Places to visit in Uganda

Uganda is a landlocked country in East Africa whose diverse landscape encompasses the snow-capped Rwenzori Mountains and immense Lake Victoria. Its abundant wildlife includes chimpanzees as well as rare birds. Remote Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is a renowned mountain gorilla sanctuary. Murchison Falls National Park in the northwest is known for its 43m-tall waterfall and wildlife such as hippos.

 Map of Uganda showing national parks, rivers and lakes

1.Bwindi Impenetrable National park

Bwindi Impenetrable National Park lies in southwestern Uganda on the edge of the Rift Valley. Its mist-covered hillsides are blanketed by one of Uganda’s oldest and most biologically diverse rain forests, which dates back over 25,000 years and contains almost 400 species of plants. More famously, this “impenetrable forest” also protects an estimated 459 mountain gorillas – roughly half of the world’s population, including several habituated groups, which can be tracked.

The neighboring towns of Buhoma and Nkuringo both have an impressive array of luxury lodges, rustic bandas, and budget campsites, as well as restaurants, craft stalls, and guiding services. Opportunities abound to discover the local Bakiga and Batwa Pygmy cultures through performances, workshops, and village walks.

Bwindi is a home to at least 200 butterfly species including the eight Albertine rift endemics. Also a home to many reptiles.

This biologically diverse region also provides shelter to a further 120 mammals, including several primate species such as baboons and chimpanzees, as well as elephants and antelopes. There are around 350 species of birds hosted in this forest, including 23 Albertine Rift endemics.

Gorillas sitting along a foot path bwindi impenetrable national park Uganda  Mist over bwindi forest Uganda


How many gorilla families are there in bwindi?

Bwindi Impenetrable National Park population is divided into 50 gorilla families and 13 solitary individuals however, only 21 of families are habituated and can be accessed by visitors in 4 tracking regions i.e; Buhoma, Ruhija, Rushaga and Nkuringo.

A gorilla family Bwindi Impenetrable national park Uganda  A silver back leading the family Bwindi forest Uganda



 2. Murchison falls national park

Murchison Falls National Park sits on the shore of Lake Albert, in northwest Uganda. It’s known for Murchison Falls, where the Victoria Nile River surges through a narrow gap over a massive drop. Park wildlife includes elephants and hippos, and there are chimpanzees in the Kaniyo Pabidi mahogany forest. The Lake Albert Delta is home to rare shoebill storks. There are game fish in the cascades of Karuma Falls.

Many years ago the first batch of visitors to the park included  Winston Churchill, Theodore Roosevelt, Ernest Hemingway, and several  other British royals visited this national park.

Murchison Falls National Park lies at the northern end of the Albertine Rift Valley, where the sweeping Bunyoro escarpment tumbles into vast, palm-dotted savanna. First gazetted as a game reserve in 1926, it is Uganda’s largest and oldest conservation area.

Murchison Falls hosts over 144 mammals,556 bird species,51 reptiles, and 51 Amphibians. With a great number of  African elephants, Murchison falls is impressive all year round. The aerial survey noted over 900 individuals and 1,330 and is at an increase. Historically Giraffes exclusively inhabit the northern sector of the park. Buffalo populations have spiked to over 10,000 while Uganda kobs have leaped to more than 35,000.

 Murchison falls Animals?

bountifully endowed with herds of buffaloes, Uganda kobs, Rothschild’s giraffes, Jacksons  hartebeest, warthogs, oribis, bush bucks, jackals among others, Elephants, waterbucks, leopards, chimpanzees, Red-tailed monkeys, blue monkeys, and black-and-white colobus are also found in the forests. If you’re lucky, you may see Pastas monkeys, which are endemic to Murchison. Chimpanzees can also be found at Murchison Falls.

Oribi Murchison falls National Park Uganda.  Male-lion Murchison-falls-National-park Uganda.

3.Sipi falls

Sipi Falls is a series of three waterfalls all at different levels and  altitude found at the foothills of Mountain Elgon just at the edge of Mount Elgon National Park The falls originate from the hot springs that flow on Sipi River one of the rivers flowing on mount Elgon to the bottom pouring from a high cliff creating a series of rapids, flowing to lake Kyoga. To hike all three falls, it’ll take you roughly 3 hours. For the majority of this hike, you follow a river, making it easy to stay on track. It ‘will take you through farmlands, and local communities.


4. Kibale forest National Park.

Kibale National Park situated in the western part of Uganda about 348km (5 hrs. drive) from Kampala and about 26km south-east of the beautiful Fortpotal town, it is a popular  for tourist destination to track the chimpanzees in Uganda. Chimpanzee tracking has taken place in the park since 1993, with successful tracking rates of 90%. Other popular tourism activities include the chimpanzee habituation exercise, nature walks and bird watching. The forest is a home to many mammal species aside from primates, but rarely encounter. Elephants and buffalo that  roam the forest and other species present are giant forest hog, warthog, bush-pig, bushbuck, and blue, red and Peter’s duiker.

chimpanzees-in-Kibale-National-Park-Uganda.  A male-Chimpanzee-sitting-on-a-branch-of-the-tree kibale forest-National-Park Uganda.

5. Kidepo National Park

wilderness impresses all that make it. Kidepo is ideal for Uganda safaris featuring wildlife. For the visiting birder, Kidepo Valley National Park boasts a bird list of over 475 species, a total second only to Queen Elizabeth National Park. Amongst the host of dry, eastern “specials” not found in any other Ugandan national park are some of East Africa’s rarest and most sought after birds such as Black-breasted Barbet and Karamoja Apallis..

Brown-rumped Bunting Kidepo national park Uganda  Strawtailed Whydah Kidepo national park Uganda


 Kidepo has registered over 80 species including 28 that are peculiar to only and only kidepo in Uganda. Amongst these are such charismatic African animals as Bat-eared Fox, Carcal, Cheetah and Klipspringer.  Unfortunately, Kidepo suffered the same fate as many other Ugandan parks during the Amin era and is still recovering from years of poaching that left game herds depleted. Striped Hyena, Lesser Kudu, Grant’s Gazelle and Beisa Oryx have not been seen at all in recent times and are presumed to be locally extinct.

Tower of giraffes Kidepo national park Uganda  Lioness Kidepo national park Uganda

Other large mammals have shown a remarkable recovery and there are now healthy population of Elephant, Common Zebra, Buffalo, and Kongoni. Predators are plentiful and Spotted Hyena, Leopard and Lion are frequently seen. Oribis is abundant in the Narus Valley, whilst the dry thorn thickets in the north are home to Guenther’s Dik Dik. Senegal Galago and Side striped Jackal may be found in the rest camp at night and White-tailed Mongoose is common but more likely to be found on a night drive. The park also has a very rich and diverse reptile fauna.

Ostrich Kidepo national park Uganda  elephant Kidepo national park Uganda

6. Queen Elizabeth national park

Queen Elizabeth National Park together with Kyambura and Kigezi Wild life reserves form one of the most diverse Eco systems in Africa. Here, the melting glacier waters of the Rwenzori Mountains create a vast wetland system comprising for two main lakes George and Edward being channeled by the mighty Kazinga Channel to the remote Ishasha River in the south. This park gathers an extensive diversity of habitats that range from savanna and Wetlands to gallery and lowland forest. This remarkable diversity is reflected in its bird list of over 550 species and that’s why I may not be wrong to name it the birders’ Paradise, the largest of any protected area in Africa. The lake shore lines congregate thousands of hippos as the patent Savannah speckled with Acacia and Euphorbia trees which furnish a dwelling for Elephants, Lions, Leopards, big herds of buffaloes, the Uganda Kob, and many others.

It covers approximately 2056sq-km2 Kyambura wild life reserve covering about 154sq. km2 and Kigezi wild life reserve covering an area of 256sq. km2. It receives an average maximum temperature of 28deg Celsius and 18 degrees Celsius. The park lies on an altitude range of 910 m at lake Edward to 1845 m above sea level that is at the top of the escarpment of the western rift

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