Day 1: Entebbe or Kampala - Mabamba Swamp & Shoebill Stork Search
After arriving at night, you can rest till the late morning or early afternoon. The 8 day Uganda safari begins; we pick you up at your Entebbe or Kampala hotel any time before 13.00hr and drive to Mabamba swamp to search for the most sought after bird in Africa, the ancient looking Shoebill Stork along with many other birds in the Swamp. It takes about 1 hour to drive from Entebbe to the boat / Canoe, mainly on dirt roads - about 50km (1½ hour) west of Kampala. Mabamba Swamp is an extensive marsh stretching through a long narrow bay, fringed with papyrus towards the western main body of Lake Victoria in Mpigi District. You will then access the swamp in local fishing boat / Canoe with a local guide.
Pack a nice lunch, take some bottled water take along a good pair of Binoculars, hat, sun protection, insect repellent, light rain jacket. long-sleeved shirt, and long trousers – all in your backpack.
Mabamba Swamp is a large tract of marshlands with various channels through it and it provides the perfect habitat for countless of water -birds away from the Shoebill Stork such as Swamp flycatcher, African purple swamp hen, African water rail, Pallid Harrier, Papyrus Gonolek, White-winged Warbler and the Blue Swallow Common moorhen, lesser jacana, African jacana, African pygym Goose, White-faced whistling duck, Squacco heron, Blue reasted Bee-eater, Winding cisticola, Goliath Heron and many others
Back in the day, the Shoebill Storks were being killed in Uganda by superstitious fisherman who saw their sighting as a bad omen, meaning no success during fishing once found.
We end our day with a drive and check into your Kampala preferred lodging.
Day 2: Kampala to Ziwa Rhinos - Gulu or Kitgum
We pick you up at your accommodation in Kampala for your African Adventure Safari after breakfast. We drive through the middle of Uganda on the way to Gulu with a stop off at Ziwa for a visit to the Rhino Sanctuary. Here Rhinos are bred and prepared for reintroduction. The sanctuary ranger will meet you upon arrival and give you an introduction to our sanctuary and some information about our rhinos. Depending on where the rhinos are, you will drive to the closest point and approach the rhinos on while walking.
You will then have a chance to watch the rhinos in their habitat at a very close and very safe, point. This is another wonderful 1-2 hour African experience. There is decent basic but nice and clean lodging with a restaurant serving tasty food and drinks for those wanting to spend a night on their way up or from Murchison Falls NP. So we’ll probably just have lunch here and proceed to Gulu or Kitgum (less than 2 hours away from Gulu town).
Check in at your preferred lodge, dinner and a good night sleep. There is a whole bunch of decent nice and not very basic hotels in Gulu and rooms can be arranged on a short notice but Churchill Courts Hotel is recommended while in Kitgum we will stays at Acholi Pride Guest House and ... Kitgum does not have a lot of accommodation options, especially not if you're looking for something high end. These are basic guest house style, where you will feel like one in the family. Adjacent restaurants serves good breakfast, lunch and dinner they are both walking distance to the heart of Kitgum town, and to the bar district. These are great places to stop and sleep the way to or from Kidepo Valley National Park, and to experience a town that is finally getting back to its former self after 21 years of the Joseph Kony’s LRA war.
Day 3: Drive From Gulu/Kitgum to Kidepo Valley National Park
Early morning breakfast at your Lodge then we are off to Kidepo Valley and the Karamajong region of North Eastern Uganda, close to the border of Kenya and Sudan is the Kidepo Valley National Park. This is a region where not people come to, much less drive to, simply too long of a drive, but those who come are simply astounded by what they discover even during the drive. You will drive through the Karamajong region. The Karamajong are pastoralists who cling to their ancient ways, a culture where cattle is supreme, lots of interesting things to see and do while you are on your way. Lunch along the journey or at your Kidepo lodge ...depends on where you stayed the previous night.
Arrive in late afternoon and check in to Apoka Lodge...an amazing place in the remotest part of Uganda. Have a refreshing drink, take in the stillness of the place with the distant sounds of wildlife around you. Prepare for an incredible dinner and enjoy the African Night.
Day 4: Kidepo Game Safari & afternoon Karamojong people Cultural Tour
Arise to a fabulous breakfast and a cup of coffee or tea while you peruse the landscape and wildlife around you in the remotest corner of Uganda and yet it is in class and style. The perfect African dream vacation. An early Morning Game Drive through the Narus Valley where you will sight massive herds of buffalos are passing the grassland. “Bullbull” the elephant, is a daily visitor at your lodge/camp. Also, expect to see some lions, leopard and the elusive cheetah. Even zebras, giraffes, waterbucks, monkeys and jackals are coming very close to the huts. This park is a very special one in East Africa. – In the middle of the bush you will have the right Africa feeling.
Besides that there are the many birds you might find along the way. This is a slow drive so that you do not miss anything, stopping wherever you desire to take pictures of the fabulous wildlife and birds, fauna and flora along the way. Most likely the only thing you will find is wildlife, birds and scenery and no people in this remote part of Uganda.
Return to your Lodge for a delightful lunch, if you are staying at the Apoka lodge, this is a good time for a dip into the pool and enjoy luxury comfort in remote Africa.
In the afternoon, we go for walking safari with a ranger and a visit of a local village of the Karamojong people,... its a cultural tour. See how this proud tribe that has refused most influences for change. Their love for cattle is comparable to the better known Maasai of Kenya and Tanzania. Their ways are unique to them and they are a proud warrior like people who believe that is their God given right to cattle, even cattle belonging to others. You will see how they live, how they prepare food, dance, enjoy life and what their cattle means to them.
Return to your lodge for dinner and a quiet night in the wilderness, or should one say, a night where the only music are the sounds of the African night in Kidepo Park.
Day 5 Game Safari & Drive to Gulu
Breakfast and morning game drive as we head back to Gulu. No game drive is the same even if you took the same route twice, there is always something new to be seen and found. The scenery, animals, birds will amaze you and it is best to keep the camera close at hand to get the best shots along the way. Once again, many traditional villages and sorghum fields on your way. – Lunch along the way and dinner at you Gulu proffered lodging.
Day 6: Gulu - Murhison & Game Safari
An early morning breakfast then drive to Murchison Falls National Park. You will again see how the people are live and work, the Historic Nile River, and many animals along the road. We drive into the back of Murchison Falls instead of the usual entrance as coming from Kampala. Arrive at Paraa Lodge in time for lunch and check-in. Your room overlooks the River Nile, there is a lovely swimming pool and a great view. You may consider checking on other lodging options at Murchison Falls National Park.
Late afternoon game drive seeing Lions, Elephants, Giraffe, birds in abundance, warthogs and once in a while a leopard getting ready for a night's hunt...simply fantastic.
Enjoy Dinner at Paraa Lodge overlooking the Nile below. After dinner sit on your balcony and listen to the sounds of the African Wilderness.
Day 7: Game Drive and Afternoon Nile Boat Safari
Early morning breakfast and off you are for another game drive across the savannah, along Lake Albert Delta, abundant wildlife as you move slowly as the sun rises. Welcome to Africa. What you are sensing and feeling, seeing around you cannot be replicated anywhere else in the world, this is Murchison Falls with its birds, lions, leopards, elephants, hippos, buffaloes, warthogs, giraffes, humorous appearing warthogs. This is Africa and you are on safari in the heart of it - Uganda.
After lunch it is one of the highlights of your Murchison Falls National Park Safari, the boat launch trip up the Nile River. Slowly moving along the river bank viewing crocodiles, an abundance of hippos, elephants, buffaloes, antelopes, lots of birds including the fish eagle, storks and so much more. The boat moves gently up the river and stay on the left hand side so that you see most of the animals who come to the river. Herds of Elephants cooling off, Hippopotamus frolicking, crocodiles just dozing in the African sun.
Close by there is a bank on the river filled with Nile crocodiles basking in the afternoon sun, just down from there you can see a group of hippos frolicking in the water of the Nile. There are literally thousands of hippopotamus to be found here, birds in abundance.
The journey down river slowly begins and more opportunity for viewing animals before you return to your lodging for dinner and an evening of rest and relaxations, don't miss spotting some storks, eagles, egrets and many other birds, there are also a variety of primates to be found on the shores. Enjoy the Nile.
Dinner and another night in the wilds of Africa with its peculiar night sounds that are quite different from Berlin, London or New York.
Day 8: Top of Murchison Falls and Drive to Kampala
Morning and breakfast and then we get ready for the return to Kampala stopping first at the top of the falls where there earth literally shakes from the power of the falls, where you can see a rainbow generated by the mists of the fall. There is a path down and it certainly is an experience that you will remember for a long time.
Then we head for Masindi and we stop at the Masindi Hotel where Humphrey Bogart and Katherine Hepburn stayed while making "The African Queen", for lunch and continue afterwards to Kampala arriving in the afternoon. The hotel was built in 1923 and is the oldest hotel in Uganda.
Lodging and Food, 4 Wheel Drive Safari Vehicle, Fuel, English Speaking Driver, Bottled Drinking Water on all Drives, Mabamba Shoebill Stork tour, Park Entrance fees and cultural site entrance fees, Visit to Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary & Guide for Tracking, Game Drives, UWA armed expert Ranger guide.
Not included in Safari price: Air Travel to and from Uganda, Uganda Visa Costs, Laundry, Tips, Drinks, except those included in lodging meal price.
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