Of all the countries I have had the opportunity to visit in Africa, Uganda will remain engraved in my heart as a true paradise. Apart from a feeling of security everywhere, the country offers a multitude of different landscapes.
From the magnificent Murchinson Falls Rainforest, Bwindi Impenetrable Forest to the great plains of Queen Elizabeth National Park, Uganda offers a colourful safari that will not leave you indifferent.
Beware, meeting Gorillas in their natural environment is well deserved and is not accessible to everyone (and somewhere fortunately…).
You still need to be in good shape and armed with patience to survey the steep slopes of the volcano park for sometimes several hours. But once you have reached your goal, meeting them will guarantee you real sensations and strong emotions.
Fortunately it will be easier for you to spot other exceptional animals in this wild jungle, such as the famous and protected Bec en Sabot or even meet our closest relatives, the chimpanzees, who will observe you with certainty in their still preserved habitat.
And if you look up, you may also see lions perched in the trees in the south of Queen Elizabeth National Park.
If you like walking, the country offers multiple possibilities of mountain trekking in the middle of villages and coffee cultures giving you the possibility of a real immersion in the local life.
When to go?
Uganda offers two dry seasons: between December and February, and between June and August, particularly good conditions for hiking and for seeing mountain gorillas and chimpanzees. Safaris in the national parks are also good during this time, as well as between February and March.
Murchison Falls National Park
It is one of the best wildlife parks to visit in Uganda.
The park is located in the Murchison Conservation Zone where the Bugungu and Karuma Wildlife Reserves are also located.
It is endowed with more than 76 species of mammals with four members of the big five, the lion, leopard, elephant and buffalo. Other species such as bushbucks, Ugandan kob, waterbuck, warthog, giraffe, Jackson’s hartebeest, hyena and many others live here in peace.
Along the banks of the Nile and in the waters you will also see many hippos, crocodiles, several species of primates such as the mischievous baboon. The Murchison Falls, Uganda’s largest national park, is also home to over 450 recorded bird species, including the frightening shoebill..
The main attraction of the park is a visit to the Murchison Falls, where the Nile makes its way through a narrow gorge 8 metres wide. The journey upstream is captivating and offers a magnificent view of the falls.
Queen Elizabeth National Park
On a trip through Uganda you cross the park from north to south on almost 200 km of well-maintained safari tracks.
The best time for safaris is in the morning when there is a good chance to see elephants, buffalo, lions and a variety of antelopes and other wildlife.
The cruise on the Kazinga Canal usually lasts 2 hours and gives visitors the opportunity to see a wide variety of aquatic species from the boat.
Lions in the trees
The lion rarely climbs trees.
Only 2 populations in the whole world have this peculiarity.
One of them is located in the Ishasha area south of the famous Queen Elizabeth National Park in Uganda.
The other is in Lake Manyara National Park in southern Tanzania.
Some assume that this behaviour is related to the many biting tsetse flies at ground level, while others claim that they climb up branches to escape the heat on the ground and thus enjoy the cool breeze. However, their real reason remains unknown.
The Bwindi Impenetrable forest and the Gorilla Trek
No other encounter in Africa equals this amazing face-to-face experience with the wild gorilla!
Gorilla trekking takes place in a handful of remote locations (up to 6 hours walking), adding a layer of exotic adventure to these safaris
Because gorillas are on the verge of extinction and hikes are limited by daily quotas, meeting gorillas is a unique travel experience.
Watching a family of mountain gorillas relax in the lush forest up close is a privilege and an impressive memory that you will take away with you forever.
Sharing about 97% of their DNA with humans, it is not surprising to feel a strong bond with them.
Mothers look closely at their babies while they take a few steps towards us with curiosity and the youngest “mischievous” ones tumble down trees. It is not uncommon for them to come and provoke you to play!
But beware of the silverback who often sits quietly on one side, watching for any inappropriate movement around his family…
Only a few hundred mountain gorillas remain on Earth (880 in 2016), and about half of them live in the Virunga Mountains in Central Africa. The other half live on the green, volcanic slopes of Rwanda, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Kibale National Park
The highest density and diversity of primates in all of Uganda.
There are about 1450 primates, 13 species in total.
The best known and closest to us is the chimpanzee but it is also home to more unusual species such as the Hoest, the red colobus, the black and white colobus, the red-tailed monkey, the blue monkey, the olive baboon, the grey-cheeked mangabey, the bush baby and the potto.
The Bigodi wetland
An excellent example of the community-based and modern approach to natural resource management in this region. Local residents increasingly understand and integrate the interests of tourism versus poaching.
This sanctuary is a paradise for amateur ornithologists and the most qualified can spot up to 50 new species in this unique place.
At present, 138 species of birds have been recorded, including the great blue touraco. Bigodi also regularly hosts a large number of primates from the nearby Kibale National Park.
Our favourite accommodation: the Sanctuary Gorilla Forest Camp
Environmentally friendly, contemporary yet classic in style, the Sanctuary Gorilla Forest Camp blends sensitively into the dramatic African mountain landscape and, located only within the national park, you are only minutes away from the start of your gorilla trekking adventure.