Besides Game Drives, what other Activities are Available on a Uganda Safari?

Other activities on a Uganda Safari: Uganda offers a range of activities beyond traditional game drives, allowing visitors to immerse themselves in the country’s natural beauty and cultural heritage. Uganda safaris offer an immersive and diverse adventure from the iconic gorilla trekking experiences in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park to thrilling game drives in wildlife parks such as Queen Elizabeth and Murchison Falls. 

However, the country’s rich biodiversity extends to thrilling encounters with chimpanzees and other primates, birdwatching, boat safaris, guided nature walks, and hiking, as well as cultural encounters with Uganda’s vibrant tribes, such as the Batwa and Karamojong, which add depth to the journey, highlighting the country’s rich heritage. Whether seeking close encounters with primates, adventure, or cultural immersion, Uganda safaris promise exhilarating activities and some of the top activities available on a Uganda safari include;

Activities on a Uganda safaris

Gorilla Trekking

Gorilla trekking is the highlight of embarking on a Uganda safari. Uganda is one of the three East African countries that host the endangered mountain gorillas and boasts half of the world’s total population of these great apes. Uganda has two gorilla national parks: Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. 

Managed by the Uganda Wildlife Authority, the parks offer 21 habituated gorilla groups, distributed in the five sectors for gorilla trekking. These include Buhoma, Rushaga, Ruhija, and Nkuringo in Bwindi, as well as Ntebeko in Mgahinga. Nonetheless, Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park is the finest place in Uganda to enjoy a gorilla trek. Visitors are introduced to a once-in-a-lifetime experience trek through the lush dense forest to observe these endangered primates in their natural habitat.

Uganda gorilla trekking often begins early in the morning with a briefing at the respective park headquarters, after which you venture into the dense forests guided by experienced trackers and armed park rangers. The journey is not always easy, as the terrain can be challenging, but the anticipation of encountering these magnificent creatures keeps you motivated. When you finally come face to face with them, enjoy watching them interact, play, and care for their young is a humbling and emotional experience, leaving a lasting impression on all who embark on this journey.

Chimpanzee Trekking

Uganda is renowned for its chimpanzee populations and it offers captivating adventures into the world of our closest relatives in the animal kingdom. Known as the Primate Capital of East Africa, Kibale Forest National Park is Uganda’s prime destination for chimpanzee trekking, home to over 1500 chimpanzees and 12 other primate species. Sharing over 95% of the human DNA, chimpanzees are very fascinating and intelligent apes, known to adapt to their environments over time and use tools for survival. 

The Park offers several habituated groups, providing excellent opportunities for encounters with these intelligent primates. Guided by expert trackers, tourists venture into the dense forests, listening for the distinctive calls and sounds that signal the presence of chimpanzee troops. On this journey, you will learn about the chimpanzees’ behaviors, social dynamics, and conservation efforts to protect their habitats.

Observing chimpanzees in their natural habitat is a fascinating experience. Watching them swing through trees, forage for food, and interact within their communities offers insights into their complex lives and strengthens our connection to the natural world. Besides chimpanzee trekking, Kibale Forest also offers amazing experiences such as nature walks, birdwatching, and game viewing. 

The Park lies in the western region of Uganda and covers over 766 square kilometers of varied tropical rainforest, 69 mammal species, and over 300 recorded bird species.  However, tourists on Uganda safaris can also trek chimpanzees in Queen Elizabeth National Park’s Kyambura Gorge, Kalinzu Forest, and Budongo Forest near Murchison Falls National Park.

other activities on a Uganda safari

Boat Safaris

Boat safaris are one of the best ways to enjoy ecstatic game viewing, and explore the country’s rich biodiversity, and many national parks in Uganda offer boat safaris along rivers and lakes. Whether cruising along the Victoria Nile River in Murchison Falls National Park or navigating the tranquil waters of the Kazinga Channel in Queen Elizabeth National Park, these experiences provide unique opportunities to encounter wildlife up close. 

From sightings of bathing hippos and sunbathing crocodiles to a magnificent array of bird species adorning the shores, every moment on a Uganda boat safari is filled with excitement and natural beauty. The leisurely pace of the boat allows for serene moments to appreciate Uganda’s scenic vistas while expert guides share fascinating insights about the surrounding ecosystems, making boat safaris a must-do activity for nature enthusiasts and photographers alike. Other places where you can enjoy a boat safari in Uganda include the serene waters of Lake Bunyonyi, the River Nile in Jinja to explore the source, Lake Mutanda in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, and Lake Victoria.

Nature Walks and Hiking

Nature walks in Uganda offer a deeper connection to the country’s rich biodiversity and natural wonders, taking tourists on an up close and personal encounter with a variety of wildlife species and landscapes. Nature walks and hiking experiences are led by trained guides who share their knowledge of the local ecosystems, pointing out hidden gems like medicinal plants and smaller creatures often missed on game drives

These walks also offer intimate encounters with primates like chimpanzees or monkeys in their natural habitats, creating unforgettable moments that highlight Uganda’s commitment to sustainable tourism and conservation efforts. Guided nature walks in Uganda range from short guided treks through lush rainforests and savannahs to long hikes on mountain peaks. The best places to enjoy a guided nature walk in Uganda include national parks like Lake Mburo National Park, Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park, Murchison Falls National Park, and Kidepo Valley National Park.

Mountain Climbing

On the other hand, Uganda is one of the best places to go mountain climbing! The country offers adventurous souls a chance to conquer some of Africa’s most iconic peaks, including the legendary Rwenzori Mountain Ranges and Mount Elgon, among others. 

The Rwenzori Mountain Ranges, often dubbed the “Mountains of the Moon,” boast towering peaks, glaciers, and unique alpine flora that create a challenging yet awe-inspiring ascent. Mount Elgon, an extinct volcano, presents a different but equally rewarding climb with its vast caldera, stunning waterfalls, and diverse ecosystems ranging from montane forest to moorland. Other exciting places to go mountain climbing in Uganda include the Virunga Mountain Ranges: Mount Gahinga, Mount Muhavura and Mount Sabyinyo, Mount Moroto, and Mount Morungole. Tourists are led by experienced guides through rugged terrain, past crystal-clear streams, and breathtaking vistas through Uganda’s natural wonders and cultural heritage.

other activities on a Uganda safari


Uganda is a paradise for birding enthusiasts, with over 1,000 bird species scattered across diverse habitats from dense forests to wetlands, and savannah. Renowned as a birding hotspot, Uganda offers opportunities to spot rare and endemic species like the majestic shoebill stork, African green broadbill, and the vibrant Great Blue Turaco. The country also boasts migratory species from Northern Europe, Asia, and other parts of Africa from November to April, making it a must-visit birding destination. 

Key birding areas in Uganda include Mabamba Bay Wetland on Lake Victoria, Makanaga Island on Lake Victoria, Queen Elizabeth National Park, Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Kidepo Valley National Park, Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, Budongo Forest, and Murchison Falls National Park. Expert guides lead birders on these birding expeditions, sharing their knowledge of avian behaviors and identifying elusive species hidden in the canopy.

other activities on a Uganda safari

Cultural Encounters

With over 54 tribes, Uganda is a hub for cultural immersion. Cultural encounters in Uganda offer a rich tapestry of traditions, history, and vibrant communities that captivate visitors seeking authentic experiences. From interacting with the Batwa pygmies in Bwindi and Mgahinga Forests to engaging with the Karamojong in the northeastern region, Uganda’s diverse ethnic groups showcase a wealth of cultural heritage through dance, storytelling, and craft. 

Visitors can explore local villages and gain insights into traditional lifestyles, with opportunities to learn about farming practices, local cuisine, and medicinal plants. Aside from offering insight, cultural encounters also contribute to sustainable tourism, empowering local communities and preserving Uganda’s cultural legacy for generations to come.

other activities on a Uganda Safari

Hot Air Balloon Safaris

Hot air balloon safaris in Uganda offer a breathtaking and unique perspective on the country’s diverse landscapes and wildlife. Drifting peacefully above the savannahs of Queen Elizabeth National Park or the majestic Murchison Falls National Park, you’ll witness stunning panoramic views of vast plains, meandering rivers, and diverse habitats teeming with wildlife below. Tourists will enjoy soaring above herds of elephants and giraffes and spotting hippos and crocodiles lazing along riverbanks, among other sightings. The hot air balloons are operated by expert pilots to guide the balloons and provide informative commentary to ensure a safe and unforgettable experience. Hot air balloon safaris are often operated as the sun rises or sets, casting a golden glow over the savannah.


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