Guided Game drives in Uganda

Guided safari game drives in Uganda and other African destinations involve traveling through a savanna park in a four-by-four safari vehicle, accompanied by a professional local guide and observing wild animals. A game drive is a highlight of any classic Africa safari taking you deeper into the natural environment and bringing you closer to the great and small animals inside the safe boundaries of a 4×4.

Safari game drives in Uganda are accessible to anybody. Most tourists however prefer to be guided. This guarantees a more comfortable experience in the bush because a local expert will take care of discovering the animals and placing you in the right area at the appropriate time. In this guide, we look at what to expect on these drives, which parks offer the greatest game drive experiences and how to make the most of driving in Uganda’s safari game parks.

What to look forward to on guided safari game drives in Uganda

Car Rental in Uganda

The most enjoyable guided game drives will take place between the foggy daybreak and late in the chilly nights or at night, when most wildlife are more active. Every game drive, regardless of safari destination, is unique, making animal encounters unexpected and thrilling. However, the operational format with various ground operators may be identical. In Uganda, a regular game drive may last 4-5 hours. Other game drives last longer than six hours with short intervals to allow the passenger to stretch, loosen up, and snack. 

For short stops, the guide usually finds a location with nice views of the plains. For early morning wildlife drives, several safari camps provide breakfast settings in the bush. Afternoon game drives are typically planned to conclude with a well-timed refreshing sundowner. The local guide, who is most likely your driver, will be in charge of the adventure excursion, finding the animals, driving you along unexpected game viewing paths, and telling you funny stories about your wildlife experiences.

Although wildlife numbers in Uganda’s safari parks do not compare to those seen in other East African regions, wildlife viewing on an expert-guided safari game drive in Uganda is significantly more rewarding. Because the number of tourist cars in the game parks is a fraction of those visiting more developed areas, game drives in Uganda are more private. On a good day, seeing a lion, elephant, or leopard is a rare treat, and such encounters are rarely shared with swarms of vehicles. On Uganda’s savannah plains, famous game drive sightings include tree-climbing lions in Queen Elizabeth National Park’s Ishasha sector, elephants, buffalo, leopard, several antelope species, hippo, and the isolated Rothchild’s giraffe.

Expect to be driven in a largely closed 4×4 Land cruiser with wide windows for each seat and a roof pop-up for photographing. In other cases, you might find an open-sided multiple cruiser at a camp, but it’s unlikely in Uganda. To avoid long winding drives from the airports to the safari park, Uganda safaris are operated in closed cruisers.

Night game drives in Queen Elizabeth National Park

Take an exciting night drive to see the world of Africa’s nocturnal predators and give your regular game drives a new perspective. The moon shining off the lakes makes Queen Elizabeth National Park’s nighttime drives particularly beautiful. After a leisurely dinner, depart the lodge at around 20h00 and spend roughly three hours exploring the park. Your knowledgeable tour guide will lead you through the park’s various habitats in search of nocturnal creatures and sounds, providing you with a whole new perspective on the landscape.

The park’s wild animals are in excellent health because of the consistent water supply throughout the year. There are several elusive species that are hard to spot during the day but very active at night. If you keep a lookout, you might be able to spot shy genets, slender civet cats, and spiky porcupines. The enormous hippos contentedly foraging by a leafy tree on the side of the road may be easier to spot. There are frequently reported sightings of roving leopards in the park, though it is not guaranteed that you will see one. Lucky for you, the golden lions, who are the monarchs of the jungle, take great pride in sleeping all day.You have more chances to see them in queen Elizabeth Night game drive

Daily number of guided safari game drives in Uganda

Two game drives per day are often recommended. On the afternoon of your arrival, you can expect to go on your first safari game drive. Safaris departing from Bwindi Impenetrable National Park’s trekking gorillas cannot skip the tree-climbing experience of Queen Elizabeth National Park’s southern Ishasha region. Safari vacations typically include at least 2 game drives every day, one in the mornings and one in the evening, lasting between three to five hours each. On your final day in the park, your tour guide may include another game drive on the way to your next destination.

Assume you’re staying at a safari park or lodge for three nights. In that situation, your agenda calls for six short game drives. Photography safaris typically include one safari drive every day that lasts 6-10 hours and includes a picnic lunch. Visitors who prefer a single drive per day are more likely to return to the camp’s more leisurely activities in the afternoons, such as nature viewing, hikes, conversations, swimming, reading a book, or seeing local cultural presentations.

On Uganda safaris vacations, the local driver-guide is typically paid per day to drive, supervise, and lead 1-6 visitors per vehicle. They have control over how many game drives are conducted each day. You should consult with your tour guide early in the morning or after each safari drive to establish how many excursions you should have that day and when the next one should be. Our personalized bespoke safari game drives in Uganda accommodate one to six passengers per safari truck (without the guide), with each occupant having an adjustable window seat with appropriate legroom.

Destinations for Game drives in Uganda.

The most gratifying safari game drives in Uganda take place in four of the country’s 10 national parks. The country’s wildlife reserves provide limited opportunities for animal observation. In southern Uganda, Queen Elizabeth and Lake Mburo National Parks are popular with travelers wishing to explore the primate-rich forests of Bwindi and Kibale forests. Murchison Falls in the northwest and the vast wilderness of Kidepo National Park in the far northeastern part are two of the most popular safari destinations for safaris lasting more than a week or two.

Queen Elizabeth National Park

If lions are a must-see on your Uganda safari vacation, safari game drives in Uganda’s Queen Elizabeth National Park should be on your itinerary. The park is home to the most of the lions in the country. Spotting lions on any safari game drive, on the other hand, is always difficult anyplace in the wild and takes a good local guide, luck, and tenacity. It’s not as straightforward as what nature television shows portray.

An experienced safari guide can locate the big cats in the grassy Kasenyi plains of northern and southern Ishasha. Aside from the usual lion sightings, the park is well-known for its tree-climbing lions which are frequently sighted blissfully reclining on the large fig trees that bloom in the southern Ishasha area.

Other game that travelers frequently see when traveling across the Queen Elizabeth savannah grasslands include massive herds of elephants and buffalo. You’ll also see a variety of intriguing antelope species, including Uganda kob, and bushbuck. The enormous forest hog is exceptionally visible. Look for the elusive leopard in the Kasenyi trails. Night game drives, on the other hand, are ideal for seeing the elusive leopard. A typical Uganda safari will include 2 days in Queen Elizabeth following or before the gorilla trekking experience in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park as well as a couple of safari game drives. 

Our Tailored safaris to Queen Elizabeth

Lake Mburo National Park

If you’re not interested in seeing large game, safari game drives in Lake Mburo National Park would suffice. A safari drive will reveal large herds of impala, zebra, waterbuck, eland, topi, and buffalo. Mburo is typically used as a break stop on lengthy journeys to the southern Uganda safari loop, where travelers may expect more animal action drama. As a result, guests often favor the park’s active safari activities, such as wildlife watching on foot or horseback, as well as the relaxed sunsets. A typical Lake Mburo safari may include a day or two in the park before heading further into the western circuit to trek gorillas in Bwindi or explore Queen Elizabeth National Park’s Rwenzori Mountains-shadowed savannah plains.

Safaris To Lake Mburo

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Murchison Falls National Park

Murchison Falls National Park, Uganda’s largest savannah park, is located up the Nile at the fringe of the Albertine Rift. Murchison Falls is one of three big safari parks in Uganda that provide outstanding guided safari game drives. A decent safari drive on Murchison’s wildlife paths will take you to four of Africa’s Big Five, with the exception of rhinos. On game drives, buffalo and elephants are very prevalent. The park boasts a thriving lion population that feeds on the plentiful Uganda kob. You’ll also see oribi, Jackson’s hartebeest, Defassa waterbuck, grey duiker, and bushbuck, among other antelope species.

On each of the safari game drives in the park, you will see vast herds of Rothschild’s giraffes. The reclusive leopards, albeit few in number, are most likely to be seen around Pakuba track. On the grassy plains, keep an eye out for armies of the endangered Pata’s monkey. Murchison Falls National Park is around 200 km from Kibale National Park, the closest park, and hence is somewhat secluded from the western circuit. As a result, it is frequently the first or last destination on the finest of Uganda safari vacation. However, the Murchison Falls itinerary through Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary is the only one that guarantees a sighting of Africa’s BIG FIVE animals.

We propose spending at least two nights in Murchison and then continuing your love of the African savannah to the enormous wildness of Kidepo Valley in the far northeast for yet another two nights.

Safaris to Murchison falls National Park

Kidepo Valley National Park

If you want to spend more time in a single savannah park in Uganda, Kidepo National Park is the finest option. The park is a predator refuge, safeguarding several predators that can only be found in Uganda’s parks, such as the cheetah and black-backed jackal. On a safari game drive at Kidepo, you may see the bat-eared fox, cheetah, stripped hyena, lesser Kudu, caracal, aardwolf, Beisa Oryx, Grant’s gazelle, elephant, Orbis, Burchell’s zebras, Jackson’s hartebeests, bush pigs, buffaloes, bohor reedbuck. A skilled local safari guide will notice the side-striped jackal, Kongoni, black-backed jackal, and spotted hyena, in addition to lions, leopards, and other small cats.

We recommend spending 3 or 4 nights in Kidepo National Park at, Nga’Moru Wilderness Camp, Apoka safari lodge or Kidepo savanna Lodge to obtain a Mara-like experience with unparalleled seclusion that few safari parks can offer.

Safaris To Kidepo National Park

How to Make the Most of Your Game Drives in Uganda.

Expectations that are realistic

Uganda safari parks are enormous, with wild creatures dispersed across wide savannah plains. You’ll have to drive across extensive game paths to reach concentrations of animals. Sightings are not assured no matter how much you pay for your safari especially for the huge elusive species.

It’s advisable to discuss your expectations with your knowledgeable local guide about the kind of animals you could meet. Safari game drives are more difficult than what wildlife television shows portray. Before you plan your trip, learn more about the park you’ll be visiting including the types of animals and the quality of the game drives. In general, it’s preferable to go in with as few reasonable expectations as feasible and be surprised with unexpected animal drama.

Carry a patience bag.

On the savannah plains, the best wildlife viewing opportunity is frequently a waiting game. Having patience on a safari game drive is essential for generating memorable wilderness experiences, whether you’re sitting by a watering hole or gently tootling through the wilderness with your eyes peeled. So, be patient with your local tour guide since he or she must guarantee that your experiences are as spectacular as possible. It is better to stick with a potentially nice sighting rather than driving from animal to animal. Spending time will allow you to see some intriguing animal behavior.

More watching, less camera time

Taking pictures on safari ought to be enjoyable. Don’t let your camera take over every wildlife sighting unless you’re a professional photographer. It’s enlightening to put down the camera, calm down and take in the sights, scents, and sounds of the African wilderness. A safari game drive in Uganda provides fantastic opportunity for wildlife photography, but you should also have some rewarding encounters with your tour guide. You’ll most likely develop a deep relationship with your guide and ultimately, it’s the human talks that will stick with you. So put down the camera and you’ll discover that fantastic photo.

Gathering Information:

The primary purpose of your safari guide is to make the best of your African adventure. Most guides are skilled at identifying animals and can provide interesting information about the sightings. They’ll definitely have many incredible stories to share. Interact with them to gain a clearer image of your experience, the ideal location, to identify uncommon creatures, to ask questions, and to gather stories to share with your friends and family. Sometimes people get caught up in the moment and forget you’re not hearing them.

Finally, because the Big 5 and other large animals are extensively promoted, it’s easy to become too fixated on them during guided safari game drives. The major goal of every safari excursion appears to be to find them. Viewing little animals and birds on the other hand may be quite gratifying. A snapshot of a dung beetle or a bright bird is more intriguing than seeing a sleeping lion for 30 minutes. Driving slowly on the game tracks is a good method to concentrate on the details.

The Best Time to Visit for Game drives in Uganda

The optimum times to go on safari game drives in Uganda’s western savannah parks are from June to August and December to February. The greatest time to go on a game drive in Kidepo Valley National Park is just after the rainy season in September, October, and November as well as during the lengthy dry season from December to April. The beginning of the rainy season on the other hand is usually a terrific time to drive on the safari routes and take in the greening scenery.

What to bring on game drives in Uganda

If this is your first safari, you’ll be wondering what to bring or wear for a safari game drive in Uganda. Now that you’re aware of your predicament, here’s a fast rundown of what you should do.

What to Put On during your Game drives in Uganda

Drive early in the morning and wear comfortable layering of safari attire for the most of the day. You’ll be able to acclimatize to the vast variety of temperatures you’ll encounter on a regular day this way. While it might be cold in the mornings in western Uganda, it turns hot by lunchtime. Therefore, safari outfitters will spare you the bother. Even Detachable pants and a light jacket are fantastic alternatives if you’re going on safari in the wet seasons because you’ll be spending most a lot your time in a closed safari truck. Bring a shawl and gloves for the cool morning game drives.

On safari, sun protection is a major concern. Carry a hat, sunscreen, and polarized sunglasses to prevent glare. It doesn’t matter what sort of hat you wear as long as it protects you from UV radiation and matches your style. However, avoid using strong colors. Although you may spend the majority of your time on a safari game drive within the vehicle, you may occasionally get out for a stretch, sundowner, or to take a better look at an intriguing small animal or plant that your tour guide may point out. Wear a pair of comfortable shoes in that case. They don’t have to be hiking boots, but a pair of canvas shoes should suffice.

During these times, keep a bottle of hand sanitizer, a facemask, and insect repellent in your handbag. According to the park SOPs, you must wear a mask and disinfect all contact points. Insect repellent is especially important on evening and night drives when mosquitoes are most active. If you want to learn more about the African bush, bring an animal handbook with you on safari. Your guides may be using a guide book but having your own animal handbook would be quite exciting.

Snacks and drinks

To prevent polluting the environment with throwaway water bottles, bring a refillable water bottle. Stay hydrated during the scorching safari drives by refilling your bottle at your camp.

Snacks for game drives include nuts, energy bars, and dried fruit. The excitement of the environment and the fresh air can work up an appetite, so have some snacks on hand.

Carry a small first-aid kit with you on long-distance wildlife drives to be prepared for the unexpected. Aspirin, bandages, stomachache remedies, plasters, anti-septic, and anti-histamine lotion can all be included in the kit.

Begin your morning with the whistling of the wind and the lure of adventure. Our well-maintained cars, which have been specially designed for the tough safari landscape, gently churn up the dirt on the plains trails keeping you on track in your desire to explore the African wild. The huge windows, high chairs, and pop-up canopy ensure you don’t miss anything as you travel through the vast savanna plains. To ensure a comfortable wildlife experience, our safari vans are outfitted with a fridge, a picnic bag, and binoculars on request. We recognize that the guided game drive is the core of any private Africa safari, thus we strive to provide our visitors with delightful experiences using specialized 4X4 safari vehicles and professional local guides.

Other Safari activities in Uganda

Other than game drives in Uganda, there are more ways to experience the various wildlife that the country has to offer. Since Uganda is blessed with various eco systems, the need to explore the different inhabitants terrains has led to different safari activities. To get a best of your Uganda safaris, Laba Africa combines these safari activities with game drives in Uganda. 

Gorilla trekking
Mountain Rwenzori peak and Gorillas

Gorilla trekking in Uganda is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to visit the amazing mountain gorillas of central Africa’s rainforests on the Virunga Mountains’ slopes and in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. Travelers who have participated in this Uganda safari strongly recommend it. No other animal encounter in Africa, they say, compares to the unforgettable experience of sharing face-to-face time with Uganda’s wild gorillas in their native habitat. Mountain gorillas cannot thrive outside of their natural habitats, including zoos. They only exist in two remote tropical jungles in east and central Africa, namely Uganda, Rwanda, and the Democratic : READ MORE

Chimpanzee Trekking

Chimpanzee tracking safaris are one of Uganda’s most popular safari activities, guaranteeing dramatic primate encounters.
Uganda offers a unique capacity to combine a decent selection of wildlife viewing experiences with witnessing wild chimps in a single itinerary, with a good number of chimps among the estimated 5,000 chimps habituated for tourists inside their natural habitat. Tracking chimps through the thick, tangled bushes and ancient trees that carpet western Uganda’s rainforest requires patience and a wacky sense of humor. A native guide, equipped with a machete and a walkie-talkie, usually leads the route. You, on the other hand, will be wearing light hiking boots, proper jungle attire, and a crazy hat to keep the thorns out of your head. READ MORE

4 Day Uganda wildlife and primate safari

Boat Cruises

Croisiere safari dans le parc national Murchison Falls

Uganda Boat Safari

Viewing wild game from the water on a boat launch safari offers a unique perspective on wildlife behavior. Uganda provides amazing opportunity for wildlife viewing from a boat. Although typical African safaris are mostly done in a safari vehicle or on foot, Uganda delivers a more stunning experience of observing wildlife from a boat on the banks of water bodies prevalent in savannah parks. Three of Uganda’s best locations contain bodies of water that attract big numbers of wildlife that come to drink from the life-giving waters. Tourists can see live wildlife action on the banks of the water from the boat without having to beat the bush.

Nature Walks

Enjoy an unforgettable experience as you observe wildlife up close on exhilarating walking expeditions across natural areas. Nature walks are an excellent way to get up close and personal with wildlife while exploring Uganda, the Pearl of Africa.

Unlike game drives, where visitors are driven through park trails to see wildlife, nature walks require individuals to walk through the same routes that animals does; what a true jungle experience. 

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Mountain Climbing

Uganda is not as famous when it comes to mountaineering, its often shadowed by the neighboring countries like Tanzania and Kenya etc. But the fact is that Uganda is one of the few places in the world where you can combine Uganda wildlife safaris and Gorilla trekking through age-old tropical rain forests with adventurous Mountain Climbing. Mountains in Uganda will take you from old age jungles to snow-capped peaks.  climbing in Uganda can be easily combined with Big 5 safaris and if that’s not enough, it’s just an hours and half away flight to Zanzibar for your beach extension. READ MORE

12-Days Mountain Rwenzori and Gorillas

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