Top Parks in Uganda

Here are Safari parks you can choose from

In contrast to Tanzania and Kenya, Uganda is a rich, compact, and diverse country which offers both savannah plains and lush green forests. It offers something entirely different even though it is often overshadowed by its neighboring countries due to its limited infrastructure. What you can expect, however, is absolute authenticity and a lot more variety of activities and scenery to die for. Check out these top parks and lakes:

Queen Elizabeth National Park

Queen Elizabeth National Park

 

Named after the royal Queen Elizabeth II of England, this park was established in 1954 and is famous for its abundant wildlife, which includes hippos, tree climbing lions, elephants, baboons, chimpanzees, African leopards, and over 500 bird species. Located in western Uganda, Queen Elizabeth national park covers two lakes (Edward and George) as well as volcanic cones and deep craters. A game drive or boat cruise is all you need to view these creatures in their natural habitat, while also taking in the grand sights of the wondrous lakes and forests.

 

Best time to visit — January to February and June to July

Kidepo Valley National Park

Kidepo Valley National Park

 

This fine wildlife preserve covers about 1442 sq kms and is located in the northeastern region of the country. Its savannahs are so vast that they extend towards the mountain ranges of Kenya and South Sudan, hence the nickname — “the true African wilderness”. Kidepo Valley National Park is home to cape buffaloes, cheetahs, zebras, lions, giraffes,  African elephants and many species of birds, but it offers more than just wildlife. Here, you can closely interact with nature and enjoy the scenic views from atop Mt. Morungole at an altitude 2750m — perfect destination for hikers and mountain climbers.

 

Best time to visit — September to March

Lake Bunyonyi

Lake Bunyonyi

 

Without a doubt, one of the most mesmerizing places you will ever witness is lake Bunyonyi, which is located southwestern Uganda. It is the second deepest lake in Africa and features 29 several beautiful islands that you can tour on canoe rides. The breathtaking scenery, coupled with the peaceful calming environment makes it a top destination for honeymoons and romantic getaways.

 

Best time to visit — Year round

Bwindi Impenetrable National Park

Bwindi Impenetrable National Park

 

The Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is one of the most remarkable safari destinations in Uganda, thanks to its  348 species of birds,  120 species of mammals, 220 species of butterflies, 27 species of frogs, geckos and chameleons, and over 200 different species of trees. The Bwindi Impenetrable Forest is also one of the best places to see up close the endangered mountain gorillas. Because of these, the park has been granted a UNESCO World Heritage Site status.

 

Best time to visit — June to August and December to February

The Source of the River Nile

The Source of the River Nile

 

This is located in Jinja town, home to a variety of water adventures, including bungee jumping and white water rafting. The famous river nile stretches for nearly  7,000 kilometres and forms a vital part of Uganda’s ecosystem. Wildlife that can be found here include crocodiles, hippos, buffalos and a wide variety of birds.

 

Another Nile adventure is in the Murchison Falls Safari, the largest conservation area in Uganda with an area of over 3,840km. The falls are formed as the Nile forces its way through a narrow cleft  so powerfully that it thrusts 43m down with a deafening roar.

 

Best time to visit — Year round

Rwenzori Mountains National Park

Rwenzori Mountains National Park

 

This park is a paradise for hikers with both easily accessible trails and grueling volcanic hikes. The mountains are also the highest ranges in Africa and have snow-capped peaks. The park is home to exotic wildlife, such as elephants and leopards, but game viewing is not so easy due to the density of the forests.

 

Best time to visit — December to February and June to August

Kibale Forest National Park

Kibale Forest National Park

 

Situated in the northern foothills of the Rwenzori Mountain, Kibale Forest National Park covers an area of  776 sq km and boasts the highest number of primates in East Africa and the highest number (1400+) of chimpanzees in the world. Other primates include  the red colobus monkey, the blue monkey, the rare L’Hoest’s monkey, galagos, and bush babies.

 

Best time to visit — December to February and June to August

Mount Elgon National Park & Sipi Falls

Mount Elgon National Park & Sipi Falls

 

From high peaked mountains and hidden caves to clear waterfalls and historic rock sculptures, Mount Elgon national park is definitely the place to be for your ultimate R&R getaway. It also does not disappoint in its wildlife variety with over 300 bird species, antelopes, elephants, forest monkeys, and  buffalos.

 

Best time to visit — December to February and June to July

Semuliki National Park

Semuliki National Park

 

Enjoy the sulphur hot springs as well as the intriguing culture of the pygmies in this park. Adjacent to it is the Semliki reserve, which is the perfect destination for avid birdwatchers with over 435 bird species recorded. Other wildlife include 300 butterfly species, 235 moth species, 46 species of forest swallowtail, and 53 different species of mammals species.

 

Best time to visit — December to February and June to July

Lake Mburo National Park

Lake Mburo National Park

 

This is one of Uganda’s smallest wildlife parks in comparison to the others mentioned on this list, but is also one of the richest in wild game. Hundreds of bird species and mammals call this park home, and this is the only park where you will find zebras. Whether on foot or on a boat cruise along lake Mburo itself, this park delivers a truly sensational experience.

 

Best time to visit — December to February and June to July

 

Other places worth mentioning include:

●        Mgahinga Gorilla National Park

●        Ngamba Chimpanzee Island

●        Kampala City