What are the Must-see Places on a Uganda safari?

Top 6 Must see Uganda destinations, Uganda offers a rich safari experience with diverse wildlife and stunning natural landscapes. Uganda may not be as popular as her neighbors, Kenya and Tanzania when it comes to wildlife safaris, but it is a magnificent safari location for authentic and intimate wildlife experiences.

A Uganda Wildlife Safari features a unique blend of untamed verdant landscapes and some of the greatest game viewing. Whether it is the elusive primates like gorillas, chimpanzees, and golden monkeys or the more sougth-after wildlife species like the African Big Five, Uganda will offer you the ultimate safari experience. The country boasts several wildlife parks and reserves, each offering a unique wildlife species. Uganda is home to the African Big Five (Lion, Leopard, Elephant, Buffalo, and Rhino) and though it does not offer the ultimate Big Five safari experience, travelers can still be able to view all of the Big Five. 


Most of the country’s parks are home to four of the Big Five except for the rhino which can be viewed in Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary, en route to Murchison Falls National Park – Uganda’s largest national park. Other must-see places on a Uganda safari include Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park – Uganda’s hub for mountain gorilla trekking, Queen Elizabeth National Park which is home to the famous tree-climbing lions, Lake Mburo National Park – a haven for zebras, impalas and elands, Kidepo Valley National Park – Africa’s top attractive national park, to mention but a few. Here are some of the must-see places for a memorable Uganda safari in detail;

Top 6 Must-see Uganda Destinations while on Safari

Bwindi Impenetrable National Park

Home to half of the world’s population of mountain gorillas, Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park is Uganda’s prime location for mountain gorilla trekking. Established in 1991, the UNESCO World Heritage Site lies in Uganda’s southwestern region in the Albertine Rift Valley, near the Virunga Mountain Ranges. The park covers 331 square kilometers of Steep slopes that reach heights of almost 2,500 meters, shrouded in dense Afromontane Forest, all that provide shelter and food to more than 500 mountain gorillas and other creatures that call this park home.

Mountain gorillas are Uganda’s most sought-after tourist attraction, and thousands of tourists from all over the globe visit each year to explore these giant apes in their natural habitat. Bwindi has 19 habituated gorilla groups that can be visited by an 8-person party every day. The treks usually take between 30 minutes to 6 hours including the one hour spent with the gorillas. Bwindi also offers gorilla habituation experiences, where travelers have an opportunity to spend up to 4 hours with a wild gorilla group under the supervision of researchers and game rangers.

Besides the mountain gorillas, Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park is home to over 120 mammal species including elephants, side-stripped jackals, forest hogs, and primates such as the red-tailed monkey, and vervet monkeys among others which can be viewed during guided nature walks. Bwindi is also a birder’s haven with over 350 recorded bird species including Albertine Rift endemics.

Top 6 Must see destinations in Uganda - Bwindi

Queen Elizabeth National Park

Covering a total surface area of 1,978 square kilometers, Queen Elizabeth National Park is known for its diverse ecosystems including savannah, forests, wetlands, and lakes that support a remarkable diversity of wildlife. It is Uganda’s second largest national park after Murchison Falls National Park, spanning the equator at the foot of the Great Rift Valley and bordering the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to the west with the Rwenzori Mountain Ranges in the backdrop. Established in 1952, the park lies in Kasese district, about 400 kilometers by road from Kampala, Uganda’s capital, and may also be accessed by air from Entebbe International Airport.

Queen Elizabeth National Park is a top Ugandan safari destination, home to over 95 mammal species including four of the Big Five, and 618 recorded bird species, Uganda’s largest bird population. 

A Uganda safari in Queen Elizabeth National Park will offer spectacular game viewing with unique animal sightings in the different regions of its breathtaking landscape. Socialize with the chimpanzees in the hanging vines and thick trees of Kyambura Gorge, discover tree-climbing lions in the Ishasha Southern sector, and explore the Kasenyi Plains and Mweya Peninsula for lions, leopards, kobs, elands, elephants, and buffaloes, among others and explore spot hippos, crocodiles, and the Shoebill stork, Pied kingfishers, African skimmers, and so many other bird species on a Kazinga boat safari.

Top 6 must see Uganda destinations - Queen Elizabeth National Park

Murchison Falls National Park

Known for the mighty Murchison Falls, Murchison Falls National Park is Uganda’s largest protected area covering a total surface area of 3,893 square kilometers. Murchison Falls National Park is Uganda’s oldest park, established in 1952 and it derives its name from the beautiful falls found in its core, created by the River Nile which runs through it. At Murchison Falls, the Nile squeezes down an 8-meter-wide canyon and plunges with a thunderous roar, generating a signature rainbow visible all year. 

The park lies in northwestern Uganda, roughly 283 kilometers west of Kampala, and can be accessed within a 4 to 5-hour drive. Alternatively, one might choose to fly from either Kajjansi or Entebbe International Airport to the park’s Airstrips: Chobe and Pakuba, which is the most convenient way.

Murchison Falls National Park is a must-see place on a Uganda safari! The Park is home to a variety of wildlife including large predator populations such as lions, leopards, spotted hyenas, and side-striped jackals. Murchison Falls is also teeming with species such as elephants, buffaloes, Rothschild giraffes, hippopotamuses, Nile crocodiles, hartebeests, waterbucks, Ugandan kob, warthogs, and other antelopes. Moreover, the park is a birder’s paradise with 450 bird species including the elusive shoebill stork. Travelers on Uganda safaris to Murchison can enjoy safari game drives, boat safaris on the Nile, bird watching, and nature walks among other activities.

Top 4 must see destinations in Uganda - Murchison Falls

Kibale Forest National Park

Kibale Forest National Park is Uganda’s prime location for chimpanzee trekking tours where travelers are led on guided nature walks to explore the chimps in their natural habitat. Located in western Uganda in Kamwengye district, Kibale Forest National Park is regarded as Uganda’s most varied tropical rainforest, and spans 776 square kilometers. 

The park lies at the intersection of East Africa’s arid terrain and West Africa’s lush forests allowing it to host a diverse range of interesting flora and wildlife including East Africa’s largest population of chimpanzees and 12 other primate species including the endangered Red-colobus monkey, Grey-cheeked mangabey, etc. The Park offers several habituated chimp groups for daily chimpanzee tracking which starts at 8 am at Kanyanchu Tourism Center. 

Aside from primates, Kibale Forest National Park is also home to 60 other mammal species, including elephants, leopards, warthogs, buffaloes, bush pigs, and duikers. The park is also home to over 335 recorded bird species including the Nahan’s Francolin, Great Blue Turaco, and Breasted Pitta, among many others. Other activities in Kibale Forest include, bird watching and community walks in Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary, nature walks, and crater lake visits.

Top 6 must see Uganda destinations - Kibale

Lake Mburo National Park

Lake Mburo National Park is located in western Uganda in Kiruhura district, about 4 hours from Kampala. Spanning 260 square kilometers, the park is Uganda’s smallest savannah national park, well known for its diversity of herbivorous species. Lake Mburo is also the only park in the country where visitors may watch wildlife on horseback, and its location along the Kampala-Kabale Highway makes it popular for travelers going gorilla trekking in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park. 

Established in 1983, the park derives its name from Lake Mburo, one of the 14 small lakes within its boundaries. Lake Mburo National Park is without a doubt a must-see place on Uganda safaris! The park is endowed with varied ecosystems including marshes, lakes, savannahs, and forests, which can sustain a wide diversity of animal and bird species.

Apart from the rhinos, lions, and elephants, Lake Mburo is home to two of the African Big Five: Leopard and Buffalo. It is also home to the largest concentration of zebras, impalas, and elands, as well as a sizable population of Roth’s child giraffes, warthogs, jackals, crocodiles, hippos, and over 315 bird species including the rare African Fin Foot and Shoebill, stork. 

Popular safari experiences in Lake Mburo include safari game drives and boat safaris on Lake Mburo. Lake Mburo also offers authentic safari experiences where travelers can explore the wilderness on horseback and foot, offering up close and personal encounters with the flora and fauna


Top 6 must see Uganda destinations - Lake Mburo

Kidepo Valley National Park

Kidepo Valley National Park is Uganda’s most isolated park, located in the far north-eastern corner of Uganda near the border with South Sudan and Kenya. Covering 1,442 square kilometers, the park boasts one of the most spectacular landscapes on the continent which features a blend of rocky savannah that spreads as far as the eye can see, with the distant silhouette of mountain ranges. The Park is infiltrated by two rivers: Narus and Kidepo which support the entire park’s eco-system. 

The semi-arid park is about 520 kilometers by road from Kampala but can also be reached via air from Entebbe International Airport. Kidepo Valley National Park offers classical game viewing all year with a wide variety of unique wildlife species including the bat-eared fox, aardwolf, striped hyena, caracal, cheetah, and hunting dog. 

The park’s Narus Valley is the primary game viewing spot and it hosts large herds of buffalo and elephants, lions, zebras, Roth’s child giraffes, hartebeests, waterbucks, ostriches, and bushbucks to name a few. Kidepo Valley National Park also boasts Uganda’s second largest bird population of over 480 recorded species including those peculiar to this region such as the Karamoja Apalis, Kori bustard, Abyssinian Ground Hornbill, and a variety of raptors. The Park is also surrounded by the Ik farmers and Karamojong pastoralists who offer authentic cultural experiences.




Above are Uganda’s top locations where travelers can enjoy a Uganda safari, but the country is home to several other places such as Mgahinga Gorilla National Park for gorilla and golden monkey trekking, Mount Elgon National Park – the home to Sipi Falls, Rwenzori Mountain National Park, and Semuliki National Park. Each of these places offers a unique safari experience, from encountering gorillas in their natural habitat to exploring diverse ecosystems teeming with wildlife. you can tailor your Uganda safari itinerary depending on your interests and enjoy a memorable safari.


Top 6 must see Uganda destinations - Kidepo
Animals on a Uganda safari
Activities on a Uganda safari


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  1. Pingback: Other Activities on a Uganda safari Beyond Game drives: Exploring Uganda's Splendid Diversity through Thrilling Activities

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