Uganda,

Off the Beaten Track in Northern Uganda

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Tailor-Made Tour
13 Days
From £8260
GEOIP Not Available
Big Cat Safari
Primate Watching
Luxury
Off The Beaten Track
Photographic

Tour Introduction

13 Days from £8260
GEOIP Not Available
per adult. Prices based on rates applicable at the time of costing which may vary. Please ask for a definitive quote

This itinerary takes you to the less visited north of Uganda culminating in beautiful Kidepo National Park. Until recently Kidepo was off-limits to tourists and today remains wonderfully quiet and unspoilt. The park borders both South Sudan and northern Kenya and shares the same landscape and wildlife with its East African neighbours. Experience the vast open plains and superb wildlife to rival the best parks in Africa, but with only a handful of other tourists. Expect to see vast herds of buffalo and antelope, elephant, zebra and giraffe and many carnivores – this is the only park in Uganda where cheetah, lion and leopard live in the same location. Working your way northwards, visit Semiliki in the far west of the country, another of Uganda’s under-visited gems with beautiful savannah, primate-filled forests and excellent chances of shoebill storks on the banks of Lake Albert. Then enjoy chimpanzee trekking at Kibale before travelling to Murchison Falls National Park for more wildlife with the Nile and impressive waterfalls providing the backdrop. Throughout the tour we include high quality lodges and special touches like bush breakfasts, sundowner camp fires and outdoor dining to complete a safari experience rivalling any in Africa. As these remote parks take quite a bit of driving to reach, you can opt to fly if budget allows. Whichever way you travel, we know you will agree that it was certainly worth it to see some of Africa’s last hidden wildernesses.

Full Itinerary

Price from £8260
GEOIP Not Available
per adult. Based on sharing double / twin rooms
Day 1
Entebbe

Arrive Entebbe. Met on arrival and transfer to your hotel.

Staying at The Boma. Includes No Meals.

Day 2
Semliki Wildlife Reserve

Depart early with your private safari guide in a specially equipped 4x4 Land Cruiser with popup roof, charging sockets, WiFi and a fridge stocked with fruit, snacks and soft drinks. Drive (approx. 6 hours) to the Semliki Wildlife Reserve. Enjoy a late lunch followed by a game drive. Although carnivores are largely absent, the forests and savannahs of Semliki contain large numbers of Ugandan kob, two endemic species of flying squirrel, buffalo and elephants of both the savannah and forest species. Birdwatchers will enjoy the chance to spot red-necked falcon, black-billed barbet and Abyssinian ground-hornbill. Round it off with a refreshing sundowner before heading back to the lodge for dinner.

Staying at Semliki Safari Lodge. Includes All Meals.

Day 3
Semliki Wildlife Reserve

Enjoy a morning birding boat cruise on Lake Albert for shoebills and other species. In the afternoon venture out on a game drive to spot savannah species, or take a savannah walking safari if you would prefer.

Staying at Semliki Safari Lodge. Includes All Meals.

Day 4
Semliki Wildlife Reserve

Morning walking safari (with armed guided) through the Semliki Forest for birds, primates and other wildlife. Primate highlights might include red-tailed monkey, vervet monkey, black and white colobus monkeys plus chimpanzee. If very lucky, you might even glimpse some of the rare forest elephants and buffalos that make Semliki their home.

Lunch at the lodge then drive (approx. 2 hours) to Kibale for dinner.

Staying at Ndali Lodge. Includes All Meals.

Day 5
Kibale Chimpanzees and Bigodi Wetland

Depart before dawn for Kibale Forest National Park headquarters and check in for the morning chimpanzee trek. Bordering the Queen Elizabeth National park to the south, the Kibale protects Uganda’s largest expanse of intact forest containing more than 350 species of trees, 375 species of bird and 70 species of mammal including forest elephant, red and blue duikers, bushbuck, sitatunga, bush pig, giant forest hog, common warthog, buffalo, leopard and the occasional lion. The 13 species of primate include Uganda mangabey, Ugandan red colobus, L'Hoest's monkey, black-and-white colobus and blue monkey. It is also offers probably Africa’s best chimpanzee trekking with over 120 individuals within the main habituated community, divided into various sub-groups. After a short briefing, you will be split into parties of eight people and spend the morning tracking one of the chimpanzee groups with an armed ranger, usually starting where the group was seen the previous day. If lucky, the group will be vocalising so you are able to follow their distinctive whoops and calls to find the apes. If not, the ranger will need to use his tracking skills to follow the trail of broken vegetation and dropped fruit which leads to the group. This can sometimes take a little time and may involve plenty of walking through thick forest. Once found, however, you will enjoy an unforgettable hour experiencing chimpanzee behaviour and social interaction before returning to the park HQ and your lodge for lunch.

In the afternoon, have a walk in the Bigodi Wetlands for smaller primates found in the area and rich birdlife. A series of trails and boardwalks pass through farmland, forest and extensive areas of papyrus. Wildlife is dominated by birds including blue turaco, papyrus gonolek, hornbill, waxbill, weaver, cuckoo, flycatcher and a number of kingfisher species. There are also eight species of primate there, including black and white colobus, red colobus, mangabey, red tail, vervet, and L’Hoest monkeys.

Staying at Ndali Lodge. Includes All Meals.

Day 6
Murchison Falls

Depart early for the long drive to Murchison Falls National Park (approx. 8 hrs). Check-in to hotel and rest of day at leisure.

Staying at Baker’s Lodge. Includes All Meals.

Day 7
Murchison Falls

Morning game drive in Murchison Falls National Park. At 3,893 square kilometres in size, this is Uganda’s largest national park and dominated by the Nile running roughly east to west and dividing the park in two. Here you can see large numbers of Rothschild's giraffe, elephant and buffalo. Specialities of the park include the Jackson’s hartebeest, the tiny oribi antelope and the Uganda kob – an antelope which forms large herds. Lion are seen quite regularly but leopard and spotted hyena less so. Primates include olive baboon, blue and red-tailed monkeys, black-and-white colobus plus the rare savanna-dwelling patas monkey. As well as waterbirds such as shoebill stork, goliath heron and grey crowned crane, there are many savannah species including the Abyssinian ground hornbill, Senegal thick-knee and Northern carmine bee-eater. Afternoon boat trip to Murchison Falls following the Victoria Nile as it flows through the national park. As well as a large number of water birds, the river draws a large amount of game which comes to the river to drink and bathe. Expect hippos, elephants, buffalos and crocodiles. You will continue up the river to the spectacular Murchison Falls where the river hurtles down a seven metre chasm. Disembark from the boat for a fairly steep walk to the top of the falls observing the various cascades as you go. Return to your lodge in the evening.

Staying at Baker’s Lodge. Includes All Meals.

Day 8
Murchison Falls

Morning boat trip to the Nile delta to look for shoebills and other wildlife. Return to the lodge for lunch then enjoy a sunset game drive.

Staying at Baker’s Lodge. Includes All Meals.

Day 9
Kidepo Valley National Park

Long drive north (approx. 8 hrs with picnic lunch) to Kidepo Valley National Park.

Staying at Apoka Safari Lodge. Includes All Meals.

Day 10
Kidepo Valley National Park

Morning and afternoon private game drives in the Kidepo Valley National Park. Located in Uganda’s remote north, Kidepo is bordered by South Sudan to the west and Kenya to the east. The park shares similar stunning landscape and wildlife to its Kenyan neighbour with rolling grass plains framed by distant hills dotted with granite outcrops. Wildlife is dominated by the usual plains animals: huge herds of buffalo, giraffe, zebra, elephant and antelope, all stalked by healthy populations of lion, leopard and cheetah. Bird highlights include kori bustard, white-bellied go-away bird, Abyssinian roller, purple heron, Abyssinian ground hornbill, Clapperton’s francolin, Abyssinian scimitar bill, Jackson’s hornbill, African-pied hornbill and around 460 other species.

Staying at Apoka Safari Lodge. Includes All Meals.

Day 11
Kidepo Valley National Park

Morning and afternoon private game drives in the Kidepo Valley National Park. You can choose to take a walking safari in place of one of your game drives.

Staying at Apoka Safari Lodge. Includes All Meals.

Day 12
Kidepo Valley National Park

Morning private game drive in the Kidepo Valley National Park. In the afternoon, you can choose another game drive or visit a nearby tribal community.

Staying at Apoka Safari Lodge. Includes All Meals.

Day 13
Entebbe

Final morning game drive in Kidepo. Take scheduled flight (Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays only) to Entebbe Airport. Visit a nearby restaurant for dinner (included) then take your evening flight home.

Includes Breakfast and Lunch.

Tour Accommodation

Uganda Northern Uganda

Apoka Safari Lodge

Overview

Located on a granite ridge providing cooling breezes and stunning views over the Kidepo Valley, the lodge is built as a classic Africa bush camp. With a rustic design and blessed with good food and service, the lodge features outdoor bathtubs, a swimming pool carved out of the granite rock and a manmade waterhole which attracts a great deal of plains wildlife. The lodge offers all the extra trappings of a quality safari lodge with bush breakfasts, walking safaris and sundowners aplenty. There is no better place from which to explore the wildlife-filled plains of Kidepo.

Swimming Pool
Yes
Air Conditioning
No
Rooms
10
Facilities

Each of the ten large guest rooms comes with a good view, veranda, outdoor tub, double beds, mosquito nets and en suite bathrooms. Included in your stay are all meals, teas&coffees, laundry and drinks (excluding premium brands).

Local Wildlife

Wildlife here is dominated by traditional plains animals: huge herds of buffalo, giraffe, zebra, elephant and antelope, all stalked by healthy populations of lion, leopard and cheetah. Bird highlights include Kori Bustard, White-bellied Go-Away bird, Abyssinian Roller, Purple Heron, Abyssinian Ground Hornbill, Clapperton’s Francolin, Abyssinian Scimitar bill, Jackson’s Hornbill, African-pied Hornbill and around 460 other species.

Optional Activities

Game drives, walking safaris, bush breakfasts, sundowners, birdwatching, village visits.

Uganda Eastern Uganda

The Boma Hotel

Overview

Located only around 10 minutes’ drive from the airport, the Boma Hotel is nestled in a quiet suburb of Entebbe with pleasant gardens and a swimming pool. Each of the eleven rooms is decorated in a colonial style and comes complete with en suite facilities.  The rooms combine modern comforts with the charm and character of the original 1940s homestead.

It is also 10 minutes from the Uganda Wildlife Education Centre (UWEC) and the pier from where boats depart for the Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary.

Swimming Pool
Yes
Air Conditioning
No
Rooms
16
Facilities

Swimming pool, free high speed internet (WiFi), room service, bar/lounge, restaurant, airport transportation, laundry service, minibar, outdoor pool and wheelchair access.

Local Wildlife

The hotel has lovely gardens which attract plenty of birds and butterflies.

Optional Activities

Visits to nearby Lake Victoria, birdwatching, bicycle hire, golf, visits to Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary and the Uganda Wildlife Education Centre.

Uganda Western Uganda

Semliki Safari Lodge

Overview

Located within the Semliki Valley Wildlife Reserve in western Uganda, Semliki Safari Lodge is a luxury lodge with a reputation for providing guests with a real Ugandan bush experience. Built out of local materials, it has the rustic feel of a traditional tented safari lodge.

Built along the lines of a classic African safari camp, the lodge has eight spacious safari tents complete with thatched roofs, large verandas, hardwood floors and en-suite bathrooms with plenty of hot water. Days begin with tea or coffee served on your veranda and end with sumptuous dinners taken in the large thatched dining hall. There is also a small swimming pool, bar and lounge.

Swimming Pool
Yes
Air Conditioning
No
Rooms
8
Facilities

Swimming pool, restaurant, free internet, bar and lounge, room service.

Local Wildlife

Semliki Safari Lodge is open on one side where a large camp fire burns in the evenings. The camp looks out on to the Mugiri River Forest where black-and-white colobus and red-tailed monkeys can often be seen and the calls of chimpanzees can be heard. There are over 34 endemic bird species around the lodge. Boat trips on Lake Albert can be arranged to look for shoebill stork.

Optional Activities

Game drives, night drives, walking safaris, chimpanzee tracking, trips to spot the shoebill, general bird watching, tracking forest elephant and Ugandan kob, boating, fishing and other guided walks.

Uganda Western Uganda

Ndali Lodge

Overview

Ndali is a rustic, intimate lodge owned and managed by third generation expats Aubrey and Clare Price. The lodge has a homely colonial feel while still feeling very informal. Built of local stone and thatch, the eight luxury bandas are perched on a hill and offer stunning views over a natural crater lake.

The rooms are nestled among beautiful, bird-filled gardens and walks around the crater lake often reveal a multitude of birds including the great blue turaco. The swimming pool overlooks miles of rolling hills and is a great spot for a welcome sundowner.  A full English breakfast is served on the veranda overlooking the lake, augmented by freshly squeezed passion fruit juice and homemade bread with wild honey.

Three of Uganda’s national parks are within easy driving distance from Ndali Lodge: as well as Kibale, these include the World Heritage-listed Rwenzori Mountains National Park and Uganda’s most famous, the Queen Elizabeth National Park.

Swimming Pool
Yes
Air Conditioning
No
Rooms
8
Facilities

A swimming pool, restaurant, laundry service, bar and lounge, free internet, hot and cold running water, lighting by candle or storm lantern.

Local Wildlife

Close by is the Bigodi Wetlands Sanctuary, a community-based conservation project and part of Kibale Forest National Park, which protects a variety of monkeys and other mammals and rare birds such as the white-winged warbler, white-collared oliveback and papyrus gonolek. Other species frequently spotted are the African marsh harrier, African harrier-hawk, grey parrot, black-billed turaco, yellow-billed barbet and white-breasted negrofinch. Below the lodge on the lake stands a sturdy jetty in a most tranquil and secluded setting, much frequented by five different species of kingfisher.

Optional Activities

Ndali provides local guides for walks around its 1,000 acre farm or to nearby Muhoma Falls. Guests can swim in the lake, soak up the sun or simply get away from it all. There is an inflatable two-man kayak that can be used for spotting birds and other wildlife by the lakeshore.

Uganda Northern Uganda

Baker’s Lodge

Overview

Baker’s Lodge offers luxurious accommodation on the south bank of the River Nile, Murchison Falls National Park.

Taking its name from Samuel Baker, an English explorer who first discovered Murchison Falls, and located on the south bank of the Victoria Nile, this beautiful safari lodge has just eight spacious thatched cottages with river views comfortable seating areas inside and out, ceiling fans and large, open plan bathrooms. Inside, there is a huge bedroom with double or twin beds, bedside tables, solar-powered lighting, mosquito nets, a couple of explorer’s chests, a writing desk and chair, a safe, and well-appointed en-suite facilities comprising flush toilet, twin washbasins, shower and bathtub. There’s free Wi-Fi too.

There is a large bar, lounge and restaurant area with alfresco dining options by the river. The pleasant swimming pool is set back from the main lodge, affording a good deal of privacy. The grounds boast a fire-pit, perfect for getting to know your fellow travellers and exchanging safari stories.

You can take boat trips straight from the lodge and hippos often graze the lawns after dark. For game drives, you need to first take the ferry across the river to the northern part of the park.

Swimming Pool
Yes
Air Conditioning
No
Rooms
8
Facilities

Baker’s Lodge has a restaurant, bar, fire-pit, swimming pool, conference facilities, a comfy lounge, open plan en-suite bathrooms with solar heated showers and bathtubs.

Local Wildlife

The views onto the river are vast and magnificent with islands hosting nesting egret birds, elephants bathing and pods of hippos regularly viewed.

Optional Activities

Exhilarating river cruises, game drives, birdwatching, fishing, chimpanzee tracking, hot air ballooning.

Route Map

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Bakers Lodge: 2.259553, 31.530706
Ndali Lodge: 0.476336, 30.286354
Semliki Safari Lodge: 0.908711, 30.355922
The Boma Hotel: 0.053290, 32.465018
Apoka Safari Lodge: 3.739753, 33.723242

Departure Dates

This tour has no set departure date and can be tailored to suit your travel requirements. Contact us for more details.

Travel Information

Are International Flights Included?

No. Please contact us for a quote if required.

Flight Info:

One domestic flight included.

Best Visited:

September to February

Are you ATOL Registered?

Yes. This means we are legally able to book your international flights in conjunction with your ground arrangements so you can book with us with complete confidence. Read more about our ATOL license here.

Jonathan Morris

Area Specialist

If you have any questions regarding this Tour, please feel free to contact me on +44 (0)1803 866965