Uganda, ‘the pearl of Africa’ is a country gifted by nature. The beauty of Uganda is unrivalled on the African continent. The various national parks in Uganda display the best of what the country has to offer: a variety game drives, exciting boat tours, mountain climbing, meeting the mountain gorillas, bird watching and so much more. Weather here is great, mostly warm and sunny and this makes it a great place to visit any time of the year!
“Uganda’s 10 National parks contain a fabulous variety of habitats, ranging from snow capped mountain peaks and vast papyrus swamps, to dark tropical forests and open savanna plains. These diverse settings are home to an impressive range of wildlife including over 1000 species of birds, with many central African species at the eastern limit of their ranges. Mammals include numerous forest primates, among them chimpanzee and the rare mountain gorilla. The big game animals are in the savanna parks”. Andrew Roberts
Occupying an isolated slice of Ugandan territory beyond the Rwenzori, the forests of Semliki National park represent the Easternmost tract of the Congo’s great Ituli Forest. Semliki National Park is well known for its unique central African avi-fauna, notably the rare hornbills. This, therefore, is an exceptionally exciting destination for bird and primate watchers. The park hosts 441 recorded bird species and 53 mammals.
Another key attraction in Semliki is the Sempaya hot springs. There is both ‘male’ and ‘female’ hot springs. Interesting, right? The ‘male’ spring, known as Bintente measures 12m in diameter and sits in a lush swampy clearing. The ‘female’ spring, Nyasimbi (meaning female ancestors) is a boiling geyser which spurts bubbling water and steam up to 2m high. The resulting steam cloud can be seen from as far as 2km away.
Murchison Falls National Park is one of the most exciting national parks in Uganda and even East Africa. Thanks to her rich biodiversity and varied eco-systems, the park gives a visitor an opportunity to engage in quite a number of activities. With over 480 bird species including the Spotted Morning Thrush, Silverbird, Blue bellied Warbler and varieties of kingfishers among others, birders consider this park a paradise.
The birding experience is enhanced by the abundant wildlife and scenic landscape, which present a mesmerizing game drive encounter. Nowhere else in this world will you find large populations of Nile crocodile and Rothschild giraffes remaining in the wild but in Murchison Falls National Park.
Kidepo Valley National Park in Uganda is one area that depicts a true African Wilderness. In 2013, CNN voted it as the best park in Africa for its vast wilderness and large herds of buffalo.
The park’s savannah landscape extends in all directions towards the horizons outlined by the distant mountain ranges. This vast view gives visitors an unimaginable game view experience.
The park consists of two major valley systems: the Kidepo and Narus River. The plains can be harsh and forbidding. Gusts of winds will shift dust from one part of the park to the other as the wildlife jostles about for water sources. However, when the rains come, the lowland area bristles with life. Herds will roam with complete abandon. Kidepo is as thrilling as other national parks in Uganda, and it is another place where all of Uganda’s wildlife comes together in the truest form.
This park is famous for Mt. Elgon. This is an extinct volcano believed to have been the highest mountain in Africa. However, over the millennia the mountain has now collapsed forming the largest mountain caldera in the world. Surrounding this caldera are several hot springs, vast caves, waterfalls, cliffs and gorges. This varied landscape is a welcome delight for climbers.
Mt. Elgon offers visitors sightings of large herds of elephants especially on the lower slopes. Other wildlife includes antelopes and monkeys. The region is also excellent for birders. Over 300 species recorded including the endangered Lammergeyer, the white bellied Go Away, Jackson’s Hornbill, Fawn colored Lark, Long tailed Nightjar, African Grey Flycatcher amount others.
Your visit here is almost incomplete without a visit to the vast Arabica coffee farms in the region. Wrap up your visit with a freshly brewed cup of coffee right from the source!
This is the only Uganda National Park closest to the capital city, Kampala. At 260 sq km, it is the smallest national park in the country but is also one of the most interesting. As an attraction, it has won the Tripadvisor certificate of excellence four times. It is well known for its large herds of Eland in addition to being the only park with impalas and lots of other antelopes. Zebra and buffalo and bushbuck are also abundant.
In 2015, 15 giraffes (translocated form from Murchison National Park) were introduced into the park. This was done to improve species diversity and help in management of the invasive acacia species. In addition, the introduction of giraffes has added yet another attraction to the park.
The most visited national park in Uganda is Queen Elizabeth. This park is a biosphere reserve and is famous for its tree climbing lions, the underground forest of the Kyambura gorge, with a variety of water bodies including the Kazinga channel, lakes George and Edward that support livelihood of over 30,000 people in the enclave communities.
The park is home to Uganda’s largest population of lions, elephants and hippos. There are over 640 species of birds in this park. An early morning game drive or a boat ride along the Kazinga channel provide great birding opportunities. Lonely planet voted the park as the Best animal adventure place for families.
The Rwenzori Mountains (Mountains of the moon) are in Western Uganda along the border with Democratic Republic of Congo. The mountains distinct feature is the snow covered peaks. Moorland and rich montane forest blanket the lower slopes. The park is mostly accessible to hikers although the magnificent scenery and the 19 Albertine Rift endemics would be an ample reward for Birders.
This park is a Ramsar site, as it has the 3rd highest mountain peak in Africa. UNESCO designated it as a World Heritage Site in 1994.
Another outstanding national park in Uganda is Kibale National Park. Because of its high numbers of different types of primates, it is also known as the primate capital of the world. The park is famous for chimpanzee tracking and habituation experiences. Beyond chimps, Kibale is a great place to see other primates, hundreds of birds and a great variety of butterflies
Kibale also offers community tourism. Enjoy the experience of being one with the community. Eat a traditional meal, participate and learn basket weaving or take a tea plantation tour.
Mgahinga sits high in the clouds, at an altitude of 2000m to to just over 4000m. The park’s major purpose is to protect the rare mountain gorillas that inhabit its dense forests. It is also an important habitat for the endangered golden monkey.
Mgahinga’s most striking features are its three conical extinct volcanoes, Muhavura, Gahanga and Sabinyo. These three are part of the Virunga Ranges that lie along the border region of Uganda, DRC and Rwanda.
In addition to gorilla and / or golden monkey tracking, the park provides excellent volcano climbing experiences.
Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park is famous for Mountain Gorillas and gorilla trekking. The park is home to roughly half of the world’s mountain gorillas. A close encounter with the mountain gorilla is without a doubt one of the greatest wildlife experiences. But this rainforest also offers some of the finest montane forest birding experiences in Africa. It is therefore a key destination for many birders visiting the pearl of Africa.
Though the park is famous for gorilla trekking, it also provides refuge to elephants, chimpanzees, monkeys, various small antelopes, butterflies and chameleons.
Interested in visiting one or more of Uganda’s fabulous national parks, please contact us. We will make all your dreams come true!!