Uganda: National Parks
Bwindi Forest National Reserve:
Bwindi forest is referred to as the Impenetrable Forest. The thick forested park has an incredible biodiversity. It consists of deep river gorges and high ridges. Bwindi prides a wide variety of over 300 bird and tree species. It hosts a habitat of over 90 mammal species. The park hosts half population of mountain gorillas are found within this park as well as other such as the chimpanzees. Tracking gorillas through the jungle and mountain forest is a very exciting experience and a must do when in Uganda.
Mgahinga Gorilla National Park:
Mgahinga National park is the smallest park in Uganda. The huge cones of the Virunga Volcanoes, Muhavura, Sabinyo and Gahinga dominate the landscape here. Meet the only human habituated mountain gorilla group, Nyakagezi. The gorilla trackers assist in locating the family groups. The process takes a while before spoting the face or hand of the gorillas from the bush and until the silver back feels comfortable the learning process of these primates can start.
Lake Bunyoni is situated between Kampala and Bwindi. It offers a tranquil atmosphere from the various volcanic crater valleys. Lake Bunyoni is known as the deepest crater lake in Africa. The surrounding hills provide stunning views and are home to the Bakiga people, descendants of the mythical Kakiga.
Lake Mburo National Park:
The park offers a dense thicket of vegetation, a wonderful environment for wildlife. There are five lakes which serve as a big draw for water. Here you one can spot the buffalo, impalas, topis, elands, zebra and leopard. The lakes host plenty of crocodiles and hippos which guarantee a lot of actions. The acacia and savannah attract a wide species of birds including the rare shoebill stork, marabou stork, bronze tailed starling amongst many other birds.
Kidepo Valley National Park:
The Kidepo Valley National Park is one of Uganda’s most spectacular parks. It is 1,442 square kilometres and harbours scenery unsurpassed in any other park in East Africa. ‘It could not be any better’ is a common comment on the scenery by visitors who often promise and do come back to Kidepo. Tucked into the corner of Uganda’s border with Sudan and Kenya, the park offers breathtaking Savannah landscapes, which end in rugged horizon. A huge latitudinal range and correspondingly wide climatic conditions have evolved an extremely diverse flora. As a result the variety of animal species in the park is equally abundant including many which are found no where else in Uganda. The vegetation can best be described as open tree Savannah which varies much in structure and composition. Mountain forest dominates some of the high places, while areas along the Lorupei River support dense Acacia geradi forest. The flora and fauna of the park are more typical of Kenya than the rest of Uganda. The landscape throughout the park is studded with small hills, rocky outcrops and inselbergs from which one can obtain stunning views in all directions. Culturally this part of Uganda is fascinating. This is home to two distinctive ethnic groups with highly cherished traditions: the Karamajong and the Ik. The only lodge in the park, Apoka Safari lodge sits in the middle of its majesty.
Toro - Semliki Game Reserve, Lake Albert & Semliki National Park:
The Semliki Valley, deep in the heart of Uganda’s Western Rift Valley, is a prime conservation area, boasting both National Park and Game Reserve. In the Semliki National Park, the forest forms the easternmost tip of the Central African rainforest and is home to myriad bird species, primates. The Sampaya hotsprings are key attraction, and from cultural standpoint, the Batwa pygmies offer insight.
The Toro Semliki Game Reserve, this is where tropical rainforest meets grassy savannah, where wetlands give over to majestic lake Albert. The wetland teem with birdlife, including the elusive shoebill which nests in the shallows lake Albert, and several communities of chimpanzees live in the lush river valleys. Guests at Semliki Safari Lodge have the whole valley to themselves, is the only lodge.
Queen Elizabeth National Park:
The magnificent park, lies north and south of the equator in southwest Uganda in the western arm of the Great Rift Valley. Is centred around lake Edward and lake George. The two lakes are linked by Kazinga channel, a waterway rich in wildlife and birds. The launch trip along Kazinga channel is particularly rewarding for viewing a variety of game and a vast array of birds. Q.E.N.P boast one of the highest biodersity ratings of any game reserve in Uganda and a remarkable over 600 bird species. The southern part of the park around Ishasha is famous with tree-climbing lions. The Kyambura gorge about 10 km long is home to chimpanzees, red-tailed monkeys and black and white colobus. The gorge is a rewarding experience not just for seeing chimpanzees but also to explore the beautiful river valley.
Murchison Falls National Park:
Is one of the most spectacular national park indeed the largest game park in Uganda with an area of 3 840 km². It has the most intense concentration of wildlife along the river Nile.
Here is where the river Nile encounters the biggest obstacle on its long trip from Lake Victoria to the Mediterranean sea. The awe-inspiring Murchison falls, the water masses tumble down through a narrow crevice the plunges 40 m deep before it calmly continue its journey.
A boat trip upstream to the falls is one of the great unforgettable experience. Nile crocodiles, elephants, buffalos and countless antelopes and birds including the rare shoebill stock can be admired at the water’s edge.
Kibale Forest National Park & Bigodi Wetlands:
As a moist forest, Kibale is unique with extraordinary high diversity of wildlife and flora. It is rich in birds, butterflies and various plant species. It is the great place to see chimpanzees, the red colobus, black and white colobus, vervet monkeys and other primates. It has thirteen species of primates – among the highest number recorded in an African forest.
The adjacent Bigodi wetland or the Magombe swamp offers unusual habitat for small mammals including the sitatunga antelope. It is also considered to be one of the best guided bird trails
Mount Elgon National Park:
Mount Elgon is a 4 321 m high extinct volcano which according to scientist, in prehistoric times stood taller than Mount Kilimanjaro does today. Mount Elgon slopes support rich variety of altitudinal vegetation zones ranging from montane forest to high open moorland studded with the giant lobelia and groudsel plants. Is the main attraction for hikers. There is a variety of monkeys and small antelopes along with elephant, buffalo. Other attractions include ancient cave paintings, spectacular caves and hot springs within the crater. Sipi falls is the most beautiful and romantic waterfalls in Uganda.