Uganda is one of the most ideal destinations to enjoy wildlife safari in Africa. It boasts a spectacular ecosystem that seduces all adventurers who seek something different.
To start a beautiful holiday to Ugadan, these 10 top National Parks could be the very first suggestion :
Queen Elizabeth National Park
Established in 1954, Queen Elizabeth National Park was named after the Queen Elizabeth II of England. It is located in the western region of the country.
Adding to a wealth of wild animals that include elephants, African leopards, lions, buffaloes, antelopes, and 95 species of mammals, this protected area plays host to over 500 species of birds. Apart from that, Queen is home to the rare tree-climbing lions and spectacular volcanic features like the Katwe crater lakes. Some of the pursuits to make your days in the Park are nature walks, game drives, boat cruise on the waters of Kazinga channel, and chimpanzee tracking in Kyambura gorge.
Rwenzori Mountains National Park
With its unusual natural beauty, it is no surprise that this park was named a UNESCO World Heritage site. It covers a total area of 1000 square kilometers in the Rwenzori Mountains, Western Uganda. In case hiking to the top of Africa’s third highest peak doesn’t appeal, this place still has a lot to appreciate such as the cascading waterfalls, diverse flora and fauna, the valley of nine lakes, and several endangered species.
Lake Mburo National Park
If Wildlife is a reason alone for your Uganda trip, Lake Mburo National Park should be your first stop. It is the closest reserve area when travelling from Kampala. Its 370 kilometers of land is occupied by forests, a lake, and grasslands that provide lush habitats to multiple animals including zebras, hyenas, topis, impalas, leopards, hippos, other antelopes, and about 350 birds. Besides animals, Lake Mburo shelters the gorgeous Precambrian metamorphic rocks which combine with plant life to create a perfect scene for photographers.
Easy service to travel in and out Kampala: Entebbe airport express, a very trusted company for your movement.
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
Do you need to see Gorillas in Uganda? Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is a priority for an incredible experience. Part of this UNESCO site accommodates the Bwindi forest, one of Africa’s richest ecosystems. It is best explored on foot. The list of wildlife species in Bwindi comprises 200 different types of trees, 220 species of butterflies, 27 breeds of frogs, geckos, and chameleons, 348 birds, and 120 mammals. Gorilla trekking is the main highlight for a tour to Bwindi, but there are other activities to keep you occupied for days. These are bird watching, hiking, mountain biking, and Batwa village walks.
Semliki National Park
Semliki National Park is a dream destination for nature lovers. It is one of Uganda’s newest habitats for wildlife. Most travelers visit this area to admire the Sempaya hot springs. These springs differ themselves unique with hot waters (at a temperature of 1000C) which can boil eggs or bananas in ten minutes. The swampy areas and the lowland tropical forest in the park shelter plentiful flora and fauna. A tour around can expose you to many creatures including primates like red-tailed monkeys, chimpanzees, De Brazza’s monkey, grey-checked mangabey, reptiles, birds to mention but a few.
Murchison Falls National Park
Of the ten Parks in Uganda, Murchison is the largest. It is ideal for tourists who would wish to have a safari tour that combines wildlife encounters and adrenaline adventures. Covering an area of 3893 square kilometers, this park forms part of the Murchison Falls Conservation Area. Apart from the falls, travelers include this place on their wish list to soak up its wildlife that encompasses the four animals of the African big fives (lion, elephants, buffalo, and leopards). Be sure to participate in the rewarding hike up to the top of the falls for endless spectacular views of the Parks’ landscapes and its surrounding.
Mgahinga Gorilla National Park
Other than Bwindi, Mgahinga is an idyllic option for Gorilla trekking in Uganda. It is set amid the rolling hills of the Kisoro region. Its lush vegetation provides luxuriant habitats to the uncommon Mountain Gorillas, various bird species, and the great Golden monkey primates. Whether you choose to stay in Mgahinga for days or weeks, it has plenty to satisfy an adventure hunkering tourist. If Gorillas don’t impress, you can engage in the Batwa cultural experiences, Golden monkey tracking, or hike one of the three conical extinct volcanoes.
Mount Elgon National Park
Shared by Kenya and Uganda, Mount Elgon National Park is 140km northeast of Lake Victoria. It was named after Mount Elgon, an extinct volcano with the world’s largest surface area. The Kenyan part was the first to be gazetted in 1968 and the Ugandan part followed in 1992. Hiking is the main activity in this area. It enchants adventurers with stunning views of flora and fauna, a cave with ancient paintings and hot-springs in the volcano craters.
Kibale Forest National Park
For those who are enthusiastic about primates, Kibale Forest National Park is a must. It is home not only to the country’s winsome tropical forests but also to varied primate species including the pretty chimpanzees. Its northern section experiences a lot of rainfall in the months of March to May and September to November. You can get there by Car. It takes like 4-5 hours to drive the 310km journey via Kampala- Mityana – Mubende – Fort Portal highway. Aside from Chimpanzee tracking, other activities like Bigodi walk and birding won’t leave you bored for your time in the Park.
Kidepo Valley National Park
If there is a place not to omit for adventure, it is Kidepo. This is the most isolated protected area in Uganda. Therefore it isn’t hard to understand why it is still untouched and attractive. The Journey through the wild frontier region of Karamoja to Kidepo is long but worth it. In addition to the beauty of the rugged savannah between Uganda’s borders with Sudan and Kenya, the park houses over 475 birds and 77 species of mammals. There is no better way to take in what Kidepo has to offer than game driving. Offered in Safari vehicles with pop-up roofs, this excursion inspires tourists with magnificent views of wild animals, stretching grasslands, and towering hills.
The article is written by Maike, a local friend of mine who has been working for years in the field.