Uganda's Finest

Uganda's Finest

This circuit is an all-time favourite and still among our most popular. Trek the gorilla's and chimps in Bwindi and Kibale rainforest. See the mighty river Nile explode in Murchison Falls. Enjoy plenty of wild life spotting on your self-drive safaris in Lake Mburo, Queen Elizabeth and Murchison Falls. Gorilla and chimp tracking permits included.

Scroll down below to see the day-to-day route with route description and lot's of insider travel tips. The price includes car rental, accommodation in three price categories, and gorilla and chimp permits. The selected lodges are hand picked by us and the places we like to stay when we are roadtripping ourselves; small-scale, good price-quality ratio and owner-managed when possible.

Check the day to day itinerary

Day 1 of 15

Destination: Entebbe
Drive: 20 km | 30 minutes

Airport pick up, transfer to mid-range lodge set in a lovely garden in the charming town of Entebbe.

Accommodation options:
Budget / Mid-range: Via Via Guesthouse
Deluxe: Boma Hotel

Day 2 of 15

Start: Entebbe
Destination:
Lake Mburo NP
Drive: 225 km | 6+ hours.

Take the ferry to cross Waiya Bay in Lake Victoria, and connect via lovely back roads to the main highway going to Lake Mburo National Park. Covered with extensive acacia woodlands, this park is one of the best places in the country to see the giant eland antelope and zebras

Accommodation options:
Budget: Eagle's nest
Mid-range / Deluxe: Rwakobo Rock

Day 3 of 15

Enjoy: Lake Mburo NP

Enjoy a day in the park. With no dangerous predators such as lions, Lake Mburo is the best place to go on a guided safari either walking, mountain biking, or on horseback. 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 of 15

Start: Lake Mburo NP
Destination:
Lake Mutanda
Drive: 225 km | 6+ 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 tumbling southwest towards the rainforest of Bwindi National Park.

Accommodation options:
Budget / Mid-range / Deluxe: Mutanda Lake Resort

Day 5 of 15

Enjoy: Bwindi Impenetrable Forest NP

Ready for the experience of a life time? Today you will be tracking the rare mountain gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. Bwindi’s mist-covered, forested hillsides and dense forest cover protect an estimated 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 the Rushaga or Nkuringo location.

Day 6 of 15

Enjoy: Lake Mutanda

Plenty of activities can be arranged at the lodge. Enjoy a ride in a dugout canoe as the local fisherman do, go on a birding trip, nature hike or cultural village walk and finish off the day with a sunset boat cruise. Decide what to do then and there, or contact us in advance for reservations.

 

 

Day 7 of 15

Start: Lake Mutanda
Destination: Queen Elizabeth NP
Drive: 220 km | 7+ hours.

Drive to Queen Elizabeth National Park, 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 QENP boasts one of the highest rates of biodiversity of any game park.

Accommodation options:
Budget / Mid-range: Bush Lodge
Deluxe: Mweya Safari Lodge

Day 8 of 15

Enjoy: Queen Elizabeth NP

Enjoy a day in the park. Boat launch trips on the Kazinga Channel offer great game viewing, as do game drives around Mweya Lodge and the Northern Circuit. Further southwest, the remote Ishasha plains are famous for their tree climbing lions, while the Kyambura Gorge is home to habituated chimps. The nearby Maramamgambo Forest has a wide variety of forest monkeys and the dozens of crater lakes scattered across the park are often filled with beautiful pink flamingos.

Day 9 of 15

Start: Queen Elizabeth NP
Destination: Kibale Forest NP
Drive: 125 km |  2½ + 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.  

Accommodation options:
Budget / Mid-range: Kibale Forest Camp or Isunga Lodge
Deluxe: Papaya Lodge

Day 10 of 15

Enjoy: Kibale NP

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 tracking is a half-day activity starting either early in the morning or just after lunch. A field of beautiful crater lakes lies between Fort Portal and the Forest, which are perfect for a swim or exploration on foot.

Day 11 of 15

Start: Kibale Forest NP
Destination: Hoima
Drive: 220 km | 6+ hours

Beautiful back roads passing through friendly villages will bring you to Hoima town, the staging point between Fort Portal and Masindi at the southern entrance of Murchison Falls National Park.

Accommodation options:
Budget: Kon Tiki Lodge
Mid-range / Deluxe: Hoima Cultural Lodge

Day 12 of 15

Start: Hoima
Destination: Murchison Falls NP
Drive: 175 km | 5+ hours

Today you will cross the entire Murchison Falls National Park, entering the reserve from the south, whilst staying overnight just outside the northern section of the park. Along the way you will cross Budongo Rainforest and visit the top of the waterfalls, which is a spectacular experience. Once you cross the Nile River, you can take a refreshing break at Paraa Lodge, situated at the heart of the park with excellent views of the river. Most of the wildlife is in the northern section of the park.

Accommodation options:
Budget / Deluxe: Fort Murchison
Deluxe: Murchison River Lodge

Day 13 of 15

Enjoy: Murchison Falls NP

Another day of self–driving safari with opportunities for game viewing. Other activities include a boat trip to the base of the falls or take a smaller boat downriver from Paraa towards the Nile River delta where it flows into Lake Albert.

Day 14 of 15

Start: Murchison Falls NP
Destination: Kampala
Drive: 370 km | 6+ hours

An excellent newly surfaced road takes you to the capital city, Kampala, where you will find a thriving dining and nightlife scene with a pleasant vibe. We would be happy to recommend some especially good places.

Accommodation options:
Budget: Bush Pig
Mid-range / Deluxe: Yellow Haven Guesthouse

Day 15 of 15

Enjoy: Kampala

Depending on your return flight you have time to visit some highlights of Kampala:

- Explore Kampala on the back of a boda boda (motorbike taxi) and learn about Kampala’s history and scenic places. We recommend 2 Friends Boda Tours.
- Visit Ghadaffi Mosque located on Old Kampala Hill.
- Visit the Baháí Temple.
- Enjoy traditional dances at Ndere Centre, Ntinda. Shows are on Wednesday, Friday and Sunday. Highly recommended!
- Visit the largest second-hand clothing market Uganda: Owino Market.

What to expect on the Uganda's Finest self-drive road trip?

Travel time & road conditions & when to go

15 days / 13 car rental days are recommended for this route, spending two nights at one location. On an average travel day you drive for 5 hours. Keep in mind that with photo and picnic stops, this can still make a full travel day. Time is not on your side? Shorten the road trip with a day at Bwindi. 

Road conditions are good. It is asphalt with an occasional pothole and speed bumps. The most adventurous part is to get from Kisoro to Lake Mutanda (volcanic and dirt road), from Hamurwa to Ishaha (off road) and from Masindi to Murchison Falls. We cannot stress enough to drive slowly (25km/h) and carefully on this road! Roads inside the National Parks are generally good dirt tracks. More tips at the on the road section.

Uganda's Finest is nice to travel year-round. April - May and November is low season, with more rainfall. Peak season is from June to September and around Christmas. Check our when to go section for more weather details. 

Go to Travel time & road conditions & when to go

Prices

Low season | 1st March - 31st May

Price is per person, in US Dollars. 

Price includes 14 nights accommodation mostly on the basis of Bed & Breakfast, 13 day car rental rental, airport pick up, gorilla permits and chimpanzee permits.

Want to do the Uganda's Finest with the company of a driver - guide? Add $ 520.

  Rav 4 Landcruiser
  2 pax 4 pax 2 pax 4 pax
Budget 2,020 1,880 2,280 1,970
Mid range 2,640 2,500 2,900 2,600
Deluxe 3,510 3,370 3,770 3,460

Car hire only?

Follow the route as a guideline and hire a vehicle from $49/day. Check our rates

Rest of the year

Price is per person, in US Dollars. 

Price includes 14 nights accommodation mostly on the basis of Bed & Breakfast, 13 day car rental rental, airport pick up, gorilla permits and chimpanzee permits.

Want to do the Uganda's Finest with the company of a driver - guide? Add $ 520.

  Rav 4 Landcruiser
  2 pax 4 pax 2 pax 4 pax
Budget 2,210 2,040 2,470 2,140
Mid range 2,840 2,660 3,100 2,760
Deluxe 3,700 3,530 3,960 3,630

 

Create & Book

Book Uganda's Finest as is, with stays in budge, mid-range or deluxe lodges - or adjust it to you liking.

Make this road trip yours

Included in your accomodated roadtrip

Included

  • Gorilla permit ($ 600 pp)
  • Chimp permit ($ 150 pp)
  • Bed & Breakfast
  • Airport transfers
  • Comprehensive car insurance
  • Roadmap and Bradt Travel Guide
  • Unlimited mileage
  • 24/7 Road assistance

Optional

  • Electrical fridge
  • Driver-Guide