VIP Uganda Safari Tour: The Finest Lodges & Travel by Private Planes

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Total Trip:

11 Days
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Countries Visited:

Uganda
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Places Visited:

Entebbe, Lake Victoria, Murchison Falls National Park, River Nile, Kibale National Park, Queen Elizabeth National Park, Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
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Departure Dates:

Dates are flexible and customizable for private departures.
Cruise across Uganda in a private jet to connect exquisite world wonders with some of Africa’s finest lodges. Touch down, and the country will dazzle with exceptional wildlife encounters including gorilla trekking, chimpanzee experiences, sunset cruises past hippos, and game drives on the baked savannah. This itinerary is a VIP tour and will take you on an exclusive journey into Africa’s remote and mystical regions where wildlife will provide the soundtrack to your 11-day adventure.

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Day 1

Entebbe – Luxury Lounging on the Shores of Lake Victoria

From your hotel balcony, you will gaze out over Africa’s biggest lake and take in the grandeur and glamour of Lake Victoria. Mystique flutters in the breeze as unusual rocks rise in clumps along the shore, and there is a serenity that contrasts with the vibrancy of the city. Lake Victoria Serena Resort & Spa is a decadent residence along with a private piece of the shore, and a place where Uganda’s natural wonder is immediately encountered and any weariness you have from your long days of travel are kneaded away by massage therapists. You will be greeted at the Entebbe International Airport, and it will only be a short transfer to your hotel, where a complementary therapy will help you to reenergize for your journey ahead. Dinner at your hotel is included, and it will be a lavish affair, with your table standing over the pristine waters of Lake Victoria.

What's Included:

included

Accommodation

included

Transfer

included

Dinner

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Day 2

Murchison Falls National Park – Beautiful Aerial Safari and the Majesty of the Nile

The journey from Entebbe to Murchison Falls would take the better part of two days by road, but that is reduced to less than two hours in your private plane. A light aircraft that drops you inside the national park, you will land on an airstrip that is often dappled with elephant dung. More than just a way to have expedited travel, your private plane will provide a compelling window into the heart of Africa. You will explore mystical landscapes from the air as you watch the colors merge and the stories of a continent come alive. Dusty red earth cascades beneath the wingtips, as the River Nile widens as it swerves north, and thick swathes of savannah are dotted with moving herds. Uganda really captures your imagination, evoking so many dreamy preconceptions of Africa. An aerial safari is an ideal way to take it all in.

Touch down and gaze over another great body of water, the mighty River Nile. Baker’s Lodge is perched above its southern bank and your thatched cottage will offer sublime views. After lunch, you will discover the river’s inhabitants as you take a boat past wallowing hippos and water-squirting elephants. A thunderous rumble builds and build before it become nearly deafening and you are forced to continue on foot. Before you are at Murchison Falls, you will be engulfed by the clashing waterfall and nearly consumed by flying spray in every direction. This is the collective force of the majestic Nile and it will be a feast for all of the senses. Returning to the lodge, you will enjoy a sumptuous lunch in a location that is over 500 miles from any city.

What's Included:

included

Accommodation

included

Transfer

included

Activity

included

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

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Day 3

Murchison Falls National Park – Game Drive and Exquisite Sunset Safari Cruise on the Nile

Buffalos grunt along the shore to provide a surreal sight as you enjoy breakfast coffee made from Ugandan beans and straight from the farm. Giraffe pokes their heads above the trees and the odd elephant ambles along, tusks proudly pointing skywards. Most of the park’s wildlife is on the southern bank, and there is a whole morning procession to enjoy. Safari comes to you at Baker’s Lodge, although a game drive is going to increase the intimacy of the scenes. Warthogs run from the threat of leopards, wildebeest canter with a comical enthusiasm, and most game drives encounter pride of lions.

By sticking close to the river, you can easily encounter the thrilling big game of Murchison Falls. A morning game drive is one way to do this, but the other is a private sunset cruise. Everything must come to drink, and sunset is the favorite time for most animals to quench their thirst, so expect a whole array of encounters as you lounge on the boat. Sundowner drinks are served, and you will stay out into dusk to admire the hippos that emerge from the water for their evening graze.

What's Included:

included

Accommodation

included

Activity

included

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

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Day 4

Kibale National Park – Remarkable Primates of Kibale on a Private Tour

Landscapes collide as you fly from Murchison Falls to Kibale Forest on your private charter. The red and yellow of the scorched savannah becomes the kaleidoscopic green of the rainforest. Soar alongside volcanic peaks before you touch down amidst an ambiance of mystique. Kyaninga Lodge maintains this atmosphere with the welcoming calls of the monkey troops and the barks of baboons. You are deep into primate territory and nestled beneath the trees at a lodge that is as stylish and intimate as they come. After lunch, you will head out on a private primate trekking tour for a journey beneath the canopy that could bring up to 11 different species. Colobus monkey tails swing from above, mangabeys scamper across forest clearings, and golden monkeys have golden fur yet strange blue faces. You are not just glimpsing a few monkeys and mangabeys, as troops are sometimes a hundred strong, and you will get a keen sense of whose world you are entering. As with Baker’s Lodge, you can expect a continuation of the fine dining you have come to enjoy as you move to Kyaninga Lodge.

What's Included:

included

Accommodation

included

Transfer

included

Activity

included

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

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Day 5

Kibale National Park – Exclusive Chimpanzee Habituation Experience

Encounter a chimpanzee and the first thing you will notice are the eyes as they seem to be looking straight at you. But more than that, it will feel as if they are communicating with you as if sending a message from primate to primate. For a second, you will feel frozen and then you will recover, looking around and making eye contact with another 15 chimpanzees. You will find yourself surrounded by a whole family and you will admire how they curl their fingers around the branches and speak through facial expressions. Chimpanzees are our closest relatives, and spending an hour with them is a remarkable experience. Sometimes the similarities may bring tears to your eyes, and the experience will create goosebumps. While it is possible to track chimpanzees in a few forests across East Africa, Kibale is one of the few to offer a complete habituation experience, giving you a virtually guaranteed encounter with a whole troop.

What's Included:

included

Accommodation

included

Transfer

included

Activity

included

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

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Day 6

Queen Elizabeth National Park – Stunning Aerial Safari Along the Volcanic Forests

The landscapes of western Uganda are unlike anything in the world. Volcanic cones stand picture perfect, some of them even dotted with snow. Mountain slopes are consumed by forest as thick swathes of green climb up towards lunar-like escarpments. Mist swirls sporadically, dancing amongst the canopy with primitive twirls yet there are places where the forest opens and the savannah takes over, bringing back those rustic yellows that travel out from lush blue lakes. It is only a short journey between Kibale and Queen Elizabeth National Parks, but your pilot will take you on a detailed 2-hour aerial safari that celebrates the natural drama of western Uganda.

Touch down, and Ishasha Wilderness Camp is just how you may be picturing it as you are immersed in the rhythm of the wild. This camp brings you the safari under canvas experience and you will be listening to all of the wild calls throughout the evening. This is, however, nothing like camping as it is more like a five-star hotel that has been transported to the heart of the bush. After lunch, you will go on your first game drive and wind past the classic animals of the East African savannah: lions, elephants, buffalo, baboons, hippos, zebra, and a whole assortment of different antelope.

What's Included:

included

Accommodation

included

Activity

included

Transfer

included

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

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Day 7

Queen Elizabeth National Park – Private Game Drives on the Ugandan Savannah

Buffalos maraud across the savannah appearing as a great mass of black that is warding off the attentions of lionesses. The pride had been in the trees, inspecting the dinner menu from an elevated vantage point but now they have descended, seeking to spread the herd and pounce on their pre-identified calf. Their scheme is not working just yet, and you will watch the big bulls charge the cats and admire their aggression and nerve. Later on, in the same game drive, there will be more tension, this time two large elephant herds meeting on the savannah as the younger males take the opportunity to leave their scent and seek out a mate. The big males must then defend their territory, which brings deafening trumpets and much flapping of the ears. Queen Elizabeth is Uganda’s flagship big game destination, and you are not just encountering the famous animals as on your game drive, you will be exploring all of the wild behaviors of the giants.

What's Included:

included

Accommodation

included

Activity

included

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

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Day 8

Bwindi National Park – Flying Over the Misty Mountains and Seeking Out Golden Monkeys

Take off from the savannah and land beside the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, swapping the mammals of the plains for those of the canopy. Again, it will be a beautiful flight with uninterrupted views from the windows of your light aircraft as you overlook the jagged mountains, the lost waterfalls, the hidden lakes, and the valleys that are seemingly folded into the mountains. Sanctuary Gorilla Forest Camp is one of the world’s most exclusive rainforest getaways, a delightful haven and the only luxury camp within the park. Settle into your huge bathtub that overlooks the canopy, and then take lunch on your private deck to admire the swirls of mist. In the afternoon, there will be the option to trek to the summit of a nearby volcano or to journey through the trees and encounter golden monkey troops as both are private tours.

What's Included:

included

Accommodation

included

Activity

included

Transfer

included

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

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Day 9 - 10

Bwindi National Park – Exhilarating Gorilla Trekking and One of the World’s Ultimate Rainforest Lodges

Like the chimpanzees, it will be the eyes that initially hold you captive. It will feel as if they are communicating and sending messages to you through their eyes and facial expressions. You will know they are communicating when a blackback male starts waving his arms, or an infant seems to hold out its hand as if expecting a handshake. Gorillas are curious, and they like to inspect their visitors, sometimes for a few brief seconds, but sometimes for many long minutes. The intensity in the air is often too much for you to even consider bringing out the camera, as you realize that gorilla trekking is not about getting great photos, but about being invited into the lives of the world’s largest primate.

Sometimes it will be a 30-minute trek but other times you may be walking for three or four hours through the thick indigenous forest. Porters are available to carry your belongings and will carry people who require assistance. One glimpse and you will be hooked as you see a whole family playing in the clearing. The gorillas feed on the berries, swing in the trees, and then stand on hind legs in a beautiful show of power. Soon a silverback will rock past, and there will be silence as everyone watches the giant with the gray back fur. When gorilla trekking, you are allowed to spend an hour with a pre-identified troop, getting to within seven meters. Given the intensity of the experience, it will feel much closer than that.

Gorilla trekking once is a wildlife experience of a lifetime. Going twice is a brilliant way to understand the gorilla world. On your second excursion, you will visit a different troop and one that is likely to have a very different social makeup. Mothers keep infants close by as they knuckle-walk on three limbs and toddlers scamper beneath their father’s watchful gaze. You can really grasp how you and the gorillas have much in common, which will amaze you. You will also receive a poignant reminder that wild mountain gorillas are close to extinction. In the 1970s, Diane Fossey said they would be extinct by the turn of the millennium. They have made it this far, but you can see that their existence is far from guaranteed.

What's Included:

included

Accommodation

included

Activity

included

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

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Day 11

Bwindi National Park to Entebbe – Chartered Flight to Entebbe and Connection With International Departure

Bwindi to Entebbe would be a bumpy 10-hour journey by road, but it is an easy connection by air charter and a delightful flight above the shores of Lake Mburo and then Lake Victoria. Touch down and connect to your scheduled international departure. As you leave Uganda, you may still be wondering why the astonishing landscapes are so untouched by tourism and so untamed by time. The main reason is that they are so inaccessible. If Uganda had the transport infrastructure of Europe, then perhaps it would not be so pristine. You will have engaged with some incredible landscapes and wildlife as you have discovered the wild realms of a beautiful country.

What's Included:

included

Transfer

included

Breakfast

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Trip Highlights

  • Cruise across Uganda in a private jet to savor the wonders of the landscape from the air, including the misty volcanic forests and the savannahs rich in wildlife
  • Settle into the decadence of Uganda’s finest lodges with each handpicked for a chance to enjoy the luxury and the style of East Africa
  • Go gorilla trekking in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and spend an hour with a beautiful habituated troop deep in the forest, and then return the next day and visit another gorilla family
  • Wander through an exclusive chimpanzee habituation and marvel at the behavior of a wild troop, where emotions are cast across the faces of every individual
  • Journey down the River Nile on a private luxury cruise to enjoy the sunset and the wild mammals that occupy the banks
  • Go for a sublime game drive in Murchison Falls and Queen Elizabeth National Parks to encounter the complete range of Africa’s famous savannah animals
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Detailed Description

Uganda’s landscapes come from a fairytale as if plucked from the delights of African reverie. Volcanic peaks stand above forests of swirling mist, where gorillas reside, and golden monkeys have blue faces. Banks of the River Nile are populated by hippos, and then the water disappears into a canyon to create amazing waterfalls. Lions are draped across the tree branches as chimpanzees stand upright in a forest, while the rustic red of the earth leaves a permanent imprint on the memory. Uganda is a country with a huge abundance of natural wonders as different habitats showcase the beautiful diversity of Africa, bringing you from the thick rainforests of the Congo Basin to the evocative arid savannah of the north, passing the vast waters of Lake Victoria and the River Nile on the way.

Uganda presents only one challenge in that getting around is complex. Uganda is a huge country and usually requires time, especially for those wishing to savor all its unique wildlife experiences. On this VIP Uganda tour, you will travel by private plane with a light aircraft connecting remote destinations and ensuring that your immersion with the wild is never interrupted. You will touch down inside the national parks, on runways surrounded by wild calls and roaming herds. Travel by aircraft is obviously expedited, yet it also provides a superb aerial safari and a chance to explore Uganda’s landscapes from the air.

Luxurious lodges are tucked into these landscapes and they are amongst the best in Africa. Gaze across the water at Lake Victoria Serena Resort and enjoy your balcony above the River Nile at Baker’s Lodge. Lose yourself in the wonder of the rainforest at Kyaninga Lodge, and then discover the wildlife of the savannah at Ishasha Wilderness Camp. Sanctuary Gorilla Forest Camp is one of the world’s finest forest retreats and is your home for the final three days of your VIP tour. These camps are not merely beautiful places with boutique style, they are also built into the environment to maintain your discovery of nature.

Over this 11-day tour, you will connect Uganda’s finest destinations. After a night in Entebbe, you will explore Murchison Falls National Park.  The Park is home to giant mammals and beautiful waterfalls along the Nile. Discover unusual primates and spend a chimpanzee habituation day in Kibale National Park. Forest and savannah merge in Queen Elizabeth National Park, where lions climb the trees and game drives offer an iconic East Africa safari experience. Next, you will soar over the misty mountains and land next to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest for a couple of days of gorilla trekking. 

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Starting Price

$10995 per person (excluding international flights)

This trip is customizable for your private travel.
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What's Included

  • Accommodations
  • In-country transportation
  • Some or all guided tours and activities (dependent on season)
  • Expert trip planning
  • 24x7 support during your trip
The starting price is based on travel during the low season for a minimum of two travelers staying in shared 3-star accommodations. Please inquire for a custom trip quote based on your travel preferences and travel dates.

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