Nyungwe Forest National Park

Nyungwe Forest National Park is a genuine rainforest that receives about 2 000 mm of rainfall each year. Additionally it is among the most ancient forests on the entire African continent, and that is among the reason why it features such a great deal of diversity. This National Park, together with other forests in the Albertine Rift, was not affected by the drying-up of the low-land regions in the previous ice age, and for that reason become a sanctuary for forest animals plus plants.

Tourist Attractions within Nyungwe Forest National Park

There are a number of wildlife trails within Nyungwe National Park among which are the following:
Uwinka and the vivid trail

The trails go through the area where about 400 habituated colobus monkeys live. In the rainy season, the chimpanzees normally move into this region, and tourists have the option of paying an extra fee to track these monkeys. You can fairly anticipate seeing a number of primates along one of the colored trails in addition to a great diversity of forest birds (although bird watching necessitates patience and frequently stops to see the various species of birds in the open tree cover. you will several primate during the 2.5 kilometers Blue Trail is recognized as uniquely wonderful trail to see primates and birds, along the 10 kilometer Red Trail you will be able to see chimpanzees and even visit the 4 waterfalls.

Specifically Birdwatchers are encouraged to explore the main-road near the campsite, since they will have the opportunity to see a great profusion of a broader diversity of birds living in the forest. Approximately 500 meters east of the park campsite, this road offers a number of breathtaking views within the ice-covered valleys, and goes by a stand of huge lobelias.
The Waterfall Trail
This amazing trail begins at the ORPTN Rest house and goes for about 3 to 6 hours, based on how frequently you stop and whether you walk or choose to drive from your rest house. The very first part of this trail pursuing the road to the car park and goes past the undulating tea plantations scattered with forest patches that are worth seeing plus the various other monkey species. The small forest stands are as well very rewarding for bird watching; enthusiastic ornithologists could want to gently walk along the trail slowly so as to see the various bird species. The Trail later descends into a forest proper, into leveled contour paths in a series of trees covered with ferns in a narrow valley, and traversing a number of streams, before sharply descending to the bottom of the gorgeous yet small waterfall. Monkeys are usually seen en route (particularly the Angola colobus is the most prevalent) and the sheer slopes offer breathtaking views of the towering canopy. This trail is normally very rewarding as the interior of the forest hosts several birds, with a great possibility of seeing a number of Albertine Rift endemics like the yellow eyed black flycatcher and the Rwenzori turaco.

Gisakura Tea Estate
A relict forest area in this tea estate, just 20 minutes walk from ORTPN Rest house, is home to a permanent resident troop of close to Forty Rwenzori Colobus monkeys. The troop is quite, far compared to the bigger troop of monkeys found at Uwinka, fortunately the somewhat small territory occupied by monkeys makes it much easier to locate and even observe them clearly. Extraordinarily, a single red tailed monkey moves along with the colobus monkeys, and this it has done for six years.  A number of the guides claim that it regarded as the leader. Some other guides may inform you the strange monkey at Gisakura isn’t a red-tailed however, a Mona (also referred to as Dent’s monkey and not likely to be seen in other places throughout east Africa) or may be a hybrid of a red-tailed and a Mona. The evident reason behind this confusion is that a single Mona monkey spends some of its time within exactly the same forest area, and the guides cannot differentiate it from its red-tailed cousin.
Mainly early in the morning, within the forest patch you will have a great opportunity to see various bird species since it is found in the gorge and is surrounded by a road, which makes it easy to go into the inner canopy. The majority of what you observe are forest edges or woodland species (in contrast to forest birds in the interior of the forest), however, numerically this turned out to be the most satisfying place in Nyungwe, with approximately 40 species that can be recognized in just one hour, more importantly the 3 kinds of sun birds, black-throated apalis, 2 crimson-wings, paradise and white-tailed crested flycatcher, 2 greenbuls, Chubb’s cisticola, olive-green cameroptera and the African golden oriole. Please remember that the ORTPN office regards a trip to this forest area as a primate walk so an equivalent fee is priced.

Other Trails

Additional Trails

Kamiranzovu Trail takes you to a distinct ecosystem, a marshy area lying at a comparatively low altitude that is abundant with orchids especially in the rainy season in addition to localized bird species that are associated to swamps. This was once the finest place to observe the Nyungwe elephants, however in the recent years; none has been seen around here. This trail begins with a sheer descent from the tarmac road approximately 12 kilometers from Uwinka and only 6 kilometers from Gisakura.Bigugu tra The Bigugu trail takes you to the Bigugu peak which is at 2,950 meter , making it the highest point in the whole of Nyungwe national park. Appropriate specifically for the realistically fit hikers, this trail begins at approximately 4 kilometers from Uwinka down the Huye, and fortunately this trail is well marked and it normally takes a minimum of 6 hours to accomplish. Geographers can visit the fresh water spring found on mount Bigugu which has greater importance and perhaps the most rural source of the longest river in the world.

Akagera National Park

Akagera Safari Park
This Park was named after a river that flows along its eastern border. this Park is the most renowned Savanna reserve in the whole of Rwanda.  In contrast to other parts of the country, the region is fairly warm lies on low altitude and its plains cover of thick, woodland characterized with broad leafs, lighter acacia-woodland and spaces of rolling grassland dotted with stands of Euphorbia candelabra shrub.
The western part of the plains has a series of low mountains that reach the heights between 1,600 meters and 1,800 meters.  The eastern section of the park supports a huge wetland. The great Akagera River feeds an intricate of lakes connected by intensive papyrus swamps plus twisting water. Poaching within this area has significantly reduced the population of wildlife recently, and what was previously the northern part of this park is currently a settlement region for refugees returning home. The lakes which remain in the national park are regularly used to provide water to domestic cattle – the long horned Ankole cows which are the most commonly seen big mammals. Other than that, Akagera is certainly worth visiting.  There is a lot of game including, buffaloes, hippos, elephants, giraffes, and zebras, in addition to a diversity of antelope all easily visible.  Within the lakes you will see the highest number of hippos you won’t find in any other place in the whole of Africa, together with giant large crocodiles, in addition to less numbers of lions, leopards and the black rhinos.  The birds in Akagera are very amazing with about 550 species including all types of rarities and a great profusion of aquatic birds. .
Akagera National Park is an Africa wildlife reserve in which you can drive for a number of hours without coming across another vehicle and without any idea f which animals you could find on the next corner. The Akagera is as well one of the most spectacular savanna reserves, with its appealing lakes surrounded by forests plus high mountains covered with the regularly varying vegetation.

 

Ecological Significance of Akagera National Park

Akagera National park is renowned for protecting a broad variety of habitats in a fairly small area.  Before the civil war, it was thought to be one of the very few African savannah reserves that form a self-preserving ecological unit, which means that its resident big mammals don’t have to seasonally migrate outside the park. The northern borders of the park cover an expanse of 1,085 kilometers.  The eastern section of the park comprises of a large wetlands network that is fed by River Akagera, and it is dominated by a number of small and medium sized lakes.  Outstandingly Lake Ihema is found in the modified park boundaries and is the biggest open water body that covers approximately 100km.  These lakes are joined by thin channels of water and large areas of perennial plus seasonal papyrus swamps.  The wetlands in the east are crucial habitats that shelter several animals in the park: they don’t only offer an enduring source of water for the huge mammals, but as well forms a crucial water bird habitat.

How to Reach Akagera National Park

With a private vehicle, one can reach Akagera from Kigali in just 2 hours long drive from Kibungo or from Rwamagana in approximately an hour.  The only functional entrance gate, fund just 500 meters from the newly-cnstructed Akagera Game Lodge, can be reached over a 27 kilometers dirt road that geos off the main surfaced road just at Kabarondo, it is 15 kilometers north of the town of Kibungo.  The dirt road is in reasonable condition and it is passable by all types of vehicles except during the rains.  Inside the park, even so, a 4wd is recommended, although any vehicle with proper clearance must be fine during the dry season.

It is rather very challenging to get to Akagera using public transport.  All minibus-tax serving between Kayonza and the town of Kibungo can take you up to the junction, where the only reasonable option is taking a motorbike-taxi.  Within the park, unless you’re residing at the Game Lodge, you are not allowed to walk without a park guide, and there isn’t any vehicle intended for game drives.

Safari Activities within Akagera National Park

Boat trips can be conducted on Lake Ihema, and these are taking. You should make your reservation ahead of time through ORTPN found in Kigali.  During the boat ride you will be able to see giant crocodiles and big schools of hippos, and you’ll also sail past large breeding colonies of the open-bill stork, African darter as well as the cormorant.  Other aquatic birds abundant here include the delicate vibrant African jacana commonly seen trotting on the floating vegetation, malachite kingfisher hawk, fish eagles seen in the trees, and the pied kingfishers seen flying over the waters. Among the species of great interest to lovers are some of the marsh specialists like the marsh flycatcher as well as the blue-headed coucal.

Game Viewing in Akagera National Park

There are Game drives for those who have a 4wd unless of course you are residing at the lodge. You will be provided with Guides at no additional cost and they’ll assist you to trace your way in the park. The game viewing circuit is limited to just the main road which goes northwards from the headquarters of the park at Lake Ihema.  You will pass by the majority of the lakes along this road. In the Northern part of Lake Hago, the road divides into 2 major forks, one leading west to the Mutumba hills. The chances for game drives are limited because this park can simply be accessed close to Lake Ihema and Game Lodge.  In a lengthy half-day, you might reasonably travel from the entry in the distant north of the Mutumba Hills.  To go further north necessitates the finest part of the day, with the choice of using the only existing exit route just north of Rwanyakizinga Lake coming through on the main tarmac road all the way to the border of Uganda .  The game tracks in the distant north are really indistinct, and must be done only when you are being escorted by a guide.  As soon as you return to the on the main road, your guide will drop you at Kayonza or at Kabarondo junctions and from here you will return to the park headquarters using a motorbike-taxi.

Beginning at the entry gate, there is a hilly road that takes you through the extremely dense scrub that goes on to about 5 kilometers to Lake Ihema.  It’s on a moist and mosquito affected island close to the eastern shore of Lake Ihema.  You will certainly be stunned by the great bio-diversity of Akagera national park.

Congo National Parks

The Democratic Republic of Congo has the largest stretch of tropical rainforests within Africa, extending beyond 100 million hectares. The verdant eastern forests within the eastern part are astonishingly diverse among the handful of forest areas within Africa known to have made it through the ice age. Nearly 50% of Democratic Republic of Congo is protected by main forests that host a great number of large mammals that are almost extinct in other parts of Africa. For ages, Congo has had an amazing conservation potential and possesses a history of environmental concern. In 1925, the Congo became the very first country in the while of Africa to establish a national park, the Virunga National Park renowned for the protecting the endangered mountain gorillas. Out of the total Congo land area, 4% is a wildlife reserve and the Congo government (although historically unstable) aspires to expand the conservation areas to between 8 and 15% of this country. Although the laws in Congo are infamously weak, most of the reserves in the country are somewhat safe from human encroachment due to their inaccessibility.
Of all the protected areas within Congo, the most properly managed national park is Virunga National Park home to the endangered mountain gorillas. Virunga National Park covers a total area of 790 000 hectares and is comprised of an exceptional variety of habitats, which range from swamps plus steppes to  snowfields of Mountain Rwenzori at an elevation of more than 5,000 meters, and from the lava plains to the wide savannahs on the inclines of the volcanoes. The park shelters mountain gorillas, about 20,000 hippos living in the rivers in addition to Siberian migratory birds which spend their winter there. The park is principally funded by fees accumulated from tourists who go to visit these mountain gorillas.
For some time the erratic political condition in  Democratic Republic of Congo seemed to have in fact helped in the overall conservation of forests by discouraging any investment in wood-logging plus the development of infrastructure that would permit hauling of tropical timber. Consequently, this has made Congo a nation with a substantial potential for sustainable tourism development. In spite of this great potential the erratic political situation within the Democratic Republic of Congo plus its neighboring countries has somewhat affected the wildlife conservation. The forest plus the Wildlife are threatened by the numerous refugees fleeing the civil struggles in Rwanda plus Sudan. Among the national parks which have been significantly affected by running refugees is Garamba national park in which Sudanese refugees plus Ugandan rebel groups have constantly camped. Sadly, this led to a loss of more than Thirty one northern White Rhinoceros and approximately 230 Savanna Giraffes. In addition, Refugees are noted of hunting wildlife using automatic weapons as well as poaching of endangered species particularly for their body parts such as horns and ivory.

A number of conservation reports in addition indicate unsustainable effects of the earlier political hardship in Congo. In accordance with the World Wildlife Fund, Congo’s national parks, including Virunga, Okapi and Garamba Fauna Reserve, were endangered with collapse in the battling between Laurent Kabila’s Alliance of Democratic Forces and Mobutu Sese Seko. Apparently, anti-poaching plus conservation equipment were robbed. The population of northern white rhinos decreased from 31 up to 24, whilst a minimum of twelve mountain gorillas were killed. Furthermore, Forty four park guards were murdered and the population of hippos has dropped from 30,000 up to 3000 over the past 10 years. The Okapi Wildlife Reserve has been destroyed by refugee migrations in addition to raiding groups of militias. The Militias heavily ruined and stole the forest service equipment as well as poached wild animals living in the reserve, whilst refugees burned down trees for fire and even hunted game.
In spite of the above disheartening political situation, the political and overall security situation of Congo is normalizing and the government of Congo is encouraging tourism. Below are the main protected areas in which safaris can be conducted while in the Democratic Republic of Congo:

Parc National des Virunga
This national park consists of savannah grasslands, areas of volcanoes, riverine, forests, lakes and jungle habitats. It is amng the mst varied ecosystems on the planet and it’s the oldest national park in the whole of Africa. It covers an expanse of 12,000 sq kms (or 4,633 sq miles). The park can be reached from Goma by road or using a light plane. This park hosts just below half of the world population of 700 surviving mountain gorillas. Additional animals residing in the park are antelopes, baboons, buffaloes, chimpanzees, crocodiles, elephants, hippos, warthogs, hyenas, lions, jackals plus leopards,   in addition to a wide array of birds. Pleasant accommodation is offered in the park in addition to observation camps found at Jomba, Bukima and Tongo Camp where you can observe the playful chimpanzees.

Epulu Reservation
This reserve consists of a thick forest cover. It can be reached by roads connecting from Bunia or from Isiro. There is Basic accommodation offered and fortunately the park is open throughout the year. Initially called the ‘Station de Capture d’Epulu’, it was set up to capture and export wild animals to zoos all over the world.

 

Parc National de la Garamba
This savannah park stretches over an area of 400,000 hectares. It can be reached by road from Bunia or from Isiro or by a light aircraft normally from Goma. There is Basic accommodation inside the park. This park hosts different animals including antelopes, white rhinoceros, baboons, warthogs, buffaloes, lions, hippos, elephants, leopards and giraffes, plus a wide range of birds. There are also domesticated elephants on which visitors can enjoy rides. Such are only found in two places in the whole of Africa.

Parc National de Kundelungu
This Park consists of riverine, grasslands and forest habitats. It can be reached from Lubumbashi by road and there is basic accommodation offered to tourists within the park. It is habitat to various animals including antelopes, zebras, baboons, warthogs, hippos, leopards and lions among many others.

 

Parc National de Maiko
This dense tropical rainforest is reported to host the eastern lowland gorilla.

Parc National de L’Upemba
This savannah park lines River Lualaba and includes a number of lakes. It can be reached from Lubumbashi by road or light plane normally from Lubumbashi. There is Basic accommodation in the park. It is home to various animals such as antelopes, zebras, baboons, warthogs, crocodiles, leopards, lions and hippos, in addition to a number of water birds.
Parc National de Salonga
This Park is home to the pygmy chimpanzees.

Parc National du Kahuzi-Biega
This park cnsuiists of thick forested mountains plus high savannah, and can be reached by road from Bukavu or from Goma. There is Basic accommodation inside the park. This park was set up to protect the highly endangered eastern lowland gorilla (gorilla gorilla beringei). Additional animals found in the park include: elephants, buffaloes, chimpanzees and the eastern lowland gorillas.

Bwindi National Park

Bwindi Impenetrable national park is situated in Southwestern Uganda and covers an area of 331 square kilometers. It is located on the rim of the Western Rift valley (Albertine rift) and it is shared by Kisoro, Kanungu as well as Kabale districts. This park is characterized with different vegetation zones however mainly a tropical rainforest. This is among the surviving forests in the whole of Africa that survived in the last Ice Age. Bwindi Impenetrable national park hosts approximately half of the total population of mountain gorillas (which is 326 mountain gorillas). At this present time, it is believed that there are about 700 surviving mountain gorillas.

Other than the uncommon mountain gorillas, this park even offers more than 120 species of mammalian among which are 11 primates, 324 tree species and 200 butterfly species. Among these primates are the L’Hoest Monkey, black and white colobus as well as Red Tailed monkeys among others. The forest is as well abundant with birds (with 360 species) among which 23 are Albertine Rift endemics present in this park. Some of the distinctive bird species are the Rusty-faced woodland Warbler Kivu Ground Thrush, Short-tailed Warbler, Wilcock’s Honey-guide, Gruer’s Rush Warbler, White-tailed Blue Monarch, Bar-tailed Trogon, Dusky Crimson Wing, as well as the Yellow-eyed black Fly-catcher   among others. Most of these birds can’t easily be cited in any other place across East Africa. The Ihimbo hot springs is yet another tourist place that was discovered by Bakiga settlers back in the 1950s, and its boiling water which bubbles from these springs swiftly acquired national popularity for its healing powers. A legend speaks of a flat-chested girl that bathed in this place and emerged with an amazingly curvy bosom, also a man who has lost his leg in an accident and obtained it back after swimming in this hot water. Due to its fame, Ihimbo has drawn in as many as 1000 individuals each year from all parts of the country.

Visitors that go to Bwindi Impenetrable forest can as well visit the town of Kanungu to see the church in which over 500 members of this Movement for the “Restoration of the Ten Commandments of God” (MRTCG) disappeared in the fire; following them being persuaded that they were reaching heaven through that fire. This occurrence happened on 17th March, 2000 and it’s among the big religious massacre activities in the entire world.

How to reach the Gorilla Park

Bwindi Impenetrable National park can be reached by road or air transport. Traveling from Kampala through Mbarara highway this drive takes 6 to 8 hours. From here the here you will drive on for 2 to 3 hours to Kabale and then you will reach the park in about one to two hours. However those who would like to get to the park by air, there are private charter flights which can be organized from the Kayonza airstrip to the park.

Tourism Activities within Bwindi National Park

Gorilla Tracking in Bwindi

This is the primary tourism activity within the park. You will find 4 habituated gorilla groups including the Nkuringo group with 19 gorillas, Mubare group with 10 gorillas and a silverback, the Habinyanja group with 18 gorillas and a silverback as well as the Rushegura group with 10 gorillas and a silverback.

Bwindi Guided Forest Walk

Within the park are 4 hiking trails on which you will have the chance to see as well as learn about the different species of trees, birds as well as butterflies, in addition to spectacular features inside the forest such as the Munyaga waterfalls on River Munyaga, plus the breathtaking views of the Rwenzori Mountains and Lake Edward.

Bwindi Community Cultural Tours

Visitors in the park take part in fascinating and unforgettable traditional performances displayed by Women and the orphan groups and normally this is normally carried out the evening.

Birding in Bwindi National Park

Bwindi is a bird watchers paradise! It supports 346 bird species among which are 90% of  Albertine endemics that can’t easily be seen in other areas of East Africa. The Buhoma plus the Ruhija areas provide experienced tourists a chance to identify around 100 species of birds in only one day!

UWA Tips on Gorilla Tracking

Maintain your voice down or perhaps be quiet as you are tracking. You’ll see and listen to the gorillas in case you see that.

Maintain a distance of 7 meters or 21 feet from the mountain gorillas

Don’t waive or even point at the mountain gorillas- this could be viewed as a hazard.

Move slowly, and In case you are approached by a mountain gorilla, retreat slowly and maintain a 5 meter separation.

Avoid using the flash when taking your photos. This could endanger the mountain gorillas and even bother other guests.

Mgahinga National Park

Mgahinga Gorilla National Park is Uganda’s smallest park covering 33 square kilometers and it is situated in the distant southwestern side of Uganda neighboring Rwanda plus the Democratic Republic of Congo. nonetheless this park is among the most spectacular parks, it extends over the northern slopes of  3 of the 6 Virunga Volcanoes which are Mt. Gahinga (at 3,474 meters), Mt. Muhavura (at 4,127 meters), as well as Mt. Sabiny (at 3,645 meters). In spite of its small size, Mgahinga national park is of significance since it is a habitat to the decreasing in numbers mountain Gorillas. The park in addition to two parks one in  Rwanda (Parc National des Volcanos) and the other in  Democratic Republic of Congo (Parc National des Virunga) form the 434 square kilometers Virunga Conservation Area. Because Mgahinga is 33.7 square kilometers, it is only 8 Percent of the Virunga Conservation Area and the entire park is situated in Bufumbira County within Kisoro District. The vegetation of the park is partially forested and the large cones of Virunga volcanoes which dominate the terrain contribute to the truly amazing spectacular view of this region.

Although mountain gorillas are the major attraction in the park, Mgahinga is also home to various wild animals including 76 species of mammals including golden monkeys which are a localized distinctive species of Blue Monkeys, Black & White colobus monkey, leopard, forest elephant, and huge forest hogs plus a profusion of bird species. This park is as well the most spectacular park in the whole of Uganda; it provides breathtaking views that extend northwards towards Bwindi and the southern skyline dominated by steep Virunga volcanic cones, certainly among the unforgettable and breathtaking sights in the whole of East Africa.

The park is flanked by various local communities including the Pygmy Batwa tribe who previously survived by hunting as well as gathering fruits in Bwindi Impenetrable forest. This tribe was relocated following the establishment of the park to protect Mountain Gorillas. Today these Batwa people entertain visitors and even sell their hand-made crafts as mementos.

Safari activities within Mgahinga National Park

Mountain Gorilla Tracking

Gorilla tracking is the main tourist activity within Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. You will find one habituated family of gorillas living the park and it comprises of nine members, two silverbacks, three adult females, Two juveniles as well as 2 infants. Gorilla tracking in the park less challenging given that the habituated gorilla family is isn’t very mobile as it has set up its base in Nyakagezi.

Mount Sabiny Hiking

Hiking is an additional adventurous activity conducted in the park. Climbing the Volcano is a very fascinating yet challenging activity. In Mgahinga national park visitors have an opportunity to go beyond to Mt. Sabinyo (at 3645 meters above sea level), Mount Gahinga (at 3474 meters) as well as Mt. Muhavura (at 4127 meters). Viewing the ‘Old man’s teeth’ found at the top of Mount Sabinyo is yet another amazing adventure. Just as an old man, the crown of Mount Sabyinyo has been worn away.

Garama Cave Exploration

Another fascinating feature in the park is Garama cave. This is among the historical caves in which once the creative Batwa stayed and even battled their neighbors. These people (the pygmies) lived a warrior life-style and they would fight their nearby Bantu tribes. These Garama caves which cover 342 meters in length as well as 14 meters deep are currently inhabited by bats. In addition taking a trip to the Batwa local communities can be arranged for visitors enthusiastic about learning as well as experiencing the life-style, traditions plus norms of the pygmies.

Birding in Mgahinga National Park

The Park has several exceptional bird species with a total of 79 species of birds many of which are native to the Eastern Congo Montane area. Among the Common species within the park are the Ibis, Yellow-Vented Bulbul, Whydah, Waxbills, Speckled Mouse birds, Grey Capped Warbler as well as the Fire Finch Stonechat. The entire Virunga Conservation Area has more than 295 species within the Virungas that are endemic to the Albertine Rift Afromontane area representing 59 Percent of the overall identified endemic species. For enthuastastic bird watchers, local birding guides are around to guide you during the birding tour. You’re as well advised to travel with all of your equipments for birding

Kibale Forest National Park

Kibale National park is situated close to the bottom of the legendary Mountains of the Moon in the western part of Uganda and covers an expanse of 795 square kilometers. It’s the most reachable of all the main tropical rainforests in Uganda. Kibale national park hosts an amazing 13 species of primates with nocturnal plus diurnal species. among these are chimpanzees, red colobus monkey, Red-tailed Monkeys, L’Hoest’s monkey, Grey-cheeked Mangabeys, black & white colobus monkeys, Olive Baboon, pottos as well as Guereza Colobus among several others.

The park is  characterized by several vegetation zones such as fully developed, mid-altitude, damp semi-deciduous plus evergreen forest (covering 57%), lakes plus wetlands (covering 2%), grassland (covering 15%), plantations of unusual trees (covering 1%), woodland (covering 4%) and colonizing forest (covering 19%); largely Eucalyptus, Cupressus lusitanica, P. caribaea, and Pinus patula species.
The park vegetation has drawn in many other fascinating mammals such as the hard-to-find forest elephants, African Palm Civet, Buffaloes, Ichneumon, Ratel, Marsh Mongooses, Bush pigs, Bushbucks, Swamp Otter, African Civet cats plus Alexander’s Cusimanse. in addition are Golden Cats, Servals, Lions, Leopards, Warthogs, hippos plus Giant Hogs among others.

This park is endowed with more than 335 species of birds including the Red-chested Fluff tail, Black-capped Apalises, Red-winged Francolin, Grey-headed Olive-back African Pitta, Joyful Greenbul, White-bellied Crested Flycatcher, Tiny Sunbirds, Green-breasted Pitta, White-naped Pigeon, Chestnut-winged Starling, Grey-winged Robin, Grey-throated Flycatcher, Uganda Woodland Warbler, Abyssinian Ground Thrush among many others.

 

How to reach Kibale Forest National Park

The park is 320 kilometers From Kampala driving along a mainly surfaced direct-road, and 26 kilometers southwest of the town of Fort Portal. From Kasese its just an hour drive. Coming from Fort Portal, you can reach the park along a dirt road which links to Kanyanchu Tourist Centre. Those who would love to travel using air; you can use a private charter flight into Kasese airstrip and then be transferred by road to Kibaale (a 60 minutes Drive)

Kibale Safari Activities

The main tourist activity in this park is Chimpanzee tracking. Tracking the habituated delightful chimps is a very memorable experience. These apes which are the closest related creatures to humans offer remarkable fun as you watch them quarrel and play in the fruit bearing trees within the park.
During the Nature walks in the Bigodi swamp you will see several bird species on the trail together with conservation projects carried out in Kibale National Park.
You can also take Short walks in the forest during which you will participate in the tree identification.
Also children who are below the allowed age of chimp tracking can enjoy educational.
Community walks are as well some of the activities which are conducted within the adjacent local villages.

Queen Elizabeth National Park

queen elizabeth toursThe park is situated in the southwestern section of Uganda covering up an expanse of 1,978 square kilometers. This is the most renowned national park in the whole of Uganda with a profusion of wildlife and attracts a large number of tourists enthusiastic about viewing large game. The vegetation of the park varies from the wide open savannah to the verdant rainforest, the thick papyrus swamps as well as the stunning crater lakes to the wide Lake Edward, that make this park one of the finest greatly bio-diversified conservation game reserve in the world.

Mammals

Queen Elizabeth National park hosts more than 100 mammal species plus 606 species of birds. This renders it the finest safari destination in the whole of Uganda with large herds of elephants, an abundance of hippos, the hard-to-find huge forest hog and good looking Uganda kobs which are frequently seen near the tourist village on the stunning Mweya Peninsula.

Queen Elizabeth Bird Watching

The commonly seen bird species within the park are the uncommon Shoebill Stork, Malachite and Pied Kingfishers, Great and Long-tailed Cormorants, White-winged Terns, Common Squacco Heron, Swamp Fly-catcher, the attractive Black-headed Gonolek, Grey-capped Warbler, African Jacana, Gabon and Slender-tailed Nightjars, Collard Pranticles, African Skimmer, Grey-headed Kingfisher, White-tailed Lark, Pin-tailed Whydah Martial Eagle, Black-rumped Buttonquail, African Fish Eagle, African Open-billed Stork, Verreaux’s Eagle-Owl, African Mourning Dove, Black Bee-eater, White-winged Warbler, Great white and Pink-backed Pelicans, Papyrus Gonolek and  Papyrus Canary.  

The Kyambura Gorge

This gorge is as well located in Queen Elizabeth National park and is home to the habituated chimpanzees. This remote Ishasha area is renowned for its tree climbing lions that can’t simply be seen elsewhere on the planet.

Maramagambo Forest

This is a tropical rainforest situated in Queen Elizabeth National park and its home to various forest monkeys, the hard-to-find forest elephants, birds including large flocks of flamingos that reside on shores of the crater lakes. Among the other fascinating feature to see within the park is the bat colony plus the blue lake that will reward you with very a very memorable adventure experience.

Queen Elizabeth Accesibility

Queen Elizabeth National park an easily accessible park only 5 to 6 hours drive from Kampala along a tarmac road through Mbarara, Kasese and Fort Portal, and could be reached through a dirt road connecting from Bwindi.  Travelers interested in visiting the park by air, we can organize a private charter flight departing from the Entebbe international airport to the airstrip in Kasese.

Game Drives Uganda

The park offers various trails on which game drives are conducted. During the drive, you will see large game within the typical African savannah among which are Elephants, Warthogs, Lions, Uganda Kobs, Leopards, Waterbucks, Hyenas as well as Buffaloes among others. the best  time to have game drives is in the early morning and in the evenings.

Birding Safari

Queen Elizabeth National park hosts more than 606 bird species that makes it a perfect sanctuary for visitors interested in watching birds. Also within the park is the Kazinga channel which attracts a great profusion of water birds such as the Swamp flycatchers, White-faced Whistling ducks, Yellow backed Weavers, Knob-billed Ducks, Black Crake, the widespread Squacco Heron, Pied kingfishers, Great and Long-tailed Cormorants, African Wattled Plovers,, Great-white and Pink-backed Pelicans, Spur-winged Plover, African Jacana, Water Thick-knee, African open-billed Stork as well as the African Fish Eagle among many others

Launch Cruise

This is conducted along the stunning Kazinga channel. During the cruise various animals plus birds can be seen close to the 34 kilometers peaceful shore of the Kazinga Channel. among these are elephants, large numbers of Hippos plus solitary Buffaloes, reptiles such as Crocodiles and Lizards, various water birds like Kingfishers, Pelicans, African Jacana, Egyptian goose, African Fish Eagles and the Saddle-billed Stork to name a few.

Guided Forest Walks

Guided nature walks are conducted in the adjacent Maramagambo Forest which is a tropical forest characterized by fairly low trees plus gentle slopes. The main features worthy seeing in this forest are: the Hunters Cave, the Blue Lake, various tree species among which are medicinal species and the Bat Cave that are inhabited by thousands of Egyptian-Fruit Bats,

Chimpanzee Tracking

Chimpanzee tracking is conducted in the gorge located in the Kyambura Wildlife Reserve within the eastern part of this park. In the Kyambura, you will find various primates other than the chimpanzees among which are: the olive baboons, Black & White Colobus Monkeys as well as the Red-tailed Monkeys, in addition to various forest birds like Sunbirds, Hornbills and the Kingfishers

Murchison Falls National Park

The park is situated in northwestern  Uganda, 90 kilometers from the town of Masindi . It is the largest national parks in the whole of Uganda. It shelters a number of wild African savannah and many tourists that visit the national parks in Uganda have stated that it is the best safari destination in the entire Uganda.

Murchison Falls National Park took its name from the spectacular Murchison Falls that are found inside this park. The falls are breathtaking and are at a point where the River Nile (the longest river in the world) explodes through a slim 7 meter gorge and then drops with a thunderous roar to over 40 meters below. The banks of the river are crowded with hippos, buffaloes, crocodiles plus waterbucks. Its vegetation comprises of Savannah, woodland plus riverine forest. Some of the large mammals within this area are lions, chimpanzees, leopards, elephants, Uganda kobs, giraffes, oribis, cape buffaloes as well as hartebeests. It possesses about 450 species of birds plus 76 species of mammal.  Murchison falls National Park along with Bugungu plus Karuma Falls Wildlife Reserves jointly make up the Murchison Falls Protected Area.

A profusion of wildlife was hunted back in the 1970s as well as the 1980s, however over time the populations of these animal have greatly recovered for example from the verdant borassus grassland up to the northern part of the Nile, giraffes, elephants as well as buffaloes, and many types of antelopes are commonly seen during the game drives, while the incidences of seeing lions are increasing.

Rabongo Forest situated in the Southeastern part of the park hosts various primates including chimpanzees in addition to rainforest animals.

River Nile itself has one of the biggest populations of hippos plus crocodiles in the whole of Africa, plus a amazing number of water birds including the uncommon shoebill stork, African Fish Eagle and the African Skimmer which can be seen by the river banks very easily. Other species of birds seen in this area are: Pel’s Fishing Owl,  Long-tailed & Pennant-winged Nightjars, White-backed Night Heron,  Spotted Mourning Thrush, Vitelline Masked Weaver, Chestnut-crowned Sparrow-weaver, Black-headed Batis, Bluff-bellied Warblers, Silver Bird, standard-winged Nightjar, Blue-napped Mouse birds, Grey-crowned Crane, Goliath Heron, Black-headed Gonolek, Green-winged Ptyilia, Long-toed Plover, Saddle-billed Stork, as well as the Spotted and Verreaux’s Owls.

Accessibility to the Park

Murchison falls national park is reached by air and road transport. In case you are to use road, the crossing of the river Nile is at Paraa; it takes roughly 5 hours drive from the capital Kampala. Paraa is 85 kilometers from Masindi town using a direct route. The lengthier route goes through Budongo forest during which you will enjoy stunning views over Lake Albert from the elevated rift valley escarpment on top of Butiaba. You can as well approach Paraa coming from the north, through the Chobe Gate close to Karuma Falls as well as the Tangi Gate close to Pakwach plus Wankwar Gate close to Purongo. Travelers interested in traveling by air, we can arrange a private charter flight to the park from Entebbe International airport.

Wildlife Game Viewing

There are game drives inside the park in the early morning and in the evening on the Queen’s, Buligi and Albert tracks just north of river Nile that will offer you an opportunity to see various wild animals.

In addition, there are Picnics at Nyamsika Cliffs which could as well offer you an opportunity to see elephants along with other game in the grassy hillsides plus around the sand river.

Launch Trips along the Nile

This launch trip which starts at Paraa towards the bottom of the stunning Murchison Falls is the principal activity in the Murchison Falls National Park. During the launch trip, several hippos plus crocodiles are visible in addition to waterbucks, buffaloes and elephants, plus birds including Cormorants, the uncommon Shoebill, Herons, water ducks, Bee-eaters, Kingfishers and Fish Eagles.

Spot Fishing

This is the finest place for spot fishing. Various species of fish including the Nile Perch plus the tiger-fish offer a thrilling task to anglers. Just below and above the waterfalls, Fishing is another activity to enjoy in this park. Travelers enthusiastic about fishing should remember to bring along their fishing equipment.

Nature Walks and Chimpanzee Tracking

In addition there are possibilities to explore the wilderness in Murchison Falls on foot. The trails on top of the falls as well as at Paraa give you a unforgettable experience as they go through the low hills, riverine forests and gullies. During the trails various plants, animals and birds may be seen. in Kaniyo Pabidi you can trek chimpanzees as you walk through the pristine natural forest in Budongo Forest Reserve, chimpanzees are the closest relative. During the tracking other appealing features that can be seen within the forest include fully developed Mahogany plus ironwood trees in addition to several forest birds, such as the Puvel’s Illadopsis, White-thighed Hornbill and Chocolate backed Kingfisher.

Camping in Murchison Falls

This can be conducted at the campsite in Kaniyo Pabidi. You are provided with water plus firewood at the campsite. For that reason for those enthusiastic about camping remember to bring what you may need.

Rabongo Forest Walks

From Rabongo Forest Ecotourism Centre you can have a guided forest to explore the verdant forest when walking. Various primates like Baboons, occasional Chimpanzees, Red-tailed monkeys and the Black & White Colobus monkeys, in addition to birds, trees plus medicinal plants.

Semuliki National Park

In October 1993 Semuliki National Park was gazetted so it is among the newest National Parks in Uganda. It its terrain is flat and gently undulating in some places at an altitude range of 670m to 760m above level. The park hosts a large number of mainly Central African species that can’t be seen in other parts in East Africa including a number of the Africa’s most stunning and largely sought-after species of birds including the  Nkulengu Rail, Long-tailed Hawk, Lyre-tailed Honey guide Black-wattled Hornbill plus the Congo Serpent Eagle.

Semuliki National park is situated in the far western part of Uganda within Bundibugyo. It is found on the border of Uganda with the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in the western arm of the Rift valley. it covers an expanse of 220 square kilometers and covers the eastern extension of the huge Ituri Forest. The park forms section of the forest continuum in the climatic turmoils of the Pleistocene, and it is among the richest areas for plant life, animals and mainly birds in the whole of Africa.

 Accessibility of Semuliki N.P

You can reach the park from the capital Kampala through two main roads; the Kampala-Fort portal through Mubende that takes 4 to 5 hours drive or the Kampala-Fort portal through Masaka, to Mbarara and then Kasese taking 7 to 8 hours drive.

Safari Activities

Semuliki national park offers breathtaking scenery comprised of the meandering river Semiliki, the stunning hot springs and the verdant tropical forests, among several other interesting attractions. At Mungu Ni Mukubwa as you drive up in the mountains, you will enjoy spectacular sights of the winding River Semuliki, the bubbling hot springs plus the tropical rain forests that extend up to Ituri forest found in the DRC. There are two Hot springs found in a system of hot mineral emblazoned swampland around which are numerous birds, mammals plus insects. These 2m jet of hot water at 130°C plus a pool of a 12 meter diameter that oozes with boiling water at 106°C which can even boil food particularly eggs within this natural boiler in just 10 minutes.

Nature Walks Through The Semuliki Jungle.

The Semuliki jungle-life is spectacular particularly for birders, and those interested in seeing primates, butterflies and plants. the jungle walks normally begin from Sempaya Gate and this takes approximately two hours and end at the Hot Springs in the rainforest that has Palm Trees and has muddy ground. During the walk, visitors have the opportunity to see primates including Mangabeys plus Blue Monkeys, as well as mammals including forest buffaloes, pygmy hippos, elephants, leopards and sitatungas, in addition to birds like  Palm nut Vultures, Hornbills plus Honey guides. There are as well 305 tree species recorded here of which 125 species are endemic to the park.

Local Community Walks

The “Batwa”, are a local pygmy Ituri-ethnic people found close to the park. These people lived within Semuliki Forest and were essentially relying on fruit gathering plus hunting within this forest. Currently different other ethnic cultural groups have come here and these intermarried resulting into cultural exchange. Taking a community visit to the adjacent pygmy village close to the Sempaya Gate will give you the chance to witness the dances, lifestyles and traditions, and offer you a chance to purchase some souvenirs.

Bird Watching

Birding is an additional tourism activity carried out in the Uganda safari. The different vegetation types in the park provide birders an opportunity to see various birds such as grassland birds, forest birds, water birds plus wetland birds. The area near the geothermal Sempaya hot-springs is not just very spectacular but as well offers some wonderful birding particularly in the nights.

Kidepo Valley National Park

The Park can be reached by road or air transport. However for security reasons, visitors are advised are to use air transport. Chartered aircraft can be arranged from the Entebbe International Airport to the Headquarters of the Park. The Road conditions are at times chalenging and can only be conducted in 4WD vehicles. There are 4 routes using road transport: routes through Mbale go to the east of the deep Lake Kyoga to northern Uganda, the routes through Karuma go to the west.
Kampala to Mbale to Soroti to Moroto to Kidepo.
Kampala to Mbale to Sironko to Kotido to Kaabong to KidepoKampala to Karuma to Lira to Kotido to Kidepo
Kampala to Karuma to Gulu to Kitgum to Kidepo.Please note that Visitors planning to travel using road transport are recommended to contact the headquarters of UWA to get advice regarding conditions plus overall safety on these roads.

Mammals

The park possesses more than 80 mammal species of which 28 are not seen in any other National Parks in Uganda. For instance, Cheetahs, Carcal, Klipspringers, as well as Bat-eared Fox. Other mammals in the park include Side striped Jackals, Elephants, Senegal Galagos, Common Zebras, Guenther’s Dik Dik, Lions, Buffaloes, Bohor Reedbucks, Leopards, Waterbucks, Oribis, Kongoni, and Spotted Hyenas to name a few.

Birds

The park is endowed with several bird species such as Crimson-rumped Waxbill, Silver birds, Marsh Tchagra, Yellow-billed Shrikes, African Mustached & Broad-tailed Warblers, Vinaceous Doves, Black Coucal, Hoopoes, Nubian Woodpeckers, Clapperton’s Francolin, Mosque Swallows, Sand grouses, Starlings, Yellow-rumped Seed eaters, Scarlet-chested Sunbirds, Red-cheeked Cordon-blue swallows plus the Little Weavers among several others.

Wild Game Viewing

The park harbors a great diversity of animal species than other parks in Uganda. These include carnivores, ungulates, and primates. There are high chances of viewing tree climbing lions that always sits on sauces trees along Narus valley or on the rock just as you enter the Apoka Park Headquarter. Right from Apoka Rest Camp other animals that can be seen include elephants, leopards, bush duikers, jackals, bush bucks, bush pigs, kavirondo bush babies, buffaloes and much more.

Birding

The Park features a comprehensive avifauna. a total of 465 bird species have been documented here among which are the ostriches and the Kori bustards which are primarily associated with dry areas. In addition this park has a great profusion birds of prey that include a total of 58 species recorded here. Among them 14 are said to be endemic to the Karamoja and Kidepo area.

Hiking and Scenery viewing

Hiking is conducted in Lamoj Mountains only a couple kilometers from the Headquarters of the Park.

Cultural Performances

The adjacent local community close to the park performs cultural dances. Among the Traditional dances is the Emuya done by the Naporre plus the Apiti, Nyangia and Larakaraka dances done by the Acholi people; visitors can always join in these trilling performances.

Nature Walk plus cultural tours to the Karamajong manyattas – homesteads will give you  the opportunity to see kraals owned by the local communities, bows and arrows, traditional costume, jewelry, stools, knives and spears headdress among many others. You can also visit the striking Kidepo River Valley mainly covered with Borassus palm forest. You can also visit the Kanangorok Hot Springs, situated just 11 kilometers river Kidepo valley. Enjoy a picnic lunch in the sand