Uganda Safaris – Gorilla Trekking and Wildlife Safaris
Uganda is a landlocked country located in East Africa, bordered by Tanzania and Rwanda on the South, South Sudan on the north, DR Congo on the west, and Kenya on the West. Uganda is one of Africa’s most popular tourism destinations, famously known to be home to almost half of the ONLY world’s last remaining population of the critically endangered mountain gorillas, found in the impenetrable forests of Bwindi National Park.
Apart from mountain gorillas, Uganda has over 10 national parks and other wildlife reserves, and these are very important to boost the tourism industry of the country. Below are the major tourist destinations in Uganda;
Murchison Falls National Park
This is the biggest national park in Uganda located in the western part of the country, about 4 – 6 hours drive from Kampala (Uganda Capital). The park has a number of wild animals such as giraffes, antelopes, lions, leopards, elephants, warthogs, and so may primate species among others. Birdlife is prolific with about 350 species.
The main tourism activities in Murchison falls national park include big game drives, a fantastic boat cruise to the bottom of Murchison falls and Nile delta, forest walk, chimpanzee tracking in Budongo forest, Park entry fees for foreign none residents is currently USD40 per person per day. The park derives its name from the magnificent Murchison falls.
Kibale National Park
This is located 5-7 hours drive from Kampala in western Uganda. Kibale is known for the highest concentration of primates in Africa with about 13 species that include Chimpanzees, velvet monkeys, grey checked mangabeys, blue monkeys, red-tailed monkeys, olive baboons, Black and white colobus monkeys among others.
There are also forest mammals like forest elephants and buffaloes, many plants and tree species as well as over 350 bird species. The most popular tourism activities here include chimpanzee tracking, chimpanzee habituation experience, bird watching, day forest walk, night forest walk, community tours, Bigodi wetland walk, etc
Queen Elizabeth National Park
This is the second-largest national park in Uganda located in the western part of the country, about 5 to 7 hours drive from Kampala (Uganda Capital). The park has a number of wild animals such as antelopes, lions, leopards, elephants, warthogs, and so may primate species among others. Birdlife is prolific with about 611 species.
The main tourism activities in Queen Elizabeth national park include big game drives, a fantastic boat cruise along the kazinga channel (Famous for the highest concentration of Hippos in Africa), Maramagambo forest walk, chimpanzee tracking in Kyambura gorge, Park entry fees for foreign none residents is currently USD40 per person per day.
The southern part of the park (Ishasha sector) is home to tree-climbing lions alongside other animals as in the photo below;
Semliki National Park
Also located near Kibale forest and Mount Rwenzori national park in western Uganda, famous for a nature walk to sempaya hot springs, game drives, chimps tracking, and night game drives.
Mt. Rwenzori National Park
Mount Rwenzori is the third highest mountain in Africa, so wonderful that it is one of the few places we find snow in Africa! Mountain Rwenzori hiking is the most popular activity here with about 5 peaks that include Weisman’s peak (4.620m), Mount Speke, and Margherita the highest at 5109m. Mt. Rwenzori trekking can be combined with other tourism activities like mountain gorilla tracking in Bwindi national park, chimpanzee tracking in Kibale, and wildlife viewing in Queen Elizabeth and Lake Mburo National Park.
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
This is a home to 400 mountain gorillas, which is almost half of the world’s last remaining population according to the gorilla census 2011. Currently, there are over 10 gorilla families and these include Habinyanja, Mubare, Rushegura, Oruzogo, Bitukura, Kyaguriro, Nshongi, Nkuringo, Kahungye, Businjye, Mishyaya, and others. Most visitors to Uganda come for mountain gorilla tours and this is the most popular tourism activity in this park, other activities include bird watching, community tours, Batwa experience, and forest walk among others.
Mgahinga National Park
Another home to mountain gorillas in Uganda, with only one gorilla group known as Nyakagezi. However, this group has not yet stabilized because it sometimes crosses the border to Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Apart from gorilla tracking, tourists here do golden monkey tracking, Batwa trail, Mount Gahinga hiking, and birding.
Lake Mburo National Park
This is Uganda’s smallest Savannah park located in western Uganda less than 3 hours drive from Entebbe International Airport. It is located on the Kampala Mbarara highway. Lake Mburo Park is famous for game viewing where you will see man antelope species and Zebras as well as Buffaloes among others. It is also one of the top destinations for bird watching in Uganda. Also, we have a fantastic canoe ride on Lake Mburo to see Hippos, birds, and Antelopes like sitatungas, horse riding and nature walk to salt lick area.
Mount Elgon National Park
This is one of the most popular stopovers while on your long journey to Kidepo Valley National Park. Mt. Elgon is a good place for weekend getaways. The highest peak is known as Wagagai at 4,321m, and getting there requires at least 4 days / 3 nights. Other attractions include Buffalo caves and falls like Sippi, one of the world’s largest calderas, hot springs, etc