzee Trekking, Visit the Kasuga Community  Queen Elizabeth National Park
Day 12 Transfer to Mgahinga National Park Mgahinga National Park
Day 13 Gorilla Tracking in Mgahinga National Park Mgahinga National Park
Day 14 Batwa Pygmies Cultural Experience Mgahinga National Park
Day 15 Transfer to Entebbe Entebbe
Day 16 Visit the Chimpanzees of Ngamba Island Entebbe
Day 17 Browse the Buganda Road Craft Market Entebbe
Day 18 Depart Entebbe  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Entebbe

The Victoria Mall in Entebbe

Welcome to Uganda! Upon arrival at Entebbe International Airport, you'll be greeted by your guide and transferred to your hotel in Entebbe to get settled in. This peaceful town sits on the shores of the great Lake Victoria and is the perfect spot to rest, relax, and adjust to your first day in Uganda.

Day 2: City Tour of Kampala, Ndere Cultural Center Show

Kampala, Uganda's capital
Today you'll join your local guide for a half-day tour of nearby Kampala, Uganda's capital and largest city. Known as the "Pearl of Africa" and the "City of Seven Hills," this thriving metropolis has a verdant setting near the shores of Lake Victoria, with a modern city center of skyscrapers surrounded by rolling hills, lush forest, and red-roofed villas.
A scenic drive will take you to some of the city's most important and historical sites as your guide shares insight into its political and cultural past. Stops include Kabaka's Palace, a 19th-century colonial-style estate that was the historic seat of the kings of Buganda.
Later in the afternoon, stop at the Ndere Cultural Center to discover some of the region's rich culture and traditions. The center is the home of the renowned Ndere Troupe, considered Uganda's "cultural ambassadors." For over two decades this award-winning group has been gracing stages with performances that combine energizing folk dances and songs from all over Uganda. Tonight's show will bring Ugandan culture alive as the performers weave a story through dance and music.

Day 3: Transfer to Jinja, Sunset Boat Ride to the Source of the Nile

Take a boat trip to the source of the Nile in Jinja

It's time to hit the road with your driver, heading east toward Jinja, home to the long-disputed source of the mighty Nile River. After settling into your new accommodations, board a boat for a two-hour river cruise to the river's source. Here, a small plaque commemorates where the world's longest waterway starts its 4,000-mile (6,437 km) journey to the Mediterranean.

Make sure to snap a photo and enjoy the scenery as you float past local homes, lush gardens, and waving locals. Afterward, a short tour takes you around Jinja, where you can learn more about the history of this charming colonial town and visit some local craft markets to pick up some souvenirs. 

Day 4: Transfer to Murchison Falls National Park

Murchison Falls lies within Uganda's oldest national park
Your guide will pick you up today for the drive northwest to Murchison Falls National Park, stopping en route for lunch. Lying at the northern end of the Albertine Rift Valley, Uganda's oldest and largest national park comprises a vast savannah bisected by the Victoria Nile. The biodiversity here is incredible—you'll find over 76 species of mammals and 451 different birds.
On its journey from Murchison Falls, the Nile attracts wildlife such as crocodiles, hippos, and water birds. Other animals include lions, warthogs, buffalo, rare aquatic sitatunga antelope, giant forest hogs, Uganda kob, topi, waterbuck, elephants, and leopards. If time permits on today's drive, you could pay a visit to a local school or stop at the top of Murchison Falls before continuing to your accommodation. 

Day 5: Murchison Falls Game Drive & Boat Ride 

Giraffes flock to the savannahs of Murchison Falls National Park

Embark on an adventurous game drive to admire the wildlife and birdlife of Murchison Falls National Park. Your knowledgeable guide will lead you to the park's best areas to spot various species and share insightful facts about the park and its inhabitants. You're likely to see elephants, giraffes, and hippos throughout the park—you might even get a glimpse of a lion or the ever-elusive leopard. 

One of the safari's highlights is a boat ride to the Nile Delta, home to the distinctive shoebill stork. Make sure to visit the top of the falls to feel the force of the Nile as the waterway narrows to just 23 feet (7 m) and cascades down a 148-foot (45 m) drop. 
Plan your trip to Uganda
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.

Day 6: Drive to Entebbe via the Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary

See rare white rhinos up close at Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary
Start the drive back to Entebbe with an en-route visit to Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary. This species reintroduction program has successfully bred over a dozen white rhinos and is the only place in Uganda where you can see the rare and remarkable creatures. Join a guide for an early morning walking safari for the best chance of spotting these docile and critically endangered animals.

Make another stop later this afternoon in Mattuga at a local school called St. Roza College, where you can meet the teachers and learn how Uganda's education scheme compares to the one in your country. After a school tour, sit down to lunch before proceeding to your accommodation in Entebbe.

Day 7: Fishing Excursion on Lake Victoria

Half-Day Fishing Excursion on Lake Victoria
Fishermen on Lake Victoria
Grab your sunscreen and a broad-brimmed hat—today you're heading out on a half-day fishing adventure on the vast waters of Lake Victoria. Casting off from Entebbe, your guide will take you on a 45-minute boat ride to a series of local islands. With some luck, you might catch and release a Nile perch, the world's largest freshwater fish endemic to central Africa's lakes and rivers. After a fun day on the water, enjoy a refreshing picnic lunch before heading back to dry land, where the rest of the afternoon is at your leisure. 

Day 8: Transfer to Lake Mburo National Park, Evening Game Drive 

Zebra in the grasslands of Lake Mburo National Park
Today's transfer takes you west to Lake Mburo National Park. Along the way, you'll cross the Equator, stopping for photos and trying out an experiment to see how water drains in opposite directions in each hemisphere. Continue to Lake Mburo and spend the afternoon resting at your leisure.

As the sun sets, you'll head out on a game drive for the opportunity to see impalas, giraffes, elands, waterbucks, buffalo, and many bird species. Though Lake Mburo is Uganda's smallest national park, it contains a diverse and plentiful array of wildlife, with extensive wetlands and waterways drawing the country's largest populations of zebra and leopards.

Day 9: Farm Experience, Transfer to Queen Elizabeth National Park

Help milk the cows at a community farm
Your guide will accompany you to a local farm this morning, where you'll have the chance to get a hands-on look at Ugandan rural life. In this unforgettable community encounter, you'll meet the cattle, chat with the farmers to hear their stories, and learn how to milk the cows before sitting down to breakfast. 

Then it's time to get back on the road and journey northwest to Queen Elizabeth National Park. Set on the floor of the Rift Valley, with the mist-topped peaks of the Rwenzori Mountains behind, the landscape of northern Queen Elizabeth comprises dozens of ancient craters carved into rolling hills. The Kazinga Channel lies in the park's central regions, its banks fertile with large mammals such as hippo, elephant, and buffalo, and over 600 bird species, more than any other national park in Uganda.

Day 10: Queen Elizabeth National Park Game Drive, Kazinga Channel Water Safari

Lions napping in Queen Elizabeth National Park
Enjoy an exciting game drive through Queen Elizabeth National Park today. A popular route is the Kasenyi Sector, known for its numerous lions that prey on the large population of Uganda kob (antelope). If luck is on your side today, you may spot a giant forest hog—Africa's largest pig—or a solitary leopard.

In the afternoon, you'll switch to a boat for a water safari on the Kazinga Channel. This is a trip highlight for bird lovers, as your expert Uganda Wildlife Authority guides help you identify many of the channel's 100 bird species. Spot African skimmers, great white pelicans, spoonbills, and several bee-eaters. Hippos wallow at the water's edge, Nile crocodiles bask in the sun, and elephants come down to drink. Don't forget your camera—this boat ride is a brilliant opportunity to take some close-up wildlife shots.

Day 11: Chimpanzee Trekking, Visit the Kasoga Community 

Watch chimpanzees play in the trees of Kalinzu
This morning your driver will take you to the Kalinzu Central Nature Reserve, a tropical forest known for its biodiversity. Here you'll find over 400 tree and shrub species and 379 bird species, including the great blue turaco, cuckoos, 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.
After a briefing at the park's headquarters, set off to track one of the forest's most remarkable residents and humans' 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 other birds and plants along the way.

Afterward, an afternoon at the Kasoga Community Experience awaits. This community initiative is located in the fishing village of Hamukungu on the edge of the park and offers an authentic glimpse into how the community lives and works. Help strengthen the local economy as you watch demonstrations of fishing and traditional canoe-making and marvel at the skillful crafts of the local women. Next up, you'll be immersed in the daily tasks of the community—milking cows, escorting cattle in the bush, turning milk into yogurt, and making ghee. 

Day 12: Transfer to Mgahinga National Park

Volcanic peaks in the distance at Mgahinga National Park
This morning, your driver will pick you up for the long drive south to Uganda's Kisoro District and Mgahinga National Park. This small reserve is located in Uganda's extreme southwest and lies within the famous protected ecosystem of the Virunga volcanoes. Dense jungle blankets the steep volcanic slopes and gives shelter to some of the world's last endangered mountain gorillas.

Day 13: Gorilla Tracking in Mgahinga National Park

Search for mountain gorillas in Mgahinga National Park
Today takes you on the adventure of a lifetime as you join your guide for an expedition into the wilds of Mgahinga National Park in search of the rare mountain gorilla. Lace up your hiking boots and prepare for a three- to six-hour trek to catch a glimpse of these critically endangered animals. Around 300 mountain gorillas live in the park, and their locations are tracked to prevent poaching. Alongside the gorillas, this protected area is also teeming with diverse species like golden monkeys, black and white colobus, leopards, serval cats, and remarkable birdlife, so keep your camera close!

Day 14: Batwa Pygmies Cultural Experience

Spend the day with the Batwa people 
Get to know the original residents of this region with an immersive Batwa Pygmy Cultural Experience. This educational center was created to pass down the customs and history of the displaced Batwa people to their children, and visits from tourists help support the community's healthcare and education.
Follow a trail through living history as you set out from the base of Muhuvura Cave. Learn how the people of this forest hunted with bows and arrows, help prepare a typical meal, discover the forest's many medicinal plants, and listen to traditional songs and stories.

Day 15: Transfer to Entebbe

Stand between the Northern and Southern Hemispheres on your way back to Entebbe
Join your driver this morning for the return trip to Entebbe. Stop for a break to stretch your legs at the Equator, then continue to your accommodations in Entebbe to relax and unwind after the long drive.

Day 16: Visit the Chimpanzees of Ngamba Island

Meet the rehabilitated orphans of Ngamba Chimpanzee Sanctuary
Today you'll take a boat cruise across the peaceful waters of Lake Victoria to reach the island of Ngamba, home to the Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary and over 50 orphaned and rescued chimpanzees. Saved from poachers, wildlife traffickers, and circuses, the rehabilitated chimps live in a natural setting in the island's 100 acres (40 ha) of forest.
Upon arrival at the sanctuary, you'll start at the visitor's center for an overview of the project's mission, its history, and its fascinating residents. Then it's on to the star attraction of feeding time, where you'll get to view the chimps interact with their caregivers. 

Day 17: Browse the Buganda Road Craft Market

Buganda Road Craft Market
Pick up some mementos of your trip at Buganda Craft Market
Your driver will take you to Kampala for a day of shopping and socializing at the Buganda Craft Market. Browse the colorful stalls of the city's largest market and find one-of-a-kind gifts and souvenirs from across Africa. Intricately woven fabrics rub sit alongside with carved wooden bowls, beaded shoes, and a vast selection of artwork and decor items to commemorate your Ugandan adventure. Afterward, sit down to a local fare lunch before returning to your accommodation and enjoying your final evening in Uganda.

Day 18: Depart Entebbe

Sunset on the shores of Lake Victoria in Entebbe

It's time to say your goodbyes to Uganda! Your guide will transfer you to the airport at the scheduled time to catch your departing flight. Safe travels!

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


Map of Ultimate Uganda Wildlife Adventure - 18 Days
Map of Ultimate Uganda Wildlife Adventure - 18 Days