Day Trips From Entebbe/Kampala To Northern Uganda By Car
Uganda is one of the most attractive countries in Africa and there are a million reasons why it is referred to as the pearl of Africa. In every corner of Uganda, what welcomes you is a natural beauty. From the North to the South or East to the West, Uganda never disappoints when it comes to attractions.
With plenty awaiting you to explore and experience, a day trip from Entebbe or Kampala to Northern Uganda is worth a visitor’s time, money, and energy. A mechanically fit 4×4 car in Uganda is required for a drive from Kampala to Northern destinations regardless of your area of interest in the region.
The Northern safari circuit in Uganda remains not fully explored compared to the western side. This means a bucket list of authentic wildlife, culture, and adventure awaits you on a Uganda safari in the Northern tourism circuit. There are many routes leading to the North but the main one takes you from Entebbe or Kampala city via Luweero – Gulu route.
En-route to the Northern tourism circuit, there are multiple tourist attractions or destinations not to be missed to visit. It is one region any nature lover on Uganda safaris must consider a must-visit this 2022/2023.
Northern Uganda is comprised of districts such as Gulu, Amuru, Napak, Otuke, Oyam, Kaabong, Dokolo, Arua, Apac, Kitgum, Maracha, Moroto, Nebbi, Nakapiripirit, Lamwo, Kotido, Adjumani, Abim, Amolatar, Allenton, Agago, Lira, Kole, Nwoya, Yumbe, Zombo, Pader and others.
The main tourist destinations in Northern Uganda include Kidepo Valley National Park, Murchison Falls National Park, Pian Upe Wildlife Reserve, Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary, Budongo Forest, and more.
Kidepo Valley National Park (KVNP)
At the extreme North-eastern of Uganda lies a spectacular Kidepo Valley National Park one of the premier Uganda safari and game viewing destinations worth visiting in the Northern tourism circuit. The park spreads within the Karamoja region, the semi-arid area in the Kabong0 district and it is the only park lying in this region.
Driving from Kampala by car to Kidepo Valley National Park takes 10-12 hours and a complete tour to this park requires 4 days or more. Kidepo is the third biggest park in Uganda thanks to its vast area coverage of 1442sq.km where a range of wildlife, birds, and other attractions all live.
Day game driving via its wildlife sectors such as Narus Valley allows tourists to enjoy sightings of wildlife such as elephants, bushbucks, waterbucks, lions, giraffes, leopards, topis, cheetahs, birds etc.
Birding in Kidepo Valley National Park is a great chance for birders to search for some of the 475 bird species that reside in the park including the African swallow-tailed kit, Kori bustard, little bee-eater, red-winged lark, drake chanting goshawk, Abyssinian ground hornbills, bush lark, white-faced scoops owls, black-breasted barbets and more.
Birding and game driving safaris can also be combined with authentic cultural safaris. This includes cultural visits to the Manyatta village to explore and experience norms, beliefs, and traditions and also be entertained by the Karamojong with their dances, and music performances.
Pian Upe Wildlife Reserve
Pian-Upe Wildlife Reserve lies in far North-eastern Uganda, Karamoja region and it is the second biggest protected area after Murchison Falls NP. Pian-Upe borders spread covering up to 2788sq.km and extending bordering the Matheniko and Bokora Wildlife Reserves. It is best to visit Pian Upe for game drives with the possibility to sight animals such as zebras, bushbucks, duikers, giraffes, and others.
Murchison Falls National Park
Lying in Northwestern Uganda, Murchison Falls National Park is without doubt the leading destination in the Northern tourism circuit. Gazetted in 1952, Murchison spreads covering 3840sq.km of land area and hosts diverse wildlife, and birds and it is home to Murchison Falls- the world’s strongest falls.
Day and evening game driving to see elephants, buffaloes, lions, leopards, antelopes, birds, is the main reason why most tourists prefer visiting Murchison Falls N/Park. Over 556 bird species make it a rich and treasured birding location and they include white-faced whistling duck, Abdim’s stork, African darter, shoebill stork, and great-headed kingfishers. The other activities include a boat cruise, hot air balloon safaris, cultural visits, nature walks, hike to the top of the falls, and others.
Budongo Forest Reserve
Lying in the Northwest, Budongo Forest is an extensive forest reserve occupying up to 825sq.kms of land area. It is a rich natural forest with over 9 primates that include 800 chimpanzees; blue monkeys, vervet monkeys, red tailed monkeys, colobus monkeys, bush babies, pottos; 465 birds, 130 moths, 290 butterfly species and more. The main activity to do on tour in Budongo Forest is chimpanzee tracking.
Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary
Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary is the main stopover spot for most safaris conducted in Murchison Falls National Park or Kidepo Valley National Park/any part of the Northern tourism circuit of Uganda. It is home to the rhinos the only location where these mammals can be sighted in the wild on Uganda safaris.