Last Updated on March 30, 2020 by Jeremy
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Not being able to travel is rough. We get it. There is nothing fun about being stuck at home with no plans for the future.
To help things out, we're publishing a virtual trip series where we share 15 of our favorite photos from a previous trip and share some of the backstories behind the images.
For our third entry, we're traveling to Africa to hit up Uganda, a country we explored for 10 days in 2019!
Virtual Tour of Uganda – 15 of Our Favorite Uganda Photos
Baby Rhino and Mama
One of the first stops on our Uganda safari tour was the Ziwa Rhino Reserve. This park is the only place where you can see rhinos in their natural habitat in all of Uganda, and the park has roughly two dozen roaming the grounds. They are kept under 24-hour observation for their security, which also made it quite easy for our guides to find a few for us to go see. After a quick drive, we got out and made our way on foot to this mother and baby rhino who were resting underneath some shade to avoid the mid-day sun. After we got there, the baby was quite active and we got to see a rather adorable scene unfold before moving on!
The First Elephant Sighting
First elephant spottings are always magical when on safari, and we saw our first one on the outskirts of Murchison Falls National Park during golden hour. The fact that it walked right behind our Jeep was a bonus!
Lion Cubs in the Shade
Whenever you're on a safari and you see a Jeep parked and camera lenses sticking out, odds are good there are animals to be seen. These cubs were hiding under a tree to catch some mid-day shade and we only first spotted them by seeing their ears sticking out before they came into full view. This sighting was one of our favorites because they were only about 15 or 20 feet away from our Jeep- making for some good photo-ops. But as we stayed and watched them, we saw several more lions off in the distance as well!
Elephants Lined Up in a Row
On our boat ride to Murchison Falls we saw more elephants than we could count. But this grouping was by far the most memorable as they were walking in a near straight line right out from the river. Abbey Road Africa edition?
Crossing the Nile River
On our way out of Murchison Falls National Park, we had an early start. This wasn't just to see the sunrise on the Victoria Nile (although that was a bonus), but instead because we had to catch a ferry crossing! This one is known for having a bit of a traffic jam, so our guide wanted to get us there sufficiently early so we could be on one of the first crossings of the day to continue our journey. As much as I would like to share a sunrise photo from here, I cannot help but smile every time I look at a photo of the ferry itself. Certainly a memorable mode of transportation!
Chimpanzee Trekking at Kibale
Visitors to Kibale National Park typically have one goal in mind- chimpanzee trekking. When we arrived here there was a torrential downpour that made for a wet and muddy hike with significantly reduced chances of seeing the primates. But luck was on our side as we came upon a family in less than an hour of walking through the jungle. They spent most of their time nesting in the trees, but towards the end of our visit with them they came down to move sites and we got to follow them for a while- giving opportunities for shots like this one.
An Elephant Visitor to Our Lodge
We always wondered if we would ever get an animal visitor to our lodge while on safari. Many camps we've visited are quite literally in the bush, and some even required escorts with an armed guard at night. This lodge at Queen Elizabeth National Park was no different, and while we never had an animal spotting while being escorted, we narrowly missed this elephant while having breakfast!
Yes, this elephant was right next to our lodge while we were in the main facility, and we spotted him on our drive out for the day. Now that would've been a wakeup.
Baby Hippo and Mama
We saw so many hippos while traveling around Uganda, but none left a lasting impression stronger than this baby and mama. There isn't much else to say about this one, other than aww!
Elephants Meeting Each Other
During our explorations around Queen Elizabeth National Park, we saw a meeting of two elephant families along the side of the road. We call this as such as the two groups approached from different areas and gave each other vivid welcomes like this one.
…things escalated quickly from there.
More Lions in the Grass
Queen Elizabeth National Park is known for its tree-climbing lions. Visitors to this park are often able to find these beauties high up the trees with a relatively unique vantage point for both the lions and photographers. We sadly did not see these. But we did get a nice glimpse of several more lions laying out in the distance, occasionally picking their heads up to watch the action (read: our Jeeps). This moment was snapped after a guide (from another company) got out of his car and ran to a ranger to talk to him- much to the chagrin of literally everyone there.
As a word of warning, don't do this. You might just end up being dinner.
Baby Gorilla at Bwindi Impenetrable Forest
Most everyone who visits Uganda goes there with one thing in mind- gorilla trekking. This is done at Bwindi Impenetrable Forest in a hike that can be as little as a five-minute walk to a all-day trudge through the bush. Our guide managed to get us in with a relatively close family, and after a somewhat easy 45-minute hike, we were face to face with these gorgeous beasts. This little guy was a favorite of ours for being quite active, and after he slapped a friend of ours on the belly and ran away, he sat down for a little bit and I captured this shot.
As a side note, I won a NATJA Bronze award for this photo in the category of “Photography: Nature, Landscape, and Architecture (Online)” and was really pumped by that!
The Silverback Alpha
We can't have a virtual tour of Bwindi without sharing a photo of a silverback gorilla, and this guy is among the largest known in the entire park. Watching this gorilla move was just breathtaking as you could almost feel the earth tremble under his feet. I would not have wanted to get on his bad side, but oddly enough when the little one slapped our friend all he did was snort at it (but it certainly was enough to send him scrambling)!
While our hike was what you could consider an “easy” one for Bwindi, it was not without its challenges. We lost the guides in front of us once and another ranger had to go find them. It was raining almost the entire hike. And the trails were, well, just a bit muddy as you can see here. This was a celebratory photo to highlight a job well done, and it was worth it all!
Walking Back to Our Lodge
Our celebration was shortlived; however, as we were quickly told that our Jeep was dead in the water. So while we were eagerly looking forward to a much-needed shower, we then had to walk several miles along the road back to our hotel. While this was uphill the entire way and was, in a word, awful, the sun parted and we had some pretty amazing views to enjoy along the way. Since this was our last day in Uganda, it seemed like a fitting photo to share as the last one in this virtual tour!
Do you have a favorite photo from this tour of Uganda? Comment below to share! Also be sure to check back soon for another virtual tour from around the world!
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About the Author: Jeremy is a full-time travel writer based in Pittsburgh and primary author of this site. He has been to 70+ countries on five continents and seeks out new food, adventure activities, and off-the-beaten-path experiences wherever he travels.