Game Drives in Uganda
Game Drives in Uganda are one of the most done activities in the game parks of Uganda since most of the national parks have savannah grasslands. Uganda commonly known as the pearl of Africa because of its tourism diverse is located in East-Central Africa with Kampala city as the capital city and Entebbe international airport as the main gateway. Uganda is a land gifted with many landmark attractions like the longest river in world River Nile and Africa’s largest lake and world’s second-largest freshwater lake of Lake Victoria. Uganda borders Kenya in the East, South Sudan in the north, Rwanda in the southwest and Tanzania. Uganda is one of the top popular tourist destination in Africa for safaris due to the fact that it has numerous tourist attractions from deep flora & fauna with most of the endemic animals like mountain gorillas. With various mountains, for example, the snowcapped Rwenzori Mountains, mountain Elgon, Lakes, rivers and many bird species with conducive climates and it is so secure security-wise. Uganda also consists of different cultures like the Baganda, Banyoro, batooro who are of interest to cultural tourists who come to encounter culture dances, dressing and culture architectural impressive structures like Kasubi tombs. There are also religious attractions which are impressive because of their history and architectural structure for example Baha’i temple, Namugongo martyrs basilica, St Mary’s cathedral of Rubaga and Ghadaffi’s Mosque in Kampala central.
Game drive refers to a trip into the wild to interact with nature and animals in the wilderness in their natural state. Game drive adventures involve getting into contact with undomesticated animals, and they are carried out in Uganda’s game parks and national reserves off the road under the guidance of safari guides that is a ranger or a guide. Guided game drives are best done in the early morning, late afternoon or in the evening were you get to see most the animals as they are more active during the less hot times of the day. Games drives in Uganda are categorized into four according to time it begins and the period it is to take that is
- Morning game drive: morning game drive is done in early morning hours beginning at 6:00 a, it is a great opportunity to see many animals as they are just waking up and some are still in their nests like chimpanzees and the marvelous Early morning sounds made by birds. It also helps the tourists to avoid the scorching sun of the afternoon.
- Evening game drive: evening game drives are done at around the evening hours starting by 3:000 pm. It is the most convenient time to see animals as they return from grazing to their sleeping spots and nests.
- Night Game drive: Night game drives are so different from morning and evening game drives happening during the dark times of the night where nocturnal animals are spotted in the bush for example genets, civet, spotted hyenas, serval cats, and side-striped jackal.
- Full day game drive: Full day game drives in Uganda take a full day spending a whole full day in the wilderness, its a more rewarding safari as you get to interact with more animals, for example, the big 5 that is leopards, lions, buffaloes, rhinos and leopard, birds and it gives the tourist more time to enjoy nature
Game drives in Uganda can be done in various national parks which are filled with many attractions which are filled with memories and amazing experiences, these national parks include
Queen Elizabeth national park: Queen Elizabeth national park is the most visited national park in Uganda located in western Uganda. It is an ecological system with diverse species of flora and fauna. The unique feature about Queen Elizabeth national park is that here you can get sights of tree climbing lions in the ishasha southern region of the park. Game drives in Queen Elizabeth national park are done in the north Kazinga plain, kasenyi and ishasha, here you can see many animals as you drive through the open park for example lions as they are spotted laying on the rock in the valley enjoying the sunlight. Other animals sighted on the game drive include elephants who make wonderful sounds, warthogs, bold baboons, small cats, game drives in Queen Elizabeth national park are so relaxing and breathtaking as you enjoy the beautiful scenery of the neighboring hills, the animals and the savannah vegetation.
Kidepo national park: Kidepo national park located in the Eastern region of Uganda is a jewel of Uganda tourism offering a beautiful wild experience to tourists. The park consists of two seasonal rivers that are Kidepo and Narus were animals gather to drink water from. Voted as one of the best parks in Africa by CCN travel, Kidepo National Park is filled with savannah vegetation which facilitates amazing game drives. Kidepo national park is a spot where the beautiful sunrises and sunset is sighted and experiences more of dry season than rain with clear skies which makes game drives more fun and easy. On game drives the various animals are spotted in the park for example elephants, bush duiker, lions, zebras, kobs, cheetahs jackal, bushbuck, buffaloes and the rare ostrich (a bird that cannot fly). Game drives in Kidepo National Park take place in the valleys of the park.
Murchison Falls National Park: Murchison falls National Park the largest and oldest park in Uganda is the most stunning national park in Uganda. It consists of Murchison falls formed by Victoria Nile squeezing through rocks with a thunderous sound. The falls also form a rainbow at the top of the falls creating a spectacular view. Game drives in Murchisn Murchison falls there are different tracks that are often used and they include Albert, Victoria and the Buligi track.
Semiliki national park: Semiliki national park locaon fall take place in the delta near Lake Albert and the entire northern bank of river Nile. While on game drives many animals can be spotted which include elephants, buffaloes, antelopes, giraffes, lions, leopards and many more. The best time to spot leopards is during the evening. Ited in the remote of south western Uganda is another destination perfect for game drives in Uganda. In semiliki national park, you get to enjoy an amazing game drive Uganda safari as you get to see multiple animals which include forest elephants, buffaloes, leopards, chimpanzees, the rare pygmy antelopes, and the rare peculiar water.
Lake Mburo national park: lake Mburo national park is the smallest national park in Uganda located in Kiruhura district 30 kilometers east of Mbarara. The park is made up of 13 lakes which are linked with swamps. Game drives in Lake Mburo national park are very fascinating as rolling hills are seen and many animals are spotted for example lions, impalas, leopards, hyenas, zebras, and many birds. Apart from game drives Lake Mburo national park also provides walking safaris.
While going on game drives in Uganda there are essentials which include:
- Camera: taking pictures on a game drive is unavoidable that is why carrying a camera with reserve batteries is a must
- Binoculars: while on game drives, animals have always been seen grazing in the park and can be few meters from the park that is why it is important to carry a binoculars with you so as to view these animals. These animals include birds seen on the top of trees.
- Appropriate clothes: clothes like long trousers, light long-sleeved shirts are good or the safari
- Sun Protection, hats, and sunglasses: these items are used to save the tourist from the scorching sunlight.
- Walking Shoes/Hiking Boots: feet covering shoes are needed for game drives since trails might get wet due to unexpected rainfall in parks of Uganda
- Insect repellent. Insect repellents are needful on this Uganda safari to save the tourists from biting insects like mosquitoes.
- Small Medical Kit: medical kit is crucial to a game drive to as tourists might sustain unexpected wounds and cuts.
“Uganda is the best destination in Africa for game drives”