top of page

Murchison Falls NP, Kibale NP, Bwindi NP & Lake Mburo NP, Uganda

Golden Cats and Gorillas

£5,150 pp sharing

At a Glance

Dates: January 9th - January 22nd, 2024

Extension: We can offer a pre-extension to view shoebill in Mabamba on request.

Prices: £5,150 pp sharing (with a £250 single supplement)​, excluding international flights.

In a sentence: Probably one of the most awe-inspiring itineraries in Africa, seeking out the ultra-rare golden cat and dedicating time to the remarkable mountain gorilla.


Uganda really has it all. The north of the country is wild and untamed, filled with game yet rarely-visited.. The south of the country, whilst more heavily touristed, is by no means less impressive. The thick, imposing jungle of Bwindi is most famed for its numerous families of Mountain Gorilla, and we will have the chance to spend time with one of these families during our stay. Bwindi also has populations of rarely seen wildlife, including Forest Elephant, Black-Fronted Duiker and even African Golden Cat. Stunningly beautiful, and home to some of the greatest wildlife experiences on the continent, a visit to Bwindi alone is the trip of a lifetime.

Our itinerary doesn't stop there though. We start in Murchison Falls, undeniably the best savanna ecosystem in Uganda, which boasts booming populations of leopard, lion, buffalo and elephant, alongside stunning scenery. The rare Rothschild's giraffe roams the plains here, and we may even be lucky enough to spy Pousargues' mongoose and Bunyoro rabbit. Further south, and the centrepiece of this itinerary is Kibale. Not only does this dense forest offer world-class chimpanzee viewing, but is now the only reliable site on the continent for the ultra-rare and highly-prized African golden cat. Sightings are far from guaranteed, but this itinerary offers the best chance of any tour on offer today at delivering sightings of this special cat.

All in all, Uganda has perhaps the richest tapestry of wildlife and scenery on the continent, and shouldn't be missed.


Day One


On arrival into Entebbe, you will be met by a Pictus Safaris representative and transferred to your hotel. Dinner and a briefing will follow this evening, with the remainder of your day at leisure.

Day Two

Ziwa/Murchison Falls

This morning we leave our hotel early and head north. This drive lasts around four hours, delivering us to the small and scenic Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary. Whilst this is not an expansive national park, it is the sole refuge for white rhino in all of Uganda. We will head out into the sanctuary on foot with an excellent team of rangers, and we will likely quickly locate a crash of rhino grazing or resting - the chance to encounter these magnificent animals on foot is always a real privilege, and offers great photographic opportunities

After an hour or so with the rhinos, we will continue on to our destination, Murchison Falls National Park. This evening is set aside to relax and settle in to our excellent lodge, particularly after such a long day. However, we do offer the opportunity for a first night drive tonight, which we highly recommend. Our lodge is in a productive area for species including civet, genet and galago, but also for big cats - leopard and lion are seen regularly here. If lucky, we may encounter Bunyoro rabbit, a localised species found more easily here than anywhere else.

Days Three to Four

Murchison Falls

The next two full days are dedicated to exploring Murchison Falls, which must now be the premier savanna wildlife-watching destination in Uganda today. Not only is big game thriving here, with elephant, buffalo, lion and leopard doing well, but also to rare species and sub-species including Rothschild's giraffe, Bunyoro rabbit, Pousargues' mongoose and Patas monkey. Each morning, afternoon and evening, we will head out on drive with those species in mind, but with ample opportunity built in for birdwatching and visits to the eponymous falls, where the Nile cascades through a narrow gap in the rocks below. When not on these productive drives, the lodge is an extremely comfortable place to relax and soak in the stunning surrounds of the park.

Day Five


Today is a day of travel, taking us south-west along the shores of Lake Edward to world-famous primate hotspot Kibale National Park. The drive lasts up to eight hours, depending on road conditions, and we aim to arrive by early evening. Dinner will be served in the lodge tonight ahead of a few busy days to come.

Days Six to Ten


Kibale is world-renowned as the best place to get up-close-and-personal to our closest cousins, the chimpanzee. On one day during our stay here, these great apes will indeed be a key focus for our group, and we will head deep into the national park at first light, accompanied on foot by a team of local rangers. Our aim is to catch up with the chimpanzees as they head to the forest floor early in the day, and as they begin to feed, play and fight - with luck, we will find ourselves amongst a large family group of chimps. These animals can move quickly, and we may found ourselves needing to cover uneven terrain quickly, but we often end up with superb photographic opportunities of them before our allocated hour with them is over. On another a day, we may choose to head to Semuliki National Park, a nearby area with a high diversity of unusual primate species.

However, primates are not the main reason for our extended stay in Kibale. In fact, the forests around the park have revealed themselves recently to be by far the most reliable area for sightings of African golden cat anywhere. Sightings remain hard to come by, but there is nowhere with a better record of delivering sightings of this stunning feline, and we will dedicate significant man-hours, morning, noon and night to deliver a sighting. 

When not scouring the forests for golden cat, the brand-new and comfortable lodge we are using is a relaxing environment from which to soak in the unique atmosphere of Kibale.

Day Eleven


After a final chance to walk in Kibale this morning, we will transfer directly to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest. As the name suggests, Bwindi is densely forested, as well as mountainous, and it is this terrain that has protected its famous population of Eastern Gorillas so well for so long. This afternoon, we will settle into our accommodation and soak in the incredible scenery. If time permits, we will set out on a short hike to familiarise ourselves with our surroundings. We may be lucky and get a glimpse of some of the wildlife in Bwindi, including Black-Fronted Duiker, as well as incredibly diverse birdlife. Once we have returned to our accommodation and had dinner, we will set out for a brief drive on the access roads around Bwindi - after dark, there is no telling what we might flush out on these quiet roads, and past visitors have encountered rarities including, again, African Golden Cat.

Day Twelve


Today is the day that so many visitors describe as one of the best days of their lives! After an early breakfast, we will drive to the Ruhija Sector of Bwindi, where we will meet our guides for our morning's Mountain Gorilla trekking. This activity is, understandably, in very high demand, so we will be part of a larger group (maximum eight people, plus guides) who set out in search of a particular Gorilla family. Depending on which family we have been allocated, the trek may last anything from a few minutes to several hours - be prepared for some steep climbs and treacherous underfoot conditions. It is all worth it, though, as you will have an hour to spend with the Gorillas as they play, feed and sleep just a few metres away from you - a truly stunning experience.

Elated and exhausted, we will then transfer back to our accommodation for some well-earned rest. For those with the energy, another night drive will be available in search of rare nocturnal mammals.

Day Thirteen

Lake Mburo

This morning we transfer by road to Lake Mburo National Park. After settling in to our accommodation, an evening game drive is a great way to explore this small but rewarding park. Offering a rich variety of plains game, there is plenty to see here, and we will dedicate a special effort to locating the leopards that are known to haunt the park. After dinner, we will head out for a night drive, which will also give us a final chance of spotting leopard, as well as several nocturnal species, including several species of galago.

Day Fourteen


This morning we cross the Equator and return to Entebbe, where the tour ends at the airport. Additional nights' accommodation in Entebbe can be arranged on request.

Please be aware that whilst we make every effort to follow the above itinerary as closely as possible, circumstances may occasionally arise that mean the tour deviates from the itinerary.

Dates and Prices

This tour will run in January 2024, aiming to take advantage of the dry season when wildlife populations congregate around water sources, and when Gorilla trekking is at its easiest. The tour will run from January 9th to January 22nd.

The cost of this trip is £5,150 per person excl. flights, with a £250 single supplement. This includes all meals, accommodation and wildlife-focussed activities. Drinking water is included, but not other drinks. To secure a booking, a deposit payment of £1,550 must be paid.

Flights and Visas

Pictus Safaris do not offer flight booking services. However, we do recommend the use of travel comparison websites such as or to identify the best fares, and then booking with the airline directly where possible. This will reduce the likelihood of complications and fees should any issues with your booking arise. If you wish to spend an additional night in Entebbe at the end of your tour, we can arrange this for you at an extra cost. We strongly recommend booking flights leaving Entebbe after 16.00 on your return, if leaving on the same day that we return to Entebbe, to avoid disruption to your plans.

British nationals do require a visa to enter Uganda. Clients of other nationalities are advised to check well before travel whether they require an entry visa. Details of the process of obtaining a tourist visa for the Uganda will be provided to you upon booking. The cost of a Uganda entry e-visa for UK citizens is $50 - these must be obtained online in advance of travel. To acquire a tourist visa for Uganda you will require a scanned copy of your passport, one passport photo and proof of Yellow Fever vaccination.

Please also note that e-visas are available for East Africa, permitting entry into Kenya and Rwanda, as well as Uganda. These cost £75, and you will require a copy of your itinerary (as well as the items listed above for a standard e-visa) to acquire this visa.

Weather and What to Bring

The weather in Uganda in January is hot and humid, with maximum temperatures of around 27 degrees Celsius. At night, temperatures will drop to around 18 degrees Celsius.

A full packing list will be circulated at least two months prior to departure. Pictus Safaris will be able to provide one extra set of binoculars and two spotlights per group, and clients are welcome to bring additional camera, videography and scope equipment should they wish to. Please note that the use of drones is not permitted in many protected areas. We strongly recommend bringing comfortable, loose-fitting and neutral-coloured clothing on safari - please do not bring camouflage clothing. We recommend against dark coloured clothing (e.g. black or dark blue) as this attracts biting flies. Worn-in hiking boots with ankle support are a must, as are sunglasses, sun protection and a hat.

Do also remember to budget for any expenses not included in the cost of the trip, including for gratuities and additional activities. We recommend bringing US Dollars.

Safety and Security

In recent years, there have been a series of bombings in the Ugandan capital, Kampala. These are associated with terrorist activity in the neighbouring Democratic Republic of the Congo's ADF, which is loosely a part of Islamic State. The vast majority of visits to Uganda are trouble-free, and tourist destinations, including the ones visited on this tour, are so far unaffected.

Book Now

To secure a booking on this fantastic holiday, please fill out the details below.

Thanks for submitting!

Intrepid Ethiopia and Somaliland: Get a Quote
bottom of page