Are you looking for that one exceptional destination that rewards visitors with magical experiences? Well, you need not to look any further while on safari in Uganda as there are several magical places for you to make the best choice. To realize your dreams in this most scenic country, your choice should however rotate around the following areas;
Mount Rwenzori National Park
While on safari in Uganda, Mount Rwenzori National Park is that one magical place that shouldn’t miss out in your bucket list. This stunning protected area derived its name from the magical Rwenzori Mountain ranges also popular as the Mountains of the Moon. And if you are adventure seeker this is the best place for you to realize your dreams and you won’t regret in life. The Rwenzori Mountain range is remarkably one of the major tourist attractions at this park and while on hiking adventure; you will be amazed by magical views of its alpine highland glaciers, blue cirque Lakes, snowfield and several attractions which rank it among a few most stunning mountain parks in Africa. The Rwenzori Mountain stands at altitude 5109 meters making it one of the tallest mountain ranges in the continent. If you have ever thought of that one adventure for you to challenge yourself then embarking on mountain climbing in Mount Rwenzori should be a must.
While on this breathtaking adventure, you will be filled with magical views of the surrounding areas and along the way, don’t miss to catch a glimpse at the mammal species that thrive at the base of this magnificent mountain as well as 5 unique vegetation zones-the bamboo forest, tree heath bog, hagenia rapanea scrub, afro alpine moorland and montane forest. This park is also one of a few UNESCO World Heritage Sites and Ramsar site. Besides, this park also boasts of incredible wildlife species that are worth exploring while you are on safari in Uganda and among others include over 220 avian species, 9 reptiles and six amphibians and not to forget mammal species such as buffaloes, elephants, giant forest hogs, leopards, chimpanzees, bush buck. This splendid park is ideal for mountain climbing, nature walks and many more. The Rwenzori Mountain range lies within Bundibugyo, Kabarole, Kasese and Ntoroko district. It can be reached from Kampala through Fort Portal or from Kasese to Fort Portal. Alternatively, you can take a flight from Entebbe Airport or Kajjansi airfield to Kasese airfield.
KIDEPO NATIONAL PARK
When you think of unusual safari destination, Kidepo Valley National Park is that one splendid place that you need to pay a visit. This park sprawls within the rugged semi arid Karamoja valleys in northeastern Uganda and extends for about 1442 square kilometers. This makes it the 3rd most extensive savanna grassland protected area in Uganda after Queen Elizabeth National Park. It boasts of its scenic savanna landscape that rewards travelers with true African experiences. Its vegetation largely consists of tree savanna grassland and various in structure and composition. It comprises of mountain forests and along River Lorupei, there is acacia forest. Besides, there are small hills, inselbergs and rocky outcrops. This park still remains one of a few destinations with untouched natural wonders.
Its fauna species are supported by its distinct habitats like the open thorn bush, semi desert scrub, open thorn scrub, long and short grass open tree savanna, riparian woodland and Kigelia as well as Borassus woodland, dense miombo like woodland, granite out crops and montane forest. For visitors on wildlife safari in Kidepo Valley National Park, you will be amazed by magical views of the big game especially lions, leopards, African elephants, buffaloes and not to forget Burchell’s zebra, warthogs, bush pigs, elands, bush duskier, Defassa waterbuck, Bohor reed buck, Jackson hartebeest, Oribis, Rothschild giraffe, spotted hyenas, black jackals, side striped jackal, white tailed mongoose a mention but a few. For magical views, at these natural wonders, the notable areas that you shouldn’t miss to pay a visit include the Narus valley, the southern tip of the Katurum loop. Besides, bird enthusiasts are never left out at this park a fact that there are more than 475 bird species for you to explore. While on avian safari, expect to sight birds like the African grey flycatcher, little green bee-eater, red billied oxpecker, eastern yellow and Jackson’s hornbills, brown rumped bunting, black bellied and black faded waxbill, black breasted barbet, long tailed and standard winged nightjars, mosque swallow, Nubian woodpecker, vinaceous dove, scarlet chested sunbird, little weaver and red cheeked cordonbleu, orange winged and red winged pytilias, yellow necked Spurfowl, pygmy falcon, white bellied and hartlaub’s bustards, eastern pale chanting go-shawk ruppells and super starlings, Bruce’s green pigeon, Ethiopian swallow, stone partridge, rose ringed parakeet, fan tailed raven, Abyssinian ground, white faced scoops owl, slate colored boubou, ostriches, red fronted and black breasted barbets, African swallow tailed kite, steel blue and straw tailed whydahs, white billed buffalo weaver, Karamoja apalis a mention but a few.
BWINDI IMPENETRABLE FOREST NATIONAL PARK
For primate lovers, Bwindi National Park is such exceptional place that you should count a must to visit and you won’t regret in life. This park lies in the southwestern Uganda and covers an area of about 331 square kilometers. For memorable experiences while on your safari at this park, there are more than 120 mammal species for you to explore among them include rodents, bats, elephants, antelopes and not to forget primate species including more than 400 mountain gorillas that make it one of a few most exceptional safari destinations in the world, chimpanzees, red tailed monkeys and a mention but a few. Besides, there are also 350 avian species for you to spot out and 23 of these are endemic to Albertine rift while the 14 are not found in any part of the country. While on birding tour, expect to sight birds like the African green broadbill, brown necked parrot, white tailed blue flycatcher, Turacos, hornbills, Frazer’s eagle owl a mention but a few. Also, there are more than 220 butterfly species that thrive within this park, 27 frog species, 1000 unique flowering plant species with more than 163 and 104 of them are tree and fern species respectively.
The notable tourist activities for you to enjoy while on safari in Bwindi National Park include gorilla trekking and permits for this lifetime experience costs $600 per visitor; bird watching, nature walks.
MURCHISON FALLS NATIONAL PARK
The popular Murchison Falls National Park lies in northwestern Uganda. It extends for over 3840 square kilometers and it is the Uganda’s largest park. This park boasts of numerous tourist attraction most of which include Murchison Falls one of the world’s most powerful waterfalls, as well as wildlife species like elephants, leopards, lions, waterbucks, buffaloes, Uganda Kobs, chimpanzees in Budongo forest, hippos, crocodiles, giraffes, warthogs, Jackson’s hartebeests, hyenas and not to leave out more than 450 avian species. Most of these natural wonders can be explored while on game drive, boat cruise, nature walks, bird watching and you can also embark on hiking adventures to the top of Murchison Falls, sport fishing.
Mgahinga National Park
The less known Mgahinga Gorilla National Park covers an area of about 33 square kilometers making it Uganda’s smallest park. It is situated in southwestern Uganda and it was established mainly to offer refuge to the rare mountain gorillas which make it one of a few most exceptional protected areas in the world and one of the best options for gorilla trekking in Uganda.
The major tourist attractions for you to explore at this park include Sabinyo volcano which stretches for about 3645 meters, Mount Muhabura at 4127 meters and Mount Gahinga at 3474 meters. Besides, there are elephants, golden monkeys, buffaloes, bush bucks, bird species and others which add on your experiences while on safari at this park.
It is also surrounded by the Batwa-the most popular forest dwellers who lived in the forest for centuries while hunting and gathering but left with no negative effect on the environment. Today they are marginalized and you can explore more about their cultures, traditions while on community walk or during cultural encounters.
The most popular and exciting safari activities for you to enjoy at this park include mountain gorilla trekking, golden monkey trekking, bird watching to spot out some of its rare bird species that make up a total of about 300 including those that are endemic to Albertine rift, the grey capped weavers, whydahs, speckled mousebird, fir finch, stonechat and others, hiking, the Garama cave exploration. Mgahinga National Park can be reached from Kampala through Kabale-Kisoro or by air from Entebbe Airport/Kajjansi Airfield to Kisoro airstrip. For visitor overnight stay, the notable safari lodges include Mount Gahinga Rest Camp, Mgahinga Safari Lodge, Travelers rest camp and others.
In conclusion, Uganda comprises of several magical tourist areas that are worth including in your travel plan. Each of these places reward visitors with unique experiences as they feature distinct tourist attractions. If you are planning for your next holiday in Uganda, the above areas should be a must in your bucket list.