Uganda

mountain Gorilla and chimpanzee tracking, mist-wreathed mountains, spectacular safaris

With its amazing topographical contrasts – from open savannah plains to dense rainforest and tall, mist-wreathed mountains – Uganda provides the setting for an incredible African safari.  Its most famous residents – the mountain gorillas of Bwindi and Mgahinga – are just one of Uganda’s extraordinary range of primates, birds and mammals.

There are some real hidden gems here too (although you’ll need an expert to show you where they are): imagine, for instance, an area that looks just like the Masai Mara, with even richer game – and then imagine having it all, entirely to yourself.

This is a place to come with expert guidance, an adventurous spirit and a sense of humour: there are few good lodges, many bone-shaking roads and slick service is an oxymoron – although the Ugandan people’s tremendous joie de vivre makes it easy to forgive. What’s more, with the Idi Amin years now a distant memory, Uganda is making real efforts with conservation and poaching – once rampant – appears to have been considerably reduced.

 

Stories

As every one of the holidays we create is truly tailor-made, all of our clients come back with different and interesting stories. We love to hear from our clients on their return to find out about their most memorable moments. Our Destination Experts are also always travelling to our extraordinary destinations and every trip allows us to refine and add value to our clients' future experiences.

Wildlife in Uganda

EXPLORING WILDLIFE OF UGANDA

It wasn't just the gorillas that excited Louise when she visited Uganda recently it was the tree climbing lion and the huge variety of wildlife. Queen Victoria National Park proved the highlight of her trip.

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Luxury trip to Uganda

The planet of the apes in Uganda

Amon Johnson is the manager of the Clouds Mountain Gorilla Lodge which acts as the gateway to the nearby Bwindi National Park. Even after many years, he is still in awe of these magnificent creatures and is taking an active approach into their conservation.

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Places to Stay

At cazenove+loyd, we have no vested interest in the hotels, lodges, boats, trains and tented camps which we select. We only choose what is right for a particular client. We visit each destination in our three regions on a regular basis and have detailed conversations with our clients on their return so our choices are continually refined. Here are just four c+l reviews. This is by no means a prescriptive list, but hints at what we look for and value in places to stay.

Clouds Mountain Gorilla Lodge

Clouds Mountain Gorilla Lodge

Gorilla trekking is one of the world’s most unique wildlife encounters, and spectacularly situated high on Nteko ridge overlooking the Virunga volcanoes, Clouds Mountain Gorilla Lodge in our minds has Uganda’s most impressive location.Clouds offers the exclusivity and wilderness that best befits this once in a lifetime adventure.

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Ishasha Wilderness Camp

Ishasha Wilderness Camp

Best known for the tree climbing lion, Ishasha Wilderness Camp is the authentic safari experience: surrounded by pristine, untouched forest in the heart of Uganda. Home to plenty of game only found in Uganda such as the Ugandan Cob, Queen Elizabeth National Park will bring something new to even the most seasoned safari goer.

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Kyambura Gorge Lodge

Kyambura Gorge Lodge

Perched above the Kyambura Gorge overlooking the savannah plains of Queen Elizabeth National Park this is the idyllic setting for your safari adventure in Uganda. The lodge itself has been designed in a very modern, fresh way which until now hasn’t really been seen in Uganda. There is also a large swimming pool perfect for a cooling dip after a busy morning tracking chimps.

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Apoka Safari Lodge

Apoka Safari Lodge

Like the rest of Uganda, Apoka has the most incredible potential with exciting game viewing and jaw dropping scenery however although we adored our stay, we found little details were overlooked. Eager and kind, the staff were ready to help and with time the manager, George, and his team will transform this lodge into an absolute 'must' for everyone visiting Uganda.

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Highlights

For over 20 years we have been creating the best luxury tailor-made holidays, we know our countries inside and out and really know how to get under the skin of each one and the best way to experience them.

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Bwindi National Park

Bwindi Impenetrable Forest is home to approximately 330 mountain gorillas (almost half of the world's total population), Bwindi is also the only forest in Africa which has chimpanzees and mountain gorillas co-existing. As well as hosting five other species of primate, the forest contains 113 species of mammal, over 200 species of butterfly, 360 bird species, 324 tree species and even a herd of forest elephant.

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Chimpanzee Trekking

Embarking on a trek to find chimpanzees in the wild is an exhilarating experience. With the conservation projects happening in the Kyambura Gorge and Kibale forest there are now over 5000 chimpanzees so hopefully you will get a good sighting.

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Volcano Hikes

At just 33.7km2, Mgahinga is Uganda’s smallest national park; however, it is also one of the most dramatic. Mgahinga merits a visit simply to appreciate the scenery. The park lies on the Northern slopes of Mountains Muhabura, Mgahinga and Sabyinyo, three volcanoes that create an unforgettable regional backdrop.

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Queen Elizabeth National Park

Queen Elizabeth National Park consists of two thousand square kilometres of bushy grassland, acacia woodland, lakeshore, and swamps. Due to the diverse habitats, the park is home to 612 recorded bird species. Among these include African skimmer, Chapins flycatcher, Pink-backed pelicans, Papyrus canary, Shoebill stork, Martial eagle, Black-rumped buttonquail as well as the Great flamingos.

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Semliki Valley National Park

For those with a little more time, or maybe if its their second visit to Uganda, we highly recommend a trip to Semliki Valley National Park. 220 sq kilometers of wilderness it has a lot to offer and is particularly rewarded for its varied bird population and primate species. It also contains the Sempaya hot springs and one of Africa's most ancient and bio-diverse forests.

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Murchison Falls

Become a modern day explorer and visit this wild and untamed gorge. It breaks the Victoria Nile creating a trademark rainbow, and is part of Uganda's oldest and largest conservation area. Nile crocodiles and aquatic birds are permanent residents, while there are regular visits from buffaloes, giraffes and elephants.

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Location

We know Uganda better than most. The possibilities are endless and ever-changing. On the map below, we have plotted some of our current favourite places to stay, some c+l highlights and a few pertinent client stories. And you can see if there is a team member travelling in that particular country and link through to them and what they are up to, so you can get them to call you on their return.

Best time to visit
Uganda

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Best time to go

As with Rwanda, being so close to the equator means that it is possible to visit Uganda all year. The most popular times to travel are in the long dry season from June to September, and the shorter dry season from December to February. If you’re intending to track gorillas, you’ll need to plan your holiday well ahead to secure permits – especially from July to September.

Uganda’s main rainy season is from March to May, with shorter rains in October and November however and it can rain any time of year, especially in the gorilla parks areas. Travel can be slower in the rainy season but the views are often better. Gorilla tracking can also be muddier. Uganda is often combined with Rwanda; it is very easy to be driven between the two countries. It also works well in combination with Kenya.

Meet the Team
Africa + Indian Ocean

We'd love to hear from you

Our well travelled Destination Experts have extensive first hand knowledge of their destinations and can open doors that others simply can’t.