With its dense misty forests, snow-peaked mountains, glassy lakes and sprawling savannas, Uganda is one of the most beautiful countries in Africa and is nicknamed as the ‘pearl of Africa’. While mountain gorillas are the allure for many visitors, there’s an astounding variety of attractions for tourists. When exploring Uganda, visit the following destinations.
Bwindi Impenetrable Forests National Park
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 rainforests, which dates back over 25,000 years. The forest which 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 more.
Queen Elizabeth National Park
Queen Elizabeth National Park is located in western Uganda and is Uganda’s most-visited National Park. It is named after Queen Elizabeth II of England 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 a classic big game, ten primate species including chimpanzees, and over 600 species of birds.
Murchison Falls National Park
Murchison Falls National Park is Uganda’s largest national park. It measures approximately 3,840 square kilometres (1,480 sq mi). The park hosts 76 species of mammals and 451 birds and a lot more. It is one of the places to see when exploring Uganda.
Kibale Forest National Park
Kibale National Park is a national park in South Uganda protecting the moist evergreen rainforest. 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. The park is home to a total of 70 mammal species, most famously 13 species of primate including the chimpanzee, and contains over 375 species of birds.
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.
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.
A major tourist attraction in Uganda, the Ssese Islands are a group of about 84 islands dotted along the northwestern shores of Lake Victoria. Each island differs in size, shape, and exotic flora and fauna.
Here, you can relax amid beautiful scenery, see chimpanzees, walk on white-sand beaches, enjoy horseback riding and windsurfing, as well as interact with the Bantu people and learn about their culture.
When exploring Uganda, you will come across many natural parks that will make your visit worthwhile.