3 Days Queen Elizabeth Wildlife tour

The following  12 Day Uganda budget tour itinerary has been developed to combine the best of Uganda’s flora, fauna and landscapes, as well as a range of intense and restful days.  It gives you a chance to fully explore and experience the pearl of Africa.

12 Day Uganda budget tour
12 Day Uganda budget tour

Day 1: Welcome to Uganda!

Your driver/guide will be at Entebbe Airport to pick you up from your flight and takes you directly to your lodge in Kampala. Depending on the time of your arrival, you may be able to explore the sites in and around Kampala ( This is optional and any fees are at your own expense).

Day 2: Kampala Via Rhino sanctuary to Murchison Falls

In the morning you will set off for a journey that will take you north from Kampala to Murchison Falls National Park. Along the way, you will visit Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary where you will go for a game walk with an experienced ranger to see the rhinos giving you a unique opportunity to view them at close range. Late in the evening you will arrive in Murchison via masindi and head to your lodge for an overnight.

Day 3: Murchison Falls National Park

In the early morning hours animals are the most active, the sun is not yet so bright and temperatures are cooler. It offers the best time to spot wild animals. So after an early breakfast you will go out on a game drive to explore the northern part of the park. Here you will come eye-to-eye with the African animal kingdom: elephants, giraffes, buffaloes, lions, leopards, different species of antelope and many tropical birds may all be spotted during the game drive. So keep your eyes open, they are all there in Murchison Falls National Park.

In the afternoon you will take a boat safari up the Nile River to Murchison Falls. Carefully watched by crocodiles, hundreds of hippos, buffaloes, water birds, monkeys and all the other thirsty wildlife that the Nile attracts, you will reach the base of the 43-meter high Falls which approach with a thunderous sound. After the boat safari you will hike to the top of the falls. From here you have a wonderful view and fantastic photo opportunities! return back to your comfortable lodge, to enjoy a good meal and enjoy the views.

Day 4: Top of the Falls & Hoima Town

In the early morning you go for another game drive or you can relax at the lodge; the choice is yours. After an early lunch you will be leaving Murchison Falls NP. On the way out of the park you will stop at the top of the Murchison Waterfalls: The views are amazing!! See where the world’s longest river as  it explodes violently through a narrow cleft in the Rift Valley escarpment to plunge into a frothing pool below. From here you’ll take a beautiful route through a valley, enjoy views on Lake Albert and small villages and stop for the night in a comfortable hotel for over night in hoima town.

Day 5: Kibale Forest via Fort Portal

Today, you will begin your journey to Kibale Forest National Park. The drive is incredibly scenic, passing through tea plantations and the lush green  countryside which characterizes so much of Uganda. After about five hours driving, you stop for lunch in the cozy town Fort Portal. You have time to walk around town and/or visit the local market or eat some local food like Matoke.

Tonight you will go ‘lazy camping’, a great experience where you will stay in a basic tent with 2 single beds and a solar lantern (all bedding and towels are provided). The hot showers and flushing toilets are nearby).

Day 6: Chimpanzee Tracking & Swamp Walk

This is the day for you will experience some serious monkey business! Kibale Forest National Park boasts the highest number of primate species in the world including the chimpanzees. Approximately 5,000 chimpanzees live in the wild in Uganda, which makes it a perfect place to spot them. An experienced ranger will take you chimp tracking in the morning or afternoon; you might also see other monkey species that live here. Once you locate the chimpanzees you will have a full hour of eye-to-eye contact with them.

Your swamp walk (2-3 hours) will take you through grassland, small communities and some beautiful scenery, where the locals are likely to greet you with enthusiastic waves. It is usual to spot three to four different primate species during this walk, though the highlight is catching a glimpse of the great blue turaco!

Optional: Chimpanzee Habituation tracking:

At an additional fee, you will be able to do the chimpanzee habituation tracking instead of the regular chimpanzee tracking. This will take the whole day and you will be 100% sure to have a very close encounter with your closest relatives. Book this in time because only 6 persons per day are allowed to go. Your swamp walk can be postponed to the next morning.

Day 7: Queen Elizabeth N.P.

In the morning, you can relax at your lodge. You will then continue your journey to Queen Elizabeth National Park.

Queen Elizabeth is Uganda’s second largest park, located at the base of the majestic Rwenzori Mountain range, adjacent to Lake Edward and Lake George. The park has prolific game, including gazelle, Uganda kob, warthog and waterbuck. Lions are often sighted both in and at the entrance to the park. Be prepared for huge numbers of hippo and elephant, and keep your eyes peeled for a leopard lazing in the sunshine. In the late afternoon you will go for a game-drive into the park.

Day 8: Park Game Drive & Boat Safari

After you have woken up early. A little before sunrise you will head out for a long game drive in time to see the first rays of light. You will search for all the wildlife in the park and are likely to come across Elephant, Buffalo, Lion, Waterbuck, Leopard, Uganda Kob, and many Warthogs. In the afternoon you will take a boat safari along the Kazinga Channel which joins Lake George and Lake Albert. Here, you will see a lot of hippos as well as a variety of other animals which come to the waterhole to drink or bathe. You can expect to see buffalo, crocodile, bathing elephant, and a range of beautiful birds. This will undoubtedly be one of the highlights of your tour. After the boat-safari, you will drive back to the lodge.

Optional activity: Hot Air Balloon Safari:

Experience the wildlife of Queen Elizabeth np in a new, unique way. Wake up early to catch the sunrise, as you silently fly over the plains of Queen Elizabeth National Park. Admire the herds of buffaloes, elephants and enjoy the serene tranquility of the African bush…

You will take off early at dawn for a flight that lasts for approximately 1 hour. Rise as the sun rises and float in whatever direction the winds of the morning takes you. Fly higher than the trees and hills and enjoy the best of Uganda, with many great photo opportunities of the scenery and wildlife below.After a smooth landing you can celebrate this amazing adventure with a glass of sparkling juice before returning to your lodge to continue your safari.

Optional activity: Lion Tracking:

For visitors who yearn to get up close to wild African fauna, a research trip is a rewarding adventure. This new and unique experience allows visitors to actively participate in monitoring some of lions in the park, using locator devices and learn habituation calls, as well as monitoring weather, surroundings and behavior. The results are added to researchers’ databases, contributing valuable information to the overall understanding of wildlife ecology – and helping to conserve this wonderful ecosystem. This will as well gives you a 95% chance to see the lions!  The number of people on each outing is limited in order to reduce stress on the animals and to increase the quality of the experience for visitors.

The experiential tourism activities currently available are Mongoose Tracking, Lion Tracking, Hippo Census, and Bird Counts.

Day 9: Tree climbing lions – Lake Bunyonyi

On this day, you will go to the southern part of Queen Elizabeth NP. This area is called Ishasha and is famous for its tree-climbing-lions. To escape from the heat during the day, the lions learned how to climb the fig trees. We hope you get lucky and spot the king of the jungle in one of the huge fig trees. In the afternoon you will continue your journey to Lake Bunyonyi. The “Lake of the little birds”. Lake Bunyonyi is a wonderful place to relax surrounded by nature. The green hills and papyrus swamps offer many opportunities for bird watching and Eucalyptus trees and shady nooks along private paths provide quiet places to sit and read a book. You stay in simple furnished rooms with beautiful views on the lake. The volcanic lake is bilharzia-free and safe for swimming and canoeing.

Optional activities at/from the island

–          Walking and jogging;

–          Bird watching;

–          Cultural and historical tours;

–          Canoeing.

Day 10: Gorilla Tracking in Bwindi Forest

Get a chance to meet Uganda’s gentle giant! For most people this is the absolute highlight of their tour in Uganda. The gorillas you track belong to one of nine habituated family groups who can tolerate the presence of humans for a brief period every day.

Bwindi Impenetrable Forest boasts both mountain gorillas and chimpanzees – the only forest in Africa which can make this claim.  It also hosts five other species of primate, 113 species of mammal, over 200 butterflies and 360 birds.

During the trekking, your guide will point out signs of previous gorilla activity, including dung, nests and chewed bamboo shoots. Your track will be an exciting journey along forested slopes, entwined vines, bushes and bamboo before you eventually reach the gorilla family.

The time taken to track the gorillas can be as few as 2 hours to as many as 7 hours. Once the gorillas have been located, your group will be allowed a maximum of one hour with them. Coming face-to-face with a mountain gorilla is a truly humbling and emotional experience.

This is a fantastic and privileged opportunity to get up close and personal with Uganda’s very own ‘Gorillas in the Mist’.

Day 11: Lake Mburo Np

After breakfast, you will continue your journey to Lake Mburo National Park which is one of Uganda’s smallest parks, but certainly not to be underestimated. It is the only Ugandan national park (besides to Kidepo Valley NP) which is home to zebra, eland and impala, as well as an abundance of other wildlife.  The lake itself is full with hippos and crocodiles.

Lake Mburo National Park is one of two parks in Uganda where it is permitted to go for a bush walk with an experienced ranger. This opportunity should not be missed. From footprints and animal droppings the ranger will tell you which animal has left it and how long ago. It is exciting to approach the wildlife at such close range.

After your morning activity, your driver/ guide will drive back to Kampala or Entebbe (Airport) stopping at the equator for the requisite snapshot and a bit of souvenir shopping.


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