Discover the Best of Uganda on a Luxury Safari Adventure With These Tips and Recommendations
Uganda is the perfect destination for a private luxury safari, offering low crowds and remote, rustic lodges brimming with adventure and romantic charm.
Planning an ambitious, well-organized, and far-ranging signature journey can be a challenge, requiring the expertise of a Destination Management Company (DMC) or safari outfitter who understands the local tourism logistics. In this new series, our expert safari advisors answer some of the most frequently asked travel questions to help you plan your once-in-a-lifetime luxury safari in Uganda. They provide insider knowledge on the best places to indulge, when to go, and how to plan a lavish trip in the ‘Pearl of Africa’, as Churchill called it.
While many envision a classic hardcore journey reminiscent of Ernest Hemingway’s travels when they think of an African safari, today’s luxury safari experiences are far more lavish. Rustic jeeps driving through dusty, uneven tracks and sleeping in a bag with lions roaring in the background are still available, but today’s journeys offer so much more.
Experience Uganda’s breathtaking wildlife and natural beauty while indulging in the ultimate luxury safari adventure. From exclusive lodges to personalized services, Uganda has everything you need to create your dream safari experience. So why not plan your next adventure and discover the lavish side of Africa?
Why go for a luxury wildlife safari in Uganda?
A safari is a once-in-a-lifetime experience for many travelers, and Uganda is an excellent choice for a lavish tour. First, it’s one of the remotest destinations that many bucket-list adventurers are yet to discover, making it an exclusive destination for those seeking a unique experience.
Travelling to Uganda may involve jetlag, expensive flights, and long drives between attractions, which keeps budget-conscious travelers away. However, this makes Uganda an ideal destination for those seeking an all-rounded wilderness experience that doesn’t just focus on game viewing but also on rainforest adventures with rare primates, cultural immersions with remarkable communitys, and more remote regions.
Despite Africa safaris being considered an expensive affair, Uganda is surprisingly affordable, and an all-inclusive luxury trip is what other destinations like Kenya would rate as a mid-range price. This cost-effectiveness allows travelers to indulge in a lavish experience without breaking the bank.
When it comes to a once-in-a-lifetime experience, why cut corners? Splurging on a luxury safari in Uganda is a wise investment that will provide unforgettable memories for years to come. So why not go all out and experience the ultimate luxury safari adventure in Uganda?
What is the cost of a luxury safari in Uganda?
When planning a luxury safari in Uganda, the cost is around USD 750 per person per day. This price covers various aspects such as airport pickup, domestic flight transfers, trekking permits, park fees, local guides, and a private four-by-four safari truck that is fueled and has a pop-up roof. Additionally, three meals per day are included, as well as signature accommodation and a driver.
The primate tracking permits are the most expensive part of the trip, with regular gorilla trekking permits costing $700 per person. The habituation experience is pricier at $1500, and the chimpanzee permit costs $200 per person.
Although it’s possible to spend significantly more on luxury accommodation and meals, most luxury safari providers, like Nkuringo Safaris, will personalize your journey based on your budget. For instance, you can stay at Nile Safari Lodge, a lavish lodge that costs over $1,000 per night.
Where to go?
Uganda is a safari destination ripe for nature adventures, including tracking the endangered mountain gorillas in the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, walking with wild chimpanzees in Kibale Forest, viewing the BIG Five, and marvelling at stunning waterfalls in Murchinson.
Most people will visit Uganda to have that precious chance to sit close to a mountain gorillas family in their wild setting. For that, you must visit Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in the mountainous southwestern region. The park is straddled in a stark and seemingly boundless expanse of thick, rolling hills covered in ranks of bare trees, gorgeously cultivated slopes, and smokey dust of mist.
Bwindi is one of the only two habitats protecting the endangered gorillas with some of the most luxurious forest lodges for the gorilla experience in locations best suited for the gorilla experience.
The jungle-clutched designer Nkuringo Bwindi Gorilla Lodge and Clouds Mountain Lodge are your top luxury lodging choice in the south of Bwindi. Their exotic forest cottages sprout above the jungle canopy, offering guests enchanted vistas across the rolling rift valley hills and the entire Virunga mountains range.
Sanctuary Gorilla Forest Camp and Volcanoes Bwindi Lodge in the northern section of Bwindi (Buhoma) offer a stylish forest ambience perfect for a luxury jungle safari experience in Uganda. The lodges are undoubtedly the top echelon of indulgence for the gorilla trekking experience with their classic safari charm and excellent service quality.
There’s no better place in Africa to observe our closest relatives, the chimpanzees, foraging and working out their social dynamics than in Kibale National Park. Even primate researchers will tell you the same. Head west and spend your luxury holiday at the foothills of the Rwenzori Mountains. Sleep at luxury safari lodges like Ndali, Kyaninga and Kimpundu, and spend a day in the company of wild chimpanzee troops in the nearby Kibale Forest.
Add Queen Elizabeth National Park to your luxury safari in Uganda for big-game viewing. Top choices for a luxury stay in Queen Elizabeth National Park include Kyambura Gorge Lodge, Elephant Plains Safari Lodge, and Ishasha Wilderness Camp.
From here, you can take a boat trip on Kazinga Channel to get close to elephants, hippos, crocs, and buffalo. Lions are surprisingly easy to spot, especially the tree-climbing lions in the southern Ishasha region. And the park is the closest you can add to your gorilla experience in Bwindi.
Lake Mburo’s Mihingo Lodge is perfect for buffering your long drive to Bwindi and a laidback wilderness experience. This luxury lodge has a natural frontier feel and enjoys a coveted spot overlooking Lake Mburo National Park‘s vast savannah plains. Here, the whole family can watch animals on horseback, a peaceful and airy experience compared to game driving. You can also take a guided nature walk and come close to touching the ungulates.
Far up north, away from the gorillas, is another luxury safari experience in Uganda that is a whole different game from the southwestern circuit. The Murchison Falls National Park sits along the Victoria Nile. Kidepo Valley’s vast ruggedness extends to the extreme northeastern frontier.
You’ll find tranquillity at Nile Safari Lodge, nestled into the bank of Victoria Nile River between the Albert delta and Paraa in Murchison. The luxury riparian immerses its occupants in a rural paradise, creating the most tranquil vacation hideaway.
Perched on a picturesque kopje, Apoka Lodge commands views across the Kidepo flatlands to the mountains beyond. Apoka has a relaxed classic safari feel, quietly providing a tranquil and private wildlife experience in Kidepo Valley.
Although anyone can create a Uganda safari itinerary, we highly recommend that you use a tour operator that understands the uncharted destination logistics.
Firstly, it can be incredibly complicated charting a plan of action in Uganda, especially for the first time. Finding availability from exclusive properties, reserving permits, transfers, and paying activity fees can be daunting. If there’s one time in your life to let someone craft the travel experience for you, this is it.
Nkuringo Safaris consultants like to say that crafting a luxury safari trip in Uganda is like conducting an orchestra. We try to build upon each destination or property with unique experiences that complement one another. That’s why it’s a good idea to work with a local expert who’s seen more than just the glossy pictures.
When should you NOT go on a Uganda safari?
Uganda safari’s claim to fame is watching the endangered mountain gorillas. It would be a shame to miss it. The gorilla trekking experience is on foot on steep, uneven, unmarked trails under thick and misty vegetation. March to May is the worse time to go to southwestern Uganda because it’s when the rains come down.
The worst time to go for a luxury safari in Uganda is from April to May when the rains come down like crazy on the plains and in the rainforests.
On the other hand, March to May is the low season. Going on safari during the offseason has the benefits of few tourists, a lower budget, and more privacy.
Otherwise, the best time to go is January, February, June and July when the weather is favourable, trails are dry, and safari properties are in regular operation.
Customize these trips or request a quote from a specialist to help you craft your own.