Safari 1 - Chimpanzee Safari
This is a very special chance to see chimpanzees in Kibale National Park - a stones throw from the race headquarters and yet the best place to see these primates in the whole of Africa!
This is an optional extra on the Running the Rift itinerary, so you can lie back and we will do all of the organising for you.
The safari is on Monday 7th Nov (giving you time to recover after the race on Saturday) and the group will be made up of Running the Rift runners and medics so it will be a big group of friends and fun!
We'll pick you up by taxi from your chosen accommodation and we'll travel to Kibale National Park which is less than an hour away. Together we'll spend half a day trekking through some of the continent’s most dense and varied rainforest which is home to 13 species of primates. The star attraction are the 1500 chimpanzees and we'll be following a group of them while also spotting monkeys, birds and other exotic wildlife.
The cost of the safari is $185 pp and includes your travel, permit and guide. If you'd like to join us simply check the box when you sign up and the safari will be added to you invoice.
Safari 2 - Ultimate Uganda Safari
If you want big, if you want to experience the Pearl of Africa at its finest, then this option is for you! 5 days, 4 nights starting on the Tuesday (8th) after the race (so you don’t have to miss the chimps). This trip of dreams will take you to:
- Queen Elizabeth National Park: Lions, elephants, hippos and more. You can see them on not only a game drive but also a boat trip, before relaxing and staying the night at Katara lodge.
- Bwindi National Park: This is the world famous Gorilla trek. After a relaxing afternoon and night at Bahoma Lodge, you will go on possibly the most incredible wildlife experience imaginable - a trek to see the Mountain Gorillas of Western Uganda.
- Mburo National Park: The day before you head back to Entebbe, you will stop off at Mburo National park for a game drive and an optional walking/bike/horseback safari. This is the only safari in Uganda where you don’t have to be in a safari vehicle and it is an experience not to be missed!
Included: Accommodation, meals, transport (in 4x4 safari vehicle), park entry, permits, game drivers and transport back to Entebbe.
More Ideas for Exploring Uganda
Uganda is an incredible country and there are so many great parts of it to explore. Below we've popped some of the activities that either we've done or we've been told by very enthusiastic locals, expats or tourists that we must MUST do!
The tallest mountain range in the whole of Africa, the third highest peak and a UNESCO World Heritage Site (on your doorstep!)
Our recommendation: The Rwenzori Mountains will be the backdrop for your trip, so explore them up close and personal. More than just mountains, the park is full of waterfalls, glaciers, lakes and is known for exceptional plant life.
Visit the Crater Lakes just south of Fort Portal
Our recommendation: Make a day trip of it from Fort Portal. Rent a car or a driver for the day and explore the crater lakes, they are conveniently concentrated mostly in one area. You can pack a picnic or find a restaurant overlooking a lake to grab lunch.
A safari at Murchison Falls (approx. 280km north of Fort Portal) or Queen Elizabeth Country Park (approx. 120km south of Fort Portal)...or both
Our recommendation: Murchison has giraffes and waterfalls, while Queen Elizabeth is en route to the Gorillas and much closer to Fort Portal. Both are jam packed with animals so the choice is yours!
Trek to see Mountain Gorillas at Bwindi National Park
Our recommendation: Visit the gorillas after the marathon, if you visit them in November the cost of the permit reduces from $600pp to $350pp!
See zebras, hippos, warthogs and more at Mburo National Park
Our recommendation: Get a private hire taxi to Rwaboko Rock Lodge. The views are stunning and you can hire a bike and a guide for $15pp to do a cycling safari. You'll see all sorts of animals without the car window blocking your view.
Head over to Jinga in Eastern Uganda, the 'reputed' source of the Nile
Our recommendation: Sit and sup a Nile beer while overlooking the Nile river. Nile River Explorers (in Bugolobi, not quite central Jinja) is a lovely place to do just that, you can stay there too (lazy camping) and they have incredible showers with a view.
Jinja is also THE place for water-sports.
With projects all over Uganda, there are lots of ways you can help local communities during your stay.
When you sign up to the marathon, if you'd like to volunteer, we will send you a quick form to complete so we can suggest some volunteering opportunities best matched to your skills and goals.
What Lonely Planet say about Uganda:
"Emerging from the shadows of its dark history, a new dawn of tourism has risen in Uganda, polishing a glint back into the ‘pearl of Africa’. Travellers are streaming in to explore what is basically the best of everything the continent has to offer.
For a relatively small country, there’s a lot that’s big about the place. It’s home to the tallest mountain range in Africa, the source that feeds the world’s longest river and the continent’s largest lake. And with half the remaining mountain gorillas residing here, as well as the Big Five to be ticked off, wildlife watching is huge.
While anti-gay sentiments have cast a shadow over an otherwise positive tourism picture, Uganda remains one of the safest destinations in Africa. Other than watching out for the odd hippo at your campsite, there’s no more to worry about here than in most other countries."
Read more on their website: lonelyplanet.com/uganda