Nicknamed the Pearl of Africa for its magnificent scenery and biodiversity, Uganda is almost unbeatable in national parks. The beautiful view of the country will take your breath away with its forests, mountains, and the iconic Lake Victoria.
Wildlife within the nation is diverse, with many species found only inside Uganda. The people are hospitable, and their cultures are rich with history and tradition.
Ugandan safari parks tours should be on every prolific or wanna-be traveller's bucket list. There's so much to see, from the big five game animals to the endangered mountain gorillas to the vast Mount Elgon. This is a country you won't regret visiting.
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The 10 Top National Game Parks in Uganda
Ugandan safari park tours are exceptional, from sublime landscapes to fantastic wildlife. To help you pick the places to visit on your Uganda safaris, here are the top 10 national parks in Uganda.
1. Murchison Falls National Park
Located in north-western Uganda and spreading inland from the shores of Lake Albert, Murchison Falls National Park is the largest national park in Uganda. It measures approximately 3,893 square kilometres and is bisected by the White Nile. The park is home to Murchison Falls, where the Nile River flows through a narrow gorge before plunging 43 metres.
You'll see about 76 mammal species and 450 bird species in Murchison Falls National Park. Four of the big five African game animals are present: the elephants, lions, cape buffalos and buffalos.
Alongside Bugondo Forest Reserve, the park is home to Uganda's largest population of Nile crocodiles. Popular activities in the park include boat cruises to the delta and the waterfall, nature walks, game drives, bird watching, night drives, and chimp tracking.
2. Queen Elizabeth National Park
Named after Queen Elizabeth II, this park is located in the Western part of Uganda. Queen Elizabeth National Park is one of Uganda's most popular game parks. It occupies about 1,978 square kilometres.
Famed for its diverse landscape of savannahs, wetlands, lowland forests, volcanic cones and craters, the park also has a wide variety of wildlife. It is home to elephants, African buffalo, hippos, waterbucks, Nile crocodiles, leopards, spotted hyenas, and many more. Bird watchers will be delighted to learn that there are over 500 species of birds within the park.
Come witness the famous tree-climbing lions whose males often sport black manes. Popular activities in the park include boat cruises, chimp tracking, guided game drives, night drives, and nature walks.
3. Lake Mburo National Park
Check out Lake Mburo National Park if you're looking for an Uganda safari park tour near the capital. It is located in Kiruhura District, about 240 kilometres west of Kampala. At approximately 370 square kilometres, it is one of the smallest parks in the country, but there are plenty of sights to see.
The park hosts hundreds of bird species and animals like lions, African buffalos, leopards, servals, crocodiles, waterbucks, impalas, common elands, hippos, and zebras.
But that's not all! The park is home to Precambrian metamorphic rocks more than 500 million years old. Visit the park and stand on the Equator, go on nocturnal boat safaris, or visit villages and learn indigenous techniques for making African drums.
4. Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
Located in southwestern Uganda along the DRC border and on the edge of the Albertine Rift, the park is part of the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest. The forest is old and dazzlingly rich in its biodiversity, becoming a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Biodiversity in the park includes 348 bird species, 220 butterfly species, 27 frog species, 120 mammal species, and more. Home to 459 mountain gorillas, half of the world's population of mountain gorillas, Bwindi is the world's premier destination for gorilla trekking Ugandan safaris.
Traipse through the thick overgrowth and witness the incredible wealth of fauna and flora. You can go camping, biking, and bird watching with your camera. Walk through the village to learn more about the Batwa Pygmy culture.
5. Kibale National Park
Kibale National Park is covered in beautiful tropical forests along its hills and valleys, making it a premium Uganda safari park tour destination. The park forms a continuous forest with Queen Elizabeth National Park, creating a wildlife corridor that is a spectacular safari destination.
Kibale is a haven for 13 primate species, among them many endangered chimpanzees. Additionally, there are leopards, elephants, African buffalos, bushbucks, bushpigs, giant forest hogs, African golden cats, mongooses, servals, and even lions.
Go on a Big Five safari and witness these animals in the world. Explore caves, swim in beautiful crater lakes, and visit tea and vanilla plantations nearby.
6. Semuliki National Park
Semuliki National Park is unique compared to other Ugandan safari parks in that it shares more features with Central African countries. You can see this in its stunning landscape, wildlife, ethnic groups, and even traditional huts. The park borders the Semliki and Lamia Rivers. It has two hot springs inside a hot mineral encrusted swamp; both features attract animals.
It's one of the most biodiverse safari parks in Africa, especially when it comes to birds and butterflies. There are more than 400 bird species and 460 butterfly species, as well as eight primate species. Large mammals such as elephants, lions, leopards, hippos, African buffalos, and more roam the park. You can go on a Big 5 safari to catch a glimpse of these majestic animals.
The park is also home to the hunter-gatherer Basua people who live within the park.
7. Kidepo Valley National Park
This national park is the most isolated in Uganda. Located in the northeastern corner of Uganda, this park has been described as stepping back in time as the park's rugged savannah and plains have been left untouched by the modern world.
The park consists of two major valley systems, but most of the land is open savannah. Kanangorok, found in the northernmost part of the park, is a hot spring that acts as the primary source of water for the park. Kidepo houses 475 bird species, as well as animals such as plain zebras, leopards, lions, elephants, buffalos and hyenas.
This park is perfect for you if you've been looking for the ideal place for game viewing. View cheetahs and ostriches in the wild, go on guided hikes to meet the indigenous people and see the Kidepo Valley atop Mount Morungole.
8. Mgahinga Gorilla National Park
Despite being the smallest national park in Uganda, Mgahinga Gorilla National Park encompasses the three cloud-shrouded volcanoes of the Virunga Mountains. The park was established to protect the iconic Ugandan gorillas and golden monkeys.
You'll also see leopards, elephants, giant forest hogs, black-fronted duiker, bats, bushpigs, bushbucks, black-and-white colobus, as well as birds such as Kivu ground thrush, regal sunbird, strange weaver, Grauer's swamp warbler, and more.
Love to climb mountains? The inactive volcanoes will give you amazing hikes as you climb forest-covered slopes. You'll catch a glimpse of mountain gorillas along the way. Go on nature walks or meet the indigenous Batwa Pygmies. Either way, you'll have an unforgettable experience.
9. Mount Elgon National Park
This national park bisects the Ugandan-Kenyan border, with the majority of the park lying on the Uganda side. Mount Elgon, found within the park, has the largest surface area of extinct volcanoes. The mountain is a dream for mountain climbers as you will pass waterfalls, hot springs, calderas, caves, gorges, montane forest and moorland. There's a nice treat for history lovers in the form of a cave with ancient paintings.
Mount Elgon isn't all that this park has to offer. You'll catch glimpses of wildlife such as 144 bird species, leopards, elephants, antelopes, buffalos, hyenas, and the forest monkeys like the black-and-white colobus and the endangered red tail monkeys.
10. Rwenzori Mountains National Park
Located in the Rwenzori Mountains, this national park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The ice-capped Rwenzori Mountains have been nicknamed the Mountains of the Moon, and they have the third-highest peak in the world.
The park has waterfalls, icy glaciers, snowfields, calm lakes, and trees. Bring your camera and take pictures of the park's beautiful plants and flowers.
Climb the mountains for an awe-inspiring sight of the rest of the park. Go on hikes and nature walks to see the park's wildlife.
Going on an Uganda Safari
When going on an Uganda safari, a negative COVID-19 test, as well as proof of vaccination, is required. Like other East African countries, you must take anti-malaria medication and continue four weeks after the trip. Visit Uganda during the two dry seasons (December to February and June to August).
Below is a list of items and documents you should bring with you before you go on Uganda safari park tours:
Passport (with visa if necessary)
Proof of required vaccinations
Health and Travel Insurance
Credit card – remember to notify your bank you are travelling abroad
Toothbrush and toothpaste
Prescription Medication (Check with your GP what medication you need while travelling)
Antihistamine for allergies and insect bites
2/3 pair of neutral–coloured cotton trousers or chinos – jeans are not recommended while on safari as it can get scorching at times
2 pairs of shorts
At least 4 t-shirts or short-sleeved shirts
2 long-sleeved t-shirts or shirts
For a complete list of documentation, toiletry, clothes, and other basics, check out our complete Safari Packing Guide.
Uganda safari park tours are popular among East African tourists thanks to the country's richness of flora and fauna. Each national park offers so much, from unique wildlife to incredible landscapes. The open landscape of the Kidepo Valley National Park gives you a different but equally fulfilling experience from the Murchison Falls National Park. You won't regret picking Uganda as your holiday destination.
So, what are you waiting for? Contact us via the contact form below for delightful Uganda tours.