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The Pearl of Africa (Uganda)

Uganda is a highlights reel of the African landscape. With its dense, misty forests, snow-peaked mountains, glassy lakes and sprawling savannas, it is no wonder Winston Churchill dubbed this the “pearl of Africa”.

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Having stepped out of the shadows of a deep dark past under Idi Amin and the Lord’s Resistance Army, Uganda is no longer a country to be feared; in fact is widely regarded as one of Africa’s safer destinations. Whether you are looking for mountain gorillas – the country’s primary allure — wildlife safaris, volcano trekking, whitewater rafting or just kicking back on the beach, Uganda has the best of Africa covered. Here are four unmissable Ugandan experiences — and where to find them:

Gorilla tracking
One of the quintessential Ugandan attractions is tracking mountain gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, and nothing quite prepares you for the first glimpse of black fuzz amid the dense foliage. The adrenaline kicks in when you are up close to the imposing figure of a silverback, and it is all very Dian Fossey-like when curious babies peek through the leaves,  twisting, turning and somersaulting for your entertainment. Gorilla permits will set you back a hefty $500, but do not think twice about forking out for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Keep in mind that a portion of the fee goes to the park and gorilla conservation initiatives, helping to ensure their survival.

All the animals, minus the crowds
While it lacks the recognition of its big-name neighbours like the Serengeti and Kruger Park, Uganda’s national parks have all the animals, minus the crowds. In Murchison Falls, Uganda’s largest park, follow your morning wildlife drive with a cruise down the Nile to the base of the falls. It is the perfect way to spy elephants, buffalo, crocs and loads of hippos while relaxing on the boat with a beer. Head to Queen Elizabeth National Park for a better chance of spotting the elusive leopard or its trademark tree-climbing lions. Few tourists make it as far north as Kidepo Valley, but those who do are rewarded with a fantastic selection of animals and some of the most spectacular scenery in the country. If you are hoping to tick off the Big Five, add Ziwa Sanctuary to your itinerary to get up close to white rhino, which you track on foot.

Adventure by the bucketload
Adrenaline junkies can get a fix any way they like in Uganda. With its Grade-5 rapids, the Nile is a magnet for whitewater rafting enthusiasts — or try kayaking or a white-knuckle jet boat ride. Those who prefer a different kind of plunge can opt for bungee jumping by Bujagali Falls. Trekkers can test their endurance by tackling the Unesco World Heritage-listed Rwenzori Mountains, evocatively described as the “Mountains of the Moon”, with stunning views of the equatorial mist as a reward at the top. For more treks try Mount Elgon National Park or the dramatic Virunga volcanos where the borders of Uganda, Congo and Rwanda converge. Adrift Adventure can sort out all your whitewater needs, while Rwenzori Trekking Services will assist with your trek to the moon.

Scenery to die for
Once the safari addiction wanes and your body needs some rest from those bone-jarring bus journeys, Uganda has some beautiful spots for relaxing. Magical Lake Bunyonyi has intoxicating views, with the mist hanging low over terraced hillsides and dugout canoes gliding through still waters. Ssese Islands in the oceanic-sized Lake Victoria has some of the finest white-sand beaches and burning sunsets; it is the kind of place where you will want to seek out a hammock and bring a good book. Then there is stunning Sipi Falls in eastern Uganda, which is earning a reputation for its uninhibited views of the crashing water. Do not miss the coffee tours, where you will be shown the start-to-finish process at a local coffee plantation, all culminating with a delicious steaming cup as the sun sets over the banana plantations.

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Customer Reviews

Ngoni Safaris Uganda

Customer Reviews

Justo Nov 18, 2019

Safaribookings
I went on an 11 day safari visiting Kampala, Jinja, Lake Mburo NP, Bwindi NP, Queen Elizabeth NP and Kibale NP. Communications with Ngoni were prompt and easy from the start. As soon as I made my booking, Sedrick contacted me through WhatsApp and guided me through the rest of the process. Leading up to the tour he made sure I was well-prepared to begin. He was always very clear and friendly. Service was exceptional. I had the pleasure of going on this safari with three members of Ngoni's staff - Sedrick, Nelson and Joel. These guys made my comfort their priority from the moment we met. Whether it was checking if I was okay with the accommodations or making sure I always had a bottle of water, I always felt like I was being well taken care of. Nelson is an excellent guide. His knowledge about the flora and fauna of Uganda was extensive, always able to answer any questions I had and was eager to teach - it's obvious that he has a great love for his country and it's environment and is eager to share this love with his clients. My experience with Ngoni and Uganda surpassed all expectations I had. Absolutely amazing, and thanks to the guys at Ngoni it feels like a new home - can't wait to come back and visit. Webale, brothers!

Stephany Aug 13, 2019

https://www.safaribookings.com/operator/t17733
Sedrick was unique and stood out from the rest in the high quality communication he provided since the first inquiry. He called me to provide information about the itinerary and see if I had any questions even before booking the tour. We communicated through WhatsApp for any other questions that came to mind after that call. After picking me up from the airport, he and Pilot (additional tour guide) provided plenty of information about the country to give me some context and we started our long drive to the impenetrable forest. The food was delicious with many options; the accommodation was very clean with exceptional service; and the transportation from Entebbe to Bwindi park was very comfortable (although long). As a solo female traveler, both tour guides (Sedrick and Pilot) did an exceptional job at enduring I accomplished everything intended to in Uganda, and always made me feel safe. I highly recommend to book your safari with this company because the quality and professionalism will not let you down.

Shakira Dec 14, 2018

Ngoni safaris uganda is the best tour operator in Uganda. A few weeks back we traveled to Bwindi impenetrable with sedrick to explore the beauty that is Uganda. This company took care of us . with most comfortable car , Great guide .We highly recommend it to the next travelers

Winnie Dec 19, 2018

https://www.safaribookings.com/operator/t17733
I was going on a gorilla safari with my friend and this was going to be the first ever safari for the both of us. Luckily, the communication with the office was super easy and we got answers to all of the questions we needed. The driver / guide (Sedrick) was very professional and funny and made our time very pleasant. Also, he had a proper knowledge of the local area close to the Mgahinga national park and he promptly spoke some 7 languages which we thought was super positive. The safari was surely the highlight of out East African trip!

Ritah Jan 2, 2019

https://www.safaribookings.com/operator/t17733
My Team and I did a five day trip, including Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary, Murchison Falls and Kidepo. It was truly an incredible experience. Our guide, Sedrick, was knowledgeable, skilled in driving in some challenging settings and just plain fun to hang out with for five days. The lodging was perfect, especially Savannah Lodge. The tents and beds were high quality. The views were spectacular. Meals were delicious and varied. I recommend Ngoni safaris Uganda with all my heart and soul!

Pilot May 28, 2019

https://www.safaribookings.com/operator/t17733
Our six days trip was amazing. The driver/guide had an incredible knowledge of animal and bird-life and are so interesting to talk to. His driving skills through lashing rain and massive puddles was admirable! The cooks managed to produce varied and delicious meals from the kitchen, which we ate both at accommodation or roadside when we were travelling from one place to another . At all times we felt safe and well-looked after. All in all, an incredible experience, due not only to the abundance of wildlife we were lucky enough to see, but also to the great efforts put to have our Safari a better one . The safari was full of fun. Traveling with ngoni safaris is my life time memorable experience and I highly recommend it to travellers who would love to visit uganda or EastAfrica for holidays, vacations or Adventure.. Even five stars are too small .