Top Tourist Attractions in Uganda
Uganda’s most famous tourist places include the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, the Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, the Kidepo Valley National Park, the Murchison Falls National Park, the Queen Elizabeth National Park, the Ajai Game Reserve, the Kibale Forest National Park, the Rwenzori National Park and the serene Ssese Islands among others. Uganda is endowed with dense green forests, snow-peaked mountains, glassy lakes and sprawling savannas. The country has plenty of mountain gorillas, many other animal/bird species and variety of tourists’ attractions which are a darling of many visitors. It is for this fact that Winston Churchill christened Uganda as the Pearl of Africa. Below are some of the highly rated tourist attractions in Uganda that must be on your list if you are planning a tour to this wonderful country.
Bwindi Impenetrable Forests National Park Bwindi lies in southwestern Uganda on the edge of the Rift Valley. Its mist-covered hillsides are blanketed by one of Uganda’s oldest and most biologically diverse rainforests, which dates back over 25,000 years. The forest is one of the richest ecosystems in Africa, contains almost 400 species of plants. An estimated 320 mountain gorillas – roughly half of the world’s population, 350 species of birds, 120 mammals, more than 200 different species of butterflies and many more endangered species. The Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the top tourist places in Uganda is located in south-western Uganda. Its also home to the Colobus Monkeys, the Bwindi Gorillas and Chimpanzees. The park lies in a remote area and travelling to the area is hard task because of the poor condition of the roads. Despite this thousands of tourists visit the park annually that being because of the unique Gorilla tracking facility provided by the park.
Murchison Falls National Park, North western Uganda
Murchison Falls National Park is Uganda’s largest national park. It measures approximately 3,840 square kilometres (1,480 sq mi). The park is hosting 76 species of mammals and 451 birds and a lot more. The Murchison Falls National Park also known as the Kabarega National Park is located in north-western Uganda. The park is well known for its amazing wildlife despite being ravaged by poachers. The park is home to four of the big five’s; Buffalos, Elephants, Lions and Leopards. The park was also home to Rhinos but they became extinct due to poaching and hunting during the sixties and the seventies. However Rhinos are again being bred to be introduced in the park. Other animals that are present in the park include Hippopotamus, Giraffes, Antelopes, Uganda Kob, Hartebeest and Oribi.
Rwenzori Mountains National Park, South west Uganda
The Rwenzori Mountain also known as “Mountains of the Moon” a UNESCO World Heritage Site, lie in western Uganda along the Uganda-Congo border. The equatorial snow peaks include the third highest point in Africa, while the lower slopes are blanketed in moorland, bamboo and rich, moist montane forest. The national park hosts 70 mammals and 217 bird species including 19 Albertine Rift endemics, as well as some of the world’s rarest vegetation. The Rwenzori Mountains National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site is situated in the Rwenzori Mountains in southwest Uganda. The park is famous for its amazing plant life; it is dotted with waterfalls, many small lakes and glaciers. Eco-tourism is rapidly increasing in the park.
Rwenzori Mountain National Park
Queen Elizabeth National Park, Western Uganda
The Queen Elizabeth National Park spread over an area of 1,978 square kilometers The Park is located in Uganda’s Western side; the gigantic park covers Kasese, Kamwenge, Bushenyi and Rukungiri Districts of Uganda. The park is at a distance of around three hundred and seventy kilometers from the capital city of Kampala. The park was opened to tourists in 1954 and has been named after Queen Elizabeth II. The park is home to 95 different species of mammal and more than 500 species of birds. The park is managed by the Ugandan Wildlife Authority. A tour to this amazing wildlife park is must. It is Uganda’s most-visited National Park. Named after Queen Elizabeth II and was established in 1954. The park’s diverse ecosystems, which include sprawling savanna, shady, humid forests, sparkling lakes and fertile wetlands, make it the ideal habitat for classic big game, ten primate species including chimpanzees and over 600 species of birds.
Kibale Forest National Park
Kibale National Park is a national park in South Uganda protecting moist evergreen rain forest. It is 766 km^2 in size and is located between 1100 and 1600 meters in elevation. Despite encompassing primarily moist evergreen forest, it contains a diverse array of landscapes. Kibale is one of the last remaining expanses to contain both lowland and montane forests. In East Africa, it sustains the last significant expanse of pre-montane forest. The park is home to a total of 70 mammal species, most famously 13 species of primate including the chimpanzee, contains over 375 species of birds.
Lake Mburo National Park, Western Uganda
The Lake Mburo National Park is located in the Western side of the country in Kiruhura District. The park is at a distance of just thirty kilometers from the city of Mbarara. The Park has more than three hundred species of birds and has a huge variety of animals such as the Impala, Zebra’s and Wild Buffaloes. There are many luxury tented camps inside the park for tourists who tour the park. It is a popular tourism spot of Uganda;
Lake Mburo National Park is a compact gem, located conveniently close to the highway that connects Kampala to the parks of western Uganda. 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 home to 350 bird species as well as zebra, impala, eland, buffalo, oribi, Defassa waterbuck, leopard, hippo, hyena, topi and reedbuck.
Kampala is Uganda’s largest city and the country’s capital. People here are very friendly and it is very peaceful city; you’ll get to see tourists walking around in the city even in the early hours of the day. Some of the places that you must tour while in the city are The Uganda Museum, the Nommo Art Gallery, the National Theatre, The Rubaga and Namirembe Cathedrals, The Gaddafi National Mosque, the Wamala Tombs, the Bahai Temple and the building of the Parliament of Uganda. Owino market and Nakasero markets are two of the main markets of the city; both of which are always bustling with tourists.
Kasubi Tombs, Kampala, Uganda
The Kasubi Tombs are the burial site of the four Kings of Buganda (The Kings of the Kingdom of Buganda). The site located in Kampala is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In 2010 many of the building were destroyed by a fire; however the Government is committed to restoring the tombs as soon as possible for tourists; as the place was an impotent tourism destination.
Ssese Islands, Lake Victoria, Uganda
The Ssese Islands are a group of eighty four Islands in Lake Victoria. The Islands are located in the north-western side of the massive Lake Victoria. These Islands are divided into two visible groups; the Bugala Group and the Koome Group. The Bantu people occupy these Islands. Tourism industry is rapidly growing on these Islands with more and more infrastructure being developed. The Islands are among the top 10 best tourist places in Uganda.Lake Victoria is Africa’s largest lake in Africa by area and the world’s largest tropical lake with an area of close to seventy thousand square kilometers. It is also the second largest fresh water lake in the world besides North America’s Lake Superior. The lake falls in the territory of three countries with nearly forty-five percent of its area under the control of Uganda. The lake is a tourist magnet and one of the top 10 best tourist places in Uganda
Kidepo Valley National Park, Karamoja region, Uganda
The Kidepo Valley National Park is located in North east Uganda. The park was opened in 1958 and is managed by the Ugandan Wildlife Authority. The nearest town to the park is that of Moroto at a distance of about two hundred and twenty kilometers. The park also borders the country of South Sudan. Two major rivers; the Kidepo River and the Narus River both flow through the park. Game viewing is one of the most popular attractions for tourists in this park.
Kidepo Valley National Park actually lies in the rugged, semi-arid valleys between Uganda’s borders with South Sudan and Kenya, some 700km from Kampala. Gazetted as a national park in 1962, it has a profusion of big game and hosts over 77 mammal species as well as around 475 bird species.
Mt. Elgon National Park
At 4,000km² Mt. Elgon has the largest volcanic base in the world. Located on the Uganda-Kenya border it is also the oldest and largest solitary, volcanic mountain in East Africa. Its vast form, 80km in diameter, rises more than 3,000m above the surrounding plains. The mountain’s cool heights offer respite from the hot plains below, with the higher altitudes providing a refuge for flora and fauna. Mount Elgon National Park is home to over 300 species of birds, including the endangered Lammergeyer. Small antelopes, forest monkeys, elephants and buffalos also live on the mountainside.
Lake Victoria /Source of the Nile , South east Uganda
There is something magical about the Nile, the longest river in the world and the source of life for many great civilizations throughout the ages. The source of the Nile, alluded to hazily in the ancient writings of Ptolemy, stood as one of the great geographical mysteries of the Victorian Age. Closer to home, the Nile downriver from Jinja, Uganda, offers some superb white water rafting and game fishing.
Semliki National Park
Semuliki National Park sprawls across the floor of the Semliki Valley on the remote, western side of the Rwenzori. The park is dominated by the easternmost extension of the great Ituri Forest of the Congo Basin. This is one of Africa’s most ancient and bio-diverse forests; one of the few to survive the last ice age, 12-18,000 years ago. While Semuliki’s species have been accumulating for over 25,000 years, the park contains evidence of even older processes. Hot springs bubble up from the depths to demonstrate the powerful subterranean forces that have been shaping the rift valley during the last 14 million years.