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Uganda Attractions

National Parks & Game Reserves

Bwindi Impenetrable Forest 

Lying in the south west of the country, 414 kms from Kampala, on the border with The Congo, the park covers an area of over 330 sq kms. As the name dictates – this park real African jungle area, with dense undergrowth, vines and a wide variety of flowers and apodisiac plants.

Most visitors come to the park to catch a glimpse of the Mountain Gorillas, but the park is home to over 120 species of mammals, including chimpanzees, black & white colobus, blue monkey, bushpig, duiker, leopard, jackal and elephants in the south east of the park. There are also over 350 species of bird , 202 species of butterflies and over 200 species of trees found within the park

A 4 wheel drive vehicle is recommended to get around the park. Gorilla tracking is limited to small groups and it’s advisable to book well in advance of your intended visit. Bookings can be made tough most tour operators or directly with the Uganda Wildlife Authority.

Accommodation:
Camping facilities and a deluxe tended camp is available a Buhoma. If you have camping equipment, camping is permitted in designated areas in the park. There is also accommodation available in Kabale at the Victoria Inn and Visitor’s Rest House.

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Kibale Forest N P 

Located in western Uganda, covering an area of over 760 sq kms, Kibale Forest National Park lies 35 kms south of Fort Portal and adjoins with Queen Elizabeth National Park.

Kibale is the perfect place to experience the the true diversity of wildlife and flora found in a tropical rainforest. The park contains the largest population of forest elephants found in Uganda but they are rarely sighted. Rich in wildlife and particularly noted for is primate population, of 11 different species, including the red-tailed money, blue monkey, olive baboon, chimpanzee, black, white and red colobus and white cheeked mangabey. Other mammals found are bushbuck, red and blue duiker, Uganda kob, Scaly-tailed flying squirrel, tree pangloin, buffalo, waterbuck and hippo as well as a large number of birds.

A 4 wheel drive vehicles is highly recommended particularly during the rainy season.

Accomodation
There are a number of hotels in Fort Portal, 35kms north of the park. Bigodi and Nkingo villages have basic lodges. Inside the park camping facilities are available, there are two private campsites with with a tent sleeping two. There are also four additional campsites for those with their own tends and bedding. You need to bring provisions with you.

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Kipedo Valley N P

Located in the extreme North of the country bordering with Sudan and Kenya, Kipedo Valley National Park covers an area of 1,344 sq.km. Due to it’s remote location this park is less visited, but it has the most spectacular scenery of mountains and vast savannah landscapes. The park is home to the Karimojong pastoralists. Animal species found in the region include; giraffe, ostrich, elephant, cheetah, leopard, kudu, zebra, buffalo, amongst others.

It is 840km from Kampala and although the journey can be tough, taking up to two days, the diverse landscape past makes the journey worthwhile. There is also a light aircraft airstrip at Akopa At times of unrest in Sudan, the north section of the park is closed.

Accommodation:

Apoka Rest Camp offering accommodation in chalets. Food and drink stocks are basic and often very limited so it’s advisable to bring your own. There are also several campsite located near Apoka.

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Lake Mburo National Park

Lake Mburo National Park covers an area of 260 sq km and is located 420kms south west of Kampala. It is one of the more popular parks, due to its relatively close location to Kampala, being particularly busy with city weekend visitors. The landscape consists mainly of savannah and the area contains four lakes.

The open valleys on the western side of the game offer the best game viewing opportunities, with large herds of elephants and buffalo roaming the land. Other wildlife encountered include; leopard, hyena hippo and a large variety of antelope including the rare Impala. It is the perfect destination for ornithologists, a huge variety of birds are found within the park particularly round the lakes, including Bronze-tailed starling, Marabour stork, Crowned Crane and bee-eaters.

Boats are available for hire on the Lake Mburo Swamp from the Park Office in Rwonyo

Accommodation:
Chalet are available at the park headquarters, where meals are available. Lake View Hotel in Mbarara offering rooms with private facilities, swimming pool and sports centre, situated on land with own private lake where Marabou storks flock.

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Mgahinga Gorilla National Park 

Uganda’s smallest park, covering an area of just 34 sq kms, located on the south western tip of the country on the border with Congo (Zaire) and Rwanda, 510km from Kampala. Mgahinga is the second home to one of the last remaining habitats of the mountain gorilla found on the slopes of the Virunga Mountains.

Access to visit the gorillas is strictly controlled , with only small groups being allowed at any one time and always accompanied by a ranger. Booking to see the gorillas must be made well in advance. Other wildlife found in the park include bushbuck, elephant, leopard, aardvark, honey badger. jackal and a wealth of birdlife.

Tee extinct volcanos rise within the park, Mt. Muhuvura, Mt. Gahinga and Mt Sabinyo. The peak of Muhavura has a small crater lake and is the highest point in the park rising to 4,127 metres. A selection of Volcano Tours is available from

Accommodation:

There are motels in nearby Kisoro and Kabale. Mount Mghinga Rest Camp offering superb views of the Rift Valley and lies under the towering volcanos. Accommodation is available in tents or large bandas, each having its adjoining toile and bush shower. Meals are served daily. There is also a camp of climbers within the park.

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Mt Rwenzori N P 

Lying along the western border of Uganda and covering an area of over 995 sq kms, named “Mountains of the Moon” for its mist-souded, snow-capped peaks. The mountain range has six peaks, carrying permanent snow and glaciers and offering spectacular scenery. In the centre of the range is Africa’s third highest mountain, Mt. Margherita reaching a height of 5,109 mtrs.

This is an excellent destination for keen hikers and climbers, although the higher slopes are demanding and require some mountaineering skills. The best time of the year for hiking is during the dry seasons from mid December to end of March and from June to mid August.

Wildlife encountered in this park includes, elephant, genet, Vervet Monkey, Rwenzori Colobus, Chimpanzee and Duiker.

Accommodation:
There is a range of inns, guesthouses and camping sites in the area, and hotels are available in Kasese and Fort Portal. Huts and rock shelters are available on the mountains for climbers

Kamungha Guest House is located in Kazingo Trading Centre approx 12.5 kms from Fort Portal, on the foothills of the National Park.

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Mt Elgon N P

Lying 256 kms north east of Kampala, bordering with Kenya in eastern Uganda, Mt. Elgon covers an area of 1155 sq. kms. If offers a diverse variety of scenery, vegetation and cultures. Mt. Elgon is an extinct volcano with a gradual slopes to the crater rim, lying at 4,321 metres above seal level. Mountaineering skills are not required.

The whole region is excellent for hikers and climbers, with caves, rock painting, gorges, waterfalls providing excellent scenery. Sipi Falls, at the foothills of the mountain is a favourite destination. The parks has a variety of small game including, duiker, hyena, leopard, chimpanzee, buffalo and elephant and numerous species of birdlife.

Accommodation:
There are five designated campsites at Sasa River, Mude Cave, Hunters Cave, Piswa Patrol Hut and Kapkwata with basic amenities. Visitors needs to carry their own tents and food.

Kapkwata Guest House has tee main rooms with a sleeping capacity for seven people.

There are several hotels in Mbale town ranging in price and quality.

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Murchison Falls National Park 

The largest park in Uganda covering on area of over 3,840 sq kms, Murchinson Falls park is also one of the most famous for its scenic beauty, magnificent falls and high concentration of game. It is situated approximately 350 kms north west of Kampala.

The mighty Nile river divides the park into the north and south sections with the spectacular Murchinson Falls dropping some 40 meters tough a narrow crevice. The river attract large numbers of game, and a boat ride up the river provides the perfect opportunity to see and photograph the animals. Wildlife viewed in this park include elephant, giraffe, hippo, lion, leopard, buffalo, Nile crocodile, monkeys, and over 450 species of birds. including the magnificent shoebill stork.

There are plenty of activities in the park including river trips. game drives, forest walks, fishing and bird watching. The park has two light aircraft airstrips operating air charter services from Kampala.

Accommodation:

There are several lodges within the park and camping is available at the top of the falls but visitors must bring their own camping equipment.

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Queen Elizabeth N P  
The park covers and area of almost 2,000 sq kms and lies between the Rwenzori Mountains to the east and Lake Edward to the west., approx 470kms from Kampala. This parks wildlife once suffered from heavy poaching, but recent conservation efforts have restored much of the game and it now claims to be one of the best places on the continent to see high concentrations of hippo.

Other animals found are elephant, buffalo, Uganda kob, variety of antelope, baboons and chimpanzees and the famous tree-climbing lion. There are also over 500 different specifies of bird making it a excellent destination for ornithologists.

A boat trip along the Kazinga channel between Lake George and Edward is a rewarding methods of game viewing. The best time of the year to visit the park is just after the rains, between October and November and March and April when high concentrations of animals roam the whole area.

Accommodation:
Camping is available at Mweya Lodge and along Kazinga Channel. Other lodges in the park include Ishasha Safari Lodge and Lake George Lodge.

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Mountains

Southern Uganda lies at an altitude of 1,134 meters above sea level. The plateau that stretches northward from Lake Victoria declines gradually to an altitude of 914 meters on the Sudan border. The gradually sloping terrain is interrupted by a shallow basin dipping toward the center of the country and small areas of tropical forest, which mark the western border with Zaire.

Both eastern and western borders are marked by mountains.

The Ruwenzori Mountains (often called the Mountains of the Moon) form about eighty kilometers of the border between Uganda and Zaire. The highest peaks of Mount Stanley, in the Ruwenzoris, are snowcapped . Foremost among these are Margherita (5,113 meters) and Alexandra (5,094 meters). Farther south, the northernmost of the Mufumbiro volcanoes reach 4,132 meters on Mount Mahavura; 3,648 meters on Mount Mgahinga; and 3,477 meters on Mount Sabinio, which marks the border with Rwanda and Zaire.

In eastern Uganda, the border with Kenya is also marked by volcanic hills. Dominating these, roughly 120 kilometers north of the equator, is Mount Elgon, which rises from the 1,200-meter plains to reach a height of 4,324 meters. Mount Elgon is the cone of an extinct volcano, with ridges radiating thirty kilometers from its crater. Rich soil from its slopes is eroded into the plains below. North of Mount Elgon are Kadam (also known as Debasien or Tabasiat) Peak, which reaches a height of 3,054 meters, and Mount Moroto, at 3,085 meters. In the far northeast, Mount Zulia, Mount Morungole, and the Labwor and Dodoth Hills reach heights in excess of 2,000 meters. The lower Imatong Mountains and Mount Langia, at 3,029 meters, mark the border with Sudan.

Ruwenzori Mountains

The Ruwenzori Mountains – or the Mountains of the Moon – rise to very high altitudes along the border area between the western Uganda and Zaire in central Africa. Apart from being one of the main sources of the Nile, they are among the strangest and most mysterious mountains in the world.

The lower parts of Ruwenzori are covered with dense tropical rain forest separated by powerful rivers. Everywhere, there is an immense fertility due to the very heavy rainfall all year round (as an average, it rains 300 days during the year). Trekking here is a tough walk for hours by hard accessible trails blocked by fallen trees, crossing muddy swamps. The forest is very different in appearance and species. Some of the remarkable vegetation in the lower regions consist of plenty of 2-3 meter high fern trees and extensive areas covered by thousands of 10 meter high bamboo trunks swinging over your head.

Sometimes the trail disappears, and the direction leads you through big, muddy swamps. It’s quite a good comparison to imagine, that you have just left your time machine after a long time travel back to a remote geologic age. Most of the vegetation feels unfamiliar and over-sized, and the whole landscape makes you think of the earth in a prehistoric time

Mount Elgon

Rising from the jungles that border Uganda, Mt Elgon is an impressively craggy extinct Volcano. This remote region makes for interesting trekking through deep forest and across broad moorlands. There is plenty of wildlife and plenty to discover. The peaks are ideal for climbing, and shelter a series of warm geothermal springs. The mountain has many caves for the visitor explore. In these caves, known collectively as Elkony, ancient cave paintings decorate the walls, and bats and rock hyrax are found among the winding passageways.

The most famous cave of all is Kitum, where each night Elephant herds gather and begin a slow procession deep into the mountain. The elephants make their way through the caves, following well worn paths made by generations before them. Deep in the cave, they use their tusks to excavate the walls, seeking the natural salt which they lick from the scarred rock.

Witnessing this incredible sight is just one of the many wonders of Elgon….

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Lakes

Lake Albert

Lake Albert is located in the center of the continent, on the border between Uganda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (formerly Zaire). Lake Albert is the northernmost of the chain of lakes in the Great Rift Valley; it is about 160 km (100 mi) long and 30 km (19 mi) wide, with a maximum depth of 51 m (168 ft), and a surface elevation of 619 m (2,030 ft) above sea level.Lake Albert is part of the complicated system of the upper Nile. Its main sources are the Victoria Nile, ultimately coming from Lake Victoria to the southeast, and the Semliki River, which issues from Lake Edward to the southwest. The water of the Victoria Nile is much less saline than that of Lake Albert. Its outlet, at the northernmost tip of the lake, is the Albert Nile (which becomes known as the Mountain Nile when it enters Sudan).

Lake Bunyonyi (“Place of many little birds”) lies in south western Uganda between Kisoro and Kabale close to the border with Rwanda. Located at 1,962 m above sea level, it is about 25 km long and 7 km long. The depth of the lake is rumored to vary between 44 m and 900 m, which if true would make the lake the second deepest in Africa. It is one of the few lakes in the region that is free of bilharzia and safe for swimming. The lake appears on the 5,000 Ugandan shilling note under the title “lake bunyonyi and terraces”.Towns on it shores include Kyevu and Muko, while its 29 islands include Punishment Island and Bushara Island. It is a popular location for watersports and is known for the surrounding terraced hillsides. It is popular with both foreign and domestic tourists and there are a wide variety of tourist accommodations.

Lake Edward or Edward Nyanza is the smallest of the Great Lakes of Africa. It is located in the western Great Rift Valley, on the border between the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Uganda, with its northern shore a few kilometers south of the Equator. The lake was named by the explorer Henry Morton Stanley in honour of Prince Albert Edward, The Prince of Wales.

Lake George or Lake Dweru is a lake in Uganda. It covers a total surface area of 250 km² and is a part of Africa’s Great Lakes system but is not itself considered one of the Great Lakes. Like the other lakes in the region it was named after a member of the British royal family, in this case Prince George. It drains to the southwest into Lake Edward tough the Kazinga Channel.

Lake Kyoga is a large shallow lake complex of Uganda, about 1,720 km² in area and at an elevation of 914 m. The Victoria Nile flows tough the lake on its way from Lake Victoria to Lake Albert. The main inflow from Lake Victoria is regulated by the Nalubaale Power Station in Jinja. Another source of water is the Mount Elgon region on the border between Uganda and Kenya. While Lake Kyoga is part of Great Lakes system, it is not itself considered a Great Lake. Lake Kwania is nearby.

Lake Kwania is in the Amolatar District and Apac District in Uganda. It is near or linked to Lake Kyoga and predominantly has fisheries. There are over 45 landings, although only 17 are officially recognized. Nile perch of up to 10 kg have been caught in gillnets. Some have been sighted at the Atuma Landing. Canoes used on Lake Kwania are mainly planked canoes of about 6 m (20 feet) in length. There are very few dug-outs on this lake. This discrepancy in craft arises because Lake Kwania has relatively higher waves, yet this characteristic is not very pronounced on Lake Kyoga.The industry on Kwania is basically a Nile perch fishery with Tilapia coming second.

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