Do you wish to book honeymoon safaris in Uganda? The Pearl of Africa has 10 national parks as well as Africa’s major physical features including Lake Victoria, source of Nile River and Snowcapped Rwenzori Mountains.There’s a variety of accommodation inside the protected areas and in the rural communities. The parks are rich in biodiversity including mountain gorillas and chimpanzees; Big five mammals as well as hippos, giraffes, antelope species and over 1000 species of birds. Uganda, also boasts of diverse culture with over 50 indigenous tribes and people are friendly and welcoming. Honeymoon safari in Uganda offers opportunity for wildlife viewing safari, adventure and cultural experiences. Gorilla Trek Africa brings you best places for honeymoon safari in Uganda
Lake Bunyonyi in southwestern part of Uganda is 520 sq.km (9-hour drive) from Kampala capital city. Bunyonyi meaning “a place of many little birds” has over 200 bird species and 19 islands surrounded by rolling Kigezi highlands nicknamed the “Switzerland of Africa”. The lake provides opportunity for rest and relaxation. There are several accommodation including island homestays, camping sites, lodges and hotels with hammocks and gardens. Those intending to explore the lake can hire motorized or and traditional canoes and visit the islands including Punishment Island. Zip lining is also available on Lake Bunyonyi. In addition, village walks provide opportunity to meet the local people including Bakiga and Batwa pygmies. Long ago in Kigezi community, young girls were not allowed to get pregnant before marriage. In order to scare others, those found pregnant would be tied and left to die on the island. Men who were kind and couldn’t afford pride price would rescue some of the girls. The practice was later abolished with the coming of English missionaries including Leonard Sharp who established a leprosy treatment center on Bwama and Njeru islands. The punishment island is now almost sinking though human remains are still seen at another island. Excursions are also made including visiting the cultural museum of the Bakiga is 1.5 sq.km (3 min drive) from Kabale municipality the largest town in southwestern Uganda. Lake Bunyonyi is 71 sq.km (1-hour drive) south of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park making it easy to reach after the gorilla trek. This is especially for those intending to visit mountain gorilla on their honeymoon safari in Uganda.
Sesse Islands, Lake Victoria
Sesse islands is a group of 84 islands in Kalangala district in Lake Victoria about 45 sq.km from the shores at Entebbe town. Buggala and Bulago islands have specifically been developed for tourism and offer secluded beach areas, resorts, camping sites with entertainment venues. Getting to Sesse is done by use of a modern ferry, motorized canoes or speedboats. The ferry MV Kalangala docks at Nakiwogo landing site in Entebbe departing at 2:00pm taking 3 hours and 90 by speedboat. The departure from Sesse is at 8:00am and arrival at Entebbe is at 11am. Alternatively, you can reach Sesse from Bukakata landing site in Masaka municipality which is 142 sq.km (2-hour drive) west of Kampala capital city. Romantic offers for honeymooners are available including private beach and dinning featuring champagne. Active couples can choose from a variety of activities available to do in Sesse islands including swimming, spot fishing, boat cruise, quad biking, bird watching and nature walks. Those intending to do excursions can visit Ngamba island chimpanzee sanctuary. The center offers opportunity to feed chimps from a raised platform and participate in caregiving with a caretaker.
Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park
Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park is famous for harboring half of the world’s mountain gorillas (459 individuals) which is almost half of 1063 world mountain gorilla population. The park offers ultimate gorilla safari including 1 hour to see gorillas and 4 hour habituation experience. Bwindi is 520 sq.km (9-hour drive) south-west of Kampala capital city / Entebbe airport. The minimum days required for Uganda gorilla tour are 3 to 4 days including the day of arrival. Those with less time on their honeymoon safari can opt for flying in gorilla safari which offers quick accessibility to Bwindi from either Rwanda or Kenya. Uganda gorilla trekking permit cost is $700 and $1500 per person for habituation experience available for booking through Uganda Wildlife Authority or tour operator. Trekking allows 8 people to visit 1 gorilla family per day and 4 people for habituation. Those intending to see a gorilla group alone must book permits for the whole number of people. The best time to go for gorilla trekking is dry season during July to September and December to February. Given that this is a high season, gorilla permits tend be in high demand.
Booking ahead of time at least 3 to 6 months in advance is recommended. After obtaining your permit, the guarantee to see gorillas is always high. The primates are monitored 24-hours, though hiking in search for the gorillas requires effort and physical fitness due to nature of terrain. The rangers cannot tell how long it takes to see find gorillas. Adequate preparation is important. Ensure to pack what to wear including lunch box, drinking water, insect repellant and hire a porter which is one way to support people from the communities living around the park. The role of the porter is give you a helping hand and carry your daypack. Gorillas share 98% of their DNA with humans. The primates are susceptible to human diseases including flu and common cold. As a result, the human-gorilla interactions are regulated. Visitors need to follow the gorilla rules and advice from the ranger including maintaining 7-meter distance and not using flash photography. Respecting the rules will ensure a successful and peaceful gorilla trekking experience.
Queen Elizabeth National Park
The most visited protected area in Uganda – Queen Elizabeth National Park is 371 sq.km (6-hour drive) west of Kampala capital city. The park can also be accessed by air through Mweya and Kasese municipality airstrips. There are two sectors including Kasenyi plains with Kazinga channel and park headquarters at Mweya. Kasenyi is the main area for game drives, Kazinga channel boat cruise and contains a variety of accommodation. Another sector is called Ishasha wilderness famous for the tree climbing lions. Situated in the rift valley across the equator at the base of the Mountains of the Moon, the area contains diverse habitats including Kazinga channel, over 100 rift valley explosion crater lakes, Kyambura gorge and Kalinzu central forest reserves. The park supports rich biodiversity including 612 species of birds, 95 mammal species excluding giraffes and zebras; and primate species including chimpanzees. Queen Elizabeth National Park offers game drives, boat cruise on Kazinga channel, chimpanzee trekking and a tour of the Crater Lakes including Salt mining at Lake Katwe. In addition, there are experiential tourism activities such as lion tracking, mongoose tracking, hippos and bird counts which are done in Kasenyi plains. Night game drives are available for booking through Mweya and must be escorted by Uganda Wildlife Authority ranger.
Murchison Falls National Park
Murchison Falls National Park is 305 sq.km (5-hour drive) north-west of Kampala capital city. The park can also be accessed by air through Pakuba airstrip. Extending for 3840 sq.km at the end of the Albertine Rift Valley, Murchison is the largest conservation area in Uganda. The Nile River flows through the center of the park and forms the Murchison waterfalls. The park’s main physical feature is formed as the Nile squeezes through an 8-meter gorge and plunges over a 40-meter cliff into the “devil’s cauldron” creating a trademark rainbow. The top of the falls hike offers spectacular scenery. The boat cruise to the bottom of the falls is a great opportunity for bird watching along with chance to spot hippos, Nile crocodiles, elephants and buffaloes.
The area north of the Nile contains savannah dotted with Borassus palm trees, acacia and woodlands. Large mammal species including lion, leopard, African elephant and Cape buffalo, Rothschild’s giraffe can be spotted during game drives. Antelope species such as Uganda kob, Oribi, Jackson’s hartebeests, waterbuck and bushbucks are also present. There are several tracks for day and night game drives along the Nile-Albert delta wetlands and hippo pool. Hot air balloon safaris are also available in the park. By contrast, the southern sector of Murchison Falls National Park has tropical forests including Budongo central forest reserve home to chimpanzees. Budongo offers chimpanzee trekking at Kaniyo-Pabidi ecotourism center. The chimp trekking permit cost is $80 available for booking through tour operator.
Jinja city is the best place to for those intending to incorporate adventure in their honeymoon safari in Uganda. Known as the “Adventure Capital of East Africa”, Jinja is 81 sq.km (2-hour drive) east of Kampala city. Situated near the source of the Nile River, the city and offers adventure activities including Class II to V white water rafting, kayaking and bungee jumping. The source of the Nile boat ride offers a chance to spot birds and re-enact John Speke journey of exploration in Uganda. As the first person to put the source of the world’s longest river on the world map, Speke monument was built and can be visited on the bank of the Nile. Sunset/ sunrise boat cruises on the Victoria Nile can be arranged with food and drinks on board. Jinja has a variety of accommodations including camping gardens and Private Island including Samuka Island and Wild Water Lodge. Those intending to shop can go to Jinja central markets and source of the Nile craft and souvenir stalls. Animal lovers can visit the Reptile Village Park to see African rock python among others.
In general, honeymoon safaris in Uganda are exclusive! Contact Gorilla Trek Africa to book your honeymoon safari in the Pearl of Africa at affordable rates.