Uganda

Under-rated and under-appreciated, Uganda is truly one of the most stunning unspoiled frontiers of Africa.

For many, it is the primates that first draw them to Uganda, particularly the chimpanzees of Kibale National Park and some of the world’s last remaining gorilla who peacefully reside in Bwindi Impenetrable forest.

Though worthy attractions of course, these wonderful experiences are only the beginning of what Uganda has to offer.

GEt in touch learn more

activities & experiences

Hiking through the damp and humid Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, anticipation building in your chest as the arduous ascent continues may not seem to some like the ideal vacation pastime. But the resulting experience of witnessing a troupe of mountain gorilla in their natural habitat is beyond expectation, more than justifying every single footstep.Yet with spectacular waterfalls, expansive grasslands, towering mountains and expansive lakes, there is so much to see and do in Uganda.

Read More

Come for the great apes, stay for the myriad other experiences! Former British Prime Minister, Sir Winston Churchill once declared Uganda ‘the pearl of Africa’, though with its rich rainforests, verdant grasslands and network of waterways – including the upper reaches of the Nile – perhaps ‘the emerald of Africa’ may have been more appropriate.Nature abounds throughout this lush and fertile nation, ranging across jungle, plains and snow-capped mountains in a country of warm hospitality, unique fauna and breathtaking vistas.

  • Spend an afternoon with our closest relatives, the chimpanzees of Kibale Forest
  • Enjoy a game drive to discover elephant, giraffe, hippo, crocodile, shoebill and much more.
  • Take in the frenetic waters of Murchison Falls, one of the most dynamic waterfalls in the world.
  • Meet one of the world’s most bizarre birds, elusive the shoebill. 
  • Take a more conventional safari through Kidepo Valley National Park, with cheetah, elephant, buffalo, bushbuck, eland and the unique tree-climbing lion
  • Whitewater raft on the upper reaches of the world’s second longest river
  • Visit with the pastoralist Karamajong people and discover their crafts and customs
  • Trek one of the world’s largest volcanoes, Mt. Elgon
48540067222 85f39014cb O
Queen Elizabeth National Park, Uganda

destinations

Though some of its valleys present the more familiar semi-arid plains so synonymous with Africa, much of Uganda is abundant in waterways and lush vegetation. This can make game viewing a little more challenging but also exquisitely unique, with many animals rarely found anywhere else and landscapes exhilaratingly variable.From snow-capped mountains to vast grasslands, Uganda is exquisitely captivating, providing a wealth of incredible landscapes and destinations to explore.

Read More
  • Bwindi Impenetrable Forest. Shrouded in mist, the UNESCO World Heritage Site is one of the last strongholds of the critically endangered mountain gorilla and a primary reason for travelling to Uganda. The 2-6-hour trek can be challenging, especially given the higher altitude, though it is considered a moderate hike and more than worth every effort. Before booking your trip with expectations of strolling into the forest and seeing gorilla within the first 20 minutes, consult your Travel Designer who will further outline the gorilla trekking experience.
  • Murchison Falls National Park. Murchison Falls, known locally as Kabalega Falls, is a highlight of this 1,500 square-mile (3,893 km2) national park, which squeeze the voluminous Nile River through a narrow gap, resulting in gushing torrents cascading through this stunning gorge. The park itself harbors a diversity of wildlife, and conservation efforts are rapidly increasing numbers of some of the park’s more endangered species. Expect to see Rothschild giraffe, lion, buffalo, numerous deer and antelope species, hyena, crocodile, a wealth of wildfowl and possibly even cheetah and leopard.
  • Rwenzori Mountains National Park. Dubbed the Mountains of the Moon by ancient mathematician and astrologer, Claudius Ptolemy, Rwenzori hosts three of Africa’s five highest peaks. While the park does play home to some of Africa’s most iconic wildlife, as well as chimpanzees and other primates, their numbers are not as plentiful as in other Ugandan parks. The foremost reason for visiting Rwenzori is to marvel at the magnitude of this towering mountain range and hike throughout the abundant flora of the foothills.
  • Kidepo Valley National Park. For those wishing for the quintessential safari experience, Uganda isn’t the most highly recommended destination. However, amongst the lofty mountains and dense forests, the semi-arid Kidepo Valley offers just that. Despite its name, the park features two valleys, the Kidepo and the Narus, as well as mountainous regions and plains. Hugely diverse, its annual rains create rich and fertile lands for grazers, including zebra, buffalo and several antelope species. One of the joys of Kidepo is that you are able to enjoy safaris on foot, bringing a different perspective to the experience. Kidepo is also home to the Karamajong people, their cow dung homesteads and fascinating crafts well worth visiting, despite their seeming lack of appeal!
  • Queen Elizabeth National Park. The verdant plains of Queen Elizabeth National Park are some of Uganda’s most frequented regions, offering herds of elephant, chimpanzee, hippo and many more mammals and birds for avid nature watchers. The diverse park also incorporates numerous lakes and changeable landscapes, from volcanic basins to salt lakes, deep gorges and forests. Though comparatively small, at a little under 775 square miles (2,000km²), Queen Elizabeth crams a large array of experiences within its borders.

accommodations

As a generalization, Uganda isn’t known for its luxury accommodation. Tourists tend to visit the country with a specific purpose – predominantly to see gorilla and chimpanzees – so accommodation is somewhat focussed more on functionality than luxury. That said, for those wishing to enjoy their stay beyond the nature watching, a handful of boutique residences offer exquisite quality.

Read More

Kidepo Valley National Park combines traditionally-styled rustic dwellings with indulgent modernity to create accommodations that simply ooze African appeal. The handbuilt lodges are evocative of tribal dwellings, with nuances of colonial camps and all the trimmings you could wish for of a more contemporary hotel.

Safari camps can also be found in Uganda, resting upon the lush plains of Queen Elizabeth National Park and providing prime residence for birdwatchers. The area is also home to an African rarity – tree-climbing lions. Not known for their arboreal agility, lion usually reside at ground level, leopard taking advantage of this by carrying their fresh kill into trees and out of the reach of their adversaries. From your luxury tented camp, you can journey out across the park in search of the lion perched amongst the broad branches of fig trees.

If Uganda has one utterly redeeming feature in its accommodation it is in outlook. The spectacular landscapes and meandering rivers provide spectacular locations for several luxury lodges, whether overlooking some of the country’s stunning lakes or nestled into the oxbows of the several riverways.

With gorilla as the main attraction, some accommodation is created simply to give you a comfortable nights’ rest prior to your explorations of Bwindi’s Impenetrable Forest. However, luxury abounds even here, and a handful of venues provide exquisite accommodation for those wishing to spend several days in the region or simply enjoy a more opulent starting point for gorilla trekking.

Kyambura Gorge Lodge Uganda

UGANDA ESSENTIALS

001 Calendar 01

BEST TIME: Dec-Feb & Jun-Sept are drier, making gorilla trekking more pleasant

003 Thermometer 01

CLIMATE: LOW: 59-80ºF (15-27ºC) Jun – Sep / HIGH: 63-84ºF (17-29ºC)Nov – Apr

002 Blood 01

SEASONS: DRY: Dec – Feb & Jun – Aug / WET: Mar – April & Sep – Nov

004 Group 01

BEST FOR: Something different. Perfect for avid hikers, photographers & adventurers

Uganda is so much more than simply gorilla trekking, though of course, this holds exceptional appeal. Take the time to explore your options and discover all that Uganda has to offer.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

HOW LONG SHOULD I SPEND IN UGANDA?

Three to four days will suffice if the primates are your primary focus, but 10 to 14 days are required to truly do the country justice. Uganda’s varied landscapes and destinations present myriad opportunities for game viewing, walking, accommodations and adventures. If you are a safari enthusiast looking for something a little different or a first-timer open to unique experiences, Uganda will give you ample enjoyment.

WHEN IS THE BEST TIME TO VISIT?

Uganda has two dry seasons and two wet. November, April and May are best avoided, but any other time of year is hospitable. Some months may present a little rain, but rarely will a deluge dampen your experience and, with a light raincoat, your vacation won’t be a washout.

January to February and June through August are considered the prime times. Gorilla watching is more pleasant in these drier seasons and, while the plains are semi-arid, the previous season’s rains tends to keep the grasslands fairly lush despite the reduced precipitation.

WHAT CAN I EXPECT FROM ACCOMMODATION IN UGANDA?

It would be recommended to remain somewhat open-minded in regards to your Ugandan accommodation. Luxury can be found – and adequately arranged by your Travel Designer – but it may not be the most convenient or appropriate choice given certain experiences.

If you wish to delve into Bwindi Impenetrable Forest or visit the chimps of Kibale Forest, it is worth saving additional time by opting for more rustic accommodations. Though still of a reasonable standard, you’re unlikely to find deluxe service or accommodations well located for certain adventures.

OTHER DETAILS:

Visas are required for most visitors, and inoculations may be recommended. We suggest you contact your travel designer or a travel medicine specialist for advice.

International flights will arrive at Entebbe airport via European transfers. From there, some internal flights are available but much of the travel is overland.

English is predominantly spoken throughout Uganda and you should have no communication difficulties throughout your journey.

Guiding is impeccable, particularly in both Kabale and Bwindi forests, and you will benefit from incredibly talented and informative guides throughout your journey.

Cuisine is not exceptional, as in other more culinarily-renowned countries, but is more than acceptable and, though perhaps lacking a little imagination, is both prepared and presented exceptionally well.

UGANDA SAFARIS


WHAT OUR CLIENTS SAY

Wow, wow, wow!! We are back in LA now, recovering from jet lag and still in shock and awe regarding our experience. From the moment we landed in South Africa to the moment we touched down in LA, our experience was seamless and amazing. 

- Amy Lundberg

We were thrilled with the trip. It was as good as or better than described at every turn. The prep, attention to detail, willingness to make changes and ensure we were ready and prepared was outstanding. Our Travel Designer was awesome! 

- Betsy Robertson

Choosing a safari expert is never easy given the choice and lists upon lists of "top suppliers"....but we made the BEST choice for us....why....because above all, Rothschild listened ....really listened to what we wanted to experience.

- Dawn Jacobs

It was a well organized trip. It was easy to get around since we were guided through all of our itinerary. Everyone was pleasant and very helpful. This is an excellent way to travel. Rothschild Safari did very well and brought a fantastic African experience to us.

- George Kowalski

My trip was beyond AMAZING! I truly enjoyed every moment. The itinerary allowed me to experience a variety of different activities all of which I enjoyed! When I originally thought of going to Africa I was just thinking of safaris. This trip opened my eyes (and my family/friend's) to so much more Africa has to offer.

- Jackie Smith

Trip was PERFECT!! Every single detail was planned out and the accommodations and people were wonderful. This trip exceeded all of our wildest expectations. Every place we stayed was just lovely and each each camp had a different vibe, which was really neat. Everyone we worked with was outstanding. 

Jamie Scarlett

On behalf of the Moravec’s and the Stone’s……thank you for arranging a trip of a lifetime. Every detail was accounted for and all the recommendations were perfect. It honestly could not have gone any better.

Joe Moravec

Meggan Woody and Kim Killick were extraordinary at crafting THE PERFECT safari for our family of 8. They both listened (actually 'read' my email) to EXACTLY what we wanted, within the budget that we needed, and miraculously pulled off miracles in obtaining the properties that we wanted! 

Kim Mather

Every aspect of my trip went according to plan and the plan Rothschild's help me to orchestrate was magnificent! I loved every lodge that I was blessed to be in! They were all very different yet all high end and very accommodating.

Lisa Anderson

It was the most exciting, scenic, inspiring trip we've ever taken. To say it was a trip of a lifetime doesn't begin to capture our experience. Pam Langhoff and the Rothschild team did an outstanding job of helping us plan this trip.

Mary & Rob Johannigman (& family)