Parks by Activity

Birding

birding1Uganda is a birder's paradise. Over half of all bird species in Africa can be found here, making it one of the richest birding destinations on the continent. Crammed into this diminutive country is an astonishingly rich diversity of habitats, from the scenic shores of Uganda’s many great lakes to the lush forests of the Albertine Rift and the banks of the mighty Nile River.
Though Uganda has only one endemic bird (Fox’s Weaver), 23 Albertine endemics occur here which are rarely observed elsewhere. These include the Handsome Francolin, Rwenzori Turaco, Rwenzori Nightjar, Dwarf Honeyguide, African Green Broadbill, Archer’s Robin-Chat, Grauer’s Rush Warbler, Short-tailed Warbler, Grauer’s Warbler, Collared Apalis, Regal Sunbird, Strange Weaver, Dusky Crimsonwing, and Shelley’s Crimsonwing among others.
The record for the number of species recorded in a three-week period is 665… pack your binoculars, some sturdy shoes and your checklist, and challenge yourself to spot even more!

View listing

birding2Parks:

  • Bwindi
  • Mgahinga
  • Queen
  • Murchison
  • Rwenzoris
  • Kidepo
  • Mt Elgon
  • Lake Mburo
  • Kibale
  • Semliki

Bush Camping

bush-campingSurround yourself with the sounds of the savannah at night! Dusk is when the African wilderness truly comes to life - and what better way to experience it than sitting around a campfire, with the equatorial stars twinkling overhead?
As well as spending the night under canvas in the middle of the African bush, you can discover a wealth of nocturnal species during night drives and nature walks, all interpreted by your expert guide. Back at the campsite there’s time for storytelling by the light of the moon - and this is one story you are sure to want to tell over and over again!

View listing

Parks:

  • Murchison Falls

Caves

cavesUganda’s caves are true treasure troves - entering them will reveal ancient artworks, contemporary song and dance, nocturnal wildlife and historic hiding places.

The Bat Cave in Maramagambo Forest has a viewing room enabling you to view these flying mammals… and the pythons that feast on them!
Many caves acted as hiding places for historical figures - the Mgahinga’s Garama cave was used as a refuge by the Batwa king, and Nyanz’ibiri community’s cave even sheltered Idi Amin!

Mt Elgon’s soft slopes are also punctured with caves - a result of its volcanic past. Many make handy, ready-made shelters for climbers, and one offers the wonderful experience of allowing you to stand behind a 69m waterfall.

View listing

Parks:

  • Queen Elizabeth
  • Mt Elgon
  • Mgahinga Gorilla

Chimp Tracking/Habituation

chimp-traking-habituationMany of Uganda’s dense tropical forests are inhabited by our closest cousin: the chimpanzee. Come and track these fascinating apes, and observe them feeding, climbing trees, responding to humans and caring for their young in their magnificent natural habitat. Kibale forest has one of the highest densities of primates in the world, with over 1450 chimpanzees along with the rare I’Hoest’s monkey and East Africa’s largest population of the threatened red colobus monkey. In Queen Elizabeth National Park, the chimps inhabit the “underground forest” of Kyambura gorge, a magical setting for your tracking experience.

For a more educational experience, why not join a habituation tour? Follow researchers as they follow the chimps throughout their daily activities, familiarizing them with a human presence without altering their natural behaviour. The Habituation Experience runs during tourist low season months (March, April, May and November).

Chimp tracking usually starts at 8am and 3pm, and lasts 2-3 hours depending on the location. Due to the chimpanzees’ wide range, it is not always possible to spot them, but your expert guide will be able to point out many other forest species, including monkeys, birds and vegetation.

View listing

Parks:

  • Kibale
  • Semuliki
  • Murchison
  • Queen

Cultural Encounters

cultural-encountersUganda’s culture is as extraordinary as its wildlife - from the hunter-gatherer Batwa pygmies who have inhabited the dense forests of the south-west for thousands of years; to the cattle-herding, semi-nomadic Karamojong of the expansive northern plains; and the Batoro who farm the verdant slopes of the Rwenzori Mountains in the west.

Each community has its own language, traditions, dance, music and craft, and some even retain their own monarchy. Through the cultural activities offered on this site, visitors can now discover the country’s rich cultural heritage through music, crafts and cooking, and give something back to the welcoming residents of Uganda each time they book a community-based tour.

View listing

Parks:

  • Kidepo
  • Kibale
  • Bwindi
  • Semuliki
  • Rwenzori
  • Mgahinga
  • Murchison
  • Mt Elgon
  • Queen

Cycling/Mountain Biking

The mountainous national parks of Bwindi and Mt Elgon are awesome locations for your African biking adventure! Lasting from a couple of hours to over seven with plenty of photo stops), your ride will take in views of the Karamoja plains, the Ivi River or various waterfalls, depending on your chosen route.

Keep an eye out for primates, birds and skittish bushbucks along the way!

View listing

Parks:

  • Bwindi
  • Mt Elgon

Game Drives

game-drivesGet ready for a classic African adventure - cruise through the endless savannah past majestic elephants, stampeding buffalo, prowling lions and skittish antelope. Uganda’s game drives offer not only astonishing wildlife viewing, but also some of Africa’s most beautiful scenery - watch warthogs graze against a blue backdrop of the Rwenzori Mountains, or giraffes galloping beside the placid River Nile.
A variety of safari companies, catering to all tastes and budgets, offer comfortable, air-conditioned 4WD vehicles so that you can thoroughly enjoy your drive through Uganda’s rolling landscapes. Viewing hatches(is this the correct term?!), large windows and experienced guides present you with the best chances of observing and photographing the magnificent species that inhabit this abundant wilderness. Early morning and late afternoon are the best times to arrange your safaris, as this is when the creatures of the savannah are most active.

View Listing

Parks:

  • Kidepo
  • Semuliki
  • Murchison
  • Lake Mburo
  • Queen

Gorilla Tracking

gorilla-trackinThe world’s remaining 720 endangered mountain gorilla are scattered across just three countries - the DR Congo, Rwanda and Uganda, and Uganda is home to just over half. Tracking them through the mist-covered forests of Bwindi Impenetrable and Mgahinga Gorilla National Parks is without doubt one of the continent’s most spellbinding experiences. This critically endangered species shares 98-99% if its DNA with humans, and watching the gorillas interact, feed and nurse their young is a truly magical encounter.

Only eight tracking permits are issued per habituated gorilla group per day, so be sure to book yours as soon as possible. Gorilla tracking begins at 7am and the duration depends on the location of the gorillas. Visitors spend a maximum of one hour with the gorillas themselves to minimize disturbance.

View listing

Parks:

  • Bwindi
  • Mgahinga

Hiking/Nature Walks

hiking-nature-walksGet up close to some of Africa’s most stunning flora and fauna. Nature walks and hikes take place across Uganda’s national parks, passing through dense woodland, steamy rainforest, tough bushland and papyrus swamps. They will lead you up volcanoes, down mountains, through deep gorges and along dry river beds - there’s truly something for everyone!

Your trained guide will be able to point out the various primates that inhabit the forest canopies, as well as many bird and butterfly species, so keep your binoculars and camera to hand. Get ready to be enthralled by the otherworldly vegetation of the Rwenzoris; humbled by the vast emptiness of Kidepo; and drenched by the relentless spray of Murchison Falls - be sure to pack your walking shoes!

View listing

Parks:

  • Kidepo
  • Kibale
  • Bwindi
  • Semuliki
  • Rwenzori
  • Mgahinga
  • Murchison
  • Mt Elgon
  • Lake Mburo
  • Queen

Horseback Safaris

The flourishing savannah and glassy lakes of Lake Mburo National Park make for an idyllic backdrop for your horseback safari. The rides last around four hours, and give visitors the opportunity to get up close to the park’s fantastic wildlife, including warthog, topi, impala, duiker, bushbuck, waterbuck and zebra.

Take a bush breakfast with you and enjoy it at the top of a hill with splendid views - or depart for an evening ride and sip a sundowner at dusk as the bush comes to life.

View listing

Parks:

  • Lake Mburo

Hot Springs

hot-springsAfrica’s Rift Valley has bestowed Uganda with some of its most memorable geographical features - conical volcanoes, deep chasms and bubbling thermal springs.
Spewing an enormous steam cloud across Semuliki National Park’s emerald landscapes, the Sempaya Hot Springs are certainly one of the country’s most unusual scenic offerings. Named by the locals as the “male” and “female” springs, these boiling pools are reached following a trek through a monkey-filled tropical forest.
Hungry after your walk? Enjoy matooke (green plantain) wrapped in leaves and boiled in the spring!

View Listing

Parks:

  • Semuliki

Launch Trips

boat-tripsBeat the heat and dust of a traditional game drive - go on safari in a boat! Despite being a landlocked country, a quarter of Uganda’s surface area is covered in water, and it’s also the source of the mighty River Nile, which spills out of the immense Lake Victoria.

As birds and beasts congregate along the lush banks of the rivers and lakes, this is one of the best and most relaxing ways to observe Uganda’s magnificent wildlife. See huge hippo pods escape the midday heat, buffalos wallow while oxpeckers sit on their backs, elephants come to drink and bathe in the cool waters and Nile crocodiles sunbathe surrounded by flocks of aquatic birds.

Launch trips are also a great way to reach the base of the thunderous Murchison Falls, spot papyrus endemics and rare shoebill storks in the swamps - and watch a fiery African sunset as you float downriver.

All you need to do is sit back and relax as this incredible scene drifts past!

View listing

PARKS:

  • Queen
  • Murchison
  • Lake Mburo
  • Semuliki

Mountain/Volcano Climbing

volcano-climbingUganda boasts the third highest peak in Africa, four extinct volcanoes and one of the largest intact calderas in the world - not bad for such a compact country! Those who wish to stand on one of these awesome peaks are spoilt for choice. Inexperienced climbers or those short of time can choose one of the three conical Virunga Volcanoes in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. Any of the three can be summited in a day, and offer astounding views of Uganda, Rwanda and the DR Congo.

Mount Elgon, on the Kenyan border, also requires no technical expertise, but the route to the top takes 4-7 days, passing though wonderful forest scenery, natural pools and past ancient caves.

The true challenge is the Rwenzoris, Africa’s highest mountain chain. Inexperienced climbers will enjoy the enchanting forest scenery of the lower slopes - but only skilled mountaineers should attempt the nine-day trek to the snow-covered equatorial peaks.

View listing

Parks:

  • Rwenzori
  • Mt Elgon
  • Mgahinga

Other Activities

With Uganda’s incredible variety of landscapes, culture and wildlife, it’s no wonder that there are so many activities on offer for visitors. Abseil 100m down the side of a waterfall, rock climb up the side of an extinct volcano with picturesque views of the African plains, or – coming soon – brush up your archery skills with a local community.

View listing

Parks:

  • Mt Elgon

Sport Fishing

Not only does Uganda offer some enormous fish to catch - one Nile perch caught here was a whopping 108kg! - but it also presents some of the most spectacular scenery for your angling trip. From the banks of the Nile below the roaring Murchison Falls to the highest of the three Sipi Falls in Mt Elgon National park, you will be thrilled at what Uganda has to offer even before you’ve had your first bite!

Around six species of fish inhabit placid Lake Mburo, with tilapia being the most common, and the challenge at Sipi Falls is the rainbow trout - prized for their fighting ability and weighing in at up to 3kg.

Visitors should bring their own equipment and request permits in advance from Uganda WIldlife Authority for each of these three sites.

View listing

Parks:

  • Semuliki (to be added later)
  • Murchison
  • Mt Elgon
  • Lake Mburo

Wildlife Research Tours

wildlife-researchThe adventure that gives back to the environment! For visitors who yearn to leave their safari vehicle behind and get up close to African fauna, a wildlife research trip is both rewarding and educational.

This is no ordinary safari; visitors actively participate in monitoring species such as lions and mongooses, or counting the thousands of huge hippos and exotic birds that fill the park.

Participants use locator devices and learn habituation calls, as well as monitoring weather, surroundings and the creatures’ behavior, with the valuable results being used in researchers’ databases.

Experiential tourism activities contribute important research to the overall understanding of wildlife ecology. The experiential tourism activities currently available are Mongoose Tracking, and Lion Tracking.

View listing

Parks:

  • Queen Elizabeth

all-accolades-web

Check out what other travellers say about the National Parks of Uganda on

SHARE THIS>
find us  Facebook Twitter Youtube Flickr TripAdvisor
Uganda-at-50-logo-2-81x80
Tel: +256 414 355000,
+256 312 355000
Fax: 256 414 346291
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Uganda Wildlife Authority
Plot 7 Kira Road, Kamwokya
P.O.Box 3530
Kampala, Uganda

Site Map - Photo Credits | Copyright © 2012 Uganda Wildlife Authority | Website by Solimar International with support by USAID-STAR