Road Trip safaris are now a really popular, easy and affordable way to discover the natural beauty of Uganda. Roll down the window, enjoy the open road and submerge yourself whist exploring this wonderful country safety in the knowledge that 4×4 Car Hire Uganda works with finest ground handlers in each country ensuring you complete peace of mind. While self-drive options exist, most safaris will see you swap your hire car for a guided game drive.
One of the most exciting destinations, Uganda is vast varied and vibrant. Soaked in remarkable wildlife, cultural diversity and natural landmarks, no other country has a more compelling portfolio for a traveler because there so many attractions to see and do.
Therefore, 4×4 Car Hire Uganda makes it easy to explore this wonderful country in all 10 National Parks. No matter where your safari adventure takes you, 4×4 Car Hire Uganda will be close by to get you started on a self-drive holiday.
Uganda is home to a vast number of species, including a population of mountain gorillas in the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, gorillas and golden monkeys in the Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, hippos in the Murchison Falls National Park and variety of wildlife in Kidepo Valley National Park.
Kidepo Valley National Park
A road trip with 4×4 rooftop tent jeep to Kidepo Valley National Park is one of Africa’s more mysterious destinations. A concentration of every wondrous aspect on the continent from the wildlife to the multitude of local culture and geographical spectacles, this destination in Uganda will surprise and enchant every visitor. Kidepo is located in what could be called Uganda’s ‘empty quarter’, where Uganda, Kenya, and South Sudan come together.
At Kidepo you find top class wildlife that includes Uganda’s only resident zebra and eland in breath-taking and silent vistas. Sunset and sunrise scenes are uniquely haunting. The animals are far less habituated than Masai Mara, where you can drive up very close to a lion or cheetah and take photos. So, for photography, that would be a better option.
For the sheer experience of Africa though, Kidepo offers a unique experience. Buffaloes are numerous, Elephants seem to be very cautious of humans, as are giraffe. They are all beautiful, the park is gorgeous, and the grassy trails superb.
The accommodation options rival those anywhere in East Africa. Most any African park destination will meet the expectation framed in the words “once in a lifetime”. A visit to Kidepo just may redefine your whole bucket list.
Murchison Falls National Park
I wholeheartedly agree with Winston Churchill that Uganda is indeed the “Pearl of Africa”. Formally established in 1952, the park sits on the shore of Lake Albert and is recognized as the largest and oldest conservation park in Uganda covering an area of 3840 sq km / 1483 sq miles. Its namesake is Murchison Falls, where the Victoria Nile River squeeze through a narrow gap with incredible force before plunging 130 feet.
There is prolific wildlife here, including 4 of the Big Five (lions, Leopard, elephants, and buffaloes), as well as the endangered Rothschild giraffe. Plus, warthogs, herds of Ugandan Kob, crocodiles, hippos, monkeys, and incredible birdlife too.
But, the main feature in the park is the Victoria Nile. A highlight to any visit is a boat trip up the Nile to one of the most spectacular sights of water pushing through a cleft in the escarpment, Murchison Falls. Gliding on this mighty river is an unforgettable experience: hippos snorting everywhere, elephants playing in the water and lots of water birds along the shore. Go by road to the top of the falls where you get a very different perspective – it is breath-taking how close you get to the churning water as it goes over the top, well worth the visit.
Depart at your leisure, stop when photo opportunities arise and meet the local people on a one-to-one basis. All the while, safe in the knowledge that you have the backup and support when you need it.
Chimpanzee Tracking in Kibale Forest
A road trip to Kibale National Park to track down the chimpanzees is a very interesting experience. The way they feed, climb trees, respond to humans, caring for their young ones, is just phenomenal. There are three chimpanzee groups in Kibale Forest National Park which are habituated and only six people per group in the morning and evening session. Kibale has over 1450 chimpanzees which represents Uganda’s largest population of this endangered primate.
Kibale National Park offers Chimpanzee Experience that includes Chimpanzee Habituation and Chimpanzee trekking. During the tracking, you accompany researchers and habituators as they follow chimpanzee during their daily activities, thereby getting them used to human presence without altering their natural behavior. You can expect to see the chimps de-nesting coming out of their nocturnal nests between 05:30 and 06:30GMT before following them during the day until they create new nests and retire for the night around 19.00GMT local time in Uganda.
But Kibale is not only about the chimps. This 766-square-kilometre patch of forest, surrounded on three sides by tea estates, has the most concentrated primate biodiversity in Africa, with other species ranging from black-and-white colobus, grey mangabey and red-tailed monkey.
On its fourth side, the forest forms a contiguous corridor with Queen Elizabeth National Park. This means that the occasional elephant turns up along its trails, although large mammals more often encountered include three species of duiker, bush buck, and bush pig and, if you’re lucky, giant forest hog.
The birdlife is both prolific and special, with forest rarities such as green-breasted pitta and olive long-tailed cuckoo among some 335 recorded species. Tracking down some of these shy canopy denizens on the dark, overgrown trails requires patience and a good ear.
Much accommodation is outside the park, requiring a drive of up to an hour to make an early start for the chimps. Accommodation inside the park, where possible, is preferable, and promises excellent primate action around your lodge. With a morning to spare, it is well worth visiting the nearby Bigodi Wetlands, a small community project that offers outstanding birding in and around a protected swamp. Pythons and Sitatungas may also be seen there.
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
A road trip to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park to see the mountain gorillas in the wild is a bucket list item, and worth the trek around the world. Therefore, gorilla trekking safari is something everyone should get to experience at least once in their lifetime. Uganda is one of only three countries in the world (the others being Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo) where the iconic mountain gorillas can be reliably tracked on foot, an experience I’d have no hesitation as commending as the most thrilling wildlife encounter Africa has to offer.
And of the 19 habituated gorilla groups in Uganda, all but one is resident in Bwindi, spread between four trailheads: Buhoma, Ruhija, Nkuringo and Rushaga. While you get the opportunity to stare into the liquid brown eyes of a giant silver back is what brings most tourists to Bwindi Forest, it would be massively reductive to treat this magnificent forest, which sprawls over steep hills nudging the Congolese border, as merely a ‘gorilla reserve’.
Bwindi is an excellent place to see localized forest mammals indeed it is the only place where you will see the bizarre yellow-backed duiker and the one place in Uganda where you regularly encounter the handsome L’Hoests’s monkey.
The birdlife is also stunning, with a checklist of 350 species that includes a full 23 Albertine Rift endemics. Indeed, the forest trails around Buhoma, the most established of the park’s four trailheads, and the best equipped when it comes to upmarket lodges, ranks among my favorite birding spots anywhere, reliably offering sightings of rarities such as bar-tailed trogon, black bee-eater and a profusion of forest greenbuls, finches and warblers.