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Suggested Itinerary - Help Most Welcome

Oxford
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Suggested Itinerary - Help Most Welcome

First of all big thanks to all those in Uganda who regularly post such huge amounts of helpful advice on these forums. My wife and I are planning a trip to Uganda next year (either Feb or June). It is our first Uganda visit but we have been to a number of African countries and done several safaris. We have contacted Kabiza Wilderness Safaris and Nkuringo Walking Safaris for help with our itineraries based on positive reports on these forums. We love big game and birds in equal measure and we want to take our time and like to stay in places for min 3 nights to relax and really make the most of what is on offer (although we recognise that overnights can sometimes help to break a long road journey).

Our initial thoughts are as follows

Day 1 Arr Entebbe British Airways from London arrives 2340 so would need to stay close to airport

Day 2 pick up by driver/guide for private safari. Guide should be keen birdwatcher as we love birds. Drive to Lake Mburo (Mihingo Lodge) Stay 4 nights

Day 6 Drive to Bwindi (Nkuringo). Stay 3 nights with 2 days of gorilla trekking.

Day 9 drive to Kibale Forest (Kibale Forest Camp) for 4 nights

Day 13 Fly to Jinja from Mweya. Stay Wildwaters Lodge for 4 nights

Day 17 Fly Entebbe to London

Our main questions are not about whether these are the right lodges. We have done lots of research on these and are happy with our choices. The help we need is;

- Recommendations for breaking any long journeys e.g. Bwindi to Kibale?

- Driving times for our suggested itinerary?

- Whether flying to Jinja makes sense or what alternatives we should consider and how to break the journey sensibly if this is by road?

- What would you add to make a 21 day trip?

- Cultural trips/visits that we should add on?

- Considerations to choose between Feb or June as time of our visit?

- Anything we should not miss based on this trip?

In terms of add-ons possibles might include QENP for Kazinga channel, shoebill viewing, rhino sanctuary, community visits?

Thanks in advance - we are very excited about visiting this beautiful country for the first time.

Pash

1. Re: Suggested Itinerary - Help Most Welcome

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Isle of Man, United...
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2. Re: Suggested Itinerary - Help Most Welcome

I would stay at Airport Guest House in EBB for your first night. 15 mins from airport, transport free.

Next morning forget Kampala. Bypass it by either taking the short ferry, with car and guide, or by the 'short cut' to Mabamba Swamp and start birding with a bang. Shoebill and a fair number of 'lake side birds.

Continue to Mburu as before. 4 nights may be a bit long there. On trip on the Lake, Finfoot and Papyrus specials plus White-backed Night Heron. Ask for Sgt. Moses as your Ranger. He is the only bird orientated Ranger at Mburo.

Day 9 is a long haul. Consider breaking it at QENP and add two nights (one saved aready at Mburo?)

13. I don't see the point of flying to Jinja. To Mweya is 3 or more hours by road. In that time you could almost be in Kampala with Jinja two hours down the road.

Extra days? Four? Murchison Falls from Kibale then down to Ziwa then Jinja by road.

Timing. February without a doubt.

finally, welcome to the Uganda forum. and IF you have another night. spend it at Airport Guest house too. Lovely place. very birdy and time to recover with a leisurely trip into the Botanical Gardens.

Oxford
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3. Re: Suggested Itinerary - Help Most Welcome

Thanks for the responses so far. Like the sound of Mabamba Swamp to kick off.

Definitely considering taking a day off Mburo and adding a stopover at QENP for 2 nights. Any recommended accommodation? Katara and Ishara Wilderness look good.

When you mention Ziwa you mean the rhinos but to just visit or to stay over?

One issue I have not fully got to grips with. If we hire a 4x4 with driver/guide would the lodges expect us to use his services when we stay? Would we need to add a local guide eg Sgt Moses in Mburo? It looks like we would use our guide everywhere except Nkuringo and Kibale when gorilla/chimp trekking but correct me if I am wrong. If we are asking our organising company for a driver/guide interested in birds would he expect to come on treks too? Also based on fact we take the advice to drive to Jinja I assume we would say goodbye to our driver here and just take a transfer from Wildwaters to airport at the end of our stay?

On what basis does Feb trump June? Intrigued.

Thanks again

Pash

Isle of Man, United...
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4. Re: Suggested Itinerary - Help Most Welcome

Last one first. Two words. Palearctic Migrants. (weather is settled too.)

QENP. Katara is a long way from most things although nice location. My preference is always Mweya Lodge. Slap bang overlooking the Kazinga Channel where the Launches leave from.

"Ishara" I assume means Ishasha? You will pass through this sector which is twixt Buhoma and Mweya. Interesting for its Lions in trees and maybe Lake Edward flats for the birds but you don't have the time for both locations so Mweya is your stop.

ZIWa. Overnight. Arrive after lunch from Murchison and walk to see the Rhino around 14.00 or so. Birds too.

Overnight at either Amuka Lodge or the more modest ZIWA Guesthouse.

Your main issue. The car and driver will stay with you throughout the trip but probably will not accompany you to the Gorillas. Your man will drive you to the trail head for gorillas and chimps and wait there. You use him for Game drives and the Lodges expect that.

No need for any other guide if yours is licenced but if walking you must take a ranger. Moses is a Ranger and UWA charge $20 for him. He will most likely drive the boat on the Lake too.

As for Jinja. Yes, you could do that and return independantly.

Oxford
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5. Re: Suggested Itinerary - Help Most Welcome

Thanks again Mfuwe.

Fat fingers on Ishara!

Final question I think - what is the going rate per day for 4WD with driver/guide?

Best regards

Isle of Man, United...
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6. Re: Suggested Itinerary - Help Most Welcome

The ultimate mystery.

The going rate for the car can vary between $125 and $175 per day with an 'ordinary' driver. If a qualified/Graded Guide you can add in around $30 to that depending on his grade.

A top rated Bird guide can command up to $50. There are only about ten of those in Uganda. Most are Freelance or have their own small companies. Some have their own vehicle.

7. Re: Suggested Itinerary - Help Most Welcome

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