The Big Five
Who doesn’t want to boast that they’ve seen elephants, rhinoceros, buffaloes, lions and leopards during their wild African safari? In Uganda, it’s possible to view all of the “Big Five” - surely a memory to cherish for a lifetime.
Enormous African elephants and Cape buffaloes are regularly spotted in great numbers during game drives and launch trips - there are estimated to be around 2500 elephants and some 7000 buffalo in Queen Elizabeth National Park alone.
Lions can sometimes be seen lounging in the fig trees of Ishasha in Queen Elizabeth or prowling across the rocks of Kidepo Valley, eyeing up unsuspecting herds of Uganda kob. You’ll have to be lucky to glimpse a well-camouflaged leopard - though the challenge of spotting this beautiful feline makes a rare sighting even more rewarding.
Rhinos have been hunted to extinction in the wild in Uganda - but Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary gives visitors the chance to walk up close to these huge, armoured creatures in the savannah - making Uganda one of the few destinations where you really can see the Big Five in their natural habitat.
Visit our Game Drives and Launch Trips pages to book your place today!
Uganda is a birder's paradise. Over half of all bird species in Africa can be found here, making it one of the richest birding destinations on the continent. Crammed into this diminutive country is an astonishingly rich diversity of habitats, from the scenic shores of Uganda's many great lakes to the lush forests of the Albertine Rift and the banks of the mighty Nile River.
Though Uganda has only one endemic bird (Fox's Weaver), 23 Albertine endemics occur here which are rarely observed elsewhere. These include the Handsome Francolin, Rwenzori Turaco, Rwenzori Nightjar, Dwarf Honeyguide, African Green Broadbill, Archer's Robin-Chat, Grauer's Rush Warbler, Short-tailed Warbler, Grauer's Warbler, Collared Apalis, Regal Sunbird, Strange Weaver, Dusky Crimsonwing, and Shelley's Crimsonwing among others.
The record for the number of species recorded in a three-week period is 665... pack your binoculars, some sturdy shoes and your checklist, and challenge yourself to spot even more!
Visit our Birding page to book your place today!
Wildlife Research Trips
Want to be more than just a tourist? How would you like to go off-limits in the park, get up close to Uganda's wildest species, and make a valuable contribution to wildlife research and conservation?
For the first time, Queen Elizabeth National Park is opening its gates to a new kind of tourism. Visitors can join researchers as they track lions using radio collars, and learn to identify these fabulous felines through their facial markings, calls and behaviour.
If lions are a bit much - try monitoring the banded mongoose! You'll have fun observing these sociable little creatures, as well as monitoring the weather and their surroundings.
All the valuable information you gather will be added to the research databases to support conservation efforts, and the tour fee goes directly to funding these important projects - making this an all-round worthwhile tour!
Visit our Wildlife Research Trips page to book your place today!
Uganda boasts the third highest peak in Africa, four extinct volcanoes and one of the largest intact calderas in the world - not bad for such a compact country! Those who wish to stand on one of these awesome peaks are spoilt for choice. Inexperienced climbers or those short of time can choose one of the three conical Virunga Volcanoes in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. Any of the three can be summited in a day, and offer astounding views of Uganda, Rwanda and Democratic Republic of Congo.
Mount Elgon, on the Kenyan border, also requires no technical expertise, but the route to the top takes 4-7 days, passing through wonderful forest scenery, natural pools and past ancient caves.
The true challenge is the Rwenzoris: Africa's highest mountain chain. Inexperienced climbers will enjoy the enchanting forest scenery of the lower slopes - but only skilled mountaineers should attempt the nine-day trek to the snow-covered equatorial peaks.
Visit our Volcano and Mountain Climbing page to book your place today!
Situated at the geographical heart of the African continent, Uganda has long been a cultural melting pot, as evidenced by the existence of 30-plus indigenous languages belonging to five distinct linguistic groups, and an equally diverse cultural mosaic of music, art and crafts.
The country's most ancient inhabitants are the Batwa and Bambuti Pygmies, relics of the hunter-gatherer cultures that once occupied much of East Africa. To the north-east, the vast, arid plains are reigned over by the Karamojong, a fierce, semi-nomadic cattle-herding tribe, believed to have migrated south from Ethiopia several centuries ago. At the cultural core of modern-day Uganda lie the Bantu-speaking kingdoms of Buganda, Bunyoro, Ankole and Toro, whose traditional monarchs still serve as important cultural figureheads.
Thanks to their distinct languages and kingdoms, as well as the vast geographical and climatic differences between the regions, Uganda's communities still retain many fascinating cultural distinctions. These are commonly displayed through their music, dance, cuisine, crafts, folklore, and traditional healing rituals; and with the emergence of community tourism, visitors are now invited to discover this wonderful cultural mix for themselves.
Visit our Cultural Encounters page to book your place today!