African Safari Tours

Top safari activities to do in Uganda

A Uganda safari can be an exciting, soul-satisfying, or life-changing experience. It is also likely that your safari to Uganda will be less adventurous, underutilized, or even frustrating if you do not plan what activities to undertake. Here is a list of top safari activities to do in Uganda to make it worthwhile.

Top safari activities to do in Uganda

Gorilla Trekking:

Which Sector is the Best for Gorilla Trekking in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park?

Gorilla trekking is at the top of the top safari activities to do in Uganda. Mountain gorillas can be seen in two gorilla trekking areas in Uganda: Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga National Park. These two parks provide trekking excursions at five trailheads managed by the Uganda Wildlife Authority. These are; Nkuringo, Rushaga, Buhoma, Ruhija in Bwindi impenetrable national park, and Ntebeko in Mgahinga. There are 21 habituated gorilla families across all sectors, and 160 gorilla trekking permits are readily available. The finest place in Uganda to see mountain gorillas is Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. This tropical forest is home to half of the world’s population. Bwindi is a 131-square-kilometer prehistoric, montane, and lowland forest (128 sq mi). Because of its great biodiversity and many endangered species that find refuge within its protected bounds, the rainforest is a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, Uganda’s second gorilla park, takes a 13-square-mile slice of the larger Virunga habitat, which stretches 168 square miles into Rwanda and DR Congo. Mount Muhabura, Mount Gahinga, and Mount Sabyinyo are three of the eight prominent Virunga peaks in Mgahinga.

However, due of a large number of habituated gorilla families available for tourism, Bwindi outshines all other gorilla trekking sites. Other activities available within and around the park include birding, nature walking safaris, community programs, and habituation experiences.

The segment of gorilla trekking you need to choose for your Uganda safari tour is determined by where the gorilla permit is available when you book. Because of the shortage of permits, it can be difficult to own the choice during the busy seasons of June to August and December to February.

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Chimpanzee trekking: Top safari activities to do in Uganda

4 Day Uganda wildlife and primate safari

Chimpanzee trekking comes second on the top safari activities to do in Uganda. Chimpanzees are man’s closest relatives, sharing around 98.7% of his DNA. They, like humans, adapt to their environments over time, creating tools for survival. By visiting one of the chimpanzee trekking sites in Uganda, you will spend an hour with these species in their natural habitat. You’ll be able to follow them with your ranger in order to obtain fantastic photos and learn more about the chimps. Kibale National Park is the world’s primate capital, boasting a big chimp population of around 120 habituated chimps and 1400 in the forest. The success rate of finding chimps while trekking is approximately 95%. There are options for Chimpanzee trekking twice a day: in the morning at 7 a.m. and in the afternoon at 2 p.m. with up to six groups tracking each day, each with six members. There are roughly 13 types primates in the forest, including black and white colobus, red-tailed monkeys, red colobus monkeys, grey checked mangabeys and baboons.

The Kalinzu forest is home to about 300 Chimps, with approximately 40 of them habituated for visitors. The chance of seeing chimps when trekking is roughly 60%, but the jungle has much more to offer than just chimp trekking. While on this chimpanzee trekking safari, take in the magnificent surroundings and running streams. This walk is usually long and thus demands good fitness levels.

Budongo forest in Murchison Falls National Park‘s Kaniyo Pabidi region provides a rewarding chimp trekking experience. The forest is home to the most Chimpanzees, although just a few are habituated for tourism. Unlike in Kibale forest where permits must be obtained in advance, you can notify the park officers the day before your chimp walk at Kaniyo Pabidi. Queen Elizabeth National Park‘s Kyambura Gorge is a rare underground forest in the center of the otherwise Savannah park. The forest includes a few chimps, who can be difficult to see at times, but the woodland walk is gratifying, and the views of the canyon from a vantage point are priceless. There is a risk of encountering hippos and elephants on your trek but the armed rangers are there to keep you safe. These interactions however are rare.

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Golden Monkey Trekking: Top safari activities to do in Uganda

Lwiro Primate Research Centre

Another of the top safari activities to do in Uganda is golden monkey trekking. Golden Monkeys are magnificent, one-of-a-kind monkeys located on the slopes of the Virunga volcanoes which are shared by Rwanda, Uganda, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Golden monkey trekking in Uganda is done in Mgahinga gorilla national park in Uganda in south western Uganda. In some ways, golden monkey trekking is a more energetic activity in comparison to Chimpanzee trekking and gorilla trekking. This is because it is done in a mountainous region and these primates are constantly moving, requiring you to follow them. They are little and rapid in their movements. They prefer to forage in the bamboo areas of the forest because they feed on the young bamboo shoots. They dwell in groups of 30 or more individuals and roam a huge territory. You will receive a golden monkey trekking permit in advance from your local tour operator after picking the date you wish to trek the golden monkeys.

The golden monkey trek begins early in the morning with a briefing at the park headquarters at 7 a.m. before trekkers depart for the park. After spotting the golden monkeys, you spend an hour with them. The walk usually takes approximately 2 hours, depending on where they slept the night before and how far they are from the starting site.

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3 Day Golden monkey Trekking safari

6 Days Golden monkey and hiking safari

Wildlife safaris: Top safari activities to do in Uganda

Although Uganda is lesser known than her Kenya and Tanzania neighbors, the vast savanna plains come into life with the vast herds of wildlife. Wildlife Safaris in Uganda take you to the country’s several Uganda National Parks. The Queen Elizabeth National Park, Murchison Falls National Park, Ziwa rhino sanctuary and Lake Mburo national park and are among the prime sites for game viewing. Uganda Wildlife Safaris offer the opportunity to see wildlife such as lions lounging, z grazing, elephants ambling, leopards perched on tree branches and enormous forest hogs snuffing. Any Uganda Safari tourist to Queen Elizabeth National Park would be astounded by the immense diversity in each realm of creation. It’s simply a visual feast. Take a boat ride, a game drive, or a woodland walk, or simply enjoy the many breathtaking vistas.

The Murchison Falls National Park, with its diverse vegetation ranging from riverside forests and marsh regions to vast Savannah, allows visitors to witness many of Uganda’s animals. A boat cruise upstream to the falls is one of Africa’s most memorable experiences. Elephants, hartebeest, giraffes, buffalo, crocodiles, and innumerable antelope and birds including the rare Shoebill can be seen as the launch glides along the water’s edge.

Kidepo valley national park, dubbed the gem of Africa, is one of the pristine savanna destinations in Uganda. The vast open plains, broken by lone acacia trees is home to numerous wildlife like lions, leopards, cheetahs, antelopes, ostriches and amazing bird species. Over 54 raptor species have been recorded in this park.

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Mountain Hiking: Top safari activities to do in Uganda

How to Prepare for a Rwenzori Mountain Hike!

Mountain hiking is one of the top safari activities to do in Uganda. Hiking in Uganda provides breathtaking scenery as you follow established pathways on various slopes. The majority of the hiking takes place in protected areas. However, there are alternative chances outside of protected areas. Hiking for multi-day treks is popular in Uganda’s Rwenzori Mountains National Park and Mt Elgon National Park. In Uganda, the Virunga Volcanoes offer a one-day hike. Other spots in Uganda, such as the Sipi falls, provide short hikes that last a few hours.

The Rwenzori Mountains in Uganda are Africa’s 3rd highest mountain ranges and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. They form a natural border between Uganda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, with the highest peak, Margherita on Mt Stanley, standing at 5109m above sea level and snow-capped all year. After Kilimanjaro and Mt Kenya, it is Africa’s third highest summit. Although most hikers find it difficult, they all agree that it has better vistas and landscapes than Africa’s two tallest summits. For a slower hiker, the round trip can take anywhere from 6 to 8 days.

Hiking Mt Elgon allows you to discover waterfalls and tunnels formed by moving lava. Mt Elgon has the largest caldera in the world, and its highest peak, Wagagai, is at 4,321 meters. Mount Muhabura, at 4127 meters, is Mgahinga national park’s highest point. In the native tongue, the name translates to “The Guide.” The top features a pristine lake about 36 m wide and offers panoramic views of Rwanda and Uganda, as well as fantastic photography opportunities. The hike takes roughly 8-hours round trip and covers 12 kilometers.

Mount Sabinyo, at 3660 meters, is the park’s second highest mountain. Because of the craggy top separated by deep canyons, the name translates from the local tongue as “Old Man’s Teeth.” A trip to the pinnacle of the mountain entails traveling a ridge with dramatic dips into gorges in Rwanda and Uganda, with the last hike involving ladders. When you reach the summit, you will be in Rwanda, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Uganda all at once. The 14-kilometer route takes roughly eight hours round-trip.

Mount Gahinga is the lowest of the Virunga Volcanoes, standing at 3474 meters above sea level. The name translates to “Small Pile of Rocks” in the native tongue. A six-hour round-trip hike takes you through a pristine Bamboo forest to the summit. Mt Gahinga previously had a Crater Lake on top, but it has now become a thick marsh.

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Cultural Safaris: Top safari activities to do in Uganda

The Batwa cultural trail

With 54 tribes, Uganda is a prime destination for those interested in culture. Cultural tours in Uganda allow visitors to learn about and interact with the cultures of the places they visit. Visitors to a certain place or home can participate in music, dancing, theatre, and folktales. They learn about the people’s values and participate in traditional food preparation before eating fresh organic meals. You can add other cultural experiences to your otherwise scheduled wildlife safari or gorilla safari itinerary.

The Batwa trails

For centuries, the Batwa people lived in the deep forests at the foot of the Virungas, long before agriculturalists, herders, and the construction of national parks. They were a tribe of hunter-gatherers who lived in the forest and relied on it for food and medicine. The Batwa had extensive knowledge of forest vegetation as well as a variety of hunting and gathering strategies. This information was traditionally passed down orally through dancing, music, and storytelling. Request that the Batwa experience be added to your trip to Uganda or Rwanda to learn more about the lives of these remarkable people.

Nomadic Pastoralists

Nomadic pastoralists moved their livestock around depending on the availability of water and pastures for their animals. Due to population growth, they have been forced to settle on farmlands and drastically reduce the amount of cattle they own. Apart from previous movements, their culture is still centered on cattle and their products. Learn about their distinct way of life. These cultural experiences will take you to Karamoja where you will interact with the Ik and the Karamajong people.


The cultivators, on the other hand, made a living by working the land and hunting. Because of population growth, these people’s daily tasks are currently centered on gardening, while the remainder of the land is protected for wildlife. Livestock keepers and agriculturalists have recently been involved in cattle rearing and land agriculture. Visiting a cultivator’s home will provide you with chances to learn about the many foods farmed in Uganda.

Birding Safaris: Top safari activities to do in Uganda

Vegetations of Rwenzori Mountains

To enjoy bird watching in Uganda, you must be willing to stay out for lengthy periods of time and to hike in some locations. For example, hiking up and down high places is required while birding in the Rwenzori Mountains, Mgahinga gorilla national park, Mt Elgon, and Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. Uganda is home to over 1050 bird species, making it a popular African location for bird viewing. The number of species accounts for 10% of all bird species on the planet. It also has 24 Albertine rift endemics, with the rest occurring in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Rwanda, and Burundi.

Birds have been protected over time due to cultural standards such as being totems for clans or believed to deliver messages from the gods and seasons.

Uganda is located in both Central and East Africa, hence it is home to species from both regions. Birding occurs in both protected and non-protected locations, with bird habitats including marshes and papyrus swamps, woods, Savannah, agricultural fields, woodlands, rocky ridges, and Afro-pine moorland. Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is an excellent birding destination, home to 23 of Uganda’s 24 Albertine endemics. Murchison Falls National Park is one of Africa’s greatest birding destinations. A birding excursion to Uganda will undoubtedly be an unforgettable experience with high chances of encountering the sought after shoe bill stork.

Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Kidepo Valley National Park, Queen Elizabeth Nation, Murchison Falls National Park, Lake Mburo National Park, Semuliki National Park, Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, Mt Elgon National Park, Rwenzori Mountains National Park, and Kibale National Park are just a few of the major birding destinations in Uganda. More birding spots include Maramagambo Forest, Mabamba Swamp, Mabira Forest, Kalinzu Forest, Echuya Forest, Budongo Forest, PianUpe Game Reserve, Nyamuriro Swamp, Katonga Game Reserve and numerous agricultural fields.

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Adventure Activities: Top safari activities to do in Uganda

6 Days Adventure and Hiking Safari

The Nile is the world’s longest river and offers the best white water rafting in Africa. If you haven’t done this amazing event yet, you should put it on your wish list as you schedule your Adventure safari to Uganda. Water rafting is one of the enjoyable outdoor activities that get your adrenaline pumping. There are grade 3 and grade 5 rapids that allow you to enjoy the thrill. Rafting can be combined with other activities like gorilla trekking, chimp trekking, wildlife safaris, birding excursions, and cultural encounters and hiking. Jinja, as it is often known, has become the “adventure capital of East Africa.” Many visitors are drawn not just to the Nile and Lake Victoria, but also to the peace and beauty of the town. Jinja provides both adventure and leisure. It is a hotspot for other adrenaline-pumping activities like bungee jumping, tubing, kayaking, sport fishing, horseback riding, and quad biking. In addition, you could tour Lake Victoria’s gorgeous islands and admire the splendor of the Pearl Of Africa.

After covering the top safari activities to do in Uganda, let us get going. Pick some of the top safari activities to do in Uganda and embark on the safari of your life. Contact us for a tailored safari package. 

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