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Luxury Uganda Safaris

Uganda is located in the heart of East Africa and offers an exceptionally diverse trip. For those looking for adventure, unique wildlife opportunities and kind-hearted local people, this is the country for you.

The most visited national park in Uganda is Bwindi. Located in the west of the country, Bwindi is a dense forest home to almost half of the world’s population of mountain gorillas. Trekking with the habituated gorillas is a bucket list experience like no other. In their presence, you feel both extremely vulnerable and humbled at the same time.

 

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While Bwindi Forest homes the mighty mountain gorillas, Kibale Forest offers an unforgettable chimpanzee encounter. We can arrange memorable treks with these lively primates, fostering understanding and supporting conservation efforts. Witness their playful antics on the forest floor and in the treetops, creating cherished memories.

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Gemma D Souza

Africa Specialist
Gemma DSouza Expert profile

Suggested Itineraries for Uganda

Our experts know Uganda like the back of their hand and have traveled extensively around the country, they have put together some trips to inspire you.

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Why We Love Luxury Uganda Safaris

Gemma Africa Specialist

Gemma

Africa Specialist

Uganda is regarded the heart of East Africa, with beautifully dense forests, mountains, lakes and savannahs. The most visited area and attraction in Uganda is Bwindi Forest which is home to the habituated mountain gorillas. Found in only Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo, a face-to-face experience with these mountain gorillas is not only exhilarating, but also incredibly humble. After a safety briefing in the park headquarters, you’ll be assigned to a small group, with a head guide and ranger, accompanied with several porters who are there to assist you. Once you’ve found the gorilla family assigned to your group, you are able to have one hour with them, watching their social interaction, behaviors and of course, getting as many unforgettable pictures as possible.

Aside from the mountain gorillas, Uganda is home to a huge variety of primates. Kibale Forest in the west of Uganda is where you will find the chimpanzees. These highly intelligent primates are certainly worth visiting, often combined in a driving itinerary combining Murchison Falls National Park to the north, and Queen Elizabeth National Park to the south. The variety of safari activities available including game drives, walking safaris, primate treks, guided hikes and more, makes Uganda a truly unforgettable safari destination.

Best Places to Go in Uganda

  • bwindi

    Bwindi Forest

    Bwindi National Park, in Uganda’s southwest, boasts exceptional biodiversity and is home to around 400 mountain gorillas. It’s a must-visit destination for tourists, with these gorillas offering a thrilling and humbling experience. It’s often the final stop in a Uganda itinerary.

  • Murchison Falls

    Murchison Falls

    Murchison Falls, one of Uganda’s oldest parks (established in 1927), is famed for its powerful waterfall. Witnessing the falls and game drives to see buffalo, lion, and elephants are highlights. Accommodation along the Victoria Nile offers tranquil views. A hike to the falls is a rewarding experience.

  • Kibale Forest

    Kibale Forest

    Kibale National Park in western Uganda is renowned for chimpanzee trekking and boasts diverse primate species, including black and white colobus monkeys. The forest is accessible year-round, offering cultural tours and safari opportunities. The chimpanzee trek offers a unique, colorful forest experience, with one hour of observation.

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    Kampala

    Kampala, Uganda’s vibrant capital on Lake Victoria, boasts lively streets and cultural attractions like mosques, churches, Kasubi Royal Tombs, and the Uganda Museum. It’s an ideal starting point for exploring Uganda.

  • Queen Elizabeth National Park

    Queen Elizabeth National Park

    Queen Elizabeth National Park in western Uganda features diverse landscapes and wildlife. The Ishasha sector is famous for tree-climbing lions, while the Kazinga Channel offers boat safaris with hippos and crocodiles.

Uganda

Best Time to Visit Uganda

The best time to visit Uganda is during the dry months of June to August and December to February. This is when conditions are perfect for both gorilla and chimpanzee tracking thanks to clearer trails and a more comfortable climate.

For more information on the best time to visit Uganda, please visit.

What to do in Uganda

Uganda stands as an African haven for wildlife and avid birdwatchers, boasting a plethora of diverse landscapes that range from ancient forests and papyrus-fringed swamps to meandering rivers, enigmatic crater lakes, and vast open expanses. Nestled alongside the African Rift Valley, Uganda’s rugged, mountainous terrain offers a wealth of activities.

  • Uganda Gorilla trekking

    Gorilla trekking in Bwindi

    Bwindi National Park in Uganda is home to half the population of mountain gorillas left in the wild. The dedicated team of rangers are highly professional, ensuring your safety and comfort. Upon receiving a safety briefing at Bwindi Park headquarters, you’ll have one hour to spend with them, an experience of a lifetime.

  • Chimpanzee trekking

    Chimpanzee trekking

    Kibale Forest stands out as a premier destination for observing chimpanzees in their natural habitat. These highly social and intelligent primates offer captivating insights into their behavior and interactions, rivaling the thrill of gorilla trekking. Your guide will accompany you on your journey through Kibale Forest until you locate the habituated chimpanzee group.

  • Hornbill

    Bird watching in Uganda

    The unforgettable shoebill, a stork of towering presence, graces landscapes like the Mabamba Swamps in southern Uganda, with heights reaching up to five feet and an impressive eight-foot wingspan. Drawing bird enthusiasts from across the globe, Uganda boasts a record of over 1,000 bird species, encompassing both native and migratory flocks.

Uganda advice from travel experts

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    Best Time to Visit Uganda

    Uganda sits on the Equator, so temperatures are hot and very pleasant throughout most of the year. Most national parks in other East African countries, like Kenya and Tanzania, are formed of dry and vast savannah plains, Uganda is the opposite. The country is extremely green and lush. Uganda is home to tropical rainforests, moist swamps, and dramatic forested mountains. It is also very diverse in its altitude – for example, temperatures are cooler in Bwindi National Park as you are much higher in altitude compared to Kidepo National Park in northern Uganda which has a lower altitude and drier savannahs. As a result, each national park in the country has its own microclimate and offers good conditions throughout the year.
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    How much does a safari in Uganda cost?

    A Uganda safari is quite different from the conventional African safari. With destinations like Tanzania, Botswana, or Zambia, you fly directly into the national park or reserve to enjoy a couple of days or longer on game drives or bush walks. In Uganda, an itinerary combining both driving and flying is more common, combining a wealth of safari activities and wildlife species. As our safari specialists put together luxury Uganda tours, a question that is often raised is “how much does a safari in Uganda cost”? We’ve put together a short guide to give you an insight into the cost of safari tours in Uganda.
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  • Gorilla in Bwindi National Park Listing

    Gorilla Safaris

    There are only around 1,000 mountain gorillas left in the world today. These gorillas can be found in the dense rainforests in Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Wherever you head to for your gorilla trek, the experience will be simply magical. When you are in the presence of a mountain gorilla – be it a whole family, or a huge Silverback gorilla – you will feel vulnerable and humbled at the same time. It is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Although there is constant threat to these incredible primates, conservation and tourism initiatives is what keeps them protected. The cost of gorilla permits may seem quite high ($750 per person in Uganda, and $1,500 per person in Rwanda) but this money goes directly towards the protection of the mountain gorillas, contributing to ranger salaries and sustaining their efforts. We regularly get asked “What is the difference between a Uganda and Rwanda gorilla trek?” Our travel experts have done both experiences so we are happy to discuss the differences with you over the phone but, as a short overview, the main difference is the logistics behind the treks.
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    Kenya or Tanzania – which destination is best for me?

    While the African continent offers some incredible safari experiences, East Africa offers a very wild and authentic safari. The national parks and reserves and unfenced which means that animals can roam as much as they want, migrating for hundreds of miles in some cases (the wildebeest migration). There are several safari destinations in East Africa. Uganda and Rwanda are much smaller, and more specialized safari destinations, focusing particularly on primates like the habituated chimpanzees and the mountain gorillas. Ethiopia is not really a core safari destination, but there are some interesting experiences to be had there, like seeing the baboons in the Simeon mountains. Above all, Kenya and Tanzania are the best destinations to head to for an East Africa safari. They offer a fantastic safari – arguably one of the best in all of Africa. But with two exceptional safari destinations, offering similar experiences, how do you know which destination is best for you? This small guide may help answer just that. Image: Angama Mara, Kenya
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FAQs

Where is the best place to see gorillas?

There are actually two places you can see the gorillas in Uganda. The most popular to visit is Bwindi National Park which is located in the south-western part of the country. Bwindi sits on the edge of the African Rift Valley and is part of the Virguna Mountains which cover Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Bwindi is home to approximately 400 mountain gorillas and is one of the most reliable places to see the habituated gorilla groups. The other place to see gorillas in Uganda is Mghahinga National Park which is further south. There is only one habituated gorilla family in Mghahinga but ten in Bwindi. Both are easily accessed by light aircraft or safari vehicle.

What is birding like in Uganda?

Home to over 1,000 species of birds, Uganda is one of the best countries on the African continent for birdlife. The forests and savannahs are home to both native and migratory birds and, with some very rare species here, it is no wonder that Uganda is high on the list for bird enthusiasts. Found in the Mabamba Swamps and other remote swamps across Uganda is the shoebill. This prehistoric looking bird can stand at a height of 140cm and has a wingspan of up to 260cm! Along with the shoebill, other iconic birds to see in Uganda include the pygmy kingfisher and the grey crowned crane.

What are the best things to do in Uganda?

Uganda is famous for the mountain gorillas, and rightly so. With only three places on Earth to see these gentle giants in their natural habitat, it’s no wonder that a gorilla trek is the focal point of an Uganda safari. That said, the country offers so much more. As well as the gorillas, the country is home to a wealth of primates including chimpanzees, golden monkeys and olive baboons. Uganda also has several safari destinations like Queen Elizabeth National Park, Murchison Falls and Kidepo National Park which offer sightings of hippo, lion, crocodile, elephant and antelope aplenty. Kidepo is a remote park in northern Uganda and as a result, it has a very dry savannah landscape so species like cheetah can thrive here. The rest of Uganda is noticeabley very green and lush.

How long should I spend in Uganda?

This depends on what you are including in your Uganda trip. If you are visiting Uganda for the gorillas alone, then 3-4 days should be efficient. This gives you time to fly into Bwindi, enjoy either one or two gorilla treks (one per day), then fly back to Entebbe for your connecting flight. If you are combining multiple national parks like Murchison Falls, Kibale Forest for the chimpanzees and Queen Elizabeth National Park for a safari, then I would say a 10-night trip would be a good option. The national parks are concentrated in the western part of Uganda so you will often do a driving itinerary with a private vehicle and guide to take you between the parks.

 

Can I do a safari in Uganda?

Absolutely, yes. Although the country is known for its primate experiences, Uganda does offer some great safari opportunities. Queen Elizabeth National Park is located in the south-western part of Uganda and, because of its location between Kibale and Bwindi, it is one of the most-visited safari destinations in the country. On a safari here, you’ll see buffalo, elephant, antelope, monkeys and a wealth of birdlife. You will also get the opportunity to see the famous ‘climbing lions’ which are located in the southern sector of Ishasha. These lions have unique behavior patterns and spend the majority of the days asleep in the treetops. Murchison Falls National Park and Kidepo National Park are also good options for a safari in Uganda but they are more remote, so combining them in an itinerary can be added on time and cost.

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