Explore Uganda: 5 best Uganda safari parks to visit

  (photo credit: Hebert Byaruhanga)
(photo credit: Hebert Byaruhanga)

Pointing to the unraveled blessings of nature that spark in a number of national parks, Uganda is a destination that do not miss on the buckle list destinations for Africa safari goers.  It is never enough time to go on safari and get to know how beautiful the landlocked East African country is. In an attempt to do justice to its beauty, we cannot fail to point out the gentle landscapes decorated with dots of various vegetation covers inhabited by several wildlife species that have continually made the pearl of Africa a distinguished destination. 

Uganda is curated among the least visited yet among best tourist destinations on the African continent. The intact tropical rainforests, thickets, and dotted savannahs, the resounding Africa’s largest biggest fresh water lake Victoria, the source of the world’s second longest River Nile, Africa’s 3rd highest mountain peak among many other nature gems crown  Uganda the Pearl of Africa. 

Like any other African country, Uganda’s wildlife and landscapes are threatened by a number of human activities that have diminished the beauty of some of the places. A lot of efforts have been put into conservation endeavors courtesy of the Uganda wildlife Authority and its partners. Among the many places under the care of Uganda wildlife Authority includes the only ten national parks in the country.

Today we zooming our focus on the five best National Parks in Uganda. Our criteria is based on road accessibility and sightseeing;

Murchison Falls National Park 

Compared to the traffic of Kampala-Masaka highway and that of Kampala-Gulu highway, Murchison falls is Uganda’s most accessible national park yet at the same time the biggest national park in Uganda. With the unique sights of Murchison falls, the park is placed in a class of its own among all Uganda parks. 

In an attempt to complete the big five experience in Uganda, Murchison falls national park is strategically located to connect to Ziwa Rhino sanctuary. With animals such as the lions, leopards, Buffaloes and Elephants, it is very easy to complete your big five experience when you visit Murchison falls national park. 

Within the vicinity of the same national park, there is Budongo forest the second best chimpanzee tracking destination in Uganda. The road developments in Murchison falls national park have made it the best national park in Uganda. Upon securing this best in Uganda slot, Uganda wildlife Authority responded by introducing unique tariffs for Murchison falls national park. 

Besides the good roads in Murchison falls national park, the park has a higher concentration of wildlife making its game drives quite remarkable. The boat trip to the bottom of the falls is also a major icon for the Uganda safaris. The top of the falls sunsets, and sport fishing are among the things that make Murchison falls national park so special. It has something for everyone.

Kidepo Valley National Park

Kidepo Valley National Park is located at the far extreme end of Uganda extending to South Sudan and Kenya. It’s one hard to reach park but packed with a lot of rewards to nature lovers as well most recommended for travelers seeking for something special on a Uganda safari. Though it is Uganda’s remotest park due to distance cover on ground as well as the road conditions, it makes it among the 5 top Uganda safari parks because of its unraveled beauty. 

Due to its remoteness, the park can be accessed in two days by road but there are chances of flying to Kidepo valley national park in 2 hours by a chartered plane from either Entebbe by fly Uganda or from Kajjansi airstrip by Aerolink. 

The park is situated in the semi-arid zone, which experiences much of the sunny/ dry weather favoring only the savannah vegetation. It’s the 3rd largest National Park seated on an area of 1,442sqkm divided into sections of Narus Valley section and the Kidepo Valley sections. 

Among African safari enthusiasts, the park is well known for sheltering large concentrations of wildlife among which include but not limited to elephants, buffalos, lions, leopards, various antelope species, foxes, wild cats, warthogs and over 120 bird species. 

Kidepo valley national park is famous among Uganda safaris lasting for a week or more. It is among the Uganda parks offering some of the best Cultural safaris, and hikes within its vicinity. This park is highly recommended as one of the less crowded parks by tourists. 

Lake Mburo National Park

Among all the 10 national parks Uganda has to offer, Lake Mburo national park is the most accessible national park in terms of the distance from Kampala/Entebbe. Besides its accessibility, it has well marked tracks for game drives making it one of the national parks you can visit with almost any type of car. 

The park is located in lyantonde district. Its strategic location places it between Masaka and Mbarara. To get the best of Lake Mburo national park, you have to consider a few game drives, mountain biking, horse rides, quad bikes, as well as boat trips on Lake Mburo 

Lake Mburo national park is the third smallest national park in Uganda but still among the most recommended national parks because of accessibility and diversity of activities. 

Bwindi Impenetrable National Park

Gorilla trekking is still Uganda flagship activity. With Bwindi impenetrable National park on top of gorilla tourism in Africa, this is the ultimate place to see the gentle giants.  The park shelters more than half of the world’s population of the mountain gorillas.

Everyone will likely recommend Bwindi Impenetrable National Park for gorilla trekking safaris in Africa. Due to the price of the gorilla trekking permits, many people simply cancel out Bwindi impenetrable forest national park assuming it is simply a gorilla trekking destination. 

One of the best Uganda safari stories that was captured by CNN is the fact that Bwindi is among the top five most beautiful places to visit in the whole world. But this beauty cannot be appreciated until you consider at least two nature walks in Bwindi impenetrable forest national park. The park is easily accessible by road however it takes a whopping 9 hours transfer from Kampala.

The 9 hours transfer takes place on well paved roads. You should never worry about getting stuck anywhere. With its four different sectors, the road conditions tend to differ. But the sector with the best roads is Ruhija sector. In order to get the best out of a Uganda safari, it is recommended considering a 10 days safari in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest.

Mountain Rwenzori National Park

The Rwenzori Mountains are Uganda’s top mountaineering destination. With Rwenzori’s highest peak ranked the 3rd highest peak in Africa after the Mt. Kenya and Mt. Kilimanjaro. Climbing the Rwenzoris is one of the best Adventures with in the bucket list of Uganda safaris. 

Mountain Rwenzori National park is known for its diversity in vegetation, as well as being the only place in Uganda where you can find snow throughout the year. The national park is also partly not accessible by car more so in seasons when river Nyamwamba floods. It is always recommended not to cross the river with your car to avoid getting stranded in case the river floods.

However, with the flooding issue aside, Rwenzori mountains remains one of the best national parks in Uganda partly because of its strategic location that makes it easy to visit other Uganda national parks that include Queen Elizabeth national Park, Kibale Forest National Park and Semuliki National Park. 

This article was written in cooperation with Escape to Africa