UGANDA SAFARIS

WILDLIFE SAFARI ADVENTURES IN UGANDA

Introduction

Embark on an unforgettable adventure through Uganda's lush landscapes, where majestic gorillas, elusive big cats, and vibrant wildlife are just some of the many attractions featuring on Uganda Safaris and adventures of a lifetime. 

Picture yourself trekking through dense forests in search of gorillas or going on a game drive to spot lions, leopards, and elephants in their natural habitat. Whether you're a nature lover, adventure seeker, or simply looking for a unique travel experience, Uganda has something for everyone.

But Uganda is more than just its natural wonders. With a rich cultural heritage, Uganda offers a unique opportunity to immerse yourself in a different way of life. Sample the local cuisine, try on traditional clothing, or learn some of the local dances. 

You can also visit historical landmarks like the Kasubi Tombs, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that serves as the burial place of former kings of Buganda, one of the country's largest ethnic groups.

"I've been on many safaris, but Uganda was something special," says Jane from Australia. "The gorillas were amazing, but the people were just as memorable. Everyone was so friendly and welcoming." 

With its diverse landscapes, thriving wildlife, and welcoming communities, Uganda truly is the "Pearl of Africa."

What Makes Uganda Special?

Beautiful Landscapes: Uganda is truly a unique destination that offers an abundance of natural beauty and wildlife. Uganda has everything from towering mountains often shrouded in mist to lush forests and pristine lakes. For example, the Rwenzori Mountains, one of Uganda's major mountain ranges, is home to some of the most breathtaking views in the world, with snow-capped peaks and glaciers that are sure to take your breath away.

Amazing Wildlife Encounters: Uganda is also home to a remarkable variety of wildlife, including the famous mountain gorillas, the Big Five (lions, elephants, buffaloes, leopards, and rhinos), and over 1,000 bird species. The country's national parks and wildlife reserves are teeming with life, making it a paradise for nature lovers and adventure seekers.

Cultural Immersion: Besides its natural beauty and wildlife, Uganda boasts a fascinating variety of cultures, languages, and traditions. With over 56 distinct ethnic groups, the country offers a unique opportunity to experience the diversity of Africa. From the Baganda people in the central region to the Karamojong in the north, each group has its own unique customs and traditions that are sure to fascinate visitors.

Whether you are looking for adventure, relaxation, or cultural immersion, Uganda truly is the "Pearl of Africa" and an experience you will never forget.

UGANDA WILDIFE SAFARI PACKAGES

CUSTOMER REVIEWS

For an amazing wildlife adventure, Uganda is the place to be! There are lots of safari options for everyone to choose from. You can explore the beautiful land and meet incredible gorillas face-to-face. Many happy adventurers have shared their fantastic experiences in our reviews. Come and have a magical time on safaris in Uganda, making memories that you'll cherish forever. 

  • star ratingThe whole experience, from start to finish, was absolutely amazing. Adams is THE MAN!! Everything ran seamlessly, from pick up to drop off. Adams was great at keeping us entertained... read more

    Sarah B
    July 28, 2023

    star ratingGreat Safari Tour - Wow, what an amazing tour we had. Gorillas, chimps, tree climbing lions, elephants and much more. Our guide Jason was really knowledgeable and very easy going. Thanks alot for a... read more

    Lewis B
    July 28, 2023

    star ratinggreat agency - we had an amazing experience using Encounter Africa, very professional staff, super reactive, reliable and friendly. the hotel selection that was proposed was very good value for money and the... read more

    edouard h
    August 21, 2023

    star ratingAmazing experience!  - My husband and I did the three day gorilla trekking tour. We had an amazing time! Our driver Martin really made the experience. When we travel we like to try... read more

    Serene S
    July 4, 2023

    star ratingExcellent experience with Encounter! - Seamless experience from start to finish. Great communication with Denis when booking. Denis gave me several options for lodges/tours and provided guidance along the way when deciding which was the... read more

    NYCgirl04
    July 9, 2023

    star ratingAmazing trip to Uganda - I booked my trip with Encounter Africa Safaris. It was a five das trip As a solo traveller. Dennis, the organiser, was extremely helpful and caring during the whole... read more

    anamK1018DQ
    July 25, 2023
  • star ratingOUR TRIP WAS INCREDIBLE - My partner an I had the most incredible vacation! It is difficult figuring out which safari company to choose since there are so many. BOOK THIS ONE!! We travel the... read more

    Seeheathergo
    July 21, 2023

    star ratingWorth every penny! - We did the two-day Gorilla Trek excursion from Kigali, Rwanda to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park and back.

    SimonGeo98
    July 10, 2023

    star ratingAn amazing lifetime experience to see the most beautiful animals. Loved it! - I can wholeheartedly recommend this tour. It was awesome! My guide and driver for the 5 days was Stephen. He was friendly and knowledgeable. It was great meeting him. The... read more

    Jonathan B
    August 3, 2023

    star ratingUganda the Beautiful - Writing for my husband as he did a solo tour in Uganda: Absolutely amazing journey and wonderful country. Encounter Africa delivered everything that they said they would, and Patrick... read more

    Kristine K
    August 14, 2023

    star ratingExceptional service and an amazing experience!  - Excellent service - Was able to curate my own trip with assistance from the company. Everything was so easy and payments safe too. Easy booking, great communication, great driver/guide, really... read more

    KittyK1
    August 12, 2023

    star ratingWe did the 3 day Gorilla Tracking Safari and it was a truly once in a lifetime experience. Leading up to the event, Dennis was wonderful for communicating and Godwin,... read more

    Jasminejuwvipart
    August 27, 2023


Destination Highlights

Uganda boasts a range of safari destinations that promise unique and awe-inspiring experiences. Here are the top five places to visit in Uganda:

1. Bwindi Impenetrable National Park

Home to nearly half of the world's mountain gorilla population, Bwindi offers a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to trek through dense forests and observe these majestic creatures in their natural habitat. Besides gorillas, the park is teeming with diverse wildlife, including chimpanzees, various monkey species, and a rich variety of birdlife.

More about Bwindi.

2. Queen Elizabeth National Park

The park is famous for its tree-climbing lions, an unusual behavior rarely seen elsewhere. Witnessing these big cats lounging in fig trees is a remarkable experience. Queen Elizabeth National Park is also home to elephants, hippos, crocodiles, and many bird species. The Kazinga Channel boat cruise offers a close-up view of aquatic life.

Explore Queen Elizabeth NP

3. Murchison Falls National Park

The park is named after the stunning Murchison Falls, where the mighty Nile River is forced through a narrow gorge, creating a breathtaking spectacle. Expect to encounter Nile crocodiles, giraffes, buffaloes, and elephants during game drives and boat safaris. The park is a haven for birdwatchers.

Visit Murchison Falls NP

4. Kidepo Valley National Park

Kidepo is one of Africa's most remote and untouched wilderness areas, offering a sense of true isolation and pristine beauty. Here, you can spot cheetahs, ostriches, bat-eared foxes, and more. The Narus Valley is particularly rich in wildlife, making it an excellent location for game drives.

Read more about Kidepo

5. Rwenzori Mountains National Park

Known as the "Mountains of the Moon," this park is home to Africa's third-highest peak, Margherita Peak, and features snow-capped peaks, glaciers, and a variety of ecosystems. Rwenzori Mountains National Park is not only about mountains; it's also home to rare species like the Rwenzori red duiker and the Rwenzori turaco.

More about the mountains of the moon

6. Lake Mburo National Park

Explore the diverse wildlife and stunning scenery of the park on a game drive or boat safari and witness herds of zebras, impalas, buffaloes, hippos, and crocodiles. Lake Mburo is a scenic wonder and home to Burchell's zebras, making it one of the few places in Uganda to see these beautiful creatures and take savannah nature walks.

Know more about Lake Mburo.

Uganda's Diverse Wildlife

Uganda safaris are a wildlife enthusiast's dream come true. Beyond the iconic gorillas, you'll encounter a dazzling array of creatures, including:

  • Big Five: Uganda is one of the few places in Africa where you can spot all of the Big Five: lions, elephants, buffaloes, leopards, and rhinos.
  • Primates: Besides gorillas, you'll find chimpanzees, golden monkeys, and various monkey species.
  • Birds: With over 1,000 bird species, Uganda is a birdwatcher's paradise, with highlights like the shoebill stork.
  • Aquatic Life: The country's rivers and lakes are inhabited by hippos, crocodiles, and a variety of fish.

Conservation Efforts

Uganda takes conservation seriously, with dedicated efforts to protect its remarkable biodiversity. Some conservation initiatives that make up wildlife safaris include:

  • Gorilla Conservation: Strict guidelines limit the number of visitors who can trek to see gorillas each day to minimize disturbance to these gentle giants.
  • Community-Based Conservation: Many parks involve local communities in wildlife protection and sustainable tourism practices, fostering a sense of shared responsibility.
  • Anti-Poaching Measures: Uganda has ramped up anti-poaching efforts to combat the illegal wildlife trade and protect endangered species.

Cultural Experiences

The cultural diversity of Uganda communities is a huge draw for travelers on safaris. Engaging with local communities allows you to learn about their customs, traditions, and way of life. Some ancient clans you might encounter include:

  • Baganda: The largest ethnic group in Uganda, known for their vibrant dance performances and rich history.
  • Batwa: The indigenous people of the forest, who have a deep connection to the natural world.
  • Karamojong: Nomadic pastoralists with a distinctive way of life in the northeastern part of the country.

Traditional dance performances are a captivating part of Ugandan culture. You can witness energetic dances accompanied by drumming and singing. And don't miss the opportunity to savor authentic Ugandan cuisine, which includes staples like matoke (cooking bananas), posho (maize porridge), and rolex (a popular street food).

 

Adventure Activities on Uganda Safaris

Gorilla Trekking

Gorilla trekking is undoubtedly one of the most sought-after adventure activities on Uganda safaris. Traversing dense forests searching for these magnificent creatures offers a rare and unforgettable wildlife experience.

Gorilla safaris

White-Water Rafting on the Nile

For adrenaline junkies, navigating the powerful rapids of the Nile River provides an exhilarating adventure. The Nile's turbulent waters offer an exciting and heart-pounding rafting experience.

Mountain Biking

Explore Uganda's stunning landscapes on two wheels. Mountain biking adventures take you through diverse terrains, from the rolling hills to the challenging mountain tracks.

Hiking and Trekking

Uganda's diverse landscapes present excellent hiking and trekking opportunities. Whether it's the Rwenzori Mountains, Mount Elgon, or the scenic trails within national parks, there's a trail for every level of hiker.

Travel Tips and Practical Information

Visa Requirements

  • Apply for Visa online: You must apply for a tourist visa online at visas.immigration.go.ug for $50 before your trip. Ensure your passport is valid for at least six months beyond your planned departure date.
  • No visas on arrival: Uganda does not give visas on arrival at Entebbe International Airport. Apply online.

Currency

  • The official currency is the Ugandan Shilling (UGX). Common foreign currency accepted in hotels, lodges,  and international brand shops is USD. Currency exchange is widely available, especially in major cities and tourist areas.

Health Precautions

  • Vaccinations: Make sure you're up to date on routine vaccines and consider vaccinations for hepatitis A and B, typhoid, meningitis, yellow fever, and rabies, depending on your travel plans. You must carry a Yellow Fever vaccination certificate when traveling to Uganda, like most African countries.
  • Malaria: Uganda is a malaria-endemic area, so take appropriate antimalarial medication and use insect repellent.

Packing Tips

  • Clothing: Pack lightweight, breathable clothing suitable for warm temperatures, but also include a few warmer layers for cooler evenings and higher-altitude regions.
  • Footwear: Sturdy, comfortable hiking shoes are a must, especially for gorilla trekking and other outdoor activities.
  • Other Essentials: Don't forget sunscreen, a hat, insect repellent, a good camera, and a power adapter for your electronics.

Weather Guide

  • Dry Season: June to August and December to February are the dry months, making them ideal for safari adventures.
  • Wet Season: March to May and September to November bring heavy rains, which can affect road conditions and wildlife sightings.

Frequently Asked Questions About Uganda Safaris

We've compiled a list of the most frequently asked questions to help you plan a successful safari in Uganda.

Q1: Is it safe to visit Uganda for a safari?

Q2: How can I book a gorilla trekking permit in Uganda?

Q3: What is the best time of year for gorilla trekking in Uganda?

Q4: Are there age restrictions for gorilla trekking?

Q5: Can I customize my safari itinerary based on my preferences?

Q6: Are vegetarian or vegan meal options readily available during safaris?

Q7: Is it possible to combine a safari with a visit to the Nile River or other nearby attractions?

Q8: Can I use credit cards in Uganda?

Q9: How can I respect the local culture and customs during my visit to Uganda?

Q10: What languages are commonly spoken in Uganda?