Uganda Safari Experiences

Uganda Safari Experiences

 
Uganda Safari Experiences are immensely popular due to the country’s remarkable biodiversity. Winston Churchill famously called Uganda the “Pearl of Africa” for its stunning landscapes and diverse plant and animal life. The country’s equatorial location provides a climate that perfectly supports its rich ecosystems. Additionally, a Uganda Wildlife Safari offers enriching cultural encounters. With over 30 friendly and welcoming tribes, Uganda’s diverse culture adds an extra layer of safety and enjoyment to the tour.

Since gaining independence, Uganda’s tourism industry has faced significant challenges. The rebellion in Northern Uganda, led by Joseph Kony, caused a decline in tourist visits to certain areas. However, with peace now restored, the tourism sector is flourishing, attracting more visitors to Ugandan safaris. Despite being landlocked, Uganda boasts numerous national parks, mountains, lakes, and rivers teeming with a diverse array of birds, animals, and plants. The country is home to the largest population of endangered Mountain Gorillas, making it a top travel destination. Beyond gorillas, Uganda also hosts the highest number of chimpanzees in East Africa. Visitors on a Uganda Safari can easily spot the Big Five: leopards, hippopotamuses, lions, buffaloes, and elephants. Additionally, Uganda is renowned for its tree-climbing lions.

For those interested, you can find articles on the cost of a safari in Uganda, student tours, and packing tips for a safari.

Key activities on a Uganda safari include:

  • Gorilla tracking: Tours in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest Park and Mgahinga Gorilla Park.
  • Chimpanzee tracking: In Budongo Forest, Kibale, and Mgahinga.
  • Kampala City Tour: Cultural and religious tours to the Ndere Centre, Uganda Museum, Kasubi Tombs, and the Uganda Martyrs Shrine in Namugongo. More details are available in our 1-day Kampala tour package.
  • Nature walks and landscape viewing.
  • Spotting the Big Five: Elephants, rhinoceros, leopards, lions, and buffaloes.
  • Fishing: In Lake Victoria, Lake Albert, Lake Edward, Lake Mburo, Lake Kyoga, Lake Kwania, Lake Bunyonyi, Lake Bisina, and the River Nile in Jinja. Common catches include Nile perch, tilapia, mudfish, and lungfish.
  • Bird watching: Over 1,035 species.
  • Swimming and rafting: In various crater lakes, rivers, and beaches.
  • Mountain climbing and hiking: Mount Elgon and the Rwenzori Mountains.
  • Quad biking.
  • Bungee jumping: Over the Nile.
  • Cultural and heritage tours

Popular Tours And Safaris

6 Days 5 Nights
Volcano & Lake Kivu National Park-Rwanda
$3,900
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3 Days 2 Nights
 
Queen Elizabeth National Park-Western Uganda
$800

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4 Days 3 Nights
 
4 Days Best of Water Rafting and Sipi Falls
Jinja, Sipi Falls in Kapchorwa Uganda
$570

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18 Days 17 Nights
 
Bwindi, Kibale, Kidepo & other National Parks
$4,950

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Uganda Wildlife Safaris Experiences – Places to visit  while on a Uganda Safari

1. Murchison Falls National Park

uganda-safari-experiences

Location and Overview

Situated in Northwestern Uganda, specifically in the Masindi District, Murchison Falls National Park is the largest conservation area in Uganda, covering over 3,800 km². The park derives its name from one of its most notable attractions, the Murchison Falls. This breathtaking waterfall is formed where the Nile River forces its way through a narrow gorge, plunging approximately 42 meters with a thunderous roar.

Wildlife and Activities

Despite past challenges such as insecurity and poaching, recent conservation efforts have helped the park recover. Murchison Falls National Park boasts a rich array of wildlife, including the largest population of endangered Rothschild giraffes in East Africa, numbering over 1,000. Visitors can enjoy memorable river cruises along the Nile, where they can observe elephants, lions, giraffes, Nile crocodiles, hippos, buffaloes, antelopes, and various bird species along the riverbanks.

Additional Attractions

The Budongo Forest, located within the park, is renowned for chimpanzee trekking, as highlighted in our 3-day Murchison Falls safari package. The park is also famous for white water rafting at the Karuma Falls, a series of rapids just before the Murchison Falls.

2. Queen Elizabeth National Park

uganda-safari-experiences

Location and Overview

Queen Elizabeth National Park, covering 2,056 sq. km, is located near the border with the Democratic Republic of Congo. It is the most visited park in Uganda and is particularly famous for its tree-climbing lions in Ishasha and the Uganda Kob. The park is celebrated as one of the best wildlife viewing areas in Africa, offering stunning green scenery and a diverse collection of plant, animal, and bird species. Our 3-Days Uganda Safari to Queen Elizabeth National Park offers you a chance to encounter Wildlife and Bird Watching

The park is home to over 500 bird species, including the Kingfisher, flamingos, eagles, storks, and the endangered Shoebill Stork. The varied habitats within the park, such as savanna grasslands, swamps, lakes, and volcanic features, support a rich biodiversity.

Activities and Best Time to Visit

A 3-day safari to Queen Elizabeth National Park provides an excellent opportunity to spot the Big Five: buffaloes, hippos, baboons, elephants, and various antelope species. Visitors can also see Nile crocodiles in Lake Edward and Lake George, enjoy birding and game viewing at the Kazinga Channel, or track chimpanzees in the Maramagambo Forest. The best time to visit Queen Elizabeth National Park is during the dry season for optimal wildlife viewing conditions.

3. Kidepo Valley National Park

Location and Overview

Kidepo Valley National Park is a spectacular and remote destination in northeastern Uganda, spanning approximately 1,440 km². Although its remote location results in fewer visitors, the park is unparalleled in its diversity and abundance of flora and fauna. Often described as a reflection of Africa before extensive human interference, Kidepo has been recognized by CNN Travel as one of the top three parks in Africa. The park features stunning mountains and pristine savanna landscapes.

Flora And Fauna  Attractions

On a safari in Kidepo Valley National Park, visitors can encounter a wide array of wildlife, including wild dogs, lions, cheetahs, leopards, giraffes, oryx, buffaloes, and hippopotamuses. The park is also home to bush babies, elephants, ostriches, baboons, and around 220 bird species. Additionally, the Kananorok hot springs in the northern part of the park are a notable attraction. The park’s animals coexist with nomadic pastoralists such as the Karamajong and the Ik people, who live high up on Morungole Mountain. Visitors can expect a unique and memorable experience during their Uganda wildlife tour in Kidepo Valley National Park.

4. Bwindi Impenetrable National Park

gorilla-families-in-uganda-bwindi-and-mgahinga-national-park

Location and Overview

Bwindi Impenetrable Forest Park, located in southwestern Uganda, borders the Democratic Republic of Congo’s Virunga National Park. Renowned for its landscape and biological diversity, Bwindi is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is often referred to as the Switzerland of Africa. The park’s lush, green forests are home to half of the world’s remaining mountain gorillas, with the other half found in Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Gorilla Trekking and Wildlife

Mountain gorilla tracking in Bwindi National Park is one of the top activities in Africa and a must-do on a Uganda safari. This once-in-a-lifetime experience offers the chance to see endangered mountain gorillas up close. In addition to gorillas, Bwindi is home to colobus monkeys and is a paradise for bird watchers. Bird species in the park include bee-eaters, Chapin’s flycatchers, black-billed turacos, and African green broadbills. The best time for birding is during the wet season when resident and migratory birds gather to feast on the abundant forest fruits and insects. Visiting Bwindi on our 3 Days Gorilla Trekking Safari offers you an opportunity to experience and explore the ultimate gorillas in their natural habitats.

5. Mgahinga Gorilla National Park

Location and Overview

Mgahinga Gorilla National Park is situated in southwestern Uganda and is famous for gorilla tourism. The park features one habituated mountain gorilla family available for trekking. Besides gorillas, Mgahinga is the only place in Uganda where visitors can find golden monkeys. To see more golden monkey groups, one would need to cross over to Rwanda.

Things To Do

Mgahinga Gorilla National Park is not just about monkeys and gorillas. It is also home to jackals, woodland elephants, buffaloes, leopards, and a few antelope species. Visitors can hike one of the park’s three volcanoes—Mount Sabinyo, Mount Muhavura, and Mount Gahinga—or explore the Batwa Trail and caves. For those specifically targeting gorilla encounters, the 4-day Mgahinga gorilla safari package is highly recommended.

6. Kibale Forest National Park

uganda-safari-experiences

Location and Overview

Kibale Forest National Park is located near the Rwenzori Mountains and shares a border with Queen Elizabeth National Park. Renowned for chimpanzee tracking, it is considered the best place in East Africa to observe chimpanzees. The park is home to approximately 1,500 chimpanzees, offering a high likelihood of close encounters during a Uganda safari. Chimpanzee trekking can be complemented with nature walks and visits to the Bigodi Swamp.

What To Do

In addition to chimpanzees, Kibale Forest National Park hosts 13 other monkey species, including red colobus, L’Hoest’s, and grey-cheeked mangabeys. The park is also inhabited by giant forest hogs, antelopes, and over 100 butterfly species. With areas of swamps and grasslands, Kibale is a prime location for birdwatching, boasting over 290 bird species.

7. Lake Mburo National Park

Location and Overview

Lake Mburo National Park is Uganda’s smallest and most accessible park from Kampala. The park features Lake Mburo as the main water body among its 12 lakes. It is the only park in Uganda where zebras are found. Bird enthusiasts will appreciate the over 300 species that gather at the lake and its swampy shores.

Tourist Activities

The park’s savanna grasslands are home to antelopes, buffaloes, leopards, jackals, and hyenas. The absence of elephants allows for a thriving woodland environment. The best time to spot wildlife is during the dry season when animals congregate at Lake Mburo to drink. For those interested, a 3-day Lake Mburo Wildlife Tour and Safari Package is available.

8. Mount Elgon National Park

Location and Overview

Mount Elgon National Park is situated in Mbale District in Eastern Uganda, straddling the border between Uganda and Kenya. The park’s main attraction is Mount Elgon, an extinct volcano with a vast caldera spanning about 42 km². The Wagagai summit is a favorite among hikers, along with the park’s hot springs and other captivating features.

Wildlife and Activities

The mountain’s slopes are covered with natural forests, bushes, waterfalls, caves, gorges, and canyons. The park is home to various bird species and primates, including colobus monkeys, blue monkeys, and vervet monkeys. A visit to Mount Elgon National Park is a must for any Uganda safari.

9. Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary

uganda-safari-experiences

Location and Overview

Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary is located along the route to Murchison Falls National Park. The sanctuary aims to protect Uganda’s rhinos and eventually restock the larger parks. Due to poaching for their valuable horns, rhinos had become rare in Uganda’s parks. The sanctuary provides a safe haven for rhinos to reproduce, protected by over 60 rangers and guards.

Wildlife and Activities

Visitors to the sanctuary can see rhinos up-close and interact with conservationists to learn about rhino conservation efforts. Apart from rhinos, rangers can help spot monkeys, antelopes, crocodiles, and hippos. The sanctuary is ideal for relaxing, nature walks, and canoeing, with opportunities to spot about 240 bird species. Many tour companies include a stop at Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary when organizing safaris to Murchison Falls National Park.

Uganda Safari – Other Tourist destinations

10. Lake Bunyonyi

Overview

With its 29 islands, Lake Bunyonyi is widely regarded as the most beautiful lake in Uganda. Situated near the border with Rwanda and close to the towns of Kabale and Kisoro, the lake is one of the deepest in Africa. Its breathtaking scenic beauty attracts both visitors on a Uganda tour and locals. Lake Bunyonyi offers romantic spots perfect for relaxation and planning the next activity on your safari.

Activities

Visitors can enjoy traditional dances of the Batwa Pygmies or hop from one island to another, exploring island villages, schools, and settlements by boat. Due to its proximity to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, many visitors stop by Lake Bunyonyi on their way to track mountain gorillas. For more details, check out our 3-day Lake Bunyonyi safari package.

11. The Source of the Nile

Overview

A trip to Uganda should include a visit to the source of the Nile in Jinja, combined with a 2-day whitewater rafting experience. The Nile, one of the world’s longest rivers, flows through several countries, including Sudan, Ethiopia, and Egypt, after leaving Uganda.

Activities

Jinja is a small, well-planned town with beautiful scenery. Visitors can explore the Bujagali Falls or enjoy boat rides along the Nile, spotting large crocodiles. The river also offers camping, fishing, rafting, kayaking, and bungee jumping opportunities.

12. Ssese Islands

Overview

The scenic Ssese Islands are an archipelago of 84 islands located in Lake Victoria. Both locals and visitors on a Uganda wildlife tour enjoy vacations on the islands’ quiet, sandy beaches. The journey to the islands from Entebbe takes 3 hours by ferry or 45 minutes from Bukakata.

Activities

The largest island is Bugala in Kalangala town, but other islands like Bulago and Bukasa also feature excellent white sand beaches. Fishing and tourism are the main economic activities on the islands. Visitors can spot various bird species, monkeys, crocodiles, hippos, and some antelope species.

13. Uganda Wildlife Education Centre

Overview

Located in Entebbe, the Uganda Wildlife Education Centre was established by the government for education and wildlife conservation purposes. Recently revamped, the center has grown considerably in recent years, increasing its population and variety of animals, birds, and reptiles.

Activities

The Entebbe zoo is an ideal place for those visiting Uganda for short workshops and conferences to get a taste of the country’s flora and fauna.

14.The Rwenzori Mountains

Overview

Among Uganda’s many mountains, the Rwenzori Mountains stand out. Located at the border between Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo, the mountains are a favorite for tourists who enjoy hiking to the snow-capped Margherita peak.

Activities

The mountain slopes are covered with dense forests inhabited by primates, forest hogs, and various bird and butterfly species. Nature lovers on a Uganda safari will find the scenery of the Rwenzori Mountains particularly rewarding.

15. Sipi Falls

Overview

Sipi Falls, located at the foot of Mount Elgon, are some of the most stunning waterfalls in Uganda and among the most visited. The falls have three levels, with the top level attracting the most travelers.

Activities

Visitors to Sipi Falls can enjoy the picturesque views and the refreshing ambiance of the waterfalls, making it a must-visit spot on any Uganda tour.

7 Days 6 Nights
 
Bwindi, Murchison Falls National Park
$2,300

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20 Days 19 Nights
Uganda’s most loved and visited National Parks
$6,000
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10 Days 9 Nights
 
Uganda, Rwanda Best of the National Parks
$3,900

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25 Days 24 Nights
 
Bwindi, most loved and visited National Parks
$6,800

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