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EAST AFRICAN GUIDES & PORTERS ASSOCIATION.
THE BEST TEAM OF GUIDES, COOKS AND PORTERS YOU CAN TRUST IN EAST AFRICA.
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UGANDA NATIONAL PARKS
Below are the beautifu National Parks of Uganda.
Please contact us for tailor made safaris to all Parks.

» LAKE MBURO NATIONAL PARK
» KATONGA WILDLIFE RESERVE
» KIBALE NATIONAL PARK
» KIDEPO VALLEY NATIONAL PARK
» MGAHINGA GORILLA NATIONAL PARK
» SEMLIKI RESERVE AND NATIONAL PARK
» RWENZORI NATIONAL PARK
» MURCHISON FALLS NATIONAL PARK
» QUEEN ELIZABETH NATIONAL PARK
 
UGANDA NATIONAL PARKS

BWINDI IMPENETRABLE FOREST NATIONAL PARK

The ancient rainforest is the home of roughly half of the world's mountain gorillas. Looking deep into the expressive brown eyes of the gentle giants is surely the most exciting wildlife encounter in Africa. This national park has 90 mammal species including 11 primates, and the prominent black and white colobus, with its lovely flowing white tail.

The forest birding ranks best in Uganda with 23 highly localized Albertine Rift endemic present. The activities include Gorilla tracking as the main attraction and permits must be booked in advance. Also available are guided forest walks, one popular trail leads to a pretty waterfall and others focus on birding and monkey viewing.
Of Uganda’s forested reserves, Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is best known for its superb gorilla tracking, but it also provides refuge to elephant, chimpanzee, monkeys and various small antelope, as well as 23 bird species restricted to the Albertine Rift.
The third largest, forested park in Uganda,it shares a border with the Virunga national park in neighboring Congo,but,more importantly it offers some of the best opportunities for sightings of Mountain Gorillas and there is really no experience quite like it.Situated along the Great Rift valley Bwindi extends over a series of steep ridges,its massive rainforest almost impenetrable,its secretive interior providing the perfect habitat for over half of the word's gorrilla population.Other wildlife includes a large variety of primates,including chimpanzee,Blue monkey and Black & White colobus monkey,antelope and forest elephant as well as remarkably high number of bird species.Terrain varies from swamp and bamboo forest to dense thicket from the ankle up which makes up 90% of the park,thus making gorilla trekking work hard! However there is no doubt in my mind that this cathedral of vegetation is a magical place,the confines of which hold many sercrets.


LAKE MBURO NATIONAL PARK


A 2 hours drive west from Kampala along the Mbarara Road 1Sq.Km & 558 Sq.Kms respectively.
Lake Mburo is the best place in Uganda to see gigantic eland antelope as well as most plains game including the rusty coloured top,which always stand like a sentry ready to sound the alarm at any sign of approaching danger from carnivores.The park boasts a huge number of migrant and habitual species of birds,and the five lakes within the park attract hippos,huge crocodiles as well as waterbirds.Fringing swamps area perfect habitat for the rare and shy Sitatunga antelope and red,black and yellow papyrus gonalek.Mburo is the closest park to Kampala and offers the perfect stopover for those travelling to or from western parks and reserves.

Covered in extensive acacia woodland, Mburo has different fauna compared to other parks. Lake Mburo is the best place in the country to see the gigantic eland antelope, as well as zebra, topi, impala, and several acacia-associated birds. The five lakes within the park attracts hippos, crocodiles and a variety of water birds, while fringing swamps hide secretive papyrus specialists such as the sitatunga antelope and red, black and yellow papyrus gonalek. Mburo is the closest national park to Kampala and offers a refreshing stopover when traveling to and from western parks.

Activities include game drives, boat trips and guided walks.

The closest savannah reserve to Kampala, Lake Mburo National Park is centred on a series of swamp-fringed lakes known for their rich birdlife, notably the secretive African finfoot. The green acacia woodland surrounding the lake harbours dense populations of zebra, warthog, buffalo, impala and various other grazers, including the last surviving Ugandan population of eland, the largest of African antelope.

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KATONGA WILDLIFE RESERVE

200Km West of Kampala - 211 Sq.Km.
Katonga is a recent addition to Uganda's list of protected wildlife areas.The reserve protects a network of forest fringed wetlands(along the Katonga River) and is best explored by foot and by canoe.Home to over 40 species of mammal and over 150 species of birds(many specific to wetland habitats) it is an ornithologist's haven.Commonly sighted are elephant,waterbuck,reedbuck,colobus monkeys and river otter,as well as the shy Sitatunga,semi-aquatic antelope with web hooves.Viewing this game from a canoe,whilst they come to the water's edge to drink is a thrilling and memorable experience.

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KIBALE NATIONAL PARK


This forest has one of the richest ecosystems in the whole of Africa. It contains over 340 birds species, 14 species of snakes, 27 species of frogs and toads, at least 20 species of other reptiles and at least 200 species of butterflies. Other animals to be seen here include: chimpanzee, elephant, bush pig, giant forest hog, bats and rodents, etc.

Kibale National Park is a primatologist’s dream. It hosts a population of more than 1,000 chimpanzees, of which one 80-strong community has been habituated to tourist visits, as well as half-a-dozen readily observed monkey species, including the acrobatic red colobus and black-and-white colobus, and the handsome L’Hoest’s monkey.

A fairly new park,Kibale in essence is a migratory route and corridor between Queen Elizabeth National park and parks to the north such as Murchison Falls National Park.Probably the most accessible of Uganda's large forests it is home to an extremly large diversity of flora and fauna and secret trails,within it's recesses,pounded by generations of elephant,giving credit to old wives tales of 'elephant grave yards' and big tusked,solitary bulls.Chimpazee groups have been habituated and can be visited with relative ease.Accommodation is available at near by Ndali Lodge as well as inside the park.

The most accessible of Uganda's major rainforest. Kibale is home to a remarkable 13 primate species, including the localized red colobus and L'Hoest's monkey. Kibale's major attraction, however, is the opportunity to track habituated chimps, these delightful apes, more closely related to man than to any other living creature, are tremendous fun to watch as they squabble and play in fruiting trees. A network of shady forest trails provides much to delight botanists and butterfly lovers, while birders are in for a treat with 335 species which include the endemic Prirogrine's.
With lush tropical rainforest and fascinating diversity of animals, Kibale National park is one of the most beautiful and stunning forests in Uganda. Kibale forst is certainly worth protecting as it is home to the largest number (in Uganda) of chimpanzee, as well as the THREATENED red colobus monkey and the rare I'Hoesti monkey. The forest has one of the highest diversity and density of primates in Africa totaling 13 species including the blaack and white colobus, blue monkey and grey - cheeked mangabey, red tailed monkey, bush babies and pottos. The park also hosts over 325 species of birds including the yellow spotted nicator, yellow rumped tinkerbird, little greenbul, green breasted pitta, the African pitta, the crowned eagle and the black bee - eater.

Primate Walk

the ancient rainforest is the home of roughly half of the world's mountain gorillas. Looking deep into the expressive brown eyes of the gentle giants is surely the most exciting wildlife encounter in Africa. This national park has 90 mammal species including 11 primates, and the prominent black and white colobus, with its lovely flowing white tail.

The forest birding ranks best in Uganda with 23 highly localized Albertine Rift endemic present. The activities include Gorilla tracking as the main attraction and permits must be booked in advance. Also available are guided forest walks, one popular trail leads to a pretty waterfall and others focus on birding and monkey viewing.

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KIDEPO VALLEY NATIONAL PARK


In the far northeast, the remote, wild and little-visited Kidepo Valley National Park provides refuge to a long list of dry-country species not found elsewhere in the country, including cheetah and greater kudu, while its perennial waters attract large numbers of elephant and thousand-strong buffalo herds, especially during the dry season.

This park boast of the best scenery of all the East African parks. The park consists of sensational mountain and savannah landscapes. It is quiet and serene. It is located in the north eastern Ugandan corner bordering with Kenya and Sudan. Animals to be seen here include: leopard, kudu, zebra, buffalo, cheetah, elephant, giraffe, oryx, bush baby, lions, kobs, etc. With its sensational landscape,this park is not to be missed.

Isolated from the Ugandan mainstream by the harsh plains north of Mount Elgon, Kidepo is one of Africa's last great wilderness areas, a tract of rugged savannah dominated by the 2,750m mount Morungole and transected by the Kidepo and Narus Rivers. Perennial water makes Kidepo an oasis in the semi-desert, reflected in its 86 mammal species,28 of which are nowhere else in Uganda and almost 500 birds. Predators are available. There is opportunity to see not only lion, cheetah and leopard, but also the delightful bat-eared fox and insectivorous hyena-like aardwolf with a long list of dry country antelopes including the regal greater kudu and beisa oryx. While the game viewing can be excellent, it is the thrilling sense of supreme isolation that distinguishes this rare slice of wild Africa, as yet undiscovered by the mass safari makers Activities include rewarding game drives, foot safaris across the Narus Valley and enjoying the isolated wilderness. Look out for the Karamojong people with their traditional pastoralists with few cultural affiliations to other East African groups.

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MGAHINGA GORILLA NATIONAL PARK


Sharing a border with neighbouring Congo(Parc National des Virunga) and Rwanda(Parc National des Volcans),Mgahinga is the country's smallest national park and protects the Ugandan part of the 'Virunga mountains;a range of extinct and active Volcanoes that straddle the border.A tropical rainforest,much of the lower slopes have been depleted by the encroachment of farms,however,the bamboo and alpine forests remain largely intact and offer refuge to visiting gorilla groups from neighbouring Congo and Rwanda.

These Gorilla groups frequently 'pop in' and take temporary residence for a couple of months at a stretch.Additional wildlife includes Blue Monkeys,Black & White colobus monkey,leopard,forest elephant,giant forest hog as well as numerous species of birds.As well as being famous as a refuge for 'Gentle Giants' Mgahinga is also a favourite with hikers who come to explore the many caves and the three volcanoes,which lie partly within the park's borders.

Mountain gorillas form the main attraction at Mgahinga National Park, which protects the Ugandan portion of the Virungas, an imposing string of nine freestanding extinct and active volcanoes that runs along the border with Rwanda and the Congo.

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SEMLIKI RESERVE AND NATIONAL PARK

Situated within the remote Semliki Valley,the park protects an extension of the Congo's vast Ituri rainforest.It abounds with birds,including 40 essentially Congolese species found nowhere else in Uganda.The Sempaya Hot Springs,named after the river what forms the Congolese border are also situated in the park.The forested area harbours many mammals,ranging from elephant, chimps and the more localized De Brazza's monkey

Formerly known as the Tor Game Reserve this large reserve adjoining site of the Sempaya Hot Springs has a large variety of plains game including giraffe that have made this part of the Nile their regular watering hole. Lake Albert and the northern base of Rwenzoris is a rich mosaic of grassland,savanna,forest & wetlands. Of 400 bird species recorded, Shoebill are regularly spotted. Both of these secluded wildlife areas are of prime importance to bird enthusiasts, and therefore a major destination for visiting ornithologists from around the world.

The lower-lying and more remote Semliki National Park, a Ugandan extension of the Congo’s Ituri Rainforest set at the base of the northern Rwenzori, is of special interest to ornithologists for some 40 Congolese bird species recorded nowhere else in the country. Nearby, the spectacular Semliki Wildlife Reserve, which abuts Lake Albert, is one of the best localities for sightings of the enigmatic, swamp-dwelling shoebill.

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RWENZORI NATIONAL PARK


If you like hiking, then the (5,119 m) high, snow capped Rwenzori Mountains - also known as the 'Mountains of the moon'- will offer you the unique experience you've been looking for. The Rwenzori is the highest mountain range in Africa. It lies along Uganda's western border with the DRC, they are sometimes referred to as the 'Mountains Of The Moon'. Rwenzori Mountains National Park was proclaimed a World Heritage Site to protect the natural beauty, flora and fauna of the area. The Rwenzori are a true mountain range created by up lift of the earth crust through tectonic movement and are not as a result of volcanic activity. The range is 120 km in length and 48 km in width. The mountains are frequently shrouded in mist and cloud with the peaks rarely being visible from far.
At the center of the range, there are six peaks carrying permanent snow, three with glaciers. The highest of these peaks, and the third highest peak in Africa, is Mt. Margherita rising 5102 meter above sea level.
The Rwenzori Mountains were gazetted as a National Park in 1991. The Park covers 996 square km of rugged mountain terrain offering visitors a rare experience of an Afro-Montane rainforest. These forest start above 3000 m and includes the giant forms of Lobelia, Heather and Groundsel.
A trip into the Rwenzori Mountains provides exhilarating rewarding experience but one, which must be Well planned. The key to an enjoyable Uganda tours must be prepared! The central circuit hike takes six nights/seven days and reaches an altitude of 14,000ft (4,267m) above sea level.
The conditions on the mountain are a challenge to even an experienced hiker because this mountain is known for its un-engineered, steep and slippery trails, frequent rainfall, cold temperatures, bogs, mud, steep terrain and high altitude.
However you can try it, it's an exciting experience and since the periods of July-August, December-February are relatively dry for inexperienced hikers.
During any season, rain gear, good sleeping bag, warm hat, gloves, heavy socks, gum boots, gaiters and a walking stick for balance are recommended plus a basic first aid kit.
Porters will be carrying your heavy equipment and food, leaving you with a small pack, rain gear, warm clothes, camera water and any other light luggage.
You can purchase your own food and Rwenzori mountaineering service can provide cooking utensils and cooks.

THE CENTRAL CIRCUIT TRAIL

DAY ONE: (NYAKALENGIJA-1,615m TO NYABITABA HUT-2,651m)
This trailhead is at Nyakalengija, 22Km from Kasese off the Fortportal Road. The RMS can arrange transport from Kasese to its main office at Nyalalengija, where you will pay park fees and finalize arrangements. There is a campsite and safe parking near the office. From Nyagalengija, it’s a 10Km, five-hour ascent to the Nyabitaba Hut, passing first through cultivation than through forest. There is a piped water supply at the hut.

DAY TWO: NYABITABA HUT TO JOHN MATE HUT (3,505m)
This is the longest and most strenuous day’s walk; expect it to take a minimum of seven hours. From Nyabitaba Hut, the path descends through forest for a short time before it crosses the Bujuku River at the Kurt Scehafer Bridge (built in 1989). Between the bridge and Nyamileju Hut, the path is good for the first couple of hours, but it becomes steeper and very rocky as you enter the moorland zone, where heather plants are prolific.
You will probably want to stop for lunch at Nyamileju, where there is little-used and rather rundown hut, as well as a rock shelter. After leaving Nyamileju, the path passes a giant heather forest and follows the Bujuka River. John Matte hut is about a two-hour walk from Nyamileju. The hut is about a two-hour walk from Nyamileju. The hut is about 200m from Bujuku or Kitandara huts.

DAY THREE: JOHN MATTE HUT TO BUJUKU HUT (3,962m)
This takes up to 5 hours, depending on the condition of the two Bigo Bogs, which are often knee-deep in mud. On the way to the hut you will pass Lake Bujuka, which is a magnificent setting between mounts Stanly, Speke and Baker. There is water 20m from Bujuku hut.
Bujuka hut is the base for reaching Mount Speke and you will need to spend an extra night there in order to do this. If you want to climb to the highest point in the range, Margherita Peak on Mount Stanley (5,109m), you must do this from Elena Hut(4,541m), which is about 2km off the Loop Trail and 3 hours walk from either Bujuku or Kitandara.

DAY FOUR: BUJUKU HUT TO KITANDARA HUT (4,023m)
From Bujuku hut you will ascend to the highest point on the Loop Trail, Scott Elliot Pass (4,372m) before descending to the two Kitandara lakes. The hut is next to the second lake.

DAY FIVE: KITANDARA HUT TO GUY YEOMAN HUT (3,505M)
This is a five hour walk, starting with a steep ascent to fresh field Pass (4,282m) then a descent to Bujongolo cave (3,720m), the base used by the 1906 expedition. Further along the trail at kabamba cave (3,450m) there is so attractive waterfall and rock shelter where you can stay overnight as an alternative to Guy yeoman Hut.

DAY SIX/SEVEN: GUY YEOMAN HUT TO NYAKALENGIJA
It is a 5 hour descent from Guy Yeoman Hut to Nyabitaba Hut. You can either stay overnight at the hut or else continue at Nyakalengija which will take 3 hours.

SIZE:

998 sq km
LOCATION:
Located on the Congo border close to Kasese.
ACCESS:
By Road: From Kampala via Mbarara to Kasese, then continue 18km to Ibanda. Also from Kampala through Fort Portal and then 75km on the Fort Portal/Kasese road south. The Park is 25 km from Kasese. Take a left turn 4 km after leaving Kasese on the Kasese-Fort Portal road.
Air: From Kampala to Kasese and then by road.
WHEN TO VISIT:
During dry seasons that is December-February and June-August.
WHERE TO STAY:
Hostel and campsite at the trailhead, essential hiking huts along the loop trail. Nearby Kasese has a midrange hotel, several budget a campsite and lodgings.

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MURCHISON FALLS NATIONAL PARK


Uganda's largest national park protects a portion of wild African savannah separated by the impressive river Nile.
It is named for the magnificent Murchison Falls, where the world's longest river burst out ferociously through a narrow gap in the Rift Valley escarpment to fall into a frothing pool 43m below. This park protects intense populations of lion, elephant, buffalo, and Uganda kob together with the localized Rothschild’s giraffe and patas monkey. Massive concentrations of hippos and birds can be observed from the launch trips along the Nile below the fabulous waterfalls for which the park is named.

Location:

North Western part of Uganda, 90kms from Masindi.

Size:

3840 sq Kms

What to see:

Giraffe, Lions, Antelope, Elephant, Uganda kob, Leopard, Buffaloes, Hartebeest, Oribis, Chimpanzees, and birds like the rare Shoebill.

Getting there:

By road: from Kampala through Masindi (via Kichumbanyobo gate), Paraa is a 4 and a half hours drive, 2 hours on tarmac and 2 and half hours on Murram roads.

By Air: Bugungu airfield is situated only a few kilometers from the park headquarters at Paraa on the Southern side of the River Nile to cater for the tourists staying at Nile Safari Camp, the Red Chili Rest Camp and Sambiya River Lodge. There is also Pakuba airfield which is situated on the North bank providing access to Paraa Lodge.

What to do:

Launch trips to the base of the falls offer fine game-viewing and bird watching. Boat trips to the Lake Albert delta provide the best chance in Africa of sighting shoebills. Chimp tracking at Rabongo Forest, and en route from Masindi in the Budongo Forest. Game drives on a good network of roads.

When to visit

: Any time of year.

Where to stay:

There are 2 up market lodges and a simple but comfortable camp run by Red Chilli. Camping is allowed in selected locations

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QUEEN ELIZABETH NATIONAL PARK


History; The history of Queen Elizabeth national park is fascinating. In the first quarter of the 1990’s in 1925, a department was set up to stop the Elephants  from marauding villages and destroying cultivation - the overall aim being to keep the within certain boundaries, protecting both Elephants and people.

As a result, a series of game reserves, sanctuaries and national parks were established over the years. Across the boarder in Zaire,  Parc national des Virunga was designated in 1925 by the Belgian colonial authorities and pressure to protect the adjoining ecosystem in Uganda led to the establishment of L. George game reserve and L. Edward game reserve in the   in the late 1920’s.

Several geographic changes followed and later in 1952 it was gazetted into a national park known as Queen Elizabeth national park.

Geography

Since its inception, the protected area has grown. Set in the western rift valley, the park together with the Kyambura and Kigezi wild life reserves covers 2475 square kilometers. Its temperatures range from18oc to 280c. The wettest seasons in this Park are usually incurred in March to May and September to November receiving rains ranging from 750mm to 1250mm with an altitude of 910m above sea level at Lake Edward vicinity to 1,390 m above sea level in the crater area. This place can be best timed from December -February and the tour can be for at least 2-3 days. It has recorded about 95mammal species and 606 bird species.

Biodiversity

Queen Elizabeth national park encompasses a wide range of habitats ranging from savanna and wetlands to riverine and low land forest. The area is dominantly covered with water and 250 square kilometers of Lake Shores. Lake George, Lake Edward, The Kazinga Channels, Ishasha River and a series of crater lakes provide a rich habitat for both mammal and birds offering a brilliant wildlife viewing opportunities to visitors. Added to all this is the beautiful scenic spectacular panorama and terrain.

Sir Andrew Cohen was wrote about it that; “the grandest view I have ever seen, looking north from Ankole escarpment, with lakes Edward and George and the Kazinga Channel in the foreground and the whole snow capped range of the Rwenzori as a backdrop.”

The park has 10 primate species, including chimpanzee, black and white colobus monkeys, olive baboons, red tailed monkeys, vervet monkeys. The park also has predators like lion, leopard, spotted hyena, side stripped jackal and also numerous antelope like bush back, water buck, oribi, topi, the shy and semi aquatic sitatunga and four species of duiker. Mammals in this park include; buffalo, elephant, hippo, mangoose.

Activities in Queen Elizabeth national park:

Game drives

Any visitor to Queen Elizabeth national park can be rewarded by a game drive which brings you closer to the park’s marvelous diversity. This is usually done very early in the morning and late in the evening hours. Over 200km of well maintained tracks give visitor access to the park’s game. Some tracks pass through large mating grounds of great herds of Uganda Kob. The slower you drive the more you will see.

Launch trip on The Kazinga channel

A boat trip along the hippo crowded banks of Kazinga channel gives you a unique unmatched wildlife experience. Gaze at the yawning hippos surrounded by a vast number of bird life. This launch cruise puts you in the right heart of nature. Many buffalo rest in water with crocodiles being a common sight along the shores. Occasionally leopards can also be seen.

Maramagambo Forest

A variety of short medium and long guided nature walks are offered. Pythons are often observed in the crevices of bats cave floor and these usually prey on bats.  More interesting, this cave is near the picturesque Blue lake and hunter’s cave. Other trails lead into the heart of the forest surrounding tranquil Crater Lake sand it is home to many primates including chimpanzee.

Walks in the Kyambura gorge

This is found in the eastern part of the protected area and supports similar mammals to the rest of the park. It has three crater lakes, which attract large numbers of Flamingoes that are not found any where else in Uganda.

The steep Kyambura gorge formed by the turbulent waters of the roaring Kyambura River provides a lush riverine forest, home to chimpanzees, black and white colobus and red-tailed monkeys, Olive baboons and other primates as well as plenty of forest birds. A guide nature walks takes visitors into the gorge and offers a great chance to track habituated chimpanzee in their natural habitat.

Traditional Salt Work Visit

A visit to one of the oldest salt mines and industries in Uganda is rewarding at the enclave of L. Katwe town. Since the 14th Century, salt has been mined by traditional methods and is still in the use today. Salt production peaks during the dry season.

Game drives in Ishasha

Ishasha is the true pearl in the southern part of the park. Idyllic campsites frequently visited by Colobus and other monkeys are situated along the winding Ishasha River. The famous tree climbing lions can be spotted on large fig trees in this part of the park. Topi, Uganda Kob and Buffaloes Graze in the Acacia studded savannah.

Bird Watching

Queen Elizabeth boasts 606 bird species.  You can encounter them by using experienced guide and they know the most interesting bird spots around swamps, lakes and other interesting habitat. Queen Elizabeth national park offers you a good chance of spotting Uganda’s most sought after bird the prehistoric looking shoe Bill stork! Other key species include; the African fish eagle, martial eagle, papyrus ganolek, African Skimmer and many more. A trip plan for a minimum of 2-3 days gives one the best chance to see these beautiful birds.

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