Whether you’re looking for the ultimate honeymoon destination or a family vacation to remember, Uganda is the perfect choice. Here you can look a mountain gorilla in the eyes one day and watch lions stalking their prey on the plains the next. You can hike amid the snow-capped peaks of the Rwenzori Mountains, soak up the sun on idyllic beaches, and look on the River Nile as it makes its long journey north.
The ultimate Uganda holiday and safari packages are carefully designed by travel experts to ensure visitors to the country experience the very best of its national parks and other attractions, whether you’re new to Uganda or making a return trip. Here we introduce you to the top destinations for Uganda holidays and safari packages!
Major destinations for Uganda holidays and safari packages
It’s Uganda’s 10 gazetted national parks that form most of this list of major destinations for Uganda holidays and safari packages. But when thinking about the best Uganda holidays and safari packages for you, don’t forget to consider those which include other destinations such as Kampala, the national capital.
Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park
The ultimate Uganda holidays and safari packages destination, Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site which sits amid the mountains of southwest Uganda. A mix of thick mature jungle and bamboo groves, the forest is one of the most biologically diverse in the world.
Only established in 1991, making it one of Uganda’s newest national parks, Bwindi is one of the best places in the region to experience the wonder of gorilla trekking. A number of paths lead through the rainforest to the locations of mountain gorilla families, whose populations total just a few hundred individuals worldwide.
Queen Elizabeth National Park
In contrast to the dark forest floor of Bwindi, Queen Elizabeth National Park sees the strong equatorial sun hit areas of grassland as well as tree cover, creating a fantastic habitat for many of east Africa’s most-loved creatures.
For instance, the Kazinga Channel provides a home for large numbers of happily wallowing hippos, while the savannah gives nourishment for all manner of herbivores, from wildebeest and zebra to elephant. At the same time, the park’s lions are known for their unusual habit of lounging in its trees, with the park named a lion conservation unit in 2006.
Murchison Falls National Park
The largest of Uganda’s national parks, Murchison Falls National Park offers twin attractions for those after the top Uganda holiday and safari package destinations. A celebrated wetland environment, the park is a great place for birdwatching, with hornbills, goliath herons and shoe-billed storks all endemic.
Mammal species include elephant, giraffe, lion and rare Ugandan kob antelope, all living within sight and sound of one of nature’s most impressive vistas, Murchison Falls. Named after a Victorian geologist called Roderick Murchison, the Falls see the River Nile squeezed through a narrow gorge less than 10 meters wide.
Kibale Forest National Park
Known as the primate capital of the world, Kibale Forest National Park protects some of the last remaining areas of lowland and montane forest in the region. It’s therefore an incredibly important habitat for a variety of primate species, and has become one of the best places in Uganda to seek out chimpanzees.
In total, 13 different primate species call Kibale their home, with visitors able to spot Ugandan red colobus, mangabey and the diademed (or blue) monkey. There’s plenty to keep visitors entertained at ground level too, with everything from sitatungas (marshbuck) and lion previously recorded within the park boundaries.
Kidepo Valley National Park
Established in 1962, Kidepo Valley National Park is named after the usually-dry Kidepo River. However, this relatively remote protected area is best known for its mountainous scenery and grassland studded with trees.
What makes Kidepo Valley particularly special is the fact almost a third of the mammal species recorded in the park can be found nowhere else in Uganda, making it the only national park where hunting dogs and caracal can be spotted. With luck, visitors can add nocturnal bush babies to their list of sightings during early morning or late afternoon game drives.
Lake Mburo National Park
Uganda’s smallest national park, Lake Mburo National Park occupies roughly 260 square kilometers of land in southern Uganda. Even so, visitors to the park are able to tick off many of the continent’s iconic species, including hippo, lion, leopard and eland. In total there are no less than seven cat and predator species prowling the park’s area in search of their next meal.
However, if it’s rhino you’re keen to encounter, you’ll want to travel to Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary. Protecting Uganda’s only wild rhinos, the sanctuary currently looks after more than 30 southern whites – one of the most persecuted animals on the planet. Visitors are able to get close to these highly endangered animals on rhino treks, knowing that your visit is helping to secure their future by funding their continued protection.
Beyond Uganda’s national parks, Kampala makes for a great additional attraction on Uganda holiday and safari packages. The country’s capital city has an impressive location on the northern shores of Lake Victoria. But beyond the lapping waters of Africa’s largest freshwater lake, Kampala has several other noteworthy spots.
These include the extensive collection of artefacts within the Uganda Museum, and Lubiri Mengo, the former palace of the king of Buganda. It includes a torture chamber from one of the darkest days of the country’s recent history under the dictatorship of Idi Amin. Also linked to the kings of Buganda are the nearby Kasubi Tombs – the final resting place of several ancestral chieftains.
Discovering the Real Uganda
The list of attractions and destinations in Uganda is both long and diverse. A haven for wildlife lovers, the country has populations of lion, elephant and rhino, alongside an extraordinary range of birdlife. Then there are mountains to enjoy from afar or on walking trails, game drives across grassland and visits to the cultural sights in Kampala too. All combine to create a trip you certainly won’t forget in a hurry!