The Grand Circuit - 19 days from $2,460 pp
From dramatic mountain peaks to wild waterfalls, and from great savanna plains to lush rainforests, Uganda has it all… When completing this 19 day pre-booked circuit, you will be sure not to miss out on any of the beauty Uganda has to offer. You can opt for budget, comfort, or deluxe accommodation.
Note: indicative driving time is not taking into consideration time for photo stops, picnics, etc.
Day 1: Airport pick up, transfer to mid-range lodge set in a lovely garden in the charming town of Entebbe - Drive: 10 min.
You will be staying in Airport Guesthouse Entebbe, set in a lovely garden.
Upgrade Deluxe: the Boma Hotel, a boutique hotel in an old Victorian country cottage, set in a tastefully landscaped garden with swimming pool.
Day 2: Take the ferry to cross Waiya Bay in Lake Victoria, and connect via lovely back roads to the main highway going to Lake Mburo National Park. Covered with extensive acacia woodlands, this park is one of the best places in the country to see the giant eland antelope and zebras – Drive: 225 km / 5 hours.
Accommodation: two nights in Rwakobo Rock. This welcoming eco-friendly lodge is spectacularly located on a rock outcrop overlooking the park. The place receives rave reviews time after time.
Day 3: Enjoy a day in the park. With no dangerous predators such as lions, Lake Mburo is the best place to go on a guided safari either walking, mountain biking or on horseback. Moreover, this is one of the few national parks in Africa allowing night game drives, which give you the chance to see some of the rare nocturnal animals like the mongoose, hyena, leopard and serval cat.
Day 4: Drive to the Kigezi Highlands, perhaps the most fertile and scenic region of Uganda: a landscape of expansive blue lakes and steep terraced slopes tumbling southwest towards the rainforest of Bwindi National Park.
Accommodation: three nights at Mutanda Lake Resort. The lodge is spaciously set up on a private peninsula stretching into Lake Mutanda, overlooking the Virunga Volcanoes. You will be staying in a cottage built on a wooden platform, with private veranda overlooking the lake - Drive: 260 km / 6 hours.
Day 5: Ready for the experience of a life time? Today you will be tracking the rare mountain gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. Bwindi’s mist-covered, forested hillsides and dense forest cover protect an estimated 320 mountain gorillas, roughly half of the global population. This includes 11 habituated groups which can be tracked by limited groups of people. You will be departing from the Rushaga or Nkuringo location.
Day 6: Plenty of activities can be arranged at the lodge. Enjoy a ride in a dugout canoe as the local fisherman do, go on a birding trip, nature hike or cultural village walk and finish off the day with a sunset boat cruise. Decide what to do then and there, or contact us in advance for reservations.
Day 7: Drive to Queen Elizabeth National Park, Uganda’s oldest National Park. From open savannas to green rainforests, and from dense papyrus swamps and crater lakes to the vastness of Lake Edward, it is little wonder that QENP boasts one of the highest rates of biodiversity of any game park - Drive: 260 km / 5 hours.
Accommodation: two nights at Bush Lodge, an intimate eco-lodge overlooking the Kazinga Channel. The comfort accommodation option is in a furnished safari tent with private veranda and en-suite ''bush'' shower. The budget option is lazy camping, where you sleep in a permanent canvas tent, provided with bed, light and towels.
Upgrade Deluxe: two nights at Mweya Safari Lodge, an all-time favourite, due to its stunning location in the heart of the park, infinity pool overlooking the Kazinga channel, and neo-colonial grandeur.
Day 8: Enjoy a day in the park. Boat launch trips on the Kazinga Channel offer great game viewing, as do game drives around Mweya Lodge and the Northern Circuit. Further southwest, the remote Ishasha plains are famous for their tree climbing lions while the Kyambura Gorge is home to habituated chimps. The nearby Maramamgambo Forest has a wide variety of forest monkeys and the dozens of crater lakes scattered across the park are often filled with beautiful pink flamingos.
Day 9: Drive to Kibale Forest near the pleasant colonial town of Fort Portal. Kibale is a 800 km2 tropical rainforest home to 13 primate species and an impressive range of birds - Drive: 120 km / 2 ½ hours.
You will spend two nights at Kibale Forest Camp in the middle of the rainforest. The comfort accommodation option is in a furnished safari tent with private veranda and en-suite bathroom. The budget option is lazy camping, where you sleep in a permanent canvas tent, provided with bed, light and towels.
Upgrade Deluxe: Ndali Lodge is perched on the rim of a distinct volcanoe. It is managed by the third generation of a British tea planter, and the ambience of an intimate English country house is still truly intact. Included on the basis of dinner & breakfast, expect silver cutlery and a candlelit 5-course dinner overlooking the lake.
Day 10: Kibale Forest is a nature lover’s paradise, with its sublime bird watching and chimpanzee tracking, as well as opportunities for viewing a wide range of other primates. Chimpanzee tracking is a half-day activity starting either early in the morning or just after lunch. A field of beautiful crater lakes lies between Fort Portal and the Forest, which are perfect for a swim or exploration on foot.
Day 11: Beautiful back roads passing through friendly villages will bring you to Hoima town, the staging point between Fort Portal and Masindi at the southern entrance of Murchison Falls National Park – Drive: 223 km / 6 hours.
Accommodation: Kon Tiki Lodge, spacious thatched cottages set in a nice landscaped garden with a swimming pool. This little oasis makes a welcome break after the long and bumpy road from Kibale to Murchison Falls.
Upgrade Deluxe: Lake Albert Safari Lodge, set on the top of a lakeshore cliff in the remote Albertine Rift Valley. Accommodation is in canvas sided, thatched cottages. Includes a small swimming pool.
Day 12: Today you will cross the entire Murchison Falls National Park, entering the reserve from the south, whilst staying overnight just outside the northern section of the park. Along the way, you will cross Budongo Rainforest and visit the top of the waterfalls, which is a spectacular experience. Once you cross the Nile River, you can take a refreshing break at Paraa Lodge, situated at the heart of the park with excellent views of the river. Most of the wildlife is in the northern section of the park – Drive: 4 hours without stops.
Accommodation: two nights at Fort Murchison. The set-up of this lodge evokes the ambience of a well maintained isolated outpost from times when Arab traders explored the African hinterlands. The comfort accommodation option is in a double room. The budget option is lazy camping, where you sleep in a permanent canvas tent, provided with bed, light and towels.
Day 13: Another day of self–driving safari with opportunities for game viewing. Other activities include a boat trip to the base of the falls, or take a smaller boat downriver from Paraa towards the Nile River delta where it flows into Lake Albert.
Day 14: An excellent newly surfaced road takes you to the capital city, Kampala, where you will find a thriving dining and nightlife scene with a pleasant vibe. We would be happy to recommend some especially good places - Drive: 315 km / 7 hours.
In Kampala you will be staying in another very special and welcoming place. The Yellow Haven Guesthouse is a family-run guesthouse on the shores of Lake Victoria on the outskirts of the city and has several lovely self-contained apartments arranged around a large garden with a swimming pool, sauna, and BBQ area. It is recommended to extend your trip and factor in a rest day at this guesthouse before heading East.
Day 15: We are going East today. You will drive to Sipi Falls at the foothills of Mount Elgon and then home to a series of three spectacular waterfalls, some of the best Arabica coffee in the world, and beautiful sunsets! Sipi Falls is a place to enjoy the challenges of the volcano hiking, but also a place just to relax and unwind in a cool peaceful climate – Drive: 300 km / 5hours.
Accommodation: two nights Sipi River Lodge, an excellent eco-lodge located beside the river with excellent views on the waterfalls. You will be staying in a spacious banda made of local wood and stone, breakfast & dinner included.
Day 16: Plenty of activities can be organised from the lodge. One of the most popular is to explore the three waterfalls with a local guide. Other activities include a coffee tour, mountain biking, rock climbing, abseiling, trout fishing and day hikes in Mount Elgon National Park.
Day 17: Jinja is on the menu for today. Referred to as the “Adventure Capital of East Africa”, the area has much to offer including class-5 rafting, bungee jumping, mountain biking, horse riding, Nile river sunset cruise, fishing and so forth. Also, Jinja town is nice to wander around for an afternoon. You will be staying at the Nile Porch, in a semi-tented cottage on the banks of the Nile. The resort has a swimming pool – Drive: 190 km / 2 ½ hours.
Day 18: Relax or make a visit to the source of the River Nile and imagine its long voyage to the Mediterranean Sea.
Day 19: Return to Entebbe and drop off the car at the airport – Drive: 120 km / 3h. Of course, it is possible to extend your trip. Contact us to discuss your wishes.
|Low season||High season**|
|Price in US$ / pp||2pax||4pax||2pax||4pax||2pax||4pax||2pax||4pax|
|Lazy camping (6 nights)||2,800||2,460||3,119||2,581||3,135||2,720||3,460||2,839|
* High season is from December 15th – January 31th and June 15th to September 15th.
** If you would prefer to have a professional driver & guide, add US$ 720 to the total.
- Gorilla permit (@ $600 pp)
- Chimpanzee permit (@ $150 pp)
- Airport transfer
- 18-day rental Toyota Rav4 or Landcruiser comprehensively insured
- Detailed day-by-day itinerary
- Bradt travel guide and roadmap
- Mobile phone with local SIM card
- Accommodation on the basis of bed & breakfast
- Park entrance fees for Lake Mburo, Queen Elizabeth and Murchison Falls National Parks ($40 / person / 24h), car entrance fee ($15 / car / visit)
- Any optional activities. Note: a three-course meal at lodges costs on average US$ 15.