Uganda: Pearl of Africa

Uganda is one of Africa's smallest countries, located on the central greenbelt of the continent, and it is home to the world's largest population of critically endangered mountain gorillas. Known as the Pearl of Africa, the gorilla trekking experience so souht after in the country is by far not its only safari appeal. Uganda has an incredible amount of wildlife diversity and is known as one of the best birding destinations in Africa with over 600 species found in the country. Chimpanzee trekking in Kibale Forest, tree-climbing lions of Queen Elizabeth National Park, fishing on the Nile River while looking out for the strange and fantastic shoebill stork, and getting an eyeful of emerald hills in Murchison Falls National Park; Uganda is an all-encompassing safari destination and it is the most affordable option for primate safaris. What are you waiting for?

Bwindi Impenetrable Forest

The forest they call impenetrable; Bwindi is the world’s greatest habitat for the critically endangered mountain gorilla. Home to an estimated 400 of 880 mountain gorillas left on the planet, Bwindi Impenetrable Forest is a very special place indeed. Perhaps Uganda’s best known wildlife paradise and what draws people to this country more than anything else, these vegetated hills are thick with tangled rainforest and alive with not only silverbacks and their families, but it is one of the most biologically diverse places on Earth. Sometimes called “Place of Darkness”, it is not easily accessed on foot and anyone embarking on a gorilla trekking safari should be prepared for a very rewarding hike, which is carefully navigated by expert guides.

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Queen Elizabeth National Park

Queen Elizabeth National Park (QENP), named after none other than Her Majesty the Queen of England, is located in south western Uganda on the border with the Democratic Republic of Congo along the Ishasha River. Most famously known as one of Africa’s only homes to tree-climbing lions, QENP is a highlight of any Uganda safari. In addition to hosting prides of lions in the boughs of huge sycamore fig trees, there are forest primates including chimpanzees in Kyambura Gorge, plus over 600 species of birds, the unique Uganda kob, amazing elephants, and breath-taking scenery.

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Murchison Falls National Park

Murchison Falls National Park is a feast for the eyes. It is Uganda’s oldest and largest conservation area; a protected 3840 square kilometre region first gazetted in the 1920s. It is one of the country’s ultimate wildlife success stories, making a comeback – like so many African parks – from a history of war and poaching which decimated the animal populations. Murchison Falls National Park has recovered and flourished, and is now home to an incredible diversity of wildlife, including lion, elephant, buffalo, waterbuck, tsessebe, kob, leopard, and the rare Rothschild’s giraffe.

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Kibale Forest National Park

Kibale Forest is the home of Uganda’s chimpanzee trekking experience. Located in the west of the country, Kibale is under 800 square kilometres in size and is rated as some of the most alluring tropical rainforest in the country. Picture dangling vines, moss-covered stones, old, broad tree trunks that have had their roots in the verdant ground for hundreds of years. Top this lush paradise with a cacophony of birdsong and the chaotic vocalisations of the chimpanzees. There are 13 primate species, 70 mammal species, and 375 bird species that find their home in Kibale Forest, so your chimpanzee trekking experience will be filled with far more than expected.

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