Uganda Safari , Top Attractions of Uganda
Kampala is the capital town of Uganda and has undertaken a general renovation to attract more tourists. Spread over several hills, with about 2 million inhabitants, not far from the shore of Lake Victoria, the town is also the political headquarter of the Buganda kingdom. Symbols of this are the Royal Parliament palace (Bulange), the royal palace and the tombs of the Buganda kings, Kasubi Tombs, where you can see one of the biggest African huts in the continent. Other sites of interests are the Uganda Museum, the churches like Rubaga catholic Cathedral and Namirembe protestant cathedral, where you can find signs of the history of the first missionaries and martyrs. The Bahai Temple, the only one in Africa for this philosophy, is positioned on top of the hill in the northern area of the town. It is interesting to visit the local handicraft markets, like Africa Exposure, look for some original coffee shop and taste real Ugandan coffee, or look for the figurative Ugandan pieces of arts at Nommo Gallery or other private collections and galleries. If you are interested in local markets, then Owino in down town is a very rewarding experience of African culture as a whole.
2. Mountain Gorilla Tracking One of the best attractions in Uganda is the mountain gorilla safari. Mountain gorillas (Gorilla Gorilla Beringei) are an endangered species of primates which could only be found in few rain tropical forests in these areas of Africa. Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in Uganda hosts half of the world population of gorillas, about 370 individuals. Five of the families are habituated to receive the visitors who every day enter the forest in search of the rare primates. To undertake this activity is requested a special, individual "permit". Another park, Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, is part of Virunga Conservation area shared between Uganda, Rwanda and Congo; at times gorillas are found here, when they do not pass the border into Congo or Rwanda and their presence should be checked at the time of your visit. The activity consists of a trekking into the forest following the ranger guide and spending some time to observe and photograph the primates at a certain distance.
3. Chimpanzee Trekking Being the country of the primates, Uganda is home to many species of monkeys and especially the common chimpanzee, who is more closely related to man than to any other living creature. Chimpanzees live in large community families headed by a core of related males. Some of the chimpanzees have been habituated for the visitors in Kibale Forest National Park, Kyambura Gorge in Queen Elizabeth National Park and in Budongo Forest in Murchison Falls Conservation Area. The activity consists of a trekking into the forest following the ranger guide and spending some time to observe and photograph the primates at a certain distance.
4. Game viewing in the National Parks Uganda is more and more a real photographic "safari" destination, compared to the most common Kenya or Tanzania. Uganda offers several fine national parks and wildlife reserves with open savannah and forests, where to take game drives in search for the "big five" and many other animals typical of the country. The most interesting tourist destinations:
QUEEN ELIZABETH NATIONAL PARK. This vast park, about 2000 sq km along the Congolese border with Lake Edward, was named after the visit of the British Monarch in 1954 and it is considered "the pearl of Uganda". The natural Kazinga Channel connects Lake Edward and Lake George. Ishasha river in the South identifies the boundaries of the park as it borders Congo. The park hosts large numbers of mammals including elephants, lions, leopards, Uganda kobs, buffaloes, spotted hyenas, waterbuck, bushbuck, warthogs. In the Southern area of the park, the Ishasha sector is found a local population of tree climbing lions similar to the one of Lake Manyara in Tanzania. More than 610 bird's species are recorded in Queen Elizabeth. Chimpanzees and primates like velvet monkeys, blue monkeys, red tailed monkeys, black and white colobus, olive baboons are found in Maramagambo Forest and Kyambura Gorge. A part from game viewing, typical tourist activities in the park includes boat trip along Kazinga Channel for birding and wildlife experience, nature walks in Maramagambo forest, chimpanzee trekking in Kyambura Gorge.
MURCHISON FALLS NATIONAL PARK. Murchison Falls Conservation Area is the biggest protected area in Uganda, 5.025kms, including Murchison Falls National Park, Bugungu Wildlife Reserve, Karuma Wildlife Reserve and Budongo Forest. The main attraction is the falls in the river Nile, the most relevant in East Africa. The park hosts 76 species of mammals, including giraffes, elephants, buffaloes, leopards, lions, spotted hyenas, waterbuck and bushbuck. Moreover, the list of the bird's species counts over 450. The activities in the park include game viewing in the Northern sector and Lake Albert delta of river Nile, the boat trip along the Nile until the base of the Murchison Falls, chimpanzee trekking in Budongo Forest.
LAKE MBURO NATIONAL PARK. The smallest Ugandan National Park, 260 sq km, is named after the lake which lies in its territory in Mbarara District, a common stop over from and to Kampala from and to Bwindi or Queen Elisabeth or Kisoro. The most common animals here are the impalas, Uganda kobs, zebras (found only in this park in Uganda), Ankole cattle, buffaloes, topis, waterbuck, bushbuck, oribi. There are at list 315 bird's species including the national crested crane, shoebill stork. Possible activities are the boat trip on the lake, the nature walks guided by the ranger, bird watching.
5. Bird Watching Uganda is the most interesting destination for birdwatchers in Africa. Due to its transitional geographic position between the East African savannah and the Western African rainforest, Uganda hosts a remarkable variety of 1008 recorded bird species. Particularly, the Ugandan forests like Semliki, Budongo, Kibale and Bwindi are the core of the birding attractions. Birding in Uganda is part of any tourist trip into the country; however a special birding tour can be arranged by providing a birding guide. In Uganda the knowledge of birding has been much developed in recent years thanks to training and increase in demand. Destination Jungle can organize birding trips with well trained and professional birding guides.
6. White Water Rafting One of the most exhilarating tourist activities in Uganda is the white water rafting at the source of river Nile from Jinja, on Lake Victoria. This adventure is attracting worldwide interest, as it is well prepared, totally safe and opens to every person who likes to try out the emotion. The rafting starts through the famous Bujagali rapids of the river Nile proceeding for 30 km or more downriver. Book your rafting experience with Destination Jungle.
7. Rwenzori Mountaineering climbing Uganda hosts the biggest mountain range in Africa, the Rwenzori, which is becoming an interesting destination for alpinists or for whoever likes mountaineering. The range includes six mountains and peaks exceeding the altitude of 4.500 m, Baker, Speke, Stanley, Emin Pasha, Luigi di Savoia and Gessi. The main peak is Margherita, 5109 m on Mount Stanley. The peak is named after the Italian Queen who supported the climbing expedition which successfully ascended all the main peaks for the first time ever, led by the Italian Prince Luigi Amedeo of Savoy the Duke of Abruzzi in 1906. In the legend going back to Greek geographer Ptolemy, the Rwenzori are known as the "Mountains of the Moon". Climbing the Rwenzori is a rewarding experience of nature and of the different five vegetation zones up to the Afro Alpine Zone and to the glacier on the Equator. The full trekking to reach Mt. Stanley and climb of Margherita Peak takes on the average 6 or 7 days return trip, the so called "central circuit" trial around Mount Baker and passing by Mount Speke and Mount Luigi di Savoia. Shorter treks can be arranged according to the availability. The facilities in the Rwenzori are still basic, however you will find good huts for sleeping, while guides, porters and cooks are at your disposal to organize the event. Destination Jungle is among the few companies organizing the trekking of the Rwenzori. We avail to our clients the experience of our selected guides and we provide extra tips on this adventure from our information point at our office. Destination Jungle manages the website www.rwenzoriabruzzi.com aimed at increasing the visibility of this fabulous destination.
8. Ecotourism and Cultural Tours Uganda is a country of cultural diversity, tribes, languages, traditions, kingdoms. Each region and district has its own history and the inhabitants represent this through their life style, their economic activities and products. Uganda is mainly an agricultural country where most of the people live as small farmers. It is possible to see the local production of organic crops as well as see the animals. One aspect of the African cultures is music and dancing according to the traditions of the tribe. You can find schools of dancers all around the country. Traditional ceremonies are also locally made, like the ones of the circumcision for the Eastern tribes, or the traditional weddings. Amongst the other tribes, one has been totally marginalised. These are the Batwa Pygmies, the inhabitants of the forest, who are now living in small villages outside their traditional habitat. For this reason, in Uganda you can not find the original Pygmies. However, the ones remaining are certainly benefiting from tourist visits.
9. Lake Victoria Uganda is also a territory of water and lakes. The biggest lake is Lake Victoria, which is shared between Uganda, Tanzania and Kenya. From the Ugandan side, some tourist development is undergoing, especially in the archipelago of the so called Ssese Islands. These are 84 islands, which can be reached by ferry boat from Entebbe port or by road via Masaka. The core of the interest and facilities is the bay of Lutoboka in Bugala Island, the main island. You can find equipped beaches, clean water for swimming, accommodation. You can hire a private boat and take a trip though the different islands, to explore the diversity of vegetation and sceneries.Uganda Safari