Gorilla trekking in Uganda

Top 6 Safari Destinations to Visit in Uganda

Uganda is one of the leading safari destinations to travel to in Africa as a family, couple, honeymooner and individual travellers seeking to experience the true African wilderness! The country has very many tourist destinations. However, there those unforgettable places which are a must go while on your safari in Uganda. The top six destinations to visit in Uganda are the follows below;

6. Murchison Falls National Park

It is the largest national park in Uganda. It is 260km from Kampala. The park lies in the northern end of the Albertine rift valley. It was first gazetted as a game reserve in 1926. Murchison Falls National Park has over 76 species of mammals and 451 species of birds. The is beautifully bisected by the Victoria Nile hence creating the dramatic Murchison falls which are the centrepiece of the park and the final event in an 80 kilometre stretch of rapids.

The stretch of the river provides Uganda’s most remarkable wildlife spectacle from the regular visitors of the river banks such as elephants, giraffes and buffaloes while hippos, Nile crocodiles and aquatic birds are permanent residents.

Some of the activities carried out while on your visit to the magnificent park are birding where both the game drives and the launch cruise offer an opportunity for one view several bird species. There’s a game drive around the Buligi game tracks on the northern banks where you have a trained ranger and can be able to take pictures of different animals in the Nile valley. Game drives are done in the morning, afternoon, evening and at night. Other activities include hiking and nature walk from the varied scenery of the park and the falls, launch trips, sport fishing and culture encounters. This place should be on any tourist’s bucket list.

5. The Source of the Mighty Nile in Jinja

The source of the River Nile is one of the most attractive places to be in Uganda while on a trip. It was discovered by British explorer Speke. River Nile is the longest river in Africa with Lake Victoria as its source. The source of the Nile is the adventure capital of Uganda and whoever has thought of adventuring Uganda has thought of Jinja as their destination.

The Nile starts with calmness and then it increases intensity as it flows through the undulating rocks and squeezes through gorges and negotiating around small islands. Some of the activities carried out at the source of the Nile include;

  • White water rafting
  • Kayaking
  • River surfing
  • Quad biking
  • Bungee jumping
  • Boat cruise
  • Golf
  • Horseback riding
  • Sportfishing.

Jinja is only 80km from Kampala capital on the highway to Eastern Uganda destinations such as Sippi Falls and Mount Elgon National Park. From Kampala to Jinja, en-route you can visit Sezibwa falls, Mabira Forest and tea plantations.

4. Kibale National Park

Kibale is the primate capital of the world. It is located in Western Uganda near fort portal. It has magnificent tropical rainforests and its one of the most rewarding places to explore. It hosts over 13 species of primates such as the red colobus, L’hoest’s, monkeys and the endemic Mangabey. The main attraction at Kibale National Park is the chimpanzees, the delightful apes most closet to humans than any other living creature. They can be seen swinging on tree branches as tourists walk through the jungle. The forest also has over 300 bird species. Some of the activities at the park include chimpanzee tracking and habituation experience, birding, and nature walks.

3. Kidepo Valley National Park

Kidepo valley has a true African wilderness. The park is located in northern Uganda in the Karamoja region. The park covers over 1442 square kilometres. For one who is interested in experiencing wildlife, I believe Kidepo valley is the place to go. The park is hot and isolated yet spectacular, magnificent and virgin waiting to be discovered. The park has over 77 mammal species and almost 500 bird species. Some of the activities done at the park include day and night game drives to see different animal species, reptiles and birds, nature walks, community walks, and mountain hiking.

2. Queen Elizabeth National Park

It is understandably Uganda’s most popular tourist destination. The park has diverse eco-systems classic big game. It has over 10 primate species including the chimps and over 600 species of birds. The park’s major attractions include the enormous craters carved dramatically into rolling green hills, views of the Kazinga channel with its banks lined with hippos, buffalos, and elephants. Some of the activities carried out at the park include birding, caving, chimp tracking in the Kyambura gorge, day and night game drives through Kasenyi tracks and Mweya Peninsular, hiking and nature walk, boat cruise, culture heritage and wildlife research tour.

1. Bwindi Impenetrable National Park

Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is internationally known to inhabit half of the only remaining population of the mountain gorillas. It is located in southwestern Uganda, with close to 20 habituated gorilla families.

Gorilla trekking in Uganda takes place in only Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park but of the two, Bwindi is the most popular due to presence of more habituated gorilla groups because Mgahinga has only one habituated gorilla group known as Nyakagezi.

Besides gorilla trekking in Uganda, Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is also known for other activities such as birding, nature walks, community tours, Batwa experience and many others.

For one to join a gorilla trek in Bwindi National Park, he or she must possess a gorilla permit obtained from Uganda Wildlife Authority at US$700 for foreign non-residents. The demand for gorilla permits is very high throughout the year, therefore, one is advised to book early because the number of visitors allowed to visit each gorilla group is limited to only 8 persons per day.

Also, note that only persons allowed to visit the gorillas are those of 15 years and above. Visitors always present their passports to the park headquarters during registration and confirm that they are all above 15 years.

Getting to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is possible by road and air. By road, it is about 8-10 hours via Masaka-Mbarara highway. Access is also possible from Kigali Airport in Rwanda and this is only 3-5 hours drive via Gatuna or Cyanika boarders. From Queen Elizabeth N.P, Bwindi is only 3-5 hours depending to which sector you are going to, that is, 3 hours to Buhoma sector, 5hours to Ruhija sector and 7 hours to Nkuringo and Rushaga sectors.

However note, a 4×4 is required to get to Bwindi gorilla park especially during the wet season because some paths are almost impassable. Tourists can get a reliable 4×4 vehicle from 4×4 Uganda, this company made car rental in Uganda cheaper and easier. Their cars well maintained, air-conditioned and serviced regularly, You can directly book a 4×4 by email to drive@4x4uganda.com. Visit https://www.4x4uganda.com/carrental to choose a vehicle of your choice.

By air, Aerolink Uganda has daily-scheduled flights from Entebbe Airport to Kisoro and Kihihi Airstrips. The flight is between 45 – 60 minutes. From the airstrip, you should organise a 4×4 vehicle to transfer you to your lodge.