Historic Ethiopia & Uganda’s Primates

Follow the Blue Nile into Ethiopia and explore the World Heritage Sites of Axum and Lalibela. Travel south for a meeting with the primates of Uganda and discover the Source of the White Nile!

Day 1: ARRIVAL

Arrival at Addis Ababa Bole International Airport where you will be welcomed and transferred to your accommodation. Overnight at Hotel Global.

Day 2: ADDIS ABABA – BAHIR DAR

Fly from Addis to Bahir Dar and visit the Blue Nile Falls before lunch. In the afternoon, have a boat trip on Ethiopia’s largest water body – Lake Tana (3,600 square km) to visit the island monasteries of Ura Kidane Mihret and Azwa Mariam. Dinner and overnight at Tana Hotel.

Day 3: BAHIR DAR – GONDAR

Drive from Bahir Dar to Gondar – the 17th century capital of Ethiopia. In the afternoon, visit the Imperial Castle Compound of Gondar (UNESCO World Heritage Site), the ‘Bath of Emperor Fasiladas’, the church of Quskuam Mariam, the residence of Empress Mintwab and the church of Debre Birhan Sillassie which is famous for its wall and ceiling paintings. Dinner and overnight at Goha Hotel.

Day 4: GONDAR – AXUM

In the morning, fly to Axum, the most ancient capital of Ethiopia. Then, enjoy a sightseeing tour of Axum which includes visiting the Archaeological museum of Axum, the famous stele park (UNESCO World Heritage Site), the church of St. Mary of Zion which is believed to be the last resting place of the original Ark of the Covenant, the palace and tomb of King Kaleb and Gebre Meskel and the ruin palace of the Queen of Sheba. Dinner and overnight at Remahai Hotel.

Day 5: AXUM – LALIBELA

In the morning, fly to Lalibela, home of the 12th century AD rock hewn churches of King Lalibela. In the afternoon, visit the second and the third group of churches of King Lalibela (UNESCO World Heritage Site). Dinner and overnight at Jerusalem Hotel.

Day 6: LALIBELA

In the morning, mule-back ride to the hill top semi monolithic church of Asheton Mariam. Getting to the top of the hill rewards you with great and unforgettable scenery of the area. In the afternoon, visit the remaining second and the third group of the churches of Lalibela. Dinner and overnight at Jerusalem Hotel.

Day 7: LALIBELA – ADDIS ABABA – ENTEBBE

Fly back to Addis and have a half-day city tour of Addis that includes visiting the National Archeological Museum of Addis Ababa, Merkato – the largest open-air market in Africa and driving to Mt. Entoto (3,200 meters) to have a panoramic view of the capital. In the evening, you will be invited to a farewell dinner party at one of the best traditional restaurants of Addis to see the folkloric dances of the Ethiopian people and to taste a variety of meals of the Ethiopian people. After this party, transfer to the airport for your continental flight to Entebbe.
Arrival at Entebbe International Airport where you will be welcomed and transfered to your hotel. Overnight at The Boma.

Day 8: ENTEBBE – KIBALE FOREST NATIONAL PARK

In the morning we will head west to Fort Portal, with lunch en route. Fort Portal rests in the shadow of the fabled Mountains of the Moon and is famous for the many tea plantations. From this lovely town we will continue to Kibale National Park. In the evening we will join a night forest walk and go in search of the bush babies, pottos and other nocturnal animals. Dinner and overnight at the cottages of Primate Lodge Kibale.

Day 9: KIBALE FOREST & BIGODI SWAMP

Today the forest opens its doors for a sensational chimp tracking. Kibale Forest is reputed for having the greatest variety and highest concentration of primates in East Africa. Enjoy a guided nature walk in the tropical rainforest in search of the wild chimpanzee, red-tailed monkey, black-and-white colobus monkey and many others. After a hearty lunch we transfer to Bigodi Swamp for another, totally different nature walk. The Bigodi Swamp Walk is an initiative of the local community and is known for its rich diversity of birds and primates. Dinner and overnight at the cottages of Primate Lodge Kibale.

Day 10: KIBALE FOREST – QUEEN ELIZABETH NATIONAL PARK

After a delicious breakfast we calmly transfer to Queen Elizabeth National Park. Have lunch and relax before going on a game drive in search of the first wildlife, including warthogs, buffaloes, waterbucks and elephants. Dinner and overnight at Queen Elizabeth Bush Lodge.

Day 11: QUEEN ELIZABETH NATIONAL PARK

After breakfast, transfer to Kyambura Wildlife Reserve for a guided primate walk. Kyambura is a beautiful gorge completely covered with tropical rainforest. While following the river we go in search of chimpanzees and other primates that live in this area. Return to the lodge for lunch. In the afternoon we take you on a boat cruise along the Kazinga Channel, a natural channel between Lake Edward and Lake George. Thanks to the abundant birdlife that is sighted and the elephants, buffaloes and hundreds of hippos that are cooling off at the shores, this cruise will definitely be one of the highlights of your safari. Dinner and overnight at Queen Elizabeth Bush Lodge.

Day 12: QUEEN ELIZABETH NATIONAL PARK – KAMPALA

The day begins early when we start with a morning game drive and head to the mating ground of the Uganda Kobs. We search for lions, elephants, buffaloes and other wild animals in their natural habitat. After this game drive, calm transfer back to Kampala. En route we will pass the equator where we will stop for photos and some souvenir shopping. Late afternoon arrival in Kampala for overnight stay at Cassia Lodge.

Day 13: JINJA

A full day to relax and unwind at the origin of the Nile! From Kampala we transfer to Jinja and visit the true Source of the Nile, where the famous river starts its long journey through Africa. We will also visit the spectacular waterfalls of the Bujagali Falls, a real challenge for rafters.
Those who wish to experience some adventure may decide to go rafting at the Source of the Nile (optional). Other optional activities include a quadbike safari along the shores of the Nile, bungee jumping or a jet boat tour. In the late afternoon return to Kampala for overnight at Cassia Lodge.

Day 14: CITY TOUR – DEPARTURE

Enriched with an experience of a lifetime and unforgettable memories you will say goodbye to the Pearl of Africa. Depending on your flight schedule, you can join our guide on a city tour and visit some interesting and historical sites. In time you will be transferred to Entebbe Airport for your international flight.

Note: This safari combines a flight/drive in Ethiopia with primate tracking and wildlife viewing in Uganda. Both parts of the package can be booked separately or you make the tour in opposite direction.