Uganda

 

Uganda is a land of huge contrasts and is a wild and exciting country to explore.

Uganda

Venturing from the lush and densely forested mountains to the arid savannah and semi-desert, and watching the variety of wildlife that lives in these diverse habitats makes for a thrilling journey.

In such a wild and undeveloped country, you need to seek out and track the game, rather than sit and wait for it to come to you, which make encounters with the wildlife all the more rewarding.

Initially people are drawn to a safari in Uganda because of the extraordinary mountain gorilla viewing in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park. Gorilla tracking is a unique wildlife experience. Led by an experienced guide, it can take between two and eight hours of walking through deep and entangled forest to find the gorillas, so a degree of fitness is essential. However, to spend time sitting with these extraordinary creatures is well worth the effort. It is estimated that half the global population of mountain gorillas live in Bwindi, along with 350 – 400 chimpanzees.

A limited number of gorilla viewing permits are granted each year, so it is advisable to book well in advance.

Murchisons Falls is the largest National Park in Uganda, bisected by the mighty River Nile. We can arrange for you to visit the top of the Falls, game drive to view game such as giraffe, elephant, lion, buffalo and warthog, relax and enjoy a launch cruise along the Nile, or attempt to catch an enormous Nile Perch.

Queen Elizabeth National Park is home to the greatest volume of wildlife of all the Ugandan Parks and hence is the most popular. The wide variety of game here includes elephant, lion, hyena, buffalo, hippo and over 560 species of bird including martial eagle and Verreaux’s eagle owl.

Kibale Forest has the highest concentration of primates, with 13 species in all. There is a large chimp population in the forest, including some which have been habituated. It is a dark, damp rain forest with trails cut through so that visitors can more easily see the myriad of birds and animals which live there.

Semliki Valley Wildlife Reserve, the oldest protected wildlife area of Uganda, has a fascinating diversity of ecosystems, resident wildlife and hence game-viewing activities. There is a spectacular array of birds throughout the Reserve. In the forests of the Mugiri River you can go chimp tracking, take a boat trip on Lake Albert, follow forest trails tracking the rare mountain elephant and on thrilling night drives you will discover a whole new animal kingdom when predators such as leopard, genets, cervals and mongoose can be seen.

Lake Mburo National Park is an extension of the Tanzanian plains and is not only home to a vast population of zebra, but also the only place to see impala in Uganda.

Kidepo National Park is tucked into a corner of the country next to Kenya and Sudan. It is largely mountainous, but the game is concentrated along the Narus Valley, which reveals panoramic views of herds of buffalo, elephant, giraffe and zebra along with the inevitable accompanying predators.

Most travelling between parks, reserves and camps is by vehicle, so you can get a great feel for the ever-changing countryside.

We can arrange private safaris, or you can join a set departure for a small group of fellow travellers.

 

Images courtesy: Apoka, Semliki Safari Lodge