Uganda is one of the top destinations to visit in Africa. Commonly known for its wide variety of wildlife, Uganda is one of the best destinations for wildlife safaris in East Africa. Strategically located astride the Equator, Uganda lies in the Eastern part of the African Continent, a region known for memorable African safaris.
Uganda’s most sought-after wildlife include the famous mountain gorillas, chimpanzees, golden monkeys as well as the big five. The African Big Five you can see in Uganda include the African Elephant, Leopard, Lions, Buffaloes and the White Rhinoceros. Other interesting animals to see in Uganda national parks are giraffes, Zebras, Kobs, Elands, etc.
Do you love primates? Uganda is the primate capital of Africa. Notable primates to see in Uganda include Bush babies, Black and White Colobus monkeys, Lhonest Monkeys, Vervets, Redtailed Monkeys, Blue Monkeys etc.
In addition to wild animals, there are also different bird species which include the rare shoebill, Albertine endemics etc. Before you engage on a wildlife Safari in Uganda you need to be well prepared with the process of planning a holiday in this East African country. For a better Uganda Tour here are some of the important steps to follow so that you can get the best out of your trip;
Choose where to go:
Before indulging in Uganda tours, it is important to do some little research! You need to first research and decide about the best places to go in Uganda.
Uganda boasts of stably rich wildlife that is well protected in its top ten national parks. Most popular national parks include Queen Elizabeth National park, Murchison falls National Park, Kidepo valley national park, Kibale Forest and Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. Less known national parks that are worthy exploring include Lake Mburo national park, and Semuliki National Park. If you are looking to a wilderness safari, the montane parks of Mountain Elgon National Park and Rwenzori Mountains are awaiting you to interact with the wild side of the country through these mountainous areas.
There are also several wildlife sanctuaries which include Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary where you can track rhinos on foot and the Ngamba island Chimpanzee Sanctuary, a haven for orphaned and rescued chimpanzees.
All these destinations are stocked with wildlife but the most suitable ones where you go sure of sighting all what you want include:
- Kidepo Valley National Park located far in the North of Uganda,
- Queen Elizabeth National park in Western Uganda mostly known for the tree climbing lions,
- Murchison Falls National Park in the north west mostly known for the great falls
- Lake Mburo National Park also located in the western part of Uganda near Mbarara town, the best place to see zebras and eland antelopes
- Semliki National Park commonly known for its female and male hot spring,
- Kibale Forest National Park located close to fort portal town in the west, commonly known for the Chimpanzees,
Budget for your trip:
Budgeting for your trip is an important aspect of planning an African safari. You should have a strategic budget for your trip depending on what you are going to do. It is important to know the tourist activities which will not drive you out of your budget reaching to an extent of getting stuck in the course of your trip.
When budgeting for your trip please make sure you cater for miscellaneous such that in case of any problem there is back up at hand.
Choose a Tour operator:
Its better and a right procedure to choose a local tour operator to arrange for you this trip. There are well informed tour operators well equipped with all information on ground concerning the state of security of the country as well as the way tourism activities are conducted. Please note that different touristic destinations are affected by different factors such as the conditions of all routes to different parks, best seasons to travel, the transport means to use during your safari plus the changing accommodation facilities that are available to use. This very tour operator is supposed to give advice on the suitability of your desired itinerary basing on your budget and activities involved in this itinerary.
Booking with a Ugandan local tour operator will make your trip planning process easier. It also saves you the worries associated with planning a holiday in Uganda. The selected tour operator is the one who is responsible in handling everything detail concerning your tour e.g safari jeep bookings, hotel booking, permits bookings like gorilla permit if you are to do gorilla trekking, airport transfers. They can also help in visa processing which you are supposed to apply for by yourself. To enable the operator handle all this you are supposed to send at least a deposit of the safari quotation which will also help them give a deposit on lodge bookings, safari jeeps.
Paying for a Safari
Inquire from your chosen local tour operator the suitable payment method in Uganda. Though in the past it was rare to use credit cards, most cards are now accepted by tour operators. Visa cards, Mastercard and American Express are commonly accepted. Bank wire transfers are also common given the less use of credit cards. Please note that PayPal is not used as well as new payment methods.
Inquire for what to bring:
Its better you inquire from your local operator before about the weather setting as well as climatic conditions, availability of pests and diseases, etc.
What to Wear:
It is also important to understand the right clothing for the safari. You should also know the accepted wearing gear that is accepted in the destinations to be visited.
It is also important to carry the right clothing for the appropriate trip such that you come well prepared e.g strong hiking shoes, water proof jackets for the adventurous hikes and treks as well as umbrellas to protect you during some seasons as well as huts and sun glasses to protect you from sunshine.
There are some restricted instruments that you can’t import into the country such as drone cameras. It is important to know the right information about what to bring into the country.
You should not forget insect repellants plus trousers and long-sleeved shirts to protect you from biting insects like tsetse flies. If you own a camera do not forget a water proof bag where you can keep it in case of rain fall etc.
After all preparations the remaining part is to inform your safari operator the day you are arriving such that one representative from Ugandan tour can wait to pick you from Entebbe Airport and transfer to your hotel of residence.
Welcome to Uganda for your lifetime wildlife safari and discover the top ten destinations that you should visit in the country.