Uganda safari tours

Positioned to the East of Africa and crossed by the Equator, Uganda is a tropical country featuring both forested, water and savannah landscapes that have favoured the existence of enormous wild game and primates.

At 1 00 N, 32 00 E, Uganda lies on the East African Plateau at an elevation of 1,100 metres above sea level inclined to the north adjoining the South Sudanese plains. Covering a total geographical landscape of 241,038 sq km where 197,100 sq km is land while 43,938 sq km is under water, the country is marked by remarkable beauty that has won the hearts of profound personalities including Churchill who crowned it the Pearl of Africa.

From the ancient snow capped Mountains of the moon – the Rwenzoris (5,109m) to the 100m deep Kyambura Gorge, Uganda’s physical landscape is aesthetically endowed with rolling hills like those of Kigezi in South Western Uganda, Volcanic Mountains like Mount Elgon, Muhabura, Gahinga and Sabyinyo, rift valley escarpments including Kichwamba and Butiaba, the extensive valleys on the floor of the rift valley intercepted by series of lakes like Edward, George and Albert, explosion crater fields like the Bunyaruguru, Ndali-Kasenda, Katwe Explosion and Fort Portal and the Victoria – Kyoga basin with an opening to the north generating world’s longest Nile River.

As earlier noted, Uganda is a home to abundant wildlife including the endemic, endangered, and critically endangered and the vulnerable species as listed on the IUCN red list. The Bwindi Impenetrable National Park has in possession a minimum of 400 critically endangered Mountain gorillas while the adjacent Mgahinga Gorilla National Park is part of the Greater Virunga landscape that is a home to the remaining 480 mountain gorillas. This puts Uganda as the top country in the world to have highest count of Mountain gorillas a reason for the flourishing of gorilla safaris in Uganda. Besides Mountain gorillas, Uganda features a count of endangered golden Monkeys in Mgahinga National Park and Common Chimpanzees in dense forests of Kibale, Kalinzu, Kyambura gorge, Semliki and Budongo along with other smaller primate species including Black and White Colobus Monkeys, Olive Baboon, Vervet Monkeys, Red colobus Monkey, the endemic Ugandan Mangabey among others.

The African Big five have thrived in Uganda since time memorial and the conservation efforts have helped to restore those that had got extinct like the Rhinoceros. The extensive savannah landscapes of Murchison, Queen Elizabeth and Kidepo National Park feature Lions, Elephants, Buffaloes and Leopard while the only count of Rhinos in Uganda thrive at Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary adjacent to Murchison Falls National Park. The population of the endangered Rothschild Giraffes thrive in Murchison Falls and Lake Mburo National Park while Cheetah and other four predator species are endemic to Kidepo on Ugandan standards.

Uganda is also by no means an ordinary birding destination. With 50% of the African bird species and the 11% of the global count, Uganda features 1,057 bird species spread in her range of diverse ecosystems forming a rich ground for Uganda birding safaris. The endemic Fox Weaver is common in Opeta- Bisina wetland system while the Vulnerable and the most sought after Shoebill stork thrives along the Nile banks in Murchison, the Mabamba swamps on the north shores of Lake Victoria and the southern Marsh of Lake Edward.

  • Uganda National Parks and other areas you can visit

    Kidepo Valley National Park


    Located in the far northeast of Uganda, Kidepo valley National park is one of the hardest parks to visit, but one of the most spectacular prime game viewing destination in Uganda where one gets a real feeling of the wilderness. It lies along the border of Uganda with South Sudan in the North and Kenya in the East.Kidepo Valley National park is located in Kaabong district, which is about 840Km² northwest of Kampala capital.

    Lake Mburo National Park


    Lake Mburo National park is situated in the Ankole Sub-region in Mbarara district. The park lies about 238km Southwest of Kampala capital and covers a total area of about 370Km.It derives its name from the most distinct feature Lake Mburo. Situated few degrees south of the Equator along coordinates (00 36S, 30 57E), Lake Mburo National parks experiences a tropical kind of climate. It is flanked by the Rwenzori Mountains to the West and Lake Victoria to the East.

    Mgahinga Gorilla National Park


    Mgahinga is the Smallest National park in Uganda, covering a total area of about 33.7Km² and lies on an elevation ranging from about 2,227 to 4,127m altitude. However much it is the smallest national park in Uganda, Mgahinga is one of the two exceptional National parks in the country that are a home to the famous endangered primate species, the famous Mountain Gorillas.

    Mt. Elgon National Park


    About 228Km (3Hrs 30min), North east of Kampala capital, lies Mt.Elgon National park. The park is situated in the Eastern region of Uganda and spreads along the border with Kenya. It covers a total area of about 1,279Km, stretching from Uganda to Kenya. However, Uganda covers most of the national park with a total of about 1110Km area possession, shared by districts of Mbale and Kapchorwa. Kenya possess only 169Km of the national park. Mt. Elgon national park derives its name from its most distinctive feature, Mt.Elgon. The area where the park lies was gazzetted as a forest reserve by the British protectorate government in 1929.

    Mt.Rwenzori National Park


    At an elevation of 5,109m above sea level, stands out Mt.Rwenzori National Park. The Park is located in Western Uganda along the border with the Democratic Republic of Congo, in Kasese district. The park lies on the east side of the Western Albertine rift valley and covers a total area of about 1,000Km². Mt.Rwenzori National Park is well known because of its most significant feature, Mt.Rwenzori, which is literally named after the park

    Queen Elizabeth National Park


    Named after the Queen of England, her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, the National park is found southwest of Uganda. It covers a total area of about 1,978Km²; stretching in districts of Kasese (17%), Bushenyi (50%), Rukungiri and Kamwenge (33%). Queen Elizabeth National park stretches from the foothills of the Ruwenzori range in the north to the shores of L.Edward and Ishasha River. Queen Elizabeth is the most popular and visited national park in Uganda

    Semuliki National Park


    Situated in the western region of Uganda, along the border with Democratic Republic of Congo, in Bundibugyo district, Bwamba County; Semuliki National Park is one of the newest and smallest park in Uganda. It covers a total area of about 220Km², spanning on a lowland Forest, which is literally the only Lowland rainforest in East Africa that stretches up to about 194Km². It derives its name from the most significant feature, River Semuliki.

    Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary


    Ziwa Rhino sanctuary is located in Nakasongola District, about 115Km² north of Kampala capital in Nakitoma Village. It lies near the River Kafu basin and it is strictly a Rhino conservation area. The sanctuary is managed by a Non-Government organization, Rhino Fund Uganda; and a private land company known as Ziwa Ranchers Limited. The two organizations work hand in hand with the Uganda Wildlife Authority to conserve Rhinoceros in order to restore their population in Uganda.

    Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park


    The name Bwindi is a Runyakitara word meaning Impenetrable. It’s called Bwindi because of the massive stand of bamboo scattered amongst the hardwood forest alongside vines and other plant growth. Bwindi Impenetrable forest national park is located in southwestern Uganda, along the border with Democratic republic of Congo (DRC) to the west

    Kampala City


    Kampala is the capital city and largest urban center of Uganda. The city is the administrative center of the central region and is wholly en-circled by Wakiso district. It lies on a total area of about 200Km² and is subdivided into 5 administrative regions. The divisions include Kawempe, Rubaga, Makindye, Central and Nakawa.

  • Uganda Gorilla Safari Packages

    3 Days Uganda Gorilla Safari

    The 3 Days Uganda Gorilla Safari to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park has gorilla trekking as the prime activity and relaxation on Lake Bunyonyi dubbed the lake of a thousand Islands thereafter. Bwindi Impenetrable National Park has 400 out of the 880 mountain gorilla numbers that currently live in the world.

    Read more about the 3 Days Uganda Gorilla Safari

    5 Days Uganda Gorilla and Chimpanzee Safari

    The 5 Days Uganda Gorilla and Chimpanzee Safari takes you to Kibale National Park and Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. The prime safari activities include the gorilla tracking and chimpanzee trekking. Encountering the critically endangered mountain gorillas in their natural habitats and the chimpanzees, our closest relatives is very rewarding.

    Read more about the 5 Days Uganda Gorilla and Chimpanzee Safari

    6 Days Uganda Chimpanzee, Gorilla & Wildlife Safari

    The 6 Days Uganda Chimpanzee, Gorilla & Wildlife Safari is one of the interesting safari tours that one can have in Uganda. Customized to the travelers’ interests, the encounter takes you through the memorable chimpanzee trekking in the primate capital of the world, cultural encounters at Rwenzori Art foundation and Ruboni Craft Center, game viewing including tree climbing lions, elephants, buffaloes, leopards, kobs, water bucks among others and a thrilling boat cruise the 45km long Kazinga Channel.

    Read more about the 6 Days Uganda Chimpanzee, Gorilla & Wildlife Safari

    8 Days Uganda Safari

    The 8 Days Uganda Safari features Uganda’s prime safari destinations of Murchison, Kibale, Queen Elizabeth and Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. The prime activities include wild game viewing where you explore the Big five including Rhinos on Ziwa Sanctuary, elephants, leopards, lions and Buffaloes in Murchison Falls.

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    10 Days Uganda Gorilla, Wildlife and Adventure Safari

    The 10 Days Uganda Gorilla, Wildlife and Adventure Safari is among our newly introduced packages that feature novelty products on the market. The Safari commences and ends in Kampala featuring cycling in the tea estates of Mpanga, the heritage tours in Amabere caves, adventure hike to the Fort Portal crater lake field and the Rwenzori Mountains, the cultural tours at Rwenzori Art foundation and Ruboni craft village.

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    13 Days Thrilling Adventure


    The 13 Days Thrilling Adventure across the Albertine rift features a range of beautiful destination that fall within in the famous Albertine rift valley. The safari involves wild game viewing in Murchison Falls National Park where the Big five of land animals can be encounteeed including elephant, lions, Buffalos, leopards and Rhinos in the neighboring Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary.

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    14 Days Pearls of Western Uganda

    The 14 Days Pearls of Western Uganda in a Fort Night is an impressive medium safari package that is suitable for a fortnight holiday. The Safari features a perfect blend of culture, adventure, wildlife viewing, primate tracking and recreation. The Safari takes you to Lake Mburo National Park where counts of Rothschild giraffes, Impala, Burchell’s Zebra, Topis, and Elands survive.

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    15 Days Nile Basin Adventure

    The 15 Days Nile Basin Adventure allows you to explore the wonders of the River Nile Basin. Starting from and ending in Entebbe, the 15 Days Nile Basin Adventure takes you to Jinja the source of the world’s longest Nile River for a memorable white water rafting, wild game viewing in Kidepo Valley, Murchison Falls.

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    16 Days in the Equator Snow

    The 16 Days in the Equator Snow is long Uganda safari package that features the areas along the Equator in detail. The safari starts and ends in Entebbe and takes you to Jinja for white water rafting and the source of River Nile tour, Fort Portal Area with its impressive crater field and the Amabere caves, the chimpanzee trekking and eco tour in Kibale.

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    18 Days Uganda Comprehensive Safarii

    The 18 Days Uganda Comprehensive Safari features a range of destinations covering ¾ of Uganda. The safari starts and end in Entebbe and it has a blend of culture, wildlife viewing, primate tracking including gorillas and chimpanzees, adventure and recreation.

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    20 Days Uganda Grand Safari Tour

    The 20 Days Uganda Grand Safari Tour is a complete Uganda safari package that allows you to explore Uganda from East to west bringing out all the unique features in detail. The safari features Kidepo Valley National Park including the hike to indigenous Karimojong on the Morungole Mountains and the tour to the pastoralist Karimojong, the drive in Pian Upe game reserve, Sight-seeing at Sipi falls, adventure hiking in Rwenzori Mountains.

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  • Wildlife Safari Packages in Uganda

    1 Day Uganda Safari to Lake Mburo National Park

    Lake Mburo National Park is the closest National Park to Kampala 240km about 3 - 4 hours’ drive and boasts of counts of biodiversity and amazing scenic landscapes. The park is situated in the traditional range lands of the Bahima pastoralist.

    Read more about the 1 Day Uganda Safari to Lake Mburo National Park

    2 days Uganda Safari to Murchison Falls NP

    Murchison Falls National Park is the largest savannah park in Uganda with 3,840 It shelters a great deal of African game including the Big 5 of Land animals that include Rhinos in the adjacent Ziwa sanctuary, elephants, lions, leopard and buffaloes not forgetting the splendid giraffe and giant Hippos and Nile crocodiles that dwell in the soothing waters of the Nile.

    Read more about the 2 days Uganda Safari to Murchison Falls NP

    2 Days Uganda Safari to Queen Elizabeth NP

    The 2 Days Uganda Safari to Queen Elizabeth NP is a short safari that will fit in your weekend break. It takes you to Queen Elizabeth National Park one of the most popular Uganda safari destinations. The safari features a game drive where possibilities of encountering the lions, elephants, Buffaloes, Leopard and a range of antelopes exist.

    Read more about the 2 Days Uganda Safari to Queen Elizabeth NP

    3 Days Uganda Safari to Murchison Falls NP

    The 3 Days Uganda Safari to Murchison Falls NP allows you to explore the Big five of land animals namely; the Rhinos which exist in Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary, the Buffaloes, elephants, lions and leopards. This comes along with other wild game including Rothschild Giraffes, Jackson’s Hartebeest, Oribis, waterbucks among others. The safari also features a thrilling boat cruise along the Nile which is the longest River in the whole world.

    Read more about the 3 Days Uganda Safari to Murchison Falls NP

    3 Days Uganda Safari to Queen Elizabeth NP

    The 3 Days Uganda Safari to Queen Elizabeth NP features wild game viewing, recreational boat cruise and chimpanzee trekking. Queen Elizabeth NP also referred to as the medley of wonders boasts of being the most popular destination in Uganda with a diverse ecosystem that features forested, savannah grassland, water environments and wetlands supporting counts of big game, primates like chimpanzees.

    Read more about the 3 Days Uganda Safari to Queen Elizabeth NP

  • Gorilla Facts

    Relationship between Gorillas & Humans

    From the beginning, the human were part of the Hominidae taxonomy family while the Apes were listed under the Pongidae taxonomic family. The distinction between these two resulted from the anatomy specialization, differing locomotion and the highly developed human brain. But overtime, this has been discarded and with the ranking of Chimpanzees close to humans followed by gorillas and Orangutans respectively.

    The scientific studies show that the composition in the genes of these apes matches that of humans to a greater extent with a minor variation in the DNA. The gorillas differ from humans by 1.6% while the chimpanzee differs by 1.2% from humans.

    read more about gorilla facts

    Gorilla Permit Booking Information

    The gorilla permits booking for all the destinations of Mgahinga National Park and Bwindi Impenetrable National Park are made at the Uganda Wildlife Authority head Reservations Office on Plot 7 Kiira Road Kamwokya.  An advance inquiry on the availability of the permit on the respective date of tracking before the decision is made to fix the tracking date.  Upon confirming the availability, one has to request for the booking by paying either in cash or through a bank transfer using the details provided.

    In situation where you are using the travel agent, you have to transfer the money to the agent who will then effect the booking. After paying, the receipt is generated to confirm the booking and you can opt to print the permit or print later if the tracking date is not so close.


    Payment Terms for Uganda Gorilla Permit

    Uganda Wildlife Authority recognizes the following payment forms;

    • Cash Payment (US dollars, Uganda shillings, Great Britain Pounds and Euros)
    • Bank Wire Transfers (less of bank charges)
    • Traveler’s Cheques at existing exchange rate (1% of the paid amount is bank charge)

    Gorilla Permit Price for Uganda

    The gorilla permit for Uganda is priced in a range of three (3) categories; the Non Foreign resident, Foreign residents in East Africa holding two (2) years immigration permit in the passport and eventually the Uganda Citizens.

    Season Foreign Non Residents Foreign Residents Uganda Citizens
    High season $600 $500 250,000/=
    Low Season (April, May & November) $450 $400 150,000/=

    This price includes the park entrance fees, guiding fees and the Community levy


    The category of the visitors is always verified at the point of sale and at the check in/ registration point on the tracking date. This explains why one has to carry his / her passport and the work permit or a national Identity Card to support his / her category at the gorilla tracking point.

    Gorilla Permit Refund / Cancellation Guidelines

    • The Uganda Wildlife Authority gives 50% in refund in an event where the visitor fails to track gorillas as a result of illness. The Warden in charge is the one to declare one unfit for tracking and this only occurs when the person makes it to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park
    • In an event where the Visitors fail to do gorilla trekking because of their movement to an adjacent country would definitely have their full gorilla permit money refunded.
    • In Situation where the visitors fail to see the gorillas after a long day trek due to some reasons will be refunded 50% of the tracking fee.

    All gorilla permit refunds will be carried out at the Uganda Wildlife Authority Headquarters in Kampala via the Reservation Office following the submission of all the required details.

    In the event of gorilla permit cancellation, the Uganda Wildlife Authority retains the following percentages;

     Time Period

    Amount / Refunded to the client
    91 days and above to tracking date 25% Retained  (75% refund to client)
    46-90 days to tracking date 50% Retained  (50% to client)
    9 – 45 days to tracking date 75% Retained  (25% refund to client)
    0 – 8 days tracking date No refund


    Other Important notes

    • Refund made on the tour Companies 30% deposit has to be based on the face value of the gorilla permit
    • Gorilla permits have to be sold on face value and anybody who sells it at a higher value has to be penalized.
    • The primary sale of gorilla permits by tour companies or individuals is illegal and these permits are solely made by Uganda Wildlife Authority
    • The Payment for gorilla permits if not booking through the travel agent has to be made direct to Uganda Wildlife Authority

     What to bring on a gorilla trek

    Gorilla trekking is notably a long and challenging activity involving traversing of the jungle. This therefore requires keen attention on what to pack so as to make to your tracking a memorable one.

    • Wear shoes with good traction comfortable for slippery and muddy surfaces
    • Carry rain gears since it can rain anytime in the Impenetrable jungle
    • Carry sufficient drinking water and lunch
    • In the event of photographs, avoid flash photography as it may irritate the gorillas and these creatures being black and living in dim light dense jungle, a fast film (400-800 ASA) over expose is recommended.
    • Carry Sunscreen to protect your skin again rather hot tropical sun
    • The hat and the Sun glasses would be of help as well
    • Garden gloves to protect your fingers against thorns
    • This is optional but would be of help if you have a heavy back pack or wish to have a push during the strenuous slopes. They are available at the gorilla trekking starting point.
    • Gorilla Permit. Do not forget to carry your permit to the tracking point and set off time is 8am. Late arrival means loss of permit and the tracking as well

    Gorilla Trekking Rules and Regulations

    The following guidelines are followed with the intention of minimizing the disturbance over the gorillas;

    • The voices should be kept very low. This also helps one to hear and see more
    • Avoid waiving and pointing of arms as gorillas may consider it as an attack.
    • Always observe the 7m distance from the gorillas. In the event, where the gorilla draws near to you, step behind to maintain the distance.
    • Avoid flash photography as it can frighten the gorillas and invoke an attack
    • Desist from littering in the park. Make sure you carry back all that you carried into the forest.
    • The hands should be washed clean before starting the gorilla trek
    • Keep in a tight group when close to gorillas
    • The voices should be kept low in the jungle but questions to the guide are allowed.
    • Desist from drinking and eating when close to gorillas to reduce disease transmission risk
    • In the event of gorillas charging, kindly follow the guide’s actions; crouch down, avoid looking direct into gorilla eyes, give the gorilla time to pass, desist from pictures and avoid running away.
    • The maximum time with mountain gorillas is limited to one (1). But this can be cut short by the guide if the gorillas charge.
    • Desist from touching gorillas to minimize disease spread
    • Keep the voices low until you are 200m away from the gorillas following the visit

    Gorilla Trekking Gorilla Health Rules

    Putting in consideration that Mountain gorillas are vulnerable to human diseases, the conservations and health workers have tried to come up with a range of health that would assist to minimize the risk of disease transmission;

    • The limit on the number of visitors allowed to visit each group per day should be respected. This controls animal stress and disease spread.
    • In the event of illness or possession of a contagious disease, please offer to keep behind. Uganda Wildlife Authority can organize an alternative trek for you the following day or a 50% refund on gorilla permit can be arranged.
    • It is advisable to turn away your head and cover the nose in case of the need to sneeze or cough close to the gorillas.
    • Maintain a 7m rule. The further the distance, the more relaxed, the gorilla family will be.
    • Desist from smoking, drinking or eating while with the gorillas
    • Avoid leaving rubbish in the park including food containers as they attract bacteria which in turn can cause diseases to gorillas.
    • In the event where there is a need for the toilet, kindly let the guide know of the situation and he will dig you a hole which you can use and then cover after use.
    • If you need to go to the toilet while in the forest, please ask the guide to dig you a hole. He will fill it when you have finished.

    When to track Mountain gorillas in Uganda

    The Mountain gorilla tracking in Uganda can be carried out throughout the year. However, the drier months of June, July, August, early September, December through January to February seem to be favorable. The rainy months like April, May and November tend to make the forest so wet, surfaces slippery and muddy thus making the trek a little challenging than in dry season. The other months of March and October are at the beginning of the rainy season and the end of the dry season which makes them good as well for gorilla trekking.

    However, it can be noted that Bwindi Impenetrable National Park being a dense tropical jungle can receive rain at any time of the day and the year thus there is no guarantee that it won’t rain.

    The Age Limit for Gorilla Trekking in Uganda

    The age limit for gorilla trekking is limited to fifteen (15) years. The children below this age are not allowed to track. For Chimpanzee trekking, the age limit is 12 years.

  • The Uganda Entry and Exit Requirements


    For one to enter Uganda, he / she is supposed to have a valid passport that is issued by the origin country. The passport has to be valid for six (6) months from the date of entry and with at least one blank space from where the Visa can be stamped.

    However, the citizens of the East African community do not need passports to enter Uganda. An admissible temporary document along with their national identity card can work in form of passports.

    Uganda Visa

    Uganda like any other sovereign country requires one to be in possession of her visa if he / she is to enter into her boundaries except the nationals of the Visa exempt countries.   Uganda Visa is secured both on arrival at the main gateways including Entebbe International Airport and the key land border crossings with the neighboring countries at a cost of $100 per person and through her foreign embassies and consulates in the respective countries.

    The foreign residents in the East African Community do not require pay for the Uganda Visa just like the East African Community Citizens.

    Visa Exemption for Uganda

    Uganda exempts the nationals of the following countries from paying for her Visa.

    The Citizens of the East African Community member states namely; Rwanda, Burundi, Kenya and Tanzania; Nationals of the COMESA member states including; Madagascar, Angola, Eritrea, Seychelles, Swaziland, Comoros, Zambia, Kenya, Zimbabwe and Mauritius and the Nationals of the friendly countries namely; Barbados, Antigua, Fiji, Lesotho, Grenada, Sierra Leone, The Grenadines, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Cyprus, Ghana, Bahamas, Gambia, Belize, St. Vincent-Tonga, Jamaica, Singapore and Malta.

    Uganda Visa Duration

    The Single Tourist Visa for Uganda is set to last a period of 90 days and does not allow one to engage in paid work or Volunteer work as it is limited to visiting friends and family and touring.

    East Africa Single Tourist Visa

    Uganda is member of the northern corridor integration and under the Joint Tourism Approach, one can visit Uganda Rwanda and Kenya on the same Visa valid for 90 days at a price of $100 per person paid once. This can be obtained upon arrival at Entebbe International Airport and through the Ugandan embassy or consulate in the respective country.


    The vaccination against Yellow Fever is a pre-condition for one to enter Uganda. The Yellow Fever Vaccination might be required upon entering the country.

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