Uganda is a remarkable destination that boasts half of the world's gorilla population. The opportunity for unique and unforgettable experiences with these incredible creatures is truly a once-in-a-lifetime adventure.
During your stay in comfortable lodges and camps, embark on gorilla treks ranging from 30 minutes to a few hours into the bush. Knowledgeable operators track the habituated gorilla families, making sightings and quality time with these primates nearly guaranteed. If your schedule allows, consider extending your safari to explore Uganda's diverse offerings, including the Big Five and over 1,000 bird species.
Bwindi National Park: Nestled on the edge of the Rift Valley, this World Heritage Site boasts unique ecology and diverse biology. It is home to approximately 400 mountain gorillas, representing nearly half of the world's population. In addition to gorillas, you can encounter baboons, chimpanzees, and a wealth of rare bird species.
Kibale National Park: Located in western Uganda, this park offers remarkable encounters with chimpanzees, along with red colobus monkeys, grey-cheeked mangabey, olive baboons, and red-tailed monkeys. It's also a paradise for birdwatching, butterfly enthusiasts, and other wildlife enthusiasts, featuring leopards, buffalo, and elephants.
Murchison Falls: Uganda's largest protected wildlife sanctuary, where the Nile River flows through a narrow gorge into a tranquil river. The park teems with wildlife, including hippos, crocodiles, buffalo herds, lions, leopards, elephants, giraffes, and a rich variety of bird species.
Queen Elizabeth National Park: This park is a haven for wildlife enthusiasts, featuring nearly 100 animal species and over 600 bird varieties. You can spot iconic African animals like lions, leopards, jackals, hyenas, and hippos. Chimpanzee tracking is also available year-round.
Virunga Volcanoes: This mountainous region, including Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda, Mgahinga Gorilla National Park in Uganda, and Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo, is home to over eight gorilla families totaling 480 gorillas. It's a prime destination for gorilla trekking and immersing in the breathtaking landscapes.
When to go / useful information
When to go
While Uganda offers remarkable experiences year-round, the drier seasons from December to February and June to September are typically more comfortable for gorilla trekking. However, keep in mind that Uganda is a fantastic destination for travelers at any time of the year, with diverse wildlife and unique natural wonders waiting to be explored.
Currency Ugandan Shilling. US dollars are the easiest currency to take with you.
Language English is Uganda’s official language but also widely spoken are Kiswahili, Luganda, Runyankole, Rukiga and Rutoro.
What makes it special: Uganda, often referred to as the "Pearl of Africa," has had its share of challenges in recent years. However, it stands out as one of only three countries worldwide where you can encounter the endangered mountain gorillas, with over 50% of these magnificent creatures calling Uganda home. The country is a tapestry of tribes and cultures, offering a rich and diverse cultural experience. As you journey through Uganda, you'll be enchanted by its stunning landscapes, safety, accessibility, and the warmth of its people. The natural beauty of both the land and its inhabitants is truly exceptional. Uganda is renowned not only for its majestic silverback and blackback mountain gorillas but also for its captivating chimpanzees and the Golden Monkeys of Mgahinga, among other unique wildlife. Murchison Falls and Queen Elizabeth National Parks are hidden gems, teeming with elephant, lion, buffalo, and a plethora of other African wildlife. What sets them apart is that they are less crowded than other traditional safari destinations. Uganda is also a birdwatcher's paradise, boasting over 1,000 different bird species. Here's a fascinating tidbit: the name "Gorilla" is derived from the Greek word "Gorillai," which means "hairy woman."
Weather: Uganda's weather revolves around two distinct seasons: the rainy season and the dry season. For those eager to embark on gorilla trekking adventures, it's advisable to steer clear of the rainy season. The best times to plan your visit, ensuring optimal conditions for this incredible experience, are during January, February, or from June to September.
Social customs: Uganda, located at the very heart of the African continent, is a true cultural melting pot. This diversity is reflected in its rich tapestry of more than 30 indigenous languages, belonging to five distinct linguistic groups. Uganda's culture is equally varied, encompassing a wide range of music, art, and handicrafts.
In the hilly southwest, you'll find the Batwa and Bambuti Pygmies, some of the country's most ancient inhabitants. They are remnants of the hunter-gatherer cultures that once thrived across East Africa, leaving behind a legacy of rock paintings, such as those found at the Nyero Rock Shelter near Kumi.
At the heart of modern-day Ugandan culture are the Bantu-speaking kingdoms of Buganda, Bunyoro, Ankole, and Toro. These kingdoms, with their traditional monarchs, hold significant cultural importance, and their reinstatement in the 1990s marked a resurgence of their cultural influence, having been abolished by President Milton Obote in 1967.