Boat cruise in Uganda

Boat cruise tours in Uganda are such a unique way for visitors to explore the ‘Pearl of Africa.’ It is for this reason that most tour operator companies include boat cruise tours in their tour packages for most Uganda safaris.

There are various safari destinations in Uganda where visitors on safari can embark on a boat cruise, and these include; a boat cruise on Lake Victoria, Nile River in Murchison Falls National Park, Lake Mburo, and Kazinga Channel in Queen Elizabeth National Park, Lake Bunyonyi in Kabale district and on Lake Mutanda in Kisoro district.

Boat cruise in Uganda
Boat Cruise in Murchison Falls National Park

Visitors who embark on a boat cruise in Uganda have an opportunity to sight amazing aquatic animals like hippos and crocodiles, various species of birds, and beautiful physical features such as lush green and well terraced hills.

Where to go for a Boat Cruise Safari in Uganda.

A Boat Cruise on Lake Victoria:

Boat cruises on Lake Victoria are very common and most visitors on safari in Uganda cannot miss out this. Lake Victoria is the largest fresh water lake on the African Continent and in the entire world. The lake is shared by three East African countries namely Uganda, Tanzania and Kenya.

Visitors taking a boat cruise on Lake Victoria in Uganda have a chance to explore some of the interesting islands on the lake such as Ngamba Island, where you can get to send the entire day with chimpanzees, and Ssese Islands where you can spend quality time on white sandy beaches. Boat cruises on the lake also offer visitors great opportunities to sight unique bird species such as the rare Shoebill stork, marabou storks, malachite kingfisher, pied kingfisher, black-headed heron, black kite, and the African open-billed stork among others.

Visitors can opt for the sunset boat cruise on Lake Victoria, which are usually conducted at 4pm or 5pm. You can get to chill and unwind on a boat cruise, sip a cold beer or cocktail while you watch the sunset on the horizon. Such moments a breath-taking and it is what makes the sunset boat cruises on the lake unique.

Visitors can also combine a boat cruise on Lake Victoria with other activities such as; Horseback riding, Sport Fishing, quad biking, White water rafting and community tours to mention but a few.


Murchison Falls Boat Cruise:

A boat cruise in Murchison Falls National Park is one of the highlights of any wildlife safari in the national park. The national park is situated in the northern part of Uganda, in Masindi district. It is the largest and oldest national park in Uganda.

The national park offers its visitors two boat cruise options either upstream to the bottom of the falls, or downstream to Victoria Nile delta. The Murchison Falls boat cruise takes place in the morning at 9am while the evening/ sunset boat cruises take place at exactly 2pm every day.

The boat cruise downstream to the bottom of the falls is the most exciting one, with the highlight of the boat cruise being the Murchison Falls. This boat cruise usually takes about 3 hours and can be combined with a hike to the top of Murchison falls.

Visitors who opt to take a boat cruise upstream to the Nile Delta have a chance to explore unique wildlife animals such as hippos, Nile crocodiles, elephants, buffaloes, giraffes and so many more. This boat cruise takes between 4 to 5 hours and visitors can get the chance to see various bird species like the highly sought after Shoebill stork, Goliath heron, swamp flycatcher, Abyssinian ground hornbill, northern red bishop, red-throated bee-eater, African quail finch, pied, malachite and giant kingfishers among others.

Boat Cruises in Murchison Falls can be combined with other tour activities like game drives, sport fishing, nature walks, hike to top of the falls, hot air balloon tours, bird watching and community tours.

Boat cruise in Uganda
Boat Cruise Safaris in Murchison Falls National Park

Boat Cruise on Kazinga Channel:

Boat Cruises on the Kazinga Channel are conducted in Queen Elizabeth National Park. The national park is the second largest national park in Uganda, and is also among one of the oldest national parks in the country.

Tourists visiting the national park cannot miss going on a boat cruise along the Kazinga Channel. The channel, which is located in the western rift valley, connects two lakes in the park and these are Lake Edward and Lake George. The channel also attracts a large number of wildlife animals and birds, thus making it the ideal spot for wildlife viewing and birding activities.

A boat cruise tour on Kazinga Channel in Queen Elizabeth National Park begin at exactly 9am every morning and at 2pm in the afternoon. Visitors taking a boat cruise in the national park get to enjoy 2 hours of wildlife viewing. Some of the wildlife that you are most likely to sight while on a boat cruise include; hippopotami, crocodiles, monitor lizards, Buffaloes, antelopes, elephants, water bucks and duikers among others.

The best time for visitors to view wildlife in Queen Elizabeth national park while on a boat cruise is during the dry season. During this time, animals in the park usually converge at Kazinga channel to quench their thirst and cool off.

Boat cruises on Kazinga channel also offer visitors in the national park a good opportunity to view birds like; African mourning dove, swamp flycatcher, grey-headed kingfisher, African skimmer, malachite and pied kingfishers, white-winged terns, grey-capped warbler, collared pratincole, and the pin-tailed whydah to mention but a few.

Visitors can opt to include other activities to their boat cruise tour such as; bird watching, nature walks, game drives, chimpanzee trekking and lion tracking experience among others.

Boat Cruise on Lake Mburo:

Visitors travelling to Uganda can take a boat cruise on Lake Mburo. The lake is strategically located in Lake Mburo National Park in western Uganda. Although the national park is one of the smallest in the country, it is rich in biodiversity.

Boat cruises on Lake Mburo happen on a daily basis every morning at 9am and every afternoon at exactly 2pm, and take approximately 2 to 3 hours. Visitors in Lake Mburo national park always begin their boat cruise from Rwonyo.

While on a boat cruise on Lake Mburo, visitors can get to view various wildlife species such as Hippos, crocodiles, buffaloes, impala, antelopes and bird species like; Cormorants, King fishers, Herons, the Black crake pelicans, and the rare Shoebill stork among others.

You can choose to combine your boat cruise tour on Lake Mburo with other activities such as a game drive, hiking and guided nature walks, fishing and cultural tours.

Boat cruise in Uganda
Boat Cruise Safaris

Boat Cruise on Lake Bunyonyi:

Lake Bunyonyi in southwestern Uganda is the deepest lake in the country and the second deepest on the African Continent after Lake Tanganyika in Tanzania. The lake is found in Kabale district and boat trips on the lake are quite popular.

Visitors taking a boat cruise on Lake Bunyonyi have a great chance to explore the beautiful surroundings around the lake such as the beautiful terraced hills of Kabale, wonderful and interesting islands, and birds.

Some of the interesting islands that visitors can get to explore on a boat cruise on Lake Bunyonyi include the punishment island where long ago women who got pregnant out of wedlock would be abandoned, and left to die in isolation. Another interesting island to visit on Lake Bunyonyi is the Akacuraniko Island, which locals believe turned upside down. The lake has a total of 29 islands which are scattered in different areas across the lake.

Visitors on a boat cruise on the lake can view various bird species such as; the Levillant cuckoo, African harrier hawk, the Pied crow, Egrets, the Cardinal wood pecker, Fish eagles, Herons, the Grey crowned cranes, the White tailed blue monarda and many more.

Majority of tour operators in Uganda will combine a boat cruise on Lake Bunyonyi with a tour activities such as gorilla trekking in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park or Mgahinga Gorilla National Park.



A Boat Cruise on Lake Mutanda:

Lake Mutanda in Kisoro district in south western Uganda offers visitors a unique boat cruise experience. A Boat cruise on Lake Mutanda can be combined with a gorilla trekking tour in Mgahinga Gorilla national park or Bwindi national park.

Visitors who wish to explore the lake and its breath-taking surroundings can take a boat ride in a traditionally dugout canoe. Boat rides on the lake take place early in the morning when the water is calm and easy to navigate on a traditional canoe.

Enjoy listening to birds whistle in the trees and learn more about the Bufumbira and Batwa cultures as you pay attention to the local folk songs and tales being narrated to you by the local guides. Visitors can also take part in fishing activities on the lake using traditional fishing methods, and also get to visit local schools in the neighboring communities.

The Best Time to go for a Boat Cruise Tour in Uganda.

Boat cruise tours in Uganda are best done during the dry season, in the months between June to August and December to February. However, tourists can to do boat cruises in Uganda at any time of the year.  The dry seasons present the best time for visitors to go on a boat cruise because it is when you can clear view wildlife animals especially those in the national parks.

A Uganda safari is not complete without a boat cruise tour to any of the above mentioned destinations in the country. Visitors planning a trip to Uganda should not miss include a boat cruise in your tour itinerary. Consult your trusted tour operator for the best options and offers on your tour package.

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