Uganda Safari Activities

Uganda offers a wide range of activities for one to engage in on his / her tour to Uganda. Below are some of the most captivating and fascinating activities one should not miss when visiting Uganda.

Game viewing

This is one of the most interesting activities in the country where one is driven in an open roofed vehicle to explore the park’s wildlife. This is common in savanna parks like L. Mburo where horses can also be used to view the game, Queen Elizabeth, Semuliki, Kidepo and Murchison falls National parks during game drives. One may be able to view a variety of mammal and bird species depending on the park’s endowment.

Primate Tracking

Uganda has over 15 primate Species including the rare golden monkey in Mgahinga, the Man’s closest relative; the chimpanzee in Kibale, The endemic Kavirondo Bush baby in Kidepo and the most endangered ape, the Mountain Gorilla in Bwindi and Mgahinga parks.
Gorilla tracking is one of the most enthralling and sought after safari adventures as the ape is critically threatened and survives in only 3 countries of Congo, Rwanda and Uganda. Uganda shelters more than half of this ape’s remaining population of about 880 individuals and tracking them is one of the rarest opportunities one can ever have since only 8 people are allowed to track each gorilla group in a day. This means that one has to book in advance if he is to track this gentle giant.
Looking into the eyes of this fateful ape during the 1 hour you are allowed to stay with it, is one of the memorable experiences one will never forget.

Water Rafting

Uganda’s white-water rafting industry is relatively new – the first descent of the river by a paddler was in 1996, and the grade IV and V stretch of rapids on the Nile have since been developed into a world-class rafting destination boasting some of the most powerful and sustained rapids on earth. The mighty volume of water creates monstrous rapids that provide an unforgettable rafting experience comparable to that of the Zambezi River in Zimbabwe.
Cruising past the different grades of rapids along the Itanda – Kalagala falls is not a spot for the faint hearted but will arouse the adrenalin of even the great rafters of this era. You will enjoy the flow of this world’s longest river as you chat with the kayakers that ride with in your sides just in case of any eventuality to offer you help.
There are also opportunities for jet boating, kayaking, mountain biking, horse riding and bungee jumping as well as visiting the source of the Nile to see where the mighty river begins its long journey to the Mediterranean Sea.

Mountain Hiking

Uganda is a good spot for the mountaineers and hikers. If you are still testing your potential, Kagulu hill in the eastern part and the volcanoes of Mgahinga in south western part of the country, will strengthen your hiking stamina while those who are a bit experienced, Mt. Elgon and the great Rwenzori will prove how best your hiking skills are.
Climbing to the top of the Rwenzori at 5109m high Margherita peak which is Africa’s third highest peak, is not something simple for every one while a hike to Wagagai, is somehow friendly even to the patient beginners.

Boat ride

Boat rides are often done along the Nile in Murchison, Kazinga channel in Queen Elizabeth National park and L. Mburo National park. These boat rides are aimed at exploring wildlife at the water spot during dry seasons as well as viewing the water birds and the aquatic life including fish, crocodiles and the regular visitors like hippos.
A boat cruise along the scenic L. Bunyonyi rewards you with sights of the beautiful scenery characterized by dotted islands and the blue endless skies that look fascinating as the sun rises or sets with a reflection on the lake. The lake is also a good site for a variety of birds from which it was named.

Birding

Uganda is home to over 1037 bird species about 60% of the total bird species in Africa and has been regarded as the birder’s haven. Savannah birds as well as the Albertine rift and the Congo forest endemics are all found in this country. Migrant species like the grey headed gull are also common visitors to Uganda.

This requires you to come prepared with your camera and binoculars ready to traverse Uganda’s jungle places as you look out for these species. Key birding spots in the country include Queen Elizabeth National park home to over 607 bird species, Kibale forest, Bwindi NP, Mabamba swamp, Entebbe botanical gardens, Mpanga forest, Mabira forest and Kasenge forest among many others. In fact, Every Ugandan remote area is a birding spot since birds still roam in big numbers around the country. Musambwa Island in Rakai district is a breeding ground for the migrant species like the grey headed gull.

Nature Walk

Nature walks are often done in national parks and forest reserves where there has been limited disturbance on the natural landscape. Such walks are also aimed at viewing the flora and fauna of such an environment like birds, primates and other wildlife as well as tree species.
Nature walks are also done in swamps and sanctuaries like Ziwa Rhino sanctuary, Magombe and Bigodi swamps. Walkers follow designated tracks and the respect for the environment is highly emphasized. These walks are also done in Mabira and many other forests in Uganda

City walk/ Tour

A walk around the Uganda’s capital; Kampala is enthralling for those interested in experiencing the lifestyle of the local people. This involves visits to the markets in Owino and Nakasero where a variety of goods are sold including cheap food stuffs, a visit to the Kasubi tombs for Buganda kings, Bahai temple; the only of its kind in Africa, Lubaga and Namirembe cathedrals, Namugongo martyrs shrines and a taste of the Kampala’s night life in one of the booming clubs in the city.
City tours in other up country towns are also awesome, bringing out a real image of the lifestyle of Ugandans. One is able to test his bargaining skills as he negotiates his price with the local business men.

Community walk / Visit

This activity involves visitors taking a tour to the local communities where they are allowed to participate in the daily activities of the local people. Communities especially those near national parks and other touristic sites have been organized to exhibit their culture to the visitors as an extra product and a way of tapping tourism resources to improve their well being
Community members guide the visitors through their daily life activities including their work, traditional food, preparation of local beer, storytelling and riddles, traditional dances and community events like marriage ceremony, inauguration of the king among others. Visitors are allowed to take part in all these dressing like and dancing with them to feel a real touch of an

African life.

Visiting the Batwa community; a rustic society believed to be the descendants of the hunter-gatherers that inhabited East Africa from the dawn of time, is a fascinating adventure. These people are amazingly short and their traditions are breath taking including staying in caves for shelter as well as dressing in tree leaves. You can’t afford to miss listening to their interesting and heart-moving stories about their past life.

The community walk can be combined with a cultural walk since they sometimes overlap. The cultural walk includes visiting places of cultural significance to get a real touch of a particular culture. Such may include visiting the Kabaka’s palace in Mengo, Kasubi tombs, Buddo-Nagalabi coronation site for Buganda, Igongo cultural center and Nkokonjeru Royal tombs for Ankole, Mparo royal tombs for Bunyoro and attending the Imbalu ceremony of the Bamasaba at Mutoto grounds in Mbale among many other cultural sites and activities.

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