Fairend Safaris

BEST GAME DRIVES IN UGANDA

Game drives in Uganda are one of the top activities to enjoy on an African safari. Travelers get a chance to see wild species in their natural habitats.  Typically,  an experienced guide or a ranger conducts a game drive, while guests sit comfortably in a 4WD pop-up safari vehicle.  In Uganda, game drives are carried out in different sessions namely; morning game drives, afternoon/ evening game drives, and night game drives.

Specific times of the day offer different sightings of animal species. For example, in the morning, travelers observe herbivores  grazing and are particularly active during this period.  In the afternoon animals are usually spotted near water bodies as they quench their thirst. At night, nocturnal animals are typically active engaged in hunting.

Best places to go for game drives in Uganda

Queen Elizabeth National Park

Tourists visit Queen Elizabeth National Park the most in Uganda. The park lies in the western part of the country. Travelers commonly know this park for tree-climbing lions which can be found in Ishasha sector. Importantly, this area offers the best game drive experience in the park. Additionally, a wide range of wild species inhabit the park including lions, buffaloes, elephants, warthogs, waterbucks, leopards and primates like chimpanzees, l’hoest monkeys, black and white monkeys, birds, and many more.

Tour operaters conducting Game drives in Queen Elizabeth National Park use Ishasha sector, Mweya peninsula, and Kasenyi plains which offer great viewing spots.  Savannah grasslands mostly cover the park which gives clear viewing points for tourists.  Besides the game drives can either be carried out in the morning, afternoon, or at night. In the morning most herbivores are actively grazing, in the afternoon most species are found near water bodies as they quench their thirst whereas at night nocturnal animals are hunting.

Murchison Falls National Park – Game drives in uganda

Murchison Falls National Park has gained popularity due to being home to the most powerful falls in the world. Secondly, it is the largest protected area in Uganda. It is situated in the northwestern part of the country along the Gulu highway. There is a wide range of species that can be seen on a game drive in this park. Including 4 of Africa’s Big 5 which are leopards, lions, buffaloes, and elephants. This park does not host rhinos, but the nearby Zziwa Rhino Sanctuary located a few kilometers away from this park facilitates easy and achievable rhino trekking for the visitors.

There are different trails namely; Victoria game track, Albert game track, and Buligi used for game drives in Murchison Falls National Park.  Travelers can choose to do a game drive either in the morning or afternoon depending on their schedule. During these periods, they can spot animals like giraffes, waterbucks, lions, elephants, warthogs, buffaloes, and many more. Additionally, one should not forget that birds can also be seen during the game drives.

Lake Mburo National Park

 Uganda’s most strategically located park is Lake Mburo National Park since it lies near the capital city. The park is the country’s smallest savannah park, and its most unique feature is that it offers walking safaris, enabling tourists on foot. Game drives in Lake Mburo National park can be conducted in the morning, afternoon, and at night. 

Different tracks such as the Zebra track offer great views of zebras, and antelopes which are used for game drives. Furthermore, this track connects to the Ruroko track. The second track is the Kazuma track which goes through grasslands dotted with acacia woodlands. Lastly is the Kigambira loop which connects through woods and spaced thicket. Other areas near lakes in Lake Mburo National Park are suitable for game drives. Animals that can be seen during game drives are buffaloes, giraffes, impalas, elandas, leopards, hippos and many more. Elephants are not present in this park.

Kidepo Valley National Park

The semiarid valleys between Uganda’s border with South Sudan and Kenya host Kidepo Valley national Park. CNN internationally recognized this park as the best destination for wildlife experience in Africa, defining it as the epitome of African wilderness. Tour guides conduct game drives in Kidepo Valley National Park in Narus Valley because wild species usually gather here throughout the year.

 Travelers can observe a wide range of species like cheetahs, leopards, bat-eared foxes, jackals, lions, buffaloes, elephants, kobs, elands, and many more during the game drives. The best time to go for game drives is in the morning when most animals are active. However, there are other game drives carried on in the afternoon/evening and at night.

Semuliki National Park- Game drives in Uganda

Semuliki National Park lies within the Bundibugyo district, it receives the fewest visitors of all parks in Uganda. It is not well known for game drives since it offers little. However, it has many nocturnal animals which are worth seeing. The park mainly has forest animals like hippos, elephants, waterbucks, buffaloes, baboons, chimpanzees, bush babies and many more.

What to expect during game drives in Uganda

  Experienced guides or rangers usually conduct the game drives as they are well conversant with trails. Tourists usually sit in a pop-up vehicle to view the animals. Travelers should always remain in their vehicles to ensure the safety of both travelers and animals. Some animals may approach the vehicle but tourists are instructed to remain calm. These animals usually do not attack the guests. Game drives usually last 3 to 4 hours, depending on the type of animals guests are interested in seeing.

The best time to go for game drives in Uganda.

You can carry out game drives throughout the year.  However, during the dry season, going for game drives in Uganda is the best.  This is from June to August and from December to February, during this period there is little or no rainfall in the parks thus it is easier to navigate the roads within the park. Given the tropical climate of Uganda, it might rain any time of the day during these months.