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Murchison Falls National Park:

Situated about 305km and four hours north of Kampala, Murchison, where the 1951 film The African Queen was shot, this park boasts 76 mammal species and 450 bird species.

Things to do: Go for a game drive then cruise up the stream to observe the breathtaking falls (murchisonfallsnationalpark.com), greeting hippo and crocs along the way. Fishing is allowed in some areas (fishingmurchison.com) so if you fancy catching a Nile Perch or Electric Catfish from the world’s longest river, carry your own fishing equipment and secure a permit early through the Uganda Wildlife Authority (ugandawildlife.org).

Where to stay: Paraa Safari Lodge (paraalodge.com) claims it's the 'jewel of the Nile' and with a bar you can swim up to, who’s to argue? Red Chilli has a rest camp here. Or try Budongo Eco Lodge (ugandalodges.com) in Budongo Forest Reserve, home to 360 bird species and 290 types of butterflies.

Bwindi Impenetrable National Park:

With a recent census showing the world’s gorilla population has shot up by more than 10 per cent in two years, you’ve got a great chance of getting up close and personal with a silverback here (bwindiforestnationalpark.com).

Things to do: Time really flies when you're hanging out with these gentle giants, but you’ll remember a "Gorillas in the Mist" experience for the rest of your life. Permits can only be purchased from UWA’s Kampala headquarters, either directly or through a travel agent such as Pearl of Africa Tours and Travel (pearlofAfricatours.com). Most operators advise obtaining them several months in advance. Many lodges can also organise community walks and other activities while in Bwindi.

Where to stay: Nkuringo Gorilla Camp (nkuringocampsite.com), on top of Nteko ridge on the southern side of the forest with views towards Virunga mountains is in such demand they’re building more cottages. Or there’s Wagtail Eco-Safari Camp (wagtailecocamp.com), which was made from papyrus, banana fibres and local stones.    


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Destination: Uganda
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