The beautiful Uganda is synonymous with safaris that usually focus on National Parks, Wildlife Reserves, Sanctuaries, Forests and breathtaking landscapes. The Town of Entebbe or Kampala City is the start point of most Uganda safaris, heading to the west (Queen Elizabeth National Park, Rwenzori Mountains, Lake Mburo, Semliki and Kibale Forest National Parks), South (Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, Lake Bunyonyi and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park), North (Aruu falls, Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary, Murchison falls and Kidepo Valley National Parks) and East (Mount Elgon National Park and Sipi falls, Jinja City) and many others.
The country boasts of a remarkable terrain for different kinds of safaris, ranging from traditional wildlife viewing adventures through stunning grasslands where the big five are searched or mountain gorillas trekked through the verdant jungle when strapped on sturdy hiking boots. Birding expeditions in this beautiful safari destination are unrivalled with the different natural habitats drawing thousands of bird species (about 1080 species) including the shoebill stork which is known as crowning glory and every birder’s must-see bird.
Types of safaris offered in Uganda;
It is undeniable that Uganda is every primate lover’s dream safari destination. Huge numbers of chimpanzees wander within Kibale Forest, Kyambura gorge, Budongo and Kalinzu forests as do the grey-cheeked mangabeys, black and white colobus monkeys, De Brazza’s monkeys, Olive baboons, red-tailed monkeys and vervet monkeys among others. Gorilla trekking is undoubtedly life-changing
A birding fanatic can hope to some across the shoebill storks, purple-breasted sunbirds, green-breasted pitta and handsome francolin among others during birding safaris in Uganda.
Wildlife safaris in Uganda go through the beautiful Kidepo Valley, Murchison falls, Queen Elizabeth and Lake Mburo National Parks while hopping to see big five game, antelopes, Rothschild giraffes, warthogs and so much more.
Mountain climbing safaris and cultural safaris are also possible in beautiful Uganda.
Average duration of Uganda safaris
The average duration of Uganda safaris varies from individual to individual and for visitors hoping to trek the endangered mountain gorillas, it is advisable to first jet into the country via Entebbe International Airport and spend overnight in the Town of Entebbe of Kampala City.
This is followed by flying or driving to the south-western National Parks for the treks, then return Back to Entebbe or Kampala or proceed to other destinations especially Lake Bunyonyi, Queen Elizabeth, Murchison falls, Lake Mburo or Kibale Forest National Park.
Therefore, the average duration for a Uganda safari is 4-6 hours with top highlights being gorilla trekking and wildlife safaris.
When is the best time of the year to enjoy Uganda safaris?
One thing you should always remember is that Uganda is wonderful for safaris all year round. However the wet months-March, April, May, October and November render hill/mountain slopes muddy and slippery hence making primate treks in Bwindi, Kibale and Mgahinga National Parks challenging.
Grasses also become longer and thicker thus making it difficult to spot animals during wildlife viewing safaris. The dry seasons-January, February, June, July, August, September and December favor a wide range of activities during Uganda safaris.
Different places to go during Uganda safaris
Queen Elizabeth National Park
For 1978 square kilometers, Queen Elizabeth National Park is the second largest in the country and is famous for over 95 mammal species that include the tree climbing lions. For bird enthusiasts, this Park is haven to about 600 species of birds inhabiting varying natural habitats. Activities to enjoy here are wildlife viewing, cultural tours, guided nature walks, mongoose tracking, birding and boat cruises among others.
Situated in the Eastern side of Uganda, Jinja City is known as the adventure Capital of East Africa, offering opportunities of whitewater rafting, bungee jumping, horseback rides, jet boating, quad biking and sunset cruises to the source of the Nile.
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
This fantabulous safari destination is found in the south-west of Uganda and perfect for travellers longing to experience the face to face encounter with the endangered Giant Apes in the wild. There are over 450 gorillas in this Park and about 21 habituated gorilla groups to look-out for.
Murchison falls National Park
Uganda’s premier National Park was named after Murchison falls, the World’s most powerful waterfalls in north-western Uganda. There are over 76 mammal species, about 451 bird species and breathtaking landscapes to look-out for in this National Park.
Kibale Forest National Park
While there are many places sheltering the endangered chimpanzees, Kibale Forest National Park offers the best option with about 1500 individuals and 6 habituated troops. For a permit costing $200, visitors are guaranteed of spending one hour in the presence of the endangered chimpanzees.
Other highlights of Uganda safaris are Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary, Lake Bunyonyi, Entebbe Town, Lake Victoria, Rwenzori Mountains National Park, Kidepo valley National Park, Lake Mburo National Park, Kampala City with its historical and cultural sites, Mount Elgon National Park, and many other places.