It is absolutely not doubtable to note that national parks are Uganda’s key features that keep Uganda as one of the big travel destination in the world. A tour in Uganda that has no safari in the national parks is definitely like an incomplete trip. Uganda has 10 protected national parks which are located in different locations of the country. All these 10 national parks are exceptional and remarkable for an awesome safari. For a visitor who loves safari definitely will be interested in visiting all the 10 parks to see the depth beauty of each park and what it has for a traveler.
These national parks vary in terms of location, year of establishment, size and the nature of the attractions and activities. However, despite having 10 national parks, some of the parks are more famous or popular than others when compared in terms of numbers of visitors that flock each national park. Some of the most famous and popular national parks in Uganda include;
Bwindi Impenetrable national park
Located in the south west of Uganda is Bwindi national park and it is Uganda’s most visited park with about 90 percent of the visitors to Uganda. The park is a shelter to 50 percent of the world’s mountain gorillas with about 480 individual mountain gorillas in four different sectors, including; Buhoma in the north, Ruhija in the east, Rushaga in the south and Nkuringo in the western of the park.
The park is famous for the activity of gorilla trekking with 12 gorilla families habituated for travelers to encounter them. On a daily basis, Bwindi national park sells 96 gorilla permits.
Apart from gorilla trekking, the park is the only place to enjoy the gorilla habituation in Uganda which is done in the Rushaga region. During this habituation experience, gorillas are trained for about 2-3 hours to familiarize with the human presence.
Besides being a home for the gorillas, Bwindi is also a home to over 350 bird species such as; Bar-tailed trogon, Dark caped bulbul, honey guide, Blue headed sunbird and yellow-eyed black fly catcher and many others.
Bwindi is a good safari destination for travelers because it has different choices of accommodation, ranging from luxury, midrange to budget such as Buhoma lodge, Nkuringo safari lodge, Mahogany springs lodge and gorilla mist camp, among others.
Cultural encounter is one of the activity visitors can experience from the Batwa communities that dwell close to the national park.
Kibale forest national park
Located in the western part of Uganda, in Kabarole district is Kibale forest national park, the world’s capital of primates. The park is home to a great number of chimpanzees and 12 other primates. This park is remarkable for primate safaris. Apart from the Chimpanzees, the park is a habitat to other animals like elephants, pottos, African civet, bush pigs, olive baboon, red tailed monkeys, Guereza Colobus and the Thomas’s Galagos among others.
Kibale forest shelters an estimate of 325 bird species which include grey headed olive-back, red-chested flufftail, white-bellied crested flycatcher, African pitta, Uganda woodland warbler and green breasted pitta and many others.
Birding is enjoyed in the Bigodi wetland sanctuary and in the forest within the national park.
Queen Elizabeth national park
Uganda’s second largest national park is Queen Elizabeth national park located in the western part of the country with an estimate of 400 kilometers from Kampala, the capital city of Uganda. The park covers 1,978 square Kilometers and was established in 1952 to promote game viewing in Uganda.
The park is a home to many animals like Buffaloes, lions, elephants, leopards, Uganda Kob, Chimpanzees, hippos and warthogs among others. Besides the big number of animals, Queen Elizabeth is an awesome spot for bird watching,inhabiting over 500 bird species such as; wood sandpiper, water thick-knee, Ibises, African fish eagle, Kingfisher, egrets, Egyptian gees and many others.
Birding in Queen Elizabeth National park is best done along the Kazinga channel which is about 40 kilometer long connecting Lake Edward to Lake George.
Murchison falls national park
Uganda’s largest national park is Murchison falls national park in the north west of Uganda, offering an opportunity of activities with variety of attractions. Murchison falls national park is a home to over 76 mammals including herds of elephants, lions, leopards, buffaloes, Uganda Kobs, warthogs, waterbucks and impalas among others.
In the center of the park is where the spectacular Murchison falls is situated that passes through a 6 meter gorge. Visitors will definitely not miss the boat cruise to the bottom of the falls, giving them a chance of seeing the numerous aquatic animals like hippos, crocodiles and the line of bird species.
Hiking to the top of the falls is remarkable because it gives the spectacular views of the entire national park with its wildlife and the nearby local communities.
Kidepo valley national park
This is a paradise located in the extreme northeastern Uganda, it is Uganda’s most isolated national park. Despite of being isolated and the long distance to reach Kidepo from Kampala, the park is still offers the unbeatable safari experience. Kidepo was established in 1962 covering over 1,442 sq kilometers. It is a paradise because it is a home to over 75 mammal species and 470 bird species some of which can only be found in Kidepo not elsewhere in Uganda. The only factor that reduces visitors to this park is that it is far from Kampala with an estimate of about 700 kilometers but the trip is always unquestionable because it offers worth experience.
With all the beauties and the activities that are in these national parks, plus other destinations, you will love the safaris in Uganda.