Uganda beyond mountain gorillas. What safari activities are there for tourists
Uganda is endowed with a variety of safari activities although gorilla trekking is the top most.
Some of Uganda safari activities include game drives, launch trips, chimpanzee trekking, nature walks, uganda birding, white water rafting, bungee jumping to mention but a few.
Most of the prominent Uganda safari activities are done in the National parks. Uganda has about 10 national park and each is unique with the wild animals found there although some animals are common to almost every park. some of the Uganda National parks include Murchison Falls National park, Queen Elizabeth National park, Kidepo Valley National Park, Lake Mburo National Park, Bwindi Impenetrable National Park Semuliki National park, Mountain Elgon National park, Kibale National Park, Mgahinga National Park and Rwenzori National Park.
Most Popular Safaris
Gorilla trekking in Uganda happens in Bwindi Impenetrable National park and Mgahinga National park located in southwestern Uganda. You must purchase a gorilla permit to be allowed access to any of these national Parks.
Other Uganda Safari Activities
Game drives in Uganda safari
The different Uganda game parks give an opportunity for tourists to enjoy wild animals in there natural setting. With an experienced driver guide or ranger guide, you can enjoy the great views in the park coupled with variety of wild animals that spend the day in these parks.
Some of the Uganda game parks include Kidepo valley National park in North Eastern corner of Uganda, Lake Mburo National Park in western Uganda, Murchison Falls National park in Northern Uganda and Queen Elizabeth National Park in western Uganda.
During early morning or late afternoon game drives in these parks, you may get to spot animals like lions, leopards, herds of elephants, cape buffaloes, water bucks, oribi, giraffes, warthogs, giant forest hogs, impalas, zebras, hartebeests, cheetahs, aardwolf and others.
Not all the above animals can be spotted in each of these parks but some can specifically be found in particular parks.
Launch trips on Uganda Safari
Uganda has two renowned launch trips and these can be done with prior booking as you prepare for uganda safari.
Launch trip in Murchison Falls National park
This launch trip takes you to the strongest falls on river Nile and the world over. You sail from the pier by a launch boat or private boat. Enjoy the beautiful view of the animals that grace the shore of River Nile. You may get to spot animals like hartebeest, giraffes, cape buffaloes, serried crocodiles, schools of hippos, an array of birds and others. Enjoy the lovely views of the rift valley plateaus and so much more.
As you draw closer to the falls the boat turbulence chances because of the heavy River Nile water that fall to the bottom to continue with the course.
When the falls come into view, you see how vigorous Victoria Nile water squeezes through a 6 meters wide gorge to burst out vigorously and form a cloudy appearance. The River Nile water cascades down a high cliff of about 43 meters to join the rest of the course.
Hike To the Top Of the Falls
To get a clearer view of how vigorous River Nile is , you may hike to the top of the falls where all the drama starts from. The river Nile water flows for about 80 kilometers over a bed of rocks stumbles over underlying rocks as it gains momentum to pass through the narrow bend.
This thrilling point may not be great for the faint hearted because of the vigorous flow of the water as it hits the rocks.
Launch Trip on Kazinga Channel
In Queen Elizabeth National park at the floor of the rift valley is Kazinga channel where the gorgeous launch trip happens. You sail from the pier enjoying the different wild animals that love quenching thirst from the channel banks.
Although there is public launch trip, you can do private launch trips on Kazinga channel too.
You may get to see a wide range of animals like herds of elephants, cape buffaloes, lions, leopards, waterbuck, bushbucks, warthogs, topis and others that love visiting the shore. This channel is a magnet to variety of birds including foreign migrants.
You may get to watch the sparkling top of Mountain Rwenzori with its snowcap from the bottom of the rift valley. The launch trip on Kazinga channel is one of the best activities in Queen Elizabeth National park
Chimpanzee trekking in Uganda
Uganda is one of the best chimpanzee trekking destinations in East Africa. The country has different chimpanzee habitat and these are distributed in different forested areas.
You may need a chimpanzee trekking permit for some while those privately owned, you may not require a permit but pay a particular fee.
Kibale National park is the most known chimpanzee trekking sanctuary in Uganda hosting over 1500 chimpanzees. You need to purchase a chimpanzee trekking permit from Uganda wildlife Authority. At the moment, the cost of chimpanzee trekking permit for Kibale National park is $200 per person per trek. This cost includes park fees.
Kyambura gorge in Queen Elizabeth National park is another chimpanzee trekking center. The chimpanzees live in the forested gorge at the bottom of the Rift valley floor of this park.
Expect to do some hiking to get to where the chimpanzees are located although it is so steep. Wear the right safari shoes that can help you go through slippery slopes wet especially during the wet season which is usually March to May and November.
You need a chimpanzee trekking permit for Kyambura gorge which currently costs $50 but excludes the park fees.
Kaniyo Pabidi In Murchison Falls National park
This chimpanzee habitat lies about 8 meters from Kichubanyombo gate. During chimpanzee trekking in Kaniyo pabidi forest, you enjoy the great view of some of the fully grown Mahogany trees Uganda is left with.
The forest has other primates too so include olive baboons, black and white colobus, red tailed monkeys, blue monkeys and others.
Ngamba Chimpanzee sanctuary
This is one of the few points where chimpanzees are given another home. They sanctuary host orphaned, abandoned, rescued chimpanzees that cannot return to the forest to join there original communities.
To get to Ngamba chimpanzee sanctuary, you sail by boat because this is on Koome Island in Lake Victoria. In case you arrive at feeding time, you are given chance to feed the chimpanzees. The drama as teach struggles to catch a meal is amazing to watch.
Uganda wildlife Educations Center
This is the former Entebbe zoo and just a small distance from Entebbe Airport. You may take a guided walk to where the chimpanzee exhibit is or a self-guided walk to the chimpanzee exhibit.
Visit Source Of River Nile
Uganda is the only source of River Nile where Lake Victoria water separates from river Nile water. This point is in Jinja and indeed worth the visit. The point where the two separate is dramatic and leaves wondering what may be happening beneath.
White water rafting on River Nile
Beating the tides of River Nile is amazing. You do not need to have any experience because professional instructors are in place to take you every required detail.
White water rafting happens on Itanda falls and there are different tide levels but you can select where to end. Ensure you buckle your safety gears and follow instructions given. Other can do kayaking, tubing and others activities.\
Birding Uganda Safari
Uganda is one of the best birding destinations in Africa hosting over 1000 bird species. This population is believed to be more than those found in the entire Europe.
You need a well arranged uganda birding itinerary and a great birding guide for you to have the best experience.
Some of the Uganda birding destinations include Bwindi forest, Mgahinga forest, Mabamba swamp, Lutembe beach, Mpanga forest, Musambsa Island and others.
The country also host international bird species that fly from as far as Europe especially during severe winter period.
Bungee Jumping on Uganda Safari
You can stimulate some adrenaline with a bungee jumping adventure where you hang by the rope from the top of a cliff to touch River Nile.
A boat awaits to receive you from under and you can get off the rope to join the sailors on the boat.
Quad Biking on Uganda Safari
You can take park in Quad biking on River Nile shore and go through the villages. Enjoy the cool breeze from River Nile and lovely gardens that you pass by.
Mountaineering in Uganda
Uganda has a number of highland you can hike to challenge your fitness but you need to make prior arrangements so that you are accorded a ranger guide.
Rwenzori mountain is the most prominent where you may need over 7 days on a return hiking experience. You need to carry mountaineering gears so that you can get to the snowcapped peak which is Margeritah safely.
Other one days mountaineering experiences can be done on mountains like mountain Muhabura, mountain Gahinga, mountain Sabyinyo and others. You may not require hiking equipment.
Sport Fishing on Uganda Safari
Uganda is endowed with a number of water bodies both fresh water and salty. Most of the sport fishing adventure safaris in Uganda are conducted on fresh waters. Sport fishing on River Nile especially in Murchison falls national park, requires you to obtain a fishing permit from Uganda Wildlife Authority.
When Is the Best Time To Book Uganda Safaris?
Uganda safaris are open all year round but most tourists prefer the dry season, which is June to Mid-September or December to January.
The wildlife vibrancy in this period is at its peak and grass lower in the Uganda game parks, which creates clearer visibility.
Even the parks where you need to trek like Kibale National Park for chimpanzee trekking, the humidity is less creating a favorable environment for chimpanzee trekking.
The prices of Uganda safari packages however are high because of competition for services.
The wet season for Uganda safari, which is, normally March to May is the low tourism period too. There are relatively less tourists visiting so incase you wish to have some undisturbed moments at different Uganda safari destinations, this may be the best season to book.
Anyone with a limited Africa Safari budget for Uganda may use this grace period. Chances of getting discounted prices from service providers may be open in the low season.
What Is the Cost Of Uganda Safari?
The Uganda safari cost is packaged into Luxury, Mid-range and Budget. You need to know how much you are will to spend on this African safari.in case you need to book a permit like chimpanzee trekking permit for Kibale National park, you need to secure it first.
Some of the factors used to calculate Uganda safari quotations include:
The number of Days on Uganda Safari
The more days on Uganda safari, the higher the cost. You need to know the amount of time you need to be on safari.
The more people joining Uganda safari
When more people accompany you, you share some Uganda safari costs so lowering the per person safari charges.
Timing for Booking your Uganda Safari
The peak season which is June to Mid September and December to January normally has many people booking uganda safaris. The low season may attract discounted costs from service providers like accommodations, vehicle hire and others.
How Safe Is Uganda As A Safari Destination
Uganda has been peaceful from over 30 years apart from a few isolated cases of terrorism attacks.
The Uganda ranger guides are very vigilant with any unfamiliar people in the parks that may look suspicious. They collaborate with other Uganda security agencies to keep law and order in most destinations in Uganda.
You can freely book Uganda safaris and be sure to return home in one piece. You just need to pay attention to personal safety. You need to keep your driver guide in the know of your way abouts while on safari.
In case you need to have to do a nature walk in the forest, book a ranger guide in advance so as to get protected from any attack while in the wilderness.
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