UGANDA NATIONAL PARKS, Overview
Known as the “Pearl of Africa”, Uganda has ten beautiful national parks that are home to a variety of plants, birds and animal species. The Rift Valley landscapes in some and tropical forests displays an extensive variety of flora and fauna that you need to explore on one of your safaris.
The national parks are managed by Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA), where activities like savanna safaris, boat tours, forest hikes, mountain climbing and wildlife research are done. Another activity is bird-watching where over 1,000 species of birds – several of which are found nowhere else on the planet. Also primates trekking “the most trending activity” is done where 13 types of primates including over half of the world’s endangered mountain gorillas ; and our closest relative – the chimpanzee are visited daily by tourists from all over the globe.
Explore Queen Elizabeth’s tree-climbing lions; hike the snow-capped Rwenzori Mountains; trek in Bwindi impenetrable forest; learn ancient tribal traditions and crafts – or just relax at your lodge surrounded by the wonderful sights and sounds of Africa’s most hospitable destination. We bring you a number of national parks that will make you fall in love with Uganda;
Queen Elizabeth National Park
Queen Elizabeth National Park is located in western Uganda, it was named after the royal Queen Elizabeth II of England and was established in 1954. The park’s main attractions are: the tree-climbing lion and its volcanic features, like volcanic cones and deep craters.
The park is a home to the Big 5 mammals and other exotic wildlife. On your game drive safari you will see elephants, hippos, the lions, African Leopards, chimpanzees and 95 species of mammals. Bird-watchers will be delighted to learn that the park also house 500 species of birds. Services that are available include a telecenter, boat launches, park lodges, games and scenic drives.
Murchison Falls National Park
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park lies in south western Uganda on the edge of the great Rift Valley. Its rolling landscapes are covered by Uganda’s oldest and most biologically diverse ever green rainforest jungle, which dates back over 25,000 years and containing almost 400 species of plants.
This impenetrable rainforest is well know as a habitat to an estimated 320 mountain gorillas, constituting almost half of the world gorilla population. This includes several habituated groups, which can be tracked. The rainforest also provides shelter to a diversity of mammals such as chimpanzees, golden mokeys, elephants, antelopes and leopards. For the bird lovers, Bwindi is a home to over 350 bird species hosted in this rainforest including 23 Albertine Rift endemics.
Rwenzori Mountains National Park
Rwenzori Mountains National Park is located in south-western Uganda on the eastern side of the western Albetine Rift valley. Rwenzori lies along the border of Uganda with the Democratic Republic of Congo and also edges the DRC’s Virunga National park. The park also extends to Kabarole, Bundibugyo, as well as Kasese districts.
This national park was also started in 1991 and then designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1994 due to its exceptional natural beauty where its lower slopes are covered with bamboo, moorland, the moist montane forest. There are also large tree heathers as well as the colourful mosses that are covered throughout the mountainside with the giant lobelias as well as the endless flowers that create a charming fairy-tale scene. It’s about 1,000km in size it has got the third highest mountain peak, waterfalls, glaciers as well as lakes and hosts 70 mammals and 217 bird species including 19 Albertine Rift endemics, as well as some of the world’s rarest vegetation.
Lake Mburo National Park
Lake Mburo National park, the smallest national park of Uganda, covering an area of 370km² including the lakes ( 5 lakes). It is also the closest national park to Kampala where is suited between Masaka and Mbarara district taking approximately 4 hours’ drive time to arrive.
It is a home to several wildlife species of leopards, giraffes, buffaloes, elands, water bucks, antelopes, oribis, topis , warthogs, hippos, zebras, hyenas, impalas and others animals, also as you take a boat cruise on lake Mburo you will be in position to observe, hippos and crocodiles. To bird lovers, the park is also a destination to over 350 species of birds some which include water birds, forest and savanna birds. But the adventurous park doesn’t only showcase animals. Underneath the park’s surface are ancient Precambrian metamorphic rocks that are over 500 million years old, making for a geologist’s dream tour.
Semiliki National Park
Semuliki National Park is located in western Uganda in Bundibugyo district lying on the southern shores of Lake Albert, covering an area of 220km sq km with an altitude of 670-760m above sea level, it spreads across the floor of Semuliki valley on the remote western side of Rwenzori and it’s part of the Central African Congo basin forest is separated from the Ituri forest of DRC only by the Semuliki river. It was created in 1932, then later upgraded into a National Park status in 1993. The park is most famous for its Sempaya hotsprings which are the major attraction and consists of the male and female section. These hotsprings bubble up from the depth of the Earth to demonstrate the powerful forces that shape the rift valley.
The park is home to numerous Central African Wildlife species, hosting more than 400 bird species 216 of which are true forest birds which include rare sassi’s, olive greenbul, forest ground thrush, nine species of hornbills etc. wildlife such as bush babies, endermic pygmy antelope, squirels and primates like mono monkeys, and various species of butterflies which can be spotted in the forest which is dominated by a single tree species ‘Cynometra alexandri’ mixed with tree species of a more evergreen nature.