Excursions: Uganda Single Day Tours

Highlights: Entebbe, Kampala, Jinja, The Zoo, Botanical Gardens, Mabamba, Ngamba Island
Duration: Excursion

Overview

Are you looking to extend your stay with a single day tour in Uganda and need an activity that can tickle your adventure spirit?

Single Day Tours in Uganda are mostly sought by travellers looking to extend their stay in Uganda or extend their Uganda Safari Adventure when they have some time left on their visit to Uganda.

Gorillas and Chimps Luxury Safaris organises exciting day tours that will take you to some of the most exciting places in Uganda, the places most Uganda safari packages do not include on their itinerary. Some of the most visited one is Jinja Source of the Mighty Nile River, Entebbe Town that includes the Zoo a great alternative to the off the beaten path safaris, Ngamba Island which houses many of the orphaned chimpanzees and has been a great success, Mabamba Swamps for viewing the infamous Shoebill Stock, and the big one, Kampala City that's a magnet for nightlife, markets, historical sites, culture and myriad lifestyle.

Day Tours Highlights

  • Entebbe Town including Botanical Gardens, Shopping & Culture
  • Behind the Scenes Tour – Uganda Wildlife Education Centre, Entebbe
  • Lake Victoria Sunset Cruise – Lake Victoria, Entebbe
  • Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary
  • Fishing Excursion – Lake Victoria, Entebbe
  • Mabamba Swamp – Shoebill Bording
  • Kampala City, Markets, Museums, Sites, Culture, Music & Poeple

Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary

Nagamba Island Day Tour is a great alternative to Chimpanzee Tracking Safari in Kibale or a great way to tickle the excitement of meeting the chimps in the wild later on the safari.

Officially opened in 1999, Ngamba Island was created to offer permanent sanctuary to orphaned chimpanzees, victims of illegal trade and habitat destruction. Now home to more than 45 chimps, the island serves as a tourist destination for local and international travellers offering an opportunity to learn about the species and the importance of conserving their fragile forest habitat.

You will leave Entebbe and travel by speed boat or traditional motorized canoe to Ngamba Chimpanzee Sanctuary located on beautiful Lake Victoria. This boat ride is about one hour on a speed boat and about one and half hours on a motorised canoe crossing the equator.

Enjoy a guided day tour of the sanctuary and a close up experience with the chimpanzees as they come into camp for their morning or afternoon feeding. Cold drinks, tea and coffee are available at Ngamba and the island has a unique gift shop with a wide range of local crafts and sanctuary related tshirts and products. Your visit and purchases directly support the project with proceeds going towards operating costs of the sanctuary, ensuring the wellbeing of the chimpanzees

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Ngamba Chimpanzee island

Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Integration Program

Uganda Day Tour visitors to Ngamba can participate in the integration program of the chimpanzees by participating in the outside enclosure integration or the forest walk program. By being part of the team going out in the enclosure with the infants, you will be able to give them support by holding them, as there may be need, as they are introduced to the older individuals and also they are showed different parts of the forest to get them to learn that it is safe and a better place for them to be. You will be in the company of several chimpanzees ranging in age from 5 years to 9 years of age and you will have direct contact as we orient them to life in the forest and possible future release program back to the wild.

Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary – Caregiver for a Day

This unique day tour experience offers guests the once in a lifetime opportunity to be a chimpanzee caregiver for a day. Leaving from Entebbe, travel by speed boat or traditional motorized canoe to Ngamba Chimpanzee Sanctuary located on beautiful Lake Victoria. Officially opened in 1999, Ngamba Island was created to offer permanent sanctuary to orphaned chimpanzees, victims of illegal trade and habitat destruction. Now home to more than 45 chimps, the island serves as a tourist destination for local and international travelers offering an opportunity to learn about the species and the importance of conserving their fragile forest habitat.

Upon arrival, you will join the sanctuary’s caregiving team who will introduce you to the island and the chimpanzees. During your stay you will have the opportunity to assist staff in feeding, observing, and interacting with the chimps, learning all that is involved in their care. Following your overnight stay in the tented camp where you will experience the sights and sounds of the forest as the sun sets over Lake Victoria, you will awaken to the calls of the chimpanzees. Join the staff for the highlight of the trip on a very special walk with the sanctuary’s young chimpanzees, where you will have intimate one on one interaction with these energetic young orphans as they as they explore the forest, have their morning meal or enjoy special play time with their caregivers.

Please be aware that participation in caregiver activities requires special vaccinations and precautions designed to protect your health as well as the health of the chimpanzees.

Entebbe Town Tour

Entebbe Town Day Tour

Entebbe is a small town located on the shores of Lake Victoria the largest fresh water lake in Africa. Entebbe is the closest town to Uganda’s main International Airport. From the Airport to Entebbe Town is just 5mins drive and a ideal town to spend your first night in Uganda. It is the best place to spend the first few nights of your stay in order to acclimatize.

Entebbe has a more relaxed atmosphere than Kampala. Next to Kampala, travel activities in Entebbe have for millenia been a craze among traveller becuase it's the only International connection to the world. You will find great night spots and bars, exciting local markets, shops and malls. Entebbe makes for a nice place to stroll around and you will probably have your first wildlife here, with plenty of birds, cheeky monkeys and tree squirrels. It’s a nice starting point for your safari as you may choose to take a boat cruise to Ngamba Island to visit orphaned Chimpanzees, visit the botanical gardens for birding or Uganda Wildlife Education Centre for behind the scene program or a general guided tour. You may choose to do dome fishing on Lake Victoria, wine and cheese cruise or sun set cruise.

Entebbe Town Highlights

  • Entebbe Town including Botanical Gardens, Shopping & Culture
  • Behind the Scenes Tour – Uganda Wildlife Education Centre, Entebbe
  • Lake Victoria Sunset Cruise – Lake Victoria, Entebbe

Wine and Cheese Cruise – Lake Victoria Sunset Cruise

While in Entebbe you can embark on one and half hour Sunset cruise on the lake accompanied by cheese platter and your choice of wine on our boats watching the fishermen cast their nets, view of rare bird species and get a chance to even cross the equator line to view the sun over the horizon.

Enjoy a sunset cruise in the waters of beautiful Lake Victoria. Depart late afternoon and travel out towards the equator and the lake’s many local islands as fishermen cast their nets. Share a glass of wine or beer and light hor d’ouvres with your party as you watch the sun set over the horizon

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Fishing Excursion – Lake Victoria, Entebbe

Enjoy a fishing excursion on the waters of Lake Victoria, home to one of the world’s largest freshwater fish, the Nile perch. Accompanied by highly skilled guides and professional equipment, troll for the perch using a catch and release method. Patience, along with a cooler of beverages and light refreshments, are all you’ll need to enjoy this angling adventure.

All of our boats are well maintained with safety equipment, rain gear and all necessary supplies on board at all times.

UWEC Entebbe Zoo

Entebbe UWEC Zoo

Uganda Wildlife Education Center started as a zoo but was later upgraded to a wildlife Education Center. Most rescued animals would be brought to Entebbe UWEC Zoo and due to the need of educating the population about wildlife conservation; it was upgraded to a Wildlife Education center where tourism is combined with learning to conserve wildlife in Uganda. So many Ugandans and Foreigners flock this center for tourism and learning and it is very hard to go there and you do not find groups of school going children and individual families.

Chimp Close up – Uganda Wildlife Education Centre, Entebbe (UWEC)

Getting up close on a day tour offers you the chance to embark on a highly moving and unique experience whereby you will have the privilege to have direct contact with these amazing younger chimpanzees’ playful, cling and climb all over you. This will be an experience of life time. During the interaction, the caregivers and the visitor will be in the direct contact of chimpanzee which is a good opportunity of learning about their behaviors, threats and what can be done to save the species. Please be aware that the participation in one on one encounters with wildlife at the center requires special vaccinations and precautions designed to protect your health as well as the health of the chimpanzees.

Behind the Scenes Tour – Uganda Wildlife Education Centre, Entebbe

Join the Uganda Wildlife Education Centre’s (UWEC) professional staff as they guide you through the daily activities required in caring for the center’s many animals. Formed in 1994 as a trust to transform the neglected Entebbe Zoo, UWEC is dedicated to the rescue and rehabilitation of injured and orphaned wildlife, educating Ugandans about the benefits of conserving the country’s biodiversity and working with local and international partners to initiate conservation activities throughout Uganda’s national parks and protected areas.

Experience the thrill by going beyond just watching the animals on this day tour. With the behind the scenes programme, one gets to visit the holding facilities or exhibits, food preparation areas, the pharmacy, quarantine facility, workshops, taking part in rescues etc. Behind the scenes program will give you an inside view of what actually takes place in areas out of reach to the public including the animal holding facility, animal hospital and rescue center (upon advice of the veterinarian) and within depth information from an animal keeper, veterinarian or educators.

There is no health requirement for this activity as we will ensure that there is no direct contact with animals.

Keeper for a Day – Uganda Wildlife Education Centre, Entebbe

Leave your accommodation in the early hours of the morning to rise with the animals at the Uganda Wildlife Education Centre (UWEC). Formed in 1994 as a trust to transform the neglected Entebbe Zoo, UWEC is dedicated to the rescue and rehabilitation of injured and orphaned wildlife, educating Ugandans about the benefits of conserving the country’s biodiversity and working with local and international partners to initiate conservation activities throughout Uganda’s national parks and protected areas.

Join UWEC’s keepers in preparing the animals’ food, then jump on the tractor to move from one exhibit to another while you help feed an amazing array of exotic and endangered animals from giraffes to lions to chimpanzees. Get a glimpse of what happens behind the scenes of a rescue centre as you attend keeper briefings, participate in recording the animals’ behaviours or observe keepers perform daily health checks. This full day’s adventure will leave you with the memory of a lifetime.

Return to your accommodation for drinks and dinner and to discuss this amazing experience with your fellow travellers. Please be aware that the participation in keeper activities requires special vaccinations and precautions designed to protect your health as well as the health of the animals.

Keeper‘s Guided Day Tour – Uganda Wildlife Education Centre, Entebbe

Join the Uganda Wildlife Education Centre’s (UWEC) professional staff as they guide you through the daily activities required in caring for the centre’s many animals. Formed in 1994 as a trust to transform the neglected Entebbe Zoo, UWEC is dedicated to the rescue and rehabilitation of injured and orphaned wildlife, educating Ugandans about the benefits of conserving the country’s biodiversity and working with local and international partners to initiate conservation activities throughout Uganda’s national parks and protected areas.

This special tour gives you firsthand experience in the behaviour, habitats and activities of UWEC’s diverse mammal, bird and reptile species. Learn about the centre’s resident animals and their individual stories, personalities and special needs. Find out what it takes to rescue, rehabilitate and properly care for orphaned and injured wildlife. In just a few hours you will have an intimate understanding of the lives of Africa’s rescued wildlife and a new appreciation of the complexities of conservation in Uganda.

mabamba swamp shoebill watching - Entebbe

Mabamba Swamp – Lake Victoria, Entebbe

If you are an avid bird watcher, and have a bit more time we can also incorporate a day tour to the Mabamba papyrus swamp area – home to several pairs of the share Shoebill Stork. As well as the possibility of seeing these elusive birds, there is an abundance of other water birds, wildlife such as otters and much more to view amongst the tranquil waters of this area.

Mabamba shoebill stork

We have two options to Mabamba swamp. We can drive from Entebbe or Kampala to Mabamba or use a water route from Entebbe to Mabamba swamp. At mabamba swamp, we normally use a canoe to maneuver through the thin pass in the swamp until we find the mabamba shoebill stock. It’s about one hour drive from Entebbe to Mabamba andthis place is best visited in the morning. For those interested in water birds, we recommend going to mabamba by boats on Lake Victoria so that you get to spot more birds than you can while driving.

Other places to see the shoebill is Makanaga as well as Uganda Wildlife Education center in Entebbe. Those that have safaris to Lake Mburo or Murchison Falls National Park, please try out a boat to the Albert delta. There many chances of spotting shoebills. Contact Gorilla and Chimp Luxury Safaris and we will arrange for you a day trip to see mabamba shoebill stork.

Makanaga Shoebill Tour

For those looking for the elusive shoebill stork, Makanaga Bay is one of the highly recommended place for a birding day tour in Uganda for your gorilla and wildlife safari. Known to very few people, Makanaga provides an opportunity to spot shoebills in a less spoilt environment. Our Makanaga shoebill trips are the best in as far as seeing the shoebill is concerned.

Makanaga bay is located on the shores of lake Victoria is occupied by a swamp offering viewing opportunities for not only the shoebill but other birds such as Yello-billed Duck, Spur-winged Goose, White-faced Whistling Duck, Little and Black-winged Stilt, Wood and Common Sandpiper, Long-tailed & Great Cormorants, Spur-winged Lapwing, , Common Squacco Heron, thousands of Black-winged Terns, Little & Great Egret and Gull-billed Terns.

The African Jacana is seen on floating water lilies while foraging. Malachite & Pied Kingfishers. Compared to other spots such as Lake Mburo, Mabamba and others, Birders claim that Makanaga tend to produce better results in as far as shoebill seeing is concerned.

Best time for Makanaga shoebill trip

Makanaga can be visited all through and can be accessed from Kampala or Entebbe. From Entebbe, one can take a ferry that crosses daily from Nakiwongo land site and then drives on a murum road up to mpigi. From Mpigi, you join the Kampala-Masaka Main road and drive for about 15 minutes to Kamego.

At Kamengo trading center, you turn on your right and drive up to 30 minutes. At Makanaga, you will then hire a canoe that will take you to the side where shoebills are common. On many occasions, you will site more than two shoebills on your Makanaga shoebill trip.

Time for Makanaga shoebill day tour

If you have a whole day and you are an avid birder, we recommend that you contact Gorilla and Chimp Luxury Safaris for a Makanaga shoebill day tour where you will have an opportunity to explore this part of the world while birding. Join our Makanaga shoebill trip for birding experience of a lifetime

Kampala City Tour

Kampala City Tour

Kampala City, generally known as the city of seven hills, is the capital city of Uganda, center of commercial life and the seat of government including the Parliament and historical monuments. The City alone offers cultural lovers lots of opportunities to appreciate the country's cultural diversity.

Kampala city tour will give you the opportunity to traverse the major landmarks in this humble city to experience the historical monuments that have shaped the destiny of this great nation. The tour gives you an understanding of the Kampala City folk lifestyle, the unique behaviors of Ugandan people, the culture, the traditions and history.

Major Kampala city tour highlights include: The earliest civilizations of the Buganda Kingdom, The Kasubi tombs, The Bahai Temple, The National Museum, The Uganda Martyrs Shrine, Cultural entertainment and city markets.

What a Kampala Tour Itinerary looks like

We start off with a visit to the Buganda Kingdom. Uganda's Monarchies present a rich cultural heritage that Uganda proudly boasts over other safari destinations in Africa and move to the Kasubi tombs where Buganda's Kings are buried. From here we shall proceed to Martyrs Shrines at Namugongo, a historical site where 22 Martyrs were set ablaze on the orders of a Buganda King for refusal to renounce Christianity. The Kampala city tour concludes with a visit to the Uganda National Museum to see ethnological and natural-historical exhibitions that represent the country's colourful past. And if it's a Friday, Saturday or Sunday you have the opportunity in the evening to experience a unique cultural entertainment of the main cultures of Uganda at the famous Ndere Cultural Centre or opt in for a night tour in some of Kampala's famous night spots to experience Uganda's night styles.

What would be included in this excursion?

  • Entrance fees
  • Fuel surcharge
  • Brokerage fee
  • Bottled water
  • 2-course dinner
  • Local guide
  • Hotel pickup and drop-off (if option selected)