A safari holiday is the most excellent way to discover a place or the up and down track whether you are in a forest, desolate tract or a desert. Uganda is perhaps gifted with some of the most excellent and overwhelming wildlife sites which are a delight and ecstasy if discovered by way of a safari. Uganda is one of the most beautiful safari destinations in Africa with fantastic natural scenery, half the world’s remaining mountain gorilla population.
There are different types of safaris in Uganda available and one of the most frequent safaris are the Gorilla safaris, Chimpanzee tracking, Bird watching, Guided walks, Cultural Tours, Game drives, Nile White Water Rafting, Mountain climbing and Sport fishing.
Best Safaris in Uganda
Game Drives: A game drive safari offers the most excellent choice when covering enormous distances in a little time. Few of the wildlife parks in Uganda providing game drive safaris are Murchison Falls National Park, Queen Elizabeth National Park, Kidepo Valley National Park and Lake Mburo National Park. Queen Elizabeth enjoys a stunning scenery location on the rift valley floor between Lake George and Edward, hence the highest number of species of any park in Uganda. The main camp at Mweya Safari Lodge is attractively nestled at a peninsula separating Kazinga Channel from Lake Edward. Kazinga is a natural magnet for water birds. Lake Mburo is renowned for zebras which you see as you drive into the park. The water courses in Kidepo are responsible for the acacia forests which shelter several carnivore including lions, leopards, and spotted hyena. Apoka Lodge offers spacious accommodation with expansive views across the plains.
Guided Walks: Discover the wonders of the natural world through guided walking tours in Uganda. Guided walks are offered in many of the forested national parks and a number of smaller forest reserves throughout the country. Bwindi Impenetrable, Kibale Forest and Mgahinga Gorilla National Parks offer the best options. Uganda guided walks are perfect for adventure seekers, family holidays, or groups of up to 10 people. There are tours that include different lengths of time. All depend on the safari package of your choice. Contact Expert-Guided Adventures for a memorable nature walk. Guided walks with Expert-Guided Adventures are also available in Mabira, Budongo and Mpanga Forest Reserves near Kampala, and Sipi Falls in eastern Uganda.
Birding Watching safaris
The bird list for Uganda makes dedicated bird watchers who haven’t been here to rush to the liquor cabinet. With over 540 masses of bird species, where else would you see such plenty in one safari tour? Birding safaris in Uganda will bring you close to the shy Shoebil, one of the rarest birds but found in abundant in Uganda, several hundreds of flamingoes, crested cranes –the national bird, grey parrots and thousands of other species. Birding tours are common in lush wetlands of Lake Mburo Game Park, Lake Victoria shores and Mgahinga.
For most people, visiting Uganda’s cultural and historical sites only happens during school trips. But visiting these places can also be done with family in a more relaxed and exciting way. In Uganda, cultural tours are common at the National Museum in Kamwokya, a city suburb, Cultural functions such as ‘Kwanjula’, ‘Kuhingira’ (Traditional Wedding Ceremonies) and many others, Kasubi Royal Tombs– a UNESCO Heritage Site and burial site for Buganda Kingdom’s rulers; tours to places of worship in Rubaga- Catholics, Namirembe- Protestants, Kibuli- Muslims, Theatres and much more.
Launch Cruises: There are three famous launch trips on offer in Uganda; the journey up the Victoria Nile River to the base of Murchison Falls; the cruise along Lake Mburo; and the cruise along the Kazinga Channel, Queen Elizabeth National Park. These fun-filled excursions are sure to impress you and have the next trip planned before the first one ends. Queen Elizabeth launches run at 15.00 and 17.00. Additional voyages can be conducted at 11.00 on request. The Murchison Falls Launch at Paraa is ultimately the more spectacular. The Launch departs at 09.00 and 14.00 daily. This 4-5 hour voyage offers an excellent opportunity of spotting the elusive shoebill stork and other wildlife.
Hiking Safaris: Hiking is a form of walking which has gained popularity in Uganda. The two main opportunities for mountain climbing are the Rwenzori Mountains and Mount Elgon. While hiking through the Elgon and Rwenzoris, trekkers can experience the natural beauty along the trails as well as get a glimpse of the rare species of wildlife, birds and insects. Before taking up the hiking trip it should be carefully kept in mind that the clothing should be of a fabric that provides a breather to your skin and allows your body to shed excess heat and sweat while feeling dry.
The best period to hike Mount Rwenzori is during the months of January and February and June to August during when the weather conditions are at its best. There are several hiking circuits but the Central Circuit is arranged by the Rwenzori Mountaineering Services (RMS) and starts from Nyakalegija. Mountain hiking in Uganda is also possible in the volcanoes at Mgahinga Gorilla National Park – Mt Mgahinga, Mt Sabinyo and Mt Muhavura.
White Water Rafting: White-water rafting is not a very old holiday activity in Uganda. It dates back just in 1996 but has created a lot of excitement amongst Uganda holiday travelers. The mighty River Nile offers the best spot for White-water rafting in the country. The powerful volume of water creates horrible rapids that provide an unforgettable rafting experience. There are some very exhilarating sections with space between to lay back and float along taking in the landscape and enjoying the nature, particularly the many species of birds to be found here. Hit the water for a really wild ride. Nile water rafting the Bujagali Falls is more adventurous and exciting. Nile River Explorers, Equator Rafts, Adrift Adventure Company, Nalubale Rafting and Safaris Uganda are the only operating agents in the industry today. White-water rafting is still in its initial stages on Lake Victoria.
Primate Tracking: Primate tracking is a very popular activity for Uganda safari holidays. Tracking these habituated and delightful apes is an impressive experience. Uganda offers around 5,000 of these primates and these can be tracked in areas of Kibale Forest and this park hosts more than 1450 chimpanzees representing the Uganda’s largest population of these endangered primates, Queen Elizabeth National Park in the Kyambura Gorge, Murchison Falls National Park at Kaniyo Pabidi. Over 40 orphaned chimpanzees are also kept at Ngamba Island, located on Lake Victoria 23km south of Entebbe. The density and diversity of primates in Kibale Forest National Park is the highest in Africa. The commonest of its species are chimpanzees numbering over 1450. Kibale Chimps walks commence from Kanyachu Centre at 08.00 and 15.00 going for three hours. And these trails are for only six persons per group. There are guides to aid trackers. There is also a chimp habituation project in Semliki National Park.
Gorilla Tracking: Gorilla tracking or trekking is Uganda’s most sought after tourism activity. Gorilla tracking is on the rise especially after the increase in the gorilla population. Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park are the prime destinations. In Bwindi, tracking starts at 08.00 and last a few hours to the whole day depending on where the gorillas are in the thickest. Tracking goes for a cost of US500$ per permit. Certain basic rules are set for the trackers with the guide of gorilla wardens. In Mgahinga Park, registration for trackers and briefing for gorilla tracking commences at Ntebeko Point at 08.45. Tracking starts at 08.30 and takes about eight hours. A check list for trekkers should include solid walking shoes, sunscreens, binoculars, digital camera (without flash), insect repellents, and rear gear at a smaller extent.