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Africa safaris undoubtedly offer some of the most memorable safari experiences. African safari holidays feature a blend of wildlife, gorilla tracking, mountaineering, beach getaways, primate experiences and other more wonders. Africa has five circuits and these include; the northern, western, eastern, central and southern circuits. Most of our African safari holidays take place in the Eastern Circuit going downwards to the south. This is where you find countries like Uganda and Rwanda – the ultimate gorilla trekking destinations, Tanzania, Kenya, Burundi, Zanzibar plus a few more destinations for safaris in Africa.
Through the years, Achieve Global Safaris has organized very many African safaris in several countries. Our tours are crafted to match both affordable and luxury classes and come at unbeatable prices. Irrespective of the class, all our packages are price sensitive and feature some of the finest lodges for utmost safari comfort. Whether you crave for an Africa gorilla trekking, wildlife, beach or mountaineering experience, we are ready to craft for you the best safari in africa at very affordable prices. Want to organize affordable or luxury safaris to Africa? We are an experienced Africa safari company that guarantees professional services. Get in touch with our tour consultants today for a quote.
Best African Safari Holidays 2019/2020
18 Discover Uganda Safari (Top Discounted Package)
Want to explore Uganda's primates and wildlife? This 18 days safari leaves no good safari park untouched. You will explore most of the major national parks in Uganda and carry out various activities with mountain gorilla trekking being the main highlight.View Package
10 Days Best of Uganda Safari
Want to visit the most popular destinations in Uganda? This 10 Days budget safari package takes you to Jinja, Murchison Falls National Park, Kibale Forest National Park, Queen Elizabeth National Park, Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and a few other destinations.View Package
African Safaris in Uganda
- 3 Days Lake Bunyonyi Tour
- 3 Days Gorilla Habituation Experience
- 3 Days Ngamba Island & Wildlife
- 3 Days Kidepo Flying Wildlife Safari
- 3 Days Kibale Chimpanzee Trekking
- 3 Days Murchison Falls Safari
- 3 Days Queen Elizabeth Wildlife Safari
- 4 Days Uganda Gorillas & Golden Monkeys
- 5 Days Uganda Wildlife Safari
- 6 Days Uganda Adventure Safari
- 6 Days Kidepo & Sipi Falls Safari
- 7 Days Best of Uganda Safari
- 7 Days Uganda Family Safari
- 8 Days Uganda Classic Safari
- 9 Days Uganda Safari
- 10 Days Best of Uganda Safari
- 11 Days Uganda Getaway Escapade
- 12 Days Uganda Wilderness Tour
- 15 Days Uganda Vacation
- 18 Days Discover Uganda Safari
- 21 Days Explore Uganda Safari
Africa has a couple of the natural wonders of the world. Your greatest reason for going on Africa tours and safaris should be wildlife viewing followed by primate experiences. The continent is blessed with so many wildlife species and primates, some of which you cannot find in any other continent. Some of these include the endangered mountain gorillas, an ape species that can only be found in Uganda, Rwanda and Congo. An interesting array to see on your trip to Africa are the Big 5 African animals. These include Elephants, Leopards, Lions, Buffaloes and Rhinos.
Regarding your perferct time to visit, each destination has an ideal time to visit. The best tour experiences are got duing the dry months of the year especially if you intend to see wildlife and primates. Travelling during the wet months might ruin your safari on certain occassions. This however, shouldn’t freak you out and make you neglect wet months, this is Africa! When rain falls, the sun can always come out, dry up the soil and the day gets back to normal. Africa is a great place to be! The nature, culture and way of life are all compelling factors.
Uganda (our primary destination) happens to be a God blessed country with abundant wildlife, nature, land scenery among others. This country was also termed as the pearl of Africa for its beauty and amazing scenery. Uganda is blessed with 10 National parks which are all run under the Uganda Wildlife Authority. Some of the interesting facts about Ugandan safaris is that, the country possesses two national parks i.e. Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park and Mgahinga National Park which inhabit some of the remaining species of Gorillas in the whole world.
Another fact about Uganda Safaris is that in Queen Elizabeth National Park is the only place where you will find the Tree Climbing Lions though some can also be found in Lake Manyara National Park in Tanzania.Uganda also possesses the famous Lake Victoria which is know to be the source of the Nile. The longest river in the world River Nile starts from Uganda at lake Victoria. On your way to Murchison Falls National Park, you will find Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary which is a home for the endangered White Rhinos. This is also a unique site in Uganda which attracts a number of tourists.
UGANDA NATIONAL PARKS
Uganda is a small and the most beautiful country in Africa in that it has a lot to offer to tourists who visit the country. It is gifted with rich cultures of welcoming and hospitable people, variety of biodiversity including plant species, wildlife, landscapes, vegetation, forests, snow peaked mountains, lakes, rivers and many more. Uganda is a home of the famous endangered mountain gorillas and Uganda is one of the countries that allows tourists to participate in gorilla trekking on their safari. The country is also a habitat of different animal species like the big 5 mammals including the Rhinos that are viewed at Ziwa Rhino sanctuary on the way to Murchison National Park. The big 5 also include the African elephants, buffaloes, leopards and lions. Uganda is also blessed with quite a number of primate species, bird species, reptiles which attract many tourists to visit Uganda. Tourists who visit Uganda get an opportunity to participate in various breath taking wild life activities in the national parks and that’s why it’s known as The Perl Of Africa. Uganda has 10 National Parks with unique features to attract tourists. Therefore a Uganda safari is all you need for great memories and experience. Below are the great national parks in Uganda and the activities dont in each park.
Murchison Falls National ParkMurchison Falls National Park is the largest national park in Uganda. It is located 305 kilometers north of Kampala the Capital City and situated in the Murchison Conservation Area. In this Murchison Conservation Area, it is where we find the amazing Bugungu and Karuma wildlife reserves. It is known for Murchison falls where the Victoria Nile forces its way through a narrow gorge. It sits on the shores of Lake Albert in the northwest Uganda. Murchison falls National Park can be accessed by both road and air. To access this park by road, it takes approximately 5 hours on the tarmac roads with a stopover at Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary along the way and by air you can fly from Entebbe International Airport or Kajjansi Airfield to Pakuba Airfield and then the guide will pick you and take you to the park. Murchison falls National Park is a home of primates like baboons, monkeys, 450 bird species of which 23 of the species are endemic to the Albertine rift like the rare shoebill stork, 76 mammal species like bush bucks, Uganda kobs, water bucks, warthogs, giraffes, hyenas, hippos, crocodiles that are found along the shores of the Nile River and many others.
Activities in Murchison Falls National ParkMurchison falls National Park is a park with quite a number of activities that the visitors can engage in while on the safari.
- Launch cruise on the Nile (Boat Cruise): This is one of the activities in Murchison national park where you take a ride on the boat to view wildlife. The boat cruise takes off from Paraa to the bottom of Murchison falls and is scheduled from 9:00am in the morning and the afternoon cruise from 14:00pm everyday which takes 3 hours and 17 kilometres. The one from Paraa to the Delta and back takes 28 kilometres and 4-5 hours and the visitors will be able to see different bird species like herons, bee-eaters, cormorants, fish eagles, king fisher’s, shoebills among others. You will also see animals on the banks of river including hippos, crocodiles, elephants, water bucks, buffaloes and many more.
- Sport fishing: Murchison falls National Park is one of the national parks alongside Lake Mburo National Park in Uganda that offers an opportunity to the visitor to participate in sport fishing hence providing an exciting experience. Sport Fishing is done along the River Nile and at the bottom of the falls. The fish caught includes Nile perch, tilapia, tiger fish, mud fish among others. Sport fishing activity can be carried out throught the year and is best done when the water levels are clear like from January to April.
- Game drives: This is an activity where you move within Murchison falls national park in the safari vehicle following the park tracks so as to see different wildlife. The park has the morning game drive that starts at around 7:00 am or 6:00 am and you take 2 hours and more within the park. The afternoon game drive that starts at around 16:00 pm that takes 1 hour and the night or nocturnal game drive that starts after dinner and takes 2hrs within the park. The game drives in Murchison national park require a trained guide especially the nocturnal game drive where they will carry the spotlights for proper viewing of nocturnal animals like hyenas, serval cats lions. Other animals seen during the day game drives include elephants, buffaloes, giraffes, waterbucks, warthogs among others and bird species like a saddle-billed stork, majestic grey crowned crane, handsome black-headed spur-winged lapwings and many more.
- Nature walks / hiking: Murchison falls national park offers an opportunity to the visitors on a safari to walk on foot with the guides to take you to different destinations within the park for example in Rabongo forest, Kaniyo Pabidi in Budongo forest, swamp walk to the Nile delta which takes 2-4 hours and the top of the falls walk to explore the landscapes, Murchison falls, the surrounding areas and many others to view different primates like chimpanzees, black and white colobus monkeys, pottos, red tailed monkeys, grey checked mangabeys, animals and birds at a close range like the shoebill stork, yellow manted weaver, little green sunbird, dusky long tailed cuckoo, grey long bill among others.
- Bird watching: Murchison falls national park is a habitat of around 450 bird species and a birders paradise who carry out bird watching from the safari vehicles during the game drives, during the boat cruise or on foot during the nature walks. Birds in Murchison falls national park are situated in the savannah forest, Riverine forest, Budongo forest around Kaniyo Pabidi among others and you will be view different birds like African darter, long toed plover, grey-headed kingfisher, veracious dove, martial eagle, African fish eagle, black-headed lapwing, giant kingfisher, shoebill, rock pratincole, goliath heron, yellow-billed stork, white-faced whistling duck, secretary bird, greater flamingo, papyrus gonolek among others.
- The top of the falls trail: this is an amazing experience in Murchison falls national park that takes you around the top of the falls and the water’s edge and takes about 15 to 45 minutes. The hike to the top of the falls from the boat landing gives you an opportunity to get close to the narrow gorge through which the water explodes into the falls and there are camping sites, picnic sites and walking safaris which makes your safari Murchison falls memorable and interesting.
- Cultural encounters, this is an interesting activity in Murchison falls national park in that it enables you to make cultural visits to the remote areas in different villages to be able to interact with the people in the communities and learn more about their lifestyles, cultures like the traditional dishes among others, for example, the Boomu women’s group that offers community tours to the Banyoro community, have craft shop with traditional crafts like baskets among others and the Mubako group that performs traditional dances and they are sometimes called to perform at the lodges like during the campfire which gives you a thrilling experience.
However, there are other activities that can be done on your safari in Murchison falls national park like the hot air balloon safari experience which is only found in Murchison and Queen Elizabeth national parks in Uganda. Murchison falls national park offers a wide range of luxury and budget accommodation facilities respectively while on a safari including Chobe Safari Lodge, Nile Safari Lodge, Paraa Safari Lodge, Bakers Lodge, Red Chilli Rest Camp, Boomu Women’s Group Bandas, Budongo Eco Lodge, Kalalo Cottages Inn, New Court View Hotel among others. Murchison falls national park can be visited throughout the year and the best time to visit is around December to February and June to September.
Queen Elizabeth National ParkQueen Elizabeth National Park is the second-largest and most visited national park in Uganda it is located in the western region in the districts of Kasese in the northeastern edge of the park, Rubirizi in the southeastern, Kamwenge and Rukungiri. It covers a total land area of 1978 square kilometers with an altitude of 900 meters up to 1845 meters and is approximately 400 kilometers by road southwest of Kampala. Queen Elizabeth national park is well known for its wildlife and is a home of primates like the chimpanzees which are the most common, vervet monkeys, black and white colobus monkeys among others, 95 mammal species including the big five mammals which are the African elephants, African cape buffaloes, hippos, leopards and tree climbing lions which are found in the Ishasha sector of the park, other animals like the waterbucks, warthogs, topi, antelopes among others and over 600 bird species including papyrus canary, martial eagle, yellow-throated cuckoo ,African skimmer ad many others. The park is also composed of the volcanic features like the volcanic cones and the three major crater lakes which include Bunyaruguru crater, Ndali-kasenda crater near Kibale national park and Lake Katwe the salt lake.
Activities in Queen Elizabeth National ParkGame driving: game driving is one of the common activities done in Queen Elizabeth national park that gives a visitor a chance to view the flora and fauna within the park. The park has the morning game drive and the afternoon game drive where visitors move around the park in safari vehicles with pop-up roofs for clear viewing with a driver-guide or ranger from Uganda Wildlife Authority who know different tracks to take and areas where the animals are clearly viewed like the African elephants, lions, hyenas, buffaloes, leopards, giant forest hog, Topi, sitatunga antelopes, Uganda kobs, warthogs, and bird species like papyrus canary, shoebill, black bee-eater, white-winged warbler, African skimmer among others and the nocturnal game drives that take place after dinner with spotless lights to view nocturnal animals like the leopards, civet cats, serval cats, genal among others.
Bird watching: Queen Elizabeth national park is known as a birders paradise for visitors who like bird watching and is usually carried out very early in the morning to view many birds still in their nests. Queen Elizabeth national park harbors over 600 bird species and the birding spots or areas in the park include the Kazinga channel with aquatic birds like fish eagle, yellow-backed weavers, open-billed stork, black crake, knob-billed ducks, squacco heron, white-backed pelican, swamp fly-catcher, shoebill, martial eagle, white-winged terns, white-winged warbler among others, Kasenyi, Maramagambo forest with bird species like hairy breasted barbet, African emerald cuckoo, speckled tinker, grey woodpecker and many others, Katunguru bridge, Mweya peninsula, open woodlands and grasslands, rivers, lake Katwe with bird species like flamingos, black-winged stilt, black terns, pied avocet, seagulls among others and the best time for birding it between December to February.
Boat cruise: this is one of the most exciting activities in Queen Elizabeth national park and takes place on the Kazinga channel which connects lake Edward and Lake George and the boat cruise lasts about 2 hours. During the activity you will get an opportunity to enjoy different wildlife species like the herds of hippos which go to around 5000, elephants, Nile crocodiles on the water banks getting warmth from the sun, buffaloes, monitor lizards, aquatic birds like pied kingfishers, fish eagle, pink and white-backed pelicans, white-faced whistling, spur-winged plover, African jacana among others and visitors cruise meters away from the animals like waterbucks, bushbucks, duikers, mongoose and many others hence giving them a thrilling cruise experience in Queen Elizabeth national park.
Lion research tracking: this is an experiential and learning activity where you get to see the lions at a close range than the normal game drive and it is only carried out in Queen Elizabeth national park. Lion tracking takes place each morning and in the late afternoon and lasts about 1-3 hours; it is carried out with the researches and with a limited number of visitors for the protection of the lions. During the lion tracking drive in Queen Elizabeth national park the researchers are allowed to go off the tracks to get close to the lions regardless of where they are found in the park which gives a great view for photos to the visitors and they track lions with attached radio collars and here the visitors get an opportunity to spend more time with the lions to learn more about the lion habits.
Tree climbing lions of Ishasha: this is a famous and must-do activity in Ishasha sector Queen Elizabeth national park where you get to see the lions lying, sleeping and hanging up in the acacia trees and fig tree branches staring on their prey which are the Uganda kobs and the tree-climbing lions. Apart from Ishasha in Queen Elizabeth national park, Tree climbing lions are also found in other national parks in East Africa like Lake Manyara in Kenya. There are other animals viewed in Ishasha like the buffaloes, elephants, warthogs, antelopes, the rare shoebill stork among others hence getting a memorable experience on the safari to Queen Elizabeth National Park.
Chimpanzee trekking: Queen Elizabeth national park is a home of 10 primate species with the endangered chimpanzee as the most popular within the park. Chimpanzee trekking is carried out in Kyambura gorge in the northeastern part of Queen Elizabeth and is also known the valley of the Apes. Chimpanzee family in Kyambura is habituated carried out two times in a day with a maximum of 6 people per day hence making it easy for the visitors to interact and learn more about the chimpanzees. Chimpanzee trekking permits in Queen Elizabeth national park are cheaper at the cost of $50 compared to chimpanzee trekking permits in Kibale national park and Budongo forest which cost $150 hence giving an opportunity to visitors to take part in the chimpanzee trekking experience. During the chimpanzee trekking you will cross rivers and pass through thick forests where you will be able to see other primates during like the black and white monkeys, vervet monkeys, red tailed monkeys, baboons and birds like bee-eaters, falcon, flycatchers, fin foot African bird among others and animal species that come to drink water.
Nature walks /hiking: Queen Elizabeth national park is a park where one can explore on foot the landscapes, wildlife and view different animal species, tree species and many more, you can follow different walk trails in Queen Elizabeth including the guided Kyambura gorge trail where you will get to see the chimpanzees and other primates like monkeys, baboons, the butterflies, birds and a number of animals going to drink water, the guided Maramagambo forest trail where you will see beautiful crater lakes, birds, caves like the bat cave where you see large numbers of bats, the Kalinzu forest trail where you will see primates like the habituated chimpanzees, birds, animals among others, the Mongoose tracking trail on Mweya peninsula which is one of the interesting and less known activity in Queen Elizabeth national park, it takes around 1-3 hours and can be done with a guide and researchers and will see other wildlife like the birds, animals and hiking along the Ishasha river where you spot savannah and forest vegetation and also get close to the animals like hippos, elephants, water bucks and many others hence giving you a memorable, thrilling and interesting safari in Queen Elizabeth National Park.
Cultural encounters: this is an activity where the visitors get to experience how different communities around the park live and Queen Elizabeth national park offers the best cultural encounters experiences with several cultural groups in Uganda including the Kikorongo women community, Nyanzibiri cave community, Katwe tourism information center among others. Visitors will be able to visit the volcanic crater lakes, historic caves, cultural museums, how people survive on Katwe salt lake, mining process, traditional art and craft like baskets, bowls, beads, cultural performances like songs, dances, also visit the fishing villages along the Kazinga channel and Lake George and take part in sport fishing, boat racing, can also order for a fish snack while at the lake and many others which gives a visitor a great experience on lifestyles and habits of other cultures.
While on a safari in Queen Elizabeth national park there are a number of luxury, budget, and camping sites lodges that can make your safari more comfortable in terms of beautiful scenery, good ambiance, delicious meals, good relaxation after a safari among others and they include Mweya safari lodge, Park View Safari Lodge, Ishasha wilderness camp, Elephant Hab Lodge, Kyambura Uganda safari, Ishasha Bandas, Maramagambo Camp and many others. Queen Elizabeth national park can be visited throughout the year and the best time to visit is between March to May and August to December when the environment is beautiful.
Lake Mburo National ParkLake Mburo National Park is located in western Uganda Mbarara district on a highway that connects Kampala Capital City to the park. It is the smallest park in Uganda approximately 260 square kilometers, 228 kilometers from Kampala by road with a stopover at Mpambire trading centre an area where they sell traditional drums and Kayabwe at the Equator. Lake Mburo national park is a unique park in Uganda in that it is the only park with a whole lake within the park (lake Mburo) and it lies in the shadow areas between lake Victoria and mount Rwenzori hence experiences both the dry and rain seasons throughout the year. Lake Mburo national park is composed of beautiful landscapes like dry hills, rocky outcrops, acacia trees, bushes, thickets, open and wooded savannah forests, swamps, lakes and favorable climate for wildlife. It is a home of over 70 mammal species including burchells zebras which are only found in Lake Mburo national park and Kidepo National Park in Uganda. Other animals like waterbucks, impala, Topi, warthogs, buffaloes, giraffes, hippos, monkeys, predators like leopards, side striped jackal, white mongoose among others and over 350 bird species like brown parrot, crested francolin, African grey hornbill, southern red bishop among others and these features make Lake Mburo National Park the great destination for a safari in Uganda.
Activities in Lake Mburo National ParkLake Mburo National Park offers quite a number of interesting activities to visitors on a safari which include bicycling, bird watching, nature walks, horse riding, sport fishing, game drives, cultural encounters and boat cruise.
Game Drive: This is an activity that involves driving within the park in a safari vehicle to different areas following the park tracks. Game drives are done in the savannah landscapes which contain a number of tracks like the zebra track which connects to Ruroko track junction through the thick acacia woodland with euphorbia species, olive trees and the wetland where you will view a number of birds and animal species like the zebras, eland, bushbucks, Oribi, Topi, reedbucks among others. You will have a chance to see primates like monkeys. The Kazuma track which passes through the grasslands with wood species where you will spot bird species like black-billed bustard, lakeside tracks which offer you an opportunity to view the swamps surrounding Lake Mburo, the aquatic bird species among others, the game drive to the Kazuma hill which allows you to explore the five lakes in the park. Lake Mburo National Park has the day game drives which are best done in the morning to see animals and birds in their habitats and late afternoon to see animals going back to their resting habitats and the nocturnal game drives which gives visitors an opportunity to spot the nocturnal animals like leopards, bush babies, porcupines and takes around 1-2 hours. Lake Mburo National Park game drives are done throughout the year and the best time is during the dry season when the animals assemble along the roadsides like monkeys and around the water bodies and swamps to drink water like buffaloes, hippos, elands, zebras, Topi, Oribi, antelopes, warthogs, impala, bushbucks, waterbucks, giraffes among others.
Bird watching: Lake Mburo national park is a birding destination with 350 bird species including migratory, rare and residential birds which are spotted in areas like swamps of Warokiri with birds like papyrus gonolek, blue-headed coucal, Miriti along Rwonyo, the forest of Rubanga among others. Birds that will be spotted include the shoebill stork, white-winged warbler, crested francolin, brown parrot, and many others. Bird watching in Lake Mburo can be carried out throughout the year and starts in the morning. It takes around 1-2 hours, and the best time for bird watching is between June to July and November to April with migratory birds.
Boat cruise: Lake Mburo National Park has calm waters with a swamp that adjoins the lake. It has a variety of animals, birds and plant species hence offering an opportunity to the visitors to cruise near the animals, birds and also spot them in their habitats clearly like the crocodiles, hippos, zebras, antelopes which will be found on the water banks drinking water and bird species like pelicans, herons, fish eagles, hammer kop, cormorants among others. The boats set off from Rwonyo Jetty and the activity is conducted by Uganda Wildlife Authority which takes about 2 hours.
Nature walks / hiking: This is an activity in Lake Mburo national park where the visitor gets an opportunity to move within the park on foot with the armed guide and have a closer look at the animals. Nature walk starts in the morning at around 7:00 am and lasts for around two hours and trails taken include the walk to the salt lick where you will view animals that come to drink the saltwater. The walk to Kazuma hill where they get a beautiful panoramic view of the hills, Precambrian rocks, savannah vegetation, acacia vegetation, and lakes where you will see animals like hippos, hyenas, zebras, giraffes, elands, Topi, bird species, and butterflies among others.
Sport Fishing: Lake Mburo National Park is one of the parks in Uganda apart from Murchison falls national park that offers an opportunity to visitors who want to carry out sport fishing activity. Lake Mburo national park has five lakes within Mburo and sport fishing is done on Mazinga shores of Lake Mburo. Visitors who want to take part in the sport fishing activity are authorized by Uganda Wildlife Authority and they come with their fishing equipment like hooks. There are around six species of fish that the visitors will be able to catch during the sport fishing for example lungfish, tilapia, mudfish among others.
Horse riding: Horse riding is one of the interesting activities that is only carried out in Lake Mburo national park where you ride on the horseback within the park to view different wildlife like vegetation, primates, animals among others. Horse riding activity is arranged by Mihingo Safari Lodge which gives a close encounter of the visitor with the animals and it takes around 1-3 hours. There is also an overnight horseback ride where tents are provided for shelter and meals by the lodge. Animals are clearly seen on a close-range than in the safari vehicles during the game drives hence a fascinating activity to engage in while on the safari in Lake Mburo national park.
Cultural encounters: Communities visited around the park are the Banyankore who are well known as cattle keepers and have traditional long-horned cattle. They teach the visitors different traditional activities that they carry out like traditional hand milking, treating of the sick cows, brushing the cows, grazing cows, giving cows water to drink, meat roasting and smoking, cleaning milk pots among others. They are also known for farming with banana plantations and carry out different activities like weeding, cropping, harvesting, cooking of bananas for food and carry out performances like traditional songs, dances from Enyemebwa cultural center to entertain the visitors during the encounter which is carried out in the peoples' homesteads.
Lake Mburo national park offers a wide range of luxury, moderate and budget accommodation facilities to visitors to make them feel comfortable on their safari including Mihingo Safari Lodge, Mantana Tented Camp, Rwakobo Rock Lodge, Mpogo Safari Lodge, and many others. Lake Mburo national park can be visited throughout the year and the best time to visit is during the dry season between June to August and December to February because that’s when the animals gather along the roadside and viewed during the game drive and also around the lake and water sources.
Rwenzori National ParkVirunga National Park. Rwenzori Mountain is the third highest mountain in Africa rising up more than 16,700 feet above sea level and the highest peaks are always snow-capped. It takes 6 hours from Kampala to Kasese with a stopover in Fort portal town. Rwenzori National Park harbors 70 mammal species, 217 bird species including 17 endemics to the Albertine rift and is known for its beautiful waterfalls, glaciers, plant life, unique mountains among others.
Activities in Rwenzori National ParkMountain climbing: This is one of the activities done in the Rwenzori national park that gives you an opportunity to explore or view the beautiful scenery of vegetation cover, lakes, rivers among others. It takes 9-10 days in order to reach the three peaks. Mountain climbing in Rwenzori national park can be done in the foothills of the mountain where you view plant life like farmlands with crops like coffee which is among Uganda’s cash crops. The Rwenzori national park has two hiking trails which include the central circuit trail which takes around 7 days to reach the top. Kilembe trail which starts from Kilembe and takes around 5 days to reach the top and the top of Margharita and it offers an opportunity to view the snow-capped peaks, alpine vegetation, farmlands, Virunga ranges, and Queen Elizabeth national park.
Nature walks / hiking: this is an activity that can be done by the inexperienced hikers to hike on mountain slopes, foothills of Rwenzori forests, for example, using the circuit zone. During nature walks you take trails up to Lake Mahoma and in Buraro chimpanzee forest which involves walking through the communities of Kichumba-Karangura, Hiking to Bundibudyo through Bwamba, Ruboni, and Turaco. The communities provide guided forest walks which are done outside the park and the visitors follow River Mubuku during the nature walks and view snow-capped Margherita peak, horned chameleons in the forest, squirrels, vervet monkeys, birds like Rwenzori turaco, cinnamon-chested bee-eater, tiny sunbird among others and also take part in activities like fishing along the streams.
Bird watching: Rwenzori national park is a home of 217 bird species. 17 of them can only be found in Rwenzori national park which makes it a key destination for birders. Bird watching activity starts in the morning and are done in forest areas and around water bodies. Bird species that can be spotted include western green tinker bird, long-eared owl, bee-eaters, golden-winged sunbird, flycatchers, Rwenzori batis, blue-headed sunbird, barbets, long-tailed cuckoo, crimson wings, montane sooty boubou, purple breasted sunbirds, stripe breast tit among others.
Cultural encounters: cultural encounters in the Rwenzori national park give visitors an opportunity to see the local communities at the foothills of the mountain carrying out different cultural activities like the dances and many others. There are many villages that you can visit including the Rwenzori Turaco view camp which is located in Muhunga near the Rwenzori snow-capped peaks, people who live in the Rwenzori Turaco view camp are the Bakonzo and they have lived there for many years. They offer different demonstrations by the traditional healers whose herbs are considered to cure many diseases, traditional dances by the schools, Bakonzo pilgrimage to remember their great king because he offered protection from oppression by the Batooro which is done in September.
Ruboni village home visit: here the visitors walk with the villagers who live on the foothills of the mountain as they show them their daily activities like farming, local dishes, traditional crafts, dance performances, storytellers among others. Visit to Bulimba-Ihandiro cultural trail which takes about 6-7 hours and visitors go through Kamusonge river whose waterbus is believed to be sweet and quenches thirst. You will go to the museum which is traditionally built-in Kanzo style and visitors will see traditional dresses, historical objects, equipment that were used during the Rwenzururu struggle among others
The Rwenzori national park offers different accommodation facilities to visitors on a safari which includes Hotel Margherita, Rwenzori International Hotel, Kataraa lodge, among others. These offer quality services to make the visitors safari comfortable and memorable. The Rwenzori national park can be visited throughout the year and it has a short dry season between June to August and December to February which is the best time to visit because the roads will be passable and a great time for trekking.
Kidepo valley national parkKidepo valley national park is located in Kaabong district northeastern Uganda and situated around 1442 square kilometers and about 700km by road from Kampala and Moroto is the largest town I the sub region. Kidepo valley national park can be accessed by both road which takes 12hours to Kidepo and air, by air there are charter flights available from Entebbe airport or Kajjansi to Lomeja and by road you can take the Kampala through Mbale route or the Kampala through Karuma route because they all lead to Kidepo valley national park. Kidepo valley national park was ranked the third best national park in Africa and harbors extinct species of wildlife that cannot be found in any national parks in Uganda which include over 75 mammal species like cape buffaloes, Rothschild giraffes, side-stripped jackal, lions, leopards, bat eared fox among others, over 470 bird species and 5 primate species. Kidepo valley national park is comprised of open tree savannah vegetation, mountain forest in the high areas, Lorupei River which supports acacia Geradi forest and semi arid climate with one rainy season per year from April to September and the park is served by two seasonal rivers which are the Narus river and Kidepo river.
Activities in Kidepo Valley National ParkGame drive: Kidepo valley national park is known as a popular viewing destination with a wide range of wildlife which can be viewed during the including different mammal species like buffalos, Oryx, lions, zebras, leopards, elephants, giraffes, elands, antelopes, reedbucks, waterbucks, Uganda kobs, duikers, Oribi. There are also endemic species including striped hyena, bat-eared fox, jackals, cheetah, wild pigs, hunting dogs that can be spotted during the game drive in Kidepo national park. Game drives start early in the morning at 6:00 am and the evening game drives which start at 4:00 pm and its good to go with a guide for proper sighting of animals, primates like the endemic bushbaby, tatalas monkeys, black and white monkeys and different bird species hence giving you an opportunity to enjoy the interesting grasslands and savannah vegetation in Kidepo National Park.
Nature walks / hiking: Kidepo national park has unique landscapes to look at like the flat plains which offer a great scenic view of the wildlife species that spread into the grasslands. Nature walks start at 7:00 am at Apoka camp with a Uganda Wildlife Authority park ranger which can also be done at any time of the day. It can be done in various areas in Kidepo including the new 25km Lonyiri nature walk through the shrubs to Napusmur which takes about 8 hours with a guide. It gives you an opportunity to view nature and animals which can be viewed using a microscope. The Konyiri nature walk offers you with resting places during the hike with viewpoints for the national park and animal species like buffalos, elephants, baboons, lions among others. The two hour walk in the southern Narus valley which is a great spot for birding like the unique Karamoja apalis, black-breasted barbet, yellow-billed, hoopoe, Nubian woodpecker, little weaver, red-cheeked cordon, superb starling, vinaceous dove among others and view animals drinking water like the elephants, zebras, lions, buffalos among others. Hiking at Morungole Mountains to visit the IK people which are one of the smallest ethnic groups in Uganda. The Karamajong settlements and hiking on Idi Amin's dream lodge that was never completed while he was still president of Uganda.
Bird watching: Kidepo valley national park is the second national park with a wide number of bird species apart from Queen Elizabeth national park. Kidepo National park is a home of over 450 bird species, 56 birds of prey and with 14 species endemic in the Karamoja region which include the ostriches that are only found in Kidepo national park, pygmy falcon, Verreaux’s eagle, Kori bustard, yellow-billed hornbill, Egyptian vulture, Karamoja apalis, and Jackson’s hornbill among others. Bird watching in Kidepo valley national park starts at any time of the day and the best viewing point is Apoka rest camp and the park headquarters which look on the southern Narus valley and Namamukweny valley with various bird species including Ruppels, superb starling, silver bird, yellow-billed hornbill, Vinaceous dove, Jackson’s hornbill, Kori bustard, pygmy falcon, Egyptian vulture, Karamoja apalis among others which gives birders a great birding experience on the safari in Kidepo valley national park.
Cultural encounter: This is where the visitors visit the neighboring communities in Kidepo national park including the Karamojong village which is an interesting group of people in that they are warrior nomads participate in subsistence farming and cattle rearing. They live in an arid region in that they walk long distances to get water and at times there have been floods in the area. Karamojong people are related to the Maasai in that they rare large herds of cattle and they migrate with their animals in search of water and pasture. They construct temporary structures wherever they go, have traditional knives, stools, dress code, arrows, beads, spears, art and much more. The IK people visit which takes around 8 hours to reach the community and therefore needs an early morning walk to climb up into the Morungole mountains to visit the IK people which is one of the original tribes in the northeast of Kidepo valley national park. Kidepo valley national park can be visited throughout the year and the best time to visit is during the dry season between September to March when the park is less crowded and the park has few accommodation facilities for the visitors including Apoka Rest Camp, Nga Moru Wildlife Camp, Uganda Wildlife Authority Bandas, Apoka Safari Lodge among others for visitors relaxation and clear view while on a safari in Kidepo valley national park.
Mount Elgon National ParkMount Elgon national park is located close to Mbale district found on the slopes of Mount Elgon in eastern Uganda. It covers 1145 square kilometers, an extinct volcanic mountain found on Uganda’s border with Kenya. Mount Elgon national park is shared by two neighboring countries Uganda in the east and Kenya in the west. Its highest peak Wagagai is found on the Ugandan side and is 4321metres, there are other three outstanding peaks including Jackson’s summit which is 4165metres, Kiongo 4303metres and Mubiyi at 4210meters and Mount Elgon is the fourth highest mountain in East Africa. The mountain is a watershed for rivers like river Sipi which forms the Sipi falls. Mount Elgon national park has altitudinal vegetation areas including lush Montana, mixed bamboo belt forest with uncommon plant species like large lobelia, thick shrubs, groundsel plants, luminous wildflowers among others and attractions like the old cave paintings near the trailhead that are found at Budadiri, the stunning caves and the hot springs inside the crater. Mount Elgon national park is a home of about 300 bird species which include red-throated wryneck, black collared apalis, alpine chat, moorland francolin among others and animal species including buffalos, antelopes, elephants, Oribi, defassa, waterbuck, duiker, primates like forest monkeys among others.
Activities in Mount Elgon National ParkHiking: Mount Elgon national park offers a better hiking option for hikers in Uganda and hiking is the main activity done in the park in that it has lower peaks which are favorable than those of Mount Rwenzori. Hiking in Mount Elgon national park is interesting since the park is less congested because many people are not aware of it. There are different trails to take during the hike, for example, the Piswa trail which is long and gentle, takes 7 days and covers 49kilometers, the Sipi trail which covers 56kilometers and takes 4-6days and the Sasa trail which is the shortest but toughest because it’s very steep and takes about 4days during the hike. Various animal species will be spotted during the hike including the unique forest monkeys, elephants, buffaloes, small antelopes among others, bird species, Sipi waterfalls, beautiful Scenic Mountain peaks, hot springs, ancient cave paintings close to the Budadiri trailhead among others.
Sipi Fall tour: Sipi waterfalls are located in Kapchorwa district and the Sipi waterfall trek is the most rewarding tour which welcomes you before you reach with a sound from a distance. Sipi falls is a combination of three waterfalls each flowing from different altitude and the highest or major waterfall is 100meters above sea level and is the main attraction of Sipi, the second flow from about 85meters above the sea level with a beautiful scenic view around it and the third flows from about 75meters above sea level. During the Sipi falls tour you will visit the caves like the Tutum cave which is hidden within the forest, visit the plantations, streams, coffee tours and learn how coffee is processed locally hence the visitors will learn local ways of processing coffee.
Bird watching: Mount Elgon national park is a home of about 300 bird species and 40 species are restricted to Mount Elgon. The spotting areas for birds in the park include the Kapkwai forest, the exploration center of the forest with thick shrubs along the loop trail to Cheptui falls where you will see birds like the African goshawk, white chinned Prinia, African blue flycatcher, cinnamon bee-eater, among others.
Mountain biking: this is one of the most interesting activities in mount Elgon national park that should be undertaken while on a safari because mount Elgon is not as high as other mountains in east Africa. Mount Elgon national park has trails that run from Sipi trading center to Chema hill in Kapchorwa town which takes around one and a half hours hence giving the visitors a beautiful scenic view of Sipi falls, the vegetation zones, sparkling streams, rugged rocks, animal species among others. Mountain biking is also done in Bwindi national park apart from mounting Elgon national park hence making it a unique activity to participate in for great scenic viewing and experience.
Nature walks: nature walk is one of the activities that is carried out in Mount Elgon national park where the visitors move on foot within the park with park rangers for relaxation, close view of the animals and landscapes. During the nature walk you can take a 7km bamboo trail to Kapkwai cave and pass through the tropical and bamboo forest which take about 4 hours and will be able to spot primate species, different birds, rare tree species like Elgon teak, Elgon olive among others, the 5km walk to the Chebonet falls, a 3km walk to Kapkwai caves and an 11km hike to Tutum cave where you can camp for an overnight and view different bird species like the African blue flycatcher, African goshawk, black collared apalis among others.
Cultural encounters: this is an activity where the visitors visit the communities surrounding the park to learn about their lifestyles. There are different communities living around Mount Elgon national park which include the Gishu traditions also known as the Bagisu tribe, they call the mountain their first father and have a common Imbalu ceremony of the removal of the foreskin on the males private part with myth behind this ceremony hence becoming a serious culture in Gishu and visitors get to learn why this ceremony is carried out. The Sabiny traditions where you get to meet the Sipi widows group for entertainment, also take you on a guided walk through the coffee plantations explaining the activities involved during the coffee growing, planting, picking, grinding, washing, storing among others. You can get a chance to get involved in educative activities like awareness about female circumcision which is a practice among the Sabiny people.
Mount Elgon national park can be visited by visitors throughout the year and the best time to visit is during the dry season between June to August and December to March and the are some accommodation facilities where you can stay during your safari including Wooden Camping Bandas, Mbale Resort Hotel, Mount Elgon Hotel, Sunrise Inn, Guest Houses, Country Home among others.
Kibale National ParkKibale National Park is located near Fort Portal and Kasese in western Uganda and covers an area of about 795km between 1100m to 1600m. It takes about 2 hours from Kasese and 6 hours from Kampala to Kibale. Kibale national park is a habitat of various wildlife species which include 13 primate species including baboons, red colobus monkeys, mangabey, black and white monkeys, L-Hoest monkeys among others and mammals like mongoose, bushbucks, and warthogs among others bird species like great blue turaco, black and white hornbill among others.
Activities in Kibale National ParkChimpanzee tracking: this is one of the popular and common activity in Kibale national park because Kibale is best known for chimpanzees in East Africa. Chimpanzee tracking starts in the morning at 8:00 am and the afternoon tracking starts at 2:00 pm which involves walking through the forest in search of the chimpanzees for 2-3 hours and when found visitors is limited to one hour in the presence of the primates, other primates that will be viewed include red colobus monkey, blue monkey, L-Hoest monkey, baboons, bush babies among others.
Chimpanzee habituation: this is the process undertaken to get the chimpanzees to get used to the human presence and it is carried out at Kanyachu information center which is famous for primate walks, chimpanzee tracking. During the chimpanzee habituation, the visitors will get an opportunity to learn more about the chimpanzee habits including their mating, feeding habits among others and will also spend some time with the chimpanzees, therefore, advised to carry packed lunch and some drinking water.
Bird watching: Kibale national park is a home of over 370 bird species and bird watching tours start very early in the morning at around 7:00 am at Kanyachu which is located in the middle of the park and can be carried out throughout the year. Birds that will be viewed include papyrus Gonolek, white-winged warbler, great blue turaco, black and white hornbill, breasted pitta among others.
Bigodi wetland sanctuary: This is a wetland that is located outside the park in Magombe swamp 6km south of Kibale national park run by the community surrounding the park. It is a home of over 138 bird species like the black and white hornbill, great blue turaco among others, 8 primate species including the vervet monkeys, red colobus monkey, blue monkey among others, mammals including bushbucks, warthogs, mongoose, forest elephants, and butterflies. Nature walks: This is an activity where the visitors walk on foot within the park to view different animal species and birds. Kibale national park offers nocturnal forest walks to visitors where the visitors walk in the forest at night with the park rangers and spotlights to spot nocturnal animals like bush babies, pottos and some bird species. Bushcraft children activities, these are the activities that children under the age of 15 participate in while on a safari with their parents because they are not allowed to take part in chimpanzee tracking, therefore, Kibale national park organizes children Bushcraft classes and activities which include viewing wildlife, plants, birds, monkeys among others.
Cultural encounters: visitors in Kibale national park are allowed to take part in cultural encounters where they visit the villages like Bigodi community to see their lifestyles , visit vanilla plantations, Rwenzori mountains, crater lakes, taste different dishes, performances from the community like cultural dances, songs, traditional art and craft among others hence gaining great experience from the community. Kibale national park has other activities like the visit to Amabere Ga Nyina Mwiru the rocks in the cave in fort portal, the crater lakes tour which contains over 50 crater lakes and has a number of accommodation facilities including Isunga lodge, chimpanzee forest guest house, Kyaninga lodge, Kyambura lodge among others which are designed using traditional wood and Bandas thatched with grass. Kibale national park can be visited throughout the year and the best time to visit is during the dry season between July to September and January to February when the trails are not slippery.
Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National ParkBwindi impenetrable national park is located in south western Uganda and situated along the Democratic Republic of Congo border next to Virunga national park and on the edge of the Albertine rift valley. It is located in Kanungu district, kabala is the southeast 29km by road, covers 321 square kilometers of both montane and lowland forest and ranges 1190m to 2607m to 8553 feet above sea level. Bwindi national park is among the forests in East Africa with more than 1000 flowering plant species including 163 tree species, 104 ferns, guinea Mongolian flora in the northern sector with two endangered species of brown mahogany and brazzeia longipedicellata. Bwindi impenetrable national park is most famous for the endangered gorilla trekking because it harbors half of the world's mountain gorillas which is about 400 gorillas and 14 are habituated Gorilla groups in four sectors of Buhoma, Ruhija, Rushaga, and Nkuringo. It is also a habitat of 120 mammal species, 350 bird species, 220 butterflies, 27 frogs, chameleons, geckos, and many other endangered species.
Activities in Bwindi Impenetrable National ParkGorilla tracking: this is the most interesting and major activity in Bwindi national park which requires hiking for long distances with the guide in search of the gorilla families depending on the steep slopes in the park. There are four Gorilla groups in Bwindi that are available for trekking on a daily basis including Mubare, Habinyanja, Rushegura, and Nkuringo, and the visitors spend one hour in the presence of the gorillas while finding. You will also be able to spot other primates like chimpanzees, blue monkeys, black and white monkeys, L-Hoest monkeys, grey chested mangabeys among others.
Nature walks: Bwindi national park has more than six trails in Buhoma where the visitors move on foot to view different animals, birds, plants among others which include the Rushura trail, ivo river trail, Bushoma village tourist walk, Muzubijiro loop trail, waterfall trail, Munyanga river trail among others and you will be able to view the Bakiga and Batwa people, lake Edward and Rwenzori, tree ferns, orchids, butterflies, bird species like African green broadbill, white tailed blue flycatcher, brown necked parrot, primates like red tailed monkey, black and white monkey, olive baboons, L-Hoest monkeys among others.
Bird watching:, Bwindi impenetrable forest national park is a home of about 350 bird species and they are best observed in Ruhija sector which inhabits 23 birds endemic of the Albertine rift including blue-headed sunbird, warblers among others and bird watching is also done in Buhoma waterfall along the bamboo zone and Mubwindi swamp in Ruhija to view birds like African green broadbill, white tailed blue flycatcher, brown necked parrot among others.
Mountain biking: This is also called a ride 4 a woman where you do a village walk on a bike with a trained guide who guides you through the village and in case you spot bird species the mountain biking is organized by Buhoma community rest camp and it takes 6 to 7 hours and 13km to Ivi river, you will be able to see animals like monkeys, bushbucks, primates, birds among others hence making the biking fascinating.
Gorilla habituation: this is an activity that is done along with the researchers and guides to train gorillas so as to make them get used to human presence. It is carried out in Rushaga gorilla sector and there are about 11 habituated gorilla families which include Mubare, Rushegura in north Buhoma, Habinyanja, Bitukura, Kyanguriro in eastern Ruhija part, oruzogo, Nshngi, Busingye, Mishaya, Bweza, Kahungye in Rushaga and Nkuringo family, two families are being habituated in Rushaga sector. Gorilla habituation process starts at 7:00 am and visitors spend 4 hours with the gorillas in their natural habitat observing the lifestyles, behaviors, and habits hence having a great experience with the gorillas.
Cultural encounters: This is a well-known activity in Bwindi impenetrable national forest where the visitors have an encounter with the local people including the Batwa and Bakiga. The Batwa also known as pygmies are found in Rushaga and Buhoma and were hunters and gatherers that lived in the forests southern sector many years ago, they carry out cultural performances like dances, craft activities, their ways of life, traditional dishes among others that will interest the visitors.
Bwindi impenetrable national park can be visited any time throughout the year although the best time is during the dry season when vegetation is less thick and no heavy rains between June to August and December to February. It has a number of luxury, budget and mid-range accommodation facilities including the gorilla resort Bwindi, Nkuringo gorilla camp, Bwindi gorilla camp, Nyundo valley hill Bandas among others which give the visitors a comfortable stay on their safari in Bwindi impenetrable forest national park.
Semliki National ParkSemliki National Park is located in Bwamba County, remote part of the Bundibugyo district in the western region on Uganda’s border with the Democratic Republic of Congo. The park covers 220 square kilometers with an altitude of 670meters to 760 meters above sea level with river Semliki which acts as a boundary between Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Semliki national park is located on the rift valley base between Lake Albert, Rwenzori Mountains, and the Kijura escarpments. Semliki national park is a home of over 60 mammal species including buffaloes, leopards, hippos, elephants, 400 bird species with 12 endemic species including yellow-throated cuckoo, red-sided broadbill, piping hornbill, yellow long bill, crested marimbas among others and 8 primate species including red tailed monkey, vervet monkey, blue monkey, debrazza’s monkey, grey checked mangabey, olive baboon, chimpanzees among others. Semliki National Park has four distinct ethnic groups which live near the park, for example, Bwamba farmers who live along the base of the Rwenzori while the Bakonjo cultivate the mountain slopes, Batuku cattle keepers inhabit on the open plains and the Batwa who are traditionally hunters and gatherers live on the edge of the forest.
Activities in Semliki National ParkGame drives: this is an activity where the visitors drive within the park with a driver-guide to spot different mammals, birds, primates, landscapes among others. Semliki national park has a day drive which starts in the morning and another one in the afternoon and during the day drive you drive through the savannah grasslands and the forest of Toro in Semliki wildlife reserve and will be able to view animals like buffaloes, waterbucks, warthogs, bushbucks, Uganda kobs, bush babies, grey-checked mangabey, pygmy antelopes, flying squirrels, hippos, forest elephants among others. There is also a night game drive offered by Semliki lodge which is done after dinner with the game rangers who carry spotlights for easy sightseeing and viewing of the nocturnal animals in their hideouts including genets, white tailed mongoose, eagle owls, bush baby, leopards, pottos, bats among others.
Bird watching: Semliki national park is blessed with over 400 bird species of which 12 species are endemic to only Semliki national park and its best done during the breeding season which is in March after the long dry season. Birding is normally done in Kirumia River, Ntandi River and Sempaya River and the bird species spotted during bird watching include African open bill, blue breasted bee-eater, African pygmy goose, black caudal, African crake, great white pelican among others. Bird watching in Semliki national park is an interesting activity to carry out in that you will be able to watch the migratory birds relocate to the Semliki wildlife reserve from November to December.
Boat rides: Semliki national park offers an opportunity to visitors who want to go on a guided boat ride on Semliki River which is 160km long and runs from the Rwenzori Mountains to Lake Albert and the Nile. Boat rides on Semliki river are interesting in that they offer a beautiful scenic view on the rift valley between Rwenzori’s Kijura escarpments and will see different bird species like shoebill, blue breasted bee-eater, blue-headed caudal, great white pelican among others and animals like waterbucks, Nile crocodiles, pygmy hippos, lizards, sitatungas and many others hence giving the visitor a great experience on the safari.
Semliki hot springs: Semliki national park has two hot springs the female and the male hot spring and there is a trail that leads you to the hot spring at Sempaya, the male hot spring is called Bintete and is 12meters in diameter found in a lush swampy clearing and the female hot spring is known as Nyasimbi and is the hottest and most dangerous, local people used to cook food in the hot springs and visitors can also experience that by cooking simple foods like eggs and also view some bird species and primates while at the hot springs.
Nature / forest walks: this is an activity where the visitors move with a park ranger within the park on foot to experience nature, view vegetation of the reserve, plants, bird habitats, butterflies, animals at a close range like warthogs, Uganda kobs, baboons, vervet monkeys, black and white colobus monkey, hornbills among others. Semliki national park has three trails that the visitors can follow including the Sempaya trail which passes through the forest and leads to Sempaya hot springs where you will find treehouse stop over to see the birds, primates and then to the male hot spring, the Kirumia trail which is a 13km trail and good for birders because it ends up to the Semliki river and the red monkey trail which is 11km long and ends up at the Semliki river and you will be able to see the rare debrazza monkey that is only found in Semlik national park.
Primate walks: Semliki national park is one of the game reserves that offer primate walks to visitors in Uganda. It takes 3to 4 hours and the starting point is at Semliki safari lodge where the visitors meet the ranger guides that will guide them during the primate walk in Semliki. Different primates will be spotted including the chimpanzees under the habituation process and other primates like a red tailed monkey, vervet monkey, black and white monkey, baboons and animals like waterbucks, bushbucks, buffaloes, Uganda kobs, warthogs among others.
Other activities in Semliki national park include hiking to Nyaburogo gorge, chimpanzee habituation at Kijura observation point, cultural encounters with the Rwebisengo community, Kasenge-Kyakabaseke community, fishing on river Semliki, Batwa trail experience among others. Semliki national park has a number of luxury and budget accommodation facilities where the visitors can stay while on the safari including Semuliki safari lodge in Semuliki valley which is the oldest luxury lodge, Ntoroko game lodge at the shores of Lake Albert, Kirumia guest house located along Sempaya gate, Bamuga campsite among others, Semliki national park can be visited throughout the year by tourists.
Mgahinga National ParkMgahinga National Park is the smallest national park but rich in terms of safari activities in that it was mainly established to protect the mountain gorillas in Uganda, it is located in the southwestern part of Uganda and is 33.7 square kilometers, about 10km south of Kisoro and is bordered by the volcanoes national park in Rwanda to the south and to the west Virunga national park in the Democratic Republic of Congo, it also lies 2227m and 4127m between the altitudes and between the three Virunga Conservation Area which all form 434 square kilometers of the conservation area. Mgahinga national park covers the northern slopes of the three Virunga volcanoes in other wards Mount Muhavura at 4127m, Mount Gahinga at 3474m and Mount Sabinyo at 3645m. Mgahinga national park can be accessed using both road and air transport by road it is about 9-10 hours drive from Kampala, 6 hours from Kigali Rwanda 14km from Kisoro to Ntebeko which is the park entrance. The name Mgahinga was derived from the Kinyarwanda word Gahinga that means (pile of volcanic lava stone heaps where cultivation is carried out). Mgahinga national park is a home of 115 bird species, 76 mammal species including the endangered golden monkeys and gorillas, buffaloes, elephants, giant forest hogs, bushbucks, leopards, spotted hyenas, black-fronted duikers among others and 200 butterfly species.
Activities in Mgahinga National ParkGorilla tracking: this is the most popular breathtaking activity that is done in Mgahinga national park where the visitors follow the trails in search of gorillas and apart from Bwindi impenetrable forest national park Mgahinga is the second national park with gorillas in Uganda. Mgahinga national park has one habituated family called Nyakagezi with fourteen members that are tracked, tracking starts early in the morning at 8:00 am at Ntebeko gate and takes 2-4 hours depending on the location of the gorillas because they like to move in search of food and visitors spend one hour in the presence of the gorillas once found. Gorilla tracking requires moving in the forest, valleys, steep slopes and therefore the visitors are requested to wear light clothes, carry masks, packed lunch, drinking water and cameras.
Golden monkey tracking: this is one of the interesting activities in Mgahinga national park apart from gorilla tracking because it gives an amazing experience to watch the endangered golden monkeys in the trees. Golden monkey tracking can start in the morning or in the afternoon depending on your schedule. Mgahinga national park is the only park in Uganda where gorillas live with monkeys hence referred to as the only national park where gold meets silver. There are about six habituated golden monkey families in Mgahinga where visitors get to spend more time in their presence learning their lifestyles, way of feeding, natural habitats among others
Bird watching: Mgahinga national park is a habitat of over 115 bird species and birding can be carried out through the bamboo forest in the gorge between Sabinyo, Gahinga and in the montane forest where you will be able to see different birds like the Rwenzori turaco, bronze sunbird, Rwenzori batis, cape robin chat, black-headed waxbill, handsome francolin, olive pigeon, brown woodland warbler, scarlet tufted sunbird, dusky turtle dove, streaky seedeater, fire finch, white snapped raven among others.
Nature walks/ hiking: Mgahinga national park offers a wild experience to visitors where they walk on foot with a park ranger within the park and outside the park to the surrounding communities to see the way they live. Nature walks in Mgahinga are done around the edges of the mountains through the bamboo forests, Rugezi swamp which has a great scenic view of the agricultural villages, wild vegetation, surrounding lakes like lake Mutanda, be able to see forest bird species in the trees, some animals and also have an encounter with the Batwa.
Cultural encounter: Mgahinga national park is a home of the indigenous Batwa who were the fierce warriors, hunters, and gatherers in the forest and were resettled out of the park when it was gazette as a national park and they stay around the park while some participate in the tourism industry as guides and porters. During the Batwa trail they will show you how they used to live in the wild, depended on the forest in terms of food and used to hunt and demonstrate their way of life through traditional dances music, show traditional medicines, fire making, hunting among others which is an interesting activity in Mgahinga because the Batwa are quite unique people.
Mountain climbing: this is an adventurous activity in Mgahinga national park because it enables the tourists to hike the three volcanoes that mark the border of Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. It takes a full day to climb each of the volcanoes, for example, mount Muhavura covers 12km, is 5127m high and takes around 8hours to reach the top where you will see mount Rwenzori peaks, Virunga volcanoes, Bwindi forest and lake Edward in Queen Elizabeth national park, mount Sabinyo which is the most challenging among the three because of the mushy vegetation takes around 8 hours to reach the top where you will be standing in three countries at ago that is Uganda, Rwanda and Democratic Republic of Congo and the third volcano which is mount Gahinga that covers 8km and takes 6hours through the bamboo forest to reach the top where you will find a swamp and stone piles in some gardens hence making mountain climbing in Mgahinga national park fascinating, exciting and adventurous for tourists on a safari.
Mgahinga national park has a wide number of accommodations where visitors on a safari can stay including mount Mgahinga lodge which is found on the edges of Virunga volcanoes, mount Mgahinga rest camp with grass-thatched bandas, clouds mountain gorilla lodge in Kisoro, Nkuringo safari lodge on the shores of Lake Mutanda, travelers nest hotel located outside Kisoro among others. Mgahinga national park experiences two rainy seasons that is between March to May and September to November and can be visited throughout the year especially during the dry season from June to August and December to February because it’s always favorable for gorilla trekking and mountain climbing when the forest is less slippery.
"Whether it is gorilla trekking in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, or hiking on Rwenzori, Mount Elgon, Mount Sabinyo while at Mgahinga National Park, early morning game drives in Queen Elizabeth National Park to catch a glimpse of elephants and lions, boat drives on lake Mburo, to take in the various sights and see zebras and giraffes, among other animals or visiting Murchison Falls or Kidepo Valley National park to see the elegant Ostriches, a visit to any or all of Uganda’s national parks will not leave you the same."