Rapidly becoming a must-do destination in Uganda, Kibale Forest offers visitors an accessible and enlightening insight into life in a tropical rainforest. Large mammals aren't so easily seen but the clouds of dazzling butterflies and gorgeous forest birds more than make up for it, and besides, Kibale is most famous for its primates. Go on guided chimpanzee treks in the majestic forest and see how many of the other 12 primate species you can spot.
Combining easily with Bwindi Forest, Queen Elizabeth National Park is Uganda's most popular and most accessible savannah reserve and is home to elephant, buffalo, leopard, numerous antelope species and the famous tree-climbing lions of the Ishasha Plains. Take a boat cruise on the Kazinga Channel to spot hippo and crocodile and don't forget your binoculars: with a staggering 600 recorded bird species, Queen Elizabeth NP is one of the world's premier bird watching destinations.
With the Nile River neatly bisecting Uganda's largest park, you'd expect a wide range of animals at Murchison Falls and you'd be right. It's where to go in Uganda for classic big game species such as elephant, buffalo, lion and hippo and with a bird count of nearly 500, Murchison Falls also boasts chimpanzees and colobus monkeys in its forests. The piece de resistance however is a boat cruise to the spectacular falls themselves where the thundering Nile is squeezed through a 7-metre cleft in the Rift Valley Escarpment.
Don't be put off by its intimidating name: you'll be led into Bwindi by naturalist guides and trackers and the reward is worth the effort - this majestic forest is where to go in Uganda for your gorilla trekking experience. Spend an hour with a gorilla family, observing these gentle giants in their pristine rainforest habitat before slipping away and back to your comfortable jungle lodge. A gorilla trek is wet, humid, muddy and tough but the experience is absolutely extraordinary.
A typical African capital with a compact, high-rise centre surrounded by sprawling suburbs, busy Kampala is Uganda's commercial, political and logistical hub but also one of East Africa's most laid-back and friendly cities. Uganda's only international airport is set next to Lake Victoria in Entebbe 35kms away. This small town serves as the country's main entry and exit point and many visitors will spend a night here or in Kampala before and after their Uganda safari.
Serengeti National Park: is among the best-known big game safari destinations in Africa and one of the most popular tourist attractions in Tanzania. It is famous for its annual wildlife migration of wildebeest and zebra. One of the best times to visit the park is in May when the grass becomes dry and exhausted and the wildebeest and zebra start to mass in huge armies offering a spectacular wildlife show. Ngorongoro Conservation Area: Ngorongoro is formed form a volcano erupting two to three million years ago which has collapsed and formed a crater. The steep sides of the crater have become a natural enclosure for a wide variety of wild animals. It is also presently one of the most likely areas in Africa to see the endangered Black Rhino. Local Maasai people are permitted to bring cattle to graze in the crater but are required to leave at the end of each day. Tarangire National Park: Smaller than Ruaha, this national park is a paradise for bird watchers as more than 550 different species frequent the park. Tarangire is also known for its huge number of elephants, baobab trees and tree climbing lions. Huge termite mounds can be found all around the park. Selous Game Reserve: Savanna animals can be found in this reserve in greater numbers than in any other African game reserve, thanks to stringent regulation by the Wildlife Division of the Tanzanian Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism. Most visitors arrive by aircraft, and walking tours or river trips are permitted, though no human habitation or permanent structures are allowed Ruaha National Park : Located in the middle of Tanzania, the Ruaha National Park is the largest national park in the country. The park is named after the Hehe word “ruvaha,” meaning “river.” Filled with wild dogs, lions, leopards, elephants, cheetah, giraffes, zebras, impala, bat eared foxes and jackals, the park offers visitors an opportunity to get up close and personal with nature. Due to the parks somewhat rnemote location visitors can enjoy viewing the wildlife without competing with hordes of other tourists.
In the wet season Lake Manyara is home to almost 300 different species of migratory birds, including thousands of flamingos. In the dry season, alkaline mud-flats take the place of the waters. This is the best time to see large mammals such as hippos, elephants, wildebeest and giraffe. A number of safari lodges provide tourists with lodging and day and night safaris to see the wildlife.
Mount Kilimanjaro is an inactive volcano in north-eastern Tanzania, near the border with Kenya. At 5,892 meters (19,331 feet) above sea level, Kilimanjaro is Africa’s highest peak and the world’s highest free-standing mountain. Although positioned close to the equator, Mount Kilimanjaro is famous for its snow-capped peak looming over the plains of the savannah. The mountain has become a major tourist attraction for mountaineers and trekkers from around the world.
The island of Unguja, part of Zanzibar, makes up the final Spice Island. Once part of the British Empire, today Zanzibar is a semi-autonomous region of Tanzania. The African island has been for centuries an important trading center, a melting pot of African, Indian and Arab influences. Zanzibar’s major tourist attraction is Stone Town, with its whitewashed coral rag houses. Another big draw are its beautiful white sandy beaches.
Also part of the Spice Islands, but smaller than Pemba, Mafia Island has a population of around 40,000 people. Don’t expect organized crime: the name derives either from the Swahili “mahali pa afya,” meaning “a healthy dwelling-place,” or from the Arabic “morfiyeh,” meaning “archipelago”. The island attracts scuba divers, game fishermen, and people wanting to relax on one of the island white sandy beaches.