Home to endangered Mountain Gorillas, the widest range of primates in Africa and birds galore.
Jan to Feb & June to Aug
Uganda, the Pearl of Africa, is synonymous for many with the endangered Mountain Gorilla. These live in its remote southern forests in Bwindi Forest and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park.
Yet Uganda safaris have a rawness and authenticity that sets them apart. They have so much more to offer than just gorilla trekking. See primates like the golden monkeys in Bwindi, and chimpanzees in Kibale National Park, Semliki Wildlife Reserve and Semliki National Park.
Nearly all our Uganda Safaris include a day or two of gorilla trekking. There can be few more moving experiences than meeting the brown-eyed gaze of the hugely endangered mountain gorilla. Gorilla tracking in Uganda can be quite challenging. You must be prepared to trek for up to seven strenuous hours for the reward of an encounter with a 220 kg ‘silverback’ gorilla. But the anticipation is matched only by the euphoria after the short audience.
As well as being home to the mountain gorillas, the Mgahinga and Bwindi National Parks of Uganda support diverse wildlife including chimpanzees, golden monkeys and other primates. A short drive away are the plains, lakes and wetlands of the Queen Elizabeth National Park and Lake Mburo National Park. These support good numbers of elephant, giraffe, zebra, lion, hippo and crocodiles. Further north again is the safari mecca of Murchison Falls. This is Uganda’s largest national park and home to the ‘Big Five’ and more chimpanzees. Finally those who make the journey to the remote Kidepo Valley National Park are rewarded with less common sightings. Such as bat-eared fox and spotted hyena amongst the 77 mammal species found here.
Uganda boasts one of the widest ranges of bird species in Africa. You don’t even need to be a twitcher to get excited by the ease with which you can spot “big tick” species such as the unforgettable Shoebill Stork. Semliki Wildlife Reserve has an almost 100% success rate for such birding sightings. And they can even be found within 50km of Kampala.
Uncontrolled hunting and the accelerating human encroachment into its high-altitude rainforest habitat have brought the mountain gorilla of Uganda to the brink of extinction. Due to conservation efforts, gorilla numbers are once again slowly increasing. And so now there are about 880 gorillas in the wild. Roughly half live in the Bwindi Forest National Park in Uganda and the remainder in the Virunga Mountains in Rwanda, and in the DRC.
A handful of family groups of gorillas have become habituated to limited human contact. But the number of gorilla trekking permits is strictly limited per day. So you need to book your Uganda safari well in advance.
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