CAMPING SAFARI: Experience the beauty of Uganda on a captivating 9-day camping safari. Begin your journey in Kampala, the capital of Uganda, and embark on a remarkable trek through Queen Elizabeth National Park to encounter chimpanzees, venture into the lush depths of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park for an extraordinary opportunity to observe the elusive mountain gorillas, and rejuvenate alongside the Nile River in Jinja.
Queen Elizabeth National Park
Kampala - Queen Elizabeth National Park. Departing Kampala, we cross the Equator again and pass through fertile green hills, tangled forests and rugged mountain ranges to the edge of Queen Elizabeth National Park. Originally Named Kazinga National Park on its inception in 1952, the reserve was renamed in 1954 after a visit by the newly crowned British monarch, Queen Elizabeth II. Our first evening here is free for you to take a walk in the lush surroundings, who knows what wildlife you may spot! The reserve is home to elephant, buffalo, hippo, crocodile, chimpanzee and much more. Encouragingly, reports from the Uganda Wildlife Authority suggest that wildlife populations in the reserve are increasing, thanks to effective protection. This is largely down to your tourism money!
Overnight: Queen Elizabeth National Park | Lunch, Dinner
Today we are heading into Queen Elizabeth National Park, admiring the mountain views and stopping whenever we see something of interest. As well as the charismatic larger animals, the reserve is home to more than 500 bird species. Reaching Kyambura Gorge we head out on foot in search of chimpanzees. The rangers will have a good idea of where they are and the trek can vary in length from less than an hour to several. Chimps tend to stay in the treetops so you may have to crane your neck for a view of our closest relatives.
Please note: Chimpanzee Trek permits are issued by the wildlife authority in groups of up to 8 people per group. Depending on our group size, we may trek on the afternoon of Day 1, morning of Day 2 and afternoon of Day 2 or morning of Day 3.
Overnight: Queen Elizabeth National Park | Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Mountain gorilla trekking
Queen Elizabeth National Park - Lake Bunyonyi. On day 3 we drive to Lake Bunyonyi, dotted with scenic islands and surrounded by lush forest and rolling hills. Over the next three days everyone in the group will enjoy their mountain gorilla trek, but we will split into smaller groups in order to avoid disturbing the gorillas. On the days when you are not trekking, you are free to take a boat trip to some of Lake Bunyonyi's islands, go bird-watching, visit a local village or hire canoes to paddle on the lake.
On the day of your trek, we will hike for anywhere between 30 minutes and 6 or 7 hours into Bwindi National Park (or occasionally Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda, this will be made clear to you in advance), depending on the location of the gorillas. A decent level of fitness is required as we trek through the steamy jungle. Your guide will know the location of the nearest gorilla family.
Once we have located the gorillas, you will spend around an hour watching from a safe distance. Keep quiet, keep low to the ground and follow all the instructions of your guide - this is for your safety and for the welfare of the mountain gorillas. You are welcome to take photos, as long as there is no flash.
One of the world's most endangered creatures, mountain gorillas are heavily protected, with around 1,000 animals now living in the rainforests of central Africa. Numbers have increased remarkably due to effective protection in recent years - keep your eyes peeled for the giant silverback alpha male, and some of the adorable youngsters that represent the future of their species.
When it is time to leave the gorillas, we trek back to Lake Bunyonyi, where you can reflect on what is sure to be the highlight of your African adventure. The rest of your time here is at leisure, whilst the rest of our group completes their trek.
Overnight: Lake Bunyonyi | Breakfast x 3, Lunch x 3, Dinner x 3
Return to Kampala
Lake Bunyonyi - Kampala. Leaving the mountain gorillas and Lake Bunyonyi behind, we return to Kampala, skirting around the northern edge of Lake Victoria. There is time this evening for you to head into the city and explore, meet the locals or try some of the local cuisine if you wish.
Overnight: Kampala | Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Kampala - Jinja. Day 7 we take a short drive today as we make our way to Jinja, a city in southern Uganda on the banks of Lake Victoria, source of the River Nile. From here, the river flows for 5,584km, through 11 countries. It enters the Mediterranean Sea in Egypt, having provided life to millions and millions of people and animals on its journey!
Our campsite is beside the Nile, and there are numerous optional activities you can enjoy. Quad biking, white water rafting, Nile cruises, fishing trips and mountain biking are some of the options. You also have the opportunity to visit a local school initiative. Lend a hand with some painting, plastering or other labour to help improve the local schools around Jinja.
Day 8 is free to relax and take in the beauty of Jinja or alternatively, enjoy one of the optional activities on offer. Try the 'white-water' rafting for an adrenaline rush.
Overnight: Jinja | Breakfast x 1, Lunch x 1, Dinner x 1
Back to Kampala
Today marks the last day of our tour, we retrace our steps back to Kampala in the late afternoon where our tour ends.
Prices & Dates
Departure dates are guaranteed with a minimum of 6 persons. Prices are per person when there are 2 people sharing a tent/room. Solo travellers will be matched up and share a tent/room with another solo traveller of the same gender.Read More
The hotels listed below are ones which we frequently use on this tour. We reserve the right to substitute these hotels to ones of a similar standard.
Simba Safari Camp , Queen Elizabeth National Park
Nestled atop a hill overlooking Lake Kikorongo on the edge of Uganda’s most popular Queen Elizabeth National Park this Safari Camp is the perfect base to explore this picturesque park. With views over the plains of Queen Elizabeth National Park and of the Rwenzori Mountains this campsite features panoramic views for its occupants. Meals and drinks are served in the restaurant and bar where guests can relax after a day of safari.
Bunyonyi Overland Resort (Camp), Lake Bunyonyi
Placed on the picturesque shores of Lake Bunyonyi this resort and campsite is the perfect hub for guests to explore the lake and all it has to offer. Its location also makes it the perfect stop off for guests who are continuing to Bwindi National Park. The campsite offers shared facilities and panoramic views over the lake and its islands. Featuring a bar and restaurant you can enjoy a drink whilst watching the sunset over the lake.
Red Chilli Hideaway, Kampala
Located on a purpose-built, 5-acre site in a peaceful suburb, the Red Chilli Hideaway offers a campsite which we use for our overland safaris. Settle down for the day at the Hideaway's saltwater pool, self-catering kitchen, or restaurant & bar. The camp supports sustainable tourism and operates the Steve Willis Memorial Fund, whose proceeds go to providing clean drinking water in the Murchison Falls region.
Nile River Explorers Camp, Jinja
Located on Lake Bujagali, where the Nile River comes out of Lake Victoria, this camp is only 8 kilometres from Jinja and is the perfect place to relax and explore the area. The campsite is secluded, has shared facilities, and has panoramic views of the river. There is both a river bar and a river spa for guests to enjoy. A jetty for swimming is also available so you can cool down during the hot days. Watch the sunset over the Nile with a drink and relax after a day exploring.