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UGANDA’S NATIONAL PARKS

BWINDI IMPENETRABLE FOREST NATIONAL PARK

Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is one of the biggest Mountain Gorilla national parks it is found in southwestern Uganda on the edge of the western arm of the Great East African Rift Valley, a distance of about 480km from Kampala city Centre.

Size

Bwindi has sectors positioned for the gorilla tracking activities. The Nkuringo sector which lies closely to the Buhoma sector is about 10km from Buhoma although this distance is covered by walking through the Impenetrable Forest which takes 3 hours. Connecting by the car from the two points takes about 5 to 6 hours. Villages at Nkuringo also operate a community walk that visits a traditional healer, rural homestead, blacksmith and brewers. Nkuringo, Bushaho and Christmas are the families in this sector. The Gorilla Habituation Experience is always done to the newly identified family.
The Ruhija sector which is famous for its abundant birdlife on top of the gorillas is considered the most remote sector of all the four. There is a three hour hike to visit the Mubwindi swamp and this rewards bird lovers with countless bird species. Gorilla families in this sector include; Ruhija, Bitukura, Oruzogo and Kyaguriro.
The Rushaga sector boasts with the highest number of gorilla family to include; Mishaya, Nshongi, Kahungye, Busingye, Bitukura and Bweza. It lies between Kabale and Nkuringo coming from either Ruhija or Kampala. Buhoma is the main centre which has the first ever habituated Gorilla families that include Mubare, Rushegura and Habinyanja. Newly added sector is Nyakagezi in Mgahinga national park.

Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is best known for its Mountain Gorilla populations and gorilla tracking although, it also offers some of the finest Montane forest birding in Africa and is a key destination for any birder doing a Safari to Uganda. Amongst the numerous possibilities are no fewer than 23 of Uganda’s 24 Albertine Rift endemics, including spectacular, globally threatened species such as Shelley’s Crimson wing and the African Green Broadbill. Bwindi is one of the few in Africa to have flourished throughout the last Ice Age and it is home to approximately half of the world’s Mountain gorillas.

Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is best known for its outstanding gorilla tracking, but it also provides refuge to elephant, chimpanzee, monkeys and various small antelope and bird species. If you book a Uganda safari  without Gorilla trekking then you will have missed an opportunity to see these rare and threatened gorillas. The variant biodiversity is supported by the fact that Bwindi is extremely old and also its slopes extend over a broad altitudinal range of 1447m above sea level, enabling habitats ranging from lowland forest to Afromontane vegetation.

Other activities in Bwindi national park include;

  • Gorilla habituation
  • Birdwatching
  • Batwa trail visits/ cultural visits
  • Lake Mutanda visits
  • Mountain biking
  • Forest guided walks
  • Buhoma community walks etc

 KIBALE FOREST NATIONAL PARK

Kibale forest national park is found in Western Uganda protecting moist evergreen rain forest. It is about 766 square kilometres in size located between 1,100 metres to 1,600 metres in elevation with a diverse array of landscapes. The forest boosts the greatest variety and highest concetration of primates in East Africa providing sights of wild chimpanzees, red tailed monkeys and black and white colobus monkeys. It is a home to the uncommon L’Hoest’s monkeys, East African biggest population of the endangered red colobus monkeys, the black and white colobus, red tailed monkeys, blue monkeys, olive baboons, grey cheeked mangabeys, bush babies as well as potto among others. Chimpanzee trekking and habituation experience are the major activities and are done here.

Other Activities in this park include;

  • Birding,
  • Hiking
  • Visiting crater lakes
  • Guided nature walks
  • Cultural trails
  • Birding
  • Bigodi swamp walk

The park also has excellent and comfortable accommodation all those suites your budget. All experiences are fun and memorable. Kibale forest national park can be visited or accessed all year around but the best time to visit is dry seasons when the trails are dry.

MURCHISON FALLS NATIONAL PARK

This is the largest wildlife national park in Uganda and has a number of fascinating attractions to see. Located in North-western Uganda covering an area of 3,840 sq km, Murchison falls National Park has varied sceneries and vast landscapes starting from the savannah plains, to the swamps, to the forests, the amazing wildlife, awesome culture and lastly the eye-catching magnificent falls on the Victoria Nile. The highlight of this park includes the roaring rapids of Murchison, the rolling plains of Uganda’s National Park where you will have a chance of seeing lions, giraffes, hartebeest, buffalo, elephants, kobs, leopards, and different birds.

Other activities include;

  • Nature walk adventures
  • Hiking
  • Fishing,
  • Rafting
  •  Birding
  • Top of the falls visit
  • Boat cruises on the Nile
  • Chimpanzee trekking in Murchison falls national park
  • etc

A tour to the Northern section of Murchison with a high concentration of savannah wildlife enjoying game viewing and photography with magnificent falls that form a 45m wall through an 8m wide gorge hence giving it a very scenic look and a thunderous roar of the waters before it continues with its course on the Victoria Nile. Murchison falls national park can be accessed all year around. Other

QUEEN ELIZABETH NATIONAL PARK

This park is the most popular tourist destination in Uganda and lies on the bottom of the Albetine rift valley. It is surprisingly endowed with a number of natural habitats and wildlife and other tourism products. The park’s diverse ecosystems, which include sprawling savanna, shady, humid forests, sparkling lakes and fertile wetlands, make it the ideal habitat for classic big game, ten primate species including chimpanzees and over 600 birds. It has dozens of enormous craters, par anomic views of Kazinga channel with schools of spectacular wildlife, the ishasha plains with fig trees where tree climbing lions and leopards hide targeting their prey. This park also has a number of accommodations ranging from budget, midrange and luxury and can be visited all year around.

Other key activities include;

  • Boat cruises
  • Chimpanzee trekking
  • Lion experience
  • Game drive to the tree climbing lions
  • Bird watching

KIDEPO VALLEY NATIONAL PARK

Kidepo valley is a rugged savannah, dominated by the 2,750 metres (9,020 ft) Mount Morungole and transected by the Kidepo and Narus rivers in the Karamonja region. It is an isolated park with magnificient wildlife hosting over 77 mammals species and 475 bird species and indeed a true gem in Uganda. It is one of Uganda’s birding areas. Top things to do while in Kidepo include, game drives, birding, cultural visits/tours. The park can be accessed all year around and has got a number of accommodations to stay in while on your Ugandan safari.

Activities in Kidepo national park include;

  • Day and Night game drives
  • Hiking mount Morungule
  • Visiting Kanangorok Hot Springs
  • Cultural encounters
  • Bird watching

LAKE MBURO NATIONAL PARK

This is the smallest of Uganda’s national park a home to around 350 bird species, zebras, impalas, warthogs, elands, buffaloes, oribi, Defassa waterbuck, leopard, hippos and hyenas among others. It contains much of woodlands. The savannah is intercepted with rocky ridges and forested gorges. Lake Mburo National Park is well known for the impala though it has a vast population of wildlife. It can also be visited all year around and has many accommodations ranging from budget, midrange and luxury.

Other unique activities in lake Mburo national park include;

  • Game drives
  • Boat cruses
  • Guided nature walks
  • Community visits
  • Birding safaris
  • Fishing
  • Horse riding safaris
  • Cultural visits
  • etc

RWENZORI MOUNTAINS NATIONAL PARK

Rwenzori national park known as the fabled Mountains of the Moon – lies in western Uganda along the Uganda-Congo border.  It is Africa’s third highest mountain peak with many waterfalls, lakes, and glaciers. The park is known for its beautiful plant life and hosts over 70 mammals, primates and a home to different bird species including the Albertine rift endemic. Its highest point lies at 5109m above sea level on mt Stanley’s Margherita peak.

The major activities done in this park include;

  • Mountain Climbing
  • Birding
  • Cultural encounters
  • Wildlife encounters
  • Hiking

 MGAHINGA NATIONAL PARK

 Mgahinga national park is found in southwestern Uganda and covers an area of 33.9km squared. The park also covers the northern slopes of the three northern Virunga Volcanoes. Gorilla trekking and golden monkey are thrilling tourist activities in this park. It also has a big cultural significance of the Batwa pygmies. The volcanoes’ slopes contain various ecosystems and are biologically diverse, and their peaks provide a striking backdrop to the gorgeous scenery.

Top other activities to be done in Mgahinga national park include;

  • Birding for albertine endemics
  • Mountain climbing

MOUNTAIN ELGON NATIONAL PARK

Mountain Elgon National Park is situated in Eastern Uganda and covers an area of 1,270 square kilometers bisected by the border of Kenya and Uganda with the largest volcanic base in the world. It is a birding spot and consisting over 300 bird species including the endangered Lammergeyer. It is one of the oldest and largest volcanic mountains in East Africa and a home to 300 bird species and unflustered wilderness.

Other activities done in Mt. Elgon national park include;

  • Birding
  • Cultural Encounters
  • Community walks
  • Nature walks
  • Rock climbing

SEMLIKI NATIONAL PARK

Semliki national park is found in western Uganda. It is the only park with the low land tropical forest in East Africa, a home to 441 bird species and 55 mammals. It is dorminated by the easternmost extension of the great ituri forest of the Congo basin. It is a home to numerous wildlife and different bird species. The local community consists of the Batwa pygmies from the Ituri. The park also has a unique feature the most famous hot spring in Uganda. There are two hot springs in the park: sempaya which local call Nyasimbi – the female spring. Culturally, the Bamaga people hold the spring sacred. They believe the gods are female and annually hold celebrations to appease them.

Other unique activities in this park include;

  • Chimpanzee trekking
  • Birding watching
  • Guided nature walks
  • Game drives

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