The fact that Uganda is now open for travels; you should surely come and explore the gem in the Pearl of Africa. Gifted by nature, Uganda offers a lot of interesting attractions and activities to travelers of all kinds. Are you an adventure traveler, do you love primates, are you a birder, do you like water sports or game viewing in the open savannahs? Uganda is you better place to visit. Whereas tourism in Uganda has been greatly affected by corona virus and the travel restriction, the country is now open for both domestic and international tourists. Gorilla Trek Africa brings you a list of top destinations in Uganda for your post covid19 safari. These include:
1. Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park:
Located in south western Uganda in Kabale and kanungu districts, Bwindi Forest is the number one safari destination in Uganda. Being home to the endangered mountain gorillas, Bwindi Forest is the most visited park in Uganda. Gorilla trekking is the number one priority for most travelers to Uganda and hence the most done adventure. Bwindi has 17 habituated gorilla families, which make it a premier destination for gorilla safaris. Interestingly, trekking gorillas in Bwindi Forest is a little cheaper costing $700 for foreign non residents, $600 for foreign residents and UGX 250,000 for East African citizens. This makes Uganda a favorable gorilla tour destination for budget travelers unlike in Rwanda where a single permit costs $1500. In addition to gorillas, Bwindi Impenetrable forest National Park is home to over 300 bird species, which make it a birding spot for birders. More so, a Uganda safari to Bwindi Forest entails visiting the indigenous batwa pygmies for a memorable cultural experience. Guided nature/forest walks in Bwindi give you a fresh feeling of the natural environment. If you want to spend extended time with the endangered gorillas, take part in the experimental mountain gorilla habituation experience done in Rushaga sector south of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park. 2 Gorilla families are available for habituation in Bwindi Forest each visited by 4 people hence 8 permits issued everyday. Each permit costs $1500 but it’s worth it! A 3 Days Bwindi gorilla tour offers you change to trek and see endangered gorillas in Bwindi Forest
2. Murchison Falls National Park
Spreading over 3,893 square kilometers of land, Murchison Falls National Park is Uganda’s largest Park and also the oldest established in 1952. The Park is named after the famous Murchison Falls, which flows in the heart of the Park. Murchison Falls is located in northwestern Uganda and its one of the most visited parks in Uganda. Travelers to Murchison Falls National park enjoy lots of activities such as game driving open savannahs to see animals grazing and hunting. A boat cruise to the bottom of the mighty falls offers you chance to see how the strong waters fall off the cliff 43 meters down into the devils cauldron forming a rain bow. More so, a boat cruise offers you chance to see numerous water animals on the riverbanks along various bird species. A hike to the top of the falls gives you clear views of the flowing river, the park and local communities in the neighborhood. Other things to see and do in Murchison falls include bird watching, community visits, nature walks and chimpanzee trekking in Budongo Forest
3. Kibale Forest National Park
Also called the “Primates capital of Africa” Kibale Forest National Park is home to the highest population of chimpanzees in Uganda and the whole of East Africa, The park is a center of Uganda chimpanzee trekking tours. Also, the park offers chimpanzee habituation experience for those who want to send extended time with the primates. In addition to chimpanzees, Kibale Forest National park is home to 12 other primates, which include vervet moneys, blue tailed monkeys, red tailed monkeys, Black and white colubus, baboons, grey-cheeked mangabey, western red colubus, Mantled guareza and Dusky bush babies among others. The Park is also home to over 370 bird species, which make it a best spot for bird watching. Four bird species which include Masked Apalis, Cassin;s Spinetail, Nahan;s Francolin and Blue headed bee eater are no found anywhere else in Uganda. The other birds in Kibale Forest include African pied wagtail, Pin tailed whydah, Great blue turaco, Slender billed weaver, Tropical boubou, African Pitta, Masked Aapalis, Crowned Eagle, White naped pigeon, little greenbul, Afep pigeon and Little greenbul among others. Still in Kibale Forest, enjoy guided nature walk in Bigodi wetland sanctuary home to several primates and birds. A visit to the local communities and their projects is a not miss on your safari to Kibale Forest National Park. Butterfly watching is another unique interesting activity in Kibale Forest National park.
4. Queen Elizabeth National Park
Located in western Uganda, Queen Elizabeth national Park is the second largest National Park in Uganda spreading over 1,978 square kilometers. The lake lies between Lake Edward and Lake Goerge. A high concentration of wild animals in Queen Elizabeth national Park makes it best for game viewing experience. Enjoy a boat cruise at Kazinga channel whose banks shelter numerous birds and water animals. Explore different crater lakes in Queen Elizabeth National Park such as Lake Katwe for salt mining, Lake Munyanyange home for the greater and lesser flamingoes, Lake Nyamunuka and Lake Bunyampaka among others. The animals to see in Queen Elizabeth national Park include Lions, Elephants, Buffalos, Waterbucks, leopards, Warthogs, Uganda kobs and impalas among others. The birds in QENP include collared praincole, Swamp flycatcher, African finfoot, African skimmer, Broad billed roller, spotted redshank, Pink backed pelican, Crab plover and White winged tern among others. Lions tracking is another interesting and rare experience in Queen Elizabeth National Park while a drive through Ishasha sector offers you great views of the famous tree-climbing lions
5. Kidepo Valley National Park
Explore the less visited Kidepo Valley National Park located in the extreme northeastern Uganda. For those who have been there, Kidepo Valley National Park is the hidden gem of Uganda. The Park is the least visited in Uganda given its further location roughly 410 kilometers from Kampala. The beautiful sceneries of Kidepo Valley Park made of savannah woodlands, trees, shrubs and acacias make game viewing easier and beautiful. The top travel experiences in Kidepo valley national park include game viewing, bird watching, community visits to Kalimajong cattle keepers, nature walks in Narus valley, hiking Lomej Mountains and camping.
Other places to visit in Uganda
In addition to the top five, there are other beautiful places and national parks to visit in the Pearl of Africa. Each of these places has unique and interesting things to see and do for a memorable experience. These are
• Lake Mburo National Park for game viewing, birding and boat cruise
• Semliki Valley national park for bird watching, hot springs, game and nature walks
• Mgahinga Gorilla National Park for gorilla trekking, golden monkey trekking, volcano hiking, nature walks and community visits
• Mt Rwenzori National Park for hiking adventure, wildlife and birding
• Mt Elgon National park
• Kalinzu forest
• Mabamba swamp
Uganda offers it all you are looking for on an African Safari. Travel with Gorilla Trek Africa and explore the hidden gem in the Pearl of Africa.