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Hippopotami in Murchison - Best all-inclusive 7-day Uganda safari with gorilla trek, chimp tracking, primate wildlife tour Uganda. Track rhinos, BIG-5 wildlife, gorilla tour in Uganda. Hippos, Murchison Falls - Best of Uganda Tour, 7 days most popular Uganda tour Gorillas and Wildlife Safaris

Best of Uganda Wildlife & Primates Safari - 7 Days

Gorillas and Wildlfe Safaris Hall of Fame Trip Advisor RecommendedAn all-in-all African Adventure holiday with thrilling close-up wildlife encounters, gorilla tracking and memorable chimpanzee trekking experiences.

The 7-day  Best of Uganda Wildlife & Primates Safari is the most recommended for any first-timer on an African safari adventure for its ease to access wildlife at closer quarters, easy gorillas and chimpanzee tracking and wide-ranging scenic drives across remote villages in Ugandan farmlands.

The safari can start on any day from Entebbe or Kampala. We shall first visit  Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary for Rhino Tracking and then proceed to the magnificent Murchison Falls National Park, Kibale National Park and then Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in Uganda.

Tour highlights include adventurous safari drives, chimps tracking in Kibale National Park with 11 other primates there, guided primates tours in Bigodi Wetland, a boat trip or launch trip on the River Nile in Murchison Falls National Park, Rhino tracking at Ziwa Rhinos Sanctuary,  and then gorilla trekking or gorilla tracking in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.

Overview
Itinerary
Accommodation
Inclusions
Overview

Best of Uganda Wildlife and Primates' Safari - 7 Days

The Best of Uganda Wildlife & primates Safari route allows you to visit Uganda’s Albertine Rift and visit its most important protected area including Murchison Falls National Park, Kibale National Park, and Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.

It includes plenty of wildlife safaris looking for BIG-5, game safaris and a boat safari, bird watching, chimpanzee trekking and Bwindi gorilla trek.

  • Day 1: Start from Entebbe or Kampala to Murchison Falls National Park Safari & track the rhinos at  Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary 
  • Day 2: BIG-5  Wildlife Game drive safari, Murchison Falls National Park game drive & boat trip safari to view wildlife
  • Day 3: Drive to Kibale Forest National Park for primate tracking chimps, monkeys, etc. (Or request for flight option)
  • Day 4: Chimpanzee tracking in Kibale Forest National Park & Guided primates walk Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary
  • Day 5: Drive to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park for Gorilla Tracking
  • Day 6: Gorilla trekking in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
  • Day 7: Return to Kampala or Entebbe or end tour in Kigali
Itinerary

Itinerary for Best of Uganda wildlife and primates safari - Uganda Tour to gorilla, chimps and BIG-5 Wildlife in Murchison Falls National Park

Day 1: Drive to Murchison Falls National Park Safari & Track the White Rhinos at Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary

We start the safari from your hotel in Entebbe or Kampala at 07:00 am. If you are arriving on the same day as we start the tour, you need to arrive not later than 10 AM.  

(We also help our clients on booking pre- and post-tour nights in Entebbe and Kampala but this isn't included in your Uganda tour cost. Most hotels in Entebbe provide free Airport transfers from Entebbe. Please let us know when you need our help.)

On the tour start day, your guide will be at your hotel at 7 am or before. You go through the program and have a general briefing about your Uganda safari before embarking on the 3 hours drive to Ziwa Rhinos Sanctuary. This is a generally beautiful scenic drive through some virgin African rural life. 

At Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary you track the Rhinos, not just from a vehicle but up close – great opportunities of these fabulous animals – there is other wildlife to be found here, so keep your eyes open so you do not miss any and your guide will also point any other animals.

You are accompanied by rangers who take you within 10 meters of the Rhinos.  You will most likely see other wildlife as you trek the rhinos such as antelopes, warthogs and more.  This sanctuary has now been established to breed black and white rhino, and restore Rhino populations in Uganda's protected areas in a later stage. You are allowed 1 hour with the rhinos while the sanctuary keeper gives all the information they can about them.

We will continue through the park stopping at the top of the falls which is a fantastic sight. Here the Nile, the longest river in the world, is forced through a narrow gap in the rock (only 7 meters wide), before ferociously plunging down 43 meters. From here we will continue onto our accommodation place along the Nile River

Murchison Falls National Park is the largest in Uganda at 3,840 square kilometers. Here is the awe-inspiring Murchison Falls where the River Nile hurls itself in convulsions through a narrow crevice and then plunges 40 meters in one breathtaking leap.

The park has a variety of vegetation ranging from riparian forests and swamplands to broad savannah and provides visitors the opportunity of seeing large concentrations of wildlife including lion, leopard, civet, hyena, elephant, giraffe, buffalo, hippo, crocodile, a host of smaller game, small primates and many bird species, including the rare shoebill stork. The park is especially famous for crocodiles and hippos.

Apart from game viewing, the launch trip to the bottom of the falls is another memorable adventure giving you the experience of the mighty Biblical Nile. On the launch you may see schools of crocodiles and hippos basking on the river banks as well as a variety of birds.

Murchison Falls NP Accommodation options available

Up-market: Bakers Lodge  | Paraa Safari Lodge

Moderate: Pakuba Lodge or Fort Murchison Lodge 

Low Budget: Fort Murchison Lodge (tents) | Murchison River Lodge (tents) | Red Chilli Rest Camp

Meals today: Breakfast, Lunch, dinner only.

Driving time: ±5 hours

Day 2: Game drive safaris  and boat trip in Murchison Falls National Park 

It is highly advisable that you plan an early morning departure from the lodge today, somewhere not later than 6:30 am. We want to comb out all the thickets and bushes of Murchison Falls National Park in search of its prized wild game. The plan is to catch most of the big predators  - the lions, hyenas and leopard in hunting and feeding action and the best time for this is before the day gets warmer. Your guide is skilled in locating the best tracks on which they will be. On the game drive you should also expect other more common hosts - the giraffe, herds of elephants, buffaloes, and many more.

There are really no limits as to how long this game drive will last. Your safari guide will try their best to cover as much as possible before returning to catch the afternoon boat trip to the bottom of Murchison Falls.

This boat trip along the calmer waters of the Nile is often cited as being the highlight of a safari in Murchison since it allows you to get up-close and personal with the animals. Along this stretch of the river, there are reported to be around 4,000 hippos in addition to some enormous Nile crocodiles.

The birdlife is stunning with brightly colored kingfishers and bee-eaters darting along the riverbanks. If lucky, you may see the rare and prehistoric-looking shoebill, which is a cross between the dodo and a dinosaur. The boat takes you to the base of the falls which only adds to their impressiveness.

Accommodation options available 

Up-market: Bakers Lodge  | Paraa Safari Lodge

Moderate: Pakuba Lodge | Fort Murchison Lodge | Murchison River Lodge 

Low Budget: Fort Murchison Lodge (tents) | Murchison River Lodge (tents) | Red Chilli Rest Camp

Meals today: Breakfast, Lunch, dinner only.

Day 3: Drive to Africa's Primate Capital -  Kibale Forest National Park, (you can make a special request to fly from Murchison to Kibale).

Today we leave Murchison Falls National Park for Kibale Forest National Park via the Lake Albert escarpment, having a good view of the lake. The drive is famous for its views of the Great East African Rift valley escarpments.  We also shall be driving across the interesting river Nkusi (flowing from the southern end of Lake Albert, through the villages of Kagadi, joining Victoria Nile). Both rivers join Lake Kyoga and flow through the Murchison Falls continue to Lake Albert and north to the Mediterranean Sea.

You arrive at Fort Portal, then, continue toward Kibale Forest, one of the great African rainforest research reserves. Years of study by scientists (who have cut a grid through the forest) have habituated many of its animals to human observers. This forest is famed for the variety of primates found here and it is a te

During the afternoon we have time to visit the scenic crater lakes region, checking out the superbly terraced tea estates. In the south of Fort Portal is the Kasenda Crater Lakes region. It sits on the rim of Lake Nyinambuga—the back of the main building looks down over the lake, while the other side of the lodge looks out over another lake in the distance and, further off, the Rwenzori Mountains, which were perpetually shrouded in the clouds, except early in the morning. There’s plenty to do in this area and we can also take an hour’s walk around Lake Nyinambuga.

Kibale Accommodation options available

Up-market: Kyaninga Lodge | Crater Safari Lodge| Primate Lodge Kibale | Ndali Lodge

Moderate:  Isunga Lodge| Kibale Forest Camp (ensuite rooms) | Turaco Treetops Lodge

Low Budget: Kibale Forest Camp (tents) | Chimpanzee Forest Guesthouse| Rweteera Safari Lodge

Meals today: Breakfast, Lunch, dinner only.

Driving time: ±5 hours

Day 4: Chimpanzee Tracking in Kibale Forest National Park & Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary

Your safari guide will be meeting you at your accommodation for the transfer to Kibale Park offices for the chimpanzee tracking experience. At the park office you shall be breifed about the chimpanzees and other primates in the forest. You will also be guided on how you need to conduct yourself while tracking the chimpanzees in the forest. After all this, it is time to trek into the jungles in search of the chimps. The walk, in general, requires only moderate physical fitness and most guests can easily manage without much hustle. We shall be trekking for about 2 hours or so before encounter the first signs of the chimpanzee troupes in this forest. You should hear them by their distinctively loud pant-hooting in the canopies of the forest. 

When we eventually get very close, you should be able to see the chimpanzees playing in the tree canopies. Some will be on the forest floor feeding on the undergrowth vegetation. You will be allowed 1 hour with them, to take photographs and have all your questions answered by the park rangers.

The ranger guides will then be requesting you to start preparing to leave. As you trek from the chimpanzees, be on the lookout for the other primates in Kibale like the black and white colobus monkeys, L’Hoest monkeys, grey-cheeked mangabey, red-tailed monkeys, bushbabies, and pottos. If you are curious about the birds, you might be able to spot the yellow-spotted nicator, rumped tinker bird, little greenbul, green breasted pitta, the crowned eagle, and black bee-eater among others. Your chimps trek rangers will exercise plenty of caution as you walk to dodge direct encounters with the fierce elephants in Kibale.

In the afternoon we visit a nearby Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary  that is excellent for viewing primates and other forest animals. Bigodi is located on Athe eastern edge of Kibale forest and is maintained by the local community. You might spot birds like the great blue turaco, blue monkeys, baboons, otters, mongoose, bushbucks, bush pigs and among others.

Kibale Accommodation options available (all on full board basis)

Up-market: Kyaninga Lodge | Crater Safari Lodge| Primate Lodge Kibale | Ndali Lodge

Moderate:  Isunga Lodge| Kibale Forest Camp (ensuite rooms) | Turaco Treetops Lodge

Low Budget: Kibale Forest Camp (tents) | Chimpanzee Forest Guesthouse | Rweteera Safari Lodge

Meals today: Breakfast, Lunch, dinner only.

Driving time: ±3o minutes

Day 5: Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park

Today we depart from Kibale to jungles of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park where we shall be having the gorilla tracking experience.  The drive is not less than 5 hours but traverses remarkably beautiful tropical savannah plains with herds of wildlife grazing along the way. 

We shall be arriving Bwindi late in the afternoon and you can spend the rest of the day resting and preparing for the next day's adventure to the gorillas.

Bwindi Accommodation options available (all on full board basis)

Up-market: Buhoma Lodge | Mahogany Lodge| Nkuringo Bwindi Gorilla Lodge | Chameleon Hill Lodge

Moderate: Engagi Lodge | Silverback Lodge | Ichumbi Gorilla Lodge | Gorilla Mist Camp

Low Budget: Rushaga Gorilla Havens | Gorilla Conservation Camp| Ruhija Gorilla Friends Camp | Travellers Rest Hotel Kisoro

Meals today: Breakfast, Lunch, dinner only.

Driving time: ±6 hours

Day 6: Gorilla Trekking in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park

Tracking the gorillas in Bwindi is a highlight for most tourists on safari in Uganda. There are only 1065 mountain gorillas alive on earth and of these, over 50% live in Uganda's Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga Gorillas National Park. That is one reason why being one of the few humans to come face-to-face with a family of mountain gorillas in their wild home is a truly special event in one's lifetime.

Your driver shall be at your accommodation to pick you up for this special day's adventures. Gorilla trekking starts with a briefing exercise done at the Bwindi park offices (normally very close to your accommodation). The pre-trek breifing starts at about 8 am and it is mandatory for everyone tracking the gorillas to attend. Here you will be given more information about the mountain gorillas' conservation and ecology, and how to conduct yourself while tracking to the gorillas. Afterward, you will be a allocated a gorilla group to which you will be visiting.

Most trailheads to the gorillas will be located a few minutes' drive from the park office but some treks just commence right there. Either way, expect to trek for about 2-3 hours in the thick jungles before meeting the gorillas. Once you meet them, the rangers will allow you to up to 6 meters close while guiding you on the best spots to photograph the gorillas. You will be allowed 1 hour with the gorillas and then it will be time to descend back to camp.

Bwindi Accommodation options available (all on full board basis)

Up-market: Buhoma Lodge | Mahogany Lodge| Nkuringo Bwindi Gorilla Lodge | Chameleon Hill Lodge

Moderate: Engagi Lodge | Silverback Lodge | Ichumbi Gorilla Lodge | Gorilla Mist Camp

Low Budget: Rushaga Gorilla Havens | Gorilla Conservation Camp| Ruhija Gorilla Friends Camp | Travellers Rest Hotel Kisoro

Meals today: Breakfast, Lunch, dinner only.

Driving time: ±30 munites

Day 7: Return to Entebbe (daily flights also available to Entebbe). The tour could also end in Kigali (4 hrs) on request.

Today is our last day on the Uganda Wildlife and Primates Safari. We shall prepare to leave the mountain gorillas junles early in the morning for our ±7 hours drive back to Entebbe airport or Kampala (or Kigali on request).

The drive traverses the grassed and terraced escarpments of southwestern Uganda while taking in the breathtaking sights of the hills of the region dubbed ‘the little Switzerland of Africa’. This area is a highly fertile, mountainous region with steep-sided hills covered from top to bottom in neatly terraced cultivated rows.

Another remarkable highlight of this journey is the Equator line and surely you will cross it as we have a brief stop here.

We will be in Entebbe in the evening before for your flight back home.

Meals today: Breakfast  & Lunch only.

Driving distance: 7 hours to Kampala, 8 hours to Entebbe, 4 hours to Kigali

Accommodation

Accommodation is situated either in National Parks, on the banks of a river, or in other places of interest. Most accommodation options have a private bathroom with a shower and toilet, while others have shared ablutions available. Some properties are equipped with swimming pools and bar areas.

Upscales Accommodation for this Uganda Safari

Mostly we will try our best to get the best high-quality lodges at all the parks in this Uganda safari. 

In Murchison Falls NP we book either Baker's Lodge or Paraa Safari Lodge

In Kibale, we book Kyaninga Lodge or Ndali Lodge or Crater Safari Lodge

In Bwindi we book either Mahogany Springs Lodge, Buhoma Lodge or Chameleon Hill Lodge

Each lodge cost per night is about $300 per person.

Midrange (Moderate) Accommodation for this Uganda Safari

The midrange accommodation for this  Uganda safari is largely mid-luxury safari camps and lodges with bigger space, ensuite bathrooms and toilet among other amenities.

In Murchison Falls NP we book either Murchison River Lodge, Fort Murchison Lodge or Pakuba Game Lodge

In Kibale, we book Isunga Lodge or Kibale Forest Camp or Chimpanzee Forest Guesthouse cottages.

In Bwindi we book either Engagi  Lodge, Buhoma Haven Lodge or Bwindi Nkuringo Gorilla Lodge

The lodging cost per night is ranging at about $140 per person per night.

Lower Budget Accommodation for this Uganda Safari

The lower budget accommodation quoted will usually be sheltered tents often with shared bathrooms/ toilet, or smaller ensuite cottages (depending on availability), or rooms.

Nice comfortable bedding is always provided with mosquito nets for your comfort.

You don't need to bring your own tent or bedding for this tour.

In Murchison Falls NP we book either lazy camping tent Murchison River Lodge, Fort Murchison Lodge or Red Chilli.

In Kibale, we book  tents at Kibale Forest Camp or rooms Chimpanzee Forest Guesthouse

In Bwindi we book either Buhoma Community Restcamp or Rushaga Gorilla Camp or Ruhija Gorilla Friends.

The lodging cost per night is ranging at about $80-90 per person per night.

Inclusions

Best of Uganda Safari - Cost Inclusions and Exclusions

This is a private Uganda tour with unshared transfers, and you would only be joined by others on the gorilla trek tour, rhino tracking, chimps trek and boat trip to Murchison Falls NP.

Tour Inclusions

  • Gorilla trek permits (each at US$600)
  • Chimpanzee tracking/ viewing permits
  • Rhinos tracking
  • Accommodation with all meals indicated on programme
  • Services of a good English-speaking Uganda safari guide
  • Park fees for the various parks
  • Transport on tour using a customised game viewing safari land-cruieser
  • Entrance fees for tours mentioned in the programme
  • Boat rides as on the programme
  • Bottled drinking water on the vehicle

Uganda tour cost excludes

  • Tips
  • visas and travel documentation
  • Optional Tours
  • Pre-tour or post-tour accommodation and transfer arrangments
  • Flight tickets
  • Beverages at lodges 
  • Optional tours not in itinerary
  • Porters for treks

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IS THE BEST OF UGANDA WILDLIFE & PRIMATES SAFARI FOR ME?

TRAVEL STYLE: Gorillas and Wildlife Safaris Journeys

Greater exploration, insider access, and the freedom to roam – all without sacrificing comfort.

SERVICE LEVEL: Up-gradable

Quality accommodations and more inclusions than on other GWS tours, like meals, private transport, and activities.

PHYSICAL RATING: 3 Moderate Difficulty

Bits of heavy hiking on the gorilla tracking but mostly gentle combined with driving ±6 hours on some transfers.

TRIP TYPE: Private/Small Group

Small group experience; Max 6, Avg 2. Min.1

AGE REQUIREMENT: 16+

Travellers bellow the age of 16 will not be allowed to trek gorillas but can be left at lodge to tour the villages with a guide.

Clients' Testiomonials from the Uganda Primates and Wildlife Safaris

  •   After doing a mountain of research on the Net, I finally settled on Gorillas and Wildlife Safaris to contact to see if they could help me with a life long... read more

    Don B
    7/01/2020

      We (my husband and myself (60) travelling with a younger couple) spent the most wonderful time in Uganda and Ruanda. We were taken with a most appropriate car to the... read more

    smallwoman60
    5/10/2020

      We can highly recommend Gorillas and Wildlife Safari Tour company. We went with them on a chimpanzee and Gorilla expedition and loved it. Communication with Ivan was great - he... read more

    Anna Franziska H
    3/26/2020

      We recently returned from our 13 day flying safari with GWS.
    Dealing with Ivan was a breeze and he always answered my questions promptly. He was also keen to... read more

    Nobbysnook
    3/24/2020
  •   My husband and I went on Gorillas & Wildlife Safari's 4 day/ 3 night trip. We first went to the Buhoma Sector of Bwindi National Park to see the... read more

    dreamsp5
    3/08/2020

      My family and myself just did a 6 day tour with this company and had a great experience. Our guide was Ahmed Kezzi who was wonderful and really made the... read more

    Animal O
    3/07/2020

      What an amazing and unforgettable experience! Eric is an excellent guide and driver. Loved the chimps, the two gorillas tours and everything in between. The lodges were lovely and... read more

    154danielam
    3/03/2020

      We went on the 6 day safari to Riwa Rhino Sanctuary, Murchison Falls National Park, Kibale National Park and Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. We absolutely loved our time in... read more

    Jennifer J
    2/27/2020

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More information on the Best of Uganda Wildlife Safari 7 - Days to Murchison Falls, Kibale Chimps Tracking and Bwindi Gorilla Trekking

On your safari, you have a chance to experience some of the most spectacular yet undiscovered wildlife. Uganda has very beautiful scenery, comfortable weather year-round and above all friendly people that will make your holiday a journey to remember. Besides, Uganda has such a wealth of attractions that a single visit will not be enough to discover all its wonders…!

Uganda as a country is one of the most thought for destination when it comes to African safaris. This is due to its natural endowment with natural beauty, characterized by good natural physical features, amazing African landscapes, and scenic views.

Uganda is also known both as a world of birds and world of wildlife.

Uganda lies astride the equator between Kenya to the east and the Democratic Republic of Congo in the west. It covers an area of 236,000m2 with 25% of its surface made up of large lakes including lakes Victoria, Albert, Edward and George.

With our Uganda safaris you can expect to see Africa’s Big Five and other land animals, gorillas, chimpanzees and other primates, waterfalls, forests, islands, and plenty of bird life.

Uganda offers excellent Africa vacation tours to its national parks and game reserves where you may have the opportunity to see a diversity of wildlife through game drives and walking or chimpanzee trekking safaris.

Unlike Tanzania and Kenya safaris, Uganda includes gorilla safaris to Bwindi national parks where the Virungas extend to Rwanda and Congo. Hiking expeditions offer additional adventure in Rwenzori National Park similar to those of Mount Kenya.

The tourism and hospitality sector provides a variety of safari accommodation options including camping, safari lodges, hotels, resorts and guest houses. These may be luxury or discounted/cheap depending on what you want for your Uganda accommodation.

MAIN NATIONAL PARKS FOR YOUR 7-DAY BEST OF UGANDA WILDLIFE SAFARI FOR GORILLAS, WILDLIFE AND PRIMATES

Bwindi Impenetrable National Park

The park is located in southwestern Uganda, covering parts of Rukungiri, Kisoro, and Kabale Districts. It is situated in a hilly country-side that, together with some remnant lowland forest outside the boundary constitutes an important water catchments area for many rivers, supplying the agricultural land of the surrounding region.

Bwindi Impenetrable Forest is a true equatorial jungle, inhabited by four gorilla groups. Amongst the dense vegetation the columbus monkey jumps from branch to branch, chattering its warning to its fellows hidden by the foliage. Chimpanzees, in families of 20 or 30, make the rounds, searching for fruit and edible plants.

It is situated in a hilly country-side that, together with some remnant lowland forest outside the boundary constitutes an important water catchments area for many rivers, supplying the agricultural land of the surrounding region.

The best time to visit Uganda is late December to late February, and from June to September, as the weather at this time of year is generally dry, and warm. Temperatures average at around 25 degrees Celsius.

Kibale National Park

Once this tropical rainforest provided a (very substantial) dinner, bed and breakfast for large herds of migrating forest elephants and, even now, the park contains the largest population of this subspecies in Uganda. Although they're rarely seen, and dangerous, the signs of these elephants' presence are abundant.

However, Kibale's claim to fame is its enormous variety of primates and its families of habituated chimpanzees - it's home to an astonishing 12 species of primate and provides one of the highest primate densities in the world. Here, on a daytime or evening guided forest walk, you may find families of chimpanzees and red colobus monkeys chattering and swinging through the ancient forest trees.

The sightings of birds in the forest are no less impressive - there are at least 325 species, many of which are found nowhere else. In addition, there are over 144 species of butterflies.

 

Murchison Falls National Park

Murchison Falls National Park is one of the most spectacular in Uganda, and indeed in the whole of Africa. This is the largest game park in the country (3,840 sq.km.) and has the most intense concentration of animals along the river. The park is really spectacular that it is hard not to include it in an all-inclusive Uganda wildlife safari. On the way there, we track the white rhinos in Ziwa sanctuary. While on safaris in the park, we might encounter giraffes, lions, elephant, hippos, crocodile, buffalo and many other wildlife species for a Uganda safari.

Here is the awe-inspiring Murchison Falls, where the River Nile hurls itself in appalling convulsions through a narrow crevice and then plunges 40 metres in one breathtaking leap. Before the Murchison Falls themselves, in the eastern sector of the park, are the Karuma Falls where the Nile cascades over 23 kilometres of rapids in a breathtaking sight. This is some of the most exciting white water in Africa.

A launch trip upstream to the falls is one of the great experiences in Africa. Elephant, hartebeest, giraffe, buffalo, crocodiles and countless antelope and birds (including the rare shoebill stork) can be admired at the water's edge as the launch glides along the Murchison Falls National Park, with its variety of vegetation ranging from riparian forests and swamplands to broad savannah, provides the opportunity of seeing many of the animals found  in Uganda.