Tour Highlights

  • Lake Wamala

  • Nakayima Heritage Site

  • Kibale Forest National Park

  • Amabere Caves and Fort Portal Crater Lakes

  • Semuliki National Park

  • Rwenzori Mountain National Park

This tour starts from $1,080.00

ITINERARY


Day 1:  LAKE WAMALA AND NAKAYIMA HERITAGE SITE

After breakfast at your hotel, you will be transferred to Lake Wamala, which takes approximately 2 and 1/2 hours. The lake forms an ecosystem with wetlands in the surrounding areas, becoming a home to different wildlife species such as wild pigs, hippos, bush bucks, water bucks, velvet monkeys, baboons and a variety of birds. It is also of a place of cultural significance to the Ganda people, as your guide will further explain while you enjoy the nature walk/boat cruise. You will then travel to Nakayima where you will a have a short visit to the Nakayima Tree, one of the oldest trees in Uganda, and a cultural site which people still consider as a source of blessing. You will then have a 1 and 1/2 hour drive to your lodging located in the heart of Kibale.

Accommodation

Luxury: Primate Lodge

Midrange: Chimps Nest

Budget: Lake Nkuruba Nature Reserve & Community Campsite


Day 2:  Kibale National Park 

You will have an early morning breakfast and ready yourself for the chimpanzee tracking adventure in Kibale Forest National park. The activity takes 2-3 hours although you are only allowed to spend one hour with the chimps.  Following the visit, you will head back for lunch at your lodge  and later enjoy a guided evening nature walk in the Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary located in the nearby Magombe swamp.  The swamp hosts a variety of wildlife like water birds and monkeys.  After the visit you will retreat to your lodging for dinner and an overnight stay.

Accommodation

Luxury: Primate Lodge

Midrange: Chimps Nest

Budget: Lake Nkuruba Nature Reserve & Community Campsite

 Day 3: Semuliki National Park and Ruboni community

After your breakfast, you will embark on a journey to Semuliki National Park with a stop at Amabere ga Nyinamwiru caves, which is around 1 hour by road from the base camp. The activities at this stop include sightseeing, though the nearby Kyeganywa hills offer excellent hiking to those who subsequently want to return to engage in more strenuous tourist activities. Following the roughly 1 hour stop, you will be driven to Semuliki National Park, which is about an additional 1 hour, where you will participate in a game drive lasting between 2 to 3 hours.  During the day game drive you will likely see kobs, elephants, buffaloes, antelopes and monkeys.  Leopards and lions are also found here, although they are more elusive during the day, but come out to hunt at night.

After the game drive, you will be driven to the Semuliki hot springs; Bitende (known as the male spring) and Nyasimbi (the female), each about 12 meters across gushing hot water and vapor in the air.  Visitors are advised to maintain a safe distance as water is boiling hot and can cause burns if directly impacting human flesh. 

The visit to the spring is followed by late lunch and then a 3 hour drive to the Ruboni community camp where you will have your dinner and enjoy a cultural performance by Ruboni village residents (the Bakonzo people) who have been known as the keepers of the mountains and have lived here for centuries.

Accommodation

Luxury: Mountains of the Moon Safari Lodge

Midrange: Ihamba Lakeside Safari Lodge

Budget: Rwenzori Backpackers

Day 4: Rwenzori national park

You will have an early morning breakfast and then have 30 minute drive to Rwenzori National Park, which boasts about 70 mammal species and nearly 200 bird species. This stop offers an amazing nature hill climb, guided walk and also an impressive display of cultural dancing and music with the opportunity to take part yourself at Ruboni Community Camp. The walk will take about 3 hours with a 30 minute drive back to Ruboni Community Camp where you will have your lunch before returning to Kampala for the overnight stay at your hotel or to Entebbe Airport for your flight back home.


ACTIVITIES


Lake Wamala

Lake Wamala derives its name from the last king of the Bachwezi dynasty, who founded the Kitara territory that covered central, western and southern parts of Uganda and part of northern Tanzania, western Kenya and eastern Congo in the Bronze Age. According to a legend, King Wamala disappeared into the lake at a site near Lubajja fishing village called Nakyegalika and his spirit resides in the lake, thus making it a culturally significant place for the people of Buganda.  Pilgrims come from all over central Uganda to perform rituals at the site. There is also a cave of cultural significance nearby that is guarded by the Lugave clan, one of Buganda’s major clans.

 Lake Wamala is one of the small freshwater lakes located in Mubende, Mpigi and Mityana districts of Central Uganda and covers a total area of 250 square kilometers. It is fed by rivers from the surrounding areas including Nyanzi, Kitenga, Kabasuma, Mpamujugu and Bimbye. The vegetation surrounding Lake Wamala is dominated by papyrus, other spectacular floaters and water based vegetation. The area is frequented by wild pigs, hippos, bush bucks, velvet monkeys, baboons and a variety of birds such as guinea fowls.

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Nakayima Heritage Site

Located on top of Mubende Hill along the Kampala – Fort Portal highway is the Nakayima heritage site. This historical site in the kingdom of Buganda is home to the Nakayima Tree. The old tree derives its name from the lineage of princesses belonging to the royal family of the Chwezi dynasty. To the local people, the tree is revered as a source of blessing. Visitors offer sacrifices of coins, animals and other items to obtain favors of wealth, good health and others from the Bachwezi goddess, who was believed to possess supernatural powers. The tree, said to be the home for the Bachwezi goddess, is respected by both Buganda and Bunyoro, two of the prominent kingdoms historically competing for resources and territory in the region.

 This tree is one of the oldest in Uganda.  Oral tradition suggests it dates back to the days of the Chwezi era (14th-16th century) and it is said that the Chwezi king, Ndahura, was crowned under the tree. Modern research, including studies conducted in 1986, suggests that oral tradition in this instance is quite reliable, as the recent study estimated the tree to be around 650 years old.

Kibale Forest National Park

Kibale National Park covers an area of about 795 square kilometers in size—which, for comparison, is a bit bigger than Madrid and smaller than Berlin-- and is generally regarded as one of Uganda’s most gorgeous tropical forests, dominating the northern and central parts of the park on an elevated Fort Portal plateau. It is a home to many mammals, including 13 species of primates along with chimpanzees which are the most popular in the Park.   In the north, it has a peak of about 1590 meters above sea level and is well known as one of the wettest areas of Uganda .

The park is best known for its chimpanzee encounter. Kibale’s researchers work with chimpanzees so they are accustomed to human interaction and can be observed safely at a close proximity to the otherwise famously aggressive primates.  The park is also home to other wild animals, including carnivores like leopards and lions that make regular visits to the park, as well as buffaloes, bush pigs and warthogs.

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Amabere Ga Nyina Mwiru and Fort Portal Crater Lake Field

Located at Nyakasura Falls, Amabere Caves is about 9 kilometers from the town of Fort Portal. Although called a “cave,” the natural structure is more of large breast-like structures overhung with waterfalls.

 The caves are also referred to as the “Breasts of Nyina Mwiru.” Oral tradition records that a usurper king forced his daughter Nyinamwiru to have her breasts cut off so as to stave off suitors, prevent her from giving birth to a prospective heir and thus allow the usurper to hold onto the throne without being threatened by a prospective grandson clamouring for the throne. But it seems the allure of Nyinamwiru was so strong that Isaza, a Batembuzi king, fell in love with her and he fathered a son called Ndahura.  Unable to breastfeed her son, Nyinamwiru fed him from the dripping stalactites whose calcium content supplanted his mother’s milk.  Whatever the merits of this unusual baby formula, Ndahura emerged from the cave and became king and founder of one of the great empires of the Great Lakes area of East Africa.

 The place is both picturesque and suitable for walking, with appropriate footwear strongly recommended for such an undertaking.

For most comfortable and enjoyable hiking to these caves, you need comfortable shoes or hiking shoes, long trousers, long sleeved shirts/ T-shirts and a rain jacket for this adventure.

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Semuliki (Semliki) National Park

Semuliki National Park is located in the Semliki Valley on the remote, western side of the Rwenzori mountain ranges, the site of Uganda’s oldest wildlife reserve formerly known as the Toro Game reserve. The park is dominated by the easternmost extension of the great Ituri Forest of the Congo Basin. This is one of Africa’s most ancient and bio-diverse forests.

The Semuliki Valley contains numerous features associated with Central rather than Eastern Africa. The thatched huts here are shaded by West African oil palms. The Semuliki river, which is a miniature version of the Congo, hosts Central African wildlife species and the local population includes a Batwa pygmy community that originated from the Ituri. 

Wildlife in Semuliki include mammals like the Uganda kob, forest elephants, chimpanzees, buffaloes, leopards and various monkeys and antelopes, though leopards may only be spotted during a night drive within the park. Lions are rare as they almost became extinct in the region and reintroduction into the wild is still ongoing.  The park has a tremendous variety of birds, with as many as 400 species, many of which may not be spotted in other East African national parks.  The park is also famed for its flora, especially its rare trees, including the elusive leaf-love tree.  The park is also home to two hot spring lakes, Bitende (referred to as the male spring) and Nyasimbi (the female), each about 12 meters wide and gushing boiling hot water to herights of 2-3 meters.

Tourist activities include game drives, guided forest walks, boat trips, chimpanzee tracking and bird watching, in addition to visits to the hot springs.

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Rwenzori Mountains National Park

The Rwenzori Mountains, also known as the “Mountains of the Moon,” are found in Western Uganda along the Uganda-Congo border. Famous for being one of the few snow-capped mountains in tropical Africa, the equatorial snow peaks include the third highest point in Africa, Margherita Peak on Mount Stanley, standing at 5,109 meters above sea level. This magnificent mountain range is well-known for lakes, waterfalls, glaciers and beautiful plant life including some of the world’s rarest vegetation – all of which can be examined up close in one of numerous walking tracks set in the Rwenzori National Park which is about 120 kilometers long and 65 kilometers wide.  The mountain range is rich in magnificent flora and fauna, including rare and endangered mammals, with some two dozens rodent species among them, as well as large mammals such as elephants, leopards, chimpanzees and over 200 species of birds.  Hiking ranges from the relatively easy day trips to the strenuous trekking excursions for fit and experienced climbers, including the possibility of 9-12 day trips to Margherita Peak.

 

For those also seeking cultural experiences, the Ruboni Community of Bakonzo village offers homestead visits, accommodation, including home-cooked local cuisine and cultural performances.  The mountains are also home to the Bakonzo people who occupy the lower slopes on all sides of the mountain, traversing the mountain to trade and carry out exchange with other villages, hence creating well-used footpaths across the mountain ridges of the northern spur. This connects Kabarole and Bundibugyo districts.

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 GET OFFER

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Passengers Budget Midrange Luxury
1 $1,960.00 $2,050.00 $2,540.00
2 $1,400.00 $1,480.00 $1,950.00
3 $1,260.00 $1,340.00 $1,780.00
4 $1,190.00 $1,270.00 $1,700.00
5 $1,150.00 $1,220.00 $1,640.00
6 $1,120.00 $1,190.00 $1,610.00
7 $1,100.00 $1,170.00 $1,590.00
8 $1,080.00 $1,170.00 $1,570.00
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SAFARI INCLUSIONS

Safari includes:

Transportation in a tour van/Land Cruiser

Service of an English-speaking tour guide/driver

One chimpanzee permit per person

All activities mentioned in the itinerary

Park admissions

Accommodation on full board

Entrance fees to all destinations as per the program.

Transfers to and from the airport/Kampala

Free WiFi for the entire trip

 Safari excludes:

All activities not mentioned in the program

Phone call bills

Tips

International transfers

Visas to Uganda

Gratitude to tour-guides

Personal insurance

Visas to Uganda

Personal effects of any nature

Hotel fees before and after the safari