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Boat Safari Cruise in Uganda

Boat safari cruise is one of Uganda holidays top attractions offering visitors the opportunity to explore wildlife on the boat. Besides Uganda being land-locked, the country is gifted with water bodies lying in the different corners, which provide an opportunity for some good time on the waters while exploring the neighboring islands and other spotted features.  

A cruise involves a travel on water with means of a vessel, it can be a ship or a boat, for the case of Uganda it is mostly boats and canoes. Uganda offers a distinctive boat experience due to its fresh waters and a vast coverage of fresh water bodies within the country. 

Most of the boat safari experiences are centred on the beauty endowed on the island and the banks of these water bodies, both nature and landscape. Visitors interested in the boat safari experiences can partake in the waters of Lake Victoria, River Nile, Lake Bunyonyi, Lake Mburo, Lake Albert Kazinga Channel (Queen Elizabeth national park) and many others.

Lake Victoria Boat Cruise

Lake Victoria is found in the southeastern corner of Uganda, crossing borders with Kenya and Tanzania covering an area of 68,800 square kilometers. It is the second-largest lake in world, the largest in the pearl of Africa and the source of the longest river in the world (the Nile).

It was formed due to the warping effect of tectonic forces, which uplifted the east and western parts of East Africa through faulting. The central part underwent down warping, resulting in the formation of a basin. As a result, rivers like Kagera, Katonga, Bukora and Mara, formerly flowing west and eastwards, reversed and started powering into this basin, forming the current Lake Victoria. 

 A cruise on these fresh waters is usually most preferable in the times of the sunset, running on the fresh waters for approximately 2-3 hours crossing through the equator line as you view the sun setting to the west. However, there is also an option of an early morning cruise. 

On the boat safari, you enjoy the stunning beauty of Lake Victoria with its shores lined with boats of fishermen as well as fishing villages. There are higher chances of viewing aquatic bird species like the African water rail, shoebill stock, pink packed pelican, grey crowned crane, African jacana, African marsh harrier etc, reptiles like lizards, crocodiles on the Islands and many more species.  

Cruises on Lake Victoria are common along the Entebbe shore, the Jinja shores and Ssesse Islands. Besides the cruise, you can visit the islands like Ngamba Island (chimpanzee sanctuary), Bulaga island and many more, participate in sport fishing, and make community visits to the fishing sites.

Boat safari cruise at the Source of the Nile 

River Nile is the longest river in the world, which was formed as a result of the overflow of Lake Victoria waters and on finding their way out in areas of Jinja hence the formation of the Nile. The River flows northwards through Sudan, Ethiopia up to Egypt pouring its waters into the Mediterranean Sea. A cruise on this longest river to explore its source one of the most rewarding experiences on your visit to the pearl of Africa. While on the cruise sights of gardens and, fishermen and other locals who are usually excited to see you striving to see the origin of this historical river. This activity can be done all day round, however, before or after the cruise you can be able to enjoy other activities like bird watching, white water rafting, sport fishing, Bungee jumping etc.

Luxury Uganda Wildlife Safari

Launch Safari Cruise in Murchison Falls National park  

A boat trip to the mighty Murchison falls stands out as the fascinating activity in the Murchison falls national park. Participating in this experience offers you a chance to get into the centrepiece of the largest national park with a size of 3,840 square kilometres lying in the northern end of the Albertine rift valley. The boat safari cruise takes you to the bottom of the mighty falls, Where waters of the Victoria Nile plunges through a chasm of 8 meters wide with a thunderous roar falling for 45 meters. This creates a trademark rainbow along the Victoria Nile at the top of the falls.

The launch trip upstream from Paraa presents an amazing diversity of flora and fauna, including elephants, giraffes and buffaloes. At the same time, hippos, Nile crocodiles and aquatic birds are also permanent residents, which are seen lined on the river banks up to the unforgettable frontal view of the falls. The cruise can be done along the Nile either upstream to the falls or downstream to the Delta. Both differ in their schedules, hours spent and raise different experiences.

Boat safari cruise to the delta

The boat safari cruise to the delta runs down the river from the Parra jetty for 3 hours through the Buligi plains up to Lake Albert delta. The delta is basically recommended for the birders as it provides the best chance to see the elusive Shoebill stork, malachite kingfishers, francolin, hornbills, grey heron, cuckoos, warblers and many more other species. Along the course, the mountain ranges in the Congo area are also cited, the fishermen, as well as the attractive Murchison, falls.

The Nile boat cruise

The Nile boat cruise, for those who love hiking to the top of the mighty, falls is the most suitable boat safari to take. It starts from Paraa up to the bottom of the falls, where you will disembark and hike to the top the falls. It occurs in two sessions, the morning and the evening, which offers an atypical view of an equatorial sunset reflected on the river with vast wild animals lined along the river banks. 

Boat cruises on the Nile in Murchison falls can be done throughout the year. However, it’s more exciting during the dry seasons, from December to late February and June to September. Animals gather around the river banks to take water, making it easier to observe. This provides an added advantage to the experience gained from the boat cruise. 

Lake Mburo Boat Safari Cruise 

A cruise is another worthwhile must engage in experience when you visit lake Mburo national park. Lake Mburo, located in western Uganda, is one of the outstanding features within Uganda’s smallest national park and the nearest park to Kampala, the Lake Mburo National Park. Boat rides depart from the Rwonyo jetty and last for two calm hours, which equally guarantees one to view the remarkable cape buffaloes, hippos, crocodiles that are mostly seen on the shores of the lake. Aquatic birds like Kingfisher, magnificent Fish Eagles and many others that come to the lake to quench themselves are often seen. The best experience of the boat ride can be achieved during the dry season of around July – August, which are the hottest months and January-February can also be very hot. During these months, animals gather around lakes and swamps for water to come down their thirst. For this reason, the afternoon and hot hours of the day play a significant role towards the best experiences. However, the cruises can be done even in the morning and evening and all year round. The park is as well open throughout the year for all activities.

Kazinga Channel Boat Safari

Kazinga Channel Boat Safari

Kazinga channel covers an approximate distance of 40 kilometres long connecting. It connects Lake Gorge in the east to Lake Edward in the west. It’s a significant feature within Queen Elizabeth national park, one of the most popular areas located in western Uganda. 

It is usually a two-hour journey from the Mweya peninsular to the entrance of Lake Edward, providing the most relaxing way to view some of the game in Queen Elizabeth park lined along the banks taking water. The channel acts as a water point for the game within the park. Most commonly sighted species include; elephants, buffalos, and antelopes, while others are residents like the hippos, crocodiles and more than 60 waterbird species. 

Lake Bunyonyi Boat Cruise 

Bunyonyi is literally interpreted as little birds; therefore, lake Bunyonyi means a place of little birds. It is the deepest lake in Uganda and the second deepest in Africa. It has its deepest end, at an approximate 900m lying in southwestern Uganda between Kisoro and Kabale. This location is close to the borders of Rwanda, at an estimated distance of 475km from Kampala.

Lake Bunyonyi was formed due to the lava flow that arose from the Virunga occupied river Ndego due to the continued volcanic process; the lava dammed this river, and a valley was created Lake Bunyonyi currently. Several Islands surrounds it, and the most popular is Akampene island (Punishment Island) because of its history. Around the 1940’s girls who got pregnant before marriage was sent to this Island and starved to death, thus resulting in the name punishment Island. Others include Bushara, Kyahugye, Buwama, Nyugeera, Bacuranuka etc. All the above islands and more are worthy of being visited since they create different memorable experiences. The boat ride experience combines a voyage on the water with scenic views and a visit to the islands.

A cruise on Lake Bunyonyi. It is classified as one of the safest because the lake has no hippos or crocodiles; enjoying such a lake is one of the remarkable ways to get the best out of your trip. Therefore, you can also opt for canoeing and hop around the different islands surrounding the lake with their breathtaking views.  A boat safari cruise brings you closer to a vast of bird species rising to 250 species flying over the lake and in the neighbourhood, some of which are endemic to the lake, namely: the grey crowned crane, weavers, slender-billed, herons, white-tailed blue monarda, Egrets, African harrier hawk, the vilevillant cuckoo and the cardinal woodpecker, pin tailed whyder, great cormorant, malachite kingfisher and many others. This makes Lake Bunyonyi a good birding spot for bird lovers.

Tailored Uganda Safaris, With Boat Cruises

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Talk to a local Uganda safari expert to help you plan.

Accommodation, transfers, permits, meals, we’ll arrange that for you.