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Uganda:holiday planning

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When you make up your mind to go for a holiday to Uganda, you want to know exactly what to expect and what your route will be on arrival in the country. It is also useful if, when consulting your travel Agent, you have some background information on the possible plan for your journey. Using a tourist is able to make a rough picture of the journey to Uganda and visits to different tourist attractions. The information that follows is intended to assist the prospective tourist in making a travel plan which is as realistic as possible. This information is drawn from the Uganda Tourism Master Plan and therefore its correctness is judged from the Master Plan.
Tourist Circuits and Excursions:Types of Circuits

Tourists circuits could be Inter-zonal where tourists spend their time in more than one zone or Intra-zonal where they circulate for different parts of their time within the zone. Excursions are essentially day or part-day visits to attractions from the place of stay.
Inter-zonal Circuits

It is assumed that all circuits start and end in Kampala, which is normally the base for all visits to tourist attractions. Therefore, the estimates of the duration of the circuits include journey times to and from Kampala. The duration in practice will of course be decided by the inclinations of the tourists but the periods put forward are a minimum.
Circuit 1: Lake Mburo – Rift Valley

A traveler could visit Lake Mburo for one night and then proceed to the Rift Valley for a couple of nights depending on the number of sites one wishes to visit. If the latter was confined to a single visit to Queen Elizabeth the total duration of the circuit could be as low as four days. On the other hand, if the attractions of the Rift Valley were to be explored more thoroughly this could be extended to ten days or more.
Circuit 2: Lake Mburo-South-West Mountains

Again one could spend a night at Lake Mburo before proceeding to the southwest zone, which may be simply for a visit to Bwindi. In such a case the circuit may take four days. On the other hand, a single visit to Mgahinga or the lakes would take a similar period of time, while incorporating all these destinations might go for a period of nine to ten days.
Circuit 3: Lake Mburo-Rift valley-South-West Mountains

One could take a complete tour of the whole west and southwest, moving from Lake Mburo, through Queen Elizabeth, Ishasha, Bwindi and the lakes of Kigezi in a total of ten to twelve days.
Circuit 4: Rift Valley- Murchison Falls

These two principle tourism zones could be linked over a period of seven to 10 days, depending on the number of days spent in the Rift Valley. It is also possible to add Lake Mburo if one extended by an extra day.
Circuit 5: Murchison Falls-Kidepo Valley-Mountain Elgon

This circuit could go to Paraa via Budongo Forest or direct to Chobe Safari Lodge and continue to Kidepo Valley via Gulu/Kitgum (one night here). Taking an alternative route for the return journey could be via Moroto(one night) and then Mountain Elgon. The whole circuit would be some 10 to 11 days.
Circuit 6: Lake Mburo- Southwest Monutains-Rift Valley-Murchison Falls- Kidepo Valley-Mountain Elgon

This would really be a grand tour of most of Uganda’s tourist attractions and could take as much as 3 weeks. The first stop could be at Lake Mburo followed by the Lakes and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park of Kabale and Kisoro and then through the fine scenic area of Kigezi to Bwindi. One would then go through Ishasha, Mweya and Rwenzori. From Fort Portal the route would go to Paraa before visiting Kidepo Valley via Gulu/Kitgum and finally through Mountain Elgon, ending in Kampala.
Intra Zonal Circuits

These are circuits that are confined within a particular zone (mainly the large zones) where one stays a night or so in different places within the same zone.
1. Circuit of Rift Valley Zone
Fort Portal (2 nights)
Visit: Semliki or Kibale Forest Parks and Karambi Tombs
Kasese/Nyakalengiji (2 to 3 nights)
Visit: Walk in the Rwenzori Area ( possible overnight camp)
Queen Elizabeth North (2 to 3 nights)
Visit: Wildlife viewing, Launch trip on Kazinga Channel, Picnicking in the crater area, Visit Kyambura Gorge
Lake Nyamusingire (1 to 2 nights)
chimpanzee and primate viewing, bird watching, eco-tourism
Wildlife viewing

The total duration of the above circuit would be approximately 9 to 12 days if all places are visited. The routes from Fort Portal to Semliki and to Queen Elizabeth are considered to be outstanding in their scenic attraction.
2. Circuit of South-Western Zone
Buhoma(2 to 3 nights)
Gorilla and other primate viewing
Natural history studies
Forest and hill walking

Lake Bunyonyi/Mutanda (2 to 3 nights)
Water recreation
Angling, boating, swimming
Hill walking
Mgahinga(2 to 3 nights)
Gorilla and other primate viewing
Natural history studies
Hill walking
Climbing Muhabura, Mgahinga and Sabinyo

This circuit could be completed in six to nine days depending on the length of stay in each place. The scenic routes linking Buhoma to Ikumba and then to Kabale or Kisoro are probably the finest in the whole of Uganda.
Intra-Zonal Excursions

A full day’s excursion is only considered to be reasonable if it involves a journey time of not more than about two hours each way to the destination unless it is an attraction in which case it could be longer.
1. Rift Valley Zone
Place of Stay: Fort Portal
Semliki/Toro Game Reserve
Kibale Forest
Karambi Tombs
Place of Stay: Kasese
Kibale Forest
Karambi Tombs
Queen Elizabeth (north)

Place of Stay: Queen Elizabeth (north)
Kasese Excursions
Lake Nyamusingire
Maramagambo Forest

Place of Stay: Ishasha
Maramagambo Forest
Kigezi Game Reserve
2. Murchison Falls Zone

Intra-zonal excursions in this zone are limited. Murchison Falls are an obvious excursion by boat or vehicle from Para. The Rabongo Forest is also attractive. Tourists staying in Budongo could find an excursion to Hoima worthwhile to see Katasiha Fort and Mparo Tombs and the Hot Springs.
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