The Parks Uganda
The park contains two rivers – Kidepo and Narus – which disappear in the dry season, leaving just pools for the wildlife.
The local communities around the park include pastoral Karamojong people, similar to the Maasai of Kenya, and the IK, a hunter-gatherer tribe whose survival is threatened.
Kidepo Valley National Park lies in the rugged, semi arid valleys between Uganda’s borders with south Sudan in the north west and only 5km from the eastern border of Kenya, some 700km from Kampala. Gazetted as a national park in 1962, it has a profusion of big game and hosts over 77 mammal species.
Kidepo is Uganda’s most isolated national park, but the few who make the long journey north through the wild frontier region of Karamoja would agree that it is also the most magnificent, for Kidepo ranks among Africa’s finest wildernesses. From Apoka, in the heart of the park, a savannah landscape extends far beyond the gazetted area, towards horizons outlined by distant mountain ranges.
During the dry season, the only permanent water in the park is found in wetlands and remnant pools in the broad Narus Valley near Apoka. These seasonal oases, combined with the open, savannah terrain, make the Narus Valley the park’s prime game viewing location especially with its dense populations of Lion,Buffalos,Elephant and many similar angulates.
Kidepo’s elephant population has surged from around 200 in the mid 1990’s to between 650 and 1000 today. The African Buffalo population is now estimated at 10,000-15,000.The Rothschild Giraffe is very notable ,breeding more than 50 individuals from the bottleneck of the mid 1990’s population of three and supplemented several from translocation.
The bird checklist of over 476 species with the common Ostrich, secretary bird,northern carmine bee eater, little green bee eater, Abyssinian scimitar bill and many more colorful and visible species.
Kibale’s most popular activity is the Kanyanchu Primate Walk. Thirteen species can be sought, and a good variety of diurnal monkeys invariably encountered, but the stars of this twice-daily show are chimpanzees.
Kibale’s most popular activity is the Kanyanchu Primate Walk. Thirteen species can be sought, and a good variety of diurnal monkeys invariably encountered, but the stars of this trail are the chimpanzees. Kanyanchu’s chimps have been tracked since 1993 and the chances of locating them are excellent. Guided walks start at 8am and 2pm and last an average of three hours, depending on various factors.
The perennially popular primate walk provides the chance to observe chimpanzees in their natural habitat. Kanyanchu’s groups are accustomed to human presence – some have been observed for over 25 years – and the chance of locating them is over 90%. Walks leave Kanyanchu Visitor Centre at 08.00, 11.00 and 14.00 and last between 2-5 hours. Early arrival to allow for registration and briefing is recommended. Contact time with chimpanzees is limited to one hour; group size is limited to six visitors; participants must be aged 16 or over. Advance booking is essential.
This biologically diverse region also provides shelter to a further 120 mammals, including several primate species such as baboons and chimpanzees, as well as elephants and antelopes. There are around 370 species of birds hosted in this forest, including 23 Albertine Rift endemics.The Nahan’s francolin,cassin’s spinetail,blue headed bee-eater and low-land masked apalis.
Most prominent among Kibale’s primates is the chimpanzee population surge of about 1,500 individuals,divided into atleast a dozen different communities,four of which are habituated to humans.The Kanyantale community has been subject to daily tourist tracking since 1993.
Semuliki Forest Reserve was created in 1932 and upgraded to national park status in 1993.
It is the only tract of true lowland tropical forest in East Africa, hosting 441 recorded bird species and 53 mammals.
Large areas of this low-lying park may flood during the wet season, a brief reminder of the time when the entire valley lay at the bottom of a lake for seven million years.
Four distinct ethnic groups live near the park – Bwamba farmers live along the base of the Rwenzori while the Bakonjo cultivate the mountain slopes. Batuku cattle keepers inhabit the open plains and Batwa, pygmies, traditionally hunter gathers, live on the edge of the forest.
Semuliki National Park sprawls across the floor of the Semuliki Valley on the remote, western side of the Rwenzori. The Park is dominated by the easternmost extension of the great Ituri Forest of the Congo Basin. This is one of Africa’s most ancient and bio-diverse forests; one of the few to survive the last ice age, 12-18,000 years ago.
The Semuliki Valley contains numerous features associated with central rather than eastern Africa. Grass Thatched huts are shaded by West African oil palms; the Semuliki River (which forms the international boundary) is a miniature version of the Congo River, the forest is home to numerous Central African wildlife species, and the local population includes a Batwa pygmy community that originated from the Ituri. As a result, this park provides a taste of Central Africa without having to leave Uganda.
While Semuliki’s species have been accumulating for over 25,000 years, the park contains evidence of even older processes. Hot springs bubble up from the depths to demonstrate the powerful subterranean forces that have been shaping the rift valley during the last 14 million years.
This biologically diverse region also provides shelter to a further 120 mammals, including several primate species such as baboons and chimpanzees, as well as elephants and antelopes. There are around 350 species of birds hosted in this forest, including 23 Albertine Rift endemics.
Hippos are common are common along the semuliki river,as are crocodiles,More than 300 species of butterflies have been identified,including 46 species of forest swallowtail,together with 235 moth species.Over 435 bird species have been recorded in Semuliki National Park.The checklist includes 35 Guinea-congo forest biome bird species,spot-breasted ibis,Haartlaub’s duck,Congo sepent eagle,chestnut flaned goshawk,red thighed sparrowhawk.Furthermore,another 12 species with extremely little distribution are spotted like the western bronze-naped pigeon.yellow throated cukoo.