NATIONAL PARKS IN UGANDA
Uganda is a land gifted by nature. Uganda stands among the many on the continent as the Pearl of Africa teaming with a count of ten National Parks that are spread all over Uganda. The range of biodiversity thrives in these protected areas from which they find their natural protection to push their existence to posterity.
The Uganda National Parks are among the main Uganda safari destinations presenting opportunity for a myriad of tourist activities like gorilla trekking, chimpanzee trekking, the forest hiking, birding, classic wild game viewing among other activities explored on safaris in Uganda.
To the south west, there lies Lake Mburo National Park which is the smallest of all savannah parks with population of Impala and the largest concentration of Burchell’s Zebra, Mgahinga Gorilla National Park the smallest of all the parks sheltering the Virunga Volcanoes and the critically endangered mountain gorillas, the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park with the largest concentration of Mountain gorillas in a single National Park and Queen Elizabeth National Park with a varied savannah, water and forested ecosystems which support a myriad of wildlife. To the west there lies the Rwenzori Mountain National Park sheltering the fragile mountain ecosystemcovered by snow, KibaleNational Park the haven for Chimpanzees and other primates that have earned her a dub as the Primate capital of the world and Semuliki National Park. To the north west there lies Murchison Falls National Park marked with its powerful waterfall, Nile River and classic wild game, KidepoNational Park to the north east with its impressive scenic landscapes and wildlife and eventually Mount Elgon National Park to the east sheltering the largest mountain Caldera in the whole world.
These parks do not only act as custodians of natural wonders and great biodiversity but also act as remarkable sources of revenue including foreign exchange that greatly contribute to national development.
Kibale Forest National Park
Kibale National Park, also called “the primate planet” is located in the districts of Kabarole and Kamwenge in western Uganda. The park is situated between 1,100–1,600 meters above sea level covering an area of 766 square kilometers. Situated approximately 30km southeast of Fort Portal town and 330km west of Kampala Uganda’s Capital City, the park can be found at the coordinates of 00 30N, 30 24E (Latitude: 0.5000; Longitude: 30.4000).
Queen Elizabeth National Park
Queen Elizabeth national park which is described as “Uganda’s Great Rift Valley” by Andrew Roberts is the second largest national park in Uganda spanning in the districts of Kasese, Kamwenge, Bushenyi and Rukungiri. The park was established in 1954 and it covers almost 1,978 square kilometers. It is bordered in the West by Lake Edward and in the North by the Rwenzori Mountains, and is separated into two parts, the Northern and Southern park.
Mgahinga Gorilla National Park
Like three other National Parks in Africa, Mgahinga provides a refuge to some of the world’s remaining population of world mountain gorillas. Mgahinga and Bwindi Impenetrable National park, together provide shelter to over half of the world’s total mountain gorilla population.
Mgahinga National Park is positioned in the far southwestern part of Uganda in a district called Kisoro about 510km from Uganda’s Capital City Kampala.
Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park
Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park conveniently situated in the Kigezi Highlands of south-west Uganda, adjacent to the frontier of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, was gazetted as a National Park in 1991 and declared a UNESCO Natural World Heritage Site in 1994. It was created due to its exceptional biodiversity, with more than 163 species of trees and over 100 species of ferns.
Mountain Elgon National Park
Mountain Elgon National Park is located on the eastern part Uganda and bisected by the border of Kenya and Uganda. The park is also the largest and oldest solitary, volcanic mountain in East African region. Its enormous areas form, eighty (80) km in diameter and rises more than 3,000m above the surrounding plains. The mountain’s cool heights offer respite from the hot plains below, with the higher altitudes providing a refuge for flora and fauna.
Lake Mburo National Park
Lake Mburo is Uganda’s smallest savanna national park covering a total area of 370km2. It is located approximately 240km west of Uganda’s capital city Kampala between the coordinates of 00 36S, 30 57E (Latitude:0.6000; Longitude:30.9500). It is about 45km east of Mbarara town (one of the biggest towns in western Uganda) and 33km from Igongo Cultural Center a key destination for tourists on cultural safaris to Uganda. Lake Mburo is therefore the closest of all Uganda’s National Parks to the capital city.