uganda safaris

According to the New York Times, ‘Uganda – the Primate capital and birder’s paradise’ should be one of the 52 places to visit in 2020 because of its rich culture, diversity of people, exotic wildlife and rich ecosystems.
Uganda safaris a top destination for Gorilla trekking and mountaineering adventures while in Africa
Lesotho, Egypt. Kenya and Ethiopia are the other African countries on the list that also includes the British Virgin Islands, Bolivia, Greenland, Australia among others.
“Landlocked in east-central Africa, Uganda has long been in the shadow of Kenya, Tanzania and other countries more popular with visitors on safari. But the “Pearl of Africa,” with its own rich wildlife, is set to become more accessible, thanks to the resurrection last summer of the country’s the national carrier, Uganda Airlines,” the New York Times writes.
It adds: “Uganda is one of the world’s primate capitals, with 15 species (four of which are endangered) and the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park, a renowned mountain gorilla sanctuary. The UNESCO World Heritage Site, in southwestern Uganda, is home to roughly half the world’s mountain gorillas.
The park’s gorilla trekking safaris limit contact to eight visitors per gorilla group per day, and proceeds from their trekking permits go toward conservation efforts and protecting the animals from poachers. The dense forest mountain park, which ranges in elevation between 3,810 feet and 8,880 feet, also features a scenic waterfall trail framed by ancient ferns and wild orchids, and is a birder’s paradise, with 350 species of forest birds.”
Apart from Gorillas, Uganda is endowed with other wild animals such as Lions, Buffaloes, Elephants, Rhino and the Leopard – commonly known as the ‘Big Five’.
These can be found in any of the 10 National Parks which are Murchison Falls, Mgahinga Gorilla NP, Rwenzori Mountains, Kidepo Valley, Queen Elizabeth, Lake Mburo, Semuliki Valley, Mt Elgon, Kibale Forest, and Bwindi Impenetrable national parks.
Just like Bwindi which is famed for Gorilla trekking safaris activities, each of these parks in Uganda has something unique to offer.
Most adventurous travelers that select to visit Uganda take the chance to enjoy hiking and trekking the Rwenzoris, also known as Mountains of the moon.
Rwenzori Mountains National Park, located in the Rwenzori Mountains, was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site because of its extraordinary natural beauty and here tourists can enjoy a trek to the highest point in Uganda, the Margherita Peak as they take in the beauty of the numerous waterfalls as well, a variety of flora and fauna.
On the other hand, the Semuliki National Park is not only famous for the Sempaya Hot Springs but also boasts well-tended trails for a soothing nature walks.
The park, the smallest of the 10 national parks is also home to primates such as the grey-checked mangabey, red-tailed monkeys, chimpanzees, De Brazza’s monkey as well as pygmy antelope and elephants. For the birders, Semiliki which lies on the western side of the Rwenzori mountains hosts several bird species.

Besides the national parks, tourists can take in the visit the source of the River Nile, the longest river in the world, or check out the Sipi Falls Uganda, a chain of three waterfalls in Kapchorwa district as well as Lake Bunyonyi said to be the deepest lake in the world in Kisoro and Kabale districts

Residents in areas neighboring Lake Bunyonyi in Kabale District on Monday witnessed a rare phenomenon when a cyclonic storm snaked into the lake from the sky.

Many went into a panic when the funnel-shaped white smock descended and covered the skies for several minutes.

According to scientists, the phenomenon is caused by atmospheric disturbances around a low-pressure area.


It is usually accompanied by violent storms and severe weather conditions. By Monday evening, several videos and photos of the i.ncident were being shared on WhatsApp.

Mr. Moses Banyenzaki who owns an engine canoe at Harutinda Landing Site said the landfall came after a heavy downpour characterized by lightning and thunderstorms at around 4 pm on Monday.

The site, comprising white smoke snaking from the sky into the lake was visible in parts of Kabale and Rubanda districts. According to residents, the violent windstorm touched down in the lake near Natures Prime Island in Bubaare Sub County, Rubanda District.

Mr. Banyenzaki said the situation forced all the canoes which had been docked at Harutinda to float adding that even though it sent residents into a panic, it did not cause any damage.

Mr. Phillip Byarugaba, a resident from Mugyera in Bufundi Sub County, Rubanda District said the spectacle lasted more than 30 minutes.

Byarugaba said most of the locals braved the rain running up the hills while others who had motorcycles and vehicles had to run to Kabale town fearing for their lives.

Mr. Didas Kyarikora alias Swansea, another resident of Mugyera in Bufundi Sub-county, Rubanda district sais although he saw a cloud of white smoke, he could not figure out what it was.

However, he added that an elder informed him that it was a tornado hitting in the lake. "coursing fear in local residents," he said.

What you need to know before trekking the mountain gorillas

Mountain gorilla trekking often comes second on travel Bucket Lists of the Big 5 game drive in Kruger or Serengeti National Park. Which is understandable – getting to the gorillas takes more effort, more time and more expense than a traditional safari. But you know what they say: you get what you pay for. Here’s everything you need to know about trekking with mountain gorillas in Rwanda and Uganda: Where do the mountain gorillas live? The ultimate wildlife experience. There are only two populations of mountain gorillas left in the world.

The first lives in the Virunga volcanic mountains of Central Africa, with groups scattered between Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The second population lives deep in Bwindi. (Our tours visit Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park and Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable Forest).

According to results released in May 2018, the mountain gorilla population living in the Virunga mountains has grown— from 480 in 2010 to 604 as of June 2016. Combined with a separate mountain gorilla population living in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in Uganda, this brings the number of mountain gorillas to more than 1,000 individuals. The rise in numbers follows the introduction of park guards, veterinary care, community support projects, and regulated tourism. Despite the good news, that still puts them on the Critically Endangered list (two classifications away from completely Extinct).



What options do I have to have to see the mountain gorillas? A mother and baby – incredible! The first thing to appreciate is that visiting mountain gorillas on a group tour can be quite expensive (going solo is often even more so). These animals exist in extremely remote locations, in countries not known for their tourist infrastructure, which means the logistics of a gorillas visit are a challenge in themselves.

Tour groups must also pay permits for expert guides to lead them through Virunga, Bwindi or Volcanoes National Park. Like most wildlife encounters in Africa, the experience is completely worth it, and we’re yet to hear anyone come back from a gorilla visit underwhelmed, but it’s just something to keep in mind.

It’s also worth noting that the cost of a permit to trek in Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park doubled in early 2017, which makes a trekking permit in Uganda around a third of the price, and a far more economical option.


Uganda Gorilla Safari:– A compact 12-day itinerary from Kampala to Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and Rwanda. You’ll be staying in basic, pre-erected Accommodation of your budget (economy,mid-range, and luxury) tents, and basic hotels which makes this is an economical option if you’re passing through Uganda on your own. Uganda Gorilla Safaris: Original – A compact 12-day itinerary from Kampala to Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable Forest. You’ll be staying in original style lodges and hotels. This is a fantastic trek add-on to a larger itinerary. Mountain Gorillas of Rwanda: Comfort – An equivalent 12-day Gorilla Safaris, this time in Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park.

This one comes with an optional ‘Gorillas in the Mist’ trek to visit the grave of Dianne Fossey, as well as her old research station, deep in the jungle. Gorillas & Game Parks

It combines gorilla trekking in Uganda with safaris in the Masai Mara and Queen Elizabeth National Park. This one is for the serious wildlife buffs! Remarkable Rwanda & Gorillas of Uganda – The condensed 21-day itinerary will see you traveling by 4×4, local bus, and bike with a dedicated Intrepid Leader. Learn about Rwanda’s devastating history with visits to different genocide museums, cycle around the Twin Lakes of Ruhengeri, before trekking Gorillas in Uganda.


Maximum 96 gorilla tracking permits are available each day. As of May 2017, the Rwandan Development Board increased the costs of the gorilla permits from US$ 750 to US$ 1,500 per person, for a one-hour visit. The new prices aim to strengthen conservation efforts and support the development of local communities.


What to expect on your trekking in Volcanoes National Park. It’s important to know what you’re getting into before setting out on a gorilla trek. The good news is,  The hike through the forest is challenging and tough-going (your guides will often have to create a path through the thick jungle that clogs the undergrowth), but it’s within reach for anyone with a reasonable level of fitness. You will get muddy though. And sweaty. Beneath the forest canopy, the humidity is very high, and it’s a good idea to bring a canteen of fresh water to hydrate as you go.

If you are particularly concerned about the terrain, consider hiring a local porter. The porters will carry your bag, and help to you navigate some of the steeper, or trickier sections of the trek. In fact, hiring a porter on a gorilla trek is a common practice by travelers of all ages and abilities. Not only does it make the trek easier for you, but you’re also providing a valuable source of employment for locals. The minimum cost of hiring a porter on a gorilla trek in Bwindi is $20USD, or $10USD in Virunga. Of course, you can choose to provide a tip in addition to that.

Eventually, after bush-bashing your way through the scrub, you’ll come across a gorilla family, peacefully playing in a forest clearing. Your trekking guides and rangers will have prepared you for what to expect. There’s no direct interaction with the gorillas (unless one moves past you), but you should get pretty close. You’ll have a good 45 minutes to an hour to just sit and observe these animals in their natural habitat. We promise it’s something you’ll never ever forget. For a really good account of a gorilla visit,


Mountain gorilla habitat A baby plays in the trees. Mountain gorillas live way up in the cloud forests, ranging from an altitude of 2200 meters to 4300 meters (a not insignificant height – you may feel a little short of breath. Remember to let your guide know if you feel a headache coming on). The vegetation on the lower slopes will be dense, often a mix of bamboo, ferns and galium vines. As you climb, the undergrowth should thin out a bit. The zone where the gorillas live is misty, damp and (depending on the time of year) can be a bit cold. Mountain gorillas move around depending on the season, spending time in the sub-alpine regions to feed on eucalyptus trees during certain times of the year.


What to pack for your gorilla trek Enjoying a snack. Boots – Essential. A good quality pair of hiking boots from a store like Kathmandu will serve you well. They’re expensive, but so are your ankles when they break. Don’t risk it with a cheap pair of sneakers.

Gloves – During the trek, you might be grabbing trees, branches, and vines, and your hands can get a bit scratched and generally beaten up if you’re not careful. Pack a tough old pair of gardening gloves. They might look a bit lame, but you’ll be glad you brought them. A light rain jacket – Bwindi and Virunga are both tropical rainforests, and there’s a good chance of rain almost year-round.

Pack a light-weight poncho or rain jacket that you can roll up in your bag and bring out if necessary. Packed lunch – The trek to the mountain gorillas isn’t impossible, but it is tough.

a packed meal like nuts, dried fruit, chocolate or power bars is a great idea. Just remember to take any rubbish with you as you go. Water – Avoid buying plastic water bottles while you’re in Uganda or Rwanda. They’re terrible for the environment.

Bring a reusable canteen (preferably with a purifying filter built in) or a pack of filtration tablets. You’ll need to drink a lot during the trek. Long pants and shirts – it’s best not to expose too much skin during the jungle trek, and remember to tuck your trousers into your socks – you really don’t want safari ants crawling up there. Want to come face-to-face with Africa’s mountain gorillas? Check out our Travel guide information on mountain Gorilla

Its true the Eastern Lowland Gorillas Heading Towards 'Genetic Meltdown' (according to George Dvorsky of Conservation Grauer gorillas.)

low land gorrilla

From the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International Eastern lowland gorillas in the Democratic Republic of the Congo have endured dramatic population declines in recent decades, leading to a startling lack of genetic diversity and a slew of harmful mutations, according to new research.

Residents of Kikarara Parish in Bwambara Sub-county have asked government to reverse its plan to evict them from a piece of land, which is claimed to be part of ishasa sector in Queen Elizabeth National Park in Rukungiri District.
They are more than 8,000 residents live in nine villages of Garuka, Nyakatemba A, Nyakatembe B, Nyabugando, Kahimbi, Rwesigiro, Nyakabungo B, Nyakabungo A and Kafunjo in Ishasha Sector.