Top wildlife safari activities in Uganda
The top wildlife safari activities in Uganda features highlights such as primate tracking, game viewing in different savannah parks, spectacular birding spots, spontaneous hiking, cruising on various water bodies and several other exciting activities. Uganda safaris can be well curated to your preferences. Booking a Uganda safari is an assurance to a magical/phenomenal adventure in The Pearl of Africa. Uganda has 10 National parks each blessed with a unique eco system with impressive views.
Listed below are some of the must-do safari activities while on a Uganda safari.
Game viewing. This is one of the most popular activities to do and it exposes you or gives you an opportunity to catch sight of various animal species including ‘The big five’ as they roam in the savannah, seen quenching their thirst at the watering holes, lazily resting in the trees looking out for prey. Game drives are done in designated routes within the different parks and best done in the morning so as to get the best rewards but also in the afternoon and a provision for night game drives in some national parks.. Look out for bird species too as you take on the game drive. Wildlife viewing can be done in Murchison Falls National Park, Queen Elizabeth National Park, Kidepo Valley National Park, Lake Mburo National Park, Pian Upe wildlife reserve.
Boat cruise. Take on a thrilling boat cruise in different destinations as you appreciate the beautiful scenery and keep an eye out for different animals at the shores such as crocodiles, and hippos but also water birds such as giant kingfishers, and African fish eagle, Marabou stork and many others. Destinations with boat cruises include; Murchison Falls National Park, Queen Elizabeth National Park, Lake Mburo National Park, Lake Bunyonyi in Kabale, and many others.
Gorilla tracking. Gorilla tracking is the top most done and sought after famous activity in Uganda. This fascinating activity brings you face to face with incredible mountain gorillas. Uganda has half of the world’s population of mountain gorillas hence making it a tourist hot spot for gorilla tours and the best place to track these gentle giants. While on a Uganda gorilla safari, you can choose to participate in gorilla tracking from any of the two destinations that harbor the mountain gorillas, that is to say Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. Gorilla tracking involves walking through the forest in search of the mountain gorillas. The activity starts with a a briefing at the park headquarters on the rules and regulations to follow. This is followed by the allocation of groups (8 people per group) and each group is a allocated a gorilla family/group to track in the company of an armed game ranger.
Gorilla tracking can take about 2 hours to 8 hours depending on the location of the mountain gorillas. The ranger guide assigned to you keeps in touch with the monitoring team on ground in order to easily locate the mountain gorillas. On locating the mountain gorillas, you are allowed up to 1 hour to watch them go about their daily life. Capture all these great memories while with the mountain gorillas. After the hour, you head back to the park headquarters where you receive a certificate for participating in the Uganda gorilla safari.
Chimpanzee tracking. This is another best and most popular activity after gorilla tracking. Chimpanzee tracking is less tiring than gorilla tracking since it is done in areas that are not hilly. The activity also starts with a briefing about the do’s and dont’s of chimpanzee tracking then later you walk through the forest in search of the chimpanzees with a well-armed ranger guide that is allocated to you. The chimpanzees are very interesting primates and while walking in the forest, you will be able to see some of the members swinging from one tree branch to another. Tracking the chimpanzees can take about 30 minutes to 2 hours and once you locate the chimpanzee group, you are given up to 1 hour to watch, ask questions and learn about their behaviors, eating habits, and other characteristics.
In Uganda, chimpanzee tracking can be done in Kibale National Park also referred to as ‘The primate capital of the world’, Kalinzu forest, and Kyambura gorge in Queen Elizabeth National Park. The cost of chimpanzee tracking differs from destination to destination.
Birding. Uganda remains a key birding destination in the whole world with about 1085 bird species. Uganda still boasts 24 out of 26 Albertine endemic species. On an average 17 days safari, you can tick off about 450 bird species because the country has different habitats including the 10 national parks. (savannah areas, swampy areas, higher altitude areas, forest areas, mountainous areas, and woodland areas. Birds can be spotted while on a game drive, boat cruise and guided nature walks. Book your Uganda birding safari for an adventure.
Rhino tracking. Rhino tracking is one unique activity that should be added onto your bucket list for a Uganda safari. Rhinos are one of the big five animals in Uganda. The rhino tracking activity is conducted at Ziwa Rhino sanctuary, home to the only wild rhinos in Uganda. Rhino tracking is done in the company of an armed game ranger and the activity takes about two hours. You get an opportunity to watch the rhinos in their natural habitat.
In conclusion, the top wildlife safari activities in Uganda can be done all year round but the best recommended time is during the dry season in the months of December to February, and June to September. During this time, there are clear blue skies, the rainfall is less making the designated routes accessible for safari vehicles and also for activities to take place. It is also easy to spot the animals in the dry season since the vegetation is thin and they can be seen gathering at water sources. Birding can also be done during the rainy season, you are able to spot several migratory birds.