Uganda is a wonderfully diverse country with some of the best safari experiences in the world. Uganda is not only home to the Big Five (lion, leopard, rhino, buffalo, and elephant), it also boasts unique wildlife such as tree-climbing lions and the Nile crocodile. It is one of the only places in the world to trek gorillas and Uganda is one of the only places on the planet to see chimpanzees in the wild. Uganda is also a must on any bird-watcher’s bucket list, with over 1,000 bird species. Indeed, Uganda is a worthy bucket list destination. Here are 5 great reasons to add Uganda to your bucket list.
5 Reasons to Add Uganda to Your Bucket List
1. Uganda’s Mountain Gorillas in the Bwindi Forest National Park
The number one reason to visit Uganda is to trek into Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and come face-to-face with endangered mountain gorillas.
Uganda is one of only three countries in the world where you can see the highly endangered mountain gorilla in the wild. The two gorilla trekking spots in Uganda are Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park.
Uganda has an edge, however, since Bwindi alone is home to half of the world’s mountain gorillas. What’s more, park permits are less than half the price of those in neighboring Rwanda so you can trek twice in Uganda for the price of one trek in Rwanda.
The mountain gorillas of Bwindi and Mgahinga are perhaps Uganda’s biggest ecotourism drawcard, and it’s not hard to see why.
2. Spend a Day Tracking Chimpanzees in Uganda’s Kibale National Forest
Uganda wildlife is not just about gorillas. Meet chimpanzees, humanity’s closest relatives, in Kibale National Forest.
Similar to mountain gorillas, Uganda is one of the only places on the planet to see chimpanzees in the wild.
Kibale National Park boasts the highest concentration of primates in all of Africa. Its thirteen species include black-and-white colobus monkeys and impish grey-cheeked mangabeys but everyone is here for the chimpanzees.
On a day-long Chimpanzee Habituation Experience, you’ll follow a troop of whooping and hollering chimps as they swing through the forest, gathering in the treetops to play, doze or feast on figs.
3. Go Wild in the National Parks
Seeking out The Big Five — lion, leopard, rhino, elephant, and African buffalo — is a bucket list journey while on safari in Africa. Uganda is one of the few countries that hosts all five!
One of the best places to see Uganda’s wildlife is Queen Elizabeth National Park. It’s home to four of the Big 5 safari animals: leopards, lions, buffalo, and elephants. It’s also home to the Ugandan kob, an antelope featuring a stunning set of striped horns.
For a more off the beaten track safari experience, Murchison Falls, in the northwest, is Uganda’s largest national park and is home to giraffes, elephants, and chimpanzees.
The Kazinga Channel is another of Uganda’s safari gems. Expect to see hippos by the hundreds as well as herds of buffalo and elephants on the banks of the Kazinga Channel. You can also encounter crocodiles and Nile monitor lizards.
Lake Mburo National Park is Uganda’s smallest savanna park. Here, you’ll find countless zebras and giraffes from the comfort of your safari vehicle.
The Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary is a once-in-a-lifetime experience and the only place where you’ll be able to experience a rhino sighting in all of Uganda. The rhino sanctuary is dedicated to restoring the population of rhinos by offering the animals a safe place to live. Rhinos can breed here and expand without the worry of outside influences.
4. Straddle the Equator in Uganda
Uganda Equator is one of the best stops on a Uganda safari. You can stand with one leg in the northern hemisphere and the other leg in the south hemisphere. Of course, you’ll need the obligatory photo proof as well.
The Equator only passes through 13 countries in the world: Ecuador, Colombia, Brazil, Sao Tome & Principe, Gabon, Republic of the Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Uganda, Kenya, Somalia, Maldives, Indonesia and Kiribati. Don’t miss your chance for this unique opportunity.
5. The Cost
Uganda is one of the most affordable places in the region to experience an African safari.
One of the main bucket list highlights of Uganda is gorilla trekking. With only three countries in the world to see gorillas in the wild, it’s no surprise that many people decide to visit Uganda for this reason. Safety in the Congo has been an on-going issue so gorilla trekking is limited to Uganda and Rwanda. The cost of a single gorilla permit in Uganda is 700 USD per person. With this permit, you can enter the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and participate in a one-hour gorilla trekking tour. Tours do not have any additional cost. In Rwanda, a gorilla trekking permit ordinarily costs US$1,500 for international tourists. two guests could go gorilla trekking in Uganda for the same price as Rwanda.
Best Safari Option in Uganda
Now that you’ve read some of the best reasons to visit Uganda, I’m sure you’re ready to back your bags and experience the Pearl of Africa. One of the best safari options in Uganda is the 14 Days Uganda-Rwanda Safari with Gorilla Trek Africa.
The major highlight of this safari package is gorilla tracking in Volcanoes or Bwindi National Parks. Other activities include golden monkeys and chimpanzee tracking, game drives, birding, cultural performances, and nature walks. It includes all of the 5 reasons to add Uganda to your bucket list, including a great price.