Is Uganda Good for Safari?

20 days cultural wildlife safaris
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Is Uganda good for safari? The answer is yes because it is one of the most popular safari destinations on the African Continent. Uganda was even recently listed among the best destinations to visit in 2023 by CNN. Furthermore, it remains an excellent destination for traditional safari travel by vehicle or boat. The Pearl of Africa also has an overabundance of habitats and species, and for those looking for something new and exciting, Uganda is the ideal stopping point.

Located in eastern Africa, in the equatorial zone, Uganda is one of the most visited countries due to its numerous tourist attractions which include mountains, lakes, rivers, mammals, primates, birds, and people to mention but a few. The main reason that so many tourists enjoy Uganda safaris is that Uganda has two national parks that are home to endangered mountain gorillas, which share 98% of our DNA. These apes can be found in two parks in southwestern Uganda: Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park.

The classic game drives that occur in the best national parks, namely Queen Elizabeth National Park, Kidepo Valley National Park, Murchison Falls National Park, and Lake Mburo National Park, are another reason Uganda would have a good safari. During these game drives, you will see a variety of mammals, primates, and birds. Uganda has the best boat cruises to the bottom of the falls in Murchison Falls National Park, as well as boat cruises on Kazinga Channel and Lake Mburo. Not to mention the capital for adventure in Jinja City on the world’s longest river – the Nile. The River Nile in Jinja is the center for thrilling activities that include white-water rafting, bungee jumping, and boat rides to the source of the Nile, you name it.

A good safari in Uganda includes a good comfortable safari vehicle that provides the best views during game drives and a good safari driver-guide who understands how to communicate clearly and is well-trained, in addition to being experienced. A good safari in Uganda also includes good accommodation facilities that provide the best sleep and good tourism activities.

A good Uganda safari would include primate viewings, such as chimp trekking or gorilla trekking, a boat cruise on Lake Mburo, the Kazinga channel, or the Albert Nile in Murchison Falls National Park, and a game drive in one of the four best national parks for game drives in Uganda.

In conclusion, Uganda is a blessed country with numerous attractions, including gorilla trekking in the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park and Mgahinga National Park. However, to have the best safari in Uganda, you must work with reputable Uganda safari operators who can create an all-inclusive itinerary.

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What makes Uganda stand out as a good Safari Destination?

Gorilla Trekking Experience

Gorilla trekking is an incredible activity that is done in Uganda at Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. The activity allows you to view these unique species in their natural habitats and requires you to have a valid Gorilla permit, which costs USD700 for foreign nonresidents, USD600 for foreign residents, and UGX250,000 for East African members.

You can also choose a 4-hour Gorilla Habituation experience with mountain gorillas in Bwindi’s Rushaga sector in the company of rangers and researchers. Gorilla habituation costs USD 1,500 per person per trek and allows more time with the Mountain Gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest. The most popular and best way to enjoy gorilla trekking, however, is to book a 3-day Bwindi Gorilla Trekking as you can do research on our website or choose to do a combined tour with wildlife.

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Game Viewing

Uganda has ten national parks, but only four of them offer the best game drives. In Uganda, game drives can be enjoyed at Queen Elizabeth National Park, Kidepo Valley National Park, Murchison Falls National Park, and Lake Mburo National Park.

However, the best classic game drives on a Uganda safari can be had at three locations: the famous Murchison Falls and Kidepo Valley national parks in the rugged remote areas of the north, as well as Queen Elizabeth National Park in the west, which is known for tree-climbing lions. The aforementioned destinations are excellent for game-viewing safaris, as is the smaller Lake Mburo national park, which can be visited on your way to or from Queen Elizabeth National Park, Bwindi National Park, and Mgahinga Gorilla Park.

Chimpanzee trekking

Chimpanzee trekking is one of the most enjoyable activities on the planet, and it is possible to do so in Uganda at Kibale Forest National Park, Kyambura Gorge in Queen Elizabeth National Park, Kalinzu Forest Reserve, and Budongo Forest in Murchison Falls National Park. The activity has two trekking sessions, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. To avoid disappointment, we recommend that you book your chimp trekking permit in advance.

Chimpanzee permits cost USD 200 for foreign nonresidents, USD 150 for foreign residents, and UGX 200,000 for East African members in Kibale National Park. Chimpanzee habituation in Kibale Forest costs USD 250 for foreign nonresidents, USD 200 for foreign residents, and UGX 200,000 for East African members. Chimpanzee tracking in the Kyambura Gorge costs USD 50 for non-residents, USD 50 for residents, and UGX 30,000 for East African members.

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Bird Watching

Uganda is a top birding destination on the African continent, with over 1085 recorded species. It is home to a variety of migrant bird species as well as Albertine endemics, with the shoebill stork being the most sought-after. Mabamba swamp, Botanical gardens in Entebbe, Bigodi swamp, Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, Semuliki national park, and Kazinga channel are among the major birding sites. Among the bird species to see are the Black-bellied Bustard, Swamp Flycatcher, Giant Heron, Africa Jacana, Secretary Bird, Collared Pratincole, Pel’s fishing owl, Rare swamp flycatcher, Grey crowned crane, Giant kingfisher, Giant Heron, Shoebill stork, Abyssinia Ground, Black-headed lapwing, and Rare swamp flycatcher, among others. Uganda also offers the most experienced birding guides with vast knowledge about the various species on your Uganda birding tours.

Boat Cruises

Boat cruises are enjoyable safari trips on water bodies that involve spending time in a water vessel such as a boat or ship while having fun and touring the surrounding area. Boat cruises in Uganda are one of the most fun and memorable activities you should not miss as a tourist on vacation. Uganda is blessed with plenty of water where exciting boat cruises take place. Among these include Lake Victoria, the largest lake in Africa, the world’s largest tropical lake, and the world’s second-largest tropical lake, which is shared by Uganda, Kenya, and Tanzania. Other boat cruise destinations in Uganda include Lake Bunyonyi, Lake Edward, Lake Albert, the River Nile, and the Kazinga Channel.

While on a boat cruise on these bodies of water, you can see water animals such as crocodiles, rhinos, and buffaloes, as well as a thousand species of birds on the shores and a scenic view of nature and the hills. The best part is watching the sunset as the sun reflects into the water; it’s a breathtaking sight for everyone to enjoy.

Croisiere safari dans le parc national Murchison Falls

Amazing Cultural Encounters

Uganda appears to be the top safari destination with over 50 ethnic tribes and languages, where you can enjoy various cultural experiences by visiting the local communities that surround the national parks, the most experiential of which are the Batwa people in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. In Mgahinga, a Batwa trail experience costs USD 80 for foreign nonresidents, USD 80 for foreign residents, and UGX50,000 for East African Members. The traditional dances, songs, and storytelling of the Batwa people are very entertaining. Other amazing Uganda cultural experiences include the Entanda cultural experience, and the Karamojong cultural encounter, among others.

Golden Monkey Trekking

This activity is truly amazing because you get to interact with active primates, and it is only available in Uganda at Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. All you need to do is reserve your valid Golden monkey permit ahead of time and be available to spend an hour with the Golden monkeys. Foreign nonresidents pay USD 60, foreign residents pay USD 50, and East African members pay UGX 40,000. Golden monkey habituation permits are USD 100 and allow you to spend one hour with the Golden monkeys.

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Adventure Activities

Most visitors come to Uganda to see the source of the Nile, and in Uganda, the Nile begins right in Jinja. Where you can go white water rafting, kayaking, horseback riding, and bungee jumping, among other things.

Best time to visit Uganda for Amazing Safari Encounters

Uganda can be visited at any time of year, but the dry season is the best time to visit for an all-inclusive safari. Uganda’s dry season lasts from June to September and from December to February. The roads leading to the parks are passable during these months, the tracks in the game parks are dry, and the trekking trails in primate parks are not muddy or slippery.

The rainy season of March to May and October to November is also good for a safari to Uganda, especially if you want to go birding because there are migratory birds in the country during this time, the accommodation facilities are cheap because there are fewer people in the country, and primate trekking takes a few hours because the primates don’t move far in the forests because there is plenty of food everywhere. The rainy season brings bad roads, rain, and slick or muddy trails and tracks.

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