Night game drives safari in Uganda: For those seeking a unique and thrilling safari experience, a night game drive in Uganda is a must-do activity. While most safaris take place during the day, night game drives offer a different perspective of the wildlife and landscape, allowing visitors to see nocturnal animals that are not easily during the day time.

Night game drives safari in Uganda

Uganda is known for its diverse and abundant wildlife, including the famous Big Five- elephants, lions, leopards, buffaloes and rhinos. However, many of these animals are more active at night, making a night game drive the perfect opportunity to catch a glimpse of the elusive creatures. During the night drive safari in the park, you will carry a spotlight torched and also be accompanied by an armed Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) guide who will be helping you to spot different nocturnal animals. Uganda is home to 10 stunning national parks, these thrilling night game drives are only authorized in 4 of the 10 national parks such as Kidepo Valley National Park, Murchison Falls National Park, Queen Elizabeth National Park and finally in lake Mburo National Park

Night game drive in Kidepo Valley National Park

Kidepo Valley National Park is one of the magnificent national parks in Uganda located in the remote Karamoja region in the Kaabong district between the Uganda and the South Sudan border.  Kidepo Valley National Park is the country’s third largest national park and was gazetted in 1958 due to its beautiful and breathtaking landscape and abundant wildlife species. The park covers a total area of 1442 square kilometers and is comprised of savannah vegetation, hills, and valleys like Kidepo and Narus Valley, and Mount Morungole among others. The park houses about 77 mammal species, 500 bird species several reptiles, and flora such as the smallest antelope, cheetahs, ostriches, and Karamoja Apalis are endemic to Kidepo Valley National Park.  One of the most thrilling activities offered in this park is the guided night game drives, where tourist have the opportunity to see the nocturnal animals in their natural habitat.

A night game drive safari in Kidepo Valley National Park is a guided tour that takes place after sunset, typically between 6:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m. During this time, specialized vehicles equipped with spotlights and expert guidance take you on a journey through the park’s remote open savannah, forests and valleys to spot nocturnal animals that are active at night. During your night game drive safari in the park, you’ll have the opportunity to spot a variety of fascinating nocturnal animals using a spotlight such as; Cheetah, leopards, lions, hyenas, and antelopes among others Travelers on a night game drive safari Kidepo Valley National Park will also have the opportunity to spot some of the colorful bird species which are hardly hard to spot during the day game but can be easily spotted during the night time such as white- faced scops owl, black-headed plover, yellow-necked spurfowl, superb starling, African swallow-tailed kite, eastern pale chanting goshawk, Nubian woodpecker and nightjars and other nocturnal birds as they take flight.

Night game drives safari in Uganda
Night game drives safari in Uganda

Night game drives in Murchison Falls National Park

Murchison Falls National Park is Ugandan’s largest and oldest national park covering an area of approximately 3,893 square kilometres. stunning natural wonder situated in the northwestern part of Uganda covering districts of Kiryandongo, Masindi, Nwoya, and Bilisa among others. Murchison Falls National Park in Uganda offers wildlife tours with about 76 mammal species including Elephants, Buffaloes, Lions, and Leopards. Almost 450 bird species can be seen in the park. Aquatic species, butterflies, reptiles, and many more species in the park. The park is home of the world’s stunning waterfalls.  The park is known for its incredible wildlife and stunning scenery. While many visitors opt for traditional game drives during the day, one of the most unique and thrilling ways to experience the park is through a night-waking safari.

Night walking safaris in Murchison Falls National Park offer a completely different perspective of the park and its inhabitants. As the sun sets and darkness descends, the park comes alive with nocturnal animals that rea rarely seen the day. This fascinating activity is a guided experience where visitors have the opportunity to explore the hidden gems of the park during the night on foot, using spotlights to search for the impressive elusive creatures such as leopards, hyenas, civets and servals, bush infants, porcupines, night jar, hippos feasting and other animals relaxing. This exciting night walking safari at Murchison Falls National Park starts around 7:00 p.m. after dinner, with an armed park and it lasts around 2 hours and will take place on wide savannah grassland. Walking through the park at night is a surreal and exhilarating experience. The sounds of the bush come alive, with the cells of nocturnal birds and rustling unseen creatures adding to the atmosphere. The thrill of sporting a leopard or hyena hunting under the cover of darkness is unmatched and offers a rare glimpse into the lives of these elusive predators.

Night game drive in Elizabeth National Park

Queen Elizabeth is one of Uganda’s understandable national parks and the most popular tourist destination, the park is the second largest country’s national park and was gazetted in 1952. the park is also one of the largest protected areas in Uganda, the park covers an area of approximately 1, 978 square kilometres. The park extends from lake George in the northeast to lake Edward in the southwest and includes the Kazinga Channel connecting the two lakes. Queen Elizabeth Park is known for its wildlife viewing, including African buffalo, Ugandan Kob, hippopotamus, giant forest hog, warthog, Nile crocodile, African bush elephant, African leopard, lion, and chimpanzee. It is home to 95 mammal species and over 500 bird species

A night game drive also known as a nocturnal safari, is an exciting experience that allows tourists to explore the hidden treasures of the nocturnal park’s wildlife under the light of the stars. It’s a unique opportunity to witness animals that are rare to be spotted during the daytime, often hiding in plain sight during the day. A night game drive in Queen Elizabeth National Park is a 2–3-hour safari that begins after sundown. Tourist planning to take part in this thrilling activity in the park area are always picked up from their designated lodges or campsites by experienced guides who will lead you through the park’s savannah, grassland and woodlands in search of nocturnal animals.

Queen Elizabeth National Park is home to over 100 species of mammals, which are active at night. night game drives in Queen Elizabeth National Park are only done in the Mweya peninsula due to the fact that Kasenyi plains receive visitors during the day. During the night drive safari in the park, you will have the great opportunity to encounter with fascinating nocturnal creatures such as leopards, hyenas, lions, several cats, civets, bushbabies, banded mongoose and genets, you will also be marveled at the astonishing views hippos feeding and other nocturnal animals like elephants, Uganda Kobs, buffaloes and waterbuck among others.

Night game drive in Lake Mburo National Park  

Lake Mburo National Park is the smallest national park in Uganda. The park is situated in the western region of Uganda, Lake Mburo is a relatively young lake that was formed around 10,000 years ago, it covers an area of approximately 260 square kilometers.  Lake Mburo National Park is teeming with diverse wildlife, including zebras, impalas, buffaloes, hippos, and over 300 bird species. The park is known for its population of zebras, making it one of the few places in Uganda where you can see these majestic creatures in their natural habitat. Visitors to Lake Mburo National Park can embark on exciting night game drives to spot a number of nocturnal wildlife or experience the thrill of a nocturnal safari accompanied by an armed ranger. One of the highlights of a night game drive safari in Lake Mburo National Park is the opportunity to see predators. The activity begins at 6:30 pm to 7:00 pm and takes like 2 to 3 hours escorted by a ranger guide.  During a night game drive in the park, you will have the opportunity to spot the amazing nocturnal animals that call the park home such as leopards and hyenas on the prowl. With heightened senses and stealthy movements, these elusive carnivores come alive in the cover of darkness, making for an exhilarating viewing experience. In addition to predators, the night game drive safari also offers the chance to spot smaller nocturnal creatures that are rarely seen during the day such as bushbabies, genets, black galago, porcupines and white-tailed mongoose. The sounds of the night from the hunting calls owls to the rustling of grass as animals move through the undergrowth, add an atmospheric element to the adventure.

Tips and Essential items to carry for night game drives safari in Uganda

To make your night game drive safari in Uganda an unforgeable experience, there are essential items you should move along with such as;

Dress warmly; bring layers of clothing and a warm jacket to keep you comfortable during the cooler evening hours

Bring binoculars; while spotlighting illuminates the path ahead, binoculars will help you get a closed look at the distant animals

Respect the wildlife boundaries; remember to maintain a safe distance from animals at all times and follow your guide’s instructions.

Listen carefully; pay attention to the sounds of the night including the animals’ calls and rustling leaves.

Stay alert; keep an eye out for any sudden movement or changes in animals’ behavior.

 Besides night game drives, Uganda also offers other exhilarating activities to visitors while on a Uganda safari such as gorilla trekking in Mgahinga National Park or Bwindi National Park, Mountain hiking in Mount Rwenzori mountains, fishing safari on the shores of lake Victoria, chimpanzee tracking in Kibale forest  national park, golden  monkey tracking in Mgahinga gorilla national park day game  drives, cultural encounters,  boat cruise safaris,  bird watching tours, white water rafting among others

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