Uganda Safari & Tours
Welcome to guide for Uganda tours, covering the top things to do, the destinations to visit, Uganda safari companies, where to stay and general travel advise.
Why Visit Uganda?
Uganda the Pearl of Africa as offers a lot from its rich bio-diversity to its friendly people and because of this its common regarded as ‘gifted by Nature’. It offers amazing wildlife adventures in its 10 national parks such as Bwindi Impenetrable National Park home to the 340 mountain gorillas, Murchison Falls National Park where you will see the powerful Murchison falls on river Nile and over 71 mammal species, Queen Elizabeth filled with numerous wild animals, Kibale National Park home to the chimpanzees among the 15 primate species found here. Enjoy the thrilling Water Rafting adventures as you explore the source of the longest river in Africa – River Nile found in Uganda. interact with the very friendly people and explore its beautiful green countryside under the warm tropical sunshine. Its no wonder that Lonely Planet ranked Uganda the top destination to visit in 2012. The temperature varies between 27C with the highest being 31C making the weather favorable for anytime of the year! Of the 236,000m2 of area, 25% of its surface is made up of large lakes including lakes Victoria, Albert, Edward and George.
Why take Uganda Safaris?
Meet the friendly Ugandans with Diverse Cultures – Uganda prides in a diversity of cultures each having its own unique language, traditional practices, dress code, cultural dances and songs of about 17 tribes. All these you can personally experience by taking part in the cultural safaris.
Taste the fresh fruits and vegetables including mangoes, oranges, water melons, guavas, jack fruits, cabbages lettuce, spinach and many others all locally cultivated here
Adventure – Uganda possesses a growing adventures industry, go whitewater rafting on the River Nile’s Class 5 rapids enjoy Uganda safari tours featuring wildlife game drives, bungee jumping, and cultural visits, visit the waterfalls, boat rides, climb, mountains, forest walks and enjoy bird watching tours
Explore River Nile- Uganda is home to the true source of the Nile which is the longest river in Africa; and this is found in Jinja. Spend the entire enjoying various water activities on the Nile. Also Lake Victoria which is the second largest fresh water lake in the world
Gorilla Trekking Uganda Safari
Gorilla tracking – this is among the commonest reasons why many people traveling from near and far visit Uganda. Track and spend some time taking pictures and observing these peaceful giant gorillas within Bwindi Impenetrable Forest. They share nearly 98% of their DNA with man; they are a must see for every adventurer.
Gorilla trekking not only involves a leisure walk in the forest and then sitting to observe the gorillas. It is rather a tiring walk in the steep moist and muddy rainforest of Bwindi, but not very challenging of course.
It also necessitates good behavior and extreme respect for the gorillas plus the environment. However, there is no wildlife experience that can out-compete the encountering of these peaceful hairy giants with whom humans share over 95% of their DNA.
It is way beyond a thrilling experience. To some point, contentious, standard costs plus firmly or almost compulsively synchronized; the Uganda safari Gorilla trekking Industry signifies perhaps the best opportunity of surviving to the endangered Mountain Gorillas. Unfortunately, there are just 700 of them remaining in the world presently.
The Western and Eastern lowland counterpart survive better in the central and western rainforests of Africa although the destiny for these Mountain Gorillas remains to our mercy.
Conservation organizations for instance the famous Dian Fossey Gorilla Foundation have carried on to work tirelessly to persuade the locals into participating in Gorilla Conservation as well as transform the gorillas’ existence profitable rather than killing them or demolishing their habitat.
Roughly 650 mountain gorillas are remaining today. Although they are intimately related to humans, man is today the greatest threat to the gorillas’ survival. For years, these tranquil giants have been ruthlessly hunted for their valuable heads and hands which are sold off as lamp-shades and souvenir ash-trays.
Gorilla Trekking Safaris are quite interesting experiences that offer you the opportunity to get a closer encounter with the tranquil gorillas in their natural habitat. Tracking is conducted in Uganda, safaris to Rwanda or the Democratic republic of Congo, depending on the area conditions plus the ease of access of gorilla permits. However, this doesn’t in any one way mean that you are exploiting the gorillas by paying money to be able to see them. In fact the increasing tourist numbers longing to see them confirms to be a very important component towards their survival. The cost on gorilla permit is utilized in establishing and financing patrols which are significant in protecting these gorillas from poachers who lay hazardous traps. Rwanda safaris gorilla permit will cost u $750 compared to the $ 500 for Uganda.
What to see on a Uganda Safari?
The beautiful Terrain; drive through the beautiful countryside and see the green undulating terrains with coffee plus banana plantations as well as the traditional homesteads and some cattle grazing.
Wildlife – visit the 10 national parks in Uganda and get the opportunity to see the various wild animals including the Big Five, several herbivores like zebras, giraffes, different antelopes plus the giant Nile crocodiles and hippos. Uganda safaris offer great wildlife and primate experience, see the amazing Bwindi Mountain Gorillas, chimpanzees and different monkey species all in their natural environment. You will also be fascinated by the rich diversity of bird species like the rare Shoebill stock.
Mountain Rwenzori; this snow caped mountain is the second highest in East Africa and it is found in western Uganda. You can take mountain climbing trips to its summit.
The Murchison Falls, these are found in northwestern Uganda and are among the most powerful waterfalls on river Nile. Enjoy a boat ride on the Nile to enjoy an up-close experience with water species like the giant crocodiles, hippos plus a great array of birds.
The Source of the Nile – this is found in Jinja town and there you can enjoy different water adventures such as bungee jumping and white water rafting.
Which Uganda Safari Company or Tour Operator?
There are several Uganda safari Companies. The majority of these companies offer tours and safaris to Uganda packages in Uganda including gorilla trekking and wildlife safaris. It’s vital that you find out whether the tour operator belongs to some of the recognized professional association like Africa Tour Operators, Association of Uganda Tour Operators, Tourism Uganda plus others many others.
Where to Stay On a Ugandan Safari / Lodges and Accommodation.
When going on safari, most tourists ask themselves where they are going to sleep. Fortunately, Uganda offers a wide variety of accommodation options ranging from tented safari camps, lodges, hotels and resorts. Majority of the National Parks you will visit have lodges or camps inside their boundaries or just nearby. In Bwindi, you find so many lodges for your gorilla trekking safaris in Uganda.
However important to note is that the type of accommodation you will sleep in will basically depend on your budget since the accommodation is categorized in form of the expensive luxury 5 star facilities, the mid-range and then affordable budget facilities. You can book your accommodation through your tour operator.
When to Go on a Safari in Uganda?
This is among the commonly asked questions regarding Uganda. however, the obvious answer is – You may visit Uganda at any time of year! The main difference may be the cost of your safari which is normally higher in the peak season. Although its true that the country experiences rainy seasons, these rains aren’t very bad to prevent you from traveling or enjoying your safari. You also need the right safari wear such as khaki, rain jacket, gorilla trekking boots and so much more. The months May and April are often discounted by most tour operators and the Uganda Wildlife Authority normally offers discounts for the gorilla permits. However I recommend that you visit the country during its dry seasons which are from: January to February and then June to start of September. Game viewing is best during the dry season when most animals gather around the water holes. Then Bird watching can be done all year round though preferably from November to April when there are several migrant species are present.
Uganda Safari Companies
You can visit Uganda with one of the following safari companies. These tour operators can also take you for other safari holidays around Uganda.
How Much Does an African Safari Cost ?
Together Let us try and carry out some costing. A gorilla permit costs $ 600 per person. Accommodation varies from $150 to $900 based on where you decide to reside. Roughly the cheapest basic 3 day safari in Bwindi will cost nearly $1200 per individual. Other destinations including Murchison falls plus Queen Elizabeth might cost approximately $1000 for budget Uganda safari vacationers to Uganda. In case you are traveling with other people, then the price is amazingly lower. If it’s two of you, you may save around $300 on a three day safari.
Are Ugandans Hospitable?
Uganda is recognized for being one of Africa’s Friendliest Countries for Tourists. Uganda – the Pearl of Africa gladly welcomes all its visitors from whichever part of the world to come and explore this unique country. Occasionally you may read through some negative remarks concerning Uganda as a country however, the people who have had the opportunity to visit this country say that it is one of the friendliest nations, gifted with many friendly kind people with a rich heritage and diverse culture. In fact you can always tip Uganda’s as a way of appreciating their kindness and openhandedness. Although the once discussed gay bill seemed to brand Uganda as an unsafe destination, this is definitely not true. The country welcomes all visitors from whichever corner of the world.
How About The Weather While On Uganda Safari ?
The pleasant weather is an extra reason for visiting this country as one of the leading tourist destinations in Africa. The country experiences in general a temperate climate that makes it very easy to enjoy the different Uganda safari activities throughout the year including gorilla tracking, game drives and birds watching.
Ideally there are a couple of reasons to explain the wonderful weather of Uganda and among these is the location of the country on the equator and also the geographical altitude which provide it with a characteristic evergreen attribute. Uganda is a country that many refer to as endowed by Mother Nature and gifted by the very friendly happy people that also pride in a rich culture hence the name – the Pearl of Africa. Uganda is a country that awaits to be explored by any enthusiastic adventurer. And multiplicity of its people; it is genuinely the concealed pearl of Africa and awaiting you to explore it.
Birding Safaris in Uganda
With a varied vegetation of tropical rainforests in the west and savannah in the east, Uganda is among the one-stop country in the world with splendid bird-watching sites like Queen Elizabeth having over 600 species , and specialist birding safaris in Uganda add up to approximately 400species in just 2 weeks. You will find 1040 bird species recorded in Uganda.
Professional ornithologists will pleasure in over 100 species of African forest birds among which are the raucous Black-and-White Casqued Hornbill, gem-like Green Broadbill, psychedelic Great Blue Turaco and 23 additional species endemic to the Rift Valley of east Africa. It is in Uganda that you can be see the most adored African bird known as the Shoebill, which is a large ancient-looking bird that lives in swamps and prominent for its intense clog shaped bill.
There is an abundant birdlife in the country, but among the renowned birding places are:-
• Queen Elizabeth National Park
• Bwindi National Park for Albertine Rift endemics
• Bigodi Wetland adjacent to Kibale Forest for colorful forest birds and the Great Blue Turaco other
• Mabamba Swamp near Entebbe for Shoebill
• Semuliki National Park for Congo Basin endemics
• Murchison Falls National Park for its stunning savannah specialists like the Abyssinian Ground Hornbill, Denham’s Bustard plus the Red-Throated Bee-Eater
• Lake Bisina found in eastern Uganda, where you will sight at the Fox’s Weaver and the papyrus-dwellers like the Papyrus Gonolek and the Shoebill.
Uganda Wildlife Safaris
Uganda is an exceptional and very attractive safari destination. Located on the Equator on Lake Victoria’s Northern shore, the country prides in a prolific wildlife that marvels all tourists that come to experience this wonderful gift of Mother Nature. Watching the various animals in their unspoiled habitats is such a very rewarding experience that can be enjoyed all through the year. The national parks plus game Reserves in Uganda are perfect destination for adventure seekers, holiday makers plus eco-tourists. on any wildlife safari in Uganda, you will enjoy sights of good-looking Ugandan kob, zebras, hippos, buffaloes, sitatungas, huge forest hogs and elephants among others. Through the past 20 years, the numbers of wildlife have gradually increased in all the parks hence increasing the opportunities to see almost every animal in the different parks.
Mountain Climbing in Uganda
Rwenzori National Park is situated in western Uganda on the Ugandan boarder with the Democratic Republic of Congo. It extends over an expanse of 998 square kilometers and was named after t
he renowned Mountain Rwenzori which is also referred to as the ‘Mountains of the Moon’ as depicted by Ptolemy back in AD150. The mountain stands to 5,109 meters high and is among the highest mountain ranges in Africa, coming after Mountain Kilimanjaro and Mountain Kenya. The Rwenzori ranges have 6 main peaks that include: Mt Stanley at 5,109m, Mt Baker at 4,843m, Mt Gessi at 4,715m Mt Luigi di Savoia at 4,627m, Mt Speke at 4,890m and Mt Emin at 4,798m. However the highest peak on the Mount Stanley intricate is the Margherita peak which is at 5109 meters and it is this that ranks the Rwenzori as the third highest mountain range in the whole of Africa.
Contrary to Africa’s 2 highest mountains –Mt. Kilimanjaro and Mt. Kenya, Mt Rwenzori is not a volcanic although primarily ancient quartzite & gneiss. Although it is located close to the Equator, this mountain has numerous icy peaks seen miles away in various parts of western Uganda. The slopes which are beyond 1600 meters are a favorite to hikers and this mountain is ranked as the most challenging in Africa. The Rwenzori Mountain has 5 distinctive vegetation regions that include: the grassland at 1000-2000m, bamboo or mimulopsis zone at 2500-3500m, afro-alpine moorland zone at 4000-4500m, montane forest at 2000-3000m and the Heather or Rapanea zone at 3000-4000m.
Chimpanzee Tracking in Uganda
Chimpanzee tracking is purely very magical and exciting! There are just 4950 chimps remaining in the country and some being well conserved in the zoo, others in the rainforest and the some established chimpanzee sanctuaries. Funnily, over 98% of the total sub counties in Uganda have a larger human population than the total number of Chimpanzees in the country. It is a very exceptional experience seeing the chimps feed, care for their little ones, climb trees and respond to the presence of human. Join in the exhilarating drama of the life of a chimpanzee in the verdant Kibale Forest National Park. This park support 13 different primate species among which are Chimpanzees, L’Hoest’s monkeys, and the red colobus. You can also join the habituation team that sets out every morning to specifically study and observe the behavior of the chimps with an aim of making them get acquitted to human presence. Alternatively, you can opt to track them in Queen Elizabeth National Park in Kyambura Gorge, at Ngamba Island Chimp Sanctuary where the orphaned chimps ate habituated, or at Budongo and Rwambogo Forest Reserve in Murchison Falls National Park.
Lake Bunyonyi Trips
Lonely Planet refers to it as a (panorama that leads you to the Lord of the Rings.) Swim, island hop, butterfly, canoe, birds, Batwa Villages. This is the place where several Ugandans gather to unwind. It is such wonder to see what a volcanic eruption can result into. Luckily, Lake Bunyonyi is a standing example that resulted from a volcanic eruption. The lake is among the deepest vistas from the ‘Lord of the Rings’ lakes within Africa with a depth of 44 to 900 meters. ‘Bunyonyi’ is a local word meaning ‘the place of little birds’ and many who have visited this natural wonder have been marveled by its splendid beauty. Neighboring it are the terraced hills also referred to as the ‘little Switzerland’ on which people till soil and cultivate food.