Just like wine and cheese, some things are meant to go together. When building your Ugandan safari experience, here are some top destinations and their ideal pairing.
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Bwindi Impenetrable Forest
On the edge of the Albertine Rift Valley you’ll find Bwindi. It’s mist-covered hills hold one of Uganda’s oldest and most biologically diverse rainforests. It is over 25,000 years old and holds 400+ species of plants, 350+ birds, and 120 mammals, including several primate species: baboons, chimps and an estimated 320 mountain gorillas. Uganda is proud to house this world treasure and, while we know gorilla passes are expensive, they afford you an amazing interaction with these mammals and allow Uganda to continue to preserve this wonderful species.
TAG: PRIMATE, NATIONAL PARK, HIKING
PAIRS WELL WITH: Queen Elizabeth National Park, Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, Lake Mburo
Although Jinja town has seen better days, it’s still a top destination for tourists and locals alike. Just 2-3 hours east of Kampala, Jinja has an amazing if slow vibe. You can up your adrenaline here by white water rafting or choose to chill and relax by the side of the Nile or on it in a tube or SUP (stand-up paddleboard). Either way you choose, this is a great destination to either ease in to your vacation or ease back in to your life after traveling.
TAG: NATIONAL PARK, ADRENALINE
PAIRS WELL WITH: Sipi, Pian Upe, Kidepo
Kibale Forest National Park
Located in western Uganda, this park is an elevated plateu filled with tropical forests, grassland and swamps. It is home to 70 species of mammals, including 13 species of primates. This is an ideal destination for Chimpanzee tracking. It is also hope to over 375 species of birds. It is next to Queen Elizabeth National Park that allows a 180km-long area for wildlife to wander.
TAG: PRIMATE, NATIONAL PARK
PAIRS WELL WITH: Queen Elizabeth National Park, Fort Portal
Kidepo Valley National Park
Primal, raw, vast, rugged, semi arid….welcome to Kidepo. Situated on the border of Sudan and Kenya in northeastern Uganda, Kidepo is Uganda’s most isolated yet most magnificent national park. With 475+ bird species and 77+ mammal species, including the African lion, this is a park truly worth experiencing. We highly recommend immersing yourself in the incredibly local Karamajong tribe for the full experience.
TAG: NATIONAL PARK, CULTURAL/HISTORICAL
PAIRS WELL WITH: Pian Upe, Mt Elgon National Park/Sipi Falls
Lake Mburo National Park
As the smallest of Uganda’s savanna national parks, Lake Mburo is home to 350 bird species plus zebra, impala, eland, buffalo, oribi, leopard, hippo, hyena and other animals. A highlight of visiting this location is the bicycle safari through the savannahs, where you get to be side by side with zebras and the Ankole cattle.
TAG: NATIONAL PARK, GAME DRIVE
PAIRS WELL WITH: Equator
Mgahinga Gorilla National Park
This national park sits high in the clouds and is where silver meets gold. Hike to experience the silverback gorillas while looking for the endangered golden monkeys. En route keep staring at three, extinct volcanoes, part of the Virunga Range bordering Uganda, Rwanda and Congo. Mganhinga is part of the larger Virunga Conservation area which spreads across these three countries. It’s a long journey to get here, but it is truly a marvel once you make it.
TAG: PRIMATE, NATIONAL PARK, HIKING
PAIRS WELL WITH: Bwindi, Lake Mburo, Queen Elizabeth
Mount Elgon National Park and Sipi Falls
Mount Elgon has the largest volcanic base in the world and is the oldest and largest solitary, volcanic mountain in East Africa. It rises 3,000m+ above the surrounding plains, which allows for stunning photos, gorgeous hikes, and a huge diversity of flora and fauna. Most choose to visit the three waterfalls of Sipi Falls, which one can hike to in under 6 hours, plus enjoy a local coffee tour. More serious hikers can tackle Mt. Elgon itself, who’s slopes have been declared a UNESCO Man & Biosphere Reserve.
TAG: HIKING, NATIONAL PARK
PAIRS WELL WITH: Jinja, Pian Upe, Kidepo
Murchison Falls National Park
Easily our #1 best selling trip after our city tour, Murchison Falls never fails to deliver. Situated at the northern end of the Albertine Rift Valley (aka the Western Rift, and the sister to the more famous Eastern Rift Valley in Kenya), Murchison is Uganda’s oldest and largest conservation area. Be amazed at the sheer number of animals on display, including 76 species of mammals and 451 birds. Add on a visit to Murchison Falls, the world’s most powerful waterfalls, and you’ll be thrilled at the photos you’ll take.
TAG: GAME DRIVE, NATIONAL PARK
PAIRS WELL WITH:
Rumor has it this is to be Uganda’s next official national park. Flat savannas and a visit to the cave paitnings provide gorgeous photo opportunities. In addition to animals like the ostrich and cheetah, this is the only park in Uganda where you can see Roan Antelope. Once this becomes an official national park, this will be the second largest park in Uganda after Murchison Falls. It’s not highly touristed at all, so this is the time to book your trip and go!
TAG: GAME DRIVE, OUTDOOR
PAIRS WELL WITH: Jinja, Sipi, Kidepo
Queen Elizabeth National Park
Bordered by the Rwenzori Mountiains and covered in savanna, forests, lakes, wetlands, and crater lakes, Queen Elizabeth is high on almost every tourist’s list. You’ll experience the Big 5 Game drive + board a cruise on the Kazinga Channel to see the hippos, buffalo and elephants up close.
TAG: GAME DRIVE, NATIONAL PARK
PAIRS WELL WITH: Lake Mburo, Rwenzori, Kibale, Semuliki, Fort Portal
Rwenzori Mountains National Park
These ‘Mountains of the Moon’ lie in western Uganda along the Congo border. While other destinations allow you to see these mountains from afar, this park allows you to climb them. Skilled climbers can tackle them in 9-12 days (sometimes less) while others can try a less intensive hike up part of the slope. In addition to mammals and birds, some of the rarest vegetation on the earth makes these slopes their home.
TAG: NATIONAL PARK, CLIMBING, HIKING
PAIRS WELL WITH: Lake Mburo, Semuliki, Kibale, Queen Elizabeth National Park, Fort Portal
Semuliki National Park
Located in the remote western part of Uganda, Semuliki houses the easternmost extension of the great Ituri Forest of the Congo Basin. As one of Africa’s most ancient and bio-diverse forests, and one of the few to survive the last ice age 12-18,000 years ago, you’ll come face to face with history. Because of it’s location, you’ll also get a taste of what Central Africa feels like without having to jump the border in to the Congo.
TAG: NATIONAL PARK
PAIRS WELL WITH: Lake Mburo, Rwenzori, Kibale, Queen Elizabeth National Park, Fort Portal