Call 020 7752 0000

AAAHome
14 nights
from £9195

Ultimate Uganda 2023

A unique escorted exploration of Uganda’s wildlife & wonders

  • 22 January 2023
  • 29 November 2023
  • Wildlife Tours/ Natural World

We are delighted to offer this exclusive exploration of Uganda devised by our field staff member, Pierre Thomas who will accompany the tour and share with you his passion for this remarkably beautiful East African country. Despite its recent turbulent past, Uganda is experiencing a resurgence and emerging as one of the top safari destinations and areas that were off-limits in the past have now become havens for wildlife that might have otherwise perished. Once described by Winston Churchill as the ‘Pearl of Africa’, there is a wealth of unique and awe-inspiring sights on offer: bustling cities; game-filled national parks, scenic lakes; prolific birdlife; lush forests and of course the big draw, the mountain gorilla.

Highlights of the itinerary will include the spectacular Murchison Falls, Kibale Forest, boasting the highest number of primate species in the world including chimpanzees and Queen Elizabeth National Park with its incredibly rich biodiversity. Here we can expect to see big game including buffalo, lions and the rare Uganda kob as well as hippos, crocodiles, waterbuck, elephants and leopard along the shores of the Kazinga channel. We also visit Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, one of Africa’s most ancient and magnificent habitats and home to an incredible diversity of flora and fauna, many bird species and over half of the world’s remaining mountain gorilla population. No amount of travel books or documentaries can prepare you for your first up close encounter with one of these elusive mammals - this a powerful and intimate experience only experienced by the lucky few.

With fewer visitors than neighbouring Kenya and Tanzania, Uganada offers a wonderful feeling of seclusion and, in the company of no more than twelve fellow travellers you will be able to enjoy game viewing and the raw beauty of the African wilderness at its most endearing. Added to this, we have personally selected the finest luxury lodges and accommodations or best available; all ideal places to unwind after the eventful days and from which to enjoy the wonderful African hospitality

Useful links & Travel Advice

Please find a selection of useful websites to refer to for information from the Foreign & Commonwealth Office, on visa requirements, NHS travel health advice and other useful travel tips.  


Uganda Accommodation

Uganda Accommodation

For this trip we have personally selected the finest luxury lodges and accommodations; all ideal places to unwind after the eventful days and from which to enjoy the wonderful African hospitality.

View accommodation details

Itinerary

Day 1 London to Kampala, Uganda.

Fly by scheduled flight. Arrive this evening and transfer to the Emin Pasha Hotel in Kampala, our base for the next two nights.

Day 2 Kampala.

We spend the morning exploring Kampala including Kabaka’s Palace and the local markets before visiting a social project in the city’s slums. Here we will see some of the projects designed to help the local residents. We will return to the hotel for an afternoon at leisure before dinner at the Ndere Cultural Centre where we will enjoy a performance of local music and dance.

Day 3 Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary & Murchison Falls National Park.

Today we travel north from Kampala to Murchison Falls National Park. En-route we will stop at the Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary where we will meet our ranger for a safari hike during which we hope to see the rhinos at very close range. Kidepo Valley and Murchison Falls National Parks once had both black and white rhinos however widespread poaching during the Idi Amin era resulted in the disappearance of these majestic animals from the wild. Founded in 1998, Rhino Fund Uganda works to reintroduce black and white rhinos into Uganda and runs a breeding programme, as well as work to educate communities on endangered rhinos. After our visit we continue towards Murchison Falls National Park arriving in the afternoon at Murchison River Lodge for our three night stay. Covering an area of over 3840 square kilometres, Murchison Falls National Park is the largest conservation area in Uganda and its name derives from the famous waterfall. The Nile River divides the park into its north and south sections and, at the spectacular Murchison Falls the world’s longest river explodes violently through a narrow cleft in the Rift Valley escarpment to plunge into a frothing pool 43 metres below.

Days 4 & 5 Murchison Falls National Park.

We have two full days in the park and a range of activities will be on offer including a dawn game drive to see the animals at their most active. A drive through the park brings you eye-to-eye with the African animal kingdom: elephants, giraffes, buffaloes, lions, leopards, different species of antelope and many tropical birds. Enjoy a private 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 metre-high falls which approaches you with a thunderous sound. Upon arriving at the base of the falls you will have the option of taking a tough hike (about 1 hour) to the top, from where you have a perfect view of the impressive falls. Another boat safari will take us to the Nile Delta where the Victoria Nile flows into Lake Albert. This is a “must do” for every birdwatcher as the banks of the delta are home to hundreds of bird species including the rare and prehistoric-looking shoebill stork. Here you will see hundreds of hippo and maybe even bathing elephant and huge crocodiles. There will also be time to relax in the comfortable lodge and soak up the surroundings.

Day 6 Hoima.

After another morning game drive and brunch we will proceed to Hoima, the centre of the Bunyoro Kingdom. The Bunyoro tribe is famous for their great hospitality, traditions and unique tribe names – you will probably get one too after spending some time with the locals. A BBQ is waiting for us this evening at the Kontiki Hotel where we will spend the night.

Days 7 & 8 Kibale Forest National Park.

After an early breakfast we will return to our vehicles and make our way to Kibale Forest. Our scenic drive passes through villages, lush green forests and hills dotted with tea plantations which characterise this part of Uganda. On arrival we will check in to the Papaya Lake Lodge, located just outside the town of Fort Portal with amazing views over one of the crater lakes in this area. The following day we will make our way to Kibale Forest National Park which boasts the highest number of primate species in the world, including our delightful cousins, the chimpanzees. Today, in Uganda, there are approximately 5000 chimpanzees in the wild which makes it a perfect place to spot them. An experienced forest ranger will take you chimp tracking and en-route you might also see other monkey species that live in this forest. Once located, you will spend time with the chimps. Since they are wild animals we can never guarantee that you will see them so you might have to settle with hearing their hoots and hollers. Our walk will take us 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.

Days 9 & 10 Queen Elizabeth National Park.

After breakfast we will continue our journey to Queen Elizabeth National Park and check in for our two night stay at Mweya Safari Lodge. 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. Here we will take a private boat safari along the Kazinga Channel which joins Lake George and Lake Albert. We will see a lot of hippos as well as a variety of other animals which come to the water to drink or bathe. You can expect to see buffalo, crocodile, bathing elephant, and a range of beautiful birds. During a game drive we 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.

Days 11 & 12 Bwindi National Park.

After breakfast we will enjoy a game drive on our way out of the park for a chance at spotting tree climbing lions before arriving to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, home of the mountain gorillas and Buhoma Lodge for our two night stay. After lunch, our first afternoon is free to relax and enjoy the camp and prepare for our gorilla tracking the following 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. The gorillas we track belong to one of nine habituated family groups who can tolerate the presence of humans for a brief period every day. Our track will be an exciting journey along forested slopes, entwined vines, bushes and bamboo before we eventually reach the gorilla family. The time taken to track the gorillas can be anything from two hours to up to seven hours. Once the gorillas have been located, each group is allowed a maximum of one hour with them. Coming face-to-face with a mountain gorilla is a truly humbling and emotional experience.

Day 13 Lake Mburo National Park.

This morning we will travel to Lake Mburo National Park and check in to Mihingo Lodge for our overnight stay. Lake Mburo is one of Uganda’s smallest parks but certainly not one to be underestimated. It is one of the few Ugandan National Parks which is home to zebra, eland and impala, and an abundance of other wildlife as well as the lake itself, which is teeming with hippos and crocodiles. Last but not least, the Uganda Wildlife Authority recently brought 15 giraffes from Murchison Falls to Lake Mburo.

Day 14 Lake Mburo National Park to London.

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 be able to tell you which animal has left it and how long ago. It is exciting to approach wildlife at such close range. We will continue after lunch to Entebbe where we join our scheduled indirect flight to London.

Day 15 London.

Arrive this morning.

Please note that to best enjoy your experience in Uganda you should be in good physical condition and be able to participate in moderate hikes over rough or uneven terrain. There will be opportunities for hikes of varied lengths and for most activities a moderate level of exertion is required. As an approximate guide, for chimpanzee tracking the hikes will be between two to four hours and, for gorilla tracking, between four to eight hours. Some days may entail early starts and long drives, however the vehicles used are modern and comfortable.

Dates and Prices

Prices per person based on double occupancy
22 January to 5 February 2023 • 29 November to 13 December 2023
Category Price
Twin £9195
Single £10695

Tour Reference Code: LAUGANDA2

PRICE INCLUDES: Economy class scheduled air travel • Two nights at Emin Pasha Hotel in Kampala • Three nights at Murchison River Lodge in Murchison Falls • Overnight at Kontiki Hotel in Hoima • Two nights at Papaya Lake Lodge in Kibale Forest • Two nights at Mweya Safari Lodge in Queen Elizabeth National Park • Two nights at Buhoma Lodge in Bwindi • Overnight at Mihingo Lodge in Lake Mburo National Park • Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily • House wine, beer & soft drinks with lunch & dinner • Excursions • Entrance fees • Gratuities • English-speaking guides and drivers • Noble Caledonia Tour Leader • Transfers • Airport taxes • One day chimpanzee trekking permit for Kibale National Park • One day gorilla trekking permit for Bwindi National Park.

Not Included: Travel insurance, Ugandan e-visa (to be applied for online at a cost of approximately $50 per person).

Group Size: We are restricting the group size to a maximum of just 12 participants.

NB. Due to the small size of some of the lodges, these are subject to change.

Uganda Accommodation

For this trip we have personally selected the finest luxury lodges and accommodations; all ideal places to unwind after the eventful days and from which to enjoy the wonderful African hospitality.

 
  • Emin Pasha Hotel, Kampala

    {MEDIA GALLERY DEFAULT}Emin Pasha Hotel, Kampala

    Located near the centre of Kampala, the Emin Pasha Hotel is set within two acres of peaceful park-like tropical gardens. Big mature trees, flowering shrubs and scented vines abound. With only 20 rooms, personal attention and excellent service is offered together with privacy and tranquility in an otherwise hectic city. Each has a small outside sitting area facing the beautiful lush gardens or courtyards. All have en-suite bathrooms with either a slate-tiled tropical shower or deep long bath. All rooms are air-conditioned, with Wi-Fi internet access, flat screen television, direct dial telephone, coffee making facilities, mini bar, mosquito nets over the beds and two complimentary bottles of drinking water. The hotel also offers an outdoor pool and terrace, restaurant and lounge.

  • Murchison River Lodge, Murchison Falls

    Murchison River Lodge, Murchison FallsMurchison River Lodge, Murchison Falls

    Murchison River Lodge is a family run lodge situated directly on the southern bank of the River Nile overlooking Uganda’s largest national park, Murchison Falls. From the vantage point of the lodge bar and restaurant you are treated to panoramic views of the park and the famous River Nile as it flows downstream between papyrus islands and pods of hippos. Staying in thatched safari cottages or tents that are nestled amongst the trees and bush around the lodge grounds, the site is completely off grid and is powered by 100% solar energy. All rooms feature an en-suite shower and toilet, USB ports for phone charging, mosquito nets and complimentary Wi-Fi access in the pool lounge. Wild animals are often seen on site, so in the evenings an escort is provided from the restaurant to your accommodation to help navigate around any hippos on the paths.

  • Kontiki Hotel, Hoima

    {MEDIA GALLERY DEFAULT}

    Kontiki Hotel, Hoima 

    Surrounded by beautiful spacious gardens and a tranquil environment, The Kontiki Hotel is situated just outside the town of Hoima in the northern part of Western Uganda, a perfect break from the long drive between Murchison Falls National Park and Kibale Forest National Park. The hotel offers accommodation consisting of 32 spacious cottages which are decorated in warm earth tones with garden views. Room amenities include 24 hour room service, satellite TV and bathroom with shower. The hotel also features a restaurant, bar, fitness centre and complimentary Wi-Fi.

  • Papaya Lake Lodge, Kibale Forest

    {MEDIA GALLERY DEFAULT}Papaya Lake Lodge, Kibale Forest

    Papaya Lake Lodge is situated about 350 kilometres away from Uganda’s capital, Kampala, in one of the country’s most scenic regions. Papaya Lake Lodge offers nine spacious and bright cottages. They are all situated on the extinct volcano crater’s slope and have breathtaking views of the Lyantonde Lake. Each of the cottages offers complete privacy, hidden from view by a green wall of treetops. Each cottage has local stone-decorated bathrooms with shower units and verandas equipped with deckchairs. Facilities include a restaurant, bar and swimming pool.

  • Mweya Safari Lodge, Queen Elizabeth National Park

    {MEDIA GALLERY DEFAULT}Mweya Safari Lodge, Queen Elizabeth National Park

    The Lodge is located on a peninsula within the heart of the Queen Elizabeth National Park and surrounded by the magical Rwenzori Mountains – the ‘Mountains of the Moon’. Mweya Safari Lodge offers visitors a spectacular experience of luxury in the wilderness. Each room has a breathtaking view of the Kazinga channel. You can watch the forest hogs grazing the grass outside, as well as the odd curious hippo. The food is of the highest quality, featuring a range of exquisite continental, Indian and international cuisines. All rooms have balcony doors, fans, en-suite bathroom, telephone and an electronic safe. For those who want to unwind and relax, The Mweya Health Club and Spa offers treatments to revitalise you after a long day out in the game park. With an abundance of game, and some of the best bird watching in Africa, Mweya Safari Lodge is the perfect place.

  • Buhoma Lodge, Bwindi

    Buhoma Lodge, BwindiBuhoma Lodge, Bwindi

    Buhoma Lodge is an intimate and charming property that commands spectacular and uninterrupted views of the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park, home to the rare and elusive Mountain Gorilla. It is one of only two lodges situated within the National Park, within a short walking distance from the meeting point for gorilla tracking and other activities in the Buhoma area. An elevated central area, complete with lounge, bar and dining area, offers a cosy, comfortable environment to discuss the day’s activities around the fireplaces which add atmosphere and warmth in the cool evenings. The comfortable chalets have been individually designed and carefully built using locally sourced materials wherever possible, without compromising levels of comfort. All feature en-suite bathrooms and showers, and their private verandas allow wonderful views of the forest canopy of the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park.

  • Mihingo Lodge, Lake Mburo National Park

    Murchison River Lodge, Murchison FallsMihingo Lodge, Lake Mburo National Park

    Mihingo is a luxurious, family owned lodge in a magical setting adjacent to Lake Mburo National Park. Perched high on a rocky kopje, whose pre-Cambrian granite boulders were formed over 500 million years ago, it has spectacular views over a vast savannah landscape. Designed to blend in with its fragile surroundings, this environmentally friendly lodge offers comfort, relaxation and the experience of being at one with nature. An infinity pool overlooks the valley below where buffalo, eland, impala, warthogs, bush buck and zebra can be seen at the waterhole. On the rocks you may have the rare chance of seeing the resident family of klipspringers. Mihingo Lodge has 12 luxury, tented rooms designed to provide guests with privacy and tranquility. Each room has its own unique charm and character, whether it is nestled in forest, overlooking the lake, perched on a rocky outcrop or down by the water hole. Although no two rooms are the same, they all offer stunning views and provide guests with a light and airy sanctuary and a feeling of being alone in the bush. Each spacious canvas tent is equipped with en-suite bathroom, hot and cold running water, shower and a flush toilet.

  • View all tours
  • Emin Pasha Hotel, Kampala

    {MEDIA GALLERY DEFAULT}Emin Pasha Hotel, Kampala

    Located near the centre of Kampala, the Emin Pasha Hotel is set within two acres of peaceful park-like tropical gardens. Big mature trees, flowering shrubs and scented vines abound. With only 20 rooms, personal attention and excellent service is offered together with privacy and tranquility in an otherwise hectic city. Each has a small outside sitting area facing the beautiful lush gardens or courtyards. All have en-suite bathrooms with either a slate-tiled tropical shower or deep long bath. All rooms are air-conditioned, with Wi-Fi internet access, flat screen television, direct dial telephone, coffee making facilities, mini bar, mosquito nets over the beds and two complimentary bottles of drinking water. The hotel also offers an outdoor pool and terrace, restaurant and lounge.

  • Murchison River Lodge, Murchison Falls

    Murchison River Lodge, Murchison FallsMurchison River Lodge, Murchison Falls

    Murchison River Lodge is a family run lodge situated directly on the southern bank of the River Nile overlooking Uganda’s largest national park, Murchison Falls. From the vantage point of the lodge bar and restaurant you are treated to panoramic views of the park and the famous River Nile as it flows downstream between papyrus islands and pods of hippos. Staying in thatched safari cottages or tents that are nestled amongst the trees and bush around the lodge grounds, the site is completely off grid and is powered by 100% solar energy. All rooms feature an en-suite shower and toilet, USB ports for phone charging, mosquito nets and complimentary Wi-Fi access in the pool lounge. Wild animals are often seen on site, so in the evenings an escort is provided from the restaurant to your accommodation to help navigate around any hippos on the paths.

  • Kontiki Hotel, Hoima

    {MEDIA GALLERY DEFAULT}

    Kontiki Hotel, Hoima 

    Surrounded by beautiful spacious gardens and a tranquil environment, The Kontiki Hotel is situated just outside the town of Hoima in the northern part of Western Uganda, a perfect break from the long drive between Murchison Falls National Park and Kibale Forest National Park. The hotel offers accommodation consisting of 32 spacious cottages which are decorated in warm earth tones with garden views. Room amenities include 24 hour room service, satellite TV and bathroom with shower. The hotel also features a restaurant, bar, fitness centre and complimentary Wi-Fi.

  • Papaya Lake Lodge, Kibale Forest

    {MEDIA GALLERY DEFAULT}Papaya Lake Lodge, Kibale Forest

    Papaya Lake Lodge is situated about 350 kilometres away from Uganda’s capital, Kampala, in one of the country’s most scenic regions. Papaya Lake Lodge offers nine spacious and bright cottages. They are all situated on the extinct volcano crater’s slope and have breathtaking views of the Lyantonde Lake. Each of the cottages offers complete privacy, hidden from view by a green wall of treetops. Each cottage has local stone-decorated bathrooms with shower units and verandas equipped with deckchairs. Facilities include a restaurant, bar and swimming pool.

  • Mweya Safari Lodge, Queen Elizabeth National Park

    {MEDIA GALLERY DEFAULT}Mweya Safari Lodge, Queen Elizabeth National Park

    The Lodge is located on a peninsula within the heart of the Queen Elizabeth National Park and surrounded by the magical Rwenzori Mountains – the ‘Mountains of the Moon’. Mweya Safari Lodge offers visitors a spectacular experience of luxury in the wilderness. Each room has a breathtaking view of the Kazinga channel. You can watch the forest hogs grazing the grass outside, as well as the odd curious hippo. The food is of the highest quality, featuring a range of exquisite continental, Indian and international cuisines. All rooms have balcony doors, fans, en-suite bathroom, telephone and an electronic safe. For those who want to unwind and relax, The Mweya Health Club and Spa offers treatments to revitalise you after a long day out in the game park. With an abundance of game, and some of the best bird watching in Africa, Mweya Safari Lodge is the perfect place.

  • Buhoma Lodge, Bwindi

    Buhoma Lodge, BwindiBuhoma Lodge, Bwindi

    Buhoma Lodge is an intimate and charming property that commands spectacular and uninterrupted views of the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park, home to the rare and elusive Mountain Gorilla. It is one of only two lodges situated within the National Park, within a short walking distance from the meeting point for gorilla tracking and other activities in the Buhoma area. An elevated central area, complete with lounge, bar and dining area, offers a cosy, comfortable environment to discuss the day’s activities around the fireplaces which add atmosphere and warmth in the cool evenings. The comfortable chalets have been individually designed and carefully built using locally sourced materials wherever possible, without compromising levels of comfort. All feature en-suite bathrooms and showers, and their private verandas allow wonderful views of the forest canopy of the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park.

  • Mihingo Lodge, Lake Mburo National Park

    Murchison River Lodge, Murchison FallsMihingo Lodge, Lake Mburo National Park

    Mihingo is a luxurious, family owned lodge in a magical setting adjacent to Lake Mburo National Park. Perched high on a rocky kopje, whose pre-Cambrian granite boulders were formed over 500 million years ago, it has spectacular views over a vast savannah landscape. Designed to blend in with its fragile surroundings, this environmentally friendly lodge offers comfort, relaxation and the experience of being at one with nature. An infinity pool overlooks the valley below where buffalo, eland, impala, warthogs, bush buck and zebra can be seen at the waterhole. On the rocks you may have the rare chance of seeing the resident family of klipspringers. Mihingo Lodge has 12 luxury, tented rooms designed to provide guests with privacy and tranquility. Each room has its own unique charm and character, whether it is nestled in forest, overlooking the lake, perched on a rocky outcrop or down by the water hole. Although no two rooms are the same, they all offer stunning views and provide guests with a light and airy sanctuary and a feeling of being alone in the bush. Each spacious canvas tent is equipped with en-suite bathroom, hot and cold running water, shower and a flush toilet.

Travelling with You

Pierre Thomas

Pierre Thomas

Born in Belgium, Pierre moved to Zaire (the former Belgian Congo) with his family in 1978 where he lived and attended the Belgian School until 1989. Promising himself he would return to Africa after his studies, he moved to Ghent, Belgium to study tropical animal husbandry, specialising in tropical fish farming. His studies took him to Rwanda where he completed a five week apprenticeship in Butare, and then to Ecuador where he worked with an Aquaculture Research Centre. This second apprenticeship allowed him to discover the Galapagos Islands, and soon after he moved there permanently to work as a Naturalist Guide and Expedition Leader for 10 years. Pierre has lectured and worked within the travel industry since 2003 and has worked for Noble Caledonia on many tours and cruises. He has led several tours to Uganda in recent years.

 
Pierre Thomas will be on the following tour dates: 22 January to 5 February 2023 • 29 November to 13 December 2023

Also of Interest

Ultimate Malawi

A unique escorted exploration of Malawi’s wildlife & wonders


Malawi Accommodation

Itinerary at a glance

  • Chileka / Blantyre / Majete Wildlife Reserve / Thyolo / Zomba / Liwonde National Park / Lake Malawi / Senga Bay / Lilongwe
14 nights from £8195
More Info
Next Departure: 8 June 2022
Ultimate Malawi

Ultimate Botswana

A luxury escorted safari of Botswana & two nights at the spectacular Victoria Falls


Botswana Accommodation

Itinerary at a glance

  • Maun, Botswana
  • Moremi Game Reserve
  • Okavango Delta
  • Chobe National Park
  • Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
13 nights from £10495
More Info
Next Departure: 19 November 2022
Ultimate Botswana

Namibia by Private Train - 2023

Discover the magnificent landscapes of Namibia aboard the Shongololo Express              


Shongololo Express

Itinerary at a glance

  • Walvis Bay / Swakopmund / Otjiwarongo / Etosha National Park / Kranzberg / Windhoek / Sossusvlei / Sesriem Canyon / Namib-Naukluft Park / Keetmanshoop / Garas Park / Quiver Tree Forest / Kolmanskop / Luderitz / Fish River Canyon / Upington / Kimberley / Pretoria
14 nights from £7195
More Info
Next Departure: 15 March 2023
Namibia by Private Train - 2023

Book with Confidence

Speak to one of our advisors on 020 7752 0000

Ultimate Uganda 2023

View Download Order brochure View All