Bwindi Impenetrable Forest
|When to go|
Kibale Forest National Park
|When to go|
Queen Elizabeth National Park
|When to go|
Uganda has a wealth of National Parks and protected areas and is home to the endangered Mountain Gorilla which can be seen in two areas – Bwindi and Mgahinga. But there is much more to Uganda and you can easily spend a couple of weeks or more touring the country visiting its national parks and reserves - Uganda is a superb safari and bird watching destination.
Perhaps the best known of all the national parks in Uganda is the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park which is in southwestern Uganda. The park is part of the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and is situated along the Democratic Republic of the Congo border next to the Virunga National Park and on the edge of the Albertine Rift. With both montane and lowland forest it is accessible only by foot and most visitors will experience this park when they are trekking to see one of the habituated groups of mountain gorillas. The park is a United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization-designated World Heritage Site
There are over 120 species of mammals in the park, 348 species of birds, 220 species of butterflies, 27 species of frogs, chameleons, geckos, and many endangered species. The park is among the most diverse forests in East Africa with more than 1,000 flowering plant species including 163 species of trees and 104 species of ferns.
Bwindi is a sanctuary for colobus monkeys, chimpanzees and many birds such as hornbills and turacos. Approximately half of the world's population of endangered mountain gorillas live in groups - some of which are habituated to visitors.
The other area to trek and see the mountain gorilla and the golden monkey is Mgahinga Gorilla National Park which is located in the Virunga Mountains and is formed from three inactive volcanoes - Mount Muhabura, Mount Gahinga, and Mount Sabyinyo - it borders Rwanda's Volcanoes National Park and the southern sector of Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Mgahinga has bamboo forest, Albertine Rift montane forests, Ruwenzori-Virunga montane moorlands and an alpine zone at higher altitudes.
Endemic birds of the Albertine Rift include handsome spurfowl, dusky crimson-wing, Kivu ground thrush, Rwenzori turaco, Rwenzori batis, Rwenzori double-collared sunbird, collared apalis, mountain masked apalis, Archer's ground robin, stripe-breasted tit, blue-headed sunbird, regal sunbird, strange weaver, montane nightjar, red-faced woodland warbler and Grauer's swamp warbler.
The Rwenzori Mountains National Park has stunning, distinctive glacial peaks which are ideal for hiking. Mount Elgon National Park has spectacular scenery, again enjoyed by hikers and is home to forest monkeys, antelope, elephant, buffalo and over 300 species of birds.
The Queen Elizabeth National Park has one of the highest biodiversity ratings of any game reserve in the world - almost 100 mammal species and 606 birds. Highlights include elephant, a profusion of hippo, giant forest hog and Uganda kob. Ishasha Sector is famed for its tree-climbing lions, the Kyambura Gorge its habituated chimps, the Maramagambo Forest is home to forest monkeys and birds, and flocks of flamingo can be found on the crater lakes.
Lake Mburo National Park has 5 lakes attracting pods of hippo, crocodiles, Sitatunga antelope and red, black and yellow papyrus gonalek in addition to many water birds. It is the best place in the country to see eland antelope as well as zebra, topi, impala and several acacia-associated birds. You can get out and stretch your legs on a walking safari here.
Kibale National Park offers the opportunity to track habituated chimps. 13 primate species including the very localised red colobus and L'Hoest's monkey live here alongside butterflies, 335 species of birds, forest elephant, buffalo, giant forest hog and 6 antelope species.
The Kidepo Valley National Park in the north of Uganda is one of the country’s most scenically spectacular parks – because of its inaccessibility not many people visit this park as distances are long by road or you can fly. Located in the Rift Valley the park is home to the bat-eared fox, striped hyena, aardwolf, caracal, cheetah and hunting dog. Less common ungulates include the greater and lesser kudu, Chandlers Mountain reedbuck, klipspringer, dik-dik and bright gazelle; beisa oryx and roan antelope.
Among other large ungulates are elephant, burchell's zebra, bush pig, warthog, rothschild giraffe, cape buffalo, eland, bush buck, bush duskier, defassa water buck, bohor reed buck, jackson's hartbeest and oribi. Five species of primate are found in the park and the Kavirondo bush baby is endemic. Carnivores include lion, leopard, small cats, spotted hyena, black-backed jackal and side-striped jackal. 465 species of birds have been recorded with 58 species of birds of prey.
Katonga Wildlife Reserve supports some 40 mammal and at least 150 bird species, many specific to wetland habitats whilst in Semlike Wildlife Reserve the Uganda kob is the commonest large mammal, but there are also forest elephant, chimpanzees, buffalo, leopard and various monkeys, antelope and over 400 species of bird.
Semliki Wildlife Reserve - the oldest protected area in Uganda - is home to a diverse range of flora and fauna. It is possible to track chimpanzees and is one of the best places in Uganda to view the rare Shoebill Stork.
Semliki is Uganda’s newest National Parks and offers the visitor fantastic scenery, hot springs, forest jungle walks, birding, and primate viewing.
Murchison Falls National Park, named after the water-falls where the Nile plunges 43m, offers the visitor elephant, buffalo, giraffe, a wide variety of antelope, lion, chimpanzees, hippos, crocodile and many species of water birds including the shoebill stork.
We work with a number of the best ground operators within Uganda offering you the widest choice of safaris and journeys. Browse through our itineraries which will give you an idea of what Uganda has to offer - choose between a small group set departure safari or a tailor made journey to your exact budget and requirements. We offer all levels of lodges and camps from budget to the very best.
We have recently spent three week's travelling around Uganda experiencing the national parks and reserves, lodges and camps and all the wonderful wildlife of this amazing country!
Call us on 01386 830264 or email [email protected] to start planning your Uganda adventure!