Best places to see the African big five in Uganda

Best places to see the African big five in Uganda

Uganda is one of the top gifted countries in East Africa with exceptionally diverse wildlife habitat that stretches from North Eastern part of the country to south western Uganda with secret wildlife viewing not known to many at present.

Uganda is a home to the Big five animals mainly the Leopard, lion, Elephants, Buffalo and Rhinos which can be seen in a single day in Uganda.

Where to go:

Kidepo Valley National Park- Big four can be seen

Kidepo Valley National Park lies in the rugged, semi-arid valleys between Uganda’s borders with Sudan and Kenya, some 700km from Kampala. The park hosts over 77 mammal species as well as around 400 species of birds and the park is Uganda’s most isolated national park, 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.

What to see:

  • Leopard - rear to see.
  • Lion - Common during dry season.
  • Elephant - Common during wet season
  • Buffalo - Abundant all year round.
  • Rhinos - extinct

Murchison Falls National park/Ziwa Rhino sanctuary-Big five can be seen

Uganda’s largest National park protects a chunk of untamed African savannah bisected by the mighty River Nile. It is named after the dramatic Murchison falls, where the world’s longest river explodes violently through a narrow cleft in the rift valley escarpment to plunge into a frothing pool 43m below. Wildlife populations have largely recovered from the poaching of the 1980s; in the lush Borassus grassland to the north of the Nile, elephant, buffalo, giraffe, and a variety of antelopes are regularly encountered on game drives, while lions are seen with increasing frequency. In the southeast, Rabongo forest is home to chimps and other rainforest creatures.

Ziwa Rhino sanctuary sits perfectly 2 hours away from the park and 3 hours away from the main capital Kampala making it the best place to see all the big five in Uganda.

What to see:

  • Leopards -Common
  • Lions -common
  • Elephants –Common
  • Buffalos -Common
  • Rhinos -extinct in the park can be seen in Ziwa enroute Murchison falls.

Queen Elizabeth national park –Big four can be seen

QENP boasts one of the highest biodiversity ratings of any game park or reserve in the world. Almost 100 mammal species and a remarkable 606 bird species makes this superb safari territory, with elephant, a profusion of hippos, the elusive giant forest hog, and handsome Uganda kob all regularly sighted around the tourist village on the Mweya peninsular which also boasts a marvelous waterfront setting in the shadow of the Rwenzori mountains. Elsewhere the remote Ishasha Sector is famed for its tree-climbing lions, the Kyambura gorge harbors habituated chimpanzees, the Maramagambo Forest is home to an alluring selection of monkeys and birds, and flocks of flamingo are resident on the crater lakes.

What to see:

  • Leopard -Common during dry season
  • Lion -Common during wet season
  • Elephants -Common
  • Buffalos –Common
  • Rhinos -Non existent

Lake Mburo National park-Big two can be seen

Lying in one part of Uganda covered in extensive acacia woodland, Mburo has markedly different fauna to other parks and reserves. Lake Mburo is the best place in Uganda to see the gigantic Eland Antelope, as well as Zebra, topi, impala, leopard, and many species of birds. The five lakes within the park attract hippos, crocodiles, and a variety of water birds, while the swamps hide the papyrus specialists such as the Sitatunga and the papyrus Gonolek. Lake Mburo is the closest National park to Kampala and offers a refreshing stopover when traveling to or from the western parks and reserves.

What to see:

  • Leopard - rarely seen on day time but common on night drives.
  • Buffalos - Very common
  • Elephant - Non existent
  • Lion - Non existent
  • Rhinos - Non existent

Best time to see the African big five in Uganda

Though the big five can be seen all year round in Uganda our best months with extremely high chances to see the big five is in the months of May and October.