Tours & Travel

Traveller’s guide to going on Safari in Uganda

Tourists enjoy 4×4 extended Safari Land cruisers for their Safari in Uganda (PHOTO/Courtesy)

Tourists enjoy 4×4 extended Safari Land cruisers for their Safari in Uganda (PHOTO/Courtesy)

KAMPALA – Uganda is situated in East-Central Africa just astride Equator. It covers an area of 236580 square kilometers and at elevation of about 1100m. Uganda is landlocked country and to the north, it is bordered by South Sudan, Kenya in the East, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in the west, Tanzania and Rwanda in the south.

Uganda is described as the pearl of Africa for many reasons. A visit to this landlocked country is a great opportunity for you to discover its iconic tourist sites that make it one of the best safari destinations in Africa. It is one of the countries in Africa with intense biodiversity and the most favorable weather and climatic conditions that rate it as all year-round destination.

Where to go for a safari in Uganda

A Uganda safari takes you to most of its exceptional tourist sites including the ten (10) national parks, each of which rewarding visitors with distinct experiences and amazing encounter. Uganda’s pristine parks include Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Mgahinga National Park, Queen Elizabeth National Park, Murchison Falls National Park, Semuliki Valley National Park, Kidepo Valley National Park, Kibale National Park, Lake Mburo National Park, Mount Elgon National Park and Rwenzori Mountains National Park. Several wildlife reserves-including Katonga Wildlife Reserve, Pian Upe Wildlife Reserve, Toro-Semuliki Wildlife Reserve; forest reserves-such as Maramagambo Forest, Kalinzu Forest Reserve, Mabira Forest, Budongo Forest, Mpanga Forest; Lakes-like Lake Victoria, Lake Bunyonyi, Lake Mutanda, Lake Edward, Lake George, Lake Albert; rivers-such as the source of the River Nile, River Katonga, River Kafu to mention but a few.

Other tourist sites to visit on safari in Uganda include scenic waterfalls such as Murchison Falls, Sipi Falls, Sezibwa Falls, Karuma Falls, Aruu Falls, Kisiizi Falls, and many others; Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary, Uganda Wildlife Education Center,  hot springs like the Sempaya hot springs, Kitagata hot springs, and others.

What to see on safari in Uganda

Uganda has a lot more for you to see while on safari. On safari in the pearl of Africa;

You have a chance to spot out variety of wildlife species including the big game-African bush elephants, leopards, lions plus the tree-climbing lions, buffaloes as well as the Rothschild giraffes, zebras, hyenas, warthogs, antelopes (including roan antelopes, topis, Oribis, impalas, waterbucks, bushbucks, sitatungas and others) etc.

Go on epic trips to see the mountain gorillas in Bwindi National Park and Mgahinga National Park. See other primates including over 5000 chimpanzees, several golden monkeys, L’Hoest monkeys, black and white colobus monkeys, red-tailed monkeys, red colobus monkeys, olive baboons, vervet monkeys, bushbabies, pottos etc.

For those who love birds, there are over 1080 bird species-60 percent of which make up a total population of all the birds in Africa and about 10 percent in the world.

Uganda also has several mountains such as the Rwenzori Mountain ranges, Mount Elgon, Volcanoes like Gahinga, Sabyinyo and Muhabura Volcanoes;

Visit amazing cultural and historical sites, museums.

What to do on safari in Uganda

A safari in Uganda takes you through a number of exciting and thrilling activities that leave a lasting memory in you and your dear ones. The key amazing activities to do on safari in Uganda include

game drives-both day and night game drives and the perfect place to visit include Murchison Falls National Park, Queen Elizabeth National Park, Lake Mburo National Park, Kidepo Valley National Park, Semuliki National Park

Primate lovers are never left out-as they can embark on gorilla trekking safaris in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga National Park.

Other primate watching adventures include golden monkey tracking, chimpanzee tracking, Mangabey tracking in Mabira Forest;

Enjoy guided nature walks in several national parks

Go bird watching with the opportunity to spot out the elusive shoebill stork, African green breasted pitta, African green broadbill, pelicans, flamingos and others;

Hiking and mountaineering in Mount Rwenzori or Mount Elgon

Rhino tracking at Ziwa rhino sanctuary

Don’t miss out Kampala city tours, horseback riding and many more.

For visitors who love adrenaline adventures, a visit to the source of the Nile at Jinja is worth it. While here, you can take part in white water rafting, boat cruise, bungee jumping, jet boating, kayaking and others.

Best time to visit Uganda for safari

Uganda is open to visitors at any time of the year. There are two important seasons experienced in Uganda-the dry and wet, each of these has its advantages and disadvantages. The dry season usually begins from June to September and December to February.

The dry months of the year in Uganda are perfect for hiking, primate adventures and wildlife viewing safaris. However, the wet or rainy season is also good for wildlife viewing but the challenge with it is that plenty of rainfall is received thus making the ground muddy and slippery. But it is perfect for bird watching. The wet season in Uganda starts from March to May and October to November.

Getting to Uganda

There are many ways in which one can get into Uganda. By air, Entebbe International Airport is the only entry point to Uganda and there are many airlines that fly into this airport including Uganda Airlines RwandAir, KLM, Brussels, Ethiopian Airlines, Kenya Airways, Air Tanzania, South Africa Airway and others. By road, you can fly into Kigali and connect to Uganda from Chanika/Katuna border; from Kenya through Malaba

Getting around Uganda

The best way to get around Uganda is by hiring a car. For any plans to visit Uganda for a holiday, simply contact our reservationist and we shall get exactly that dream car for your road trip. We have wide range of car rentals suited within your travel interest and budget. They range from comfortable coaster buses, land cruisers to saloon cars.

Accommodation options

There are many accommodation choices for visitors on safari in Uganda to spend a night. They range from budget to luxury and they include Sheraton hotel, Serena Hotel Kampala, Protea Hotel, Acacia Lodge in Kampala; Chobe Safari Lodge/Nile Safari Lodge/Paraa Lodge/Heritage Lodge in Murchison Falls National Park; Buhoma Lodge/Chameleon Hill Lodge/Gorilla Mist Camp in Bwindi National Park; Mweya Lodge/Kyambura Game Lodge/Ishasha Wilderness Camp/Bush lodge in Queen Elizabeth National Park; Primate Lodge/Crater Lodge in Kibale National Park.

What to pack for safari in Uganda

Waterproof hiking boots/shoes

Day pack

Bottled water

Long-sleeved shirts/t-shirt

First aid kit

Sunglasses

Safari hat

Insect repellent

Camera

Binoculars

Rain jacket/poncho

Trousers

Snacks

Toiletries and many others

Travel tips

Visitors to Uganda are required to have a valid visa, passport

Yellow fever vaccination card may be required and also you need to immunize against other diseases such as hepatitis A, B; typhoid, meningitis and have some anti-malarial tablets

Local currency is essential to have to help you do some transactions although you need a dollar as most activities are rated in dollars.

Would you like to read more travel tips and guidelines to planning your next safari? Check out the Uganda Safari Planner for more intriguing tips, information and advice to help you plan a perfect holiday in the Pearl of Africa

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