Uganda safaris take place across various destinations throughout the year. There is alot to do during Uganda safaris including visiting the national parks and wildlife reserves for wildlife viewing. Safaris in Uganda are popular in destinations such as Kidepo valley national park, Murchison falls national park, Queen Elizabeth national park, Lake Mburo national park, Semuliki national park among others.
Wildlife species which can be seen during Uganda safaris include lions, leopards, cheetahs, rhinos, elephant, buffalo, waterbucks, warthogs, giraffes, hippos, reedbucks, zebras, impalas, kudu and many others. Uganda is also home to gorillas and primates like chimpanzees, golden monkeys, black and white colobus monkeys, vervet monkeys, red tailed monkeys, baboons among others.
Activities which are carried out during Uganda safaris include the following;
Gorilla trekking and gorilla habituation
Gorilla trekking is a major activity which is carried out during Uganda safaris.
In Uganda gorilla trekking can be done in Bwindi national park (Buhoma sector, Rushaga sector, Ruhija sector, Nkuringo sector) and also in Mgahinga national park. A gorilla permit in Uganda costs 700 USD for nonresidents, 600 USD for foreign residents and 250,000 Uganda shillings for East Africans.
Gorilla trekking starts with briefing by park officials and in groups of 8 tourists head into the impenetrable forest to search for the gorillas. Depending on the location of the gorillas this activity can take a few hours or more. An amount of 1 hour is spent with the gorillas before returning to the briefing point where certificates are awarded which brings the activity to an end.
Gorilla habituation is also carried out in Bwindi national in the Rushaga sector. A gorilla habituation permit costs 1500 USD for nonresidents, 1000 USD for foreign residents and 750,000 Uganda shillings for East Africans. Gorilla habituation involves spending more time with the gorillas as compared to gorilla trekking and involves close interaction with the gorillas and getting them used to human presence in their surroundings.
Another activity carried out during Uganda safaris is hiking.
Popular hiking destinations in Uganda include Mount Rwenzori, Mount Elgon and many others. Different trails are followed during this activity and the amount of time for ascent and descent also vary.
Day hikes are also popular among tourists during uganda safaris. Guides and porters as well as rangers go with tourists during the hikes.
Kampala is the capital city of Uganda and tours can also be carried out here during Uganda safaris.
The city is also referred to the city of 7 hills and some of the places to visit around Kampala include cultural centers like the Kabakas palace, Kasubi tombs, Ndere cultural center. religious centers like the Gadhafi mosque or Old Kampala mosque, Namugongo martyrs shrine. Commercial centers like Nakasero market, Owino market, shopping malls. Historical attractions, arts and crafts centers.
Boat rides during Uganda safaris are also popular.
During safaris in Murchison falls national park boat rides are carried out to the bottom of the Murchison falls. In Queen Elizabeth national park boat rides are carried out on the Kazinga channel. In Lake Mburo national park, boat rides are carried out on Lake Mburo.
Other locations where boat rides are carried out during Uganda safaris include Lake Victoria, Kalangala island, Lake Bunyonyi, Lake Edward among others. Boat rides can be done in the morning and also in the afternoon.
Chimpanzee trekking and habituation
Chimpanzee trekking during Uganda safaris is carried out in destinations such as Kibale forest national park, Budongo forest, Kalinzu forest, Kyambura gorge and chimpanzees can also be seen at the Ngamba sanctuary.
Kibale national park is also referred to as the primate capital of the world. A chimpanzee trekking permit costs 200 USD for nonresidents, 150 USD for foreign residents and 150,000 Uganda shillings.
Chimpanzee habituation is also carried out during Uganda safaris. Other primates like black and white colobus monkeys, vervet monkeys, red tailed monkeys, blue monkeys and many others can be seen during primate tours in Uganda.
Golden monkey trekking
Golden monkey trekking during Uganda safaris is carried out in Mgahinga national park.
This activity involves searching the forests for the golden monkeys in the company of the ranger guides. A briefing is done by Uganda Wildlife Authority rangers before tourists head into the natural habitat of the golden monkeys.
Uganda safaris also involve birding which is carried out in various locations in the country.
Birding spots in Uganda include Mabamba swamp, botanical gardens, kibale forest, Bigodi swamp and many others. This activity is best done from November to April.
Some of the bird species which can be seen during Uganda safaris include shoebill, fish eagles, cormorants, kingfishers, weavers, storks, sunbirds, francolins, Karamoja apalis, warblers, papyrus gonoleks, bee eaters and many others.
Guided nature walks are also among the activities to do during Uganda safaris.
This activity involves getting close to the natural surroundings and exploring the wilderness on foot. Nature walks give more insight on destinations which could have been missed during other wildlife viewing experiences such as game drives.
Different trails are followed during nature walks and wildlife species can also be seen from a close distance during this activity.
Uganda also has many locations where adventure is carried out during safaris. Most adventure tours are adrenaline filled excursions.
Adventure tours in Uganda involve experiences such as white water rafting, bungee rafting, zip lining, quad biking, zorbing, tubing among others.
Jinja is among the places for adventure in Uganda.
Getting to know the way of life and interaction with the locals is another activity to do during Uganda safaris.
Cultural tours in Uganda involve visiting homesteads, preparing local foods, enjoying traditional dance performances among others.
Other activities such as coffee tours and even short hikes can be part of the cultural tours in Uganda.
Best time for Uganda safaris
Uganda safaris are carried out throughout the year. These safaris can be done during the dry season or during the wet season.
The dry season is also a high season and is a time when many tourists visit Uganda. It takes place around June to October.
The wet or rain season takes place around March to April and also November. During this time of the year tourists on safari are few in Uganda.