Murchison Falls National ParkThe World’s Greatest Waterfall

Murchison Falls National Park lies at the northern end of the Albertine Rift Valley, where the sweeping Bunyoro escarpment tumbles into vast, palm-dotted savannah. First gazette as a game reserve in 1926, it is Uganda’s largest and oldest conservation area, hosting 76 species of mammals and 451 birds.

The park is bisected by the Victoria Nile, which plunges 45m over the remnant rift valley wall, creating the dramatic Murchison Falls, the centerpiece of the park and the final event in an 80lm stretch of rapids. The mighty cascade drains the last of the river’s energy, transforming it into a broad, placid stream that flows quietly across the rift valley floor into Lake Albert. At Murchison Falls, the Nile squeezes through an 8m wide gorge and plunges with a thunderous roar into the “Devil’s Cauldron,” creating a trademark rainbow.

This stretch of river provides one of Uganda’s mist remarkable wildlife spectacles. Regular visitors to the riverbanks include elephants, giraffes and buffaloes; while hippos, Nile crocodiles and aquatic birds are permanent residents.



A number of routes can be used to reach the Nile at paraa at the heart of the Murchison falls conservation area. The river is crossed here using a vehicle ferry which runs at roughly hourly intervals throughout the day.

Southern Entrance Gates

Two southerly approaches to paraa lead out of Masindi town, which is a 4 hour drive (305km) from Kampala. Along the way to Masindi is the Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary, home to the only wild rhinos in Uganda. You can track them on foot and support this important initiative to reintroduce rhinos to protected areas. Visit for more information.

A longer but more scenic alternative runs for 135km from Masindi to the park’s Bugungu gate, the route includes a passage through Budongo forest and a memorable descent of the rift valley escarpment with views across Lake Albert towards the mountains of the Congo.

Northern Entrance Gates

Murchison falls national park can also be entered via the Chobe Wankwar, Mubako and Tangi gates north of the Nile. These are reached from the Kampala-Pakwach road which crosses the Nile at Karuma falls bridge in the northeastern corner of the park, 260km from Kampala. These gates are convenient for visitors travelling to/ from Gulu town and Kidepo valley national park.

Air Travel

Pakuba airfield, 19km from north Paraa, can be reached using chartered aircraft from Entebbe international airport or Kajjansi airfield near Kampala. Other airfields in the park include: Chobe to the east and Bugungu near Murchison falls to the south.



Both the game drives and the launch trips offer an opportunity for one to come across distinct birdlife, including savannah forest birds, water birds and Albertine rift endemics. The park’s main birding attraction is the shoebill, best sighted in the dry season from January-March.

Game Drives

A game drive around the Buligi game tracks on the northern bank with a trained ranger guide is a fantastic way to see and photograph the wide range of animals in the Nile valley. Your guide will have a good idea where the lions are hiding and you may even spot a leopard at dusk!

Hiking and Nature Walks

The vast landscapes and varied scenery of Murchison galls national park and the surrounding conservation area can be explored on foot. Trails through Kaniyo Pabidi and Rabongo forests provide sighting of many primates and birds, while around the Nile Delta, 2-4 hour guided swamp walks offer possible Shoebill sightings.

Launch Trips

The launch trip upstream from Paraa presents an astonishing display of wildlife and culminates with the memorable frontal view of the falls. Recommended for birders is a morning cruise downstream to the Nile-Lake Albert Delta. Alternatively, a tranquil sundowner cruise offers the classic view of an equatorial sunset reflected on the river.

Sport Fishing

The banks of the Nile below Murchison falls provide exciting challenges to anglers. Living within strong currents and highly oxygenated water is the Nile perch. There is the chance to land a massive catch – the record is 108kg!

Cultural Encounters

Energetic dancers from Mubako perform around lodge campfires, making for a magical African experience at dusk. Boomu Women’s Group offers accommodating, a craft shop and village tours, revealing the realities of life in this rural community.

Mt. Elgon National ParkThe World Largest Mountain Caldera

Mount Elgon at 4000km2 has the largest volcanic base in the world and a massive solitary volcanic mountain on the border of eastern Uganda and western Kenya. Its vast from, 80km in diameter, rises 3000m above the surrounding plains, its mountainous regional landscape and cool heights and its higher altitudes provide refuge for flora and fauna.

The park is home to over 300 species of birds, including the endangered Lammergeyer. Small antelopes, forest monkeys, elephants and buffalos also live on the mountainside. The higher slopes are protected by national parks in Uganda and Kenya, creating an extensive trans-boundary conservation area which has been declared a UNESCO Man and Biosphere Reserve.



Mount Elgon National Park lies 235km east of Kampala. A tarmac road runs through Jinja to Mbale town at the western base of Mount Elgon, before climbing to Kapchorwa on the mountain’s north-western flank. Dirt roads lead off the Mbale-Kapchorwa road to reach the various trailheads.


Mountain Climbing

May travelers find Mt. Elgon an exciting alternative to the more strenuous climbs in East Africa. It has many of the same attractions, with a milder climate and lower elevation and requires no special equipment or technical experience.

Mountain Biking

Mountain biking trails run from Sipi trading centre to Chema hill in Kapchorwa town. It should take 1.5 hours and provides views of various waterfalls.


Excellent birding opportunities exist around Kapkwai forest exploration centre, in particular in the secondary forest and thick shrub along the loop trail to Cheptui falls it supports the African Goshawk; Chubb’s Cisticola, white-chinnes Prinia and African Blue Flycatcher among others.


Lucky hikers in Mt Elgon will enjoy being amongst the parks primates, birds and rare tree species. Trails lead past caves, viewpoints and waterfalls, with the option of camping overnight on the mountain slopes.

Nature Walks

Enjoy views of Sipi Falls, the walls of death and the African sunrise across the Karamoja plains on these peaceful walks just outside Mt Elgon National Park.

Rock Climbing

Rock climbing takes place outside the park at Sipi. There are 14 routes requiring various levels of rock scaling techniques. The toughest is 35m climbs while the easiest.

Sport Fishing

Sport fishing is done above the highest of the three waterfalls at Sipi. It provides exciting challenges to anglers who take pride in battling with the rainbow trout because of its beautiful coloration and fighting ability.

Cultural Encounters

Find out where your coffee comes from! Grown on the mountain side of Mt Elgon is Arabic coffee also named Sipi or Bugiu farmers who have a reputation for producing some of the finest washed Arabica in Kenya and Uganda.

Kidepo Valley National ParkTrue African Wilderness

A wilderness park: dry, hot and isolated, yet spectacular, magnificent and virgin, waiting to be discovered. Traversed by large sand rivers, the park is renowned for its distinctive composition of wild game co-existing with the dry mountain forests, open savanna and hilltops capped by rock Kopies.

Enjoy the isolated wilderness dominated by the 2,750m Mount Morungole and transected by the Kidepo and great Narus rivers.

Perennial rains may make Kidepo an oasis in the semi-desert, but its tract of rugged savannah is home to 77 mammal species and almost 500 birds. Game viewing is exciting all year around and so is bird watching, foot safaris and mountain climbing. And even in the dry season, it is worth the drive just to visit the seasonal Kidepo River and stroll along its 50m wide bed of white sand between banks covered with Borassus palm trees.

The 1,442km2 is located in the Karamoja region of northern Uganda and borders the Sudan in the northwest and Kenya in the north east.



There are four routes by road: The 705km journey from Kampala via Lira, Kotido, Kaabong and then to Kidipo, the 740m journey from Kampala via Mbale, Soroti, Moroto, Kotido, Kaabong and then Kidepo; the 780km journey from Kampala via Mbale, Soroti, Matany, Kotido, Kaabong and on to Kidepo and; the 571km journey from Kampala through Gulu, Kitgum and to Kidepo. Driving through the wilderness is an exciting experience as one gets the chance of better scenery. One will need a good 4×4 vehicle especially during the rainy season.

Air Travel

Chartered aircrafts to Kidepo may be arranged from Kajjansi or from Entebbe international airport to Lomej airstrip near the park headquarters. Flight takes two hours. Civil Aviation Authority plans to make Lomej airstrip, to the east of Apoka tourism centre, an international airport to enable visitors fly in direct to Kidepo from abroad.


Game Drives/Viewing

Game drives can be done along Narus valley as the park’s wildlife congregates here much of the year. This area has adequate track circuits enabling visitors view the animals at a close range. The Katurum Kopje provides superb views north across the valley towards Morungole mountain range.

Nature Walks

Nature walks can be done around Apoka camp at any time of the day and visitors will be able to view different species of animals like elephants, Bulhul, zebras and reedbucks. At the eastern Kakine circuit, visitors can see wildlife at a close range of up to 50-70 meters. Nature walks can also be done along Rionomoe trail and around this hill where one can view the lower side of the Narus valley.

Community Walks

Community walks are one of the ways you can get to know more about the Karamojong lifestyle, cultures, dressing style, dancing and the tools used. The Karamojong are traditionally cattle raiders and hunters. However, through community conservation education, their lifestyle is gradually changing and most of them now know the value of conservation of the park.

Mountain Hiking

The Morungole ranges rise from the plains a few kilometers north of Apoka. Tripe to Kidepo valley is needed go get a good view of Morungole Mountain, the highest peak in Kidepo. Even at 2,749m, this peak is not easily seen from most vantage points in the Narus valley. This can be explored on foot with a ranger guide escort.

Sand along River Kidepo

Kidepo River is an intermittent sand river found in the northern part of the park. It stands out because it is lined by Borassus palms, making it look like an oasis in the Sahara. The sand bed experience on river Kidepo can be very fascinating especially during the dry season. Many bird species can be found around this area and on can enjoy the wilderness experience while listening to the different bird calls.

Bird Watching

This activity can be done either in the morning or afternoon and the park has got a variety of birds. The experienced guide will show you around.


Kibale National ParkThe Primate Capital of the World

Kibale national park is the most magnificent of Uganda’s tropical rain forests and one of most rewarding areas to explore. Established at the end of the 18th Century, Kibale boasts of 13 species of primates including the localized Red Colobus, L’Hoest’s monkeys and the endemic Uganda Mangabay.

Kibale’s major attraction is the chimpanzee, the delightful apes, most closely to humans than to any other living creature. These can be seen swimming in tree branches as one trek through the forest trails. While you enjoy your tour in this sunny side of nature, you have a life opportunity to sight over 300 bird species. The 180km long migration corridor for wildlife also habits mammals like the elusive forest elephants, buffalos, and giant forest hogs and half a dozen antelope species; thereby making it one of the most stunning parks in Uganda.

Situated ideally in the heart of the Tooro Kingdom in western Uganda, near Fort Portal, the park lies close to the tranguil Ndali-Kasenda crater area and is within a half days’ drive of Queen Elizabeth, Rwenzori Mountains and Semuliki National Parks. The park became a government Forest Reserve in the early 1940s.



The 795km park can be accessed from Uganda’s capital Kampala, along a newly surfaced road via Kasese (near Queen Elizabeth National Park). The park can also be reached from Kampala via Mubende and Fort portal or through Mbarara and Kamwenge. There is daily public transport between Kampala and Fort Portal by bus.

Air Travel

Kibale National park has access to two airstrips; Nyakisharara airstrip in Mbarara (about 98km through Kamwenge from Kanyanchu) and Kasese airstrip, 75km from Fort Portal town. It can also be reached from the airstrip in Tooro/ Semuliki wildlife reserve, only 86km from Kanyanchu.


Chimpanzee Habituation Experience

The Chimpanzee Habituation Experience (CHEX) allows you to accompany Kibale’s researchers and habituators as they follow chimpanzees during their daily activity, thereby getting them used to human presence without altering their natural behavior. This is an all day and early visitors may be able to see the spectacular scene of chimps de-nesting, feeding, copulating, hunting, breast feeding, testing, patrolling and displaying until they build new nests and retire for the night around 7:00pm (Not: Advance booking is essential).

Primate Walks (Chimpanzee Tracking)

Also you can experience and participate in the chimpanzee tracking walks which starts from the Kanyanchu visitor Centre at 08:00am and 02:00pm and lasts 2-3 hours. Park guides are readily available to take tourists through this ritual. This walk if for six persons per group and advance booking is essential.

Day Hikes/Nature Walks

This is an exploration of the park’s diverse habitats providing very close contact with nature. The walks begin at 08:00am, 10:00am and 2:00pm from Kanyanchu tourist centre and take about 2-3 hours.

Bird Watching And Night Nature Walk

Kibale National Park boasts of 372 bird species of which 60 percent are recorded Uganda’s forest Birds. Bird watchers can spot various species of these birds as they enjoy the various activities in the park. Also there is night nature walk which allows visitors to track the unique species of birds, animals and insects such as bat, owl, Pottos, hush babies civets, genet cats and eastern needle nailed; that are most active at night.

Children’s Activities

Only children above 12 years are allowed to go into the forest to view the chimps. Kibale has a variety of activities for children under 12 years including educational forest walks of 1-2 hours followed by creative activities like pond dipping cyanotype photography and batik-making. Through these educational forest walks, the children can learn about the ecosystem and its inhabitants. Parents can enjoy their forest walk with the knowledge that their children are occupied in worthwhile activity with trained ranger guides.

Cultural Heritage and Nature Trail

Follow a 2-6 days cultural heritage and nature trail through the tropical forest and meet local people and gain insights into their cultures. The full walk can start or end at either Kanyanchu or Seboitoli. Explore the forest during the day, end for a rest at the community-run campsites near the villages of Kinono, Nyaibanda and Nyakalongo. Porters can be hired to carry equipment. The walk is most exciting in groups of up to 6 people. (Note: Pre-booking is essential).

Queen Elizabeth National ParkA Medley of Wonders

Queen Elizabeth National Park is understandably Uganda’s most popular tourist destination. The park’s diverse ecosystems, which include sprawling savanna, shady, humid forests, sparkling lakes and fertile  wetlands, make it the ideal habitat for classic big game, ten primate species including chimpanzees and over 600 species of birds.

Set against the backdrop of the jagged Rwenzori Mountains, the park’s Magnificent vistas include dozens of enormous craters carved dramatically into rolling green hills, panoramic views of the Kazinga Channel with its banks lined with hippos, buffalos and elephants, and the endless Ishasha plains, whose fig trees hide lions ready to pounce on herds unsuspecting Uganda Kob.

As well as its outstanding wildlife attractions, Queen Elizabeth National Park has a fascinating cultural history. There are many opportunities for visitors to meet the local communities and enjoy storytelling, dance, music and more. The park was founded in 1952 as Kazinga National Park, and renamed two years later to commemorate a visit by Queen Elizabeth II.



Queen Elizabeth National Park can be accessed most easily from Kampala. The tarmac road from Kampala via Mbarara town and Bushenyi leads to the center of the park, passing just 22km from Mweya Peninsula, the main tourism hub. Approaching the park from the south via Mbarara covers a distance of 420km while the north through Fort portal covers a total of 410km.

En-route to the park, visitors have the opportunity to enjoy short detours to Lake Mburo National Park, Rwenzori Mountains and Kibale National Park, renowned for its chimpanzee tracking. The park can also be accessed from the south from Buindi Impenetrable National Park.

Air Travel

Charter flights can be arranged to existing airstrips of Kasese Mweya and Ishasha.



Classified as an Important Birding Area (IBA) by Birding International Queen’s great variety of habitats mean it is home to over 600 species. This is the greatest of any East African national park and a phenomenal number for such a small area. The park’s confluence of savanna and forest, linking to the expansive forests of the DR Congo allow visitors to spot East as well as Central African species.


Tucked beneath the shady canopy of the Maramagambo forest is the “Bat cave”. The cave has a viewing room from which visitors can observe the resident bats and pythons.

Chimps Tracking

The Kyambura Gorge experience is more than discovering chimpanzees in their natural environment: it teaches visitors about the ecosystems of Kyambura Gorge’s atmospheric “underground” rainforest, including vegetation types; bird identification and behavior; and chimp and monkey ecology.

Game Drives

For a classic African safari experience, the tracks through Kasenyi the North Kazinga plains and the Ishasha Sector offer virtually guaranteed Buffalo, antelope and elephant sightings, along with warthogs and baboons. Taking an experienced guide in the early morning or at dusk is the most successful way to tract down a pride of lions, and maybe even the odd leopard.

Hiking/Nature Walks

Nature treks are one of the more active ways to explore the landscapes and wildlife of Queen Elizabeth. Locations include the shady Maramagambo forest; Mweya Peninsula with its scenic views; and Ishasha River, where you may spot a variety of forest and savanna species as well as having a unique opportunity to get extremely  close to hippos-on foot!

Launch Trip

The Kazinga Channel is an oasis for many of the fascinating species that inhabit the park, and taking a boat tour along it gives visitors the chance to cruise just meters from hundreds of enormous hippos and buffalos while elephants linger on the shoreline.

Cultural Heritage and Nature Trail

See the energetic dances of the Kikorongo Equator Cultural performers; workers harvesting salt on Katwe salt Lake; a traditional Banyaruguru hut; or an agricultural village-all guided by those who know them best-local community members.

Wildlife Research Tour

For visitors who yearn to get up close to wild African fauna, a research trip is a rewarding adventure. This new and unique experience allows visitors to actively participate in monitoring some of the exotic birds and mammals that fill the park, using locator devices and learn habituation calls, as well as monitoring weather, surroundings and behavior.

Rwenzori Mountains National ParkThe Mystical Challenge

As early as 150 AD, Alexandrine photographer Ptolemy wrote of a snow capped mountain range deep in the heart of Africa, which he claimed was the source of the world’s longest river, the Nile. He called it “Mountains of the Moon”

Indeed, over the centuries, mountaineers who later explored Ptolemy’s mountains found the high Rwenzori glaciers and snow peaks whose melt waters certainly represent the highest springs of the Nile. The alpine highland of glaciers, snowfields, hot springs and blue cirque lakes make Rwenzori one of Africa’s most beautiful mountain parks. Reaching an elevation of 5,109m, Rwenzori is Africa’s tallest mountain range exceeded in altitude by Mt Kilimajaro and Mt Kenya, carrying Africa’s third, fourth and fifth highest peaks that are visible for miles around. Some of its peaks incomparable, beautiful and mist-shrouded carry permanent snow and glaciers, while the lower slopes are covered with dense forest.

The Mountain’s slopes above 1,600m are the preserve of hikers who rate the Rwenzoris to be the most challenging of all African mountains. A variety of large mammals inhibit the lower slopes but the Rwenzori are notable more for their majestic scenery and varied vegetation. Its five distinct vegetation zones montane forest, bomboo forest, tree heath-bog, Hagenia-Rapanea scrub and afro-alpine moorland provide a unique backdrop to one of the most magnificent national parks in the world. Several endangered species and very unusual cloud forest flora like gaint heathers, groundsels and lobelias, characterize the ranges as ‘Africa’s botanic big game.’ In 1991, Rwenzori Mountains were gazette as a National Park and is both a World Heritage and RAMSAR site.



The park is located near Kasese, western Uganda, bordering Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in the west. The Nyakalengija trailhead which is 22km off the Kasese-Fort portal road and 25km north of Kasese town can be reached from Kampala via Fort Portal road (375km) or via Mbarara and Queen Elizabeth National Park (450km).

Air Travel

Transport can also be arranged on chartered flights from Kampala at either Kajjansi or Entebbe International Airport.


Mountains climbing is the most attractive activity on the legendary “Mountains of the Moon” that lies between altitudes 0o 06’ south and 0o 46’ North and longitudes 29o 47’ West and 30o 11’East. Its diverse heavily snowcapped peaks are one of the few pristine and spectacular landscapes of the world.

Although a variety of large mammals inhibit the lower slopes, the Rwenzori’s are notable more for their majestic scenery and varied vegetation. The ranges are scenic with pristine and spectacular landscape that comprise of waterfalls, hot springs, blue cirgue lakes, snow clad peaks and stratified vegetation which is an attraction not only for visitors, but also creates potential for research as well as resources for the nearby communities.

The park is also home to 18 species of mammals, 217species of birds, 9 species of reptiles and 6 species of amphibians. Elephants, buffalos, gaint forest hogs, bush bucks, chimpanzees and leopards are present but rarely seen. However primates such as the black and white Colobus and the blue monkey may be seen in the Rwenzori’s are also some unique and rare animal species like the three horned chameleon, the Rwenzori Colobus, Rwenzori Turaco and the Rwenzori double collared sunbird.

The park is also a cultural heritage for the neighboring communities. Eighteen sacred sites have been identified, mapped and protected as worship areas.


Aesthetic values of the Rwenzori’s can be put into three categories of trekking, nature walks and peak climbing.


This is done along two routes; 7-days trekking of the central tourism circuit, and a 5-days trek along Kilembe route to the southern park. Shorter hikes can be arranged.

Nature Walks

There are trees in the park which allow visitors up close interaction with nature.

Peak Climbing

The six –days loop trail is a tough but rewarding hike taking in all vegetation zones and the glacier peaks. There are ascents to major peaks within the Rwenzori ranges along both routes. These include ascents to Margherita (5,109m) on Mountain Stanly, Vittorio Emmanuelle (4,889M) on Mountain Speke and Edward (4,842m) on Mountain Baker. These hikes offer commanding and panoramic views of other peaks within the ranges. However, high peaks should only be attempted by experienced mountaineers.

Semuliki National ParkThe True Birders’ Haven

Semuliki national park sprawls across the floor of the Semuliki valley on the remote, western side of the Rwenzori. The park is dominated by the easternmost extension of the great Ifuri forest of the Congo Basin. This is one of Africa’s most ancient and bio-diverse forests; one of the few to survive the last ice age, 12-18,000 years ago.

The Semuliki valley contains numerous features associated with central rather than eastern Africa. Thatched huts are shaded by West African oil palms; the Semuliki River (which forms the international boundary) is a miniature version of the Congo River, the forest is home to numerous central African wildlife species and the local population includes a Batwa Pygmy community that originated from the Ituri. As a result, this park provides a taste of central Africa without having to leave Uganda. While Semuliki’s species have been accumulating for over 25,000 years, the park contains evidence of even older processes, hot springs bubble up from the depths to demonstrate the powerful subterranean forces that have been shaping the rift valley during the last 14 million years.

Semuliki forest reserve was created in 1932 and upgraded to national park status in 1993.



There are two major roads from Kampala to Fort Portal 4WD vehicles are recommended for both:

  • Kampala-Fort Portal via Mubende is about 352km, or a 4-5 hour drive, making it the shortest route.
  • Kampala-Fort Portal via Masaka, Mbarara and Kasese is longer at 465km (7-8hrs). This route offers the chance to stop along the way at Lake Mburo National Park, Kyambura Wildlife Reserve, Rwenzori Mountains National Park or Queen Elizabeth National Park.

Semuliki National Park’s Sempaya gate is 59km from Fort portal. The park headquarters at Ntandi is 6km further along the road. Historically, the journey was a slow and bumpy 2-3 hour drive on a narrow road that winds over the northern Rwenzori. The route is currently being widened and surfaced to make the journey shorter and more comfortable.



Birders who make it to Semuliki will be rewarded with some of Africa’s best forest birding, Sempaya and Ntandi provide excellent viewing of the birds including the white-crested hornbill, Red-billed Dwarf Hornbill, piping Hornbill, Yellow-throated Nicator, great blue and Ross’s Turacos. The shoebill stork is regularly seen at close quarters on Lake Albert and forest walks are good for tracking water birds.

Game Drives

Three tracks cross the savannah grassland of Toro Semuliki wildlife reserve, smaller forest and larger savannah elephants are regularly seen, along with buffalo, water buck, crocodile, warthog and Uganda Kob. With luck, you may even see pygmy hippopotami, leopards and elusive bush babies.

Hiking and Nature Walks

The 13m Kirumia trail runs through the heart of the forest to the Semuliki River. These 8 hours round trip starts at 8am and is perfect for birders.

Hot Springs

The hour-long trail to the outer, “male” spring leads through a patch of forest where red-tailed monkeys, grey-cheeked mangabeys and black-and-white colobus monkeys are common. A tree house en route provides an aerial view. A 30-minute hike through palm forest from the main road leads to the inner, “female” spring, dominated by a boiling geyser. Eggs and matooke (green plantain) can be cooked in these boiling waters and enjoyed by hungry hikers!

Cultural Encounters and Trails

The Batwa’s hunter-gatherer lifestyle means they have always been dependent on Semuliki forest for food, shelter, medicine and tools, though this is beginning to change as a result of interaction with other local communities.

Bwindi Impenetrable National ParkThe Ultimate Gorilla Experience

At 331km2 it is home to half of the world’s mountain gorillas, whose encounter and consequent eye contact is the most exciting and poignant wildlife encounter in the whole of Africa. With mist covered hillsides, the impenetrable forest is the oldest and most biologically diverse rainforest, with over 400species of plants. It lies on the edge of the rift valley in southwestern Uganda, and protects at least 120 species of mammals, 346species of birds, 100species of ferns, 27species of frogs, chameleons, geckos, among many endangered species. It is a UNESCO designated world Heritage site popular for mountain gorillas and chimpanzees, the two great African apes listed as endangered animals in the IUCN Red Date Book.

Bwindi National Park has gorilla tracking as the major tourist attraction with 4 gorilla tracking trailheads. Also 9 groups of mountain gorilla families have been habituated and only 8 tourists booked per group per day. Forest trails in the park lead to various attractions including rivers, waterfalls, swamps and high level of wildlife concentration.

Birding is another attraction that provides great opportunities to see various Albertine rift endemics such as the short-tailed warbler. A 6 hour bomboo trail leads to Rwamunyonyi peak, at 2607m, is the highest peak and notable spot for birding. While 3 hour descends to Mubwindi swamp could lead a visitor to endemic and localized Africa green broadbill.

Other rewarding activities are mountain biking and nature walks to waterfalls and parts of the forest. A short drive north to Buhoma, which sits on the Congo border, offers wonderful hikes along the crests and rivers to discover waterfalls, glorious views and the traditional lifestyle and folklore of the Kigezi people.



The National Park is located in south-western Uganda about 530km from Kampala, the capital City. The park can be reached by road from several directions that include:

Through Queen Elizabeth National Park (Mweya)-Kihihi-Buhoma), this route passes through Queen Elizabeth National Park’s southerly Ishasha sector, providing a chance for the tourists to stopover and search for the famous tree-climbing lions. BINP is 160km from Mweya and 64km from Ishasha.

You can also access the park through:

  • Kampala-Kabale – Kanungu – Buhoma (5-6 hours journey)
  • Kampala – Ntungamo – Rukungiri – Kihihi – Buhoma (5 hours journey)
  • The Kabale – Ruhija – Buhoma (6-7 hours journey)
  • Kampala – Kabale – Nkuringo (6-7 hours journey)

Air Travel

Travelers can fly from Entebbe air port or Kampala (Kajjansi airfield) to the modern tarmac airstrip at Kisoro town. Visitors to Buhoma can also charter planes to Kayonza (near Butogota) or savannah (Kihihi) airstrips.


Gorilla Tracking

Tracking is a captivation and unforgettable experience which more than repays the effort needed to reach Bwindi and to trek through the forest. Gorilla tracking can be challenging and one needs to be reasonably fit before undertaking to venture into the activity. Registration and briefing at Buhoma, Ruhija, Nkuringo and Rushaga visitor receptions commences at 0730 hours with general briefings conducted at 0800hours. Gorilla tracking starts at 8:30am and can last from a few hours to a whole day depending on where the gorillas were left the previous day.

Other Activities around the Park

Through gorilla tracking is the main attraction, a range of other walks provide more relaxed opportunities to spot birds and monkeys while exploring one of Uganda’s loveliest rain forests. Mountain biking is also a good activity around Bwindi, this is usually done through a well maintained trail 13km trail of lvi River from the park office.

The following walks can be arranged to depart in the morning at 9:00am and in the afternoon at 1415hours:

  • Munyanga Rivers Trail in the valley below Buhoma (park office) provides an ideal short walk to view birds and primates along the forest edge.
  • Waterfall Tail leads through one of Uganda’s most pristine tracts of rainforest, passing beneath tree ferns, epiphytic ferns and orchids to visit three sparking waterfalls.
  • Rushura Hill Trail provides expansive views across the plains of the western rift valley to the west and (on clear days) Lake Edward and the Rwenzori Mountains to the north.
  • Muzabajiro Loop Trail climbs to the summit of Rukubira Hill for breathtaking views of Bwindi forest, the western rift valley and the Virunga volcanoes.
  • River Lvi Trail follows an old road through beautiful forest emerging near Nkuringo on the southern edge of the forest. It is highly recommended for bird watchers.

Mgahinga Gorilla National ParkWhere Gold Meets Silver

Mgahinga is part of a larger ecosystem, the Virunga conservation area (434km2) which includes two adjacent parks in Rwanda and Congo. Mgahinga Gorilla National Park sits high in the clouds, at an altitude of between 2,227m and 4,127. It was formed to protect the rare mountain gorillas that inhabit its dense forests, and it is also an important habitat for the endangered golden monkey. Its most striking features are its three conical, extinct volcanoes, along the border region of Uganda, Congo and Rwanda, Mgahinga forms part of the much larger Virunga Conservation Area which includes adjacent parks in these countries.

The park offers a soothing aura of majesty with cool temperatures owing to the mountainous nature of the park. Its home to part of the 300 gorillas located in the Virunga massif. It is indeed where gold meets silver where gorillas are house with the same habitat if the golden monkeys. The cultural heritage featuring folklore and traditional healing practices for local people covers the north slopes of the three northern Virunga volcanoes – Muhavura, Gahinga and Sabinyo.

The park derives its name from “Gahinga” a Kinyarwanda word for a pile of volcanic lava stone heaps around which cultivation is carried out. On the other hand, Muhavura means guide and Sabinyo means the old man’s teeth. It is bordered to the south by Rwanda and to the west by DR Congo.

While Sabinyo is deeply eroded with jagged crown and deep gorges and ravines, Gahinga has a swamp filled—crater about 180m wide and Muhavura has a small crater lake about 36m wide at its summit. While at the top of the Sabinyo, you get to be set foot in all the three countries of Uganda, DRC and Rwanda at the same of the time. Its view of the volcanoes and gorges with the cool breeze of freshness is unrivaled. On some of the steep mountain slopes are caves formed by lava tubes, one of them being the famous Garama cave located near Ntebeko, the park headquarters.



Mgahinga Gorilla National Park is 510km from Kampala; the most commonly used route passes through Kabale and Kisoro. The 434km journey from Kampala to Kabale can be completed in 8 hours on good tarmac. It is then a further 76km to Kisoro town on a mountainous tarmac road with steep ascents and descents.

An attractive, alternative route leaves the main road at Kabale and follows the shoreline of the superbly scenic Lake Bunyonyi to rejoin the Kabale – Kisoro main road at its halfway point at Muko.

Ntebeko, the main entrance to Mgahinga Gorilla National Park is 14km from Kisoro at the end of a dirt road with some steep and rocky sections.

Air Travel

Mgahinga can also be reached by air using the daily flights from Entebbe international airport to Kisoro airfield.



The best birding in Mgahinga also takes in some of its most beautiful scenery in the gorge between Mts Gahinga and Sabinyo, through the bamboo forest, and in the mountain forest, where the beautiful Rwenzori Turaco may be observed.

Cultural Encounter

For generations, Mgahinga’s dense forests were home to the indigenous on the forest for shelter, food and medicine. Now they lead visitors through the forests and introduce them to their old home and the techniques they used to survive in it.

Gorilla Tracking

The guide leads you through the gorillas’ world, surrounded by wild forest and impressive birdlife, explaining the gorillas’ behavior along the way. Tracking excursions leave from Ntebeko Entrance Gate at 8am daily and last between two and four hours.

Hiking and Nature Walks

Hiking around the foothills of the Virunga volcanoes gives visitors the chance to spot forest birds, the Rugezi swamp, wild vegetation, bamboo forests and glorious views of the surrounding lakes and agricultural villages.

Mountain/Volcano Climbing

All three volcanoes in this park can be summated, taking a full day each view from the peaks are well worth the effort-taking in Rwanda, DR Congo, the Virungas, the Rwenzoris, Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and Lake Edward.

Lake Mburo National ParkWhispers of the Wild

In the middle of an extensive rich acacia woodland lies one of Uganda’s most spectacular and breath taking game parks in Uganda; Lake Mburo National Park. Lake Mburo is a gem of a park, conveniently located close to the western high way that connects Kampala to the parks of western Uganda. It is a very special place with a medley of habitats ranging from dry hillsides, rocky outcrops, and bushy thickets, open and wooded savannas to forest, lakes and swamps. Its sculptured landscape, rolling hills and idyllic lake shores, forest gallaries, seasonal and permanent swamps and grassy valley all support a wealth of wildlife in a tropical setting.

The park is remarkably different from other parks. It’s the best park to view the gigantic eland, impala, zebras and acacia associated birds. Common mammal species include Warthogs, Buffalos, Oribi, Defassa, water bucks, reed bucks and the eland antelopes. Leopards and Hyenas are also present and lions have also returned to the park after years of poaching and near extinction.

The five lakes within the park attract hippos and crocodiles with fringing swamps hide secretive papyrus specialists such as the sitatunga antelope and red, black and yellow papyrus gonalek. The park also has an impressive bird list with 332 species recorded including shoebill, papyrus, yellow warbler, African fin foot, Saddle billed stork, and Brown chested watt led plover, carrutter’s cisticola, tabora cisticola, great snipe, Abyssinian ground horn bill and white winged warbler. Acacia woodland bird species are especially well represented.

Though just 371sq km in size, Lake Mburo has a varied landscape full of interest and color, the park is refreshing and full of life given its strategic location near the Kampala-Mbarara highway.


Lake Mburo National Park lies between the towns of Masaka and Mbarara in western Uganda. It’s 228kms from Kampala about 4hrs drive.

There are two gateways to the park from Mbarara road. Approaching from Kampala then turning to Nshara gate is 13kms past Lyantonde. The junction for Sanga gate is at Sanga trading centre, 27kms past Lyantonde.


Several activities can be conducted while in Lake Mburo National Park, like, nature walks, game drives. Nature walk is conducted on foot with the help of an armed guide who explains to the visitors about the various flora and fauna. Game drive is done while in the visitors own vehicle.

The boat is another interesting activity in Lake Mburo, a visitor gets a chance to see a variety of wildlife e.g. crocodiles, hippos and birds like African fish eagle, African fin foot, cormorants, kingfishers, herons etc.

Horse riding is conducted by Mihingo lodge inside the park while quad bikes riding are conducted by African All-Terrain vehicles (ATV Safaris). It gives a spectacular view of the park’s terrain and wildlife. Visitors can ride closer without the animals getting scared.


Rwonyo Rest Camp

Rwonyo is the center of tourism activities in the park. The rest camp is the starting point for nature walks and game drives.

Lake Mburo

The eastern shores of Lake Mburo can be explored by boat, departing from a jetty at the Lake side campsite near Rwonyo. Watch out for crocodiles and hippopotamus during the two hour voyage. You can also sight a variety of birds including pelicans, Heron, the Cormorant fish ragle and perhaps the rare fin foot and shoe bill storks. Fishermen with their own equipment may fish in the Lake from the camp site by arrangement.

Salt Licks

Guided walks explore the park around Rwonyo, culminating in a visit to a natural salt lick frequented by the wildlife. Viewing is facilitated a timber observation plat form.

Game Tracks

The eastern hinterland of Lake Mburo is served by a network of game tracks along which a variety of savannah animals and birds can be sighted. Impalas are the most commonly seen along the impala track while zebras frequent the grassy valley floors traversed by the zebra tack. This connects to the Ruroko track which passes rock kopjes, home to the elusive klip Springer.

In the south of the park, the lakeside track passes through dense woodland that is home to bushbuck and bush duiker, to Kigarama hill which provides a panoramic view of Lake Mburo. This lake and seven more can also be seen from the Kazuma lookout, close to Kazuma track.

Rubanga Forest

Through small, this track of forest on the western side of Lake Mburo provides a taste of the tropical high forest with closed canopy and is home to a variety of forest bird species. Rubanga can be explored with a ranger guide.

Conservation Education Centre

The park has a Conservation Education Centre, 1km west of Sanga gate. This provides accommodation and an education hall for school groups, visitors, seminars and workshops.

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