Top 10 Tourist Attractions in Uganda
Uganda is home to an incredible variety of national parks, sanctuaries, and reserves, a remarkable diversity of wildlife, and is deemed a strong contender for one of the world’s best bird watching destinations. Undoubtedly making it one of Africa’s top safari and travel destinations amongst avid wildlife and birdlife enthusiasts, ardent adventurers, globe trotters, and eager travelers.
Boasting a vast and diverse array of landscapes, including fertile and thriving wetlands, swamps, sparkling lakes, tropical forests, open grasslands, volcanic craters, woodlands, sprawling savannahs, rolling green hills, misty valleys and craggy mountains, its nothing quite like anything you’ve seen before.
Where lions stalk their prey through grasslands, hippos soak lazily in the shallows, mountain gorillas move purposefully though tangled forests, and calm waters of Lake Victoria transform into the thundering rapids of the River Nile as it makes its way across Africa – Uganda is a country and safari destination unlike any other.
Less well-known, less-well travelled, but no less enchanting than its East African neighbours, Uganda is a country full of surprises and unbelievable highlights – All just waiting to be explored and discovered!
#Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
Listed as an acclaimed UNESCO World Heritage Site, Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is one of the most sought after top 10 tourist attractions in Uganda. Famous for its biodiversity, Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is located in the southwestern corner of Uganda, covering roughly 124 square miles (320 square kilometers) of vast open plains and mountain forests. Its mist-covered hillsides are blanketed by one of Uganda’s oldest and most biologically diverse rainforests, which dates back over 25,000 years. The forest is one of the richest ecosystems in Africa.
Home to nearly half the planet’s remaining mountain gorillas, it has undeniably established itself as one of East Africa’s most highly sought-after national parks and natural safari gems. Carefully protected in the Impenetrable Forest of Bwindi, this esteemed national park is one of only three places in the world where travelers can see these remarkable and critically endangered mountain gorillas in the wild.
Going Mountain Gorilla trekking in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is regarded as one of Africa’s (although some may go as far as to say the world’s) most powerful wildlife experiences and sought-after safari adventures.
Besides Bwindi’s mountain gorillas being one of Uganda’s top tourist attractions, this esteemed national park is home to a vast diversity of wildlife and birdlife including some 120 species of mammals, 348 species of birds, and 202 species of butterflies which live amid the 200 tree and 100 fern species.
#Bwindi Impenetrable National Park Highlights
#Murchison Falls National Park
Covering approximately 1,500 square miles, Murchison Falls National Park is Uganda’s largest national park. Located in the northwestern part of the country (sitting on the shores of Lake Albert), also regarded as the countryside of Uganda, Murchison Falls National Park is home to the famed Rabonga Forest, the Nile River, as well as a vast diversity of wildlife.
Murchison Falls National Park is widely known for the rumbling Murchison Falls, the most powerful falls, where the Victoria Nile River squeezes through a 7-meter narrow gap to splash out powerful water at 300 cubic meters per second.
Adjacent to Murchison Falls is Uhuru Falls, taking the excess of Murchison Falls water to create a spectacle that has become an acclaimed Uganda tourism magnet.
Bisected by the Victoria Nile, Murchison Falls National Park offers travelers and avid adventurers both land and water safaris. This gives travelers the opportunity to enjoy a boat cruise along the Nile and get up close to bathing elephants, water buffalo and massive hippos. As well as embark on a thrilling game drive through the vast savannah showcasing the very best of this country’s wildlife.
Travelers will find hippos, ample chimpanzees, and plenty of crocodiles on their visit to this stunning natural wonderland. It is especially known for its large herds of elephant, giraffe, and buffalo, as well as for lucky sightings of the rare ground-dwelling patas monkey.
If you deem yourself to be an avid birder, Murchison Falls National Park is the best place to try and track down the rare shoebill stork. The shoebill stork is not only the crowning glory of Uganda’s birding scene, but an extremely rare and highly sought-after sight for the true birder.
** The most dramatic view of the waterfall is at the top of the falls, where the sight and sounds of the Nile crashing through the 6-meter-wide chasm makes for an unforgettable assault on your neural senses.
You can reach the Falls site either by vehicle or a challenging half-hour climb on foot.
#Murchison Falls National Park Highlights
#Queen Elizabeth National Park
Queen Elizabeth National Park is not only one of Uganda’s top tourist attractions (regarded as one of the most visited National Parks in the country), it is the second largest and most biodiverse national park in Uganda.
Located in western Uganda, close to the Rwenzori Mountains, Queen Elizabeth National Park is deemed a protected area, encompassing a huge array of landscapes, including fertile and thriving wetlands, swamps, sparkling lakes, tropical forests, open grasslands, volcanic craters, woodlands, and sprawling savannahs. All of which blend harmoniously together to create the ideal habitat and ultimate wildlife and wilderness mecca, not to mention a dramatic atmosphere fertile for all kinds of flora and fauna.
Queen Elizabeth National Park’s vast and varied landscapes support an equally vast and varied diversity of wildlife and birdlife. Home to approximately 95 different mammal species, including 10 primates, and more than 600 species of birds, this renowned national park should undeniable be on every wildlife and birdlife enthusiast’s African exploration bucket-list.
Queen Elizabeth National Park Wildlife Highlights
In addition to being one of Uganda’s most highly sought-after safari destinations, Queen Elizabeth National Park boasts beyond exceptional, thrilling, and incredibly diverse wildlife highlights.
Widely-recognized for having the largest concentration of hippos in the world, Queen Elizabeth National Park is home to a large population of chimpanzees, an extensive variety of antelope species, the elusive leopard, as well as massive herds of elephants, buffalo, giraffes, zebra, crocodiles, to mention merely a few. You will also have the opportunity to spot Ugandan kob, sitatunga, giant forest hogs and topi.
However, by far its standout wildlife highlight, not to mention its thrilling, is the remarkable tree-climbing lions of Queen Elizabeth National Park, found in the south of the park. Besides Queen Elizabeth National Park in Uganda, there is only one other place in the whole of Africa where you can witness these amazing tree-climbing lions. This not only makes it a rare and truly remarkable sight, but one you most certainly won’t forget.
**Extra Tip: Queen Elizabeth National Park’s tree-climbing lions can most commonly be seen lying in the branches of giant fig and acacia trees in the remote Ishasha Sector at the southern end of the park.
Top things to do in Queen Elizabeth National Park
- Hike through the rainforests on an exhilarating chimpanzee trekking adventure.
- Spot and admire Queen Elizabeth National Park’s incredible tree-climbing lions.
- Go on exciting game drives / safaris through the parks vast and diverse landscapes.
- Go on a thrilling nature walk or hiking adventure in one of Africa’s most pristine safari destinations and top national parks.
- Embark on an exciting boat cruise / water safari on the Kazinga Channel in Queen Elizabeth National Park.
**Interesting fact: Uganda’s Queen Elizabeth National Park was named after Queen Elizabeth II and was established in 1954.
#Queen Elizabeth National Park Highlights
#Lake Mburo National Park
While Lake Mburo National Park may be one of Uganda’s smallest savannah national parks, it forms part of a wetland system spanning approximately 50 kilometers and linked by a swamp, making it an integral part of the country’s ecosystem.
Deemed a true haven for nature and wildlife enthusiasts, it is undeniably one of the country’s most remarkable hidden gems – A trip to Lake Mburo National Park is the perfect way to discover Uganda’s rich yet fragile wildlife.
Lake Mburo National Park Wildlife & Birdlife Highlights
Lake Mburo National Park is home to hundreds of extraordinary wildlife species as well as a vast diversity of incredible birdlife.
With more than 350 bird species, Lake Mburo National Park is the perfect place for an avid head-over-heels birdwatcher to observe, among countless others, a variety of remarkable and rare birds, including the rare Red-faced Barbet from popular spots such as Rubanga Forest.
Wildlife lovers, Lake Mburo National Park has you covered too! From thrilling sightings of the famous African Big 5, including leopard, lion, and buffalo, to large herds of zebra, impala, eland, oribi, Defassa waterbuck, hippo, hyena, topi, reedbuck, and so much more – Lake Mburo National Park boasts a vastly diverse wildlife population.
Lake Mburo itself offers a great spot for wildlife watching, while for those who enjoy hiking, Rwonyo Rest Camp is the best place to start your exciting hiking adventure. For eager and avid adventurers, this top national park offers an endless array of exhilarating experiences and adventures to tick off your bucket list. From going on amazing game drives / safaris, quad biking through the park’s various landscapes and surroundings, and embarking on an adventure-filled guided nature walk, to enjoying an exciting boat safari and seeing crocodiles, hippos, and a variety of other wildlife species up close.
Lake Mburo National Park can also be visited as part of a week-long night safari or as part of a cultural tour of Uganda. For the bravest of souls embarking on a trek across the Rwenzori Mountains, visiting Lake Mburo will come as a pleasant and well-deserved break at the end of your trip.
**Extra Tip: The best way to visit Lake Mburo National Park is to book a tour from Kampala with an early morning start. As Uganda is situated on the equator, the journey offers you the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to stop and stand over both the north and southern hemispheres – How thrilling is that?
#Lake Mburo National Park Highlights
#Kibale Forest National Park
Protecting Uganda’s most renowned moist evergreen rainforests, Kibale National Park is one of Uganda’s great national parks and top tourist attractions.
Located in southern Uganda, Kibale Forest National Park forms a massive wildlife corridor with the infamous Queen Elizabeth National Park. Kibale Forest National Park, together with Queen Elizabeth National Park, supports Africa’s largest population of chimpanzees. along with at least a dozen other primate species, including colobus monkeys, vervet monkeys, and de Brazza monkeys. This makes it a top destination for those wanting to trek primates, including gorillas.
Kibale Forest National Park is one of the last remaining expanses to contain both lowland and montane forests as well as sustains the last significant expanse of pre-montane forest.
Approximately 766 km^2 in size and positioned between 1100 and 1600 meters in elevation, it consists of not only moist evergreen forests, but boasts vastly diverse landscapes, including wetland forests and dense jungles.
Pierce into the dense jungles and wetland forests of the great Kibale National Park and you won’t be disappointed! What awaits you is one of the world’s most incredible array of wild chimpanzee packs. You can even see these majestic simians of Central Africa trawling through the undergrowth and commanding the canopies on game drives and safari excursions of all different types.
In addition to Kibale’s chimpanzees, it is home to a kaleidoscope of other curious and remarkable primates, at least a dozen other species give or take, including colobus monkeys, vervet monkeys, de Brazza monkeys, and the rare L’Hoest’s and the Ugandan red colobus. Not to mention a total of about 70 mammal species and over 375 species of birds.
This undoubtedly makes it a top destination for those wanting to trek primates, including gorillas, as well as witness an amazing variety of wildlife and birdlife.