Are you in preparation for wildlife and gorilla safaris to Africa do not miss out Uganda “The Pearl of Africa” located in the Eastern part of African Continent commonly known for its wide scope of Wildlife primates and species hosted in it’s different top destinations to visit located in different regions of the country. Uganda is bordering Kenya in the East, Democratic Republic of Congo in the West, South Sudan in the North, Rwanda and Tanzania in the South.
Where to go while in Uganda?
Uganda commonly known as “The Pearl of Africa” has over ten top destinations to visit for Wildlife viewing located in different regions of the country with wide range of wildlife primates recorded sightable while either on Game drives, Boat Cruise or Nature Walk. Some of the destinations to go while in Uganda are as listed below.
Queen Elizabeth National Park:
This is one of the top destinations to visit while in Uganda and it’s located in the South Western part of Uganda, it covers 1,978km2 of Area extending from Lake George in the north-east to Lake Edward in the south-west and includes the Kazinga Channel.
It has a wide range of Wildlife primates including Cape buffaloes, hippopotami, crocodiles, elephants, leopards, lions, and chimpanzees and over 500 species of Birds are recorded in this park. It is commonly known for the Tree Climbing Lions which are found in the Ishasha sector plus Chimps found in the Kyambura gorge.
Murchison Falls National park:
This park is located in the North Western part of Uganda commonly known for the great Murchison Falls, it covers 3,893 km2 of Area and it has wide range of Wildlife primates including Giraffe, Buffaloes, Elephants and more. You can better reach it by use of Kampala- Masindi- Gulu highway if its road transport or you can choose to go by Aero plane from Entebbe airport or Kajjansi airstrip and you will land in Pakuba airstrip in the park.
Mgahinga Gorilla National Park:
This park is located in the South Western part of Uganda with wide range of Wildlife species to sight but commonly known for the Mountain gorillas and Golden Monkeys, it’s the second Gorilla hosting destination in Uganda if Bwindi impenetrable National Park is put a side. You can better reach this park by use of Kampala- Masaka- Mbarara highway with a stopover at the Equator for some brief explanations, photographs and snacks. Mgahinga has only one gorilla family for trekking named “Nyakagezi Gorilla Family”.
Kidepo Valley National Park:
This is one of the biggest destinations to visit in Uganda covering 1442km2 of Area and it’s located in the North Eastern part of Uganda commonly known for its wide range of Wildlife primates and these include spotted hyenas, lions, cheetahs, leopards, wild dogs, elephants, giraffes, zebras, Cape buffaloes, bat-eared foxes, Rothschild’s giraffes plus over 500 bird species recorded sightable in the Park.
Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park:
This is the most popular destination to visit in Uganda commonly known for the shy endangered Mountain Gorillas. It is also located in the South Western part of Uganda near Mgahinga National park; it is known to be hosting the most part of Uganda’s Gorilla Population with over fourteen habituated Gorilla families for trekking, over 348 bird species are recorded in this park. This Park is characterized with strong and thick impenetrable Forest where Mountain Gorillas live.
Kibale Forest National Park:
his Park is located in the Western part of Uganda in Kibale characterized with evergreen rain forest. It covers 766km2 of Area, you can reach it via Kampala – Mityana – Mubende- Fort portal high way. This park is commonly known for the great Chimpanzees plus bird watching in Bigodi wetland. Chimpanzee tracking in Kibale Forest National Park costs $150 USD per person and habituation costs $200 USD per person plus park entrance of $40 USD per person per 24 hours.
Semliki National Park:
This is the newest National Park in Uganda located in the Western part of Uganda and it covers 220km2 of Area. It is commonly known for wide range of wildlife primates and these include forest Buffaloes, leopards, hippos, Mona monkeys, water chevrotains, bush babies, civets, elephants, and the pygmy flying squirrel. Over 400 bird species are located in the park and that’s why it’s called a good haven for bird watching.
Lake Mburo National Park:
This park is located in the Southern part of Uganda commonly known for its wide scope of wildlife primates in its diversity. Wildlife in Lake Mburo National Park include zebras, hippopotami, impala, warthogs, elands, buffaloes, jackals, leopards, and over 300 bird species are recorded in the park. Park entrance in Lake Mburo National park costs $40 USD per person per 24 hours and some of the activities done in this park include Nature Walk and Boat ride along Lake Mburo. Nature Walk and Boat ride costs $30 & $15 USD per person respectively.
Rwenzori Mountains & Mount Elgon National Park:
These two National parks are located in Western and Eastern part of Uganda respectively and are mostly known for Mountain hiking although some Wildlife primates are recorded which include the forest elephant, chimpanzee, hyrax, black-and-white colobus, L’Hoest’s monkeys, and duiker.
What to see while in Uganda?
Uganda has a wide scope of attractions to see while in its top destinations which include Wildlife Primates as listed below.
Gorillas. These are ground dwelling herbivorous apes which usually feed on stem, leaves, foliage and fruits, they are tailless and use small huts constructed out of leaves and tree branches for shelter. These apes usually live in a group named “Troop” being headed by a male silverback, gorillas are categorized into Lowland and Mountain Gorillas, Uganda has only Mountain gorillas in its destinations and are found both in Mgahinga and Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park.
Chimpanzees. These are primates ranked to be the closest to human features and behaviors’, herbivorous in nature. They both move on ground and in the tree branches, Chimpanzees are tailless with palm of hands and soles of the feet are hairless, the arms are longer than its legs. Chimpanzees in Uganda are found in Kibale Forest National Park, Queen Elizabeth National Park and Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary.
Golden Monkeys. These are herbivorous primates who feed on leaves, fruits, flowers and twigs; they move both on ground and tree branches. Golden Monkeys are brownish in color with white strips in the face. Golden Monkeys in Uganda are found in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park.
Bird Species. Uganda is named to be one of the top bird watching sites in Africa with a wide scope of different bird species to sight while on a bird watching Safari. Over 1061 bird species are recorded in Uganda including the rare shoe bill.
African Big Fives. Among the African big fives, we have the Rhinoceros, Elephants, Buffaloes, Leopards and Lions. These primates were named “Big Fives” because they were very difficult to hunt and dangerous to the local hunters.
What to do while in Uganda?
Uganda has over ten top destinations to visit with different attractions to encounter and you will be entitled to participate in a couple of activities as listed below; –
Gorilla Trekking & Habituation Experience:
This involves visiting the Jungle of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and Mgahinga Gorilla National Parks in search of the shy endangered Mountain Gorillas. For gorilla trekking tours you will be allowed to stay with these apes after discovering their location for only one hour while sharing with them, seeing them playing with the young ones, feeding and taking photos but for habituation experience you will stay with these apes in the jungle for the all day.
To participate in this activity, you must buy a permit which issues permission, the permit for gorilla trekking costs $700 USD per person and one for habituation experience costs $1500 USD, once this money is paid its non-refundable.
Chimpanzee Tracking & Habituation: This involves visiting the Jungle in Search of the Chimpanzees, Chimpanzees are mostly found in Kibale Forest National Park. Chimp tracking is done in Kibale Forest national Park and Queen Elizabeth National park, similarly for chimpanzee tracking you are allowed to stay in their presence for only one hour but for the habituation experience you stay with these primates for a full day in the Jungle. Chimp tracking costs $150 USD per person and habituation costs $200 USD per person.
Golden Monkey Tracking: This activity involves visiting the jungle in search of the Golden Monkeys at a cost of $50 USD per person and for Uganda this activity is only done in Mgahinga National Park because Golden Monkeys are only found there.
Batwa Cultural Experience: This involves visiting the Batwa people in their local Communities and share with them through experiencing their ways of living, enjoying their participation like cultural dances and more, this experience costs $80 USD per person and its only done in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park.
Game Drive: This involves moving around the park on a safari jeep following the legal routes or trails in search of different wildlife primates and species except for Gorillas, Chimpanzees and Golden Monkeys. Game drive done during day costs $20 USD and the one done during night cost $30 USD.
Boat Cruise: This involves sailing with a boat on water while feeling the cool air on the waters; this boat cruise is mostly done in Murchison Falls National Park and Queen Elizabeth National Park along the Kazinga Channel, this Boat cruise costs $30 USD per person.