Visit all 10 National Parks in Uganda with Real Great Apes Safaris Ltd.

Uganda has 10 national parks and many other nature protected areas and reserves.

Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park

Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park (330 km2/127 sq mi) is situated in south-western Uganda and is one of the country's two gorilla parks. It borders the Western Rift, and is 7–8 hours' drive from Kampala. The park's main attraction is of course the mountain gorillas.

A few groups of gorillas may be visited, and are found in a demanding mountain terrain; the park's altitude varies from 1,150 m/3,773 ft to 2,600 m/8,530 ft. There are also lower forests that are home to chimpanzees (Bwindi is said to be the only park in Africa where you may see both gorillas and chimpanzees).

The gorillas are estimated to be 400 individuals, while the chimpanzees are between 400 and 500.Some 100 mammal species, including seven different Species of monkeys, have been recorded in the park. These are mainly smaller mammal species, though, as Bwindi isn't a traditional safari park.

About 350 bird species, 200 butterfly species and more than 300 tree species have also been recorded. Apart from gorilla tracking tours, there are routes for guided day tours through forests where you may see Primates, forest antelopes, rivers and waterfalls. Most rain falls from March to April and from September to November.

Mgahinga Gorilla National Park

Mgahinga Gorilla National Park (34 km2/13 sq mi) is a small park in south-western Uganda, on the border to Congo and Rwanda. Besides Bwindi Impenetrable, it's the only park in the country where you may see mountain gorillas. It's a mountain forest park, comprising of three volcanoes with a number of peaks: Mount Sabinyo (3,700 m/12,139 ft), Mount Mgahinga (3,475 m/11,401 ft) and Mount Muhavura (4,125 m/13,533 ft).
Much of the park is covered in rainforest and bamboo forest, and one of the gorilla groups living here, the nyakagezi group, may be visited. Other animals seen are elephants, African buffalos, monkeys and a number of bird species.
The park has two rainy seasons: from February to May, and from September to December. The travel time by road from Kampala is 8 hours. You may also get there by air.

Queen Elizabeth National Park

Queen Elizabeth National Park (1,978 km2/764 sq mi) is Uganda's most popular safari park. It is situated along the Western Rift in western Uganda, on the equator south of the Rwenzori ranges. Lake Edward and Lake George that border the park have many crocodiles, hippos, Buffalos and Elephants.
600 bird species
The altitude varies from 900 m/2,950 ft to 1,850 m/6,070 ft. The landscape has lowland forests, woodlands, grass plains, lakes, wetlands and rivers. Some 600 bird species have been recorded, which is the highest number of any park in East Africa. Shoebill, African skimmer and black bee-eater are some highly interesting species seen. The mammal wildlife includes chimpanzees in Kyambura gorge, leopards,Lions, elephants, kobs and other species, and the remote southern parts of the park are known for its tree-climbing lions in Ishasha sector.
The travel time by road from Kampala is 5–6 hours.

Murchison Falls National Park

Murchison Falls National Park is the largest park in Uganda (3,840 km2/1,550 sq mi). Together with the neighboring reserves Bugungu and Karuma Falls, it covers a large and rich wildlife area in north-western Uganda, bordering Lake Albert close to the border to Congo.
Murchison Falls is dominated by savannas, woodlands and gallery forests. The Victoria Nile flows through the park, and an impressive waterfall where the river hurls through a narrow gap has given the park its name.
The wildlife includes large herds of elephants, lions, leopards, African buffalos, antelopes, Rothschild giraffes, hippos and crocodiles. The forest reserves bordering Murchison Falls have populations of chimpanzees, red-tailed monkeys and black-and-white colobus monkeys. There are many bird species, and the river offers fishing for two interesting game fish, the Nile perch and the tiger fish.
The travel time by road from Kampala is 6-7 hours.

Kibale Forest National Park

Kibale Forest National Park is 3–5 hours by road from Kampala and covers 550–750 km2/210–290 sq mi (the specifications vary). Three quarters are covered by forests and rainforests, and the rest mainly by grasslands and wetlands. The park's altitude varies from 1,100 m/3,600 ft to 1,600 m/5,250 ft.
More than 300 bird species have been recorded in Kibale Forest, and 60 mammals, including lion, leopard and sitatunga (a wetland antelope). Game viewing in forested parks is always difficult, though, and your best chances are seeing smaller mammals such as mongoose and monkeys. The latter are represented by a number of species, such as black-and-white colobus, olive baboon, red-tailed monkey, grey-cheeked mangabey and L'Hoest's monkey. There is also a large chimpanzee population. Guided tours for tracking and visiting chimpanzee groups are offered.

Kidepo Valley National Park

Kidepo Valley National Park is situated in northeastern part of Uganda, which borders southern Sudan and north-western Kenya. The park covers 1,450 km2/560 sq mi of mountains and valleys, scrubs, savannas, woodlands and mountain forests. Its altitude varies from 900 m/2,950 ft to 2,750 m/9,020 ft. Most wildlife is seen in the south-western parts of the park, where the altitudes are lower.
Heavy poaching during the second half of the 1900's reduced the wildlife populations, and some species were lost altogether, including beisa oryx, lesser kudu and Grant's gazelle. Other species have recovered, such as elephant, zebra, African buffalo, reedbuck, giraffe, waterbuck and hartebeest. Hyenas’, lions, leopards and jackals are regularly observed, while other predators, such as bat-eared foxes, caracals and cheetahs, are seen less often. More than 450 bird species have been recorded. There are also many reptiles.
Getting there by road means driving for 12 hours or more from Kampala, which in practice means more than one day. Four-wheel drive is required. An option is flying there in 1.5 hours.

Lake Mburu National Park

Lake Mburu National Park (260 km2/100 sq mi) is situated in southern Uganda, 3–4 hours by road from Kampala. There are undulating grasslands, lakeshores, galley forests along the waterways, wetlands and valleys covered in acacias. 300 bird species have been recorded in the park, where you may also see zebras, impalas, elands, African buffalos, hippos and other mammals. You may explore the park by Safari vehicle, on foot or from a boat on the lake, where you may encounter crocodiles and Hippos.

Mount Elgon National Park

Mount Elgon, straddling the border between eastern Uganda and western Kenya, is the fourth highest mountain (4,321 m/14,177 ft) in Africa. It is an interesting nature area rather than a safari or wildlife area, even if there are monkeys, African buffalos, forest antelopes and leopards in the park.
Mount Elgon National Park covers 1,150 km2/444 sq mi, which has mountain forests, bamboo forests and afro-alpine moorland, where macro vegetation such as the giant lobelia may be seen. The bird life is rich and, like the vegetation, varies with altitud, a huge vulture, may be seen here.
Visitors come to walk the park, watch the wildlife and flora, enjoy waterfalls ( Sipi falls), hot springs and caves, and scale the peaks, which doesn't require any proper climbing.

Semliki National Park

Semliki National Park (220 km2/85 sq mi) is situated in western Uganda, 6–8 hours' drive from Kampala. The road is poor and requires four-wheel drive, and the park itself lacks most facilities for visitors.
Much of the park is forested, and you will not only need your pair of binoculars, but also a machete. Some mammals can be seen, such as elephants and many monkeys, including grey-cheeked mangabey, black-and-white colobus, olive baboon, black-faced vervet monkey, red-tailed monkey, mona monkey and blue monkey. There are also chimpanzees, but these apes are rarely seen. 400 bird species have been recorded.

Mount Rwenzori National Park

Mount Rwenzori National Park (996 km2/390 sq mi) is bordering Congo in western Uganda. The Rwenzori Mountains is a 120 km/75 mi long mountain range, which unlike the other high mountains in East Africa isn't volcanic. The altitudes within the park vary from 1,700 m/5,577 ft to 5,109 m/16,762 ft. The highest point is Mount Stanley, the third highest mountain in Africa.
The vegetation is mainly mountain forest, which is replaced by bamboo forests and afro-alpine moorland as altitudes increase. Some 200 bird species have been recorded, and mammals such as chimpanzees, black-and-white colobus monkeys, leopards and elephants inhabit the forests. The park is not very good for game viewing, but is rather a destination for bird watching and trekking.

Other Natural areas of interest

Uganda has not only national parks, but also many nature protected areas and reserves, such as Semliki Valley Wildlife Reserve, which thanks to its landscape and vegetation has many mammal and bird species. Other such areas are known for its nature or conservation projects, for example Matheniko Wildlife Reserve, Bokora Wildlife Reserve, Pian-Upe Wildlife Reserve, Ajai Wildlife Reserve, Asws-Lolin Wildlife Reserve, Katongo Wildlife Reserve and Kyambura Wildlife Reserve.