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A savvy traveller’s guide to the PARKS OF UGANDA

A perennial challenge for safari-goers is deciding which parks and reserves to include in their itinerary and which to forego. In Uganda the dilemma is pronounced because the country is compact but packed with a divergence of options. To help you figure out which may be best for you, depending on your interests, your budget and how much time you can afford, we sought the advice of longtime Ugandan traveller and guidebook writer Philip Briggs

GORILLA TRACKING

For most tourists, the primary motivation for visiting Uganda is the opportunity to track mountain gorillas, a truly one-in-a lifetime experience that can only be had elsewhere in Rwanda (at more than twice the price) or the Democratic Republic of Congo (with greater security concerns).

Within Uganda, your options boil down to the choice of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, which hosts 18 habituated gorilla troops and issues 144 tracking permits daily, and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, which has just one habituated troop and issues eight permits daily. These are often sold out months in advance (so book as early as possible) and the disparity in numbers alone dictates that the vast majority of trackers end up in Bwindi. If both are available, however, Mgahinga is worth considering for its compelling location in the spectacular Virunga Mountains and the unusual composition of the habituated group, which includes four heavyweight fraternal silverbacks.

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About Travel Africa

Why Botswana? Where to go, what to see, how to plan for your trip to this amazing country • Slow safari - letting wildlife come to you • Kaokoland, in search of remoteness • What it's really like to walk in Luangwa • Self-drive Tanzania • Know your owls • Sierra Leone rises • 60 reasons to visit Nairobi • Lapalala Wilderness... and much more!