UGANDA
Home Of The Mountain Gorillas, The Tree Lions & More
UGANDA
Fact File About Uganda
Uganda’s beauty, wildlife, diversity and friendly people justify its reputation as “The Pearl of Africa”. Uganda’s economy is one of the fastest growing of Africa, with a total restructuring of its tourism and conservation sectors. Uganda is home to the source of the Nile. It is in Uganda that the greatest percentage of Mountain Gorillas and Chimpanzees remain, with many other mammal species representative of both East and Central Africa. Uganda offers a truly exceptional natural experience.
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National Parks & Reserves
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park lies in southwestern Uganda on the edge of the Rift Valley. Its mist-covered hillsides are blanketed by one of Uganda’s oldest and most biologically diverse rainforests, which dates back over 25,000 years and contains almost 400 species of plants. More famously, this “impenetrable forest” also protects an estimated 320 mountain gorillas – roughly half of the world’s population, including several habituated groups, which can be tracked.
Kibale National Park
Kibale National Park contains one of the loveliest and most varied tracts of tropical forest in Uganda. Forest cover, interspersed with patches of grassland and swamp, dominates the northern and central parts of the park on an elevated plateau.
Kidepo Valley National Park
Kidepo Valley National Park lies in the rugged, semi arid valleys between Uganda’s borders with Sudan and Kenya, some 700km from Kampala. Gazetted as a national park in 1962, it has a profusion of big game and hosts over 77 mammal species as well as around 475 bird species.
Lake Mburo National Park
Lake Mburo National Park is a compact gem, located conveniently close to the highway that connects Kampala to the parks of western Uganda. It isthe smallest of Uganda’s savannah national parks and underlain by ancient Precambrian metamorphic rocks which date back more than 500 million years. It is home to 350 bird species as well as zebra, impala, eland, buffalo, oribi, Defassa waterbuck, leopard, hippo, hyena, topi and reedbuck.
Mgahinga Gorilla National Park
Mgahinga Gorilla National Park sits high in the clouds, at an altitude of between 2,227m and 4,127m. As its name suggests, it was created to protect the rare mountain gorillas that inhabit its dense forests, and it is also an important habitat for the endangered golden monkey
Mount Elgon National Park
Mount Elgon National Park. At 4,000km² Mt. Elgon has the largest volcanic base in the world. Located on the Uganda-Kenya border it is also the oldest and largest solitary, volcanic mountain in East Africa. Its vast form, 80km in diameter, 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.
Murchison Falls National Park
Murchison Falls National Park lies at the northern end of the Albertine Rift Valley, where the sweeping Bunyoro escarpment tumbles into vast, palm-dotted savanna. First gazetted as a game reserve in 1926, it is Uganda’s largest and oldest conservation area, hosting 76 species of mammals and 451 birds.
Queen Elizabeth National Park
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.
Rwenzori Mountains National Park
Rwenzori Mountains National Park - the fabled Mountains of the Moon – lie in western Uganda along the Uganda-Congo border. The equatorial snow peaks include the third highest point in Africa, while the lower slopes are blanketed in moorland, bamboo and rich, moist montane forest. Huge tree-heathers and colorful mosses are draped across the mountainside with giant lobelias and “everlasting flowers”, creating an enchanting, fairytale scene.
Semuliki National Park
Semuliki National Park sprawls across the floor of the Semliki Valley on the remote, western side of the Rwenzori. The park is dominated by the easternmost extension of the great Ituri 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.
Recommended Safaris In Uganda

10 DAYS (HIKING THE MOUNTAINS OF THE MOON)

Day 1: – Briefing on your safari. Depart for Kasese, via Queen Elizabeth National Park. Set off on the southbound road at 10am. On the way see the royal drum makers, stand on the Equator and bargain at the roadside markets. Descend to the Queen Elizabeth National Park, keeping an eye out for game. If there is time, take an afternoon game drive in the park. O/N: Volcanoes Kyambura Gorge Lodge. (FB)

Day 2: – Begin the climb – to Nyabitaba Hut (2650m). After breakfast drive to Nyakalengija trailhead (1600m). Make final arrangements for a guide and porters. Begin hiking up to Nyabitaba hut. Walk through the banana shambas on the side of the steep foothills, past the typical Bakonjo homesteads with the children waving you on! Follow the trail along the Mubuku River, through landslides and up and down rocks and bluffs. Cross the Mahoma River and climb steeply through bracken fern slopes and Podocarpus forest to Nyabitaba Hut for overnight (FB).

Day 3: – To John Matte Hut (3350m). The trail from Nyabitaba drops down through the forest to the Kurt Shafer Bridge, just below the confluence of the Bujuku and Mubuku Rivers. A steep ascent through bamboo forest, traversing a long and exhausting stretch of slippery moss-covered rock. From Nyamileju rock shelter, on clear days, Mount Stanley and Mount Speke can be glimpsed before passing into the zone of the giant heather, lobelia and groundsel. The final stretch to the hut is across a tiring bog, the first of many for which the mountain is infamous (FB).

Day 4: – To Bujuku Hut (3900m). Immediately after John Matte Hut, the trail drops down to cross the Bujuku River and enters Lower Bigo Bog, home of giant lobelias. Jumping from tussock to tussock, the bog is finally crossed but rarely without the feet sampling some of the freezing ooze below. The Upper Bigo bog gives way to Bujuku Lake, with views of Mt Baker to the South and Mt Stanley to the West. Bujuku Hut, well located in the shadow of Mount Baker and Mount Speke, is set in a narrow valley below Stuhlmann Pass. A spectacular setting but it can be very cold, even for the Rwenzoris. (FB).

Day 5: – To Elena Hut (4541m). Leaving Bujuku, through more bog, the trail climbs the steep slopes west of the lake, passing through the magical Groundsel Gully as it ascends to Scott-Elliot Pass at 4372m. At the head of the gully a metal ladder takes you over a steep section after which the trail splits into two. The right leads up to Elena Hut and Mount Stanley on a steep trail over large boulders. The left path leads to Scott-Elliot Pass and down to Kitandara Lakes. For those sleeping at the basic Elena Hut be prepared for a cold and icy night (FB).

Day 6: – For those climbing Margherita peak (5109m) continue to the base of the Stanley Glacier. Depending on the weather and the individual’s acclimatisation, it can be a four to seven hour walk to the summit of Margherita. This is a tough walk over three glaciers, slippery rock, ice and very exposed areas which are open on many sides. It is only for the physically fit and is a technical climb that requires roping up, crampons and appropriate equipment for cold, windy and icy conditions. It is best to attempt the final climb in a minimum group of 4 – two climbers and two guides; (a supplement for the extra guide has to be paid for at the time of booking). Climb on to the glacier, cross the Stanley Plateau and proceed with the ascent. Subject to altitude sickness, fog and weather, scramble up to the summit of Margherita, crown of the Rwenzoris. Due to the altitude and the tough conditions not everybody will make it to the summit so do not be disappointed if you do not. Returning to Scott-Elliot pass, there are spectacular views back to Bujuku Lake and Mount Speke, up to Mount Stanley and down to the Kitandara Lakes. Once over the pass the trail enters an alpine zone of sparse vegetation and rough boulders. Descend to the Kitandara Hut for overnight, past the Kitandara Lakes. (For those who do not wish to climb the peak, a more restful day walking from Elena Hut to Kitandara Hut 4,023m.) (FB).

Day 7: – To Guy Yeoman Hut (3260m). From Kitandara, the trail ascends steeply up the headwall, spreading out from the base of Mount Baker and continuing along the south side of the mountain to Freshfield Pass. On a clear day there are views into the Congo to the west and Mount Stanley to the north. From the pass, the long muddy descent continues, passing the rock shelter at Bujangolo, the base camp for the historic expedition by the Duke of Abruzzi in 1906 (FB).

Day 8: – To Nyabitaba (2650m). The path down can be slippery and muddy with little to hold on to and requires careful balancing over the vertical mud or steep rock. An overnight stop at the Nyabitaba Hut is a pleasant rest after the exertion of the previous days (FB).

Day 9: – To Nyakalengija trailhead (1600m). A gentle descent down the muddy paths to the trailhead, arriving late morning. Lunch in Kasese. Drive to Queen Elizabeth National Park, game viewing on the way. In the afternoon time permitting, a boat cruise on the Kazinga Channel where the wildlife and a vast array of birds come to drink. O/N: Volcanoes Kyambura Gorge Lodge (FB).

Day 10: – Leaving the Kyambura Gorge set off back to Kampala and Entebbe Airport. You will cross the Equator again, and will be able to stop at roadside market and handicraft stalls. Return to your hotel or transfer to the airport in time for your return flight. (B, L)

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