Mountain Gorilla, Bwindi, Uganda

Uganda Holidays

If wildlife is your thing, Uganda is the ideal place to meet mountain gorillas, encounter Rothschild’s giraffes and spy on tree-climbing lions.

Congolese rainforest meets eastern savannah with dramatic effect. Troops of chimpanzees swing through the vines of Kibale and mountain gorilla families shelter within Bwindi’s dense forests.

Although renowned for its iconic primates, Uganda possesses a remarkable diversity of wildlife. Lions climb the trees of Queen Elizabeth National Park, shoebills shelter beside Murchison Falls and Rothschild’s giraffes roam the Kidepo Valley.

Young lion in a tree, Queen Elizabeth National Park, Uganda
Lion, Queen Elizabeth National Park, Uganda
Beautiful butterfly Blue Pansy, Junonia oenone green leaf, Uganda, Africa
Kibale, Uganda
Great Blue Turaco, Uganda
Great blue turaco, Uganda

Safari highlights of Uganda

  • Find tree-climbing lions snoozing on the branches of shady fig trees
  • Spot hippos and crocodiles basking in the waters of the Kazinga Channel
  • Encounter elephants and forest buffalos in the wild Semliki Valley
Kibale National Park, Uganda
Kibale National Park, Uganda
Monkey, Ndali Lodge, Kibale
Kibale, Uganda
Chimp, Kibale, Uganda
Gorilla Hand Close Up, Bwindi Forest, Uganda

Highlights of a primates experiences in Uganda

  • Trek in search of the mountain gorilla families of Bwindi
  • Spot red colobus, L’Hoest’s and numerous other monkey species
  • Track troops of chimps in Kibale Forest and Kyamburu Gorge
Gorilla family in wild, Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Uganda
Mountain gorillas, Bwindi Impenetrable National Par, Uganda

Highlights of a Uganda holiday

  • Fly in and out of Bwindi by light aircraft for two back-to-back gorilla treks.
  • Catch tiger fish and Nile perch – some of the largest fish on the continent – staying on the banks of the Nile River.
  • Combine gorilla trekking in Bwindi with time spent in Kenya. Encounter mountain gorillas, before searching for predators and plains game in the Masai Mara.
  • Stay at Apoka Lodge in Kidepo; experience some of the most dramatic scenery in East Africa, in one of the remotest lodges.
  • Trek for mountain gorillas in their two different habitats – the volcanoes of Rwanda and the forests of Uganda.
  • Search for shoebill storks amongst the lakes of Semliki. These rare and ancient birds stand tall amongst the wetlands – their favourite hunting grounds.

Explore Uganda

  • Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
  • Kibale
  • Kidepo Valley National Park
  • Murchison Falls National Park
  • Queen Elizabeth National Park


A selection of activities and experiences you could consider including in your holiday to Uganda.

Gorilla family in wild, Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Uganda

Gorilla Trekking

Trek in search of the mountain gorilla families of Bwindi.

Suggested Holiday Idea

Hippos, Murchison Falls National Park, Uganda

Cruise the Kazinga Channel

Spot hippos and crocodiles basking in the waters of the Kazinga Channel.

Suggested Holiday Idea

Chimpanzee Portrait, Kibale Forest, Uganda

Chimpanzee Trekking

Track troops of chimps in Kibale Forest and Kyamburu Gorge.

Suggested Holiday Idea

Waterfall, Murchison Falls, Victoria Nile, Uganda

Murchison Falls

Visit the spectacular falls, with a walk up to the viewpoint at the top to fully appreciate their scale and power.

Suggested lodge

Wild Shoebill, Lake Opeta, Uganda

Shoebill Storks

Head out into the marshes and look for the elusive shoebill stork. This is one of the best places in Uganda to spot them.

Need inspiration?
Browse our Uganda holiday ideas.

Our experts have created and curated these holiday ideas to get you started. Take the time to search through them and find something that is the spark for your unique adventure.

Where to stay

Some of the wonderful places to stay that we frequently recommended.

Gorilla Forest Camp £££££

  • Uganda
  • Safari and Wildlife Lodge

Gorilla Forest Camp is a permanent luxury tented camp nestled in the mist-swathed rainforests on a mountainside in the heart of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. The exclusive location makes Gorilla Forest Camp the sole property within the park boundaries and so is considered by many to be the ideal base for gorilla tracking, primate viewing and birding excursions in the park. Gorilla Forest Camp has been designed to blend seamlessly into this most atmospheric of environments, carefully pointed towards the misty valleys and looming, forest-clad mountains.

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Bwindi Lodge £££££

  • Uganda
  • Safari and Wildlife Lodge

This attractive, low key lodge was one of the first to be built in the area and sits in a fantastic location, with uninterrupted views of Bwindi Forest. After a day of trekking, retreat to the lounge and discuss highlights of the day around the central fireplace, or borrow one of the lodge’s books. The lodge’s restaurant and cosy fireside bar are on raised decks, also offering great views over the forest with the large outdoor patio perfect for soaking up the sun in between treks into the forest. Gorillas have even been known to pay a visit on occasion. Each guest room has a private terrace overlooking the forest, and a personal butler service is offered to all guests at the lodge.

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Ndali Lodge £££££

  • Uganda
  • Safari and Wildlife Lodge

Sitting on a narrow ridge 1,500 metres above sea level, set against the backdrop of the Mountains of the Moon in the heart of Uganda’s Crater Lake region, Ndali is as charming as it is welcoming. Stone cottages with 4 poster beds and claw-foot baths complete the colonial feel of this working farmstead, with pet Labradors taking up residence in the wicker chairs at the front of the rooms.

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Baker’s Lodge £££££

  • Uganda
  • Safari and Wildlife Lodge

Named after Samuel Baker, the first European to view and name Murchison Falls, this intimate and upmarket safari lodge sits in a commanding position on the south bank of the Nile River, under shady trees. The thatched central lounge, bar and dining area on raised decking allow uninterrupted views across the wetland areas to the river beyond, where a host of water birds can be spotted amongst the elephants, hippos and crocs found along the shore. The handful of cleverly designed en-suite cottages ensures privacy and individual river views making the most of the spectacular setting.

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Buhoma Lodge £££££

  • Uganda
  • Safari and Wildlife Lodge

The warmth and welcome of this lodge are what sets it apart and the spirit of the original Buhoma Homestead built on the site shines through. Each of the eight wood and stone cottages is set across the hillside in the forest surrounding Bwindi, using simple African fabrics to add comfort and character, whilst the private decking offers sweeping views of the forests below. Most people find themselves in the bar pretty soon after arrival, where the atmospheric fireplace adds warmth to the cool evenings and the lodges raised position comes into its own. The staff, quite rightly, take huge pride in working here, speaking volumes about the effort the owners have invested in working with the surrounding community.

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Apoka Lodge £££££

  • Uganda
  • Safari and Wildlife Lodge

The adventurous nature of flying in over the mountains, the liberating sense of space when landing, and the genuine warmth and welcome of the staff make Apoka Safari Lodge very, very special. The handful of spacious and comfortable rooms are scattered manyatta-style around kopjes. The main dining and lounge areas are raised off the ground under a high thatched roof to take advantage of the breeze as you watch animals graze on the savannah below and there is also a refreshing swimming pool, much needed in this dusty northern wilderness.

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Meet our experts

A passion for travel runs right through every one of our experts - meaning they're always ready with first-hand insight about their specialist countries.

Illona Cross

Born in a small South African town, I have always followed my passion for nature and discovery. After studying Nature Conservation in Pretoria, I was one of the first women to complete a very tough cadetship in the Natal Parks Board. It was here where I cut my teeth in African wildlife management.

Talk with our experts
  • 01285 880 980

Chris Johnston

Chris is the Conde Nast Traveller chosen Specialist for Africa.

25 years ago, my first trip to Africa took on a life of its own. I planned for three months, I stayed for two years. Whilst there, I was mistaken for a priest, attacked by sharks and arrested. Yet the countless, clattering journeys opened my eyes to the beauty of the landscapes and the grace of the people. My recent trips are undoubtedly more comfortable, but the welcome is as warm as ever and the best experiences are still those I never see coming.

Talk with our experts
  • 01285 880 980

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Frequently asked questions about Uganda

How close to the gorillas do you get in Uganda?

How fit do I have to be for gorilla trekking in Uganda?

What advice would you give on photography in Uganda?

What should I take when I go gorilla trekking in Uganda?

Mountain gorilla, Bwindi, Uganda
Bwindi, Uganda

Conservation Through Public Health

We support projects right across the planet. Explore below to see where and how we’re making a difference – in some cases, we can even arrange a visit as part of your tailor-made itinerary.

In Uganda, for example, we have supported Village Health and Conservation Team (VHCT) volunteers work to protect gorillas by providing household-level health services to community members in Bwindi. This included information on hygiene, sanitation and, where necessary, medical referrals.

When planning your trip speak to our experts about how you can also support the destinations you are visiting.

Why Choose Steppes?

Our knowledge and expertise set us apart. So too our curiosity. It is this that drives us to create a journey that is really bespoke to you, all the while ensuring we travel and operate sustainably.

Are you ready to discover extraordinary once again?

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