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5 best places to go for a safari in Uganda

Known as the Pearl of Africa, Uganda has so much to offer the traveler. From sumptuous and delicious food, friendly people, memorable adventures and natural wonders. Blessed with verdant rainforests and with its vast natural environment and teeming wildlife, the top best thing to do is going on a Uganda safari.

Located in the east African plateau, Uganda is a landlocked country. While it has no marine coast, it is aptly compensated with its many marshes and lakes. This includes Lake Victoria, the biggest of all African lakes and where around 25% of its lakeshore is found in Uganda. It’s also part of the Nile Basin where this mighty African river, the longest in the contitent, have its headwaters and flows to Egypt, emptying out to the Mediterranean Sea. But one thing that makes why safari in Uganda is the best activity to do in the country is the presence of several major species of African wildlife in national parks.

safari in uganda

Places to go for a safari in Uganda

While the country has 60 protected areas including 10 national parks, these are the best five places to go on a safari:

Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. Located at the southwestern-part of Uganda, its one of east Africa’s biggest and oldest forests. It has around 120 mammals, including forest elephants, leopards and several rare species of monkeys and interesting species of birds. But for a safari in Uganda, it’s one of two places best for face to face encounters of chimpanzees and mountain gorillas, which is home to more than half of its population. In 1994, the park was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Kibale National Park. This park in south Uganda is one of the last remaining areas in east Africa that contain both lowland and montane forest. It is also primarily a moist evergreen forest with varying types of landscapes too. With its myriad species of rare primates, other mammals and birds, visitors often come here for close encounters of chimpanzees to observe them in their natural habitats and communities.

Queen Elizabeth National Park. Located at the southwest part of the country, it borders several wildlife reserves and Kibale National Park. Originally named Kazinga National Park in 1952. After a visit by Her Majesty, it got its present name. Known also for its crater lakes, this park is Uganda’s most popular and most visited. It has 95 species of mammals including lions, bush elephants, leopards, chimpanzees, African buffalo and hippopotamus.

Murchison Falls National Park. The source of the Nile River, it is where the explosive Murchison Falls is located. It is Uganda’s largest national park in the northwestern part of the country and along the shores of Lake Albert. With it’s sprawling area, it includes the Bugungu and Karuma Falls Wildlife Reserves. In terms of animals, it has the country’s biggest population of crocodiles with 75 species of mammals including elephants and hippos. There are also some 500 species of birds here too. There is also a hot air balloon safari in this national park.

Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary. Currently, the only protected area to view rhinos and located in the central part of Uganda in the Nakasongola District. T private park breeds rhinos to grow their population, eventually reintroduced into the country’s national parks. This 70 square kilometer sanctuary also has 40 mammal (monkeys, antelopes, hippos) and reptilian species (crocodiles).

Estan Cabigas is freelance photographer, blogger and writer based in Makati City, the Philippines. A true blue Cebuano, he makes stunning images and meaningful photo stories. His work has been published in local and international publications including National Geographic Magazine, Geo (Germany), Sunday Times Magazine (London) and other publications. He is also a peripatetic traveler and has traveled to all 81 Philippines provinces. I'm open for work, collaborations and inquiries, including hotel, restaurant and site features and reviews.

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