List of tour operators and travel Companies in Uganda

I have taken time to compile this list to give tourists and stake holders what to choose from, in case I have not included your tour and travel company or there are some changes to make, please add it in the comment section below as the list will be updated on a regular basis or leave us an email.

Those who have used any of the tour operators in the list please leave a comment or recommend a friend.

 

 

    • 1000 Shades Of Green Tours and Safaris Co. Ltd
      Kamu Kamu Plaza, Entebbe Rd, P.O. Box 21142, Kampala
      Tel: +256414579306
      Web: www.gogreensafari.com
    • Lion Head Tours and Travel (Plot 20, 21 Martyrs’ Cres, Kampala)
      Tel: +256-772468824
      Web: www.lionsheadtoursandtravel.com
    • AA Safaris and Tours Limited
      Plot 25, Room 4, Sarah Mall, Martin Road, P.O. Box 28921 Kampala, Uganda
      Tel: +256 (0)312 293534, +256 (0)39
      Web: www.adventureugandasafari.com
    • AAB Tours and Travel (U) Ltd
      Zana , Kampala – Entebbe Highway, P.O. Box 37400, Kampala, Uganda
      Tel: +256 (0) 414201 299
      Web: www.aabtoursandtravel.com
    • Ababa Uganda Safaris
      Plot 711, Entebbe Highway, Najanankumbi, Nambi Irene House, P.O.Box 27707 Kampala Uganda.
      Tel : +256 772 502713, +256 486 660 228
      Web: www.ababaugandasafaris.com
    • Abacus African Vacations
      Plot 73, Queens Way (near fly over), P.O. Box 34944, Kampala, Uganda
      Tel: +256 (0)414 232657
      Web: www.abacusvacations.com
    • Abercrombie and Kent Tours And Travel Limited
      Plot 46A Victoria Loop,108 Lubowa, P.O. Box 7799, Kampala, Uganda
      Tel: +256 414201321
      Web: www.abercrombiekent.com
    • Able Safaris Ltd
      Plot 79 Bukoto Street, kamwokya, P.O. Box 131, Kampala, Uganda
      Tel: +256- 414692535
      Web: www.ablesafaris.com
    • Access Budget Safaris
      Plot 4 kimathi avenue opposite kampala casino P.O Box 21873, Kampala-Uganda
      Telephon: +256-392-839448, +256-782-065126, +256-701-065126
      Web: www.accessbudgetsafaris.com
    • Acacia Safaris
      Plot 351b Balintuma Road Nakulabye, Kampala, P.O. Box 29493, Kampala, Uganda
      Tel: +256 (0)414 253597
      Web: www.acaciasafari.co.ug
    • Adrift – The Adventure Company
      Plot 14 , York Terrace Kololo, P.O.Box 7681, Kampala, Uganda
      Tel: +256 312 237 438
      Web: www.adrift.ug
    • Advanced Tours and Travel Ltd
      Plot No 39 Ripon Garden, Clive Rd West, P.O.Box 806, Jinja
      Tel: +256 (0) 434 120457
      Web: www.advancedtours.ug 
    • Advantage Safaris Africa
      Fountain House, Nkrumah Road, P.O.Box 36163,Kampala, Uganda.
      Tel: +256 777 022 566.
      web:  www.advantage-safaris.com
    • Adventure Trails
      Plot 1383 Milk Valley Buildling, 1st Floor, Bwebajja, Entebbe, P.O. Box 34944, Kampala, Uganda
      Tel: +256 (0)312 261390
      Web: www.gorilla-safari.com
    • African Big Five Safaris
      Plot 4, Pilkington Road, kira House
      Tel: 256 714 901 801, +256 713 901 801
      Web: www.africanbigfivesafaris.com
    • Africa Nature Trekkers
      P.O. Box 28921, Plot1 Old Kampala Rd – Kampala, Uganda
      Tel: +256-792839273
      Web: www.ugandasafariholiday.com
    • Afri Tours and Travel Ltd
      Plot 1,Kafu Road, Fairway Hotel (Poolside) , P.O. Box 5187, Kampala, Uganda
      Tel: +256 (0)414 233596
      Web: www.afritourstravel.com
    • Africa Runners Co Ltd
      PLOT 79 BUKOTO STEET, KAMWOKYA, P.O. Box 27751, Kampala.
      Tel: 0312 250014
      Web: www.africarunners.co.ug
    • Africa’s Great Exploration Safaris
      Munyonyo Commonwealth Centre Ground Floor, P.O. Box 72308, Kampala, UgandaTel: +256 (0)414 662300
      Web: www.agesafaris.com
    • African Adventure Travellers
      Plot 1016 Sharing Center Gaba Rd Kampala, P.O. Box 26784, Kampala, Uganda
      Tel: +256 (0)414 597257
      Web: www.adventure-travellers.com
    • African Pearl Safaris
      Plot 3 Kampala Road, Station House 2nd Floor, Room 8, P.O. Box 4562, Kampala, Uganda
      Tel: +256 (0)414 233566/7
      Web: www.africanpearlsafaris.com
    • African Safari Masters Ltd
      Munyonyo , P.O. Box 27867, Kampala Uganda
      Tel: 0414 680010, 0752 344667
      Web: www.ugandasafarimasters.com
    • African Secrets Limited
      Plot 1001 Gabba Road, 1st Floor, Sussie House NsambyaP.O. Box 5574, Kampala, Uganda
      Tel: +256 (0)312 280325
      Web: www.africansecrets.ltd.ug
    • African White Rhino Safaris
      Plot 474, Block 4, Butikiro Road Kampala, P.O. Box 843, Kampala, Uganda
      Tel: +256 (0)414 370912
      Web: www.afriwhiterhinos.com
    • Africa Treasures LTD
      Kabowa off -Entebbe Road, P.O.Box 2633 Kampala, Uganda
      Tel: +25774161700 and +25670161700
      Web: www.africa-treasures.com
    • Afrika Tur Ltd
      Seguku, Katale, Entebbe Road, Kampala.
      Mobile: +256 772 454619 / +256 778 717 359.
      Web: www.afrikatur.org
    • African Eco Tours
      Plot 940 Gadaffi Road, Makerere Opp. Ham Towers P.O Box:1888 Kampala, Uganda
      Tel: +256751090995, +256789884416, +256771485241
      Web: www.africanecotours.net
    • Alive Safaris Ltd / Tours and Travel
      MUGANZIRWAZA COMMERCIAL COMPLEX, Plot 1446, Katwe, Kibuye, Second Floor, Central Wing.Kampala – Uganda
      Tel: +256 392 176 654/ +256 705 123 123 (Whatsapp) / +256 779 075 355
      Web: www.alivesafaris.com
    • Alpha and Omega Tours and Travel
      Lower Muyenga, P.O. Box 886, Kampala, Uganda
      Tel: +256 (0)414 266858
      Web: www.alphaandomegatours.com
    • All Terrain Adventures
      Tel: +256 772 377185
      Web: www.atadventures.com
    • Amazing Safaris
      Plot 1, Tree Lane Lubowa, Entebbe Road, P.O. Box 9444, Kampala, Uganda
      Tel: +256 (0)414 200859
      Web: www.safaritouganda.com
    • ASTHO Vacations
      Bapipo Plaza, Busabala Road, Kampala, Uganda
      Tel: +256 (0)792111735
      Web: http://www.african-safari-tour.com
    • Asyanut Safaris and Incentives
      Plot 2 Parliament Avenue M1.3 Jumbo Plaza Mezanine Floor, P.O. Box 27707, Kampala, Uganda
      Tel: +256 (0)414 503065
      Web: www.asyanuttours-safaris.com
    • Atlas African Safaris Ltd
      Musana House, Plot 31 Nkurumah Road KampalaP.O. Box 12719, Kampala, Uganda
      Tel: +256 (0)772 749858
      Web: www.atlassafarisuganda.com
    • Augur Tours
      P.O. Box 10964, Kampala
      Tel: +256-772572696, +256-702200777
      Web: www.augurtours.com
    • Ayinza Safaris and Tours Ltd
      Pilkington Road, NIC Building, basement, P.O Box 11805, Kampala, Uganda.
      Tel: +256 772 527 835; +256 705 617 389
      Web: www.ayinzasafaris.com
    • Beyond The Sky Tours and Travel
      Metropole House plot 8-10 Entebbe Road, Office No. G9, P.O. Box 36671, Kampala
      Tel: +256-414 250359
      Web: www.beyondtheskytours.com
    • Bamboo Ecotours Ltd
      P.O BOX 280, Kisoro, Uganda
      Tel: +256774519086
      Web:www.bambooecotours.com
    • Brovad Tours and Travel
      Plot 1, Colville Street, Communications House Ground FloorP.O. Box 9174 Kampala, Uganda
      Tel: +256 (0)414 237477
      Web: www.gorillatoursuganda.com
    • Canyon safaris and Travel
      Mukono Seeta, p.o.box 16126 Kampala Uganda,
      Tel: +256773131501
      Web: www.canyon-safaris.com
    • Cherub Adventures ltd
      Light Arcade,Shop F10 Nkrumuh Road, P.o .Box 9174, Kampala, Uganda
      Tel: +256705726624 , +256780853321
      Web: www.cherubadventures.com
    • Chumvi Tours
      P.O. Box 23591, Kampala, Uganda
      Tel.: +256 702 359336, +256 778732187
      Web: www.chumvitours.com
    • Churchill Safaris and Travel
      Plot 928, Block 18 Sir Albert Cook Road/Mengo- Natete Road, P.O. Box 28170, Kampala, Uganda
      Tel: +256 (0)414 341815
      Web: www.churchillsafaris.com
    • Classic Africa Safaris
      Ground Operations 77 Erica Magala Road, EntebbeP.O. Box 524, Entebbe, Uganda
      Tel: +256 (0)414 320121
      Web: www.classicuganda.com
    • Climax Nature Experience Ltd.
      Plot No. 2422, Kitende, Chec Ln, Kampala, Uganda P.O.Box 14102 Kampala, Uganda
      Tel.: +256 772 305 049 +256 701 124 070(WhatsApp)
      Web: www.climaxnature.com
    • Credit Uganda Tours
      Nsambya Babies Home, P.O. Box 30788, Kampala, Uganda
      Tel: +256 (0)312 281547
      Web: www.credit-uganda.com
    • Crystal Safaris
      Plot 6 Colville Street, Airways House Kampala, P.O. Box 9698, Kampala, Uganda
      Tel: +256 (0)414 345742
      Web: www.crystalsafaris.com
    • Cycads African Safaris Limited
      Plot 73 HS Kibirige Building Queen’s Way, Entebbe Road, P.O. Box 22460, Kampala
      Tel: +256-414-573775
      Web: www.cycadssafaris.com

Best Parks & Game Reserves for a Safari Near Mombasa, Kenya

Across the city’s hinterland, you’ll encounter Best Parks & Game Reserves, niche sanctuaries with very few visitors, and there’s even the possibility of a marine safari. Here are some of our favorites.

Best Parks & Game Reserves

Tsavo East National Park

If you only have time to go on one safari near Mombasa, make it Tsavo East NP. One of Kenya’s best parks, it’s famous for elephants that you’ll very often see bathed in the red Tsavo dust. Lion sightings are similarly common and they have a story to tell: Tsavo lions have always been known for their ferocity and for the scruffy manes of the park’s male lions. Cheetahs, too, are a real highlight here, especially on the plains out in the eastern reaches of the park, the section of Tsavo East closest to Mombasa. The wild Galana River and the wildlife-rich Kanderi Swamp are also lovely focal points for your visit, and among the park’s more unusual wildlife prizes are the Somali ostrich, the gerenuk and the endangered Hunter’s hartebeest (hirola)

Tsavo West National Park

It’s quite an excursion from Mombasa, but Tsavo West NP is one of Kenya’s best parks and it’s not all that far away. Weird-and-wonderful rock formations and lava tubes dominate the park. Places such as Mzima Springs feel like another world, with greenery, hippos and crocs. Tsavo West’s other wildlife can be amazing, even if the denser vegetation means that the elephants, lions, leopards and more can be harder to see here than in neighboring Tsavo East NP. Giraffes, rhinos and plenty of birds are also highlights here.

Taita Hills Wildlife Sanctuary

It’s a bit of a drive from Mombasa to get here, but Taita Hills Wildlife Sanctuary is well worth the effort. At the heart of this private community sanctuary is a pocket of forested hills surrounded by savannah grasslands, not far from the arid plains of Tsavo. You’ll probably see elephants, and you might even see lions, cheetahs and klipspringers here. But it’s the birding that really gets visitors excited, especially the chance to see some forest species, as well as birds of prey.

Best Parks & Game Reserves
giraffes in the park

Shimba Hills National Reserve

Southwest of the city, inland from Diani Beach, Shimba Hills NR is one of the best game reserves near Mombasa. The hilly landscape here is a gorgeous combination of lush, tropical greens and savannah wildlife. While you’re here, you might see elephants, sable antelope and buffalo, as well as baboons, giraffes, plenty of birds and more butterflies than you ever thought possible. Not many safaris make it out here, and almost all of them come on day trips from the coast. Stay overnight if you can.

Lumo Community Wildlife Sanctuary

Close to Taita Hills Wildlife Sanctuary and worth combining with it if you’re coming from Mombasa, Lumo is a community-run sanctuary that gets big cats, elephants and more. While you’re here, you might even see a black serval or an aardwolf! The birding is also incredible: over half of Kenya’s 1,100 bird species are possible, with the Taita thrush, Taita white-eye and Taita apalis possible highlights you just don’t see elsewhere. Unlike in Kenya’s national parks, you can even go on a walking safari.

Kisite Marine National Park

Going on safari near Mombasa isn’t just about cats and elephants and animals grazing the savannah. In the waters around Wasini Island, this marine national park also includes the Mpunguti Marine National Reserve. It is great for diving and snorkeling in search of dolphins, turtles and all manner of marine life on the beautifully preserved coral reefs.

Mwaluganje Elephant Sanctuary

You don’t have to travel far from Mombasa to see elephants. Mwaluganje Elephant Sanctuary is one of Kenya’s newer reserves and it lies along an important elephant-migration corridor. Seeing an elephant is almost guaranteed while you’re here. The riverine scenery through the Cha Shimba Valley, as well as the fact that very few visitors come here, combine to make this one of the more rewarding safari experiences in Kenya’s southeast.

Tsavo Conservancy

South of Voi and a little removed from the main safari trail, Tsavo Conservancy is a special place. Part of its appeal is the wildlife. The conservancy lies along an elephant-migration corridor, Grevy’s zebra inhabit the area, and more than 300 bird species have been seen here. But it also offers the chance to engage with local community projects set up to increase self-sufficiency and alternative sources of income for local people.

Gorilla Trekking in Uganda Versus Rwanda, Which Is Better?

Gorilla trekking in Uganda versus Rwanda, which is better? Both are great options, but which is best depends on your needs. In this post, we’ll have a look at some of the differences between gorilla trekking in Uganda and Rwanda. Below are some of the main points of comparison to help you decide where to go on a gorilla trek.

Comparison 1: Number of Permits

Gorilla trekking in Uganda
Gorilla feeding

As one of the ultimate wildlife experiences in Africa, gorilla trekking is becoming more and more popular. Luckily strict regulations are in place to protect these gentle giants, and the number of permits available per day is finite. Only eight visitors can spend one hour with a habituated gorilla group per day. Rwanda has 12 groups available for tracking in Volcanoes National Park, and Uganda has 13 groups in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and just one group in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park.

Mgahinga Gorilla NP in the Virunga Mountains is an amazing place for gorilla trekking, possibly my favorite. But with just one gorilla group and very little accommodation in the area, it isn’t a popular option. For the purposes of this blog, I’ve left this off-the-beaten-track gorilla park out of the equation and the comparisons below are between the two most popular and accessible gorilla trekking destinations: Bwindi in Uganda and Volcanoes NP in Rwanda.

Comparison 2: Habitat & Landscape

The habitat and landscape of the main gorilla trekking parks in Uganda and Rwanda are very different. Rwanda’s Volcanoes NP is part of a mostly dormant volcanic mountain range known as the Virungas. Here, the gorillas stay almost exclusively in the bamboo forest zone, a beautiful setting in which to see these great apes. The vegetation tends to be quite open, which is ideal for easy viewing. Uganda’s most popular gorilla trekking destination, Bwindi Impenetrable NP, is an extensive tract of tropical rainforest. It’s a stunning setting as well, but as the name suggests, the denser vegetation can sometimes make clear views of the gorillas a bit more challenging.

Comparison 3: Cost

Another important point to consider when comparing gorilla trekking in Uganda versus Rwanda is the cost. The price of a gorilla trekking permit in Uganda is US$700 and in Rwanda it’s US$1,500 per person. A big difference. Of course, you can argue that the difference isn’t considerable when absorbed into a 10-day holiday package. This fee doesn’t include any travel arrangements, such as transport, your guide, accommodation etc. It only covers the activity, the park ranger who will be your guide for gorilla trekking, and the trackers who go ahead to find the gorillas. Tips for the guide, trackers and optional porter are extra.

Comparison 4: Trek Conditions

In general, the trek conditions tend to be a bit easier in Rwanda than in Uganda. This is not absolute though. Conditions change daily depending on the location of the gorillas. Each gorilla group has its territory and some of them are usually easier to reach than others. Conditions tend to deteriorate after heavy rain when the forest paths become very slippery. This is especially true in Bwindi, which sees very high rainfall throughout the year. The tracks in Rwanda are usually quite defined, while the tracks in Uganda tend to be very steep and overgrown. Having said that, the high altitude in Rwanda can be a challenge for some people.

 

Comparison 5: Accommodation Options

There are good accommodation options for gorilla trekking in Uganda and Rwanda. Rwanda has perhaps more choice in top-end luxury lodges, while Uganda has a few more mid-range options. Several lodges in Uganda border the park and have a true forest feel, while in Rwanda many lodges have mountain and/or lake views, but most are a bit farther away from the forest boundary.

Comparison 6: Getting There

Volcanoes NP in Rwanda is considerably more accessible than Bwindi Impenetrable NP in Uganda. The drive from Rwanda’s capital city, Kigali, to Volcanoes NP takes up to 3 hours on a good road. The drive from Entebbe, Uganda’s gateway for most visitors, to Bwindi takes between 8 and 10 hours. While there is only one starting point for gorilla treks in Rwanda, there are four different trailheads in Bwindi. Some of them require a good 4×4 to get to. There are, however, scheduled flights to Bwindi. Alternatively, a stay in Bwindi can be incorporated into a larger road tour in Uganda, visiting other parks and reserves. For a quick gorilla trekking tour or an add-on to a safari in Kenya or Tanzania, Rwanda is most convenient.

 

Comparison 7: Overall Safari

Most people will incorporate a gorilla trek into a longer safari. For this, Uganda has more options than Rwanda. Uganda’s Murchison Falls and Queen Elizabeth National Parks are two top-notch savannah reserves. You’ll see most iconic safari animals here, including elephants, lions, buffalo and giraffes. All the Big Five are present except for rhinos, which can be seen in Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary. Uganda is also a top destination for chimpanzee trekking, while Lake Bunyonyi is a great place to chill out for a couple of days at the end of an action-packed safari.

Rwanda is less established as a stand-alone safari destination, but it has a few very good off-the-beaten-track gems worth tagging onto your gorilla trek. Most notable are Akagera National Park, a scenic Big Five savannah park, and Nyungwe National Park, a montane rainforest, which is home to 13 primate species, including chimpanzees.

Comparison 8: Best Time to Go

The best time for gorilla trekking in Rwanda and Uganda is from June to August and to a lesser extent from December to February. These are the driest months. At this time, the trails tend to be less slippery and hiking in the forest is easier. Your experience will be less likely interrupted by rain. However, Volcanoes NP in Rwanda sees less rainfall overall and conditions are mostly fine from May to February. Bwindi is a rainforest, and you can get wet here at any time. You’ll still see the gorillas though. As long as you avoid the peaks of the rains (April to May and October to November) you should be OK. Waterproof jackets are a must, of course.

 

Top 10 Best Uganda Luxury Safari Camps & Lodges

Here, in alphabetical order, we introduce you to 10 of our favorite Uganda Luxury Safari camps & lodges. Uganda is one of Africa’s most underrated safari destinations. It is best known for its mountain gorillas, which can be tracked in Bwindi Impenetrable and Mgahinga Gorilla National Parks. Rather less publicized is the fact that Uganda’s biodiverse network of parks also offers excellent chimpanzee trekking and a decent chance of spotting all the Big Five. Other attractions include some of Africa’s most scenic mountains and lakes, and a checklist of more than 1,000 bird species.

As for where to stay in Uganda, the country is served by a diverse network of accommodation, ranging from campsites and backpacker lodges to five-star hotels and world-class safari lodges. 

Best Uganda Luxury Safari Camps & Lodges

Apoka Safari Lodge

Unquestionably the top safari lodge in northeast Uganda, Apoka stands on a rocky ridge overlooking a waterhole in Kidepo Valley National Park. Accommodation is in super-spacious chalets with canvas walls and private terraces, and there’s a wonderful natural rock swimming pool, as well as a shady thatched dining area with a view over the plains. Best of all, Apoka is the perfect base for exploring a remote and relatively little-known park where lions, elephants and buffalo are all likely to be seen on a daily basis.

Clouds Mountain Gorilla Lodge

Resembling an Africanized version of a palatial Alpine ski chalet, Clouds Mountain Gorilla Lodge is the highest lodge in Uganda, perched at an altitude of around 2,100m/6,889ft on a forested ridge close to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park’s Nkuringo Gate. Eight cozy 80m2/860ft2 guest cottages each include a king-size bed, a spacious lounge complete with plump sofas and roaring log fire, and a stylish modern bathroom. There’s no finer base than Clouds for gorilla tracking in Bwindi’s remote southwest, and the views towards the volcanic Virungas, with active Nyiragongo glowing orange after dark, are truly stunning. Luxurious touches include a personal butler, a pampering foot massage after your gorilla trek, and superb cuisine complemented by a selection of imported wines.

Kyaninga Lodge

This luxury owner-managed property on the outskirts of Fort Portal boasts the most impressive architecture of any Uganda safari lodge. Built almost entirely from wood and thatch, it consists of eight spacious cottages spaced widely along a stilted wooden walkway on the forested rim of Kyaninga Crater Lake. The view across the lake toward the Rwenzori Mountains is sensational, there’s some great walking and canoeing on the property, and it’s one of the best places to stay in Uganda prior to chimpanzee trekking in nearby Kibale National Park

Mihingo Lodge

Situated in a private wilderness area bordering Lake Mburo National Park, Mihingo is an exclusive family owned lodge that stands out for possessing that elusive ‘wow’ factor. A dozen luxury tented chalets are scattered across a forested hill whose rocky summit offers wonderful views in all directions. There’s also a beautifully appointed open-sided dining area and a swimming pool set between the boulders. This is unquestionably the most luxurious Uganda safari lodge servicing Lake Mburo National Park. It has the added value of offering horseback and walking safaris, as well as night drives that come with a decent chance of spotting leopards.

 

Mount Gahinga Lodge

The standout luxury base for exploring Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, Mount Gahinga Lodge has a peerless setting below a trio of tall volcanic peaks belonging to the Virunga range bordering Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Under the same dynamic management since it first opened in 2002, the lodge comprises seven massive cottages that combine local Bafumbira stone architecture with modern comforts and excellent amenities. Being only five minutes’ walk from the main park entrance, Mount Gahinga Lodge is ideally positioned for gorilla tracking in Mgahinga, as well as other activities such as golden monkey trekking and day hikes to the Virunga peaks.

Mweya Safari Lodge

One of the most famous places to stay in Uganda, Mweya Safari Lodge boasts a commanding cliff-top position on the Mweya Peninsula in Queen Elizabeth National Park. Overlooking a stretch of the Kazinga Channel that’s favored by thirsty buffalo and elephant herds, it offers perhaps the most reliable in-house wildlife viewing of any Uganda safari lodge. There’s also plentiful birdlife in the gardens, and on a clear day you can see the snowcapped peaks of the Rwenzori. With 54 rooms, it is not as intimate or exclusive as smaller Uganda safari camps, but the prime location and on-the-ball management ensure it remains a very popular choice on upmarket safaris.

Paraa Safari Lodge

paraa-safari-lodge
paraa-safari-lodge

Among the oldest and largest of Uganda’s safari lodges, Paraa was constructed in 1959 on a slope overlooking the north bank of the Nile as it flows through Murchison Falls, the country’s largest national park. The 54-room lodge has undergone many face-lifts since then, but it still enjoys a wonderful location, best appreciated from the large and inviting swimming pool. It has comfortable, well-equipped rooms and a restaurant decorated in colonial style. Logistically, Paraa is perfectly sited for boat trips to the base of Murchison Falls and game drives on the productive Delta Circuit.

Primate Lodge Kibale

One of my very favorite Uganda safari lodges, Primate Lodge accommodates guests in luxurious stone and thatch cottages set in Kibale National Park, Uganda’s top chimpanzee trekking destination. The lodge is only five minutes’ walk from the main chimp trekking trailhead. Guest cottages are spaced out widely in an area of rainforest where you’re likely to see red-tailed monkey, black-and-white colobus and a wide variety of birds.

Sanctuary Gorilla Forest Camp

Combining the feel of an exclusive safari camp with a gorgeous rainforest setting in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Sanctuary Gorilla Forest Camp is without doubt one of the best places to stay in Uganda. Accommodation is in eight large and stylish standing tents, each fitted with two queen-size beds and a private balcony set deep in the forest. There’s no more luxurious base from which to visit Uganda’s mountain gorillas, especially as it lies practically opposite the main tracking assembly point at Buhoma, Bwindi’s park headquarters. Wildlife viewing doesn’t stop when you get back to camp: forest birds include the dazzling great blue turaco, plenty of monkeys pass through on a daily basis, and it’s not unheard of for gorillas to wander across the lawn!

Sipi River Lodge

Quality accommodation is thin on the ground in eastern Uganda, but Sipi River Lodge is a welcome exception. It stands in lushly wooded grounds on the slopes of Mt Elgon, an extinct volcano that ranks as Africa’s eighth-tallest massif at 4,321m/14,177ft. This is a great base for hiking in the fertile Elgon foothills and visiting a trio of pretty waterfalls that adorn the Sipi River. The main Sipi Falls is only a few minutes’ walk away, and the middle cascade actually stands in the grounds, within view of some of the cottages. With a cozy rustic feel that might be transplanted from the English countryside, this isn’t your average safari lodge, and the relatively high altitude ensures it enjoys a pleasant temperate climate.

 

Things to Do in Kenya – Top 10 Tourist Attractions

Here is our author’s selection of the top 10 things to do in Kenya. Kenya is one of Africa’s most varied travel destinations. The main draw is going on safari in world-class parks such as the Masai Mara National Reserve, but this equatorial East African country boasts many other compelling attractions. Popular things to see in Kenya include the idyllic beaches, offshore reefs and old Swahili settlements that line the Indian Ocean coastline. Other Kenya tourist attractions include the opportunity to gaze at the snowcapped peaks of Africa’s two tallest mountains.

Friendly, well organized and enormously scenic, Kenya offers everything you could ask of a tropical African holiday destination.

catch the World’s Largest Wildebeest Migration in the Masai Mara

The Masai Mara is Kenya’s most popular safari destination. Few parks are more reliable when it comes to seeing lion, leopard, cheetah and other carnivores. Elephants and buffalo are common, and lucky visitors might hit the Big Five jackpot with a rare sighting of a black rhino. Wildlife viewing is great throughout the year, but peaks over August to October, when hundreds of thousands of migrating wildebeest stream across the border with Tanzania. Watching these wildebeest cross the Mara River en masse is one of the most amazing things to see in Kenya.

Step Back in Time at Fort Jesus

Mombasa’s Fort Jesus was built by the Portuguese in 1593 and would go on to change hands several times over the centuries. A Unesco World Heritage Site, it is most imposing from the seaward side, where the turreted walls rise 16m/52ft above the old harbor. The interior incorporates an excellent site museum and a cartoon-like 17th-century fresco painted by an anonymous Portuguese sailor.

Climb Majestic Mt Kenya

Kenya shares its name with Africa’s second-highest mountain, an extinct volcano whose equator-straddling glacial peaks rise to 5,199m/17,057ft. The multi-day climb to the snowline isn’t for everyone, but it will top many hikers’ wish lists of what to do in Kenya. The ascent passes through montane (mountain) forests alive with elephants and monkeys, and a chilly Afro-alpine moorland zone dotted with otherworldly giant lobelias. You summit at Point Lenana, the highest non-technical peak at 4,985m/16,355ft.

Enjoy Flamingos & Other Dazzling Birds at the Rift Valley Lakes

The beautiful lakes that stud the Rift Valley northwest of Nairobi are renowned for their impressive birdlife. More than a million flamingos sometimes congregate on Lakes Nakuru or Bogoria, tinting the shallows pink. Even when flamingos are scarce, you can expect to see an impressive range of other tropical birds, from heavyweight pelicans and storks to colorful lovebirds and bee-eaters.

Snorkel the Coral Gardens of Watamu

Watamu, on the Indian Ocean coastline about 100km/60mi north of Mombasa, stands at the north end of a shallow bay punctuated with weird mushroom-shaped coral islets. It is one of the few beaches I know where you can simply wade out with snorkel and flippers, and find yourself exploring calm coral gardens swirling with colorful reef fish. Non-swimmers can enjoy the submarine action in a glass-bottomed boat.

Take an Exclusive Private Safari in Laikipia Plateau

Laikipia differs from most other major safari destinations in that it comprises a mosaic of like-minded private reserves and community conservancies. Most lodges here operate on an all-inclusive basis; depending on which you visit, guided activities might include standard game drives, night drives, bush walks, horseback excursions or camelback safaris. Wildlife viewing is superb and includes all the Big Five, as well as African wild dog. Laikipia is an important stronghold for the localized Grevy’s zebra, which is larger and has narrower stripes than other zebras, and the striking reticulated giraffe.

Take a Walk on the Wild Side at Hell’s Gate & Mt Longonot

The tectonic forces that shaped the Great Rift Valley also molded Hell’s Gate, a scenic national park studded with volcanic plugs and hot springs. Visiting Hell’s Gate National Park ranks among my top things to do in Kenya, because it’s the only park where you can walk or cycle unguided through big-game territory. Buffalo, giraffe and a variety of antelope are resident, but big cats also pass through on occasion. The skyline is dominated by Mt Longonot, a nearby volcano whose gaping caldera, which last erupted in the 1860s, is 90 minutes’ hike from the base.

Wander Through the Labyrinthine Alleys of Lamu’s Old Town

Island-bound Lamu is my favorite town in East Africa. Established in medieval times, it blossomed in the 17th to 18th centuries as a trading port and center of Swahili art and scholarship. Today it’s something of a backwater, and too remote to attract much mainstream tourism, but the timeworn alleys of the old town retain a compelling Swahili cultural and architectural identity.

Admire Snowcapped Mt Kilimanjaro From the Plains of Amboseli

Amboseli National Park ranks among the most popular of Kenya tourist attractions. This national park is renowned for its plentiful elephants, which are often seen wading in the swamps. Buffalo, giraffe, hippo and wildebeest are common, and you might encounter big cats. Amboseli’s crowning glory is the dramatic backdrop provided by the world’s tallest freestanding mountain, which towers 5km/3mi above the plains below. One of the most amazing things to see in Kenya is Kilimanjaro’s snowcapped peak emerge from the clouds above Amboseli, a phenomenon that most often occurs at dusk or dawn.

Chill Out on Idyllic Diani Beach

Fine white sand. Swaying coconut palms. Turquoise waters protected by a coral reef. A selection of classy upmarket resort hotels. Yes, lovely Diani Beach, 33km/20mi south of Mombasa, ticks all the boxes when it comes to tropical beach escapes. As a bonus, the surrounding forests support plenty of monkeys, and it makes a great base for a day safari to underrated Shimba Hills National Reserve.

Queen Elizabeth National Park

Queen Elizabeth National Park is Uganda’s most popular savannah reserve and has the widest variety of wildlife of any Ugandan park. The variety of habitats includes grassland savannah, forests, wetlands and lakes. This provides the setting for an extensive range of large mammals and primates. Four of the Big Five are present (rhino are absent) and chimp tracking is available.

Wildlife

This is the most reliable park in Uganda for lion, which is particularly common on the grassy Kasenyi Plains, but is more famous for its tree-climbing antics in the Ishasha sector. Huge herds of buffalo and elephant are found in the savannah areas of the park, and an amazing number of hippo inhabit the Kazinga Channel on which daily boat trips are conducted.

Scenery

The park is set against a backdrop of the Rwenzori Mountains. Additional scenic points are Kazinga Channel between Lake Edward and Lake George and at least 10 crater lakes. The most accessible part of the park is open savannah, but large forest areas are open to the public. These include the forested Kyambura Gorge and the extensive Maramagambo forest in the southeast.

Weather & Climate

Queen Elizabeth National Park’s nearness to the equator ensures uniformly warm temperatures throughout the year. Heavy rain that makes some roads impassable is a feature of the region’s two Wet seasons (March to May and August to December). Although there’s no official Dry season, the rainfall decreases somewhat – though rarely entirely – from January to February and June to July.

Best Time for Wildlife Viewing

Queen Elizabeth National Park can be visited throughout the year, but the best times for wildlife viewing are the Dry seasons (from June to July and January to February) when animals are concentrated near rivers and lakes. Some of the roads can become impassable after heavy rain.

The Gorilla Habituation Experience

The Gorilla Habituation Experience

Introduced in 2015 and available for a minimal duration of only 2-3 years is the gorilla habituation experience in Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. To become habituated to tourists’ presence, each gorilla group has undergone an extremely delicate process, lasting around five years, gradually getting accustomed to the presence of humans.

Park rangers start by spending a short period with the gorillas every day, at a certain distance that represents the limit of the gorillas’ comfort zone. As the years go by, they gradually increase the time and reduce the distance until they deem the gorillas ready for paying clients to visit them.

The gorilla habituation experience for the first time allows paying clients to participate in this process. It is limited to two gorilla families in the southern part of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Bukingyi and Bushaho, in the park’s Rushaga sector. Due to the steep terrain, dense vegetation, and high altitudes, a high level of fitness is required.

Gorilla habituation is the process through which a gorilla family gets used to human visits. When there were plans to introduce gorilla tourism in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, the remaining task was to ensure that the mountain gorillas get used to tourists’ visits. Remember, the gorillas were living in the forest and were not used to human visits.

A gorilla habituation process takes 2-3 years, and it involves an advanced team from the Uganda Wildlife Authority making frequent visits to the gorilla family. Upon establishing that the group is used and welcoming to tourists, the gorilla family becomes ready for tourists’ visits.

History of Gorilla Habituation Process

The habituation of wild gorillas has long been a useful tool for research and conservation programs. Decisions to habituate gorillas typically reflect a balance of the benefits gained and the costs/risks. In general, the benefits include that it: generates revenue through tourism for governments, local communities, and businesses; enables detailed research on feeding ecology and social behaviour; provides daily protection for the groups monitored; enables gorilla health monitoring; pro­vides a mechanism for examining trends in population dynamics by monitoring births, death and dispersal patterns.

In contrast, the costs of ha­bituation are that it: increases the risk of disease through exposure to humans in close proximity; increases risk of poaching due to loss of fear of humans; requires financial resources and staff to monitor habituated gorillas as a lifelong commitment.

Both the costs and benefits can be illustrated in all locations where gorillas have been habituated. For example, several habituated Grauer’s gorillas were killed during the political instability in Kahuzi-Biega National Park, Democratic Re­public of the Congo (Yamagiwa 2003), and evidence of a virus transmitted from humans was found in Virunga mountain gorillas suffering from res­piratory disease (Palacios et al. 2011).

The economic benefits derived from gorilla tourism can be enormous. Still, they may come to a halt due to political instability, which is the current situation in Dzanga-Sangha National Park, Central African Republic.

Conservation and research efforts in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Uganda, which contains about half of the remaining mountain gorillas globally, did not begin in earnest until the early 1990s following its being gazetted as a national park in 1991. This is in contrast to the Virunga Massif’s mountain gorillas, which have been the focus of intense efforts since the last 1960s.

Why February is The Best month To Visit Uganda

February is the best month to visit Uganda because it’s one of the moderately dry periods that won’t have your itinerary interrupted by downpours. And the vegetation during this time is the greenest, great for photography. Besides that, you must consider why you’re visiting the “Pearl of Africa” and what you want to see and experience on holiday in Uganda.

Best month To Visit Uganda-February
You must visit Uganda in Feb to gaze at this kind of emerald luminance.

7 reasons why February is the best time to visit and travel around Uganda

1. It’s the driest time of the year

So it’s one of the best times of the year for seeing wildlife. The undergrowth is sparser, making it more difficult for the animals to camouflage and travel long distances for water.

On a game drive across the savanna, you’ll encounter large herds of giraffes, elephants, and gazelles on parade. At the same time, a forest jungle hike makes for an unforgettable encounter with rare primates like mountain gorillas, chimpanzees, and many forest dwellers.

2. The best time to track gorillas and chimpanzees

Uganda’s most precious jewel is the more than 500 mountain gorillas in its tropical rainforests of Bwindi Impenetrable and Mgahinga National Parks.

Visiting these sanctuaries during the rainy seasons can leave a somewhat wrong impression of the country, for the roads are impassable, and the drenching rains are annoying.

Visiting in February, however, will make you fall in love with the country’s rural attractions. During February, the forest floors are dry, with little or no rain, and the trails are passable. You’ll find your rural or forest walking experience an unforgettable memory.

3. It’s shoulder season

After the excitement of the December & January holidays, fewer people are traveling, flights are cheaper, and accommodation prices have come down. It’s a much nicer traveling business, staying in premium safari camps and riding the savanna plains with little or no crowds.

4. The temperatures are a little higher during the day

With temperatures around the 30 degrees Celsius mark, the weather’s perfect for enjoying hotel and safari camp swimming pools.

Walking in the jungle on a steamy hot day gives the right temperatures under the shadows of massively huge old trees—a great time for a trek in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest.

Oh, if you live in the Northern Hemisphere, coming back home to winter with a tan isn’t such a bad idea, either.

5. The pleasant evenings

Uganda’s cities have awesome outdoorsy nightlife, especially the big ones; JinjaKampala, and Mbarara; think rooftop bars, beer gardens, and outdoor restaurants.

Order a Tusker or Nile Special beer and a ‘relax’ (a pan-fried egg and wheat dish) and settle for an evening of travel stories with your fellow adventurers.

6. It’s an excellent time for bird watching

It’s always a good time of year for bird-watching in Uganda. Notably, from September to April, migratory birds from North Africa and Europe travel south to nest and take advantage of the warm (and dry) weather. Along with seeing spectacular local birds like Black-headed Lapwing, Orange Weaver, Red-throated lathe, and the famous rare and near-endemic Shoebill.

7. Into hiking? Climb Mt Stanley (minus the crowds)

At an elevation of 5,109 m (16,763 ft), it is the highest mountain in both the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Uganda and the third-highest in Africa, after Kilimanjaro (5,895 m) and Mount Kenya (5,199 m).

The peak and several other surrounding peaks are high enough to support glaciers. Mount Stanley is part of the Rwenzori Mountains National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and it’s a popular trek for avid hikers.

Doing the climb in February means the slopes are dry, and it’s much less busy than the peak June to October season. It’s also cooler than during the summer months; you’re more likely to encounter snow the higher you get.

Uganda Travel Restrictions & Health Declaration Form

Travel Restrictions Summary:

  • Complete the Covid-19 Vaccination and carry a valid certificate or take a PCR test 72 hours before you catch a flight to Uganda. (-5 years olds are exempt.)
  • Fill out the online Health Declaration Form 24 hours before you catch your flight and save or print the QR code.
  • Take a yellow fever vaccination jab and carry a certificate with you.
  • Apply and pay for the Uganda entry visa online.

In addition to the existing travel restrictions, the Uganda government has announced new entry restriction changes effective November 14th, 2022, introducing the Health Declaration Form for all travellers. The form could be a move to control the spreading of the deadly Ebola virus to other countries and monitor travellers.

Press-Statement-COVID-19-situation-and

The Ministry of Health now requires all inbound or outbound travellers to complete the Uganda Travel Health Declaration Form within 24 hours of arrival. Travellers can access the form online at poe-screening.health.go.ug.

Immediately after filling out the form and submitting it, the traveller will get a QR code they can save to their phone or print out to present to the immigration officer.

It’s a straightforward process that anyone with internet access can fill out. We think it is to help track travellers and prevent the spreading of killer diseases worldwide.

In relation to Covid-19, all travellers should hold a valid COVID-19 vaccination certificate or negative PCR test with a sample taken at most 72 hours before they board their flight to Uganda. Children below 5 years are exempted.

Travel Requirements

  • There is no mandatory covid testing on arrival.
  • All inbound and outbound travellers will be required to show proof of complete COVID-19 vaccination, except for travellers aged five years and below.
  • Travellers with partial or no vaccination will be required to present a negative PCR test done within 72 hours before their flight to Uganda, except travellers below five years.
  • Travellers are advised to wear face masks in crowded places but not a requirement..
  • The Vulnerable or high-risk population, i.e. elderly aged 50 years and above and people living with co-morbidities irrespective of age, are advised to wear a facemask at all times whether they are vaccinated.
  • Mandatory screening of visitors for Covid symptoms like temperature and colds will till continue to identify COVID carriers.
  • You will be required to wear a facemask and keep a ten-meter distance when viewing the great apes in Uganda’s rainforests.
  • Because entire Uganda is Yellow Fever prone, vaccination is mandatory for all travellers entering Uganda. All travellers must present a valid Yellow Fever Vaccination Certificate at entry. Any exception must give an authoritative document to prove their claim.

All Uganda visas are processed online at visas.immigration.go.ug. No visa processing at entry points. You’ll need a six months valid passport and yellow fever vaccination certificate to be allowed entry.

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