Popular Routes – Uganda

Ariadne van Zandbergen
By Ariadne van Zandbergen

Ariadne is a renowned Africa expert and frequently visits Uganda. She and her husband are a travel photography/writing team with many Africa guidebooks under their belt, including the Bradt 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

Popular Routes in Uganda

Popular Routes Where Wildlife Viewing Is a Major Part of the Tour

If you are visiting only Uganda, there is one obvious loop to follow. You can naturally go in two directions, but most tours will follow this itinerary.

The Wildlife Circuit (1.5 to 2.5 weeks)

After arriving at Uganda’s Entebbe International Airport (EBB), you can spend the night on the shore of Lake Victoria or head out immediately to Lake Mburo National Park if timing permits.

  • Lake Mburo National Park (1 to 2 days) offers good overall wildlife viewing and it is the only park in Uganda that has a population of the graceful impala antelope that are so common in southern countries. The park makes a great first stop on safari; aside from game drives, several activities are on offer including horse riding and boat trips.
  • Bwindi Impenetrable National Park or Mgahinga Gorilla National Park (2 to 3 days each) offer the ultimate highlight of the trip: gorilla trekking. As there is only one gorilla troop in Magahinga and sightings are less certain, this scenic park in the Virunga Mountains is less popular than Bwindi. However, it is much easier to obtain last-minute permits in Magahinga. Both parks offer superb forest birding as well.
  • Queen Elizabeth National Park (3 to 4 days) has an array of activities to offer. This is Uganda’s most popular savannah reserve. Highlights include a boat trip on Kazinga Channel between Lake Edward and Lake George, chimp trekking in Chambura Gorge and finding tree-climbing lions in the Ishasha sector of the park. Game drives on the Kasenyi plains tend to be very productive as well.
  • Kibale National Park (2 to 3 days) is the best place for chimp trekking in Uganda and home to many more primates and incredible birds and butterflies. The forest is relatively pristine and you can see some beautiful large mahoganies and other hardwoods. From here, you will probably return to Kampala.
  • Murchison Falls National Park (3 to 4 days) is more remote and falls outside the geographical wildlife circuit, but is more than worthwhile. The Victoria Nile is the centre point of the park. Aside from boat trips to the impressive waterfall after which the park is named, wildlife viewing from the boat offers a different side to the park and gives the opportunity to spot the elusive shoebill. An overnight stop at Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary en route to Murchison Falls is recommended, as this is the only place in the country to see rhino.

Popular add-ons:

  • Kidepo Valley National Park for true remote wilderness appeal
  • Mount Elgon for climbing the mountain
  • Toro-Semliki Wildlife Reserve for visiting a pygmy community and excellent birding
  • Rwenzori Mountains for an amazing mountain challenge
  • Jinja for adventure activities such as white-water rafting and bungee jumping

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