Uganda qualifies to be Africa’s most exciting holiday destination for a list of catching safari reflections. The small East African country is a sun-setting paradise, with vast game parks, and reserves, unbothered cultures, peaks of cordial folks, inland beaches, an adrenaline adventure hub, the untamed rolling landscape, and whatsoever to mention.
Uganda is a land of extraordinary natural wonders when mentioned just mark an ear-to-ear smile and leave you marveled. Well, get to know about Uganda safari and mark what would be your next type of interest when opting for that special moment in the land.
The British Premier considered the land to be a nature basket for Africa and renamed Uganda the “Pearl of Africa.” According to the RTI report described that “Uganda is home to an incredible array of animals and plant species, making it one of the most biodiverse countries on the planet.”
Not much that you would find missing on Uganda safaris, and unlimited to find only here and will not catch anywhere else. Less, count the Big Five, wildlife species, boasts over the highest concentration of mountain gorillas, best chimpanzee tracking experience, track tree climbing lions, untouched cultures, and varies of landscapes, 3rd and 4th Africa’s peaks, the warm weather throughout the year, sand beaches. The list still counts the Nile Adrenaline adventures, one of the annual overcrowded events, and many considerations.
The incredible part of taking up a Uganda safari, you either go for a guided tour or self guided one. The guided tours involve visiting and exploring the different tourist sites on your itinerary under the stewardship of a safari guide. These kinds of expeditions are tendered by local tour operators who organize, most of the tour items into a package.
Whereas a self guided tour also known as a self drive safari involves hiring a car to discover the pearl of Africa on your own. Self drive safaris are offered by car rental in Uganda which arranges a 4×4 vehicle and can also advise on the lodges to stay, the parks to visit, and the activities to do.
Both kinds of safaris are exciting and breathtaking in equal measure. The onus is on the tourists to choose the best expedition to take if they wish to explore Uganda and discover its hidden secrets.
Why Uganda Safari?
A list of natural wonders that always have been the puller for digits of vacationists imminent to the realm. The marketing of Uganda as a natural tourist/safari destination has been extremely concerted on these brands, which are particularly national parks. Uganda has 10 national parks that offer various series of adventures, a safari adventure in the realm will never miss any of them. These national parks include;
– Murchison Falls National Park – is most known for the world’s most powerful waterfalls
– Kidepo Valley National Park – the true African wildness being the remotest park in Africa
– Bwindi Impenetrable National Park – Ultimate gorilla experiences with about 50% of the world’s gorillas
– Kibale National Park – the world primate capital with about 13 recorded primate species
– Queen Elizabeth National Park – the medley of wonders
– Lake Mburo National Park – the whispers of the wild
– Mt Rwenzori National Park – the magical challenge
– Mt Elgon – the world’s largest mountain caldera
– Semuliki National Park – the true birder’s haven
– Mgahinga Gorilla National Park – where gold meets silver
The warm weather mixture of rainy and sunny seasons that each doubles a year. That stature of the country a chilly destination with a warm day and cool nights, the weather also observe the landscape varies and the mountainous western region receive the highest amount of rainfall, and nights here are much cold than other regions, we ass the flat northern region also dominate in warmth, especially during day time. The moderate description of weather in Uganda enables safaris activities to be done throughout the year.
A variety of adventures also brands Uganda an admirable safari terminus, bearing in mind the mentioned parks, just discern they offer varying adventure undertakings. Among these most catching is the mountain gorilla trekking which is next to wildebeest, and game drives which is the major safari consideration to the huge number of travelers. Thirdly, chimpanzee tracking next, wild boat cruises, mountain climbing, tracking the tree climbing lions, bird watching, visiting upcountry designated communities for cultural experiences iconically the Karamoja people northeastern Uganda and the Batwa of Bwindi and Mgahinga parks.
Hiking and adrenaline adventures are naturally mindful, hiking mountains to the peak of Margarita suggests the best and most challenging magic in hiking. The source of the Nile River, always makes it perfect for adrenaline adventures like rafting, kayaking, and bungee jumping among several considerations.
The question of why Uganda safari? Is summarized for easy noting when outlining your travel highlights for the next trip.
– The endless breathtaking sceneries in the tropics and savannah orders
– Spectacular wildlife watching with endless landscape
– A spot of endangered species that are as well endemic (gorillas, chimpanzees, golden monkeys, certain bird species, etc.)
– Amazing people and their authentic cultural displays
– Organic cuisine tastes (matooke, luwombo, Rolex snacks, and many more).
– Honeymoon hideouts islands (Kalangala Island)
– Bird-watching spots
– Real African City tours
Special Adventures to do on Uganda safaris
Trekking mountain gorilla
Routinely recognized as Uganda’s most catching adventure undertaking, and marked as Africa’s highlight for the rest of the adventures. Gorilla trekking offers visitors a kind of jungle ownership sense when searching for these human closest cousins. Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park monopolized the adventure being endemic volcanic forests for the endangered mountain gorillas.
Not like the wildlife game drivers where everything is comfortably enjoyed within your 4×4 safari car rental, for gorilla trekking, the comfort tops on restrictions as one has to wander through the tops and lows of the impenetrable within these Alps imitators.
Gorillas in Uganda are fully habituated to ensure an up-close encounter, that is next after hours of wandering in search of the species. The trek can last about 30 minutes to 4 hours to encounter the gorillas depending on the location of where the gorillas are found.
Mountain gorillas are endangered species, that are endemic to only two volcanic tropical forests of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and the Virunga Conservation Areas shared among triplets (Uganda, Rwanda, and DR Congo). Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is famously the capital of gorillas with about 50% of the world’s population and the rest of the population splinted into the Virunga Massifs (Mgahinga Gorilla National Park Uganda, Volcanos National Park Rwanda and Virunga National Park DR Congo).
Opting to undertake gorilla trekking tour, then must have a permit that costs $700 to trek for a day. Your day starts with a briefing on trekking etiquette, rolling into the thick tropic Alps, starting a search for the gorillas, and finding there is an hour left for you to interact with the species.
Wildlife game drives
Uganda’s highest point of safaris, reputedly the most adventure activity is done on Uganda Safaris. Wildlife game drive is the birth adventure for African safaris and Uganda boasts in. well, 5 of the 10 national parks have availed space for encountering and watching plenty of wild animals. Wildlife game drives stature the most adventure done within the Pearl of Africa and the most rewarding on safaris to these parks of Murchison Falls National Park, Kidepo Valley National Park, Queen Elizabeth National Park, Lake Mburo National Park, and Semuliki National Park.
Done seated in your safari 4×4 vehicle with a pop-up for the 360-angle viewpoint, and the most catch here are some of the Big Five, Prides of Lions and Leopards, herds of Buffalos, African Elephants, several antelope species, zebras, towers of giraffes, schools of hippos, warthogs, hyena, monkeys among a great number of wild animals. Also bird species where Uganda is rated as the 4th with the highest bird population on the African continent meaning a wider range of view, especially with a safari birding guide.
Taking an adventure to Uganda without doing a game drive, is considered an incomplete safari. The wildlife abundance of Uganda avails an opportunity to undertake wildlife game drives.
Tracking endangered chimpanzee
Another amazing moment of rolling into the forest and start seeking out the unbothered creatures. Tracking chimpanzees in Uganda is considered the best around the continent, Kibale National Park is a premier mention on matters concerning chimpanzee tracking in Uganda. Chimpanzees here are habituated, they are aware of human presence and guarantee an up-close encounter. Also in Uganda chimpanzees are tracked from Budongo forest reserve, Kyambura gorge in Queen Elizabeth, and Toro Semuliki game reserve.
Hiking the Mt. Rwenzori challenge
Right after Mt. Kilimanjaro and Mt. Kenya, Mt. Rwenzor comes next in Africa’s heights, with hiking experience Mount Rwenzori has always suggested that more challenging magnificent hike. Mount Rwenzori is located in western Uganda sharing regional borders with DR Congo. Mount Rwenzori is a special snow-capped mountain one of the few remaining snow-capped peaks on the African continent due to continued global warming activities.
The mountain was formed with various folds (ranges) and the highest fold being Margarita peak which suggests the longest hiking trail in Africa to reach the peak. Walk-through folds to the 5109m elevation can last between 6 to 7 days to and fro which is the longest hike. However, various trails can last for hours, days, and a week. For your Uganda hiking safari, Mt. Rwenzori presents the best.
Boat cruise in the wild
Some savannah parks are dotted with significant water bodies which are channels, rivers, and lakes. For this case, Uganda safari presents three parks Murchison Falls National Park, Queen Elizabeth National Park, and Lake Mburo National Parks for the wild boat cruise/rides. Taking a wildlife boat cruise is a breathtaking and relaxed adventure, seated or standing on the boat balcony you got to watch a full scale of wild species as they display.
A boat cruise in Murchison Falls National Park is done along the Victoria Nile leading to the bottom of the falls to gaze at how the rapids fuse right through a narrow gorge. At Queen Elizabeth National Park the boat cruise continues on the amazing Kazinga channel that connects the two lakes of Gorge and Edward great view of wildlife and hippo pools. And the Mburo is a perfect naming as well for a boat ride as another major undertaking in Lake Mburo National Park that is aimed at mainly game-watching and birding opportunities.
Visiting communities for culture
Uganda’s diversity continues with people who hold on to various backgrounds and beliefs. People and their communities have now become one display expected on the menu of Uganda safaris. The upcountry mainly has kept people in love with what their grand were taught and not willing to turn. The authenticity of culture makes sure an ideal destination to consider for safaris. Almost all parks have availed community-based tourism and activities which has turned into a significant role in sustainable conservation.
The Karamoja people are authentic and none staged that only tells what these people are indeed are. And the Batwa pygmies have become famous for opposing the recent government action of denying them and evicting them with land heritage without compensation. Today, these people are displaying their cultures in which they earn money for a living.
Other adventures to do on Uganda safaris
Uganda is naturally a basket of adventures, besides most adventures, there is a line of enchanting safari activities. These include golden monkey tracking, gorilla habituation, tree climbing tracking, and rhino tracking at Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary is very crucial when opting to count the Big Five mammals, birding safaris, horse biking, quad biking, volcanic hiking, trekking the Sipi falls, source of the Nile adventures, Kampala city tours, visiting the honeymooner Kalangala island, sport fishing, sunbathing along the beaches on lake Victoria, visiting Sempaya hot springs, a drive through chain of crater lakes among other adventures.
Top 5 destinations to consider on a Safari to Uganda
Murchison Falls National Park
Murchison Falls National Park is currently the most visited tourist destination in Uganda, the park is majorly famous for having the world’s most powerful waterfalls. Located in northern Uganda, also is the largest protected area in the country and an adventure here is an opening to watch the Big Five mammals. The park is crossed by the Victoria Nile which bisects the park into the northern and southern sections.
The golden savannah is dotted with acacia thickets and a relatively open landscape, particularly on the northern court of the part that stretches along the Victoria Nile joining the Albert Lake to form an amazing Nile delta a hub for a larger concentration of wildlife. A drive to the park introduces you to watch some of the big five mammals and the park avails a wider chance of spotting all the big five alongside Ziwa Rhino tracking.
Wildlife game drives, boat cruises to the bottom of the falls, driving to the top of the falls, wild camping, nature walks and chimpanzee tracking at Bundongo forest reserves, and spots fishing are the major adventure undertakings on Uganda safaris leading to Murchison Falls National Park.
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
At the rim of the Western Great Rift Valley in southwestern Uganda is this fabulous volcanic tropical forest. The park is a UNESCO world heritage site that was declared due to the ancient and very biological ecosystem rainforest that dates to more than 25,000 years.
This is a biodiverse packed forest that boasts of about 450 mountain gorillas as per the 2019 gorilla census approximately half of the world population, about 400 plants species are recorded and about 360 bird species are recorded, other mammals include various primate species, forest elephants, buffalos, forest hogs, bushbucks to some 120 mammals are recorded here.
Gorilla trekking safaris started at Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in late 1999. This ancient rain-tropical forest bargains the highest opportunities for seeing the mountain gorillas with about 17 fully habituated gorilla families. There are 4 trekking sectors of the Buhoma sector in the northern that also hosts the headquarters of the parks, the first sector where gorillas first trekked before other sectors were open. And the other sectors include Ruhija, Rushaga, and the amazing hills of the Nkuringo sector.
To trek gorillas at Bwindi Impenetrable must have a permit which costs $700 per permit to trek per day. As well, Bwindi Impenetrable also avails habituation adventures which are uniquely done here only for $1,500 per permit and have a 4-hour experience, the offer is a great experience compared to the Rwanda one-hour experience that equals the rates.
Kidepo Valley National Park
African authenticity and wider wild background outlooks are the boasts of Kidepo Valley National Park. The park is located in northeastern Uganda sharing a border with South Sudan. The park is the most isolated considering its accessibility by land, CNN termed the park as Africa’s remotest park. The virgin part of the world is here, almost everything about the park is authentic right from nature to people who have negligently rejected the global trends of civilization.
The park is spread about 580km by road from Kampala using the Kampala –Gulu – Kitgum – Kabong road which can take about 10 hours’ drive. Advisably, when driving to Kidepo Valley National Park not consider a one-day trip but can consider an en-route night. But also can take a scheduled flight from Entebbe Airport or Kajjansi airstrip to Apoka airstrip which can take about an hour.
The special treatment of the park lies along the Narus Valley and Kidepo valleys which houses higher concentrations of wildlife, the Nga’Moru wilderness campsite, communities, and the extinct volcanos of Morongoru are special consideration on a safari to Kidepo Valley National Park.
The park is a spot-on nugget of wildlife profusion with some of the endemic species which are not listed in other parks, and hosts about 75 mammals species among these include some of the Big Five, zebras, giraffes, hyena, fox, warthogs, many antelope species among other mammals. About 450 birds are recorded with Ostrich being the premier particularly seen in the Kidepo valley, and the secretary bird at Narus Valley.
The wide range of wildlife and vast landscape avails space to take various adventures at Kidepo including; Wildlife game drives, nature walks, cultural community visits, mountain biking, and wild camping.
Jinja Source of the Nile River
The source of the Nile is a unique spot of greater adventures in Uganda. Located in Jinja eastern of Kampala, the city can be reached via the Kampala-Jinja highway about 80km. Jinja is theoretically named the East African capital of adrenaline adventures. River Nile is a unique world drainage system that accelerates right from Lake Victoria in Uganda and pours to the Mediterranean Sea via Egypt. African countries that benefit from the Nile River drainage system include Uganda, South Sudan, Sudan, Ethiopia, and Egypt.
The source of the Nile stretch with various features particularly waterfalls and cliffs that have influenced several adventures. The rapids here are better places for adventures; the world-class white water rafting to the advancement grade 4 and 5, kayaking, tubing, and incredible bungee jumping are rewards of the source of the Nile River.
Along the Nile rewards, cultural performances like at Bujagali, horse riding and quad biking, and boat ride to the source point where you water springs. As the water continues through the rush chlorophyll backdrop it leaves a series of spectacular features of rapids and beautiful scenes that have attracted a huge number of travelers making Jinja a capital of adventures.
Queen Elizabeth National Park
The paramount domicile to spot lions, Queen Elizabeth for decades has lingered in the most popular park in Uganda. The biodiversity of Queen Elizabeth National Park with gust terrific savannah grasslands, forests, gorges, water bodies, series of craters, and wetlands are home to a vast number of mammals, birds, aquatic life, and insects among others.
The park got its name to commemorate the visit of Queen Elizabeth of UK visit to Uganda in 1954 turning from Kazinga national park. The park is located in Western neighboring Mt. Rwenzori National Park and Kibale National Park. Queen Elizabeth is adjoined with Kyambura reserve in the eastern, Ishasha in the south, and Kigezi wildlife reserves to form the larger queen Elizabeth conservation area.
The vast land is home to a variety of natural wonders that accommodate over 95 mammal species, the highest concentration of bird species in the country with about 600 species recorded, and about 10 primate species are counted at the park with several aquatic life.
Queen Elizabeth National Park is a park with a long list of adventures done just in one park. Expectations at the park are high, one can do, wild game drives, boat cruise adventures, cultural community visits, chimpanzee tracking, tree climbing lion tracking, visiting the salt mining Lake Katwe, lion tracking experiential, mongoose tracking, hippo census, birding all are adventures which can be done on a safari visit to Queen Elizabeth National park.
Another destination to go on Uganda Safaris
When opting for the safari in Uganda, the list of destination natural and cultural destinations includes Lake Mburo National Park, Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, Ngamba chimpanzee sanctuary, the source of the Nile, Mt. Rwenzori National Park, Kibale National Park, Kasubi tombs, Uganda Wildlife Education Center and many other destinations.