2020 Uganda Wildlife Safaris /Safaris in Uganda / Gorilla Trekking safaris in Uganda / Visit Uganda in 2020
Uganda, the pearl of Africa is unique destination that travellers should be travelling to in 2020. The country not only has the world’s most friendly people, but is also gifted by nature.
There is so much for travellers to do on 2020 Uganda wildlife safaris. These include gorilla trekking, gorilla habitation, wildlife game drives, boat safaris among others
In 2020, while on Uganda wildlife safaris, travellers can go to the 10 different national parks or choose to go to specific ones.
We do encourage booking your 2020 Uganda wildlife safaris as soon as possible especially when combined with gorilla trekking.
National Parks to visit for 2020 Uganda Wildlife Safaris
There are ten national parks that can be visited for different safari experiences.
Bwindi Impenetrable National park.
- Bwindi Impenetrable National park, a World heritage UNESCO is found in South Western Uganda, bordering Rwanda and Congo. The park is famous for gorilla trekking, gorilla habituation, bird watching, nature walks, filming, research, Batwa trail experiences and community walks. Gorilla trekking and bird watching are the most popular activities and we advise to book your gorilla safari as soon as you make a decision to come. There are only about 1000 mountain gorillas and half of these are found in Uganda.
Kidepo Valley National park
- Kidepo Valley National park offers the best wilderness safari experiences and should definitely be visited on your 2020 Uganda wildlife safaris. It is one of the less visited national parks in Uganda because of its location but the beauty of this is that you have a feeling of being the this national park a lone. It has lots of animals like big herds of buffalos, elephants, giraffes, different types of antelopes, zebras, etc. The park can be explored during guided game drives which take place in the mornings, evenings and in the night. Guided nature walks are also available and are guided by a ranger guided from Uganda Wildlife Authority. It is the only park in Uganda with cheetah. For bird watchers, there are ostriches, superb sterling, Karamajong Apalis, etc. Our professional bird watching guides would help you identify the different bird species. For visitors interested in learning about the people living around, cultural walks can be arranged. You can visit the IK people and or the Karamajong who are similar to the Masai of Kenya. It is easy to get to Kidepo Valley National park, either by air transport or by road transport
Murchison Falls National Park.
- Murchison Falls National park is the biggest national park with the most powerful waterfall in the world. The park is home to the big four (Lion, leopard, Buffalo and elephant) and it is possible to see all the big 5 animals when you do rhino tracking at Ziwa rhino sanctuary on your way to the park. You can go for game drives, hot air balloon safaris, boat safari at the bottom of the Murchison Falls, a boat trip to the delta for the shoebill stork and bird watching. The park is also easily accessed by road using 4 x 4 WD safari vehicles and by air. The park too has different accommodation options suitable for each traveller.
Queen Elizabeth National Park.
- Queen Elizabeth National park was formerly known as Kazinga national park before the Queen of England Queen Elizabeth visited the park in 1952. The park is one of the most popular ones in Uganda and is famous for game drives, lion tracking, chimpanzee tracking, bird watching and the Kazinga channel boat safari which is one of the highlights. On game drives, watch out for lions, leopards, hyenas, forest hogs, warthogs, different antelopes, buffalo, elephants, hippos, etc. Birds include African spoon bill, Marabou stork, pelicans, wattled lapwing, yellow billed stork, palm nut vulture, sacred ibis, hadada ibis, grey headed kingfisher, African fish eagle, malachite kingfisher, among others. Chimpanzee trekking in Queen Elizabeth National park takes place at Kyambura gorge. In the South of the park is Ishasha sector which is famously know for tree climbing lions.
Kibale National Park.
- Kibale National park is located in Western Uganda and it is known for chimpanzee trekking and chimpanzee habituation. The park has the highest number of primate species in the world. We do organize chimpanzee treks which take place in the morning and in the afternoon. Chimpanzee habituation goes for a whole day and only very few people are allowed to do this activity with a team of researchers from Uganda wildlife Authority. Bird watching is also a common activity for people who are keen at birds and most forest bird species can be found here. For visitors interested in the nocturnal wildlife, you can sign up for night nature walks with a ranger guide. Kibale National park is easily accessed from Kampala, Entebbe and it can easily be connected to from other national parks like Murchison Falls National park. Apart from primates and birds, the park is also home to forest elephants and forest buffalos
Mgahinga Gorilla National park.
- Mgahinga Gorilla National park is the smallest national park in Uganda but it’s size lies. It should not be missed on your 2020 Uganda wildlife safaris because it is parked with different activities to choose from. The park is also home to Mountain gorillas and only one gorilla family is habituated for gorilla trekking. Apart from gorilla trekking, one can go for golden monkey tracking to see the highly endangered golden monkeys. All these activities can be combined with the Batwa Trail experience, bird watching and a hike to one of the of the volcano mountains.
Lake Mburo National Park
- Lake Mburo National park is the smallest Savannah park in Uganda. It is located in South Western Uganda and it is conveniently located from Kampala and Entebbe towns. It is only 4 hours from Kampala and 5 hours from Entebbe to get to the park. There are different activities that a visitor can choose from. These are horse-back safaris, boat safaris on the boat, bird watching, morning and night game drive, walking safaris and a cultural walk around the Bahima community. Animals to watch out are zebra, eland, Topi, water buck, bush buck, buffalo, giraffe, leopard, wartwog, hyena and baboon. The park is also home to different bird species- vultures, storks, kingfishers, eagles, and so on
Rwenzori Mountains National park
- The Rwenzori mountains national park, located in Kasese has Margherita peak as the highest point in Uganda at 5,109 metres (16,762 ft) above sea level. We do organize hiking tours to the mountain from one day to 10 days hike with professional guides. Apart from hiking this beautiful mountain with snow at the top, people can go bird watching of the Albertine bird species, cultural tours or just take guided nature walks around the mount. Lots of birds and animals are inhabited here and 2020 should see you including a visit to this national park
Semuliki National park
- Semuliki National park is a less visited national park located n Bundibugyo. Birders should not miss this birding paradise of forest bird species, some cross from Ituri forest from Congo. Nature walks here are rewarding and a walk to the Sempaya hot springs is a highlight. At the hot springs, you can actually cook your food. Your guide will give you more knowledge about the natural wonders of this place. The park is easily accessible from Fort Portal and there are many accommodations to choose from while in Fort Portal. A visit here can also be combined with chimp trekking in Kibale National park.
Mount Elgon National Park.
- Mount Elgon National park is located 140 KM North East of Kampala, covering an area of 1,279 square kilometres. It lies in Uganda and Kenya with the bigger part of 1,110 square kilometres and 169 square kilometres in Kenya. In Uganda, it became a national park in 1919 and 1968 in Kenya. There are many activities that take place in Mount Elgon. These include birding along the loop trail to Cheptui Falls. Birds here African Goshawk; Chubb’s Cisticola, White-chinned Prinia and African Blue Flycatcher among others. Visitors at Elgon can also enjoy views of Sipi Falls, sport fishing above the highest of the 3 waterfalls at Sipi. Hiking on different trails rewards you with the parks birds, monkeys, caves, viewpoints and waterfalls. Outside the park, you can go for rock climbing, mountain biking and abseiling down the Sipi Falls
Safari Experiences to consider for 2020 Uganda Wildlife Safaris
1. Gorilla Trekking.
Gorilla trekking in Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National and Mgahinga Gorilla National park is very popular. The trek take you to a habituated family of mountain gorillas. Coming face to face with the giant mountain gorillas is breath taking and a once in a lifetime safari experience. The trek starts in the morning with a briefing from officials of Uganda Wildlife Authority. It takes 2-8 hours before seeing the mountain gorillas, depending on where they slept the previous night. People planning to com to Uganda for gorilla trekking are advised to book their gorilla safari or gorilla trekking permits as early as possible, 6 months in advance because permits are highly demanded.
2. Gorilla Habituation Experience.
The gorilla habituation experience involves only four people following up a gorilla family that is being habituated. Unlike gorilla trekking where you spend only 1 hour with the mountain gorillas, with gorilla habituation you spend four hours with the mountain gorillas you are trying to habituate. Although a gorilla habituation permit costs more (1500 USD per permit) than the normal gorilla trek (600 USD per permit), the money is worth it. When the family you are habituated is fully comfortable with human presence, it will be open for gorilla trekking. All the data collected during the gorilla habituation activity is added to the data base. It should be noted that gorilla habituation only takes place in Uganda, Bwindi Impenetrable National park, in Rushaga the Southern sector of the park
3. Chimpanzee Trekking
This activity involves trekking man’s closest cousin in different places in Uganda. Chimpanzees can be trekked from Budongo Forest in Murchison Falls National park, Kyambura gorge, Kalizu and the best place for chimpanzee trekking is Kibale National Park, which is also known as the primate capital of the world due to a dense population of primate species. Chimpanzee trekking takes place in the morning and in the afternoon. Chimpanzee permits must be booked in advance before your safari begins
3. Chimpanzee Habituation
Travellers who would like to spend more time with the chimpanzees should go for chimpanzee habituation in Kibale National Park or Budongo Forest. This activity takes place the whole day and stops when clients decide to go back to the lodge to relax. As per Uganda Wildlife Authority rates, the chimpanzee habituation permit costs 200 US dollars per person
4. Filming Mountain gorillas
Individuals and companies interested in filming mountain gorillas in 2020 can contact us to organize their filming permits. The filming permits exclude park entry fees and gorilla trekking or habituation permits. Filming these great apes is amazing and should not be missed to be included on your 2020 Uganda wildlife safaris
5. Boat safaris.
Boat safaris are a great way to view wildlife that come to drink water at lakes and rivers. Many animals come to these water bodies in the afternoon when it is hot. In Uganda, you can go for a boat safari at the bottom of Murchison falls in Murchison Falls National park, Kazinga channel in Queen Elizabeth National park and on lake Mburo in Lake Mburo National park. Animals that come to drink and swim include hippos, elephants, buffalo, crocodiles, waterbuck, giraffe, and countless birds that include King fishers, fish eagles, pelicans, hammerkop, etc.
6. Hiking mountains
The main big mountains in Uganda that can be hiked are the Rwenzori Mountains and Mount Elgon. These can be hiked throughout the year and offer amazing views from the top, wildlife and birdlife as you hike through the different trails. Mountain Ruwenzori is very beautiful and its peak Margherita is the highest point in Uganda. It has snow too. Mount Elgon lies between Uganda and Kenya border and offers great views of crater lakes and the Sipi falls depending on which trail you take. All these mountains are a birder’s paradise.
Shorter hikes are also available, these take you to one of the three volcanic mountains in Mgahinga Gorilla National park
7. Bird Watching experiences.
The few bird watchers who have been on our bird watching safaris to Uganda can surely testify that Uganda is a birding paradise. The country is home to countless birds and is home to 20% of the worlds bird species. You can see forest birds, savannah birds, water birds and endemic species. Some of the birds include king fishers, fish eagles, African green broadbill, Superb sterling, Shoebill stork, we can go on and on…Check more the Uganda bird checklist.
8. White Water rafting
White water rafting is great for adventure lovers. It takes place in Jinja on River Nile in Eastern Uganda. Rafting through the rapids is amazing and one can choose to go for a full day or half day experience. The activity is well guided by professional guides and should not be missed during your 2020 Uganda wildlife Safaris
9. Golden Monkey Tracking and habituation
In Uganda, golden monkeys can only be trekked and habituated in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. They are highly endangered and should not be missed on your Uganda safaris. The golden monkey trekking and habituation of these golden creature begin in the morning and are shorter than gorilla trekking. The activity only starts in the morning with a briefing from Uganda wildlife Authority guides.
10. Batwa Trail Experience.
The batwa are the original forest people and during the batwa trail experience, they will take you on a trail showing you how they used to live in the forest, how they used herbs to cure diseases, make fire and take you to their secret ‘cave’. You will learn so much about them during this experience. The best place for the Batwa trail experience is in Mgahinga Gorilla National park. A certain percentage is given back to support them.
11. Kampala City Tour
The Kampala city tour will take you to different markets (Owino Market, Nakasero market and other markets), and will take you to the national mosques of Uganda. The mosque offers great views of the seven evolving hills in Kampala. It will also take to you to the fishing village in the city and to the cultural kingdom of the Baganda people.
12. Hot air balloon safaris.
Hot air balloon safaris are a great way to view animals and savannah plains from a bird’s view. In Uganda, you can go for hot air balloon safaris in Murchison Falls National park. The activity starts very early in the morning and wrapped up by a bush breakfast.
13. Night game drives.
To see nocturnal wildlife, you should go for night game drives which are available in different national parks. We use spotlights to spot animals, and each vehicle on a night game drive must have a ranger guide from Uganda wildlife Authority. Wildlife seen on night game drives include lion, leopard, jackals, mongoose, pangolin, owls, nightjars, etc. You can go for night game drives at Kidepo Valley National park, Lake Mburo National park, Murchison Falls National park and Queen Elizabeth National park.
14. Walking safaris
2020 Uganda wildlife safaris should include walking safaris. These reward you with wildlife while walking in the national park with a ranger. They only take place in two national parks in Uganda; Kidepo Valley National park and Lake Muro National park
Best Time for 2020 Uganda Wildlife Safaris
Uganda has a tropical climate and can be visited throughout the year. The green and wet months are March-May and November and the dry or sunny months are June-October and December to February. The dry months are the high season months with many people travelling on Uganda safaris and we encourage you to book your safari as early as you make a decision so as to secure your gorilla trekking permits and accommodations.
The wet months are low season. Many animals are seen during this time because they do not move far to look for food and water. The roads are muddy and slippery but we do use 4 x 4 WD safari vehicles.
Tips for 2020 Uganda Wildlife Safaris
- Be open minded, every safari is unique and unpredictable, so do not stress out
- Be safe and obey the rules. Stay in the car and all times and do not come close to the wild animals
- Ask questions from your safari guides who are very knowledgeable and always willing to share all the information
- Ask to stop when you see something from a distance or want to take more photos of animals
- Take lots of pictures when you see something or an animal. It may be the last time you see it. You can take as many photos as possible and you can delete them later
- The more people on safari, the less the cost, so consider coming with your family and friends
- Make sure you book your safari early enough
- Talk to your doctor about the vaccinations you may need before you come
- Always have insect repellents on while on safari
- We recommend you bring a very good sun screen
- Stay hydrated while on safari
- Secure your gorilla trekking permits at least 6 months in advance. We can help you with this
- Pack appropriately for the safari (hats, light clothes in neutral colors, trekking shoes for treks, light rain jacket, etc)
- We recommend you book a private guided safari
What to pack for 2020 Uganda wildlife safaris
Gorilla Trekking Requirements:
- Sturdy hiking boots
- Water proof trousers
- Long sleeved Shirt/blouse
- Water proof raincoat/jacket
- Sun Cream
- Insect repellent
- Backpack for carrying water/packed lunch
General Safari requirements:
- Light safari clothing’s i.e. shorts/sleeveless for the day
- Warm clothing/sweater for the evening
- Anti-Malarial/Yellow fever vaccination
Suggested itineraries for 2020 Uganda wildlife Safaris