National Parks

Uganda a block of East Africa hosts an incredible variety of habitats and wildlife. The conservation of these habitats into National Parks and Wildlife Reserves is the cornerstone for wildlife viewing. One of the most important geographical features of the region is the Great Rift Valley. The large depressions within the Rift Valley fed by streams have become great Lakes, around which many species of wildlife can be found.

They include several National Parks and Wildlife Reserves and concentrate on different aspects of wildlife observation. The country has regained the qualities for which it was once named “The Pearl of Africa”: sprawling game reserves, breathtaking views, rich cultural traditions and the people. Uganda attracts the free spirits, the Africa lovers, and the adventure seekers. There is much to see and do – the sheer exhilaration rafting of the mighty Nile, the unforgettable awe of trekking mountain gorillas, majestic forests, bird watching, the excitement of stalking chimpanzees in the wild, Murchison Falls where the Nile River plunges twenty meters through a seven metre crevice, the wonder of climbing Mt. Elgon, the serene beauty of the many islands in Lake Victoria, the World Heritage listed Rwenzori Mountains – truly an unforgettable life experience, and many other beautiful places.

Did you know Uganda is a ultimate safari destination in Africa? Wherever you go on a road trip through Uganda there are unparalleled opportunities to experience wildlife , primates, birds, nature and culture.This beautiful country is rightly famous for the presence of mountain gorillas. If you want to get close to these magnificent beasts in their natural habitants then Uganda is one of the country to think of in Africa. Besides Uganda is widely regarded as one of the finest places on earth for a safari tour in Africa.

Most Uganda safari packages focus on a particular interest or activity like bird watching, primate viewing. Some safari guidelines base on national Parks are too often selected for quantity of animals, certainty and ease of viewing on the game drives. Some National Parks became so popular but are not crowded with too many minibuses and jeeps getting careless and scaring animals. Animals move around, seasons change weather varies. There is no way of knowing what each day will bring and there is no guarantee that you’ll see absolutely everything you are after, but most safaris give an amazing wildlife experience!

The long stay is an important aspect, the more time you have to go on safari the more you will see! The chosen travel style will also greatly enhance your wildlife experience; Camping safari will offer you a different experience than lodge safari a part from Katara lodge in queen which provide wildlife view verandah. The game drives are the most common way to observe African wildlife and for most visitors the backbone of their safari. Game drives should be undertaken in a customized 4 x 4 drive vehicle with a driver-guide who has experience and knowledge of the area.

The game drives can be organized at any time of the day but you will have the best chances to encounter wildlife in the early morning and late afternoon. It is cooler and animals are then most active. A first-time visitor will want to see plenty of game, mainly large animals. Although the major animals are important, we advise not to get too caught up with ‘Big Five’ fever, the African wilderness has so much more to offer, especially its incredible bird-life, smaller mammals, primates, reptiles, trees and other plants… If you are receptive to learn about the different aspects of nature and conservation your trip will be much more meaningful and pleasurable.

Best Places to Visit

From the source of the White Nile on Lake Victoria to the snow capped Rwenzori Mountains, from the plains of Kidepo National Park to the lush forests of Bwindi National Park, Uganda is a country of astonishing contrasts and rich diversity.

Bwindi National Park

I think many have heard about one national park in Uganda that is Bwindi Impenetrable National Park one of the famous mountain gorilla tracking spot in south western Uganda bordering Rwanda and Virunga. Bwindi forest is deal for gorilla tracking safaris for both luxury and budget travelers each day. Many travelers flock to Uganda to see gorillas and its ranked one of the top wildlife encounters on the planet. It’s also the prime tourist attraction of Uganda since back then but also a home   to world remaining mountain gorillas that it shares with Mgahinga in Uganda offering excellent gorilla treks to visitors across the world. In Bwindi  forest, there are four main areas and park headquarters for  gorilla trekking-Buhoma, Ruhija, Rushaga and Nkuringo so put it into consideration as you plan your gorilla safari tour soon.

Kidepo Valley National Park

One of the best places in the world to spot the big five-Lions, elephants,Buffaloes, leopards etc. Many travelers want to see the big 5 and Kidepo Valley National park is a fascinating paradise for wildlife lovers. Also birders can also spend days searching for different species found with the park. Travelers can do self-drive or private safari and enjoy to their fullest all through. The 4WD safari vehicle gives you much better view of all the park wildlife. In addition it’s better to use a park guide that sees things that you would never on your own. They also know particular animals that can be spotted in different areas including at Apoka safari lodge a best animal viewing point for many visitors to the park.

Queen Elizabeth National Park

This park is a miracle wonder of wildlife, mammals, birds and primates and it deserves it.Not only is it place of natural beauty but it’s also a place to fine high concentration of hippos, crocodiles that roam around the Kazinga channel an afternoon cool off tour adventure with lot of impressive views and moments. Birders will have fun spotting multiple bird species while sailing on water as you enjoy the 2-3 hour boat cruise on the channel that joins Edward and George.  Another favorite part is the tree climbing lions in Ishasha sector a famous game viewing area in Queen Elizabeth. Chimpanzee trekking is another not to be missed as well as the wildlife in Kasenyi area.

Kibale National Park

If you are in Uganda for gorilla tracking in Uganda, you may also be interested in tracking chimpanzees and others primates in Kibale forest National park. Seeing chimpanzees in Kibale forest is a guarantee any time of the year on either chimpanzee habituation or trekking. Just take advise from your tour consultant on how best you can track both gorillas and chimpanzees in Uganda. Despite the many attractions in Uganda, a trip to see gorillas and chimpanzee is the most excellent adventure one can ever have on any safari tour in Uganda. Other National Parks to check out are Murchison falls national park, Lake Mburo and much more.

Mount Elgon National Park

Mt Elgon National Park is situated on the Uganda/Kenya border and is about 30km north east of Mbale town. You may book to climb Mt Elgon either in Mbale at the Uganda Wildlife offices (quite a walk from the centre of town) or book when you get up to Budadiri . There is a small basic campground at Budadiri and the park rangers will pick you the morning of your trek. A five day permit costs $90 plus you have to pay for a guide at $10 per day and porters at $7 per day. Mt. Elgon is a relatively easy mountain to climb, but you definitely need warm clothes, a tent and a rain coat as it can be cold nd rainy. The best time of the year to climb is June to August and December to March which is during the dry season.

Sipi Falls on the northern side of the mountain is well worth the time to visit. There are several campsites however the Crows Nest is the most popular with bandas and camping overlooking Sipi Falls.

Murchison Falls National Park

Murchison Falls National Park is about four hours drive from Kampala, situated north of Masindi and bisected by the Nile River. Murchison Falls is spectular with the Nile River forcing it’s way through a seven metre wide chasm. From Para Rest Camp you can organize a boat trip up the Victoria for $10 per person (minimium 10 people) where you are treated to spectular viewing of hippos, crocodiles basking in the sun, elephants, bufflo, and many other animals. At the base of the falls you stop on a small island so as to experience the unforgetable atmosphere. The park is home to the much sort after shoebill stork whick lives in the many papyrus swamps and is popular amongst birders. To experience the best game drives it is better to organize a ranger or guide, cross the river on one of the ferries ($40 over & back) and do a game drive in the north western sector.

Mgahinga Gorilla National Park

Mgahinga Gorilla National Park is the smallest park in Uganda and is 1 of 2 parks that you can see the mountain gorilla. It has incredible panoramic views of the Virunga Mountains – a series of 6 extinct and 3 active volcanoes. The park protects 76 mammal species, which includes: the golden monkey, black and white colobus, leopard, elephant, giant forest hog, bushpig, buffalo, and bushbuck. Also, the park hosts 87 bird species. There are several activities to pursue in the park including: caving, forest walks, and day hikes which could easily occupy a week of your time. There is a nice, inexpensive place to stay, Amajambere Iwacu Community Campground, just outside the park. Camping is $3 ($4 for a hired tent). There are bandas for $10 and dorm beds cost $5. For Mgahinga, gorilla permits are $175 plus $15 park entrance.

Lake Bunyonyi, meaning “place of little birds”, is a great place to relax for a couple of days. The lake is very beautiful, with many small islands and is surrounded by terraced hills. The lake is a beautiful place to get away from the hustle and makes quite a romantic setting nestling in the hills. There are several buses from Kampala to Kabale everyday. This will take about 6 hours and costs $12,000. To get to the lake from Kabale, you may get a taxi which should cost about 10,000 – or alternatively – Mondays and Fridays there is a local market at the lake so there is plenty of public transport for 1,000.