GO­RIL­LAS, CHIMPS & BIRDS

Best for: An all-in-one road trip

Wanderlust Travel Magazine (UK) - - Trip Planner: Safari Africa -

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

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