The snow-capped peaks of the Rwenzori mountain range lie along and share the western border of Uganda with the Democratic Republic of Congo. It is regarded to be legendary snow-capped mountains of the moon, described by Ptolemy in AD150. The highest peak reaches an elevation of 5,102m; it is also Africa’s tallest mountain range, exceeded in altitude only by the free standing volcanoes of Mount Kenya and Mount Kilimanjaro.
There are no roads within the park; the Rwenzoris can only be explored by foot along established trails. Unlike other national parks, in Uganda, that offer excellent game viewing opportunities, Rwenzori is better known for its specular sceneries and unique plant life.
BWINDI IMPENETRABLE FOREST
The park is well known as the home of the world’s mountain gorillas. The Bwindi Forest is described as impenetrable, due to its shear density of vegetation and the vast area it covers. It’s no wonder that in the local language “Bwindi” means a place of darkness because of the thick vegetation, which indeed makes it look impenetrable.
The park is covered by the thick tropical afromontane forest with dense under growth of fern and vines. There are over 324 species of trees, 90 species of mammals, 11 species of primates, 360 species of birds and 23 Albertine rift valley endemic species. Uganda is ranked number one in the world as a destination to experience the thrill of a mountain gorilla safari. Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park in Uganda is an important site for the protection and conservation of these amazing animals.
QUEEN ELIZABETH NATIONAL PARK
Queen Elizabeth National Park is located along the equator in the south western Uganda. It’s the second largest national park in Uganda covering an area of 1,978 square kilometers.
The park has a variety of Flora and Fauna and it’s acknowledged to be a habitat for over 95 mammal species with about 606 species of birds, various species of fish insects and reptiles. The park has around 57 types of animal life and five levels of vegetation. They include: bushy grassland, Acacia woodland, Lakeshore or swamp vegetation along with forest grassland. The wildlife includes: Cape buffalo, Uganda kob, waterbuck, warthog, lion, leopard, hyena, giant forest hog as well as elephants. Topics can only be discovered in Ishasha and forest primate found in Kyambura gorge in addition to Maramagambo forest.
MURCHISON FALLS NATIONAL PARK
This is Uganda’s largest protected area situated north of Masindi District and spanning the Victoria Nile. It was established in 1952. The Park is named after the dramatic Murchison falls, where the River Nile explodes violently through a narrow 7m gap to fall a distance of 47m. The park covers an area of 3840 square kilometers. With a variety of vegetation raging from riparian forests, to broad savannah grasslands, woodland, rivers and swamps.
Attractions include: the unique Murchison Falls as well as the River Nile with its streaming hippo and serried ranges of crocodile along the sandbanks, as well as large numbers of different species getting down to drink & bathe
KIBAALE NATIONAL PARK
The diversity and density of primates in Kibale is the highest in Africa. The most famous of its 13 species is the chimpanzee, our closest relative. Ki bale’s 1450 chimpanzees represent Uganda’s largest population of this endangered primate. The forest is also home to East Africa’s largest population of the threatened red colobus and the rare I’Hoest’s monkey. Other primates include the black-and-white colobus, red-tailed and blue monkeys, grey-cheeked mangabey, olive baboon, bush baby and potto.
The major attraction to this park is the opportunity to track habituated chimps – these delightful apes, more closely related to humans than to any other living creature, are tremendous fun to watch as they squabble and play in fruiting trees.
SEMLIKI NATIONAL PARK
Located in western Uganda, Semliki National Park (220 km2) gazetted in October 1993, is one of Uganda’s newest National Parks. It lies on Uganda-Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) border within the western arm of the East African Rift Valley.
Hot water springs: Africa’s Rift Valley has bestowed Uganda with some of its most memorable geographical features – conical volcanoes, deep chasms and bubbling thermal springs. Spewing an enormous steam cloud across Semliki National Park’s emerald landscapes, the Sempaya Hot Springs are certainly one of the country’s most unusual scenic offerings.
In addition to the hot springs, the unique bird life is a special attraction to bird watchers. Primates and some buffaloes, elephants, pygmy, hippos etc.
MT ELGON NATIONAL PARK
Elgon is a 4,321m high extinct volcano which in prehistoric times stood taller than Kilimanjaro does today. Although the mountain straddles the Kenya border, its loftiest peak, Wagagai, lies within Uganda and is best ascended from the Uganda side. Mt Elgon is surrounded by forests, inhabited by mammals and birds. It is ideal setting for both short and extended hikes.
Major Attractions include caves. Mount Elgon’s slopes are riddled with caves left by moving lava and erosion of soft volcanic deposits. The most accessible are Kapkwai Cave, near the Forest Exploration Centre, and Khauka Cave on Wanale Ridge. More recently, they were used by climbers and their porters, and even today, campsites are still located at Hunters Cave, Siyo Cave (near the hot springs), Mude Cave and Tutum Cave – ideal for overnight expeditions.
LAKE MBURO NATIONAL PARK
Located in the south of Uganda, Lake Mburo National Park is found in Mbarara district, 3.5 hrs drive from Kampala on Mbarara /Kampala highway.
Lake Mburo is a natural haven for fauna and flora. The bank teems with animals and birds. Crocodiles and hippopotami are permanent residents, and buffalos come to drink during the dry season. The wide variety of resident birds includes Malachite Kingfishers, Pied Kingfishers, African Fish Eagles, Rufous Long-tailed Starlings, Blue-headed Weavers, Green-necked Doves, Hammerkops, Pelicans, Herons, Cormorants and even rare Shoebills.
KIDEPO NATIONAL PARK
Kidepo Valley National Park, renowned for its spectacular scenery and huge buffalo herds was voted third best national park in Africa by CNN travel news 2013. The kidepo-national-parkKidepo Valley National Park is one of Uganda’s most spectacular parks.
Wildlife: The park contains one of the most exciting wildlife diversity and numbers of any Ugandan national park. Along with the neighboring Karamoja region, it houses many species found nowhere else in Uganda, including the greater and lesser kudu, eland and cheetah. Carnivores here include the lion, leopard, spotted hyena and black-backed and side-striped jackals. Other large species regularly seen here are elephant, Burchell’s zebra, bushpig, warthog, Rothschild’s giraffe, Cape buffalo, bushbuck, bushduiker, Defassa waterbuck, Bohor reedbuck, Jackson’s hartebeest and oribi.
Birds: The Park boasts an extensive bird list of around 475 species, making it second only in Uganda. A few species of note are the Ostrich, Kori Bustard and KaramojaApalis.
MGAHINGA NATIONAL PARK
This small park covers 38 sq km. It enjoys a magnificent setting in the northern slopes of the Virunga volcanoes. It is located in the south west corner and shares the border with Virunga national park in the D.R.Congo and volcanoes national park in Rwanda the three parks form the 434km Virunga conservation area. It has diverse species among them 76 mammals that include forest buffalos, elephants. Leopards, golden cat, jackals and porcupines. Because of the difficulty of the terrain and most being nocturnal, they are rarely seen. There are at list 127 bird species that have been recorded.
Two rare primates are found in this park Gorillas and Golden monkeys. Apart from Bwindi impenetrable national park, gorillas also can be tracked at Mgahinga national park. One small group has been habituated for tourism. Advance booking is required. A troop of golden monkey too has been habituated for tracking.
Kampala, the capital of Uganda, is an amazing tour destination located in the central region
Her main tourist attractions to see once on your Uganda safari include:
- The central business district with shops, restaurants and markets both for food and clothes
- Pre-colonial and colonial cites that have a lot historical attachment to all Ugandans. These include; the Kabaka`s (king`s) of Buganda palace, Kasubi tombs (Buganda king`s burial site), Kabaka`s lake (a manmade lake by the king of Buganda) Gothic protestant and catholic Cathedrals, Namugongo martyrs shrine, the Bahai temple, Gadafi Mosque (The Uganda moslem supreme council head quarters), Kibuli Mosque, Parliament of Uganda plus the central business area where you can do necessary shopping ahead of your next destination.
- The Uganda National Museum
Entebbe is a major town in central Uganda located on Lake Victoria Peninsula. As a historical town it was one time a seat of government of the protectorate of Uganda. This was before independence in 1962. Entebbe being home to the main international Entebbe airport opened first in 1929 is the first town that welcomes every visitor who comes to the country by air. This town is quiet and cool with breezes from Lake Victoria. The beach palm trees and the botanical gardens filled with different species of birds.
Entebbe attractions include:
- The national Botanical gardens laid out is 1898
- The Uganda Wildlife Education Centre / serving also as Uganda’s national Zoo.
- It is home to State house, the official residence, of the president of Uganda
- Entebbe is also where the oldest Golf course / Golf club in East Africa is found. It was established in 1900
- White beaches with a variety of restaurants famous for serving fish (the tilapia), fresh from Lake Victoria
- Boat cruises on Lake Victoria
- Fishing on Lake Victoria
- For bird lovers, there are bird species which live around the Lake: