Destinations

Overview…
Uganda’s ten national parks, managed by the Uganda Wildlife Authority, cover an immense 10,918 km2 with three main varieties of habitat: savannah, forest and montane. Venture through Uganda’s diverse range of parks to seek out mammals, reptiles and birds. Explore mountains and volcanoes, track primates and predators, cruise on vast bodies of water, study flora and fauna, ride horses on the wild savannah plains, raft grade five rapids on The Nile, or just relax at the lodges to take in panoramic vistas.

The Source of the River Nile

Uganda is proudly home to the source of the longest river in the world, the River Nile! The Nile begins its 6,853km (4,258 miles) journey to reach the Mediterranean Sea from Lake Victoria next to Jinja town. Jinja apart from being known for its connection with the Source of the Nile is also known as East Africa's adventure capital with a range of activities on offer. These include highlights such as grade 5 white water rafting, kayaking, quad biking, bungee jumping! As well as more laid back activities such as fishing, horse back riding and sunset cruises.

Queen Elizabeth National Park

Set to the backdrop of the Rwenzori Mountains, lying on the Rift Valley floor is Uganda’s most popular savannah national park, largely due to the number of big game and activities available for its tourists. The parks varied habitats support a bird list of 604 species making it a highly alluring destination for birders. Queen Elizabeth National Parks’ major attraction is the iconic tree-climbing lion in the southern sector of the park, Ishasha, which you can track with an experienced Uganda Wildlife Authority guide. Other activities include tracking chimpanzees in a sunken rainforest, cruising the Kazinga Channel searching for big game, hippo pods and crocodiles, as well as now Uganda Wildlife Authorities’ most recent addition to its activities, predator tracking.

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Bwindi Impenetrable National Park

The richest diversity of any forest in Africa with an impressive list of 120 mammal species and Uganda’s foremost attraction, the rare mountain gorilla! Roaming the impenetrable forest are some 30 gorilla groups, 9 of which have been habituated for tourism activities. The park was listed a UNESCO/World Heritage Site in 1994 in recognition of its rich biodiversity. Bwindi Forest is at least 25,000 years old and in this time has accumulated 350 species of bird, 310 species of butterfly, 51 reptiles and 200 species of tree. This park offers other activities such as hiking, mountain biking, bird watching and of course gorilla tracking.

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Murchison Falls National Park

Uganda’s largest national park, famed for its iconic waterfall and abundance of wildlife, thanks largely to its lifeblood, the mighty River Nile. The open savannah grasslands in the north of the park are prime habitats for elephant, buffalo, antelope and big cats. Game driving and boat cruising are two of the parks significant activities. You can also climb from the base to the top of the falls where this mighty river squeezes through a 7 metre gap creating an impressive splash and rainbows. It’s one of two national parks in Uganda where you’ll find giraffe, the second being the far more remote Kidepo Valley National Park. If you’re travelling by road to/from Kampala, this presents an additional opportunity to track both chimpanzees and the southern white rhino on foot.

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Kibale Forest National Park

Two of Uganda’s most popular and interesting activities take place here, Chimpanzee tracking and the Chimpanzee Habituation Exercise where you may come face to face with these noisy yet elusive creatures. Once inside the forest, you can find some of 1450 of man’s closest relatives cohabiting in Kibale Forest National Park with 13 other primate species. There are also 60 mammal species including forest elephant located in this park and it is conveniently located to Queen Elizabeth National Park for savannah game and other activities. Kibale Forest is highly alluring to nature lovers.

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Kidepo Valley National Park

A true African wilderness! Roaming the rolling grasslands of Kidepo Valley National Park, you’ll seek out big cats including cheetah, which are only found in Uganda roaming this magnificent reserve. Other species rare or absent from Uganda’s other national parks are ostrich and striped hyaena. It’s the furthest park from our capital, Kampala, which means that you can enjoy a high degree of solitude and intimacy with the parks wildlife. Other notable mammals are elephant, giraffe, lion, zebra, dry country antelopes and possibly Africa’s largest herd of buffalo.

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Lake Mburo National Park

With its rolling savannah hills, to its forest fringed lake shores located only a short drive from Kampala, Lake Mburo National Park is an ideal weekend getaway. It’s also en route to Uganda’s more popular parks and reserves in the west making it an ideal way to break up the journey. This is the only park in Uganda where you can do a safari on horseback, getting up close and personal with zebra and antelope. Lake Mburo itself is one of Uganda’s birding paradises. Here you can seek out the African finfoot amongst the hippos and crocodiles. Lake Mburo National Park is also one of only two parks in Uganda where you can do a night game drive with an increasing population of leopards being seen by our clients.

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Mgahinga Forest National Park

Whilst this is Uganda’s smallest national park, it’s certainly the greenest. The home of the unusual golden monkey and a small number of Uganda’s rare mountain gorillas, is most popular for hiking the northern slopes of the Virunga volcanoes and cultural activities. Its most famous hike is Mt. Sabyinyo where you can stand simultaneously in Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Besides hiking up the three strikingly green volcano peaks, you can also track the rare golden monkeys and mountain gorillas.

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Mount Elgon National Park

With a peak of 4321 metres above sea level and located 1° north of the equator, lies a massive extinct volcano called Mount Elgon. Straddling the Ugandan / Kenyan border this is one of the world’s last examples of a shield volcano, which was created by fluid lava. It’s caldera, which is said to be the largest in the world (8km across), contains stunning glacial lakes and hot springs. With its resident mammals, cascading waterfalls, panoramic vistas, and enchanting vegetation, it’s a hikers paradise.

Rwenzori Mountains National Park

Recognised as a UNESCO/World Heritage site in 1994 and unlike East Africa’s other mountains, it is not volcanic but a block of rock up faulted through the floor of the western Great Rift Valley. Its highest point is 5,109m above sea level on Mt Stanley’s Margherita Peak, the third highest peak in Africa. Key attractions include hiking a wide variety of treks ranging from one to ten days, forest birds, old world monkeys, and strikingly unique afro-montane vegetation including many endemic species.

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Semuliki National Park

Lying at the base of the Albertine Rift, with its famous hot springs Semuliki National Park is one of Uganda’s hidden gems. Largely unexplored, you will feel an intimacy with wildlife and that of a true explorer. The park protects an extraordinary floral and faunal diversity with 462 species of bird recorded including 45 bird species that you will find nowhere else in Uganda. Primates here are all well represented and so are leopards. It’s common to see hippos and crocodiles along the Semuliki River bordering the Democratic Republic of the Congo under a backdrop of the Rwenzori and Blue Mountains.

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Lake Bunyonyi

Lake Bunyonyi endearingly translates as ‘place of little birds’. Formed 8,000 years ago this flooded valley is dotted with approximately 20 little islands and lies at an altitude of 1840m. With its terraced hillsides, forest valleys and sparking waters it’s the perfect place to relax, swim and hone your canoeing skills. Explore your surroundings with a day on the lake in a dugout canoe and a walking tour to experience the nature, people and beauty of the south western highlands of Uganda.

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Sipi Falls

Rising from the upper slopes of Mount Elgon, the three waterfalls that make up the Sipi waterfall set tumble down the cliffs and off into the plains of eastern Uganda. Hike up the falls, crisscrossing Sipi River, exploring caves and taking in panoramic views to experience the beauty of Sipi Falls. Then for the thrill seekers among you, there are also extra activities available such as mountain biking, abseiling and rock climbing also available around the Sipi Falls area.

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Magombe Swamp and Bigodi Wetlands Sanctuary

Recognised for its extensive biodiversity, Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary, located in Magombe Swamp displays extensive flora and fauna as well as eight species of monkey including red colobus monkeys, grey cheeked mangabey’s, L’Hoest monkeys, vervet monkeys, blue monkeys, baboons, black and white colobus, and chimpanzee. The chimps here are not habituated but you may see a wild one passing by! Best known for its impressive bird list of 335 species with the most strongly associated with the swamp being the great blue turaco. Other mammals such as sitatunga, mongooses, bush pigs, otters, and bushbucks, also visit the swamp. Additionally, these sanctuaries demonstrate Uganda’s finest examples of how tourism and conservation can have a positive impact at a grassroots level to empower and support the local community.