What are The Different Types of Uganda Safaris?  

Types of Uganda Safaris: Dubbed the “Pearl of Africa” Uganda lives up to her name as one of the most diversified African safari destinations, offering a diverse range of safari experiences, each showcasing the country’s unique wildlife and landscapes. With just a small portion of land assigned to wildlife reserves, Uganda remains mostly unspoiled, offering marvelous scenery throughout the year. 

A safari in Uganda is unquestionably one of the most unique adventures you can ever partake in while visiting the continent. The country boasts vast and diverse, including mountain gorillas and chimpanzees as well as other primates, the African Big Five (Lions, Rhinos, Leopards, Elephants, and Buffaloes), and an assortment of colorful bird species, among others. All this provides tourists with the ultimate safari experiences on Uganda safaris.

Uganda is also a country of rich cultural heritage with over 54 ethnic groups, each with its own unique set of traditions and lifestyles, all of which can be explored on your Uganda safari. When it comes to adventure, Uganda does not disappoint: the country features some of the best mountain peaks for hiking and the world’s longest river (River Nile) which is an epicenter for water adventures and sports. Here is a guide on the different types of Uganda safaris that you ought not to miss while on a Uganda safari;  https://www.sailadventureuganda.com/safaristypes

Types of Uganda Safaris

Types of Uganda Safaris

Gorilla Trekking Safari

Gorilla trekking safaris typically involve guided hikes to observe the majestic mountain gorillas in their natural habitat. Uganda gorilla safaris are the most popular type of Uganda safari  with thousands of travelers flooding the country every year to have an experience with the giant mountain gorillas. 

Uganda is one of the three African countries that offer gorilla trekking experiences, besides Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Uganda gorilla trekking is done in the dense forests of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. Gorilla trekking in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park is the most popular, with over 21 habituated gorilla groups for tourists to explore. 

Gorilla hiking in Bwindi and Mgahinga is available year-round but is best done during the dry seasons (June to August and December to February) when the conditions in the rainforests are dry. Gorilla treks often last between 30-minute to 5-hour walks, depending on the location of the gorillas in the park, and after locating them, visitors have an hour to spend time in their company. To see the mountain gorillas, one ought to purchase a gorilla trekking permit which costs $700 and needs to be booked in advance due to high demand for Uganda gorilla safaris.  

Activities on a Uganda safaris

Chimpanzee Tracking Safaris

Uganda is a typical planet of apes, boasting over 13 primate species, and after the giant mountain gorillas, chimpanzee tracking experiences are some of the most popular types of safaris enjoyed on Uganda safaris. Uganda’s Kibale Forest National Park is the prime location for chimpanzee trekking tours, with over 1500 individuals. 

Kibale Forest National Park also offers chimpanzee habituation experiences for travelers who wish to spend more time with the chimps in the wild. The Park is a varied protected area of magnificent nature that protects 11 other primate species including the Blue Monkey, L’Hoest’s Monkey, etc. For other enthralling chimpanzee tracking experiences, travelers can visit Budongo Forest near Murchison Falls National Park, Queen Elizabeth’s Kyambura Gorge, Kalinzu Forest, and Tooro-Semliki Wildlife Reserve.

Chimpanzee tracking experiences in Kibale are done all year round but the best time to explore these primates is during the dry season from June to August.   

Types of Uganda Safaris- Chimpanzee tracking

Wildlife Viewing Safaris in Uganda

Although Uganda isn’t traditionally associated with African Big Five safaris (lion, elephant, buffalo, leopard, and rhinoceros), it does offer remarkable opportunities for wildlife viewing. Uganda is one of Africa’s top safari destinations and one of the reasons for that is its diversity of wildlife. Uganda is home to countless animal species in the country’s national parks and game reserves, including mountain gorillas, the Big Five (elephants, lions, rhinos, leopards, and buffaloes), cheetahs, chimpanzees, Ugandan Kobs, hippopotami, antelopes, zebras, giraffes, warthogs, and waterbucks to mention but a few.

The country has several wildlife reserves and parks, including Murchison Falls National Park – the country’s largest National Park, Queen Elizabeth National Park – the home of tree-climbing lions, Kidepo Valley National Park – Uganda’s hidden gem and Lake Mburo National Park – the country’s hub of zebras and impalas. Wildlife viewing is best done on guided safari game drives in 4×4 safari vehicles with experienced safari guides to help you spot animals. For the ultimate wildlife viewing experience in Uganda, it is best to visit during the dry season from June to August and December to February.

Types of Uganda safaris - Wildlife viewing safari

Bird watching Safaris in Uganda

Uganda is a paradise for bird enthusiasts and Africa’s finest birding destination with over 1,020 bird species recorded including tropical, savannah, woodland, aquatic, and migratory species. 

Uganda is endowed with a diversity of natural habitats that harbor a rare assortment of species such as the elusive shoebill stork, Green-breasted Pitta, the Grey Crowned Crane, and the Albertine rift endemics, Uganda’s most sought-after bird species. Other species to expect on a Uganda bird-watching safari include Handsome Francolin, Shelley’s Crimsonwing, Great Blue Turaco, Marabou Stork, Standard-winged Nightjar, Black Breasted Barbet, Bar-tailed Trogon, African Spoonbill, Yellow-billed Oxpecker, Long Crested Eagle, Malachite Kingfisher, Black Bee-eater, and many others.

The best places to enjoy a bird-watching safari in Uganda include Mabamba Bay Wetland on Lake Victoria for the shoebill stork, Queen Elizabeth National Park, Semuliki National Park, Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, Kidepo Valley National Park, Murchison Falls National Park, Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park, Kibale Forest National Park, and Lake Mburo National Park. 

Bird-watching safaris in Uganda are best done from November to April which is the breeding season, as well as the best time to catch the migratory species. For the ideal birding excursion, it is advisable to hire an experienced birding guide who is well-versed with what you’re looking for.

Types of Uganda Safaris - Birdwatching safaris in Uganda

Cultural Experiences in Uganda

Uganda’s diverse ethnic groups offer rich cultural experiences. Uganda is home to over 54 tribes, each having its traditions including language, dress code, folk music, dances, and beliefs. The most popular tribes often explored on Uganda safaris include the Karamojong pastoralists near Kidepo Valley National Park, the Ik people on Mount Morungole, the Batwa Pygmies of Bwindi and Mgahinga Gorilla National Parks, and the Baganda of Buganda kingdom. Cultural safaris often include visits to local communities, traditional performances, and learning about indigenous lifestyles, crafts, and cuisine.

other activities on a Uganda Safari

Water Sports and Boat Safaris in Uganda

Although it is landlocked, Uganda lies in the Great Lakes area, with over 234,040 square kilometers of water bodies including lakes, rivers, and swamps including the world’s longest river – the Nile. The River Nile, besides drawing attention as the longest river, is also East Africa’s adventure capital boasting adventures such as white-water rafting, bungee jumping, kayaking, and boat tours you name it.

As another fascinating way to enjoy wildlife viewing, boat safaris are also popular in most of Uganda’s safari destinations like the Kazinga Channel in Queen Elizabeth National Park, Lake Bunyonyi, the Victoria Nile in Murchison Falls National Park, Lake Mburo in Lake Mburo National Park, Lake Victoria and Lake Bunyonyi. These excursions provide opportunities to see wildlife like crocodiles, hippos, and numerous bird species from a different perspective.

Types of Uganda safaris - Water safaris

Hiking & Mountain Climbing Safaris in Uganda

With its diverse landscapes, Uganda is an excellent hiking and mountain climbing destination with a wide range of mountain peaks to summit, from ancient volcanos to snow-capped peaks. Uganda hiking and mountain climbing safaris are popular in the Rwenzori Mountains, Africa’s third tallest peak at 5,109 meters above sea level. This offers an 8 to 9-day hike to summit its highest peak, Margherita. Mount Elgon, Uganda’s second tallest peak, rising at 4,321 meters is also another popular stop for hikers and offers one of the easiest hikes, suitable for even families. 

In the far south-western corner of Uganda, we have three of the magnificent Virunga Volcanoes: Mount Muhabura (4,127 meters), Mount Gahinga (3,474 meters), and Mount Sabyinyo (3,669 meters). Protected by Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, these volcanos offer spectacular day hikes to travelers on Uganda gorilla trekking tours.

However, there are also several opportunities to enjoy short hiking excursions. Moreover, many parks and reserves offer guided hikes and nature walks, allowing visitors to explore the diverse flora and fauna up close while enjoying breathtaking landscapes. The best time to go mountain climbing in Uganda is during the dry season (June to August and December to February) when the terrain is dry and hiking conditions are good.

Types of Uganda Safaris - Hiking

Photographic Safaris in Uganda 

Tailored for photography enthusiasts, these safaris focus on maximizing opportunities to capture stunning wildlife and landscapes. Expert guides with knowledge of wildlife behavior and photography techniques accompany the tourists during photography tours.

Whether you’re interested in encountering gorillas, exploring diverse ecosystems, immersing yourself in local cultures, or simply enjoying the beauty of African wildlife, Uganda has a safari experience to suit every traveler’s preferences.

Types of Uganda Safaris


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3 Responses

  1. “This article provides a comprehensive overview of the topic, offering valuable insights for both beginners and seasoned professionals in the field. I particularly appreciate the practical tips shared here, which can be easily implemented to enhance our approach. Looking forward to more informative content like this!”

  2. Pingback: Animals on a Uganda Safari: Encountering Captivating Creatures of the Wild
  3. Pingback: Other Activities on a Uganda safari Beyond Game drives: Exploring Uganda's Splendid Diversity through Thrilling Activities

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