Uganda is home to an incredible biodiversity which is even more impressive given the countries relatively small size. As an example, more than half of Africa’s 2000 bird species can be found in Uganda alone (that’s about 10% of the global bird species!). As a result of Uganda’s unique wildlife offer, tourism has been on the increase in recent years. Below is a summary of some of the best wildlife areas to visit on your next safari:
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
Bwindi contains an estimated 400 Mountain Gorillas – which is roughly half of the world’s population. The National Park lies in south-western Uganda, close to the border of Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. The parks most famous attraction are the Gorilla Trekking safaris where visitors get to spend time with habituated Mountain Gorilla families in their natural habitat. The park is also particularly productive for birding with more than 350 species, 23 of them being Albertine Rift Endemics.
Kibale Forest National Park
Kibale Forest is home to one of the highest densities and concentrations of primates in Africa, with different 13 species. The most popular primate species for eco-tourism are the habituated chimpanzees which tourists can trek and spend time with. Another popular activity in the vicinity of Kibale, is the community swamp walk where visitors get to view many of the smaller primate species and some of the 375 species of birds which occur in the forests.
Kidepo Valley National Park
Kidepo is the most isolated National park and lies in the far north of Uganda, on the border of South Sudan and Kenya. Many of those who make the journey north have returned saying that Kidepo is one of Africa’s greatest parks. It is home to over 77 mammal species and around 475 bird species. The park consists mostly of savanna landscape and is home to large herds of buffaloes, lions, elephants and plenty of general game. In the dry season the water sources dry up, concentrating wildlife around that which remains, making for incredible game viewing.
Lake Mburo National Park
Lake Mburo is Uganda’s smallest savanna type National Park. The attraction to this small park is its convenient location between the capital city Kampala and the parks in the west. It acts as a great stop over point to break up the otherwise long journey between destinations. The park is home to 350 bird species, plenty of plains game including zebra, buffaloes, Defassa waterbuck and hippos. Leopards and Hyena’s are also present but are more frequently seen on night drives which are possible here. We don’t recommend Lake Mburo as a major game viewing destination, but rather as a relaxing stop over point in nature en-route.
Mgahinga Gorilla National Park
In the very south-western corner of Uganda, forming the border between Rwanda the DRC and Uganda, lies Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. The park sits at high altitudes between 2227m and 4127m and was formed to protect the habitat for its resident Mountain Gorillas. There is one habituated gorilla family that visitors can trek to see, however the group sometimes crosses over into Rwanda making them inaccessible.
Murchison Falls National Park
Uganda’s largest and oldest conservation area, Murchison Falls National Park lies somewhat north-west in the Country and is bisected by the Victoria Nile. One of the main attractions to the park are the Murchison Falls themselves where the Nile is forced through a narrow gorge creating a dramatic rush of water and a deep roar. The north of the park is characterised by vast grasslands with many palm and acacia trees. The main savanna game viewing is done up here in the north. The southern section of the park is mostly dense woodland and forest. Chimp trekking is possible in the Budongo forest in the southern section of Murchison Falls National Park.
Queen Elizabeth National Park
Uganda’s premier safari park, Queen Elizabeth is one of the most diverse National Parks in Africa, containing many different habitats and home to big game, 10 primate species and over 600 bird species. Of the 10 primates species, the park is home to Chimpanzee’s which are habituated and can be visited in Kyambura Gorge. In the south of the park lies the Ishasha sector which consists of typical acacia savanna fields that has been made famous for its tree climbing lions. Take part in a boat cruise along the game rich river channels in the north, however we recommend booking a private boat trip instead of the tourist-packed larger boats.
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