Guided safari game drives in Uganda and any other destination in Africa are basically driving through a Savannah park in a 4×4 safari vehicle, guided by an expert local guide, viewing wild animals. A game drive highlights any classic Africa safari taking you deep into the natural wilderness and getting you closer to the big and small animals within the protected confines of a 4×4 truck.
A typical game drive in Uganda may last 3-4 hours.
Other game drives head out for more than six hours with short breaks allowing the traveler to get out of the vehicle, stretch, loosen up, and snack. The guide usually chooses somewhere with great views of the plains for short breaks. Some safari camps offer breakfast settings in the bush for early morning game drives. Afternoon game drives are usually arranged to end at a well-set refreshing sun-downer.
Expect the most rewarding guided game drives heading out during the misty sunrise and late in the cool evenings or at night—the coolest times of the day when most animals are more active. Irrespective of the safari destination, every game drive is unique, making wildlife encounters unexpected and exhilarating.
Some of the famous game drive sightings on Uganda’s Savannah plains include the tree-climbing lions in Queen Elizabeth National Park’s Ishasha sector, elephants, buffalo, leopard, various antelope species, hippo, and the localized Rothschild’s giraffe.
Generally, two game drives a day are ideal. Expect to take your very first safari game drive on the afternoon of your arrival. Safari trips usually spend a day or two in the safari park with at least two game drives per day, one in the morning and the other in the afternoon, lasting about three to five hours each time.
The most rewarding safari game drives in Uganda occur in four of the ten national parks. The wildlife reserves in the country offer meager wildlife viewing experiences. Queen Elizabeth National Park and Lake Mburo National Park in southwestern Uganda are popular with tourists hoping to adventure in the primate-rich rain-forests of Bwindi and Kibale.
Murchison Falls National Park in the northwest along the Victoria Nile and the remote wilderness Kidepo National Park in the extreme northeastern corner usually feature on safari packages lasting more than a week or two.
If lions are a must-see on your safari holiday in Uganda, then safari game drives in Queen Elizabeth National Park must feature on your itinerary. The park protects the highest number of lions in the country. However, finding lions on a safari game drive is always challenging anywhere in the wild and requires a good spotting local guide, luck, and perseverance. It’s not as simple as what the nature television channels depict out to be.
A knowledgeable safari guide will find the big cats within the grassy Kasenyi Plains in the northern and southern Ishasha sectors. Besides the typical lion spotting, the park has a high reputation for its tree-climbing lions regularly spotted contentedly lazing in the giant fig trees that sprout in the southern Ishasha region.
If you’re planning to stay longer in a single Savannah park destination in Uganda, Kidepo National Park is your best choice. The park is a predator haven, protecting many predators found nowhere else in Uganda’s parks like the cheetah and black-backed jackal.
In addition to lions, leopards, and several small cats, a good local safari guide will spot out the side-striped jackal, Kongoni, black-backed jackal, and spotted hyena.
Other common sightings on a safari game drive in Kidepo include the hunting dog, bat-eared fox, cheetah, striped hyena, caracal, aardwolf, Beisa Oryx, Lesser Kudu plus Grant’s gazelle, elephant, Orbis, Burchell’s zebras, Jackson’s hartebeests, bush pigs, cape buffaloes, bohor reed-buck, warthog, defassa water-buck, Rothschild giraffes, bush duskier and elands, bush-bucks and zebra.
The park is usually the first or last stop on the best of Uganda safari holiday. Nonetheless, the Murchison Falls route, via Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary, is the only one that will assure you an encounter with Africa’s BIG FIVE game.
Murchison Falls National Park is Uganda’s largest Savannah park. Murchison is one of the three large safari parks that provide excellent guided safari game drives in Uganda.
A good safari drive on Murchison’s game tracks will lead you to four of Africa’s Big Five; only rhinos are absent. Buffalo and elephant are particularly a common sight on game drives. The park has a rich population of lions that prey on the abundant Uganda kob. You’ll also catch sight of various antelope species like the oribi, Jackson’s hartebeest, Defassa water-buck, grey duiker, and bushbuck.
You won’t miss sighting the large herds of the localized Rothschild’s giraffes on any safari game drive in the park. The introverted leopards, though far from numerous, are most likely to be spotted around Pakuba. Look out for troops of the rare Pata’s monkey on the grassy plains.
If you’re not enthusiastic about big game viewing, then safari game drives in Lake Mburo National Park will meet your safari goals. A safari drive will spot substantial concentrations of impala, zebra, water-buck, topi, and buffalo.
Mburo is usually a resting point for long drives to the southwestern Uganda safari circuit, where tourists expect to find more wildlife action drama. So, tourists typically prefer the park’s active safari activities, like game viewing on foot or horseback and the laid-back sunsets.
A typical lake Mburo safari will include a night or two in the park and then head deeper into the western safari circuit to track gorillas in Bwindi or explore the Rwenzori Mountains shadowed Savannah plains of Queen Elizabeth National Park.
A safari game drives in Uganda offer excellent wildlife photography opportunities, but hopefully, you’ll also have some rewarding interactions with your local guide. You’ll probably make a close bond with your guide, and at the end of the day, it’s the human conversations that will continuously stay with you. So, put the camera down, and you’ll find that great shot.
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