Best National Parks In Uganda For A Safari

Talking about national parks, Uganda has a total of 10 national game parks in the country

Best National Parks In Uganda For A Safari

Are you looking for the best national parks in Uganda for a safari and tour? Well, Uganda is a small landlocked country located in East Africa but blessed with remarkable biodiversity and games parks that are compared to none. While her neighbors i.e. Kenya, Rwanda and Tanzania invest heavily in marketing and promoting their major tourism resources, Uganda sits quietly believing that eventually people will discover her tourism on their own – call it being self-satisfied. One clear example of this self-satisfactory is in regards to the Mountain Gorillas. Uganda is best country for gorilla trekking followed by Rwanda but when you make some research, you will be surprised to read somewhere that some other country is number one not Uganda.

Uganda does not only have just about gorillas. During a Uganda Wildlife Safari, one can engage in so many tour activities including spotting the big 5 (Lions, Buffaloes, Leopards, Rhinoceros and Elephants), going for boat cruises on lakes like Victoria (second largest in the world), rivers like the Nile which is the longest in Africa) or the Kazinga channel in queen Elizabeth national park and lake Bunyonyi in Kabale to mention but a few. Mountain hikers have several mountain options such as climbing Mount Elgon, Mount Sabyinyo, Mount Gahinga, Mount Moroto, mountain Muhabura and the Rwenzori Mountains.

Uganda is ranked the best country to track chimpanzees in the whole world. Kibale National Park has a population of over 5000 chimpanzees but the primates can also be seen in Budongo forest, Kalinzu Kyambura Gorge and Maramagambo forest. Uganda is one of the best countries in the world for best birding safaris. Birding tours in the country expose birders to over 1066 residents and migratory species. While in Uganda, visitors can also take part in activities such as biking, swimming, bungee jumping, canoeing or forest and guided nature walks. Uganda has more mountain gorillas than any county in the world with half of the total world’s population of gorillas in Bwindi impenetrable national park? Yes and in two national parks that’s Bwindi and Mgahinga Gorilla Park. Talking about national parks, Uganda has a total of 10 national game parks in the country. These national parks are spread around the country each with town special attractions. They include the following.

Bwindi Impenetrable National Park:

Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is located in south western Uganda next to DR Congo and among the best national parks in Uganda for gorilla trekking safaris and tours. Bwindi is a UNESCO world heritage site because of its mountain gorillas and the overall biodiversity. Gorilla habituation experience and gorilla tracking are the most done activities in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park but tourists can take in other activities such as nature walks, hiking, cycling, cultural encounters, community visits and bird watching. Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Virunga national park are the only parks where you get to find mountain gorillas and chimpanzees together.

Kibale national park:

Kibale national park is called the primate capital of Uganda because the park has more numbers of primates than any other national park in Uganda. The park has over 13 primates among which include chimpanzees, olive baboons, red tailed monkeys, l’hoest’s monkeys, black and white colobus monkeys, vervet monkeys, grey cheeked mangabeys, Uganda red colobus, demidoff galago, the potto, patas monkeys and Uganda mangabey. Kibale national park is the best in the place in the for chimpanzee trekking with over 5000 individuals. The main difference between chimpanzee trekking and any other national park in Uganda is that there are 90% chances of finding these primates. Unlike mountain gorillas, chimpanzees are mobile and getting to find a family is very hard because they don’t stay in one place for too long. The chances of seeing chimpanzees in kibale national park is very high not like in any of the other parks. But unfortunately kibale has no mountain gorillas. Apart from primates, kibale is a home of over 370 bird species so you can go for birding, mammals such as elephants, buffaloes, duiker, bushbucks and sitatungas among others. You can also take part in nature walks, community walks and cultural encounters.

Kidepo valley national park:

Kidepo valley national park is one of the top national parks in Uganda located far away in the north eastern corner of the country. The park has open tree savannah grassland vegetation, its landscape and seasons are similar to that in Masai maraa but with less crowds and virgin wilderness. Kidepo valley national park is the only park in Uganda where ostriches, wild dogs and cheetahs can be found. Kidepo has a beautiful scenery and landscape to the extent that CNN described it as one the best national parks in Africa. Sadly, kidepo valley is the less visited park in Uganda by tourists because of its location and its history of being a hide out for rebels. A game drives in kidepo valley national park gives you an opportunity to see lions, cheetahs, ostrich, wild dogs, leopards, buffaloes and elephants. Cultural encounters can also be done in kidepo valley national park to visit the karamajong and Ike group of people. Other activities include hiking, visiting hot springs and a nature walk.

Lake Mburo national park:

This is the smallest national park in Uganda. The park is situated in kiruhura on the min highway going to Uganda’s major gam parks that is bwindi impenetrable, kibale and queen Elizabeth national parks. Tourists from Queen Elizabeth and bwindi impenetrable national park always get a stopover at Lake Mburo for a day before proceeding to Kampala. Lake mburo is the only national park with the highest number of zebras and they can be spotted everywhere in great numbers. It’s also the best place to spot leopards and impalas because they are many but concentrated in a small area. Lake Mburo also the only national park where you can do horseback riding. Other activities in Lake Mburo include spot fishing, game drives, birding, nature walk, community walk, hiking and boat cruise on Lake Mburo.

Mgahinga gorilla national park:

Located in the south western part of Uganda, the park is on the borders between Rwanda, Uganda and DR Congo. Mgahingas is the smallest national park in Uganda with 34sq.km. The park is another place where to find mountain gorillas in Uganda. Gorilla trekking is the most done activity in mgahinga national park with golden monkey tracking slowly catching up. Mgahinga National Park is the only park where you can find golden monkeys and mountain gorillas at the same time. Gorilla trekking in this park is better than the one in Bwindi because the habituated group in Mgahinga has many members and can easily be located. A part from primates, Mgahinga national park is a place where you find three volcanoes that is Gahinga, Sabyinyo, and Mubabura. These volcanoes are part of Virunga Mountains that include other mountains such as Bisoke, Karisimbi, Nyiragongo, Mikeno and Nyamurangira. Hiking any of these mountains to the top rewards hikers with breathtaking views of Virunga ranges, mountain Rwenzori, some game parks in Uganda and DR Congo. When you reach to the top of Mountain Muhabura you get an opportunity to have a step in Rwanda, Uganda and DR Congo at the same time. The batwa pygmies are also found in this park. The batwa trial in mgahinga national park is more interesting than that of bwindi. In mgahinga gorilla park, the batwa act as guides by leading such activity with in the forest not like in bwindi where visitors go to visit the group in the park. Other activities in Mgahinga national park include nature walks, community visits and bird watching.

Mountain Elgon:

This national park is found at the border between Uganda and Kenya. Most parts of the park are found on the Uganda side of the border. Mountain elgon is the 8th highest mountain in Africa and hiking is the main activity in the park but there are many animals that can be seen on the slopes of the mountain and surrounding areas. The mountain receives rainfall throughout the year and the mountain has fertile soils that support the growth of vegetation and the forests that provide food for wild animals. Nature walks are organized to explore the beautiful scenery, flora and fauna around the park. Tourists who are interested in touring the caves and visiting the waterfalls should visit Mountain Elgon. The Sipi falls are the famous water falls on Mountain Elgon among the 50 actually found there. The culture tours are done to visit the Bagisu in their homes and when lucky you might witness their ancient circumcision ceremonies also known as embalu. The other activities done at the park include bird watching, camping, sport fishing, cycling, camping or visiting pain upe game reserve.

Murchison falls national park:

This is one of the most visited national parks in Uganda. It’s the largest national park found in north western part of Uganda. Just like queen Elizabeth national park, Murchison falls national park is blessed with so many features and landscape which offers a whole lots of things to do. The main attraction is Murchison falls on River Nile. The park attracts most tourists because it’s the only park where you get a chance to see all the big 5 animals after having a stopover at Ziwa rhino sanctuary for rhinos because the rhinos extinct in the park. Murchison falls National Park is a lion conservation area and it has the highest number of Roskilde giraffes in Uganda. Apart from hiking to the top of the falls and game drives, you can go for chimpanzee trekking in Budongo forest, boat cruise on the Nile where you will spot crocodiles, hippos, elephants and a number of birds such as shoe bill, hot air balloon, nature walk and visiting the local boomu women’s group.

Queen Elizabeth national park:

This is one of the most famous and visited national parks in Uganda. The land is blessed with flora and fauna. Queen Elizabeth is famous for tree climbing lions in Ishasha sector. The park has crater lakes, gorges. Salt lakes and rift valley lakes that is Lake Edward and Lake George. Visitors can also see chimpanzees at maramagambo forest and kyambura gorge. Kazinga channels is the one of the best places to go bird watching in Uganda. Other activities done in the park include hot air balloon, nature walk in maramagambo forest, game drive, lion trekking, visiting Lake Katwe. Cultural encounters among others.

Rwenzori mountains national park:

This is another UNESCO world heritage located in the southwestern part of the country next to Virunga national park of Congo. The main attraction here is hiking mountain Rwenzori but the park is blessed with birds, flora and fauna. The area receives heavy rainfall and sunshine which have led to the growth of rare vegetation commonly seen in countries with cold weather. The park is a home to a number of animals among which include colobus monkeys, chimpanzees, buffaloes, elephants and leopards among others. The park is a home to over 216 bird species and reptiles i.e. the three horned chameleon. Mountain climbing ain’t the only activity done here, the park has nature walks, birding, game viewing and visits to Bakonjo tribe.

Semuliki national park:

This park is located on the border of Uganda with DR Congo in the district of Bundibugyo. The park is covered with lowland forest which is an extension of the great Ituri forest in Democratic republic of Congo. The forest extension has attracted bird species that are not commonly seen in east African national parks. The park does not only have birds and the forest but also the two hot springs called the sempaya hot springs. Visitors can go and cook eggs and banana from the hot springs or they can go and do a game drive to see animals in the park such as elephants, bushbucks, leopards, hippos, Mona monkeys, African civet, water chevrotain and Uganda kobs among others.

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