Africa is by the far the best safari destination for anyone interested in authentic experiences watching wildlife in their natural habitat, cultural experiences or simply a foodie wanting to partake in different culinary delicacies. Uganda is a minitur Africa providing all these and more.
Top things to do on safari
There are various activities you can engage in while on a safari in Uganda. Some will bring out your adrenaline drive whereas others will require you to sit back and relax while enjoying the experience.
Gorilla trekking – You can do this is Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable national park, Mgahinga gorilla national park, Rwanda’s Volcanoes national park and Congo’s Virunga national park. This requires you to purchase a gorilla tracking permit before you embark on this hike through the jungles with the help of your ranger guide. You are only allowed 1 hour in the presence of the gorillas once you locate them. Alternatively you can choose a gorilla habituation experience which accords you 4 hours in the presence of the gorillas.
Chimpanzee trekking – Just like gorilla trekking, chimpanzee trekking is done in various forests in Uganda with the most famous being Budongo forest, Semliki reserve, Kalinzu forest, Kyambura gorge, Kibale forest. In Rwanda, chimpanzee trekking happens in Nyungwe forest where just like gorillas, you are allowed 1 hour with the chimps after locating them while on a chimp trek.
Game drives – For those interested in the savannah national parks to watch wild animals as they go about their day, then game drives in the custom made safari vehicles is what you want. Your tour guide drives through different game tracks in search of the most sought after animals like Lions, Leopards, Elephants, Giraffes, Buffaloes etc.
Boat trips – This is on the many lakes and rivers around the country. Sometimes it is for birding, game viewing or sunset cruises. While in the national parks you can take an afternoon boat ride and watch different animals as they come to water and others that are resident there like Crocodiles and Hippos
Nature walks – In some parks you are allowed to take a nature walk with a ranger guide to learn more about the herbs, shrubs, trees and animals that are in the vicinity.
Community/Cultural experiences – Uganda is home to over 40 different tribes that have unique languages, foods – or at least a unique way of preparing it, songs and dance, rituals and rites of passage. Taking part in a cultural tour will allow you to interact with the people at close range getting involved in their day to day activities.
Bird watching – Uganda is home to over 1050 bird species where you are able to sight over 500 species while on a 21-day birding safari. Birding is done in both protected areas and non protected areas, in agricultural areas, wetlands, forests, savannah etc.
When to Visit?
Uganda has near perfect weather all year round and therefore you can visit whenever you want. That said, there are months with higher rains than others however please note that Uganda being a tropical country, the sun soon comes out after the rain. Most people prefer to travel here in Jan – March and June – mid October and December. The rains are more common in April & May and then mid October – November.