All the beauty of Uganda to be seen on 5 wildlife safaris

Safaris in Uganda.

A safari in Uganda is more than just a safari in its classic sense. It’s not for nothing that Winston Churchill called Uganda the pearl of Africa. Because Uganda has it all: the great African River Nile, the great African Lake Victoria, the Great African Rift, one of the most interesting waterfalls in Africa, the Great African Five, our closest relatives – gorillas and chimpanzees, the endemic golden monkeys and the imposing whale-head…

Whalehead

It is the presence of mountain gorillas, chimpanzees, and golden monkeys that allows us to combine a classic Uganda safari with a primate safari. But let’s go over everything in order.

In Uganda it is difficult to give preference to any one national park, they are all different and each has its own thing that attracts tourists.

Murchison Falls National Park

Murchison Falls National Park is located in northeastern Uganda about three hundred kilometers from the capital city of Kampala. The very name of the park suggests that in addition to safari there is also a waterfall. We must say that the Murchison Falls are one of the most picturesque in Africa.

Murchison Falls

Murchison Falls

Cruising along the Nile and hiking to the top of the falls is a must in the park.

Of the animals here, there are four members of the African Great Five. Only rhinos are missing, but a visit to the Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary on the way from Kampala or Entebbe can make up for this gap.

In the park you can see Rodshield giraffes (also called Ugandan giraffes), several species of antelope and, if you are lucky, whale eagles.

To the south, you can even walk to visit chimpanzees in Budongo Forest.

Kibale National Park

If you’re looking for the best place to trek to see chimpanzees, Kibale Forest National Park is the place to be. Apart from chimpanzees, Kibale is home to eight other species of primates. As well as a standard chimpanzee trekking tour you can also take part in the Chimpanzee Habituation Program, which allows you to spend not just one hour, but four hours in the company of chimpanzees.

Chimpanzees in Kibale National Park

Queen Elizabeth National Park

Queen Elizabeth National Park is Uganda’s most popular park due to the variety of animals it hosts. The park’s highlights are the tree-climbing lions in the Ishasha sector.

Tree climbing lions

Tree climbing lions

Also a must-do is a boat ride down the Kazinga Channel, famous for one of the largest hippo populations in Africa.

Bwindi National Park

Bwindi National Park, or literally Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, is the trekking capital to mountain gorillas in Uganda.

In Bwindi there are seven groups of mountain gorillas, which are accustomed to the presence of people and, accordingly, they are trekking: four groups in the Bukhoma sector, two groups in the Rushaga sector and one group in the Nkringo sector. In total, this national park is home to about 40% of the world population of mountain gorillas.

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The dominant male (silverback) mountain gorilla

Bwindi has one advantage that sets it apart from other mountain gorilla parks. In addition to regular trekking, you can participate in the Gorilla Habituation Program. This will give you the opportunity to interact with the gorillas not one hour, as in the normal trekking, but as many as four hours. Must take.

Mgahinga Gorilla National Park

If you think that mountain gorillas in Uganda can only be seen in Bwindi, you are wrong. On the border with Rwanda, there is Mgahinga National Gorilla Park (Mgahinga). This is the smallest park in Uganda, but we know that the smallest is the most expensive . Mgahinga is a small piece of the Virunga mountain range in Uganda, and, as you know, trekking conditions for mountain gorillas in Virunga are much easier than in Bwindi.

Until recently, one group of mountain gorillas lived in Mganga, but a second group from Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park moved there in October 2019.

Hirwa Group

Hirwa Group.

Just like in Bwindi, in Mgahinga you can see the endemic and very funny golden monkeys.

Golden Monkey

Mburo National Park

You may be surprised, but you won’t see zebras or impala antelope in either Murchison Falls National Park or Queen Elizabeth National Park. This is despite the fact that in the rest of Africa they are called bush Macdonalds because of their wide distribution and availability to predators as prey. In addition, impalas have stripes on their hind legs that resemble the letter “M” in the logo of the famous fast food chain.

Impala Antelopes

The only place in Uganda where you can see impalas is in Mburo National Park. Zebras can only be found in Mburo and the Kidepo Valley.

Logistics of a safari in Uganda

The main way to organize a safari in Uganda is a fully guided safari, where the guide and transport are completely at your disposal throughout the trip.

In terms of itinerary construction, there are several options:

  • The itinerary begins and ends in Entebbe or Kampala.
  • The itinerary begins in Kigali, Rwanda and ends in Entebbe or vice versa.
  • Itinerary begins and ends in Kigali

The choice of the start and end point of the route depends on the national parks you want to visit. So, for example, if your interests are limited to the southernmost national parks of Mgahinga, Bwindi and Queen Elizabeth, which are closer to Kigali, it is more logical to start and end the route in the Rwandan capital to avoid a long, empty drive. In addition, a stay in Kigali can be combined with an excursion to the Royal Palace in the town of Nyanza, where you can see the amazing long-horned cows.

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Rwanda's long-horned cows Inyambo

Rwanda’s long-horned cows Inyambo

Visa to Uganda

Visas to Uganda can be arranged online at the country’s immigration website. If you plan to visit both Uganda and Rwanda or/and Kenya during your trip, it is recommended to apply for the East Africa Tourist Visa online. When applying for it, remember that it should be made on the website of the relevant public service of the country where you plan to enter for the first time. So, if you are planning to start your route in Kigali, Io unified visa should be processed at the state portal of Rwanda Irembo.

Health

It is important to remember that when visiting Uganda, as well as the rest of East Africa, malaria prevention and yellow fever vaccination are recommended. At the entrance to the country you may be asked to show a certificate of vaccination.

Weather and Seasonality

The climate in Uganda varies between the northern and southern parts of the country.

In the north, March through November is the rainy, humid, and warm season. From December to February in the northern regions of the country the dry and warm season.

If during a safari in Uganda you want to visit the southern national parks, then focus on the fact that there are two dry seasons: from December to February and from June to August-September. The other months are dominated by wet rainy weather.

Recommended tours to Uganda
  • Gorillas and lions. Group tour to Rwanda and Uganda

You might also be interested

Now you are theoretically savvy about the possibilities of a safari in Uganda. Time to move on to practice, i.e. booking your dream safari. If you have any questions or suggestions, please call or write us, we will be happy to advise and help you.

5X3R Uganda

Elvira, IV3FSG will be active with the call sign 5X3R from Uganda, until July 13, 2022. She’ll be operating on the SW bands. Recent DX Spots 5X3R 5X3R Search for links in the log Find QSL via IK2DUW direct, ClubLog, HRD Log. Address for QSL Direct: ANTONELLO PASSARELLA, VIA M. GIOIA, 6, 20812 LIMBIATE, MB, Italy.

Uganda: national parks, safaris and. bananas for dinner

5X3R. Uganda. QSL.

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Uganda is a country in East Africa that attracts amazing landscapes, natural resources and unusual traditions. The pearl of Africa is known for its amazing landscapes that attract tourists from all over the world. The local beauty has become a target for photographers from the BBC and National Geographics.

Rothschild Giraffes, Uganda. Photo by Su Milks.

Here is the best part.

Uganda is a treasure trove of natural attractions. The territory of the state has the highest mountain peaks in Africa and one of the deepest lakes in the world – Albertine. Of all the countries in East Africa, Uganda is the smallest, but one of the richest in natural resources and attractions.

Flora and fauna is the richest. In terms of birds, Uganda is home to about 11% of the bird species on earth. Despite the hot climate, the peaks of the Ugandan mountains are covered with snow. The topography is rich in lakes and rivers. Uganda is home to Lake Victoria, the second largest freshwater lake in the world.

This is interesting! Lake Victoria is located in three countries: Uganda, Tanzania and Kenya. Of the approximately 700 gorillas that exist in the world, about half live in Uganda.

The Republic of Uganda is one of three countries in the world where mountain gorillas live in the wild. The other two countries are Rwanda and Congo. Day and night here last the same 12 hours. The sun rises at 7 am and sets at 7 pm. The minimum temperature was recorded in the capital, Kampala, and was only +12 degrees.

Uganda is rich in natural beauty. The virgin nature untouched by industry, the clearest lakes and waterfalls, hundreds of species of unique animals, birds and plants – only a small part of what the nature of Africa offers. Lake Victoria and the national parks are recommended for a must-see.

Gorilla, Uganda. Photo by Max Omolo.

National parks are the pride of the country

The national parks of Uganda are the main attraction of the state. The Queen Elizabeth National Park bears the palm as the world’s first park of natural character. The site, home to mountain gorillas, is popular with tourists. The largest waterfall on the Nile, Murchison Falls is a popular tourist attraction. Attracts fans of natural beauty with its power.

There are several mountains covered with eternal ice in Ruwenzori Park. The most attractive for tourists is Mount Stanley. Its height is 5109 m. Unique nature of pure beauty, amazing animals and rare species of birds – all this attracts tourists from all over the world.

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For note! Using the services of a guide, you can immerse yourself in the enchanting natural beauty of Uganda on a trekking tour. The itinerary is designed so that wilderness lovers will see as many sights as possible while enjoying the beauty of East Africa.

Lovers of conquering extreme heights are offered an excursion to Margherita Peak. This is the third highest peak in Africa (5109 m). Going on the route, tourists will see picturesque panoramas with beautiful waterfalls, lakes rich in birds and vegetation, glaciers, where the permafrost reigns.

This is interesting! The national parks of Uganda boast many endangered species. Here you can see bearded monkeys, black and white colobus, damans, forest elephants, turacos and dukers.

“Banana Gastronomy

The national cuisine of Uganda consists mainly of bananas. They are fried, boiled, steamed, and made into drinks. Matoke, Uganda’s national dish, is made from mashed bananas. It is important that the bananas be unripe. Sweetness is not inherent in this dish. The appearance of African mashed bananas resembles that of European potatoes.

In addition to bananas, potatoes, sorghum, cassava, millet, and fish are commonly used. Ugandan dishes prepared even with ordinary produce, such as potatoes, have a special exotic taste. This is due to the use of local spices: papaya, pineapple and mango. Fish with mango is a local delicacy, sorghum with pineapple is a refined type of dish for the local population.

Uganda. The author of the photo is Lauren Bailey.

Music and dance

The local color is perfectly palpable in the rhythm of the local dances and rituals. There is still an ancient tradition of dancing and music on a curved madi lyre. Dancing and music are integral components of daily life. On occasions of great celebrations, such as weddings and good harvests, the whole village celebrates the event. The local color attracts with unusual traditions and specific music, which is characteristic of African countries.

It is interesting! The dance serves as a tool for preserving folk culture and family values.

Traditions and rituals are handed down from generation to generation by the oldest members of the village. There has been little change over hundreds of years. But today, traditions are undergoing a strong change. The secret is that making musical instruments requires the use of tree species that are protected by law. Endangered trees are prohibited for use as “musical raw materials.

What to do and where to go?

Uganda is rich in parks under the auspices of UNESCO. The best place to start your wilderness experience is Rwenzori National Park. The peculiarity of the area is one of the oldest ecosystems in the world. Flora and fauna is almost unchanged for over 30 thousand years! Tourists and lovers to enjoy the beauty of wildlife are offered the following types of active and passive recreation:

  • sport fishing;
  • safari in the bosom of wild nature;
  • boat trips on the Nile;
  • walks in the forest of Rabongo;
  • excursions to Caño Pabidi.
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By choosing sport fishing, tourists can get tiger fish or Nile perch as trophies. By booking a boat trip, you can watch crocodiles and hippos in their natural environment. The flatlands offer elephants, buffalo and ibex, the coastal wetlands – the abundance of birds, among which it is worth highlighting herons, kingfishers, eagles, ducks and cormorants. If you are lucky, you can capture a photo of a royal heron.

Lovers of aesthetics and wildlife in its pristine form should visit Caño Pabidi. This is an untouched wild patch of forest located in the Bugungu Reserve. The forest reserve is rich in ironwood and redwood trees. The most desirable inhabitants for camera lenses are the white-tailed kalao and the kingfisher with spicy chocolate-colored back plumage.

Safari and ecotourism

Multi-day safaris are a highlight of vacations that appeal to Europeans. Guides offer fascinating journeys into the wild world of animals, where every hour, every minute is unique. Tourists have a unique opportunity to see the daily life of the inhabitants of the savannah, not from TV screens, but in their natural environment. Leopards, giraffes, rhinos, zebras, lions… These and other animals are offered to see at arm’s length. The emotions are unforgettable!

Ecotourism lovers are invited to visit Rabongo forest. The peculiarity is the location (an island of a tropical forest river). In the forest you can see many different representatives of animals, including baboons, red-tailed monkeys, white calaboos. Camp and picnic on the banks of the Wairingo River.

A few words in conclusion

Uganda is a country in East Africa, rich in natural attractions, unique flora and fauna. The Republic boasts a rare collection of birds, the highest mountain peaks and deep lakes. Tourists are offered hiking trails for excursions, safaris, camping in the woods, walking through the national reserves. Fans of fishing will delight in sport fishing.

“Land of Men”, as Uganda is translated, is very rich not only in flora and fauna, but also in natural minerals. Known deposits of gold, copper, chromium, cobalt, tungsten, iron ores. Other valuable minerals include rock salt, kaolin, sulfur, and limestone. In the areas of gold mining work mostly locals. Valuable metal is extracted by handicraft method.

Uganda is a wonderful African country with beautiful panoramas and an abundance of wildlife.

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