oe ride on the illustrations and scenic lava dammedThe self-drive safari in Uganda starts with hiring a strong 4×4 safari vehicle that can take you through all the bad roads in Uganda’s national parks. There are many trusted and reliable safari car rental companies in the country from where you can hire a safari vehicle for self-drive. After hiring your safari vehicle the next part will be just waiting for the dates to reach and fly in Uganda and you will find the agent from the car rental company at the airport waiting for you with the car and after a few steps of inspecting the car, signing the car rental agreement and doing the payments, you will be set to start your self-drive safari in Uganda.
Day 1: Explore Jinja
This two week self-drive overland safari to Uganda will start very early in the morning and with a transfer to the eastern part of the country to Jinja which is approximately 85km from Kampala and it can take you something like 2 and half hour drive to reach there depending on the traffic jam on the road on that day. You will have an en-route stop at Sezibwa Falls which is found in Mukono district where you will enjoy an amazing and breathtaking view of these spectacular falls. Later you will continue with your journey and have another stop in Mabira forest where you will get a chance to see different primates species and a lot of birdlife before you continue reaching jinja in the afternoon for lunch and later you can choose either to visit the source of the Nile where you can take a boat ride to the source of River Nile or you can go and visit the Bujagali Falls and later you will return to the hotel of your own choice for dinner and overnight.
Day 2: Jinja City Tour and Transfer to Kapchorwa
On the next day, you wake up early in the morning and go for a wonderful experience of the white water rafting on the mighty Nile, enjoy a drive through Jinja town with colorful gardens and an Asian-colored building style. In the afternoon after lunch, you will hit the road and transfer to Kapchorwa in the far eastern part of the country where you will have dinner and overnight.
Day 3: Sipi Falls and Transfer to Kidepo Valley National Park
On day 3 of the 14 days self-drive safari, you wake up early morning for breakfast at the lodge and then transfer to visit Sipi Falls which comprises of 3 waterfalls and each one of them flows from a different altitude and the hike up to these falls offers an amazing and beautiful scenic view of the surrounding area. Sipi Falls also is the starting point of most hikes up to Mountain Elgon. After this amazing experience on Sipi Falls, you will return to your hotel have late lunch and then get ready for a long 320km drive to Kidepo Valley National Park. There are several en-route attractions you can visit on this journey, you can have an en-route stop in Pain Upe Game Reserve and Mathenico Game Reserve. You will reach Kidepo Valley National Park late evening for dinner and overnight.
Day 4: Game Drive in Kidepo Valley National Park
On day 4, you will spend it in Kidepo Valley National Park found in the far northeastern part of the country in the district of Kaabong on the border of Uganda and South Sudan. The park is known for hosting a variety of big games with over 77 different species of mammals and over 475 species of birds the thing which makes it a perfect destination for wildlife and bird lovers.
On this day, you will wake up early in the morning, have breakfast at the lodge, and go for a morning game drive in the park where you will get a chance to see a variety of wild animals like large herds of buffaloes, Zebras, giraffes, hyenas, and other animals. You will enjoy a slow drive in the park in an open safari vehicle that offers a perfect view of the surroundings and a clear platform for taking photographs. After this amazing game drive, you will return to the lodge for lunch and relaxation. In the evening you can choose to either go for an evening game drive or to go for a cultural tour to visit the IK people or the Karamojong people where you will get to know more about their culture and way of life. After this amazing day in Kidepo Valley National Park, you will return to the lodge for dinner and overnight.
Day 5: Transfer to Murchison Falls National park
On day 5 of the 14 days self-drive safari Uganda, you will wake up early in the morning and enjoy breakfast at your lodge in Kidepo Valley National Park and later you will hit the road and drive to Murchison Falls National Park which is found in around 350km from Kidepo Valley National Park, you will have an en-stop in Masindi Town for lunch, then after you will continue to drive and enter the park and continue directly to the top of the falls, where the Nile furiously is forced through a 7m gorge and it plunges over 47mtrs down into the devil’s pool; with plum of spray casting rainbow. After here you will go to your lodge for dinner and overnight. The best accommodation options here in Murchison Falls National Park include; luxury lodge you can choose Paraa safari Lodge, Mid-range you can choose Nsambya River Lodge and Budget you can choose Red Chili Tented Camp.
Day 6: Game Drive and Boat Cruise in Murchison Falls National Park
On the 6th day of this safari, you will spend it in Murchison Falls National Park and it will state with an early morning coffee/tea and proceed to ferry to cross the Nile to the northern bank of the river for an early morning game drive and expect to encounter different animals in the park that includes lions, hyenas, and you will also get a chance to get in close contacts with many other wild animals like giraffes, Kobs, Bush Bucks, and Orbis. In addition to animals, you will also enjoy viewing different bird species including Kori Bustards, ground hornbill, Yellow-billed stork, Crested Cranes, Saddle bill stork, Stanley’s bustards, and a lot more.
After this amazing experience, you will return to the lodge for lunch, and then after in the afternoon, you will go for an afternoon boat cruise on River Nile, you will sail 17Km on the river and it takes 3hrs up to the bottom of Murchison Falls that rewards with a view of different water-loving animals like hippos, huge Crocodiles, Waterbucks, and buffaloes, plus a variety of water-loving birds. Then later you will return to the lodge for dinner and overnight.
Day 7: Game Drive and Transfer to Kibale National Park
The day 7 of your two weeks self-drive safari in Uganda, you will wake up early in the morning and embark on a 4-hour drive from Murchison Falls National Park to Kibale Forest National Park the home to 13 primate species including chimpanzees. Kibale National Park protects several habituated chimpanzee groups and the main tourist attraction here is chimpanzee tracking. Your main aim to visit this park is to get a chance to visit see one of the many habituated chimpanzee families in the park. You will reach Kibale Forest in the later afternoon for lunch and relaxation as you wait for dinner and overnight at your lodge. The best accommodation options here are, luxury you can choose Ndali Lodge, and for midrange and budget, you can choose Mountains of the Moon Lodge and Simba Safari camp.
Day 8: Chimpanzee Tracking in Kibale National Park
On this day you will get a chance to meet with our closest relative – the chimpanzees that share 95% of human DNA. The day will start with an early morning breakfast at the lodge and then transfer to Kibale Forest National park headquarters for a short briefing from the park ranger on how to behave when you will the chimpanzees in the forest. Then after you will be accompanied by the ranger guide and an armed guard and enter the forest in search of wild chimpanzees and during the process of searching for these primates, you will get a chance to spot different primates species in the forest and also a variety of bird species. The time you will take while searching for chimpanzees in the forest is unpredictable because these primates are in their natural environment they are free to move anyhow but it can take something like 2-6 hours depending on their movement. After tracking and finding them, you will be given a maximum of one hour to stay in the presence of them as you take photos, record videos, and also ask all the questions you have and the ranger will be there to answer. After an hour, you will return to the national park headquarters to get the chimpanzee tracking certificate, and later you will return to the lodge for lunch.
After lunch, transfer to Queen Elizabeth National Park, the park is found around 65km from Kibale Forest National Park. You will enjoy a slow drive through the crater track for a scenic view. You will reach Queen Elizabeth National Park in the evening and check-in at the lodge for dinner and overnight at the luxurious Mweya Safari lodge, midrange Jacana lodge, or Budget Simba Safari camp.
Day 9: Morning Game Drive and afternoon launch trip on the Kazinga Channel
After having breakfast at the lodge, you will enjoy a morning game drive along the Channel tracks, Queens Nile, and Kasenyi tracks and here you expect an encounter with herds of elephants, Buffaloes, African Lion, Leopard, and several antelope species among other animals in the park. After this amazing early morning game drive, you will drive slowly and return to the lodge relax for some time and later have lunch. After lunch at the lodge, embark on an afternoon launch cruise along the Kazinga channel which is known for being hosting a large population of hippos and also the unique unequaled wildlife experience. Birdlife is prolific and the boat offers a clear platform for photographing. This cruise is really a breathtaking experience.
Day 10: Transfer to Bwindi Impenetrable National park
on this day you will wake up early for morning breakfast and transfer to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park with an en-route game drive through the Ishasha sector famous for tree-climbing lions. The experience of driving through the Ishasha sector is amazing. You will later continue with your journey reaching Bwindi Forest in the afternoon, check in to your lodge, have a relaxed evening as you enjoy the beautiful surrounding of the park as you wait for dinner and overnight. The best accommodation options here are Gorilla Resort Hotel for luxury tourists, Rushga Gorilla Lodge for mid-range tourists, and Buhoma Community Campground for budget tourists.
Day 11: Gorilla trekking adventure – Nature / cultural walk to Batwa people
To most tourists, gorilla trekking is the highlight of their safari to Uganda because it offers a chance to spend a full hour with these rare and endangered primates. Gorilla trekking in Bwindi Forest always starts with an after early morning breakfast, get your packed lunch, walking Sticks, Jungle boots, and Raingear, then proceed to the park headquarters for briefing about the rules and regulations to follow when you with the mountain gorillas in the forest. Then you will penetrate the thick jungle of Bwindi in search of these giant Apes. Spending a full hour with the mountain gorillas as they grumble and murmur while feeding, playing will be an amazing and memorable experience. The trek takes between 2-7 hours and this memorable experience with the gorillas you will return to the lodge for late lunch and rest.
In the evening if you still have some energy, you can opt to go for a village community walk where you will visit the Batwa people and get entertained by their cultural dance and try to learn more about their way of life. In the late evening, you will return to the lodge for dinner and overnight.
Day 12: Transfer to Lake Bunyonyi – Kabale
After enjoying gorilla trekking in Bwindi forest, you will have to leave this amazing jungle and transfer to Kabale town through the winding and hilly country; on this drive you will understand the reason why this place was nicknamed the “Switzerland of Africa” because of the terraced hillsides. In Kabale, you will visit the Museum that displays the Bakiga Cultural heritage. You may have your dinner and overnight at Arcadia Cottages, Bunyonyi Overland Resort, or Bushera Island Cottages.
Day 13 Boat / Canoe and Community Walk
The 13th day of your 14 days self-drive overland safari in Uganda will start with an early morning game drive and go for a village walk. You will visit the coffee plantations, black-smith, and the African grin distribution factory. After, you will return to the lodge and go for a canoe ride on the illustrations and scenic lava-dammed Lake Bunyonyi. Expect perfect opportunity for photography and birding and then after you will return to the lodge for lunch, relaxations as you wait for dinner and overnight.
Day 14: Drive Back to Kampala
The last day of this trip is reserved for departure, you will wake up early in the morning for breakfast and then hit the road and drive back to Kampala with an en-route stop in Masaka for lunch before you continue to Kampala for the last minute shopping and later you will continue to the Entebbe International Airport from where you will find the agent from the car rental agency to pick the car and return it to the company.