Uganda is a dream destination wrapped in a tiny beautiful bundle. It has near-perfect weather year round, a wide variety of birds and wildlife, one of the friendliest and most ethnically diverse populations in Africa, magnificent natural scenery, and biggest population of Mountain Gorilla. No wonder Winston Churchill declared it the Pearl of Africa.
This 10 day safari with our dedicated chief experience officer (CEO) is crafted to give you the ultimate experience of everything Uganda has to offer. It entails a mixture of primate tracking, nature walking, wild-life and birding, and a tour of East Africa’s happiest city, Kampala.
The big highlight of this trip is getting up close and cosy with Africa’s new darling, the endangered Mountain Gorilla. Experience the rush of trekking through the dense jungle of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest crowned by an intimate encounter with the world largest primate.
From here you’ll hop over to Jinja, Uganda’s adventure capital and home to the source of the Nile. There are plenty of activities here for the sporty, the adventurous, the cruisers, and the wind-down-easy types: there’s kayaking, white-water rafting, quad biking, boat cruising, village walking, and plenty more.
The final highlight is a wildlife safari in Kidepo Valley National Park, a four-time World Travel Awards nominee. Of the 10 national parks in Uganda, Kidepo has the largest variety of wildlife and the distinction of being in Karimojong country. Game drives in Kidepo Valley National Park have no equal.
The trip is ideal for both high-end and backpacking travellers with travel and accommodation options for both.
You will enter Uganda via Entebbe International Airport where our Chief Experience Officer CEO will be waiting to pick you up. Look out for someone holding a placard with your name. He will welcome you, drive you to your hotel, brief you on what to expect the following day, and help you settle in. If you need any assistance, do not hesitate to ask our CEO.
Optional: City Tour, Night Life
You depart for Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park first thing in the morning. The drive is between 8-9 hours through lowland country and high altitude terrain. Our first scheduled stop is at the Equator, a fantastic spot for photo-ops with one foot in the northern hemisphere and another in the southern hemisphere. There is a great craft shop here and a drum making workshop where you can see how traditional drums are made.
The next stop is in Uganda’s dairy capital, Mbarara. We’ll stretch, relax and have lunch before going back on the road for the final leg of the drive. The drive goes through green country roads with sightings of local village life until you start to the lush rainforest trees concealing the prospect of a breath-taking encounter with Mountain Gorillas.
Bwindi Forest is home to more than half the world’s population of Mountain Gorilla—the world’s most endangered ape—and is one of Africa’s biggest tourist destinations. Mountain Gorilla are said to be man’s closest cousins and can only be found in Uganda, Rwanda and DR Congo. A close encounter with these majestic beasts is unforgettable.
After an early breakfast in the clean, invigorating air of Bwindi Forest, there is a briefing by park management. You will be assigned a park ranger to guide you through the trip and arrange for you to visit one of the families living in the forest.
Uganda Wildlife Authority is strict on protecting this natural treasure. A maximum of 8 tourists per day are permitted to visit a habituated group, and once the first Gorilla is spotted you are allowed strictly one hour to stay with these majestic beasts, but every second will be worth it.
Watching these beautiful creatures go about their daily business—feeding, grooming each other, playing, resting, and completely unbothered with their admirers—is a truly incredible experience. It’s hard to believe how similar they are to their human cousins.
The Bwindi jungle is thick and lies on volcano slopes. The trek can be strenuous depending on your physical condition. If required, porters can be hired to carry your personal items and assist you during the trek.
Optional: Porter fees are between USD 10 – 20; Gorilla habituation experience is USD 1,500
We depart for Kampala first thing in the morning. We’ll stop en-route at Igongo Cultural Centre, a cultural museum along the Mbarara-Kampala highway with a treasure trove of information on the norms and traditions of Western Uganda. Here you’ll be enjoy a meal of traditional Ankore cuisine, get a guided tour of the museum and learn about the history of Ankore Kingdom. We depart for Kampala after lunch and arrive early in the evening. If you’re up for it, our CEO can give you a guided tour of Kampala’s night life; few places in the world are as fun as Kampala at night.
Optional: Kampala Night Life
We set off early for a day of fun in Uganda’s adventure capital, Jinja town. Set on the shores of Lake Victoria, at the point where the Great Nile begins its long journey to the Mediterranean Sea. The day’s main course is a hair-raising round of white water on the Nile, crowned with sundowners on a beautiful sunset cruise. If white-water rafting is not for you, Jinja has plenty of attractions like kayaking, quad biking and bungee jumping. No matter how many times you’ve done them before, if you haven’t done them in Jinja, try out some and discover the difference for yourself.
Optional: Kayaking, horseback riding, quad biking, bungee jumping, cycling, village walk
Today we kick off the Eastern Leg of the Pearl Highlights Safari with a trip to the picturesque hills of Kapchorwa to see one of the most heavenly sights anywhere on earth—the exquisitely beautiful Sipi Falls. We’ll check in at the hotel on arrival, freshen up, and take a lively hike through mountainous terrain to the falls.
After sipping in the beauty of the Sipi Falls, we’ll visit a coffee farm and savour the aromatic taste of hot coffee brewed with fresh beans picked from some of the richest soils on the globe. The farmers will induct you in the process of growing and brewing coffee, and when the day has worn off, you’ll head back to the lodge, kick off your shoes, and relax in the bewitching tranquillity of the Kapchorwa night.
The final destination on this leg is Kidepo Valley National Park, the ideal location for a classic African bush safari. Situated at Uganda’s border with South Sudan and Kenya, Kidepo is Uganda’s most isolated national park but the adventurers lucky to make the long journey north, through tough terrain, find themselves saying as the forefathers of folk legend did, “let us settle here”. The scenery is different, the people are unique, and when it comes to the vast herds of wildlife, everyone’s breath is blown away.
It is a four-time World Travel Awards nominee and if famous for having large herds of zebra, antelope, bushback, and a wide range of herbivores. It is also home to Uganda’s largest population of lions. Of all the game parks in Uganda, Kidepo presents the biggest feast of game-viewing; which is what makes the perfect destination to close your tour of Uganda.
The journey is a 7-8 hour drive through rugged valleys and dusty plains outlined by distant mountain ranges in the desert-like region of Karimojong country. The Karimojong people are a nomadic pastoral-warrior culture similar to the Masai, and one of few communities whose culture and traditions are still intact today.
During your 3 day in Karimojong country, you will enjoy game drives through the park, visit a traditional village and witness how these unique beautiful people have lived for thousands of years. If you’re so inclined, there is the option of visiting Pian Upe and Matheniko game reserves, the only places with Roan antelope in Uganda. They also have ‘bright’ gazelle, ostriches, and lesser Kudu.
Optional: Pian Upe Game Reserve, Matheniko Game Reserve
The journey back to Kampala is about 8-9 hours’ drive, but through easier road this time. Our route takes us through Gulu Town where we’ll stop for lunch. Gulu was once the epicentre of a civil war that spanned over two decades but has made a remarkable recovery and is bustling with life. We head straight for your Kampala after lunch. There is an optional final city tour on arrival. Check out Kampala night life before you check out of Uganda, our CEO is available to give a guided tour.
Optional: City tour, night life
Trekking Timmy offers group and private tours. The maximum number for one group is twelve (12).
Overland trips are made in vans, four-wheel vehicles, and mini-buses depending on the nature of the trip. Some trips, like inter-city tours, feature trails for walking, cycling and motor biking. Some drives are long. You are advised to carry some snacks and personal entertainment if possible. Audio flash drives can come in handy.
All our vehicles are kept in excellent condition, but in the event that your vehicle breaks down, please be patient. Our drivers have basic mechanical training and can solve such problems.
Most trips start at the crack of dawn so make friends with your alarm clock if you’re not an early riser. The drives are tailored with children in mind, meals are served at convenient times, and there are options for mid-range accommodation, luxury accommodation, and camping/backpacker facilities depending on your taste.
Please ensure that you have read the Trekking Timmy Terms & Conditions
Please ensure that you have read the Trekking Timmy Terms & Conditions
The rates are in US dollars per person and subject to change.
Availability of accommodation, permits and activities is not guaranteed until confirmation by payment.
The estimated traveling hours are based on the actual hours of driving; stops for lunch or photos not included.
Please find below a check list, it is rather elaborate but you could get what is relevant for you.
Your FIRST-AID KIT should contain Lip balm with sunscreen, Aspirin, Ibuprofen , Malaria pills, band aids/plasters, tape, anti-histamine, Antiseptic cream, Imodium or similar tablets for mild cases of diarrhea, re-hydration powder, insect repellent, extra prescription drugs you may be taking.
Get away from the hustle and bustle of Kampala and experience the thrill of adventure in Jinja. What better way to spend the weekend than two days of endless thrills. We’ll party at the Nile, explore the best of Jinja town, zip-line in Mabira, trek through the forest, and return to the city fresh, enlivened, and ready to take on the work.