Uganda is the only country in the world where the Big 5 – Rhinos, Elephants, Lions, Leopards, Cape Buffalo – can be seen, alongside Chimpanzees and Mountain Gorillas.
Game Viewing - An Overview
Game viewing in Uganda makes for a thrilling journey, from watching the ‘Big 5’ roaming their plains, to tracking chimpanzees in the lush rainforests, and to top it all off, tracking gorillas in the mountain mist.
Uganda’s biodiversity and ecology are an eclectic and rare mix of both the East African savannah and the West African Jungle. Despite the fairly small size of the country, the sheer variety of natural habitats, each with their own peculiarity, is quite mind blowing.
Western Uganda, which lies in the Albertine Rift Valley wins the cup for the most diverse habitats, which are largely protected inside national parks. It has 2 Great Lakes; Lake Albert and Lake Edward and the much smaller Lake George, 2 volcanic ranges; the snow-peaked Rwenzori Mountains and the gorilla-inhabited Virunga Mountains, large swathes of lush equatorial rainforest; including Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, Semiliki Forest and Kibale Forest, and expansive grasslands; in Queen Elizabeth Park, Murchison Falls Park and Lake Mburo Park. Although Northeastern Uganda including Kidepo Valley Park is mostly a semi-arid wilderness, it is still a favoured habitat for many animals.
Eastern Uganda is more popular for hiking and mountaineering on Mt. Elgon and in the Sipi Falls area, but it is also great for birding, and where game can be seen, the scenery and backdrops are spectacular.
Game Viewing - What to see
The variety of wildlife in Uganda is not easily matched; no other country in Africa offers all the top picks of wildlife; the ‘Big 5’ – Lions, Buffaloes, Elephants, Leopards and Rhinos – in addition to Chimpanzees and Mountain Gorillas. Murchison Falls Park is the largest of Uganda’s parks.
Game Viewing - Useful Information
Queen Elizabeth N.P
Queen Elizabeth Park has the most wildlife of any Ugandan park and offers launch cruises on the 32km Kazinga Channel, lion tracking, hot air balloon safari’s and traditional and nocturnal game drives.
Murchison Falls N.P
Murchison Falls Park, the largest of the parks is dissected by the River Nile that serves as the natural oasis for the park around which many of the animals throng. The park offers traditional and nocturnal game drives, a launch cruise on the Nile, and hot air balloon safaris.
Kidepo Valley N.P
Kidepo Valley Park is the park where all of Uganda’s wildlife comes together. The unique climate and landscape of Kidepo makes for prime game viewing, especially in the dry seasons when the park’s animals congregate in the Naurus valley that provides the only water for animals in the park.
Semuliki Park is one of the richest areas in Africa in terms of plant and animal life, with a fascinating diversity of forest wildlife. The park offers traditional game drives, as well as nocturnal ones for predator sightings.
Lake Mburo N.P
Lake Mburo Park with its extensive acacia woodland is home to Uganda’s largest population of zebras and is also the only place to see impala in Uganda. It offers several options for game viewing; on horseback.
Kibale Forest N.P
Kibale Forest Park has the highest concentration of primates in Africa; a total of 13 species. It is the best park for chimpanzee trekking and habituation.