Bwindi Impenetrable Forest – Bwindi is most famous for gorilla tracking, but there are also hiking trails where you can see a large variety of birds and primates. Trails begin at 08.30 a.m and 14.15 daily.
Accommodation: Clean and simple bandas at Buhoma. There are also 3 privately run campsites in the area along with some middle and up-market tented camps.
Access: 6 hour drive from Kampala to Kabale. Kabale to Buhoma Park HQ takes 3-4 hours and may require 4WD. Kabale – Ruhija – Buhoma takes about 3 hours. The public does not use this road much and a 4WD is needed. A bus leaves from Kampala to Butogota daily at circa 06:30 a.m. Otherwise you may travel by bus or matatu from Kampala to Kabale for circa Ush 12,000. From Kabale you can hire a car for about Ush 100,000, or take a pickup truck to Butogota. Public transport to Butogota is unpredictable, but most common on market days in Kabale. It is 18 kms from Butogota to Buhoma.
Mount Elgon – Mount Elgon is an extinct volcano and the 4th highest mountain in Eastern Africa, reaching 4321 metres. The park has magnificent waterfalls, caves, gorges and hot springs and is excellent for hiking. No technical climbing equipment or skills are required, and all major peaks are accessible to hikers. The full trekking circuit takes 4-5 days to complete and there are also 3 “day” trails, 3-7km long. The magnificent Sipi Falls are 66km north of Mbale, en route to the Forest Exploration Centre and Kapkwata.
Accommodation: There are 5 basic campsites around the trekking circuit. Simple accommodation is available at the Kapkwata Rest house and the Forest Exploration Centre at Kapwai. Book through the office in Mbale.
Access: Good tar roads from Kampala to Sipi.
Kibale Forest – Guided walks can be arranged and take 2-3 hours. There are 12 species of primate found within the park, including chimps.
Accommodation: Bandas at the Kanyanchu visitors’ centre. There are 3 basic campsites.
Access: The visitors’ centre is 36 kms south of Fort Portal on a dirt road.
Kidepo Valley – Kidepo Valley is extremely remote and offers some of the wildest and most magnificent scenery in conservation area. The park is in the far NE of the country, bordering Sudan and Kenya.
Access: Apoka, the park HQ, is 504 kms from Kampala and a 2 day drive. 4WD vehicles are recommended. Check with UWA HQ regards facilities and travel advice.
Lake Mburo– This is the only National Park to contain an entire lake.
Accommodation: The park has 3 campsites and a private luxury tented camp.
Access: The park is about 3 hours drive from Kampala.
Mgahinga Gorilla – Found in the south west, bordering Rwanda and Congo. Mgahinga comprises 3 extinct volcanoes and 3 extensive swamps. Along with Gorillas, the park also supports Golden Monkey, Elephant, Leopard and Forest Hog. Birdlife includes 12 endemic species.
Accommodation: 2 privately run campsites, one just outside the park gates and a private lodge on the edge of the park. The nearest hotel accommodation is in Kisoro.
Access: 13 kms from Kisoro, access is via Kabale. The road is tar to Kabale, and dirt onwards.
Murchison Falls – Murchison Falls is situated north of Masindi, 350 kms from Kampala. Boat trips operate from Paraa to the foot of Murchison Falls and take around 3 hours. These enable you to see hippos, crocodiles and magnificent bird life close up. There are also nature walks to the top of the falls and at Kaniyo Pabidi, where you can trek chimpanzees. Kaniyo Pabidi is on the Masindi-Paraa road, 8kms from Kichumbanyobo (main) park gate.
Accommodation: There is a basic campsite at the top of the falls and a privately run campsite with bandas at Paraa. There are 2 lodges within the park and 1 just outside.
Access: Kampala to Paraa takes around 5 hours and a 4WD vehicle is recommended.
Queen Elizabeth – QE borders Lakes Edward and George which are connected by the Kazinga Channel. Launch trips on the Kazinga Channel last about 2 hours. Trips can be booked at the office adjacent to the lodge. Kyambura Gorge is part of the park and offers Chimp tracking.
Accommodation: There’s a safari lodge at Mweya and a camping site and hostel on the Mweya peninsula. Near Ishasha there are campsites and bandas. There is a lodge on a crater lake within the Maramagambo Forest.
Access: 438 kms from Kampala on a good tar road that leads to the main gate turn-off. From there it is 20kms on a dirt road.
Rwenzori Mountains – Rwenzori N.P. contains 6 snow-capped peaks, 3 with glaciers. Excellent mountaineering and hiking opportunities are available. Contact UWA HQ for details and bookings.
Semliki – Semliki Valley Wildlife Reserve (formerly Toro Game Reserve), north of Fort Portal is Uganda’s first protected area. It offers over 40 kms of walking trails, chimpanzee reserch projects, night drives & boat trips on L. Albert. For further details please call: 0772 489497
Accomodation: There’s a lodge within the reserve.
Contact UWA HQ for further details: (0414) 346287
Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary – Ziwa houses Uganda’s rhino reintroduction project. White and black rhinos are bred, and will eventually be brought to Uganda’s National Parks. Rhino tracking takes about 1 1/2 hours. Lunches can be booked. For further details, call 077 2713410.