Uganda Parks: Top 10 Tourist Places to Visit in Uganda

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Uganda Wildlife Safari

Uganda is an exciting destination you can’t miss visiting while in Africa for your great African safari vacation.

This country is geographically located in the Eastern part of the African Continent bordering the Magical Kenya in the East, South Sudan in the North, Rwanda with Tanzania in the South and Democratic Republic of Congo in the West.

Uganda was named the Pearl of Africa because of its genuine different touristic features in its diversity which include wildlife species, different cultural sites and other physical features, most of this wildlife, primate’s species are habituated in its major sightseeing which includes national parks, sanctuaries and game reserves

Listed below are the top ten national parks you must think of while planning your Uganda tours and you can easily plan it with some of the reliable safari companies found in Uganda, Kampala.

Bwindi Impenetrable National Park

This park has done a great role as far as lifting and boosting Uganda’s tourism on the chat of Africa’s great destinations to visit for safari and adventure vacations. Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park is highly on market and popularly known because of habituating the must see and mostly wanted World’s tourist attraction which are named to be the shy endangered ground dwelling herbivorous Gorillas characterized with unique behavioral features which attracts tourists’ attentions and minds.

Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park is ranked to be hosting the high population of the remaining mountain gorillas with over now fourteen gorilla families habituated for trekking and research in its four major sectors which include Buhoma sector, Ruhija sector, Rushaga sector and Nkuringo sector with each sector having more than two gorilla families apart from Nkuringo sector which has only one gorilla family.

By location Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park is geographically located in the South Western part of Uganda in Kabale district lining along the borders with Democratic Republic of Congo nearing Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, its characterized with impenetrable tropical rain forest, Savannah grasslands, some parts covered with Bamboo forests and fertile swamps where these apes are habituated.

The best way of reaching Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park in the western Uganda from Kampala is by use of Kampala – Masaka – Mbarara highway route with en-route stop over at the equator in Kayabwe for some brief explanation about the equator and take photographs with leisurely poses at the equator, snacks and then continue with journey using suitable 4×4 wheel drive safari jeeps, lunch is provided en-route usually in at Agip Motel in Mbarara town. More so, you can use domestic charter from Kampala to Kihihi Airstrip or you can come from Kigali and via Katuna or Cyanika border reach the park.

When starting the Journey from Kampala do not forget to park your self drinking water, it’s about 512 kms from Kampala up to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park taking about 8 – 9 hours for the drive. The main activities done in this park include gorilla trekking which requires you to buy a permit and this permit costs $700 USD per person usually booked in advance and others are nature walks as well as birding.

Mgahinga Gorilla National Park

This is Uganda’s second gorilla hosting destination if not Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park, it is located in the south western part of Uganda also known for hosting shy endangered ground dwelling herbivorous mountain gorillas, its lining on the borders of Uganda with Rwanda and Democratic Republic of Congo nearing Volcanoes National Park of Rwanda and Virunga National Park of Democratic Republic of Congo hence making the Virunga massif block.

Mgahinga Gorilla National Park is popularly characterized with thick tropical rain forest comprising of big tree species, Savannah grasslands, thick Bamboo forests and fertile sloping areas. The park can be accessed in the South western Uganda is by use of Kampala – Masaka – Mbarara highway with en-route stop over at the equator for photographs and snacks then lunch served at the Agip Motel in Mbarara town.

Another option of reaching Mgahinga Gorilla National Park in the western Uganda, you can fly from Entebbe Airport with domestic Aero Link Uganda Charter to Kisoro Airstrip and our driver pick you up and transfer you to your hotel in Kisoro or to the edge of the park. Also, those that are not suitable with long drives, land in Rwanda at Kigali Airport and transfer from there, cross borders via either Cyanika border up to Mgahinga Gorilla National Park using suitable 4×4 wheel drive Safari Jeeps and this is considered to be a shorter route when compared to that from Kampala.

Mgahinga Gorilla National Park is also popularly known to be the only Park in Uganda which habits the great golden monkeys in its thick Bamboo forests, the major activities done in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park include mountain gorilla trekking which requires permit costing $700 USD per person usually booked in advance, golden monkey tracking/experience which costs $90/100 USD per person, Sabyinyo volcanoes climbing which costs $80 USD per person and Batwa trail experience which also costs $80 USD per person.

Queen Elizabeth National Park

When it comes to wildlife safaris in Uganda do not miss out Queen Elizabeth National Park on your list, it is the best destination to sight different touristic wildlife features, this park is geographically located in the South western part of Uganda lining along Uganda’s border with Democratic Republic of Congo plus nearing the two Uganda’s popular Lakes which include Lake Edward and Lake Gorge.

The park is nearing with the must visit Kibale Forest National Park. Queen Elizabeth National Park is characterized with Savannah grasslands and woodlands, thick tropical rain forest, and swampy areas which are characterized along the shores of Kazinga Channel. There are two main route options of reaching Queen Elizabeth National Park in the western Uganda where by option one is by use of road transport means and option two is by use of air transport means, using road transport means Kampala – Masaka – Mbarara highway is the best route of reaching Queen which is usually with en-route stop over at the equator for photographs and snacks then continue with your journey up to the Park.

If you want to go by air transport means, private charters are always arranged from Entebbe Airport or Kajjansi Airstrip up to Mweya Airstrip in Queen Elizabeth National Park or Kasese Airstrip near the park. The major attractions in Queen Elizabeth National Park include the famous Tree climbing Lions which are only found in the Southern Ishasha sector, Chimpanzees which are found in the Kyambura gorge side, wild animals like Elephants, Buffaloes, Leopards, Lions, Antelopes like Impala, Elands and other primates which include monkeys like Black & White Colobus monkeys, Blue Monkeys, Red tailed monkeys, Vervet, Baboons and Bush babies.

Queen Elizabeth National Park is also among the best bird watching hot spots in Uganda with over 600 bird species which are recorded sightable in its suburbs including water birds and forest birds. The major activities done in Queen Elizabeth National Park include game drives, launch trip cruise, Chimpanzee tracking and Bird watching among others.

Kibale Forest National Park

This is located in the western part of Uganda and popularly known for habituating high numbers of Chimpanzee species in its jungles, while in Uganda and willing to meet with variety of Chimpanzee species, Kibale Forest National Park is the best recommended place to go located near Fort Portal town and bordering Queen Elizabeth National Park in its southern part.

This Park is characterized with ever green wet and dry thick tropical rain forest, Savannah grasslands, thick tropical related areas and fertile swampy areas which include Sebitoli and Bigodi Wetland. The best way of reaching Kibale Forest National Park in the western Uganda from Kampala or Entebbe Airport is by use of Kampala – Mityana – Mubende – Fort Portal highway using suitable 4×4 Wheel drive safari Jeep. Then those willing to fly it is also much possible from Entebbe Airport with domestic charter to Kasese Airstrip and then after take one and half hours’ drive back to Kibale Forest National Park.

Apart from Chimpanzee species other primates features in this park include the Monkeys which include Vervet, L’Hoest’s monkeys, Black & White Colobus monkeys, Blue Monkeys, Red tailed Monkeys, Red Colobus monkeys, Baboons, Bush babies, Hyenas and more, other different mammals like Bats, Owls, insect species like Butter flies, Bees and much more, Reptiles like snakes plus different bird species which are recorded sightable in its suburbs mostly in the swampy related areas.

The major activities done in this park include Chimpanzee tracking, Chimpanzee habituation, birding and Bigodi walk.

Murchison Falls National Park

This is mostly known to be the Largest National Park in Uganda’s top ten National Parks also popularly known to be rich in wildlife with different plant species, primates and species in its Bio-diversity. This park is geographically located in the north western part of Uganda lining along Albertine Rift Valley, its characterized with thick tropical rain forest comprising of big tree species, dry Savannah grasslands and woodlands, fertile swampy areas characterized along the shores of the Falls.

Although Murchison Falls National Park is rich in wildlife it’s popularly known for its great Murchison Falls which are characterized with cool fresh air on its waters. The best way of reaching Murchison in the north western part of Uganda is by use of Kampala – Masindi – Gulu highway which is with en-route stopover in Nakitoma – Nakasongola district for the Rhino tracking in Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary, this session usually takes about 1 – 2 hours and then continue with the journey up to the gate of Murchison Falls National Park using suitable 4×4 wheel drive safari jeeps, it’s about 305 kms from Kampala up to Murchison Falls National Park taking about 6 – 7 hours for the drive.

Travelers willing to take Fly-in safaris in Uganda, it is also much possible from Entebbe Airport to Pakuba Airstrip in the park with private Aero Link or Fly Uganda. Upon your arrival our guide/s are already there to pick and take you to your lodge of residence for lunch and after evening game drives.

Some of the major attractions in Murchison Falls National Park include wild animals games drives looking for animals like Elephants, Buffaloes, Lions, Leopards, Giraffes, Antelopes, Impala, Primates like Monkeys which include Black & White Colobus monkeys, Red tailed monkeys, Blue monkeys, Red Colobus monkeys, Vervets, Baboons, Bush babies, Chimpanzees in Budongo forest part of Murchison, different bird species which are recorded sightable in its diversity including Forest birds and Water birds.

The major activities done in Murchison Falls National Park include game drives, launch trip cruise, hiking to the top of the falls, White water rafting and Bird Watching.

Lake Mburo National Park

This is another exciting destination to go while in Uganda rich in wildlife with different wildlife features which include animals, plant species, insects, Birds, and Reptiles. This park is located in the western part of Uganda near Mbarara town, it’s characterized with thick tropical rain forest in some parts, wide Savannah grasslands and woodlands, plus fertile swampy areas where most of its wildlife features are habituated.

The best way of reaching this park from Kampala is by use of Kampala – Masaka – Mbarara highway which is associated with en-route stop over at the equator in Kayabwe for some brief information about the equator, photographs and snacks then continue with journey using suitable 4×4 wheel drive safari jeeps, this journey is associated with en-route game viewing as the road sides are situated with wide swampy papyrus areas, Savannah grasslands and Landscapes suitable for viewing.

The major wildlife features in Lake Mburo National Park include wild animals like Zebras, Elephants, Buffaloes, Lions, Leopards, Impala, Elands, Oribi, Topi, and more, aquatic species which Hippopotamus, Crocodiles and water birds, Primates include monkeys like Black & White Colobus monkeys, Red tailed monkeys, Blue monkeys, Red Colobus monkeys, Vervet, and Baboons. Major Activities done in this park include game drives, nature walks and Boat ride.

Kidepo Valley National Park

This is the most isolated National Park located very far in the north eastern part of Uganda but popularly known to be rich in wildlife habituating almost every recorded Uganda’s wildlife feature in its Bio-diversity. Kidepo Valley National Park is characterized with thick tropical rain forest, dry Savannah grasslands and woodlands mostly affected by hot seasons, there are two route options of reaching Kidepo Valley National Park in the north eastern part of Uganda where by route one is when you use Kampala – Jinja – Mbale – Soroti – Moroto highway using suitable 4×4 wheel drive safari jeeps up to Kidepo Valley National Park.

Route two involves using Kampala – Masindi – Gulu highway then to Kitgum with en-route stopover in Nakasongola for the Rhino tracking in Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary using suitable 4×4 wheel drive safari Jeep and this route two is considered to be shorter when compared with route one, both journeys are characterized with en-route game viewing.

If not, road transport means you can travel by use of air transport means whereby always private charters are arranged from Entebbe airport or Kajjansi airstrip up to Apoka airstrip in Kidepo Valley National Park.

It’s about 571 kms from Kampala up to Kidepo Valley National Park taking about 10 -12 hours almost full day for the drive but for safety and healthy purposes it’s always advised to drive this journey for two days to avoid long distance drives which can lead to tiresome, accidents due to rushing and also this creates room for you to rest and relax a bit after the long distance drive, when heading to Kidepo using road transport means it’s usually advised that you pack your self reserve fuel of about two twenty litre jerricans before leaving major towns which are situated with petrol stations.

This is the only park in Uganda where you can do several game drives without returning where you started from associated with sighting of different wildlife features, some of the wildlife features in this park include wild animals like Elephants, Buffaloes, Zebras, Giraffes, Leopards, Lions, Antelopes, Kobs, Hyenas, Impala, Elands, Big cuts like Cheetah and much more, primates include Monkeys like Black & White Colobus monkeys, Blue Monkeys, Red tailed monkeys, Red Colobus Monkeys, vervet, L’Hoest’s Monkeys, Baboons, Bush babies and more, different insect species like Butterflies, tsetse flies, bees and more, Reptiles like snakes, lizards and more, different bird species are also recorded in its Biodiversity including forest birds. Major activities done in this park include game drives, cultural walks and Bird watching.

Semliki National Park

This is ranked to be the newest national park among top ten Uganda’s National Parks; it was first gazette as a game reserve but later was upgraded up to a national park. It’s popularly located in the Western part of Uganda lining along the Albertine Rift Valley nearing Mountain Rwenzori National Park and Lake Albert on the borders with Democratic Republic of Congo. The best way of reaching Semliki National Park in the Western Part of Uganda is by use of Kampala – Mityana – Mubende – Fort Portal highway using suitable 4×4 wheel drive safari Jeeps and the journey is usually with en-route game viewing.

Semliki National Park is popularly known for the Sempaya hot spring which comprises of both Male and Female hot springs with the Female hot springs being characterized with the main element of hot flowing waters which can be used to cook unboiled eggs and bananas by just throwing them in the flowing waters and wait for some few minutes. Main activities done in this park include game drives, nature walks, visit Batwa and it is the birding haven in Uganda.

Mountain Elgon National Park

This park is geographically located in the Eastern part of Uganda popularly known because mountain Elgon, its characterized with Savannah grasslands and woodlands and some parts being covered with tropical rain forest where some of wildlife and insect species like Butterflies, Reptiles like snakes and much more are habituated.

The best way of reaching this park in the eastern part of Uganda – Bugisu region is by use of Kampala – Jinja – Mbale highway using suitable 4×4 wheel drive safari jeeps and the journey offer en-route stops at Jinja for some adventures like Rafting and cruises along the River Nile. The main activity done in this park is mountain hiking, nature walks, bird watching and coffee tours in nearby villages.

Mountain Rwenzori National Park

This is one of Uganda’s world heritage sites popularly located in the western part of Uganda lining along the Uganda border with Democratic Republic of Congo nearing Semliki National Park in the north and Kibale Forest National Park in the east in Kasese region, its characterized with Savannah grasslands and woodlands with some parts being covered with tropical forests. The best way of reaching this park in the western part of Uganda is by use of Kampala – Mityana – Mubende – Fort Portal highways using suitable 4×4 wheel drive safari jeeps with the journey usually offering en-route stopovers for lunch and cultural visits to the Tanda Village. The main activity done in this park is mountain hiking, cultural visit, nature walks and bird watching.

For all travelers planning to visit Uganda for wildlife safari and adventure holidays the above listed tourist places should not be missed on your travel bucket list and are highly recommended destinations to go and experience the mentioned bio-diversity in Uganda the “Pearl of Africa”.

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