Uganda is a growing Africa Safari destination and truly the Pearl of Africa. As an Africa safari destination, Uganda is where the East African savannah meets West African jungle. Uganda is one of the destinations in Africa where you can bare witness of a lion prowling open plains in the morning. The mysterious mountain gorillas command respect in the jungles of Bwindi forest and Mgahing forest.
The unrivaled Uganda birding list of over 1000 species confirms Uganda as a worth African Safari destination to adding to a keen birder’s bucket list keen.
Although Uganda is land locked however the available waterbodies are home to unique aquatic life which you can enjoy on a launch trip or boat ride. Navigate and enjoy tropical channels teeming with schools of hippos and serried crocodiles
Game Drives On Uganda Safari
Taking game drives in the grassland parks of Uganda can never disappoint. Uganda so far has 4 recognizable game parks. Although they may have wild animals common in all, some wild animals are special to particular game parks. Some of the Uganda game parks include:
River Nile creating the northern and southern bank bisects Murchison Falls National Park. River Nile is the lifeblood of Murchison falls national park. The northern side of the park is the primate game drive for this park.
Taking the Buligi grassland trail up to the shores of Albert Nile. Murchison Falls National Park so far hosts about 76 mammals that have been recorded to be living in this park. While on game drive, you may spot animals like lions, waterbucks, bushbucks, giraffes, hyenas, herds of cape buffaloes, herds of elephants
Sitting at the floor of the western rift valley is Queen Elizabeth national park. By taking a number of tracks within the park, you can enjoy variety of game. During the early morning and late afternoon game drive in Kasenyi grasslands, you may spot the lions in action sneaking on Uganda kobs that love hanging out here.
Watch out for herds of elephants, cape buffaloes, waterbucks, bushbucks, warthogs, giant forest hogs, Uganda kobs
You can take the volcanic crater track which is about 24 kilometers drive winds through a scenic cluster of extinct volcanic craters filled with variously with lakes, forest and savanna.
The Kazinga channel north plains are prime game viewing areas of the pack. Enjoy the stunning views of crater lakes at the floor of the rift valley both wet and dry when you take the crater lakes track.
Kidepo Valley national park lies in northwestern corner of Uganda. This park is one of the magnificent wildernesses. The variety of fauna is awed to its flat plains where animals love spending the day.
Kidepo National Park hosts unique wild animals in Uganda not common to other parks like cheetahs, aardwolf, striped hyenas, ostriches, bat eared fox and many more. You may also spot lions, hyenas, the rare leopards, klipspringer, guenther’s dikdik, bohor reedbucks, side striped jackals, caracal
En route to the western side of Uganda is Lake Mburo National Park. During the game drive, you enjoy a wide range of flora and fauna that the park is composed of. Lake Mburo National Park is a break for Kampala to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park the home of gorilla trekking.
When you take the zebra track, you may come across some zebras, the impala track brings impalas,
A variety of animals live in the different habitat of Lake Mburo National Park including open water, wetland, grassland patches where you can spot a number of herbivores
Launch Trips On Uganda Safari
During a Uganda safari in Murchison Falls National Park, you can do a launch trip to Murchison falls. This experience is the highlight of your Uganda tour in Murchison falls national Park. During the launch cruise, you sail past an impressive population of hippos and crocodiles.
Look over for some riverine wild animals like herds of elephants, cape buffaloes, hartebeest, warthogs, oribi, giraffes and others.
As the falls come into view you recognize a change in the launch or boat turbulence as foamy appearance suddenly start coming into view.
Murchison falls finally comes into view and you witness Victoria Nile forcing its way through a 6 meters wide gorge to vigorously burst out and form a cloudy appearance. River Nile vigorously cascades down a 43 meters high cliff to join the rest of the course.
When you visit Queen Elizabeth National Park, the launch trip is the gist of all the park activities. This voyage starts from Mweya Peninsular for a return trip of about 3 hours on Kazinga channel.
Look over to the shore where you may spot a number of animals that grace the shores including elephants, cape buffaloes, waterbucks, Uganda kobs, leopards and others.
A number of birds all year round flock a shore to enjoy the freebies of the marshy shoreline of Kazinga channel. You may spot birds Like Greater And Lesser Flamingos, Egyptian Geese, African Skimmers, Papyrus Gonolek Martial Eagles and others.
The top Uganda safari activity is gorilla trekking in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park or Mgahinga National Park. During gorilla trekking, you encounter a fully habituated gorilla family whose viewership allows maximum 8 trekkers per day for conservation reason.
You must purchase a gorilla permit in advance from Uganda Wildlife Authority. At the moment, uganda has 152 gorilla permit slots available from 19 gorilla families.
Before doing gorilla trekking in Uganda, you must attend briefing at the ranger station where wardens and rangers take you through the guidelines for this adventure. You must wear a mask and sanitise your shoes as a measure adopted after the covid 19 pandemic as mountain gorillas are highly susceptible to human communicable infections.
What Is The Cost Of Uganda Gorilla Permit?
The Uganda gorilla permit currently costs $700 per person per trek for foreign nonresidents, $600 per person per trek for foreign residents and 250,000shs for East African residents.
Inclusions of the Uganda gorilla permit are: ranger guide service, park entrance fees, cost of security offered during gorilla trekking, certificate after gorilla trekking, local community support, gorilla conservation fund support, habituation process for the mountain gorillas, one hour in company of the mountain gorillas.
The gorilla permit cost excludes: packed lunch, snacks, accommodation, transport, tips and any others items of personal nature.
Chimpanzees are humans’ closest relatives and Uganda is one of their hosts in Africa. Doing chimpanzee trekking through the rain forest undergrowth is impressive.
Kibale National Park is the chimpanzee gem of Uganda with currently about 1500 chimpanzee population existing. Kibale forest is home to about 13 primate species of which olive baboons, black and white colobus, vervet monkeys, grey cheeked mangabey, l’hoest’s, pottos, red tailed monkeys, bush babies and others are residents. You can book a chimpanzee trekking permit for either the morning session that is 0800 hours or afternoon session 1500 hours.
Kyambura Gorge in Queen Elizabeth National Park which is about 100 meters deep gorge is home to an impressive chimpanzee community plus other primate species. This gorge results from the Kyambura River that eroded its way towards Kazinga channel. You need to wear the right chimpanzee trekking gears especially during the rainy season creating slippery condition on the slopes.
Kaniyo Pabidi Forest in Murchison Falls National Park, which is 8 meters from Kichumbanyombo gate, is home to another chimpanzee population in Uganda. These chimpanzees live amongst the few leftover fully grown mahogany trees in Uganda.
Ngamba Chimpanzee Sanctuary
Ngamba Island is located on Koome Island Lake Victoria. It is home to refugee chimpanzees that cannot return to there communities and are abandoned, orphaned, lost, rescued from snares.
This sanctuary was established to teach the locals and visitors about the importance of preserving the chimpanzees and there habitats.
In case you arrive at Ngamba sanctuary before feeding time, you can participate from the visitor platform where you will witness survival for the fittest coming to life.
Uganda Wildlife Education Center
This was the former Entebbe zoo where chimpanzees are kept in exhibit with environment similar to that in there natural setting. During a guided or self-guided walk in this center, you can reach the location where these chimpanzees live.
Watch there community as they feed and interact with each other. You can do keep for the day for the chimpanzees on special arrangement or chimpanzee up-close.
Birding On Uganda Safari
Birding in Uganda is unparalleled with so far over 1000 bird species recorded. From the source of River Nile to the snowcapped Rwenzori ranges and montane forest of Virunga volcanoes to the dessert plains of Karamoja Uganda has an astonishing bird record.
Uganda’s birding diversity is compared to no other area is Africa with amazing diversity of habitants which account for the ever burgeoning bird list. Chances of spotting Albertine rift in Africa are open in Uganda especially within the Bwindi forest and Mgahinga forest.
Some of the birds you may spot in Uganda include African Green Broadbill, Grey Headed Subbirds, Shoebill Stork, Saddlebill Stork, Dusky-Blue Flycatcher, Handsome Francolin, Mountain Buzzed, White Beilled Robin Chat, Archer’s Robin Chart, Strange Weaver, White Headed Woodhoope, Dwarf Honey Guides and others.
Some of the Uganda birding destinations include Mabamba Swamp, Musambwa Island, Kibale National Park, Mpanga Forest, Botanical Gardens, Mabira Forest, Lake Mburo National Park and others.
White Water Rafting On Uganda Safari
White water rafting on Itanda falls River Nile is exciting as to get to peddle through the vigorous tides. No experience is required for this adventure as instructors are on ground to take you through necessary requirements
Buckle your safe gears well so that you do not go off the tube boat and peddle through the tides as instructed.
Although white water rafting is the main activity at these falls, you can also do kayaking or tubing on River Nile instead.
Visit The Source Of River Nile
No other African destination or country in the world hosts the source of River Nile other than Uganda. River Nile crosses countries like Uganda, Southern Sudan, the Sudan, Ethiopia and Egypt to the Mediterranean. The source of River Nile is in Jinja where you can sail to the actual point where River Nile vigorously departs from calm Lake Victoria water.
The phenomena at the point where River Nile departs from Lake Victoria is mysterious. Enjoy the lovely birds that flock a shore and swampy and forested vegetation around the Nile bank water.
Do Sport Fishing In Uganda
Although sport fishing is not highly demanded in Uganda, you can book this Uganda safari in some of the designated sport fishing locations. You need to have a sport fishing permit from Uganda Wildlife Authority and hire a boat plus boat captain to enjoy your time.
Some of the areas you can do sport fishing in Uganda from include on River Nile in Murchison Falls National Park, Lake Victoria and others. You may catch some of these fish species like Nile perch, tilapia, cut fish, lungfish and others.
Mountaineering On Uganda Safari
Doing mountaineering in gives you time to test your fitness level. The ice topped Rwenzori ranges stand up from the rift valley floor in western Uganda. You have about 7 days on return trip to hike mountain Rwenzori standing at 5100 meters.
The Rwenzori Mountain is a montane wonderland the trail to the snow peaks follows the glacier carved valleys filled with fantastic colored mosses. Continue with rare afro alpine plants like giant forms of lobelias, heathers and groundsels.
Mountain Elgon is incredibly stunning with a caldera at its top. Enjoy the lovely vegetation that you pass by and beautiful scenery. You need to have a number of days on your Uganda safari to hike Mountain Elgon.
You can take an excursion hike to some of the highlands in Uganda including Mountain Gahinga, Mountain Muhavura and Mountain Sabyinyo. Hiking these mountains may take about 8 hours on return trip.