9 recommended wildlife locations.The species listed below are just a selection of those you may see.
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park has an exceptional range of altitude and is one of Africa’s most extensive belts of primary montane forest. Though there is a fine array of birdlife, the prime attraction is its mountain gorillas (over 300) and four family groups have been habituated to allow human approach.
Where: Kanungu District
Ideal for viewing: Chimpanzee, Golden monkey, Grey-cheeked mangabey, L’Hoest’s monkey, Mountain gorilla
Excellent for: Gorilla trekking, Birdwatching
Lying east of the Ruwenzori Mountains, this forest habitat is home to an amazing 11 species of primate. Tracking a noisy chimpanzee family is a thrilling experience, and the sheer wealth of wildlife will delight naturalists. The birdlife is also outstanding. We recommend an overnight stay to maximise viewing.
Where: Kamwenge District, Uganda
Ideal for viewing: Chimpanzee, Grey-cheeked mangabey, L’Hoest’s monkey, Red colobus monkey, Bushpig
Excellent for: Birdwatching
Located in Uganda’s northeast corner on the border with South Sudan, Kidepo Valley is one of the most isolated national parks in Africa, yet it is home to a unique and special array of wildlife, including cheetah. This region of idyllic savannah is crisscrossed by large riverbeds and rocky hilltops.
Where: Karamoja Region
Ideal for viewing: Cheetah, Eland, Lion, Red-throated bee-eater, Ostrich
Lake Mburo is a small, attractive park of rolling hills, grassland and a large papyrus-fringed lake. Effectively an extension of the Tanzanian plains, it has almost 70 species of mammal and good density of plains game. Once covered by open savannah, it contains much woodland and forms part of a 50km-long wetland system.
Excellent for: Vehicle safaris, River safaris, Birdwatching
This is Uganda’s smallest and probably most scenic National Park. Forming part of a larger conservation area that straddles borders, it primarily supports mountain gorilla, though species of bird and other wildlife are present. It is dominated by three extinct volcanoes, and part of the Virunga Conservation Area.
Where: South west Uganda
Ideal for viewing: Cape buffalo, African elephant, Golden monkey, Mountain gorilla, Serval
Excellent for: Gorilla trekking, Birdwatching
Murchison Falls National Park is renowned for its scenic beauty and abundant flora and fauna including the endangered shoebill. Bisected by the meandering Victoria Nile, the river plummets through a narrow cleft in the rocks, the foot of which can be reached by launch to demonstrate the rivers power.
Where: Masindi District, Uganda
Ideal for viewing: Chimpanzee, Nile crocodile, Rothschild’s giraffe, Shoebill, Ugandan kob
Excellent for: Vehicle safaris, Birdwatching
This sanctuary in Lake Victoria is home to around 50 orphaned chimpanzees that have been rescued from throughout Uganda and are unable to return to the wild. Here they enjoy the run of the island, safe from harm. Day or overnight visits are possible to watch the feeding sessions and explore the island.
Queen Elizabeth National Park offers Uganda’s best open-country birds (over 600 species) and wildlife (over 100 mammals). Often described as “The Pearl of Africa”, it has rolling grassland, tropical forest, volcanic crater lakes, papyrus swamp and lakeshore, giving it one of the highest biodiversity rates in the world.
Where: Kasese District
Ideal for viewing: Black bee-eater, Chimpanzee, Giant forest hog, Red-tailed colobus, Ugandan kob
Excellent for: Walking safaris, Vehicle safaris, River safaris, Birdwatching
Uganda’s oldest protected area is a 500 square kilometre reserve that lies in the Rift Valley, between the Rwenzori Mountains and Lake Albert. Its diverse habitats of riverine forest, woodland and acacia savannah support a wealth of wildlife, and the area is also rich in birdlife, with some 400 recorded species.
Uganda is a land full of stunning landscapes and remarkable wildlife. From the mountain gorillas to the lions on the savannah it’s hard to believe that so much can be packed into this small country.
Trip type: Tailor-made trip idea
Duration exc. international flights: 11 days
Take a long weekend and enjoy an amazing experience, tracking gorillas in the depths of Uganda's Bwindi Impenetrable Forest.
Trip type: Group tour
Duration exc. international flights: 5 days
Take a safari across the equator, tracking gorilla in some of the best national parks to observe these majestic and beautiful animals, and visiting Kyambura Gorge to track chimpanzee.
Trip type: Group tour
Duration exc. international flights: 12 days
When to go
Gorillas are best seen from late December to early March and May to early October. All other periods are rainy and, though challenging, tracking is easier as they are less active.
Mar to May: The wettest season of the year
Jun to Oct: The most pleasant time to travel
Nov to Dec: Two months of light rain freshen everything up
Jan to Feb: A brief lull between the short and long rains
Mar to May: Long rains, but a good time to see animals and their young
Apr to May: Gorillas descend to lower altitude to feed on bamboo shoots
Jun to Aug: Dry season – best time, good time to see mountain gorillas
Sep to Nov: When the short rains fall
Dec to Feb: Short dry season – good time to see mountain gorillas
10 recommended places to stay.
Situated in the heart of the Kidepo Valley National Park in northeast Uganda, Apoka Safari Lodge is in a stunning location with breathtaking views across the savannah plains and distant mountains.
This lodge is situated within Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park and less than five minutes walk from the start point of the gorilla trekking.
This stunning eco-lodge overlooks the primeval forest of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park, home to gorillas, chimpanzees, monkeys and birds.
In the south of Bwindi National Park, just a short walk from the start point for tracking the Nkuringo group of gorillas, this luxurious lodge is perfectly located.
Situated on the edge of the Kyambura Gorge and Queen Elizabeth National Park, the lodge has stunning views over the surrounding lush savannah, with the Rwenzori Mountains in the distance.
This exclusive retreat beside Lake Mburo National Park consists of ten spacious tented rooms on wooden platforms with thatched roofs, all with exceptional views.
Mount Gahinga Eco-Lodge nestles in the shadow of the dramatic Virunga Volcanoes, on the edge of Mgahinga National Park.
Pineapple Bay can be found on Bulago Island in the serene waters of Lake Victoria and with white sandy beaches; this lodge is the perfect place to relax after your Ugandan safari adventures.
This exclusive eco-lodge stands in a secluded position in lush Kibale Forest, home to 13 species of primate including chimpanzees. This secluded setting is a perfect base for tracking primates.
Semliki Safari Lodge is a beautiful small tented lodge that nestles on the crest of the Wasa River Valley. It is the only lodge in Uganda to be a member of the prestigious ‘Classic Safari Camps of Africa’.