Uganda National Parks & Game Reserves
Uganda National Parks & Game Reserves – Uganda as a top-notch tourist destination comprises a variety of tourist attractions such as wildlife, mountains, vegetation, and many more which attract tourists to the country for amazing Uganda Safaris. Tourist attractions in Uganda are protected and conserved in a number of National Parks and reserves as listed and detailed below.
List of Uganda National Parks
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is the most famous national park in Uganda and a remarkable safari destination famous known for mountain gorilla trekking safaris and being home to the world’s largest population of Mountain gorillas. The bwindi impenetrable national park is located in southwestern Uganda in the Albertine rift valley straddling along Uganda and Congo border, this UNESCO World Heritage Site covers an area of 331 square kilometers dominated by tropical rain forest.
Bwindi impenetrable national park is a home 13 habituated mountain gorilla families that are Mubare Gorilla Family, Habinyanja Gorilla Family, Rushegura Gorilla Family, Bitukura Gorilla Family, Oruzogo Gorilla Family, Nkuringo Gorilla Family, Nshongi Gorilla Family, Mishaya Gorilla Family, Kahungye Gorilla Family, Bweza Gorilla Family, Busingye Gorilla Family, Kyaguriro Gorilla Family, and Nyakagezi Gorilla Family.
Bwindi impenetrable national park also boosts other mammals such as black-and-white colobus and L’Hoest’s monkeys, baboons, chimpanzees, forest elephants, several species of antelopes, and many more. There is also bird over 200 bird species including 23 Albertine endemic species, these birds include western green tinker bird, chestnut throated Apalis, Kivu ground thrush, montane oriole, African green broadbill, collared Apalis, shinning African blue, common bulbul, white-tailed flycatcher, finely banded woodpecker, short-tailed warbler and many more.
Safari activities to do in Bwindi impenetrable national park include mountain gorilla trekking, gorilla habituation experience, nature walks, bird watching, and Batwa cultural walk.
Kibale National Park
Kibale national park is a famous primate home in Uganda harboring the largest population of chimpanzees in East Africa, Kibale national park is located in western Uganda protecting moist evergreen rain forests and stretching over an area of 776 square kilometers.
Kibale national park is home to 60 mammal species including 9 primate species and over 335 bird species. Primates in Kibale national park include chimpanzees, vervet, red-tailed, L; Hoest’s and blue monkeys, grey-cheeked mangabey, red colobus, black-and-white colobus, and olive baboon. Other animals include leopard, elephant, buffalo, hippo, warthog, giant forest hog, bushpigs, bushbuck, sitatunga, red and blue duikers, and many more
Birds found in Kibale national park include African Pitta, Green-breasted Pitta, Afep Pigeon, White-naped Pigeon, Crowned Eagle, Red-chested Owlet, Black Bee-eater, Western Nicator, Yellow-rumped Tinkerbird, Little Greenbul, Brown-chested Alethe, Blue-breasted Kingfisher, African Grey Parrot, Scaly-breasted Illadopsis, and many more.
Safari activities to do in Kibale national park include chimpanzee tracking, birding, guided forest walks, visit Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary, visit Sebitoli, and Kihingami wetlands.
Kidepo Valley National Park
Kidepo valley national park is a spectacular Uganda tourist destination located in the remote Karamojong region in north-eastern Uganda, the park lies in the semi-arid valleys of Uganda along the Uganda –South Sudan border. Kidepo valley national park covers an area of 1,442 square comprising of the amazing landscapes consisting of Kidepo valley, Narus Valley, rolling hills, and hot springs.
Kidepo valley national park boasts over 77 mammal species and over 475 bird species, these mammals include elephants, buffaloes, leopards, cheetahs, wild dogs, Pangolins, Aardwolf, Caracal, hunting dogs, and bat-eared fox, Antelopes such as Defassa waterbucks, Elands, Oribis, Reedbucks, Jackson’s hartebeests, bush duikers, bushbucks, Topis and many more. Birds in Kidepo valley national park include Verreaux’s Eagles, Pygmy Falcon, Ostriches, and Egyptian Vultures, the world’s largest and heaviest bird of flight-the Kori bustard, Purple Heron, Abyssinian Roller, Green Wood Hoopoe, the Common Bulbul, buffalo weavers, black-breasted barbets, and White-crested Turaco and many more.
Safari activities to do in Kidepo national park include guided nature walks, bird watching, game drives, cultural encounters in Karamojong villages, and Mountain Morungole climbing.
Lake Mburo National Park
Lake Mburo national park is a stunning tourist destination located in western Uganda and surrounded by Mbarara, Kiruhura, and Isingiro districts and it is in a drive of 4 hours from Kampala city center.
Lake Mburo national park covers an area of 270 square kilometers boosting a wide range of biodiversity including species of wildlife and birds, the whole park is dotted with numerous lakes including Lake Mburo is the biggest lake and dotted with rolling hills.
Animals in Lake Mburo National Park include Burchell’s Zebras, giraffes, leopards, lions, buffaloes, elands, impalas, hippos, crocodiles, and many more.
Birds in the park include Coqui Francolin, Emerald-spotted Wood, Rufous-bellied Heron, Bateleur, and Brown-chested Lapwing, Grey Crowned Crane, Bare-faced Go-away-bird, Red-faced Barbet, and many more.
Safari activities offered in Lake Mburo national park include game drives, boat ride, birding, nature walks, and horseback riding.
Mgahinga National Park
Mgahinga national park is one of the smallest national parks in Uganda covering an area of 33.7 square kilometers, this park sits on a high altitude range of 2,227m and 4,127m.
The park comprises of 3 Virunga mountain ranges that are Gahinga standing at 3474 meters, mount Muhabura at 4127 meters, and mount Sabyinyo at 3645 meters. Mgahinga national park is part of the great Virunga conservation area (VCA) comprising of Volcanoes National Park in northwestern Rwanda and the Virunga National Park in eastern DR Congo.
Mgahinga national park is a famous habitat for the endangered mountain gorillas and the second home to mountain gorillas in Uganda, the park boasts over 76 mammal species and over 115 bird species. Animals in Mgahinga national park include elephants, buffaloes, golden monkeys, spotted hyenas, black-fronted duikers, giant fronted hogs, bushbuck, and many more.
Birds in Mgahinga national park include black kit, white-necked raven, paradise flycatcher, double collared sunbird, ibis, whydah, Ruwenzori nightjar, Ruwenzori turaco, dusky crimson wing, Kivu ground thrush, yellow vented bulbul, waxbills, and many more.
Safari activities to do in Mgahinga national park include mountain gorilla trekking, golden monkey tracking, volcano climbing, nature walks, and cultural encounters.
Mount Elgon National Park
Mount Elgon National Park is a magical Uganda safari destination located in eastern Uganda covering an area of 1145 square kilometers, mountain Elgon national park is named after the extinct volcano of Mountain Elgon.
Mountain Elgon stands at an elevation of 4321 meters and the 4th highest peak in East Africa and the 8th in Africa, Mountain Elgon spans over 4000 square kilometers featuring the largest volcanic base in the world.
Mount Elgon National Park boosts unique vegetation and wildlife, vegetation in the park include thick montane forest, mixed bamboo belts, endemic plants for instance the giant lobelia and groundsels.
Wildlife in the park includes animals and birds, animals in Mount Elgon national park include black and white colobus monkeys, blue monkeys, rock and tree hyraxes, elephant, buffalo, Defassa waterbuck, oribi, bushbuck, duiker, forest hog, bush pig, leopard, civet and serval cats, serval cats, spotted hyena; aardvark and several rodent species.
Birds in Mount Elgon national park include golden-winged and Tacazze sunbirds, Ross’s and Hartlaub’s Turaco, Jackson’s Francolin, lammergeyer, crowned hornbills, black and white casqued hornbills, and many more.
Safari activities to do in Mount Elgon national park include birding, volcano climbing, hiking to sipi falls, and camping.
Murchison Falls National Park
Murchison falls National Park is the oldest national park and one of the most popular destinations in Uganda located on the northern side of the Albertine Rift Valley in Northwestern Uganda, this park is formerly known as Kabarega national park and is the largest national park in Uganda covering an area of 3840 square kilometers.
Murchison falls national park is a habitat to 76 mammal species and over 450 bird species living in the rolling savannah, tall grasslands, and thick bush woodlands dominating the park. The most attractive feature in Murchison falls national park is the mighty Murchison falls formed as River Nile tapers from 50 meters rushing through a 7-meter gorge.
Animals in Murchison falls national park includes herds of elephants, hartebeest, leopard, lion, giraffe, buffalo, hippo, crocodiles, buffaloes, giraffes, Antelopes such as duikers, Uganda Kobs, Oribis, Reedbucks, Hartebeests, and many more. Birds in the park include Abyssinian ground hornbills, Swallow-tailed Bee-eaters, Giant Kingfishers, Secretary birds, Red-throated bee-eaters, Black-bellied Bustards, Malachite Kingfishers, Pied Kingfishers, Open-billed Storks, the Ituri batis, Ducks (mainly sighted by the riverbanks), the Widow bird, the elusive shoebill, Plovers and many more.
Safari activities to do in Murchison falls national park include game viewing, bird watching, hiking, and nature walks, launch cruise/boat cruise, sport fishing, cultural encounters, and chimpanzee tracking.
Queen Elizabeth National Park
Queen Elizabeth national park is one of the most famous safari destinations in Uganda named after the ruling Queen of England (Britain), Queen Elizabeth national park is located in western Uganda stretching through Kasese, Bushenyi, and Bundibugyo districts and about 389 kilometers from Kampala the capital city of Uganda.
Queen Elizabeth national park covering an area of 1,978 square kilometers is always described as a true medley of wonders, the park is famous for tree-climbing lions found in the park’s Ishasha sector and 4 of the big five.
Queen Elizabeth national comprises volcanic cones, deep craters, Kazinga channel, Kyambura gorge, lakes such as Lake Edward and Lake George, and also boosts a variety of wildlife species including animals and birds.
Animals in Queen Elizabeth national park include leopards, elephants, lions, Uganda Safari Kobs, big herds of buffaloes, chimpanzees, black and white monkeys, waterbucks, giant forest hog, topi, hyenas, crocodiles, warthogs, topis, and many more. Birds habiting in Queen Elizabeth national park include the black bee-eaters, martial eagle, African skimmer, white-winged warbler, papyrus Gonolek, and papyrus canary, and corncrake, flocks of flamingos, pink backed pelicans, African broadbill, shoebill storks, and many more.
Safari activities to do in Queen Elizabeth national park include game viewing, boat cruise, birding, nature walks, and hikes, and chimpanzee tracking.
Rwenzori Mountains National Park
Rwenzori mountains national park is a UNESCO World Heritage site comprising of Mountain Rwenzori the 3rd highest mountain in Africa, Rwenzori Mountains national park is located in western Uganda bordering Kabarole, Kasese, and Bundibugyo district and situated about 400 kilometers from Kampala city. The Rwenzori Mountains are the main attraction in this park, these mountains are snow-capped and consist of peaks such as Margherita peak, Stanely peak, Mount Speke, Mount Baker, Emin, Gessi, and Savioa.
Rwenzori Mountains national park covers an area of 998 square kilometers which are composed of various vegetation zones such as bamboo, moist montane forest, moorland, and others. Rwenzori Mountain national park boosts over 70 mammal species, 217 bird species with 19 Albertine endemics, and waterfalls.
Animals found in this park include forest elephant, chimpanzee, hyrax, black-and-white colobus, L’Hoest’s monkeys, duiker, Angola colobus monkey, blue monkeys, Rwenzori otter, bushbucks, leopard, giant forest hog, and many more. Birds in Rwenzori Mountains national park include barred long-tailed cuckoo, long-eared owl, Rwenzori Turaco, slender-billed starling, Lagden’s bush shrike, blue-headed sunbird, barbets, golden-winged sunbird, greenbul, handsome francolin, strange weaver, IIladopsis, crimson wings, flycatchers, cinnamon chested bee-eaters and many more.
Safari activities to do in Rwenzori mountains national park include mountain climbing, trekking, nature walks, and birding safari.
Semuliki National Park
Semuliki national park is located in the remote part of Bundibugyo district in the western region of Uganda, this park is one of the newest national parks in Uganda covering an area of 220 square kilometers and dominated by extensive savannah grasslands, hot springs, Semuliki River, lowland tropical rainforests and Semuliki River.
Semuliki national park protects over 53 mammal species and over 441 bird species, animals in Semuliki national park include grey-cheeked mangabey, de Brazza’s, Dent’s Mona monkeys, Black and white Colobus monkeys, Red-tailed monkeys, Central African red colobus, Olive baboons, waterbucks, buffaloes, warthogs, the rare bush babies, Uganda Kobs, leopards, pygmy hippos and many more.
Birds in Semuliki national park include elusive shoebill stork and Swamp Palm Bulbul found mainly around Lake Albert. Others include Lemon-bellied Crombec, Black Dwarf Hornbill, African Piculet, Chestnut-breasted Negrofinch, Red-billed Dwarf hornbills, Blue-billed Malimbe, Maxwell’s Black Weaver, White-crested Hornbill, Yellow-throated Nicator, White-throated Blue Swallow, Red-rumped Tinkerbird, Yellow-throated Cuckoo, Red-bellied Malimbe, Nkulengu Rail, White-crested Hornbill, Black-casqued Wattled Hornbill, Piping Hornbill, Leaf-love, Crested Malimbe, the Ross’ Turaco and Orange-cheeked Waxbill and many more
Safari activities to do in Semuliki national park include game drives, birding, chimpanzee tracking, nature walks, hiking, visiting Sempaya hot springs, and cultural encounters.
Uganda Game Reserves
Pian Upe wildlife reserve
Pian Upe wildlife reserve is a remarkable conservation area and the second-largest protected area in Uganda located in the Karamoja sub-region in northeastern Uganda, this reserve covers an area of 2788 square kilometers and is dominated by savannah wooded grasslands, riverine woodlands, and kopjes with red acacia and desert date as dominate tree species.
Pian Upe wildlife reserve is a habitat for a variety of animals and birds, animals include lions, elephants, black rhinos, giraffes, plain zebras, common elands, oribi, roan antelope, rock pythons, puff adders, harmless water snakes, lizards, vervet monkeys, baboons and many more. Pian Upe wildlife reserve protects a variety of bird species such as superb sterling’s, Green bitta, Secretary bird, Abyssinian ground hornbill, the rare shoebill stock, Fox weaver bird and many more.
Safari activities to do in Pian Upe wildlife reserve include bird watching, birding, community tours, mountain hiking and guided nature walks.
Matheniko Game Reserve
Matheniko game reserve in Uganda is located in the Karamoja sub-region in northern Uganda and lies along with Uganda – Kenya border, this conservation area is ranked as the 6th most threatened conservation area in Uganda and it stretches over an area of 1520 square kilometers.
Matheniko game reserve is a corridor for conservation and protected areas as it stretches from Kidepo national park running through Bokora and Pian Upe national reserve. Matheniko game reserve protects a variety of wildlife and bird species, animals in this reserve include antelopes such as Bright’s gazelles, lesser kudu, roan antelope, waterbucks, mountain reedbucks, Ugandan kobs, blue duikers, oribis, Bohor reedbucks, topis, common duikers, elands, olive baboons, patas monkey, vervet monkeys, cheetah, striped hyenas, wildcats, spotted hyenas, leopards, civets and many more.
Bird species in Matheniko game reserve include Abyssinian ground hornbill, mountain yellow warbler, Verreaux’s eagle, the Egyptian vulture, the thick honeyguide, the Hartlaub’s Turaco, Ethiopian swallow, Pygmy Falcon, the Black-headed plover, the Cattle egret, the Red-billed Oxpecker, and the Clapperton’s Francolin among more.
Matheniko game reserve offers safari activities such as game drives, birding, and nature walks.
Katonga wildlife reserve
Katonga wildlife reserve is located within to districts of Kyenjojo and Kamwenge in about three hours’ drive from Kampala the capital city of Uganda, this reserve covers an area of 207 square kilometers and is dominated by a mixture of savannah with acacia scrub woodlands, wetlands, forests protecting a number of animals and birds. Animals in Katonga wildlife reserve include Sitatunga, Reedbuck, Waterbuck, Warthog, Bushbuck, Colobus monkey, Elephant, River otter, impalas, zebras, and many more.
Birds in Katonga wildlife reserve are recorded to be over 150 species and they include little grebe, great white pelican, pink-backed pelican, great cormorants grey heron, and many more.
Activities to do in Katonga wildlife reserve include game drives, bird watching and nature walks.
Bokoara Wildlife Reserve
Bokoara wildlife reserve is the second largest wildlife reserve in Uganda located in North Eastern Uganda, this reserve covers an area of 794 square kilometers and is dominated by mainly savanna grasslands, shrubs, short trees, and bush.
Bokoara wildlife reserve inhabits a variety of wildlife species such as Cheetahs, Bright’s gazelles, Buffaloes, Elands, Hartebeests, Leopards, Lesser kudu, Lions, Oribis, Oryx, Reedbucks, Roan antelopes, Rothschild’s Giraffes, Spotted hyenas, Striped hyenas, Topis, Uganda Kobs, Zebras and many more.
There are also a variety of bird species in the reserve such as Ostriches, the African Hill Babbler, the Alpine Chat, the Black-throated Wattle-eye, Dusky Turtle Doves, Eastern Bronze-napped Pigeons, Grey Cuckoo-Shrike, the Hartlaub’s Turaco, Jackson’s Hornbills, the Lemon Dove, the Thick-billed Honeyguide, White-headed Buffalo-weaver and many more.
Safari activities to do in Bokoara wildlife reserve include birding, game viewing, and cultural tours.
Kabwoya Wildlife Reserve
Kabwoya wildlife reserve is a hidden gem located on the western side of the Albertine Rift valley between the blue mountains of Congo and Lake Albert in western Uganda and is at a distance of 300 kilometers from Kampala. This reserve is one of the newly established wildlife reserves in Uganda stretching over an area of 87 square kilometers, Kabwoya wildlife reserve protects a number of wildlife species include animals and birds.
Animals in Kabwoya wildlife reserve include buffaloes, Baboons, Black and white Colobus monkeys, Chimpanzees, Vervet monkeys, Antelopes such as Uganda Kobs, waterbucks, Bushbucks, bush duikers, Jackson’s hartebeests, Impalas, buffaloes, and many more. Birds in Kabwoya wildlife reserve are over 460 bird species and they include Rwenzori turaco, handsome francolin, Willard’s sooty Boubou, stripe breasted-tit, Grauer’s broadbill, dwarf honey guide, dusky crimson wing, Shelley’s, and many more.
Safari activities offered at Kabwoya wildlife reserve include fishing, fossil hunting, mountain biking, quad biking, bird watching, horseback riding, and nature walks.
Karuma Wildlife Reserve
Karuma wildlife reserve is located in Kiryandongo district formerly known as Masindi district in western Uganda, the reserve is a buffer zone for Murchison falls national park covering an area of 820 square kilometers and comprises Karuma falls as they most spectacular attraction and wildlife.
Animals in Karuma wildlife reserve include Cape Buffaloes, the Elephants, the Uganda Kobs, the Rothschild’s giraffes, the vervet monkeys, the Olive baboons, the Black and white Colobus monkeys, L’Hoest’s monkeys, the Topis, the Hippos, the Oribis, occasionally the Lions, Leopards and many more. Birds in Karuma wildlife reserve include yellow-throated leaf love, grey crowned cranes, sunbirds, swamp flycatcher, kingfishers, and many more.
Safari activities offered in Karuma wildlife reserve include birding, game viewing, visiting Karuma falls and nature walks.
Bugungu wildlife reserve
Bugungu wildlife reserve is great conservation in Uganda located at the base of the Great Rift Valley escarpment on the western side of the enormous Murchison falls national park, the reserve is located between Bulisa and Masindi district covering an area of 501 square kilometers.
Bugungu wildlife reserve protects a variety of wildlife species such as hippos, Uganda Kobs, leopards, lions, oribis, buffaloes, warthogs, Oryx, elands, topis, waterbucks, elephants, warthogs, reedbucks, bushbucks, Rothschild’s giraffes, sitatunga, Olive baboons, the Vervet monkeys, L’Hoest’s monkeys, Patas monkeys, black and white Colobus monkeys, dik-dik, Bushbucks, Reedbucks, Topis and many more.
Bugungu wildlife reserve is home to over 240 bird species such as elusive shoebill stork, Black-headed Batis, Dark chanting Goshawk, the White-browed Sparrow Weaver, Black-bellied Bustards, the Black-billed barbets, the Eastern grey Plantain-eater, the Speckle-breasted woodpecker, the Yellow-throated Greenbul, the Black-billed barbets, the Black-billed wood dove, the Double-toothed barbet, the saddle-billed stork, the Giant Kingfisher, the Swamp Flycatcher, the Black-headed Gonolek, and the Abyssinian and many more.
Safari activities to do in Bugungu wildlife reserve include game drives, bird watching, camping and picnic, and visiting the local communities.
Ajai wildlife reserve
Ajai wildlife reserve is located in northern Uganda along the shores of the mighty Albert Nile near Arua district, this reserve is one of the small wildlife reserves in Uganda covering an area of 166 square kilometers protecting over 80 white rhinos and other wildlife species.
Wildlife species in Ajai wildlife reserve include Olive baboons, the black and white colobus monkeys, and the Vervet monkeys, the warthogs, the Sitatunga, the lions, the Lelwel Hartebeest, the Leopards, the Warthogs, Sitatunga, the Blue duikers, the zebras, Common Duiker, the Oribis, as well as Uganda Kobs, crocodiles, hippos, pythons and many more. Birds in Ajai wildlife reserve include Grey Crowned cranes, Marabou stocks and African fish eagles, and many more.
Safari activities to do in Ajai wildlife reserve include game viewing, birding, and nature walks.