Gorilla Wildlife Safari in Uganda – 03 Weeks

Uganda has so much to offer, in fact, is believed to have the biggest population of Mountain gorillas in the World, and the biggest population of Hippos and primates in Africa. Uganda is the only destination in the whole world while on Uganda Safari see the “African Big 5” and the mountain gorillas on a single trip.

If you’re thinking of going to this East African destination, start with the Beautiful Lake Bunyonyi, Bwindi Impenetrable National Park (Home to Mountain Gorillas), Kibale Forest National Park (Home to 13 primate species), Murchison Falls National Park, Kidepo Valley National Park, Moroto (Karamajong cultural tour), Sipi Falls and Water Rafting in Jinja.

Week one will take you to Bunyonyi, Bwindi and Kibale.

Lake Bunyonyi is one of the most naturally beautiful lakes in Africa and is one of the leading tourist destinations in Uganda. The lake attracts tourists, honeymooners and Ugandans who wish to get away from the busy town life and enjoy the cool weather and beautiful islands.

The lake offers great panoramic views from all sides and is a great place to go for meditation and relaxation. The Lake is collection of water that filled a valley created by a volcanic explosion hundreds of thousands of years ago.

Visit the infamous Punishment Island (Akampene). Among the Bakiga in the area, any girl who got pregnant before marriage was taken and abandoned in Akampene Island to die of hunger or drowning (girls were not taught how to swim). Getting pregnant was an abomination then because no one would pay bird price for a girl who had gotten pregnant before marriage.

The intention of leaving the girl to die in the island was to send a strong message to the rest that getting pregnant before marriage was unacceptable.

After cross to Bwindi for gorilla tours encounters. Bwindi is home to over half of the world’s remaining mountain gorillas. Expect to leave your comfortable bed early enough, am move to the briefing point by 7:30am. After briefing, tourists will be allocated different tracking routes, each 8 tourists. Head to the forest accompanied by guides and rangers as you begin you search for gorillas.

In the forest, you may see monkey species, butterfly species, mammals and so much more. Sometimes the forest is challenging and a good level of fitness will be required. At the end of the day, expect to be muddy and sweaty.

Once you see the gorillas, it’s okay to take photos with your camera or iPhone but avoid flash or else the gorillas might charge. You will spend between 40 minutes and 1 hour in company of these gentle giants. It will be such a life changing experience. After the trek, head back to you accommodation or opt for a cultural village experience of the Batwa pygmies.

Take off to Kibale a home of chimpanzees. It is one of the best wildlife experiences in Africa – many travelers actually rank it higher than gorilla trekking. Two treks take place every day in Kibale National Park, one in the morning and one in the afternoon.

The trek starts with a briefing from the park rangers. They’ll talk you through the route you’ll be taking, the safety precautions, and explain more about the chimps and their behaviour in the wild.

You will then head off into the forest in search for a habituated group of chimps; these are chimps that are accustomed to human presence. These groups tend not to retreat too deeply into the forest, meaning you don’t have to hike as far before coming across your first troop swinging in the trees above.

Once contact is made, you can spend an hour observing their behaviour, with your trekking guides providing more contexts on what you are seeing and how the chimps behave.

Week two will take you to Murchison Falls National Park and Kidepo Valley National Parks. The park sits on the shore of Lake Albert and is recognized as the largest and oldest conservation park in Uganda covering an area of 3840 sq. km/1483 sq. miles. Its namesake is Murchison Falls, where the Victoria Nile River surges through a narrow gap with incredible force before plunging 130 feet.

Watch prolific wildlife here, including 3 of the Big Five (lions, elephants, and water buffalo), as well as the endangered Rothschild giraffe. Plus, warthogs, herds of Ugandan kob, crocodiles, hippos, monkeys, and incredible birdlife too.

These falls are completely amazing. Rate them the strongest falls in the world. They give an amazing perspective of how nature can be wild and amazing.

Kidepo is the next destination. The rugged isolated wilderness of the Kidepo Valley National Park ranks as one of Africa’s most prized, less explored destinations. Here, over 77 mammals and around 475 bird species find shelter amidst a pristine Savannah landscape, broken by the Kidepo and Narus Rivers.

Visitors are treated to exceptional wildlife sightings on thrilling game drives. Animals, some of which cannot be found elsewhere in Uganda (think greater and lesser kudu, eland and cheetah); include lion, leopard, elephant and an assortment of plains game.

There are many carnivorous species that are unique to the Kidepo and Karamoja regions within Uganda, including the bat-eared fox, aardwolf, striped hyena, caracal, cheetah and hunting dog. The Narus Valley in the southwest is the area with the highest concentration of animals and birds due to the water source and you may see buffalo, lion, cheetah, zebra, giraffe (it is the only of Uganda’s parks where giraffe and zebra can be seen), hartebeest, water buck and bush buck. During the dry season, the plains can be quite arid and animals tend to head to the woodland of Narus valley between March and April.

Wee three will take you to Moroto, Sipi falls and water rafting in Jinja. For Moroto, you will go for the Karamajong cultural tour. This is a participatory experience with the option to stay a night in a traditional hut in the village (home stay). The traditional Karamoja village tour and home stay possibility are all about sharing the rich cultural heritage of the Karamojong by participating in various domestic activities.

Experience true Karamojong culture and traditions by immersing yourself to the beating heart of the community and participate in daily life activities. From preparing local foods to celebrations with traditional folklore and warrior games, this will be an unforgettable journey.

Spend more time with the community by spending a night sleeping in a traditional hut. Exchange experiences and life stories around the campfire and share a meal with the host family.

Experience the Karamojong pastoral life by sleeping a night with former warriors and nowadays passionate cattle herders in the Kraal. Help bringing the cows to the kraal, milking the cow, herding, learn how to identify local greens, experience traditions as spearing a cow for blood to drink and eat roasted and get your own Karamojong name.

Go for the Sipi Falls tour. The Sipi Falls are arguably the most beautiful waterfalls in Uganda. They are also one of the most visited tourism sites in Uganda. The Sipi Falls consist of 3 waterfalls (Simba, Ngasire) that are separated by steep hillsides in the District of Kapchorwa East of Uganda. The falls are found outside the boundary of Mount Elgon National Park.

Rivers originating from the Mount Elgon flow over narrow cliffs before falling with force at the foot of the mountain. Apart from the Sipi Falls, there are over 1000 other less known waterfalls on the slopes of Mountain Elgon in areas of Bulago, Chebonet, Sisiyi and Wanale. Unfortunately, some of these waterfalls are found higher up the mountain and unreachable.

Touring the Sipi Falls is great for family, partners or those seeking to have an adventurous and good time away from the stress of urban life. Once in the lodges around Sipi, some of the falls can be seen from afar. However, a hike to the actual falls is different from viewing or taking photos from afar.

Visiting all the three waterfalls takes between 3 to 4 hours depending on overall fitness. The hike to the top of the falls is about 7 km long and involves steep ascents, climbing ladders and passing through local farms.

After that experience, drive to Jinja for yet another exciting experience of the white-water rafting. Considered one of the best one-day white water trips in the world, no safari to Uganda would be complete without truly experiencing the Nile from its source.

White Water Rafting tour in Jinja is an excellent package for travelers while in Uganda. Jinja is located in the eastern part of Uganda 85km away from the capital Kampala. Established in 1907, Jinja is Uganda’s second largest town and former industrial hub. It is in Jinja where you find the exact spot where Lake Victoria releases its waters to the great river Nile (known as the source of the Nile).

The town is quiet, serene and relatively well planned with a lot of interesting activities such as bungee jumping, horseback riding, quad biking, boat rides, nature walks, sightseeing and of course white water rafting to mention but a few.

White water rafting is an amazing activity that teaches one how to handle pressure and remain calm under pressure. The activity takes you rowing through the turbulent sections and rapids of the river Nile in Jinja. The rapids in Jinja are graded 4 and 5 hence offering some of the best white water rafting experiences in the continent. The construction of a new power hasn’t stopped the activity from going on.

White water rafting in Jinja is a long activity that also gives you time to relax, mingle with other rafters, spot birds, enjoy the nature, watch local fishermen working and women washing clothes along the river banks.