Uganda - Best Tours & Trips 2019
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Relaxed A lot of free time, with very few inclusions. Ideal for independent and/or low-key travelers and cruisers.
Full on For those looking to maximize their sight seeing time. You thrive on a packed day’s schedule from 8 am to 6pm, with some (but limited) free time. Most activities and meals included.
Mixed You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included.
Group Tour Groups are between 25-60 people, typically ~30-40. Usually there will be many opportunities to split off and enjoy meals and excursions in smaller groups. This is the most economical way to travel, saving up to 40% versus booking the same itinerary yourself.
Small Group Tour Small groups are usually defined as between 10 and 24 travelers, often less. If you're the kind of person who enjoys more intimate experiences and personal service this is a good choice. All else being equal you will pay a premium for this style vs a larger group tour.
River Cruise These vessels are smaller than most ocean cruisers, limiting which amenties are available. Passenger counts can vary. One of the biggest advantages of a river cruise is the ability to dock at smaller ports and local villages.
Small Ship Cruise Small ship cruises usually have a max passenger count of 500. The primary purpose of these trips is to spend time off the vessel in local ports (e.g. Mediterranean) or experiencing nature (e.g Galapagos or Antarctica). Cabins can vary from budget to luxury.
Private Guided Private tours give you the undivided attention of a guide, and often involve special access to sites and unique experiences not available to larger groups. This is a great option for families, couples, and small friend groups. Expect to pay a bit more for the extra service.
Self Guided / Independent Tour A travel company plans your itinerary and arranges all the logistics including lodging, local activities, and transportantion. You have the flexibility of a solo trip while still getting the convience and time savings of expert planning. Get 90% of the benefits of a tour, without a guide.
Vacation / Holiday Package Similar to a self guided tour, this usually involves a home base, such as a hotel or resort, with packaged activities and day tours as a part of the stay.
Large Ship Cruise This is the "floating city" experience, with multiple ways to enjoy your vacation aboard the ship as much as on land. Ships are multiple floors, provide several activities, culinary, and shopping options. They often make fewer stops and have less time available for shore excursions.
Camping Typically involves most nights sleeping in tents (sometimes permanent tented sites) or in rustic cabins and lodges.
Basic - 2 star You'll stay in no-frills, but clean and comfortable, hotels or guesthouses. A 'Basic' trip might also involve a few nights of camping.
Value - 3 star Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels.
Premium - 4 star 3 to 4 star western hotel equivalents. While not all lodging will be 'luxury' they will be quite comfortable by western standards.
Luxury - 5 star The highest level of comfort and service. All accomodations are in four or five star hotels, boutique lodges or high-end homestays.
Price Per Day
Very Easy Minimal walking - motor vehicles available for all major parts of trip.
Easy Normal generally flat walking in urban or suburban environments.
Moderate Walking or physical activity half to most of day - no carrying equipment.
Strenuous All or most of day hiking or biking, hills included.
Extreme Very challenging all day hiking and backpacking carrying significant equipment.
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Rivers & Seas
Cities & Attractions
Good for Singles Trips that specifically cater to travelers looking to meet other singles.
No Single Supplement Trips where single supplement is usually not required for solo travelers.
Flights & Transport
Continents & Regions
Stride Gives Back Stride Gives Back This trip visits a destination impacted by climate change. When you opt in to the Stride Gives Back program, we will donate 10% of our net revenue to organizations that help mitigate climate change in these destinations and across the globe. Learn more
Impacted by Climate Change
- Explore Kibale National Park
- Discover Batwa Cultural Tour in Bwindi Forest.
- Visit Queen Elizabeth National Park
- Track chimpanzees and other primates in Kibale Forest
- Search for the elusive tree climbing lions in Queen Elizabeth N.P.
- Spend a magical hour with Mountain gorillas in Bwindi
- Discover just how friendly and hospitable the Ugandan people are
- Wake up to spectacular views of the forest canopy during a 2-night stay in chalets at buhoma lodge in bwindi impenetrable national park.
- Come face-to-face with rare mountain gorillas on the ultimate wildlife adventure.
- Trek through the world heritage-listed forests of uganda and spend an unforgettable hour in the presence of these majestic, gentle and contemplative creatures.
- Straddle both hemispheres with a visit to uganda’s equator line.
- Discover the diverse animal life, five lakes and impressive landscapes of lake mburo national park.
- Spend an unforgettable night in a small and intimate camp in lake mburo. spacious permanent tents are raised on wooden decks with large bedrooms, en-suite facilities and verandahs overlooking the lake and valley.
- Get up close and personal with mountain gorillas in their backyard
- Learn about gorillas during a lecture from one of the head wardens of volcanoes national park
- Enjoy a local lunch at the g adventures-supported nyamirambo women's centre
- Trek through the forest to visit chimpanzees & golden monkeys
- Enjoy scenic drives with game viewing opportunities in the varied landscapes of Uganda
- Embark on a forest trek to view habituated chimpanzees at Kibale National Park
- Choose your activity in Queen Elizabeth National Park, from game drives to launch trips to forest and crater walks
- Track the endangered mountain gorilla, an amazing experience offered at Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park
- See a mountain gorilla up close and personal
- Search for chimpanzees in kalinzu forest reserve
- Opt to raft the white nile river
Rhino tracking at Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary
- Game drives in Murchison Falls, Queen Elizabeth and Lake Mburo National Parks
- Boat cruises in Murchison Falls and Queen Elizabeth National Parks
- Chimpanzee tracking in Kibale National Park
- Nature walk in Bigodi Swamp
- Crater Lakes
- Tree Climbing Lions of Ishasha
- Gorilla tracking in Bwindi Impenetrable forest
- Boat ride in Lake Mburo National Park
- Photo session at the Equator
- The spread of wildlife on this 6-day of adventure is superb. One minute you’re tracking rhinos, the next you’re birdwatching from a canoe or combing the forests for chimpanzees
- An included lecture on the rhino re-introduction project at Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary provides excellent insight into one of Uganda’s great conservation efforts
- Every traveller booked onto this adventure results in a donation towards East Africa Wildlife Society
- This is a comfort trip, which means you’re going on safari in style. Travel in top-notch 4x4 comfort and enjoy well-appointed quarters throughout
- Begin the adventure in the unspoiled forests of Uganda.
- Witness gorillas, chimpanzees, elephants, lions, and hyenas in their natural habitats
- As you pass through the Kazinga Channel into Lake Edward in a unique boat cruise, be amazed to see high concentrations of hippos and other wildlife drinking at water's edge
- Journey towards Tanzania's famed northern circuit for a safari centered around the legendary Serengeti.
- Learning about Hadzabe tribe
- End your adventure with a relaxing yet fascinating stay on historic Zanzibar.
- Join in the process of habituating a chimpanzee community in Kibale Forest National Park
- Search for the tree-climbing lion of Queen Elizabeth National Park
- Ply the waters of the Kazinga Channel, home to one of the densest populations of hippo in Africa
- View endangered mountain gorilla at close range
- Get a taste of traditional Ugandan culture in nearby villages
- Seek out the various smaller primates of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest
- Relax on the shores of Africa's largest lake at your luxurious Lake Victoria resort and spa
- With gorilla permits included in the price of the trip, seek out the rare mountain gorilla on a trek through Uganda's steamy forests and spend an unforgettable hour in their presence
- The Lake Nakuru National Park is filled with iconic vistas and animals – safari through it with a late afternoon game drive in our overland vehicle
- Experience the two sides of Jinja, a riverside retreat at the source of the Nile but also the adventure capital of Uganda
- Great optional activities include visiting the Chimpanzees of Kalinzu Forest and/or taking a boat cruise along the Kazinga Channel, well-known for pelicans, eagles and other wonderful birdlife, as well as its healthy population of hippos.
- The chance to spot and get close to all of the Big Five on a 4x4 safari in Masai Mara National Reserve
- Explore the surrounding coffee plantations
- Track Tree-Climbing Lions with the experts
- Visit Kibale National Park
- Visit Queen Elizabeth National Park
- Trek within the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest to track and get up close with Rwanda's Gorillas
- Admire the serene surroundings of Rwanda
- Heuglin’s & Nahan’s Francolin
- Cassin’s Hawk-Eagle
- Pennant-winged Nightjar
- Grauer’s Broadbill
- Red-faced Barbet
- Green-breasted Pitta
- Papyrus Gonolek
- Many-coloured & Bocage’s Bushshrikes
- Red-throated Alethe
- Ituri Batis
- Great Blue Turaco
- Dusky & Olive Long-tailed Cuckoos
- Blue Malkoha
- Black Bee-eater
- Blue-throated Roller
- African Dwarf
- Shining-blue & Blue-breasted Kingfishers
- Grauer’s & Neumann’s Warblers
- Uganda & Red-throated Woodland Warblers
- Fraser’s Rufous Thrush
- White-tailed & Red-tailed Ant Thrushes
- Lowland Masked
- Mountain Masked and Ruwenzori Apalises
- Afep & White-naped Pigeons
- Greyish Eagle-Owl
- Red-chested Owlet
- White-spotted Flufftail
- African Finfoot
- Brown-chested Lapwing
- Blue-shouldered & White-bellied Robin-Chats
- Equatorial Akalat
- White-bellied Crested Flycatcher
- Magpie Mannikin
- Ansorge’s & Toro Olive Greenbuls
- Red-tailed & Yellow-lored Bristlebills
- Dusky & Grey-chested Babblers
- Jameson’s Antpecker
- Dusky Crimsonwing
- Black-bellied Seedcracker
- Red-headed Bluebill
- Weyns’s & Strange Weavers
- Mountain Sooty & Lowland Sooty Boubous
- Forest & White-headed Wood Hoopoes
- Speckle-breasted Woodpecker
- Visit Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary
- 3 nights at Murchison Falls National Park
- Chimpanzee Budongo Forest Trek
- 2 night safari in Queen Elizabeth National Park
- 2 Nights Bwindi National Park
- Mountain Gorilla trekking in Uganda
- Walking safari in Mburo National Park
- Wildlife safari in Nakuru National Park
- 2 night jeep safari in Maasai Mara Reserve
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Top Uganda Experiences
Coming face to face at close range with a band of mountain gorillas – and watching them interact with each other and, at times, with the human interlopers.
Racing after a pack of playful chimpanzees in Kibale Forest National Park, which harbors the highest density of primates in the world.
Visiting the Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary to see the only white rhinos in the wild left in Uganda.
Birding with more than 1,000 species, representing two-thirds of Africa’s avian population, filling Ugandan skies. (Watch for stork-like shoebills, wetland-loving wattled plovers, and crested cranes, whose images adorn the country’s coat of arms.)
Meeting and mingling with Ugandans on their turf. Despite grinding poverty, the majority go through life with warm and welcoming smiles.
Being amazed by images of men, women and children walking along roads balancing large, heavy loads upon their heads.
Watching as men ride, and sometimes push, bicycles or motorbikes laden with items ranging from household utensils and bags of cooking charcoal to live goats and cages of squawking chickens.
Boating along the White Nile to the foot of Murchison Falls, which roars out of a narrow gap in the rocks to drop 140 feet below.
Taking a guided game drive in Queen Elizabeth National Park in eastern Uganda in search of rare tree-climbing lions.
Discovering the incredible beauty of remote Kidepo Valley National Park in northern Uganda, and having it mostly all to yourself except for the wildlife.
Uganda Trip Reviews
90 Uganda Tour Reviews - Summary 99% Recommend
Uganda Tours and Travel Guide
Uganda Attractions & Landmarks Guide
The “Switzerland of Africa,” as it’s sometimes known for its wealth of mountains and lakes and overall scenic beauty, suffered terribly under the regime of Idi Amin back in the 1970s and subsequent civil unrest after he was deposed. (The film The Last King of Scotland, starring Forrest Whitaker, paints a searing portrait of the unhinged dictator.) As a result, Uganda largely fell off the tourist map -- with a stigma that continues to this day.
Yet Uganda’s wildlife, decimated by poaching and neglect under Amin, is now re-emerging in sizeable numbers. An attractive safari destination once again, it is probably the best choice for seeing great apes, our closest genetic cousins - gorillas and chimpanzees - in the wild. (Other choices are Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, but Uganda has the densest population of them and Congo may still have outbreaks of civil unrest.)
More Than Wildlife
There’s a lot more to see and do in this compact East African nation than meeting and mingling with its wide variety of resident wildlife, as memorable as that experience is. One attraction is the land itself, with incredible diversity squeezed into an area about the size of Michigan.
Even more rewarding are cultural encounters with the people of Uganda – who comprise more than 40 ethnic groups..Despite being one of the poorest nations in the world, Ugandans are known as among the world’s most friendly people. That’s true whether they’re women toiling on steep hillside farm fields, men walking long distances balancing heavy bundles on their heads, or giggling children waving at passing vehicles filled with tourists.
In Uganda you’re sure to get a friendly hello wherever you go. Smile back at passersby and if offered something to eat or drink -- even from a family that may have little of it -- be sure to accept; it’s considered impolite not to. When entering a village, your group may be greeted with song and dance.
Depending upon your itinerary, you might have an opportunity to meet with members of a Pygmy tribe, watch a traditional healer demonstrate herbs used to cure a variety of ailments, interact with delightful children at a local school, or partake of a luncheon of Ugandan delicacies prepared by a farmer and his wife.
But What Wildlife There Is
Of course, outstanding opportunities for game viewing are what attract most visitors to Uganda. Its parks teem with cape buffalo, giraffes, antelopes, elephants and lions, including unusual tree-climbing lions. Giant crocodiles bask in the sun along river banks, while countless hippos cool off submerged in rivers and lakes. Some believe it offers the most diverse wildlife of any country in Africa.
Most notably, Uganda is one of only three countries where you can visit with endangered and elusive mountain gorillas -- of which perhaps fewer than 900 exist in the world.
Nearly half of them hang out in the aptly named Bwindi Impenetrable Narional Park. Trekkers in groups of eight follow their trails during often vigorous outings that can last from one to several hours, depending upon where the band has chosen to settle down for a day of eating and resting. Habituated to humans and not fearful of them, they are as likely to be as curious about you as you are of them.
Chimpanzees, the closest living relatives to humans, as well as a variety of monkeys are found in Kibale Forest National Park, though they can be harder to locate. Kibale is known for possessing the highest density of primates in the world, but the chimps move fast and can be elusive.
Traditional Game Parks
Queen Elizabeth National Park is the best place to see a variety of wildlife, including hundreds of bird species. You’ll find all the Big Five here except for rhino, which were all poached out in the Amin era. But at the private Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary north of Kampala, which has a breeding program and where guides lead rhino walking safaris, there are now 13 southern white rhinos living in the wild.
Uganda’s largest wildlife park, Murchison Falls National Park, named after the falls along the White Nile, is rich in both game and scenery. In the far north is a much less visited park, Kidepo Valley National Park, where mountains form a backdrop to wide-open savannah and lions, cheetahs, leopards, and elephants roam freely across the plains. It generally draws raves from the relatively few visitors who make it there.
Land and Water Ho
Uganda’s terrain consists of a surprising combination of semi-desert and lush rainforests, savannah and woodlands, and even snow-clad peaks near the Equator.
While the nation is landlocked, it encompasses a large part of Lake Victoria, which is so vast it’s often referred to as an inland sea. The headwaters of the Nile River originate in Uganda before plummeting through a narrow gap in the escarpment at Murchison Falls and exploding out the other side in a rushing plume of foam and spray.
This rich triumvirate – wild animals, friendly people, and beautiful terrain – make Uganda one of the top destinations in Africa…even for those who still harbor memories of long-deposed dictator Idi Amin and subsequent strife. You’ll find a number of safari operators on Stride that will help you develop a whole new appreciation of this country.
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