Don't Miss Places In Uganda
Most of Uganda is a large plateau stretching out between the highlands in the east and the Ruwenzori Mountains in the west. Its rich, red soil has been farmed for thousands of years, and coffee, bananas, corn, millet, and sweet potatoes all grow well in the equatorial climate. In regions where the land has not been cleared for farming there is thick green forest.
Only the northeast part of the country is arid scrubland. Uganda is also a land of beautiful lakes, which include Lake Victoria, the second largest freshwater lake in the world. From the lake, various waterways feed into the river system of the Nile.
These are the top ten not to be missed places in Uganda.
Windy Impenetrable National Park
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The Bikini Impenetrable National Park is constructed to preserve the primates of Uganda because the forests where the mountain gorilla lives are being destroyed by man. This park is one of the few parks that have families of gorillas and protects hundreds of primate species and birds. It is a magical place of caring for the few gorillas left in the world. Tracking the gorillas in the forest is a unique experience. The park is about 9 hours drive from Kampala, you can take public transport, but this is an adventure that will cost you about U $ 125.00 roundtrip, you can rent a car with driver and fuel that will cost you approximately $ 300.00 (2 days).
The experience of seeing the gorillas is priceless. The trail begins by finding a family of gorilla (normally has 13 members) and see how they interacted with each other. When you arrive at the meeting point, a local guide explains what you will see and how your behavior towards the animals must be, then you go to a point indicated by the crawlers so as not to have to walk too much and there the adventure truly begins. With the ranger with shotguns, go blasting your way through this beautiful forest to find one of the members of the gorilla family and from that moment, you get an hour to observe, take photos and spend time with these magnificent animals.
Murchison Falls National Park
The Murchison Falls National Park is one of the main attractions of Uganda that has a huge territory, varied landscapes and, of course, the famous waterfall - the park is really worth a visit. The main plus at Murchison is you can choose different options of activity. The most striking impression is taking thee trek to the waterfall. The half-hour leisurely walk will bring you to the most spectacular waterfall in the region of Africa. There are waterfalls that are taller and more powerful, and offer great views of the Nile from Murchison afar and above.
You can go on a boat trip on the Nile and it is best to do this in the early morning before sunrise. You are sure to meet the Nile crocodiles, many birds, and most of all - hippos. They breed here along with the little cubs, and absolutely huge males. You can take a rented car or van and go on a safari where you can certainly see varied species of the wild like; antelope, buffalo, a couple of lions, and warthogs. The savannah scenery alone is fascinating. The waterfall itself is absolutely stunning, powerful, and loud. You can swim and climb up to the top of the falls and enjoy the breathtaking view of the forests in Uganda.
Kabale National Park
The Kabale National Park is a dense and lush forest that is dominated by trees of all kinds and the best place in Uganda to observe the chimpanzees. The sighting is guaranteed (95% according to the rangers) because they live in the forest with more than 2000 of their species. Only a few groups (consisting of a variable number) agree to be approached. Upon payment of the entrance fee , you will be assigned an English speaking guide and a gun carrying assistant that will accompany your trek into the wild.
Walking in the jungle between the screams of chimpanzees until you meet them in a small clearing or on the lower branches is a unique experience. Some of the chimpanzees hold much to the tall trees and they can be seen essentially from a distance. All in all, it is a great adventure because you get pretty close and have an opportunity to photograph them in their candid ways.
The serene Lake Bunyonyi is one of Uganda's most interesting marvels. This scenic lake is located at 1,900 meters above sea level. The lake is safe and free from any wild animals and suitable for families to swim. You can rent a boat to visit some of the 29 islands present on this region. Some are huge and some are much smaller but you can stop by and visit. It is believed that the lake is deep in some places by up to 900 meters. It has rich group of islets and entirely surrounded by mountains.
Lake Bunyonyi is a beautiful tourist destination and composed of complete accommodation and facilities. The whole place has a calming presence and a real piece of paradise on earth. Personal tents can be pitched and there are fishing areas where you can have the opportunity to capture fresh seafood. There are also a huge variety of restaurants to enjoy dining with the panoramic view of the lake. It is highly recommended to anyone planning a trip to the country to stay a couple of nights on one of the islands. The atmosphere is very different from the rest of Uganda and there are breathtaking views and landscapes to explore in the city of Kabale.
Ruwenzori Mountains National Park
Giant lobelia plants grow high in the Ruwenzori Mountains National Park where snowy peaks rise from dense rain forests. The mountains lie on the equator between Uganda and Zaire. The mountain shapes from different cloud vegetation zones. The trekking in elevation is the challenging part. The tour guides know every path and every short cut and have a safe eye out for the animal and the plant world.
More popularly known as the “Mountains of the Moon”, the trail might be a bit treacherous, but you will be rewarded with overwhelming impressions. A guide can also bring you to a local village here where you can see and hear lots of stories from the blacksmith, a medicine man and a community leader. You can also see several chameleons along the forest, especially the so called horn chameleon which can only be found and specifically endemic in Uganda.
Queen Elizabeth National Park
The Queen Elizabeth National Park is certainly one of the major attractions of Uganda, as well as one of the most evocative and charming jungle safaris. What makes it so incredibly special is the shape of its territory. The different areas of the park are a collection of landscapes that are all different and equally lovely. The headquarters of the park (where you can organize all kinds of activities) is located on top of a small hill which overlooks a wonderful view over Lake Edward, with herds of elephants playing on the shore.
In the background, the western part of the Ruwenzori mountain range is the perfect setting. All around a series of small lakes and ancient craters of volcanoes break the warm yellow horizon of the savannah.
The park is teeming with wildlife, and there might be difficult points to see all the main species that are typical of the savannah, but, QE offers even more like ; crossing a natural channel, the Kazinga Channel that is located between Lake Edward to Lake George. It is possible to navigate it with one of the boats of the park and experience a fantastic opportunity to spot at a really close distance the elephants, crocodiles, hippos, fish eagles, monitor lizards, cranes and every one of the hundreds of other species of birds.
Another absolute exclusive of this park are the "tree climbing lions" of the Ishasha sector. This group of lions has the unusual habit of climbing trees. A unique photographic opportunity! In addition to the QE, you can also see chimpanzees. To lose nothing of what the park has to offer it would be better to shoot with a guide who is able to see the animals even at long distances, which will explain the habits of the different species and especially knows where to find the lions at any time day.
Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary
The Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary was established for the reintroduction of the white rhino in the wild, after they became extinct in 1982 by the work of man. This center is definitely worth visiting and at the same time a part of the entrance fee also contributes to this non-government association. The meeting with these prehistoric-looking animals is always beautiful. The conservationists here work hard to preserve the species and they dedicate their lives to a mission, such as that of trying to repopulate the area with some rhinos which reproduce very slowly and not easily. The reserve is good, efficient, accurate, and all the rangers participate and do well in order to see the tourists enjoy the beauty of the moment and observe the animals’ natural behaviors.
There is enough parking space here and upon entrance, it is mandatory to attend the short briefing, then take an easy walk for 20/30 minutes then meet the rangers who will bring you to the middle of the sanctuary, follow, approach a dozen meters up to the areas of the rhinos and see their playful and amazing ways in the wild. The guides give good and accurate various explanations regarding the rhinos habitat and behavior. There is also a tourist council to ask for information’s and read brochure guides. They also have a service center and help animals of many other species. At the entrance of the park there is also a cottage to rest, eat, and drink anything.
Gaddafi National Mosque
The Gaddafi National Mosque is located in the old town and close to the government district and embassies. The mosque gives you a view of the entire city. What attracts tourist most about this mosque is that it is very well maintained. It is a beautiful mosque that is visible from the center of Kampala; the guide will suggest you get on the minaret; it has a tower with a very high vantage point, from where you can take panoramic photos from around Kampala.
It is amazing to learn in this interesting tour that Gaddafi funded the construction of the mosque, schools and orphanages in Uganda, and there was even a palace that he personally funded and supervised. Women can rent a Muslim dress with long skirt at the entrance and have their hair covered, and walk barefoot in some beautiful carpets where Muslims pray. Regardless of any religion, everyone can tour the mosque but taking pictures is not allowed especially during prayer times.
At the Uganda Museum, there are several dining rooms but the most interesting are definitely the historical part of Uganda where there are several display cases of artifacts about the first European explorers to find the source of the Nile. Then there is the hall of the various tribes in Uganda with their tools for everyday use, the hall of animals and fossils, a room reminiscent of the Olympics in which Uganda participated and finally the hall of musical instruments, where a lady plays a strange instrument with much passion and skill. It is worth visiting and you learn so much about the country’s history, culture, art, and music.
Source of the Nile (Speke Monument)
The Source of the Nile is a picturesque location that is accessible by boat from the Port of Jinja Island. On the boat you cross the Nile to a small island where you can explore everything on foot. On the island there are a few shops, tables, and benches where you can sit and admire the views. You can climb up to the stepping stones by 30 meters where you get to a small concrete platform with a sign indicating that this is where the Nile leaves Lake Victoria.
The site can be enjoyed with an interesting short stroll along with taking pictures at the markers and the monument of Speke, a British explorer who first discovered this wonderful site.