GORILLAS, CHIMPS & BIRDS
Best for: An all-in-one road trip
DURATION: 14–18 days ROUTE: Kampala • Budongo Forest • Kibale Forest NP • Murchison Falls NP • Queen Elizabeth NP • Bwindi Impenetrable Forest NP WHEN TO GO? The driest months are June–september
Uganda may not have southern Africa’s designer camps and hotshot guides, nor the teeming herds of antelopes and zebras in Kenya and Tanzania – but nor does it have teeming herds of tourists. It’s a refreshingly easygoing wildlife destination with plenty of lions, antelopes, zebras, giraffes and hippos – but fewer safari vehicles competing to seek them out.
It also has a few aces up its sleeve. Uganda’s roads are in decent shape and, with a superb variety of habitats – from rainforest to savannah, woodland and wetland – the birding here is worth travelling halfway around the world for. Uganda is also, with Rwanda, the safest and most straightforward place to track both chimps and mountain gorillas in the wild.
Budongo and Kibale are Uganda’s best chimp-tracking destinations. Budongo is denser and dimmer; Kibale is easier underfoot but busier. In both, you can choose between short walks and full-day experiences, following wild chimps through the forest with a ranger.
Clock up some classic river and savannah wildlife-watching from vehicles and boats in Murchison Falls and Queen Elizabeth national parks. Then climb through Bwindi’s misty forests for an experience to savour: an encounter with a family of gentle giants – mountain gorillas.
Birds, bees & relatives Red-throated bee-eaters nest in Uganda’s riverbanks(right), while critically endangered mountain gorillas (below) live in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest