When the sun sets on the savannah plains of Uganda, a whole new world awakens. It’s during night game drives and guided night walks that you can witness the thrilling nocturnal activities of the wild. The darkness brings forth a different set of animals, with big cat sightings being the most sought-after. Shy leopards, Kidepo cheetahs, aardvarks, and majestic lions become active, seizing the opportunity to hunt unsuspecting prey in the fading light. Joining them on their nocturnal escapades promises an unforgettable adventure.
Lake Mburo National Park, Uganda’s smallest savannah park, offers guided night game drives and walks that start at 18:00 and last for three to four hours. These excursions provide a great chance to spot the elusive leopard, which has the highest population in the country. Additionally, you might encounter other fascinating nocturnal creatures like the bushbaby, hippo, and potto monkey.
Murchison Falls National Park, located in northern Uganda, is another fantastic destination for night game drives. Accompanied by armed rangers, you will venture onto the dark plains around 19:00 for a two-hour expedition. Here, you may come across hyenas, lions, leopards, civets, genets, porcupines, bushbabies, nightjars, and even hippos. The open plains under the starlit sky create an enchanting atmosphere.
Queen Elizabeth National Park offers captivating night game drives that depart at sunset, specifically scouting the Mweya Peninsula. While the main focus is often on searching for the elusive leopard, you can also observe other iconic savannah species such as grazing hippos, elephants, buffalo herds, and various nocturnal favorites.
Narus Valley in Kidepo Valley National Park is a prime spot for witnessing the thrilling nocturnal activities of cheetahs. This is where you can observe the bolt-action hunting of cheetahs during the early night hours. Other remarkable sightings include Guenther’s dik-dik, reedbuck, lions, leopards, aardvarks, hyenas, and hunting dogs, all illuminated by the starry night sky. Carrying a bright spotlight ensures you won’t miss the glimmering eyes of these creatures.
Embark on a guided night walk in Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary, located en-route to Murchison Falls National Park, and encounter Uganda’s only wild white rhinos. Explore the sanctuary under the dark skyline from 20:00 onwards for at least one to two hours. As you wander through the sanctuary, keep an eye out for mystical leopards, aardvarks, and the elusive shoebill.
Kibale Forest National Park, renowned for its diverse primate species, offers captivating night walks. After dark, chimpanzee troops and most primates retire to their nests. However, peculiar creatures like potto monkeys, bushbabies, nightjars, crickets, tree hyraxes, civet cats, and serval cats rule the night forest streets. Guided forest walks start at 19:00 and take you through the dark trails to encounter these mesmerizing nocturnal creatures.
To ensure a successful night game drive or walk, it’s essential to blend in with your surroundings by wearing dull and dark clothing that doesn’t reflect light. A bright spotlight is necessary for optimal visibility, and it’s recommended to bring one or rent it from the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) check-in offices. Insect repellent is also essential for protection against pesky night bugs, particularly mosquitoes. Additionally, remember to dress warmly as the nights in Uganda can get chilly.
The cost for night game drives in Uganda is $30 per person for private vehicles and $40 for UWA vehicles. These prices apply to foreign non-residents and foreign residents. East African residents can enjoy the experience at a rate of 50,000 Uganda Shillings for a private vehicle and 40,000 Uganda Shillings for a UWA vehicle. The minimum age for participating in night experiences is 15 years.
Whether you’re embarking on a thrilling night game drive or an immersive night walk, these experiences are perfect additions to your Uganda safari itinerary. Trek Africa Tours is here to host you during your night adventures, allowing you the incredible opportunity to sit in the company of lions, enveloped in darkness, as their roars echo through your body. Uganda offers so much more than meets the eye, and venturing into the wild after dark is a vital part of the safari experience.
Contact our local consultants at email@example.com to begin planning your night game drive safari in Uganda.