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Uganda Safaris

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Tukwanirizza mu Uganda – The Pearl Of Africa!

Uganda is a land of contrasts. In half a day you can drive from mist-shrouded volcanic mountains to hot hazy savannah, dappled with wildlife. Serene undulating hills of tea plantations, lush but ordered, give way to tangled jungle and rainforest with the musical accompaniment of chaotic, cacophonous birdlife.

 

Uganda is alive with these contrasts: The tiniest sunbirds, iridescent in the morning light; the massive lumbering yet silent elephant, disappearing like a vapor behind the trees; the chimpanzees crashing about the forest canopy; the lugubrious gorilla chewing thoughtfully in the bamboo thicket.

 

There’s the Nile, twisting its way north like a shimmering ribbon, through arid semi-desert scattered about with rocky kopjes. Snow-capped peaks, tropical, sandy, freshwater beaches, and smiling faces everywhere. It’s all here, a feast for all the senses.

 

Uganda – The Pearl of Africa!

Situated on the East African plateau approximately 1100m above the sea level, Uganda is a home to almost half of the world’s Mountain gorilla population. It is a tough challenge to describe Uganda in a few short paragraphs. Despite the small size of the country, the diversity of landscape, topography, people, wildlife, birdlife and plant life is mind-boggling. If we had to distil the essence of Uganda down to one word, we might say ’Fecund’. This was used by Winston Churchill all those years ago…but fecund is hardly a word we hear much anymore.

 

Ecologically, Uganda is where the East African savannah meets the West African jungle. Where else but in this uniquely lush destination can one observe lions prowling the open plains in the morning and track chimpanzees through the rainforest undergrowth the same afternoon, then the next day navigate tropical channels teeming with hippos and crocodiles before setting off into the misty mountains to visit the majestic mountain gorillas? Uganda is the only safari destination whose range of forest primates is as impressive as its selection of plain antelopes. Besides the wide biodiversity, Uganda is also blessed with a vast bird population of more than 1,000 species.

 

Lush? Luxuriant? Abundant? Diverse? They all work. This beautiful country we call home is right at the heart of Africa; at the crossroads of East and West, North and South. We have rich, misty primordial forests. Hot, vast grasslands with impossibly big skies. Glacier-peaked mountain ranges and palm-fringed tropical islands with sandy beaches. Tumultuous, roiling rivers, placid sparkling lakes and endless miles of papyrus wetlands.

Aristotle said “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.” and nowhere is this more true than this lovely gem of a country.

 

Uganda has many ‘parts’, many easily identifiable landmarks: the Equator, the River Nile, Lake Victoria, the Rwenzori Mountains, Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, the eastern most edge of the Central African Rainforest, the Western Rift Valley, the peak of Mount Elgon (the largest volcanic base in the world). National Parks, Game Reserves, Forest Reserves. It has incredible birdlife (even the most die-hard non-birder can’t fail to be impressed) and a tremendous array of wildlife. Our unique position on the continent means we have both savannah species typical of East Africa (lion, cheetah, elephant, buffalo, giraffe, zebra, warthog et cetra), and forest species more typical of Central Africa (forest elephant, red river hog, chimpanzee, mountain gorilla, forest buffalo).

 

Wrap all this up with the rich cultural history and heritage of more than 50 tribes – both Nilotic and Bantu – who live here and warmly welcome visitors, the ‘whole’ is great indeed. Regardless of what we say, regardless of the words we choose, our clients’ reactions are often the same: “I never knew it was so beautiful” The message is clear. The only way to get a real feel for what Uganda is like, you need to come and see it yourself. So come and let us show you our Africa, our Uganda.

 

Here are some of the key safari routes that will entice your Uganda Expedition!

Best Places For Safaris In Uganda

Uganda is by far a land of contrast. With ten (10) game parks which are well-positioned and uniquely endowed by nature to offer you a memorable African – Uganda safari. Besides the National Parks, Uganda features savannah game reserves and sanctuaries that support a myriad of wildlife including the Pian Upe, katonga, Matheniko and Bokora, Tooro – Semliki, Kigezi wildlife reserve, ziwa rhino sanctuary, Kabwoya among others.

 

Travelers who visit The Pearl of Africa always explore both fauna and flora during their wildlife safari adventures in our major destinations such as Queen Elizabeth national park, Kidepo valley Murchison falls national park, Lake Mburo national park, national park, Semiliki national park, Bwindi impenetrable national park, and Kibale forest national park.

 

The most highlights of Uganda safari adventure are mountain gorillas, chimpanzees and golden monkeys however, expect to encounter the big five i.e. lions, leopards, buffaloes, elephants and Rhino during your ultimate journeys and holidays to Uganda.

 

Best Time to Go Wildlife Safaris In Uganda

 

Uganda is open for adventure seekers throughout the year however the best time to visit Uganda is during the dry seasons of December to February and June to October. These seasons are also termed as peak seasons in Uganda and Rwanda, registering higher numbers of tourist arrivals. Tourists intending to visit Uganda for wildlife safaris are advised to book their tours at least 2 months in advance in order to secure their gorilla and chimpanzee trekking permits since are always highly demanded during those months. Visitors tend to spot plenty of animals during dry seasons than wet season. For the case of gorilla and chimpanzee trekking, the trails tend to be drier and less slippery hence making movement easier for trackers.

 

National Parks in Uganda and their major highlights

With ten (10) national game parks which are well-positioned and uniquely endowed by nature to offer you a memorable African – Uganda safari, you are sure to encounter at least a unique feature by visiting any of them. Here are the major national parks and their major highlights.

  1. Queen Elizabeth national park

Located in western Uganda, Queen Elizabeth national park is among the top safari destinations and highly visited national park in Uganda for wildlife adventure tours. It is shared by districts such as Kasese, Rubirizi among others. It is approximately 370km away from Kampala city and you need approximately 7 hours’ drive from the city center.

  • Birding experience. The park offers Over 600 bird species
  • Tree climbing lions in Ishasha sector
  • The unique Kyambura gorge with activities such as Chimpanzee trekking, birding and guided nature walks.
  • Kazinga channel the offers an amazing boat trips
  • Crater lakes that are unique in formation and offer different experiences.

 

  1. Murchison Falls National Park

Uganda’s largest national park, Murchison falls national park is located in Northwestern part of the country is famous for world’s strongest water falls on the Victoria Nile formed with the action of the large water masses squeezing through the narrow gorge, and falling down over a high cliff of about 45 meters to the bottom of the falls, where it continues to flow gently eastwards to the Albert delta, and finally, it joins with lake Albert.

Major highlighst include but not limited to ;-

  • Rhino tracking. This is done at Ziwa rhino sanctuary along the way to Murchison falls
  • Boat cruise on the Victoria Nile to the bottom of the falls
  • Spetacular hike to the top of the falls
  • Shoebill tracking at the Nile delta
  • Budongo forests most offer the chance to visitors to track chimpanzees and birding
  • Game driving
  • Hot air ballon

 

  1. Kibale Forest National Park

The primate capital of the world with over 1400 chimpanzee species, Kibale forest national park is a home to a variety of primates and it is a famous destination for chimpanzee tracking and habituation experiences. Major highlights include but not limited to;

  • Chimpanzee tracking and habituation
  • Birding trips with over 370 species recorded
  • Guide nature walks
  • Tea plantation tours
  • Top of the world tour
  • Crater lake exploration

 

  1. Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park

Bwindi impenetrable national park is a famous travel destination world wide as a home for the endangered mountain gorillas in Uganda. The park provides habitant to half of the world’s mountain gorilla population with seventeen habituated gorilla families. Guests can track the mountain gorillas from 4 sectors of  Ruhija, Buhoma, Nkuringo and Rushaga. The park is also a home to other primates like chimpanzees and different monkey species. Major highlights include;-

  • Mountain gorilla tracking
  • Walking safaris through Bwindi. Most famous is from Buhoma to Nkuringo and vice versa via the Kashasha river trail and Ivy river trail. The later being the shorter with approximately 5 hours and the earlier with 7 hours.
  • Canoe rides a long Lake Mutanda
  • Community tours with Batwa
  • Birding adventures

 

  1. Lake Mburo National Park

Lake mburo national park is the nearest nation park to Kampala city, located in western Uganda along Masaka Mbarara road and it’s a perfect destination for short wildlife safaris and weekend gateway tours in Uganda. However, the park is faced with serious problem of poaching from the surrounding community and encroachment of the park land for farming activities. Major highlights include;-

  • Guided walking safaris within and outside the park
  • Game drives
  • Birding tours
  • Boat cruise on Lake Mburo where the park got her name
  • Sport fishing on Lake Mburo

 

  1. Kidepo Valley National Park

Kidepo valley national park is located in the north eastern region of Uganda with inselbergs in rising up and stands out in the open savannah of the national park, giving spectacular scenic views of total wilderness. It’s a park that has won many accololades among which are being  the 3rd Best among Africa’s top 10 best safari parks by CNN, Uganda Top African Destination for 2017 by Rough Guides and lastly but not least the park is One of the top 16 world destinations to visit in 2016 by CNN Travel also Kidepo emerged as the 3rd Best Exhibitor – Indaba Tourism and Trade Fair 2016 – Durban, South Africa. Major highlights include;-

  • Game driving
  • Walking safaris
  • Karamojong cultural experience
  • Birding experiences
  • Outdoor camping

 

  1. Mountain Elgon National Park

Mountain Elgon is located in the eastern region of the country at the border of Uganda and Kenya. It has the large caldera on the summit of the mountain, covering over 40km. The highest peak of mountain Elgon is waggagai; rising 4321m above the sea level and is the second tallest peak after margherita of Ruwenzori Mountains. Major highlights include;-

  • Mountain hiking
  • Sipi falls hike
  • Guided Walking safaris
  • Birding experiences
  1. Semliki National Park

Located in Western Uganda on the Albertine rift valley, Semliki national park is a true birders’ haven boosting with over 400 bird species. Major highlights are;-

  • Birding experience
  • Sempaya Hotsprings
  • Guided nature walks
  • Community encounter with the Batwa pygmies

 

  1. Mgahinga Gorilla National Park

Mgahinga National Park is located at the border that joins three countries; Uganda, Rwanda, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. It is the smallest national parks in Uganda covering an area of 33sq.km. The park is also famous for gorilla trekking and it only has one family of mountain gorillas with two silverbacks, an adult female two juveniles and about 3 infants. However, this gorilla family is so mobile and makes trekking it so hard. Major highlights are;-

  • Mountain Gorilla tracking
  • Mountain hiking
  • Golden monkey tracking
  • Birding experience among the unique species are the Rwenzoir turaco
  • Cultural encounter with the Batwa

 

  1. Rwenzori Mountain National Park

Rwenzori national park is located in the south western Uganda on the Rwenzori mountain ranges, the national park is a good option for hiking and mountain climbing. It covers an area of 996sq.km, which is a reasonable size. The tourists that visit Ruwenzori national park love climbing up to the highest peak called Margherita peak. Birding is one of the famous park activities in Rwenzori national park; the park is blessed with over 200 bird species plus 70 mammal species including bats and primates such as the golden monkeys and the colobus monkeys of different types among others.

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