Tourism in Uganda is growing day by day and with the increasing number of international tourists that fly Into Uganda. Many have never taken time to find out how many National parks are found in Uganda. Uganda is covered by 10 National parks in various different parts of Uganda. With at least each National park having a centerpiece of attraction these have helped various people to learn and differentiate all the 10 National parks in Uganda. As the outline below will indicate all that you can find in the parks and the activities you can carry out while in the National parks.
BWINDI IMPENETRABLE FOREST NATIONAL PARK
Bwindi Impenetrable found in the Southwestern part of Uganda being covered on a vast portion of the land of about 127.8 mi2. It is known as the oldest rainforest and famously being the home of Uganda’s endangered mountain gorillas whereby it harbors a number of about 400 Gorilla species. It has been recognized on several bases by different media platforms i.e. named among the best 35 romantic places a couple must visit in their lifetime by the Business Insider and also recently when it was named among the top 5 tourist destination 2017 by CNN, this makes really among the best and most selling National parks in Uganda.
When it comes to activities a few can be done aside from the gorilla trekking, for example, cultural tours like visiting the Batwa culture, learn how they used to light a fire using sticks. A nature 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
Located in the western part of Uganda in Fort Portal district. Famously known for chimpanzee tracking. It is another home of chimpanzees in Uganda aside Ngamba Island. It harbors a number of about 70 mammal species and also a number of different bird species. 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
Also found in the southwestern part of Uganda. It’s famously known for the tree-climbing lions in the Ishasha sector. I should say this is the most visited national park in Uganda. Covered on the size of 1978km2.it harbors several numbers of mammal species among them is a few of the big five commonly known as Lion, Elephant, and the Buffalo. Primate species like the Chimpanzees in the Kyambura and also the black and white monkeys. A number of bird species that gives you the opportunity to carry out birding. 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 centerpiece 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 the tourist a beautiful view. With all the attraction from the waterfall, Murchison falls National Park harbors a number of mammal species such as the African big five: African Elephant, Rhino, Buffalo, Leopard, and Lion, with several numbers of bird species. 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.
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 harbors 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 as 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. With the flat landscape, Kidepo is sited on, it gives you a very beautiful view cause you get to see all that is possible from a distance. 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 harboring 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 lie along the border region of Uganda, Congo, and Rwanda and this has also become another centerpiece of attraction cause many visits the place in order to stand at a point where you stationed in three different countries at the same time. Activities that can be carried out while in Mgahinga: birding, cultural encounters with the famous Batwa.
LAKE MBURO NATIONAL PARK
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 upgraded to a National park. As you are traveling to Lake Mburo you as well get a chance to see one of Uganda’s most tourist attraction, the line that marks 00 (Equator). Normally as people are traveling 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 find in Lake Mburo and no other parks, it is the only park where you find the Impalas, Antelopes and the Elands. You also find many herds of Buffalos and Zebras. With its different activities like a horse- bark riding safaris, safari on foot that is only done in Lake Mburo.Activities that can be carried out while in Lake Mburo: birding, game drives among others.
MOUNT ELGON NATIONAL PARK
Located in the Eastern part of Uganda – Kenya border, known as the oldest, large extinct volcanic mountain and 4thworld’s highest mountain. Mountain Elgon has a number of 300 bird species, and a few mammal species i.e. small antelopes and forest monkeys. 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 is circumcised, commonly known as (Mbaalu).
SEMULIKI NATIONAL PARK
Located in the western part of Uganda and also western of Rwenzori. Started as a forest reserve in 1932 and later upgraded to a National park in 1993. Semuliki is covered by 220 km2 commonly as the birders haven its harbours a number of 440 bird species and 53 mammal species. 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 centerpiece of attraction that attracts many people starting with those from the neighboring 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 be carried out while in Semuliki: nature walks and cultural encounters where you also find the Batwa pygmies community.
RWENZORI MOUNTAINS NATIONAL PARK
Located in the western part of Uganda. Covered by 996 km2. Known for having the third highest peak in Africa (Margherita), many tourists flock in from different parts of the world to hike to the top. Mount climbing is an active activity that often takes place in this area. And tourists that visit the park stay for longer days, the reason being the hike to the peak normally takes a period of 9 to 12 days. Apart from mountaineering, the park hosts a number of 217bird species and 70 mammal species. You can as well find different activities in Rwenzori: birding, nature walks, and cultural encounters.
With these detailed outline, you can be guided on which national park to visit as you plan to do you African safari in Uganda and what you expect to see, 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.