When plaining to do gorilla and wildlife holiday in Uganda, you need to choose the best national parks. No doubt, that Uganda is African safari destination gifted buy nature where you can enjoy lions stalking the open savannah in the morning and track chimpanzees in the rainforest in the afternoon.
During Uganda safari you can navigate tropical channels to teeming with schools of hippos and huge Nile crocodiles then proceed to catch up with gorilla trekking in the misty Bwindi or Mgahinga National Park.
The rich avian life of Uganda brings it top on the list of Africa’s great birding destinations. Uganda has an unrivalled bird status with over 1000 birds registered as residents of different habitants in the country.
If you are looking for an African destination with a mixture of game, primates and avian life, Uganda is top notch. Uganda is one of the few African safari destination with rich uncrowded parks that offer value for money
Not only is Uganda gifted by nature but with friendly people creating a comfortable stay to any stranger so no getting afraid of any attack from warriors. Uganda has become a second holiday home for some tourists especially during the difficult weather conditions. Some say they have no worry about what to eat because there is plenty of organic food in the country at a very friendly cost.
Which Are The Best Uganda Safari Gorilla And Wild Game Destinations?
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
Bwindi impenetrable national park is home to the largest population of mountain gorillas in the world as almost half the total number are residents here. This primeval forest hosts a great deal of fauna and flora that has accumulated over time as about 25000 years are believed to have been covered since Bwindi forest’s existence.
Bwindi forest hosts the mountain gorillas and at the moment about 18 gorilla families are fully habituated to human presence. Two gorilla families in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park are open to gorilla habituation experience. Gorilla habituation experience is an adventure where tourists accompany a team of researchers in the wilderness to follow a semi habituated gorilla family and stay with them for 4 hours.
Over 350 bird species including seven on the IUCN red list plus Albertine endemics are residents of Bwindi Impenetrable National park. The Ruhija area of Bwindi forest is the prime birding destination of the park.
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park hosts other primates like chimpanzees, L’Hoest’s, black and white colobus monkeys, olive baboons, red tailed monkeys and others.
Mgahinga National Park
Placed on the southwestern corner of Uganda is Mgahinga National Park one of the few homes of the mountain gorillas. Despite the small size of this park, Mgahinga National Park offers a great wilderness experience where you can spot golden monkeys, black and white colobus monkeys, blue monkeys, vervet monkeys and several others.
In terms of scenery, Mgahinga National Park has some of the leftover naturally beautiful sceneries backed by three distinctive volcanoes names Mountain Gahinga, Mountain Muhavura and Mountain Sabyinyo. Taking a day’s hike to these dormant volcanoes places you in a position where you can simultaneously stand at the border of Uganda, Rwanda and D.R.Congo
Murchison Falls Natuional Park
Murchison Fall National Park lies astride Victoria Nile, which is the lifeblood of this park. Murchison Falls National Park boasts some of the unique game viewing spots with Buligi track as the best area. This park is the gem in the Uganda tourism crown that is why the early explorers nick named it a kew garden and zoo on unlimited scale.
During an early morning or late afternoon game drive in Murchison Falls national park especially the northern banks of River Nile, you may spot animals like hartebeests, elephants, buffaloes, waterbucks, bush bucks, oribi, lions, leopards, hyenas, waterbucks, bushbucks, giraffes and several others.
The Launch Cruise To Murchison Falls
The launch trip is the highlight of your visit to Murchison Falls National Park. On the way, you enjoy sustaining large numbers of resident hippos, crocodiles, water birds and regular visiting wild animals that grace the shoreline to quench thirst and take a bath.
As you approach the falls, the boat turbulence suddenly changes and foamy appearances finally come into view. Magnificent Murchison Falls finally comes into view as River Nile water rumbles over a bed of rocks for about 80 kilometers before squeezing its self through a 6 meters wide gorge to burst out.
You here the Nile roaring as Murchison fall are finally formed. This water cascades down a 43 meters high rift valley cliff to sedately join the rest of the course towards Lake Albert.
Queen Elizabeth National Park
Queen Elizabeth National Park sits at the floor of the Albertine rift valley surrounded by valley’s bounding escarpments, Rwenzori mountains and lakes Edward and gorge. This park offers a diversity of wildlife and scenery that and delights visitor of all ages. When you take a game drive through different tracks that is Kasenyi grasslands, chances of spotting a number of lions prowling are high.
During the game drives in Queen Elizabeth National Park, you may spot animals like waterbucks, bushbucks, topis, herds of elephants, cape bufaloes, leopards and others.
On the other side of the southern part of Queen Elizabeth National Park, you may spot tree climbing lions, topis, warthogs, buffaloes and others.
A visit to Kyambura Gorge gives you chance to hike this 100 meters deep gorge to locate a community of chimpanzees. Other occupants of this forested gorge include vervet monkeys, grey cheeked mangabey, red tailed monkeys, black and white colobus, olive baboons and others.
A plethora of birds is common resident of this park with over 605 bird species so far recorded. When you take a Uganda birding safari to Queen Elizabeth National park, you can easily encounter water birds from the comfort of the launch trip or search for the rare bird species in Maramagambo forest. Some of the birds you may get to spot include Papyrus Gonolek, African Fish Eagle, White Backed Night Heron, Great Blue Turaco, Black And White Casqued Hornbill, African Finfoot and Several Others
Launch Trip On Kazinga Channel Queen Elizabeth National Park
The launch trip on Kazinga channel gives you chance to relax while enjoying the beautiful scenery of Kazinga channel. This two hour launch trip from Mweya Peninsular along Kazinga channel runs for about 3 hours’ return trip to Lake Edward.
From the shoreline is a school of hippos and serried Nile crocodiles. Chance of spotting a number of thirsty wild animal are high especially during the dry spell when they move down to take a bath and quench thirst. You may spot animals like herds of elephants, cape buffaloes, waterbucks, bushbucks, warthogs and others that are regular visitors from the rift valley plains.
Enjoy the beautiful view of Rwenzori ranges that form a backdrop for Queen Elizabeth National Park.
Lake Mburo National Park
Lake Mburo National park lies enroute to the western side of Uganda from Kampala. The variety of habitants that make up this park are responsible for survival of the rich wildlife in this park.
Some of the vegetation zones in this park include open water, wetland, grassland, woodland and forest patches that support the diverse population of herbivores.
During the game drives, you may get to spot animals like impalas, Burchell’s zebras, warthogs, waterbucks, bushbucks, giraffes, herds of elephants, oribi, elands, cape buffaloes and others. Lake Mburo National Park acts as a welcome break from the long journey to Bwindi Impenetrable national park.
Kidepo Valley National Park
Kidepo Valley National park lies in the North Eastern corner of Uganda and is one of Africa’s most fantastic game parks. This Park protects some of the rarest and absent wild animals in most Uganda National Park.
During the game drive on its flat plains, you may spot animal like elephants, hartebeest, zebras, impalas, giraffes, cheetah, cape buffaloes, aardwolf, bat-eared fox, striped hyenas, ostriches and several others.
This park is located in the fur north eastern corner of Uganda so its remoteness explains why its less visited. When in Kidepo Valley National Park, expect high degree of solitude.
Kibale National Park
For a great chimpanzeetrekking experience, you can visit Kibale National Park in western Uganda. This park currently hosts about 1500 chimpanzees enjoying the freebies of Kibale forest. In East Africa, Kibale National Park so far has the largest population of habituated chimpanzees.
Everyone on chimpanzee trekking adventure must purchase a permit from Uganda Wildlife Authority. Kibale National Park has Kanyanchu visitor center as its headquarter and Sebitoli as its secondary center.
Kibale National Park is home to 12 other primates including l’hoest’s, pottos, bush babies, black and white colobus, vervet monkeys, red tailed monkeys, black and white colobus, red colobus, blue monkeys, olive baboons and several others.
An array of birds are residents of this park including Scaly Francolin, Marsh Tchagra, Black Crowned Waxbills, Green Backed Twin Spot, Black And White Mannikin and several others. Bigodi sanctuary on the outskirts of this park especially Magombe swamp is a keen birder’s go to spot.
You need to secure a chimpanzee trekking permit from Uganda Wildlife Authority.
Kyambura Gorge In Queen Elizabeth National Park
At the floor of the Albertine rift valley is Kyambura gorge curved by River Kyambura that erodes towards Kazinga channel. This community of chimpanzees can be reached by hiking through the forested part of this gorge.
Two chimpanzee trekking sessions are conducted in Kyambura gorge per day that is at 0800 hours and 1400hours starting from Kyambura‘s fig tree camp.
Kaniyo Pabidi Forest In Murchison Falls National Park
Located 8 kilometers from Kichumbanyombo gate of Murchison falls National Park is Kaniyo Pabidi Forest. This forest has some of the few left over fully-grown mahogany trees in Uganda. A community of chimpanzees is resident to this forest. You need to secure a chimpanzee permit to have access.
This forest also hosts other primates like black and white colobus, vervet monkeys, grey cheeked mangabey, red tailed monkeys, blue monkeys and several others.
Ngamba Chimpanzee Sanctuary
Ngamba Chimpanzee Sanctuary is an island in Koome Lake Victoria. It is home to rescued chimpanzees that cannot return to there community in the wild. Some chimpanzees are abandoned and some orphaned.
The sanctuary was set up to create to educate visitors about the importance of conserving the chimpanzees and there fragile forest environment.
Uganda Wildlife Education Center
This is the former Entebbe zoo but currently animals are living in exhibits with environment similar to that in there natural setting. During a guided or self guided walk in this center, you can visit the chimpanzee exhibit and there day life. You can also do chimpanzee up close or keeper for day where you can have a more personal contact with these chimpanzees.
Uganda wildlife education center is home most of animals living in Uganda National Parks. It is like the summary of almost animals living the parks of Uganda.
This center hosts animals like lions, waterbucks, bushbucks, elephants, cape bufaloes, cheetahs, wild tsavo cat, ostriches, giraffes, impalas,
Golden Monkeys In Mgahinga National Park
You can do golden monkey trekking in Mgahinga National Park in the southwestern corner of Uganda. The golden monkeys are a special primate specie among the highly endangered primates in the world.
They have golden brown hairs at the lower back with a larger body structure compared to other monkey species. Golden monkeys are charming to follow and during the trek expect to be on your toes all the time although they are habituated to human presence.
You need a golden monkey trekking permit from Uganda Wildlife Authority to have access to this activity.
What Else To Do On Uganda Safari
Visit The Source
The only source of River Nile is at Jinja where River Nile separates from Lake Victoria showing a vigorous appearance.
You sail with a boat to where Lake Victoria and River Nile water emerges from the ground, separates and each continues with its journey.
The magic at this point is a mystery
White Water Rafting On River Nile
At Itanda falls, you can do white water rafting but you do not have to bare any experience. Instructors are in place to take you through all the necessary procedures.
Sport Fishing On Uganda Safari
You can do sport fishing on Uganda safari in designated sites but you need to seek permission from Uganda Wildlife Authority. While in Murchison Falls National Park, you can do sport fishing on River Nile where you may be in position to catch fish types like tilapia, Nile perch, cat fish, lung fish and several others.
Mountaineering On Uganda Safari
Rwenzori mountain ranges can be hiked in about 7 days return trip. You need to make prior arrangements so that a ranger guide is allocated to your party in time and all necessary arrangements made. When you get to the highest peak of Rwenzori mountain called Magheritah, you enjoy its glacier appearance.
Other excursion mountaineering experiences happen on mountains Like Mountain Gahinga, Mountain Sabyinyo And Mountain Muhavura.