It’s undeniable that national parks are among the key features that have put Uganda on the world travel map. A Uganda safari with no national parks is unquestionable an incomplete package. In total, Uganda has a total of 10 national parks scattered in different corners of the country. Each park is exceptional and worth visiting. If possible, all travelers would visit all parks to taste and enjoy the beauty each park offers. These parks differ in terms of location, size, year of establishment, wildlife, activities, history and attractions among others. Much as they are 10 in total, some national parks have become popular that others in terms of visitor arrivals and trip advisor reviews. The most visited national parks in Uganda include among others:
Bwindi impenetrable forest national park
Situated in southwestern Uganda, Bwindi impenetrable forest national park is the most visited park receiving over 90% of total travelers to Uganda. The park is a home to half of the world’s mountain gorillas roughly 480 gorillas split in fours sectors (Buhoma, Ruhija, Rushaga and Nkuringo) in north, east and south respectively. Gorilla trekking is the most done activity in the park and 12 gorilla families have been habituated for travelers to see. Everyday, 96 gorilla permits are available in Bwindi unlike other gorilla parks with limited permits available. Besides gorilla tours, Bwindi forest national park is the only place to do gorilla habituation in Rushaga sector. Here wild mountain gorillas are trained for 2-3 years to make them familiar with human presence before they are open to travelers. Besides gorillas, Bwindi is a home to over 350 bird species that include yellow-eyed black fly catcher, Bar-tailed trogon, Dark caped bulbul, honey guide and Blue headed sunbird among others. Regarding accommodation, travelers to Bwindi have great choice of lodges both luxury, midrange and budget some of the lodges in Bwindi are Mahogany springs lodge, Buhoma lodge, Bakiga lodge, Nkuringo safari lodge and gorilla mist lodge among others. Also, travelers are guided to the neighboring Batwa communities for cultural interactions.
Kibale forest national park
Kibale forest national park is a home to the highest number of chimpanzees and 12 other primates hence the best place for primate tours. Besides chimpanzees, kibale forest is a home to forest elephants, pottos, African Civet, bush pigs, olive baboon, red tailed monkeys, Thomas’s Galagos, Guereza colubus and red tailed monkeys among others. Also, the park shelters over 325 bird species which include grey headed olive-back, red-chested flufftail, white-bellied crested flycatcher, African pitta, Uganda woodland warbler and green breasted pitta among others. Birding is well done in Bigodi wetland sanctuary and in the forest within the forest.
Queen Elizabeth national park
This is Uganda’s second largest park located in western Uganda roughly 400kilometers from Kampala. The national park spreads over 1,978 square kilometers and was founded in 1952 to promote game viewing safaris in the country. Queen Elizabeth national park is a home to the highest number of animals including elephants, buffalos, hippos, chimpanzees, lions, Uganda kobs, warthogs and leopards among others. Besides, animals, Queen Elizabeth is a birding spot being a shelter for over 500 bird species which include wood sandpiper, water thick-knee, ibises, African fish eagle, kingfisher, Egyptian gees, hamerkop and while egrets among others. Birding is well done along kazinga channel, which connect lake Edward and lake George.
Murchison falls national park
This is Uganda’s largest and oldest national park in northwestern Uganda offering a great choice of attractions and activities. The park is a home to over 76 mammals, which include herds of elephants, lions. Leopards, buffalos, kobs, warthogs, waterbucks and impalas among others. In the heart of the park is mighty Murchison falls, which squeeze through a 6-meter gorge before falling 45 meters down into the pool. Travelers cannot miss a boat cruise at the bottom of the falls which expos them to a variety of water animals such as hippo, crocodiles and many bird species. A hike to the top of the falls reward travelers with specular views of the park, wildlife and local communities.
Kidepo valley national park
Located in the extreme northeastern Uganda, kidepo valley national park is Uganda’s most isolated park. However despite the long distance and hours of travel, kidepo is Uganda’s gem offering the unbeaten kind of experience. The national park was established in 1962 spreading over 1,442 square kilometers. The park shelters over 75 species of mammals and 470 bird species some of which are endemic to the area. Kidepo valley national park is roughly 700 kilometers from Kampala but the experience it offers make it worth visiting.
Conclusively therefore, Uganda the pearl of Africa offers it all you need to meet and satisfy your travel interests. Visit Uganda’s popular parks ie Bwindi impenetrable forest national park, Murchiosn falls national park, Queen Elizabeth national park, Kidepo Valley national park and Kibale forest national park for a memorable wildlife experience.