With its dense misty forests, glassy lakes, snow-peaked mountains and sprawling savannas, Uganda is one of the most beautiful countries in Africa; a land painted in 1,000 shades of green fantastic natural scenery, it’s no wonder Winston Churchill dubbed it the ‘pearl of Africa’. There’s an astounding variety of attractions for tourists in Uganda apart from the popular mountain gorillas. What we list down here is not. There’s a lot more
Bwindi Impenetrable Forests National Park
Lying South West of Uganda on the edge of the rift valley, Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is graced with mist covered hillsides, a very biologically diverse rainforest that is home to almost 400 species of plants, 350 species of birds, over 320 mountain gorillas, 120 mammals to mention but a few. The major attractions here include the flora and fauna where you will find a tremendous diversity here, mountain gorillas which is one of the arch tour destinations, birding and the primate world.
Lake Mburo National Park
Conveniently located to the highway connecting Kampala to the parks in Western Uganda, Lake Mburo National park is a compact gem. It is underlain by ancient Precambrian metamorphic rocks which date back more than 500 million years. It is the smallest of all the savannah national parks yet it beams with unending streams of life housing over 350 bird species as well as hippo, zebra, leopard, impala, Defassa waterbuck, eland, buffalo, oribi, hyena, topi and reedbuck. The major attractions here are Lake Mburo, the game tracks, salt lakes, the conservation education centre and Rubanga forest
Rwenzori Mountain National Park
This is one of the UNESCO World Heritage sites and it is found along the Uganda-Congo border in western Uganda. Popularly referred to as “Mountains of the Moon” it snows at it’s peak as it’s lower slopes flourish with bamboo, moorland and rich, moist montane forest. The national park is home to 70 mammals and 217 bird species including 19 Albertine Rift endemics, as well as some of the world’s rarest vegetation can be found here. The major attractions here are the wildlife as well as mountains of the moon.
Mt. Elgon National Park
Mt Elgon at 4,000km² has the largest volcanic base in the world, 80km in diameter, rises more than 3,000m above the surrounding plains to be exact. It is located on the Uganda-Kenya border and the mountain’s cool heights offer respite from the hot plains below, with the higher altitudes providing a refuge for flora and fauna. Endangered Lammergeyer, Small antelopes, elephants, forest monkeys, buffalos as well as 300 species of birds all call this home. The major attractions here the forest exploration centre, Jackson’s peak, caves, the vegetation, the peaks and caldera as well as the Nkokenieru Ridge and Wanale
Kidepo Valley National Park
Sitting in a semi arid area, Kidepo Valley National Park lies in the rugged, semi-arid valleys between Uganda’s borders with South Sudan and Kenya. Kidepo is a profusion of big game hosting about 475 species of birds and around 77 species of mammals. The major attractions here include the valleys (Narus and Kidepo), the wildlife that is made up of a wide diversity of mammal species, Birds and the hot springs
Semliki national park
This park sits on the western side of the Rwenzori mountain sprawling across the floor of Semliki valley. Despite being the most ancient, Semliki is also one of the most diverse forests Uganda has. The park beams with hot springs bubbling up from the depths to demonstrate the powerful subterranean forces that have been shaping the rift valley during the last 14 million years. The park is also dominated by the easternmost extension of the great Ituri Forest of the Congo Basin. The major attractions are the flora and fauna, birds, Sempaya Hot springs, mammals, Semliki river, Toro-Semliki wildlife reserve.
River Nile is the longest river of the Nile as well as the source of the Nile. It is the number one place for water rafting and it gathers very many tourists who come here for all kinds of water activities. Having stood very many geographical mysteries of the Victorian Age, the source of the nile i alluded in the ancient writings of Ptolemy. The Nile downriver from Jinja offers game fishing and some superb white water rafting. Its crowning glory, however, is Murchison falls, where the world’s longest river funnels through a tiny fissure in the Rift Escarpment to erupt out of the other side in a crashing 43 metres plume of white water. The river below the falls is no less spectacular in its own way, with its profuse outsized, gape-mouthed crocodiles , thousands of hippos, and bird life.
Kibale National Park
Kibale National park an evergreen rain forest that stretches 766km in size between 1100 and 1600 meters in elevation; situated ideally in the heart of the Tooro Kingdom in Western Uganda, near Fort portal. Established at the end of the 18th century the park contains both montane and lowland forests and a diverse array of landscapes housing about 375 birds species, 70 species of mammals, 13 species of primates. The major attractions here are the primates as it has highest diversity and density of primates in Africa, Birds, a variety of savanna wild animals like the elusive Forest Elephants, Bush pigs, Antelopes, Forest Buffalos, Leopards, Hippos, Hyenas and Duikers. Not forgetting the variety of tropical tree species in the park, some of which grow up to over 55 meters high and exhibiting a semi-closed canopy of stratified tree crowns. A whole 351 tree species have been recorded in the park among which are Piptadeniastrum Africana, Ptyregota,Gate trees Funtu-mia, Entandrophragma, and the ‘Naked Adam tree’
Set against the backdrop of the jagged Rwenzori mountains and arguably the most visited park in Uganda, Queen Elizabeth is a diverse ecosystem made up of sprawling savanna, shady, fertile wetlands, sparkling lakes and humid forests, make it the ideal habitat for classic big game, ten primate species including chimpanzees and over 600 species of birds. Founded in 1952 as Kazinga National Park, and renamed two years later to commemorate a visit by the queen of England’ Queen Elizabeth II, the park is truly a Medley of Wonders! The major attractions at this park include Lake George, the explosion craters, Lake Katwe, Kasenyi plains, Mweya Peninsula, Kazinga channel, Kyambura Gorge, Kyambura wildlife reserve, Maramagambo forest and Ishasha sector
Murchison falls national park
At the northern end of the Albertine Rift Valley, Murchison falls national park lies sweeping Bunyoro escarpment tumbles into vast, palm-dotted savannah. It was the first game reserve to be gazetted in 1926 and is now home to over 76 species of mammals and about 451 birds. River Nile bisects the park plunging over the remnant rift valley. Placid streams flow quietly across the rift valley floor into Lake Albert creating a dramatic and mighty escapade. At Murchison Falls, the Nile squeezes through a 7-8m wide gorge and plunges with a thunderous roar into the “Devil’s Cauldron”, creating a trademark rainbow. Remarkable wildlife spectacles. along the riverbank include giraffes, elephants, and buffaloes while hippos, Nile crocodiles and aquatic birds are permanent residents here.