Overview – Uganda

Ariadne van Zandbergen
Expert
By Ariadne van Zandbergen

Ariadne is a renowned Africa expert. She and her husband form a team who write and update many Bradt guides, including the guide to Uganda.

Ariadne is a renowned Africa expert. She and her husband form a team who write and update many Bradt guides, including the guide to Uganda.

Ariadne is a renowned Africa expert. She and her husband form a team who author the Bradt guide to Uganda.

Ariadne and her husband form a team who author the Bradt guide to Uganda.

Uganda is a great destination to view wildlife in both forest and savannah. Not to be missed is gorilla trekking in Bwindi or Mgahinga, while chimps can easily be spotted in Kibale and several other locations. Queen Elizabeth and Murchison Falls national parks offer wonderful savannah safaris with good wildlife viewing, as does the more remote Kidepo National Park, but animals are not as abundant compared to the top parks of Kenya and Tanzania.

Rates (USD) $187 to $536 pp/day
Best Time to Go June to August and December to February
High Season June to September (It's rarely crowded)
Size 241,038km² / 93,065mi²

Pros & Cons

  • One of the very few places to see endangered mountain gorillas
  • Combine primate viewing with a classic savannah safari
  • Good balance between vehicle, boat and walking activities
  • Excellent birding
  • Scenic beauty
  • Big Five are not as numerous or as easily seen as in some other safari countries
  • Relatively long driving times between parks on bad roads

Uganda Safari Reviews

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  • Bush Vibe
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  • Wildlife
  • Scenery
  • Bush Vibe
  • Birding

Wildlife

Elephant, hippo, buffalo and zebra are plentiful in Uganda. Lion, giraffe and white rhino are more localized but easily seen in the right location. Leopard are less certain. The birding is a real highlight with more than 1,000 species recorded. So is the tracking of primates, in particular gorilla and chimp, but there are many other species worth watching. These include a habituated golden monkey troop in Mgahinga and the endemic Uganda mangabey. The antelope known as the Uganda kob is found in most savannah reserves and is a favorite prey of lion.

Weather & Climate

Uganda’s tropical climate is a little different in the north and south of the country. From March to November, the north experiences a rainy and warm Wet season, followed by an almost equally warm Dry season from December to February. The south, on the other hand has a pair of Dry seasons (December to February, and June to July) broken up by a pair of Wet seasons. The country’s higher altitudes get predictably cold, with the temperature dropping 6°C/3.5°F for every 1,000m/1,000ft you climb.

Best Time to Visit

The drier months from June to August and December to February are the best for wildlife watching in Uganda. This is particularly so when it comes to the rainforest habitat preferred by primates, but it also applies down on the savannah where animals have little bush to hide in. There’s also plentiful sunshine at this time. In the wetter months, there’s the possibility that rain will cut off roads and wash out your primate trekking adventure.

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Uganda Safari Reviews

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  • Scenery
  • Bush Vibe
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  • Wildlife
  • Scenery
  • Bush Vibe
  • Birding
Most Helpful Expert Review
Expert
Tim Bewer  –  
United States US

Tim is a travel writer who has covered 10 African countries for Lonely Planet's Africa, East Africa and West Africa guidebooks.

Add gorillas to your safari
3/5

Let’s be clear right up front. Because Uganda’s parks suffered such a massive poaching scourge during the turbulent 1980s it is a second tier safari destination in comparison to its neighbors Kenya and Tanzania. Though that does not...

Full Review

Latest User Review
Annette Williamson  –  
Australia AU
Reviewed: Aug 25, 2019
Dream come true
5/5

It has been a dream for us for so long to see the Gorillas. The trip was amazing, accommodation was beautiful from Bwindi Lodge, staff were so helpful and beautiful, our Buttler David couldn’t do enough for us. The food marvellous. Our...

Full Review