UGANDA NATIONAL PARKS
It’s easy to get overwhelmed by Uganda’s national parks, its status as one of Africa’s most popular birding destinations (with around 1,050 species—50% of those on the continent and 11% in the world), its 18 primate species and its impressive panoply of outdoor activities, including fishing, mountaineering, rafting, community-based ecotourism, cultural tourism and more.
To help narrow your choices, here’s a look at the Uganda National Parks you can explore on International Expeditions’ small group Uganda safari or a custom safari.
MOUNTAIN RWENZORI NATIONAL PARK
MRNP located on the slopes of Mountain Rwenzori also referred to as the “Mountains of the Moon” in the Western part of Uganda boarding DRC Congo. The park was gazetted in 1991 and was recognized as a World Heritage site in 1994 and Ramsar site in 2008. The park boosts of a 996km2 size of land endowed with numerous species to include 70 mammals and 217 bird species including 19 Albertine Rift endemics, as well as some of the world’s rarest vegetation. The park also boosts of a magnificent view of the 5,109m above sea level equatorial snowcapped Mountain Rwenzori peak, the third highest Mountain in Africa
ANIMALS: Elephants, Blue Monkeys, Colobus Monkey, Chimpanzees, Otter, Giant Forest hog, Bushbucks
MURCHISON FALLS NATIONAL PARK
MFNP located in the North Western part of Uganda, in the northern end of the Albertine Rift Valley. It’s the country’s oldest and largest Park having been gazzatted in 1952 and covering a massive surface area of 3,840km 2 . The park is bisected by the Victoria Nile, which plunges 45m over the remnant rift valley wall, creating the dramatic Murchison Falls and 80km stretch of rapids. It also boosts of 76 species of mammals including elephants, buffaloes among other while hippos, Nile crocodiles usually along the riverbanks and 451 birds.MNP is Uganda’s smallest park covering a surface area of 33.7km2, the park takes its name from “Gahinga” the local word for the piles of volcanic stones cleared from farmland at the foot of the volcanoes. The British administration gazetted as a National Park in 1991 to protect the rare mountain gorillas that inhabit its dense forests, and it is also an important habitat for the endangered golden monkey among other species.
ANIMALS:Elephants, Hippos, Rhinocerous, Nile Crocodiles, Buffalos, Giraffes, Lions, Leopards
KIDEPO VALLEY NATIONAL PARK
KVNP is a vast and isolated Park boosting of a 1,442km2 surface area is located in the distant North Eastern Part of Uganda in the rugged, semi-arid valleys between Uganda’s borders with Sudan and Kenya surrounded by the fascinating and entertaining pastoral Karamojong people. It was Gazetted as a national park in 1962, famous for its captivating and intensifying Wilderness Trail which hosts over 77 mammal species including among others buffaloes, notable cheetahs, antelopes as well as around 475 bird species.
ANIMALS:Zebras, Elephants, Giraffes, Bush Pigs, Cheetahs, Antelopes, Caracal, Lions, Black Backed Jackal, Ostriches, Eagle
SEMULIKI NATIONAL PARK
SNP is located in the in the Western part of Uganda covering an area of 220km 2 and sprawling across the floor of the Semliki Valley on the remote, western side of the Rwenzori. The park is dominated by the easternmost extension of the great Ituri Forest of the Congo Basin. Semuliki Forest Reserve was created in 1932 and upgraded to national park status in 1993. It is the only tract of true lowland tropical forest in East Africa, hosting 441 recorded bird species and 53 mammals. The Hot springs bubble up from the depths to demonstrate the powerful subterranean forces that have been shaping the rift valley.MNP is Uganda’s smallest park covering a surface area of 33.7km2, the park takes its name from “Gahinga” the local word for the piles of volcanic stones cleared from farmland at the foot of the volcanoes. The British administration gazetted as a National Park in 1991 to protect the rare mountain gorillas that inhabit its dense forests, and it is also an important habitat for the endangered golden monkey among other species.
ANIMALS:African Civet, Mona Monkey, African Elephants, Water Chevrotain, Squirrel, Leopard, Hippocampus
BWINDI IMPENETRABLE NATIONAL PARK
BINP lie in the southern part of Uganda on the edge of the Rift Valley, it covers 321km 2 of land. The park formally co-inhabited by the famous Batwa Pygmy was gazzatted as National Park I 1991 and cleared a UNESCO Natural World Heritage Site in 1994. The park also boosts of a biologically diverse rainforest, which contains almost 400 species of plants. The park is famously known for an estimated 400 mountain gorillas roughly half of the world’s population that it protects, among several other habituated groups, which can be tracked like the 120 mammals, including several primate species such as baboons and chimpanzees, as well as elephants and antelopes. There are also 350 species of birds hosted in this forest, including 23 Albertine Rift endemics.
ANIMALS:Mountain Gorillas, Bush Pigs, Clawless Otter, Civets, Bats, Black-Fronted Duiker, Colobus Monkeys, Baboons, Chimpanzees
KIBALE FOREST NATIONAL PARK
KFNP is a 795km 2 surface area park located in the Western Part of Uganda partly within the Albertine Rift Valley and along Kibale-Fort Portal area, one of Uganda’s most rewarding destinations to explore. Kibale is one of Africa’s foremost research sites endowed with the prominent chimpanzees together with other primates, fish species, its elevated plateau, 375 species of birds, among other tropics and about 351 tree species that have been recorded in the park, some rise to over 55m and are over 200 years old summing up Kibale’s exciting and interesting ecosystems.
ANIMALS:Chimpanzee, L`Hoest`s Monkey, Colobus Monkey, Mongooses, African Golden Cats, African Buffaloes, Warthogs
MOUNTAIN ELGON NATIONAL PARK
MENP is located in the Eastern part of Uganda-Kenya boarder on the slopes of Mountain Elgon one of the country’s longest extinct Volcano 4,321m high with a 4,000km 2 base thus having the largest volcanic base in the world with a caldera at the peak. The Park covers a surface area of 1,121km 2 is home to various mammal including among others kobs, antelopes, and 300 species of birds, including the endangered Lammergeyer.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 species of birds. The park also boosts of craters lakes in its vanity and the amazing Kazinga channel that connects the Lakes Eduard and George. The Park covers a surface area of 1,121km2 is home to various mammal including among others kobs, antelopes, and 300 species of birds, including the endangered Lammergeyer.
ANIMALS:Lammergeier (endangered species), Antelopes, Forest Monkey, Elephants, Buffaloes, Buffaloes
QUEEN ELIZABETH NATIONAL PARK
QENP is located in the western part of Uganda traversing a surface area of 1,978km2. The park is the country’s most popular tourist destination, its home to over 95 mammal species and over 600 bird species. 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 species of birds. The park also boosts of craters lakes in its vanity and the amazing Kazinga channel that connects the Lakes Eduard and George.
Leopards, Lions, Buffalos, Hyenas, Antelopes Topis, Kobs, Lions, Antelopes, Waterbucks, Elephants, Side Stripped Jackals, Warthogs, Hippos, Crocodiles, chimpanzees baboons, black and white Colobus Monkeys, debrazza monkey among others
MGAHINGA NATIONAL PARK
Lake Mburo National park is amazingly the closest national park to Kampala , it also doubles as the smallest national park. Situated between Masaka and Mbarara district taking approximately 4 hours’ drive time to arrive. The park covers an area of 370km² including the lakes ( 5 lakes). Lake Mburo is endowed with several wildlife species to mention recently translocated giraffes, buffaloes, elands, waters bucks, antelopes, zebras, oribis, topis , warthogs as you take a boat cruise on lake Mburo you will be in position to observe , hippos and crocodiles. In addition, the park also is home a wide a ray of birds amounting to 350 species some which include water birds, forest and savanna birds.