Game Viewing & Game Drive Safaris in Uganda

A classic Uganda safari is based around the game drive – venturing out into the bush in your trusty 4×4 to find the best spot for wildlife viewing or photography. Game drives are without doubt the highlight of any Uganda safari. They can last anywhere from a couple of hours to a full day’s excursion with a picnic lunch in the bush, and until recent some Uganda reserves have started to offer game drive safaris after sunset.

Game drive safaris in Uganda usually take place in the early morning and late afternoon, during the coolest times of the day when animals are more active. After an early morning wake-up call and a quick bite to eat, you and your safari guide set off in search of Savannah wildlife game – elephants, giraffe, zebra or other herbivores browsing on bushes or grazing on the plains, or predators still dining on last night’s kill. The afternoon game drive follows afternoon tea and culminates with one of the most enjoyable of safari traditions – the sundowner.

Game Drive Safaris in Uganda

Night Game Drive Safaris in Uganda

Night game drive safaris are possible in a few wildlife reserves allowed by UWA the wildlife governing body. These include Murchison Falls National Park, Queen Elizabeth National Park and Lake Mburo National Park. The night game drives offer a whole new dimension to a Uganda safari and allow guests to experience the mysteries of the bush after dark – the chance to see rare nocturnal creatures such as the bush pigs, genet cat, white tailed mongoose, hyena, hippo, porcupine, genets, civets, bush babies, various reptiles, owls, night jars, an elusive leopard or other predators that are on the prowl under cover of darkness.

Night Game Drive Safaris in Uganda


How About The ‘Big Five’?

The Big Five – elephant, buffalo, rhinoceros, lion and leopard – so named by the early big-game hunters because these were the most difficult and dangerous of the animals to hunt on foot. Most Uganda safaris that we arrange offer clients an excellent chance to see the Big Five, although nothing can be guaranteed when it comes to nature. But remember, there is so much more to be seen and experienced on a Uganda safari than just the Big Five.

Big Five Game Drive Safaris in Uganda

Game Drive Safari Vehicles

Game drive safaris in Uganda will usually be conducted in custom-designed four-wheel-drive (4WD) vehicles – usually Land Cruisers or Land Rovers. In most cases they carry a maximum of six guests, meaning everyone gets a ‘window seat’. The vehicle will be driven by the guide and in many reserves in Uganda the driver is also your guide, who the controller of the vehicle, it’s speed, to give an extra pair of sharp eyes and where it is easier to spot animal tracks on the road ahead.

Game Drive Safari Vehicles in Uganda

Ready for your trip?

Let us help you plan everything. We do not subscribe to the ‘one-size-fits-all’ philosophy. Sample itineraries and cost estimates are meant purely as a guide. To find out more, please contact one of our expert travel consultants to plan a customized itinerary based on your budget and interests.

Murchison Falls Safari – Big 5 Game

3 Days, 2 Nights | Start From $650

Queen Elizabeth Wildlife Safari

3 Days, 2 Nights | Start From $590

Uganda Wildlife Safari Adventure

9 Days, 7 Nights | From $3470

Our Typical Game Drive Safaris

Two game drive safaris a day are offered to most of our guests. Accompanied by a skilled ranger and guide, you can expect to encounter a diverse range of animal and bird species. The only Big Five trail you can expect to see all the big 5, encountering lion, leopard, elephant, rhino and buffalo is possible over a two-day safari on the Murchison Falls Safari Trail via Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary. All the other safari parks in Uganda will give some of the Big five not all of them.

While seeing big game is always exhilarating, there are many other smaller species that are also captivating, and birding enthusiasts will be delighted at the approximately 1032 species of bird recorded in Uganda. Throughout the day, it’s likely you will see wildlife such as antelope, Elephants, Vervet monkeys or even a few of the Big Five.

Typical Morning Schedule:

05:00 wake-up call
05:30 tea, coffee and rusks in dining room
06:00 depart
07:30 stop for hot drinks and snacks
09:00 return to lodge for a full breakfast

Typical Summer Afternoon Schedule:

16:00 gather for a decadent high tea
16:30 depart
19:30 arrive back at lodge with time to freshen up before dinner
20:00 dinner is served

Tourist Activities To Do in Uganda

Gorilla Trekking

Gorilla Trekking

This unique experience is available all year round, but due to the somewhat damp seasons experienced by the jungles in which these gorillas stay, June to September is the best time.
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Chimpanzee Trekking

Chimpanzee Tracking

Humankind’s closest relative, the chimpanzee, is found in a number of areas of Uganda. There’s no doubt that hanging out with chimps is one of life’s great experiences.
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Classic safari game drive

Safari Game Drive

Uganda’s national parks are a well kept secret. Lusher than their Kenyan or Tanzanian counterparts, they have rivers and lakes for boat rides as well as standard Safari game drives.
Read More

Whitewater rafting on the nile, Jinja

Whitewater Rafting

Uganda is a wonderful place to experience Africa — and rafting is just a piece of it. Take on the Grade III-IV-V rapids as you rush 20km down the Victoria Nile river.
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Private Vacation Holidays

Private Vacation Holidays

Combine a beach holiday in Zanzibar with a jungle gorilla trekking safari and scenic Savannah game drive in one of Uganda’s beautiful safari parks to make a perfect Private Vacation Holiday.

Culture Safari

Culture & Community Tourism

Uganda is bubbling over with culture: 40 languages, countless customs and traditions, superb crafts and uplifting music and dance can be encountered all around the country.
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Best Time to Visit Uganda

Equatorial Uganda has a blissful springlike climate – a 25oC with cooling night time breezes perfect for an African Safari night.

Uganda sits squarely on the equator with an average altitude of around 1,000m, which tempers the heat and means this really is a year-round African safari destination. March-May and Oct-Nov see the highest rainfall, but gorillas are still lurking in the mist – although trekking to find them will be slippery and slower. However, accommodation can be much cheaper at this time. The best time to visit Uganda is June-Sep, which is the peak season – but Uganda remains happily oblivious to mass tourism and you won’t need to worry about crowds.

Know more about when to visit 

Responsible Travel in Uganda

Surrounded by phenomenal volcanic landscapes, wildlife that many of you grew up dreaming of seeing with your own eyes, and some of the continent’s most friendly, welcoming people making you feel like a VIP wherever you go – being in Uganda can feel like such a privilege. Uganda really gives visitors all it can, and as guests we really should try to repay this kindness in some way.

Most tourism in Uganda takes place in its national parks with official guides – which shuts local residents and businesses out. But by looking beyond the parks, even for just a couple of days of your holiday, your money will go much further, and you’ll completely shift your opinion of Uganda as a place to see wildlife. Uganda’s people are every bit as fascinating.

More about travelling responsibly in Uganda 

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