What makes Uganda a top safari destination in Africa? Among the top Uganda Safari Tours include gorilla trekking of over 400 of there endangered apes, over 1000 bird species, 330 mammals and different primate species in the 10 National Parks . Find itineraries or tour packages for safaris in Uganda, best tour companies, hotels where to stay and cost of Uganda safaris.
Why Visit Uganda?
So, why have a Uganda Safari ? What makes Uganda good for a safari is , gorilla trekking is best done here , the highest population 400 mountain gorillas, climb the Rwenzori mountains, see the tree climbing lions in Africa, enjoy white water rafting on the Nile, 1000 bird species makes it a top birding destination in Africa.
You will visit the superb Murchison falls , engage in sightseeing of Uganda’s savanna, wildlife, lakes and rivers. Uganda is one of the most hospitable countries in the world thus making it the best cultural safari destination in Africa.
What makes Uganda special is that its a less crowded safari destination as compared to the neighboring Tanzania and Kenya. This is a perfect way to spy on the safari animals.
Uganda is a better country for a safari vs Kenya or Tanzania because it not only has the big five animals, it has the big six. Besides the elephant, leopard, lion, buffalo and Rhino, it has the mountain gorillas that you cannot find in Kenya, Tanzania, Botswana or South Africa.
Besides the ordinary safari, you will be able to engage in fishing adventures and catch 150kg Nilo-perch which is hard to catch elsewhere in the world. You will see the snow covered Rwenzori mountains that standing over most of Western Uganda, its rain forests plus the jungles not seen in any other country within East African.
Where To Go While On A Safari In Uganda ?
1.Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, See The Mountain Gorillas
Price: from US $1100
Duration: 3 Days Safari
The world’s highest population of mountain gorillas are found in Bwindi National park. Besides gorilla trekking, you can engage in the gorilla habituation experience, a full day with the gorillas at a cost of US$700, forest birding and nature walks as well as cultural experiences. Arguably the most biologically diverse area on earth, with half of only surviving world’s population of endangered mountain gorillas in the world, Bwindi impenetrable forest is a must go destination once in Africa.
2.Chimpanzee Trekking Kibale Forest National Park Uganda Safari
Price from $ 900
Duration: 3 Days Safari
Chimpanzee tracking is the pursuit of chimpanzees in the forest. This is done by following in the footsteps of the chimps. Safari tracker guides will enlighten you on how to track chimpanzees (and other primates like monkeys and baboons ) by reading clues left behind by these animals including footprints, dung etc.
About 1500 chimpanzees are found in Kibale Forest National Park. Located near the town of Fort Portal in the Western part of Uganda, east of the Rwenzori Mountains. The evergreen rain forest covers 766km2 and an altitude ranging between 110 and 1600m. This park joins with Queen Elizabeth national park. Kibale National Park is very good for chimpanzee tracking trips however Uganda safari chimps can also be sighted in Budongo forest in Murchison Falls national park and also in Kyambura Gorge in Queen Elizabeth national park.
3.Queen Elizabeth National Park Uganda Safaris
Price from $ 730
Duration: 3 Days Safari
This is by far Uganda’s most scenic and visited game reserve. A massive variety of habitats including the savanna grassland mixed with various kinds of trees and grassy plains as well as different swamps and volcanic features which include volcanic cones and deep craters and tropical rain forests give the park its distinctive look. Queen Elizabeth National park is an ideal place to sight large game, go bird watching (612 species) on the Kazinga channel, and track chimpanzees in the Kyambura Gorge .Find tree climbing lions in Ishasha.
4.Kidepo Valley National Park
Price from $ 1560
Duration: 5 Days Trip
Kidepo has 77 mammals, making it one of the best game drive parks in Africa.Over 475 bird species found here. Visit the Karamojong people, take walks to Lomej Mountains, Namamkweny Valley and Morungole Mountains.
Though remote, Kidepo valley national park is a true nugget of Uganda’s nature with great savanna landscapes and rising mountains in its background. It covers an area of 1,442km2 with an altitude of 900-2750m. The population of visitors here per day (an average of six visitors daily) is not high.
5.Murchison Falls National Park Uganda Safari
Price from $ 850
Duration: 3 Days Tour
This is the largest conservation area in Uganda covering an area of over 3,840km deriving its name from its famous waterfall; the Murchison falls. These falls are formed when the Victoria Nile powerfully forces its way through a narrow cleft as it thrusts 43m down with a thundering cascade. in addition, visit Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary. These falls form the center piece and this is the most visited.
6.Lake Mburo National Park Uganda Trip
Price from $ 350
Duration: 2 Days Trip
This is one of Uganda’s smallest wildlife parks although very rich in wild game. Plentiful of bird life flourishes here with more than 315 different bird species, a rich animal life including 68 different mammals like impala, leopards, buffalo, jackals and hyenas to see on a Uganda safari. Aside all this, it is only here that you will find zebras.
7.Sipi Falls Uganda Safari
Price from $ 250
Duration: 2 Days Tour
Sipi falls is arguably the most gorgeous chain of waterfalls in Uganda sitting in the foothills of Mt. Elgon as they overlook a vast plain. The falls have three levels all with unspeakable beauty although the 95m main drop attracts more visitors to this place and more to that, Sipi’s lodging looks out over it. Spending a night or two in this spectacular but peaceful place is an encounter you cannot afford to miss.
Price from $ 300
Duration: 3 Days Adventure
This is at most the loveliest lake in Uganda. The lake contains 29 islands and most of these are inhabited and terraced for agriculture. Enjoy seeing school children paddle dug-out canoes through the misty morning as crested cranes fly overhead in the wake of the morning. This is a true birding paradise. Watch the blue headed sunbird, cardinal wood peckers and others. Visit in small groups with your local guides.
9.Lake Victoria Trip
Price from $ 100
Duration: 1 Day Tour
Aside being the chief reservoir of the Nile, it is also the largest lake in Africa and the second world largest fresh water lake. In the centre; great plateau there is a shallow depression in which Lake Victoria fills with its waters and this stretches between the Eastern and western rift valleys. You can also visit the river banks of the nile in Jinja.
10.Goldens Monkeys of Mgahinga
The golden monkeys also called Cercopithecus Mitis Kandti. There are very few places in the world where you find this magnificent wildlife creature. Most tourists adds to the list of exciting trekking experiences as you watch the soaring mountains of the Virunga. Other widlife primates found here.
Where To Stay On A Ugandan Safari ?
National Park lodges range from Budget to 5 Star facilities, all set to pamper every single need throughout your stay within this African Wild. Reside in lodges, or tented camps set in traditional style, or the beautiful bandas, enjoy the delicious meals delicately prepared by their professional chefs.
Best places to Stay in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park for gorilla trekking (US $ 700 – $1500)
- Clouds Lodge
- Mahogany Springs
- Sanctuary Gorilla Camp
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park has several hotels and lodges where you can stay. Its important to choose your accommodation based on the gorilla group or region that you are going to track.
Best Time To Visit Uganda For Safaris?
The best time to visit Uganda is between December-February or June-August, when there are 2 dry seasons.
June-August is the peak of the dry season. This is when waterholes will be full and thick grasses have turned parched brown, which enables animals to be easily spotted from a distance. Great bird watching happens now.
- You can got to Uganda any time of the year, with temperatures at around 24°C to 30°C, the climate is generally warm. The best month to visit Uganda is July.
- Best time to go for gorilla trekking in Uganda is June, July, August. (Bwindi National Park & Mgahinga Gorilla)
- Best time for birding in Uganda is December, January and February.
- Best time for game viewing safaris in July, August, December and January.
- March, April and May is rain season, probably not the best time to visit the pearl of Africa.
How Much Does A Uganda Safari Cost ?
Lets try to do some costing together. Right? A Uganda gorilla safaris permit per person goes for $ 700 as of 2021. Accommodation ranges from 150 to 900 depending on where you choose to stay. Roughly a simple 3 day safari to Bwindi should cost about $ 1200 per person, that should be the cheapest. Other destinations such as Murchison Falls National Park and Queen Elizabeth National Park could cost about $ 1000 for budget safari travelers. If you are to travel with other people, the price is incredibly reduced. If they are 2 of u, its possible to save over $ 300 on a 3 day trip.
- Average Cost of Safari in Uganda is US$ 200 per person per day.
- Permit to see the gorillas of Uganda costs US $ 700 per person per day.
- Chimpanzee tracking permit costs $200 (Kibale National Park)
- Park entrance fees is US$40 ( Queen Elizabeth National Park, Murchison Falls National Park, Lake Mburo and Kidepo)
- Cost of golden monkeys permit in Uganda is US $ 60 per person per hour.
- A Luxury safari lodge is $ 300 per night
- Budget or cheap Safari accommodation is $ 100 per night.
- You can hire a car to take you to the parks at $100 to $200 per day.
- Trekking Mount Elgon (National Park) costs $ 90 per day.
- Boat cruise on Queen Elizabeth National Park costs $ 30 per shift.
- Rhino Visits at Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary costs US$50 per person.
Uganda is a hospitable country and tipping is not a mandate. It is is all up to you to be generous to a good service rendered to you considering the less wage structure in most accommodations and food restaurants in Uganda. About USD $10 to USD$ 50 should be okay and acceptable. Some places combine the tips and share it amongst all the workers of that place.
Uganda is home to various primate species, from the mountain gorillas in bwindi and Mgahinga gorilla national park to the chimpanzee, monkeys and other african wildlife animals.
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TOP UGANDA SAFARI FAQS
You need a visa to enter Uganda. You can either get a visa on arrival at the airport, or before you travel. You can apply for single entry and transit visas on the evisas website. You can also apply for these, and other types of visa, at the Uganda High Commission in London.
The charge for the visa on arrival is US$50 in cash while the charge for processing the E-visa application yourself via the correct Uganda government website (http://evisa.go.ke/evisa.html) is US$52.53 including credit card fee.
Single Entry Visa is allowed to Indian travellers who wish to stay in Uganda for a short period. … Indians who travel to a Uganda for tourism purpose or business purpose or medical purpose. The applicant needs to mention the purpose of his visit. Uganda tourist visa and Uganda work visa are the single-entry visas.
The official processing duration for a Ugandan visa as per the official Ugandan Consulates’ site is 14 business days. However, this duration does vary between 2 and 15 days depending on the Embassy to be contacted.