Winston Churchill was very impressed with Uganda when he visited in 1907. "Uganda is a fairy tale. The scenery is different, the climate is different and most of all, the people are different from anything elsewhere to be seen in the whole range of Africa...concentrate on Uganda! It is the Pearl of Africa!" We are sure you will be just as impressed as Winston. The beautiful rolling green hills, jungles with chimps, gorillas, howler and capuchin monkeys, the Nile River and incredible lakes including Lake Victoria.
Kenya loses nothing by comparison and we will visit some modern efficient farms – many of which double as game lodges. But even Kenya is just a taste of what is to come in Tanzania. From Kilimanjaro to the Ngorongoro Crater and finally to the vast plains of the Serengeti. We will be in the right place at the right will witness the Great Migration.x
Depart Australia for Africa.
Arrive at Entebbe airport, the main entry point in Uganda. The new (Chinese built) terminal building should be ready by then, but the hustle, bustle, smells and noise will let you know you have definitely arrived in Africa.
Entebbe is located on the shores of Lake Victoria, the second largest freshwater lake in the world. It is a very scenic area with an incredible array of bird life and acts as an up-market suburb of the nearby capital of Kampala.
Transfer to our comfortable hotel to rest up after the long flight or maybe a stroll through the nearby Botanic gardens. Welcome drinks and dinner overlooking Lake Victoria.
In the morning we'll start with a visit to a flower farm on the shores of lake Victoria (www.wagagai.com). After lunch, we'll go by boat to visit Mabamba Island in search of the famous and rare Shoebill wading bird (Google it). The boat-ride across Lake Victoria gives a beautiful view of Entebbe, the airport, fishermen and lots of birds, especially on approaching the papyrus swamps.
Shoebill sightings are not guaranteed but the the boat trip through the lagoon is very rewarding either way. Back to K Hotel for dinner and overnight.
An early start today as we take the scenic route through the centre of Uganda to the Murchison Falls National Park in the north of the country. On the way we will visit the Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary and go rhino trekking
This is near Nakasongola District, about 100 km from Kampala and is the only place in Uganda where you can see rhinos in the wild. Currently they have 22 white rhinos and clients can go trek these on foot.
We continue our journey to Kitumu Farm for a picnic lunch and farm tour. Then drive via Kigumba to Masindi on the new road and continue to the park gate and arrive at the lodge at around 6pm.
Northern Uganda has seen a number of large scale farming developments with some overseas investors working together with local small farmers to increase the productivity of an area with abundant natural resources.
In the morning we will visit Jim Newton’s maize farm before a picnic lunch and an afternoon visit to Ametheon farm growing sesame, quinoa and chilis for export.
Then we have a game drive on the way back to Paraa Lodge.
The area is not only blessed with natural resources for farming, there are plenty of outdoor activities to enjoy. In the morning, cruise down the Nile as far the entry to Lake Albert where subsistence fishermen ply their trade amid an amazing variety of wildlife and incredible scenery.
In the afternoon, it is decision time – trekking for chimps; fishing for huge Nile Perch; or another game drive to track some of the elusive big cats.
Another cruise in the morning, this time upstream to the spectacular Murchison Falls, then we'll head to the local airstrip for the flight back to Entebbe.
In Entebbe, we'll connect to a commercial flight to Nairobi.
Ugandan Airline flight 204
Departs Entebbe 8.10pm; Arrives Nairobi 9.35pm
We'll be met and transferred to the hotel.
Morning departure for the five hour drive to Nanuki. Visit an avocado/nut farm on the way with lunch on the farm and arrive at Mount Kenya Safari Club in good time to take in the beautiful views and relax before dinner. With magnificent views of majestic Mount Kenya, the Fairmont Mount Kenya Safari Club Resort is set in over 100 acres of landscaped gardens and offers a unique blend of comfort, relaxation and adventure. Originally the retreat of movie star and Club founder, William Holden, the Club’s illustrious former members have included Winston Churchill and Bing Crosby.
Travel to Laikipia to visit a large 30,000 acre Boran Ranch. Kenyan Boran cattle were developed from the native shorthorned Zebu cattle of the Borana Oromo people of southern Ethiopia. They are very well adapted to local conditions and parasites. Boran cattle are known for their fertility, early maturation (more so than other Zebu breeds), hardiness, and docility.
We'll have lunch and great hospitality on a nearby farm and check out another cattle herd on the way back to Nanuki.
This morning we visit a large cropping farm on the slopes of Mt Kenya. The farm has a strong connection to Australian farming technology.
Lunch on the farm and we head out to visit a neighbouring farm which is mixed cropping and livestock.
An early start this morning to begin your journey back to Nairobi. You will break up the journey with a visit to see a diverse farm based halfway between Nanuki and Nairobi. There will be lunch at the farm before getting back on the road for the final dash to Nairobi. Time depending, there might be time for some retail therapy or alternatively we can send an advance party to Nairobi for anyone who wants to do some shopping. Supper will be at the famous Carnivore restaurant, and you will spend the night at The Tamarind Tree Hotel right next door. There are some great craft markets nearby, so hang on to those credit cards. Also nearby is the elephant orphanage where you can adopt a baby elephant for $50. Free evening.
Fly from Nairobi to Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania. After clearing customs we will check in to our hotel then visit a farm in the afternoon. Set in beautiful and tranquil surroundings, the Mount Meru Game Lodge is nestled between the Usa river and the wildlife sanctuary. The sanctuary is home to zebra, ostrich, a wide array of birds and monkeys, including the elusive black and white Colobus monkeys who will likely be swinging through the trees above our outdoor dining area.
This morning we drive approximately 1.5 hours to a 7000 acre farm in the rolling hills in West Kilimanjaro, near the border of Kenya. On a clear day one is able to see
Mt Kilimanjaro and Mt Meru. Wheat and barley are grown on the farm for the Tanzanian market and seed beans for export to Europe.
Lunch on the farm then visit a project training dogs to help in the fight against animal poaching.
After breakfast you will visit a coffee farm which was established in 1899 by German settlers. At the end of World War 1 the estate was declared “enemy property” and fell under the British Protectorate. Today the farm has 342 hectares of Arabica coffee. After a coffee tasting we drive to a Masai Village for a visit to see their way of life. Masai picnic lunch under a prickly acacia tree, then head to Ngorongoro Oldeani Mountain Lodge for dinner and overnight.
Full day in the famous Ngorongoro Crater. The vast, volcanic Ngorongoro Crater has all the “big 5” game (elephant, lion, leopard, buffalo, rhino) and lots of them. Huge herds of wildebeests and zebras traverse its plains during their annual migration. Livestock belonging to the semi-nomadic Maasai tribe graze alongside wild animals. Hominin fossils found in the Olduvai Gorge date back millions of years.
About 20kms across, 600 metres deep and 300 sq kms in area, the Ngorongoro Crater is a breathtaking natural wonder.
From Ngorongoro, we will drive to Nyikani Camp in the Seronera area of the central Serengeti. This area is well known for its great game viewing sightings. The camp is perched on a hill with a panoramic view of some of the Serengeti’s most memorable wildlife landscapes.
Nyikani Camp is permanently located in the Central Serengeti, taking advantage of the year round wildlife viewing. The Central Serengeti is famed for its healthy population of large cats, permanent game around the Seronera River and the Rettima Hippo Pool.
Full day of game drives in the Central Serengeti and then back to camp to relax and watch the animals wander over the valley below .
We drive up to the north Serengeti - a full day in the park as we have game viewing all the way. The northern Serengeti borders the Mara River and the area is renowned for the great migration crossing. Lunch is a picnic in the park before we overnight at Nyikani Mobile Camp (formerly Chaka Camp). This camp moves during the season to stay near the Great Migration and therefore remains surrounded by abundant wildlife.
It may be a bush camp, but you won’t be roughing it as it provides a careful balance between the rawness of nature and the comforts of home, along with some unique luxuries.
We have a full day in Serengeti and with any luck we will get to see the wildebeest cross the Mara river – but this can’t be guaranteed and is a real bonus if it happens. The animals have a mind of their own and many factors affect the timing of the crossing, but the migration is likely to be in this area.
An option today is a hot air balloon ride across the Serengeti.
After breakfast, it's time to leave the Serengeti and head back towards “civilisation” – or extend your stay somewhere else in Africa.
We will take a charter flight back to Arusha for lunch and then connecting flights from Kilimanjaro via Nairobi or direct to Australia via the Middle East.
Arrive back in Australia.