Top 10 Uganda Attractions you must visit
Uganda also known as the “Pearl of Africa” is one of the most beautiful countries in Africa. With its dense misty forests, snow-peaked mountains, glassy lakes and sprawling savannas, it’s no wonder Winston Churchill dubbed this wonderful country the “pearl of Africa”. While mountain gorillas are the allure for many visitors, there’s an astounding variety of attractions for tourists. In this article i am going to full discuss 10 top attractions that make Uganda on of the top ten African destinations. And on this list i begin with:
- Bwindi Impenetrable Forests National Park
Home to almost half the world’s surviving mountain gorillas, the World Heritage–listed Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is one of East Africa’s most famous national parks. Set over 331 sq km of improbably steep mountain rain-forest, the park is home to an estimated 340 gorillas: undoubtedly Uganda’s biggest tourist draw-card.
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park 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 rain forests, 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 and a lot
As well as its famous primates, the park contains 120 other species of mammal – more than any of Uganda’s other national parks – though sightings are less common due to the dense forest. Lucky visitors might see forest elephants, 11 species of primate (including chimpanzees and L’Hoest’s monkeys), duikers, bush-bucks, African golden cats and the rare giant forest hog, as well as a host of bird and insect species. For birdwatchers it’s one of the most exciting destinations in the country, with over 350 species, including 23 of the 24 endemic to the Albertine Rift and several endangered species, such as the African green broadbill. With a good guide, sighting daily totals of more than 150 species is possible. On the greener side of the aisle, Bwindi harbors eight endemic plants.
- Murchison Falls National Park
Once described as the most spectacular thing to happen to the Nile along its 6700 km length, the 50.m wide Victoria Nile is squeezed here through a 6.m gap in the rock and crashes through this narrow gorge with unbelievable power. The 45.m waterfall was featured in the Katharine Hepburn and Humphrey Bogart film The African Queen. Murchison was even stronger back then, but in 1962 massive floods cut a second channel creating the smaller Uhuru Falls 200.m to the north.
Murchison Falls National Park is Uganda’s largest national park. It measures approximately 3,840 square kilometers (1,480 sq. mi)
There’s a beautiful walking trail from the top down to the river, and the upper stretch of this path offers views of Uhuru Falls, which a boat trip will not bring you close enough to to appreciate. Though it’s straightforward, a ranger guide is required. If you take the launch trip, the captain will let you off at the trailhead and a ranger will meet you there. The boat can then pick you up later if there’s an afternoon launch, or you can prearrange a car to take you out. This is also a good way for campers to get to the campsite at the top of the falls before returning to Paraa the next morning. The hike takes about 45 minutes from the bottom.
- Queen Elizabeth National Park
This fabulous national park is on nearly all itineraries, and while you’ll never be far from other safari groups, you’re guaranteed to see a large range of wildlife, potentially including giraffes, lions, zebras, hippos, crocodiles, buffaloes and elephants. The famous tree-climbing lions in the remote Ishasha sector of the park are a fascinating highlight, but many people also come specifically to see some of the amazing 611 bird species that can be found here.
Queen Elizabeth National Park is located in western Uganda, and 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.
Back in the 1970s, with its great herds of elephants, buffaloes, kobs, waterbucks and hippos Queen Elizabeth was one of the premier safari parks in Africa. But during the troubled 1980s, Ugandan and Tanzanian troops (which occupied the country after Amin’s demise) did their ivory-grabbing, trophy-hunting best. Thankfully, animal populations have recovered since then with thanks to improved park security and an emphasis on antipoaching patrols.
Besides the usual wildlife drives, the park is well worth a visit for the wonderful boat trip on the Kazinga Channel and a walk through beautiful Kyambura (Chambura) Gorge, a little Eden brimming with chimpanzees and other primates.
- 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.
- Kidepo Valley National Park
Offering some of the most stunning scenery of any protected area in Uganda, Kidepo Valley National Park is hidden away in a lost valley in the extreme northeast of Uganda. The rolling, short-grass savannah of the 1442-sq-km national park is ringed by mountains and cut by rocky ridges. Kidepo is most notable for harboring a number of animals found nowhere else in Uganda, including cheetahs, bat-eared foxes, aardwolves, caracals and greater and lesser kudus.
Kidepo Valley National Park lies in the rugged, semi-arid valleys between Uganda’s borders with South Sudan and Kenya, some 700km from Kampala. It has a profusion of big game and hosts over 77 mammal species as well as around 475 bird species.
- The source of the Nile
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.
- Lake Mburo National Park
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, waterbuck, leopard, hippo, hyena and reedbuck.
- Rwenzori Mountain National Park
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.
- Elgon National Park
Spread out over the slopes of a massive extinct volcano, Mt Elgon National Park is a good place to spot various primates and lots of birds, including the rare Jackson’s francolin, alpine chat and white-starred forest robin. Larger fauna, including leopard, hyena, buffalo and elephant are far harder to spot, but most visitors come for the hiking and impressive landscapes that are peppered with cliffs, caves, gorges and waterfalls.
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.
- 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.
In conclusion, Uganda has a lot of fun and mesmerizing places to explore, many of which are not fully known by the world. Friendly Gorillas Safaris is your friendly tour operator. We organize tours to all these destinations.