Information on the best Uganda safari tours, tour packages to visit the mountain gorillas, Queen Elizabeth national park, Kibale forest national park, Lake mburo and other wildlife safari destinations in Uganda. Safari activities include gorilla tracking, chimpanzee trekking , find tree climbing lions, visiting the golden monkeys and a trip to Ziwa rhino sanctuary.
Queen Elizabeth National Park
This park is located in the south western part of Uganda approximately 400 kilometers from Kampala; it is separated by the Kazinga channel which connects Lakes George and Albert, it derived its name from the Queen of England, “Elizabeth”. It is endowed with various numbers of wildlife and the beautiful landscape, while in this park a various number of activities can be done such as Game drives giving you opportunity to see animals like elephants, buffaloes, antelopes, warthogs, leopards, and different bird species, crocodiles, hippos, especially while on a boat cruise on the kazinga channel.
Other activities at Queen Elizabeth National Park include, include balloon safaris, chimpanzee tracking in kyambura gorge, a game drive in the ishasha sector for tree climbing lions, cultural heritage and nature trail such as seeing cultural performances in music dance, and drama and seeing workers harvest salt on in Lake Katwe. There are a number of lodges in and outside this park which are Luxury, Midrange and budget like Mweya Safari lodge, Bush lodge, Katara lodge, Ishasha wilderness camp. This park can also be accessed by air from Entebbe to Kasese airstrip.
Murchison Falls National Park
See various wild life such as Buffaloes, elephants, giraffes, antelopes, lions, leopards, various bird species and also plant species like the sausage trees. There are also other things to do while in Murchison like a boat cruise on the Nile, hiking to the top of the falls, sport fishing, chimpanzee trekking in Budongo forest, boat cruise to the delta, balloon safaris, most activities are enjoyable basing on where your accommodation is.
There are several lodges in and outside the park such as Paraa safari lodge, Murchison Falls River lodge, Baker’s lodge, Fort Murchison, Chobe safari lodge and many others. This park also can be accessed by Road/Air.
On the way to the park, one can visit the Ziwa Rhino sanctuary which is located in Nakasongola district, a home of around 19 rhinos, apart from rhino trekking, other activities can be bird watching and nature walks.
Murchison Falls park is vast and beautiful. Predominantly wooded savannah, at 4,000km² it is home to giraffe, lion, leopard, elephant, buffalo, hartebeest and many more.
Kibale Forest National Park
This park is located in the heart of Tooro kingdom near Fortportal and contains one of the loveliest tropical forest in Uganda, it harbors the 13 primate species such as the L’Hoest’s, red colobus monkeys, its major attraction is the Chimpanzees, the delightful apes, most closest to human beings than any other living creature, these can be seen swinging in the tree branches as one treks through the forest tails.
There is also an opportunity to see over 300 bird species like white-winged warbler, papyrus canopy and other animals like the Forest elephants, buffaloes, antelopes and the forest hogs.
Other activities that can be done in the park are Chimpanzee habituation which is an all day experience seeing chimpanzees, feed, rest, hunt, build new nests etc, day hikes/nature walks, cultural encounters to meet local people.
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
This National park lies in the South western of Uganda. It harbors a various number of Mountain Gorillas roughly half of the world’s remaining population. It has other species like the Chimpanzees, baboons, elephants and antelopes. Birders still encounter at least 350 bird species. Concerning cultures in Bwindi there is an opportunity to discover the local Bakiga and Batwa pygmy cultures through performances and village walks an amazing experience.
Mountain Gorillas in Bwindi National Park can be tracked in various sectors in the park which include; Buhoma, Rushaga, Nkuringo, and Ruhija and to track in these areas it’s based on accommodation like Buhoma community camp, Chameleon hill lodge, etc.
Note: In order to track mountain gorillas, one needs a permit which costs USD 700, and if the option is Gorilla habituation the permit costs USD 1500 per person, all issued by Uganda Wildlife Authority.
Lake Mburo National Park
Lake Mburo is one of the closest parks to Kampala city. It takes about 3 hours to get there. Visitors to lake mburo enjoy the Zebras, Uganda kob, lions, giraffe, Hogs and other wildlife animals.
UGANDA SAFARI ACTIVITIES
Tree Climbing Lions
Within the well-known Queen Elizabeth National Park is an area known as that Ishasha sector where you will find a population of the unique tree-climbing lions. The biggest percentage of tourists that visit the park also engage in this amazing activity. Generally lions are known for their inability to climb trees however these unique lions are commonly seen resting up in the tree branches of the giant fig trees.
Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary
During your visit led by the well experience ranger guides you will head on foot and track these land Giants. The guides will also offer you detailed information about the white rhinos as well offer you the best conservation guideline. Visit Murchison Falls after your Ziwa Rhino trip.
Uganda has a population of over 5,000 chimpanzees living within its verdant forests. Today chimpanzee tracking is among the most popular tourist activities in this country. During the tour visitors get an opportunity to meet the chimps which can be seen in different natural sanctuaries across the country, but looking at just Kibale Forest National Park there are about 1500 chimpanzees living there. Chimpanzee tracking can be done in Kibale national park, Kyambura gorge found in Queen Elizabeth National park, and Budongo forest found in Murchison Falls national park.
Mountain Gorillas (Uganda Gorilla Trekking)
Every year Uganda receives thousands and thousands of tourists who visit to see the mountain gorillas. These amazing creatures are considered to be an endangered species with approximately 900 of them remaining in the whole world. These can only be seen in three countries Uganda, Rwanda and Congo with Uganda holding the largest population of them all.
In Lake Victoria is the beautiful Ssesse islands that surrounded by white sand beaches and beautiful accommodation. The Ssesse is a good place for holidaymakers seeking a romantic getaway or on a honeymoon vacation. Besides enjoying the quite Beaches, you will also be able to meet the local people who are mainly fishermen that live on these islands.
Ngamba Island is home to Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary. The boat trip to the island is lots of fun and by visiting the island your entrance and activity fees help cover the costs of the island sanctuary and the well being of the chimpanzees. Fishing is another fascination on the lake.
Golden Monkey Experience
Just as a number of other wildlife species such as mountain gorillas, these golden monkeys are also considered to be endangered worldwide and can only be seen in Uganda, Congo and Rwanda. Golden monkey tracking is conducted in the Mgahinga Forest National Park during which the travelers will be given a detailed briefing about this unique species. You will visit the golden monkeys and observe then go about their day-to-day activities and if Lucky capture a number of photographs of these highly elusive monkeys.
The River Nile is the longest river in the world and offers a number of adrenaline filling water sports among which is White Water Rafting. The Nile offers one of the best rafting experiences in the world. Its rapids range from the Grade I to Grade V making it a perfect destination for both novices and experienced rafters. Rafting is one of the most adventurous outdoor water sport activities you can enjoy in Uganda.
Big Five Animals
Great opportunities to see the big five animals which include lions, Buffaloes, rhinos, leopard, buffalo and elephants. In addition you won’t miss out on interesting species like zebras, giraffes, different antelopes and the unique tree-climbing lions. The country has ten (10) different national parks which offer holidaymakers the great diversity to choose from where to see these amazing animals. Among the most popular wildlife savanna parks is the Murchison Falls National Park, Queen Elizabeth National Park and the Kidepo valley National Park.
Many people wonder why a boat ride to the bottom of Murchison falls is always talked about as a Uganda Safari Special. The reason is because of the experience the whole ride brings.
This unique water adventure takes you all the way to the bottom of the powerful Murchison falls which make a 43 meter drop to as plunge poll below on the River Nile. You will enjoy uninterrupted views of these falls. In addition, as the boat sails down the course of the Nile you will sail past large numbers of giant Nile crocodiles, several hippos and different types of water birds relaxing on river banks. This is a good place to see the rare Shoebill stock.
The Batwa who are pygmy people that lived within the impenetrable forests of Bwindi and Mgahinga currently stay on the outer fringes of these National Parks. They are a people who entirely depend on this forest for survival and a visit to their villages will give you an opportunity to learn how they managed to survive for several years in these parts of the East Africa jungle. You will be entertained by their traditional songs and dances, as well as visit some of the village elders who will narrate to you interesting stories about the history of these people. You can also visit the Gishu in Eastern Uganda.
Birding in Uganda
Uganda boasts of more than 1000 different types of birds that have been recorded here in Uganda. Irrespective of which part of the country you visit you will definitely be rewarded the amazing views and sounds of birds that will wake you up in the morning singing sweetly from the high trees. Among the special species found in Uganda are the shoebill storks the blue turaco, blue headed sunbird and the Ibis.
Some of the best places to view birds in this country include Semiliki National Park, Bwindi National Park, kidepo National Park – home of several rare species, Lake Bunyonyi and Queen Elizabeth National Park which has more than 600 different species.
Other Uganda Tours To Consider
Mount Elgon National Park Climbing
Mount Elgon is located on Uganda’s border with Kenya and being an extinct volcano is estimated to have last erupted 24 million years ago. it offers a uniquely challenging mountaineering experience and at the top of its caldera which is considered to be one of the largest in the world is a nice camping site.
Explore the Nyero Rock paintings
These paintings are dated back to 1250 CE and are found in the East of Uganda within, Kumi district. It’s alleged that they could have been drawn by the local batwa what people who lived in this area at the time. They show quite an interesting insight of the way of life that the people who stayed in this area centuries ago lived.
Visit the Baha’i Temple
This is the only Temple belonging to the Baha’i faith found on the African continent it was opened in 1962 in the month of February and it is found within Kampala City a visit here will give you an insight of different societal religions and traditions. The site also has very beautiful gardens worth exploring.
Visit the Uganda equator
Have you ever imagined yourself standing one foot in the southern hemisphere and the other in the northern hemisphere, then visit the Uganda equator? You will get an opportunity to take very memorable pictures carry out a number of interesting experiments and visit the souvenir shop where you will be able to purchase a number of interesting take home gifts for the people you left home.
Enjoy a hot air balloon ride
Uganda offers hot air balloon rides its different national parks during which holidaymakers are able to enjoy views of the beautiful landscapes and see the large wildlife numbers from an aerial view. Photographers normally engage in this exciting adventure that is mainly conducted in Murchison falls National Park and Queen Elizabeth National Park.
Engage in sports fishing
Uganda has a number of different lakes within its boundaries with approximately 90 different species of fish recorded there. it offers holidaymakers interested in fishing opportunities to make a number of remarkable catches like the Nile Perch from the big freshwater lake – the Lake Victoria. Catch the Nile perch at Murchison Falls National Park.
Set out Quad biking
One of the unique ways to explore the unique terrain and have an up-close view of different wildlife is by taking a quad bike adventure. This is mainly done in Lake Mburo National park because the park has a very small number of predators that might put the lives of participants at risk. The park has a very large number of grazers such as zebras, the Uganda kobs, elands plus several other types of antelopes and with a very minimal number of leopards and the lions.
Game viewing on a cycling tour
In Uganda it is possible to enjoy game viewing while riding a mountain bike. This kind of adventure brings you closer to Mother Nature and the different birds and animals found in the country. Today this activity is currently conducted mainly in Lake Mburo National park because the park has several grazers like different antelopes and zebras with very few predators such as lions which can put the riders at risk.
Climb Rwenzori Mountains
Mount Rwenzori is Uganda’s highest mountain and offers a very challenging mountaineering experience as compared to some of the soaring mountains on the continent like Mt. Kilimanjaro and Mt. Kenya. Unique about this beautiful mountain is that its peak is covered with snow despite Uganda’s location on the equator. The ascent on the rwenzori mountains takes about nine days to make a round trip and reaching the Margherita Peak is a dream comes true for adventurers particularly interested in mountain climbing in the western Uganda.
Enjoy Bungee jumping in Jinja
Jinja is among the tourist capitals found in Uganda especially for water sort activities. Among the other adrenaline –rushing activities you can enjoy here is bungee jumping. There are a number of fascinating sites where this activity is conducted so imagine yourself dropping off a cliff of approximately 40 meters high and plugging down towards the river Nile! Participants will be offered with world-class protective gear and proper safety measures have been perfectly put in place to guarantee the safety of the participants.
Zip lining in Mabira forest
This verdant natural rain forest is located a couple of Kilometers from Uganda’s capital city – Kampala. This is among the activities that can be enjoyed by travelers with limited safari time while visiting Uganda. During this activity, you will move through the towering tree and see various primates and bird species and other wildlife. The zip-line is comprised of a network of five zip lines that cover a distance of 250 meters and comply with the global safety-standards.
Explore the Sipi Falls
Sipi falls are a series of three waterfalls, found in Kapchorwa in Eastern Uganda approximately 194 km from Jinja; Activities to do while here include hiking which is done around the falls offering a stunning view of the Karamoja plains, Lake Kyoga, and the slopes of Mt. Elgon, Coffee tours can also be done which are organized through guides with knowledge of coffee farming, processing and roasting. Accommodation around include sipi river lodge, Noah’s ark cottages, Lacam lodge, sipi falls resort. Basically Sipi Falls is a nice place to unwind, relax and literally chill out away from the hustle and bustle of the towns and cities!
FAQs on Uganda
Is Uganda good for safari?
Uganda is a good safari destination beautiful landscapes, enormous water bodies, wide variety of amazing wildlife species and friendly people make Uganda safaris the most thrilling and unforgettable adventures in the heart of Africa. Uganda is blessed with over 10 national parks & wildlife reserves offering a wide range of activities that suit all types of travelers including adventure seekers, mountain climbers, families, cultural enthusiasts , students as well as solo travelers. Whether your interested in Big Five , mountain gorilla tracking, white water rafting, bird watching,hiking or to track chimpanzees, the Pearl of Africa has something to offer for everyone.
From walking safaris to guided & unguided game drives , private journeys, a safari will always leave long lasting safari memories about East Africa.
How much does a safari in Uganda cost?
Average Uganda safari cost is US$ 200 per day if you are to visit general wildlife places like Queen Elizabeth National Park. To see the mountain gorillas in Bwindi impenetrable forest, you shall part with US$ 700 per person.
How much does it cost to go gorilla trekking in Uganda?
Currently a Uganda gorilla trekking permit costs six hundred US Dollars (US $700). Gorilla Habituation permit that allows you four hours will remain at one thousand five hundred US Dollars (US $1,500)
What is the best month to visit Uganda?
The best months to visit is during June, July and August. Uganda generally experiences a warm temperature and it one of those destinations that can be visited all year round in Africa
December to January is another good time to Safari in Uganda as it is dry and the temperatures are conducive. Generally, the country experiences a tropical climate what is based on its altitude. The hottest month of the year is February whereas July is considered to be the coldest month. The country experiences the rainy season from March to May and some of roads especially within the remote parks are inaccessible and some of the accommodations have shut down.
How to get to Uganda?
There are a number of airlines that fly into Uganda’s Entebbe International airport some offering flights to Uganda including KLM, Turkish Airlines, Emirates and more. Most visitors to Africa use these airways.
What means of transport are used in Uganda while on Safari?
Majority of the tour companies offer well serviced four-wheel safari vehicle having pop-up roofs to take their clients around the country. However there are also charter flights to major tourist parks which can be used by tourist particularly those having a large budget. We encourage a private tour instead of a group safari.
What is that one activity that I should not miss on my visit in Uganda?
Gorilla trekking conducted in the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga mountain gorilla national park is considered a very memorable experience you can enjoy on your visit in Uganda. Considering that there are less than 900 mountain gorillas on in the world today this is something you should look forward to doing in southern Uganda. Gorilla trekking is now the number one activity in Africa safari tours.
What is the time zone in Uganda?
Uganda is part of the East African time zone GMT + 0300 and doesn’t recognize the day light savings-time
Is tap water safe to drink?
No. It is not safe to drink tap water in Uganda, however during your safari you will be provided with bottled drinking water in your Safari vehicles especially during the game drives. the lodges and hotels also offer bottled water in the bathrooms to be used for brushing your teeth. in case you are thirsty you are always advised to drink only bottled water.
What is the local currency in Uganda?
The local currency used in Uganda is the Ugandan shilling UGX and this comes in forms of coins that include 100, 200, 500 and 1,000 shillings. The paper notes vary from 1000, 2000, 5000, 10000, 20000 and 50000 thousand shillings.
Can I use the U.S dollar while on safari in Uganda?
Lodge and hotel accommodation can be paid using the US Dollars and even the big restaurants may allow payment done on dollars, however for day-to-day purchases you are recommend to exchange your foreign currency and get some local currency for daily transactions. As you visit Uganda, note that the US dollar notes that will be accepted in Uganda should be in good condition with no tear or stains.
Is English widely spoken in Uganda?
Yes English is the official language in this country; there you should expect to use English even in the remote parts of the country. All local guides are fluent in English.
How are the accommodation facilities in Uganda?
Uganda offers a variety of accommodation facilities ranging from the budget facilities which are ideal for travelers on a limited budget, the mid-range and then the luxury that offer the ultimate comfort and all inclusive amenities. There are also camping facilities available for those interested in spending the night out in the wilderness under the open starlit sky. Queen elizabeth national park booast of Mweya safari Lodge. Murchison Falls National Park has Chobe lodge, Lake Mburo National Park has Mihingo Lodge, Kibale National Park has Primates Lodge, Bwindi Impenetrable National Park has Clouds Lodge…the list goes on.
How is the food in Uganda?
It is very good. Most of the dishes prepared in Uganda have a good influence of the English, Arab and Asia cuisines. Less than US$ 10 is the cost of a meal. Majority of the nice restaurants have specific chefs in place to prepare you whatever meal that you will want. None the less some of the commonly eaten foods in Uganda include matooke, rice, Ugali and potatoes. Expect to eat a lot of fresh vegetables and fruits especially if in season because Uganda is generally considered to be a food basket
Do I need special vaccinations while visiting Uganda?
Yes you will be required to present proof (a vaccination certificate) of receiving the yellow fever immunization. You will also need a covid 19 vaccination proof of CPR test in the last 72 hours. It is also recommended that you take anti-malaria tablets prior to your Safaris.
How much should be given as tip?
At camps or lodges US$3 to 5 per guest for a stay of 1-3 days; baggage porters at hotels or lodges US$1 to 2 per client for every stay; for guides or drivers US$5 to 10 each day per client; the Head Ranger during gorilla trekking US$10 per day per client; Forest walk guides US$5 per client; porters in game parks US$20 to 25 per day each person; and in restaurants 3 to 5%.
What to Pack on your Uganda Safari
- Casual clothes
- Sweater or Jacket
- Comfortable hiking shoes
- light clothes, shoot sleeved
- Sun glasses
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