Bespoke safaris and adventure holidays to Uganda. Whether you are looking for a group tour, a birding trip, primate treks or a private guide, we can source the perfect Uganda Holiday for you!
Equatorial Uganda is a beautiful country, land locked but surrounded on it’s southern borders by Lake Victoria which, at roughly the size of Wales, could be mistaken for a coastline! Mountains, rainforests, savannah and lakes, Uganda has one of the highest species counts of birds anywhere in Africa and is also a haven for plenty of primates, including Mountain Gorillas and Chimpanzees. It’s a fabulous destination for the wildlife enthusiast.
Flying into Entebbe on the shores of Africa’s biggest lake, Lake Victoria you are a short hop from the vibrant capital of Kampala with it’s busy commercial centre, massive market and plenty of great restaurants and good hotels. Once away from Kampala, the roads quickly become more pot holed and bumpy and far out into the parks and reserves you need to take this into consideration when putting together an itinerary for a Ugandan holiday as what looks like a short distance on the map can take a very long time when the roads are almost non-existent! But sit back and enjoy the ride – stop in rural villages and meet the people, shop in the markets and wonder at the gorgeous green and lush scenery and the colours of Africa.
Wherever you go in Uganda you will be followed by happy children all shouting out ‘Mzungu‘!! This term which is used for any western tourist has become a classic in this part of Africa and you’ll feel like the Pied Piper in Uganda as trails of kids hold your hand and ask you questions about where you come from. There are some great crafts to be bargained for here including items made from every part of the ubiquitous banana tree – leaves and bark are woven into hundreds of items and there are well over 100 species of this plant which are used here for savoury and sweet dishes and beers and wines – try the local brew and taste for yourself! Street food such as ‘chicken on a stick’ and fried plantains are round every corner in the towns and in the villages, there are copious amounts of tropical fruits.
For the primate enthusiast, head over to Ngamba Island on Lake Victoria to observe the Chimpanzees of the sanctuary there and learn about how conservation efforts have helped these endangered creatures, you can stay overnight here if you wish. To encounter Chimps in their natural environment travel to Budongo Forest Eco-Reserve or Kibale Forest where knowledgeable local guides will take you to see these animals living high in the trees. Kibale National Park is home to 13 primate species and has a network of shady trails full of exotic plants and butterflies.
Mountain Gorillas are found in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and in Mgahinga. The later park borders the Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda and the animals here range between these countries sharing the Virunga Mountains as their home. Bwindi, being isolated from the other mountain ranges, has a huge bi0-diversity including 90 species of mammal (11 are primates) and some of the best birding in the country and incredible plant life.
Queen Elizbeth National Park is Uganda’s flagship safari destination with open savannah, lakes and rainforest areas and one of the highest levels of biodiversity in any park in the world. There are almost 100 mammal species and 606 of birds! There are Elephant, Lion, Hippo and the endemic Uganda Kob plus the elusive Giant Forest Hog. Take a boat safari here on the Kazinga Channel or explore Kyambura Gorge (where there are a group of habituated chimps, but it’s a very strenuous climb!). To the west of the park is the Ishasha Sector which is heavily forested and home to huge populations of Elephants and tree-climbing Lions!
Murchison Falls National Park is Uganda’s largest park and has the Nile River winding through it being surrounded by dramatic mountains and gorges where the Falls themselves blast through a narrow cleft in the Rift Valley into a pool 43m below. The savannah grasslands to the north of the Nile are home to Elephant, Giraffe, Buffalo and many Antelope and the Rainforest areas have fantastic birdlife. This is one of the places in Uganda to see the bizarre Shoebill Stork.
Other smaller but equally interesting parks and reserves include Semiliki, Kidepo and Mount Elgon and if trekking is your thing head to the Rwenzori Mountains, a chain of 120km snow-capped peaks known as the ‘Mountains of the Moon’. This is Africa’s tallest mountain range, exceeded only in altitude by Mt Kenya and Kilimanjaro, which are free-standing, not part of a mountain chain.
Birding in Uganda is an amazing experience with plenty of colourful species in the forests and trees such as hornbills which are prevalent here. With so many lakes, there are masses of water birds to be found, take a boat trip to get the best viewings. Sitting at the meeting point of two parts of the Rift Valley there are many migrants that pass through here in addition to the resident birds. One of the most bizarre looking birds on the planet is found here, the Shoebill – and is something on many peoples ‘must see’ list on a holiday to Uganda!
Take a look at this small group safari to Uganda or ask us to put together a tailor made Uganda safari to suit your particular interests, make sure you have enough time to cover the many and varied attractions that Uganda has to offer!