An amazing game watching adventure is exactly what you will get when you visit Uganda. There are several places where you can enjoy a wildlife safari. The top places include Murchison Falls National Park, Queen Elizabeth National Park, Lake Mburo National Park or Kidepo Valley National Park in the north east of Uganda and more. Here is a small insight into what’s on offer.
Uganda has about 10 national parks, both in the southern and northern hemisphere. These parks are home to an abundance of wildlife and all offer different habitats and vegetation to support the survival of the various species. For example, the savannah grassland environment is suited to animals like antelopes, buffaloes and elephants among others, in the tropical forest areas hundreds of bird species, butterflies and primates including chimpanzees, and the lakes and rivers sustain many aquatic animals, reptiles and amphibians.
In Murchison, you can always find plenty of savannah elephants, buffaloes, lions, Uganda kobs, ground-dwelling Patas monkeys and spot the localized Rothschild’s giraffes, one of the tallest and most endangered giraffe subspecies. Around Lake Victoria you will discover a huge population of hippos, expect to see crocodiles and for those that love birds, you will be amazed by the variety along the water banks and those you will see during the game drives through the park. One more interesting feature is the Murchison falls, you can get to the bottom of the falls by boat and can also drive or hike up to the top of the falls to experience a beautiful vista of the surrounding topography.
Alternatively, try game viewing in Kidepo Valley National Park. This is the only place where you can find cheetahs and ostriches co-existing with animals like leopards in Uganda and it has the highest population of buffaloes too. Aside from these unique features, you will still be able to observe all the other wildlife species, and a night game drive is very rewarding and highly recommended for those wishing to encounter members of the big cat family.
In Lake Mburo you will find plenty of beautiful zebras especially along the Mbarara highway, perhaps enjoy a horseback ride and you don’t always have to search for wildlife by driving round the park, you can visit the salt lick areas where animals converge to lick the salty soil and meet lots of animals all in one place!
If you choose Queen Elizabeth Park, in the shadow of snow peaked Mt. Rwenzori, flanking lakes Edward and George, there will be the savannah vegetation which means the buffaloes, elephants, antelopes, waterbucks, topis and kobs will all be present. Also in the Kyambura gorge there will be chimpanzees and giant forest hog and adding more to the list, the renowned tree-climbing lions in the Ishasha sector of the park.
The Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park are very popular for mountain gorilla trekking while Kibale Forest is the most popular for chimpanzee tracking in Uganda. The tropical rain forests also host monkeys, small antelopes, elephants and lots of bird species.
Ultimate freedom in Semliki game reserve throws off the chains of being constrained to one area in an ecosystem the size of “Switzerland”. With one of Africa’s greatest wildernesses available to us it would be remiss to only focus on 5% of it. With the lightweight and highly mobile camp, we can gain access and get a chance to explore (almost) the other 95%.
Comprised of a converted 4WD truck, the camp is self-sufficient for up to a week of safari away from its base camp. With state of the art seaters, heating places, electrical supplies, water pumps and kitchen, the camp has enough kit to host up to 6 guests at any time pretty much anywhere in the Park which has a road going to it. Whilst not as luxurious as our basecamp, the camp still offers the usual creature comforts along with great food and comfortable tents.
The accommodation comprises of large pup tents equipped with comfortable twin cots, important for those much needed rests between walks, a fully functional bathroom with short drop loo and hot bucket shower.
No matter which national park you choose to visit, the beauty and drama of mother nature and her animals is everywhere in Uganda, come see for yourself!