Top Game Viewing Destinations in Uganda
Few wildlife parks in the world can boast such a high biodiversity rating and with landscapes including savannah, bushland, wetlands and lush forests.
1 – Queen Elizabeth National Park
2 – Murchison Falls National Park
3 – Kidepo Valley National Park
4 – Lake Mburo National Park
Game Drives, Murchison Falls National Park Uganda
Murchison falls is a home to different wildlife species; over 76 mammals and 451 bird species including the Buffaloes, Jackson hartebeests, Antelopes, Lions, Kobs, Giraffes, Hyenas, Bushbucks, and Warthogs among others. They are widely spread all over the Savannah grasslands, grazing or hunting for prey. This makes the park’s landscape so amazing for game viewing/game driving.
Murchison Falls National Park is positioned in the Northwestern part of Uganda and covers an area of 3,840sq km, about a 5-6hours drive from Kampala. It is the country’s oldest and largest national park and hence you can spot the Big 4, leaving out the Rhinos got extinct by 1983the; the good news is that they were re-introduced in Ziwa Rhino sanctuary by 2005. The park is also bisected by the renowned River Nile into two parts such as the Northern bank and the Southern bank Game drives are best done on the Northern bank since that’s where you can find a large concentration of wildlife in the Savannah plains whereas the Southern bank a lesser number of antelope herds and other few animals.
There is nothing as thrilling as watching predators such as lions make moves on their prey, it’s an amazing experience since most antelopes are hunted down and killed without notice. All this is best observed during the dry season when the grass is short so game viewing is at its best. Game drives are an all-year-round activity though during the rainy season the grass is a bit tall hence giving challenges, especially during game viewing since some animals might be missed out.
There are different tracks followed while on a game drive such as; Albert, Victoria and Buligi tracks. Taking all these tracks while on the game drive gives you a different experience since each is endowed with various ecosystems. The Buligi is a 7km track north of Paraa and is among the most commonly used tracks for game viewing. Also, areas like Nyamsika gorge are home to a big number of water animals which come to get water and Nyamsika cliffs have a higher concentration of buffaloes, lions as well as different birds like the Egyptian plover and the bee-eaters.
Time for game drives
There is room for morning and evening game drives in the park. However game viewing can best be done in the morning from 6:30 am, and if you slept in a lodge at the southern bank, you are required to cross the river at the ferry at around 7:00 am.
There is also another choice of going for an evening game drive that starts around 4:00 pm local time and takes between 3 to 4 hours.
All these Uganda safaris game drives can be done only on the Northern bank which is covered with savannah; hence tourists can view the game very well. For a thorough game drive within the park, approximately 5 hours can be enough.
Different vehicles can be used, comfortable, and spacious with a pop-up roof to view well wildlife and take clear photos. A 4X4 vehicle is advised; this can be a Van, small or an extended land cruiser. Also, other cars can be used such as coasters for bigger groups, and saloon cars among others. In the park, one can do a self-drive though it’s important to have an armed park ranger guide with you. In addition, park rules are to be followed during game drives.
Game drives in Murchison falls national park live you with unforgettable memories even when you are back home!
Game Drives in Queen Elizabeth National Park
For a classic African safari experience, the tracks through Kasenyi, the North Kazinga Plains and the Ishasha Sector offer virtually guaranteed buffalo, antelope and elephant sightings, along with warthogs and baboons. Taking an experienced guide in the early morning or at dusk is the most successful way to track down a pride of lions, and maybe even the odd leopard
The open grasslands of Kasenyi provide QENP’s primary game viewing area, thanks to resident herds of Uganda kob and the lions that prey on them. The park’s experienced ranger guides can usually locate lions but predator sightings can be guaranteed by signing up for a tour with the Mweya-based Uganda Predator Project which monitors the movement of lions, leopards and hyaenas fitted with radio collars.
QENP’s southernmost sector offers a classic game viewing experience under vast rift valley skies. Expect to see buffaloes, hippos, elephants, topis and more besides. The chance of sighting lions is particularly good in Ishasha; the locals pride obligingly spend their days resting up in the branches of shady fig trees.
Game Drives in Lake Mburo National Park
The network of game tracks in the east of the park passes a variety of landscape features including acacia woodland, wetlands, grassy hillsides, rock outcrops and seasonally flooded valley floors. Early morning and late afternoon are the best times to roam the park in search of wildlife.
On a game drive in this park, one is assured of spotting Zebra, Buffalo, Impala, Warthog and Waterbuck. Also available sometimes in large herds of over 100 are elands however they are quite shy. Recently introduced Giraffes are also sometimes encountered.
An alternative view of the park, hopefully including sightings of animals rarely seen during the day, is provided by guided night drives. These start between 6:30 pm7:00 pm and last two to three hours, escorted by a ranger guide. There are great chances to see nocturnal animals such as bushbabies, pottos and perhaps even a leopard.
Game Drives in Kidepo Valley National Park
For game drives in this park, it is advisable to move with a park ranger who will help you spot the lions that may be sitting on the valley’s various rocks. Other wildlife includes elephants, leopards, bush duikers, jackals, bushbuck, bush pig, ostrich, buffalo and much more, in the wild Narus Valley.
Narus Valley Game Drive
Wildlife is most active in the Narus Valley during early mornings and late afternoons. 6 am and 4 pm are optimum times to set off on game drives.
The southerly Narus Valley contains the park’s only permanent water points and wildlife congregates in this area for much of the year. Look for buffalo and elephants in the swamps along the valley floor, giraffes and eland on the drier slopes above and scan the rock outcrops for lions.
Kidepo Valley Drive
The dry Kidepo Valley is short on the big game but massive on scenery. The hour-long drive to Kanangorok Hot Springs passes some magnificent landscapes. 30 kilometres north of the park’s tourism hub at Apoka, the road crosses the dry, sandy bed of the Kidepo River to enter an expansive plain lined to the east by the Morungule mountain range and to the north by the looming, 2975m high Jebel Lotuke in South Sudan. Mammals are rare in this area but ostriches and secretary birds are often seen.