There are a number of Uganda safari destinations that nature lovers love to add on their bucket list while planning to Visit the beautiful country. The country is one of the few places in the world where you can experience both primates and savanna wildlife safaris. Uganda is truly gifted by nature with diverse wildlife attractions and it is from this basis that is called the Pearl of Africa.
Uganda has two main seasons the dry and wet season. The dry season stretches from June to September and from Mid December to March. This is also doubles as the high tourist season a time when tourists from various parts of the world Visit Uganda for wildlife adventures. During the dry season, there are minimal rainfall disturbances making it the best time to explore Uganda safari destinations. For wildlife photographers this also doubles as a best time for photography with great light effects from the bright sun received in Uganda throughout the year.
When going for renown safari activities like mountain gorilla trekking, because it is done in the forested mountains, it is easy to Hike much as the trails are often wet in the morning. General activities even game drives and nature walks are very easy to do in the dry season.
The wet season from April to May and November experiences rainfall and it is the low tourist season. Much as there are rains almost every day, the low tourist season is still a good time to explore Uganda and be part of the different safari activities. For birders that is the best time to visit as migratory birds from Europe set in. Let us briefly look at the leading Uganda safari destinations you must not miss visiting this off season.
Bwindi Impenetrable national Park is most famous for mountain gorilla trekking and is home to half of the remaining mountain gorillas whose population is about 1000 individuals. Bwindi is the best place to see the rare mountain gorillas in their most preferred habitants. The park has 3 major sectors each with habituated gorilla families that are open to tourist visitation. It can be accessed by both road and air and gorilla trekking safari adventures are doable even in the wet season.
It is important to book permits for the right sector where you are required to report to the park headquarters by 7:00 am for a briefing. Because rainfall is very unpredictable especially in the wet season, it is advisable to carry a Poncho or rain coat. To easily navigate the wet muddy trails, you are advised to wear water proof pants and gaiters or boots. You are then guided to the forested mountains a hike that takes 1 to 4 hours or more until you meet the mountain gorillas. Here you are given time to take photos, observe and to learn more about the mountain gorillas. Even on a bloody rainy day you will still get to enjoy a gorilla trek in Bwindi.
Bwindi is not only home to mountain gorillas but also other primates including chimpanzees and Many other monkey species. There are also many bird species and other mammals including forest elephants and buffaloes. The park is listed as a UNESCO world heritage site and it is undeniably among the top Uganda Safari destinations to Visit this off season.
Lake Mburo national park is the smallest savanna wildlife park in Uganda. It is located in Kiruhura district about 4 hours drive from Kampala Uganda Capital city. Despite its small size, lake Mburo national park is home to various savanna wildlife species. The park is one of the only two places to see zebras in Uganda the other being Kidepo valley national park located in North eastern Uganda. With the long drives involved when going to Kidepo and some roads becoming impassable because of the rains, if you are seeking an exclusive experiences with the zebras then Lake Mburo national park is the place to be.
The park is also home to elands that do not occur in other national park in Uganda. Lands tallest mammals the giraffes also occur here and can only be seen in two other national parks in Uganda that are Murchison falls and Kidepo valley national park plus Pian Upe game reserve.
Other notable wildlife in Lake Mburo national park include the Topi, waterbucks, Oribi, warthogs and various birds. Many of these are seen while on game drives in the park. During the wet season the rains enable the growth of lush vegetation that the major grazers are seen enjoying and can easily be spotted while on game drives and nature walks. Just as per its name the park has a Lake (Mburo) where you can enjoy a boat cruise seeing Hippos and other aquatic wildlife. There is also an ankole community near the park where you can enjoy a community visit participating in local activities like Milking.
Given the accessibility and the activities you get to engage in, lake Mburo should not miss on your top Uganda safari destinations to visit this season.
The primate capital of the world can not fail to make it on this list. Kibale national park home to chimpanzees and 12 other primates species and the best place to see chimpanzees in the wild. Some of the notable primates here include the Black and white colobus monkeys, red tailed monkeys, blue monkeys among others.
The park has the highest chimpanzee population in the region and chimpanzee trekking is the commonly done adventure activity here. There are two chimpanzee trekking sessions here the morning and afternoon one. The morning session starts with a briefing at the park headquarters and then you set off for a guided trek from 8 am lasting for 3 to 4 hours depending on the movement of the chimpanzees. The afternoon session starts at 2 pm and also last for 3 to 4 hours. Unlike some primates like mountain gorillas, chimpanzees are very mobile and often times they jump over tree canopies.
To allow for experiential adventures and give people more time to get to know about Mans’ closest wild relatives, there is chimpanzee habituation experience in Kibale national park. This experience enables you to follow the daily routine of the chimpanzees starting from when they wake up, feed, groom, interact and retire. The chimpanzee habituation experience is best for researchers and those who would like to spend more time in the wild with chimpanzees.
Murchison falls national park is Uganda’s leading savanna national park and the best place to see major savanna wildlife species. The park is situated at the northern edge of the Albertine rift valley near Lake Albert one of the great Rift Valley lakes. Murchison falls National park is crossed by the great River Nile on its journey up north and forms a great waterfalls – Murchison falls from which the park was named.
The Great River Nile at Murchison falls plunges down a 7 meter narrow gorge forming a thunderous sound and often has a rainfall on a sunny day. The waterfalls are very magnificent to watch and are often seen while on a boat cruise to the bottom of the falls. From here one can hike to the top of the falls for a panoramic view of the falls and surrounding area.
The park has diverse wildlife species and is the best most diverse national park with 4 of the big Five mammals. There are over 76 mammals and 450 birds most of which are seen on game drives while in the park. The northern sector has the highest wildlife concentration and it is where most game drives are done. Notable wildlife species to see here include giraffes, leopards, buffaloes, elephants, hartebeests, warthogs among other.
Apart from the boat cruise to the bottom of the falls, there is another boat cruise to the Nile delta boat that offers yet another exploration of the great River Nile. This is usually done by birders hoping to see a number of birds including the shoebill stork in the marches of Nile Delta. You can also do sport fishing along the River and on a lucky day can catch some of the biggest Nile Perches.
Murchison falls national park is true wildlife gem and a Must visit when exploring leading Uganda safari destinations.