Wildlife Game Drives in Uganda’s National Parks
Uganda is well known for its excellent game viewing as it has savannah national parks that offer some of the best wildlife sighting in Africa. Safari game drives in Uganda can be done in Murchison falls national park, Queen Elizabeth national park, Lake Mburo national park and Kidepo Valley national park.
Game drives in Uganda offer incredible wildlife sightings that include the African Big Five of which four of these animals can be seen while on a game drive in one of the savannah national park named above. These include elephant, lion, leopard and buffalo. Common animals that can be spotted while on the game drives include warthogs, klip springer, jackals, spotted hyena, cheetah, topi, waterbuck, patas monkey, eland, common duiker, Jazkson’s Hartebeest, Uganda Kob, bohor reedbuck, oribi, bush buck, zebras, giraffes, hippos, tree climbing lions of Ishasha, greater kudu, Grant’s gazelle, lesser kudu, rian antelope, mountain reedbuck, beira oryx and Guenther’s dik-dik ,olive baboons and vervet monkeys. Game drives in Uganda also offer amazing opportunities to spot bird species including the Albertine Rift Endemics. Safari game drives are very fulfilling and a highlight while you are on your wildlife safari in Uganda. The savannah national parks where the game drives can be combined with visits to Bwindi impenetrable national park for gorilla trekking and Kibale forest national park for chimpanzee trekking.
Day Game drives
The day game drives can be done in the morning or afternoon however the best time for a safari game drive is morning as you get to spot animals before they go in to hiding.
In Murchison falls National Park game drives happen in the northern sector of the park as it has a large concentration of the park’s wildlife.Murchison falls national park is the largest national park in Uganda and is well known for the thunderous Murchison waterfalls and the abundant wildlife resident in the park.
In Kidepo valley national park day game drives are done in the Narus Valley which has a big population of animals and in Kidepo Valley which has less concentration of wildlife but is known for the ostriches, Kanangorok hot springs and stunning scenery. Kidepo valley national park boasts of lush mountain scenery and vast plains offering excellent opportunities for game viewing and birdwatching. The park has two seasonal rivers that is Kidepo River and Narus River that dry up during the dry season and fill up during the wet season providing water for the wildlife.
In Queen Elizabeth national park game drives are done in Kasenyi plains where most of the park’s wildlife can be found and Ishasha sector which is located in the southern part of the park and is famed for the tree climbing lions. Queen Elizabeth national park is Uganda’s most popular national park well known for excellent game viewing in the open savannah plains combined with acacia woodland.
In Lake Mburo national park day game drives are carried out in the park along different tracks in the park, some animals can be sighted along the small ponds where they like to converge to drink water. The park has great game viewing opportunities however do not expect to sight lion and leopard as these are very rare sightings in this park. Lake Mburo national park is the smallest savannah park in Uganda and is mainly open savannah and acacia woodland with part of the national park consisting of rocky ridges, papyrus swamps and forested gorges.
Night Game Drives
The night game drives are a great opportunity to look out for the nocturnal animals that prefer to stay active at night. These include hyenas, bush babies, leopard, jackals and night owls among others.
The night game drives usually start after 6pm and together with the ranger guides you go in to the park for an incredible experience of watching animals roam around in the night. A spotlight is used to see the animals.
For safari game drives in Uganda 4 x 4 safari vehicles are used with a popup roof for game viewing. The vehicles used include private safari vans or 4WD Land cruisers.
What to carry for a Wildlife Safari in Uganda
- Insect repellant
- Hiking boots
- Hat and sunglasses
- Long sleeved shirt and pants
- A light back pack
- Rain jacket or poncho
- Light clothing for during the day and warm clothing for night time
- Camera with extra batteries