FULL LIST OF NATIOMAL PARKS IN UGANDA
Tourism in Uganda is growing day by day and with the increasing number of international tourists that fly to Uganda. Uganda is considered to be the pearl of Africa and the national parks contribute to that. Uganda has ten National parks in different regions. each National park is unique piece and this helps people to learn and appreciate the wildlife in Uganda. Different activities take place in different national parks as seen below
RWENZORI MOUNTAINS NATIONAL PARK
This is located in the western part of Uganda, in the Rwenzori Mountains. Almost 1,000 km² in size, the park has Africa’s third highest mountain peak (the margherita peak) and many waterfalls, lakes, and glaciers. The park is known for its beautiful plant life.
many tourists from different parts of the world come to hike to the top. Hiking is the major activity, which takes between 9 to 12 days and this makes the stay longer. other activities include bird watching nature walks, the park hosts a number of 217bird species and 70 mammal species
each national park has or is close to very wonderful and nice accommodation facilities that can accommodate all clients be it luxury, mid- range and budget clients.
BWINDI IMPENETRABLE FOREST NATIONAL PARK
Bwindi Impenetrable found in the South western part of Uganda. It is very famous for mountain gorilla trekking and gorilla safari. Bwindi National park has a population of around 340 gorillas of which an estimated 116 are habituated.There are at least 120 mammal species living in the forest, the eleven primate species found here include black-and-white colobus and L’Hoest’s monkeys, baboons and chimps. There are also forest elephants and several species of antelopes. Of Bwindi’s 200 butterfly species, 42 are endemic to the Albertine Rift.Also an estimated 350 bird species with 23 endemic to the Albertine Rift and 14 recorded nowhere else in Uganda. It has been recognized on several basis by different media platforms i.e. named among the best 35 romantic places a couple must visit in their life time by the Business Insider and also recently when it was named among among the top 5 tourist destination 2017 by CNN, this makes really among the best and most selling National parks in Uganda. Activtities here include gorilla trekking, cultural tours especially the batwa culture, A nature walk to Bwindi impenetrable forest where you may get the chance to see the hidden gem of the crystal clear waterfalls in the thick rainforest. With all the exciting activities am quite certain that it will give you the ultimate gorilla experience on if you chose to take an African safari to Bwindi
KIBALE FOREST NATIONAL PARK
Kibale is one in all the most attractive national parks in Uganda with tropical rainforest, and a multiplicity of animals. The most famous of its 13 species is the chimpanzee, our closest relative. Kibale’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. Also an estimated 500 elephants are present, along with buffalos, leopards, warthogs, bush pigs, golden cats and duikers. A keen observer may spot reptiles and amphibians as well as a colorful variety of 250 species of butterflies. Kibale national park also boasts of more than 375 species of birds. Besides Chimpanzee tracking there are also other activities that can take place in while in kibale for example: Birding where you see different bird species, Bigodi nature walk where you get to visit the Bigodi swamp
QUEEN ELIZABETH NATIONAL PARK
This is located in the western part of Uganda. Queen Elizabeth national park along with kyambura and kigezi wildlife resource brings together the most diverse ecosystem in Africa. Thousands of hippos populate these water shores. Open savannah dotted with acacia and euphobia trees provide habitat for, leopards , elephants, lions, Uganda Safari kobs, in addition to big herds of buffaloes. The park also harbors primate species, ten in number which include chimpanzees and monkeys. Waterbucks, giant forest hog, topi, hyenas, and crocodiles are among the many animals distinguished frequently in Queen Elizabeth national park.The park is also famous for its volcanic features, comprising volcanic cones and deep craters, many with crater lakes such as Lake Katwe, from which salt is extracted. This is also another place where you can carry out a number of activities such as game drives, launch trips on Kazinga channel where you get the chance to see mammals like hippopotamus, crocodiles among others.
MURCHISON FALLS NATIONAL PARK:
Located on the northern part of the Albertine Rift valley, it is the oldest and largest national park in Uganda. It was first gazetted as a game reserve in 1926. It’s famously known for being the world’s strongest waterfall. The waterfall makes it the centre piece of the national park where you see rapids flow from the top to the bottom of Lake Albert. Rapids strongly stretch through what was termed as the Devil’s Cauldron which gives tourist a beautiful view. With all the attraction from the waterfall Murchison falls National Park harbours a number of mammal species such as the African big five: African Elephant, Rhino, Buffalo, giraffes hartebeests, oribis, Leopard and Lion, with a several number of bird species including the rare shoebill. Not forgetting Chimpanzee tracking in Budongo Forest another home of Uganda’s Chimpanzees’ number of activities can be carried out while in the park such game drives, launch trips, cultural encounters, nature walks i.e. hike to the top of the falls. The flora and Fauna at Murchison is characterized by savannah, riverine forest and wood land.
KIDEPO VALLEY NATIONAL PARK
Located in the northern part of Uganda and lies in the semi-arid valleys of Uganda and Sudan. Cause of the long journey that connects you to the national park, many find it hard and expensive to make it there hence having a few visitors that visit the National Park. It harbours a number of 77 mammal species and 475 bird species. This is the park you also get the chance to see the big game such Leopard, Elephant, Lion among others. Just like Bwindi Impenetrable forest Kidepo has been recognized on media platforms where it was ranked among the best wild landscape to visit in Africa in 2012. It contains one of the most exciting faunas of any Ugandan national Activities that you can carry out while in Kidepo: game drive, birding cultural encounters where you meet the Karamojong commonly known as Uganda’s Masaai.
MGAHINGA NATIONAL PARK
Located in the southern part of Uganda, Mgahinga is covered by 33km2 making It Uganda’s smallest National park. It’s famously known for harbouring Uganda’s endangered mountain gorillas. And also known for its Golden monkeys another rare species of primates in Uganda. In Mgahinga is also where you find the Virunga ranges that lies along the border region of Uganda, Congo and Rwanda. and this point you can actually be in three countries at the same time. Activities that can be carried out while in Mgahinga include birding. The park also has a huge cultural significance, in particular for the indigenous Batwa pygmies.
This tribe of hunter-gatherers was the forest’s “first people”, and their ancient knowledge of its secrets remains unrivaled.
LAKE MBURO NATIONAL PARKll
Located in the western part of Uganda in between two districts of Mbarara and Masaka Lake Mburo was initially gazetted in 1993 and in the year of 1983 it was up graded to a National park. As you are travelling to Lake Mburo you as get a chance to see the equator .Normally as people are travelling past the Equator it’s a culture that they have a stopover at the beautiful place for a photographic break. Though being small it has a few rare things that you will only find in Lake Mburo and no other parks such as the Impalas, Antelopes and the Elands, herds of Buffalos and Zebras. With its different activities like horse- bark riding safaris. This is the only national park where you can do safari on foot. Activities that can be carried out while in Lake Mburo: birding, game drives among others.
MOUNT ELGON NATIONAL PARK
Mt. Elgon is an extinct volcano that first erupted more than 24 million years ago. With the largest surface area of any extinct volcano in the world (50 km by 80 km) The Park is named after Mount Elgon, an extinct shield volcano on the border of Uganda and Kenya.The botanical diversity of the park includes giant podocarpus, juniper and Elgon olive trees cedar Juniperus procera, pillarwood Cassipourea malosana, elder Sambucus adnata, pure stands of Podocarpus gracilior and many orchids. 400 species have been recorded.The park is also home to a variety of small antelope and forest monkeys, including the Black-and-white Colobus and Blue Monkey. Over 300 birds can also be found in the area, Elephants and buffalo, Other scenery like cliffs, caves, waterfalls, gorges, mesas, calderas, hot springs, and the mountain peaks. The most popular areas are the four explorable, vast caves where frequent night visitors such as elephants and buffaloes come to lick the natural salt found on the cave walls. Kitum cave, with overhanging crystalline walls, enters 200 m into the side of Mt. Elgon. A climb on the deserted plains of Mount. Elgon unveils a magnificent view while at the peak. Activities that can be carried out while in Mount Elgon National park: Hiking, nature walks, cultural encounters like the Bagisu where to get a chance to see how the male are circumcised, commonly known as (Mbaalu).
SEMULIKI NATIONAL PARK
Located in the western part of Uganda and also western of Rwenzori. The rich habitat of grassland, savannah, forest and wetland is home to diverse fauna, in addition to 400 bird species and 300 butterfly species.It is one of the richest areas of floral and faunal diversity in Africa, with bird species being especially diverse. The park has two hot springs in a hot mineral encrusted swamp. One of the springs – Mumbuga spring – resembles a geyser by forming a 0.5 m high fountain. These hot springs attract a large number of shorebirds and they are a source of salt for many animals.The park has over 60 mammal species, including forest buffalos, leopards, pygmy hippos, Mona Monkeys, water chevrotains, bush babies, civets, elephants, the Pygmy Flying Squirrel (Idiuus zenkeri) and nine species of Duikers.Started as a forest reserve in 1932 and later up graded to a National park in 1993. Another special tourist attraction that you can find in Semuliki that you might not find in other national parks around Uganda is the hot springs (Sempaya hot springs) this is another center piece of attraction that attracts many people starting with those from the neighbouring communities around Semuliki and also international tourists. Communities around the hot springs have beliefs that water from the hot springs can treat various diseases so you find a number of people around Sempaya hot springs. You can as well get to taste hot tea from the hot springs and also boil eggs. Other activities that can carried out while in Semuliki: nature walks and cultural encounters where you also find the Batwa pygmies community.
WILD GAME RESERVES IN UGANDA
KATONGA WILD RESERVE
Many of the species of plants and animals in the Katonga Reserve are unique to the reserve’s wetland environment. The vegetation of the Katonga Reserve is mixed Savannah with acacia scrubland or woodlands.There are over forty animal species and over one hundred and fifty bird species found within the reserve, you will find Sitatunga, Reedbuck, Waterbuck, Warthog, Bushbuck, Colobus monkey, Elephant, River otter
The Pian Upe Wildlife Reserve is a conservation area in the Karamoja subregion of northeastern Uganda. It is the second largest conservation protected area in Uganda. Most of the Reserve is covered by undisturbed grassland and wooded grassland. Small areas of riverine woodland, kopjes also exist.Dominant tree species are red acacia and desert date. Also present are bushwillows, Harrisonia abyssinica and red spike-thorns. Shrubs include butterfly pea and wooly caper bush. It is home to enormous rock pythons and smaller but venomous puff adders. Harmless water snakes, lizards are also found there.
The Matheniko Wildlife Reserve is a conservation area in the Karamoja subregion of northeastern Uganda. It is the fifth most-threatened conservation protected area in Uganda.matheniko is a part of the corridor of protected areas that stretches from Kidepo National Park down through Bokora and Pian Upe Wildlife Reserves. The Reserve’s northeastern boundary is also the Uganda-Kenya border.