The Pearl of Africa
What is the Best Safari in Uganda? – Tailor-Made Safaris
What is the Best Safari in Uganda according to your interests, fitness & priorities? Tailor-made trips with Kabira Safaris are tailored to each traveler. They are perfect if you are looking for authentic experiences and prefer to spend more time meeting locals on your trip. With a local expert’s knowledge and your own private guide, you can gain a deeper insight into local culture.
Uganda offers a multitude of Uganda Safari Packages that is best experienced on organized Kabira Safaris. Book Your Best Safari in Uganda Tailor-made at a 10% Discount and Explore The Pearl of Africa. A Safari in Uganda, on the other hand, is not for the faint of heart: the roads are in poor condition, it rains frequently, and driving between destinations can be long and exhausting. The famous gorilla trekking in Uganda is on everyone’s bucket list, but it’s a physically demanding experience in difficult conditions. The experience of meeting a mountain gorilla face to face, on the other hand, is one that will be remembered for a lifetime. Our Uganda Safari Holidays include both budget and luxury options, but if you can’t find what you’re looking for, one of our African Safari Experts will gladly tailor-make a Safari to meet your specific needs and budget.
Let’s Drive right in – Contents
What we’ll cover in this article
- Why Tour Uganda/Visit Uganda?
- How Do You Know The Best Uganda Tour Operator?
- Why Must You Choose Uganda As Your Tour Destination?
- What To See While On Tour To Uganda?
- Where To Stay on Safari in Uganda?
- What is the Best Time to Visit Uganda?
- How Much Does a Tour Cost in Uganda?
- Recommended Uganda Tour Packages
- How Unique is Uganda from other Africa Tour Destinations?
- Is Uganda good for Tour?
- Is the Ugandan Weather Conducive to Tourists?
- Uganda Safari Destinations/Uganda National Parks
- About Uganda
Recommended Safaris in Uganda
Wondering how a Safari in Uganda could be planned? These sample packages are well-tailored to give you what it looks like to have a trip to Uganda. The sample packages are both short and long tours that were well planned and undertaken by different travelers. These include 3 Days Safari in Murchison, 3 Days Bwindi Gorilla safari, and many more. All of these can be customized or changed to suit what your interest is.
2 Days Murchison Falls safari in Uganda is a short trip to the oldest and largest (3,840 sq km) safari park in Uganda – Murchison Falls National Park is just 2 Days.
3 Days Uganda Gorilla trekking is a Gorilla-tracking safari in Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable National Park this most probably starts and ends in Kampala or Entebbe.
6 Days Safari in Uganda is a gorilla trekking tour to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and a wildlife trip in Queen Elizabeth and Lake Mburo National Parks.
8 Days Uganda Wildlife tour & Gorilla trekking Safari is a Wildlife safari, chimpanzee tracking and Gorilla trekking Safari in Uganda. Kibale Forest
1. Why Safari Uganda/Visit Uganda?
Uganda is undoubtedly one of the best Africa safari destinations featured on many international travel sources as a must-visit destination. Uganda was named as a must-visit destination on the National Geographic Travellers Cool List 2019 and in many journals as a place to visit before you die. Here is why any traveler should choose to take a safari in Uganda through the Pearl of Africa;
Gorilla Trekking Safari
(The best safari in Uganda?) – Gorilla trekking Safaris in Uganda are unrivaled, they create lifetime experiences with a feel of the true aliveness of the African jungle. Mountain Gorillas are known to live only in Uganda, Rwanda, and Congo but Uganda is definitely always the best choice.
Both Bwindi and Mgahinga parks offer affordable gorilla trekking tours at USD 600 for foreign nonresidents until June 2020 and USD 700 from then on.
This is half the price for the trek in Rwanda and Congo is disturbed with political unrest.
Uganda has the highest gorilla family number with 19 habituated Mountain Gorillas available for trekking.
It’s still only in Bwindi where tourists can have a gorilla habituation experience since a few of the mountain gorillas haven’t been fully habituated yet. Both trekking and habituation offer African Adventure Travellers a lifetime experience.
Kibale Forest National Park is dubbed the primate capital of the world because of the high chimpanzee population in the park. Chimpanzee trekking Safaris in Uganda is the best way of getting close to man’s closest relatives in their natural habitats.
Other spots for Chimp tracking on a Safari in Uganda include the Kyambura Gorge in Queen Elizabeth National Park, Budongo forest just adjacent to Murchison Falls National Park, and Kalinzu forest. For Uganda safari tourists with limited time, visiting Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary is much rewarding. Here you don’t trek the chimpanzees but interact with them in their rescue center as well as learning a lot from their behavior.
Murchison Falls – Safari in Uganda
About 300 cubic meters of water are squeezed through a 7 meters gorge each second falling 43 meters below forming the world’s most powerful waterfalls – Murchison Falls.
A safari in Murchison Falls National Park offers a chance to glimpse at the scenic falls formed on the Nile River. Murchison Falls safaris offer perfect opportunities for photography and sightseeing.
A hike to the top of the mighty falls and a boat cruise to the bottom of the falls is the best way of exploring the falls. These and more can be experienced on a 2 day Murchison Falls Safari.
Uganda is host to about 330 mammal species and therefore a great destination for wildlife tours in Africa. Safari in Uganda and have the chance to view several wildlife species. Some of the wildlife species seen in Uganda include the big five African game which is Buffaloes, Lions, Leopards, Rhinos, and Elephants. Other wildlife species include several antelopes like the Elands (biggest antelope) and the dik-dik (smallest antelope), Rock hyrax, Zebras, Giraffes, Warthogs, Oribis, Side striped jackal, Bushbucks, waterbuck, cheetahs, and many more.
Primate species include the Patas monkey, Black and White Colobus monkey, golden monkeys, olive baboons, and many more. Wildlife viewing tours are best done on game drives using 4×4 open roof safari vehicles. Tours can be short or long depending on how much you would love to have the experience.
Mountain Rwenzori and Mount Elgon are the ideal hiking safari destinations in Uganda. Mountain Rwenzori hosts the highest peak in the country at an altitude of 5,109m above sea level. The hike to the peak of the Rwenzoris lasts at least 8 days. Mount Elgon has its highest altitude at 4,321m above sea level with three popular hiking trails of Sasa, Piswa, and the Sipi trails.
Hiking Mount Elgon takes about 4-6 days depending on the hikers’ ability. Other hiking trip destinations in Uganda include the Mgahinga Volcano hike, Mount Moroto hike in north Eastern Uganda, and a hike to Kagulu hills in the Buyende district.
White Water Rafting
White water rafting at the source of the Nile River in Jinja is the perfect way to get your adrenaline hyped. The rafts explode through huge walls of white water and drift through the warm green pools of the beautiful tropical sunshine.
Having a white water rafting experience in Jinja is just one perfect way any adventure lover can have an amazing experience on the Nile waters. Rafting can be undertaken in different grades, ranging from grade 5 to grade 3, family rafting and other milder rafting experiences can also be undertaken by families.
Bird Watching Safari
Bird watching safaris in Uganda are perfect for avid birders, seasoned birders, groups, families, and solo travelers. Uganda has over 1,065 confirmed bird species distributed all through the borders of the country.
Depending on what a birder would love to see, bird watching tours are good all year round. The Fox’s weaver is endemic to Uganda and found in the Eastern part of the country. Grey Crowned Crane is the country’s national bird.
Shoebill stork is the sought-after bird species by many of the birders in Uganda. 24 Albertine Rift endemics can also be seen in Uganda and these include the Ruwenzori Batis, Handsome Francolin, and many more.
Best bird watching spots include Queen Elizabeth National Park, Kidepo Valley National Park, Mabamba wetland, Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, Semuliki National Park, and many more.
The People and Cultures
Cultural tours in Uganda can be in any part of the country with about 56 tribes that have different cultures and traditions. Taking cultural visits helps you have an insight into the traditions of Ugandans including music, dance, drama, and livelihoods. Planning to have cultural safaris in Uganda can best be done on a long safari that is tailored with wildlife, birding, or gorilla safaris.
The smallest tribes in Uganda include the Batwa pygmies and the IK people in Southwestern and North Eastern Uganda respectively. Options for a Uganda safari are endless with almost all of the wildlife species of East Africa seen here. The only difference is that Uganda is a less crowded destination and therefore you take advantage of viewing wildlife with fewer interruptions. This is a perfect way of getting lost in nature!
2. How Do You Know The Best Uganda Safari Operator?
Uganda has many safari companies/tour operators and can be found on the internet. While planning to take a safari in Uganda, remember to always use a prominent safari company. A recommendable company should have tours related to those you would love to have, a well-detailed website, clear contact, and location details.
A genuine company will always have clear payment methods and be efficient communication. Kabira Uganda Safaris & Tours Ltd. meets these requirements and works with partners in the tourism industry such as the Association of Uganda Tour Operators, Africa Tour Operators, and others. Services are tailored according to your preference and therefore the top option for any kind of safari in Uganda.
3. Why Must You Choose Uganda As Your Safari Destination?
Uganda has much to offer, the reason it is actually dubbed the Pearl of Africa. In case you are wondering why you should choose Uganda as your next safari destination, then there’s a lot. Just as you arrive in Uganda, the biggest lake on the African continent – Lake Victoria will calm you down with the cool breeze.
Weather in Uganda is pleasant since it’s straddled by the equator line with temperatures at an average of about 22 degrees Celsius year-round. This weather makes safaris perfect most of the time of the year. Even in the rainy season, don’t be surprised to have the day bright and the sun is shining.
Gorilla safari in Uganda is the top safari activity with the highest number of habituated mountain gorillas in the country. Other extremely amazing activities include hiking, birding, fishing at Murchison Falls, wildlife tours, and several adventure trips.
Every kilometer you move in Uganda the scenery changes. The country is scenic and very beautiful to the eyesight. It never gets boring on the long drives with greenery in the background formed by several forests that form 6.3% of the total land area. Fresh fruit will always make your meals tastier. Uganda serves much of fresh foods grown from within the country as well as lots of fruits in the markets and many spots. The pineapples, sweet bananas, papaya, jackfruit, and many more are juicy and must not be missed on your trip.
4. What To See While On Safari in Uganda?
Wildlife: Uganda is an African Big Five Wild Game viewing safari destination where the Buffaloes, Elephants, Lions, Leopards, and Rhinos can be seen roaming on the savannah plains. Wildlife Safaris Uganda offers many more wild species with about 330 mammal species. About 7 species are endangered, 17, near threatened, 2 vulnerable, and no more critically endangered species since Mountain Gorilla numbers increased to 1004. Mountain Gorillas and Chimpanzees are also part of the wildlife species found in large numbers within Uganda rather than in any other destination in the African continent.
Birds – Birding tours in Uganda are perfect for avid birders, seasoned birders, groups, families, and solo travelers. Uganda has over 1,065 confirmed bird species distributed all through the borders of the country.
Shoebill stork is the sought-after bird species by many of the birders in Uganda. 24 Albertine Rift endemics can also be seen in Uganda and these include the Ruwenzori Batis, Handsome Francolin, and many more. Scenery – Uganda is beautiful, in every kilometer, you move in Uganda the scenery changes. The country is scenic and very beautiful to the eyesight. It never gets boring on the long drives with greenery in the background formed by several forests that form 6.3% of the total land area.
Visit historical and cultural sites – With lots of traditions and cultures, Uganda safaris get amazing when you take a visit to these cultural sites. Some of the sites include the Uganda Museum where you can learn almost all about Uganda. Kasubi tombs also within Kampala is a preservation point for the traditions of the Baganda- a Bantu tribe within the central region. The architecture here is traditional with a touch of the old and original way of construction in the typical African setting.
5. Accommodation / Where To Stay on Ugandan Safari?
As tourist numbers increase in Uganda each year, the need for accommodation in safari lodges and hotels has also been catered for. Lodging can be accessed from the city and several towns and even in the African wild after great moments in the adventure trails.
- Luxury/Up Market Accommodation facilities are offered at 5-star hotels and lodges and these pamper you throughout your stay. These are high-end accommodation facilities and the most expensive of all. Kampala Serena Hotel is one of the many luxury hotels.
- Mid-range/standard Accommodation is as accessible as any other throughout the country. In Uganda safari parks, are convenient and offer lodging facilities in lodges and tented camps. Many of these are built-in traditional settings a good example being the Kidepo Savannah Lodge in Kidepo Valley National Park.
- Budget/Basic Accommodations is ready to offer lodging facilities to travelers on small budgets. Though not with the high-end touch and pampering, budget lodges and Bandas offer great meals and housing along with great hospitality. The Uganda Wildlife Authority constructed Bandas in many of the parks and therefore offering budget accommodation easily.
Camping is a great way of experiencing the wild while on safari in Uganda. For backpackers, this is an affordable and easy way to have your accommodation sorted. You can carry your camping gear but can also rent from the park through a safari company. Learn More
6. What is the Best Time to Visit Uganda?
Best time could probably be the key to a memorable tour. Many travelers wonder what the best time to visit Uganda could actually be. Uganda is situated along with the equator a fact that makes it have a milder climate and no extreme weather conditions. Average temperatures are about 21 degrees Celsius and may drop to 12 degrees celsius.
You can visit Uganda throughout the year. However, it depends on where you are visiting since the wet and dry seasons vary. The best time of the year to tour is during the dry season months in the months of June – August, and December to February.
Why safari Uganda in the dry season? When the rains are less, the trails in the parks are drier and therefore less slippery making driving and hiking very easy. The grass is also short and therefore photography becomes clear and sightings better.
However, unlike any other safari destination in Uganda, Kidepo Valley National Park receives one rainy season which is between April-August. This is the best season for other parks and not for Kidepo. The other months of the year are good for visiting the park though December – February can get too hot at times.
Many will tell you the best time of the year to visit Uganda is in the dry season or all throughout the year, but now you can tell why. The country and tour destinations remain open all year throughout and therefore open to tourists though the experience may vary a little.
The time referred to as the best time is always the peak season and therefore parks and accommodation facilities become congested. This makes visiting during the rainy season more preferable. Accommodation facilities may also offer discounts during the rainy season.
7. How Much Does a Safari Cost in Uganda?
If you are wondering how much a safari to Uganda may cost, there is no single cost for a trip to the country but here is the highlight of what determines the cost of your safari. The price of the trip is determined by the destinations you choose, some have more and expensive activities than others.
Where you stay which is the lodge or hotel is a big determinant to the total cost of your trip. Luxury accommodation options will automatically lead to higher costs than budget or Mid-range accommodations. Even in the same class of accommodation, some lodges are more expensive than others, 900 USD could just be for 1 night at some Lodges.
The number of days you spend on the trip determines how much you will spend. Long Tours in Uganda will definitely be more expensive than short trips. On average you could be spending about 250 USD per person on a single Day trip to Lake Mburo National Park.
The bigger the group, the less each individual pays for the trip. Solo traveler trips are more expensive than group tours. When the group is bigger, costs are shared and therefore each person could pay much less than the cost of a solo traveler. It is possible to save over 300 USD per person on a shared 3 Days trip.
9. How Unique is Uganda from other Africa Safari Destinations?
Winston Churchill was wowed and named Uganda the Pearl of Africa even before having a Gorilla trekking or Chimpanzee tracking experience. This is because Uganda is an extraordinary safari destination with lots of endemics and friendly people.
Half of the world’s Mountain Gorillas, the worlds’ most powerful waterfalls, the highest mountain ranges, almost half of Africa’s bird species, the world’s longest river, Africa’s largest freshwater lake, the biggest chimpanzee numbers, and the continents most friendly people are all in Uganda. Surprising how all of these wonders fit in a single country just 236,040 sq. km! this makes Uganda unique and indeed tours to Uganda on top of traveler bucket lists.
Other Africa Safaris Tours /Combined Safari Trips
Africa has a lot to offer with each destination being unique from the other. Many Uganda safari tourists always tailor their safari in Uganda with Kenya safaris, wildlife safaris in Tanzania, Rwanda Safaris, Congo safaris, and to many other countries.
Other Useful Links
- Short Uganda Birding Tours
- Long Uganda Birding Tours
- Short Uganda Gorilla Tours
- Long Gorilla Trekking in Uganda
- Short Uganda Wildlife Tours
- Long Uganda Wildlife Tours
- Luxury Uganda Tours
- Budget Uganda Tours
- Uganda Fishing Trips
- Important Bird Areas Uganda
- Uganda-Rwanda Gorilla Discovery Tours
- Best Place to see Lions in Uganda
- Gorilla Trekking Uganda from Nairobi
- Flights to Bwindi Impenetrable
- Booking Gorilla Habituation Permit
- Mountain Gorillas in Rushaga Sector
- Bwindi Four Hours Gorilla Trek
- Gorilla Trekking in Bwindi
The Definitive Safari Guides
10. Is it Safe to Visit/Safari Uganda?
YES, For the past several decades Uganda has not had any political unrest and therefore a very safe destination to visit. Even without a tour guide, a tourist can easily move around the country and take their own self-drive trip, that’s how safe Uganda is.
Ugandans have been named several times as the friendliest people of the African continent and many tourists have witnessed this. Above all, it’s the people of Uganda that make this beautiful land a warm place to visit.
11. Is the Ugandan Weather Conducive to Tourists?
Straddling the equator, Uganda has no extreme weather conditions or winter and summer conditions, the weather is mild. During the day temperatures range from 24-33°C (52-91°F) during the hottest months and reaching up to 40°C/104°F in the far northern part of the country. It can rain any time of the year and the country doesn’t have extreme weather conditions. For travelers from all over the world, the weather in Uganda is favorable and may not affect so much.
However, it is recommended to drink a lot of water during the safari and also carry a brimmed hat. You could easily get sunburns. Depending on the season of the year always carry appropriate safari clothing. Even with the high temperatures, you may need to wear long-sleeved shirts and trousers for protection from brittles. These tips apply for Tanzania safaris as well as safaris in Kenya during game viewing.
Republic of Uganda
Capital and Largest City: Kampala
Official Languages: English, Swahili
Government: Unitary dominant-party presidential republic
President: Yoweri Museveni
Vice-President: Edward Ssekandi
Prime Minister: Ruhakana Rugunda
Independence: from the United Kingdom 9 October 1962
Area Total: 241,038 Km2 (93,065 sq mi) (79th) – Water (%): 15.39
Population 2018 estimate – 42,729,036 (35th)
GDP (PPP): Total – 2019 estimate – $102.659 billion
Currency: Ugandan shilling (UGX)
Time zone: UTC+3 (EAT)
Calling code: +256
ISO 3166 code: UG
Internet TLD: .ug
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uganda]
12. Best Places To Safari in Uganda
Without a doubt, Uganda is preferably the best Africa safari destination blessed with a diversity of nature. Uganda is crossed by the equator, host to many mountains, rivers, waterfalls, wildlife, and many more attractions. Numerous attractions and activities in Uganda can easily leave you undecided on where to go. We can’t choose where your safari in Uganda can be but we can only help you with the highlight of what is where.
Here are highlights on where to go for Uganda safaris;
1. Murchison Falls National Park – Safari Uganda
Murchison Falls Safaris are the most popular Short Tours in Uganda taken on 3 days and 2 days trips. Murchison Falls National Park is Uganda’s oldest and largest safari park covering 3,840 sq. km and home to the worlds’ most powerful waterfalls-Murchison Falls.
Murchison Falls National Park offers wildlife tours with about 76 mammal species including Elephants, Buffaloes, Lions, and Leopards. Almost 450 bird species can be seen in the park. Aquatic species, butterflies, reptiles.
6. Kibale Forest National Park
Chimpanzee trekking safari in Uganda are the popular safari activity in Kibale Forest National Park. The park is home to 13 primate species and the best place to visit for a chimpanzee-tracking safari.
Chimp tracking costs USD 150 for foreign nonresidents, USD 100 for foreign residents, and 150,000 UGX for East Africa citizens valid till 1st July 2020. From then Foreign nonresidents will pay 200 USD, Foreign residents 150 USD, and still 150,000 UGX for East Africans.
2. Queen Elizabeth National Park
Covering 1,978 Sq. Km, Queen Elizabeth National Park is the second popularly visited Uganda Safari park popular for the tree Climbing lions. The park is divided by the equator line and home to over 95 mammal species.
Extending from Lake George in the north-east to Lake Edward in the south west, the park has the highest concentration of bird species. About 600 bird species are known to be within the boundaries of the park.
7. Kidepo Valley National Park
Dubbed the true African wilderness with its beauty that has mostly gone unnoticed as stated by CNN Travel. Kidepo Valley National Park is a perfect wilderness to visit on any safari in Uganda.
The park is about 1,442 sq. km, hosting about 77 mammal species, 475 bird species several reptiles and flora. The Dik Dik (smallest antelope), cheetahs, ostriches, Karamoja Apalis are endemic to Kidepo Valley National Park.
3. Lake Mburo National Park
Lake Mburo National Park is the closest safari park of Uganda from Kampala -Uganda’s capital. This is the best national park for walking safari in Uganda since the park has no known carnivores, a reason it’s dubbed whispers of the wild.
Walking safaris, cycling, quad biking, horse riding game drives, boat cruise, and bird watching are the best activities in the park. Lake Mburo National Park covers about 370 sq. km underlined by ancient pre-Cambrian rocks hosting about 350 bird species.
8. Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is the top Gorilla trekking Safari Uganda destination hosting almost half of the world’s remaining Mountain Gorillas. 19 mountain gorilla families have been habituated and open to trekking by tourists the world over.
With over 400 Mountain Gorillas, there are 99.9% chances of seeing these giants. Mountain gorilla habituation is also only possible in Bwindi Forest. Aside from the gorillas, 23 out of the 24 Albertine rift endemic bird species.
4. Rwenzori Mountains National Park Uganda
This is the ultimate hiking destination in Uganda with the highest peak at 5,109 m above sea level. Hiking these mountain ranges is strenuous and lasts for about 8 days, however, there are also less tiring hikes that include nature walks and day hikes on the slopes of the mountain.
Giant Lobelia forms the beautiful vegetation of the Mountain slopes. The Rwenzori Mountains also host over 70 mammal species, 217 bird species including 19 Albertine rift endemics
9. Mount Elgon National Park Uganda
With the highest point at 1,121 Sq. Km, Mount Elgon is Uganda’s oldest physical feature found in Eastern Uganda at the border with Kenya. Its host to the world’s largest volcanic base 80 km in diameter.
It’s a more favorable hiking destination compared to the higher Rwenzori Mountains. Mount Elgon is also hosting to about 300 bird species and is surrounded by the tribes of the Bagisu and Sabiny that you can visit for a cultural tour.
5. Semuliki National Park
Semuliki National Park covers about 220 sq. km and is known as the birder’s paradise because of the special forest bird species within the park. The park is host to about 441 bird species and 53 mammals with the famous hot springs.
Some of the bird species in Semuliki National Park include the Spot-breasted Ibis, Nkulengu Rail, Long-tailed Hawk, Western Bronze-naped Pigeon, Black-throated Coucal, White-billed Kingfisher, Piping Hornbill, and many more.
10. Mgahinga Gorilla National Park
Mgahinga Gorilla National Park contributes to the big number of Mountain Gorillas in Uganda as it hosts 1 gorilla family known as Nyakagezi. The park is within the Virunga ranges adjacent to Virunga National Park in Congo and Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda.
Birding in Mgahinga is another rewarding activity aside from Gorilla trekking. About 180 bird species have been recorded within the park.