Are you the type of person that enjoys great wildlife adventures but you’ve been disappointed by different destinations? Then try Uganda safari you will thank me later. It’s not worth your money always visit those same boring destinations take that never seem to fulfill your desire for adventure. The Uganda safari will give you the incredible adventure you’ve always dreamed of. Uganda has everything an adventure lover can think of from the several national parks filled with amazing wildlife in their natural environment to mountain climbing, and also cultural adventures. Imagine yourself in the wild with wild animals like lions, and elephants watching and studying them from a few meters away! This is the type of experience you will get on Uganda safari and in addition to wildlife watching in savannah national parks still, you trek through the thick jungle in search of rare and endangered mountain gorillas, chimpanzees, and many other monkey species in addition to different primates. Then after an amazing safari in the wild, you will also enjoy an upcountry 8 hours long drive from the western or northeastern part of Uganda Kampala where you can opt to complete your safari with day outings to the source of the famous Nile River where you enjoy adventurous activities like white water rafting and kayaking.
A visit to Uganda is never complete without exploring these 5 most interesting tourist destinations. So in case you planning a safari to Uganda you can choose from the list we have compiled for you.
Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary
It’s sometimes known as Ziwa Rhino and Wildlife Ranch found in Nakasongola district in the north of Kampala Uganda’s capital about 176km from Kampala on Kampala – Gulu Highway as you heading to Murchison Falls National Park or Kidepo Valley National Park in the northeastern corner of the country.
The sanctuary is a proud home to the only wild rhinos in the country and the project of re-introducing Rhinos in Uganda is a project of the Uganda Wildlife Authority and Rhino Fund Uganda. This means Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary is now the only place in the country where you can visit the south white rhinos in the wild in Uganda.
The sanctuary is home to 22 white rhinos and the main tourist activity here is the guided rhino tracking, where you set off with a professional ranger guide and walk through the forest in search of these animals. The search for them may take you something like 1-2 hours ad after finding where they are grazing from you will be allowed a maximum of one hour with them and later you will have to return back.
Alongside guided rhino tracking there are other tourist activities you can enjoy at this sanctuary for example;
Shoebill trek and canoe ride
Shoebill is one of the most sought-after birds to be seen in Uganda and the sanctuary is one of the few places in Uganda where you can find these rare birds can be seen in the wetland sanctuary and you can reach them by using a canoe.
Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary is home to over 300 different species of birds which makes it a bird lovers paradise. The sanctuary has got 4 bird trials in which covers woodlands, swamp, and savannah. Bird watching is always done on a natural guided walk around the sanctuary with a professional guide.
Guided Natural Walk
Be at one with nature, its smells, and sounds, it’s always done in the evening when you will set off after your lodge at around 5 pm local time and you move around the sanctuary where you will get a chance to see different animals like different bird species, reptiles, and others. The guide will share his knowledge of not only the animals but botany and vegetation as well. So in case you need evening relaxation this is the best way to relax your mind.
After 1 or 2 days at this amazing place, you can choose to continue with your safari, and from there we recommend continuing to Murchison Falls National Park.
Murchison Falls National Park
Murchison Falls National Park is found in the northern end of the Albertine Rift Valley in the northwestern part of the country spreading inland from Lake Albert shores, around Victoria Nile, up to the Karuma Falls.
The park is found 283km from Kampala the capital of Uganda and it’s in the districts of Buliisa, Nwoya, Kiryandongo, and Masindi. Murchison Falls National Park together with Karuma and Bugungu wildlife reserves makes Murchison Falls Conservation Area (MFCA) which is the largest conservation area in the country.
Murchison Falls was gazetted as a national park in 1926 making it the oldest and largest conservation area in the country with over 76 different species of mammals and over 451 different species of birds making the park a perfect destination for both wildlife and bird lovers.
The park is divided by the Victoria Nile which forces its way through a 7m gorge and tumbles 43 m forming a strong waterfall (Murchison Falls or locally known as Kabalega Falls) before flowing westward into Lake Albert.
Activities to do in Murchison Falls National Park
The park is one of the most visited national parks in the country with a variety of activities to enjoy in the park and many wildlife and natural wonders. Among the activities tourists can enjoy in Murchison Falls include;
Wild animal watching in Murchison falls national park is always enjoyed in a game drive through the park where you will be in an open rooftop safari vehicle and you drive around the whole park in search of different animals like lions, herds of buffaloes, elephants, zebras, giraffes among others. The game drive in Murchison Falls National Park is mostly done in the morning and even afternoon.
This is the boat cruise on the Victoria Nile, it’s done in the morning at 8 am and evening at 2 pm, it takes around 2-3 hours slow sail on the river as you enjoy watching different water-loving animals like the hippos, buffaloes, zebras, crocodiles, and others most of the animals come at the bank of the river to drink water in the evening. Still, it’s a perfect activity for bird lovers since during the 2-hour ride on the river you will enjoy different water-loving birds. On this boat cruise, you will get a chance to sail up to the bottom of Murchison Falls.
Birding in the park
For bird lovers, Murchison Falls National Park is a perfect destination for you, the park is home to over 451 different bird species and can be sported on both game drive and boat cruises. Shoebill is the main birding attraction in Murchison Falls National Park sighted mainly in the dry season. Still, a tourist can watch more birds on a guided nature walk in the park and other Murchison Falls Conservation Area. Among the most common birds, you will see in Murchison Falls National Park include; Abyssinian Ground Hornbill, the Marabou Stork, Black-bellied Bustard, Secretary Birds, Swallow-tailed, Red-throated Bee-eaters, Giant and Malachite Kingfishers, Francolin, Woodpeckers, Hornbills, Hamerkop among others.
Hiking and Nature walk
The varied sceneries of the park and the adjacent conservation area can be explored on foot. This sometimes starts with the morning boat cruise up to the bottom of the fallow and from there you hike following the trials through the woodland up to the top of Murchison Falls. There is also a 2hours guided walk offering better chances of sighting different bird species and also high chances of sighting shoebills when the water level is low.
Hot air Balloon
Enjoy another amazing experience flying in a hot air balloon and have a bird’s view of the entire Murchison Falls National Park.
Here you will get a chance to interact with the local people and learn more about their culture and way of life. You will visit the remote Mubako community found beside the sprawling savannah of the Park.
Kidepo Valley National Park
Kidepo Valley National Park is a 1442 Square kilometer found in the northeastern corner of Uganda on the border of Uganda and South Sudan and a few kilometers away from the Kenyan border. The park is situated in Kaabong District approximately 570km from Kampala when you use the shortest route through Kampala – Karuma – Gulu – Kitgum up to Kidepo. There are other alternative routes that include that go through Karuma – Lira – Kotido – Kaabong and then Kidepo which is about 705km around a 12-hour drive. There are also two routes that pass through the eastern part of the country which include; Kampala – Mbale – Sironko – Moroto – Kotido – Kaabong – Kidepo about 740km and, Kampala – Mbale – Soroti – Moroto – Kotido – Kabong – Kidepo around 792km.
The local communities in the park include the pastoral Karamojong which is similar to the Maasai in Kenya and the IK which are hunters whose survival is threatened. The park still has only two temporally rivers that disappear during the dry season and the main permanent water source in the park is found in the wetlands and remnant pools.
The park was gazetted as a national park in 1962 and it’s much known for its big games. The park is home to over 77 mammal species and over 475 different species of birds. This makes the park a perfect destination for both wildlife and bird lovers and on top of that, the park still ranks among the finest wildness in the world.
Actives to do in the park
Game watching in the park is always enjoyed in a game drive through the park where you will be in an open rooftop safari vehicle and you drive around the whole park in search of different animals like lions, herds of buffaloes, elephants, zebras, giraffes among others. The park is home to over 77 different species of mammal and other wildlife including big games. Game drives in the park can be done both in the morning and evening.
Birding in the park
Kidepo valley national park is home to over 475 different bird species including; Purple Heron, Abyssinian Roller, Clapperton’s Francolin, Abyssinian Ground Hornbill, and others this make the park a bird lovers’ paradise. Birding in Kidepo Valley National Park can be arranged both in the morning and evening.
Nature Walk and Culture Encounter
Still, in Kidepo Valley National Park you can do guided nature walks and cultural encounters where you can spot different animals and birds and also visit the local Karamojong people or the IK people and learn more about their culture and way of life.
Queen Elizabeth National Park
Queen Elizabeth National Park is found in the western part of Uganda around 389km from the capital of Uganda – Kampala. The park was founded in 1952 as Kazinga National Park and later after 2 years, it was renamed Queen Elizabeth National Park to commemorate Queen Elizabeth II.
Queen Elizabeth National Park is the most visited and popular national park in the country, the park still is home to over 95 different species of mammals and over 600 species of birds. The park is also famous for being home to different primate species including chimpanzees.