As the third largest country in East Africa, Uganda is known as ‘The Pearl of Africa’ due to its natural beauty. Safaris in Uganda are synonymous with gorilla trekking tours. In the wild, mountain gorillas can only be found in Uganda, Rwanda, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Uganda is home to nearly half of the wild mountain gorilla population, explaining the popularity of gorilla safaris in Uganda. From 2009 to 2011, the population of great apes increased by over 30%. Below are some activities that can complement your Uganda gorilla trekking safari in addition to gorilla safaris in Uganda:
Big Game Safaris
There are several national parks in Uganda, including Murchison Falls National Park, Queen Elizabeth National Park, and the seldom visited Kidepo Valley National Park, which is famous for its big game safaris. Four of the ‘Big Five’ animals can be seen in these areas, including Lions, Elephants, Leopards, and Buffalos. Since rhinos were removed from the parks during the unstable period, you may not be able to see them. You will have to visit Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary if you are interested in rhinos in Uganda. Other herbivores and carnivores include Zebras, Uganda Kobs, Hippos, and Cheetahs.
Primate Tracking Tours
Other than mountain gorillas, Uganda is home to more than 13 species of primates. This includes chimpanzees, l’hoests, black and white Colobus monkeys, and baboons, among others. This is one of the largest primate populations in the world, not only in Africa. Kibale Forest National Park, Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Kaniyo Pabidi in Budongo south of Murchison Falls National Park and Queen Elizabeth National Park are some of the finest places to enjoy primate tracking safaris in Uganda. You can also track chimpanzees on Ngamba Island of Lake Victoria.
Uganda Birding Safaris
As one of Africa’s major birding safari destinations, Uganda has remnants of equatorial forest. In Uganda, there are a number of unique bird species, including the archaic-looking shoe bill. The Turaco, ground hornbill, Red billed, black wattled, black bill and white crested hornbill, African piculet, Zenkel honey-guide, Black chested cuckoo, red rumped tinker bird, rufous sided broadbill, Nkurengu rail, White bellied, dwarf, and Pygmy kingfishers, piping, white thighed, black and white casqued, and African pied hornbills, fire crested alethe, red bellied and blue billed malimbe, swamp palm bulbul, forest scrub robin, Green tailed bristle bill, Leaf love, red breasted sparrow hawk, Long tailed hawk, pale fronted and chestnut breasted negrofinches, black winged oriole are just a few example of birds may be able to see in Uganda.
Mountain Climbing Adventure
There are two known mountains in Uganda, Mount Ruwenzori, also known as the “Mountain of the Moon,” and Mount Elgon, located on the Kenya Uganda border. Despite being the 4th highest mountain in Africa, Mount Rwenzori is one of the most difficult mountains to climb. Depending on one’s fitness level, one can climb Uganda’s highest peak within 7 to 12 days. In contrast to Mount Kilimanjaro, Mt. Rwenzori requires some level of fitness since it is a block mountain with several ups and downs. Since Mount Elgon is a volcanic mountain, it is much easier to climb.
Two of Uganda’s neighbors in East Africa, Kenya and Uganda, share the second largest fresh water lake in the world. Fishing is popular in Lake Victoria, which has some of the largest Nile perch species in the world. It is also possible to fish in the Albertine Nile in Murchison Falls National Park and in the Kazinga Channel in Queen Elizabeth National Park.
White Water Rafting
You may want to consider white water rafting in the Nile if you are seeking a high adventure activity. It is possible to do this in Jinja for half a day or for a full day depending on your interests. It is possible to combine white water rafting with bungee jumping in Jinja. Lunch will be included in the full day white water rafting trip.
There are several ethnic groups in Uganda, including the Bantus and the Nilotes. Each ethnic group has its own culture and tradition. Some cultures are quite attractive, from their clothing to their daily activities. You can sample this at the Ndere cultural center or by traveling to the region where the ethnic group resides. Among the cultural sites to visit are the Kabaka Kingdom, the Batoro Kingdom, and many others. This will let you understand each ethnic group you are interested in.
The next time you plan an Africa safari to Uganda, be aware that you have much more than just Uganda gorilla trekking to spice up your Uganda safari experience. Enjoy your time in Uganda.