National Parks in Uganda – Game Reserves and Parks in Uganda, Safari destinations, Location, Entry fee and Travel Guide
National Parks in Uganda are the best travel destinations in East Africa offering amazing safari experience. Enjoy various tour activities when you visit any of the game reserves/parks in Uganda. Reaching to far-off Uganda usually involves long flights for majority of tourists, thus the first day of arrival is always set aside for resting before hitting the road, if exploring the country’s spectacular National Parks is on the hit list.
Uganda boasts of about 10 National Parks, each with its own outstanding characteristics in form of landscapes, wide array of animals (including the big five game, mountain gorillas and chimpanzees), ecosystems, stunning sceneries, plethora of birds and many other magnificent attractions. Therefore provided are the 10 National Parks in Uganda;
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is the place to visit if you are looking for unforgettable gorilla trekking adventures. This stunning UNESCO World Heritage Site is known for its 18 habituated gorilla groups although tourists can also come across chimpanzees, forest elephants, leopards, sitatunga, duikers, bushbucks, buffaloes, black and white colobus monkeys, spotted hyenas, Olive baboons and vervet monkeys among others. Besides that, Lepidopterists are offered opportunities of encountering about 200 butterfly species, while birders are thrilled by the 350 bird species including 23 Albertine Rift endemics.
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is also an excellent place to awaken your adrenaline side through mountain biking, guided forest walks/hiking, community/village walks and birding tours among others.
Murchison falls National Park
Starting with being the largest National Park in Uganda, Murchison falls National Park is also the oldest and most popular safari destination in the country. It is one of the few places to combine magnificent scenery with plethora of animals and bird species. Located in north-western part of the country, the Park dates back to 1952.
The spectacular Murchison falls where the Nile River forcefully squeezes through a narrow gorge of 7 meters before falling 45 meters down into the Devil’s Cauldron is the most beautiful feature in this already popular safari destination.
Thanks to its 76 species of mammals from African bush elephants, olive baboons, Cape buffaloes, Jackson’s hartebeests, Defassa waterbucks, leopards, serval cats, Oribis, spotted hyenas, Topis, Rothschild giraffes, chimpanzees, jackals, vervet monkeys, common warthogs, Reedbucks and over 450 species of birds, travellers never run out of ideas to explore the Park. Visitors can explore this Park through guided game drives, chimpanzee treks, walking safaris, hike to the top of the falls, boat cruises, hot air balloon tours, sport fishing and cultural encounters.
Queen Elizabeth National Park
Hoping over to western Uganda is another popular National Park, Queen Elizabeth National Park. Established in 1952, the Park is one of the diversity hot spots in the country with over 600 species (60% of the country’s total bird species) and over 95 species of mammals (just after Bwindi Impenetrable National Park with over 120 mammal species). The Park is adored for its large herds of Defassa waterbucks, Uganda Kobs, warthogs, African bush elephants, lions (including the tree climbing lions), leopards, spotted hyenas, olive baboons, chimpanzees, black and white colobus monkeys, hartebeest, bushbucks, duikers and Topis among others. Some of the unique ways to experience this Park is Hot air balloon tours allowing you to see its extraordinary beauty all at once. Otherwise if you wish to explore the Park through walking safari, game drive, experiential tours and boat cruises, it is also possible.
Rwenzori Mountains National Park
Spanning Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo is the spectacular Rwenzori Mountains National Park, an area that stretches for 1000 square kilometers. This UNESCO World Heritage Site boasts of snow-capped peaks, glacial Lakes, Alpine, wetlands, rainforests and is a great pick for travellers hopping to experience unmatched mountaineering experiences with climbs lasting between 8 and 12 days leading to its snow-capped Peaks at 5109 meters above sea level. For travellers that can’t handle mountaineering, simple guided walks are also available and interesting introduce visitors to exceptional wildlife species such as three-horned Chameleons, elephants, duikers, buffaloes and bush pigs in addition to an array of bird species.
Lake Mburo National Park
Easily one of the very accessible Parks in Uganda, Lake Mburo National Park in western Uganda is perfect place to stop when visiting western and south-western part of the country. Extending for 370 square kilometers, it is a fascinating home to savannah plains, woodlands, forest, Lakes and wetlands that in turn shelter some of the country’s rarest animals such as common warthogs, Rothschild giraffes, impalas, Burchell’s zebras, common elands, Reedbucks, vervet monkeys, Topis, Cape buffaloes, olive baboons, spotted hyenas, Oribis, Topis, sitatunga, leopards, to mention but a few. With a check-list of 350 bird species, Lake Mburo National Park is a remarkable Birding area. There is magic in the Park’s walking safaris, guided game drives, horseback rides, boat rides, forest walks, camping experiences and sport fishing.
Kibale Forest National Park
National Parks in Uganda sometimes mean and feel like jungles to those who relish guided forest walks and that’s really the perfect way to sum up Kibale Forest National Park. Situated in the west of Uganda, this Park covers about 795 square kilometers hence offering haven to about 13 species of primates hence the World’s primate Capital. In the jungles of this Park you will find about 350 species of birds including the sought-after green breasted pita, African pitta, saddle-billed stork, Papyrus gonolek, great blue Turaco, Papyrus Canary, Kingfishers, herons and many others.
Semliki National Park
There is no doubt that Semliki National Park in the western territory of Uganda is one of the most beautiful, endowed yet underrated places to visit. This Park is home to the World-famous Sempaya hot springs, but it is also haven to De Brazza’s monkeys, elephants, vervet monkeys, chimpanzees, bush and forest buffaloes, Mongoose, Patas monkeys, black and white colobus monkeys, red-tailed monkeys, blue monkeys. During your visit, you will also see some of the 300 species of birds through guided walks, chimpanzee treks, birding tours, game drives and boat rides on Lake Albert.
Mount Elgon National Park
Uganda is known for a number of high Mountains, and Mount Elgon National Park is one of the best places to go if you are yearning for memorable mountain climbing/hiking opportunities. It is here that the 4321-meter high Wagagai peak is found. This Park is situated within the Eastern side of the country, bordering Kenya and is also home to an extinct Volcano with the largest surface in the entire World.
The entire National Park in the Ugandan side covers an area of 1110 square kilometers and is one of the ideal places to enjoy mountain hiking/climbing, Sprout fishing, Rock climbing, photography, secluded birding opportunities, guided forest walks and Camping.
Kidepo Valley National Park
A visit to Kidepo Valley National Park set within the north-eastern part of the country will give you an idea of a real African wilderness. The semi-arid National Park is one of Uganda’s most riveting but less-explored safari destinations, thanks to its rare wildlife species and unsurpassed game viewing experiences. Besides the picturesque landmarks in the vicinity of this remote and rarely visited Park, travellers are guaranteed views of Zebras, cheetahs, striped hyenas, Uganda Kobs, impalas, African bush elephants, Masai giraffes, Cape buffaloes, Roan antelopes, Defassa waterbucks, jackals, African wild dogs, civets, bushbucks, Caracals, Lesser and greater kudus, common elands as well as about 475 species of birds.
Mgahinga Gorilla National Park
Yet another reason to head over to south-western Uganda is the once in a lifetime opportunity of exploring Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. The main focus when visiting this 34-square kilometer is trekking the endangered mountain gorillas although travellers interested in meeting the colorful golden monkeys can also achieve it here. It is also in this that the bond between Ugandan National Parks and the aboriginal owners of the land cannot be underestimated.
If seeing mountain gorillas, forest elephants, colorful golden monkeys, forest leopards, bushbucks, duikers as well as Albertine Rift endemic bird species is high on your list of must-dos in Uganda, then head to Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. Be sure to always follow issued guidelines when trekking mountain gorillas or golden monkeys.