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Northern Uganda’s open spaces and cultural diversity truly come to life on this 9 day trip into the wild. This trip takes in three parks, many animals and countless breath-taking views and cultural experiences with the local communities. Accompanied by your guide and camp chef, you’ll enjoy the best scenery food at an unbeatable price from the market leaders in camping safaris in Uganda.
You’ll be transferred to your peaceful guesthouse in Entebbe. Your guide will be available to help with any activities such as shopping or banking. Your guide will visit you in the evening and introduce you to your fellow safari-goers and give you a rundown of the journey ahead.
After breakfast, we will travel east along the scenic route close to Lake Victoria. We’ll stop briefly at the source of the river Nile in Jinja and then move via the foothills of Mount Elgon and onto Pian Upe game reserve. If the going is good, we will arrive in time for a short evening game drive at this scenic reserve, hoping to find eland, ostrich, hyena and possibly cheetah.
Another chance to see some wildlife in the morning before heading north along the ridge overlooking the plains of southern Karamoja. After lunch in the region’s capital, Moroto you will head into the surrounding countryside and get into the culture of the Karamojong. You will take part in daily life activities from preparing local foods, looking after cattle to celebrations. This will be an unforgettable journey.
Wake up to the sights, sounds, and smells of pastoral life, and after breakfast, we will continue our journey north through the rugged Karamoja scenery towards Kidepo Valley NP. We will have time for a game drive as we enter the park.
Wake up in the middle of the action and watch the sunrise over the Morongole Mountains. Then we begin our day of game viewing with a visit into the Narus valley in search of the lion, elephant, giraffe, eland, zebra, and leopard and to marvel at the sight of the huge herd of buffalo grazing in the wetland. After lunch at the camp, you’ll have some time to enjoy the views before an evening game drive towards the seasonal Kidepo River in search of cheetah and ostrich. We’ll take a cold drink among the Barassas palms at the Kidepo sand River, from which the area takes its name before returning to lodge for dinner.
After an early breakfast, we’ll break camp and have one last chance to enjoy the beauty of Kidepo and maybe get a sight of any animals we missed. From, the park gates it is a two-hour drive through the rugged landscape (and roads!) of northern Uganda to Kitgum and then a further hour to Gulu where we will stop for lunch. From Gulu, we’ll head south on good roads to the northern gates of Murchison Falls NP.
Dawn starts with fresh coffee and fruits and right into your game drive in search of the lion, leopard, elephant, giraffe, buffalo, hyena, hartebeest and more. We will spend around 4 hours driving around the rolling savannah, riverine forest and marshland of the northern section of Murchison Falls NP before returning to camp for an early lunch. After lunch, we’ll take the scheduled cruise to Murchison Falls and then walk to the top of the falls where your driver will wait for you to take you to your lodge for the night.
After breakfast, we’ll break camp and head to Ziwa rhino sanctuary via the honeymoon game drive. (optional extra chimpanzee tracking). In the late afternoon, as the heat of the day dissipates, you will go for your rhino trek. You’ll spend around 2 hours walking to and watching the rhinos. Although guarded 24/7, the rhinos live as wild and this is a unique opportunity to spend some time with these giants while supporting their reintroduction to the wild in Uganda.
After breakfast, we’ll depart Ziwa and head south to Entebbe arriving in time for lunch.
You are required to purchase a tourist visa before you enter Uganda. Tourist visas can be bought in advance via the embassy or consulate in your country or simply purchased upon arrival at Entebbe International Airport or at any overland border. Photos are not required and a single entry tourist visa costs US$ 100 per person for up to 90 days stay in Uganda.
If you are planning to combine Uganda with a visit to Rwanda or Kenya it is recommendable to request for the East African Tourist Visa instead of a single entry visa. This special visa costs US$100 per person and allows 90-days multiple entries to Uganda, Rwanda, and Kenya. Regretfully, Tanzania is not (yet) a member of the East African community and therefore not part of this special visa arrangement.
A number of different vaccinations are recommended and/or required before entering Uganda. A certificate proving you have had the Yellow Fever vaccination is mandatory for entry into Uganda. Immunizations against DTP (Diphtheria, Tetanus, and Polio) and Hepatitis A are recommended as well.
Besides bringing mosquito repellent, we also advise you to take malaria ‘prophylactics’ (prevention medication).
The following cancellation charges apply to the basic program rate:
60 days or more prior to arrival 10% charge
59 – 32 days prior to arrival 25% charge
31 – 8 days prior to arrival 50% charge
7 – 3 days prior to arrival 75% charge
48 hours or less prior to arrival 100% charge
Empathy Tours reserves the right to deduct all expenses incurred from money paid.
Gorilla & Chimpanzee permits and air tickets are 100% non-refundable.
No refunds will be made for any unused services, late arrival or no-show of any of the members of the tour.
Solo travelers are very welcome! However, to minimize your costs we would suggest joining a group. Although we can try and arrange this for you, we cannot guarantee we can find a group whose interests, budget and preferred route correspond to yours, especially during the low season.
If you would like to stay in a single room please notify us well in advance and we will try to meet your request. Please bear in mind that single rooms are not common and it is more likely that you will be offered single occupancy of a double room. A single room supplement will apply.
Once you have confirmed the final itinerary with us, you will be asked to pay a deposit of 30%. Gorilla permits must be paid for in full at the time of booking. Note that the availability of accommodation and permits is not guaranteed until officially confirmed by Empathy Tours. Accommodation, permit and activity reservations will be made as soon as payment has been received on our account.
For your convenience, the balance payment of 70% should be settled before the start of your safari. We accept payment by bank transfer in either dollar to our bank account in Uganda. Please note that all bank charges are at the expense of the client.
Accommodation falls into three categories: budget, mid-range or luxury.
Budget accommodation may be simple and basic rooms, bandas or tents, with double/twin beds and mosquito nets when necessary. Private bathrooms are not always available and you may have to share bathroom facilities.
3-star, 4-star and 5-star accommodation offer comfortable rooms or luxury furnished safari tents with a private bathroom. Flush toilets and hot and cold running water are available. Mosquito nets will be provided where necessary.
All Uganda lodges are carefully selected and frequently visited by Empathy Tours staff, to monitor quality and service levels. The majority of safari lodges and hotels are small-scale, offering a unique location and ambiance, and usually have a maximum of eight rooms.
We offer tailor-made safaris for any number of participants. There is no minimum number for a group tour, although the bigger the group, the more attractive the price will be.
Officially, Uganda’s dry seasons are from December/January through to mid-March and from June through mid-September. These dry months are the most popular with tourists, with July and August and Christmas and New Year being the peak seasons.
The most rain falls in October-November and April-May. However, this doesn’t mean that it rains all day, nor does it mean it will rain every day. Usually, there’s a tropical shower at night or a shorter shower during the day, but in Uganda, you can trust that after rain comes sunshine!
The weather is no reason to avoid traveling in the wet season – you might even consider it because of the easy availability of gorilla permits.
As in the rest of the world, the East African climate is changing, making it more difficult for us to predict the weather during your safari. However, in Uganda, the temperature is very stable and pleasant, with sunshine almost 365 days a year. During the day, the temperature averages between 23 and 27°C, although in some places it can be quite cool at night.
One remarkable aspect of Uganda safaris is: whether you travel in the dry, dusty months or in the wet season, you will never find the crowded tourism like in Kenya or Tanzania. If you spot a lion or leopard, it is very likely that you will be the only one to see it – even in peak season!