7 Must Activities to do while on a Uganda Safari
The pearl of Africa (Uganda) is endowed with outstanding tourist attractions and astonishing features that attract tourists all over the world all time all day. Below there are 7 must things that should not miss on your Uganda safari itinerary.
Game Drives in Uganda’s Savannah National parks
The game drives in the Savannah parks of Uganda is unfamiliar and fascinating experience that involves sightseeing wildlife in a secure and comfortable safari vehicle (4WD Land cruisers). This activity lasts about 3-4 hours while in the wilderness. While on the game drive, tourists are accompanied by the tour guide who will provide all the appropriate information about wild life and armed ranger guide who is provided by the Uganda Wildlife Authority. While on a game drive, you will an opportunity to eyeshot different wildlife species, among them which include; different bird species, wild animals, plant species, among others.
Game drives in Uganda, can be done in only 5 National Parks out of ten (10) parks of Uganda. These include; Kidepo Valley National park, Lake Mburo National park, Semuliki National park, Queen Elizabeth National Park, and Murchison Falls National park.
Kidepo Valley National park is located in the northeast Uganda (Karamoja region) and is largely occupied by the rugged Savannah vegetation. It’s is ranked number one beautiful Savannah national park in Ugandan with variety of wildlife species. It holds back 475 species of birds, 86 mammals that include; elephants, African hunting dog, bat eared fox, bush pigs, lions, leopards, black backed jackal, cheetah, among others, and about 17 antelope species and many more others.
Lake Mburo National park is positioned in western Uganda and is a continuation of the Tanzanian plains. It harbors about 68 species of mammals for example zebra, buffaloes, impala, topi, eland, bush buck, hyena, jackal among others and over 350 species of birds. It is also good for sport hunting activities.
Semuliki National Park was established in 1993, its located in Bundibugyo district southwest Uganda. It covers an area of 219km2. I accommodate 60 mammal species including; leopard, African civet, elephant, water chevrotain, chimpanzees, pygmy scaly-tailed flying squirrels, buffaloes, hippopotamus, among others, and about 441 recorded bird species.
Murchison Falls National Park is the largest and oldest national park in Uganda, situated in north western Uganda near the shores of lake albert. It has 451 species of birds and about 76 species of mammals that are seen while on a game drive, such as hyenas, buffaloes, hartebeest, crocodiles. Giraffes, oribis, among others.
Boat Cruise on Savannah Lakes.
The pearl of Africa is gifted with a number of water bodies which has enabled easily the activity of boat cruise in Uganda. It’s one the entertaining and relaxing frequent activities done in various places in the country. The clients are given the guide and life jacket vest; however, drinks are bought by the clients.
Boat cruise to the Nile Delta Is carried out on the Victoria Nile at Murchison falls national park, you will be taken to the starting point for your boat cruise to the delta where Victoria Nile connects with Albert Nile and flows the whole way to the Mediterranean Sea, you will be to see school of Hippos, Crocodiles and birds like the rare shoebill stork and various animals which come to drink water.
Boat Cruise at Lake Bunyonyi. Is recorded as the second deepest lake in Africa after Lake Tanganyika in Tanzania. Boat cruise on lake Bunyonyi is an exciting activity that one shouldn’t miss. It will make you feel the wonders of nature as you will see big terraced hills, big valleys, and the 29 islands which make up lake Bunyonyi.
Boat Cruise on Lake Mburo. Having a boat cruise on this dominant lake seems so calm, amidst hippopotamus. So, you will be able view large crocodiles lurking on the shores and above all many birds like African wattled lapwing, Rufous- bellied Heron, Bateleur, pied king fisher, Egyptian Goose, African fish Eagle, Brown-chested Lapwing, African jacana, Hadada Ibis, and Water Thicknee among other birds.
Boat cruise on the source of the Nile, offers a calm, fascinating sights and enjoying cool breeze of Lake Victoria. The activity is carried out in Eastern Uganda around the shores of Lake Victoria in Jinja town. While on a cruise ship, you will sight some birds, the Nile bridge, and the Speke monument. This exercise takes about 2-3 hours.
Boat cruise to the bottom of the falls is done in Murchison Falls National park. It’s done on Victoria Nile to the base of the falls about 10 meters away from the “Devils Cauldron.” While on a boat cruise, one may be able to view crocodiles, elephants, waterbuck, Uganda cobs, hippos among others. Murchison falls national park also harbors variety of bird species among which may include; hornbill, cormorant, the unfamiliar shoebill stork, Goliath Heron, Egyptian goose, pelican bee-eater, among others. You are able to view the point where the world’s longest river erupts violently throw a narrow cleft in the Rift Valley escarpments to plunge into a frothing pool of 43meters below.
Chimpanzee Trekking in Uganda
This is one of the unique activities that makes a Uganda Safaris unique. Uganda accommodates to over 5,000 chimpanzees. On a Uganda safari, you will enjoy seeing the closest to human beings that have made people discover the origin of human behaviors since we share almost 99% of the DNA.
Chimpanzee trekking commences at 8:00 am for a morning session, and at 2:00 for an afternoon session after a briefing from the experts of Uganda Wildlife Authority ranger guides. The activity may take 2-3 hours while in the jangle depending on the distance they walk while in search for food. Visitors are allowed to stay with the chimpanzee for only one hour upon reaching them. You will have a chance to see how they associate, breast feed, build their nests, eat, play, and couple. Besides Kibaale National park, chimpanzee in Uganda can be tracked in Kyambura gorges at Queen Elizabeth National park, Kalinzu forest reserve, and Budongo Central Forest Reserve.
Kibaale National Park is the main spot for chimpanzee tracking. Its located in western Uganda next to fort portal (tourism city) in Kabalore district. It holds 13 primate species, it harbors over 1500 chimpanzees and it’s a home to 375 species of birdsas well as 70 mammal species. besides chimpanzees, other primates include, baboons, monkeys for example; black and white colobus monkeys, blue monkeys, l’hoest monkeys, varvet monkeys,amongothers.
Kyambura gorge in Queen Elizabeth National park, is also another spot for Chimpanzee trekking in Uganda the pearl of Africa. it is positioned in the western region in Kasese District. This spot is a narrow valley with steep and rocky walls located between hills. It has got a beautiful scene of the river rain forest and located next to the equator line that crosses the Kyambura. The above spot attracts large number of primate species among which include; mokeys, baboons among others, and bird species.
Budongo Central Reserve Forest, is located in the northwest of Kampala and it is another spot for Chimpanzee tracking in Uganda. The reserve stretches up to the famous Murchison Falls National park. The reserve is also known as Kaniyo Pabidi with its royal mile usually for birding.
Kalinzu Forest reserve which is located in Bushenyi District in Western Uganda between Mbarara district and Kasese. It is known as the cheapest spot for chimpanzee traekking. it is also near the Ishasha sector of Queen Elizabeth National park.
Gorilla Trekking in Uganda.
Gorilla Trekking is one of the major popular activities done in Uganda and also one of the best 7 activities that one should not miss out while on a Uganda Safari. Gorilla trekking is where the Uganda Wildlife Authority ranger guides wake up early in the morning and walk into the jungle trying to find a given habituated gorilla family for the tourist trek on their trekking date. After a briefing in the morning, the visitors will split up into group of 8 people to be allocated to specific Gorilla family. At 8:00 am, tourists are escorted by ranger guides into the forest to search for the Mountain gorillas.
This activity, may take you 2-3 hours while in the wilderness, however time spent in the forest depends on the place where these gorillas are found. Visitors are only permitted to stay with these giant apes for only 1 hour while interacting and enjoying their interacting nature. It is on record that Uganda as a country, accommodates half of the world’s population of which currently Uganda has a population of 459 gorilla individuals from estimated as it was revealed by Uganda’s Ministry of Tourism, Wildlife and Antiquities in conjunction with the Great Virunga Transboundary Collaboration on 16th December 2019. Currently, the population of the giant ape family is about 1063 individuals in the world.
Uganda is the most popular destination for Mountain gorilla tracking in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is positioned in Southwestern Uganda and it occupies an area of 330.8sqkm and its managed by Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA).
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park was established as a Crown Forest Reserve in 1932 thereafter was split into two blocks i.e the northern part that was named “Kayonza crown,” as well as the southern block that was named as “Kasatora Crown Forest Reserve”.
In 1964, the crown forest was turned into animal sanctuary with the aim of protecting the extinct mountain gorillas till 1991 when it was announced as Bwindi Impenetrable National Park as well as Rwenzori Mountain National Park, and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park.
Besides Bwindi Impenetrable National park, Mgahinga Gorilla National Park is also another sport where you can Track the magnificent gorillas in Uganda. Although there is only one Gorilla family called Nyakagezi Gorilla family in Mgahinga Grilla National park, It forms the Virunga mass in the region, besides gorilla tracking, it harbors 3 inactive volcanic mountains which include; Mt Gahinga, Mountain Muhabura, and Mountain Sabinyo.
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park comprises of different tourism sectors where different Gorilla families can be tracked, and they include; Rushaga sector, Nkuringo sector, Buhoma sector, and Ruhija tourism sector.
Mountain Climbing in Uganda
Uganda as a Pearl of Africa, is gifted with volcanic mountains, beautiful scenic valleys, as well as hills. Over the years, hiking in Uganda has been developing on a higher speed. Well established accommodation facilities have been put in place, well trained tour guides to lead you in a lifetime experience, helping staff (porters) and well developed trails on the mountains which easies the adventure.
The hiking on the mountain is usually done on three mountains which include; mountain Elgon National park, Volcano hiking at Mgahinga national park, and the Mystical Challenge on the Mountains of the Moon (Rwenzori mountain).
Mountain Elgon National Park.
It is located in the East of Uganda about 255km from Kampala the Capital City. The cliffs, caves, gorges, waterfalls, and volcanic foothills together with the panoramic views across the wide plains, creates one of the most spectacular scenery in the Pearl of Africa. Mt Elgon covers about 1,121km2 surface where as it consists of the 4th tallest mountain in East Africa and was at one time the tallest in Africa than Kilimanjaro mountain but as a result of Denudation. Mountain Elgon is the oldest and largest Volcano in East Africa and its Eruption is estimated to have occurred about 24 Million years ago. Mt Elgon has got the largest Caldera in the world stretching to 42km2. it has also got the largest volcanic base in the world extending to 4000 km2. it gained a mountain Elgon National Park status in 1993.
Rwenzori Mountain (Mountain of the Moon) has got snowcapped peaks with the highest peak (Magharita Peak) rising from the Equatorial bank of Central Africa. The level of difficulty of the challenge is not very high, hence everybody can take up this wonderful and exciting life time experience. This park was established in 1991 as a National park and it covers about 996km2 of land. UNESCO designated it as a World Heritage Site in 1994. It is believed to be the source of the World longest river, (River Nile). This was followed by series of exploration and in 1889, Sir Henry Morton Stanley confirmed it to be true. Regardless of its close range to the Equator, Mt Rwenzori peaks are snowcapped all year through.
This is one of the seven core tourism activities done in Uganda the Pearl of Africa. It is fishing for pleasure, and it is done using a rod, line, reel, hooks, and any other range of baits. It involves catching fish like, Tiger fish, Tilapia, Golden barbell, Ngara, fericious fighter, and Nile perch fish. However, the Nile perch fish is released back in the waters. Uganda is in nature, is gifted with variety of fresh water bodies almost in every corner of the country. This makes it an ideal for spot fishing which is done on Lake Mburo in western Uganda, Victoria Nile (Murchison falls) northern Uganda, and on Lake Victoria the largest Fresh water body in the World in Entebbe and on the shores of River Nile. Lots of Nile perch are caught here while the policy is catch and release.
Our clients are given the boat with fishing gears to have their challenge on any water body as it is allocated on the itinerary. Though clients can as well travel with their fishing equipment’s.
White Water Rafting
This is another exciting activity done on the source of the Nile. It takes a full day and it takes about 4-5 hours covering about 25km distance. Though this will depend on the Rafting grade that one chooses of grade 3, grade 5, and extreme rafting.
The white water rafting trip includes:
- Safety rafts and Kayakers.
- High-flotation life jackets
- photography and video
- Complimentary drinks
- BBQ snack after the trip.
Grade 5 and extreme rafting is so adventurous also lasts for 4-5 hours. One can choose to paddle as a team, or choose to softer option as you hit more rapids down the stream. Grade 5 also takes children with a minimum age of 16 years on a 25 km. Breakfast and lunch, photos, experienced guides, transport are included on the package.
Grade 3 rafting, this normally takes a day, here, you will be provided transport, transport to and from Kampala the capital city, tubing and floats on the nile, lunch, breakfast, and experienced and hospitable staff, photos. and many more others.