Archives March 28, 2019

PianeUpe Game Reserve

PianeUpe Game Reserve is one of Uganda’s best kept secret. This beautiful, raw and less visited game reserve is the second largest conservation area after Murchison Falls National Park. It covers an area of about 2,788km2 to the north of mountain Elgon and is managed by Mountain Elgon Conservation department.  It is located in the North Eastern part of Uganda in Nakapiripiti and can easily be accessed by road from Kampala which takes about 8 ½ hours and about 2 ½ hours from Mbale and 6 hours from PianUpe to Kidepo Valley national park. The beauty of this game reserve is the stunning landscape sceneries with surrounding mountains and most of the time you will have the whole game reserve to yourself. The southern part of the reserve was gazetted as the Debasien Animal Sanctuary in 1958. In 1964 the area was expanded northward.

How the wildlife reserve got its name

There are two most popular pastoralist tribes around this reserve. The Pian, being part of a sub group of the Karamoja, and the Upe, being a Kalenjin speaking people more widely known as the Pakot within Kenya and Uganda thus the name PianUpe

A traveler can extend a visit to PianUpe from Sipi falls and continue on safari to wilderness Kidepo Valley National park. We can organize a tailor made Uganda and Rwanda safari for you to include this less visited wildlife reserve. Uganda was nick named ‘The Pearl of Africa’ by Winston Churchill.

Best Time to visit PianUpe

Most national parks and wildlife reserves in Africa have the best time to visit and PianUpe is not an exception. The best time to go on a wildlife safari to PianUpe is as below

  • January – March: This is the best time to visit PianUpe. The vegetation is dry, you have clear views and animals gather at the water sources which makes it easy for game viewing
  • April – October: rainy season, therefore muddy or even impassable roads and game drive tracks. The tracks are not well developed so in the wet season, it can be a bit challenging), lush vegetation, bad hazel views.
  • November – December: dry season but still lush vegetation that makes it difficult to spot animals, hidden in the grass, treetops etc.

Bird’s Nest Safaris recommends at least a two days visit to PianUpe game reserve to fully explore the reserve. Early morning game drives are better since rain showers may show up in the afternoon.

Things to do and see in PianUpe game reserve

If you are a traveler who wants to avoid crowds, then PianUpe game reserve on one of our safaris is the perfect for you.
On a guided safari to PianUpe, expect to see Jackals, hyenas, cheetahs, cape buffalo, Roan antelope (only conservation area in Uganda where you can find this fine looking antelope), dikdik, Uganda kob, water back, aardvark, velvet and patas monkeys and olive baboons and birds like the giant Ostriches.

Although Pain Upe wildlife reserve cannot be rated as high as the other national parks in Uganda like Queen Elizabeth National park and Murchison falls, in terms of density and diversity of wildlife, it is worth visiting when traveling to Uganda. Various types of antelopes especially the roan antelope, baboons, velvet monkey, the strong vocalized patas monkey, zebras, buffalos, dikdik, birds etc. are the easiest to be seen and with a bit of luck, you can also spot the cheetahs.

Bird’s Nest Safaris lists below the top things you can do in PianUpe wildlife reserve. You can combine a safari to Pain Upe with a visit to Sipi falls in Eastern Uganda and Kidepo Valley national park (6 hours) in North Eastern Uganda. Contact us for these combination Uganda safaris

The major activities in PianUpe are;

Guided wildlife safaris You can go for guided game drives in the plains of the reserve where you expect to see the Roan antelope. This is the only place you can see the roan antelope in Uganda. Other animals you should look out for on this Uganda safari are the cheetahs, the zebras, greater kudu, dikdik, buffalos, black backed and side stripped jackals, eland, and hartebeest. You definitely need a 4 x 4 wheel customized safari vehicle for the game drives since most of the tracks are not clear and not yet open. You will create your own game drive tracks too.

Bird watching safaris in PianUpe

PianUpe is a birder’s paradise. There are a massive number of birds, with about 242 confirmed, and 11 unconfirmed bird species. This makes the reserve 2nd to Queen Elizabeth National park to bird species density. You will see land’s largest bird- the ostrich only found here and in Kidepo Valley National park.

 Mountain climbing and viewing physical features in PianUpe

A traveler can go for Mountain climbing to the less challenging hills of the area like Mt. Kadam, but you can also go on one of our mountaineering adventure safaris to Mountain Rwenzori National park, up to Margherita peak, the only place with snow in Uganda.

Guided nature walks in PianUpe

Guided nature walks are a great way to get up close and person to wilderness at PianUpe wildlife reserve. For sight seeing, look out for zebras, antelopes, baboons and the many birds in the reserve. The walks are guided by a ranger from Uganda Wildlife Authority.

Cultural community visits

To learn about the culture and ways of the people living around PianUpe, go for a guided community visit. You will learn about their traditional weddings and marriages, traditional dances that you can take part in, and their raiding activities for cattle.

Visit to Napendio cave

This is an old cave that is close to the hearts of people around the area. During ancient days, the cave was used as a recreational place especially for art. Drawings of baboons and other animals by the first people who stayed here are still visible to-date.

Clothes to bring to a safari to PianUpe

Light clothing: PianUpe is very hot. I mean when the wind blows, it is literally hot. We advise that you pack appropriately for your safari for this raw and beautiful game reserve. Bring light safari clothing like shorts and sleeveless tops for the day, and underwear that is most especially in cotton material

Insect repellents: You need a good insect repellent to keep annoying bugs and insects whose bites can get really uncomfortable

Warm clothes: However, at night it gets very chilly so you would need warm clothing. There is always a camp fire at night you can sit around, under the stars

Wide rimmed hat: Bring a wide rimmed hat to protect you from the scotching sun.

Hiking shoes: These come in handy for guided walks and hikes

At Bird’s Nest Safaris we always email you a per-departure guide with all the details to help you prepare for your safari and this includes a recommendation of clothes to bring.

Accommodation in PianUpe wildlife reserve:

Uganda Wildlife bandas– There are two options; one is the self contained safari tents and the other option is the self contained cottages. They are very clean and affordable.

Meals here are basic and the menu includes rice, chicken and spaghetti, rolex (rolled eggs in chapatti) and chapatti. Alternatively, you can take your own food and pay someone at the reserve to prepare your meals.

Camping- For the more adventurous traveler, you can opt for camping. You MUST bring your own tents to pitch, you can camp at the reserve for about $ 5 US dollars only.

Accommodation near the game reserve

Sipi Falls- On your safari to PianUpe wildlife reserve, you may stay around Sipi Falls. There are many lodges around the Sipi area and it takes about 1-2 hours drive to the reserve.

Mbale Town- You may also stay in Mbale town and leave early for PianUpe for about 2 ½ hours.

Bird’s Nest Safaris will organize a trip to PianUpe customized to your needs. You can also take a look at some of our ready made itineraries for more safari options. If you are interested in a tour to this wildlife reserve, contact us and our safari specialist will get back to you.

PianUpe wildlife reserve tariffs courtesy of Uganda wildlife Authority

Park entry per person- $10 US dollars for non foreign residents, UGX 2500 Uganda shillings for East Africans

Guided nature walks per person– $ 30 dollars per person

Guided game drives- $ 20 dollars per vehicle

Mount Elgon National Park

Mount Elgon National Park     (Things to do and see – Accommodation)

Mount Elgon national park is found in the Eastern Region of Uganda although many travellers go for a hiking adventure to Mountain Rwenzori national park and miss out to explore Mount Elgon on a Uganda safari. The mountain lies on the Uganda and Kenya boarders and offers spectacular hiking opportunities on a 4 day sasa trail.  It is an extinct volcanic mountain with the largest surface area in the world and the highest peak being Wagagai, which is at 4,321 metres above sea level. The complete hiking circuit to the peak takes five days either from Sasa or Sipi trails. Birds Nest Safaris can organise your trip departing and returning to Sipi Falls. Sipi Falls is one of the most beautiful waterfalls in all of Uganda. There are three waterfall levels, two are small and the main one is at 95 metres high and attracts majority of the visitors who go for locally guided walks to the falls. Most lodges in the Sipi area have great views of these water falls. Travellers easily connect to Mount Elgon from Sipi Falls and can also combine a wildlife safari to PianeUpe wildlife reserve and or Kidepo Valley National park with a cultural visit to the Manyatas; (traditional homesteads of the Karamajog).

To hike Mount Elgon, a traveller doesn’t need special hiking gear and or skills to get to the highest peaks and it is possible to also go for guided community and forest walks. A traveller can choose to go for a 1 day hike or 5 days hike.

There are different trails one can choose to go for that offer beautiful sights and sounds of the flora, hot springs, elephants, small antelopes,  lakes, caves and water falls and not to forget the abundant birdlife. We offer a bird watching Uganda safari which can be customized to include a bird watching tour to Mount Elgon which is home to about 300 bird species that include the endangered Lammergeyer (Gypaetus barbatus)

Geography and climate of Mt. Elgon National Park

The climate at Mt. Elgon National park is moist to moderate dry. Annually, the mountain receives rainfall of over 1,270mm.
June to August and December to March are dry months although it can rain at any time of the year. April to October are the wettest months. The mean maximum and minimum temperatures are 23° and 15 °C respectively.
Maathai’slongleg, which is an endangered dragonfly was discovered in the park in 2005 and named after Nobel Prize winner Wangari Mathaai.
Important to note is that half of Uganda’s butterfly species have been found in the Mt. Elgon region

Flora and Fauna of Mount Elgon National park:
The Mountain has dense montane forests and mixed bamboo forests that support birds and bird watching. There are also the heath and moorland zones that have rare endemic plant species such as the Giant Lobelia and groundsels. The Flora and Fauna of Mount Elgon also supports primates such at the blue monkey and the black and white colobus monkeys and countless birds such as the Tacazze sunbird, Ross’s and HartlaubsTuraco, Black-and-white-casqued and crowned hornbills, Golden sunbird, Lammergeier, which is endangered and the Jackson’s Francolin. Look out for duiker, hyena, leopard and buffalo and you hike through

Guide porters and rangers Mount Elgon National Park:

The guides that will take you through the mountain hikes are trained, knowledgeable, certified in natural, cultural, emergency first aid and communication.
Porters will give you moral support and will help carry up to 18kg of your hiking and camping gear, as well as prepare your meals as you hike up and down the mountain. These porters are affordable and we highly recommend that you hire one since you are also contributing directly to the locals. The cost package covers the porter’s, guide and park entry fees. During the climbs, you will also be with a ranger guide for safety reasons especially from animals

Top things to do in Mt Elgon National park- Uganda adventure safaris (Activities inside Mount Elgon National Park)

Day hikes in Mount Elgon National park. A visitor can go for day hikes from Budadiri or in the Mount Elgon Forest Exploration Centre. The center has 3 day hikes of about 3 and 7 km and offer visitors great chance to experience Mount Elgon and its plant and wildlife in a short time. There is also a new and 4th trail to Tutum cave which has also been opened. It is 11km from the exploration centre. This trail has vegetation that supports black and white colobus monkeys and different types of birds found in the region

Mountain hiking on Mount Elgon: Mount Elgon has two main starting points that get to the highest summit of the mountain. There is the Sasa trail that can easily be accessible from Mbale. The sasa trail passes through the biggest area of the bamboo zone. With this trail, however, comes a very steep and rugged hike of about 1600m on the first day. The less steep climb is via the Pisa trail which starts from Kapkwata. With this route, you will discover Podocarpus forest, which is also a bird watchers haven. To get to the highest peak, it takes 4-5 days to complete the full circuit. We have 2 packages that can take visitors to the peak in those days. We recommend that you visit the park in the drier months of June-August and December-March, however, it is possible to trek the mountain even during the wet months.

Birding watching safaris:  There are about 300 bird species in Mount Elgon National park, which makes it an idea place for bird watching. The forest area a long the Chebonet River supports many birds like the Chubb’s Cisticola, Mackinon’s Fiscal, African Goshawk, African Blue Fly catcher, White chinned Prinia,  Doherty’s and Luhder’s Bush Shrikes, Chin spot Batis and Baglafecht weaver. We have bird watching safaris which can be tailor made to including birds of Mount Elgon National park.

Game viewing: The Mountain supports primates and mammals giving visitor an opportunity for game watching. Expect to see see which include forest monkeys that include the black and white colobus and blue monkeys, elephant, buffalo and small antelopes that include the duikers.

Activities outside Mount Elgon National park

Sipi Falls hikes: Visitors can visit Sipi Falls at the foot of Mount Elgon. It is about 66km from Mbale town to the beautiful Sipi Falls. There are different trails visitor goes through to get to the falls passing through local communities and their farms. There are local guides who can take you to the three waterfalls of Sipi.

Abseiling and rock climbing at Sipi Falls: This is the only place in Uganda where you can go for abseiling down the 100m Sipi Falls. It is safe and some of the equipment used was imported. The activity doesn’t require special training and it is perfect for the adrenaline junkie. Visitors can also go for rock climbing

Caves: There are a number of large caves here that are worth a visit. Some of the caves especially the one near the trail head at Budadiri has painting

Viewing cave paintings near the trailhead at Budadiri

Accommodation in Mount Elgon National park:

Mount Elgon National Park has basic accommodations available

Kapakwata Guest House and Exploration centre at Kapkwai: Visitors who wish to stay at this guest house should make prior reservations through Mount Elgon National park visitors’ office in Mbale town. The accommodation is small and visitors should bring their own food or money to buy food upon arrival as they prepare for the park’s activities. A kitchen is available too. However, you do not have to go through the hustle and let Bird’s Nest Safaris organize everything.

Camping: Mount Elgon National Park has 5 basic campsites that are located strategically a long the hiking circuits. You can only camp at campsites designated by the national park. All camping equipments must be brought by you and some like the tents and sleeping bags can be hired from the park office in Mbale.

What to Bring to Mount Elgon National park

Below is the list of some of the things we recommend that visitors bring for their activities in Mount Elgon.

  • Tent
  • Sleeping bag
  • Warm clothing
  • Gloves
  • Sturdy hiking shoes
  • Flash light
  • Bottled mineral water
  • Rain gear
  • First aid kit
  • Enough food supplies

How to get there to Mount Elgon National park

Road transport: From Entebbe and Kampala on Jinja road, it takes about 6 hours to Mbale and about 1 hour to the Elgon. This depends on the thickness of the traffic on Jinja road high way. The road is very good too and paved all the way.

If you are interested in hiking Mount Elgon, contact us and we will make it happen.

Semliki National Park and Wildlife Reserve

Semliki National Park and Wildlife Reserve – Things to do and see – Accommodation

Semliki national park, in Uganda is located within the Albertine Rift. It is one of the less visited national parks in Uganda and lies within the Western arm of the famous Great Rift Valley. Semliki national park cuts across Semliki Valley, western of Rwenzori Mountain. The park is largely occupied by the Ituri forests that follow the Congo basin. This unique national park is the only low land tropical forest in East Africa. Unknown to very few people, Semliki national park is divided into two; the national park which protects an extension of Ituri Forest in DRC,  and Tooro wildlife reserve, a mixture of tropical rainforests and grassy savannah plains where chimpanzee tracking takes place. Tooro Wildlife reserve is Uganda’s oldest reserve and it is home to both central African and East African species.

Abundance of wildlife in Semliki National Park

Semliki National park is 220km2 with altitude of 670m-760m above sea level with River Semuliki being the international boundary between Uganda and DR Congo.  The reserve was created in 1932 and was upgraded to a national park status in 1993. It is known as the oldest and most bio diverse forest that survived ice age that happened in 12-18000 years ago.

Although, many people who come for a Uganda safari rarely visit Semliki National park, it is home to 441 recorded bird species, making it a bird watching safari haven for bird watchers. It is also home to 53 mammals that include elephants and buffalos.

When to visit Semliki National park

Semliki National park can be visited throughout the year. It is surrounded by mountains and forests and attracts a lot of rain. Averagely, this national park receives 1,250 mm of rain fall.  March to May and September to December are the peak rainy seasons. A 4 x 4 WD vehicle is highly recommended since the heavy rains come with heavy floods and may make it impassable during activities. The park temperatures range between 18 to 30 degrees C.

Wildlife safaris and Activities of Semliki National park

Semliki National park has got variety of what to offer a tourist on a wildlife and game watching safari. The national park is popular for the amazing wildlife species, the rare bird life, cultural experience that involve a visit to the Batwa also known as the Bambuti people in the Semliki area. During the visit, you learn about their culture and day to day lives. You can also go visiting the amazing hot springs which are associated with lots of legends and many more other attractions. Although all activities are equally great, wildlife game drives and guided nature walks seem to be the most popular activities in the park

Bird watching in Semliki National park:

Semliki National park is surely one of the best birding places in Uganda, Africa. Bird watching of rare species is one of the biggest attractions in this national park’s riverine habitat and grassland. Over 441 bird species are recorded in this conservation area with 40 per cent of the country’s bird species and 60 per cent of the country’s forest birds. There are about five bird species that are endemic to Semliki National Park, forty-six Guinea-Congo biome species found nowhere else in East Africa.
Bird species to look out for here include the bizarre looking Shoe Bill in the mashes of the lake. There is the ground hornbill, the Nkulengu rail, yellow-throated Cuckoo, piping Hornbill, Red-billed Dwarf Hornbill, Black Dwarf Hornbill, White-crested Hornbill, Black-casqued WattledHorbill, Red-rumped Tinker bird, African Piculet, White-throated Blue Swallow, Yellow-throated Nicator, Leaf-love, and Swamp Palm Bulbul among others. You will be guided by very professional and knowledgeable bird watching guides who can spot these birds even from a distance or tell by their calls.

Wildlife safari game drives in Semliki National park

Safari game drives using 4 x 4 WD customised safari vehicles is one of the most popular activities in the park. Semliki National park caters for every tourist. Visistors who are not interested in birds can for for early morning game drives since the park is home to 53 mammals 27 being large mammals. Eleven species are endemic to the park and these include the pygmy antelope, two flying squirrel species and the peculiar water “fanged deer”.  On a lucky game drive, you may spot forest elephants which are smaller and darker than the savannah elephants, forest buffaloes, which are also smaller versions of their savannah relatives. Semliki forest is also very rich with primates that include chimpanzees, grey-cheeked mangabey, black-and-white colobus monkey, the Central African red colobus monkey, blue and red-tailed monkeys, among others and, warthogs, baboons. There are also leopards which are really rare to see. Don’t forget to look out for the elusive black wild pig. On the wildlife game drive, with your guide, you will follow 3 tracks in the national park that cut through TooroSemliki Wildlife reserve.

For the more adventurous visitor, there are night game drive activities for the nocturnal animals and primates that include pottos, the bush baby, bats, owls among others

Boat ride on the Semliki River to Lake Albert

Visitors can go for guided boat rides on Semliki River which is a 160km long River that runs off from the Rwenzori mountains also known as the ‘The Mountains of the Moon’ and continues to Lake Albert and the Nile, proving ancient geographers’ claims that the Nile flows (in part anyway) from a snow-capped mountain in the heart of Africa. The River is a miniature version of Congo River and Water bucks, Sitatungas, lizards, Nile crocodiles and pygmy hippos are often seen along the banks of the water. On the way to or from the park, visitors can watch the river meander across the rift valley from roadside viewpoints and hike through the forest to its banks.

Chimpanzee Habituation Experience

Chimpanzee habituation like chimpanzee tracking takes place in Toro-Semliki wildlife reserve and the activity takes a full day.  A chimpanzee habituation permit must be obtained from Uganda Wildlife Authority. Chimpanzee habituation is the process of making chimpanzees feel comfortable with the presence of human beings and once fully habituated; they are ready to be tracked.

Chimpanzee tracking experience

Chimpanzee tracking takes place in Toro-Semliki wildlife reserve and this activity should not be missed on a visit to Uganda. The forest is home to different primate species living in this forest which makes it a great place for primate watching and these primates include the chimpanzee, the black and white colobus monkeys, the baboon, the grey-cheeked mangabey, vervet,  the Central African red colobus, Dent’s mona monkeys, blue, red-tailed and the de Brazza’s, among others. The guide transfers you the research camp for briefing about chimpanzee tracking. After that briefing, you walk towards Kijura observation point, tracking chimpanzees. This can take 4-6 hours and you will follow where the chimpanzees are and where they nested previously. During the tracking, you will also spot several birds and some times forest buffalos and elephants and lion. You will be with the chimpanzee for one hour and later return to the lodge

Sempaya hot springs in Semliki

While in Semliki National park, a visit to the famous Sempaya hot springs is a must. There are two types of hot springs in the park; the female and male hot springs. The male hot spring is known as Bintente is 12m in diameter and is in a lush swampy clearing while the female hot spring is known as Nyasimbi which means female ancestors. The female hot springs are the hottest, most dangerous and still erupting boiling at (103°C) which spurts bubbling water and steam up to two meters high. The steam can be seen from as far as 2km away. Local people used to cook their food in these boiling hot springs and you too have an opportunity to cook green bananas and eggs in the boiling water and consume them. During the walk, look out for birds and red tailed, grey cheeked mangabey and black and white colobus monkeys displaying their monkey acrobats

Nature and Hiking walks in Semliki National park

Visitors can go for guided forest walks on well developed natural trails. There are 3 main trails that visitors follow on a guided nature walk in Semliki National park.

Below are the three main nature trails:

Sempaya nature trail: This leads to the Sempaya hot springs, through a patch of forest. There is a big possibility of coming across the different types of monkeys in the forest like the black-and-white colobus monkeys, red-tailed monkeys and grey-cheeked mangabey. On your way to the male hot springs, you will stopover at a tree house where you view the abundant birdlife and beautiful scenery of the forest.

The Kirumia trail: This is a 13 km trail. It is the best trail for bird watching since it ends up to the Semliki River across the forest.

Red monkey trail: The red monkey trail is 11 km long and it follows the park boundary to the east and ends up at the Semliki River. Look out for the rare DeBrazza monkey, only found in this park in Uganda

Batwa Cultural experiences

One of the great opportunities while visiting Semliki is The Batwa trail experience, letting you experience the lives of the pygmies who lived in this forest before it was made a national park, and meet their king; king Nzito and his queen. They now live around the park boundaries but sometimes they visit the forest in search of medicines. They will demonstrate how they lived in the forest, how the hunted, how the got food, the hunting tools they used, how they lived and danced.

Every October, they have an annual Bamaga Cultural festival. The festival gives the visitor a sneak peek into the lives of mountain people which gives you an opportunity to peek into the life of the mountain of Bundibugyo and the special attachment they have to the hot springs.

Fishing on River Semliki 

Another activity visitors can do is fishing on river semliki which is a major river, 140 kilometres long, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and Uganda in Central and East Africa. Fish to catch and release is Lung fish, cat fish, and salty fish among others

Accommodation      in     Semliki     National  park

Semliki Safari lodge– Luxury lodge- The oldest lodge in the Semliki area

Ntoroko Game Lodge– Mid range lodge located in the reserve side

It is only 3 hours from Fort Town to Semliki, visitors can visit Semliki and stay overnight in Fort Portal town.

Accommodation in Fort Portal

Kyaninga Lodge– High end

Mountains of the moon Hotel– Semi-luxury

Rwenzori View Guest house- Budget

Transport to Semliki national Park

By road transport

You can reach the park from Kampala – Fortportal and then Semuliki national park. It takes 55km from Fort Portal town and 8 hours from Kampala

By air transport

You can take scheduled or chartered flight from Entebbe to Kasese with our partners Aerolink

Recommended safaris to Semliki National park

Rwenzori Mountains National Park Uganda

Rwenzori Mountains National Park Uganda – (Things to do and see – Accommodation – Hiking)

Rwenzori Mountains National park also known as the ‘Mountains of the Moon’ is one of the best mountains to hike in Africa, offering the best mountaineering trekking opportunities that range from a one day trek to 9 days trek to get to the Margherita summit . Rwenzori Mountains National Park is found in Western Uganda, and it is one of Uganda’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites with stunning beautiful Rwenzori Mountain ranges that measure about 1,00km2 (386 square miles) boats having the third highest peak in Africa. What makes the Rwenzori Mountains even more spectacular, they are snow capped, and have lakes, waterfalls and glaciers that are sighted on the different trekking circuits. It should also be noted that the park is strategically located to other national parks in Uganda that include Queen Elizabeth National park, Kibale National Park, Bwindi Impenetrable National and Semliki National park giving a variety of activities.Bird’s Nest Safaris will help tailor make a perfect Uganda safari to include visiting these different national parks

Hiking Rwenzori Mountain peaks.     Rwenzori Mountains Hiking to its peaks is perfect for the adventurous and getting to Margherita peak on one of the trekking excursions is an achievement compared to none. The hikes to Mountain Ruwenzori range from one day nature trails to 9 days that go up to Lake Mahooma, Lake Buraro chimpanzee forest, walks through Kichamba to Karangura plus a trek to Bundibugyo via Bwamba.

Trekker can also take the Mubuku River trail to have views of Mount Baker and Portal peaks at an altitude of 2,300 metres above sea level. The trails to the different peaks of Mountain Rwenzori offer visitors opportunities to see Vervet monkeys, Rwenzori chameleons, Duikers, Squirrels, forest elephants and buffalos, and different countless bird species.

Margherita Peak.    Margherita Peak, at 5,119 m above sea level and at an altitude of 16,795 feet is the highest summit of the Ruwenzori Mountains Range in Uganda and the third highest in Africa, coming after Mount Kilimanjaro and Mount Kenya respectively.

Margherita peak was first hiked by a group of trekkers lead by Luigi Amedeo Abruzzi in 1906. It is named after Queen Margherita of Italy. It takes between 6 to 8 days to get to Margherita peak depending on the pace of the trekkers.

Mount Speke.      Mount Speke is the second highest in the Rwenzori Mountain range. The peak was named after the first European explorer from Europe- John Speke who was following the Journey of the River Nile to find its source. Although he never hiked this beautiful peak, in 1862, he found the source of the White Nile. This range receives high rainfall which offers visitors views of water streams, Rivers and dense vegetation.

Together with Mount Baker and Mount Stanley, they form a triangle encircling the upper Bujuku Valley. The closest peak to Mount Speke is Mount Stanley and it has multiple jagged peaks. Summits that done this mountain peak are Vittorio Emmanuele (4,890m or 16,040 feet), Ensonga at 4,865m or 15,961 feet, Johnston at 4,834m or 1,860 feet and Trident at 4,572m or 15,000 feet above sea level. They named from the Italian royal family

Mount Baker on Rwenzori Mountain.       Mount Baker is the 6th highest mountain in Africa standing at a height of 4,844 metres or 15,892 feet. It is locally known as Kiyanja and is located about 2.8km from the DRC boarder. Combined with Mount Speke and Mount Stanley, it forms a triangle enfolding the upper Bujuku Valley and it lies within an area of the ‘Mountains Of the Moon’

Austrian mountaineer RubertGrauer trekking along with two British missionaries, H. W. TegartAddox and H. E. M in January 1906, was the first trekkers to get to the top of Mount Baker

In the same year, around February and April, the same mountain was hiked by an English excursion mission including A. B. Wosnam, Alexander F. R. Wollaston and M. Carruthers. The uppermost summit of Mount Baker was at last ascended by an expedition headed by the Duke of the Abruzzi in June of 1906. This group hiked all the mountaintops of the other five top mountains of the Rwenzori.

On his expedition into the Ruwenzori in June 1891, Franz Stuhlmann saw the peak and named it either Ngemwimbi or Semper. It was renamed by Abruzzi after Samuel Baker, a British explorer who in 1864 was the first European to see and tour Lake Albert, found in the northeast of the Rwenzori Mountains, who was also reported to have sighted these stunning mountains from a distance, to the south of Lake Albert.

Mount Gessi.       Mount Gessi is one of the six mountains that make up the Rwenzori range. Like Mount Emin, it is positioned north of the triangle shaped by Mounts Stanley, Baker and Speke. Mount Gessi stands at an altitude of 15,018 feet or 4,578 metres and ranks the 5th tallest mountain in Uganda.

Mount Gessi and Emin are on either side of a long slim gorge heading north-southwards. The twin peaks of Gessi are Iolanda (15,470 feet) plus Bottego (15,418 feet). Mount Gessi is elevated to rocky north-south edge with the upper peak being at the south end. This mountain is characterized with huts and decent tracks from both the DR Congo and Ugandan side. From Mutsori in Congo with numerous shanties preserved all through the Rwenzori.

Mount Luigi Di Savora.      Mount Luigi di Savoia is the 6th highest mountain in Uganda and it is located near Margherita in the Rwenzori Mountain Ranges at a height of 14,885 feet / 4,537 metres about sea level.
Location: Uganda
Latitude: 0° 20′ 4.2″ (0.3345°) North,
Longitude: 29° 53′ 27.9″ (29.8911°) East
Average elevation: 4,537 metres or 14,885 feet

Mount Stanley.      Mount Stanley stands at an altitude of 5,109 m or 16,763 feet and it stands out most from both sides of DR Congo and Uganda. It is the third highest peak in the whole of Africa with Kilimanjaro at 5,895 metres and Mount Kenya at 5,199 metres.

This peak and numerous other neighbouring peaks are in a higher altitude enough to upkeep glaciers. It was named after Sir Henry Morton Stanley.

Mount Stanley has two twin summits plus quite a lot of lower peaks. This mountain was first hiked by Duke of the Abruzzi, J. Petigax, J. Brocherel and C. Ollier in 1906.
Elevation: 16,762
First Hiked: 1906
Prominence: 12,963
First Climber: The Duke of the Abruzzi, Prince Luigi Amedeo
Mountain Range: Rwenzori Mountains

Birds of Rwenzori.
Mountain Rwenzori National Park is a birder’s paradise for travellers on a Uganda bird watching safari. There are about 241 bird species only 19 out these are known. Some of these birds are endemic to Rwenzori. There is ongoing research with new species being discovered every now and then.

Endemic animals.
There are two mammals that are endemic to this mountain range. One is the Rwenzori climbing mouse and the other is the Rwenzori red duiker.

Mammals.
The national park is home to forest elephants and buffalos. Forest elephants and buffalos are smaller and more aggressive than their counterparts the savannah elephants and buffalos which are found in most national parks in Uganda

Primates.
Primates in Rwenzori national park include the chimpanzees which are man’s closet cousins, sharing 98.7% DNA with man. Other primate species are black and white colobus and the handsome L’Hoest’s monkey.

Three Horned Rwenzori Chameleon.
The three-honed chameleon, also known as Johnston’s chameleon is endemic to Uganda, Rwanda and Democratic Republic of Congo. In Uganda, this interesting specie is found in Rwenzori National park, Mgahinga Gorilla national park and in Bwindi Impenetrable national park. The male chameleons have three horns while the female doesn’t have them.  In the Rwenzori, you will see a number of them as they camouflage according to the surrounding colours and temperature

Route Access to Rwenzori Mountains

By Air transport
Rwenzori Mountains National Park is found in south western Uganda in the districts of Kasese and Bundibugyo. It is easily accessed from Entebbe Airport and or Kampala through Aero Link– our partners.

By road Transport;
It is easily accessed from Entebbe or Kampala through Mityana, Mubende, Fort portal, Kasese up to the Mountains. It is the shortest route

The second route is from Entebbe or Kampala via Masaka, Mbarara, Bushenyi through Queen Elizabeth National Park, Kasese and finally to the Park. This is a longer route but the road is paved. This route is great for visitors who want to combine some wildlife safari activities in either Lake Mburo or Queen Elizabeth National Park with a hiking adventure to Mountain Rwenzori.

What to bring for Mountain Rwenzori Hike
It is very important for travellers ready to hike Mountain Rwenzori to be very fit and consider some of the basic requirements

Carry the right footwear. One needs proper hiking boots since some trails are very wet and boggy. Bring nice fitting hiking boots that provide support, grip and stability to the ankle

Handy oxygen supplies to help lessen altitude sickness: In case of sever headache or other indicators of high altitude sickness; try to go downhill at least 3,000 feet instantly for medication

The right hiking gear:  It is very important for one to come with the right hiking gear to make the trekking an unforgettable experience. Bring outfits that don’t restrict your movements and those that are water proof

Hiking poles: These help you retain your balance as you hike through a rough topography.

Sun glasses to keep your eyes out of the sun

Sun screen since the higher you go the more penetrating the sun rays get

Water: Bring water to keep hydrated since you may sweat more as you hike

Food: Food and water are always included in the package paid to the mountaineering services through Bird’s Nest Safaris

Back pack: Bring that fits very well

Camera: Bring a good camera to capture your memories

Accommodation

There are a number of accommodations around Rwenzori Mountain National park for every visitor. There are several hotels in Kasese town, which is the nearest town to the Mountains. These are;

  • Hotel Margherita
  • White Horse
  • Springs International hotel
  • Ruboni Community camp
  • Sandton Hotel
  • Marafiki Safari Lodge
  • Ruwenzori View Guest House

Mgahinga Gorilla National Park

Mgahinga Gorilla National Park     (Gorillas and golden monkeys – Top things to do and see)

Mgahinga Gorilla National Park is only 33 sq km (13 sq mile) in size and lies 14km (8 miles) from Kisoro town. Mgahinga Gorilla National park is one of the small national parks in Uganda and it is located far in South Western Uganda bordering Bwindi Impenetrable national park in the South, Rwanda and Democratic republic of Congo. Explore Rwanda and DRC with Bird’s Nest Safaris on one of our exciting safaris. It is famous for gorilla tracking, golden monkey tracking and Batwa trail making it perfect for a traveler who is interested in seeing silver backs, golden monkeys and a cultural experience of the forest people- the Pygmies.

It is also located on the northern slopes of the three northern most extinct Virunga Volcanoes: Mt. Muhavura which is 4,127 metres above sea level, Mt. Gahinga which is 3,474 metres above sea level and Mt. Sabinyo at 3,645 metres above sea level. Although the sun shines on this park, because of its high altitude, it can get very cold and chilly in the evening but thankfully the lodges always have an open campfire to warm you up. We recommend that you bring warm clothing for this weather and a list of what to bring is included in a pre-departure guide that we always email to our clients signed up on any of our safaris to Uganda, Rwanda and Congo

Mgahinga Gorilla National Park cannot be under estimated because of its small size. It is well endowed with adventure activities like hiking to the ‘lslands of the sky’- the Virunga volcanoes as mentioned above, gorilla tracking, Batwa trail experience and the endangered golden monkeys.

Activities in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park
The stars in Mgahinga Gorilla National park are the mountain gorillas but this small park has in store other adventure activities one can do;

A close up encounter with a gorilla in Mgahinga gorilla national park.

Mountain Gorilla Tracking
Mgahinga National park is home to man’s closest, the mountain gorillas which roam freely in the forest looking for food. The park is one of the 4 places where the rare and endangered mountain gorillas can be seen since they can not survive any else. Because it is one of the few places with the mountain gorillas, the park is visited throughout the year on a Uganda safari for the gorilla adventure trek.

Golden Monkey Tracking
Mgahinga Gorilla National park offers travellers a golden opportunity to track golden Monkeys. These monkeys are absolutely gorgeous and all that glitters is gold. The golden monkey is listed as endangered on the IUCN Red List because its habitat is threatened due to destruction.
Tracking golden monkeys is an activity that one should not miss out while on a Uganda or East African safari. They will entertain you with their acrobat skills, jumping from one tree to the other through the bamboo forest.    Tracking Golden monkeys is easier than gorilla tracking. Look out for other animals and the countless birds in the area.

Batwa Trail and Garamba Cave
Another great activity in Mgahinga Gorilla National park is the Batwa Pygmy trail which takes visitors to Garamba Cave which is a 3km hike. The activity starts from the National park head offices with a brief history about the cave and its importance to the Batwa- the forest people. Batwa would raid their neighbours, and return to the cave which is 342 metres long and 14 metres deep. Since the forest is now gazetted as a national park, the Batwa no longer live in the cave and it now home to bats. You will also learn about how they made fires, treated diseases and worshipped.

Hiking Volcano Mountains
Mgahinga Gorilla National park is a diverse small park that can let visitors go hiking one of the three Virunga Volcanoes which can be combined with a gorilla trek, golden monkey trek or Batwa trail

These are Sabyinyo which is 366m or 1,200 feet. It is also known as Old Man’s Teeth because the crown has been eroded with time. Hiking Sabinyo can take about 8 hours depending on the hikers pace, and is 14km or 8 miles.

The second one is Mt. Gahinga which is 3,474 meters or 11,397 feet above sea level. One needs at least 6 hours to hike to the top through the bamboo forest zone. Gahinga in the local language means a pile of rocks. It covers an 8km distance or 5 miles.

The last virunga Mountain of Mgahinga Gorilla National park is Muhavura which means The guide in the local language because it can be seen from the whole or Kisoro area and acts as a land mark too. The hike to the top takes about 8 hours; of course this depends on ones hiking pace and it is 12km long. It is a tough hike and hikers will need to bring a lot of water, food and very nice trekking shoes.

Birding in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park
Mgahinga Gorilla National park is a birder’s paradise. There are about 180 bird species in the Park, some which are Albertine Rift endemics and every birder on a Uganda birding safari should not miss a chance to go birding in Mgahinga National park. The park has montane bird habitants and is home to some of the birds that include Kivu Ground Thrush, Cinnamon Bracken Warbler, White Starred Robin, RwenzoriTuraco, RwenzoriBatis, Archer’s Robin Chat, Olive Pigeon, and Black headed waxbill, Western Green Tinker bird, Cape Robin, White-starred Robin, Brown Woodland Warbler, Striped breasted Tit, Malachite, Scarlet-tufted, Greater Double collard Sunbirds among others. You may go for a 3 hours gorge trail between Gahinga and Sabinyovolcano mountains or take the bamboo trail which is at 2500 meters above sea level.

Border Trail           
A visitor to Mgahinga Gorilla National park may go for a 10km (6miles) hike, that takes about 5 hours depending on the hiker, up to the base of Sabinyo Volcano Mountain. You will have great views of the gorge and the peaks. This trail follows the conger border before returning to the park offices.
There are high chances of seeing golden monkeys and some forest elephants that reside in the area. This trail hike is also great for birders

Viewing platform
800 meters from the national park gate, there is a viewing platfoam where visitors can get a beautiful panoramic view of Mgahinga Gorilla National park. The platfoam has display panels that visitors can use to know what they are viewing.

Accommodation in  Mgahinga Gorilla National park
There are different accommodation options for a very traveller that range from luxury to Budget

Contact Bird’s Nest Safaris for an adventure safari to Mgahinga Gorilla national park to experience its mountain gorillas, golden monkeys, and a hike to the Volcano Mountains and or to take part in the Batwa trail to experience how these forest people used to live, hunt and worship

How  to  get there:          
Mgahinga gorilla national park is easily accessible from Entebbe, Kampala and from Rwanda. There are two options;

Road transport: By road, it will take a full day drive from Kampala, Entebbe to Kisoro town and then take about half an hour further from Kisoro to the park entrance or gorilla tracking briefing offices. From Kigali, Rwanda’s capital city, it takes about 3 hours to this park.

Air transport:  Mganhinga gorilla national park can easily be accessed by air from Entebbe International airport to Kisoro town. Bird’s Nest Safaris partners with Aerolink which offers scheduled and chartered flights to most of Uganda’s national parks and reserves.

Recommended safaris to Mgahinga Gorilla national park

Kidepo Valley National Park

Kidepo Valley National Park (Things to do and see – Accommodation)

Kidepo Valley National park, also managed by Uganda Wildlife Authority was gazetted as a game reserve in 1958 and later became a national park in 1962. It is 1,442 km2 and ranges from 900 to 2.750 m in altitude.

Kidepo Valley national park is the most wild of all the national parks in Uganda with breath taking savannah landscapes and endless views of the horizon. It is one of the less visited national parks in Uganda and so you experience the feeling of having the whole national park by yourself. On guided game drives, you will see many elephants, giraffes, buffaloes, lions, baboons, and a variety of antelopes, warthogs, jackals and countless savannah birds. It is the only national park in Uganda where you can see cheetahs. The park has the largest buffalo population with a herd of about 1,700 buffaloes, not recorded any where else on earth. You may also go for bird watching, a guided walking safari and a nocturnal game drive.
There are different types of accommodation for each traveller from high end to budget accommodations and camping is also available for the more adventurous ones.

A Uganda safari to this scenic park is a must. It is a long distance from Kampala to Kidepo but our safaris to Kidepo have a stopover in Gulu or Kitgum to breakdown the journey and you can also fly-into Kidepo Valley National park for an experience that should not be missed.

For a traveller who loves getting off the ‘tourist track’, then you should not miss visiting Kidepo Valley National park on your Uganda Safari

From Kidepo Valley National park, you can easily connect to Murchison falls national park, Uganda’s biggest conservation area named after the famous Murchison falls. Bird’s Nest Safaris has designed Uganda wildlife safaris that combine these two national parks and if you are interested, contact us.

Because of its uniqueness and spectacular wilderness, Kidepo Valley National Park was recently rated 3rd-best National Park in Africa by CNN

Top things to do and see in Kidepo Valley National park- Wilderness safaris:

Kidepo Valley National park is Africa’s finest wilderness and visitors can choose from different activities as below. The Narus Valley is Kidepo’s major area of interest for game drive safari.

Game drive safaris in the Narus Valley: The most popular place for safari game drives in Kidepo Valley National park is the Narus Valley which is in the southern part of the park. It has water throughout the year and many animals gather in this grass rolling plains for water giving travelers the opportunity to enjoy their game drive safari with views of many animals like the elephants, buffaloes, zebras, hartebeest, bush pigs, warthogs and different types of antelopes. The park has well developed game tracks to make game drives easy but a 4 x4 WD vehicle is recommended. Kidepo Valley National park inhabits about 80 mammals of which 28 are only found here. Apart from the animals mentioned above, there are predators such as the lions, leopards, cheetahs. Kidepo is the only national park with cheetahs in Uganda, but you can also find them in one of the biggest wildlife reserve known as Pian Up wildlife reserve in Eastern Uganda.

Game drives in Kidepo Valley National park are guided by an armed ranger of Uganda Wildlife Authority. These rangers are very knowledgeable and most of them are locals who will educate you a lot about the wildlife, birds of the national park and the history of the people in the surrounding communities.

A traveler can go for full day games, or choose between morning games and evening game drives.
To be able to see animals that are only active in the night and lions hunting, you can go for a guided nocturnal game drive safari. Night game drives are only possible in four national parks in Uganda.

Birding in Kidepo Valley National park: Kidepo Valley National park is a birder’s paradise and perfect for bird watching. About 58 bird species have been recorded in the park and you can go for bird watching in the morning, afternoon and late evening a long the Narus and Namamukweny valleys. Some of the birds watched are the purple heron, Verreaux’s eagle, Egyptian vulture, pygmy falcon, super starling, Abyssinian roller and Abyssinian ground hornbill. Clapperton’s Francolin is only found in Kidepo Valley National park.

Picnics at Kidepo Valley River banks:  Kidepo river bank has a beautiful picnic site that visitors can go to. Because the Valley hardly has water throughout the year, there are a handful of animals in this area but it is still worth a visit and walk a long its bed of white sand surrounded by beautiful palm trees.

Hikes and nature walks in Kidepo Valley National park: Travelers can go for a 4 hours hike to Lomej Mountains or go for short guided walks for two hours. These guided walks can take you to Narus valley where most of the animals gather for water. Visitors can also go for hikes to Morungole Mountains to meet the special IK tribe.

Cultural community walks:  Cultural community walks are a great way to interact and learn more about local cultures of people in Uganda. Walks in Kidepo Valley National park take you to the Karamajong Manyattas which are homesteads to the local people. Visitors will learn about their way of dancing, traditional clothes, hunting and their cherished jewellery.

How to get to Kidepo Valley National park

Road transport: The Park can be easily accessed by road, offering scenic landscape and local communities. It is advisable that you break down the journey from Gulu or Kitgum. The roads have been worked on and are now easy to drive on.

Air transport: There are chartered and scheduled air flights from Entebbe International Airport to the park Headquarters. There is an airstrip located at Lomej which is about 3km south of the Headquarters. Bird’s Nest Safaris partners with Aerolink Uganda for your scheduled flights to Kidepo Valley National park.

What to bring for a safari in Kidepo Valley National park

  • Light clothing
  • Sunscreen
  • Wide rimmed hat
  • Cotton underwear
  • Insect repellent
  • A flash light
  • A camera with spare batteries
  • Binoculars for wildlife and bird viewing
  • A lot of water
  • Food if staying at the rest camps

Accommodation inside Kidepo Valley National park

Apoka Safari LodgeLocated in Kidepo Valley National park, which is Uganda’s most remote national park, this high end safari lodge is perfect for visitors who want to experience wilderness combined with luxury. The lodge has 10 spacious rooms each with a private veranda to offer great savannah views of the park. The lodge was built using local materials and by local craftsmen. The rooms have big hand hewn beds with draping mosquito nets and hand woven carpets. The lodge has a swimming pool carved out of the big rock perfect for a dip on those hot days after a safari in the park.

Apoka Rest Camp This rest camp is managed by Uganda Wildlife Authority, Uganda’s conservation body. It has clean self contained cottages and in the evenings, many animals come around. It is also possible to hitch your own tent or hire one; at the camp grounds. The rest camp is the perfect place for starting all the activities of the park that include wildlife game drives and bird watching. If booked in advance, you can get basic meals from the camp, but alternatively, you may bring your food and request a chef to prepare it for you as you enjoy the wilderness.

Kakine Self-catering Campsite This camp is so basic and only has tents but offers the greatest wilderness views. It has a basic toilet and bathing area. You will be guarded by a ranger from Uganda Wildlife Authority at all times. You will have to bring all your food and provisions

Accommodation outside Kidepo Valley National Park

Kidepo Savannah LodgeKidepo Savannah lodge is Kidepo’s new lodge on the block. It is located 500 M away from the park gate, and it feels like one is inside the national park. The lodge has a thatched dining and bar with great views of the Kidepo National park. Lunches are two course meals while dinners are a 4 course meals. Clients with special diet requirements are considered.

The lodge has 8 self contained tents each on a raised deck and a private veranda and the tents have hot showers. It has 9 non self contained lodges for the budget option with a communal block that has hot showers and flushing toilets.

Bird’s Nest Safaris recommends Uganda wildlife safaris to Kidepo National park as mentioned below. These are just suggested itineraries which can be customized to fit the client’s interests. You can combine a wildlife safari from Kidepo Valley National park, to other national parks in Uganda.

Recommended Wildlife safaris to Kidepo Valley National park

4 Day Luxury Fly-in Wildlife safari to Kidepo Valley National Park

5 Day Uganda wildlife road trip to Kidepo Valley National Park

Lake Mburo National Park

Lake Mburo National Park Things to do and see – Accommodation – Uganda wildlife safaris

Lake Mburo National park, the smallest national park in Uganda is about 4 hours drive from Kampala and can connect easily to Queen Elizabeth National park and Bwindi Impenetrable national park; which is home to mountain gorillas that can be tracked on our gorilla tracking safaris.

The beauty of Lake Mburo National Park

Lake Mburo National park is blessed with rich diverse animal and bird life with more than 315 different bird species for those interested in bird watching safaris and 68 different mammals that can be seen during game drives, guided walking safaris, horse riding safaris and nocturnal safaris. The mammals include impala, buffalo, leopards, zebras, elands, topis and recently about 16 giraffes were relocated to this beautiful jewel of a national park. You will see lots of hippos wallowing into water on a boat safari on Lake Mburo. Some of the animals in this park are found no where else in Uganda. It is less crowded too so you will likely have the whole park by yourself.

Most of our Uganda safaris include a visit to this beautiful national park. If you are interested in any of our safaris and you would love to explore Lake Mburo national park, contact us.

Wildlife at Lake Mburo national park

There are over 68 mammal species in Lake Mburo National Park which can be spotted easily during the game drives and the wildlife boat trips. The park has well maintained tracks that make it easy for game viewing. Animals to look out for are impalas, a type of antelope that is found only in Lake Mburo National park, in the whole of Uganda. Other antelopes include the eland (one of the large and shy antelopes which are found only here and in Kidepo Valley National park), bush backs, Defassa Waterbuck, Topi and other animals that include African Cape buffalo, hyenas, an only lion that comes and goes, warthogs, and Zebras

Birds in Lake Mburo national park

Lake Mburo National Park is home to about 315 bird species which makes birding one of the top activities in the park. Because of its different habitants, there are savanna, forest and water birds in this small underrated national park. Some of the birds include Crested Francolin, Emerald-spotted Wood Dove, Brown Parrot, Barefaced Go-away bird, Red necked Spur, common Quails, Black-billed Barbet, Greenwood Hoopoe, Blue-napped Mouse bird, Lilac-breasted Roller, African-grey Hornbill, Nubian Woodpecker, Trilling Cisticola, Bee-eaters and the Cheeky bronze-tailed starling and the crowned crane which is on the Uganda emblem. On the boat safari, you will look out for the African Finfoot, shoebill stork, Malachite, pied and grey headed kingfishers, African fish eagle among others

Top Activities in Lake Mburo National Park

Morning and Night safari Game drives in customized safari vehicles with pop up roofs

Visitors in Lake Mburo national park can go for guided nigh and day safari games drives. Both times are perfect for game viewing since animals are very actives during those times. Uganda Wildlife Authority opened and maintains wildlife game drive tracks that make it easy for visitors to spot the animals in the park.

Lake Mburo national park is one of the few animals where night game drives take place with supervision of a ranger guide from Uganda Wildlife Authority. The night game drives offer chances of seeing the nocturnal animals that include bush babies and leopard. The other animals to look out for are warthogs, zebras, and the different types of antelopes. The game drives normally take about 3 hours

Wildlife boat safaris in Lake Mburo National Park:

One can go for a 2 hour wildlife boat safari on Lake Mburo which is found inside the National park. Animals come to the lake to drink water, offering many animal sightings on the boat safari. Expect to see crocodiles, more than you can possibly imagine hippos, monitor lizards, buffalos and different types of birds that include African Fin Foot, different types of Kingfishers, weaver birds, African fish eagle, lapwings, hamerkop, shoebill stork, and herons among others. You will have stunning views of the distant hills that surround the lake.

Birding in Lake Mburo national park

Lake Mburo national park is a bird watchers haven because it is home to over 315 species of birds. Birding will be better around Ruganga forest with a ranger guide, Warukiri, Rwonyo area, and around the salty lick area. It is so easy to go birding in Lake Mburo National park and the birds to look out for are white winged tit, Bare-faced Go-away bird, White-headed Barbet, Red faced barbet,  Red-shouldered cuckoo-shrike, Long-tailed Cisticola, Brown parrot, Grey crowned crane, Rufous-bellied Heron, Bateleur, and black bellied bastard, night heron, malachite and pied kingfisher, African fish eagle among other birds.

Guided Nature Walks in Lake Mburo National Park

Lake Mburo National Park is one of the two national parks in Uganda where a visitor can go for a guided nature walk. You must go with a ranger guide from Uganda Wildlife Authority. We highly recommend this rare activity where you will spot the wildlife of the park on foot.

The ranger will tell you which foot print or droppings belong to which animal and you will approach the wildlife at such a close range. This is an opportunity that should not be missed out while on a safari in Uganda. The early morning walk normally begins at 7am after early breakfast and one has high chances of seeing hyenas returning to their dens and hippos returning to Lake Mburo. The walk too provides opportunities of spotting out some of the forest and savannah birds. The morning guided walk can be done before you proceed to your next destination and is wrapped up by a walk to the top of one a hill that offers stunning views of nine of the fourteen lakes in the region.

Horse back safaris in Lake Mburo National park:

A horse back safari in Lake Mburo National park is one that should not be missed while in this beautiful diverse park. The rides are between 2 to 3 hours on well trained and maintained horses. The horse rides are for all different levels of riders and will offer great opportunities for game viewing of the different animals in the park that include African cape buffalo, Zebras, Topi, Impala, Eland, warthogs, etc

Sport fishing at Mazinga

Lake Mburo is a designated sport fishing area and anglers can go sport fishing at Mazinga. One will need a sport fishing permit from Uganda Wildlife Authority which we can arrange, and better to come with your own fishing equipment. It has 6 types of fish that include lung fish, mud fish, cat fish among others and tilapia is the most common one. The method of fishing in Lake Mburo National park is catch and release

Community and cultural experiences in Lake Mburo National Park

A visitor in Lake Mburo National park may go for communitu cultural experience in the neighbouring communities. The people in these communities are mainly cattles keepers of the Endangered Ankolelond horned cattle. On these activities, you will learn about their lifestyle, how to milk cows and process ghee as well as listen to stories told by the people. Note that a certain percentage from the money paid to the national park goes to the neighbouring communities to help with conservation and for the communities to benefit from the park

Accommodation in Lake Mburo National Park

There are different types of accommodation in Lake Mburo National Park that suit every traveller. Some of the lodges, border with the park but you will feel like you are inside the national park

  • Mihingo Lodge- Luxury
  • Rwakobo Rock- Mid range
  • Arcadia cottages Lake Mburo- Mid range
  • Mburo Safari Lodge- Budget
  • Eagles’ Nest- Budget

How to get there:

Road transport: It is about 5 hours from Entebbe and 4 from Kampala to Lake Mburo national park. From this park, you can easily connect to Queen Elizabeth, Kibale National park, Rwenzori Mountain and Bwindi Impenetrable national parks

Suggested safari itineraries that include lake Mburo National Park