Uganda, the Pearl of Africa, is one of the best places on the African continent to see the stunningly abundant wildlife. Home to 10 national parks, Uganda is a landlocked country in East Africa that shares borders with Kenya to the north, South Sudan to the northwest, Rwanda to the west, and Tanzania to the south.

The pearl has varied and breathtaking landscapes, from dense forests to snow-capped mountains, crater lakes, and savannahs. This diversity of habitats makes Uganda ideal for wildlife watching, as it supports a large number and variety of animals.

Over 1,000 species of birds are found in Uganda, making it a paradise for birdwatchers. The shoebill stork, found in some of Uganda’s national parks, is one of the most sought-after birds in the country.

Uganda keeps a variety of primates, including the endangered mountain gorillas, chimpanzees, golden monkeys, and black-and-white colobus monkeys.

A diverse range of animals can also be observed in Uganda, including hippopotamus, buffalo, elephants, and antelopes. With so much to see, the country is truly a nature lover’s paradise.

Here are some of the places where you can visit wild animals in Uganda:

Bwindi Impenetrable National Park

Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is a forest reserve located in southwest Uganda. It is one of the best places to see the critically endangered mountain gorillas. Mountain gorillas are shy and elusive animals living in the dense forest of this national reserve. Hiking in search of these amazing creatures is an unforgettable experience.

The park is also where many chimpanzees, monkeys, and a hundred bird species reside. Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is lush and beautiful, and the hiking trails are well-marked.

The 12 Best Places to See Wild Animals In Uganda
Mother and baby gorilla in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, Uganda | @michael.laubscher

Kibale National Park

Kibale National Park in southwestern Uganda is home to primates, including chimpanzees, red colobus monkeys, and L’Hoest’s monkeys. The park also has a healthy population of forest elephants and buffalos.

The best time to see chimpanzees is in the early morning when they are most active. Visitors can take part in a guided chimpanzee trekking tour, which lasts about four hours.

The 12 Best Places to See Wild Animals In Uganda
Eye contact with a relaxed male gorilla in Kibale National Park | @mogenstrolle

Queen Elizabeth National Park

Queen Elizabeth National Park also inhabits several carnivores, including lions, leopards, elephants, buffalos, and hippos. The park is also home to the endangered Ugandan Kob, a type of antelope with naturally beautiful spiral horns.

The best time to see animals in this national park is during the dry season from June to September, early in the morning or late in the afternoon when they are most active. These are the months when animals congregate around water sources and are easier to spot. Game drives and the tour up-close to the animals offered by several safari companies in Queen Elizabeth National Park are the best way to spot the wildlife.

The 12 Best Places to See Wild Animals In Uganda
Tree-climbing lion in Queen Elizabeth National Park, Uganda | @theafricahub