Insight Safari Holidays takes you to Uganda to visit the mountain gorillas and lots of wildlife in 10 National Parks. Gorilla trekking of 400 mountain gorillas, game viewing of wild animals like elephants, antelopes, tree climbing lions, buffaloes and more in 10 national parks. Boating safari and water sports on Lake Victoria, Kazinga Channel, River Nile and Lake Bunyonyi. Hiking and climbing is done in Rwenzori mountains Margherita peak (5109m), Mount Elgon and Gorilla National Park of Mt.Gahinga, Sabinyo and Muhavura. 1061 species of birds found in Uganda, 330 mammals and more.Below are some of our Uganda safari packages. We tailor every itinerary to suit your time, budget and preference..
Uganda “the pearl of Africa” is emerging as one of the top safari destinations to visit in Africa, Lonely Planet named in among the top 10 in 2012. Its fame in having the mountain gorillas together with other 10 parks and reserves providing wildlife experience makes it a competitive holiday destination in Africa.
WHERE TO GO ON A SAFARI TO UGANDA
Visit Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park for gorilla trekking, Murchison Falls National Park for falls viewing and wildlife game drives and launch cruise. Other Uganda safari destinations include Kidepo Valley National Park recently ranked among the top game parks of Africa, Queen Elizabeth National Park, Lake Mburo, and many others.
A safari in Uganda can include a number of things such game drives, white water rafting, bird watching, chimpanzee and gorilla trekking, mountain climbing and so much more.
Weather: weather is the big factor to consider. Uganda happens to have good whether all year round. Although located along the equator, its elevation gives it an advantage that makes the all year round awesome weather possible. Temperature range from 24 to 28 degrees Celsius during day. Nights are often cooler. It can however get to some extreme weather conditions in some areas. The south western part for example because of its proximity to the Rwenzori mountain ranges can get really cold. This could affect you if you want to track gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable forest but good warm gear can really help. Best time to see gorillas is during the drier months of June to August. Also some of the lodges in the area have fireplaces in the rooms, others will provide a hot water bottle to war your bed at night as you sleep.
Rain: tropical African rains are a common occurrence in Uganda. Experiencing the African rains can be an additional Uganda tour experience for some, but many people would prefer to visit during the dry season. During the rainy season, the rains usually fall at night or in the early morning, there is also the occasional afternoon thunderstorm but they don’t usually last long. However the rains do affect some safari activities such as biking, gorilla tracking, and Uganda safari hiking.
Peak season is another factor to consider: peak season is that period during the year when the country receives the most tourists or safari visitors. Peak season in Uganda is usually the dry months of December to March and June to September. During this time there is a lot of tourist traffic because the weather is good, and people are almost guaranteed that they experience everything they hope to. However, sometimes the rain can surprise you.
Uganda Safari activities: many Uganda Tourist activities go on all year. Chimpanzee, Golden monkey and gorilla tracking can be done all year round. These primates are there for you to track and see regardless of whether it is raining or shining. Proper clothing will get you through. Even chimpanzee tracking in the rainforests can be done with proper clothing and gear.
White water rafting safari in Uganda too can be done all year round. The beauty about tropical rains in Uganda is that they do not last the entire day, the sun eventually comes out and still do whatever you had planned to do. Of course some roads and tourist trails become muddy and slippery but, oh well.
It is mostly holiday weather all year round in Uganda, so the way we see it, you get to choose the time of the year that suits you best and you will have the safari adventure of your life. Let’s not be threatened by a little rain..
When it comes to lodging and accommodation while on safari in Uganda, price is not the only factor to consider. If you are not used to the African night sounds forever, a lodge near the forest might not be comfortable for you.
Many visitors to Uganda select places to stay by price, and do not bother to check the details about location,-is in a town, near the wild, or in a quiet remote village?
All across the country, lodging accommodations, hotels and guest houses are different. Some are way better than others. Some are in noisy places in middle of busy towns. Others are in wild with African night sounds all through the nights. And some are very quiet places. You have a variety to choose from though, depending on your preferences and what makes you comfortable, or what amount of discomfort you can tolerate. What is important is that you get a good night’s rest before you embark on white water rafting, mountain climbing or gorilla trekking adventure.
The advisable thing to do is to let the safari tour company know your accommodation preferences, so that they can find you comfortable accommodation. For example if you are looking to book a hotel room in Kampala, and do not want to be disturb by party and night club sounds during the night, we will do their best to book you a room on a quieter side of town rather than in Kabalagala, a noisy Kampala suburb.
We are usually sensitive when booking accommodation for guests though so if they are making the booking on your behalf, you shouldn’t worry so much. The trick is if you book yourself. Details such as noisy party neighborhood are never added to the online blog, or advertisement, so it is very easy to make the wrong choice.
Even in Uganda adventure parks and tourist towns like Jinja, you need to be wise when choosing accommodation. Usually, the nicer peaceful accommodation is more costly so while you are looking for something that fits within your budget, you might find a cheaper place that seems okay until it is filled with noisy sleepless backpackers at night, and you find yourself unable to sleep. Again use a Uganda safari operator to book you good and decent accommodation. Lack of comfortable sleep can ruin your Uganda trip. You might find yourself nodding off during that game drive you were looking forward to.Your safari cost will largely depend on the choice of hotel or lodge.
Accommodation that caters to large groups of people on Uganda safaris is usually noisy, and busy, avoid this kind of place if possible. Amazingly you can still find quiet, comfortable lodging even in the wild close to the game parks. Places such as Mweya safari lodge are comfortable accommodation in middle of a popular tourist destination.
All you need to do is be wise as you select a place to stay, and follow the safari company recommendations. They will rarely if ever book you into a place that is uncomfortable.
When in Rome, do as the Romans do? Or perhaps learn to do the things the Romans do?
Tourism in Uganda is slowly shifting from just seeing, to seeing and fully experiencing. Uganda, as a tourist destination is growing in popularity. Many people are visiting to go gorilla trekking, chimpanzee trekking, to view the beautiful scenery, and wildlife, and to just experience Uganda and Africa.
Every visitor to the pearl is bound to see some interesting cultural performances, practices and traditional items. There is a lot of African art displayed in form of crafts such as jewellery, batiks, baskets such and performances such as music, dance and drama.
However, one thing that would make your Uganda safari Review experience even richer is if you learn to do or make the things you see. Then you will not just see and leave it there, you’ll be able to carry on with what you see if you want to. Most visitors don’t know that they actually have the option of learning how to do a number of these things. If you are interested in enriching your experience in this way, you just need to let your safari operator know and they will schedule a workshop for you to learn some of these interesting skills.
Most of the time, these workshops are taken during your stay in a village. We can arrange a village stay for you as well.
With such an opportunity you may go to vegetable gardens with your hosts, harvest fruits, vegetables, and food, catch a chicken for slaughter, gather eggs, and even help prepare a meal the Ugandan way.
You could spend an afternoon in a village in the Western part of Uganda and learn how to weave baskets. In various villages and even some urban places you could learn how to make African crafts such as earrings, necklaces, bracelets, greeting cards, beads and so much. You will learn all this through hands-on experience and make new friends while there. It also gives you a new appreciation of Ugandan culture and traditions.
Take drumming and dancing lessons and also learn a folk song or two while there. There are a number of places in the country where you learn and practice. From Kampala, to the east and to Rwenzori Mountains,south there are traditional arts performers who can show you, and teach you how it’s done. A performance and then some instructions on how it is done can give you a fully different appreciation of what you just saw.
Take off a few hours, or an entire day on your safari itinerary to learn how to do something new and completely African.
Find below top Uganda safari parks and things to do in Uganda, the pearl of Africa! Most of these destinations are managed by the Uganda wildlife authority. Tripadvisor recently ranked Bwindi as one of the top African safari places to visit.
Activities to do while on a safari in Uganda
Uganda is one of the few countries with the remaining numbers of mountain gorillas in the world with half of their population here. Gorilla tracking is an activity you cannot afford to miss which is carried out in Bwindi Impenetrable national park or Mgahinga national park in the south west of the country. About 400 gorillas in various families.
Gorilla tracking can be done throughout the year although most tourists prefer visiting June to September and December to February. However it should be noted that in the low seasons, gorilla permits tend to be slightly cheaper than in the peak seasons. Various tour operators will give their clients different prices for the gorilla safaris but roughly these go for about $1000 and the super luxury gorilla permit at about $1500 to $2000.
A gorilla tracking experience usually begins very early in the morning with an early breakfast as an energy boost to trek through the jungle. This is then followed by briefing at the park’s headquarters by the chief ranger. This brief is only meant to equip visitors with the necessary information they need as they go out into the depths of the jungle. What to expect and what not to do in the presence of these animals. The visitors are also grouped into groups of 8 persons and also allocated a gorilla family they will be visiting in this brief. The energetic ones are usually given families that are a little further into the wild and are not easily located while those families nearer and easier to find are given to those who are not energetic enough. A guide is also give to each group and then the escapade begins thereafter.
Most of these permits are sold at Bwindi due to the inconsistencies of gorillas in Mgahinga national park. Every permit goes for $600 in April, May and November but they are expected to do for $450 this year. A maximum of 8 persons are allowed to see a single family of gorillas and on average 72 people make their way to Bwindi on a single day. However you are strongly advised to always use a safari agent to avoid inconveniences.
You will need to come along good quality walking boots, clothing for wet weather and warm layers of clothing for cold evenings.
Uganda is a country that is blessed with various land features as well as mammoth crowds of Uganda safari wildlife which are distributed in the various national parks and game reserves all over the country. While on a safari to Uganda you will enjoy spectacular game drives to Kidepo valley where you will find leopard, bush duiker, elephants, bush pig, bushbuck, buffalo, ostrich and so much more in the wild Narus valley. The network of game tracks in Lake Mburo national park offer an expanse view of landscape features such as wetlands, acacia woodland, seasonally flooded valley floors as well as rock outcrops. Hiding behind these you will find various animal species to explore.
There is one fantastic way to see as well as photograph the vast range of animals in the Nile valley and that is going on a game drive around the Buligi game trucks of Murchison falls national park on the northern bank alongside a trained ranger. Guides always have the best idea as to where the lions are hiding and can even sight a leopard at dusk. Last but not least is going for a classic African safari experience in Queen Elizabeth national park. Tracks going through the Ishasha sector, Kasenyi and the Kazinga plains offer guaranteed views of tree climbing lions, buffalos, elephants and antelopes along with baboons and warthogs. Tracking a pride of lions is best early in the morning or at dusk.
White water rafting
Murchison falls national park is the must go to the rafting enthusiasts. Murchison falls is bisected by the Victoria Nile and the top of the falls is the centre piece of the park. After 80km of rapid white water rapids, the 50 metre wide river narrows dramatically crashing through a 6 meter gorge, plunging with a loud roar 43 meters of rock below. This sight is amazing and people that enjoy rafting, it is even more fun. The park has various packages for rafters known as grade 5 rafting as well as the family rafting.
Grade 5 full day rafting goes for a cost of $140, Grade 5 extreme rafting going at a cost of $160 where you spend most of your time out of your raft than in your raft. The grade 5 half day rafting that costs $125 which will be for a short time but still fun packed and lastly the grade 5 two day rafting going for $250. You will enjoy thrills, spills, mild and mellows adventure of the Nile. You can also enjoy family rafting. Just like many rivers, the rapids on the river are all not the same and there are those that are ideal for families and children. Enjoy the family float at only $30 where you will enjoy your time drifting down the River Nile marvelling at beautiful islands and birdlife as well as low grade rapids.
The Nile is considered the safest and wildest grade 5 white water rafting avenues in the whole world
Aside the rich nature and wildlife that Uganda has, it also has an undiscovered captivating cultural heritage. Going on a cultural tour gives you the opportunity to explore the real Africa in its totality and learn the wide fascinating culture of the various tries in Uganda. From historical sites in the capital Kampala, you will marvel at the source of the Nile to the green trail in the Rwenzori mountains as you explore the diverse culture of various tribes. You may as well visit Nshenyi village which is a true cultural immersion.
While in Nshenyi village, you will get an opportunity to come into close contacts with the local community and learn about the culture first hand. You will enjoy everything there is from the cultural dances, stories or even taste their meals if you like.
Cost of a safari in Uganda
The cost of a safari in Uganda depends on your tour operator. The price ranges from $ 900 to thousands of dollars. Most tour operators have various safaris which are grouped in the activity that will be undertaken for examplee gorilla trekking safari. Many of these safaris begin and end in Kampala which is the country’s capital. Some of these safaris offer camping accommodation whereas others offer budget lodge accommodation or better still a combination of both. The fact that Uganda is famous for its endangered mountain gorillas, most if not all tour operators will include gorilla trekking safaris to Bwindi Impenetrable forest.
There also budget lodge safaris which offer accommodation in either banda huts, guest house and or a safari lodge providing comfortable accommodation while on a safari in Uganda. Camping overland safaris which involve travelling by overland trucks touring several countries in East Africa or even Africa. These kinds of safaris suit very well very adventurous Uganda safari travellers who are looking for ultimate wilderness experience in Africa.
Where to stay while on a safari in Uganda
There are plenty of accommodation options while on a safari in Uganda from hotels, lodges, resorts to tented camps. Your tour operator usually gives you the options to choose from and also according to your budget. This accommodation options have been grouped according to the various national parks for easier navigation.
Bwindi Impenetrable national park
This lies in the south western part of Uganda at the edge of the Rift valley. With mountains gorillas, 200 butterflies, While here you can choose to stay at Buhoma community rest camp, Sanctuary gorilla forest camp, Lake Kitandara Bwindi camp, Buhoma lodge, Silverback lodge, Volcanoes Uganda Safaris Bwindi lodge, Engangi lodge, Gorilla lodge, Bwindi View bandas, to mention but a few.
Kibale national park
This park contains the most varied and loveliest tracts of tropical forest in Uganda. On safari to this place you could spend a night at Primate lodge Kibale, Kanyanchu river camp, Sebitoli camping ground, Kibale safari lodge, Chimps’ nest, Kibale forest camp or Safari hotel Bigodi.
Kidepo Valley national park
Lying in the rugged semi arid valleys between Uganda’s borders with Sudan and Kenya, you will be able to stay in the following options while on a tour here. Apoka safari lodge, Apoka rest camp, Kakine self-catering camp site and or Nga Moru wilderness camp.
Lake Mburo national park
While touring this compact gem, the folloeing are some of the places to comfortably spend your nights; Rwonyo rest camp, Conservation Education center, Mantana Tented camp, Arcadia cottages, Mihingo lodge and Lake Mburo safari lodge.
Mgahinga gorilla national park
This gorilla sanctuary sits in the clouds at an altitude of 2,227-4,127 meters. Enjoy your safari while staying at Amajambere Iwacu camp, Volcanoes Mount Gahinga Safari lodge, Bunyonyi overland resort, Birdnest at Bunyonyi Resort or Mountain gorilla safari lodge.
Murchsion Falls national park
This lies at the northern end of the Albertine rift valley. You can choose to stay at Budongo Ecolodge, Boomu Women’s Group Bandas, Chobe Safari lodge, Murchsion safari lodge,Pakuba safari lodge, Geolodges Nile safari lodge,Paraa safari lodge, Rest Chili Rest camp, Sambiya River lodge, Geolodges Shoebill campsite or Yebo safari camp.
Queen Elizabeth national park
This is arguably the top tourist destination in Uganda. All accommodation prices here are indicated in US $. The prices ranges per night are; luxury-$190 and over, Mid range-$75-$185, Budget-$35-$70 and shoestring budget- below $35. The accommodation options include; Bush camp, Hippo Hill lodge, Hotel Margherita Ltd, Ihamba Safari lodge, Ishasha Jungle lodge,Ishasha Ntungwe River camp Kingfisher lodge Kichwamba, Mweya Safari lodge, Kyambura game lodge, Katara lodge,Queen Elizabeth safari camp, Rwenzori Internationall Hotel, Simba Safari camp, Spring resort hotel, to mention but a few.
Rwenzori Mountains national park
This famous ‘Mountains of the moon’ lies on the western border of Uganda and Congo. Enjoy your experience here sleeping in the options mentioned. Ruboni community camp, Ruboni Turaco view camp, Geolodges Equator snow, Rwenzori mountains safari lodge and trekkers hostel.
Semuliki national park
This park sprawls across Semuliki valley on the west of Rwenzori Mountain. You will stay in one of the following options when you visit this nature packed national park. Kirimia guesthouse, Semiliki Safari lodges, Mountains of the moon hotel, Kyaninga lodge, Ruwenzori view gusthouse, Eriba guesthouse, Rujuuna guesthouse, Tooro guesthouse, Riviera inn, Rwenzori Travellers Inn,Palace motel, Semiliki guest house.
Each day while on a safari in Uganda is a genuine African adventure and the reason you have got to choose Uganda as your next tour destination is because Uganda has got a full basket of adventure to offer; from the biggest lake in the whole continent Lake Victoria to ultimate escapades in the wild with the world’s most famous animals which you will be able to come into close contact with. Make your way to East Africa in Uganda and you will never regret.