uganda national parks

Uganda national parks: What to do and see

Uganda national parks offer some of the most mazing wildlife experiences on the African continent. Uganda’s parks are home to a variety of amazing wildlife species some of which cannot be seen anywhere else in the world. Rare but popular species like the endangered mountain gorillas, golden monkeys, tree-climbing lions and thousands of endemic birds keep drawing wildlife-loving travellers to Uganda throughout the year.

Top Uganda national parks

Bwindi Impenetrable National Park

uganda national parks

Bwindi impenetrable forest is an enormous tropical rainforest nestled within Kigezi highlands with a total surface area of 331Km2. The southwestern Uganda based forest has lots of wonders of nature hidden with its environs from the unique wildlife species to free-flowing streams and gushing waterfalls. The main natural wonder to explore in Bwindi is the mountain gorillas. The mountain gorillas are a rare and endangered subspecies of gorillas, only found in the mountainous areas of the east-central tropical rainforests region of Africa. The mountain-dwelling subspecies of gorillas have a small population of just over 1000 individuals and Bwindi forest bolsters about 459 of them, making it the habitat with the largest population of mountain gorillas. The mountain gorillas can be seen on gorilla trekking tours where travellers hike through the forest of Bwindi under the stewardship of the park ranger to find the gentle apes in their locale.   On meeting the gorillas, visitors watch and observe their social antics and take photos and videos. The experience seems hard and exhausting on script but at sight, it is captivating and revealing.  

Apart from being a home of mountain gorillas, Bwindi is a bird haven. It was voted among the top ten birding destinations in Africa by Africa Travel Magazine in 2010. The forest has over 300 bird species recorded and some of them are restricted to the Albertine Rift. Some of the birds to watch in Bwindi include African Emerald Cuckoo, Common Bulbul, Cinnamon-chested bee-eater and many more. Bwindi consists of numerous walking trails presenting sights of the unique bird species mentioned, notably Bamboo zone, Mubwindi swamp trail in Ruhija and Buhoma Waterfall trail. 

Queen Elizabeth National Park

uganda national parks

Located in Kasese, a popular tourist area in western Uganda, Queen Elizabeth national park is regarded by travellers as a medley of wonders. The park has lots of natural attractions to marvel at.  A large part of this natural property is open savannah prairies which host countless exotic animals such as lions, buffaloes, elands, Uganda kobs, leopards, elephants, reedbucks et cetera. Queen Elizabeth is also dominated by two great lakes of Edward and George connected by Kazinga channel. The water channel is a place of interest by visitors because it is a lifeline to a plethora of marine animals like hippos, crocodiles, waterbucks, elephants and birds.

The other wonders of nature to explore in Queen Elizabeth national park are the Katwe crater explosions. The Katwe crater area is a picture-perfect phenomenon decorated by still crater lakes lying on top of the green volcanic hills. Travellers are enthralled and taken aback by the beauty of Katwe craters because it is beyond superlatives. Within the area, there are mining salt ponds. A visit to the ponds presents an opportunity of watching men and women working so hard and tirelessly to extract the sauce and stew appetizing mineral (salt) underneath the water. 

Kibale Forest National Park

uganda national parks

The evergreen tropical rainforest is one of the largest forests in Uganda with a surface area of 766 square kilometres. Kibale forest is popularly reckoned as the capital of primates as it shelters over 14 different species including chimpanzees, grey checked mangabey, black and white colobus, red-tailed monkeys and vervet monkeys to mention but a few.  The chimpanzees are the standout primates of the 14 species. Kibale forest has over 1000 individuals, making it one of the natural habitats with the highest population of chimpanzees in the world.  chimpanzees are shrewd and interesting animals to watch in the wild. They have intriguing social behaviours which leave the visitors in awe during the trekking experience. The forest is also home to terrestrial mammals such as elephants which travel between the Kibale park and Queen Elizabeth national park, sitatungas, warthogs, blue duikers, bushbucks and Africa buffalo. However, the terrestrial mammals are kept on a low profile because the park is branded as a primate trekking destination. The fauna of Kibale forest is a matter of attention, the area has roughly 229 species of trees. Some of its tree species are subjects of research by Universities and wildlife and conservation organization.

Kidepo Valley National Park

uganda national parks

Kidepo is less explored and virgin due to its remoteness but the most beautiful protected area in the country. It portrays the true African wilderness, most of its landscape is flat and fleeced by endless short savannah plains. The semi-arid habitat hosts an array of diverse wildlife species, namely lions, elephants, leopards, ostriches,cheetahs, leopards, buffaloes and innumerable birds. The interesting and intriguing Karamojong villages are within sight while at Kidepo. A day tour around these villages gives a different perception of African culture.  

Murchison Falls National Park

uganda national parks

Dissected by River Nile, the longest river in the world, Murchison Falls National park is a popular habitat for the four of Africa’s big five animals. A game drive around its expanses presents sights of numerous animals including lions, giraffes, buffaloes, elephants, elands, hartebeests, leopards, warthogs and also the elusive shoebill. The top of the falls offers a magnificent view of the powerful and turbulent rapids of River Nile force their way through a narrow gorge to plunge into the basin, water sprouting into sparkle and a rainbow is formed. it is such an iconic feature to watch.  A launch trip to the Victoria Delta or upfront of the Murchison falls is an engaging and memorable experience. Lots of maritime species are encountered from hippos and crocodiles to numerous birds. 

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