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If you take a boat tour in Murchison Falls national park, you will be taken to the base of the falls, where you can hike to the top and see a variety of interesting birds, like kingfishers. PHOTO/Acacia Safaris Uganda

Taking a boat cruise in Uganda is a popular tourist activity, with travellers enjoying the scenery while sailing through the country’s freshwaters.

Apart from the other activities available during your Uganda safari, the Uganda boat cruises will heighten your excitement and help make your African safari a memorable one. 

Boat cruises in Uganda provide an opportunity to see a variety of wildlife along the riverbanks and beaches of various bodies of water. 

There are numerous boat cruise destinations in Uganda, including Lake Victoria, the Nile’s source, Murchison Falls National Park, Queen Elizabeth National Park, Lake Bunyonyi, and Lake Mburo National Park.

What is a boat cruise?

A boat cruise is an exhilarating and unique activity that entails travelling or going on a safari while sailing on water in a boat or ship. 

In this instance, a boat cruise entails travelling around a river, lake, or canal. 

You can also have tea on a boat cruise, host a party with friends, or simply bring a few cold beers to sip while admiring the landscape, birds, and wild animals along the water’s edge, riverbank, beach, or bay, among others.

Uganda boat cruises offer some incredible opportunities for unique and breath-taking voyages on water, including the Nile River in Murchison Falls National Park, Lake Victoria, the Kazinga channel in Queen Elizabeth National Park, and Sesse Island

The boat adventure can be combined with or organised alongside other Uganda safari activities such as wildlife game viewing, chimp trekking in Queen Elizabeth National Park’s Kyambura Gorge and Budongo Forest National Park in Murchison Falls National Park, tree-climbing lion experience, gorilla trekking experience, bird watching safaris, and nature walks.

Where to go for a boat cruise in Uganda?

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There are two boat cruises available at Murchison Falls National Park, and visitors can select either or alternate between them. PHOTO/Devine African Safaris

Uganda has the best boat cruise safari activities in East Africa and throughout the continent.

This is because Uganda offers extremely attractive cruise safaris organised by various tour companies in the country’s most biodiverse areas, which include the following.

Murchison Falls National Park is one of the areas in Uganda where you can experience an unforgettable boat cruise. The boat cruises in Murchison Falls National Park follow the Victoria Nile; the section of the Nile that flows through Lake Victoria and into Uganda’s northwestern region.

The Murchison Falls boat cruise is such an enjoyable journey along the Nile that it is one of the most popular activities in Murchison Falls national park. 

Murchison Falls National Park offers two boat cruises, and visitors can choose between them or alternate between them. 

However, taking both boat cruises in Murchison Falls national park provides the best experience and knowledge of the park’s diverse wildlife and birdlife.

The boat cruise in Murchison Falls national park provides an opportunity to see a variety of wildlife along the Nile’s river banks. You have a chance to see a large number of hippos along the water’s edge, as well as elephants and buffaloes. 

The boat cruise to the bottom of the falls will take you to the Albert delta, which is famous for birding and where you can see the sought-after prehistoric shoebill stork and a grey hornbill, among others. 

On the other hand, a boat cruise in Murchison Falls national park will take you to the base of the falls, where you can hike to the top and see a variety of interesting birds, including various kingfishers.

Kazinga channel, located in Queen Elizabeth national park, offers Uganda’s most magical boat cruise experience. 

The Kazinga channel boat cruise is the most thrilling in Uganda because it allows you to see a variety of wild animals such as schools of hippos, crocodiles, herds of buffaloes, and lone buffaloes. 

You can also spot lion pride along the water’s edge, sitatungas, bushbucks, antelopes, and elephants, as well as a variety of bird species such as herons, pelicans, sunbirds, etc.

Another interesting cruise in Uganda is the Lake Victoria sunset boat cruise. 

The sunset boat cruise on Lake Victoria begins at the waterfront pier and then circles the lakecrossing the equator in the water and passing by various fishing islands where you can see a variety of water birds including yellow weaver birds. 

boat cruise on Lake Victoria is one way to enjoy the sunset at the water’s edge. The sunset is breathtaking as the water’s edge meets the horizon and the hot red sunset shimmers the water.

Additionally, you can carry a few drinks and socialise with your friends. The sunset on Lake Victoria provides a romantic setting for the cruise’s passengers.

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The Kazinga channel, located in Queen Elizabeth national park, is home to Uganda’s most magical boat cruises. PHOTO/COURTESY

boat cruise through Lake Mburo National Park will take you around the park’s largest lake. The boat cruise in Lake Mburo national park takes place on the lake’s eastern bank, which is densely forested. 

The tranquil lake Mburo boat cruise provides an opportunity to discover many of nature’s best-kept secrets within Lake Mburo national park

The Lake Mburo boat cruise will allow you to get a closer look at the diverse wildlife and flora found in Lake Mburo national park, as well as birdlife such as hippos, impalas, zebras, elands, and sitatungas. 

The Lake Mburo boat cruise is a guided tour led by Uganda wildlife authority (UWA) rangers who will ensure your safety and inform you about the various wildlife that you may encounter along the cruise trail.

Boat cruise safaris in Uganda allow you to see a greater variety of animals up close than on a game drive. For example, unlike the game drive, the boat cruise allows you to get closer to the hippos. 

Additionally, the Kazinga boat cruise in Queen Elizabeth national park provides an opportunity to observe elephants mating. Boat cruises take you around a body of water, such as a river, channel, or lake. 

The boat cruises in Uganda last approximately two to three hours; however, some national parks, such as Queen Elizabeth national park, may offer multiple trips; additionally, during the high season, the trips may be increased to three to meet the high demand of visitors to Queen Elizabeth national park.

Can a boat cruise be considered a safari?

A single boat cruise may not be sufficient for a safari itinerary in Uganda, because the boat cruise activity lasts only a few hours and covers only a small portion of the lake. 

You can, however, choose from a variety of boat cruises in areas such as Murchison Falls National Park and Queen Elizabeth National Park

Additionally, you can book boat cruise safaris in Uganda in conjunction with other activities such as game drives in Queen Elizabeth National Park or white water rafting at the Nile’s source.

Best time to go on a boat cruise safari in Uganda?

As with any Uganda safari, the boat cruise safari can be taken at any time of year, but the recommended season is during the dry season, which runs from June to mid-October and December to February.

Are you prepared for a Ugandan boat cruise safari?

The boat needs to be properly balanced, both in front and behind, to avoid accidents, and the boat shouldn’t be overcrowded, carrying the maximum number of passengers to prevent drowning in the event of an accident. 

It is recommended that travellers have some swimming ability, avoid leaning on the sides of the boat, refrain from smoking while on a boat cruise, and the boat should not be overcrowded, carrying the maximum number of passengers.

Last but not least, for an all-inclusive tour experience in Uganda, view our guide to White water raftingBungee JumpingVisit Mount MuhaburaGorillas in UgandaSsese Islands, Cost of Gorilla TrekkingMurchison Falls National ParkLake Mburo National Park and Semuliki National Park.