Uganda is by far a magical landlocked country in East-Central Africa, dubbed the pearl of Africa. Unlike other countries, Uganda is crossed by the Equator and it is one of the few safest safari destinations one can think of spending a holiday in Africa. A Uganda safari takes visitors through its diverse and magical tourist sites to explore and experience something unique from the usual.
Below are the 10 best places to visit in Uganda
1. Murchison Falls National Park
Murchison Falls National Park boosts one of the world’s wonders at the top and bottom of the falls. This pristine park lies in northwestern Uganda about 4-5 hours from Kampala and it is the largest of all the 10 national parks in Uganda. It expands up to about 3893sq.kms and it is largely a savanna grassland area. It derives its name from Murchison Falls, one of the powerful waterfalls on earth that squeezes itself in a narrow gorge of about 7 meters before plunging down to 43 meters.
Established in 1952 the national reserve is home to a large number of diverse savanna dwellers including leopards, Rothschild giraffes, buffaloes, lions, African bush elephants, antelopes like bushbucks, oribis, Uganda Kobs; warthogs, as well as hippos, crocodiles, about 451 bird species, chimpanzees in Budongo Forest to mention but a few.
The park is the best choice for tourists looking for a budget safari in Uganda offering numerous tourism activities covering game viewing experience/game drives, boat/launch cruise, birding, nature walks, sport fishing, hot air balloon safaris, chimpanzee tracking, chimpanzee habituation experience and many others. Depending on your travel interests, Murchison Falls National Park is best to visit during the dry season, which starts from June, July, August, September and December, January, February, and in case you are interested in bird watching tours then consider visiting this park during the wet season. The wet/rainy season begins from March-May and October-November.
2. Queen Elizabeth National Park
Sprawling in the western districts of Kamwenge, Rubiririzi, Kasese, Rukuringiri, Queen Elizabeth National Park is about 6 hours’ drive away from Kampala. It is Uganda’s second largest after Murchison Falls National Park with an area of about 1978sq.kms. It is a home to diverse savanna dwellers including among others the tree-climbing lions at Ishasha sector, leopards, buffaloes, African bush elephants, antelopes as well as over 620 bird species, primate species, hippos, crocodiles. Queen Elizabeth National Park is an ideal safari destination in Uganda for game viewing safaris, boat cruise, birding, lion tracking, nature walks, chimpanzee tracking at Kyambura Gorge, cultural tours to mention but a few.
3. Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is in southwestern Uganda and it is shared by districts like Kanungu, Kabale and Kisoro. This 331sq.km protected area was established in 1991 to offer refuge to mountain gorillas which today feature as iconic tourist attractions in the world. About half of all the 1004 of these endangered species call Bwindi National Park their home. Besides, it also inhabits several other primates including chimpanzees making the only gorilla destination where mountain gorillas share the same habitat with the eastern chimpanzees. This park also shelters elephants, antelopes, over 350 bird species including the rare African green broadbill; baboons, black and white colobus monkeys, 200 butterfly species, 400 plant species to mention but a few.
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is an ideal destination for visitors to embark on gorilla trekking, bird watching, hiking/nature walks, Batwa experience, Bwindi Batwa Forest experience, biking and many more.
4. Lake Mburo National Park
Lake Mburo National Park is one of the best places to visit in Uganda for a safari. It is the nearest of all the ten national parks from Kampala city center. Visitors on Uganda safari to Lake Mburo National Park can spend about 4 hours to drive from Kampala. This park lies in western Uganda in Kiruhura district. It is a home to numerous bird species, zebras, giraffes, buffaloes, leopards, lions, antelopes and many others.
5. Kidepo Valley National Park
Set in the extreme northeast, Kidepo National Park is a magical wilderness area that remains not fully explored. It is the best place to visit in Uganda if you are interested in authentic African experiences. This park lies near the border with South Sudan and comprises of Kidepo River and Narus River that all flow through it. Kidepo National Park is perfect for game viewing-day game drives and night game drives, bird watching, nature walks, cultural safaris to mention but a few.
6. Kibale Forest National Park
Kibale Forest National Park lies in western Uganda about 5 hours’ drive from Kampala. It famous for its over 13 primate species including over 1500 chimpanzees making it the best place to visit in Uganda for chimpanzee tracking safaris. It also boasts of other primates including L’Hoest monkeys, baboons, red tailed monkeys, pottos, bush babies, black and white colobus monkeys as well as forest elephants, buffaloes, over 350 bird species to mention but a few.
7. Source of the Nile
For adrenaline adventure lovers, visiting the source of the Nile at Jinja should be a must-do thing while on Uganda safari. The River Nile features as one of the longest rivers on earth and in Uganda, take a trip to Jinja which is about 80kms away from Kampala and take part in the most thrilling adventure experiences. It is a perfect place for you to do bungee jumping, boat cruise, white water rafting, Kayaking, birding, jet boating, horseback riding to mention but a few.
8. Ssese Islands
Ssese Islands are magical and about 84 of them are in Lake Victoria which is shared by Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania. They are in the northwestern part of Lake Victoria and they are divided into 2 visible groups-the Koome Group and Bugala Group. For honeymooners, Ssese Islands are among the ten places to visit while on Uganda safari.
9. Sipi falls
The Sipi Falls are comprised of 3 magical waterfalls in eastern Uganda, Kapchorwa district, northeast of Sironko and Mbale. They are set on the extreme Mount Elgon National Park just close to border with Kenya. The Sipi falls area is where you can begin your hike to Mount Elgon. These waterfalls give the best of Uganda’s unbeatable sceneries. Hikes to the Sipi falls also reward hikers with magical views over the breathtaking Karamoja Plains. You can hike to explore these natural wonders through the Sipi falls trail.
10. Rwenzori Mountains National Park
For hikers or mountain climbers on Uganda safari, a visit to the Rwenzori Mountains National Park should be a must. This remarkable UNESCO World Heritage Site is set in western Uganda and features scenic waterfalls, glaciers, lakes, unique flora and fauna. It is the best place to visit in Uganda for mountaineering tours which take you to the magical summit of Rwenzori Mountain ranges.
In summary, there are many magical places to visit in Uganda that reward travel endeavors with lots of lasting memories. With the above incredible sites, a Uganda safari won’t leave you out of choice.