Like other safari destinations, some parts of Uganda comprise of forests, mountains, Lakes and Rivers as well as savanna grassland. With such landscape, one may wonder if it is really possible to explore the natural wonders in this country by car. However, what is important to note is that not every part of Uganda is mountainous or forested as some of its areas comprise of savanna grassland. The mountainous areas mainly covers areas of the Rwenzori Mountain range, Mount Elgon as well as the Southwestern side-the Virunga Massifs. The forested areas mainly include areas of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park, Kibale Forest National Park, Mgahinga National Park a mention but a few. For exceptional safari experiences in Uganda, below are some of the best places that you can explore by a rental car in Uganda;
Murchison Falls National Park
This is situated suitably in the northwest and bisected by the Victoria Nile that plunges 43 meters over the remnant rift valley wall forming a dramatic Murchison falls. This is Uganda’s largest park with an area of about 3840 square kilometers. It was first gazetted as a game reserve around 1926 making it one of the oldest protected areas in the pearl of Africa.
The Murchison Falls National Park boasts of its diverse natural wonders ranging from savanna grassland dwellers to aquatic life. This park can be best explored by car where you head off to the northern sector to view variety of savanna grassland wildlife species such as elephants, giraffes, buffaloes, antelopes, birds, lions, leopards, hyenas a mention but a few. Besides, there are also other incredible wildlife species for you to catch a glimpse such as hippos, crocodiles and others. Murchison Falls National Park is a 4-5 hours’ drive from Kampala capital city via Masindi route and can be accessed through Chobe gate, Kichumbanyumbo gate or Bugungu gate and others.
Queen Elizabeth National Park
This is located in western Uganda and largely comprised of open plains, Lakes as well as ancient volcanic craters that offer excellent views over its varied wildlife species. It features wide range of habitats right from savanna grassland, wetlands to lowland forests. It boasts of its diverse ecosystem with wildlife species such as elephants, buffaloes, lions plus tree climbing lions, baboons, Uganda Kobs, antelope families, chimpanzees, over 600 birds and many more. It is one of the ideal places for game viewing especially around the Kasenyi and Ishasha sectors as well as boat cruises via Kazinga channel. Queen Elizabeth National Park is Uganda’s second largest park with an area coverage of about 1978 square kilometers. To get to this park, you need a 4 wheel drive safari vehicle and you will spend about 5 to 6 hours from Kampala.
Lake Mburo National Park
This is Uganda’s most accessible park and also one of the smallest parks with breathtaking landscape that comprises of savanna and acacia woodland. It also features about 5 stunning lakes that straddle within its border area accounting about 20 percent of the park area with Lake Mburo being the largest. While on Uganda safari at this park, you have a chance to catch a glimpse at impalas, buffaloes, zebras, several antelopes, leopards and many bird species. While on safari at this park, you can still explore its diverse wildlife species by car and you will have the best of your holiday.
Kidepo Valley National Park
Kidepo national park lies at extreme northeastern part of Uganda-Karamoja region. It is best considered as the most isolated park in Uganda but so rewarding for a few who are patient enough to get there. It was gazetted in 1952 and boasts of its distinctly diverse wildlife species that include among others lions, buffaloes, spotted hyenas, jackals, the greater and lesser kudus, cheetahs, elephants, klipspringers as well as over 463 bird species. Besides, it comes with exceptionally breathtaking sceneries in East Africa.
Semuliki Valley National Park
This is situated in Bwamba County, western Uganda just at the border with Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). To the southeast, there is Rwenzori Mountain range and Lake Albert in the north. This park straddles along the Albertine rift, western arm of the East African rift. It was established as a national park in 1993 making it one of Uganda’s newest parks. It features the lowland tropical rainforest and boasts of its diverse floral and faunal species. This park features a rare ecosystem within the vast Albertine rift ecosystem with over 441 bird species including the Sassi’s Olive greenbuls, hornbills, forest ground thrush as well as several mammal species like leopards, hippos, water chevrotains, bush babies, elephants, forest buffaloes and bay duikers; over 300 butterfly species and not to forget its powerful hot spring. It is best explored while on game drive in your 4 wheel drive safari vehicle which rewards with clear views of savanna grassland dwellers.
In conclusion, with these incredible touristic sites, your visit to any of one while on safari in Uganda will be the most memorable one.