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Best Active Uganda adventure safaris 2024/2025

Discover the ultimate Active Uganda adventure safaris! From mountain gorilla and chimpanzee trekking in misty rain-forests to white-water rafting on the world’s longest river to trekking in the African tallest mountain range. The prime region for wildlife adventures is western Uganda. This area of Uganda is home to most of the country’s national parks where you can do chimpanzee and gorilla trekking adventures as well as hike the snow-capped Rwenzori Mountains.

Jinja town in Eastern Uganda is on most of Uganda adventure safaris itineraries. Dubbed the adrenaline capital of East Africa, Jinja offers a variety of thrilling activities on the Nile and in the surrounding area. 

Rafting on Grade V rapids tops the activity list, but there is more adventurous fun to be enjoyed, whether it is bungee-jumping into the Nile River or horse riding on the banks of the Nile. In the same region, hikers can explore the beauty of Sipi Falls and mountaineers can tackle Mount Elgon, Africa’s 8th tallest mountain. 

Adventurous travellers interested in a more off-the-beaten-track destination should travel to Uganda’s far northeastern Karamoja region for Kidepo, the most remote game park in the country. This pristine park has magnificent scenery and excellent wildlife viewing on open savannah.

Top Selected Uganda Adventure Safaris

Where To Go For Uganda Adventure Safaris

1. Jinja and the Nile River

Jinja is located on the shore of Africa’s largest lake, Lake Victoria where the world’s longest River, River Nile exits the lake and commences an epic 6700km journey north to Mediterranean Sea. Just about 80km from Uganda’s capital city, Kampala, Jinja is the adventure capital of East Africa, offering activities such as white-water rafting, Kayaking, bungee jumping, quad biking, horse riding, mountain biking, village walks, etc.

2. Bwindi Impenetrable Forest

Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park offers possibly Africa’s best mountain gorilla trekking adventure in ancient rainforest jungle with some of the continent’s highest levels of biodiversity and excellent birdwatching opportunities.

3. Mgahinga Gorilla National Park

Although Uganda’s smallest national park, Mgahinga Gorilla National Park is also home to mountain gorillas, rare golden monkeys, atmospheric bamboo forests and the sacred Ngarama Cave, which was once home to the king of the Batwa Pygmies. The covers the northern slopes of three Volcanic Virunga Mountains and offers superb volcano hiking adventures.

4. Rwenzori Mountains

Situated on the border of Uganda and the DR Congo, the Rwenzori Mountains National Park is b home to the legendary ‘Mountains of the Moon’. These snow-capped mountains near the steamy equator include Africa’s 3rd highest peak at 5,109m and serve as one of the sources of the world’s longest river. Rwenzori is a stunning destination for incredible hikes, perfect for Uganda adventure safaris.

5. Kidepo National Park

Kidepo NP in the remote Karamoja region has a true wilderness feel and is a great destination for Uganda adventure safaris. It offers better predator sightings than elsewhere in Uganda – lion, cheetah, leopard, and hyena. There are great numbers buffalos, elephants, and authentic cultural experiences.

6. Semliki Valley

Including Semuliki National Park and Semuliki Wildlife Reserve, Semuliki Valley is one of Uganda’s more remote wilderness regions. Unspoilt by mass tourism, Semliki Valley includes lowland tropical forest and savannah grassland – to ensure an astonishing array of biodiversity. The valley hosts monkeys, chimpanzees, buffalos, and elephants, – but it is the bird species that attract many guests.

This is the eastern fringe of the vast Ituri Forest that occupies much of the nearby Democratic Republic of the Congo, all the way to the Congo River 500 kilometers to the west. Avian wonders on offer includes Congo serpent eagle, lyre-tailed honeyguide, red-billed dwarf hornbill, black dwarf hornbill, black-casqued hornbills, Nkulengu rail, western nicators and Bate’s nightjar.

7. Kibale National Park

Kibale Forest National Park is Africa’s best destination for chimpanzee trekking adventures and a rewarding place for birdwatching safaris in Uganda in conjunction with the neighbouring community-run Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary.

8. Queen Elizabeth National Park

Queen Elizabeth National Park offers a classic African safari with a few twists. Habitats include dense tropical rainforest, moist acacia woodland, grassy savannah, freshwater lakes, rivers, wetlands, rainforest and extinct volcanic crater cones with lakes. In addition to species such as elephants, buffalos, leopards, crocodiles, hippos, Kobs, warthogs, and giant forest hogs, the park is famous for the rare tree-climbing lions in Ishasha area and wild chimpanzee trekking at Kyambura George.

9. Murchison Falls National Park

Murchison Falls National Park is home to the Nile River and dramatic Murchison Falls (the world’s strongest waterfalls). This is mainly savannah-woodland dotted with beautiful Borassus palm trees and encompassing tracts of tropical forests, savannah grassland and wetlands. In addition to a mix of savannah wildlife like lions, leopards, hyenas, elephants, buffalos, and giraffes, many people visit this park to find the incredible shoebills in the dense papyrus marshes.

10. Budongo Forest

Budongo Forest Reserve is located next to Murchison Falls National Park. The forest offers an excellent chimpanzee trekking adventure. Some of the chimpanzee communities have been researched and habituated for over 30 years. And your professional guides can recognize individual chimpanzees on sight, which only adds to what is already a profound and humbling experience.

11. Mabamba Swamp

Mabamba Swamp is a Ramsar Important Bird Area and bird watchers’ dream destination. It’s located on the edge of Lake Victoria, within easy reach of the cities of Kampala and Entebbe. 

This is arguably the best place in Africa to find the shoebill, one of Africa’s most sought-after birdwatching encounters. From the front, this giant prehistoric-looking bird resembles a dinosaur. 

Local fishermen help track these highly endangered birds, and your search will be conducted in a wooden boat – in the many deep-water channels of this large papyrus swamp. Expect also to tick off other avian wonders, such as papyrus gonolek, lesser jacana, white-winged warbler, Viellot’s weaver, palm-nut vulture, Clarke’s weaver and Carruther’s cisticola.

12. Lake Mburo National Park

Lake Mburo National Park lies halfway between the capital city of Kampala and the gorilla and chimpanzee trekking havens in the country’s west – a convenient stop-over for those driving this route. The park offers a selection of antelope, buffalo and occasional leopard and excellent birding on the lake. There is also offers cycling tours and horseback safaris inside the park.