Semuliki National Park


Size: 220km² with an altitude of 670-760m above sea level

Semuliki Forest Reserve was created in 1932 and upgraded to national park status in 1993.

It is the only tract of true lowland tropical forest in East Africa, hosting 441 recorded bird species and 53 mammals.

Large areas of this low-lying park may flood during the wet season,a brief reminder of the time when the entire valley lay at the bottom of a lake for seven million years.

Four distinct ethnic groups live near the park – Bwamba farmers live along the base of the Rwenzori while the Bakonjo cultivate the mountain slopes. Batuku cattle keepers inhabit on the open plains and Batwa pygmies, traditionally hunter gathers, live on the edge of the forest.

Semuliki National Park sprawls across the floor of the Semliki Valley on the remote, western side of the Rwenzori. The park is dominated by the easternmost extension of the great Ituri Forest of the Congo Basin. This is one of Africa’s most ancient and bio-diverse forests; one of the few to survive the last ice age, 12-18,000 years ago.

The Semliki Valley contains numerous features associated with central rather than eastern Africa. Thatched huts are shaded by West African oil palms; the Semliki River (which forms the international boundary) is a miniature version of the Congo River, the forest is home to numerous Central African wildlife species, and the local population includes a Batwa pygmy community that originated from the Ituri. As a result, this park provides a taste of Central Africa without having to leave Uganda.

While Semuliki’s species have been accumulating for over 25,000 years, the park contains evidence of even older processes. Hot springs bubble up from the depths to demonstrate the powerful subterranean forces that have been shaping the rift valley during the last 14 million years.

Rwenzori Mountains National Park


  • Size: 996km2
  • The park was gazetted in 1991 and was recognized as a World Heritage site in 1994 and Ramsar site in 2008.
  • Highest point: 5,109m above sea level on Mt Stanley’s Margherita Peak. Mt. Stanley is bisected by the border with the DR Congo.
  • The Rwenzori is not volcanic like East Africa’s other major mountains but is a block of rock upfaulted through the floor of the Western Rift Valley.
  • The Rwenzoris were christened the “Mountains of the Moon” by the Alexandrine geographer Ptolemy in AD 150.
  • The explorer Henry Stanley placed the Rwenzori on the map on 24th May 1888. He labeled it ‘Ruwenzori’, a local name which he recorded as meaning “Rain-Maker” or “Cloud-King.”
  • The oldest recorded person to reach Margherita Peak was Ms Beryl Park aged 78 in 2010.

The Rwenzoris – the fabled Mountains of the Moon – lie in western Uganda along the Uganda-Congo border. The equatorial snow peaks include the third highest point in Africa, while the lower slopes are blanketed in moorland, bamboo and rich, moist montane forest. Huge tree-heathers and colorful mosses are draped across the mountainside with giant lobelias and “everlasting flowers”, creating an enchanting, fairytale scene.

Rwenzori Mountains National Park protects the highest parts of the 120km-long and 65km-wide Rwenzori mountain range. The national park hosts 70 mammals and 217 bird species including 19 Albertine Rift endemics, as well as some of the world’s rarest vegetation.

The Rwenzoris are a world-class hiking and mountaineering destination. A nine- to twelve-day trek will get skilled climbers to the summit of Margherita – the highest peak – though shorter, non-technical treks are possible to scale the surrounding peaks.

For those who prefer something a little less strenuous, neighboring Bakonzo villages offer nature walks, homestead visits home cultural performances and accommodation, including home-cooked local cuisine.

Lake Mburo National Park


Size: 370km2

Altitude: 1,220m – 1,828m above sea level

Wetland habitats comprise 20% of the park’s surface

The parks’ precarious past has seen wildlife virtually eliminated several times: firstly in various attempts to rid the region of tsetse flies, then to make way for ranches, and finally as a result of subsistence poaching.

20% of the park’s entrance fee is used to fund local community projects such as building clinics and schools.

Lake Mburo National Park is a compact gem, located conveniently close to the highway that connects Kampala to the parks of western Uganda. It is the smallest of Uganda’s savannah national parks and underlain by ancient Precambrian metamorphic rocks which date back more than 500 million years. It is home to 350 bird species as well as zebra, impala, eland, buffalo, oribi, Defassa waterbuck, leopard, hippo, hyena, topi and reedbuck.

Together with 13 other lakes in the area, Lake Mburo forms part of a 50km-long wetland system linked by a swamp. Five of these lakes lie within the park’s borders. Once covered by open savanna, Lake Mburo National Park now contains much woodland as there are no elephants to tame the vegetation. In the western part of the park, the savanna is interspersed with rocky ridges and forested gorges while patches of papyrus swamp and narrow bands of lush riparian woodland line many lakes.

Kibale National Park

Size: 795km2

Kibale is highest at the park’s northern tip, which stands 1,590m above sea level. The lowest point is 1,100m on the floor of the Albertine Rift Valley to the south.

351 tree species have been recorded in the park, some rise to over 55m and are over 200 years old.

Kibale’s varied altitude supports different types of habitat, ranging from wet tropical forest on the Fort Portal plateau to woodland and savanna on the rift valley floor.

Kibale is one of Africa’s foremost research sites. While many researchers focus on the chimpanzees and other primates found in the park, others are investigating Kibale’s ecosystems, wild pigs and fish species, among other topics.

Kibale National Park contains one of the loveliest and most varied tracts of tropical forest in Uganda. Forest cover, interspersed with patches of grassland and swamp, dominates the northern and central parts of the park on an elevated plateau.Kibale is famously known for Chimpanzee tracking

The park is home to a total of 70 mammal species, most famously 13 species of primate including the chimpanzee.

It also contains over 375 species of birds. Kibale adjoins Queen Elizabeth National Park to the south to create a 180km-long corridor for wildlife between Ishasha, the remote southern sector of Queen Elizabeth National Park, and Sebitoli in the north of Kibale National Park.The Kibale-Fort Portal area is one of Uganda’s most rewarding destinations to explore. The park lies close to the tranquil Ndali-Kasenda crater area and within half a day’s drive of the Queen Elizabeth, Rwenzori Mountains and Semuliki National Parks, as well as the Toro-Semliki Wildlife Reserve.

Mgahinga Gorilla National Park


Size: 33.7km2, making it Uganda’s smallest National Park.

The park takes its name from “Gahinga” – the local word for the piles of volcanic stones cleared from farmland at the foot of the volcanoes.

The British administration declared the area a game sanctuary in 1930; it was gazetted as a National Park in 1991.

Mgahinga has one habituated trans-boundary gorilla group.

The Batwa were self-sufficient – and visitors can see how during a fascinating tour with a Batwa guide to learn the secrets of the forest.

Mgahinga Gorilla National Park sits high in the clouds, at an altitude of between 2,227m and 4,127m. As its name suggests, it was created to protect the rare mountain gorillas that inhabit its dense forests, and it is also an important habitat for the endangered golden monkey.

As well as being important for wildlife, the park also has a huge cultural significance, in particular for the indigenous Batwa pygmies. This tribe of hunter-gatherers was the forest’s “first people”, and their ancient knowledge of its secrets remains unrivalled.

Mgahinga’s most striking features are its three conical, extinct volcanoes, part of the spectacular Virunga Range that lies along the border region of Uganda, Congo and Rwanda. Mgahinga forms part of the much larger Virunga Conservation Area which includes adjacent parks in these countries. The volcanoes’ slopes contain various ecosystems and are biologically diverse, and their peaks provide a striking backdrop to this gorgeous scenery.

Queen Elizabeth National Park

Queen Elizabeth National Park About Queen Elizabeth NP – Location – Getting There – Attractions & Activities – Accommodation

Queen Elizabeth National Park, which is described as “Uganda’s Great Rift Valley” by Andrew Roberts, is the second largest and it is almost 1,978 sq. km. This largely savanna national park is located in the south western part of Uganda and it’s ranked among world’s most bio-diversified parks housing incredible species of wildlife. It is bordered in the West by Lake Edward and in the North by the Rwenzori Mountains, and is divided in two sectors, the North and South. This fertile equatorial area has a very nice scenery comprised of Tropical Rain Forests and two lakes connected by a channel over looked by a high peninsula. The beauty is simply staggering with sprawling cacti, savannah, forests, rivers and lakes.


The Queen Elizabeth National Park is a world bio-sphere reserve (UNESCO, 1979), includes a RAMSAR wetland site and is a classified Important Bird Area (IBA) by Bird life International. The park has over 568 of Uganda’s 1017 species of birds (over a quarter of Africa’s bird species), more than any other park in Africa.

In the Queen Elizabeth National Park (QENP), you may see Crater Lakes filled with huge flocks of Flamingos. You will spot Eagles soaring and Vultures perching.

The park is known for its Fauna, although many animals were filled in the Uganda-Tanzanian war. Many species have recovered, including hippopotamuses, elephants, leopards, chimps and lions. It is now home to 95 species of mammals.

Explore Queen Elizabeth National Park

Getting There

The town of Kasese lies on the Northwestern edge of the park. The park is verily one of the very few remaining pristine wildlife Sanctuaries in the world.

Things to See

The park is rich in wild game including the big five mammals except the rhinos which are only hosted in Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary along the way to Murchison Falls National Park. Other interesting game in the park include various species of antelopes, warthogs, hyena among many others. Reaching the park, it’s just a drive of about 5-6 from Kampala to the park.

Things to Do

Many safari activities are arranged at the park including wildlife viewing and primate watching, the park is a home to over 6 species of primates the most common is the chimpanzee the closest relative to human. Queen Elizabeth National Park also houses the rare tree climbing lions in the Ishasha sector of the park. However, taking a visit to the Kazinga channel is ranked among the must do activities while at the park.

The National Park includes the Maramagambo Forest and boarders the Kigezi and Kyambura Game Reserves. The parks nearby neighbors include Kibale National Park in Uganda and the Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Tourist Activities in Queen Elizabeth Park

Maramagambo Forest walks
There are three guided walks. The trail is a round the Forested shore of Lake Kyasanduka, then the second trail leads to a huge bat cave and python and the third one is around the back of Lake Nyamusingiri, which will give you an opportunity to se snowy-headed robin-chat, Scaly-breasted illadopsis and Chestnut wattle-eye. You will have an opportunity to see monkeys like red-tailed and vervet, black and white Colobus, L’Hoest’s monkey, leopard if lucky, Forest birds and the amazing chimps.

Launch Cruise on Kazinga Channel
In Queen Elizabeth, the launch trip takes place on the Kazinga Channel. The boat usually leaves daily at 09:00hr and 14:00 and takes 2-5 hours tour on the waters. While on the Launch Cruise, the professional guides will be able to give you useful information and answer your queries. With his help, you will have a great opportunity to view the wonderful scenery and variety of animals and birds. One should come with cameras and binoculars.

Game Driving
The game viewing circuit lies on the north side of the Kazinga Channel. With the help of the professional guide, you will have a wonderful opportunity to see Lions, Crocodiles, Hyena, Buffalos, Antelopes, Hippopotamuses, Leopard, Giant Forest hog, Elephant, Cape buffalo, Defassa, Waterbuck, Uganda Kob, Bushbuck and Topi – in their natural habitat.

Chimpanzee Tracking in Kyambura Gorge
With the help of the professional guide, you will be taken for Chimpanzee Trekking in Kyambura Gorge. The Gorge creates the boarder between the Kyambura Wildlife Reserve and Queen Elizabeth National Park. This Gorge is where you can get a large community of chimps. They can be tracked within the confines of a forested river gorge carved into the surrounding flat savannah. The scientific name of the chimpanzee is
Pan troglodytes. The wild chimpanzee rarely lives past the age of 40, while those in captivity live up to the age of 60 years.

Bird watching
If you are a bird watcher, Queen Elizabeth National Park is one of the most interesting destinations. You can see more than 610 bird species while on the Kazinga Channel Launch and on the Game drives. The park is teeming with a variety of birds like yellow-billed stork, plovers, pink-backed pelicans, white-bellied pelicans, white-bellied Cormorants, black-headed Gonolek Inter-alia.

Bwindi Forest National Park

Bwindi Impenetrable Forest-one of the ancient forests is situated in the South-western part of Uganda, and covers an area of 331 square kilometers. This magnificent UNESCO World Heritage Site was gazzeted in 1992 (the same year with Mgahinga National Park) and was inscribed to the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 1994. This Site characterized by different altitudes that range from 1160 meters to 2706 meters above sea level and is a biod8iversityy hotspot that prides itself as a home to over 120 mammal species, more than 350 bird species, 27 species of reptiles, over 200 butterfly species, more than 200 tree species and over 104 species of ferns. The most paramount attraction within this Park is the critically endangered Mountain gorillas, several endemic species and numerous tree species, but it is one of the strictly protected Forests with limited access granted to the local community members living around the National Park. In order to make the local community members benefit from the Park without necessarily entering it for firewood, the 20% revenue sharing scheme was introduced to make them benefit from different community development projects.

Murchison Falls National Park

Murchison Falls National Park is one of the most scenic national parks in Uganda.Situated within north-western Uganda, Murchison Falls National Park is one of the top tourist destinations within the Pearl of Africa due to its diverse ecosystems-inform of savannah and forests, wildlife and bird species in addition to the powerful and breathtaking Murchison Falls from which it derives its name. Established in 1952 and extending for 3840 square kilometers, this Park is obviously the oldest and largest Conservation Area in the country.

Murchison Falls NP – Location – Getting There – Attractions – Activities

Guide to Adventure in Murchison Falls National Park

Getting There
This park is located in the northwestern part of Uganda, sprawling inland from the shore of Lake Albert around the Victoria Nile. It derives its name from the Murchison Falls, a beautiful water fall formed at a point where the mighty River Nile explodes through a narrow gorge and flows down to become a placid river whose banks are patronized by hippos, crocodiles, waterbucks, and buffaloes. The vegetation is mainly savannah, riverine forest and woodland. Wildlife includes; Lions, Leopards, elephants, giraffes, buffaloes, hartebeests, oribis, Uganda kobs, chimpanzees and many bird species including the rare shoebill.

History of the Park

It is comprised of Murchison Falls National Park, Bugungu Refuge and Karuma Wildlife Refuge. This park is believed to be the oldest protected area in Uganda. The park has received many tourists including nobles and celebrities who have taken Uganda safari trips to see this amazing place! It covers a total area of 3,893km2, with Bugungu Wildlife Refuge, Karuma Wildlife Refuge and Budongo Forest Reserve covering 510Km2, 678Km2, and 591Km2 respectively. While the National Park and the two wildlife reserves are under the auspices of the Uganda Wildlife Authority and Murchison Falls Conservation Area, Budongo Forest Reserve is managed by the National Forest Association. Sleeping sickness decimated the inhabitants of an area of approximately 13,000Km2 during the period of 1907 and 1912.

This paved way for the establishment of the Bunyoro Game Reserve in 1910, which is now part of the National Park in Masindi District. With time, the boundaries were extended into Gulu district, north of the river, and the resulting protected area became known as the Bunyoro-Gulu Game Reserve in 1928.

Established in 1932, Budongo Forest Reserve became the first commercial logging concession in Uganda and is one of the most intensively studied “working” Forest in the world to date.

The frontiers of this forest continued to expand over the next thirty years until their reached the current size of 825Km2. As the locals continued to lose hand, a lot of animosity was created as people never quite knew where the boundaries ended due to the frequent changes. Because of the reduction of hunting in the Bunyoro-Gulu Game Reserve, the animal population increased, which justified upgrading the reserve to Murchison Falls National Park. In 1952, the British administration established the National Parks Act of Uganda. By the mid 1960’s, Murchison Falls had become the prime safari destination in all of East Africa, with well over 60,000 visitors annually.

When the sleeping sickness outbreak was put into check, people began to populate the areas around the new park. It was deemed prudent to establish a buffer zone of controlled-use lands around the park, to mitigate encroachment and poaching pressures. In 1963, the Karuma and Bugungu Controlled Hunting Areas, which were later upgraded to game Reserves, were established. Karuma was upgraded in 1964 while Bugungu in 1968. The establishment if the National parks Act led to the forced eviction of come of the villages and new moratoriums on hunting.

From the late 1970s to the mid 1980s, the increasing number of mammals came to an abrupt end as Amin and later Milton Obote’s armies started shooting animals either for target practice or for food. A combination of political mayhem and decreasing numbers of animals in the 1970’s and 80s, led to a sharp decline in the number of visitors. But the numbers are now steadily increasing due to political stability.

Murchison falls is a park, which is surrounded by lands that are not suitable for farming, which has availed less chances of converting the protected area to farmland except in the Karuma Wild Reserve. This gives it a unique position. Since the population around here is still low, a pro-active and inclusive approach can be devised to involve the locals in wildlife management.

Things to See in the Park

It is popular for offering shelter to over 75 species of mammals including four of the big five animals (lions, leopards, elephants and buffaloes), Rothschild giraffes, warthogs, Antelopes such as Uganda kobs, Oribis, topis, waterbucks, Jackson’s heart beasts, bushbucks and elands, primates (vervet monkeys and olive baboons), hippos and many others in addition to reptiles such as Nile Crocodiles as well as over 450 species of birds including the aquatic birds like the elusive shoebill storks and others like the great blue turaco, white-thighed hornbills, dwarf kingfisher, Goliath herons and many others.

The park is a viable breeding population of many rare mammals and bird species which will continue to draw tourists and yet the populations are still well below the carrying capacity of the land. There has been a period of over 20 years of very low impact by animals on the ecosystem due to political mayhem. This means that the park will grow and at the same time create an excellent laboratory to study the resilience of faunal species after a rapid decline, as well as vegetation succession patterns. This is necessary because almost no ecological research is being done in the conservation area currently.

Interesting Points of the Park

There are some specific phenomenal places within Murchison Falls National Park that will always capture the attention of tourists. The most interesting points include;

The Nile    

River Nile is the World’s second longest River (extending for 6853 kilometers) and is a home to some of the World most adventurous activities such as whitewater rafting, bungee jumping, kayaking, sport fishing, boat rides and river surfing among others, and interestingly, the Murchison Falls National Park offers much more than you can ever expect in a destination.

Top of the waterfalls

In most cases, majority of the activities within Murchison Falls National Park begin with the visit to the top of the Murchison Falls where tourists get the once in a lifetime chance of feeling and seeing the World’s most powerful waterfalls as the water of the River forcefully passes through a 7-meters wide gorge before plunging about 14 meters into the Nile as it proceeds its journey north. Visit this Park and enjoy the wonderful feeling of the thundering waterfalls as its waters gush on your skin and you take pictures with your colleagues or family members.

Kaniyo-Pabidi Forest

This Ecotourism site is specifically found within Budongo Forest Reserve (also within Murchison Falls National Park) and most tourists who visit this Park explore this site due to the fact that it offers shelter to chimpanzees as well as other primate species (such as olive baboons, vervet monkeys and black and white colobus monkeys among others) thus making it an ideal spot for primate tracking during Uganda safaris. Not only that, you will be able to encounter other animals that visit the Forest such as elephants, buffaloes and leopards among others.

Buligi Game Tracks

Anyone who has visited Murchison Falls National Park will agree that Buligi Game Tracks offer the best chance of spotting some of the Park’s Wildlife Species such as herds of buffaloes, elephants, Rothschild giraffes, warthogs, lions, antelopes especially Uganda Kobs, Oribis and Topis in addition to several bird species.

Mubako Village

Are you interested in unforgettable cultural encounters during the Uganda safari? Then don’t miss visiting the Mubako Village because while here, you will get immersed in the Luo culture as you enjoy the sound of Adungu local string instrument in the evenings during Campfires as well as folk songs. Not only that, you will interact with the locals and learn about some of the traditional norms, way of life and history of the Luo people.

Murchison Falls National Park is a phenomenal tourist destination due to the beautiful Places such as Buligi Game Tracks, Mubako Village, Kaniyo-Pabidi Forest, Top of the Murchison Falls and the Nile River among others.

Kidepo National Park

Size: 1,442km2

The park’s altitude ranges between 914m and 2,750m above sea level.

The park contains two rivers – Kidepo and Narus – which disappear in the dry season, leaving just pools for the wildlife.

The local communities around the park include pastoral Karamojong people, similar to the Maasai of Kenya, and the IK, a hunter-gatherer tribe whose survival is threatened.

Kidepo Valley National Park lies in the rugged, semi arid valleys between Uganda’s borders with Sudan and Kenya, some 700km from Kampala. Gazetted as a national park in 1962, it has a profusion of big game and hosts over 77 mammal species as well as around 475 bird species.

Kidepo is Uganda’s most isolated national park, but the few who make the long journey north through the wild frontier region of Karamoja would agree that it is also the most magnificent, for Kidepo ranks among Africa’s finest wildernesses. From Apoka, in the heart of the park, a savannah landscape extends far beyond the gazetted area, towards horizons outlined by distant mountain ranges.

During the dry season, the only permanent water in the park is found in wetlands and remnant pools in the broad Narus Valley near Apoka. These seasonal oases, combined with the open, savannah terrain, make the Narus Valley the park’s prime game viewing location.