Murchison Falls National Park
Murchison Falls National Park – The country’s largest protected area is Murchison Falls National Park, whose palm-studded grassland supports dense populations of lion, buffalo, the elephant together with the localized Rothschild’s giraffe and patas monkey. Immense concentrations of hippos and birds can be observed from morning and afternoon launch trips along the Nile below the spectacular waterfall for which the park is named.
Rwenzori Mountains National Park
Rwenzori Mountains National Park – Protects the eastern slopes and glacial peaks of the Rwenzori Mountains or ‘Mountains of the Moon’. The Rwenzori supports large tracts of evergreen and bamboo forest, while the higher moorland zone is known for its other-worldly cover of giant heathers, lobelias and groundsels.
Queen Elizabeth National Park
Queen Elizabeth National Park – Set majestically in the shadow of the Rwenzori, flanking Lakes Edward and George, the lush savannah of Queen Elizabeth National Park offers prime grazing to buffalo, elephant and various antelope. A checklist of 600-plus bird species testifies to the extraordinary ecological diversity of this park includes the (elsewhere elusive) giant forest hog.
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park – is best known for its superb gorilla tracking, but it also provides refuge to elephant, chimpanzee, monkeys and various small antelope, as well as 23 bird species restricted to the Albertine Rift.
Mgahinga National Park
Mgahinga National Park – Mountain gorillas also form the main attraction at Mgahinga National Park, which protects the Ugandan portion of the Virungas, an imposing string of nine freestanding extinct and active volcanoes that runs along the border with Rwanda and the Congo.
Semliki National Park
Semliki National Park – Set at the base of the northern Rwenzori is of special interest to ornithologists for some 40 Congolese bird species recorded nowhere else in the country. Nearby, the spectacular Semliki Wildlife Reserve, which abuts Lake Albert, is one of the best localities for sightings of the enigmatic, swamp-dwelling shoebill.
Kibale National Park
Kibale National Park – It is a primatologist’s dream. It hosts a population of more than 1,000 chimpanzees, of which one 80-strong community has been habituated to tourist visits, as well as half-a-dozen readily observed monkey species, including the acrobatic red Columbus and black-and-white coleus, and the handsome Lhotse’s monkey.
Lake Mburo National Park
Lake Mburo National Park – The closest savannah reserve to Kampala, Lake Mburo National Park is centered on a series of swamp-fringed lakes known for their rich birdlife, notably the secretive African fin foot. The green acacia woodland surrounding the lake harbors dense populations of zebra, warthog, buffalo, impala and various other grazers, including the last surviving Ugandan population of eland.
Mount Elgon National Park
Mount Elgon National Park – Mount Elgon National Park encompasses the 4,321 meters mountain for which it is named, which has the largest base of any extinct volcano in the world. A lush mosaic of forest, grassland and moorland habitats makes this park a highly rewarding destination for hikers and other natural history enthusiasts.
Kidepo Valley National Park
Kidepo Valley National Park – In the far northeast, the remote, wild and little-visited Kidepo Valley National Park provides refuge to a long list of dry-country species not found elsewhere in the country, including cheetah and greater kudu, while its perennial waters attract large numbers of elephant and thousand-strong buffalo herds, especially during the dry season.