TOP FIVE TOURIST ACTIVITIES TO DO IN UGANDA.
Uganda is a safe, free, and friendly East African country whose diverse landscape encompasses the snow-capped and equator crossed the Rwenzori Mountains, and inland water bodies both rivers and lakes like River Nile and Lake Victoria. Its abundant wildlife includes chimpanzees as well as rare birds. Remote Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is a renowned mountain gorilla sanctuary. Murchison Falls National Park in the northwest is known for its 45m-high waterfalls and wildlife such as hippos, buffalos, lions, leopards, and reptiles like Nile crocodile and the Nile monitor lizard. Uganda’s tourism activities are mostly natural-based and they take place in national parks and other protected areas like game reserves, Ramsar sites, and other heritage sites. We have selected the top five tourist activities to do in Uganda.
Having one of the leading national parks in East Africa, Bwindi impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga in Uganda offers that one-stop-shop for almost all gorilla trekkers in the world. This has put Uganda in the limelight and gorilla trekking activities on top of the list of activities that are to be done whilst on your Uganda safari.
Gorilla trekking is done within four sectors of Bwindi, which has 22 gorilla families in the regions of Ruhija, Rushaga, Buhoma, Nkuringo, and 1 family in Mgahinga national park. Nkuringo region has the highest number of mountain gorilla families which add up to five in total and these have been habituated for easy interaction with gorilla trekkers, 152 permits are given out daily and a minimum of 8 individuals in a group are allowed to visit each gorilla family every day and this rule also applies to the other regions. However, the number of permits given out in those regions corresponds to the families that are within those regions.
Choosing to do gorilla tracking, is not only your experience but you are also supporting conservation and communities. 20% of the money collected from the activity is given back to the community to fund community projects and also the rest of the percentage is used for salaries for rangers all over the country, wildlife doctors among others.
Many in Africa and all over the world refer to Uganda as a birding paradise. It is the most stunning destination for bird watchers because of the large number of bird species recorded besides the ease it gives to access other bird habitats in Africa like the Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, and Tanzania among others.
Uganda is home to 1060 bird species, which make it 50% of all African bird species and 72% of East African species. All the 10 national parks in Uganda are hot spots for bird watching particularly in the Western part of the country where they are concentrated and are renowned as bird habitats that host some Albertine endemics.
The most stunning and trusted park that will reward you the best of Ugandan species and Democratic Republic of Congo species is Semuliki National Park located at the bottom of the Albertine rift with over 400 species like Abyssinian Hornbill, Leaf Love, Raptors, and Marsh Tchagra among others. Uganda’s birds can be found across a range of habitats from forests, swamps, gardens or agricultural lands, lakes, and savanna ecosystems therefore, avi tourists (birders) who consider visiting will have a lot to add to their checklists.
Uganda in its tropical and equatorial forests holds a large number of primate species. Kibale forest national park has the most primates in the country (13) and Africa at large, and this gave it the nickname “the primate capital of Africa”.
Chimpanzees are only left in 21 African countries from the 25 countries that they existed and in Uganda, the country is left with over 5000 individuals all together in zoos, sanctuaries, forests, and game reserves. Chimpanzees in their natural habitats inside the tropical forests give the best encounter of chimpanzee tracking enjoying a breathtaking nature walk in the forest. Kibale forest is the most popular place to do chimpanzee tracking and chimpanzee experience but there are also other alternatives like Queen Elizabeth National Park in its 100-meter gorge (Kyambura Gorge), Budongo Forest Reserve, Kalinzu Forest, Tooro-Semuliki game reserve, Bugoma forest, Ngamba Island Sanctuary to mention but a few.
Chimpanzees live in large families. Although they use their knuckles to walk but can still walk upright and they jump from one tree to another despite their size. They are one of the few animal species that can use tools. Like Gorilla tracking to track chimpanzees you need to get a permit for tracking but then unlike gorilla tracking chimpanzee tracking can be done at any time of the day according to your plan.
Tracking the chimpanzees is an unforgettable experience since they have the closest to man among all other creatures with a 98.7% DNA. As you are guided and the guides tell, information about the behaviors of these animals you found at each site.
Game drives in Uganda
This is an activity done by tourists while on their safaris in Uganda. Guided drives are done by the game rangers who help tourists to spot the animals in the park and provide info about what the animals feed on, where they stay and how they behave. Game drives are conducted within the national parks and in Uganda, these include Queen Elizabeth national park, Kidepo valley national park, Lake Mburo national park, Murchison falls national park, Semuliki national park among others.
Game drives are done in the morning or late afternoon hours however, night game drives are also done in national parks like Queen Elizabeth national park, Murchison falls national park, and Kidepo valley national park. In the morning, animals always seem to be leaving their homes to move around and search for what to eat for the particular day before it becomes so hot during the day well as for late afternoon game drive, animals can still be seen, as they happen to be constructing homes for their overnights.
During the game drives, tourists spot the different wildlife animals such as the elephants, Uganda kobs, cheetahs, leopards, rhinos, hippos, zebras, giraffes, birds, baboons, monkeys, lions, and so many others. Activities like photographing can be done by tourists during the drive in case they make some stopovers.
This is also another activity commonly done by the tourists who intend to visit Uganda’s famous national parks like Queen Elizabeth national park, Lake Mburo national park, Murchison falls national park on the Victoria Nile to the bottom of the falls, or the Nile Delta also at the source of the River Nile, and other lakes and inland water bodies.
In Queen Elizabeth national park, a launch cruise is done on the Kazinga channel, which connects Lake Edward and Lake George usually in the afternoon or early morning hours. During the afternoon game drive which is done at usually 2:00 pm, you can spot the large herds of buffaloes, Hippos, crocodiles, and a variety of bird species.
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