Explore the best of Uganda - 24 day roadtrip

Got time on your side? Then book this epic Uganda self-drive tour and you'll understand why Uganda is nicknamed 'Africa condensed'. Uganda's Grand Circuit is our most popular travel itinerary combining game drives, primate trekking, cultural experiences and Uganda off the beaten track. 

  • Trek the gorillas and chimps in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and Kibale rainforest.
  • See the mighty river Nile explode in Murchison Falls.
  • Enjoy plenty of wildlife spotting on your self-drive safaris in Lake Mburo, Queen Elizabeth, Murchison and Kidepo National Park
  • Explore Karamoja, home to the proud and traditional Karamajong tribe. 
  • Top off your road trip with a true adrenaline rush rafting the river Nile before relaxing at one of the lovely riverside lodges in Jinja.

Scroll down below to see the day-to-day itinerary with route descriptions and lots of insider travel tips for Uganda. The trip includes car rental, accommodation (available in four price categories), gorilla and chimp permits and rafting (optional). 

Day-to-day-itinerary | Uganda's Grand Circuit

Day 1

Day 1 of 24

Destination: Entebbe

Drive: 10 km | 0.5 hour

Welcome to Uganda! As soon as you enter the airport you will be embraced with a pleasant temperature and the charming smile of a Ugandan immigration officer. Take this day to relax from your trip. Entebbe is a small town, with a pleasant lakeside, some good restaurants and large swimming pool at Laiko Hotel.

A glimpse of our lodge selection: 

Budget / Comfort: Via Via Guesthouse

Semi-Luxury: The Boma Hotel

Day 2

Day 2 of 24

Start: Entebbe

Destination: Lake Mburo National Park

Drive: 244 km | 6+ hours

Time to hit the road and start your adventure! The journey from Entebbe to Lake Mburo in Uganda is a unique experience marked by the crossing of the equator.

A glimpse of our lodge selection:

Budget / Comfort: Hyena Hill Lodge

Semi-Luxury: Rwakobo Rock 

 

Day 3

Day 3 of 24

Enjoy: Lake Mburo National Park

Enjoy a day in the park. With no dangerous predators such as lions, Lake Mburo is the place to go for walking, biking, or horseback Safari. 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

Day 4 of 24

Start: Lake Mburo National Park

Destination: Lake Mutanda

Drive: 313 km | 7+ hours

Drive to the Kigezi Highlands, perhaps the most fertile and scenic region of Uganda: a landscape of expansive blue lakes and steep terraced slopes bordering the rainforest of Bwindi National Park.

A glimpse of our lodge selection:

Comfort / Semi-Luxury: Mutanda Lake Resort

Day 5

Day 5 of 24

Enjoy: Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park

Ready for the experience of a lifetime? Today you will track the rare mountain gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. Bwindi’s dense forest protects approximately 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 either Rushaga or Nkuringo.

Day 6

Day 6 of 24

Enjoy: Lake Mutanda

Lake Mutanda is a great place to stick around for a few days. The resort offers a wide range of activities for guests to enjoy. The freshwater lake is safe to swim in. Go SUP boarding, enjoy a ride in a dugout canoe as the local fishermen do, go on a birding trip, nature hike or cultural village walk and finish off the day with a sunset boat cruise. 

Day 7

Day 7 of 24

Start: Lake Mutanda

Destination: Queen Elizabeth National Park

Drive: 277 km | 7+ hours

Drive to Queen Elizabeth N.P., Uganda’s oldest national park. From open savannas to green rainforests, from dense papyrus swamps and crater lakes to the vastness of Lake Edward, it is little wonder that Queen Elizabeth N.P. boasts one of the highest rates of biodiversity of any game park in Africa.

A glimpse of our lodge selection:

Budget / Comfort: The Bush Lodge

Semi-Luxury: Marafiki Safari Lodge 

Day 8

Day 8 of 24

Enjoy: Queen Elizabeth National Park

Enjoy a safari in Queen Elisabeth. Boat trips on the Kazinga Channel offer great game viewing, as do game drives around Mweya Lodge and the Northern Circuit. 

Day 9

Day 9 of 24

Start: Queen Elizabeth National Park

Destination: Kibale National Park

Drive: 103 km | 3 hours

Drive to Kibale Forest, near the pleasant town of Fort Portal. Kibale is a 800 km2 tropical rainforest, home to 13 primate species and an impressive range of birds. 

A glimpse of our lodge selection:

Budget / Comfort: Kibale Forest Camp

Semi-Luxury: Turaco Treetops

Day 10

Day 10 of 24

Enjoy: Kibale National Park

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 trekking is a half-day activity starting either early in the morning or just after lunch and needs to be reserved in advance. A field of beautiful crater lakes lies between Fort Portal and the forest, which are perfect for a swim or hike.

Day 11

Day 11 of 24

Start: Kibale Forest National Park

Destination: Murchison Falls National Park

Drive: 7-8 hours, depending on whether you stay in a lodge near the Northern or the Southern gate

A glimpse of our lodge selection:

Comfort: Bwana Tembo 

Semi-Luxury: Murchison River Lodge

 

Day 12

Day 12 of 24

Enjoy: Murchison Falls National Park

Most of the wildlife is in the northern section of the park. Yet the southern section is also worth a visit, as visiting the top of the waterfalls is a spectacular experience. You can make a boat trip to the base of the falls or, if you are into birding, take a smaller boat downriver from Paraa towards the Nile River delta, which flows into Lake Albert. Enjoy a refreshing break at Paraa Lodge, situated at the heart of the park. 

Day 13

Day 13 of 24

Enjoy: Murchison Falls National Park

Today you have time to relax at your lodge or go for another game drive. No day in a National park is the same so you never know which animals you will encounter this time! 

Day 14

Day 14 of 24

Start: Murchison Falls National Park

Destination: Kidepo Valley National Park

Drive: 376 km | 8 hours

Depart early, as you're having a full day of driving ahead.

Northern Uganda is the least developed region of Uganda and completely different from the lush southwest. Gulu is nice for a morning coffee break - we recommend Café Larem for coffee and a piece of banana cake. By the way, if people shout Muno, they are talking to you (Mzungu). Kopango? (How are you?), Kopêh! (Good!). From Kitgum, the last fuel stop, to Katurum gate via Orom is around 140 km and takes around 3½ hours. 

A glimpse of our lodge selection:

Kidepo Savannah Lodge

Day 15

Day 15 of 24

Enjoy: Kidepo Valley National Park

Kidepo Valley National Park is one of Africa’s last great wilderness areas. It is an endless area of vast savanna plains and mountain ranges. Out on the savanna, you will likely see impressive herds of ostriches, hartebeest, buffaloes and giraffes and possibly predators such as lions, cheetahs and leopards. While the game viewing is excellent, it is the thrilling sense of supreme isolation that many people enjoy most.

 

Day 16

Day 16 of 24

Enjoy: Kidepo Valley National Park

As Kidepo Valley is one of the highlights of the trip, it's advisable to spend another day. Head out on a beautiful drive to reach the (unimpressive) hot springs, relax on your veranda and enjoy the view, or go for a hiking trail with an UWA guide - exciting!!

Day 17

Day 17 of 24

Start: Kidepo Valley National Park

Destination: Moroto

Drive: 249 km | 5+ hours

Exit Kidepo via the Mataba gate to Kaabong and Kotido. The scenery changes drastically to arid landscapes with large boulders (kopjes). From Kotido to Moroto is a 2-hour drive. 

A glimpse of our lodge selection:

Kara-tunga Safari Camp

Day 18

Day 18 of 24

Enjoy: Moroto

The guides from Kara-Tunga can take you into the manyattas, which are traditional villages of the Karamojong tribe. Immerse yourself in the nomadic pastoral culture of the Karamojong by experiencing daily life in a manyatta. You could even spend a night in the kraal. Or climb the secret Mount Moroto, during a one or two-day hike. 

Check our Uganda's culture blog to read more about the people of Uganda and cultural activities. 

Day 19

Day 19 of 24

Start: Moroto

Destination: Sipi Falls

Drive: 202 km | 5 hours

Sipi Falls is based at the foothills of Mount Elgon, home to a series of three spectacular waterfalls, some of the best Arabica coffee in the world, and beautiful sunsets! Sipi Falls is a magnificent place to relax and unwind in a cool and peaceful environment. It's also an excellent area for walks, hikes and cultural tours. 

Consult our Hiking in Uganda Travel Blog for more hiking tips.

A glimpse of our lodge selection:

Lacam Lodge

Day 20

Day 20 of 24

Enjoy: Sipi Falls

Sipi Falls is the perfect place to stretch your legs and switch your comfortable car seat for hiking boots. It is a very scenic area, with lush green hills, endless banana and coffee plantations, a waterfall and breath-taking views. If you're looking for a relaxing break, drop by Endiro Coffee at Lacam Lodge, where you can enjoy good coffee and lunch while taking in the view of the largest waterfall.

Day 21

Day 21 of 24

Start: Sipi Falls

Destination: Jinja

Drive: 198 km | 4+ hours

The Source of the Nile 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 more. Jinja town is also lovely to wander around for an afternoon.

A glimpse of our lodge selection: 

Budget: Nile River Explorers

Comfort / Semi-Luxury: The Haven

Day 22

Day 22 of 24

Enjoy: Jinja

A perfect day to relax… Go on a mountaike bike with Bike Ventures Uganda, where all proceeds go to charity, or to go for an action-packed day of world-class, grade-5 rafting with Nalubale. The thrill of a lifetime! Roadtrippers get a special discount! 

Day 23

Day 23 of 24

Start: Jinja

Destination: Entebbe

Drive: 123 km | 4+ hours

All good things must come to an end. You're heading back to Entebbe today. The crew from Roadtrip Uganda will pick up your car from the lodge you are booked in. Enjoy a lovely warm evening with tons of newly created memories to look back on. 

A glimpse of our lodge selection: 

Budget / Comfort: Via Via Guesthouse

Semi-Luxury: The Boma Hotel

Day 24

Day 24 of 24

Most international flights depart in the evening. Entebbe is a lovely town to finish your trip and relax by the shores of Lake Victoria and the pool of your lodge. 

3 weeks in Uganda | This is what you need to know

Travel time and road conditions

We recommend 24 days / 22 car rental days for this Uganda itinerary, spending two nights at each location. A Landcruiser is required because of the condition of the roads in Karamoja and Kidepo National Park. Time or budget not on your side? Leave out Kidepo and hire an RAV4. 

This circuit contains the most driving hours of our Uganda travel itineraries, so you'd better enjoy driving or choose a guided experience with one of our local driver guides.

Road conditions are good: asphalt with the occasional pothole and speed bumps. Roads inside the National Parks are generally good dirt tracks, but Kidepo can be difficult after rain. Consult our Driving in Uganda Guide, which contains essential information when planning a self-drive holiday in Uganda. 

Uganda's Grand Circuit is possible to travel year-round. 

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Find your budget & travel style

Our Uganda Grand Circuit can be booked in four price categories:

Budget: Some mid-range lodges offer 'Lazy Camping' (glamping), where you sleep in an already set-up tent. There is a sanitary block that you share with other campers. Adding some 'Lazy Camping' nights in your Uganda tour works favourably for your budget, while you can still enjoy the lodge facilities. 

Comfort (mid-range): This is your best option for comfortable, self-contained ('en suite') accommodations set in stunning locations which do not cost a fortune. 

Semi-Luxury: If you opt for luxury, we select barefoot luxury resorts which are intimate, have lots of privacy and high-quality service. Not every stop in Uganda allows for a stay in this segment, therefore we rather call it a semi-luxury trip.

Combo - Campsites & Lodges: Experience the best of both worlds: travel with camp gear and alternate camping in the bush with stays in lovely lodges. 

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Included in your Uganda roadtrip

Included

  • Gorilla trekking permit $ 700
  • Chimp trekking permit $ 200
  • Bed & Breakfast
  • Car rental with unlimited mileage. Fuel own expense
  • Car delivery to airport or hotel
  • Car insurance
  • 24/7 roadside assistance
  • Uganda driving manual, Bradt Travel Guide, roadmap

Optional

  • Driver - Guide
  • Electrical fridge
  • Rafting

Create & Book your 3 week adventure in Uganda

Book Uganda's Grand Circuit with stays in budget, mid-range or luxury lodges - or adjust it to your liking.

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Grand Circuit | Indicative prices

Low season | March - April + Nov - 21 Dec

Landcruiser

Hilux

Budget

€ 3,660

€ 3,880

Comfort

€ 4,360

€ 4,580

Semi - luxury

€ 5,390

€ 5,610

Combo

€ 3,730

€ 3,950

Peak season | July - Sept + 22 Dec - February

Landcruiser

Hilux

Budget

€ 4,320

€ 4,540

Comfort

€ 5,020

€ 5,240

Semi - luxury

€ 6,050

€ 6,270

Combo

€ 4,390

€ 4,610

Rest of year

Landcruiser

Hilux

Budget

€ 3,990

€ 4,210

Comfort

€ 4,690

€ 4,910

Semi - luxury

€ 5,720

€ 5,940

Combo

€ 4,060

€ 4,280

The price is per person based on 2 people sharing a car and includes 23 hotel nights, 22-day car rental, airport pick up, gorilla (USD 800 pp) and chimp (USD 250 pp) permit. 

Easy and secure online payment to our Roadtrip Africa Bookings office in the Netherlands. 

Prefer a guided road trip? Travel with a driver-guide (€40/day). This is an option you can select in the online booking form. 

Planning to visit Uganda during peak season? Book your tour several months in advance!