On my 4th trip to the African continent (6th if you include Morocco and Egypt), I was lucky enough to finally visit Uganda, which was on my bucket list for AGES! Although the country is too large to navigate completely independently, I still managed to see a lot of the beautiful sights on offer. A handful of the most majestic gems in Uganda I have listed below.
The Kasubi Tombs in Kampala, Uganda, is the site of the burial grounds for four kabakas (kings of Buganda) and other members of the Baganda royal family. As a result, the site remains an important spiritual and political site for the Ganda people, as well as an important example of traditional architecture. It became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2001 and has been a popular tourist attraction since.
Kidepo Valley National park is located in Kaabong District, in the north-eastern corner of Uganda. The park is approximately 220km by road northwest of Moroto, the largest town in the region. The north-western boundary of the park runs along the international frontier with South Sudan, and perennial water from the Kidepo River makes Kidepo Valley National Park an oasis in the desert. The park is famous for its spotted hyenas, Congo lions, Tanzanian cheetahs, leopards, wild dogs, elephants, giraffes, zebras, Cape buffaloes, and Rothschild’s giraffes!
Lake Victoria is one of the African Great Lakes. It is also the location of the town of Jinja, which has long been a backpacker hideaway in the region, and the pleasant Ssese Islands, more than 40 of which are scattered around the water. Wildlife in this great lake includes hippopotamus and Nile crocodiles. There are passenger ferries that navigate Lake Victoria and can be an effective way of travel between Tanzania and Uganda, however the safety record of these ferries is poor and they regularly capsize (not good in crocodile-infested waters).
Murchison Falls is a spectacular waterfall amidst the largest national park in Uganda. At the top of Murchison Falls, the Nile forces its way through a gap in the rocks, only 7 metres wide, and tumbles 43 metres downward, before flowing westward into Lake Albert. This is a major tourist destination and the area offers some amazing panoramic views – even though it also is home to Uganda’s largest population of crocodiles (and the odd lion and leopard)!
Bwindi Impenetrable Forest is a large primeval forest located in south-western Uganda in the Kanungu District. The forest is on the edge of the Albertine Rift, the western branch of the East African Rift, at altitudes ranging from 1,160 metres to 2,607 metres. The name “Bwindi” is derived from the Runyakitara language and means “impenetrable”, and this comes from the extensive stands of bamboo interspersed amongst the larger forest hardwoods, and which, along with thick ground cover of ferns, vines, and other plant growth, severely hinder direct access on foot. The forest is one of the most biologically diverse areas on Earth, where half the world’s population of the highly endangered mountain gorillas live in its jungles. Chimpanzees and elephants can also be spotted here if very lucky, but obviously most people come to Bwindi for the gorilla-trekking.