Multi-faceted Uganda Safaris
Uganda, the Pearl of Africa, is synonymous for many with the endangered Mountain Gorillas. These live in its remote southern forests in Bwindi Forest and Mgahinga Gorilla National Parks. Yet Uganda safaris have so much more to offer – not just gorilla trekking but also the widest range of primates in Africa including the golden monkeys in Bwindi and chimpanzees in Kibale National Park, Semliki Wildlife Reserve and Semliki National Park.
Uganda safaris meander through varied landscapes – luxuriant and fertile with vivid tropical forests alive with birdsong, snow-capped peaks, classic savanna plains dotted with game and beautiful lakes and wetland areas. Uganda is undoubtedly an adventure destination: safaris have a rawness and authenticity that sets them apart. Mass tourism is unknown and the people of Uganda are friendly and welcoming.
Gorilla Trekking in Uganda
Nearly all our Uganda Safaris include 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 arduous 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.
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 there are now 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 a few 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 so you need to book Uganda safaris well in advance.
Game-viewing in Uganda
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 from the southern rainforests 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, Uganda’s largest national park and home to all of the ‘Big Five’ and more chimpanzees. 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.
Birding Tours in Uganda
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 50 km of Kampala.
Best Time to Visit for your Uganda Safari
There’s plenty of sunshine in Uganda but the altitude of most parts of the country means that it’s rarely too hot to be active. The best time for a Uganda safari or gorilla tracking is in the dry seasons from January to February and June to July. Although conditions are more challenging in the wet season, primate tracking is easier – as the gorillas are less active and the scenery is at its best.