Explore Uganda’s Safari parks and reserves

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Gorilla Trekking Tours in Uganda

Uganda often referred to as the “Pearl of Africa,” is a country blessed with an abundance of natural wonders and rich biodiversity. From the iconic savannahs of Murchison Falls National Park to the misty rain forests of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Uganda’s safari parks and reserves offer a diverse range of experiences for travelers seeking adventure and wildlife encounters. It was in 2023 August when I and my friend traveled to Uganda for an adventurous trip and we had all our planning with Sharon, a travel consultant with Nature Adventure African Safaris.

Our Uganda Safari was arranged by Nature Adventure Africa Safaris and our guide Emma was much experienced. We visited the Murchison Falls, Uganda’s biggest game park for thrilling game drives and Nile launch cruise, we went for chimpanzee trekking in the Kibale forest, went for another game drive and birding experience. Lions in the Ishasha sector, Queen Elizabeth National Park is the other thing that is hard to forget.

One of Uganda’s most renowned safari destinations is Murchison Falls National Park located in the northwestern part of the country in Masindi, Kiryandongo, Nwoya and Buliisa districts. This savannah park covers over 3,840 square kilometers and it is a home to the big 5 including elephants, leopards, lions, buffalos, enroute rhinos and other wildlife species include hippos, giraffes among others.

Upon our arrival at the Entebbe International Airport, we were picked up by the driver-guide who took us to Mabamba swamp for a shoebill search and later checked in at Protea Hotel – Entebbe to have something to eat and some rest.

The following day we woke up in a cool environment, we had our morning breakfast and later our driver picked us from the hotel with brief discussion about the journey and later we started to Murchison Falls National Park.  We had a stopover at Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary for rhino trekking and the experience cost $50 per person. After getting up close to the rhinos, we took some photographs and videos for remembrance and later proceeded to Masindi town where we had our enroute lunch from Masindi hotel, one of the historical hotels in Masindi district.

Upon arrival in Murchison falls national park, we visited the top of falls where were got a chance of also sight-seeing the lush vegetation of the Karuma wildlife reserve and also its breathtaking views. For real, the sounds at the falls really show the liveliness of the nature. Here we took some photos of the magnificent falls to keep memories. Though it was a bit late, we proceeded to Karuma town where we enjoyed a road trip while learning about the culture of local people leaving in Karuma area. We later checked in Chobe safari lodge for dinner and overnight.

The next morning, we had our breakfast, checked out the lodge and head for a game drive where we viewed different wildlife like herds of elephants, lions, leopards, giraffes, buffalos and bee-eater among others. After game drive we checked-in Paraa Lodge for lunch and returned for afternoon boat ride along Nile River.  While on a boat cruise along the Nile we spotted animals such as crocodiles, hippos among others when at river bank drinking water and birds. Later we went back to Paraa lodge for overnight and dinner.

The next morning after having our breakfast, we were transferred to Kibale national park with our packed lunch via Hoima to fort portal through traditional homesteads and farms along the Albertine rift escarpments which gave us opportunity to see more wildlife animals such as red and blue duikers, bushbucks, sitatungas, bushpigs, giant forest hogs, common warthogs, African buffalo among others. We also got a chance of seeing the mountains of the moon though we did not get up close to them since we were so tired after having a long day drive. On arrival to Kibale national park, we checked-in Kyaninga lodge for dinner and overnight.

The next morning, we had our breakfast and then proceed to park’s headquarters for briefing on rules and guidelines of chimpanzees tracking. We started the search in the jungle but it took us like 3 – 4 hours to find these creatures. After finding them, we were given 1 hour of being up close to them and watching them feeding and we also took some photos and videos.

Apart from chimpanzees, we also got a chance of seeing other wildlife and primates like blue monkeys, baboons among others, bird species and ever green savannah vegetation of Kibale national park. We returned back to the lodge for lunch and later came back for a guided nature walk in the Bigodi wetland sanctuary where we got the opportunity of seeing a variety of butterflies, birds and insects. After the bigodi walk, we went back to the lodge for dinner and overnight.

The next day after having breakfast, we transferred to Queen Elizabeth National Park through the Ishasha sector where we saw the climbing lions in the tree trucks. Apart from lions, we also saw animals such as buffaloes, water buck, and Uganda Kobs among others. Check-in Mweya safari lodge for lunch and later in evening went for a boat ride at Kazinga channel where we got a chance of seeing hippos and crocodiles plus some bird species and we returned back to the lodge for dinner.

Wake up, took our morning breakfast and went for game drive in kasenyi plains with our packed lunch. Early game drives are so interesting because you can find when the animals are still sun bathing when they have not yet set off for hunting. We spotted animals such as elephants, lions, leopards and some bird species. After the game drive, we went for a nature walk and later returned to the lodge for dinner.

The following day we went for chimpanzee trekking in Kyambura wildlife reserve and later we came back to the headquarters to get the chimpanzee trekking certificates and evening had to relax at our lodge before dinner and overnight stay.

In the morning, we embarked on our journey to Bwindi impenetrable national park through the Ishasha sector and if lucky you will see the rare climbing lions in the fig trees. Lunch at Ishasha Pride Lodge and after continue to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, we checked in Buhoma Lodge relaxing and experiencing the Batwa cultural performances. The Batwa shared their past stories with us on how they lived, hunted, cooked and also on how they used plants for both food and medicine. Later went back to Buhoma lodge for dinner and overnight.

The next morning, we went for gorilla trekking whereby we started with a briefing at the headquarters where they grouped us in the group of 8 people.  After briefing we embarked on our journey into Bwindi impenetrable forest. We walked through the forest for a short time only seeing some primates like monkeys and also some bird species.

Finally, we found a group of gorillas. They were eating leaves and playing with each other. They looked at us with their big brown eyes and it was amazing to see them up close. We watched them for a while and then quietly left them alone after taking some photographs and videos for unforgettable memories.  For real this was a special moment that I will never forget.

After a long day of trekking, we went to Buhoma lodge for dinner and overnight. The lodge was cozy and comfortable with a big bed and warm blankets. Personally, I slept very well after having my exciting day in the forest.

In the morning, woke up to the sound of birds singing outside the window. It was a beautiful start to another day of adventure.

After breakfast, we proceeded to Lake Bunyonyi with our packed lunch for relaxation. Lake Bunyonyi is a big lake surrounded by green hills and its water is clear and calm whereas perfect for swimming and boat riding. We took a boat ride on the lake and explored some small islands such as the Akampene island where unmarried pregnant girls were left to die of hunger taking it as an example to other young girls. Each island is like a little paradise with sandy beaches and lush vegetation.

We also went for swimming and the water was cool and refreshing and we had a lot fun splashing around. There are many colorful fish in the lake and we enjoyed watching them swimming beneath the surface.

After a long day of swimming and boat riding, we went in a charming Arcadia lodge. The lodge had cozy cottages with beautiful views of the lake. We could see the sunrise from windows and it was absolutely stunning. The staff at the lodge was very friendly and welcoming. They made sure we had everything we needed for a comfortable stay.

The following day we transferred back Kampala with a stopover at equator where we had our lunch enroute and also some refreshments. Here we took some photographs and also videos for memories and later proceeded to Entebbe in order to catch up with the flight and that was the end of our trip.

As our safari journey through Uganda came to an end, we were left with memories that will last a lifetime. From the vibrant streets of Kampala to the untamed wilderness of Bwindi, each destination offered its own unique blend of adventure, discovery and wonder. Uganda’s rich biodiversity, stunning landscapes and warm hospitality captured our hearts leaving us longing to return to this enchanting corner of Africa again and again.

NOTE: The above activities are only and only done when you have purchased a permit. For us we contacted Nature Adventure to book for us gorilla and chimpanzee permits from Uganda wildlife authority after depositing some money on their account. For gorilla permits we paid US$800(Bwindi impenetrable national park) per person and chimpanzee permits we paid US$250(Kibale national park) per person, Kyambura chimpanzee trekking is at US$100.

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