Game Drive & Wildlife Viewing in Uganda

Game Drive & Wildlife Viewing in Uganda are activities that are done in the savannah national parks whereby travelers take a ride in the park to view the animals.

This article briefly describes the major parks in Uganda that are favorable for the game drive. Game Viewing in Uganda are carried out either in the Morning, afternoon or night time within the major 4 national parks including Murchison Falls National park, Queen Elizabeth national park, Kidepo valley national park, and Lake Mburo national park. This is due to the nature of the vegetation that exists in these parks offering enough food for the wildlife to feast on and reproduce thus creating a scenic view during the drive.

Game drive in Murchison falls National Park 

Murchison Falls Park is the largest and oldest park in Uganda located in Northwest with in Masindi district which is a 5-6 hours’ drive from the capital city of Uganda-Kampala covering a landscape of 3,840km2 and best known for harboring several wildlife including mammals that attract several visitors all over the universe for a melodious game drive with in different trails including the Victoria trail, Buligi trail, and Albert trail. The commonly used trail during the game drive is the Buligi trail (7km) which starts at Paraa and offers a wide range of games with in the park. Murchison Falls National Park offers both morning game drive, evening game drive, night game, and full day game drive carried out in the northern part of the park which is congested with lots of wildlife and few mammals are scattered in the southern bank of Nile River. During the drive be sure to view several mammals including the Buffalos, elephants, lions, hartebeest, warthogs, waterbucks normally seen during the morning game drive as they feast on vegetation. Other mammals such as hyenas and leopards which are nocturnal mammals are usually seen during the night game drive as they enjoy hiding during the day and move out of their hideouts at night to hunt for food. During the drives in Murchison falls park, keep alert for possibilities of watching other wildlife that dwells in the park including over 450 bird species including the bee-eaters, around 250 butterfly species, and several plant species and about 10 primate species that all call  Murchison falls their home. The best season to visit Murchison falls is during the dry season when all the mammals are seen flocking the Uganda’s largest fall in search of water and in this season, the vegetation is short and roads in good conditions for easy viewing during the game drive. Since Murchison falls harbors 4 mammals of the big five mammals, visiting Ziwa rhino sanctuary on the way to Murchison won’t be a bad idea as it will sum up the big five in Uganda

Game drive in Lake Mburo National Park

Lake Mburo National Park is harbors over 70 mammals including Zebras including the rare Burch ell zebra and eland which are only found in two parks in Uganda that is Kidepo Valley and Lake Mburo national park, buffalos, topis, duikers, bushbuck, sitatunga, oribi, among others that are all seen during the morning and evening game drive while taking a night game drive offers the higher chances of encountering the Leopards as thy return from the hideout. Both morning game drive, evening game drive, and night game drives in Lake Mburo national park offer different views of several wildlife including the Impalas which are seen moving unbothered in only Lake Mburo national park so in case you are interested in having a close view of impalas than Lake Mburo national park got you covered. During the morning game drive, several bird species are also seen alongside mammals and these include the crested crane which is Uganda’s national bird, the rare shoe bill stork, weaverbirds, woodpeckers among others. Lake Mburo national park is truly the best destination for the drive due to nature of the land scape being flat with savanna grassland and shrubs. 

Game drive in Kidepo valley national park 

The nature of Kidepo valley national park situated in the wilderness far northeast extreme end of Uganda in border with Kenya and Sudan with thick blush offers magnificent and Seductive views of several wildlife species including the more than 80 species of mammals including the Burchell’s Zebra which are only found in two parks in Uganda that is Kidepo valley park and lake Mburo national park, elephants buffaloes, eland, Oryx, reedbuck, and the Rothschild giraffe which are all seen during the morning game drive. Carnivores such as Foxes and Leopards are always seen during the night game drive with the help of armed rangers and sport lights. During the drive in the park. However lions are seen during the day as they prey on other mammals in the park.  Look around for several bird species since the park also harbors around 480 bird species making the park a birder’s haven. Some of the bird species encountered in the park include; Ostrich, Egyptian vultures, long-tailed nightjar, black-breasted barbet, Verreaux’s eagle, Karamoja Apalis among others. Kidepo valley national park can be reached either by road which is around 12 hours’ drive from Kampala the capital city of Uganda or by air using the charter flights from Kajjansi airstrip with a stopover to Murchison falls and then to Kidepo. During landing and takeover in the park, keep your eyes open to the ground as you will spot several mammals, ranges of mount Morungole and the entire savanna plain just from above. After the drive, one can decide to visit the local communities of the Karamojong and Ik people who are the minority people in Uganda

Game drive in Queen Elizabeth national park 

Game drive in Uganda is really incomplete not until you visit Queen Elizabeth national park for a fascinating drive with in different sectors including ishasha sector best known for the mighty tree climbing lions which are always seen sleeping unbothered in tree branches as they watch the Uganda Kobs which are their major meal especially during the afternoon game drive. It is important to note that these tree-climbing lions are only found in two countries in Africa and that it Uganda with in Queen Elizabeth national park and Tanzania in Lake Manyara national park. Taking a morning game drive in kasenyi plains in the northern part of the park towards north Kazinga channel offers a wide range of views of several mammals including elephants, Uganda kob, buffalos, warthogs, antelopes, Hippos, crocodiles, giant hog among others. However taking a night game drive offers the best sightings of the nocturnal mammals and hunters including the leopards as they move out of hideout to hunt in the night. A drive to kyambura gorge with in queen offers several primate species including the chimpanzees which are available for trekking at any given period of time, baboons which always line up along the way as they search in visitors vehicles for food, black and white colobus monkeys among others that make Queen Elizabeth the best park to visit for a drive tour in Uganda since it harbors the highest population of mammals than any other park in Uganda not forgetting over 600 bird species that call this park their home such as rare shoebill stork, black bee-eaters, vultures, African skimmers among others that can be seen during the drive in the park. Queen Elizabeth can be accessed either by road which is around 7hours’ drive via Kampala- Mbarara- Kasese or via fortpotal sand finally to mweya peninsular where the park headquarters are strategically positioned or by booking charter flights direct to mweya airstrip within mweya peninsular in the northern part of the park or to Kasese airstrip.

Game Drive & Game Viewing in Uganda
Game Drive & Game Viewing in Uganda

Conclusion

Uganda is still leading when it comes to game drive due to existence of several wildlife species and the favorable climatic conditions that are exhibited in the tropical rainforests of Uganda the pearl of Africa.so come and experience the true definition of the “Pearl of Africa”