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Explore Uganda’s least visited National parks for a magical experience with Africa Adventure Safaris. Leaving out the most visited national parks of Uganda (Bwindi forest for gorilla trekking, Queen Elizabeth, Mt Rwenzori, Murchison falls parks) and the alike, The pearl of Africa has more to explore. We bring, Uganda’s 4 least visited national parks, which you need to explore on your next Uganda wildlife safari. These parks offer you a unique travel experience and a true feeling of African wilderness. It’s undeniable that most past travelers on Uganda safaris have missed a chance to explore some of the country’s hidden treasures. In total, Uganda has 10 national parks and several game reserves located in different parts of the country. The hidden national parks in Uganda include:
Kidepo Valley National park
Located in the extreme northeastern part of Uganda, Kidepo Valley National park is undeniably a hidden treasure. Those who have been there before reviewed this park as a true Africa’s wilderness. The mesmerizing scenic landscapes and abundant wildlife make Kidepo valley National park a not miss on your Uganda safari. The park spreads over 1442 square kilometers bordered by South Sudan and Kenya. Game drives through the savannah plains of Kidepo gives you a close encounter with wild animals such as Giraffes, elephants, lions, buffalos, cheetahs, black striped jackals, Hyenas, mountain reedbuck, aardwolf, and Uganda Kobs among others. More so, Kidepo Valley National park is home to over 475 bird species hence the best spot for bird watching in Uganda. Kidepo is the second to Queen Elizabeth National Park in sheltering the highest number of birds in Uganda. The birds in Kidepo park include White-faced scoops owl, Long-tailed nightjars, Black-breasted barbet, pygmy falcon, African grey flycatcher, standard winged nightjars, white billed weavers, Abyssinian roller, Golden pipit, Rufous Chatter, Greater Kestrel, Chestnut Weaver, Northern Carmine Bee-eater, and Jackson’s hornbill among others. The vegetation cover in Kidepo Valley National park comprises of Savannah grasslands, semi-desert shrubs and Riparian woodlands among which provide food and habitat for wildlife in the park. The top tourist activities in Kidepo Valley National park include
• Game Viewing
• Hiking (Morungole Mountains, Lamoj mountains & Lotukei Mountains)
• Picnicking at Kidepo river
• Bird watching
• Visiting the Kanangorok hot springs
• Cultural tours to the Karamojong or IK people
• Nature walks
Getting to and around Kidepo Valley National park
Kidepo Valley National park can be accessed by road and air transport. By road, the park is roughly 13 hours drive from Kampala city/Entebbe international airport. The notable routes to Kidepo Valley National park include Kampala – Mbale – Sironko – Kotido –Kidepo. Alternatively, you can use Kampala – Lira – Kotido – Kidepo. Another route is Kampala – Soroti – Kotido -Amuria and finally to Kidepo. The long hours of driving offer you scenic views along the way which makes your whole experience enjoyable and memorable.
By air, travelers fly from Kajjansi airstrip in Entebbe to Lomej airstrip and then connect to the park by car.
Accommodation in Kidepo Valley National Park includes Apoka Safari Lodge, Kidepo Savannah Lodge, and Nga Moru Wilderness Camp all serving you with first-class food and sleeping services at affordable rates.
Mgahinga Gorilla National park
Mgahinga Gorilla National park has remained a hidden gem in southwestern Uganda. Mgahinga is Uganda’s smallest National park covering 34 square kilometers located in kisoro district. However, despite its small size, Mgahinga Gorilla National Park is home to the famous endangered mountain gorillas (Nyakgyezi gorilla family) hence one of the four places to see mountain gorillas in Africa. In addition to gorillas, Mgahinga Park is also home to the endangered golden monkeys hence the v best place for primate safaris in Uganda. More so, Mgahinga is home to 3 extinct Virunga volcanoes (Mt Gahinga, Mt Muhabura, and Mt Sabyinyo) making it the best place for hiking safaris. Mgahinga is also a Centre for Batwa cultural trail giving you the chance to learn and experience the traditional forest life of Batwa pygmies. The top activities in Mgahinga Gorilla national park include:
• Mountain Gorilla Trekking
• Golden Monkey trekking
• Bird watching
• Cave exploration (Ngarama cave)
• Batwa cultural trail
• Nature/forest walks
• Caldera walk
The recommended lodges/camps in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park include Gahinga Lodge, Mubano Hotel, Mgahinga Safari Lodge, Amajambere Iwacu community Camp, Virunga Hotel, Traveler’s rest Camp and Rugigana campsite among others. These serve you with quality food and sleeping services at affordable rates. You can access Mgahinga Gorilla National park by road driving from Kampala –Mbabara –Kabale -kisoro route. Also, fly from Kajjansi airstrip to Kisoro airstrip and then drive to the park.
Pian Upe Game Reserve
Spare time and visit Pian Upe, Uganda’s largest game reserve located in the greater Karamoja region. Pian Upe game reserve is a true African wilderness, home to countless wild animals including lions, giraffes, Topis, Leopards, greater kudu’s Dik dik, and Roan antelopes among others. The reserve is also home to baboons, Vervet monkeys and black and white colubus giving you the best primate encounter. Some lodges/ Hotels near Pian Upe game reserve include Mount Moroto Hotel, Karamoja Safari Camp and Lavender Inn among others.
Semuliki Valley National park
Located in Bwamba county Bundibugyo district, Semilki Valley National park is yet another least visited park in western Uganda. The park spreads over 220 square kilometers and was established in 1993 to diversify tourism products in Uganda. Semulki Valley is home to over 435 bird espies hence one of the top Uganda birding spots. The birds in Semuliki Valley National Park include Abyssinia Ground hornbill, Black Coucal, Greenwood hoopoe, shoebill, Red-necked falcon, African pygm goose, Marsh tchagra, Red-necked falcon, African Crake and Pennant – winged nightjar among others. Also, the park is home to over 374 butterfly species making it the best spot for butterfly safaris in Uganda. Go game viewing in Semliki Valley National Park to see wild animals such as buffalos, leopards, bush babies, Elephants, Mona monkeys and hippos among others. Do not miss visiting the great Sempaya hot springs to on your Uganda safari to Semliki Valley National park.
The lodges in Semliki Valley National Park include Semliki Safari Lodge, Ntoroko Safari Lodge, and UWA Bandas and Kirimia Guest house among others.
Africa Adventure Safaris take you to explore Uganda’s least visited National Parks for a great experience. Contact us today and we shall take you to discover the hidden gem in Kidepo Valley, Pian Upe game reserve, Semliki Valley and Mgahinga Gorilla National parks rewarding you with an exceptional experience.