The Big Seven In 7 Days

Seek out Uganda’s ‘Big 7’ wildlife species, the ultimate combination of our savannah wildlife and iconic primate species. Take a walk on the wild side to observe the country's only population of rhino and explore the savannah plains of Murchison Falls National Park to view herds of buffalo, elephant and giraffe alongside prides of lions and the solitary leopards. Take to the waters of the river Nile to view crocodiles and hippo pods, the crashing waterfall of Murchison Falls and the calm waters of the Victoria Nile delta to seek the Shoebill. Then trek through Budongo rainforest in the south of the park to meet a chimpanzee family. Finally you’ll journey to the ancient rainforest of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park for a meeting with a rare mountain gorilla family, a truly memorable experience.

Gallery

Itinerary - The Big Seven In 7 Days [TACP4-002]

Day One

Journey To The Rainforest & Savannah

Transfer from Entebbe to Budongo Forest Reserve.
Estimated journey time: 6 hrs

Today you will be tracking the chimps in Kaniyo-Pabidi, part of the larger Budongo Forest reserve located in the southern sector of Murchison Falls National Park. This is one of the largest natural rainforests still surviving in Uganda, which covers 825 square km in total. This is thanks to its protection as a royal hunting forest by the King of Bunyoro, until it was gazetted as a reserve in 1932 from when the National Forest Authority has continued its protection. The forest is still home to a vast range of species such as the 280 butterfly varieties and 465 species of plants, including the Mahogany trees which can grow up to 80 meters in height. Of course the forest is also home to nine species of primate, so watch out for the grey-cheeked mangabeys, red-tailed monkeys, blue monkeys, black and white colobus monkeys and olive baboons, on your trek through the rainforest.
You will begin your tracking by meeting your ranger / guide for a briefing on tracking the chimpanzees in the rainforest at the forest trailhead. You will then enter the forest along a maintained network of paths. This rainforest is home to more than 600 chimps, of which a family of 80 individuals has been habituated to allow tourism visits, with an 80% successful tracking rate. Depending on where the chimps are, you should take around three hours to complete the tracking, allowing a 1 hour walk into and then out of the forest. Once you've found the group amongst the dense rainforest, spend an intimate hour with them, watching them play, eat, socialise and display their prowess. After spending your time observing the chimpanzee family you will make your way back out of the rainforest to meet your driver / guide.
Estimated excursion time: 3 hrs (including 1 hr viewing) 

Transfer from Budongo Forest to The Nile.
Estimated journey time: 1 hr

Meals: Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation: Murchison River Lodge, thatched cottage

Day Two

Murchison Falls National Park

Explore the Buligi wildlife tracks, which crisscross the savannah between the branches of the Victoria and Albert Nile in the park's northern sector. These circuits offer the highest density of wildlife viewing anywhere in Murchison Falls National Park. With the chance to spot species such as Rothschild giraffes, lions, hippos, elephants, herds of buffalo, Jackson’s hartebeest, bushbucks, Uganda kob, warthog, waterbuck and if you're lucky, you'll spot the elusive leopard! These great wildlife spotting opportunities are set to the backdrop of the park’s stunning landscape of savannah plains dotted with Palmyra palm trees and pockets of Acacia tree woodlands. Towards the end of your wildlife drive you’ll stop off at the hippo pool on the Victoria Nile delta, where you can see hippos wallowing in the shallows and calling to each other across the water, with the Blue Mountains visible in the distance.
Estimated excursion time: 3 hrs

Embark on a water safari to navigate the course of river Nile to the thundering base of Murchison Falls waterfall.  Also known as Kabalega Falls, this waterfall is the most iconic feature in the park and the river cruise offers fantastic wildlife viewing opportunities. As you meander upstream passing hippo pods lazing in the water, you’ll seek out crocodiles, buffalo, waterbuck and Uganda kob on the riverbanks. If you’re lucky you’ll also meet elephants bathing in the river to cool off from the heat of the day! A multitude of birds can be spotted including the Red-throated and Northern-carmine Bee-eaters nesting on the Nyamusika cliffs while performing a colourful display. On reaching the base of the falls you’ll marvel at the spectacle of the White Nile surging through a 7 metre wide gap in the rock face, cutting through Fajao Gorge and falling 43 meters into the river below, before it meanders off through the savannah plains of the park.
Estimated excursion time: 2 hrs
*Please note that the water safari is 2 hours but if you do not partake in the falls hike at the end then it's an extra 1 hr for the boat to take you back downstream to the docks. 

Upon reaching the base of Murchison Falls, you’ll disembark from the boat and be guided up the trail to the top of the falls, a 45min hike. From the path you’ll get fantastic views from several vantage points over the Murchison Falls and twin seasonal waterfall, Uhuru Falls. Upon reaching the top you can marvel at the splash and rainbows of the Nile crashing through a seven-metre gap in the rock face, with cooling sheets of spray being given off by the falls.  You will meet your driver / guide at the top of the falls who will then drive you back downstream.
Estimated excursion time: 1 hr

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation: Murchison River Lodge, thatched cottage

Day Three

The River Nile Delta

Explore the course of the river Nile on a water safari to the Victoria Nile delta, where the Nile flows into one of the African Great Lakes, Lake Albert. As you meander downstream passing hippo pods wallowing in the waters, you’ll have the chance to spot elephants, giraffes, waterbuck and crocodiles along the riverbanks. The delta is a birders paradise and is particularly known as the habitat of the iconic Shoebill, listed by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) as ‘vulnerable’. Accompanied by your experienced guide you’ll seek out this rare and prehistoric looking bird. Amongst the thickets of swaying papyrus reeds you will have good chances of spying other wetlands bird species including the Saddle-billed Stork, Goliath Heron, African Skimmer, African Jacana and you may spot the flash of electric blue as Malachite Kingfishers dart passed you. After several hours of exploring the delta set to a backdrop of stunning views towards the Blue Mountains on the horizon, you’ll cruise back up stream to the riverside docks.
Estimated excursion time: 4 hrs

Spend some time relaxing at your riverside lodge nestled on the banks of the river Nile. Refresh yourself by taking a dip in the lodge swimming pool, relax with a good book or while away some time with one of the lodge’s selection of board games. Of course you can also unwind with a cool drink from the bar and admire the giant sculptures dotted around the grounds. Or just take to a hammock and relax in the gardens to the sounds of hippo pods calling to each other across the river. However you spend your time at Murchison River Lodge you’re sure to enjoy it’s peace and tranquility!

Explore the Buligi wildlife tracks, which crisscross the savannah between the branches of the Victoria and Albert Nile in the park's northern sector. These circuits offer the highest density of wildlife viewing anywhere in Murchison Falls National Park. With the chance to spot species such as Rothschild giraffes, lions, hippos, elephants, herds of buffalo, Jackson’s hartebeest, bushbucks, Uganda kob, warthog, waterbuck and if you're lucky, you'll spot the elusive leopard! These great wildlife spotting opportunities are set to the backdrop of the park’s stunning landscape of savannah plains dotted with Palmyra palm trees and pockets of Acacia tree woodlands. Towards the end of your wildlife drive you’ll stop off at the hippo pool on the Victoria Nile delta, where you can see hippos wallowing in the shallows and calling to each other across the water, with the Blue Mountains visible in the distance.
Estimated excursion time: 3 hrs

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation: Murchison River Lodge, thatched cottage

Day Four

A Walk On The Wild Side

Transfer from The Nile to Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary.
Estimated journey time: 3 hrs

Visit Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary to seek out the rhinos living in the safety of this semi wild reserve. You’ll trek over the grassland and through the African bush on foot with a ranger to visit Uganda’s most endangered creature, the Southern White Rhino. Your ranger is very experienced and knowledgeable about the rhinos and will be able to identify each individual and tell you about their characteristics, as well as give you more information on the effort to recover Uganda’s rhino population. This is the only place in Uganda where the rhinos survive and breed with the hopes of one day being introduced to a national park. All the proceeds from your visit to Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary go towards funding the rhino’s future.
Estimated excursion time: 1 hr

Transfer from Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary to Kampala.
Estimated journey time: 4 hrs

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation: Latitude 0°, standard room

Day Five

To The Kingdom Of Gorillas

Transfer from Kampala to Lake Mutanda.
Estimated journey time: 11 hrs
[scheduled flight available to reduce travel time]

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation: Mutanda Lake Resort, standard cottage

Day Six

Gorillas In The Mist

Transfer from Lake Mutanda to Bwindi Impenetrable NP, Rushaga.
Estimated transfer time: 1 hr

Experience Uganda’s greatest natural wonder, an intimate meeting with one of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park’s gorilla families! Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is an incredibly important conservation site as it protects around 460 mountain gorillas, roughly half of the population left in the wild. Dating back over 25,000 years, Bwindi is one of Uganda’s most biologically diverse and most ancient rainforests, with an amazing 400 species of plants present and 350 species of birds, including 23 Rift Valley endemic species recorded. The rangers accompanying you will be able to identify the local plants, birds and wildlife as well as the general ecosystem of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park as you trek. This morning you will rise early and your driver / guide will escort you to the trailhead into the rainforest. Here you will receive an orientation on tracking the gorillas from the Uganda Wildlife Authority rangers who will then guide you through the dense forest. The trek length varies, depending on where the gorillas spent the night, ranging from thirty minutes to seven hours. Once you find these incredible creatures you will spend one hour with them. We think you’ll agree - to experience this unique family feed, socialise, nurse their young, patrol and display their prowess - is the most magical experience you can see in nature. After tracking you will make your way back to the edge of the rainforest where you’ll meet your driver guide.
Estimated excursion time: 2 - 8 hrs (including 1 hr viewing).

Transfer from Bwindi Impenetrable NP, Rushaga to Lake Mutanda.
Estimated journey time: 1hr

Accommodation: Mutanda Lake Resort, standard cottage

Day Seven

Journey Home

Transfer from Lake Mutanda to Entebbe.
Estimated transfer time: 11 hrs
[scheduled flight available to reduce travel time]

Meals: Breakfast, Packed Lunch

Accommodation: Not Included