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Uganda Private Safaris & Gorilla Tours

4.3/5  –  285 Uganda Reviews

You can't go wrong when you book a private safari in Uganda. In travel circles, this lush equatorial country is best known for sheltering half the world’s mountain gorillas. But gorilla trekking is just one part of its impressive natural arsenal. In Uganda, you can raft Grade 5 rapids on the world's longest river, bounce across savannah in search of the legendary Big Five, hike the forested slopes of the Rwenzori and Virunga (Africa’s third- and sixth-highest mountain ranges) and marvel at a dazzling birdlife that includes more than 1,000 species. Indeed, Uganda is arguably Africa’s most diverse safari destination, and a private package allows you to choose exactly which of its highlights you include in your itinerary.

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1-20 of 558 private safaris and gorilla trekking tours to Uganda

6 Questions About Uganda Private Tours

 
 

6 Questions About Uganda Private Tours

Answered by Philip Briggs

What are the pros and cons of a private safari in Uganda?

“An obvious advantage of booking a private safari rather than joining a group tour is that you have greater autonomy when it comes to your travel dates and itinerary. Once on the road, it allows you the freedom to make day-to-day decisions about the timing and duration of activities rather than having to go with the flow. And on a private safari, there is no risk of being matched with incompatible strangers who spoil your holiday or have clashing agendas. Private safaris are particularly recommended to keen photographers, ardent bird-watchers and others with niche interests. There are no major negatives associated with a private safari. However, especially for single travelers, a private safari will generally be much more expensive than a group tour. The main additional costs are associated with road transport, which works out more cheaply split between several people. Solo travelers on a private safari will also need to pay single supplements on accommodation (which might be avoidable if they join a group safari and are prepared to share a room).”

1

Will the guide have meals with us on a private safari?

“It is not generally customary for guides to eat with their clients on a private safari, except perhaps when you stop for lunch on the road or carry a boxed breakfast. Otherwise, most meals will be part of a full-board package at a lodge or tented camp. The standard scenario is that guests either have a private table or eat communally with other guests. If you prefer to have meals with your guide, some lodges and tented camps will arrange that on the spot, while others might be less keen to do so. It's probably a good idea to specify this with the operator in advance.”

2

What type of vehicle can I expect on a private Uganda safari?

“On a Uganda private safari, you can expect to travel in a Land Cruiser, Land Rover or similar high-clearance 4x4 vehicle. These 4x4s tend to be relatively slow on main roads, depending to some extent on the age and condition of the vehicle. But they are ideal for navigating rough roads in and around wildlife reserves. If you travel with a relatively upmarket operator, you might be put in a stretch vehicle, which means there will be plenty of space for you and your luggage. Whatever vehicle you are allocated, it will almost certainly have a pop-up roof, which can be raised on game drives to allow you to see more.”

3

What is the best time of the year for a Uganda safari?

“The ideal time of year for a Uganda safari is one of the two Dry seasons, which cover the months of June to August and December to February. September and October are also quite good. While it is possible to travel during the core rainy season of March to May, this would be less than ideal. The main reason to avoid the rainy season is that the forest trails used for tracking chimpanzees and gorillas become very muddy and slippery. There is also a greater risk of these and other activities being disrupted by the weather.”

4

Which parks should we visit on a private Uganda safari?

“That depends greatly on your interests and on how long you plan to spend in Uganda, but the one activity that is included on most safaris is gorilla trekking in Bwindi Impenetrable or Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. These two parks lie in the far southwest, a full day’s drive from the capital Kampala and nearby Entebbe International Airport. They can only realistically be visited on a safari of at least 3 days duration (unless you fly from Entebbe). If you have 4 to 7 days for a Uganda private safari, gorilla trekking in the southwest is usually combined with visits to Queen Elizabeth, Lake Mburo and/or Kibale National Parks. Queen Elizabeth is one of the country's best savannah parks, providing sanctuary to four of the Big Five (lion, leopard, elephant and buffalo; there are no rhino). It also offers fun boat trips to look at hippos and waterbirds. Kibale is Uganda's premier chimp trekking destination and generally rewarding for forest birds and monkeys. With 10 to 14 days in Uganda, you could extend your private safari by heading northwest to Murchison Falls National Park, Budongo Forest and Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary, or northeast to Kidepo Valley National Park.”

5

How much does a private Uganda safari cost?

“The prices of private Uganda tour packages depend on a number of factors, but most options cost from US$250 to US$350 per person per day. This is inclusive of accommodation, meals, transport, activities and park fees. Factors that might bump up the price include the use of domestic flights and/or luxury lodges. And you might pay much less for a budget camping trip that doesn’t include gorilla trekking and the associated US$600 permit.”

6

Uganda Reviews

4.3/5 285 Reviews
Expert
Mark Eveleigh  –  
United Kingdom UK

Mark is a travel writer who grew up in Africa and has written over 700 titles for CNN Traveller, Travel Africa, BBC Wildlife and others.

Fantastic wildlife and some of the friendliest people in Africa make Uganda unbeatable
5/5

I spent a month travelling around Uganda with a self-drive, expedition-prepared Landcruiser and visited almost every national park in the country. Uganda was a revelation! I had not expected such a richness of wildlife or such great...

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Expert
Mike Unwin  –  
United Kingdom UK

Mike is an award winning wildlife writer, editor of Travel Zambia magazine and author of the Bradt Guide to Southern African Wildlife.

Two worlds in one
4/5

Uganda has a modest profile among Africa’s top safari destinations. With no parks of the size or popularity of Kruger, Chobe, Serengeti or other such A-listers, its main wildlife drawcard has become the mountain gorilla. Alongside Rwanda,...

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Alex  –  
Japan JP
Reviewed: Feb 2, 2023
A wonderful destination in every way
5/5

If you’re considering a safari, Uganda should be your top choice - it's a beautiful country in every way. Amazing food, diverse wildlife, friendly people and very safe compared to some other countries in the region. Weather and vibes are...

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Klaus Hüskes  –  
Germany DE
Reviewed: Jan 25, 2023
I now know what made Winston Churchil say Uganda is the pearl of Africa, and he was right.
5/5

It was our first trip to Africa. We booked through Skyway Expedition in Entebbe and were thrilled. We felt absolutely safe at all times and warmly welcomed. The country is a wonder of nature, a treasure chest for nature lovers. I hope that...

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Ilias Kyriakopoulos  –  
Greece GR
Reviewed: Jan 16, 2023
Awesome nature friendly people
5/5

We booked home for Africa for gorilla trekking . The accomadation was great, our driver William, friendly and helpful. We also went hiking to mountain elgon Awesome nature. And we had a safari at Murchison Falls as well. Brilliant...

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Mariona CL  –  
United Arab Emirates AE
Reviewed: Jan 3, 2023
Uganda is a vibrant, welcoming and peaceful setting for wildlife lovers.
5/5

Home to Africa has been very accomodating and has adapted to all of our requests when planning and budgeting. Our guide, Benon, was fun, kind, patient and knowledgeable. He made us feel very comfortable and was always on the lookout to make...

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