Uganda at large has so much beauty in different location from south to west, north to East. It has ten national parks displaying the best of East Africa, the rift valley landscape, tropical forests with an extensive variety of flora and fauna. There is so much more to Explore in Uganda and very interesting and thrilling places you would not want to miss out while on safari and a must do, below we high light the magical places that will leave you with unforgettable experience on your safari.
1. Rwenzori mountains national park
Rwenzori Mountains National Park is a UNESCO world heritage located in western Uganda on the border with DRC. Home to 3rd tallest mountain range in Africa, Mount Rwenzori’s Magherita peak rises at 5,109 meters above sea level, it’s a popular world class tropical snow destination for mountain climbers and hikers. Peak climbers need technical equipment and it takes 9-12 days to achieve the top.
There are 5 distinctive types of vegetation creating spectacular scenery including savannah, tropical forests, bamboo, heath and moorlands, afro-alpine, bare rock and snow. Breathe take as you hike through along with amazing attractions like the valley of 9 glacial lakes, waterfalls, streams and rivers, rare plants like everlasting flowers, cloud forests and giant lobelias.
Rwenzori is one of the most biologically intense places on earth. It contains 70 species of mammals over 217 birds. Many animals are endemic to Albertine rift valley such as Rwenzori colobus monkey, Rwenzori leopard, tree hyrax, three horned chameleon, and Rwenzori Turaco.
2. Kidepo Valley National Park
Kidepo Valley National park is located in Kaabong District, in the northeastern corner of Uganda approximately 220 kilometres by road northwest of Moroto, the largest town in the sub-region. It is approximately 520 kilometers’ by road, northeast of Kampala, Uganda’s capital and largest city.
Kidepo Valley is wild, remote and unspoiled, with a lot of wildlife. Kidepo is mostly rugged savannah. It is the only national park that offers the best chance for seeing cheetahs and animal species that cannot be found in other national parks of Uganda.
Kidepo Valley National park is dominated by Mount Morungole (2750m, 9200ft). Kidepo borders with South Sudan and Kenya and hosts over 77 mammal species and 475 bird species.
Mammal species include: lions, Elephants, Buffaloes, cheetahs, leopards, Jackson’s hartebeest, giraffes, oribis, reedbucks and the rare Patas monkey.
In the dry season, the only water can be found in the Narus Valley. A game drive safari or nature walks down the Narus sand river valley is a great chance to view large mammals and birds. Kidepo National park is 1442km2 and lies between 915m and 2750m above sea level.
3. Bwindi impenetrable forest national park
The famed Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is located in the south west of the country, 55 kms from Kampala, on the border with Rwanda and Congo. This is the famous home to the mountain gorillas within Uganda. The park covers an area of over 330 sq kms. As the name dictates – this park is a real African jungle area, with dense undergrowth, vines and a wide variety of flowers and aphrodisiac plants. Most gorilla treks are conducted within this national park and everyday, the park has a carrying capacity of about 120 visitors.
Most visitors come to the park to catch a glimpse of the famous endangered Mountain Gorillas, but the park is also home to over 120 species of mammals, including chimpanzees, black & white Colobus, blue monkey, bush pig, duiker, leopard, jackal and elephants in the south east of the park. There are also over 350 species of bird, 202 species of butterflies and over 200 species of trees found within the park. Bwindi impenetrable forest national park is a UNESCO world heritage site where two great apes both the mountain gorillas and chimpanzee live in harmony with man.
4. Murchison Falls National Park
Murchison falls is one of the oldest and largest national parks, it was established in 1952. The park lie North West of Uganda at the tip of the rift valley spreading inland from the shores of Lake Albert, around the Victoria Nile, up to the Karuma Falls. The longest river, River Nile passes through ii5 km making its way to Lake Victoria up to the Mediterranean Sea in Egypt. The river leaves a permanent nature land mark hence the name Murchison falls.
Murchison falls is 311 km from Kampala by road approximately five hours drive, the nearest area is masidi town, 2-3 hrs drive to the south of the park, or else can be access by a charter flight Entebbe or Kajjansi Airstrip to Pakuba or Bugungu airstrip. Aero Link operate charter flights every day to Murchison falls.
The park is a habitat to the big mammals among these includes hippos, Rothschild’s giraffe, warthog, Cape buffalo, Uganda kob, hartebeest and elephants and over 460 different bird species. Nile corridor of the Murchison has a big collection of water birds such as rare shoebill stork and also has a large concentration of Nile crocodile. Kaniyo Pabidi forest is a home to primates, chimpanzees and over 360 species of birds.
5. Mgahinga Gorilla National Park
The Mgahinga Gorilla National Park is one of the smallest national parks in Uganda covering an area of 33.7 kms in the foot hills of kisoro, Bufumbira County. Mgahinga is Part of the spectacular Virunga Range that lies along the border region of Uganda, Congo and Rwanda. The park was established in 1991by Uganda wild life authority, it lies between altitudes 2,227m and 4,127m. It covers 3 of the Virunga volcanoes which are Mt. Muhavura (4,127), Mt. Gahinga (3,474), and Mt. Sabinyo (3,645).
The park is 510km away from Kampala the capital of Uganda and can be accessed by Road or Air. On road, it is approximately a 9-10hours drive from Kampala to Mgahinga, that is around 8 hours to Kabale town covering 434km and there are more 76km to Kisoro town, this route is tarmacked and a bit mountainous and steep. There is also an alternative of using a route from Kabale town passing near the beautiful Lake Bunyonyi and joining again Kabale-Kisoro tarmac. From Kisoro to the park it’s around 14km to Ntebeko the park main entrance.