Uganda safaris offers the best of the best thus a must visit destination while on your safari to Africa. From scenic viewing to multi-day walks, you’ll discover a host of things to do in Uganda’s national parks.
Top Things to Do
- Game Viewing
- Chimpanzee Tracking
- Nature Trekking
- Cultural Encounters
A Safari to Uganda offers you the chance to encounter the different and diverse cultures. Uganda being blessed with diverse cultures with different cultural norms and practices thus beautifying the country. Uganda offers a variety of tourist activities and once you visit Uganda National Park, you will testify what am stating below:
- Mountain Gorilla trekking – It is the top tourist activity in Uganda and the most expensive of all activities. Gorilla trekking is an activity that can be done all year round in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park and Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. But dry season is better to go on a gorilla safari in Uganda because rainy season causes transportation interruption, impassable gorilla trekking trails and gorillas tend to move far hence making it hectic. The current cost for Gorilla trekking permit is US$700 though there is an ongoing promotion of US$400 which started from 1st December 2020 and will end on 31st March 2021. Basing on the previous census, Uganda hosts almost half of the world’s existing Mountain Gorillas with over 20 habituated gorilla groups with 5 tracking centres (4 in BINP; Buhoma, Nkuringo, Rushaga and Ruhija) and one in MGNP. Strong primate lovers can go deep to study more about Gorillas by booking Gorilla Habituation in BINP at US$1500.
- Chimpanzee trekking – It’s the second sought after Gorilla trekking. Chimpanzee trekking is a must done activity in Uganda to all primatologist. Kibale National Park offers the best chimpanzee trekking in East Africa at US$200 per permit. Other chimpanzee trekking centres in Uganda include Budongo Forest, Toro-Semuliki game reserve, Kyambura Gorge and Kalinzu Forest. As far as chimpanzees are concerned, guests can do chimpanzee habituation in Kibale and Budongo plus chimp up close views at Ngamba island and Uganda wildlife Education centre (UWEC), the former Entebbe Zoo.
- Mountaineering OR Mountain climbing – The mighty Rwenzori Mountain (Mountains of the moon) in western Uganda, Mountain Elgon in Eastern Uganda, Mountain Gahinga, Mountain Muhabura among others. Once you visit Uganda, take extra mile to explore its uplands- reach the highest point in Uganda: Margherita peak (Mt Rwenzori) and Wagagai peak (Mt Elgon), take memorable photos and get wide range views other attractions while on top of Uganda Mountains. For tough mountain climbing excursion, high level of physical fitness is required however Uganda also offers less strenuous mountain climbing on Gahinga Volcano and Muhabura Volcano among others. While on Uganda mountains, expect to see unique Montane Vegetation, crater lakes, Calderas and other glacial features on Mountain Rwenzori like V- shaped Valleys, U-shaped valleys, Hanging Valleys, Aretes, Pyramidal peaks among others.
- Boat trips – Uganda is a basket of water bodies but boat trips are done on Lakes and Rivers. Lake Victoria is the largest lake in East Africa shared by Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. Other lakes include Lake Kyoga, Lake Gorge, Lake Edward, Lake Albert, Lake Mutanda, Lake Wamala among others. Rivers include River Kagera, River Mayanja, River Manafwa to mention but a few. Boat trip is organized by tour companies, private individuals and the government bodies like Uganda wildlife Authority and so on. Book a boat tour in Uganda to visit different islands, see water loving birds and mammals like crocodiles, Hippos among others. Take boat trip on Lake Bunyonyi to see a variety of birds, Kazinga channel to see crocodiles, Hippos etc.
- Game drives/ Game viewing – The major tourist activity in Uganda savannah parks is game drive. The activity enables guests view a variety of wild animals like elephants, buffaloes, lions, antelopes, Giraffes, Zebras and antelopes among others. Sit on an open roof safari vehicle to take clear photos and excellent views. You can as well decide to take night game drive in Queen Elizabeth National Park and Murchison Falls National Park to see nocturnal birds like owls and animals like bush babies, Leopards among others. Hire a guide to help you explore the park and get comprehensive explanations about flora and fauna.
- Golden monkey trekking – Visit Mgahinga National Park to encounter golden monkeys. One of the unique primates in Uganda is golden monkey which lives in social groups of 30 called troops dominated by an adult male, golden monkeys derive their name from their body color. Golden monkeys live in upland with bamboo type of vegetation because they feed on bamboo leaves, flowers, fruits and shrubs among others. Golden Monkey trekking is only done in Mgahinga National Park and about 40000 golden monkeys are habituated. If you miss gorilla trekking, please DO NOT miss golden monkeys because its cheaper and not strenuous like Gorilla trekking.
- Cultural encounters – In BINP and MGNP, you can visit the Batwa Pygmies, Bakiga and Bafumbira people. Each of the listed groups of people exhibits unique characters/ behaviors and history. The Batwa pygmies are a must visit to all tourists in Bwindi – Mgahinga region. The Batwa pygmies are the original inhabitants of Bwindi and Mgahinga Forests hence nicknamed “Keepers of the forest”. Meet them: share ideas, enjoy local music, dance and drama.
When you visit Mountain Rwenzori National park, meet the Bambuti people. The fact that we share boarders with Democratic Republic of Congo, the Bambuti are settles along Uganda- DRC boarder but their origin is in DRC. The Bambuti are nomads who moved from place-to-place hunting and gathering wild animals, so they moved from Congo and settled in western Uganda in the districts of Bundibugyo and Kasese. The Bambuti are so much skilled in hunting which is their main source of food, meat is the main food for the Bambuti people which they supplement with bananas, sweet potatoes, beans which they get in exchange for meat with the farmers. They live by hunting and gathering and that’s why they don’t have permanent housings.
In Kibale National Park, meet the Batooro and Banyoro, In Mountain Elgon National Park, visit the Bagishu and the Serbin- attend Imbalu ceremonies. All most every National Park in Uganda sticks on Cultural trips as one of the activities done.
- Nocturnal Walks/ Night walks – Majorly done in Kibale National Park. Night walks give guests a chance to encounter nocturnal mammals like leopards, Bush Babies and birds like owls among others. Night walks are guided by rangers who knows all the park trails to ease the activity. Currently, Kibale nocturnal walks cost US40 per person and it’s amazing to encounter animals hunting at night. Nocturnal animals and birds tend to be active at night than during day, they are shy and rarely seen during day.
- Hiking/Nature walks – Uganda is home to over 1050 bird species making it a preferred destination for bird watching in Africa. The number of species make up 10% of all of the worlds bird species. It is also home to 24 of the Albertine rift endemics with the rest found in DR Congo, Rwanda, and Burundi. Birds were protected over the years because of the cultural norms attached like being totems for clans or believed to communicate messages from the gods and seasons.
- Birding – Uganda is home to over 1050 bird species making it a preferred destination for bird watching in Africa. The number of species make up 10% of all of the worlds bird species. It is also home to 24 of the Albertine rift endemics with the rest found in DR Congo, Rwanda, and Burundi. Birds were protected over the years because of the cultural norms attached like being totems for clans or believed to communicate messages from the gods and seasons.