With Uganda lying in Africa’s tropical rain forests this diverse and fascinating country can offer a primate safari like nowhere else. Bwindi Impenetrable Forest hosts many families of one of our closest relatives with lots of options for accommodation to go and see this largest of our cousins.
BWINDI IMPENETRABLE FOREST
AND ITS GORILLAS HIGHLIGHTS:
The mountainous area of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is the home to approximately 300 mountain gorillas. The biodiverse habitat at Bwindi provides the mountain gorillas with a variety of food sources like roots fruits and leaves. Restricted numbers of viewing permits are issued and should be booked in advance. Proceeds from the permits help protect the gorillas and their habitat which are under constant pressure from local communities in search of farm land and wood. Poachers are also a constant threat to the gorilla’s families. The courageous and sacrificed work done by the local rangers is inspiring. The hikes to see the mountain gorillas can be very challenging. It may take up to 8 hours of hiking to find a familiy of resident gorillas.
KIDEPO VALLEY NATIONAL PARK
The rugged and isolated, Kidepo Valley National Park is one of the most spectacular parks in all of Africa and the journey to the Kipedo Valley is truly worth the effort. The rugged, semi-arid valley is nestled between Uganda’s borders with Kenya and Sudan. This is a stellar destination for big game and birding safaris. The park is home to over 77 mammal species including elephants, zebras, lions, caracal, cheetah, hyena and wild dog.
The valley is also home to around 475 bird species. From the heart of the park, a savannah landscape extends toward horizons outlined by distant mountain ranges. During th dry season, the only permanent water in the park is found in wetlands and remnant pools in the Narus Valley. These seasonal oases combined with the savannah habitat make the Narus Valley the park’s prime game viewing destination.
QUEEN ELIZABETH NATIONAL PARK
Queen Elizabeth National Park located in southwest Uganda is ideal for primate viewing. The park is home to chimpanzees, red-tailed monkey, black-and-white colobus, baboons and vervet monkeys. Leopards roam the Mweya Peninsula, which lies beside Lake Edward. On the Kazinga Channel boats venture past pods of hippos and Nile crocodiles. The Maramagambo Forest located in Bushenyi is also part of the Queen Elizabeth National Park. The forest is bordered by two crater lakes. Lake Kyasanduka and Lake Nyamasingiri. The main attraction at Maramaganbo are the bat caves where visitors can view the bat activity from specially designed platform.
MURCHISON FALLS NATIONAL PARK
Murchison Falls Conservation Area (MFCA ) comprises of Murchison Falls National Park, Bugungu and Karuma Falls Wildlife Reserves. This is where the Nile bursts through a narrow gorge and cascades downstream to become a placid river whose banks are packed with hippos and crocodiles, waterbucks and buffaloes. The vegetation is characterized by savannah, riverine forest and woodland. Wildlife includes lions, leopards, elephants, giraffes, hartebeests, oribis, Uganda kobs, chimpanzees and a variety of bird species.
KIBALE NATIONAL PARK AND ITS
Home to approximately 1,500 chimpanzees the Kibala tropical forest is considered a premier destination to search for this extraordinary primate. Kibale provides visitors with the best chance to encounter chimpanzee families. The trek in search of chimpanzees, is very similar to the experience you would have when searching for the Uganda gorillas. The Kibale National Park covers approximately 795 square km with a diverse habitat consisting of grasslands, swamps, wet tropical forest, woodlands and savannahs. The diverse forest habitat includes about 351 species of trees. Some species are over 200 years old and can reach a height of up to 180 feet.