What to expect on safari holiday in Uganda? – Things to look up to as you plan a safari to Uganda
What to expect on safari holiday in Uganda – A striking feature that is most often seen in the areas near the rainforests is the use of terraced agriculture, which rings the hills in thousands of shades of green. Beginning at the main point of arrival at Entebbe International Airport, most Uganda safaris will head west to the broad belt of the National Parks that form the western border.
Due to the country being situated right on the meeting point of the Eastern savannah and Western jungle ecosystems, Uganda has excellent terrain for a wide variety of safaris, from traditional game drives through golden grassland seeking Lions or Elephants to strapping on your hiking boots and Mountain Gorilla tracking through lush tropical rainforest.
The bird watching is superlative, with the variation in habitat attracting a vast array of species, including the crowning glory of the Shoebill, a highly sought-after sight for the true bird watcher. The traditional Big Five National Parks of Uganda, Queen Elizabeth and Murchison Falls National Parks, do not yet match the game densities of their contemporaries to the east.
That said, the game viewing is still very much alive and well and the parks boast a mere fraction of the tourist numbers that may dilutes the experience for those visiting the more developed destinations. A sighting of lion, elephant or leopard here is a moment to treasure and is seldom shared with other vehicles.
Uganda your Dream Destination
Uganda is the dream destination for those in search of the absolute primate safaris. Chimpanzees roam in numbers in Budongo Forest of Murchison Falls National Park, Kibale Forest National Park and in Kyambura Gorge of Queen Elizabeth National Park, as do colobus monkeys, vervet monkeys and a host of other species.
The last Mountain Gorillas are protected in the Impenetrable Forest of Bwindi and a few in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. There is absolutely no exaggeration in Gorilla tracking as life-altering. These destinations are just as much sought after by bird watchers, as Uganda boasts over 1040 species of birds among its varied habitats.
A keen bird watcher can hope to spot the handsome francolin, dwarf honey guide and purple-breasted sunbird, among many other bird species that are very difficult to see anywhere else. And, like the Gorillas, there is the highlight of seeing the unforgettable Shoebill. Uganda outshines all other safari destinations in these two areas, but, in addition, it remains a superb destination for traditional safari by vehicle or by boat because of its lush habitats and variety of species. For travellers in search of something fresh and vibrant, Uganda is the perfect choice.
How long to stay on safari?
The length of a typical Uganda safari will vary. Those seeking to track the Mountain Gorillas will fly into Entebbe International Airport and often overnight on the shores of Lake Victoria before flying out to the south western National Parks the following morning.
Great Adventure Safaris recommend tracking the Mountain Gorillas twice to some travellers who might need to stay longer with the Gorillas, and those who might think that the first time is often a little overwhelming and may don’t take it all in. After the Gorilla experience, visitors usually fly back to Entebbe International Airport to continue their safari elsewhere or to head out onto the Ugandan safari circuit with visits to Kibale Forest National Park for Chimpanzee tracking, Queen Elizabeth and Murchison Falls National Parks for wildlife and boat safaris. Further north, at the very tip of the country, you can explore the untouched open spaces of lesser-known Kidepo Valley National Park. On average, however, stays range between six to eight days.
Best time to go for a safari holiday
Uganda is a visited all year-round destination, but the rainy seasons of between March to May and November to December, can make logistics a little tricky. Rain also increases the difficulty of Mountain Gorilla tracking in Bwindi Forest, Mgahinga Gorilla and Kibale Forest National Parks, rendering the mountain slopes muddy.
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. Read more in our blog post about the best time to visit. 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.