Uganda Safari

Uganda 2017-05-19T05:26:30+00:00

Uganda Safaris – Uganda is a small landlocked country that sits on the northern shore of the vast Lake Victoria. Relatively populous and tucked away in the Great Lakes region of East Africa, Uganda is one of the most vibrant emerging safari destinations in the world. Its mesmerizing views, astonishing biodiversity, opportunities for gorilla trekking and lower temperatures made it the safari destination of choice and a Uganda safari is rapidly rising to its deserved spot among the top experiences in East Africa.

Uganda is striking in many ways. A paradise for primates, it is home to a multitude of species, ranging from chimpanzee to golden monkey and mountain gorilla. Its elevation above sea level lifts it out of the heat of the Equator and into more temperate climes, while the variations in terrain, drainage and altitude create an incredible variety of scenery and habitat. Uganda is located where the savannah of East Africa meets the jungles of central Africa, meaning that you can view lion and elephant in sweeping grassy plains one day and track primates through lush rainforest the next. The abundance of water makes for a wide variety of river adventures, from superb white water rafting at Jinja to more sedate river cruises viewing vast numbers of hippo and crocodile along the country’s western border. Boasting one of the highest mountains in Africa, Mt Stanley, the Ruwenzori Mountain range, also known by the colourful name of the Mountains of the Moon, is higher than the Alps and rises along Uganda’s western border. The glaciers and montane forest of the mountains are a stark contrast to the savannah and lowlands of the central areas. Though amazingly scenic, high rainfall and rugged terrain mean that these mountains are notoriously difficult to explore when compared to popular trekking destinations such as Kilimanjaro and Mount Kenya.

Much of the country is defined by water and the Nile River is said to have its source here. The mighty river itself curves through the country from northwest to southeast. Uganda is also a birders’ paradise, with well over 1 000 recorded species, including the fascinating shoebill.

In comparison with its neighbours, Uganda sees fairly low numbers of tourists, meaning that its national parks are uncrowded. The country’s main attraction is undeniably the imposing mountain gorillas, the last of their kind. They make their home in the forests along the south western border of Uganda, mostly in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park or Impenetrable Forest. This park is home to over half the remaining wild mountain gorilla in the world.

What to expect on safari in Uganda

Uganda has a fairly high population and human habitation reaches right up to the borders of many of the parks. A striking feature that is most often seen in the areas near the rainforests is the use of terraced agriculture, which rings the hills in thousands of shades of green. Beginning at the main point of arrival in Entebbe, most safaris will head west to the broad belt of national parks that form the western border. Due to the country being situated right on the meeting point of the eastern savannah and western jungle ecosystems, Uganda has excellent terrain for a wide variety of safaris, from traditional game drives through golden grassland seeking lion or elephant to strapping on your hiking boots and trekking through lush rainforest. The birding is superlative, with the variation in habitat attracting a vast array of species, including the crowning glory of the shoebill, a highly sought-after sight for the true birder. The traditional Big Five parks of Uganda, Queen Elizabeth National Park and Murchison Falls, do not yet match the game densities of their contemporaries to the east. That said, the game viewing is still very much alive and well and the parks boast a mere fraction of the tourist numbers that may dilutes the experience for those visiting the more developed destinations. A sighting of lion, elephant or leopard here is a moment to treasure and is seldom shared with other vehicles.

Why choose Uganda

Uganda is filled with the enthusiasm and lively atmosphere of a country that is rapidly on the rise. The culture is vibrant, the people are friendly and its wild places are unlike those found anywhere else. It is a magical mix of contrasts and a microcosm of the African continent itself – towering volcanic mountains, deep, lush rainforests, golden grasslands and mighty rivers and lakes. Everywhere in Uganda there is life waiting to be discovered, some of it as weird and wonderful as a children’s story, with giant hogs and tiny elephant shrew. Uganda cradles the last mountain gorilla at its heart and this conservation success is driving a rebirth of what was once the most refined of destinations for an African safari.

Who is it for?

Uganda is the dream destination for those in search of the absolute pinnacle of primate safaris. Chimpanzees roam in numbers in Kibale and Queen Elizabeth National Park, as do colobus monkeys, vervet monkeys, de Brazza monkeys and a host of other species. The last mountain gorillas are carefully protected in the Impenetrable Forest of Bwindi. There is absolutely no exaggeration in gorilla trekking as life-altering. The destination is just as much sought after by birders, as Uganda boasts over a thousand species among its varied habitats. A keen birder can hope to encounter the handsome francolin, dwarf honeyguide and purple-breasted sunbird, among many other species that are very difficult to see anywhere else. And, like the gorilla, there is the highlight of seeing the unforgettable shoebill. Uganda outshines all other safari destinations in these two areas, but, in addition, it remains a superb destination for traditional safari by vehicle or by boat, thanks to its lush habitats and variety of species. For those in search of something fresh and vibrant, Uganda is the perfect choice.

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