Guided safari game drives in Uganda are basically driving through savannah parks in a four-by-four safari vehicle, guided by an expert local guide, viewing wild animals. A game drive highlights any classic Ugandan safari taking you deep into the natural wilderness and getting you closer to the big and small animals within the park.
During a game drive, expect the most rewarding guided game drives to head out during the misty sunrise and late in the cool evenings or at night, the coolest times of the day when most animals are more active. Irrespective of the safari destination, every game drive is unique, making wildlife encounters an unexpected and refreshing thrill.
A typical game drive in Uganda may last 3-4 hours. Other game drives head out for more than six hours with short breaks allowing the traveler to get out of the vehicle, stretch, loosen up, and snack. The guide usually chooses somewhere with great views of the plains for short breaks. Afternoon game drives are usually arranged to end at a good sunset.
The guide will probably be your driver, who is mostly in control of the adventure, spotting out the animals, taking you through unexpected game viewing tracks, and throwing in humorous stories about wildlife encounters. Wildlife viewing on an expert-guided safari game drive in Uganda is much more rewarding. On a good day, lion, elephant, leopard, and buffalo sightings are a moment to treasure.
Famous game drive sightings on Uganda’s savannah plains include the tree-climbing lions in Queen Elizabeth National Park’s Ishasha sector, elephants, buffalos, leopards, various antelope species, hippo, and the localized Rothschild’s giraffe.
Uganda safari game drive allows one to six people per safari truck excluding the guide, giving each occupant an adjustable window seat with enough legroom. In a closed 4×4 Land cruiser customized with large windows for every seat and a roof pop-up for photography. Uganda safaris operate in closed cruisers to avoid long windy drives from the airport to the safari park Number of guided safari game drives per day
The most rewarding safari game drives in Uganda occur in four of the ten national parks. The National Parks offer breathtaking wildlife viewing experiences. Queen Elizabeth National Park south western Uganda, Kidepo Valley National Park in North Eastern Uganda, Murchison Falls National Park, and Lake Mburo National Park in western Uganda.
Game Drive in Queen Elizabeth National Park
A guide will find the big cats within the Kasenyi Plains in the northern and southern Ishasha sectors. Besides the typical lion spotting, the park has a high reputation for its tree-climbing lions regularly spotted relaxing in the giant fig trees that grow in the southern Isasha region.
Other animals tourists commonly encounter driving through the Queen Elizabeth savannah plains include elephants, enormous herds of elephants, and buffaloes among others. You’ll also spot out many interesting antelope species such as Uganda kob, topi, and bushbuck. The giant forest hog is unusually easy to spot. Search around the Kasenyi tracks for the elusive leopard. However, night game drives are perfect for finding the elusive leopard.
Game Drive in Murchison Falls National Park
Murchison is one of the three large safari parks that provide excellent guided safari game drives in Uganda. A good safari drive on Murchison’s game tracks will lead you to four of Africa’s Big Five only rhinos are absent. Buffalos and elephants are particularly a common sight on game drives. The park has a rich population of lions that prey on the abundant Uganda kob. You’ll also catch sight of various antelope species like the oribi, Jackson’s hartebeest, waterbuck, grey duiker, and bushbuck.
You can’t miss sighting the large herds of the localized Rothschild’s giraffes on any safari game drives in the park. The leopards are most likely to be spotted around Pakuba. Look out for troops of the rare Pata’s monkey on the grassy plains.
Murchison Falls National Park is a bit isolated from the popular western circuit at least 200 kilometers from Kibale National Park, the nearest park. So it’s usually the first or last stop on the best of Uganda safari holidays. The Murchison Falls route, via Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary, is the only one that will assure you an encounter with Africa’s big five.
Game Drives in Kidepo Valley National Park
The park is a predator haven, protecting many predators found nowhere else in Uganda’s parks like the cheetah and black-backed jackal. Common sightings on a safari game drive in Kidepo Valley National Park include the bat-eared fox, cheetah, striped hyena, caracal, aardwolf, elephant, Orbis, zebras, Jackson’s hartebeests, bush pigs, cape buffaloes, reedbuck, warthog, waterbuck, Rothschild giraffes, bush duikers, elands, bushbucks among others.
Game Drive in Lake Mburo National Park
The game drives are done early in the morning and tourists are able to view animals like zebras, antelopes, buffaloes, crocodiles, buffaloes and a variety of birds while enjoying the drive and during the night drive nocturnal animals like hyenas, and leopards are spotted Plus grazers like hippos.
The best time for wildlife viewing on a safari game drive in Uganda’s western savannah parks is during the dry seasons from June to August and December to February. The best time for game drives in Kidepo Valley National Park is immediately after the rainy season in September, October, and November, and through the long dry season from December to February. The beginning of the wet season is always a great time to drive on the safari tracks and check out the greening landscapes.
What to wear and carry during the game drive
When starting your game drive early morning and for the better half of the day, wear comfortable layers of safari clothing. That way you can adjust to the wide range of temperatures you’ll experience. While the morning can be freezing in western Uganda, it gets hot by midday, so layers of safari outfitters will save you.
Even If you’re on safari during the rainy season, convertible pants and a light jacket are great options since you’ll spend most of your time in the back of a closed safari truck. At least carry a scarf and gloves for the chilly morning game drives.
Sun protection is a considerable concern on safari. So carry a hat, a pair of sunglasses to reduce the glare. Bright colors should be avoided
Although you may spend most of your time on a safari game drive inside the vehicle, a few times, you may jump out for a stretch, or relaxation break, to get a closer view of a fascinating small animal or plant that your local guide may point out. In that case, wear a comfortable canvas pair of shoes.
A small spray bottle of hand sanitizer, and insect repellent are essential to carry in your handbag during these times. Insect repellent is particularly important during evening and night drives when mosquitos are at their most active.
If you’re into nature and wildlife photography. In that case, you’ll need to carry appropriate equipment for wildlife photography, especially the right lens to zoom in on the animals that your guide may not reach driving to. It’ll be helpful to carry extra batteries, a waterproof or dustproof bag to keep the photography equipment protected. Carry a pair of binoculars to see far-off animals. You will be sighting most of the animals on the safari game drive far off your path and the binoculars will come in handy in those moments.
Drinks and Snacks
Take a refillable water bottle to avoid spoiling the environment with disposable water bottles. You can refill your bottle at your camp and stay hydrated during the hot safari drives.
Nuts, energy bars, and dried fruit make great game drive snacks. The wilderness excitement and fresh air can evoke appetite, so it’s good to have some nibbles to hand.
To prepare for unforeseen eventualities on a long day of game drives, it’s advisable to carry a light first aid kit. The kit can include essential items like aspirin, plasters, bandages, and stomach ache relievers among others.
In which other way do you imagine yourself relaxing and reducing fatigue, but still enjoying your safari, spotting a variety of wildlife species in the park? Make sure a game drive is included on your itinerary and you enjoy a memorable exciting adventure in a four-by-four safari vehicle.