Is Uganda Good For Safari? – What should I expect on a Uganda Safari?
Is Uganda good for safari? – East Africa compared to its counterparts, Uganda is relatively good for safari. Uganda’s savannah National Parks may not match the sheer numbers of wildlife in pioneer safari destinations like Kenya and Tanzania but Uganda offers a more varied safari experience than them.
From the savannah plains to the rainforest jungles to mountain summits, Uganda safaris combine a savannah game viewing with mountain climbing, bird watching, and primate viewing in a single safari, which no other safari destination may be able to pull off.
The first thing that comes to your mind when someone mentions safari is viewing wildlife on a game viewing safari. Uganda offers relatively good game viewing safaris and also gives you opportunities for wildlife viewing on boat excursions. Uganda’s savannah National Parks offer a more private safari experience than the eastern National Parks.
Game Drives in Uganda
Uganda has got ten National Parks but four of them offer good game viewing experiences. Queen Elizabeth, Murchison Falls, Lake Mburo, and Kidepo Valley National Parks may not match the wildlife numbers Masai Mara National Reserve or Serengeti National Park but indeed take a savvy and patient traveler to the heights of the natural wild.
Your best game viewing experience on a safari in Uganda will happen at three destinations and the most famous are Queen Elizabeth National Park, the extensive Murchison Falls National Park in the north-eastern region, and the remotest rugged wilderness of Kidepo Valley National Park in the north-eastern. The three destinations offer excellent wildlife viewing opportunities with smaller Lake Mburo National Park usually complimenting a safari to Mountain Gorilla adventure in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park.
Uganda is the dream destination for those in search of absolute primate safaris. Chimpanzees roam in numbers in Kibale Forest National Park and Kyambura Gorge in Queen Elizabeth National Park and Budongo Forest in Murchison Falls National Park as do colobus monkeys, vervet monkeys, de Brazza monkeys, and a host of other species. The last Mountain Gorillas are carefully protected in the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park. There is absolutely no exaggeration in Gorilla trekking as life-altering.
The destination is just as much sought after by bird watchers, as Uganda boasts over 1050 bird species among its varied habitats. A keen bird watcher can hope to encounter the handsome francolin, dwarf honeyguide, and purple-breasted sunbird, among many other endemic bird species. And, like the Mountain Gorilla, there is the highlight of seeing the unforgettable Shoebill. Uganda outshines all other safari destinations and it remains a superb destination for traditional safari by vehicle or by boat. For those in search of something fresh and vibrant, Uganda is a perfect choice.
The length of a typical Uganda safari will vary. Those seeking to track Mountain Gorillas will fly into Entebbe and often overnight on the shores of Lake Victoria before flying out to the southwestern National Parks the following morning. Experts recommend tracking the Mountain Gorillas twice, as the first time is often a little overwhelming and guests don’t take it all in. After the Mountain Gorilla tracking experience, visitors usually fly back to Entebbe to continue their safari elsewhere or to head out onto the Ugandan safari circuit with visits to Kibale Forest, Queen Elizabeth, and Murchison Falls National Parks. Further north, at the very tip of the country, travelers can explore the untouched open spaces of lesser-known Kidepo Valley National Park.
Uganda is a good year-round destination, but the rainy seasons (March to May and November to December) can make logistics a little tricky. Rain also increases the difficulty of tracking Mountain Gorillas Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and Mgahinga Gorilla National Parks as well as Chimpanzees in Kibale Forest National Park, rendering muddy trails. Uganda has a major advantage in terms of temperature, although its location is equatorial, the high altitude eases the heat, meaning that the weather remains temperate all year round. The high season for Uganda safari falls in line with other East African destinations, which means during the winter months in the southern hemisphere, from June to October.