Uganda is an East African country made of various attractive and adventurous places where you can prepare you safari tour to and some of the best places in Uganda suitable for your safari tours include the Lakes, Rivers, Mountains and national parks. The following are some of Uganda’s national parks which any tourist should not miss while he/she is planning to explore Africa:
Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park:
The Park is found in south-western Uganda and it is well famous for inhabiting the highest number of Mountain gorillas in the whole world. It protects over 500 Mountain gorillas which is almost half of the world’s population. A gorilla permit costs US$ 600 for any tourist who could like to visit Bwindi Forest National Park and gorilla safari in this Park is done in four different sectors of the Park which include; Buhoma, Ruhija, Nkuringo and Rushaga. There are 14 habituated gorilla families in Bwindi and a group of 8 individuals are only allowed to go for trekking of these rare endangered primates.
Strictly one hour is recommended for you to stay with the Mountain gorillas keeping a distance of at least 7 to 8 meters while viewing them and the tracking begins at 08:30am. The Park is also made up of more than 350 bird species, 10 primates, 120 mammal species including elephants and many others. Flashlight cameras are not encouraged to use while taking photos of the Mountain gorilla in Bwindi. The park has got good lodges and exclusive camps which include; Buhoma Lodge, Silver Back Lodge, Clouds Mountain Gorilla Lodge, Engagi Lodge, Mahogany Springs, Chameleon Hill Lodge among others.
Queen Elizabeth National Park:
The Park is found in the western region of Uganda and the Park is 400 kilometers from the capital city of Uganda (Kampala). The Park is most popular for its tree climbing lions which are seen from the Ishasha sector of the Park. The tree climbing lions amaze many tourists who eventually visit the Park and it is one of the reasons as to why many tourists visit Queen Elizabeth National Park. The Park extends from Lake George in the North-East to Lake Edward in the South-west and also includes the Kazinga channel which connects the two Parks.
The Kazinga channel offers many activities for Queen Elizabeth National Park’s tourists which include boat cruises, viewing of aquatic birds, viewing aquatic animals such as crocodiles and the hippos. The Park’s diversity includes; giraffes, African buffaloes, elephants, tree climbing lions, leopards, chimpanzees and the Park protects the highest number of bird species in Uganda which is over 600 bird species. Shelters at the lodge include; Kyambura Game Lodge, Mweya Safari Lodge, Ishasha Wilderness Camp, Kyambura Gorge Lodge and the Jacana Safari Lodge among others.
Kibale Forest National Park:
The Park was gazetted in 1932 and it is most known as the best habitant for chimpanzees in Uganda and all-over East Africa. A chimpanzee permit in Uganda costs US$ 150 and besides keeping chimpanzees, the Park also protects 12 more primates. Other wildlife in the Park include; elephants which eventually travel from Queen Elizabeth National Park to Kibale Forest National Park and others include Sitatungas, red and blue duikers, bush bucks, bush pigs, giant forest hogs, warthogs, leopards, buffaloes, Servals, golden cats plus being a home to over 315 bird species including the Olive-long tailed cuckoo, western tinker bird, African grey parrot and many more. Shelters at the park include; Ndali Lodge, Primate Lodge, Crater Safari Lodge, Kyaninga Lodge among others.
Kidepo Valley National Park:
It is situated in the North-eastern parts of Uganda (Karamoja) and the Park consists of savanna, Mountain Morungole and also transected by Narus and Kidepo Rivers making it suitable for Uganda’s tours due to its diversity of wildlife kept in the Park. The Park is only next to Queen Elizabeth National Park in protecting the highest species of birds in Uganda (it keeps over 500 bird species). It is also known as Uganda’s best Park to protect almost each African wildlife species including Nile crocodiles, Lions, Leopards, Elephants, giraffes, hyenas, cheetahs, wild dogs, zebras, bat-eared foxes, hippos, buffaloes, Okapi, Oribi, Jack hartebeest, bush bucks, bush pigs and many more. The Kanangarok hot spring, Narus valley and Kidepo valley plus the sandy soils of the Park are other attractive things in the Park and due to its topography and its beautiful and brilliant landscape plus the diversity of wildlife, it makes the Park to be the most photogenic in all Ugandan Parks and it is also why it was nick-named ‘’The true Africa’s wilderness’’. Nga’moru Wilderness Camp, Apoka Rest Camp and Apoka Safari Lodge, Kidepo Savannah Lodge are some of the best accommodation at the park.
Lake Mburo National Park:
The Park was gazetted in 1933 and it is located in Kiruhura district which is found in the western side Uganda and it is the easiest park to access since it is situated on 240 kilometers from Kampala capital city. The park has got a variety of wildlife such as Hippos, giraffes, zebras, Impalas, elands, warthogs, buffaloes, leopards, jackals and others plus also keeping more than 300 bird species. The park offers various activities such as nature walks, bird watching, boat cruise, game drives, game viewing and lots of others. Accommodation in the Park include; Mantana Tented Camp, Mihingo Lodge, Mburo Safari Lodge, Arcadia Cottages, Rwakobo Lodge and Mburo Eagle’s Nest Camp among others.
Mgahinga Gorilla National Park:
The park is one of the three parks in the Virunga massif which includes Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda and Virunga National Park in Democratic Republic of Congo and Mgahinga itself. The park is Uganda’s smallest but second after Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park to inhabit the world’s rare endangered Mountain gorillas.
The park has over 100 Mountain gorillas and also tracked in a group of 8 individuals per group. Mgahinga has one habituated gorilla family called Nyakagezi and a gorilla permit for Mgahinga Gorilla National Park’s gorillas cost US$ 600 per permit per person.
Golden monkey trekking also exist in the park and also the trails of the Batwa people will offer also reward you abundantly when you visit Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. Therefore, though the Park is the smallest in all Ugandan parks, it offers many interesting activities such as gorilla trekking, golden monkey trekking, Sabyinyo volcano hike and the Batwa trail. Accommodations in the Park include Amajambere Iwacu Community Camp, Kisoro Traveler Rest Hotel, Mount Gahinga Lodge, Mucha Hotel among others.
Mountain Elgon National Park:
The Park is found in the North-eastern parts of Uganda and it is bisected between Uganda and Kenya though Uganda shares the largest part of the Park. The Park is well known for having the biggest volcanic base in the whole world and its wildlife diversity. Some of the wildlife found in the Park includes small antelopes, duikers, elephants, buffaloes, forest monkeys, blue monkeys and lots of others.
The park is also a home to over 300 bird species and also other impressive creatures which give a brilliant view to the tourists and these include; cliffs, caves, waterfalls, hot springs, calderas and Mountain Peaks both for Uganda’s Mountain Elgon and for Kenya. The most done activity in the park is Mountain hiking and others include Mountain biking, rock climbing, nature walks, fishing, bird watching and cultural encounters plus many more. Shelters here include Sipi River Lodge, Mbale Resort Hotel, Lacam Lodge, Mountain Elgon Hotel & Spa, Masha Hotel and others.
Murchison Fall National Park:
It is found in North-western Uganda originating from the shores of Lake Albert around the Victoria Nile up to the Karuma falls. The Park is Uganda’s largest and it is bisected by the Victoria Nile thus creating the dramatic Murchison falls where the Nile crocodiles, hippos and aquatic birds are viewed from. Other wildlife in the Park include; elephants, buffaloes and giraffes.
The park protects the largest number of crocodiles in Uganda and has a diversity of many wildlife of which Kidepo and Murchison are the best Ugandan Parks to inhabit the large number of animal species together with Queen Elizabeth national park. Boat cruises in the Park is another thing which will make your visit a memorable and joyous one plus the brilliant display of the Park which allows photography tourism to take place especially to tourists who like photographing.
Accommodations in the Park include; Bakers safari lodge, Pakuba Safari Lodge, Sambiya River Lodge, Bwana Tembo Tented Camp, Nile Safari Lodge, Paraa Safari Lodge, Chobe Safari Lodge, Heritage Safari Lodge and Murchison River Lodge situated at the banks of the River with beautiful view of the park and the River Nile.
Rwenzori Mountain National Park:
The park is located in the western Uganda near Kasese town and it is composed of the third Africa’s highest peak (Magherita) and it is well known for its snowcapped peak, beautiful plant life and its mountainous landscape. It is composed of many attractive creatures such as Lakes, waterfalls, glaciers and hot springs. The Park is one of the most African mountainous places and it is located in the Mountains of Rwenzori consisting of the third, fourth and fifth Africa’s Mountain peaks respectively (Margherita, Mount Speke and Baker). The Park has the highest number of tree and plant species and its botany is described as some of the most beautiful in the world. The Park consists of five distinct vegetation zones which vary according to the changes of the altitude. The Park consists of more than 200 bird species and some of the wildlife species in the Park include chimpanzees, elephants, hyraxes, black and white Colobus, L’Hoest’s monkeys, duikers, bush bucks, buffaloes and leopards. Accommodations in the Park include Equator Snow Lodge, Ihamba Safari Lodge, Ruboni Community Camp, Mihunga Safari Lodge, Rwenzori Back Packers, Tours Holiday Inn and many more.
Semliki National Park:
It is found in Bundibugyo district in a county called Bwamba which is located in the western parts of Uganda and it is one of Uganda’s newest Parks which was made a national park in 1993 though was gazetted in 1932 as a forest reserve and it is situated on a flat and gentle landscape. It is Uganda’s third habitant of bird species but the best place in Uganda for birders because it has almost each African bird species including the rare forest ground thrush, Sassi’s Olive Greenbul, hornbills and many others thus grabbing a name of ‘’The true birders haven’’. Other wildlife in the Park includes; buffaloes, elephants, Mona monkeys, leopards, bush babies, Civets, duikers, pygmy squirrels and many others. Hot springs in the Park is another amazing and interesting thing in the Park of which the hot springs include hot waters which allow boiling of eggs and plantain and become ready to be eaten. Accommodations in the Park include Ntoroko Game Lodge, Semliki Safari Lodge, Kirimia Guest House among others.