Uganda, the Best of the West

Waterbuck (Female)

This safari is designed for all those who are interested in seeing the key places of southern-western Uganda. It includes wildlife, birds, mountain gorillas and chimpanzees trekking in Uganda. In addition, it is combined and extended with additional hikes, walks and boat cruises, which makes it attractive for those who would like to see as much as possible of Uganda's beauty. This safari idea has also foreseen some interaction with the local communities neighbouring the national parks. 10 days of discovery and excitment!

Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) is running a festive season price discount. From 1st December 2020 to 31st March 2021, the following discounts have been offered:

a) 50% discount on park entrance fee for Lake Mburo NP, Queen Elizabeth NP, Kidepo
Valley NP, Murchison Falls NP, Semuliki NP, Toro Semliki Wildlife Reserve, Katonga
Wildlife Reserve, Kabwoya Wildlife Reserve and Pian Upe Wildlife Reserve.
b) 50% discount on birding fees.
c) Reduction on gorilla and chimpanzee tracking fees for all visitors:

-    Gorilla permits reduced from USD 700 to USD 400
-    Chimpanzee permits reduced from USD 200 to USD 150

This reduction on gorilla and chimpanzee permits will only apply to new purchases between 1st December 2020 and 31st March 2021 and not on reschedules.




Discover Kampala and Entebbe
Discover Kibale
Discover Queen Elizabeth
Discover Bwindi
Discover Lake Mburo

Game Viewing
Uganda Birding
Habituation of Primates: what does it mean?
The Chimpanzee Habituation Experience
The Tree Climbing Lions
The Bwindi Gorillas Experience

BUDGET (**): Papyrus Guesthouse, Kibale Forest Camp, Bush Lodge. Enjojo Lodge, Travellers Rest Hotel, Eagles Nest.

MIDRANGE (***): Karibu Guesthouse, Isunga Lodge, Ihamba Lakeside Safari Lodge, Ishasha Jungle Lodge, Lake Mulehe Safari Lodge, Rwakobo Rock.

HIGH-END (****): The Boma, Ndali Lodge, Kyambura Gorge Lodge, Ishasha Wilderness Camp, Mount Gahinga Lodge, Mihingo Lodge

More information on Uganda Recommended Accommodations

ROAD MAP (Estimates): 
Entebbe – Kibale: 364km - 06h00
Kibale – Mweya: 170km - 02h30
Mweya – Ishasha: 105 km – 03h00
Ishasha – Kisoro: 130km - 5h00
Kisoro – Lake Mburo: 245km - 06h00
Lake Mburo – Entebbe: 250km - 6hrs

  • Itinerary
    Uganda, the Best of the West

    Day 01: Arrival at Entebbe - Transfer to your Hotel
    Day 02: Transfer to Kibale Forest & Bigodi wetlands walk
    Day 03: Chimpanzee trekking - Transfer to Mweya (Queen Elizabeth NP)
    Day 04: Game drives & boat cruise on the Kazinga Channel
    Day 05: Lion tracking - Transfer to Ishasha – Community Uplift Program
    Day 06: All day game drives
    Day 07: Transfer to Bwindi Impenetrable NP
    Day 08: Gorilla trekking
    Day 09: Transfer to Lake Mburo NP
    Day 10: Transfer to Entebbe for departure

  • Day 1
    Arrival at Entebbe - Transfer to your Hotel

    Meet and greet at the Airport by your Magic Safaris guide. You will be transferred to your hotel in Entebbe or Kampala. 

    Dinner & overnight at your accommodation.

    L'hoest Monkey
    Black-and-White Colobus Monekys
  • Day 02
    Transfer to Kibale Forest & Bigodi wetlands walk

    After breakfast we drive to Fort Portal via Mubende.

    Lunch will be in Fort Portal city. After lunch, we drive to Bigodi for the wetland walk. The Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary is home to 8 primate species, over 200 bird species, butterflies and various reptiles. For bird lovers the highlight of the afternoon is spotting the beautiful great blue turaco. On your tour, you will likely see several kinds of monkeys including black and white colobus, red colobus, mangabey, red tail, vervet, and L’Hoest. Birds are everywhere in the Sanctuary: the great blue turaco, also frequently seen are varieties of papyrus gonoleks, hornbills, waxbills, weavers, cuckoos, kingfishers, flycatchers, and many, many others

    The wetland walk is operated by a registered community-based organization. The income from the walk is used for community development projects such as schools and hospitals.

    Dinner & overnight at your accommodation

    Fort Portal is a small and attractive city. The fort was built between 1891 and 1893 and named after Sir Gerald Portal, the British Consul General of Zanzibar who arrived in Uganda in 1892 to formalise the protectorate of Uganda. He died of malaria a few months after the fort was completed.


    Black-and-white casqued Hornbill
    Black-headed Weaver
  • Day 03
    Chimpanzee trekking - Transfer to Mweya (Queen Elizabeth NP)

    After breakfast, you leave for Kibale Forest renowned for the greatest variety and the highest concentration of primates in East-Africa. At the visitors centre, the rangers will brief you about your guided nature walk in the tropical forest in search of the wild chimpanzees. This is one of the great moments of your safari!
    The rangers are very knowledgeable and will answer all your questions about the forest and the chimps. Together with your rangers, you will hike through the forest listening for the chimpanzees’ loud hoots. When you get to them, you will spend 1 hour observing them. This is a great time to learn about them from your ranger and take some photos. If wished you can chose to have the chimpanzee habituation experience. 

    See here the Magic Safaris video

    After this experience, you will return to your accommodation for a hot lunch and then it is time to leave Kibale Forest. We drive to Queen Elizabeth NP (Mweya) where you will have a good scenery of the Rwenzori Mountains. It's during the wet season that you will have the best chances to have a clear view of the Rwenzori Mountains. On our way to Mweya you will pass Kasese town and stop at the equator for a traditional picture. You will enter Queen Elizabeth NP and have a short game drive on our way to Mweya which lies on a peninsula.
    Overnight at your accommodation.

    The Rwenzori Mountains lie along the western border of Uganda and rise to a height of 5100 metres. They form a magnificent landscape of non-volcanic mountains, 120 kilometres long and 48 kilometres wide. The so-called Mountains of the Moon were formed from a single block during the creation of the western arm of the Great East African Rift Valley

    Chimpanzee Kibale Forest (Uganda)
    Juvenile Chimpanzee Kibale Forest (Uganda)
    Chimpanzee Kibale Forest (Uganda)
  • Day 04
    Game drives & boat cruise on the Kazinga Channel

    The best time for game-viewing is early in the morning!  There are some chances in the morning hours to see the spotted hyena and leopard. 

    You visit the Uganda Kob Mating Ground which is a defined area specifically used by Uganda Kobs for challenging, enticing and mating. Adult rams defend a circle territory (30 meters diameter) and depending on the season the mating ground can have 20 and more of these small territories each defended by a male. Ewes enter the territories for mating and move freely between rams. Watch the spectacular fights as kobs defend their territories, look for lions as well because the high concentration of kobs attracts their predators. 

    Uganda Kob Mating Ground

    In the afternoon you will take the boat cruise on the Kazinga Channel which many consider as a highlight of the safari. The launch trip takes 2 hours.
    The Kazinga Channel is a natural channel of 36 km long between Lake George and Lake Edward. The launch trip is the most popular activity at Mweya. From the safe boat you can see elephants, hippo, Nile crocodiles and many water birds. The water birds are plentiful along the channel: African skimmers, African fish eagles, cormorants, saddle-billed storks, pelicans, etc. The Kazinga Channel divides Queen Elizabeth in a northern (Mweya) and a southern part (Ishasha).

    After the boat cruise, you may wish to return to your accommodation or your driver/guide may take you for a late afternoon game drive! 

    Meals & Overnight at your accommodation

    Hippo Kazinga Channel (Uganda)
    Sadle Bill Stork - Kazinga Channel - Queen Elizabeth - Uganda
    Elephants drinking on the Kazinga channel
    Nile Crocodile - Kazinga Channel (Uganda)
  • Day 05
    Lion tracking - Transfer to Ishasha – Community Uplift Program

    After a very early breakfast, we set off for lion tracking. This activity can only be done in Queen Elizabeth NP. It offers you an opportunity to get close to the lions in their natural habitat unlike standard game drives. It involves following lions closely to learn about their behavior, natural habitat and feeding habits. The activity is led by experienced and knowledgeable researchers from the Uganda Carnivore Program. Using modern tracking devices, it is easier to locate where the lions are. A radio collar is fitted on the dominant lioness of a pride. By being part of the Lion tracking, you are making a worthwhile contribution to this wildlife conservation initiative. Find out more about the Uganda Canivore Program.

    We shall then continue to Ishasha.  We shall then continue to take part in the Ishasha Community Uplift Program.  We shall visit Deo’s Homestead and Agatha’s Taste of Uganda. Doe’s Farm and Homestead tour is fun, educational and a clear insight of how a rural Ugandan lives. It is quite fascinating to see all the work being done at the farm. Agatha will use millet flour to prepare porridge and bread. You have an opportunity to take part in the preparation to see how much effort goes into the preparation of a daily meal for a Ugandan and of course, you get to have a taste. 

    The first night at Ishasha is always the most impressive one for visitors. At night you might have a concert of black-and-white colobus monkeys, baboons, hyena, hippos and the roaring lions!

    You will have a game drive in the afternoon in search of these elusive tree-climbing lions.

    Diner and overnight at your accommodation

    Ishasha – The Southern sector of Queen Elizabeth NP lies in the spectacular highland of Kigezi. Ishasha is famous for its tree-climbing lions. The concentration of game, with large herds of Uganda kob, topi and buffalo, is found in the savannah highlands of Kigezi and at the Lake Edward flats. elephants are also found, though not in large numbers. Bird watchers will appreciate the rich birdlife is along the Ishasha River. 

    Ishasha Community Uplift Program
    Ishasha Community Uplift Program
  • Day 06
    All day game drives

    You will explore Ishasha, the southern sector of Queen Elizabeth considered by some experts as one of the most alluring game viewing area of East Africa. It's an off-the-beaten-track destination that you will surely enjoy.

    We wake up early, of course, since this is the best time for observing nature.  You start from the southern circuit in search of the elephants and we will drive over the plains of Ishasha in the open savannah. The southern circuit has usually large herds of buffalo, Uganda kob and topi. We continue and drive to the northern circuit which is the area near the main road known for its tree climbing lions. We look particularly at the many fig trees where lions like to stay. Find out more about the Ishasha tree climbing lions.

    After an initial scouting expedition, we return to the camp for a lunch, we relax, observe the hippos and we take time for a shower or siesta in the shadow of the woods.
    In the afternoon you will have another game drive and during the dry season we will drive you to the Edward's flats to see elephants, large herds of buffalo and different waterbids. Occasionally we might find in this area the shoebill stork and by surprise some hunting lions.

    We return late in the afternoon to enjoy the last moments of the day on the Ntungwe river. After dinner we sit around the campfire and enjoy the nature sounds of the woods.

    Dinner & overnight at your accommodation.

    Martial Eagle - Ishasha
    Martial Eagle - Ishasha
    Martial Eagle - Ishasha
    Cob Tree climbing lion Ishasha (Uganda)
    Cob Tree climbing lion Ishasha (Uganda)
    Cob Tree climbing lion Ishasha (Uganda)
  • Day 07
    Transfer to Bwindi Impenetrable NP

    After an early breakfast, your journey today will continue south-west toward Kisoro, a bustling town to the south of Bwindi Forest, near the borders to Rwanda and Congo. Enjoy the view of the volcanoes as you drive and don’t hesitate to stop your drive-guide for photo moments.

    You will arrive just before sunset and wind down the day with a cool or warm drink.

    Bwindi has a unique rich and varied ecosystem and has lowland rainforest and afromontane forest. It's considered as one of the most unique and important forests of Africa. UNESCO declared it as a Natural World Heritage site for Humanity for his many values and because it is vital to the survival of many endangered species. There are about 290 mountain gorillas, living in the medium-altitude forest. Bwindi has over 320 species of trees, 350 bird species, 310 species of butterflies (84% of the country's total) and at least 120 species of mammals including 10 species of primates!

    Landscape - Kigezi Highlands
  • Day 08
    Gorilla trekking

    Bwindi Impenetrable NP is a natural world heritage site. Hikers will love it, with the gorilla excursion as a high point of your safari!

    Gorilla trekking is unpredictable. It's difficult to foresee how many hours you will hike. The gorilla excursion can take from 2 up to 8 hours. Expect to walk along distance in steep and muddy conditions, sometimes with rain overhead, before you encounter any gorillas. A good physical condition is recommended. For conservation purposes, time spent with the gorillas is limited to one hour. A ranger will brief you on how to behave with the gorillas.

    Dinner & overnight at your accommodation

    We have seen several times that visitors had some problems during their trekking. Rain can get you by surprise and during the dry season gorilla tend to climb higher for their preferred bamboo shoots. It has to be said that the park rangers and the porters are extremely helpful and will do everything they can to make sure that visitors can see the gorillas. We therefore strongly advise not to hesitate to take a porter. Porters can not only be very efficient but in return you help local communities to benefit from tourism! There is also a very efficient rescue team available in the parks for visitor getting in trouble!   

    Mountain Gorilla - Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park
    Mountain Gorilla - Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park
    Mountain Gorilla - Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park
    Bwindi Gorilla Trek
    Ranger Uganda Wildlife Authority
    Packed Lunch for the gorilla trek
  • Day 09
    Transfer to Lake Mburo NP

    After breakfast, you depart for Lake Mburo via Kabale, meandering driving along the Kigezi mountains. Kigezi mountains is another unique scenery for you to view during your trip. We stop at Kabale for lunch before continuing to Lake Mburo via Mbarara. The arrival is foreseen in the afternoon just on time to have the boat excursion on the lake. For bird lovers, this will be the best place to see the African finfoot in Uganda.

    The Rothschild's Giraffes in Lake Mburo NP were recently translocated from Murchison Falls NP. Find out more about the endagered Rothschild's Giraffes.

    Dinner & overnight at your accommodation.

    Lake Mburo is part of a much larger ecosystem that includes Akagera NP (Rwanda),Tanzania's Ibanda and Rumanyika Game Reserve and rangeland areas north to the Katonga River (Uganda). This eco-system is different from the Albertine rift and explains why you will find here some animals that you have not seen in other parks like Impala, zebra and African Eland. This makes the Park very interesting to be visited.

    Zebra - Lake Mburo National Park
    Zebra - Lake Mburo National Park
    Zebra - Lake Mburo National Park
  • Day 10
    Transfer to Entebbe for departure

    You get up for an early guided nature walk. A ranger guide takes you on foot to the bush. Lake Mburo is the only place in this part of Uganda where you can see zebra and Impala and it’s also the best place to see the African Eland, Africa’s largest antelope! 

    Alternatively, you may go for an Ankole Community tour. The Banyankole people are largely cattle keepers and they keep the famously known Ankole long-horned cows. During the community tour, you will get to understand the relationship between the people and their cattle and this will be closed with a cultural performance.

    You return to the accommodation for breakfast and then you start the drive back to Entebbe. Stop at Equator for photo moments and souvenir shopping.

    On arrival in Entebbe, your driver-guide will drop you off at the airport in time for your departure flight.

    This is the end of what we hope has been an amazing & memorable journey in the Pearl of Africa! 

    African Eland - Lake Mburo NP (Uganda)
    Impala - Lake Mburo NP (Uganda)

Your lifetime experience

This safari idea can be tailor-made to create a unique holiday for you. With our intimate knowledge of both Rwanda and Uganda, we look forward to designing and organizing a personalised and memorable holiday.

Contact us for a free quote

The Tour Package includes: Airport transfers, lodge accommodation, all meals, plenty of mineral water, the services of a Driver-Guide, all park and entry fees, all activities as per programme: visit of the Ziwa Rhino sanctuary, game drives at Murchison Falls NP, boat trip on the Nile up to the Falls, visit of the top of the Falls, chimpanzee Habituation in Kibale**, game drives at Mweya, boat trip on the Kazinga channel,  game drives in Ishasha, gorilla trekking in Bwindi**.

It excludes: International and domestic flight ticket, beverages, tips, visas and personal expenses.

What to bring with you ? Money for your personal expenses, outfit with adapted colours for wildlife observation, good walking shoes, raingear, a few long-sleeve shirts, slippers, sweater for cool evenings, sun protection: hat, sunglasses, sun cream, video/photo camera, a 200 mm or longer telepholens is very usefull, reserve batteries, films and a torch.

Uganda Visa & Travel Requirments: Find out more.

A trip is the only thing that can be bought and makes you richer ...
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