National Parks and Reserves in Uganda

Murchison Falls N.P

Murchison Falls N.P

Murchison Falls NP, part of the greater Murchison Falls Conservation Area (MFCA), offers excellent wildlife viewing. The MFCA includes Kaniyo Pabidi, which is a great place for chimpanzee trekking. Most big safari animals are easily seen, including four of the Big Five. The Victoria Nile bisects the park. At Murchison Falls, the Nile is channeled through a narrow cleft in the Rift Valley escarpment. Boat trips to the spectacular Murchison Falls, perhaps the most impressive waterfall in East Africa, are a highlight – especially if you hike to the top where the immense power of the Falls is best appreciated.

Queen Elizabeth N.P

Queen Elizabeth N.P

Queen Elizabeth National Park is Uganda’s most popular savannah reserve and has the widest variety of wildlife of any Ugandan park. The variety of habitats includes grassland savannah, forests, wetlands and lakes. This provides the setting for an extensive range of large mammals and primates. Four of the Big five are present and seen with carrying degrees of regularity. Rhino are absent.

 

 

Bwindi Imp. N.P

Bwindi Imp. N.P

Bwindi Impenetrable NP is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and it is the best place in Uganda to track mountain gorillas. The park protects around 40% of the world’s mountain gorilla population and has several habituated groups. The forest is also a bird-watcher’s paradise with 350 species recorded, including many Albertine Rift endemics.

 

Lake Mburo N.P

Lake Mburo N.P

Lake Mburo National Park is a compact gem, located conveniently close to the highway that connects Kampala to the parks of western Uganda. It is the smallest of Uganda’s savannah national parks and underlain by ancient Precambrian metamorphic rocks which date back more than 500 million years. It is home to 350 bird species as well as zebra, impala, eland, buffalo, oribi, Defassa waterbuck, leopard, hippo, hyena, topi and reedbuck.

 

Mgahinga Gorilla N.P

Mgahinga Gorilla N.P

Mgahinga protects the Uganda slopes of the majestic Virungas, a range of freestanding volcanoes that rises to a maximum altitude of 4,507m on the border with Rwanda and the DR Congo. It is an alternative destination to Bwindi for mountain gorilla trekking, though there is only one habituated gorilla troop, which has been resident since November 2012. Other attractions include hikes to the summit of three of the park’s volcanic peaks.

 

Katonga Wildlife Reserve

Katonga Wildlife Reserve

Katonga is a little-known, low-key wildlife reserve about 270km/168mi (five to six hours drive) east of the city of Kampala. Efforts to better protect the park against poaching are slowly restoring the animal population. Several antelope species are easily seen, including the Uganda kob. The rare, marsh-dwelling sitatunga antelope can sometimes be spotted as well, as can hippo and otter. There are no roads for vehicle safaris, so the park is best explored on foot.

 

Rwenzori Mountains N.P

Rwenzori Mountains N.P

Rwenzori Mountains National Park protects the highest parts of the 120km-long and 65km-wide Rwenzori mountain range. The national park hosts 70 mammals and 217 bird species including 19 Albertine Rift endemics, as well as some of the world’s rarest vegetation.

The Rwenzoris are a world-class hiking and mountaineering destination. 

 

Kibale N.P

Kibale N.P

Kibale National Park (formerly Kibale Forest NP) is the best place for chimpanzee trekking in Uganda. Thirteen species of primates have been recorded, which is the highest number for any Ugandan park, and several monkey species can usually be seen on forest walks. Birds and butterflies are abundant, and several beautiful forest-fringed crater lakes lie within a few kilometers of the park boundary.

 

 

Kidepo N.P

Kidepo N.P

Kidepo Valley is in the remote northeast corner of the country. In the past it was seldom visited by tourists, due to security issues, and the expense and difficulty of getting there. In recent years, Kidepo has opened up to tourism, but even so it remains low-key and retains a true wilderness feel and is a great destination for the adventurous traveller. It has excellent wildlife viewing during the Dry season, featuring several species not encountered anywhere else in the country. 

 

Mt. Elgon N.P

Mt. Elgon N.P

At 4,000km²  Mt. Elgon has the largest volcanic base in the world. Located on the Uganda-Kenya border it is also the oldest and largest solitary, volcanic mountain in East Africa. Its vast form, 80km in diameter, rises more than 3,000m above the surrounding plains. The mountain’s cool heights offer respite from the hot plains below, with the higher altitudes providing a refuge for flora and fauna.

Mount Elgon National Park is home to over 300 species of birds, including the endangered Lammergeyer.

Budogo Forest N.P

Budogo Forest N.P

Budongo Forest is home to two ecotourism sites: Kaniyo Pabidi and Busingiro. Kaniyo Pabidi is en route to Murchison Falls (and in fact now falls into the greater Murchison Falls Conservation Area) and offers excellent chimpanzee trekking. Busingiro is home to the Royal Mile, one of the top bird-watching tracks in the country. The forest is also a good place to see other primates including black-and-white colobus and red-tailed monkey. Birds and butterflies are abundant.

 

Semuliki N.P

Semuliki N.P

The Semuliki Valley is mainly of interest to bird watchers. The reserve has an impressive checklist, which includes many birding specials. Other attractions are the hot springs at Sempaya and a Pygmy village in the adjacent Semuliki National Park. The only lodge in the reserve offers a very exclusive bush experience with guided activities.