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Game Viewing experience

Game Viewing experience

Uganda game drives

Self-drives and guided game drives are the two options for game drives. Self-drives are when travelers rent tour cars and drive themselves to various places. Self-drives are great if you want to acquire new experiences, but the negative is that they are quite pricey and you may miss out on the finest sights because you do not know the ideal areas for game viewing.

Local tour providers organize guided drives, in which you are supplied with a driver-guide who will take you to your destinations, hunt for the finest areas for wildlife viewing, and ensure that the trip is fun and comfortable throughout your stay.

This is a guide on what to anticipate on safari drives, what to bring, the best drive places, and the species that you will view while on your Uganda safari. In Uganda, game drives are conducted in the mornings and late afternoons, when the animals are most active.

When Should You Go On A Game Drive? Schedules for game drives

Game drives in Uganda are often scheduled in the mornings and late afternoons. Each session may last between 2 and 4 hours, with the first session starting very early in the morning when the animals are still active and the second session ending with a sundowner with your companions. It makes no difference whatever session you choose; just know that the memories you make on your game drive will be the finest.


Game drives at night

Night game drives provide guests with a whole different experience, allowing them to explore the other side of Uganda’s animals. Night safari drives are optional activities that demand an additional fee to engage in. Performances often begin around 6:30 or 7:00 p.m. and last approximately two to three hours. The following are some things you should know before going on a night drive:

Every night safari drive in any National Park in the nation must be accompanied by a tour guide and an armed ranger.

To prevent hitting animals during the night trip, keep your car on clearly defined pathways.

A flashlight is utilized to make it easier to spot the animals.

Bring something warm with you for your nighttime travel.

Make an effort to be quiet so as not to disturb the nocturnal creatures.


Uganda’s game drive locations.

Safari drives are the ideal way to see the vastness of Uganda’s several National Parks while observing wildlife. Murchison Falls National Park in north-western Uganda, Queen Elizabeth National Park in south-western Uganda, Kidepo National Park in north-eastern Uganda, and Lake Mburo National Park in south-western Uganda are among the most popular safari drive locations. At these locations, game drives can be combined with additional activities like nature walks, birding, boat cruises, and cultural excursions.


Lake Mburo National Park

Mongoose, zebras, Oribi, Kilspringers, elands, antelopes, and bush rats are among the wildlife that may be seen during a safari drive in Lake Mburo. Safari night drives are also conducted at Lake Mburo National Park, beginning about 7:00 p.m. and ending around 9:00 p.m. Night drives often take 2 to 3 hours, during which time you may watch nocturnal creatures roaming about the National Park, and some of the animals may approach the vehicle. During the dry season, which lasts from June to September and January to February, most safari drives in Lake Mburo take place in the mornings and late afternoons.


Kidepo valley National Park

Kidepo is one of the top ten most frequented national parks in the country and is located in the country’s northeastern region. Kidepo is home to a variety of species that may be observed in abundance in their natural surroundings. The park is split into two sections: Kidepo Valley and Narus Valley.

Kidepo valley, named after the National Park, has a lower population of animals than Narus valley. Burchell’s zebra, Bohor reedbuck, giraffes, Jackson’s Hartebeests, wolf-eared bats, oribis, cheetahs, waterbucks, leopards, kudus, and elands may all be spotted during game drives at Kidepo.

Narus Valley is a vast savannah grassland with the most diverse animal population in Kidepo National Park. Narus Valley is best seen during the dry season when the animals congregate around the accessible waterholes, and some of the creatures observed here include antelopes, hippos, bushbucks, African caped buffalos, giraffes, elephants, Uganda kob, and waterbucks, among others.


Queen Elizabeth National Park

Queen Elizabeth National Park is a popular tourist attraction for those who enjoy wildlife viewing and is one of the Ugandan national parks that provides game drives. Game drives are the finest method to see the animals in the National Park, which is located in the southwestern section of Uganda. Game drives are conducted in the National Park’s several parts, which include Ishasha, Kasenyi, the Kazinga channel, and the Mweya peninsular, which has the greatest concentration of animals.

Fauna at Queen Elizabeth National Park includes buffalos, elephants, antelopes, baboons, warthogs, climbing lions in the Ishasha sector, gigantic forest pigs, spotted hyenas, waterbucks, and crocodiles, among others. Queen Elizabeth also provides night game drives at an additional cost. The best part about night drives is that they are not crowded, require a bright flashlight, and allow you to watch wild nocturnal creatures, particularly large cats hunting.


Murchison Falls National park

Murchison Falls National Park is located in the Albertine area of northern Uganda, about 5 to 6 hours from Kampala. Murchison Falls National Park, also known as Kabalega National Park, is one of the most visited in the country and is recognized for having one of the most powerful waterfalls in the world, with water pouring at 30 cubic meters per second. Murchison Falls National Park game drives are the greatest method to move throughout the park and see everything it has to offer guests. Murchison, which covers over 3840 square kilometers, is home to over 451 wildlife species, with approximately 76 of them being various mammal species and the remainder being bird life in the Par.

Creatures seen during a game drive around Murchison include lions, buffalos, elephants, and leopards, as well as kobs, Bushbucks, giraffes, antelopes, and hyenas, which are not Rhinos. Murchison Falls National Park features three often utilized trails: the Buligi route, a 7-kilometer road that runs through Paara in the northern portion of the park, the Victoria trail, and the Albert trail.

Murchison offers two game drive sessions, one in the morning and one in the evening. The morning session begins at 6:30 a.m., while the evening session begins at 3 or 4:00 p.m. Game drives can last anywhere from 2 to 5 hours and allow you to thoroughly explore the park. Game drives in the northern half of the park are best done along the banks because here is where most of the animals congregate for water, especially during the dry season.


Things to Bring on a Safari Game Drive

Following the preparation of your game drive safari, the following step is to pack what you will need, such as what to dress and the basics. This list will assist you in packing the proper items and avoiding needless luggage.

Because of the abundant pests in the nation, bring a sun hat, sunscreen, and insect repellent. If you’re shopping for a hat, make sure it’s in neutral colors so you can fit in with the wildlife.

Long-sleeved shirts, pants, gloves, and scarves should all be packed. The weather in Uganda varies dramatically, so you must be prepared at all times. You may also require a raincoat, especially during the rainy season.

You must bring a first aid kit with necessities such as antiseptic, Band-Aids, plasters, pain medications, and spirit and stomach relievers, to name a few. It will be a long day traveling around the National Parks, therefore a first aid pack is recommended in case of an emergency.

Owing to the Covid epidemic, all Ugandan National Parks will not allow you to enter their grounds without a mask, and you will need to clean at several locations, therefore bring a box of masks and sanitizer with you. Although Covid has decreased slightly, efforts are still being made to safeguard the country’s fauna.

A handbook with extensive explanations of all of Uganda’s wildlife will be required, especially if you wish to be able to see different creatures around the country. A tour guide can assist you in recognizing the species, but doing it yourself is more enjoyable.

Bottled water and energy drinks should be at the top of your list because the travel might take hours before you have a nice meal, and you’ll want to enjoy your drive without being disturbed by hunger. Refillable water bottles are preferable since they decrease trash in National Parks.

Comfortable shoes are required since you will need to get out of your car to stretch at some point and you do not want to be in uncomfortable shoes after sitting for a long period.

When on a wildlife drive in Uganda, you will need a camera, additional batteries, and binoculars, among other things. The binoculars with an 830 magnification will let you see distant wildlife, and the camera will capture those lovely moments. Bring a waterproof and dustproof bag with you to protect your camera and other equipment.


Why go on a wildlife drive on your Uganda safari?

One method to get the most out of your game drive is to communicate often with your driver guide about the kind of animals you anticipate seeing, how many hours you need, and other things you would want to participate in besides the drive. This will assist them in planning their day in the most enjoyable manner possible.

Before finalizing and scheduling your safari, do enough research on the National Parks that you want to visit to learn about the different animals and birds that can be found there and how wonderful the game drives are.

Game drives need a great deal of patience because no one can control the animals’ movements or how they behave when they see people. You will most likely be waiting in your vehicle for a long time before seeing any animals, so be patient. This patience should be passed on to the tour guide, who knows just where to go to see the greatest wildlife in Uganda.

Most tourists go on game drives with the intention of looking for the big five, which are heavily advertised, and are disappointed when they do not see them. Keep an open mind and try looking for smaller animals besides the big five during the game drive because they are just as entertaining as their counterparts.

Enjoying a game drive requires a lot of attention, and while we realize that you want to capture those special moments, take some time to put the camera away and appreciate the unfiltered real deal in front of you.


In Uganda, game drives are mandatory.

The various guidelines established by the Parks administration and the Uganda Wildlife Authority have made safari drives in Uganda a success. These restrictions are in place to save species from becoming endangered or extinct, and failure to obey them may result in penalties and a ban from visiting the National Parks. The game driving rules are shown below.

Visitors are not permitted to leave their vehicles when on game drives. This is because animals roam freely in National Parks, and you don’t want to get in their way when walking.

You must maintain a safe distance from the animals. Most wildlife is territorial, which makes them deadly if they believe they are in danger at any given time. To protect yourself and the animals, keep a distance of at least 50 to 100 meters.

You will need to pay an admission charge that is only valid for 24 hours in order to go on game drives. Every visitor is asked to pay an admission charge to any place that they intend to visit.

Reduce the amount of noise created during the safari drive to avoid scaring the animals away. If feasible, talk in whispers, turn off your phones, and avoid turning on the van’s radios. When there is peace and quiet, the animals may be seen for a longer period of time.

No one is permitted to feed the animals since the animals have been poisoned in the past. You will be removed from the National Park if you are caught feeding them.

To avoid hitting the animals, maintain a speed restriction of roughly 60 kilometers per hour while traveling through the National Parks.

Do not trash the park, do not smoke in the park, and do not take anything from the park. You are expected to leave the Park in the same manner that you entered it and to obey all of the tour guide’s instructions.


Game drives are conducted in safari vehicles.

Various vehicles may be used for wildlife drives in Uganda, but the most frequent are 4WD vehicles (land cruisers or vans) with an open top that allows you to see the animals up close. While traveling in big groups, other vehicles that can be employed include salon cars and coasters.


When is the best time to go on a game drive?

The dry season is the greatest time to go on a game drive. The equator has a significant impact on Uganda’s climate, resulting in two seasons: dry and wet. The dry season lasts from December to February, followed by June to mid-August. Because of the dried-up grass and animals going toward the waterholes in the National Parks, now is the greatest time to see the game. Safari drives may also be taken during the rainy season to gain a great glimpse of the start of the green season.

Arranging a safari vacation to Uganda is simple as long as you have the correct tour operator to assist you. We can help you arrange your safari according to your budget, propose what is good, and take whatever you desire into account. Ask all of the questions you believe should be answered, and then begin appropriate planning and packing for your trip to Uganda.