Three hundred reasons for visiting Uganda are the number of endangered mountain gorillas living in the mists of the rainforest clad volcanoes of Bwindi and Machinga. A thousand more reasons are the number of bird species in Uganda twice as many as in most other African safari countries. And then there’s the scenery...the towering “Mountains of the Moon”, lakes Edward, Albert and Victoria lying in the Great Rift Valley, and the Blue Nile which cascades over Murchison Falls.
It may be the colonial sounding names, and images of Dian Fossey encountering those magnificent gorillas in the mist which gives Uganda its air of romance and mystery. And it is a mystery why a place with such unique scenery and wildlife and such welcoming people sees so few visitors. So, this is a country where you can still enjoy a sense of pioneering and discovery of hidden wonders.
If you want to see the gorillas, we'll fly you down to the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest for a two or three day gorilla safari. If you want to see more of this beautiful country, Africa Exclusive will arrange for you to have your own private 4 wheel drive vehicle and a very experienced private guide who will take you from one magnificent location to another and on your safaris. Your safari will be between a week and ten days focussing upon the western part of Uganda. Entebbe airport is in the east, so to begin you have an eight hour journey which takes you to the wonderfully named Bwindi Impenetrable Forest. As you walk bent double through thick undergrowth the name seems justified yet your reward comes in a magical encounter in a remote clearing with a family of mighty mountain gorillas.
The next week brings one scenic wonder after another as you head through Queen Elizabeth National Park with its lions, antelope, giraffe and elephant, roaming rich forest, open plains and tiny lakes set in volcanic craters. On past shimmering rift valley lakes linked by the Nile, surrounded by forested slopes where you can seek out the chimpanzees of Ndali. Those who love birds will be gripped by a desire to cancel their plane ticket home and remain here, enthralled by shoebill storks, immense flocks of water birds, great raptors and a thousand species of birds which make this the best country in Africa for birding. Your guide’s piercing eyesight and encyclopaedic knowledge becomes apparent as he names each one and patiently leads you to the best viewing points.
Your Ugandan safari might end at Murchison Falls where you can take a boat ride on the Nile towards the base of the falls watching the Nile cascade into a chasm with a great roar and cloud of spray. Call us now to begin planning your visit to this most friendly and beautiful country.
Seasons and When to Go
The best times to visit Uganda for a safari are the long dry seasons from June to the end of October, and from December to the end of March. The rainy seasons are April, May and November, though in the rainforest areas where the gorillas live it can rain at any time of year.
The main safari areas in Uganda are in the south and west of the country where the scenery is spectacular with rift valley lakes, forests, mountains and volcanoes. The land often appears lush and fertile and supports a huge abundance of birds and wildlife. In some of these areas the temperatures can be cool due to altitude and the more mountainous areas can also have rain at any time of year so you should pack some warmer clothing and a showerproof jacket. Lower lying areas are much warmer and in parts of Queen Elizabeth National Park and near Lake Victoria temperatures can rise well into the 30s during the middle part of the day, somewhat cooler at the start and end of the day when you will be out on safari.
The north of Uganda is less frequently visited and is considerably drier as it extends towards the southern Sahara.
Entebbe is 9 hours flying time from London and there are direct overnight flights five times a week which return to London five times a week during the daytime. UK and US citizens require a visa which is obtained from the Uganda High Commission/Embassy.
There are now regular flights from Entebbe to the mountain gorilla tracking areas around Bwindi, which are a convenient alternative to the ten hour road journey. Alternatively you can reach Bwindi by approximately six hour road journey from Kigali, Rwanda. If you would like to see other parts of Uganda including the Queen Elizabeth National park, the rift valley lakes, the chimps of Kibale Forest and Murchison Falls we will arrange a private vehicle and guide. Uganda’s roads are of variable quality and poor in places particularly on the journey along the western rift valley. However the scenery is outstandingly beautiful so we advise you to take it slowly and enjoy the experience. A safari which takes in all these areas would be of 10 days to two weeks.
You will experience a variety of weather and temperatures on a Uganda safari so you should pack some warm and rainproof clothing and good walking shoes/boots. Please consult your medical doctor for advice about vaccinations and for protection from malaria.
There are frequent short flights to Kenya and Tanzania making it easy to combine these countries for a longer safari or with a few days relaxation by the coast. Call us at an early stage to discuss the ideal combination of places to create a safari perfectly matched to your interests.
Gorillas in Bwindi
In the primeval forest of Bwinidi Impenetrable National Park live an estimate of 340 mountain gorilla – that’s half of the world’s population! Trekking these mighty apes is a truly magical experience; whilst searching for the families in the forest you will pass birds and other small monkeys before finally finding a family of endangered gorilla going about their daily business in their natural habitat.
Did you know there are over 1,000 different bird species in Uganda? The country is truly a birding heaven! Tropical rainforest, perfect habitat for birds, covers much of the Uganda. You’ll find all kinds of birds here from large ostriches and storks to tiny swallows and woodpeckers – and everything else in between! This is the best place to visit if you want to see Africa’s beautiful birdlife.
Walking through the Wilderness
Full of mysterious landscapes, Uganda has some brilliant areas for walking safaris. Trek through the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, hike in the soaring Mountains of the Moon, past the vast lakes and to the spectacular cascading Murchison Falls, or even take a privately guided walking safari through the Kibale Forest for an adventurous exploration with apes, birds and mammals.
Trek Chimps in Kibale Forest
There are thirteen primate species in Kibale Forest National Park including baboon and blue monkey but the most popular resident is the chimpanzee. In amongst the towering greenery of the tropical rainforest live happy troops of curious chimp. Spend time watching them as they show off their acrobatics, using their nimble limbs to swing through the branches, groom each other and play together.
Call us now to begin planning your Uganda safari.
Experiences to Remember
These are just a few experiences you can enjoy on your Uganda safari. Contact us now to plan your perfect safari.