Uganda brings visions of endless desert and a variety of exotic animals to mind, with a variety of wildlife activities to do. The seemingly endless options are bound to confuse the average traveller. So we have narrowed down the top 5 things to do in Uganda Safari for you.
Chimpanzee Tracking at Kibale National Park
Nothing tells people you’ve been to Africa like tracking chimpanzees. There are various options available to suit the travellers’ convenience. Imagine spending the entire day among the primates and getting the chance to see them in their natural habitat – it will be a once in a lifetime experience.
Watching any animal in their natural habitat is an experience that beats watching them behind a cage. They have the freedom to roam about and what better way to observe them than in their natural habitat? The thick canopy shields them from the sun as they swing from tree to tree while chattering constantly like a gaggle of geese. Imagine watching the chimps make their nests as they get ready for their naps and playing with each other – you wouldn’t want to miss this.
It is a hugely popular activity in Uganda for which children below 15 years aren’t allowed and travellers are always advised to take prior permission from the wildlife authorities to beat the crowd.
Located near the Rwandan border, this lake will transport you to serene hill stations you often dream of in the sweltering heat of Africa. The lake gets its name form the abundant birdlife that one finds here – Bunyonyi means “The Place of Little Birds”. With 29 smaller islands scattered on the surface of the lake, Bunyonyi Lake is a place that travellers must not miss.
The lake enjoys a pleasant climate throughout the year and is a paradise for birdwatching enthusiasts. The view never becomes monotonous as the sun and clouds join the nature in it’s game – from overcast skies in the evening to clear afternoon light filtering through the clouds, Lake Bunyonyi is a relatively unknown gem.
Travellers can explore the surrounding villages on bikes and on foot, go on canoe rides to explore the 29 islands, taste the amazing food, and hike through the islands for glimpses of wildlife.
Despite its proximity to the Equator, the Rwenzori Mountains located in Western Uganda are a tantalising mix of verdant forests and snowcapped mountains with countless lakes, glaciers, and waterfalls dotting the landscape. As one goes up the mountains, the changing terrain is a veritable treat for the eyes and It provides travellers with countless hiking and birdwatching opportunities.
These mountains offer a relatively less crowded alternative to Mt Kilimanjaro which has become hugely popular now. Rwenzori mountains have a sense of wildness around them that is seldom present elsewhere and there are six major peaks that can be scaled in this mountain range.
Gorilla Tracking at Bwindi National Park
The gorillas you see in zoos are generally from the low lying regions of Western Africa while the gorillas you come across in Bwindi National Park are mountain gorillas. Uganda is home to more than half the population of the world’s mountain gorilla population and Bwindi is home to the majority of the mountain gorilla population in the country.
Male Mountain Gorillas are known to grow up to 6 feet in height and weigh around 350 – 500 pounds while the females are generally much smaller than the males. Mountain Gorillas are generally seen spending most of their time on land rather than in tress unlike the chimpanzees owing to the difference in sizes. However, their young can be seen gallivanting about without a care in the trees.
This forest is said to have survived the last Ice Age and is one of the continent’s most ancient habitats. There are a variety of options available for travellers to track chimpanzees and it is always prudent to take prior permission from the authorities to skip the crowds.
Kidepo Valley National Park
Kidepo Valley National Park is located between Uganda’s border with Kenya and Sudan and is heralded as the most isolated national park in Uganda. This park allows us glimpses into the old Africa – one untouched by humans.
Travellers have to travel through the wild frontier regions of Karamoja to reach the park and we must say that it is totally worth it as the park offers unparalleled sightings of wildlife. The park provides travellers with tantalising views of a typical African savannah with endless semi-arid land until the distant mountain ranges in the horizon. The park has two rivers flowing through it which dry up once summer sets in, leaving the wildlife to fend for water from the water pools in the Narus Valley. This makes the Narus Valley the prime location for spotting wildlife like the spotted hyenas, lions, cheetahs, leopards, wild dogs, elephants, giraffes, zebras, Cape buffaloes, bat-eared foxes, Rothschild’s giraffes, as well as almost 500 bird species.
In the Kidepo Valley National Park, travellers can go hiking, birdwatching, and on long walks to admire the nature. There are a few tribes in this region which would make for a wonderful culture tour – filled with colourful clothes, peppy dances and tribal food.