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.
Uganda is is located 1 00 N, 32 00 E, with a total of 241,038 sq km, land: 197,100 sq km
water: 43,938 sq km with 26.4% protected areas for National parks, game reserves and specie management. Uganda is known as the pearl of Africa and it’s filled with rich bio diversity which is added to its friendly people which makes it to be “Gifted by Nature”. The country offers variety of wildlife species within its many fantastic national parks, some of these protected reserves include; Murchison falls National Park which is famous for its beautiful scenic water falls as well as boat cruises on the source of Nile, 76 species of mammals and 451 birds, Bwindi impenetrable National Park , common for the mighty mountain gorillas, Queen Elizabeth National Park, one of the largest national park famous for variety of wildlife species as well as the fantastic Kazinga channel, Kibale National Park , which is home to over 13 primate species including the chimpanzees, Rwenzori national park famous for mountain climbing as well as wildlife species, Ssemliki National Park known mainly for birding, Mt Elgon National Park famous for mountain climbing as well as nature walks, Lake Mburo National park which is also famous for harboring Zebras as well as Impalas which are not common in other national parks in Uganda. Overall, the 10 National parks make your Uganda tour worthwhile.
Safari experiences feature water rafting on the world's longest river 6,853 km. adventures which can be carried out on the source of the Nile, which is found in the eastern part of the country, get chance to interact with the local people in order to explore the real culture of the people of Uganda. Batwa community visit is one of the main cultural interactions carried out in Uganda.
On your safari to Uganda, you will get chance to meet friendly people with different cultures. The pearl of Africa has variety of cultures with each having different and unique language, dress codes, traditional practices, songs as well as cultural dances. There are 17 tribes composed of the Bantu and Nilotics. A cultural Uganda trip will give you chance to explore and experience the diversity of Uganda’s culture at large. Get a chance to taste to fresh vegetables as well as fruits including oranges, mangoes, guavas, jack fruits, lettuce, cabbages, water melons, as well as spinach. With adventure, Uganda’s industry is growing day by day, this includes; white water rafting which is done on the source of the Nile’s high rapids, bungee jumping, wildlife viewing on several game drives, visits to the water falls, cultural visits, mountain climbing, boat cruises, guided nature walks, forest walks as well as bird watching which is carried out in all the national parks. Exploring the source of the Nile is another reason for you to visit Uganda, Uganda is also home to the true source of the Nile which is the longest river with in Africa. This river is found in Jinja district, visitors can spend the entire day enjoying different water activities on the Nile, some of these activities include; swimming, boat cruises, bungee jumping as well as canoeing. While on safari, you can also explore Lake Victoria which is the second largest water lake in the world.
What to see while on Safari?
Beautiful Terrain; this is also filled with beautiful country side as well as the green undulating terrains filled with coffee and banana plantations. There are also traditional homesteads as well as cattle grazing. You will also enjoy many beautiful scenic drives which are good to the eyes of any tourist on safaris to Uganda.
Wildlife; These can be viewed in all the national parks of Uganda and tourists have a chance to enjoy the big five as well as the herbivores including the giraffes, zebras, antelopes, hippos, as well as Nile Crocodiles. Get to visit the 320 mountain gorillas which are found in Bwindi Impenetrable National park as well as chimpanzees and other monkey types which are found in Kibale National Park as well as Queen Elizabeth National Park. On top of the many wildlife species, you will also have chance to view the many bird species including the rare shoebill stock while on a safari
Mountain Rwenzori (Mountains of the Moon); this is a snow caped mountain and is the highest in East Africa. This mountain was also known as Ruwenzori Ranges and they are mountain ranges of the eastern equatorial Africa. These ranges are located on the border between Democratic Republic of Cong and Uganda. The mountain is 5,109km above sea level and is about 120km long and 65km wide. It’s filled with variety of flora including tropical rain forests, the giant groundsel as well as the giant lobelia. The fauna around this mountain include; primate species like the monkeys, forest elephants as well as endemic birds.
Murchison falls; these falls are found in north western Uganda and its one of the most magnificent water falls in found in Uganda and its located on source of the Nile. Other safari trips include a boat cruise on the Nile were you will enjoy an up close experience with many water species including; the hippos, giant crocodiles as well birds.
Source of the Nile; this is found in Jinja town and it was discovered by John Speke, you can enjoy many different water activities on the source of the Nile, these include; white water rafting, swimming, bungee jumping, boat cruises, kayaking and many more.
Are Uganda people Hospitable?
Uganda, the pearl of Africa is known for being the friendliest country for tourists. The people welcome all the visitors from any part of the world to come to the lovely country and explore the beauty of Uganda. As any country can have its negativity, Uganda has remained friendly to all those who have got a chance to visit this beautiful country, the country is also gifted with nature as well as friendly kind individuals with unique and rich cultural & heritage . Many visitors have always tipped different Uganda due to their simplicity, kindness as well as open handedness. The recent discussed gay bill seemed to brand Uganda as unsafe to many people, however this is not true and the country welcomes all the visitors from all the world.
Where Guests stay while on a safari to Uganda (Accommodation Facilities)
Many tourists wonder what type of Accommodation they will sleep in. Not knowing that Uganda offers variety of accommodation facilities including; Hotels, guest houses, inns, Resorts, safari camps as well as hostels. These are rated based on Luxury, Mid-range and Budget. It depends on the choice of the guest because these differ in Prices. Many of the national parks offer lodges as well as tented camps which are inside and outside the parks. The cost is between $ 150 to $ 900 for a double room per night. For gorilla trekking in Bwindi Impenetrable National park, each of the sectors of this park has got variety of different lodges as well as camps which facilities those interested in tracking mountain gorillas. There are 41 lodges to choose from in Bwindi alone. These facilities can be booked through a tour operator or Uganda travel company or reserved directly at the facility since most of these have got websites.
This is one of many questions which are asked regarding any safari in Uganda, the common answer to this question is; you may visit Uganda at any time of the year! However the difference may vary in Price since there two different seasons; i.e. the peak season of June to September and December to February. With this season the price of both gorilla permits as well as lodges is high since it’s a high season. The low season is from March to May and September to November, the prices of gorilla permits as well as lodges is low.
However, the guests are encouraged to travel at any time of the year and the rains shouldn’t prevent you from coming for safari. You will as well need the right tour wear for gorilla trekking like the rain jackets, boots, long sleeved trousers as well as long sleeved shirts. During the low season of April, May and November, Uganda Wildlife Authority usually reduces the cost of gorilla permits so as to attract more tourists to undertake gorilla tours in the low season.
It’s also recommended that tourists should visit the country during the dry season which are from January to February and then June to September, this is because game viewing is best done during the dry season when many animals gather around the water holes. Bird watching can also be done throughout the year, but most preferably from November to April when there are many migrant species in the country.
What’s the weather like while on a Ugandan safari?
Weather is one of the reasons why many people have continued to come to Uganda. A perfect weather has made Uganda one of the leading tourist destination in Africa. Uganda in general experiences a temperate type of climate which makes it easy for the tourists to enjoy the many different tourist activities throughout the year. These include; gorilla trekking, bird watching, wildlife viewing, chimpanzee trekking and many more.
Uganda having this perfect weather also depends on many factors and among is the strategic location of the country on the Equator as well as the geographical altitude that provides it with an ever green attribute characteristic. This country is also known to be endowed by Mother Nature as well as having friendly happy people with a rich culture hence being named the pearl of Africa. Because of its conducive weather all around the year, many enthusiastic adventurers have visited the country in order to explore its beautiful weather as well as its unique attractions.
How much is an African safari?
Safari costing mainly depends on the type of accommodation you chose. A gorilla permit costs $600 per person. The accommodation also costs between $150 to $900 and this depends in which facility you decide to sleep in. One of the cheapest gorilla tracking safari is approximately $ 1200 per person. And for the wildlife safaris to Murchison and Queen Elizabeth National Park, it can roughly cost $1000 for the budget travellers. Those willing to travel in groups, the price of the safari becomes low and you end up saving some money if you are travelling two people. A journey from Kampala to Bwindi is 527kilometres. This attracts fuel, a gorilla permit costs $ 600!
-Famed for estimated 320 mountain gorillas, ( Gorilla Berengei, Berengei)
-Primate Species, baboons, chimpanzee,
-350 bird species, 23 belonging to the Albertine Rift endemics.
-Discover the Batwa Pygmy cultures.
-80 km stretch of rapids and falls. Nile squeezes through an 8m wide gorge.
- 76 mammals, Four of the "big five animals" found here. Lion, Buffalo, elephants and leopards.
Other animals include Uganda kob, waterbucks, warthogs, hippos, giraffe and Jackson's hartebeest.
-Primates include Olive baboons, 800 chimpanze in Budongo and Kaniyo Pabidi forests.
-95 mammal species
-Best for game drives in Kasenyi tracks, North Kazinga and Ishasha ector.
-Lions, Buffalo, antelope, elephants, warthogs, baboons and more.
-600 bird species.
-Famous for chimpanzee trekking.
Covers 795sq kms, 1590m above sea level.
-70 mammal species., elephants, red and blue duikers, giant forest hogs, buffalo, sitatunga and bushbucks
-13 primate species; chimps, baboons, white and black colobus...
-325 species of birds., Green tinker bird, Africa and green breasted pitas, African grey parrot, Ground Thrush (Turdus Kibalensis) endemic to Kibale Forest National Park.
-Over 250 tree species.
-Areas of interest include Bigodi Wetlands, Kanyanchu and Sebitoli.
Gorilla trekking/ Gorilla tracking; this is the main highlight of Uganda adventure safaris. It’s also the main reason why people travel from their home countries to Uganda. You engage in tracking these beautiful primates as you take pictures and observing their way of life within the forest. These mountain gorillas share their 95% of their DNA with that of the humans, which makes them a must see attraction on any safari.
This activity not only involves nature walks with in the forest but also sitting and observing these rare mountain gorillas as they carry out their day to day activities. This is somehow a tiring activity since it involves walking into steep moist and muddy rain forests of Bwindi, however, when you come eye to eye with these primates, it challenging experience becomes an adventure to remember.
This activity also requires good behaviour as well as respect for the environment since this helps with conservation of the forest. On any safari, there is no wildlife experience that out competes come eye to eye with these unique primates who share 95% of their DNA with the human beings.
This is a thrilling experience to any guests who comes for a safari to Uganda. Tracking these primates gives them a chance to survive since they get to be conserved through the incomes collected from the gorilla permits sold. These are just 700 of these individuals remaining in the whole world and Bwindi impenetrable National parks harbors 340 individuals. Conservation of these primates was mainly done by Dian Fossey who was a great primatologist and gave in her time to care for the mountain gorillas in Rwanda. The Dian Fossey Foundation has also done great work of conserving these species as well as encouraging the participation of the local people in the conservation of wildlife in the game reserves.
Even though these mountain gorillas are related to the human beings, these have remained the greatest threat to these primates, these have been hunted for valuable hands and heads and these are sold off as lamp shades as well as souvenirs. Large numbers of these primates have been killed in preventing poachers from stealing their young babies which are illegally sold to many zoos in which they have low chances of surviving.
Safaris featuring gorilla trekking are so interesting and offer you the opportunity to come close with these tranquil gorillas within their natural habitat. Gorilla trekking is carried out in Uganda, Rwanda as well as the Democratic Republic of Congo, this depends on the area conditions and the ease to access the gorilla permits. The increasing numbers of tourists coming to see them also confirms to be an important issue towards their general survival. The gorilla permit cost is also utilised in financing and establishing patrols which are so important in the protection of mountain gorillas from the poachers.
Wildlife safaris in Uganda
Uganda is a very attractive and exceptional safari destination filled with lots of wildlife species. The country is located on the equator along the shores of Lake Victoria’s Northern Shore. This country has prolific wildlife which attracts many tourists that come to experience this wonderful gift of nature of the country. You can watch many animals in their habitats which is a rewarding experience that can be enjoyed throughout the year. Wildlife species can be seen in National parks as well as game reserves, and these are perfect places for adventure seekers, eco- tourists as well as holiday makers. The many wildlife species in Uganda include; the elephants, kobs, zebras, hippos, buffalos, huge forest hogs, sitatungas as well as birds. These wildlife species have increased in the past 20 years which provides an opportunity to the tourists to view almost all the animal species in Uganda.
Bird watching in Uganda
Uganda is famously known as a birding paradise since it has over half of the bird species that are found in Africa, this made it one of the best birding destination in Africa and the world at large. With its unique vegetation of tropical rain forest as well as savannah in the east. Uganda is also among the countries in the world with unique bird watching sites like Queen Elizabeth national Park which has over 600 species of birds, there are also over 100 African forest bird species and among these are the gem like green broadbill, Black and white casqued Hornbill, great blue turaco and the 23 endemic bird species to the rift valley of East Africa. It’s only in Uganda where you can view the most adored African species like shoe bill stock which is also one of the large ancient looking bird which lives in the swamps and its prominent for its clog shaped Bill.
Below are the main birding spots in Uganda;
Bwindi impenetrable National Park which has the many albertine Rift endemics and has a total of 320 bird species
Queen Elizabeth National park with 600 bird species
Kibale National Park has 35 bird species and Bigodi wetland swamp has 138 species of birds
Mahamba swamp in Entebbe to view the shoebill
Semuliki National Park with 400 bird species for the common Congo Basin Endemics.
Murchison Falls national park is the most stunning savannah specialists like the Denham’s Bustard, Red throated bee eater, and Abyssinian and many more. This park has a total of 451 bird species.
Echuya Forest Reserve with 150 bird species
Mgahinga National park with 115 bird species
Nile River in Jinja with 60 bird species.
Lake Bisina which is also found in eastern part of the country were birders can view Fox’s weaver, payrus dwellers for example the shoebill, and Papyrus Gonolex.In order to enjoy an adventure tour, combine your birdwatching trip with gorilla trekking, especially on your visits to Bwindi.
Chimpanzee tracking tours in Uganda
Chimpanzee trekking is an exciting activity which provides a unique experience to the guests. It’s also a very magical as well as exciting! See over 4950 chimpanzees remaining in the wild and some of these are being conserved in the zoo, others in the forests and others in the sanctuaries. It’s always an exceptional experience meeting these chimps eye to eye, you can spend time with them and observe them as they feed, care for their young ones and also climb from tree to tree. These can be trekked in Kibale National Park, Queen Elizabeth National Park in Kyambura Gorge in Maramagambo Forest as well as in Budongo Forest which is near Murchison falls national Park. Chimpanzee habituation can also be done from Ngamba Island Sanctuary which is located on Lake Victoria.
Kibale forest national park harbours the most number of Chimpanzees and it has over 13 different primate species including; chimpanzees, monkeys including; L’Hoest’s monkeys, vervet monkeys, as well as red tailed Colobus monkeys. Chimpanzee habituation can also be done and sets out every morning to specifically observe and study the general behaviour of the chimps with the main aim of making them used to human presence. Guests can also opt to track these chimpanzees from Queen Elizabeth National Park within Kyambura Gorge and also in Budongo and Rwambongo Forest Reserve within Murchison Falls National Park.
Mountain Climbing safaris in Uganda
Mountain climbing in Uganda is one of the adventurous activities in Uganda, it’s mostly done on Rwenzori Mountains which is located in western Uganda on the border of the Democratic Republic of Congo as well as Uganda. This mountain extends an expanse of 988km and was named after Mountain Ruwenzori commonly referred to as the mountains of the moon. This mountain also stands on 5109m high and is one of the highest mountain ranges within Africa second to Mountain Kilimanjaro as well as mountain Kenya. This mountain has also got 6 peaks including; Mt baker at 4,843m, Mt Stanley which is 5,109m, Mt Speke at 4,890m, Mt Emin which is at 4,715, Mt Savoia at 4,627m. However the highest peak is Margherita peak which is also at 5109m and it also ranks the Rwenzori as the 3rd highest mountain range in Africa.
Mountain Rwenzori is not a volcanic mountain though it’s an ancient quartzite and Gneiss. The mountain is also located close to the equator and it has got numerous icy peaks which are seen miles away in many parts of western Uganda. Its sloes are beyond 1600m and are favorite to the hikers and the mountain is ranked as the most challenging in whole of Africa.it has also got five different vegetation regions including; Bamboo or mimulopsis Zone which is at 2500-3500m, grassland at 1000-2000m, the afro-alpine moorland zone which is at 4000-4500m, Montane forest which is also at 2000-3000m and the Heather zone at 3000-4000m.
Lake Bunyonyi safari
Lake Bunyonyi lies in south western Uganda between Kisoro and Kibale next to Rwanda. It’s located 1,962m above the sea level. After your safari with gorillas, Lake Bunyonyi can offer a relaxing experience just before you head out of the country. The lake is also close to towns of Kyevu and Muke town. The lake has many Islands including; punishment Island, Bushara Island, Kyahungwe Island, Bwana, Nyuyeera and Bucaranuka Island.
This lake is also referred to as Panorama which leads to the lord of the Rings. You can swim, have canoe ride, and do bird watching as well as exploring the batwa Villages. This lake is a place where many Ugandans gather to unwind. It’s also a wonderful place to view volcanic eruption. This lake is a live example of a lake that resulted from a volcanic eruption. Bunyonyi is also a local word meaning the place of little birds and many tourists have visited this super natural wonder filled with beauty.