Uganda is located across the equator with warm tropical climate that is favorable throughout the year. Due to this geographic position, Uganda has diverse ecosystems such as tropical rain forest, savannah, wetlands, lakes and rivers, volcanoes, snow capped Rwenzori mountains and contain incredible diversity especially for half of the world’s mountain gorillas. Uganda has slowly emerged as one of the exciting adventure tourist destinations especially for gorilla safaris and other adventures. When you visit Uganda, you probably not miss these 5 adventures we have put together
Tracking mountain gorillas
Mountain gorillas are rare and critically endangered apes. There are about 1000 individual thriving in the wild and a chance to see gorillas in their natural habitat is a life changing wildlife experience. Uganda benefits from being home the half of the gorilla numbers which are found in the UNESCO natural heritage site Bwindi impenetrable forest national park. Bwindi has several gorilla tracking centers of Buhoma, Nkuringo, Ruhija and Rushaga each with different gorilla families that are habituated for tourists.
Bwindi is a diverse tropical forest with thick vegetation and rugged terrain. Expert Uganda wildlife authority guides take visitors on a guided gorilla safaris that involve hiking on foot through the forest. To encounter the gorillas face to face is one of the unique trekking memories and you can hope to see and take photos of the gorillas for 1 hour.
Besides the mountain gorillas, Uganda is also home other primates including the chimpanzee and golden monkeys. Chimpanzees are very close to humans by 98% of the DNA shared. Kibale forest national park is home to largest population of chimpanzees in Africa. It is a great place to see chimpanzees along with other 13 species of other primates including the Ugandan mangabay, grey checked mangabay, red colobus monkey, red tailed monkey, black and white colobus monkeys.
Golden monkeys are only found in Virunga chain of 8 volcanoes that straddle the border between Uganda, Rwanda and DR Congo. Mgahinga gorilla national park in southwestern Uganda is a good spot for tracking golden monkeys. They prefer to live in bamboo vegetation which is not thick allowing for clear viewing and photography.
Game drives safari
Uganda is one of the best destinations to go on a wildlife viewing safari. The country has 10 national parks and 13 wildlife reserves which are great places to spot large mammals including the Big five. That is the lion, leopard, elephant, buffalo and rhinos are found at Ziwa rhino sanctuary. The most favorite parks not miss if you are in Uganda include Murchison Falls National park, Queen Elizabeth national park, Kidepo valley national park and Lake Mburo national park. A variety of activities for spotting wildlife include boat cruise, night game drives, hot air balloon safaris, game walks.
White water rafting and kayaking on River Nile
Uganda is the source of the Nile; the world’s longest river starts to flow from Victoria Nile in Jinja city. Jinja city located 1 hour drive east of the capital Kampala is one of the biggest white water rafting and kayaking destinations in the world with class 3 and 5 rapids. A trip to Jinja can take up to 3 days but short excursions are possible for 1 day. Not only are the rapids of the Nile thrilling, but also the beautiful scenery and possibilities to spot wildlife and do more outdoor activities. On the way to Jinja from Kampala, you pass through Mabira tropical rainforest. You can do a canopy zip line tour or nature walk to encounter birds, primates, butterflies. The Victoria Nile in Jinja is a great spot to enjoy boat cruises, swimming, spot fishing; a trip to Jinja will be unforgettable experience.
Uganda is home to 23 southern white rhinos which are being protected at ziwa rhino sanctuary located 4 hours drive from Kampala in Nakasongora district just next to Murchison Falls National park. Rhinos were poached to zero in Uganda but happily they have been brought back thanks to the efforts of rhino fund Uganda and Uganda wildlife authority. Ziwa rhino sanctuary offers an opportunity to track rhinos on foot with a ranger. It is an amazing wildlife experience especially done on a safari to Murchison Falls National park. It just takes a stopover at Ziwa en route to the park. Ziwa is also home to birds, antelopes and monkeys and offers accommodation where you can stay for as many nights as you wish.