Discover the Top 5 Activities to include on Uganda Safari; A well planned Safari in Uganda is life changing and adventurous, visitors will get to enjoy a lot of activities that Uganda’s nature, wildlife and culture has to offer in a short time. Uganda is naturally endowed with beautiful and friendly people, a variety of wildlife with rare and some endemic species, good climate, Mountains and valleys, rivers and lakes making it one of the top safari destinations in Africa. If you are thinking of visiting Uganda “the pearl of Africa” below is the top 5 activities that you need to add on your Uganda Safari bucket list;
Uganda is one of the only three countries in the world that have mountain gorillas, others being Rwanda and DR Congo. Uganda is a home to half of the world’s remaining population of mountain gorillas living in Bwindi Impenetrable forest and Mgahinga national park in south western Uganda. Seeing these endangered species in their natural habitat is a once in a life time experience since they can only be seen in few areas and they are so many restrictions for their conservation. Therefore, gorilla trekking is a remarkable privilege to encounter the world’s rarest animal in its natural habitat and people with opportunity, time and money should make this as a number one among the activities to include on a Uganda Safari.
There are over 20 habituated gorilla families in Uganda that are open for trekking. Visitors are allowed one hour with mountain gorillas but the whole trekking experience takes 2 hours up to a full day depending on the location of gorillas. Uganda charges USD 700 per gorilla permit which is cheaper than other countries. Visitors undertaking gorilla trekking need to be physically fit because the terrain of these national parks will need you to hike some areas before reaching the gorillas. Remember to follow the gorilla rules and the park ranger’s guidelines for you to maximally enjoy your time with these close relatives.
Chimpanzee tracking comes next to gorilla trekking. Chimpanzees are the closest relatives to human sharing 98% DNA, so going tracking for them is so fascinating as you watch them feed, play and jump from one tree to another. Chimpanzee tracking is done mostly in Kibale national park which is a home to about 1500 chimpanzees meaning you have 90% guarantee that you will see these great apes. Kibale national park also offers Chimpanzee habituation experience where you spend more time with the chimpanzees. Many of these chimpanzees have been habituated so don’t miss spending time with them in their natural habitat.
Uganda has more than 5000 chimpanzees in its protected areas like Kibale national park, Budongo forest, Kyambura gorge in Queen Elizabeth national park, Kalinzu forest reserve, Ngamba island chimpanzee sanctuary and more. Most of these offer Chimpanzee tracking activities.
Uganda has savanna and forest parks which are endowed with a lot of wildlife calling them a home. These parks can be explored during game drives where you drive closer to these animals to see and learn about them. While on a game drive carry camera, binoculars and move in an open roof tour vehicle, with all the above a tour guide will lead you into the park to see animals like tree climbing lions, elephants, zebras, hyenas, buffaloes, leopards, giraffes, warthogs, Uganda kob and so many more.
Game drives are done in the savanna national parks like Kidepo valley national park, Queen Elizabeth national park, lake Mburo national park, and Murchison falls national park.
Uganda has more than 1070 bird species with some rare and endemic birds making it one of the top birding destinations in Africa. Birding in Uganda is done in both protected and private forests and farmlands. You need to move far distances to look for birds because they are everywhere. Some of the birding spots in Uganda are the national parks and reserves, forests, along the waterbodies’ shores and swamps. The top birding spots include Bwindi Impenetrable forest national park, Queen Elizabeth national park, Murchison falls national park and Budongo forest, Mabamba swamp, Semuliki forest, Lake Mburo, Mgahinga national park and more.
Some of the bird species in Uganda are Ruwenzori Turaco, Shoebill stork, Green breasted pitta, Red fronted Anti pecker, Karamoja Apalis, Nahans Francolin, African green Broadbill, Blue breasted king fisher, white napped pigeon, African pied Hornbill, Crowned Eagle, Brown Chested Alethe, purple breasted sunbird, Short tailed warbler, African jacana, Great blue turaco and more
Uganda has many lakes and rivers with Lake Victoria being the largest lake in Uganda and in the whole of Africa continent. River Nile the world’s longest river, having its source in Uganda. Boat cruises and excursions are amazing and unique giving visitor’s great experience on the water as you watch different animals quench their thirst and many birds around the shores. Some of the places where boat trips are done in Uganda are as follows; Kazinga Channel in Queen Elizabeth national park, Lake Mburo national park, Murchison falls national park, Lake Bunyonyi, Lake Victoria and Lake Mutanda.
Boat trips on the different water bodies offer great views of different animals like Hippos, crocodiles, waterbucks, giraffes, Elephants, Antelopes, zebras and more. A lot of bird species can be seen and some of these are African fish eagle, Pied Kingfisher, Shoebill stork, African skimmers, African jacana, Malabou stork, Egyptian goose, herons, yellow billed stork, Fish eagles, Grey crowned cranes and more
Other activities that can be added on your Uganda safari include mountain climbing, Cultural experiences, White water rafting, golden monkey tracking, biking, Kampala city tour, bungee jumping, canoeing, quad biking, zip lining, sorts fishing, and more.