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Attractions and Things to See and Do

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There are a number of reasons as to why Uganda is called "the pearl of Africa." Most significant is the fact that it is blessed with a wide range of attractions in just a small geographical confine. The contry is generalkly beautiful with natural sceneries. From the North to the South and East to West, the country is interesting with various tourist attractions. Outstanding are Murchison falls on the Nile; the impenetrable Bwindi forest where an extremely rare and endangered species of mountain gorilla lives; the large concentrations of primates in Kibale forest, the enormous schools of hippos on lakes Edward and George; the many species of birds that inhabit Semuliki forest where the pygmies live, the Rwenzori range "the mountains of the moon" with their alpine vegetation and impressive snow - Capped peaks. Lake Victoria is the largest of all fresh water lakes in Africa. Just an hours drive from the capital city "Kampala". To the east of the country, you find the source of the Nile. You can enjoy the cool breeze of the river while relaxing under a tree, playing golf or just camping. Significant of Uganda's tourist attractions is the source of the Nile,the longest river in the world. Its about 4.145 miles long. The Nile begins its long journey to the Mediterranean Sea from lake Victoria particularly Ripon Falls. A 15 minute drive from here, you find the Bujagali falls; a breath taking sight of seven massive rapids making it the most interesting of all the falls on the Nile. For rafters, the river has the most interesting white water rafting at this section. It is also home to the "Bujagali swimmers", locals who for a fee will swim down the falls holding onto a mere jerry can. Camping facilities are available and the place also provides ice cold drinks, whole grilled tilapia and fresh fish. As the river proceeds North you find the Karuma falls another interesting section on the river. Hereafter you meet the Murchison falls, where the river forcefully penetrates through a narrow crack. This section as well possesses interesting white water rafting. Murchison falls National Park is the largest park in Uganda covering 5072 km. The Victoria Nile bisects the park and its waters, forced through a rock cleft, give birth to the spectacular Murchison falls with a 43m drop. Animals to be found include Buffalo's, Kobs, lions, chimpanzees, leopards, hippos and giraffes. Birds include about 350 species. Queen Elizabeth National Park located on both sides of the equatorial line in the western rift valley. It includes Lakes Edward and George as well as the Kazinga Channel, 34km long, that links them. The main found of the park include; buffalo, elephants, hippopotamuses, kobs, water bucks, antelopes, warthogs, giant forest hogs, leopards; and most outstanding the Kigezi tree - climbing lions. Some 543 bird species have been classified. The park is also a Biosphere Reserve for Humanity under UNESCO auspices. Gorilla tracking is a major tourist attraction in Bwindi impenetrable national park.The park is located in south western Uganda and is shared by three districts ie;Rukungiri,Kabale and Kisoro.The park is about 331square kilometers and boasts of having 120 species of mammals and about 360 species of birds and over 200 species of butterflies. Gorilla groups are available to be visited and one can also take hiking trails to see and learn about primates,birds,trees and butterflies.There are also cultural performances. In the East, you find mountain Elgon the second highest in the country and fourth highest in East Africa, the mountain is known as "Masaba" by the people in the region with its highest peak above sea level. Most interesting is the mountains oval shaped caldera which measures about 8 kilometers. Make it a point to climb to the peak because unlike other mountains you require no technical skills to get to Wagagai. In October 1993 mountain Elgon was gazetted into a national park where you can spot various animals and bird life. Ssese Islands is also one of Uganda's great attractions they contain varied bird and animal life on the collection of 84 Islands. The Islands are located about 55 km South of Entebbe and boast of relatively undisturbed nature since most of them are inhabited by small fishing communities. Ngamba Island Chimpanzee sanctuary established in 1998. Its aim is to care for orphaned confiscated chimpanzees and Ngamba Island environment. It provides ideal educational experience for tourists. Transport to and from the Islands is mainly by engine powered boats, ferries and dugout canoes. Kidepo Valley National Park located in North East Uganda and covers 1,344 Main attractions include the Cheetah, the striped hyena, leopard, lion, elephant, the Uganda Kob, buffalo and over 200 bird species. Lake Mburo National Park located 215 km from Kampala and situated between the towns of Masaka and Mbarara. At the center lies the lake Mburo. Animals in the park include Impala, eland, Rockhyrax, Zebra, Buffalo and the Hippopotamus in swampy areas. There are also 357 species of birds including the Narina trogen and marabou stock. Kasese District, located in the far western part of the country is remarkably known for the Rwenzori Mountains, popularly known as "the mountains of the moon", they are the highest in Uganda and third highest in Africa with the highest peak Margarita at 5110 meters above sea level. The peaks are snow capped and only skilled tourists may attempt to climb. At the footsteps of the mountain, are dense forests. Animals to be found in the mountains include; chimpanzee, hyrax and the blue money including a wide range of bird species like the olive pigeon. The Uganda Wildlife Education Center is another exciting place to visit. Situated in Entebbe just 7 minutes from the Airport and 45, minutes from Kampala, the place has a collection of all the animals in Uganda. You learn how they live, eat, play and communicate so take your time. You also get to meet other people as you stroll through UWEC's 1000 meter forest walk, have a picnic in the gardens and stroll on the beach. Other National parks you have to visit include; Kibale Forest National Park, Zoka game reserve and many others. PLACES OF CULTURAL INTEREST. Buganda Kingdom which was the strongest of all Kingdoms in the country is another important historical attraction. The Kingdom had strong Kings. "Kabakas" and was very organized socially, economically and militarily. It was headed by the Kabaka whose word was final. All the land belonged to him and so did the women. He had all rights to any woman he admired. Naggalabi Buddo Coronation site is also the official Coronation site where all the Kabakas are crowned including the current reigning King. Kasubi Tombs: Houses the tombs of the "Kabakas", located 5 km north of Kampala. In a large hut tended by female caretakers, you see four groups of Insignia which include copper, brass and iron spears belonging to the "Kabakas" " or Kings who ruled Buganda Kingdom. Other buildings surround it housing the widows and some tombs of members of the royal family. Tanda a village in Mityana which is about 3 hours drive from Kampala is also significant in Bugandas history. There is a collection of so many holes which are large and deep. Walumbe "death" who was a brother-in-law to the first Muganda "Kintu" is believed to have disappeared into these holes after a battle between the two. Then on to Ssezibwa falls where the river waters violently flow over rocks into a pool below. A traditional healer performs ceremonies for those seeking love, children, a successful business deal or a good harvest. All these places, sites and many others offer a glimpse in the "life" of the Kabaka's and Buganda Kingdom through activities like music, dance, crafts, spiritual healing and a guided tour with story telling. Uganda National Museum: Three kilometres from the center of Kampala. The Museum houses materials, archaeological artifacts, natural history specimens and collection of Uganda musical instruments; that all reflect history or Uganda's historical memory. Namugongo Shrines: Located off the road from Kampala to Jinja;known throughout the world because the shrine commemorates the martyrdom of 22 men who were burned alive by "Kabaka" Mwanga in 1886. National Theatre: Located in the capital Kampala. This is the main center for activities in drama, music and dance. Performances are mainly done in English and sometimes French. Next to the theater is a crafts village selling drums, carvings and traditional clothing's. Parliament Building: The home of the Executive, Legislative and Judicial bodies; also the seat of the Government, where most or all of Uganda's laws are passed. On the metallic doors are; the emblems of the different districts of Uganda which reflect their respective ways of life. Makerere University: The highest educational Institution in Uganda. Makerere is the pioneer University in East Africa where many African leaders were educated. Independence Monument: It is a cement sculpture of a woman lifting a child in her arms and it commemorates the day Uganda got her Independence on October 9th 1962. just come and look at all the above.

Edited bymorris on 27.04.2004 morris on 27.03.2004

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