Wildlife of Uganda

enter image description here Credit: Blasio Bwekwaso

Western Uganda is home to most of the country’s national parks and reserves, and is the best region to visit for wildlife. The standout highlight of this region is the gorilla tracking experience in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, in Uganda’s southwest corner. While seeing mountain gorillas is the main reason people travel to Bwindi, there’s more wildlife to spot in the misty forests of the park, from nine other primate species, such as black-and-white colobus and l’Hoest monkeys, as well as forest duikers, elusive forest elephants and more than 200 butterfly species.

Kibale Forest Reserve is also a primate haven – with 13 resident species, it boasts the largest concentration of primates in the country and the biggest diversity of primates of any East African reserve. Tracking chimpanzees is the main draw to Kibale, although spotting olive baboons, black-and-white colobus, l’Hoest and blue monkeys are also highlights in themselves.

enter image description here

Still in western Uganda, Queen Elizabeth National Park is the country’s best park for wildlife diversity, home to 95 species of mammals and 20 predators, including the Big Four (buffalo, lion, leopard and elephant) as well as chimpanzees and a whopping 611 species of birds. The park’s standout highlight are the tree-climbing lions – there’s only one other place in Africa where they do this – so catching this sighting is particularly special. enter image description here

Murchison Falls National Park is another Big Four reserve (only rhino si missing) in western Uganda, which is known for its large herds of elephant, giraffe and buffalo, as well as for lucky sightings of the rare ground-dwelling patas monkey. For birders it’s the best place to try and track down the rare shoebill stork.

enter image description here The bizarre Shoebill

Just south of Murchison Falls, Budongo Forest Reserve conserves Uganda’s largest population of chimpanzees, as well as other primate species including black-and-white colobus, blue monkey and red-tailed monkey. With around 360 species of birds including many species found in only a few other locations in East Africa, it’s considered the country’s best birding destination.

enter image description here

Close to Kampala and still in Western Uganda, Lake Mburo National Park is where to go to spot animals not easily found elsewhere in the country, from Uganda’s only population of impala to Burchell’s zebra. While elephant are absent in the park, there are plenty of other mammals to see, including sitatunga antelope, topi, oribi, Bohor reedbuck and herds of eland.

In Central Uganda, the main wildlife highlight is tracking southern white rhinos on foot at the Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary. The reserve is also an excellent place to see shoebill storks.

enter image description here

In the Karamoja region of northern Uganda near the Kenyan border, Kidepo Valley National Park is a remote park that that offers rugged wilderness and excellent wildlife, everything from elephant, lion, leopard and buffalo to Burchell’s zebra, Rothschild’s giraffe and black-backed jackal and cheetah – two of the many species that you don’t find anywhere else in the country.


Our Recommended Itinerary

The Primates of Uganda & Rwanda

day 1

Entebbe, arrival
  • The Primates of Uganda & Rwanda
  • The Primates of Uganda & Rwanda
  • The Primates of Uganda & Rwanda
  • The Primates of Uganda & Rwanda
  • The Primates of Uganda & Rwanda
  • The Primates of Uganda & Rwanda

day 2

Your drive to Kibale is well worth it
  • The Primates of Uganda & Rwanda
  • The Primates of Uganda & Rwanda
  • The Primates of Uganda & Rwanda
  • The Primates of Uganda & Rwanda
  • The Primates of Uganda & Rwanda

day 3

Full day with the Chimps
  • The Primates of Uganda & Rwanda
  • The Primates of Uganda & Rwanda
  • The Primates of Uganda & Rwanda
  • The Primates of Uganda & Rwanda
  • The Primates of Uganda & Rwanda

day 4

Onwards to Queen Elizabeth
  • The Primates of Uganda & Rwanda
  • The Primates of Uganda & Rwanda
  • The Primates of Uganda & Rwanda
  • The Primates of Uganda & Rwanda
  • The Primates of Uganda & Rwanda
  • The Primates of Uganda & Rwanda

day 5 to 6

Witness the unusual tree climbing lions
  • The Primates of Uganda & Rwanda
  • The Primates of Uganda & Rwanda
  • The Primates of Uganda & Rwanda
  • The Primates of Uganda & Rwanda
  • The Primates of Uganda & Rwanda
  • The Primates of Uganda & Rwanda

day 7

Bwindi National Park all to yourself
  • The Primates of Uganda & Rwanda
  • The Primates of Uganda & Rwanda
  • The Primates of Uganda & Rwanda
  • The Primates of Uganda & Rwanda
  • The Primates of Uganda & Rwanda
  • The Primates of Uganda & Rwanda

day 8

Gorilla trekking, enjoy every minute
  • The Primates of Uganda & Rwanda
  • The Primates of Uganda & Rwanda
  • The Primates of Uganda & Rwanda
  • The Primates of Uganda & Rwanda
  • The Primates of Uganda & Rwanda
  • The Primates of Uganda & Rwanda

day 9

Buhoma Village walk
  • The Primates of Uganda & Rwanda
  • The Primates of Uganda & Rwanda
  • The Primates of Uganda & Rwanda
  • The Primates of Uganda & Rwanda
  • The Primates of Uganda & Rwanda
  • The Primates of Uganda & Rwanda

day 10

Drive via Kisoro to Rwanda
  • The Primates of Uganda & Rwanda
  • The Primates of Uganda & Rwanda
  • The Primates of Uganda & Rwanda
  • The Primates of Uganda & Rwanda
  • The Primates of Uganda & Rwanda
  • The Primates of Uganda & Rwanda

day 11

Visit the Dian Fossey Tomb
  • The Primates of Uganda & Rwanda
  • The Primates of Uganda & Rwanda
  • The Primates of Uganda & Rwanda
  • The Primates of Uganda & Rwanda
  • The Primates of Uganda & Rwanda
  • The Primates of Uganda & Rwanda

day 12

Fly Home

View Full Itinerary

You might also like

Uganda in September

In September, the second rainy season of the year begins in southern Uganda, while the rainy season continues in northern Uganda. It’s not an ideal month to visit national parks or go gorilla trekking, but if you’re willing to put up with heavy thundershowers, challenging roads and difficult hiking to find gorillas, then you’ll be able to save on lodging costs with low season…

Welcome to Uganda

“For magnificence, for variety of form and colour, for profusion of brilliant life — bird, insect, reptile, beast — for vast scale — Uganda is truly ‘the Pearl of Africa’.” Winston Churchill penned these words about Uganda in 1907, and more than a century later, they still ring true. Uganda is one of the world’s most biodiverse countries: home to 13 types of primates…

Queen Elizabeth National Park

Queen Elizabeth National Park, the second largest and most biodiverse park in Uganda, is the country’s most popular safari destination. Located in western Uganda close to the Rwenzori Mountains, the park encompasses a huge array of different landscapes, including wetlands, swamps and crater lakes, tropical forests, woodland and open savannah, which support a diverse range of wildlife,…

Photographic safari in Uganda

Uganda’s spectacular wildlife, birds and dramatic landscapes are a treat for any photographer. The best region to visit for a photographic holiday is Western Uganda, where the biggest highlight will be photographing mountain gorillas from just a few metres away in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. A camera that performs well in low light is ideal, as the forest environment can be…

Big Five safari in Uganda

Rhino went extinct in Uganda in the 1980s, and while southern white rhino have been reintroduced in the Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary, there are no reserves in Uganda where you can do Big Five safaris. For Big Four (leopard, lion, buffalo and elephant) safaris, Uganda has two options in its western region: Queen Elizabeth National Park, which is the best reserve in the country for wildlife…

Uganda vs Tanzania

Tanzania is a far larger country than landlocked Uganda, and offers superb game parks teeming with game as well as the incredible spectacle of the annual Great Migration in addition to a beautiful coastline and idyllic islands. If you’d like to combine a wildlife safari with beach time, then Tanzania is a great choice. While you can do chimpanzee trekking in both East African…

Popular Uganda Safaris

These popular itineraries can be customised to match your budget and travel dates

 | Birding Through Uganda (EA 11 days)

Birding through Uganda

This is a safari for the serious birder wanting to see exciting new bird species, as well as chimpanzees and mountain gorillas...

Chimpanzee | The Primates of Uganda & Rwanda

Primates and wildlife of Uganda and Rwanda

See mountain gorillas, chimpanzees, golden monkeys and tree-climbing lions, take a boat cruise and visit Rwanda's genocide memorial ...