Uganda Safaris

What should I expect on Uganda safaris

What should I expect on Uganda safaris: Terraced agriculture surrounding the hills in thousands of hues of green, is a beautiful characteristic that is most typically observed in locations near rainforests. Most Uganda safaris will depart from Entebbe’s primary entry point and go west to the vast belt of national parks that forms Uganda’s western border. Uganda has excellent terrain for a wide variety of safaris, from conventional game drives through golden grassland in search of lion or leopard to strapping on your hiking boots and trekking through lush rainforest. The country’s location right is the meeting point of the eastern plains and western jungle ecosystems.

The birding is superb, with the variety of habitats drawing a diverse range of species, including the crowning splendor of the shoebill, a must-see for any avid birder. Uganda’s traditional Big Five parks, Murchison Falls national park, Kidepo valley national park, and Queen Elizabeth National Park, are yet to match the game concentrations of their East African counterparts. However, game viewing continues to be alive and well. The parks have only a fraction of the tourists and this enhances the exclusive game-viewing experiences. A sighting of a lion, elephant, or leopard here is a common occurrence that is shared with other cars.

What should I expect on Uganda safaris

Who is it intended for? What should I expect on Uganda safaris

Uganda is the ideal place for those looking for the peak of primate safaris. Gorillas, Chimpanzees, colobus monkeys, de Brazza monkeys, vervet monkeys and a variety of other species are found at Kibale forest and Queen Elizabeth National Parks, Bwindi impenetrable national park and Mgahinga gorilla national park. The last mountain gorillas are carefully guarded in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest. There is no exaggeration when it comes to gorilla trekking being life-changing. The trip is also popular with birders, as Uganda is home to over a thousand species in a variety of environments.

A careful birder can expect to observe the attractive francolin, small honeyguide, purple-breasted sunbird, and the rare shoebill stork among many more species that are quite rare elsewhere. And, like the gorilla, seeing the iconic shoebill is a highlight. Uganda outperforms all other safari destinations in these two categories, but it also remains a fantastic destination for classic safari by car or by boat, given to its lush landscapes and diverse wildlife. Uganda is an excellent choice for individuals looking for something new and exciting.

How long should I stay? What should I expect on Uganda safaris

Typical Uganda safaris will vary in length. Those looking for gorillas will fly into Entebbe and frequently spend the night on the banks of Lake Victoria before traveling out to the south western parks the next morning. Experts advocate going gorilla tracking twice because the first time is frequently overwhelming and people don’t take it all in. Following the gorilla experience, guests typically fly back to Entebbe to continue their safari abroad or to embark on the Ugandan safari circuit, which includes excursions to Kibale, Queen Elizabeth National Park, and Murchison Falls. Travelers can explore the unspoiled wide areas of lesser-known parks like Kidepo further north, at the very tip of the country. However, the typical length of stay is 6 to 10 days.

When should I visit Uganda? What should I expect on Uganda safaris

Uganda is a fantastic year-round destination, but the rainfall seasons (March-May and November-December) might complicate logistics. Rain also makes tracking more difficult in Bwindi, Mgahinga, and Kibale, as it makes the mountain slopes muddy. Uganda has a significant benefit in terms of climate; despite its equatorial location, the high altitude alleviates the heat, resulting in mild weather all year. The high season for Uganda safari falls during the colder months in the southern hemisphere, from June to October, as it does for other East African destinations.

Where to go on safari in Uganda: What should I expect on Uganda safaris?

Bwindi Impenetrable National Park: What should I expect on Uganda safaris

Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is located on the rim of the Rift Valley in southern Uganda. The mist-covered hillsides are protected by one of Uganda’s oldest and most biologically diverse rainforests, which dates back more than 25,000 years and is home to over 400 different plant species. More importantly, this “impenetrable forest” preserves 459 gorillas – roughly half of the world’s population, with 21 habituated groups that can be tracked by visitors. Bwindi is home to more than half of the world’s Mountain Gorilla population. Gorilla enthusiasts from all over the world come to experience this Ultimate Safari in Uganda.  The word “Bwindi” means “darkness,” and a trip through this spectacular forest will undoubtedly reveal why the area was named such. You will also be able to quickly determine why the forest is also known as impenetrable. Because this mountain gorilla tracking excursion may demand hiking mountainous terrain, participants must be realistically physically fit.

3 Days Uganda Gorilla Safari

Aside from the endangered spectacular mountain gorillas, there are 346 bird species and over 200 butterfly species, as well as 324 tree species, 10 of which are endemic to this area of Uganda. This is definitely a place to visit. Because of the few habituated Gorillas living here, the time available to observe them is restricted, as are the permits. They are currently available for $700 per individual. Nobody ever complains after spending time with these intriguing Mountain Gorillas in Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable Forest.

Murchison falls National park: What should I expect on Uganda safaris

Murchison Falls National Park stretches from the central to the North western Uganda. It encompasses a number of districts inside and beyond the Bunyoro escarpment, including Nwoya, Masindi, Kiryandongo, and Buyisa. It is located in the northernmost portions of the Albertine Rift Valley, with the Victoria Nile cutting through its landscape. Murchison Falls National Park animals include four of the ‘Big Five’ including buffaloes, leopards, lions, and elephants (except rhinos). Three-quarters of the world’s population of Rothschild giraffes, and a healthy population of herbivores has recently doubled including the Uganda Kobs, all of which can be easily seen on Wildlife Safari Tours here.

Its luscious forests are home to a variety of primates in the Budongo forest. 610 chimps and 451 bird species, including 23 Albertine rift endemics are present in this tropical forest. The highlight of any trip at Murchison Falls National Park is seeing how massive volumes of water from the Nile force their way through a 7-meter-wide gorge to tumble 43 meters below into the Victoria Nile. This huge water fall makes a thunderous noise and forms a splashing cloud of fog, providing a breathtaking view worth seeing.

Queen Elizabeth National Park: What should I expect on Uganda safaris

Queen Elizabeth National Park is Uganda’s most popular savanna park and the best spot to watch the Tree climbing lions. This makes it an ideal destination for a Uganda Wildlife Safari. It is proud of its diverse environments, which include lakes, savannah grasslands, woods, and wetlands, and it is home to the most diverse population of large mammals in the country. One might question where Queen Elizabeth National Park is. It is located in western Uganda, between Lakes Gorge and Albert, with the Kazinga Channel cutting through its 700 square mile land area.

Following her visit in 1954, the park was named after the Queen of England. The park is home to 660 bird species, the sixth most diverse in the world and the most diverse in Africa, making it an ideal destination for Uganda Birding Safaris. The 10 primate species such as chimps and 95 mammals including big game make it the prime destination to visit.

Queen Elizabeth National Park - Tree Climbing lion

Tree climbing Lions: Explore the southern Ishasha area to trace these lions usually observed up in the fig and acacia trees.

Kazinga Channel: This natural water corridor joins Lakes Albert and Gorge and is home to many hippos, Nile Crocodiles, elephants, and hippos, all of which may be viewed on the exhilarating Kazinga Boat Ride.

Kasenyi Plains: These plains are famous among travelers on Uganda Wildlife Safaris because they are home to a huge number of antelopes, Uganda Kobs, lions, and other large predators.

The Kalinzu Forest: This is located on the southeastern end of the park and offers very rewarding chimpanzee tracking experiences.

The Kyambura Gorge: This green forested 100-meter-deep valley is home to a great number of primates and is popular for Chimpanzee tracking trips in Uganda.

Mweya Peninsular: This is a stretch of land that extends into Lake Edwards and is frequently visited on game drives because it provides excellent game views while touring the various game routes.

The Explosion Crater Lakes of Katwe:

These lakes are found in the park’s northern section of the park. Tourists can enjoy panoramic views of the Rwenzori Mountains, the western rift valley escarpments, and Lakes George and Edward from here.

Kibale Forest National Park: What should I expect on Uganda safaris

Kibale Forest National Park is one of the top safari destinations in Africa for chimpanzee trekking safaris with the most and most diverse primate population in East Africa. Within its 795km2 land area, which includes the most magnificent and diverse expanses of tropical forest in Uganda, there are 13 species of primates including chimps. The forest cover predominates the middle and northern parts of the park. Kibale is the highest point in the park, rising 1590 meters above sea level. 

Tourist Attractions in Nyungwe Forest National Park

Kibale National Park has the highest number and diversity of primates in Africa, with 13 different species. The chimps are the most popular of them, with over 1450 individuals residing here, making it the finest site for a Chimpanzee Tracking Tour. Kibale also has the rare L’Hoest’s monkeys, the largest population of the endangered red colobus monkeys, red tailed monkeys, black & white colobus, blue monkeys, olive baboons, grey cheeked mangabeys, bush babies, and potto, among many other species.

Other fauna can be found in Kibale National Park, but they are rarely seen. Buffaloes, bush pigs, leopards, elephants, and duikers are among them. A diligent observer may also notice amphibians, reptiles, and a variety of beautiful butterflies.

Kidepo Valley National Park: What should I expect on Uganda safaris

Kidepo is an exciting place of semi-arid savanna, seasonal rivers, and low mountains located in the far north-east of Uganda, close to the borders of South Sudan and Kenya. It is stunning – and easily accessible – at any time of year. The landscape of Kidepo Valley National Park covers 1,442km2. The valley floor is 914 meters above sea level, while Mount Morungole dominates the skyline at 2,750 meters. The Kidepo and Narus rivers flow through the savannah environment during the wet season before disappearing in the dry seasons. Kidepo is Uganda’s most remote national park due to its remote location. The small number of visitors has helped to preserve the distinctive atmosphere of this unspoiled wilderness.

Only Queen Elizabeth National Park has more biodiversity than Kidepo, Uganda’s third largest national park. Kidepo National Park is home to 77 animal species and provides excellent opportunities for game viewing. These include lions, leopards, eland, giraffes, kobs, buffalo, spotted hyenas and much more. Kidepo is home to the black-backed jackal, bat-eared fox, aardwolf, cheetah, and caracal. The elephant population has increased to about 650 (from 200 in the mid-1990s), the buffalo population is estimated to be over 10,000, and there are over 50 Rothschild’s giraffes, an internationally significant population.

Zebra graze on the grasslands, and both greater and smaller kudu prowl the dense undergrowth. Adventurers who are lucky enough may even spot a white-eared kob, which is more prevalent in South Sudan and Ethiopia. There are now 470 bird species on the list. There are 60 of these in no other Ugandan national park. The only population of Clapperton’s francolin and rose-ringed parakeet in East Africa is found in Kidepo. There are 56 raptor species in the park, and the vultures are thriving. Kidepo is also the only spot in Uganda where birdwatchers can see the majestic Common Ostrich.

Lake Mburo National Park: What should I expect on Uganda safaris

Lake Mburo National Park is not only the nearest park to Kampala, but it is also the smallest savanna park. It is located between Masaka and Mbarara districts and takes around 4 hours to arrive. The park, including the lakes, has a total size of 370km2 (5 lakes). Lake Mburo is home to a variety of animals, including recently translocated giraffes, buffaloes, waters bucks, elands, antelopes, zebras, oribis, topis, and warthogs. While on a boat trip on Lake Mburo, you may also see hippos and crocodiles. Furthermore, the park is home to 350 different types of birds, including water birds, woodland birds, and savanna birds.

4 Day Uganda wildlife and primate safari

Lake Mburo National Park features fascinating activities that keep tourists on the selected safaris wanting more. Among the most popular Lake Mburo activities include game drives in the park, boat cruises on Lake Mburo, birding/bird watching, nature walks, horse riding to view wildlife, fishing, cultural tours, and cycling. The park has two entrances: Sanga gate, which is accessible from the Kampala side, and Nshara gate, which is accessible from the Mbarara side. Despite its tiny size, Lake Mburo National Park never ceases to astonish its safari guests due to the numerous activities available.

Rwenzori Mountains: What should I expect on Uganda safaris

The Rwenzoris, also known as the “moon mountains,” and it is located in south western Uganda near the Uganda-Congo border. These are Africa’s 3rd tallest mountain ranges, as well as Uganda’s highest mountains. These mountains are taller than the Alps and have snowcapped. Margherita Peak is one of Mount Stanley’s twin summits and Africa’s third tallest peak, standing at 5,109 meters. Mount Speke and Mount Baker, Africa’s fourth and fifth highest peaks, are also found in the park. So visiting these mountains and hiking up to the slopes is one of the most thrilling experiences you can have.

Rwenzori ice capped trail

If you are interested in hiking, you can combine the birding safari with a hiking tour. This mountain can be found in south-western Uganda, on the eastern side of the western Albetine Rift basin. Rwenzori Mountain runs along Uganda’s border with the Democratic Republic of the Congo and borders the DRC’s Virunga National Park. The park is also located in the districts of Kabarole, Bundibugyo, and Kasese.

Due to its remarkable natural beauty, this national park was also established in 1991 and listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1994. It is about 1,000 kilometers long and has the third tallest mountain peak, waterfalls, glaciers, and lakes. It is also well-known for its diverse plant life. The national park encompasses the eastern and central Rwenzori mountains. The mountain has over 6 glacial peaks including Mount Speke, Mount Gessi, Mount Stanley, Mount Emin Pasha, Mount Luigi da Savoia, and Mount Baker.

This national park is home to nearly 70 mammal species, 217 bird species, 19 Albertine rift endemics, and some of the world’s rarest vegetation species. Its equatorial snow peaks include Africa’s third point, and its lower slopes are covered with bamboo, moorland, and moist montane forest. There are also big tree heathers as well as colorful mosses that blanket the slope with giant lobelias and infinite flowers, creating a wonderful fairy-tale scene.

Mgahinga Gorilla National Park: What should I expect on Uganda safaris

Mgahinga National Park is Uganda’s smallest national park, at only 33.7km2. Mgahinga Gorilla National Park is located in Uganda’s southwest corner. The Park encompasses the northern slopes of three Virunga Volcanoes: Mt. Muhavura (4,127 m), Mt. Gahinga (3,474 m), and Mt. Sabinyo (3,645 m). The park is located about 10 kilometers south of Kisoro and is bordered to the south by Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park and to the west by the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s Virunga National Park. Several animals have been observed within Mgahinga. 

Though gorilla trekking is the most popular experience, the park also offers a variety of wildlife viewing activities such as golden monkey tracking, bird watching, and so on. The most popular activity in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park is gorilla tracking. The majority of visitors to Mgahinga go mountain gorilla trekking. The Nyakagezi Gorilla Family is the only habituated gorilla family. One of the primary activities that make this park appealing to guests looking for a primate safari is golden monkey tracking. Challenge yourself and participate in this life-changing activity to experience the thrill of a lifetime.

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