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Uganda tour: route planning 2 weeks, highlights, tips and costs

by Elisa Flitter Fever
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My 2-weeks Uganda tour was one of my most beautiful trips ever. In this article I will tell you everything about where we have been and what we have done per day. Plus what the costs and the highlights were. Finally, I give all kinds of tips for booking your Uganda tour and the best activities.

For me, Uganda is top 5 material in terms of the most beautiful countries I’ve ever been to (and there are more than 70).

Kazinga Channel, Queen Elizabeth National Park Uganda tour
Kazinga Channel, Queen Elizabeth National Park

Uganda tour: route planning

Our planning and itinerary for this 16-day tour of Uganda was as follows:

  1. Flight Amsterdam – Entebbe via Kigali (Rwanda), check-in accommodation (1n)
  2. Entebbe – Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary (200 km) – Murchison Falls National Park (165 km), accommodation check-in (3n)
  3. Murchison Falls National Park: game drive and boat trip to Murchison Falls
  4. Murchison Falls National Park: boat trip to the Nile Delta, hike to the top of Murchison Falls and game drive
  5. Murchison Falls National Park – Kibale Forest (370 km), check in accommodation (2n)
  6. Chimpanzee tracking in Kibale National Park, Bigodi Swamp Walk
  7. Kibale Forest – Queen Elizabeth National Park (115 km), check-in accommodation (2n), game drive
  8. Game drive in Queen Elizabeth National Park, boat trip on the Kazinga Channel
  9. Queen Elizabeth National Park – Kisoro (250 km), check-in accommodation (3n)
  10. Gorilla tracking in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
  11. Visit to two local tribes in villages near Kisoro
  12. Kisoro – Lake Mburo National Park (300 km), check-in accommodation (1n), game drive
  13. Walking safari Lake Mburo, Lake Mburo NP – Entebbe (250 km), check-in accommodation (2n)
  14. Mabamba Swamp Shoebill Tour
  15. Relaxing at accommodation, return flight Entebbe – Amsterdam
  16. Arrival Schiphol Amsterdam (home)

The below map gives a rough idea of the the route we drove.

Our Uganda tour was from September 17 to October 2, 2022. We liked this period of the year; we only had rain a few times, good temperatures and not crowded.

During Dutch summer time it is 1 hour later in Uganda. During Dutch winter time it is 2 hours later in Uganda.

Between Murchison and Kibale, around Fort Portal, there are tea plantations, such as Tamteco’s Kiamara Tea Estates. There are a few organizations that offer tea tours in this region, such as Kabarole. So if you have the time and the urge… The tea fields are a beautiful sight anyway!

Ugandan woman with baby Bafumbira tribe village near Kisoro
Ugandan woman with baby Bafumbira tribe Kisoro
Hippos in the Nile towards Murchison Falls Uganda
Hippos in the Nile near Murchison Falls

Map Uganda tour

This map includes places and spots mentioned in this article (and more). This one is ‘smartphone friendly’; you can easily use it via the Google Maps app. Click the icon at the top left to open the menu and see the categories. To adapt the map to your own preferences and interests, (de)select a category. Via Google Drive you can copy the map to your own My Google Maps account.

Uganda tour: accommodation

I can recommend the following accommodations for a tour of Uganda. NP = National Park.

At ViaVia you can enjoy nice and delicious food, even if you are not staying there. At Kibale Forest Camp I got a great massage in my safari tent. And at The Bush Lodge, for example, you were escorted to your safari tent on stilts after sunrise. The elephants walked right past the tent where we were having dinner. For example, our accommodation during this tour of Uganda all had its own charm.

Kibale Forest Camp Uganda
Kibale Forest Camp
Fort Murchison Lodge Murchison Falls NP Uganda tour
Fort Murchison Lodge

Uganda tour: highlights

It is not easy to answer the question of what the highlights of our Uganda tour were, because it is such a beautiful country! But if I have to choose, these are my top 5:

  1. Murchison Falls National Park: game drives and both Nile boat trips
  2. Chimpanzee Tracking in Kibale NP
  3. Gorilla Tracking in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
  4. Kazinga Channel River Cruise in Queen Elizabeth NP
  5. Bigodi Swamp Walk in Kibale NP

I will tell you more about this in future in-depth articles. For now, I can especially urge you to include these places and activities in your planning for a tour of Uganda.

Chimpanzee in Kibale National Park tour Oeganda
Chimpanzee in Kibale National Park

Photo album Uganda tour

Recently I made a photo album of our tour through Uganda. Click on the square for full screen image. And the right arrow to scroll through. Any text is in Dutch though, sorry about that.

Book Uganda tour

Have you become enthusiastic and would you like to go on a tour of Uganda? Not all well-known travel organizations offer booking options for a tour of Uganda. You cannot go to Uganda with providers such as Sunny Cars, Avis, Alamo, Corendon and TUI. This is possible with the following providers:

  • If you are in The Netherlands, with 333 Travel you can book an individual tailor-made Uganda tour package deal – with the certainty of ANVR, SGR and Calamiteitenfonds.
  • Through Epic Uganda Vacation you can book an individual tour of Uganda and/or Rwanda. But also, for example, rent a 4×4 jeep with or without a driver, or a separate tour of 1 or more day(s). Founder and owner Moses Niwamanyaa is a super nice guy and quick in response. Their drivers also act partly as guides and tell about their country, culture, etc.
  • RentCars and Easyterra offer rental cars for a tour of Uganda. Note: in Uganda they drive on the left, like in the UK for example. An International Driving Permit is normally not required in Uganda, but check the rental papers carefully before departure.
  • Via Viator and Get Your Guide you can find and book all kinds of activities such as safaris, other tours and airport transfers with clear conditions and reviews.
  • Individual accommodation for a tour of Uganda can be found on Booking.com or Expedia.
  • You can view flight options and prices on Skyscanner. Beware of online ticket brokers though!

KLM flies daily from Amsterdam to Entebbe, with a stopover at Kigali, sometimes Kilimanjaro or Nairobi, on the way there. In Kigali you do not leave the plane if Entebbe is your final destination. The outward flight incl. stopover takes almost 11 hours. Back to the Netherlands it is less than 8.5 hours (direct flight).

Group tour Uganda

If you consider a tour of Uganda as a group trip, take a look at the following organizations. The tour guides of these group tours through Uganda speak English.

For international group tours to Uganda, G Advantures and Intrepid have good offers.

If you are living in The Netherlands, Belgium or Germany, you could check also for group tours to Uganda with Sawadee, Djoser or Habari.

 

Walking in search of rhinos Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary Uganda tour
Walking in search of rhinoceroses
Elephant crossing in Queen Elizabeth NP Uganda
Elephant crossing in Queen Elizabeth NP

Need a 4×4 for a tour of Uganda?

A 4×4 (4WD) car is useful for touring Uganda, especially if you want to get off the highways, especially between Kisoro and Bwindi. But if you book a tour there with hotel pick-up, you could do without a 4×4, unless you go in the rainy season (Mar/Apr/May/Oct/Nov). Outside of Kampala and Entebbe, many main roads are quiet and paved. Once you get off the main road it’s dusty.

Toyota Land Cruiser Uganda tour 4x4 4WD
Toyota Land Cruiser suitable for up to 7 people

Uganda tour: costs

The costs we incurred in advance for this Uganda tour were as follows. UGX = Ugandan Shilling, USD = US Dollar.

  • Visa (apply online in advance) USD 51.50
  • Yellow fever vaccination EUR 62*
  • Return flight ticket KLM AMS-EBB-AMS EUR 680
  • Gorilla permit Bwindi NP USD 700 / EUR 660
  • Tour extension: accommodation Entebbe 2 nights USD 216
  • Round trip Uganda package at EUR 2297.50 including:
  • Accommodation 12 nights incl. breakfast
  • 4×4 jeep with driver 12 days
  • All mentioned game drives
  • Permits NPs for shared vehicle (4×4)
  • Chimpanzee Tracking Kibale NP USD 200
  • Ziwa Rhino Trekking USD 30
  • Murchison Falls NP permit USD 45 or UGX 25,000 p/d
  • Kibale NP permit USD 40 or UGX 20,000 p/d
  • Queen Elizabeth NP permit USD 40 or UGX 20,000 p/d
  • Bwindi NP permit USD 40 or UGX 20,000 p/d
  • Lake Mburo NP permit USD 40 or UGX 20,000 p/d
  • Morning Safari Walk Lake Mburo NP USD 15 or UGX 10,000
  • Murchison Falls NP Waterfall Cruise afternoon USD 35
  • Murchison Falls NP Nile Delta Cruise morning USD 55
  • Top of the Murchison Falls USD 10 or UGX 10,000
  • Kazinga Channel Boat Cruise USD 30
  • Booking costs, calamity fund and SGR (guarantee fund)

By the way, for Uganda you need a type G travel plug (just like the UK, etc.).

Expenses during the trip

During the Uganda tour, we each spent about USD 550 each on the spot; of food/drinks, tips and souvenirs. This does not include transport to/from my home airport, but includes:

  • Mabamba Swamp Shoebill Tour from Entebbe USD 45 p.p. (price for 3 pax)
  • Late check out day room until 6pm at last accommodation $25.00
  • Taxi to Entebbe airport USD 10
Ugandan Shilling 50,000 banknote
Ugandan Shilling 50,000 banknote

Cash expenses in Uganda

Once in Uganda, I took cash from the ATM twice, totaling UGX 1,120,000 (approx. EUR 300). Below I have tried to specify these cash expenses a little more, although I have not kept track of everything down to the last penny.

  • Bigondi Swamp Walk USD 23 or UGX 50,000
  • Tours to villages near Kisoro USD 30 + USD 50
  • Porter gorilla tracking USD 20
  • Souvenirs UGX 140,000 (approx. USD 38)
  • Massages USD 60
  • Tips in total app. USD 220
    • Driver 13-days tour USD 55 (ca. USD 3-6 p/d)
    • Rangers UGX 10.000 – UGX 15.000 per activity
    • Restaurants UGX 500 – UGX 1.000 per table
    • Local guides UGX 5.000 – UGX 10.000 per activity
    • Accommodation UGX 10,000 – UGX 20,000 per night

We spent about USD 275 each on food and drinks during our Uganda tour, but that was a combination of cash and credit card payments. Hotels accept cash in UXG, USD and EUR. Outside of Entebbe, credit cards were rarely accepted as payment.

In total, this 16-day tour of Uganda cost us about USD 5,300 each. Not cheap, but worth every penny! This does not include new hiking pants, walking stick, etc. that I purchased in advance for the Gorilla Tracking.

Giant Turaco (Corythaeola cristata) Bigondi Swamp Kibale NP Uganda
Giant Turaco (Corythaeola cristata) Bigondi Swamp
Shoebill (Balaeniceps rex) Mabamba Swamp Uganda
Shoebill (Balaeniceps rex) Mabamba Swamp

National Parks Uganda: Permits

Daily rate for a National Park (NP) permit is valid for 24 hours, from the time of entry. The most up-to-date prices for permits for the national parks and wildlife reserves in Uganda can be found on the website of the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA). FNR stands for Foreign Non-Resident. For children you pay a reduced rate. You pay entrance for you as a person, but also for your possible vehicle (in the case of an individual tour).

Vaccinations

Contact your local health services for personal advice on travel vaccinations. Yellow fever vaccination* is mandatory to be admitted to Uganda. I already had it, but my travel buddy didn’t yet. Inquire with the health services for the current price and appointment options – plan your vaccination(s) on time! And you can check with your health insurer whether you may be able to get this reimbursed from your additional health insurance. The same goes for malaria pills.

Murchison Falls is my favorite Ugandan National Park Uganda tour
Murchison Falls is my favorite Ugandan National Park

Travel advice Uganda

Before you book and leave a tour of Uganda, always check the current travel advice first. Please note that homosexuality is illegal and seriously punishable in Uganda.

Do not forget to take out good travel and cancellation insurance for a tour of Uganda, for example with World Nomads or Safety Wing.

I hope you found this an interesting and inspiring article. Have you ever been on a tour of Uganda or are you looking into it? Are you scared of the costs or did you expect that? Feel free to ask a question or share an additional tip via a comment at the bottom of this article.

Man on motorcycle full of jerry cans Uganda
Ugandan kob (Kobus kob thomasi) female Murchison NP

Read more about Uganda

On this website you will find more articles about Uganda:

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Are you not so sure yet about Uganda as your next destination, but do you want to do a tour somewhere anyway? Then take a look at this Florida tour or a South Korea tour.


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Last Updated on 08/29/2023 by Elisa Flitter Fever

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1 comment

Deepa Tiwari 11/16/2023 - 13:12

Thanks for sharing this Amazing tips

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