Honeymoon Safari in Uganda

Guide to best honeymoon destinations, national parks, and lodges

Honeymoon Safari in Uganda, Aardvark Safari Lodge
Cottage at Aardvark Safari Lodge, Queen Elizabeth N.P. (c) Newman Dixon

Uganda is one of the best countries to consider for your next honeymoon safari due to the abundance of options. A honeymoon safari in Uganda offers you a variety of activities, including hiking and walking in the mountains or rural communities, game drives and boat cruises, trekking to see gorillas, chimpanzees, or golden monkeys, and finishing the trip on the islands and beaches of lake Victoria or with a city tour.

Many things to do also require that you decide on the region to go to and accommodations. The mode of transportation you want to use matters too such as taking both charter flights and driving. You may not figure out all that on your own. So, a tour operator or guide who has planned a honeymoon safari in Uganda in the past can help you to save time in search for information. Some tend to include surprises such as organizing a cake, sun-downer moments. Others will offer an all-inclusive honeymoon package, where most items are paid in full in advance.

Focusing on aspects of wildlife viewing for a honeymoon safari in Uganda

The 10 national parks in Uganda offer a variety of wildlife viewing activities. For example, gorilla trekking, golden monkey and chimpanzee tracking go hand in hand with game drives and boat cruises. In between, you can go on cultural walks in the villages surrounding the protected areas. Tented camps and lodges are available in the parks, with some offering the opportunity to sleep under the stars or dine in the bush.

Best national parks for honeymoon safari

Kidepo valley is in the north east Karamoja remote part of Uganda about 700 km almost a full day drive from Kampala city. You may reach the park by air through Apoka airstrip (1.5 hr flight) from Kajjansi in Kampala. It’s not easy to get there. The park stays quiet and uncrowded even during the peak season, expect to stay in a secluded lodge, far away from the regular tourist crowds. You can unwind and explore the wilderness looking for cheetahs, lions, leopards, and buffaloes, hippos, and elephants in the Narus valley, where permanent pools attract wildlife all year round. Tired of the car? Go for hiking and trekking. For example on the nature trails across the sand river to the other side with fewer animals but great scenery, hot springs, and cultural encounters. Meet the Ik, the lost community of Uganda on the slopes of Mount Morungole, 2749m.

Toro Semliki wildlife reserve

Flanked by the Rwenzori mountain range to the southwest, Kijura rift valley escarpments, and Lake Albert to the north. Toro Semliki offers a unique landscape and wildlife viewing experience. Highlights include a boat cruise on the lake to look for shoebill and tracking chimps in the grasslands. Unlike any other primate walk, this one is a special gentle walk through a valley of palm forest at 700m to open the acacia savanna. Mammal species you may see include Uganda kobs, forest elephants (rare in other parks), waterbucks, warthogs, and buffaloes. There are escarpments where you could enjoy the view of Rwenzori and the Congo Blue mountains.

Furthermore, the Semliki wildlife reserve is one of the least visited parks. Here you may meet the Batwa pygmies. There’s one wild places tented lodge with an airstrip so you can get there by fly in safari. By car it is 58 km from Fort Portal and Kibale forest.

Kibale forest national park

For those intending to track chimps and see a variety of primate species, Kibale forest is the place to be. What makes it better for a honeymoon safari in Uganda is the wide range of accommodations including those on the edge of crater lakes. The Bigodi village outside the park offers nature and cultural walks. A good way to spend afternoons lazying in the company of locals.

Honeymoon safari in Uganda
Chimpanzee tracking at Kalinzu forest, Queen Elizabeth N.P. (c) Dixon Newman.

Queen Elizabeth national park

Just an hour drive from Kibale, Queen Elizabeth N.P. is situated in the rift valley on the leeward side of Mount Rwenzori. It has open savanna, tropical forests, and the Kazinga channel that connects the lakes of Edward and George. There are unique sections of the park. The Kasenyi plains offers lion tracking and a boat cruise on the channel and has a wide range lodges. The Ishasha wilderness in the south is home to the tree climbing lions and the congo buffaloe are present. The area interconnects with Virunga national park in DR Congo. The lodges in Ishasha are tucked into nature. Some are on the banks of rivers along elephant migration routes.

Trekking gorillas on Honeymoon vacation in Bwindi or Mgahinga

Those intending to see mountain gorillas, Uganda should be on the bucket list. Unlike Rwanda or DR Congo, there are two ways to visit gorillas in Uganda including gorilla tracking and habituation experience. Bwindi impenetrable forest offers both while Mgahinga offers tracking gorillas as well as golden monkeys. Mgahinga is in the Virunga volcanic mountain ranges on the border with Rwanda and DR Congo.

It is made up of a mixture of bamboo and tropical forest ecosystems. Bwindi is a dense montane tropical forest and trekking there can be challenging due the nature of terrain. The best time to plan a gorilla safari is towards the end of the wet season in May and November. This is controversial to the general travel advice out there. Many insist that the dry season is better,  however. From personal experience, the advantage that comes with the wet season is that treks tend to be shorter and less strenuous. Given that, there’s plenty of foliage, the gorillas seldom move and may be found not far from the start point. 

Honeymoon in Uganda with a rush of adrenaline in Jinja

Jinja city is a great destination for honeymoon safari in the eastern part of Uganda. There are several hotels within and on the shores of the Victoria Nile. Other off-shore resorts can easily be accessed using a boat (5 minutes) from Jinja as well Kampala Gaba Beach House or Munyonyo, Entebbe. Once you settle, you have a wide range of activities to choose from. A boat cruise to the source of the Nile River is a highlight. You can go for white water rafting, kayaking, bungee jumping, river tubing, fishing, horseback rides, quad biking, and sunset cruises. Besides, the history of people in Jinja is worth exploring. The Uganda Railway Museum has the details of how the lives of fishermen turned around from the 1920s, what was a village has evolved from into an adventure capital of East Africa.

Sesse islands, Lake Victoria

A honeymoon in the Sesse islands is a fantastic option for those who enjoy exploring the outdoors and water sports. Sesse consists of over 80 islands 80 km offshore Entebbe in Uganda’s portion of Lake Victoria. Bugala is the largest and best for honeymoon with a wide range of accommodations. If you don’t wish to go far from Entebbe, the chimp sanctuary at Ngamba island is an excellent choice.

Lake Bunyonyi

Immediately after gorilla trekking, you may need to relax and lake Bunyonyi is a great destination for honeymoon safari in Uganda. Besides, there are other lakes such as Mutanda and Mulehe. If you stay there during tracking, then you don’t need to go to Bunyonyi thereafter.

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