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Our best Uganda safari tours take you to the top Uganda safari national game parks featuring the best Uganda tour activities such as gorilla trekking in Uganda safari trips to Bwindi National Park, Wildlife safaris in Uganda for vacation, and holidays to Queen Elizabeth National Parks, Murchison Falls National Park, Kidepo Valley National Park, and Lake Mburo, Chimpanzee tracking Uganda safaris to Kibale National Park, Birding watching trips in Uganda’s popular birding spots, Culture tours in Uganda, Fishing safaris, Mountaineering adventures in Rwenzori & Elgon mountains, Community village tours and relaxation at Lake Bunyonyi.
For over 5 years OBRY SAFARIS has been offering ranges of affordable high-quality amazing Uganda safaris ranging from budget, mid-range to luxury safaris in Uganda. We specialize in customizing a lifetime priceless African adventure vacation holidays in Uganda such as Uganda Gorilla safaris, Uganda Wildlife safaris, Birding safaris, Cultural safaris, agricultural safaris, mountain climbing safaris, rafting trips along the Nile River, luxury car hire for private individuals, families & groups of any size.
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With over 10 Uganda national parks/national parks in Uganda-game parks, Uganda is one of the top African safari destinations. The ten Uganda Parks are well-positioned and uniquely endowed or gifted by nature to offer you a memorable African Uganda safari.
Here is a full list of ALL National Parks in Uganda/Uganda Wildlife Safari Parks/Game Parks & Reserves in Uganda
These Are The Best Destinations For Wildlife Safaris In Uganda
Uganda’s incredible 10 National Parks and her 12 wildlife reserves, sanctuaries, and several forest reserves form her major Uganda wildlife safari destinations that teem with a plethora of incredible wildlife and their beautiful landscapes, once-in-a-lifetime activities such as gorilla trekking, and cultural encounters by her unique and amazing local tribes. Here are the best destinations you should know about as you plan your wildlife safari in Uganda.
1. Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, a Natural World Heritage Site, boasts stunning scenery and almost half the world’s surviving mountain gorillas ad the main Mountain Gorilla trekking Uganda safari destination and that of the world at large. Encompassing over 321km2 of steep mountain rainforest, the park is home to about 459 Mountain gorillas. It is the best place to visit if you want to see these gentle giants – the world’s largest primate, weighing in at up to 220kg – in their misty mountain homes. Staring into the liquid brown eyes of a giant silverback is the highlight of almost all Uganda Gorilla safaris and tours.
In addition to its famous gorillas, the park harbours 120 other species of Uganda mammals/animals in Uganda– though sightings are less common due to the dense forest. Lucky visitors might see Forest elephants, 11 species of primate (including chimpanzees and L’Hoest’s monkeys), Forest duikers, bushbucks, African golden cats and the rare Giant forest hog.
For birders, Bwindi is one of the best forest birding destinations in Africa with over 351 species, including 23 Albertine Rift Endemics, among them the gorgeous African green broadbill. On the greener side of the aisle, Bwindi contains 324 tree species and 1,000 flowering plant species which also provide a perfect refuge for 200 species of colourful montane butterflies.
2. Kibale National Park
Kibale National Park is another amazing Uganda wildlife safari park with a lush tropical rainforest of 766km2 and is home to one of the highest diversities and concentrations of primates in Africa. It is the best place to visit in Uganda and Africa if you want to get close to the man’s closest living relatives in the wild.
This Uganda safari park’s 350 tree species offer a great habitat for over 1500 Chimpanzees in addition to 12 other primate species including the Vulnerable L’hoest’s Monkeys, endangered Uganda Red colobus Monkeys, Black-and-white colobus monkeys, Grey-cheeked mangabey, Olive baboons, Red-tailed monkeys, Blue monkeys, Bushbabies and Pottos.
Larger but rarely seen residents include Elephants, bushbucks, sitatungas, buffaloes, leopards and quite a few forest elephants. There are also an incredible 250 species of butterfly that live here. While on the smaller side, Kibale also has a great bird list with 375 species including the rare and beautiful Green-breasted pitta.
3. Queen Elizabeth National Park
The scenic Queen Elizabeth National Park is on nearly all Uganda wildlife safari itineraries. The park resides in a fertile, equatorial area on the floor of the Great Rift Valley in the shadow of the ‘Mountains of the Moon’. Measuring 1978km2, it is primarily associated with rolling savannah grasslands, but this fabulous park also includes within its boundaries leafy rainforests, acacia woodland, freshwater lakes, dense papyrus swamps and natural volcanic crater lakes. As a result, it has one of the highest biodiversity ratings of any game reserve in the world, including a total of 95 recorded species of Uganda animals and 611 species of Uganda birds.
You have a chance to see a variety of animals of Uganda including Lions, Leopards, Elephants, Buffalos, Waterbucks, Bushbucks, Warthogs, Jackals, Hyenas, Uganda kobs and Topis. The famous tree-climbing lions in the Ishasha sector of the park are a fascinating highlight, but many travellers also come specifically to cruise on the 45km long Kazinga Channel to view some of the world’s highest concentrations of hippos and Nile crocodiles.
Besides wildlife drives, boat cruises, nature walks and birding, ‘Queen’ offers chimpanzee trekking in the gorgeous Kyambura Gorge, a little Eden brimming with chimps, monkeys and birds.
4. Murchison Falls National Park
Covering 3,840km2, Murchison Falls National Park is Uganda’s largest national park and one of the best destinations for Uganda wildlife safaris. Mammals are plentiful (76 species) and the raging Murchison Falls (the world’s most powerful waterfall), where the world’s longest river (River Nile) thunders through a 7-meter wide gap in the rift valley escarpment and falls 45 meters below, is an unforgettable sight.
In terms of wildlife, expect to see Elephants, Buffalos, Lions, Leopards, Rothschild giraffes, Ugandan kobs, Hartebeest, Waterbucks, Bushbucks, Oribi, Warthogs, Patas monkeys, Hyenas, Hippos and crocodiles, not to mention some 451 species of bird including the iconic shoebills.
A boat trip to the base of the waterfall is not to be missed. The river is home to one of the largest concentrations of Nile Crocodiles and hippos in all of Africa, and, in the afternoon, you’re likely to see buffalo and elephants on the shore. Murchison Falls is not a complete Big 5 destination as a Rhino is missing, but many visitors stop in at Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary en route for an exciting rhino tracking encounter on foot.
5. Mgahinga Gorilla National Park
Uganda’s smallest National Park, the beautiful Mgahinga National Park in the Virunga Mountains also harbours the rare Mountain gorillas. Verdant tropical rainforest wraps the park’s 3 dramatic extinct volcanoes; Mt Sabinyo at 3,645m, Mt Gahinga at 3,474m and Mt Muhavura at 4,127m above sea level
Wildlife safaris in Uganda boast of Gorilla trekking– the main activity in Mgahinga Park, but it’s less popular than Bwindi due to the one habituated family. But there’s more on offer here than just gorillas; about 184 species of colourful birds flutter through the forest and this is the only park in Uganda where you can track and see the beautiful Golden monkeys.
Here, you can also enjoy a scenic volcano hike on Mt Sabyinyo which takes you through mystical alpine vegetation. At the summit, you can stand in Uganda, Rwanda and the DRC at the same time! Also, forest walks led by local Batwa pygmies give an insight into the lives of an indigenous tribe that has survived as hunter-gatherers in this forest for over 1000 years.
6. Lake Mburo National Park
If you are looking for a Uganda wildlife safari park closest to the capital city, Kampala will want to check out Lake Mburo National Park. This 260km2 park is a superb wetland and Acacia savanna sanctuary that is a famous spot for bird lovers – it is home to 350 species of Uganda of Uganda. It not only shelters birds but many mammal species which are not easily seen elsewhere in Uganda, including Burchell’s zebra, Impala, Rothschild’s giraffe, and Common eland.
Other animals include Buffalos, Defassa waterbuck, Bushbuck, Oribi, warthog, hippo, Topis, Southern Reedbuck, Slender, Banded, and Dwarf Mongoose. Leopards are present, although mostly seen on night game drives. Here you can enjoy birding, game drives and game walks in the company of an expert guide who will reveal the secrets of the flora and fauna of the park. Boat cruises on the lake reveal a host of hippos and birds – like the African finfoot – that will leave you with a fantastic overview of this fascinating ecosystem.
7. Kidepo Valley National Park
Wild and remote Kidepo Valley National Park ranks among Africa’s finest wildernesses and makes for exceptional wildlife safaris in Uganda. The 1442km2 park is hidden away in the lost semi-arid valleys in the extreme north-eastern corner of Uganda. Its rolling, short-grass savannah is ringed by mountains and cut by rocky ridges.
Uganda wildlife here includes 475 bird species and 77 species of mammals with many species that are found nowhere else in Uganda. These include Cheetahs, Bat-eared foxes, Aardwolves, Caracals, Greater kudus, lesser kudus, Black-backed jackals, Mountain reedbucks and Common Ostriches.
Kidepo also has a healthy population of the Big 5 (except for a lack of Rhino). Other wildlife includes Rothschild’s giraffe, Burchell’s zebras, Patas monkeys, Jackson’s hartebeests, Bohor reedbucks, Oribi, Common Elands, Uganda kobs, Klipspringer and dik-dik. As the most remote of all Uganda safari parks, Kidepo receives less than 10 visitors per day. This means you have the land of Eden for yourself to view a plethora of games on game drives and nature walks.
8. Semuliki National Park
Semuliki National Park is unique from other Uganda wildlife safari parks. It is an ancient forest that covers an area of 220km2 on the DRC border, close to Kibale National Park and the Mountains of the Moon. Semuliki contains East Africa’s only tract of true lowland tropical rainforest and is contiguous with the Congo’s huge Ituri forest. The park is one of the richest areas of flora and fauna diversity in Africa, especially for birds and butterflies. About 441 bird species (41% of Uganda’s total bird species) are found here including 35 Congo-Guinea biome species found nowhere else in East Africa.
Semuliki also has some special mammal species such as Olive baboons, Chimpanzees, red colobus, Mona, Black-and-white colobus, Red-tailed, Vervet, and Blue Monkeys, as well as Elephant, Buffalo, Hippos, Civet, Flying Squirrels, Duikers, and Bushpig. It is also home to rare Water chevrotain a superficially duiker-like ungulate that shares many structural features with pigs and is considered ancestral to all modern-day antelopes, deer, cows, and giraffes.
In 2018, motion-sensor camera traps set by scientists from UK’s Chester Zoo snapped the first East African record of the lowland bongo a handsome nocturnal spiral-horned antelope associated with forests in western and central Africa.
9. Rwenzori Mountains National Park
The Rwenzori Mountains National Park was declared a World Heritage Site in 1994 by UNESCO because of its stunning beauty and biodiversity. Many Uganda wildlife safari tour undertakers are fascinated by the Rwenzori Mountains, one of Africa’s tallest mountain ranges with several peaks which are permanently covered by snow. The range which isn’t volcanic stretches for about 120km by 65km wide and is a haven for an extraordinary number of rare plants and animals and new examples of both are still being discovered.
The Rwenzori Mountains are presumed to be the Mountains of the Moon, described in AD 150 by Ptolemy, who proclaimed them to be the source of the Nile River. The three highest peaks in the range are Margherita (5109m), Alexandria (5083m) and Albert (5087m), all on Mt Stanley, the third-highest mountain in Africa.
Two mammals are endemic to the range, the Rwenzori climbing mouse and the Rwenzori red duiker, as are 19 of the 241 known bird species. There’s thick tropical rainforest on the lower slopes transitioning to the bizarre afro-alpine moorland on higher reaches.
10. Mount Elgon National Park
Many travellers come here to climb the majestic 4,321-meter high extinct volcano for which this national park is named, but Mount Elgon National Park offers much more for non-mountain climbers.
During a Uganda safari tour, you will find amazing scenery and rare Uganda wildlife during your day hikes with the prospect of seeing Rock hyrax, Tree hyrax, Elephant, Buffalo, Defassa waterbuck, Oribi, Bushbuck, Duiker, Forest hog, Bushpig, Leopard, Civet, Serval cats, spotted hyena, Aardvark, Rodents, Black-and-white colobus monkey, Olive baboon, Red-tailed monkey, Vervet monkey, De Brazza’s monkey, Blue monkey and tree squirrel.
Also, there are more than 300 bird species including 40 restricted-range species and 56 of the 87 Afrotropical highland biome species notably the Moorland Francolin, Moustached Green Tinkerbird and Alpine Chat. Caves, gorges, calderas, hot springs, and the spectacular Sipi Falls are all-natural attractions here that you may enjoy exploring. You can also tour coffee plantations and fish for trout on the Sipi River.
Here Is The List Of Top Uganda Wildlife Safari Game Reserves In Uganda
Besides the Uganda wildlife safari parks, Uganda features savannah game reserves in Uganda and sanctuaries that support a myriad of Uganda wildlife safaris including the Pian Upe game reserve, Matheniko – Bokora game reserve, the Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary, the Toro – Semliki Game Reserve, the Kabwoya game reserve and the Kigezi game reserve. Uganda is home to the classic wild game including the Big five land animals namely; the Rhinos, Lions (with tree climbing lions as well), Leopard, the African Elephant, and the Cape Buffalo. Others include the myriad of antelopes like Impala eland, the greater and lesser Kudu, Jackson’s hartebeest, Roan Antelope, the Uganda Kobs, Duikers, the pygmy antelope, Defassa waterbuck, and the Bushbuck among others. The myriad of their unique wildlife such as populations of Rothschild Giraffes, the side stripped Jackals, and the spotted Hyenas among others derive remarkable Wildlife safaris in Uganda experience.
These Are The Most Sought After Game Reserves For Your Uganda Wildlife Safari Tours
1. Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary
Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary is the only place in Uganda to see the near-threatened (Southern) White Rhinoceros Ceratotherium simum simum in the wild. The 70km2 sanctuary is home to 32 White Rhinoceros. Aside from Rhinos, it is home to at least 40 mammal species and over 300 species of birds including the Shoebills, Giant Kingfisher, Abyssinian Ground Hornbill, Brown-throated Wattle-eye, Double-toothed Barbet, Black-and-white Casqued Hornbill, Great Blue and Ross’s Turaco. On you your Uganda wildlife safari in Ziwa, you can enjoy thrilling Rhino tracking encounters on foot, Shoebill Trek and Canoe Ride, Bird Watching and Nature walk.
2. Budongo Forest
Budongo Forest is a 435km2 tract of intact, virgin tropical forest on the southern edge of the Murchison Falls National Park. It is the biggest Mahogany forest found in East Africa, offering excellent Chimpanzee trekking in Uganda and birding to further make your wildlife safari in Uganda amazing.
Budongo is astonishingly bio-diverse with 24 species of Uganda mammals, over 366 bird species, 289 species of butterflies and 465 plant types. The forest is home to about 800 Chimpanzees, one of Uganda’s largest populations and monkeys including Red-tailed, Blue, and Black-and-white colobus monkeys. Tree pangolins, elephant-shrew and gigantic hammerhead bats are also residents.
For birders, Budongo is a key destination for birding in Uganda. Indeed, such is its avian wealth that the track nicknamed the ‘Royal Mile, is regarded as one of Africa’s most rewarding birding spots with fantastic species like Nahan’s Partridge, White-thighed Hornbill, Cassin’s Spinetail, Flycatchers, Yellow-rumped Tinkerbird, Lemon-bellied Crombec, Ituri Batis, Tit Hylia, Forest Robin, Narina Trogon, Hairy-breasted Barbet, Black-billed, Plain, Greenbuls, Chocolate-backed, Blue-breasted and African Dwarf Kingfisher, among other species.
3. Kalinzu Forest
Kalinzu Forest is the second-best destination for Chimpanzee trekking in Uganda after Kibale National Park. Kalinzu covers 137km2 and it is an extension of Queen Elizabeth Park’s Maramagambo Forest. It comprises more than 400 tree species and at least 300 chimpanzees, including a 40-strong community habituated for tourists and a slightly larger one reserved for research.
Besides chimps, there 5 other diurnal primate species you will encounter during your Uganda wildlife tour in Kalinzu Forest Reserve, including Olive baboons, Black and white colobus, Red-tailed monkeys, Blue monkeys, and L’hoest’s monkeys. Other wildlife in Kalinzu includes 378 bird species, 262 species of butterflies and 97 species of month.
4. Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary
Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary is situated in Lake Victoria, Africa’s largest lake and is home to around 52 orphaned chimpanzees that have been rescued from elsewhere in Uganda and are being rehabilitated as much as possible on this thickly forested island. Day trips to see the residents are superb. It’s a 45-/90-minute speedboat or motorised canoe ride from Entebbe to get here.
5. Mabamba Bay Swamp
The legendary Mabamba Swamp is a large 166km2 wetland on the shores of Lake Victoria in the west of Kampala and is a Ramsar Wetland of International Importance, as well as one of Uganda’s 33 Important Bird Areas. The magical species of this location is the endangered Shoebill, Uganda’s most famous and iconic avian resident, sought after by many wildlife viewing Uganda safari visitors.
The canoe ride along the narrow channels of the swamp also gives you a chance to other bird species like the sought-after Papyrus Gonolek, regal African Fish Eagle, African Marsh Harrier, Black-winged Kite, Lizard Buzzard, African and Lesser Jacana, African Pygmy Goose, Black Heron, Pied Kingfisher, herons, egrets and waterfowl.
Here are some important notices to keep in mind while touring Uganda: