Uganda National Parks


Uganda Wildlife Authority, (UWA) manages 10 National Parks; 12 Wildlife reserves; 5 Community Wildlife Management Areas; and 13 Wildlife Sanctuaries. The ten National Parks include Queen Elizabeth National park, Lake Mburo National park, Murchison Falls National park, Kidepo Valley National Park, Kibale National park, Mount Elgon National park, Rwenzori Mountains National park, Semuliki National park, Mgahinga Gorilla National park, and Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. These parks display the best in East Africa. Their Rift Valley landscapes and tropical forests make dramatic backdrops to an extensive variety of flora and fauna. And each park has got its uniqueness.



Murchison falls National Park.

  • Overview
  • Location
  • History
  • How to get there
  • Activities in the Park

Murchison Falls National Park is the World’s Most Powerful Waterfall. It is notably blessed with over 144 mammals like the lions, Buffaloes, antelopes, Giraffes, warthogs, Olive baboons, monkeys, chimpanzee in Budongo forest reserve, Hippopotami’s, a great number of African elephants, Hyenas, Leopards, 556 bird species ; Long-toed lapwing, Denham’s bustard, Abyssinian ground hornbill, Senegal thick-knee, Black-headed lapwing, Black-billed barbet, Long-tailed nightjar, Yellow-fronted tinker bird, Rock pratincole, White cattle Egrets, Marabou stalk, Piapiac, Egyptian geese, pelicans Shoe bill stork. 51 reptiles; savannah Monitor and water Monitor Lizards along the Nile savannah, Nile crocodile (Crocodylus niloticus), Snakes, chameleons and 51 Amphibians; African Red Toad (Schismaderma carens), Egyptian Toad, Senegal Running Frog, Four-lined Spiny Reed Frog.

The Park is located 305km/190mi north of Kampala. The drive to the southern entrance gate takes 4 to 5 hours and about. It is also possible to fly to the park by chartered or scheduled aircraft service from Entebbe International Airport (EBB) or Kajjansi Airfield near Kampala to Pakuba Airfield, Chobe or Bugundu

The park is surrounded by the Ugandan districts of Buliisa, Nwoya, Kiryandongo, and Masindi. The driving distance from Masindi, the nearest large town, to the Kibanda area of the national park is about 72 kilometres (45 mi). This area is about 283 kilometers (176 mi), by road, north-west of Kampala, the capital and largest city of Uganda. The coordinates of the park near the Kibanda area are 02°11’15.0″N, 31°46’53.0″E (Latitude: 2.187499; Longitude: 31.781400).

Murchison Falls became one of Uganda’s first national parks in 1952. It measures approximately 3,893 square kilometers (1,503 sq mi). The Park is bisected by the Victoria Nile from east to west for a distance of about 115 kilometers (71 mi). The park is the location of the Murchison Falls, where the waters of the Nile flow through a narrow gorge only 7 meters (23 ft) wide before plunging 43 meters (141 ft). Also, in the park is adjacent to the Masindi-Gulu Highway, are the Karuma Falls, the location of the 600-megawatt Karuma Power Station, which will be Uganda’s largest power station.

The explorers John Speke and James Grant were the first Europeans to visit the present day MFCA in 1862. It was more thoroughly explored by Samuel and Florence Baker in 1863–4. Baker named the falls Murchison Falls after the geologist Roderick Murchison, then the president of the Royal Geographical Society between 1907 and 1912, the inhabitants of an area of about 13,000 square kilometres (5,000 sq mi) were evacuated due to sleeping sickness spread by tsetse flies. In 1910, the Bunyoro Game Reserve was created in the south of the River Nile. The area roughly corresponds to the part of the MFNP that is in the districts of Buliisa, Masindi, and Kiryandongo with the nearby towns where you can access the healthy centers like Masindi Hospital, Pakwach Healthy Centre IV, Pakwach Mission Healthy Centre and many more.

In 1928, the boundaries were extended north of the river into the modern-day Nwoya District. And in 1952, the British administration established the National Parks Act of Uganda. During the regime of Idi Amin in the 1970s, the name was changed to Kabalega Falls, after the Omukama (King) Kabalega of Bunyoro, although this was never legally promulgated. The name reverted to Murchison Falls following the downfall of Amin as described above became Murchison Falls National Park.

The Park is located 305km/190mi north of Kampala. The drive to the southern entrance gate takes 4 to 5 hours and about. It is also possible to fly to the park by chartered or scheduled aircraft service from Entebbe International Airport (EBB) or Kajjansi Airfield near Kampala to Pakuba Airfield, Chobe or Bugundu

  • Visit to Top of the fall.
  • Boat Cruises
  • Nature Walk
  • Community Tour
  • Birding.

Queen Elizabeth National Park.

  • Overview
  • Location
  • History
  • How to get there
  • Activities in the Park

Queen Elizabeth National Park in Uganda is known as a Medley of wonders. QENP occupies an estimated 1,978 square kilometers (764 sq mi) and lies at an altitude of about 1,300m. The park is known for its abundant wildlife, including African elephant, African buffalo, Ugandan kob, hippopotamus, topi, waterbuck, warthog, giant forest hog, Nile crocodile, leopard, spotted hyena, chimpanzee and lion. Overall, the park is home to 95 mammal species and over 600 bird species like shoebill, saddle-billed stork, crowned eagle, grey crowned crane, great white pelican, Swamp flycatcher, white stork, squacco heron and many more. The area around Ishasha in Rukungiri District is famous for its tree-climbing lions, whose males often sport black manes.

Queen Elizabeth National Park (QENP) is in the Western region of Uganda, spanning the districts of KaseseKamwengeRubirizi, and Rukungiri. The park is approximately 400 kilometres (250 mi) by road south-west of Kampala, Uganda’s capital and largest city. The city of Kasese lies to the northeast of the park, while the town of Rubirizi is to the southeast. The park adjoins Kyambura Game Reserve to the east, which itself adjoins the Kigezi Game Reserve (including the Maramagambo Forest) and thus the Kibale National Park to the northeast. The Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of the Congo lies across the border to the west. Together, these protected places completely encircle Lake Edward. The Rwenzori Mountains National Park in Uganda lies not far to the northwest.

The park was founded in 1952 as Kazinga National Park by combining the Lake George and Lake Edward Game Reserves. It was renamed two years later to commemorate a visit by Queen Elizabeth II.  In 2020, Uganda Wildlife Authority executive director Samuel John Mwandha stated that the wildlife in park has been increasing in the last five years.

QENP, together with the adjacent Virunga National Park, was designated as a ‘lion conservation unit’ by the IUCN in 2006. The area is also considered a potential lion Stronghold in Central Africa, if poaching is curbed and prey species are allowed to recover. The resident lion population (including hyenas and leopards) are actively monitored by the Uganda Carnivore Program and the Uganda Wildlife Authority through the use of radio collars and other conservation initiatives.

The park is also famous for its volcanic features, including volcanic cones and deep craters, many with crater lakes, such as the Katwe craters, from which salt is extracted.

Queen Elizabeth National Park is located about 410km/255mi west of Kampala. The direct drive takes at least 7 to 8 hours. It is also possible to fly to any of the nearby airstrips of Kasese, Mweya or Kihihi (for Ishasha) by scheduled or chartered aircraft from Entebbe International Airport (EBB) or Kajjansi Airfield near Kampala.

  • Game Drives
  • Boat Cruises along Kazinga Channel.
  • Birding
  • Community Visits
  • Lion Tracking.

Kidepo Valley National Park

  • Overview
  • Location
  • History
  • How to get there
  • Activities in the Park

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.

Kidepo Valley National Park is located near Karenga in Kaabong District, in the northeastern corner of Uganda. The park is approximately 220 kilometers (140 mi), by road northwest of Moroto, the largest town in the sub-region. It is approximately 520 kilometers (320 mi), by road, northeast of Kampala, Uganda’s capital and largest city. The northwestern boundary of the park runs along the international frontier with Bira, South Sudan

The Ketebo or Mening are the original inhabitants of the area, who had been living here since 1800. It was gazetted as a game reserve by the British colonial government in 1958, and the people were evicted. The purpose was both to protect the animals from hunting and to prevent further clearing of bush for tsetse fly-control.The park was gazetted as a national park in 1962, it has a profusion of big game and hosts over 77 mammal species.

And also it 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.

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 especially with its dense populations of Lion ,Buffalos, Elephant and many similar angulates.

Kidepo’s elephant population has surged from around 200 in the mid 1990’s to between 650 and 1000 today. The African Buffalo population is now estimated at 10,000-15,000.The Rothschild Giraffe are very notable, breeding more than 50 individuals from the bottleneck of the mid 1990’s population of three and supplemented several from translocation.

The bird checklist of over 476 species with the common Ostrich, secretary bird, northern carmine bee eater, little green bee eater, Abyssinian scimitar bill and many more colorful and visible species which promotes it to be the True African Wilderness.

It is also possible to drive to Kidepo. There are several routes. The most direct route, through Gulu to Lokumoit Gate, takes about 10 hours. The trip can be broken up with an overnight stop at Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary, Gulu or Kitgum. Two longer routes pass through the remote Karamoja subregion, arriving at Nataba Gate. Karamoja was subject to banditry in the past, but it has been considered safe for several years and is a growing center of community-based tourism focused on the small town of Moroto.

Flights between parks are usually scheduled by your tour operator. They will also arrange for your pick-up from the airport or your hotel in most cases. You will enter Uganda by way of Entebbe International Airport (EBB), which is near the town of Entebbe and 46km/29mi from Kampala, Uganda’s capital.

  • Game Drives
  • Nature Walk
  • Bird Watching

Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.

  • Overview
  • Location
  • History
  • How to get there
  • Activities in the Park

Bwindi Impenetrable National Park lies in southwestern Uganda, is situated along the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) border next to the Virunga National Park  on the edge of the Rift Valley. Its mist-covered hillsides are blanketed by one of Uganda’s oldest and most biologically diverse rain forests, Composed of 321 square kilometers (124 sq mi),  1.0521° S, 29.6201° E , altitudes in the park range from 1,190 to 2,607 meters above sea level, of both mountainous and lowland forest, it is accessible only on foot. BINP is a United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization-designated World Heritage Site which dates back over 25,000 years and contains almost 400 species of plants, More famously, The Ultimate Gorilla Experience, this “impenetrable forest” also protects an estimated 459 mountain gorillas roughly half of the world’s population, Species diversity is a feature of the park it provides habitat for 120 species of mammals, 350 species of birds, 310 species of butterflies, 27 species of frogs, chameleons, geckos, and many endangered species.

Bwindi Impenetrble National Park is located at the edge of the western rift valley in the highest parts of the Kigezi Highlands, which were created by up-warping of the Western Rift Valley. The park covers parts of the districts of Kanungu, Kabale, and Kisoro.

These districts where you can easily access to the healthy facilities like Kabale Hospital, Kabale Surgery Clinic, MPARO Healty Centre IV, Kanungu Healthy Centre IV, and Community Healty Empowerment and many more where people outreach Healthy programs.

They are found in southwestern Uganda close to the border with the Virunga Volcanoes that border Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

In 1932, two blocks of the Bwindi Impenetrable forest were designated as Crown Forest reserves to provide extra protection for its mountain gorillas in 1964. The reclassification of the park had a large impact on the Batwa pygmy people, who were evicted from the forest and no longer permitted to enter the park or access its resources. Gorilla tracking became a tourist activity in April 1993, and the park became a popular tourist destination in 1994, a 10-square-kilometre (3.9 sq mi) area was incorporated into the park and it was inscribed on the World Heritage List.

The park has spread over a series of steep ridges and valleys, and also is the source of five major rivers that flow to the north, west, and south,  include the IviMunyagaIhihizoIshasha, and Ntengyere rivers, which flow into Lake Edward.

How to get to the park.

By Road

Bwindi Impenetrable National Park can be accessed following several routes. Here are some of the most common routes to take.

Kampala City – Ntungamo Town – Rukungiri Town – Kihihi Town – Buhoma Town

It takes you about 390 kilometers to Rukungiri followed by 82 kilometers on winding murram roads to the park’s headquarters at Buhoma.

Kampala City – Kabale Town – Kanungu Town – Buhoma HQ

The route is tarmacked for about 414 kilometers between Kampala and Kabale for approximately 6 hours after which tourists follow a winding murram road for 120 kilometers through Kanungu and Kanyantorogo for another 5 hrs until you reach Buhoma where the park’s headquarters are found. A 4WD vehicle is highly recommended.

Queen Elizabeth National Park (Mweya) – Kihihi Town – Buhoma HQ

This route takes you through Queen Elizabeth National Park’s southerly called Ishasha, providing the chance of a stopover in search of the iconic tree-climbing lions. Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is approximately 160 kilometers from Mweya and about 64 kilometers from Ishasha. The journey is mainly along a dirt road. By A 4WD vehicle is highly recommended.

Kampala City – Kabale Town – Ruhija Sector – Buhoma HQ

The distance from Kabale-Ruhija-Buhoma is about 95 kilometers over a winding murram road; a journey that lasts about 4 hours.

Kampala City – Kabale Town – Nkuringo Sector.

The distance from Kabale to Nkuringo is about 105 kilometers; approximately 4 hours in total along a mountainous murram road.

By Air.

Bwindi is served by a series of flights including a daily scheduled flight from Entebbe International Airport to Kihihi air strip and to Kisoro Airstrip for tourists visiting the park’s southern sectors of Nkuringo and Rushaga from which tourists will need a 4WD vehicle to transfer them along a winding murram road to their lodge in time for the next day’s trek. 

  • Gorilla Tracking
  • Gorilla Habituation
  • Forest/Nature Walk.
  • Birding
  • Community Visits

Lake Mburo National Park

  • Overview
  • Location
  • History
  • How to get there
  • Activities in the Park

Lake Mburo National Park is a compact gem which was gazetted in 1933 as a controlled hunting area and upgraded to a game reserve in 1963, later was established in 1983 and it’s put under the supervision by Uganda wildlife Authority the organization body responsible for monitoring and conservation of all Uganda National parks, wild reserves and many more.

The park is about 370km2 making it one of the Uganda smallest savannah national park, lies at 1,220m – 1,828m above sea level, longitude and latitude of about 0.5989° S, 30.9732° E. The park is also known as whispers of the wild due it’s unique features, it has about 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 and Underlain by ancient Precambrian metamorphic rocks which date back more than 500 million year. It’s a home to 350 bird species mosque swallow, black bellied bustard, bare-faced-go away bird, Ruppell’s starling as well as about 68 mammals like; zebras, impalas, elands, buffalos, oribi, Defassa waterbuck, leopard, hippos, hyena, topi and reedbuck and many more.

The Lake Mburo national park is located conveniently close to the highway that connects to Kampala. The driving distance between Kampala and Lake Mburo National Park is about 230.1 kilometers to the park of western Nyabushozi County, Kiruhura district in Uganda.

Lake Mburo was originally gazetted in 1933 as a controlled hunting area and upgraded to a game reserve in 1963. The region was settled by Banyankole Bahima pastoralists who traditionally herd Ankole cattle, and up to present. The Obote government‘s upgrade decision was intended, in part, to weaken the Banyankole, who supported anti-Obote rebels. It came at the time of the Operation Bonanza massacre of 300,000 people during the Ugandan Bush War. As the evicted pastoralists were not compensated for lost grazing land or assisted with resettling, many remained hostile to the upgrade. The rangeland outside the park was subsequently subdivided into small ranges and subsistence farming plots.

Then later the park’s original land area was eventually re-gazetted by the National Resistance Movement government in 1986. Within the park there are still culturally significant locations, such as Rubanga, where sacrifices were once made to the gods, Ruroko is where the semi-mythical Bachwezi lived, and Kigarama was where the servants of the king used to stay. And as per now the park is officially visited by the tourists either international or locals.

How to get to the park.

By Road

Lake Mburo National Park is the closest of all Uganda’s national parks to the capital city; located between Kampala and Mbarara City. The park is mainly accessed by road over a journey of approximately 228 kilometers (about 3 ½ hours).

From Kampala, the park can be accessed through two gates. If traveling from Kampala, the first branch off on the left leads you to the Nshara Gate for about 5 kilometers. The second is at Sanga trading center for about 13 kilometers to the park’s Sanga Gate.

Both gates are only about 2 kilometers from the park’s headquarters at Rwonyo.

By Air

Whereas there aren’t any direct flights into the park, tourists can charter flights from either Entebbe International Airport or Kajjansi Airstrip to Mbarara airstrip through one of the domestic carriers. The flight is approximately 1 ½ hours. You will then transfer by road to the park for a short distance.

  • Day game drive
  • Nature walks.
  • Night game drive.
  • Boat cruise.
  • Birding
  • Horseback safaris.
  • Cycling safaris.
  • Sport fishing.
  • Community visits.

Mgahinga Gorilla National Park.

  • Overview
  • Location
  • History
  • How to get there
  • Activities in the Park

Mgahinga Gorilla National Park sits high in the clouds, at an altitude of between 2,227mand 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 uniquely where ‘gold meets silver’. Mgahinga forms part of the much larger Virunga Conservation Area which includes adjacent parks in these countries.

The park boasts of over 76 mammals which include elephants, giant forest hog, bush pigs,bush back. Buffalos, leopards, a bird checklist of over 180 species including the 14 endemic Albertine rift notably the Kivu ground thrush and turaco.

Mgahinga Gorilla National Park is about 510 kilometers from Kampala; the most commonly used route passes through Kabale and Kisoro. The 434 kilometers journey from Kampala to Kabale can be completed in 8 hours on good tarmac.

The park also located in the Virunga Mountains and encompasses three inactive volcanoes, namely Mount Muhabura, Mount Gahinga, and Mount Sabyinyo. In altitude the national park ranges from 2,227 to 4,127 m (7,306 to 13,540 ft) and is part of the Nile River watershed area. It is contiguous with Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park and the southern sector of Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

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 and is about 33.7km2, making it Uganda’s smallest National Park.

How to get to the park.

By Road

The drive from Kampala to Kisoro, the closest town to Mgahinga Gorilla National Park is about 9 hours via Kabale. A 4WD vehicle is highly recommended. The route is very winds around one of the most beautiful pockets in Uganda; a journey that appeals to all senses. There is also a daily bus service for tourists that aren’t traveling in a private vehicle. Note that you will have to hire an extra shuttle from Kisoro town to the park’s boundary.

 By Air

There are several options of flights from daily scheduled to chartered flights out of Entebbe International Airport and Kajjansi Airstrip to Kisoro Airstrip. Flights last about 1 hour and 10 minutes. From here, tourists will transfer over a murram road to arrive at the park.

The visitors can be involved in some of the activities like; gorilla tracking, the park has one family called Nyakagezi that receives tourists on gorilla-tracking safaris every day, the treks can be challenging or easy and can last between 1 hour to up to 8 hours depending on your fitness levels as well as where the gorilla group is on any given day. All treks start with an 8:00 AM briefing followed by a journey into the forest led by an UWA ranger guide, golden monkey tracking, this is indeed seen in how silver backs and golden monkeys share a close range of habitat,

  • Volcano hiking
  • Bird watching
  • Batwa experience
  • Nature walks.

Rwenzori Mountains National Park

  • Overview
  • Location
  • History
  • How to get there
  • Activities in the Park

The park is about 996km2, lies on an Altitud 5,109m, 00°23′09″N 29°52′18″E / 0.38583°N 29.87167°E, includes most of the centre and eastern half of the Rwenzori Mountains, a mountain range rising above dry plains located just north of the equator.

Those mountains are higher than the Alps and are ice-capped. Mount Stanley is located in the park. Margherita Peak, one of Mount Stanley’s twin summits, is Africa’s third highest peak with a height of 5,109 meters (16,762 ft). Africa’s fourth and fifth highest peaks (Mount Speke and Mount Baker) are also located in the park.

The park has glaciers, snowfields, waterfalls, and lakes and is one of Africa’s most beautiful mountain areas. The 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 – 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, fairy-tale scene. And the highest pointis at 5,109m above sea level on Mt Stanley’s Margherita Peak. The border with DR Congo bisects Mt. Stanley.

The park was gazetted in 1991 and was recognized as a World Heritage site in 1994 and a Ramsar site in 2008. 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 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.

How to get to the park.

To get to Rwenzori Mountain National Park, visitors can either use road transport or air transport. By road there are two routes From Kampala via Mubende to Fort Portal which is 300km can take visitor about 4hrs. From Kampala via Masaka-Mbarara-Bushenyi to kasese , which is about 350km can take tourists roughly 6 hours.

  • Mountain climbing
  • Bird watching
  • Community visits
  • Nature walk
  • Camping

Kibale National Park

  • Overview
  • Location
  • History
  • How to get there
  • Activities in the Park

Kibale National Park is a national park in western Uganda, protecting moist evergreen rainforest. It is 766 square kilometres (321 km2) in size, and ranges between 1,160m – 2,607m, 0.486176 and the longitude is: 30.389665. Despite encompassing primarily moist evergreen forest, it contains a diverse array of landscapes. Kibale is one of the last remaining expanses to contain both lowland and montane forests. In eastern Africa, it sustains the last significant expanse of pre-montane forest.

The Most prominent among Kibale’s primates is the chimpanzee population surge of about 1,500 individuals, divided into atleast a dozen different communities, four of which are habituated to humans. The Kanyantale community has been subject to daily tourist tracking since 1993.

Kibale National Park is a national park in western Uganda in the district of Kabarole. The park forms a continuous forest with Queen Elizabeth National Park. This adjoining of the parks creates a 180 kilometres (110 mi) wildlife corridor. It is an important ecotourism and safari destination, well-known for its population of habituated chimpanzees and twelve other species of primates. It is also the location of the Makerere University Biological Field Station.

The park was gazetted in 1932 and formally established in 1993 to protect a large area of forest previously managed as a logged forest reserve. Kibale’s most primate capital of the world. Thirteen species can be sought, and a good variety of diurnal monkeys invariably encountered, but the stars of this twice-daily show are chimpanzees.

Kibale’s most popular activity is the Kanyanchu Primate walk which have been tracked since 1993 and the chances of locating them are excellent. Guided walks start at 8am and 2pm and last an average of three hours, depending on various factors. The Park acts as a habitat for 120 mammals, including several primate species such as baboons and chimpanzees, as well as forest elephants and antelopes. There are around 370 species of birds hosted in this forest, including 23 Albertine Rift endemics. The Nahan’s francolin, cassin’s spinetail,blue headed bee-eater and low-land masked apalis.

How to access to the park.

The park can easily accessed by roadthe quickest route to Kibale National Park from Kampala city is through the Kampala-Fort Portal highway. The park can be reached over a fully-tarmacked road for a distance of 326 kilometers (approximately 6 hours). And an hour’s drive away from the park to Fort Portal town.

There is also the alternative but longer option of going through Mbarara city with an optional stopover at Lake Mburo and Queen Elizabeth National Park. And other ways to the park is by

 Air whereas there aren’t any direct flights into the park, tourists can either schedule or charter flights from Entebbe International Airport or Kajjansi Airstrip to Kasese Airstrip through one of the domestic carriers. The flight lasts about 1 hour. From here tourists will transfer by road for about 2 hours to the park headquarters. There is also the option of chartered flights to Fort Portal for 1 hour and 30 minutes.

  • Mountain climbing
  • Bird watching
  • Community visits
  • Nature walk
  • Camping

Mount Elgon National Park

  • Overview
  • Location
  • History
  • How to get there
  • Activities in the Park

Mount Elgon National Park is home to over 300 species of birds, including the endangered Lammergeyer.  The higher slopes are protected by national parks in Uganda and Kenya, creating an extensive trans-boundary conservation area which has been declared a UNESCO Man & Biosphere Reserve. It’s about 1,121 km2, altitude 4,321 m, Latitude; 1° 7′ 6″ N,Longitude;34° 31′ 35″ E. Mountain Elgon is an extinct shield volcano on the border of Uganda and Kenya, north of Kisumu and west of Kitale. The mountain’s highest point, named “Wagagai”, is located entirely within Uganda. Although there is no verifiable evidence of its earliest volcanic activity, geologists estimate that Mount Elgon is at least 24 million years old, making it the oldest extinct volcano in East Africa.

The mammalian fauna of Mount Elgon is poorly known.The most common species,or atleast the most visible to hikers, are blue monkeys and black and white Columbus’s small number of Elephants are residents of forests and several montane moorland endemics.

Park is located in Mbale Eastern Uganda and lies at 1,121 km2; Mt Elgon was once Africa’s highest mountain, far exceeding Kilimanjaro’s current 5,895m. At 4,000km² Mt. Elgon has the largest mountain caldera in the world. Located on the Uganda-Kenya border it is also the oldest and largest solitary, volcanic mountain in East Africa. Its vast form, 80km in diameter, rises more than 3,000m above the surrounding plains. The mountain’s cool heights offer respite from the hot plains below, with the higher altitudes providing a refuge for flora and fauna. The ultimate goal on reaching the top of Mt. Elgon is not the final ascent to the 4321m Wagagai Peak, but the descent into the vast 40km² caldera. Millennia of erosion have reduced its height to 4,321m, relegating it to the 4th highest peak in East Africa and 8thon the continent.

The Park is surrounded by Bagisu, also known as the BaMasaba, consider Mount Elgon to be the embodiment of their founding father Masaba and refer to the mountain by this name. Also the mountain’s name originates from its Maasai name, Elgonyi.

Mount Elgon and its tributaries are home to five tribes: the Bukusu, the Bagisu, the Sapinjek, the Sabaot, and the Ogiek, better known in the region under the derogatory umbrella term Ndorobo.

Tourists can connect to the park from Kampala/ Jinja by road via Kampala-Jinja-Tirinyi- Mbale-Bulambuli – Kapkwai to Mt. Elgon national park which is about 256km 3 hours.

  • Bird Watching,
  • Summit Hikes,
  • Nature Walks,
  • Cave Visits,
  • Coffee tour

Semuliki Forest Reserve.

  • Overview
  • Location
  • History
  • How to get there
  • Activities in the Park

It is the only tract of true lowland tropical forest in East Africa, hosting 441 recorded bird species and 53 mammals. Semuliki forest reserves has a size of about 220km², altitude 670-760m above sea level. 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. This biologically diverse region also provides shelter to a further 120 mammals, including several primate species such as baboons and chimpanzees, as well as elephants and antelopes. Hippos are common along the semuliki river, as are crocodiles, More than 300 species of butterflies have been identified, including 46 species of forest swallow tail,together with 235 moth species. Over 435 bird species have been recorded in Semuliki National Park. The checklist includes 35 Guinea-congo forest biome bird species, spot-breasted ibis, Haartlaub’s duck, Congo sepent eagle, chestnut flaned goshawk,red thighed sparrowhawk.Furthermore, another 12 species with extremely little distribution are spotted like the western bronze-naped pigeon. yellow throated cukoo and many more.

Semuliki national park is a true birder’s haven located in Bundibugyo district, ‎Uganda . The forest reserve is neighboring 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 the open plains and Batwa, pygmies, traditionally hunter gathers, live o The park lies on Uganda’s border with the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The Rwenzori Mountains are to the south-east of the park, while Lake Albert is to the park’s north. The park lies within the Albertine Rift, the western arm of the East African Rift.[4] The park is located on a flat to gently undulating landform that ranges from 670 to 760 m (2,200 to 2,490 ft) above sea level n the edge of the forest.

Semuliki forest reserve was created in 1932 and upgraded to national park status in 1993.The park has two hot springs in a hot mineral encrusted swamp. One of the springs – Mumbuga spring – resembles a geyser by forming a 0.5 m high fountain. These hot springs attract a large number of shorebirds and provide salt licks for many animals. From 1932 to 1993, the area covered by Semuliki National Park was managed as a forest reserve, initially by the colonial government and then by the Ugandan government’s Forest Department. It was made a national park by the government in October 1993 to protect the forests as an integral part of the protected areas of the Western Rift Valley.

How to g et to the park.

Getting to semuliki from Kampala to Fort Portal: Kampala-Fort Portal via Mubende is about 180 Km. (about 4-5 hrs drive) while Kampala -Fort Portal via Masaka, Mbarara, Kasese is about 465 Km (7-8 hrs). In both routes 2-wheel drive vehicles can be useful.

  • Nature walks,
  • Bird watching,
  • Visiting Sempaya hot springs,
  • Batwa experience,
  • Ntoroko boat trip

Orogu Translated »

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