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What One Can Do When in Uganda

Uganda is an enchanting African destination with stunning landscapes, captivating culture and amazing wildlife including the critically endangered mountain gorillas and the Big Five, which is why it was crowned “The Pearl of Africa” by Churchill Winston.

A Uganda Safari can be an adventure packed, soul soothing and memorable experience. From thrilling wildlife encounters to adrenalines – pumping adventures, Uganda offers an array of experience that will leave you with memories to last a lifetime.

Here is a list of what to do when in Uganda on your Africa safari to make it worthwhile.

  • Gorilla trekking

Venturing into the thick forests of Southern Uganda searching for the famous mountain gorillas and spend an hour watching these majestic creatures feeding their offspring or just going on with their life in the forest is one of the most exciting wildlife experiences in Africa.

Gorilla trekking in Uganda is done in two national parks that is Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, these misty forested parks host the largest population of mountain gorillas in the world. With habituated gorilla families open for gorilla tourism, giving you the ultimate feel of gorilla trekking adventure.

While in the forest and presence of mountain gorillas, remember to heed to your ranger’s instructions, prepare physically for a considerable amount of walking and participate while in good health or else you will leave the gorillas infected.

Gorilla trekking is an adrenaline stirring experience and worth every minute of your time.

Note: Gorilla trekking is one of the most sought out activity on a Uganda Safari Experience which is why you need to book for your experience in advance. 

For visitors who wish to spend more than one hour with the gorillas, you can do Gorilla Habituation Experience which is only offered in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. This experience allows you spend 4 hours with a semi-habituated gorilla family, together with researchers and scientists you will learn how these giants are trained to be less hostile to human presence.

  • Chimpanzee trekking

Uganda is a primate haven with over 13 different primates and the largest population of chimpanzees in the world, chimpanzee trekking is one of the most popular primate experience in Uganda offered in several Uganda primate destinations including Kibale Forest National Park, The Kyambura Gorge in Queen Elizabeth National Park, Kalinzu Forest, Tooro-Semliki Wildlife Reserve and Budongo Forest.

Chimpanzee trekking in Uganda is one of the most popular wildlife activities in Uganda allowing you to step into the world of chimpanzees in the wild, the trek last about three hours and include a maximum of one hour with the chimpanzees. In this one hour expect to see chimpanzees from a safe but intimate distance of 8-10 meters, get up close and personal with the chimpanzees and discover their intelligence, beautify and social structures.

For visitors who wish to spend more hours with the chimpanzees, you can do chimpanzee habituation experience joining the researchers of the habituation team for a half or full day excursion in the forests of Kibale.

For visitors who don’t wish to venture into the forests to see the chimpanzees, visit Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary and Uganda Wildlife Education Centre to view orphaned rescued chimpanzees.

Enjoy the sight of chimpanzees going about their daily, picking and eating fruits, watching and grooming each other. 

  • Birding Safaris

With over 1,050 bird species recorded, Uganda is a fantastic destination for birding enthusiasts. The tropical rainforests, savannah plains, swamps and lakesides are a home to many beautiful bird species.

These bird species mainly migrate from Lake Victoria’s shores, the source of the Nile and from the Albertine Rift.

The best birding spots in Uganda include Queen Elizabeth National Park, Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Lake Mburo National Park, Semuliki National Park and Mabamba Swamps among others.

On a Uganda birding safari, expect to see beautiful bird species including Fox’s Weaver, Blue-headed Sunbird, Short-tailed Warbler, Ruwenzori Nightjar, Rwenzori Turaco, Red-throated Alethe, African Green Broadbill, Red-faced Woodland Warbler, Handsome Francolin, Collared Apalis, Mountain Masked Apalis, Archer’s Robin-Chat, Dwarf Honeyguide, Grauer’s Warbler, Dusky Crimson wing, Rwenzori Batis, Purple-breasted Sunbird, Regal Sunbird, Shelley’s Crimson-wing, Stripe-breasted Tit, Grauer’s Rush Warbler, Kivu Ground Thrush, Yellow-eyed Black Flycatcher, Strange Weaver, Chapin’s Flycatcher among others.  

  • Uganda Community and Cultural experiences

Flora and fauna are not to only form of diversity Uganda has to offer, the country has a mixture of traditions and cultures worth exploring. Uganda has many tribes and each tribe and local community will offer you a different recipe, cultural dress and sense of style, language, traditional song and dance.

On a Uganda community and cultural experience try the famous Luwombo from Buganda, Eshabwe from Ankole, Atapa from the land of Teso, Malakwang from Acholi and Maleewa from the Bagisu of the East.

Participate in the Batwa Trail, stop by the museums such as Igongo Cultural Centre, Ndere Centre, the National Theatre and be entertained by local dances and drama by the local people giving you a feel and taste of Uganda’s culture. 

  • White Water Rafting on River Nile

For adrenaline junkies, white water rafting is a perfect activity for you in Uganda, raft down the ferocious rapids of Uganda’s White Nile from the lakeside town of Jinja. This thrilling experience lasts about 6 hours along 25 kilometers of the River Nile.

White water rafting is not for the fainthearted, it is for the wild hearts that crave a spectacular exploration of the Nile one rapid immersion at a time. The options range from the Grade 5 Extreme Rafting, the Raft River Board, Grade 3 Full day rafting or the 2 day water rafting. These routes bypass the most extreme rapids, while still giving enough of a thrill.

After this nerve-wrecking but fulfilling adventure, you will be treated to local music, bonfires, barbeque and dancing on the banks of the Nile. 

  • Canoeing on Lake Bunyonyi and Craters

Discover the picture perfect vistas of the Lake Bunyonyi – the deepest lake in Uganda and the second deepest in Africa, the lake has 29 islands surrounded by prissily terraced food gardens.

Canoeing on Lake Bunyonyi will allow your eyes to saunter up the hills and as deep down into the waters as your eyes can take you while listening to the traditional tales about the Lake and watching the birds.

Canoeing on Lake Bunyonyi is done in a traditionally dugout canoe will be your transport means around the site while you visit island to island, hike the terraced hillsides and learn traditional crafts.

  • Game viewing on safari

Explore Uganda’s savannah and discover the various wildlife in 4×4 wheel vehicles with open roof, remember to carry a good camera and a pair of binoculars. Treat your eyes to several species of animals and the stunning landscape.

Game viewing is one of the most sought for adventures in Uganda and the most popular activity that many travelers in Uganda ought not to miss. With you’re a ranger guide, you will spot various animals including lions, leopards, cape buffaloes, zebras, gazelles, Rothschild’s giraffe, Uganda Kob, eland, warthogs, waterbucks among others.

Game viewing safari in Uganda is available is savannah national parks including Queen Elizabeth National Park, Murchison Falls National Park, Lake Mburo National Park, Kidepo Valley National Park and Semuliki National Park.

Game viewing options available in Uganda are morning, afternoon and night game drives.

  • Mountain Climbing and hiking

Uganda is a land of hills, valleys and Volcano Mountains. To the east of Uganda stands Mount Elgon at 4,321 meters with the largest caldera in the world, Rwenzori Mountains, Mount Rwenzori the third –highest peak in Africa in western Uganda and the mighty Virunga Ranges; Mount Mgahinga, Muhavura and Sabinyo which stand at 3,474 metres, 4,127 metres and 3,645 metres respectively offering the best climbing adventures in the world.

To hike up the Volcanoes is not a merely a rocky climb, rather it is a walk through the dense forests that grow on the fertile slopes of the volcanoes, a peek at the gorillas that tread the bamboo in the Virunga Ranges and the rare birds that have made these highlands a dwelling place.

Hiking these mountains and volcanoes is a test of character, strength and an accomplishment that leaves you prouder of your ability than you were before the hike. 

  • Boat safaris

Uganda offer incredible opportunities to enjoy watching wildlife from a boat, enjoy the stunning views of nature and hear the light waves of nature’s sound track. The country’s water bodies attract a large number of wildlife that come to sip on the life-giving waters and the boat safari is one of the best ways to get up close to these animals.

A Uganda boat safari is also one of the best vantage point for spotting wildlife, and it is a more peaceful experience compared to the bumpy ride in a safari truck which earns it a place on your bucket list for things to do while on a safari in Uganda.

Best destinations for boat safaris in Uganda include Kazinga Channel in Queen Elizabeth National Park, Lake Mburo in Lake Mburo National Park, Victoria Nile in Murchison Falls National Park.

  • Kampala City Tour

Kampala is not only a capital city of Uganda but also a great destination with several incredible attractions, sitting on 22 hills you can choose to explore Kampala on a bike tour, vehicle ride or a walking tour. Top things to do in Kampala City include visiting The Gaddafi Mosque, Kibuli Mosque, The Buganda Parliament, visiting the Kasumbi Tombs and Uganda Martyrs Shrine Namugongo among others.

The greatness of Kampala lies in her architectural and historical sites like the Uganda Martyrs Shrine in Namugongo, Rubaga Cathedral, Namirembe Cathedral, the Bahai Temple, the Hindu temple and the independence monument, Kasubi tombs.

Remember to get a taste of a Rolex. Reach out and let us tailor make your dream Uganda safari.

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What are the best safari countries in Africa

Africa is listed among the best destinations in the world and the continent is home to a wide range of safari conservation parks, canyons, deserts and deltas, rivers and ravines creating an ideal canvas for a dream adventure.

Choosing the best destination to visit depends on what you are looking for, animals you want to see in the wild, the type of safari holiday you are interested and who you are traveling with.

Here are to the best safari countries to visit for the best safari holiday.

Overview

1. Botswana

2. Kenya

3. Namibia

4. Rwanda

5. South Africa

6. Tanzania

7. Uganda

8. Zambia

Explore the Best Countries in Africa on Safari

  1. Botswana

Botswana is one of the best safari countries in Africa offering some of the most incredible wildlife experience, several must see- wildlife destination and stunning landscapes.

The breathtaking natural beauty of Botswana presents scenes ranging from start desert beauty to thickets of acacia tree, and the winding waters of the Okavango Delta are one of the reasons to choose Botswana as your Africa safari destinations. With exclusive, adventurous exploration and unforgettable wildlife encounter, Botswana is the ideal destination for any safari seeker on the African continent.

 Whether you are looking for a safari for seniors or interested in a luxury African safari, in Botswana you can find the right place to fit your style of travel and more.

Here are the spectacular destinations in Botswana.

  • Okavango Delta

The famous Okavango Delta is a vast inland Delta in northwestern Botswana, the Okavango Delta is a 15,000 sq.kilometer  of pulsing wetland that is unlike any other on the planet. The Okavango (Kavango) River which flows from the Angolan highlands through Namibia’s Caprivi Strip and into the Kalahari Desert, created the iconic Okavango Delta.

The Delta offers water-and-land based safari experiences.

Highlights of the area:

  • Discover how the channel of the Okavango Delta provide a pathway through reeds and bushes to highlight some of the best birdlife as well as smaller wildlife in Sub-Saharan Africa.
  • Witness how the landscape shifts from desert-like sand to stony savannahs
  • Embrace unparalleled game experience looking for animals like elephants and lions, lively avifauna and foraging mongoose.

When to Visit: In the months of May to September, the Okavango Delta is at its best with cooler days, low grasses and game viewing is at its prime. These dryer, winter months of the Southern Hemisphere are simply perfect to explore on water or land.

  • Chobe Game Reserve

Situated in the North of Botswana not too far from the Zimbabwe border, Chobe Game Reserve is the third-largest game drives in the country and home to the largest population of elephants on earth – over 120,000.

Highlights of Chobe Game Reserve

  • Great herds of elephants – an incredible sight to witness from within the reserve and from a boat on the Chobe River
  • Proximity to the magnificent Victoria Falls to experience it as a day trip
  • Combines well with the Okavango Delta and Maun to create the overall Botswana Safari adventure

When to visit: The winter months in the Southern Hemisphere are the best time to visit Chobe Game Reserve, these months are drier, cooler months of June to the end of September. Combining Chobe Game Reserve with a visit to the fascinating and famous Victoria Falls works exceptionally well during the winter months as the falls are at their most magnificent from May to the end of July. 

  • Kalahari Desert

70% of Botswana is covered by the Kalahari Desert, this desert crosses several countries starting from the southern border with South Africa and expanding up into Botswana. Kalahari is a dominant ecosystem in Botswana, it is not a typical desert with the dunes often associated with this harsh environment. Instead it is an arid landscape that is mainly defined by areas of grass, bush scrub land and the lunar like Mkagadikgadi Salt Plains.

Kalahari offers some of the typical topography and features you would expect from a desert experience and more.

Highlights of Kalahari Desert

  • Diverse wildlife, flora and fauna during dramatic variations in temperature
  • Visit with the renowned bush men who have lived in the distinctive landscape and temporal conditions for millennia
  • Enjoy stargazing and nature walks to embrace the encompassing majesty of the Kalahari Desert

When to Visit – To enjoy all of the region’s offerings most noticeably the prolific birdlife, consider visiting during the wet season. The prolific birdlife can be seen from December through to March, also animals congregate around the pans so wildlife spotting is good. The cooler and drier months will make road travel easier, so one could say this is a year-round destination.

  • Linyanti Wildlife Reserve

Linyanti is a swamp-like safari wonder situated in the northwestern corner of Chobe National Park, near the river border of Namibia. It is remote and rugged and offers exceptional off-the-beaten-track safaris.

This untouched wildlife sanctuary boasts splendid scenery of untouched grasslands, riverine forest and meandering lagoons. Due to its remote location, each corner has something mesmerizing to see for example thousands of exotic birds that migrate to this region during the green season. 

Highlights of Linyanti Wildlife Reserve

  • Amazing views of vast herds of elephants which are one of the main highlights of any safari in this reserve
  • Indulge in the stillness, remoteness and incredible birdlife associated with the serene corner of Botswana

When to Visit – September is a peak time to visit the reserve, the best birding months are January and February. The winder in the southern Africa falls from June through to the end of August making wildlife sightings easier during dry months when the grass is low. 

2. Kenya

      Kenya is a gateway to some of Africa’s key safari destinations sitting along Africa’s eastern coastline, this beautiful country comprises of vast savannahs, flourishing lakes and impressive mountains.

      Kenya offers opportunities to enjoy the world’s largest migration of land animals – The Kenya Great Migration Safari or honeymoon safari across the country’s intimate destinations, the country is well known for its alluring parks including Masai Mara National Reserve hosting the Great Migration, Amboseli National Park with large herds of elephants and views of Mount Kilimanjaro among others.

       A safari to Kenya offers fantastic times as you visit the following iconic destinations

      • Amboseli National Park

      Crowned “The Land of Giants”, Amboseli National Park is one of the popular safari destinations in Kenya offering a frontline view of one of the majestic sights of Mount Kilimanjaro.

      The name Amboseli comes from the Maasai word “empusel” meaning a salty, dusty place. Amboseli National Park is relatively a small national park at a size of 150 square miles located in southern Kenya, the park encompasses of wide- open areas of savannah grasslands, tangled acacia forests and the dried-up bed of Lake Amboseli. 

      Highlights of Amboseli National Park

      • Enjoy the national park with one of the best panoramic views of Mount Kilimanjaro
      • Explore the wilderness in search for wildlife in the park including four of The Big Five
      • Indulge in the natural landscapes of Kenya as drive through one of Africa’s most scenic national parks

      When to Visit – The drier months of the Southern Hemisphere’s winter are prime time to experience this park of Kenya, the best time to visit Amboseli is from the end of May to the end of September and enjoy mild days and cool nights with quality game viewing guaranteed.

      • Maasai Mara National Reserve

      Masai Mara is the most famous Wildlife Safari Destination in Kenya located in the southwest of the country bordering Tanzania, this iconic reserve offers some of the best game viewing in Africa. Its wide-open plains provide a sanctuary for an abundance of animals like elephants, buffaloes, zebras, giraffes, hyenas and Mara’s famous big cats – lion, leopard and cheetah.

      Masai Mara National Park is the quintessential safari destination and the place most first-time safari goers look to experience on Maasai Mara safaris.

      Highlights of Masai Mara National Reserve

      • Witness the Annual Great Migration – the greatest wildlife spectacle on Earth, the largest migration of land animals ever witness on earth
      • Explore the vast savannahs with exceptional safari guides, inviting lodges and premier camps
      • Take advantage to discover the wilderness of Masai Mara in search for the Big Five and herds of other game

       When to Visit – The Great Migration in Masai Mara Kenya usually occurs around July and again in reserve around the end of October to provide the best – game viewing opportunities. Birding in Masai Mara is wonderful in January and February, the Southern Hemisphere’s winter months of June to August are known as the peak safari period.

      Masai Mara is one of the few safari destinations that assures you of a great wildlife experience any time of the year. 

      • Laikipia

      Located in the central region of Kenya, Laikipia County runs across vast open plains, dense hilly areas and impressive mountain ranges. The county overlooks the Ewaso Nyiro River and is home to vast herds of elephants and buffaloes, it is also one of the few places where wild dog populations are on the rise and black rhinos are a huge success story with around half of the country’s population of these critically endangered animals found here.

      Highlights of Laikipia County

      • Find a refuge for large number of endangered black rhinos and other captivating wildlife such as giraffe, kudus, waterbucks, elands and leopards
      • Revel in the wilderness from a different perspective on walking and horseback – riding safaris
      • Discover the active colors, songs and hunting prowess of the impressive avifauna with distinctive bird watching opportunities

      When to Visit – for optimum game viewing, the drier months of June through to September are perfect, if you are an avid bird watcher, the best time to visit is in January and February.

      • Lake Nakuru National Park

      Located in west-central Kenya approximately three hours from Nairobi City, Lake Nakuru National Park hosts a captivating lake in the Great Rift Valley, visiting this destination will add a splash of color to your safari in Africa.

       Highlights of Lake Nakuru

      • See thousands of flamingoes that cover the shimmering waters of the lake as they forage, rest and cast a slightly pink hue across the water.
      • Search the landscape amongst the shrubs and along the shoreline to find vibrant wildlife such as crocodiles and baboons

      When to Visit – the best time to visit Lake Nakuru National Park is during the dry season between June and September. 

      3. Namibia

       Namibia is the soul of Africa characterized by vast open spaces, breathtaking scenery and great contrasts. The country to home iconic and richly rewarding safari destinations, Namibia continues to be safe, friendly and diverse country to visit.

      Namibia has so many incredible places to see and experience, from Red desert scenery, a breathtaking canyon and an eerie yet serene coastline summing up the fascinating country of Namibia.

      The town of Swakopmund has a strong German influences which is fascinating to experience and spending time with the Himba tribes as its people sharing their lifestyle and environment offers you unforgettable experience.

      The ghostly Kolmanskop is a captivating and spending time exploring the Bushmen painting at Twyfelfontein and marveling at the petrified rocks at Vingerklip round up a magnificent experience of the following places. 

      • Etosha National Park

      Situated in the North of Namibia, Etosha National Park is a perfect destination for safari goers who want to explore more than the famous dunes, san culture and quaint coastal towns of Namibia.  

      Highlights of Etosha National Park

      • Witness the Big Five roaming freely through the park during the dry winter months
      • Discover elephants and a variety of buck as they gather at waterholes amid – arid open savannahs

      When to visit: consider visiting during the drier winter months of the Southern Hemisphere between June and September for optimum game viewing. The days are cooler too, making the destination good to visit all year round. 

      • Namib Naukluft

      The Namin Naukluft is the largest game park in Africa covering part of the Namib Desert, the park is situated on the southwest coast of Namibia.

      Highlights of Namib Naukluft

      • Visit the key highlight at Sossusvlei, a salt and clay pan surrounded by magnificent rusty-red sand dunes
      • Explore the Sesriem Canyon, an impressive gorge carved by the Tsauchab River

      When to visit – the best time to visit is during the cooler, South Hemisphere Winter months of May to September

      4. Rwanda

       Referred to as the land of a thousand hills, Rwanda is one of the best safari countries in Africa thanks to its unique environment and kind, welcoming people providing one-of-a kind experience.

      Rwanda is characterized by its impressive biodiversity, volcanoes and highland rainforests that are home to the gorillas. Gorilla trekking in Rwanda combines well with other East African destinations such as Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania or Botswana and others.

      There is also Nyungwe Forest National Park – home to the primates where chimpanzees frolic and the skies are filled with a myriad of birds. In the low lying eastern Rwanda, Akagera National Park offers big game viewing in a diverse savannah setting with iconic safari animals including lions and elephants among others.

      • Volcanoes National Park

      Volcanoes National Park is one of the most iconic places in Rwanda to visit for African safari, the park is located in northwestern part of Rwanda and is part of the Virunga Conservation Area covering more than 48 square miles.

      Volcanoes National Park is home to five extinct volcanoes, the Muhabura, Sabyinyo, Gahinga, Karisimbi, and Bisoke.

      Highlights of Volcanoes National Park

      • Venture deep into the dense jungle of Rwanda to uncover the endangered mountain gorillas
      • Trek through the lush forests and trees to see the rare and rambunctious golden monkeys
      • Enjoy wilderness hikes that take you into the rainforest for unique views and experiences with prolific birdlife

      When to Visit – the best time is during the cooler, drier months of May to the end of August. A shorter dry season runs from Mid-December to early February, a perfect time for bird lovers.

      5. South Africa

        Definitely South Africa is one of the top safari destinations in Africa, and with its unparalleled natural reserves and breathtaking scenery, you can easily be immersed in the wonder of the Big Five and other majestic wildlife. 

        South Africa offers a wide range of malaria-free reserves and parks, and with safari options available options available around the country, a trip to South Africa is easily combined with visit to other parts of the country for a mind-blowing introduction to a South Africa safari for individuals, family or couples, or a safari with South Africa food and wine tour.

        The country has exception wildlife to see and here are some of the best places you can explore on your holiday /tour 

        • Kruger National Park

        This is one of the most famous safari parks in Africa, Kruger National Park lies on the northeastern border of South Africa and Mozambique covering an area of 2 million hectares of unrivaled diversity of life forms.

        Highlights of Kruger National Park

        • Explore the breadth of the Kruger National Park to find some of safari’s most notable wildlife including the Big Five (lion, leopards, buffaloes, elephants and rhinos) and so much more.
        • A day of game drives in Kruger National Park takes you deep into changing landscapes across the park’s distinctive ecosystems.
        • Enjoy discovering the Kruger with a specially trained guide as you travel in a private vehicle or an open 4×4

        When to Visit – the best time is during the cooler, drier months of May to September to get optimum game viewing. Avoid visiting the park during school holidays as many locals enjoy the park at this time.

        Generally, Kruger National Park is a year-round destination with fascinating wildlife viewing, regardless of the season. 

        • Sabi Sands National Park

        Lying adjacent to the World-renowned Kruger National Park, Sabi Sands offers a private safari experience with game drives conducted in a small, private area on a very popular safari circuit. 

        Highlights Sabi Sands National Park

        • Indulge in the comforts and attention provided by a private game reserve as you find game viewing on small sections of land
        • Delight in the opportunity to see more wildlife at your leisure and pace, while also seeing fewer vehicles while you traverse this prime safari region

        When to Visit – The best time is during the winter season in the Southern Hemisphere that is from May to September, with mild days, low grass and fantastic game viewing. 

        • Hluhluwe National Park

        Situated in the Kwazulu – Natal Province, inland of South Africa’s east coast, it is about four hours from Durban’s King Shaka International Airport.

        Highlights of the Hluhluwe National Park

        • Have an opportunity to spot the rare rhinoceros, Hluhluwe is one of the best destinations for spotting wildlife in their natural habitat.
        • Enjoy the lushness of the hills and the picturesque scenery that creates an unforgettable safari experience in South Africa’s old national park

        When to visit: The best time is during the dry months of June, July and August, these months are best for game viewing. The rainy season from late December through to February hinders wildlife sightings. 

        • Madikwe Reserve

        This fascinating reserve is situated in North West Province of South Africa, near the Botswana Border and the Kalahari Desert. The reserve boasts malaria-free status.

        Highlights of Madikwe Reserve

        • Explore this fascinating reserve famous for wild dog sightings and strong conservation efforts focused on the preservation of wild dog packs
        • Discover the freedom of a safari experience in a malaria-free zone

        When to visit – the best time to enjoy safari is during the Southern Hemisphere winter months from June to September. Daytime temperatures are mild, with low grass offering incredible wildlife sightings.

        6. Tanzania

         Tanzania is one of the biggest safari experiences in Africa with must see destinations such as Serengeti National Park and Ngorongoro Crater and Zanzibar Islands.

        The Tanzania’s northern circuit is a popular safari circuit and is where most safaris in Tanzania take place, the Serengeti Great Migration Safaris and luxury game adventures in Tanzania appeal to all safari goers, in local and style, with famous game parks fiving way to lesser-known reserves for visitors seeking something more or different.

         There are so much to explore and see in Tanzania during your African safari.

        • Ngorongoro Crater “Ngorongoro Conservation Area”

        The world’s famous intact and unfilled caldera and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Ngorongoro Crater is located in the highlands of Tanzania approximately 110 miles west of Africa and forms part of Tanzania’s northern safari circuit.

        Highlights of Ngorongoro Crater

        • Explore the crater, a key feature in the conservation area and your safari to Ngorongoro as you travel around one of the world’s largest inactive volcanic calderas.
        • Enjoy sightings of the Big Five in an incredible setting that provides a memorable combination

        When to Visit – the best time is during the Southern Hemisphere’s winter months from May through September to enjoy an incredible safari experience. If you want to witness the birthing season of the Wildebeest, visit in January or February and is witnessed in the Ndutu Plains. 

        • Serengeti National Park

        The word famous Serengeti National Park is located in the northern part of Tanzania sharing a border with Kenya, Serengeti is also the most famous safari destination in Tanzania renowned for the Wildebeest Migration and the Big Five. 

        Highlights of Serengeti National Park

        • Embark on game drives in search of an incredible amount of wildlife, open savannahs, rocky outcrops and five famous rivers
        • Wander the exciting stage of the Great Migration as you witness one of the ultimate safari experiences

        When to Visit – to catch the Great Migration, visit in October or November to watch thousands of wildebeest cross from Serengeti to Masai Mara.

        • Tarangire National Park

        The iconic Tarangire National Park known for its spectacular landscape dotted with baobab trees and large herds of elephants is located in the northern part of Tanzania in the Manyara region. The park is named after the Tarangire River that runs through it. 

        Highlights of Tarangire National Park

        • Enjoy game drives with sightings of large herds of elephants and other animals along the Tarangire River
        • Search for the iconic baobab trees doted around the landscape

        When to Visit – the best time is during the dry season from June to October.

        7. Uganda

        Uganda – The Pearl of Africa is one of the top Africa safari countries with a fantastic diversity of landscape, flora and fauna, birdlife, culture and hospitable people.

        Fascinating wildlife encounters in Uganda include gorilla, chimpanzee trekking and game viewing which are a highlight of an Africa Safari to Uganda.

        Uganda is a gem and offers a unique safari and scenery experience at the following must see destinations.  

        • Queen Elizabeth National Park

        Queen Elizabeth National Park is the most popular wildlife destination in Uganda located in the western Uganda, between the Kazinga Channel and Lake George and Lake Albert.

        Highlights of Queen Elizabeth National Park

        • Enjoy the prolific birdlife and sightings of wildlife along the Kazinga Channel on a boat cruise
        • Spot the tree climbing lions in the Ishasha sector, southern region of Queen Elizabeth National Park

        When to Visit – Queen Elizabeth National Park can be visited any time of the year. However, the dry and cooler months of June and July are the best time for wildlife sightings. For birders, the best time is January and February. 

        • Murchison Falls National Park

        Named after Murchison Falls – the most powerful waterfalls in the world, Murchison Falls National Park is in the northern part of Uganda, just northwest of Kampala – the capital of Uganda. 

        Highlights of the Murchison Falls National Park

        • Experience the alluring thunder of Murchison Falls – the most powerful waterfalls in the world
        • Explore the diverse wildlife habitat

        When to visit – June and July or January and February are the best time for wildlife viewing, the wet months of April and May and August to October are the best for bird watching.

        • Bwindi Impenetrable Forest

        Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is the best place in the world to see the endangered mountain gorillas in their natural habitat, the misty forested park covers around 120 square miles and lies in Southwestern Uganda, bordering the Democratic Republic of Congo.

        Highlights of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park

        Spend either one hour or four hours in the presence of the endangered mountain gorillas

        8. Zambia

        Zambia – the land of legendary walking safari is a southern Africa gem blessed with awe-inspiring natural wonders, a plethora of wildlife, huge water bodies and vast open spaces.

        The wide-open spaces and an abundance of wildlife are the two of the country’s major attractions, with walking safaris being a distinct highlight when exploring the best places to visit Zambia.

        Zambia’s incredible safari circuit is accompanied by the majestic Victoria Falls, which shares its glory with neighboring Zimbabwe. The country has many more excellent destinations to discover during your trip. 

        • Lower Zambezi National Park

          The lower Zambezi National Park is located in southwestern Zambia, along the north bank of the Zambezi River. 

          Highlights of Lower Zambezi National Park

          • Travel beneath big skies that offer incredible stargazing opportunities
          • Discover camps and lodges that are unfenced offering a vast exploration experience
          • Enjoy the pristine wilderness of the park and have quality experiences

          When to Visit – the best time is from June to September when it is drier and cooler

          • South Luangwa National Park

          This fascinating park is in the southwestern Zambia, in the valley of the Luangwa River and is referred to by the locals as “the South Park”.

          Highlights of South Luangwa National Park

          • Embark on game drives through grasslands, savannahs, riverine and woodlands discovering the splendor of South Luangwa National Park – one of the most beautiful parks in Uganda
          • For phenomena wildlife sightings, travel near the Luangwa River to find many animals gathering

          When to visit – the ideal time to visit is during the drier months of June through to September. Reach out to our team of knowledgeable safari consultants and let us plan your African safari.

          Categories
          Travel News

          Best Safari Parks in East Africa

          East Africa is a popular safari region in Africa with extraordinary cultures, people, stunning landscapes, wildlife and historical significance. This amazing safari region has many safari destinations worth exploring including the untamed wonders of Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania and Rwanda which make up this region, featuring stirring scenes of wildlife, fascinating human cultures and incredible landscapes.

          East Africa is the birthplace and home of the Africa safari where angulates stampede in their millions across the savannah plains, these amazing destinations offer excellent game viewing experiences, birding safaris, primate trekking experience including the magical encounter with mountain gorillas and golden monkeys among others.

          Here is a list of the top adventurous safari destinations in East Africa

          Serengeti National Park – Tanzania

          Home to the Great Migration and teeming with abundant wildlife and birdlife, Serengeti National Park is a World Heritage Site and one of the adventurous safari destinations in East Africa.

          The Serengeti is undoubtedly one of the world’s most celebrated national parks and a perfect piece of true African wilderness, its great rolling grasslands and golden savannah give an awe-inspiring sense of space and support abundant wildlife including zebras, buffaloes, elephants, giraffes, gazelles and antelopes among others.

          Serengeti National Park is the oldest park in Africa, the park is home to the Big Five and hosts The Great Annual Migration when millions of wildebeests and zebras migrate through its vast grassland plains and tangled riverine forest to Masai Mara in Kenya and back.

          The extensive southern Serengeti plains are the best for watching the wildebeest before they embark on their annual journey, the ungulates congregate in the southern breeding grounds between December and May to feed on the new pastures, give birth and take care of their young before continuing their annual trek to the western corridor. 

          Serengeti National Park boasts the largest population of lions in Africa and is the best destination in East Africa to watch the big cats at their best hunting games.

          Safari activities to do in Serengeti include game viewing, hot air balloon safaris, guided nature walks, witnessing the Great Migration and cultural safaris to the Masai people.  

          Masai Mara National Reserve – Kenya

          Masai Mara is the most iconic wildlife safari destination in Africa offering an “Out of Africa” experience, the “Mara” means “spotted” in the Maa language which is spoken by the area’s ancestral residents referring to how the Mara is dotted with acacia trees and craters.

          Masai Mara’s wide plains provide an oasis-like sanctuary for an abundance of wildlife like lions, leopards, buffaloes, zebras, hyenas, giraffes and host the Great Migration – the largest migration land mammal ever witnessed on earth with over 2 million wildebeests accompanied by thousands of zebras and gazelles.

          Masai Mara National Reserve is contingent with northern Serengeti and is situated in the southwest of Kenya, the land of the Maasai – a semi nomadic pastoralists who live off their herds of cattle and known to be excellent warriors.

           When the dry period starts in June in the southern Serengeti, large herds of wildebeests traverse the Mara River into the Masai Mara National Reserve to feast on fresh and succulent savannah. The herds stay in Masai Mara devouring on its grasslands until November and then cross back into the Serengeti. 

          The Mara River which flows from Kenya through the Masai Mara region and continues across the border into north Serengeti is the greatest obstacle of the migrating, the river is filled with crocodiles which feast on the herds as they attempt to cross. 

          Masai Mara National Reserve is home to a year-round concentration of game thus being a photographer’s and naturalist’s paradise. On a safari in the Mara, you can easily spot elephants, buffaloes, giraffes, lion, cheetah, migratory wildebeests, zebras, the endangered black rhinos, hippos and enormous crocodiles found in the Mara River.

          The reserve is also home to over 450 bird species including African finfoot, African wood owl, Ayres’s hawk eagle, Cinnamon-breasted bunting, Denham’s bustard, Giant kingfisher, Grey-crested helmet-shrike, Grey penduline tit, Hildebrandt’s starling, Jackson’s widowbird, Lazy cisticola, Ostrich, Purple grenadier, Red-throated tit, Ross’s turaco, Rosy-throated longclaw, Rufous-bellied heron, Rufous-throated wryneck, Saddle-billed stork, Schalow’s turaco, Secretary bird, Silverbird, Southern ground hornbill and Swahili sparrow among others.

          Safari activities to do in Masai Mara include game drive safaris, birding safaris, witness the great migration, hot air balloon safaris, guided natural works, horseback riding safaris and cultural safaris.

          Volcanoes National Park – Rwanda

          Spreading out on the base of Five of the 8 Virunga extinct volcano mountains, Volcanoes National Park is a dramatic, misty tropical jungle protecting Rwanda’s side of the misty mountain and some of the last mountain gorillas roaming in the forested mountain slopes.

          Volcanoes National Park is one of the best places to see mountain gorillas and is best known for mountain gorilla trekking, in the ancient forest dominating the park is where Diani Fossey established her base dedicated to research to save these gentle giants and is the scene – setting of “Gorillas in The Mist” – a 1998 adaptation of wildlife experience primatologist’s autobiography.

          Volcanoes National Park lies about 3 hours from Kigali – the capital city of Rwanda, the park is part of the Virunga Volcanoes which is shared between Uganda, Rwanda and DR.Congo.

          Gorilla trekking is undeniably the main reason why thousands of tourists chose to visit Volcanoes National Park, the park has 10 habituated gorilla families open for gorilla trekking. Visitors get a chance to spend 1 hour in the presence of the gorillas on this exhilarating jungle adventure. 

          A gorilla trekking permit in Rwanda costs $ 1,500.

          Volcanoes National Park is also home to the endangered golden monkeys, there are also over 200 bird species with a number of Albertine rift endemic including Grauer’s rush warbler, Rwenzori batis, Rwenzori turaco, Rwenzori double –collared Sunbird, handsome francolin, strange weaver, dusky crimson-wing, collared Apalis, red-faced woodland warbler and Archer’s ground robin among others.

          Other safari activities offered in Volcanoes National Park include birding safaris, golden monkey trekking, mountain hiking, cultural tours and Dian Fossey Tomb Tour. 

          Ngorongoro Conservation Area – Tanzania 

          Ngorongoro Conservation Area is a UNESCO World HeritageSite and a spectacular wildlife ecosystem spanning vast expanses of highland plains, savannah woodlands and forests, from the plains of Serengeti National Park in the northwest to the eastern arm of the Great Rift Valley in Northern Tanzania.

          Ngorongoro Conservation Area comprises of Ngorongoro Crater – the largest unfilled caldera in the world listed among the greatest natural wonders on earth, there is also the Olduvai Gorge – a 14 km long deep ravine and one of the most important paleoanthropological sites.

           Ngorongoro Conservation Area is one of the best safari holiday destinations to watch the famous “Big 5” game (elephants, lions, leopards, buffaloes and rhinos). The northern plains of the conservation area “Ndutu Plains” host the ungulates taking park in the Great Wildebeest Migration for their calving with thousands of calves born every day. 

          The Ngorongoro Crater is home to the highest concentration of mammals in the world with a population of more than 25,000 large animals, most ungulates alongside the highest density of mammalian predators in Africa including the densest population of lions ever known. 

          The most fascinating part of Ngorongoro Crater is the semi-nomadic Masai Tribe living and grazing their livestock alongside wild animals within Ngorongoro. 

          Safari Activities to do in Ngorongoro Conservation Area include game viewing safaris, guided nature walks, photographic safaris, visiting the Maasai and birding safaris.

          Bwindi Impenetrable National Park – Uganda

          Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is the most famous safari destination in Uganda renowned for being the best place to see the critically endangered mountain gorillas in the wild.

          Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is home to world’s most mountain gorilla individuals making up to over half of the remaining mountain gorilla individuals, the park is dominated by an ancient forest covering an area of 321 km. The forest lies on steep slippery valleys with ridges and hilltops.

          Bwindi Impenetrable Forest was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1994 because of its rich diversity different flora and fauna.

          Bwindi Forest is the best place to do gorilla trekking in the world with 20 habituated gorilla families open for gorilla tourism, this experience is done in four different sectors that are Buhoma, Ruhija, Rushaga and Nkuringo Sectors.

          Gorilla trekking in the main activity in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park offering visitors a chance to have an encounter with the endangered mountain gorillas for one hour.

          For visitors who wish to spend more time with mountain gorillas, Bwindi Impenetrable National Park offers the incredible Gorilla Habituation Experience on which tourists spend 4 hours with a semi-habituated gorilla family.

          Other safari activities offered in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park include bird watching safaris, Nature and waterfalls walks, community walks and cultural experiences.

          Queen Elizabeth National Park – Uganda

          Named after the late ruler of Britain Queen Elizabeth II, Queen Elizabeth National Park is the most popular wildlife safari destination in Uganda renowned for its wealth of biodiversity. Queen Elizabeth National Park is also the most visited safari destination in Uganda spanning 1,978 square kilometers, the park is strategically located in the Great Rift Valley between Lake Edward and Lake George providing a majestic overview of nature at its finest.

          Queen Elizabeth National Park is renowned for its diverse ecosystem which includes savannah grasslands, tropical forests, wetlands and volcanic features. The rich habitat supports an extraordinary variety of wildlife including four of the Africa’s Big Five – lions, elephants, buffaloes and leopards. The park is also home to over 600 bird species including African mourning dove, Swamp flycatcher, Grey headed kingfisher, pin-tailed whydah, slender-tailed nightjar and collared pratincole among others.

          Safari activities to do in Queen Elizabeth National Park include game viewing safaris, birding safaris, Boat safaris on Kazinga channel, chimpanzee tracking in Kyambura Gorge and cultural encounters in the local communities.

          Kibale National Park – Uganda

          Crowned the Primate Capital of the World, Kibale National Park also known as Kibale Forest National Park is an enhancing wonderland beaming with ancient tropical rainforests and woodland.

          Kibale Forest National Park is the last stronghold for the highest concentration of primates on their entire African continent with chimpanzees being the most popular of all of them, the forest is home to 13 primate species including chimpanzees, bush babies, L’Hoest’s monkey, red colobus monkey, red-tailed monkey, black-and-white colobus monkey, grey-cheeked mangabey, olive baboon, blue monkey, Vervet monkeys and Potto.

          Kibale National Park is the premier site for chimpanzee trekking in Uganda, the park is located in Western Uganda outside Fort Portal – a colonial Town and approximately 310 kilometers west of Kampala – the capital of Uganda.

          Apart from primates, Kibale National Park is home to over 250 species of butterflies, several species of primates and amphibians. There are also over 375 bird species including six endemic species to the Albertine Rift Area, other bird species include Red-chested owlet, Purple breasted sunbird, African Grey Parrot, Blue-breasted Kingfisher, Crowned Eagle, little Greenbul, Black Bee eater, White-naped pigeon, andScaly-breasted Illadopsis,Western bronze-napped Pigeon, Nahan’s Francolin, Yellow-throated Nicator, White-headed Wood-hoopoe, Red Headed malimbe , Yellow-spotted barbet , Dusky-blue Flycatcher among others.

          Safari Activities in Kibale National Park include Chimpanzee trekking, chimpanzee habituation experience, bird watching safaris, nature and hiking walks and community walks and cultural experiences. 

          Kidepo Valley National Park – Uganda

          Kidepo Valley National Park is one of Africa’s most magnificent wilderness tucked in the northeastern corner of Uganda bordering Kenya and South Sudan, Kidepo is the third-largest national in Uganda after Queen Elizabeth National Park and Murchison Falls National Park.

          The park has a remote location in the extreme northeast of Karamoja sub-region, more than 500 km from Kampala, bordering South Sudan to the northwest and only 5 km from the eastern border with Kenya.

          Kidepo Valley National Park is notable for its rugged mountain scenery and compelling wilderness atmosphere which makes it one of the top adventurous safari destinations in East Africa.

          Kidepo’s thrilling game drives through Kidepo Valley plains offer visitors sightings of exceptional wildlife, here you find rare animals (some of which are not found elsewhere in Uganda like greater and lesser Kudu, eland and cheetah). In Kidepo Valley National Park, it is easy to spot lions, leopards, elephants among others.

           At a size of 556 sq (1,442 sq mi), Kidepo Valley National Park contains diverse landscapes, spanning from lush mountain ranges to vast savannah plains which are home to almost 500 bird species and 77 mammals.

          The heart of Kidepo Valley National Park is Narus Valley, a permanent wetland around the Narus Valley that attracts a swarm of wildlife populations from much of the northern Kidepo. In a hidden area of Kidepo Valley National Park is the Kanangorok Hot Springs which are a magnificent attraction.  

          Safari Activities to do in Kidepo Valley National Park include game viewing safaris, birding safaris, guided nature walks and hiking safari and cultural encounters. Mantis Africa safaris offers a number of these safari encounters so reach out to us and let us plan with and for you.

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          Travel News Uncategorized

          Uganda’s Best places to track chimpanzee on safari

          Chimpanzee trekking is another most sought after safari activity in Uganda. Chimpanzee trekking is done in about two to three hours inclusive of the one hour where the tourists do spend with the chimpanzees while keeping the distance of 8 to 10 meters, on their Uganda safari. The tourists do discover the beauty of the chimpanzees, intelligence and the social structures.

          Chimpanzee trekking just like gorilla trekking, involves trekking through the forest in search of the chimpanzees that keep on swinging from one tree to the next. Chimpanzee trekking is an activity where the travellers are led by the experienced guides into the natural territories where the chimpanzees are found in order to find the primates and enjoy them. The chimpanzee trekking activity is one of the famous activities done in Uganda and it runs throughout the year.

          Where is Chimpanzee trekking done in Uganda ?

          Murchison Falls National Park.

          Murchison falls national park is a great safari destination for the game lovers but also the chimpanzee trekking is done in the Budongo Forest reserve, in the wooded south of the national park which is an excellent location for the chimpanzee trekking in the park. The forest reserve is perfect for the chimp trekking even higher than the Kyambura Gorge in Queen Elizabeth National Park though Kibaale forest keeps the bigger sighting for the chimpanzees. During the chimpanzee trekking that takes about 30 minutes to 3 hours, a tourist can be able to view other primates like the blue monkeys, grey checked mangabey, red tailed monkey, black and white colobus monkeys, and olive baboons, view a variety of tree species and bird species.

          Chimpanzee trekking in Budongo forest is usually done in the morning and in the afternoon and there is also the historical association with the Jane Goodall Institute which means that the interpretive guides are excellent at telling the wider story of the chimpanzees of this forest.

          Chimpanzee trekking in the forest takes a tourist 30 minutes to 3 hours and contact is usually done in the one given hour of walking. The tourists on the safari can enjoy a day habituation experience where the adventurers who seek an extended encounter with the chimps.

          Kibale Forest National park.

          Kibaale Forest National Park is the main chimpanzee trekking safari destination in Uganda, with the most excellent chimpanzee populations ranging about 1,500 chimpanzees, 120 of which are habituated. The park has become the most popular with a big number of chimpanzees. Here the tourists who visit this national park can be having 90% chances or even more of sighting the chimpanzees in the park. In Kibaale forest during the chimpanzee trekking which is done in two sessions, that is the morning and the afternoon, the chimpanzee permits are required and these can be booked with the Uganda Wildlife Authority or a trusted safari company like Mantis Africa safaris.

          Kibale Forest national park also offers the chimpanzee habituation and for those joining for the full day, you start very early in the morning that is from 06:30 until they nest again that is usually in the evening at around 19:00 pm.

          Queen Elizabeth National Park.

          Inside Queen Elizabeth National Park there is Kyambura Gorge which is the third most popular safari destination for chimpanzee trekking in Uganda with about 17 chimpanzee families available. Kyambura Gorge is located far on the east of the park and also named as the valley of the apes. Kyambura Gorge is the perfect area where the tourists can do chimpanzee trekking from in that the place rewards the chimpanzee trekkers as if they have entered into the new world. Kyambura Gorge rewards tourists with seeing the 60% of the chimpanzees in Uganda that inhabit the gorge. The nature of the gorge is very rewarding which generates and makes the good sight for the tourists during the chimpanzee safari trekking. The permits for chimpanzee trekking can be booked through Uganda Wildlife Authority.

          Kyambura gorge is so rewarding to Queen Elizabeth National Park as it gives the best safari ever. The park being the most admirable bio-diverse safari favors activities like the game drives, boat cruises, without forgetting the most incredible tree-climbing lions in the Ishasha sector of the park.

          Semiliki Wildlife Reserve.

          Semiliki is a home to agood population of the chimpanzees in the western Uganda. Most of the times, regarding to the nature of the reserve, it is a dry and sparse forest environment that means at times the chimpanzees have to roam far and wide to secure enough food and that’s why at times they are not easy to find. Chimpanzee trekking is an interesting activity in Semiliki, as the chimps do play in the trees within the Semiliki game reserve, although not more than any other primate. The time spent with them is very rewarding, the chimpanzee tracking in Semiliki is conducted with the help of the professional guides who lead the tracking trail through the forest. While doing the chimpanzee trekking in Semiliki, it gives the opportunity to the tourists to watch other primates like the baboons, red tailed monkeys, monkeys, leopards and among others without forgetting the insects as well as butterflies.

          Chimpanzee Habituation.

          Chimpanzee habituation is also done in the above mentioned places which is a fully immersive safari experience. Here, the tourists join the researchers of the habituation team for a full or half day in the deep forest, as these chimpanzees are less used to the human presence and so the experience is more unpredictable, though it is challenging but the experience is very rewarding. Chimpanzee habituation takes quite a long time before it is actualized that is about 2 to 3 years and in Uganda, this has been achieved in the Kibaale National Park then after 3 years of training, the habituated chimpanzees are let out so that they can start interacting with the humans.

          The only difference between the chimpanzee trekking and chimpanzee habituation is the period spent with them, this is where the chimpanzee habituation experience allows the tourists to spend more time to almost a full day while enjoying the company with the chimpanzees in their natural habitat.

          Best time to do Chimpanzee trekking in Uganda.

          The dry season of June to September and December to February is the best time to go for trekking chimpanzees in Uganda and during this time the forests are not as thick and the trekking trails are also not muddy and slippery hence making it easy to see the chimpanzees on your safari to Uganda. However, please note such times can be overcrowded so trekking chimpanzees in the low season can be advantageous as their will be little to no crowding in the visited places.

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          Travel News

          Fun Facts About Chimpanzees

          Larger apes, or chimpanzees, are extraordinary creatures that live in Africa’s grassy savannahs and tropical jungles. They have four recognized subspecies which are also known as chimpanzees. The genus Pan, which was found by researchers comparing fossils, includes chimpanzees and bonobos. These animals are thought to be related to humans and share between 95% and 98% of their DNA, making them a sister taxon.

          Chimpanzees are distinguished from other primates by their bare faces, thick black hair, and distinctive figurative toes, palms, and soles. They weigh 40 to 70 kg for men and 27 to 50 kg for females, making them larger and more robust than bonobos. The average lifespan of a wild chimpanzee is over 25 years, whereas it is 31.7 years for males and 38.7 years for females.

          Chimpanzees and humans share 95 to 98 percent of DNA: In terms of biology, chimpanzees and bonobos are substantially more similar to us than gorillas are.

          Only in Africa can one find wild chimpanzees: About 21 African nations are home to them, with the majority of them concentrated in the East and Central Africa countries; Uganda, Rwanda, and Congo etc. Chimpanzees are primarily found in the rain forest regions because they require a water source and access to fruits.

          Chimpanzees are capable of learning sign language and other human languages: Chimpanzees in captivity have learned American Sign Language to communicate with their keepers. Washoe, a chimpanzee, is credited with being the first animal other than a person to learn to communicate using American Sign Language. He could do more than 350 signs. Later, Washoe was able to teach her adopted kid basic signals.

          Like humans, chimpanzees also live in groups: Chimpanzees live in communities that can contain more than 100 chimpanzees, in contrast to other primates like monkeys and gorillas that live in groups. Smaller groups, like families, friends, and so on, exist within the community and are capable of living their lives without interference from other chimpanzees.

          One of the few animals known to use tools is the chimpanzee: Chimpanzees use self-made tools to eat and protect themselves, just like humans do, and have developed clever ways to do it. Chimpanzees are extremely inventive when it comes to employing tools for their benefit, whether it is using small branches to remove termites from termite mounds, breaking boulders to open nuts, or seeking the proper length of twig to scratch themselves.

          The chimpanzee is an omnivore animal: They enjoy eating most foods, although they favour fruit over all other food groups. The diverse foods that make up a chimpanzee’s diet include seeds, leaves, insects, honey, and even roots. Nevertheless, they have also been observed killing tiny antelope or monkeys for food. Chimpanzees are known to occasionally work in groups while feeding, but this is rare.

           Chimpanzees have intricate social and family structures: They are members of fission-fusion societies, in which the size and makeup alter through out time and branch off into smaller, frequently interchangeable units. With just one dominating alpha male at the top, extended family units can have up to 20–120 members which develop tight hierarchies.

           Only once every five years female chimpanzees give birth: Typically, just one kid is born from most pregnancies. Chimpanzee infants will cling to their mothers’ furs and ride on their backs until they are between the ages of three and five, resulting in a tight familial tie that lasts even after they reach adulthood.

          Chimpanzees have a lifespan of 80 years: Little Mamma, a female prisoner who was between 76 and 82 years old when she passed away in 2017, was the oldest chimpanzee ever recorded. Although chimpanzees kept in captivity typically live to be about 38 years old, it can be challenging to determine how long chimpanzees live in the wild, but one study determined that chimps in Ngogo, in Uganda’s Kibaale National Park, live an average of 33 years.

          Currently, chimpanzees are a threatened species: The status of the chimpanzee as an endangered species has been determined by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. The natural habitats of chimpanzees have suffered severe degradation and influence as a result of increasing human activities like logging, mining, oil extraction, and highway developments.

          In communities, chimpanzees choose their own leaders: Chimpanzees are incredibly democratic and elect their leaders based on the talents and competences each chimp possesses, unlike other primates like monkeys and gorillas, where the strongest individual takes the position of group leader. When a leader loses support, they do occasionally change them.

          When compared to other wild animals, chimpanzees are exceptionally intelligent because they have brains on par with humans. They are skilled at problem-solving, using sophisticated vocalisations to communicate, and cooperating when making tools.

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          Travel News Uganda Tours

          Why Go to Kyambura Gorge for Chimp Trekking

          Chimpanzee trekking can be done at Kyambura Gorge that is located in the outskirts of Queen Elizabeth national park which is located in the south western part of Uganda. Kyambura gorge is a great tourism destination in Uganda. The chimpanzees were habituated a few years ago and the population is said to be approximately 19 chimpanzees that were trained to be related closed to the humans. During chimpanzee trekking at Kyambura Gorge the tourists enjoy a variety of wildlife including the bird species and other primates that includes the black and white colobus monkeys, red tailed monkey, Columbus, olive baboon and among many others. Chimpanzee trekking in Kyambura gorge is so amazing and can be done in all the year around.

          Queen Elizabeth National Park is the second largest national park that is located in western Uganda majorly in Kasese district, chimpanzee trekking safari in the park can be fully experienced together with the wildlife game viewing, bird watching adventure this helps the tourists to get the best fancy memories about what pearl of Africa means.

          Queen Elizabeth National Park is a great safari tourism destination not only being the home of the chimpanzees, the park again is unique where the tourists can experience the tree climbing lions that are found in Ishasha sector of the park, the park is also being known as the home of Kazinga channel that separates Lake Edward and Lake George, the park is also known as for its great views of the Mweya peninsular, savannah grassland, woodland, shrubs, presence of the rainforest that favors the survival of the amazing animals, flora and fauna scenic beauties which makes the park to be the most incredible one.

          Not only Kyambura gorge section in Queen Elizabeth National Park being a destination for chimpanzee trekking, which is largely explored in the country in the various places like Kibaale forest national park which is the famous place for the chimpanzee trekking adventure in the entire country. The chimpanzees can be trekked in Kalinzu forest in western Uganda.

          Chimpanzee trekking experience in Kyambura Gorge.

          Kyambura gorge is situated in the tropical rain forest and in the jungle in Queen Elizabeth National Park, before anything, the things that you will need to know while going for chimpanzee trekking is to be aware that you are to hike the slippery rolling hills, walk through muddy and the very wet grounds according to the season that you are travelling in.

          On your way, pass through the thorny and the dangerous rough vegetation cover that is covering the place, along your way to Kyambura gorge, the tourists do enjoy bird spotting while observing the various beautiful and attractive bird species and as well viewing other primates in the forest, you can enjoy viewing animal species like white and black colobus monkey, red tailed monkeys and among others.

          Charges for chimpanzee trekking in Kyambura Gorge.

          Chimpanzee trekking in Kyambura gorge is very affordable by every tourist who decide to do chimpanzee trekking in Uganda, its more affordable than that of Kibaale Forest National Park. Kyambura gorge offers the tourists with the almost experience thus being considered as the most destination for the budget travelers who would like to engage themselves in chimpanzee trekking on a Uganda safari to get the unforgettable safari experiences. Despite the fact that the price is fairer for chimpanzee trekking in Kyambura Gorge, the Kibale forest national park remains the best and popular safari destination for chimpanzee trekking in the entire world that everyone should not miss out during a safari.

          Chimpanzee trekking safari in Kyambura gorge is charged by the Uganda Wildlife Authority and that is 50 USD per person per day while in Kibale Forest National Park is 150 USD per person per day making the chimpanzee trekking in Kyambura Gorge a bit fair allowing everyone to take on this magical experience if they opt out from doing it in Kibale forest national park.

          Best time for chimpanzee trekking in Kyambura Gorge.

          Chimpanzee trekking in Kyambura can be done all year around though the best time is during the dry season in the months of June, July, August, September, December, January and February because during this period there is less rainfall in Kyambura Gorge making the gorge easier to pave through.

          Where to stay in Kyambura Gorge.

          During your Uganda safari for chimpanzee trekking in Kyambura Gorge, there are various options of the accommodation facilities that range from Budget, Mid-range range then to the Luxury accommodations  that includes Kyambura Gorge lodge, Mweya safari lodge, Pumba safari cottages, Elephant hab lodge, Enganzi lodge, Queen Elizabeth Bush lodge, Katara lodge, Shimba safari camp and among many others.

          Categories
          Travel News

          Things to see and do in Tanzania

          Tanzania is situated south of equator in East Africa with the Indian Ocean coastline and Zanzibar islands which contain secluded tropical beaches. The largest of the 7 nations in the region, much of the country mainland area is covered by huge African savanna ecosystem. This includes the Serengeti National Park famous for harboring the Big Five mammal species and the wildebeest migration. In this regard, Tanzania offers the best wildlife viewing safari in Africa which is complimented by beautiful tropical beaches and rich culture of the Swahili, Masai warriors, Hazdabe Bushmen and the oldest human fossils at Olduvai Gorge. If you’re considering visiting Tanzania on safari, let’s explore the top 8 things to see and do.

          Safari in Serengeti National Park

          Tanzania has 22 national parks of which the best wildlife is in Serengeti including the big five mammals and the wildebeest migration. These animals live in the savanna plains which itself is a must visit gem for keen nature photographers. Visitors can explore the savanna and take part in several activities such as game drives, hot air balloon safaris, walking safaris and cultural tours. The best time to visit Serengeti depends on what you really want to see. From May to July the wildebeest migration passes through Seronera valley the central part area where visitor center is found. By December to February the wildebeest birthing season happens in southern Serengeti plains. You can plan a fly camping safari exclusively to follow the movement of wildebeests from Tanzania to Masai Mara National Reserve in Kenya. Furthermore, whilst on safari in Serengeti, you should visit the local communities and meet the Masai to discover the cultural differences between you and the warriors.

          Game drive inside the Ngorongoro Crater

          Ngorongoro crater is the largest volcanic caldera in the world. The crater floor which contains savanna plains, forests, and alkaline lakes and swamps spans for 264 sq.km and is surrounded by walls that rise 600 meters above. An estimated 30000 animals live within the crater including all the Big Five: lions, leopards, black rhinos, elephants and buffaloes. There are also African wild dogs, cheetahs, giraffes, zebras, hippos and over 500 species of birds including the ostrich and secretary bird. The abundance of wildlife in such a small place makes Ngorongoro one of the natural wonders of the world. As a matter of fact, you hope to see as many wild animals as possible by game drive through inside the crater.

          Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro

          The tallest mountain in Africa, Mount Kilimanjaro has an elevation of 5895 meters above sea level. The journey to reach summit at Uhuru peak offers great hiking adventure, wildlife and beautiful scenery as you pass through different types of vegetation. Getting up Kilimanjaro, there are 7 routes of which Machame has spectacular view but requires experience. Marangu is the best route for beginners intending to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro. If you’re not into climbing but want a better view go on safari in Amboseli National Park, Kenya. That’s where you might spot African elephants with big tusks with clear view of Kilimanjaro in the background.

          Cultural tour with the Masai warriors

          The Maasai people have been keen at preserving their ancient cultural traditions despite the modern civilization. They used live a semi-nomadic lifestyle and cattle was the main livelihood. That’s gradually changing with education and conservation that turned much of their grazing lands into protected areas. However, some of the Masai still live in small villages where they have maintained their ancient traditions such as dress code (the glowing Masai Suka) and music and the high jump dance. You can take a tour of the Masai tribe whilst on safari in Masai Mara or Serengeti National Park, meet the family members, take part in their cultural activities or get some of their handmade crafts.

          Chimpanzee trekking in Gombe Stream National Park

          Situated on the eastern shores of Lake Tanganyika, Gombe Stream National Park is a place to visit if you need peace and relaxation after Tanzania wildlife safari. The park is part of western Tanzania safari circuit along with Mahale Mountains and Katavi National Parks. There’s accommodation to stay closer to the lake and on Lupita islands. Then embark on guided chimpanzee trekking in the dense tropical forests and search for leopards in woodlands. Since the 1990s, Jane Goodall has been acclimating and studying the chimpanzees at Gombe Stream National Park. With local guides, you expect to see chimps as well as spot other primate species such as red-tailed monkeys, red colobus monkeys among others. In addition, other activities to do at Gombe Stream National Park include snorkeling and diving and boat cruises in Lake Tanganyika. The park can be reached by air through Kigoma town airstrip. This is the quickest way however, using the train and bus takes about 2 days.

          Dhow boat cruise in Zanzibar islands

          After a safari in Serengeti National Park, Zanzibar Islands offer some of the best tropical beaches in the world, making them an ideal destination for honeymooners and those seeking to relax. Situated 358 sq.km in the Indian Ocean off the coast of mainland Tanzania; you can get there by air through Zanzibar airport to Stone Town the capital city and UNESCO world heritage site. Whilst in Zanzibar for relaxing holiday, there’s a lot history and culture as well as marine wildlife to explore and be active. The dhow boat cruise is not only a leisure water spot to enjoy sunset but also a historical travel experience that will take you back in time when the Arab merchants first traded with the African Swahili on the Indian Ocean coast. This activity is available at Nungwi beach which also has sea turtles and great nightlife at the beach. For rich history, explore the Spice plantations and Stone Town’s markets and sites such as the old dispensary. Matemwe beach has the best sports for marine wildlife, coral reefs, diving and snorkeling. Jozani Chakwa National Park home to the Zanzibar red-colobus monkeys and offers nature walks.

          Discover the world’s oldest human fossils at Olduvai Gorge.

          Olduvai Gorge is located 39 square kilometers (1 hour drive) from Ngorongoro Crater in northern Tanzania. It is a 90-meter-deep valley that stretches for 48 square kilometers through the plains. The site serves as a rest stop between the crater and the Serengeti National Park. Expect to spend at least an hour exploring the museum, which was built in 2017 to preserve archeological artifacts. Dr. Louis Leakey, a Kenyan anthropologist and archeologist, discovered the first human fossils in 1962. Leakey’s discoveries, which included a 1.7 million year old hominin named Zinjanthropus, demonstrated that Africa, specifically Tanzania, was the cradle of humanity. As a result, Olduvai Gorge was designated a UNESCO world heritage site in 1979.The Louis Leakey Memorial Institute for African Prehistory was established in Nairobi the same year. Other important sites of archeological importance include Rusinga islands in Lake Victoria, Kenya, were discovered with crude stone tools and animal fossils of apes related to humans. All of these places can be visited during a safari in Kenya or Tanzania.

          Lions and Baobab trees in Ruaha National Park

          Ruaha National Park, located in southern Tanzania’s safari circuit, is famous for its baobab trees, which are uncommon in East Africa. Boababs, also known as “Tree of Life,” are mostly found in southern African destinations such as Madagascar, making them a must-see while on safari in Tanzania. Furthermore, Ruaha is home to Africa’s largest lion population. Lion prides in Ruaha, like those in Botswana, consist of 12 to 20 individuals.

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          Things to do on a Uganda safari

          Our top 8 things to see and do in Uganda include safari in 6 national parks. These are Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, Murchison falls, Kibale Forest, Lake Mburo National Parks and Pian Upe-Wildlife Reserve. in addition, other attractions to see include Lake Bunyonyi and source of the Nile River. Visiting all these places require careful planning of Uganda safari tailored to your personal needs as a traveler. Usually, it is a road-based safari conducted in 4*4 vehicles. This covers a lot driving distances but certainly makes sense due to diverse experiences on the way. Besides, there’s an option for Uganda fly-in-safari. But it still alternates with short drives for game viewing and transfers in between the lodges and the airstrips. With that in mind, let’s explore the top 8 things to see and do in Uganda.

          Gorilla trekking in Bwindi Forest and Mgahinga

          Mountain gorillas are endangered and rare animals with a population of 1063 individuals. Surprisingly, in the whole world, they are found only in Rwanda, Democratic Republic of Congo and Uganda. In particular, Uganda boasts of harboring half of the mountain gorilla numbers with 459 individuals in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park. In that regard, gorillas are the main wildlife attractions therefore among the top 8 things to do and see in Uganda.

          Gorilla trekking safaris in Uganda are available both in Bwindi and also Mgahinga Gorilla National Park which is part of Virunga Mountain Ranges. Bwindi Forest has four gorilla centers giving the traveler more options to see the see gorillas. You can do gorilla trekking and spend 1-hour with fully habituated gorilla group or gorilla habituation experience to track semi-habituated gorilla families. Bwindi has a total of 22 gorilla families thus preferred by many travelers for gorilla trekking in Uganda. Expect to find other visitors on your gorilla trek especially during high season (June to September and December to February) which is the best time for gorilla trekking in Uganda.

          On the other hand, gorilla trekking can be done Mgahinga which has only 1 habituated gorilla group called Nyakagezi with 9 individuals including silverback. This park suits solo travelers who need to get off-the-beaten track. As many travelers go to Bwindi, you’re likely to have a gorilla trek with few people on it. 

          Boat cruise safari

          A boat cruise safari is an experience of watching wildlife from the boat on the water. It’s one of the best 8 things to do and see in Uganda for good reasons. Contrary to regular 4 game drive safari, the boat cruise provides access to the aquatic wildlife such as crocodiles, hippos and birds. Moreover, boat cruise activity is good for specialist bird watching as well as keen photographers.

          The best places to do boat cruise safari in Uganda are Murchison Falls, Kazinga channel and Lake Mburo National Park. Both of these are savanna protected areas home to elephants, buffaloes, lions, leopards and several antelope species. By incorporating a boat cruise in your trip, you get higher chance to see a lot of wildlife.

          Chimpanzee trekking in Kibale Forest

          Chimp trekking is one of the affordable safari activities in Uganda that anyone can do. Those intending to see chimpanzees in the wild not a zoo. Kibale forest national park known as the “primate capital of the world” is home to 13 primate species. Therefore, provides higher chances to see not only chimpanzees but also other primates such as red colobus monkeys, blue monkeys, L’hoest monkeys, grey-cheeked mangabays among others. This is especially when you do a nature walk in Bigodi swamp. Bigodi provides a sanctuary to over 200 bird species and 8 primates. Its managed by the local community thus provides a cultural tour for those interested in experiences such as local banana beer brewing, basket weaving and visiting a traditional healer for his stunning metaphysics.

          Elsewhere, chimpanzees in Uganda are found in Budongo forest reserve, Kalinzu forest and Kyambura gorge (the Valley of Apes”). Both Kyambura gorge, an underground tropical forest and Kalinzu are found in Queen Elizabeth National Park while Budongo forest reserve is in southern part of Murchison falls national park.

          Source of the Nile boat cruise

          The source of the Nile River was discovered in Jinja Uganda and put on the world map in 1895 by John Speke. Although, there are claims disputing Speke’s discovery, Jinja is proven as the true source of the Nile. As the world’s longest river, it’s such an amazing site and one of the top 8 things to do and see in Uganda.

          Jinja city is in eastern part of Uganda along the northern shores of Africa’s largest Lake Victoria. Easy to reach by 2-hur drive from Kampala capital city, the source of the Nile boat cruise can be done on a day trip. And you still get time to return and have dinner at home. Besides, the boat cruise, Jinja also offers adventure activities such as white-water rafting, Bungee jumping, river tubing and island beach retreats.

          Walking safari in Lake Mburo National Park

          Lake Mburo is found in western Uganda safari circuit. This region has 8 of 10 national parks in Uganda. But, Lake Mburo is the only place where you can see zebras and impalas in the whole region. Lake Mburo walking safari experience offers you a chance to watch giraffes and zebras walk. This activity is safe because you will be escorted by armed rangers. Again, there are no predators and elephants in Lake Mburo. The game walk is conducted from 7 – 9 am in the early morning. In addition, other activities to do in Lake include cycling, bird watching, boat cruise and game drive.

          Lake Bunyonyi

          Lake Bunyonyi is 520 sq.km (9-hour drive) south-west of Kampala and 68 sq.km (1-hour drive) south of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest. The lake Bunyonyi 19 islands are a spectacular scene to behold. While its beauty is unbeatable by any other lake in Uganda, lake Bunyonyi offers a lot of outdoor activities to do and relax. For example, canoeing, ziplining, boat riding and village walks. In particular, canoeing and boat riding give access to the wildlife especially birds and islands which are historical sites such as punishment island. As its mere name sounds, this island became an abomination and almost getting submerged in the water due to the unlawful traditional practices that took place there in the early 20th century. Among the Bakiga for example, it was prohibited for young unmarried girls to get pregnant. Those who were caught in the act would be tied, taken and left on the island to starve or drawn in water while attempting to escape. In fact, to this very day, there are human remains on several islands for you to prove this is Africa.

          Lake Bunyonyi has a depth of 40 to 90 meters therefore among the deepest in Africa. In its waters, there are no crocodiles and hippos. If you are a good swimmer not scared of its depth, it’s okay to swim in Lake Bunyonyi. If swimming isn’t your thing, there’s a variety of accommodation with swimming pools and modern amenities. This makes for a good place to relax and unwind after gorilla trekking safari.

          Nature walks in Bwindi Forest

          A nature walk is one of the best ways to get closer to nature. This especially true for Bwindi Impenetrable Forest one of the oldest tropical rain-forests on earth. Bwindi is known to have survived the last ice age about 2.6 million years ago when glaciers covered huge parts of the globe causing most forests to shrink and disappear. As such, Bwindi has remained intact ever since and flora and fauna is rich and diverse. For example, Bwindi is home to over 1000 plant species, 345 species of birds, over 300 butterfly species and very many small creatures such as insects. Besides, there are also waterfalls and rivers and Bwindi acts as a water catchment area for the communities around.

          Those interested in exploring the biodiversity of Bwindi Forest can go for nature walks in Buhoma and Nkuringo sectors where there are three waterfalls. The two are connected by a trail which passes through the middle of the forest. The Nkuringo walking safari stretches for over 10 km taking 5 hours to complete.

          For bird watching in Bwindi, Mubwindi Swamp in Ruhija sector is highly recommended. The high-altitude swamp is a habitat for the Afrian Green broad bill one of the 23 Albertine Rift Endemics rare to find in other parts of East Africa.

          Walking safari in Pian Upe Wildlife Reserve

          Pian Upe wildlife reserve is in Nakapiripiti district north-eastern part of Uganda called Karamoja. In general, this region is least visited compared to the west therefore still off-the-beaten path. Moreover, its semi-arid savanna climate area with spectacular flat terrain punctuated by rock kopjes such Mount Moroto and Kadam. The wildlife that inhabits Karamoja region is unique such as cheetahs, ostriches, roan antelope and white-eared kobs which are not found in the parks of western Uganda. The people too called Karimojong are Nilotic speaking closely related to the Masai warriors of Kenya and Tanzania. Visiting Pian Upe wildlife reserve provides the opportunity to see the wildlife by game drives. In addition, you can undertake Pian Upe walking safari and visit the Karamojong traditional villages.

          Apart from Pian Upe, the eastern region is home to Kidepo Valley National Park which is 380 sq.km (7-hour drive) north-wards. The road goes through rural Karamojong villages for further cultural encounters. Traveling south-wards from Pian Upe, there’s Sipi falls in Kapchorwa and Mount Elgon National Park providing mountain climbing and biking adventures.

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