Uganda’s spectacular and ever-changing landscapes, stunning savanna plains, verdant forests, beautiful Towns, and an expanse of open spaces are the reasons why this beautiful country has a reputation as one of the top destinations for road trips. If you are an intrepid visitor, then you will agree that it is not difficult to go off the beaten track in far and remote destinations like Kidepo Valley National Park or the rolling hills and verdant forests of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.
Thanks to the well-maintained road network connecting to the national parks and incredible attractions in these Protected Areas, Uganda is an incredible destination for road trips. Below are the top 5 places to enjoy road trips in Uganda;
Murchison Falls National Park
Murchison Falls National Park is undeniably Uganda’s most popular destination to do a road trip, and that’s not without a good reason. The road trip to this 3840-square-kilometer Protected Area comprises an unmatched picturesque 305-kilometer stretch between Kampala City and the safari destination.
Visitors who take flights into Murchison Falls National Park are truly missing a trick. The 6-7-hour scenic drive from Kampala takes you through the jaw-dropping landscapes that include savannah plains, Rivers, waterfalls (depending on the route), swamps, and woodlands. Pull over at roadside markets for fresh organic fruits or exciting viewpoints for photography, make a detour at Nakasongola (Nakitoma Trading Center) for rhino tracking at Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary, and have a lunch break along the way.
Murchison Falls National Park is popular for its breathtaking waterfalls (which are known as the World’s most powerful falls), varied landscapes and ecosystems, and diverse wildlife and birds hence giving access to a wide range of activities on offer such as game drives, guided bush walks, hot air balloon tours, chimp treks, drives to the bottom of the falls, boat cruises, and cultural tours.
Queen Elizabeth National Park
The popular, beautiful, and aptly named “medley of wonders” is found in the western side of Uganda, and some 390 kilometers by road from Kampala. As you drive for 6-7 hours to this 1978-square-kilometer Protected Area, enjoy views of the verdant forests, savannah plains, tea and banana plantations, hillsides, and roadside markets before getting there.
Queen Elizabeth National Park is a popular destination for game drives, experiential tours (such as lion tracking, hippo census, bird counts, or mongoose tracking), boat cruises, guided nature/bush walks, chimp tracking, cultural encounters, and others. Here, a total of 95 mammal species and over 600 species of birds are sheltered.
Kibale Forest National Park
This is Uganda’s most popular chimpanzee tracking destination and interestingly one of the unmissable places to make a road trip in Uganda. Its 795 square kilometers of lush forest, savanna grassland, swamp, and open space provide shelter to over 70 mammal species and about 370 bird species. A typical road trip to this destination lasts 6-7 hours and provides views of lush forests, tea estates, banana plantations, and savanna plains. Chimpanzee tracking and the Habituation Experience, forest birding, guided forest walks, and community walks await visitors in Kibale Forest National Park.
Lake Mburo National Park
While Lake Mburo National Park is just a few hours (3-4 hours) drive from Kampala City, this Protected Area doesn’t usually make it in most Ugandan itineraries for road trips, and that’s one of the most exciting things about it.
Nestled in western Uganda and known as the “Whispers of the Wild”, this Protected Area is made up of savanna plains, woodlands, forested areas, Lakes, swamps, rolling hills, and verdant Valleys. En route the 234-kilometer journey from Kampala to this 370-square-kilometer safari destination is historical landmarks such as the Equator, community projects, and roadside markets. This Park is best known for game drives, boat rides, guided forest and bush walks, horseback rides, biking tours, community/cultural tours, and bird watching.
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
There aren’t many destinations in the World where you can get up-close and personal with mountain gorillas in their natural habitats. Over 8-9 hours’ drive south of Kampala is Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, an incredibly endowed and biologically diverse Protected Area where over 331 square kilometers of rugged terrains, lush rain forest cover, and other ecosystems provide shelter to over 120 mammal species (that include mountain gorillas) and about 350 bird species.
Gorilla Tracking and Habituation Experience, mountain biking, bird watching, community tours, and guided forest walks are the main highlights for travelers who make road trips to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. During your road trip to this Protected Area, you will most likely have en-route stops for lunch, leg stretching and even explore some of the attractions along the way.