What to do in Uganda besides gorilla trekking in Bwindi and Mgahinga
Gorilla trekking is the gem in the crown of Uganda tourism in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga National Park. Apart from gorilla trekking, these two parks have other interesting activities you can participate in, like birding in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and golden monkeys trekking in Mgahinga National Park.
Before pointing out other activities in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park or Mgahinga National Park, you need to understand what gorilla trekking is briefly.
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What is gorilla trekking?
Gorilla trekking is an activity where you follow a fully habituated mountain gorilla family in the wilderness and stay with them for one permitted hour. It would be best if you acquired a gorilla permit from the Uganda Wildlife Authority to have access to performing a gorilla trekking safari.
You need to book your gorilla permit in advance as they are limited to a maximum of 8 permits per gorilla family per day. Uganda currently has 19 gorilla permits open to the public for gorilla trekking and 2 gorilla permits for habituation experience.
How much is the Uganda gorilla trekking permit?
The current cost of a Uganda gorilla trekking permit is $700 per person per trek for foreign nonresidents, $600 for foreign residents, and 250000 shs for East African citizens.
You can purchase your gorilla permit through a tour operator or directly from Uganda Wildlife Authority.
When purchasing the gorilla trekking permit for Uganda, you must have a date when you wish to do gorilla trekking, the number of gorilla permits you to hope to book, and the gorilla trekking park you wish to book.
What Is Included or Excluded in the Cost of a Gorilla Trekking Permit?
The gorilla trekking permit includes:
- The gorilla conservation fee.
- Park entrance fees.
- Security during the gorilla safari.
- Local community support.
- A certificate after gorilla trekking.
- One hour of mountain gorilla viewing.
Exclusions of the cost of a gorilla trekking permit are transport, tipping, drinks, packed lunch, and any other items of a personal nature.
You can book through a tour operator like Encounter Africa Safaris to arrange gorilla trekking safari packages and include amenities like accommodation, transport, driver guides, etc. We lift off your shoulder the burden of moving back and forth with putting together the gorilla trekking safari.
You can do other activities in Uganda besides gorilla trekking
What Else To Do In Uganda Other Than Gorilla Trekking?
Birding in Uganda
Ruhija area in Bwindi forest is the birding haven for this park living in a specular surrounding. When you use the trail to Mubwindi swamp, you may get to identify a number of birds, including Albertine Rift Endemics. Bwindi Forest currently has over 350 bird species, and chances of spotting over a hundred are more open during birding in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. Amongst the possible birds in the Bwindi forest are 23 of Uganda’s Albertine Rift endemics
Some of the birds you may get to see include the African green broadbill, Shelley’s Crimsonwing, Rwenzori Turaco, African hill babbler, western green tinkerbird, and others.
Uganda, having over 1000 bird species, also has incredible other birding destinations like Mabamba Swamp, Musambwa Island, Lutembe Beach, Botanical Gardens, Mpanga Forest, Murchison Falls National Park, Queen Elizabeth National Park, Kibale National Park, and others.
You need an experienced and professional birding guide and a well-organized itinerary to get the best of Uganda’s birding safari.
Chimpanzee Trekking In Uganda
Uganda is a haven for chimpanzee tracking, with a number of habitats that favor their natural survival. It would be best if you had a chimpanzee trekking permit for some of these chimpanzee habitats, as they are Uganda Wildlife Authority.
Some of the chimpanzee trekking habitats include Kibale National Park, Kyambura Gorge in Queen Elizabeth National Park, Kaniyo Pabidi Forest in Murchison Falls National Park, Kalinzu Forest Reserve, Semuliki National Park, and others.
Ngamba Chimpanzee Sanctuary is a rescue home for survivor chimpanzees who have been saved from snares, orphaned, abandoned, and cannot return to their community.
In Uganda Wildlife Education Center, the former Entebbe Zoo, you can spot a number of chimpanzees from the exhibit with an environment similar to that in the wilderness.
What is the cost of the Uganda Chimpanzee Trekking permit?
The chimpanzee trekking permits for Uganda vary with a destination. The current price for a chimpanzee trekking permit for Kibale National Park is $200 per person for foreign nonresidents, $150 for foreign residents, and 150000 shs for Easy Africa residents.
Only the cost of a chimpanzee trekking permit for Kibale National Park includes park entrance fees.
The Chimpanzee trekking permit for Kyambura Gorge in Queen Elizabeth National Park is $60 per person per trek and others.
Game drives in Uganda
Game drives in Uganda are rich with wildlife, including the big five. You can do game drives early in the morning or evening game drives in the Uganda game parks and have the chance to spot a number of wild animals. Some wild animals you may spot on a game drive include lions, leopards, herds of elephants, cape buffaloes, hartebeest, waterbucks, bushbucks, Uganda kobs, and others.
All these wild animals are only found in some of the Uganda game parks; however, when you suggest what you wish to see, our safari consultant can advise which park you will likely find.
Uganda game parks include Murchison Falls National Park, Queen Elizabeth National Park, Lake Mburo National Park, and Kidepo Valley National Park.
Although these game parks are not located close to each other, with a well-tailored itinerary, you can reach each of them as a network of roads and air transport connects them.
Water activities in Uganda
Although Uganda is landlocked with no sea port, you can do some water activities from the freshwater lakes and rivers across the country.
Launch trips on Uganda safari
The launch trip on River Nile in Murchison Falls National Park is the highlight of this park as you sail. Look over for riverside wildlife, especially the wild animals that love having a bath from the banks and others quench their thirst. You may spot animals like herds of elephants, cape buffaloes, waterbucks, bushbucks, hartebeest, giraffes, serried crocodiles, and a school of hippopotami and others.
As you draw closer to Murchison Falls, you feel a change in boat turbulence and foamy surface over the water from the strong falls. Enjoy the cloudy appearance of the River Nile water that squeezes through a narrow bend about 6 meters wide, bursts out strongly to cascade down the 43-meter-high cliff, and continues with its course.
Visiting the top of the falls in Murchison Falls
Hiking to the top of the falls brings you to the point where River Nile drama happens as it staggers over a bed of rocks before pushing its way through the narrow bend. This is an adrenaline-stimulating occurrence.
You can get here by boat, then hike or by vehicle.
Launch trip in Queen Elizabeth National Park.
On the Kazinga Channel, you can enjoy a relaxing launch trip on the floor of the Rift Valley. Look for the spectacular Rwenzori ranges that stand high, creating a backdrop for Queen Elizabeth National Park.
As you sail, enjoy amazing wild animals that love quenching thirst by the channel banks and an array of birds, including foreign birds that migrate from as far as Europe. This launch trip may last about 3 hours but is relaxing too. On a hot sunny day, you may watch the sun cast its rays over the channel as it descends into its night hideout.
Sport fishing on Uganda safari
You can be part of the sport fishing anglers on Uganda safari to catch some of the amazing fish species in the waters of this pearl of Africa; you need to acquire a fishing permit, boat, and boat captain in time. Carry your fishing equipment and lures so that you can enjoy the entire experience.
Some fish species you may catch include cut fish, lungfish, tilapia, Nile perch, and others. You can do sport fishing in Uganda on the River Nile in Murchison Falls National Park, Lake Victoria, and others.
White Water Rafting In Uganda
Stimulate some adrenaline with a thrilling adventure on River Nile Itanda Falls. You do not need any experience to be part of the white water rafting team because instructors are there to take you through all necessary directions.
You must open your heart, buckle your safety gear, peddle, and have fun on the River Nile. Although white water rafting has different tide levels, you can stop anywhere.
Bungee Jumping in Uganda
You are held securely and safely, let down to touch the River Nile while hanging by a rope. A boat awaits to collect you from beneath. This adrenaline-stimulating adventure is worth a try in case you are not afraid of heights.
Boat trips on Uganda safari
In Lake Mburo National Park, you can take a boat trip where you enjoy great vegetation cover with a number of birds that grace its surrounding swamps. Enjoy a boat trip on Lake Bunyonyi, the deepest lake in Uganda and the second deepest in East Africa, and the sunset cruise on Lake Victoria and others.
You can visit Ssese Island, a wonderful and tranquil island in Lake Victoria, where you can enjoy some quiet time. The environment is inviting, especially if you want to escape the chaotic noise of the city and work environment.
Visit the Source of the River Nile on Uganda Safari
Be among the lucky visitors to Africa who get to the exact point where the River Nile originates, the longest river in the world. At Jinja, you sail to where the River Nile separates from calm Lake Victoria water. The drama at this point is quite hard to explain.
Cultural experience in Uganda safari
Uganda is a multi-cultural nation with a number of tribes speaking different languages. In central Uganda, you can learn more about the Ganda people. They have Kabaka as their king, Bulange Mengo Palace as their main administrative place, Kasubi tombs, and other royal regalia.
Bunyoro kingdom and Tooro kingdom have their kinds titled Omukama, and these are in western Uganda. The Busoga Kingdom has its king Omugabe, and his headquarters are in Bugembe. You can learn more about Uganda’s culture and how this multi-cultural nation has managed to survive over the years.
Education Tourism In Uganda
Uganda has educated a number of African presidents like H.E.Paul Kagame, H.E Nkwame Nkuruma, H.E William Ruto and others. It is this advantage that is worth adding to your Africa educational tours. You can visit Uganda high education centers like Makerere University, Kyambogo University, and others.
What Not To Do During Uganda Safari
- Only linger around with a little money because there are some pick-pocketers. Also, avoid counting large sums of money in public.
- Uganda needs to be well-demarcated, so using Google Maps may be hard. Use a professional taxi driver to take you around, or use online transport applications like UBA.
- Only move in the national parks with an escorting ranger guide because most wildlife is not habituated to human presence. Even those habituated still possess their natural traits.
- Never damp garbage in the wilderness as it alters the nature of the environment where wild animals thrive.
- Carry the right gear, like gorilla trekking gear, so that you feel safe while moving through the forest.
- Do not deal in unlawful activities like dealing in drugs during Uganda safari, or you may end up in the filthy prisons.
- Follow the rules of primate trekking, like gorilla or chimpanzee trekking rules, or you may not be allowed to attend.
- Don’t dangle your limbs through the windows during game drives because you are unsure where carnivores may be hiding.
- Wear safari colors like khaki or tan to avoid harmful insects like tsetse flies that are attracted by colors like blue, white, and black.
- Choose a lodge close to your gorilla trekking area in case of a safari to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park so that you do not have to wake up early to catch up with a briefing in another area.
Contact us for more information on activities to do in Uganda besides gorilla trekking.