9 recommended wildlife locations. The species listed below are just a selection of those you may see.

Bwindi Impenetrable National Park

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

Kibale Forest National Park

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

Kidepo Valley National Park

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
  • Excellent for: Walking safaris, Vehicle safaris, Birdwatching

Lake Mburo National Park

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.

  • Where: Kiruhura District
  • Ideal for viewing: African finfoot, Bohor reedbuck, Burchell’s zebra, Defassa waterbuck, Eland
  • Excellent for: Vehicle safaris, River safaris, Birdwatching

Mgahinga Gorilla National Park

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

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

Ngamba Island

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.

  • Where: Kalangala District
  • Ideal for viewing: Chimpanzee, Open-billed stork, Hammerkop, Orange weaver, Emerald cuckoo
  • Excellent for: Birdwatching

Queen Elizabeth National Park

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

Semliki Valley Reserve

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.

  • Where: Bundibugyo District, Uganda
  • Ideal for viewing: Cape buffalo, Chimpanzee, African elephant, Leopard, Pygmy hippo
  • Excellent for: Vehicle safaris, Birdwatching

3 recommended trips. All our trip ideas are offered to inspire you, but our strength is in tailoring your itinerary.

Best of Uganda

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

A Weekend with Apes in Uganda

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

Gorillas & Chimps

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.

Seasons

  • Dry season

    Jan to Feb: A brief lull between the short and long rains
  • Long rains

    Mar to May: The wettest season of the year
  • Dry season

    Jun to Oct: The most pleasant time to travel
  • Short rains

    Nov to Dec: Two months of light rain freshen everything up

Wildlife events

  • Dec to Feb: Short dry season – good time to see mountain gorillas
  • 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

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