With all the 10 Uganda national parks, very few become more famous than the others. However, each of them feature incredible wildlife and distinct bird species worth exploring while you are on safari in Africa. Below are some of the most visited parks in Uganda;
Kidepo Valley National Park
Situated suitably in the semi-arid valley within Karamoja area, northeastern Uganda, straddles Kidepo Valley National Park. This park spans for over 1442 square kilometers and it was gazetted in 1962 to offer refuge to its diverse wildlife species that include more than 75 mammal species, 470 bird species and remarkably, it is one reason it is ranked among a few best parks in the continent. Though located in the far corner, Kidepo is one of the top visited national parks by travelers looking to budget safaris in Uganda. It is one of the best parks for camping and backpacking holidays in the country!
To get to this park, you need the whole day to drive via a 700 kilometer route from Kampala city center. Regardless of its distant location, it is also explored by most visitors all year round. This park is ideal for bird watching and the ideal sites here include the Narus, Namamukweny Valley and Apoka rest camp. While on birding safari in Kidepo Valley National Park, you have opportunity to sight at birds such as Abyssinian roller, Abyssinian ground hornbill, clapperton’s francolin and purple heron among others. Game drive where you will have a chance to catch a glimpse at wildlife species such as elephants, buffaloes, lions, leopards, bush duikers, jackals and others. The other activities include cultural encounters, hiking or nature walks.
Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park
This park is situated in southwestern Uganda and very famous for mountain gorillas. About half of all the mountain gorillas that thrive in the world do call this park a home and this makes it one of the most popular sites for gorilla trekking. Besides, over 350 bird species thrive in this park and they include among others short tailed warbler, blue headed sunbird, emerald cuckoo, common bulbul, African blue and white tailed blue flycatchers, red headed bluebill and many others. Bwindi Impenetrable National Park covers an area of about 321 square kilometers and stands between altitude 1160 and 2607 meters. It was established in 1991 and declared as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1994.
Kibale Forest National Park
This 795 square kilometers’ park lies in western Uganda and straddles at altitude of about 1590 meters. This park boasts of about 13 distinct primate species and they include over 1500 chimpanzees, black and white colobus monkeys, blue monkeys, grey cheeked mangabeys, L’Hoest monkeys, olive baboons, red tailed monkeys as well as more than 375 bird species including African green breasted pitta, white napped pigeon, crowned eagles, red chested owlet, little greenbuls, brown illadopsis, red faced woodland warblers a mention but a few. There are also over 70 mammal species, 250 butterfly species and many others. The notable activities to take part in this park include chimpanzee tracking, bird watching, chimpanzee habituation experience, nature walks a mention but a few.
Queen Elizabeth National Park
The known Queen Elizabeth Game park is situated in western side of Uganda approximately 400 kilometers off Kampala center. It covers an area of about 1978 square kilometer and established around 1952 as Kazinga national park. It is a popular home to four of the big five game and variety of savanna grassland dwellers. This park offers refuge to elephants, lions plus the tree climbing lions, buffaloes, leopards, warthogs, Uganda Kobs, Sitatunga antelopes, over 600 bird species as well as primates like black and white colobus monkeys, vervet monkeys, baboons and others.
Murchison Falls National Park
This park is located in northwestern Uganda and features not only as the oldest park but also the largest. It offers refuge to 78 mammal species and 450 avifaunal species and it is popular for big game especially elephants, buffaloes, leopards, lions as well as several antelope families, hippos, crocodiles a mention but a few. In addition, this park boasts for its powerful waterfall-Murchison falls where it derived its name. Murchison Falls National Park is about 4 to 5 hours’ drive from Kampala capital city center. It is accessible through Kampala – Luweero – Masindi route. It is popular for safari activities like game viewing/game drive, bird watching, hiking to top of the falls, chimpanzee tracking, nature walks, sport fishing, boat cruise and many others.