Uganda & Rwanda have got very impressive, amazing, interesting national parks that harbor various wildlife, bird and plant species, small mammals and more of attractive features as described below;
MOUNT ELGON NATIONAL PARK
Mt. Elgon is an extinct volcano that first erupted more than 24 million years ago. With the largest surface area of any extinct volcano in the world (50 km by 80 km) The Park is named after Mount Elgon, an extinct shield volcano on the border of Uganda and Kenya. The botanical diversity of the park includes giant podocarpus, juniper and Elgon olive trees cedar Juniperus procera, pillarwood Cassipourea malosana, elder Sambucus adnata, pure stands of Podocarpus gracilior and many orchids. The park is also home to a variety of small antelope and forest monkeys, including the Black-and-white Colobus and Blue Monkey. Birds species can also be found in the area, Elephants and buffalo, other scenery like cliffs, caves, waterfalls, gorges, mesas, calderas, hot springs, and the mountain peaks. The most popular areas are the four explorable, vast caves where frequent night visitors such as elephants and buffaloes come to lick the natural salt found on the cave walls. Kitum cave, with overhanging crystalline walls, enters 200 m into the side of Mt. Elgon.
RWENZORI MOUNTAINS NATIONAL PARK
UNESCO World Heritage Site. The park has Africa’s third highest mountain peak and many waterfalls, lakes, and glaciers. The park is known for its beautiful plant life. The Rwenzori Mountains are higher than the Alps and are ice-capped. Mount Stanley is located in the park. Margherita Peak, one of Mount Stanley’s twin summits, is Africa’s third highest peak with a height of 5,109 m (16,762 ft). Africa’s fourth and fifth highest peaks (Mount Speke and Mount Baker) are also located in the park. It has a high diversity of plants and trees. The park is noted for its botany, which has been described as some of the most beautiful in the world. There are five distinct vegetation zones in the park, which change according to changes in altitude. The park has species of birds, species of butterfly, and primate species. You will find forest elephants, chimpanzee, hyrax, black-and-white colobus, L’Hoest’s monkeys, duiker, and Ruwenzori Turaco.
KIBALE FOREST NATIONAL PARK
Kibale Forest National Park is one in all the most attractive national parks in Uganda with tropical rainforest, and a multiplicity of animals. The most famous species of chimpanzee, our closest relative. Kibale’s chimpanzees represent Uganda’s largest population of this endangered primate. The forest is also home to East Africa’s largest population of the threatened red colobus and the rare I’Hoest’s monkey. Other primates include the black-and-white colobus, red-tailed and blue monkeys, grey-cheeked mangabey, olive baboon, bush baby and potto. Also elephants are present, along with buffalos, leopards, warthogs, bush pigs, golden cats and duikers. A keen observer may spot reptiles and amphibians as well as a colorful variety species of butterflies. Kibale national park also boasts of more species of birds.
SEMLIKI NATIONAL PARK
The rich habitat of grassland, savannah, forest and wetland is home to diverse fauna, in addition to bird species and butterfly species. It is one of the richest areas of floral and faunal diversity in Africa, with bird species being especially diverse. The park has hot springs in a hot mineral encrusted swamp. One of the springs – Mumbuga spring – resembles a geyser by forming a 0.5 m high fountain. These hot springs attract a large number of shorebirds and they are a source of salt for many animals. The park has mammal species, including forest buffalos, leopards, pygmy hippos, Mona Monkeys, water chevrotains, bush babies, civets, and elephants, the Pygmy Flying Squirrel and species of Duikers.
MURCHISON FALLS NATIONAL PARK
Murchison falls national park sometimes referred to as Kabarega National Park is the largest park in Uganda and the most visited. It is named after the Murchison falls where the mighty river Nile bangs through a narrow gorge flowing down to be converted into a placid river. In the park you will see hippos, water bucks, crocodiles, buffaloes, elephants, lions, leopard, giraffes, hartebeests, oribis, Uganda Kobs, chimpanzees, and many bird species including the rare shoebill. The flora and Fauna at Murchison is characterized by savannah, riverine forest and wood land.
QUEEN ELIZABETH NATIONAL PARK
Queen Elizabeth national park brings together the most diverse ecosystem in Africa. Thousands of hippos populate these water shores. Open savannah dotted with acacia and euphorbia trees provide habitat for, leopards , elephants, lions, Kobs, in addition to big herds of buffaloes. The park also harbors primate species, which include chimpanzees and monkeys. Waterbucks, giant forest hog, topis, hyenas, and crocodiles are among the many animals distinguished frequently in Queen Elizabeth national park. The park is also famous for its volcanic features, comprising volcanic cones and deep craters, many with crater lakes such as Lake Katwe, from which salt is extracted.
MGAHINGA GORILLA NATIONAL PARK
Mgahinga gorilla national park is the smallest park in the country, it sits high in the clouds, at an altitude of between 2,227m and 4,127m.It was created to protect the rare mountain gorillas that inhabit its dense forests, and it is also an important habitat for the endangered golden monkey, the park also has a huge cultural significance, in particular for the indigenous Batwa pygmies.
This tribe of hunter-gatherers was the forest’s “first people”, and their ancient knowledge of its secrets’ remains unrivaled.
LAKE MBURO NATIONAL PARK
It is the smallest of Uganda’s savannah national parks and underlain by ancient Precambrian metamorphic rocks which date back more than 500 million years. It is a home to bird species as well as zebras, impalas, elands, buffaloes, oribis, Defassa waterbuck, leopard, hippo, hyena, topi and reedbuck. Together with other lakes in the area, making it one of a birding destination.
KIDEPO VALLEY NATIONAL PARK
Kidepo valley is one of Uganda’s most spectacular parks. It contains one of the most exciting faunas of any Ugandan national park. Kidepo harbors scenery that cannot be found in any other parks in east Africa. It has a profusion of big game and hosts mammal species as well as bird species.
VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK
This is the most regularly visited national park in the whole world besides being the oldest in the African continent. Along with the national parks in Uganda and Democratic Republic of Congo, Volcanoes National Park harbors the famous mountain gorillas, whose tally keeps rising each and every year.
NYUNGWE FOREST NATIONAL PARK
This park harbors a big array of chimpanzees plus other primates and more very attractive features.
AKAGERA NATIONAL PARK
The park harbors an array of distinct African fauna all wrapped in a savannah ecosystem. These include the elephant, giraffes, buffalos, zebra and more wildlife, birds and plant species.