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What to Expect On Safari in Uganda?

Who is it for?

With a safari, Uganda is the dream destination for those in search of the absolute primate safaris with many options like Big 5, mountain climb, spot fishing, white water rafting and many more Chimpanzees roam in numbers in Kibale and Queen Elizabeth National Park, as do colobus monkeys, vervet monkeys, de Brazza monkeys and a host of other species. The last mountain gorillas are carefully protected in the Impenetrable Forest of Bwindi. There is absolutely no exaggeration in gorilla trekking as life-altering. The destination is just as much sought after by birders, as Uganda boasts over a thousand species among its varied habitats. A keen birder can hope to encounter the handsome francolin, dwarf honey guide and purple-breasted sunbird, among many other species that are very difficult to see anywhere else. And, like the gorilla, there is the highlight of seeing the unforgettable shoebill. Uganda outshines all other safari destinations in these two areas, but, in addition, it remains a superb destination for traditional safari by vehicle or by boat, thanks to its lush habitats and variety of species. For those in search of something fresh and vibrant, Uganda is the perfect choice.

Uganda wildlife safaris

Contrasting to other East Africa destinations, such as Kenya or Tanzania, Ugandan wildlife literally ‘hangs out’ in verdant green forests, playing home to a huge diversity of primates from cheeky chimps to fun loving gorillas.

 

Famed for being the home to some of the last remaining 820 mountain gorillas, Uganda is this and so much more, now prime for an East African wildlife safari.

 

Of course, mountain gorilla trekking through the mist, up steep climbs, and along treacherous paths, is one of the country’s main attractions and coming across these endearing creatures is undoubtedly, unforgettable. Working with our expert local guides, we take you on a journey through the bush for anything from 2 to 10 hours in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest (Buhoma, Mgahinga or Nkuringo) in search of this amiable primates. Permits are limited and you will only be able to spend up to an hour in the company of these majestic animals before heading back to your lodge with the tale of a lifetime.

 

In the shadow of the awe-inspiring Virunga Volcanoes, Mgahinga is located in Southern Uganda and is another park where you are able to track the gorillas being home to just one family that continues crossing between Rwanda and Uganda. With such a large range, we do not recommend this family for tracking, however if you are up for a more challenging trek, Nkuringo in Southern Bwindi is in one of the most difficult areas to track the gorillas and is home to just one family.

 

Huge silverbacks may ‘mock charge’, thumping their chests to assert their authority! you can sometimes even watch young gorillas playing together, or showing off in attempt to impress their new visitors.

Other Primates and Wildlife

The gorillas aren’t the only primate you’ll find in this inspiring country. Kibale Forest is home to no less than thirteen primate species, from red Colobus monkeys and vervets to legendary chimpanzees. Tracking the closest primate to mankind, the chimp is a thrilling experience as they swing through the forest, drum on buttresses, and hoot to their fellow troop members, Despite their noise, they can be fairly elusive and hard to spot! To see them in slightly less strenuous circumstances, the Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary offers an incredible opportunity in the near-wild circumstances and by visiting you will contribute to the conservation of their habitat and, indeed the species survival.

 

A Uganda wildlife safari is unique in that it combines the green, lush forests with wild savannah, and you can now experience some of the best conventional game viewing with the magnificent Rwenzori Mountains as a backdrop in Queen Elizabeth National Park. Watch out for leopard, giraffe, elephant and hippo or search for the tree-climbing lions of Ishasha.

If you are a keen birder, there are few places that can beat Uganda’s over 1000 species long list!

 

A selection of bespoke and private group Uganda safaris

The experiences in Uganda can be enjoyed in a variety of safari styles depending on how you prefer to travel and more specifically, your budget. Offering the ultimate in flexibility, our tailor-made Uganda safaris are completely personalised for you, whereas our small group safaris are more suited to those on a smaller budget or who wish to travel with like-minded individuals on a fixed departure and itinerary. Many of our experiences combine brilliantly with Rwanda or Tanzania, so once you have looked at the below selection, please contact us and we can blend the right safari itinerary for you.

Unless stated as a small group safari, the below safaris are examples only, please contact us to design your very own personalised Uganda safari.

We have outlined below some of our most popular safaris based on our expertise of the local environment and lodges. these are however just a taste of what we can arrange and all can be adapted as per your specific requirements.

 

What to see in parks and attractions in Uganda?

 

Searching for the mountain gorillas in Bwindi and Mgahinga National Parks is a huge motivation for visitors to Uganda and you can also track habituated chimpanzees in Kibali. However, some of her other attractions include more traditional African safari experiences, such as the mighty Murchison Falls and Queen Elizabeth National Park, where if you are lucky you will see other incredible fauna such as elephants, giraffe and possibly lion and leopard. Here you can find detailed information on each of the key areas we will take you to as part of your exciting Uganda safari, but our experts are also at hand to fully personalize your experience.

Uganda may be lesser known than some of its more ubiquitous neighbors when it comes to safaris, but this provides a great deal of authenticity across its attractions and smaller crowds.

Chimpanzees, Uganda

Chimpanzees: the best place to track chimpanzees in Uganda is Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary.

Golden Monkeys: golden monkeys can be tracked in Mgahinga National Park, the smallest national park in Uganda.

Mountain Gorillas: the mountain gorillas can be tracked in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.

Tree Climbing Lions: these curious cats can be found in Ishasha in the southern section of Queen Elizabeth National Park.

Rhinos: at the Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary you can track these ancient-looking animals on foot with your guide.

PARKS AND ATTRACTIONS OF UGANDA

Gorilla trekking, Uganda

Bwindi National Park provides first class gorilla viewing with some cosy camps and lodges to enjoy at the end of your day tracking.

Rafting,Uganda

Jinja and the Source of the Nile

Jinja is Uganda’s adventure capital set on the banks of the Nile and providing bungee jumping and white water rafting.

Shoebill close up, Uganda

Kampala and Entebbe

Built around Kampala Hill, a picturesque city now suffering more and more from traffic. Entebbe is home to the international airport.

Chimpanzee, Uganda

Kibale Forest National Park

Kibale Forest National Park is home to the greatest density of primates in east Africa and the largest populations of chimpanzees in Uganda.

Buffalo, Uganda

Kidepo National Park

In northern Uganda, Kidepo National Park is often overlooked when it is home to some great lion vs buffalo interaction.

Zebra close up

Lake Mburo National Park

Lake Mburo National Park is a picturesque park where you can enjoy walking safaris and the ideal place to relax on safari on your way to/from Entebbe.

Mountain gorilla eating, Uganda

Mgahinga Gorilla National Park

Mgahinga National Park is the smallest park in Uganda but home to gorillas, golden monkeys, pygmies and some stunning walks

Murchison Falls, Uganda

Murchison Falls

Witness the mighty Nile in all its glory at Murchison Falls. A great way to experience the wildlife is by boat on a magical river safari.

Chimpanzees, Uganda

Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary

Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary provides a great day out or overnight from Entebbe as you are educated about the plight of the rescued chimpanzees.

Queen Elizabeth National Park, Uganda

Queen Elizabeth National Park

Queen Elizabeth National Park provides some great savannah game, boat safaris and even chimpanzee tracking.

Elephant bull, Uganda

Rwenzori Mountains

The Rwenzori Mountains, also referred to as the Mountains of the Moon, provide a hard trek to the 5,109 metre summit over a period of days.

Rhino Wildlife Safari

Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary

Ziwa Rhino sanctuary is a small sanctuary where you can track the rhinos on foot with your guide. The rhinos were originally imported from Kenya.

 

What is the best time to visit Uganda?

Equatorial Uganda has a pleasant warm and tropical climate with insignificant seasonal variations, making it good to visit year round. There are wetter months that make certain plans and activities somewhat trickier which are worth factoring into your planning. 

Average temperatures in Uganda are around 21.5°C or 71°F, dropping to a minimum of 12°C or 54°F at night time, with altitude also affecting this. Being on the equator, rainfall ranges between 1,000 and 2,000 millimeters each year, but depending on time of year these can be short bursts which give rise to clearer skies.

How long to stay in Uganda?

The length of a typical Uganda safari will vary. Those seeking to track gorillas will fly into Entebbe and often overnight on the shores of Lake Victoria before flying out to the south western parks the following morning. Our experts recommend tracking the gorillas twice, as the first time is often a little overwhelming and guests don’t take it all in. After the gorilla experience, visitors usually fly back to Entebbe to continue their safari elsewhere or to head out onto the Ugandan safari circuit with visits to Kibale, Queen Elizabeth National Park and Murchison Falls. Further north, at the very tip of the country, travelers can explore the untouched open spaces of lesser-known parks like Kidepo. On average, however, stays range between four to ten days.

Uganda – what should I pack?

What should I bring with me?

As a general guide, comfortable, casual wash and wear clothes are recommended. Please note that muted colors are recommended for game-viewing. Game-drives are conducted in the early morning and late afternoon, which can be very cold, especially when rainy.

 

The most practical items to pack for safari are:

  • Khaki, green, beige and neutral colors (dark blue and black clothing should be avoided, as it attracts Tsetse flies)
  • Shirts with long sleeves (even in summer, as protection from the sun, mosquitoes and Tsetse flies)
  • T-shirts
  • Shorts
  • Jeans or safari trousers for evenings and cooler days
  • A jacket and sweater are recommended for early morning and evening game drives
  • Lightweight water-proof jacket
  • Sturdy trousers
  • Rain hat
  • Swim and beachwear while at camp
  • Comfortable walking shoes
  • Strong waterproof walking boots (comfortable for going upsteep hills). Pants should be tucked into socks and boots while trekking.
  • Sun block, sunglasses, hat, moisturizer and lip-salve are all essentials
  • Strong insect repellent
  • Binoculars and camera equipment
  • Small backpack to carry water and a packed lunch

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Book your East African Safaris, Uganda Tours, Gorilla Trekking, Chimpanzee Trekking, Birding and Cultural Tours | Al

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