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Uganda: Luxury & Private Safaris
Uganda is an Eden of rainforest and lush vegetation, balanced by vast stretches of grassland, lakes and rivers. This diversity of habitats and environments is ideal for a variety of wildlife from primates to big cats, abundant plains game, and prolific bird species. .
Most notably, Uganda is home to more than half of the world’s mountain gorilla population and is one of the few countries where you can encounter them in their natural environment. In addition to mountain gorillas, Uganda boasts a dozen other primate species including chimpanzees. Once you have had your fill of forests, move on to the savannah grasslands, lakes and rivers of Lake Mburo, Queen Elizabeth National Park, and Murchison Falls, where you can enjoy both traditional vehicle game drives and game-viewing by boat, which is rarely found in other East African countries.
We love Uganda for its diversity. One day you find yourself kneeling in awe before a gorilla family with your camera at the ready, and the next day you could be floating in a boat and watching the Nile River cascade over Murchison Falls. All the while, the local people and culture will touch your heart.
Secrets and Tips from our Experts
- Hop on a scheduled charter flight to Bwindi for gorillas if you are tight on time; or if you want to take in the sights and travel by road in a comfy 4×4 vehicle, then visit Queen Elizabeth National Park or Lake Mburo en route.
- If you want remote and off-the-beaten path, then consider a safari to either Kidepo Valley or to Semliki Safari Lodge.
- Consider booking a gorilla habituation permit for an exclusive and unique experience offering extended time limits with the gorillas.
- Hike through Bwindi Impenetrable Forest staying at lodges on either end to fully experience the forest.
- Fly directly from Entebbe to the Maasai Mara in Kenya for an epic primate and migration safari.
Is Uganda the right destination for you?
- Uganda attracts anyone who is really interested in primates. Apart from the popular mountain gorillas, guests can track chimpanzees and golden monkeys.
- Gorilla permits are less than half the cost of permits in Rwanda (subject to change).
- Active travelers can participate in lots of hiking, in addition to primate trekking, along with white water rafting on the Nile River.
- Contrary to the assumption that the gorillas are the only reason to visit the country, Uganda is a stand-alone safari destination. Queen Elizabeth, Murchison Falls, Kidepo Valley and Lake Mburo offer game drives and boat safaris, creating a dynamic safari experience with excellent wildlife viewing and a nice diversity of activities.
- If you like seeing a country by road, then Uganda is the best destination for a driving-safari, but it’s best if you have at least 10 days or more to really explore.
- Uganda offers plentiful opportunities to spot rare bird life.
When to visit Uganda
Straddling the equator, Uganda is a year-round destination, as there is little fluctuation in temperature (average temps in the 80’s, although cooler at night in the higher altitudes – which can be up to 7,500 feet above sea level). It can be quite humid, especially in the mountainous areas where you do your gorilla and chimp trekking. Peak season in terms of best weather and popularity is July through early September and again in late December through February. During peak season, gorilla permits can sell out, so it’s best to plan in advance. October is a “secret season” with great rates at select lodges and lovely weather.
Like other parts of East Africa there are two rainy periods: March to May (long rains) and late September to November (short rains). It will be rainier during these months for gorilla trekking, but the gorillas live in a rainforest so any time of year will be wet. Some roads do become impassible in the rainy season, but the local guides know the best ways to get around. Despite the rain, October and November are actually good months to be in Uganda, especially for birding.