Wild North East

Wild North East

This North East Uganda  road trip circuit is perfect for anyone looking for an off the beaten track adventure. See the mighty river Nile explode in Murchison Falls, continue further north and experience the thrill of pure isolation of Kidepo’s endless savannah, discover the traditional tribal culture of the Karamojong, cool off in the highlands of Mount Elgon and finish off with a blast in Jinja, wildwater rafting on the Nile.

Scroll down below to see the detailed day-to-day route. The price includes car rental with accommodation. You can opt for budget or mid-range accommodation on the basis of Bed & Breakfast, except in Sipi Falls (Half Board) and Jinja (Full Board). The selected lodges are small-scale, good value for money and owner-managed wherever possible. 

Check the day to day itinerary

Day 1 of 14

Destination: Entebbe
Drive: 10 km | 0.5 hours

Welcome to Uganda! As soon as you enter the airport you will be embraced by a pleasant temperature and hopefully a charming smile from the immigration officer. Take this day to relax from your journey in Entebbe. Entebbe is a peaceful lakeside town located an hour and a half away from the busy capital Kampala.

Budget / Mid-range: Viavia Guesthouse

Day 2 of 14

Start: Entebbe
Destination:
Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary
Drive: 205 km | 5+ hours

Today you will receive your vehicle and drive towards Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary.  As you’re passing through Kampala, allow plenty of travel time for some (un)expected, world-famously slow, Kampala traffic jam. Reaching the sanctuary you have time to visit 22 Southern White Rhinos, who are part of Ziwa’s breeding program.  The sanctuary is also a great spot for bird watching, nature walks and relaxation.

Accommodation options:
Budget: Ziwa Guesthouse
Mid-range: Amuka Lodge

Day 3 of 14

Start: Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary
Destination:
Murchison Falls National Park
Drive: 170 km | 4+ hours.

From Ziwa, you will hit the road towards Murchison Falls National Park. Use the morning to visit the top of the falls, or go chimp trekking at Budongo Forest Reserve. You're going to cross the entire park and take the ferry in the afternoon towards the northern section, with a game drive en route to the lodge.

Accommodation options:
Budget / Mid-range: Fort Murchison 

Day 4 of 14

Enjoy: Murchison Falls National Park

We suggest you take a full day to explore Murchison Falls National Park with a self–driving safari or game drive with a ranger. As animals are most active in the early morning and late afternoon, these are the best hours to drive around looking for game. Other activities include a boat trip to the base of the falls, or take a smaller boat downriver from Paraa lodge towards the Nile river delta where it flows into Lake Albert.

Accommodation options:
Budget / Mid-range: Fort Murchison.

Day 5 of 14

Start: Murchison Falls National Park
Destination:
Kidepo Valley National Park
Drive: 350 km | 7+ hours

Today you will spend a full day driving through Northern Uganda, the least developed region of Uganda. Gulu is nice for an afternoon break - we recommend Café Larem for a good coffee and a fresh piece of banana cake. By the way, if people shout Muno, they are talking to you (mzungu).  If someone asks "kopango?" (how are you?), you reply "kopêh!" (good). At the end of the day you’ll reach Kidepo Valley National Park. Please make sure to top up your fuel in Kitgum before entering the park.

Accommodation options:
Budget / Mid-range: Kidepo Savannah Lodge

 

Day 6 of 14

Enjoy: Kidepo Valley National Park

Kidepo Valley National Park is the hidden gem of Uganda, containing diverse landscapes, from steep mountain ranges to vast plains, and is home to almost 500 bird species and 77 different mammals. Out on the savannas, you are likely see an impressive collection of animals including ostriches, hartebeest, buffaloes, giraffes and predators like lions, cheetahs and leopards.

Day 7 of 14

Start: Kidepo Valley National Park
Destination:
Moroto
Drive: 260 km | 5+ hours

Over the coming days you will discover Karamoja. Allow a full day to reach Moroto - the landscape along the way is stunning. When you reach Moroto, immerse yourself in the nomadic pastoral culture of the Karamojong by experiencing daily life in a traditional manyatta and spend an evening (optional night camp) in the kraal. Book in advance. 

Accommodation options:
Budget / Mid-range: Kara-Tunga Guesthouse

 

Day 8 of 14

Enjoy: Moroto

The following morning you can get ready for some leg stretching as Mount Moroto offers a fantastic climbing opportunity through a beautiful natural wilderness setting. During your hike, you'll pass some small villages and the guides will be able to tell you everything about the local lifestyle and culture. You can explore this mountain in either one or two days - the latter comes with a camp on the mountain. The hike can be slightly strenuous. Expect that the one day hike will take approx. 6 hours.

Day 9 of 14

Start: Moroto
Destination:
Sipi Falls
Drive: 175 km | 4+ hours.

We are going further south today. You will drive to Sipi Falls, 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 place to enjoy some great hiking, but also a place just to relax and unwind in a cool peaceful climate.

Accommodation options:
Budget / Mid-range: Sipi River Lodge

 

Day 10 of 14

Enjoy: Sipi Falls

Plenty of activities can be organised from the lodge. One of the most popular is to explore the three waterfalls with a local guide. Other activities include a coffee tour, mountain biking, rock climbing, abseiling, trout fishing and day hikes in Mount Elgon National Park. Our personal favourite is to hang out in the beautiful garden of the lodge and relax. 

Budget / Mid-range: Sipi River Lodge

Day 11 of 14

Start: Sipi Falls
Destination:
Jinja
Drive: 220 km | 4+ hours

The source of the Nile is on the menu for today - also referred to as the “Adventure Capital of East Africa”. It's an easy drive, and you can stop over in Jinja town for lunch. We recommend the delicious sandwiches and smoothies at The Deli. Cross the river Nile and turn east towards The Haven, about 30 minutes drive from Jinja Town.

Accommodation options:
Budget / Mid-range: The Haven

Day 12 of 14

Enjoy: Jinja

Jinja has a lot to offer, including class-5 rafting, mountain biking, horse riding, a sunset cruise on the Nile river, fishing and more. Jinja town is also nice to wander around for an afternoon.

Accommodation options:
Budget / Mid-range: The Haven

Day 13 of 14

Start: Jinja
Destination:
Entebbe
Drive: 130 km | 4+ hours

Return to Entebbe and drop off the car at the airport, or at your accommodation. As you’re passing through Kampala, allow plenty of travel time for some (un)expected, world-famously slow Kampala traffic jam. If you have spent the night at The Haven, you can take the newly rebuilt northern route via Kayunga – Gayaza.

Accommodation options:
Budget / Mid-range: Via Via Guesthouse

 

Day 14 of 14

Enjoy: Entebbe

Last day in the Pearl of Africa. Enjoy the relaxed and beautiful gardens of ViaVia Guesthouse or head out to chill at the shores of Lake Victoria.

Explore the wild North East of Uganda with your own 4x4 car

Travel time & road conditions

North East Uganda is usually arid and dry, and good to visit year round.

14 days with 12 car rental days is recommended to follow this route. A Landcruiser is required. On an average travel day, you will drive around 4 to 6 hours, without factoring in time for lunch, photo stops etc. 

The most tricky part of the journey is from Masindi to Murchison Falls. We cannot stress enough to drive slowly (25km/h) and carefully on this road! Single vehicle roll-overs are NOT covered by the insurance. Roads inside the National Parks are generally good dirt tracks, but Kidepo can be difficult after the rains. Offline navigation is easier if you download Maps.me on your smart phone before you go. More tips are available in our on the road section.

Go to Travel time & road conditions

Prices

Low season | 1st March - 31st May

Price is per person, in Euros.

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

Want to explore The Wild North East with a driver-guide? Add €455.

  Landcruiser 
  2 pax 4 pax
Budget 1,269 1,017
Mid range 1,584 1,332

Car hire only?

Rent a Toyota Landcruiser from €89/day, and follow the route as a guideline.
Check our rates.

Rest of year

Price is per person, in Euros.

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

Want to explore The Wild North East with a driver-guide? Add €455.

  Landcruiser
  2 pax 4 pax
Budget 1,431 1,152
Mid range 1,746 1,467

Create & Book

You can book the Wild North East road trip with car rental and accommodation - budget or mid-range. Alternatively, book to secure your car, and use this suggested route for travel inspiration.

Make this road trip yours

What's included in this trip?

Included

  • Airport transfers
  • Bed & Breakfast
  • Roadmap and Bradt Travel Guide
  • Comprehensive car insurance

Optional

  • Electrical fridge
  • Driver-Guide