Best Wildlife Encounters in Uganda : When it comes to unique wildlife experiences, Uganda should be one of your bucket-list travel destinations in Africa. Not only does Uganda pride itself of natural wonders such as the Source of the Nile, but also offers a refuge to world’s most sought-for wildlife majority of which, can’t be spotted anywhere else.
Uganda is a home to endangered and rare species including mountain gorillas, tree climbing lions, chimpanzees, golden monkeys, elusive birds such as shoebill storks, etc. The landscape on the other hand is incomparably breathtaking- these and more make Uganda truly the Pearl of Africa.
Wildlife encounters in Uganda are perfectly conducted in any of the country’s 10 National Park, 12 Wildlife Reserves, Sanctuaries and other spots. With plenty of locations, visitor exploration opportunities are countless making wildlife safari in Uganda worth undertaking while on any African safari holiday. If you are interested in something that captures your mind, then the following 5 wildlife encounters are worth trying on Uganda safaris.
With only 1,063 mountain gorillas still thriving in the wild and never existing in any zoo, tracking to see in their natural habitat is such a priceless wildlife experience. Only 3 countries offer this life-changing experience- Uganda, Rwanda and Congo. At USD700 for a gorilla permit, you can be part of the thrilling mountain gorilla trekking adventure.
In Uganda, there are 2 areas to visit to enjoy gorilla trekking to see mountain gorillas: Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. These protect half of the remaining 1063 mountain gorilla population and tourists track any of the 21 habituated gorilla groups.
A normal gorilla trekking safari in Bwindi or Mgahinga guarantees an hour face to face encounter with the massive mountain gorillas, but you can as well spent plenty of time on a close encounter with these unique apes while on mountain gorilla habituation experience.
This is possible while on gorilla safari in Bwindi National Park and permits for habituation are issued at USD1500 per person and you will be guaranteed of 4 hours to enjoy face to face with gorillas.
Chimpanzee tracking comes second after mountain gorillas as the most sought-for primate adventures on most of the Uganda Budget Safaris. A total of about 5050 chimpanzees live in the various locations in Uganda – The Pearl of Africa with several of them undergone through habituation making it an ideal chimpanzee tracking destination in Africa.
The ideal places to consider visiting to encounter chimpanzees in the wild include Kalinzu Forest, Kibale National Park (a home to 1500 chimpanzees also known as the Primate Capital of the World), Budongo Forest, Kyambura Gorge and Semuliki National Park.
Golden monkey tracking
In Uganda, golden monkey tracking is only carried out in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park also the country’s smallest park lying on land area of 33.7sq.kms. The park protects both mountain gorillas and golden monkeys in the same habitat making it an exceptional spot to enjoy a close encounter of two unique apes right in the wild. Golden monkeys are endangered species, thriving mostly in the Virunga Region- Uganda, Congo & Rwanda.
Game drives in Uganda present a great opportunity for wildlife lovers to enjoy sight of big game, small mammals, birds, etc while in the wild. The best places to visit for guided game drives in Uganda include Lake Mburo National Park, Kidepo Valley National Park, Queen Elizabeth National Park (also known for tree climbing lion watching) and Murchison Falls National Park.
Ziwa rhino sanctuary is located in Nakasongola district, a short distance from River Kafu and from Kampala, about 180kms lies Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary the only place to see rhinos in their natural habitat in Uganda.
The 70sq.km wildlife sanctuary is the main stopover spot for tourists on Uganda safaris to Murchison Falls National Park or Kidepo via the Northern route. Rhino tracking is the main activity that attracts most visitors to this spot although it is possible to indulge in other experiences such as birding, nature walks, etc.