Mountain gorillas, the Nile and National Parks in East Africa's hidden gem
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Group Size: Max 22
Trip code: DUKK
Duration: 9 days
Uganda is Africa in a nutshell, with a bit of everything the continent has to offer condensed into one spectacular country. Think shimmering lakes, lush jungles, and the mighty Nile and you’ve got the picture. Add to that some of the best adrenaline sports going, the highest concentration of primates on Earth, and an off-the-beaten-track vibe and you’ve got the dream destination on your hands. This budget-friendly overland safari takes you through Uganda’s greatest hits. It’s a proper adventure with rugged 4x4 vehicles, rustic wilderness camps, and everybody mucking in. You’ll enjoy some of the world’s finest wildlife experiences with a mountain gorilla trek, and a chimpanzee tracking excursion, push your boundaries with a selection of adrenaline sports, chill out on the shores of some of Africa’s most beautiful lakes, and spend your nights under the stars. Epic doesn’t even cover it.
- Get up close to a family of mountain gorillas and watch in awe as they feed and play
- Get your adrenaline pumping in Jinja, Uganda’s adventure sports capital
- Live the lake life with two days splashing around on beautiful Lake Bunyoni
- Track a chimpanzee group deep into Kalinzu Forest Reserve with an expert ranger
- Visit a local tea plantation to learn what goes into making that perfect cuppa
This is a super adventurous expedition, with basic campsites deep in the wilderness, strenuous hikes, travel on bumpy roads in all-terrain vehicles, and participation-style camping, where everybody mucks in with pitching tents, meal prep, and setting up camp. Our travellers love the participation element, and the spectacular locations more than make up for the rustic facilities, however it’s a trip that’s best suited to those who are looking for a true adventure!
Day 1: Kampala. Fly into Uganda’s capital city. Head to our starting accommodation and take a dip in the pool before getting to know the rest of the group at a welcome meeting. Find out about all the exciting adventures we’ve got in store before heading out for dinner and drinks.
Day 2: Kampala to Lake Bunyoni. Hop in the Lando and head across the Equator to Lake Bunyoni. Take a stroll along the lake shore looking for wildlife, swim in its fresh waters, or rent a canoe to explore some of the islands. Gather round the campfire tonight under a starry sky.
Day 3: Mountain gorilla trek. Today’s a real bucket-lister as we make our way into Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in search of our closest relatives. Watch these incredible animals as they play, forage, and snooze. It’s easily one of the most incredible wildlife experiences on Earth.
Day 4: Lake Bunyoni. It’s all about the lake life today. Splash around in the water, take an optional motorboat tour or nature walk, or discover the region’s diverse bird species with a professional bird guide. After dark, gather round the campfire and share stories about your lovely lakeside day.
Day 5: Lake Bunyoni to Kalinzu Forest Reserve. Roll north through the Ugandan countryside to Kalinzu Forest Reserve. Settle into our awesome camp before taking an optional boat cruise around Crater Lake for incredible views of Wizard Island and Phantom Ship.
Day 6: Kalinzu to Lake Mburo National Park. Head into Kalinzu Forest Reserve looking for groups of chimpanzees with an expert ranger. Sit and watch in awe as they interact in the most human way, before heading to a local tea plantation to learn what goes into that perfect cuppa. Spend tonight on Lake Mburo where you’ll have the chance to see crocs, hippos and more on an optional boat safari.
Day 7: Lake Mburo National Park to Jinja. Travel back across the Equator, stopping to see how water swirls in opposite directions on either side like magic! Then stop for lunch at a local café and gallery that supports young people living with HIV. With full hearts and bellies, journey on to Jinja.
Day 8: Jinja adventure sports. Today’s yours to explore Jinja, Uganda’s adventure capital. Get wild with a whitewater rafting experience, work up a sweat on a mountain bike, go quad biking or take the adrenaline levels to the max with a bungee. If you’d rather keep things a little more laid back, there’s a chilled out sunset cruise on the Nile on offer this evening as well.
Day 9: Jinja to Kampala. Today you will travel back to where it all began today as we speed through Uganda’s picturesque landscapes to Kampala. You will arrive early afternoon. Better start planning your next trip!
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Most expensive: £1,250 December, 2023
This trip begins and ends in Kampala, Uganda. Entebbe International (EBB) is the nearest airport. Day 1 is an arrival today and there are no activities arranged until a welcome meeting this evening, so arrive at a time that suits you. Arrival airport transfers are not included, so you’ll need to make your own way to our starting hotel. Taxi takes around 40 minutes, depending on traffic.
On the last day of the trip, you will get a transfer back in Kampala early afternoon. We’d recommend you don’t book your flight home before 4pm on day 9, or that you book an additional night of accommodation and fly the next day.
8 nights of accommodation is included. This is a super adventurous trip where everybody gets really stuck in, and 7 nights will be spent participation camping and 1 night is spent in a hostel.
Participation camping involves staying on basic campsites, carrying, and pitching our own camping equipment. Campsites are in stunning locations in national parks, and in rural locations outside towns. Some campsites are enclosed to keep the wildlife out. Other camps are open to the natural environment so wildlife can wander in but are completely safe. You’ll get a real taste for the wild, sleeping under the stars, and truly immersing yourself in Africa’s unique landscapes.
We’ll be staying in quality 2-person canvas safari tents, which have a roomy base area of 4 metres. Tents have built-in insect netting and are treated with a waterproofing agent. They are dome-shaped and take less than ten minutes to assemble and disassemble.
Campsite facilities vary and are basic but of a good standard. Some camps will have flush toilets, warm showers, and electricity for charging. Others will be more rustic with no electricity, simple or no bathing facilities, and squat loos.
All camping equipment is included (apart from sleeping bag and pillow). This includes comfy camp mattresses, portable camp chairs and cooking equipment.
7 breakfasts, 5 lunches, and 6 dinners are included on this trip. All meals will be prepared from local produce. Breakfasts usually consist of breads and cereals, lunches are mostly light meals such as sandwiches and salads, and all evening meals are freshly prepared, and hot, and will be a mix of continental and local dishes. Please let us know in advance if you have any dietary requirements.
This trip is designed for those aged 18-39. This trip requires a good level of fitness as there are strenuous hikes through tough terrain when gorilla trekking. Most healthy people will be able to do this trip.
You’ll need to have at least 6 months remaining on your passport from your date of arrival and you’ll need a visa. You can apply for this at the nearest Ugandan Embassy or apply online for an e-visa. You should give yourself sufficient time to apply for a visa and make sure when applying that the start date and validity covers the period you wish to travel.
Visa rules and entry requirements are subject to change. You should check with the relevant embassies before travelling.