1. Bwindi Impenetrable National Park

It is the largest and famous home of Mountain Gorillas in Uganda. Bwindi Impenetrable Forest is home to half of the world’s mountain Gorillas. Currently, the forest hosts 14 habituated Gorilla groups namely: Mishaya gorilla group, Kahungye gorilla group, Nshongi Gorilla group, Nkuringo Gorilla group, Mubare gorilla family, Habinyanja Gorilla Group, Rushegura Gorilla Group, Bitukura Gorilla Group, Bushingye Gorilla family, Oruzogo gorilla group, Bweza gorilla group, Kyaguriro Gorilla Family plus the two newly habituated groups namely: Rushaho and Kihingi gorilla group.

Bwindi, one of the oldest tropical forests in Uganda, survived the platonic shift that shaped much of the surrounding areas and the Western Rift. It is impenetrable due to thick undergrowth and prop roots, among others, and it is one of the largest areas in East Africa where one can find Afro-Montane vegetation in what is considered lowland area. Bwindi Impenetrable Forest is considered a biodiversity hotspot and it is believed that it has the greatest number of tree species at this altitude in East Africa that can readily be seen as one enters the forest, and if you counted you would find more than 200 species of trees and over 100 kinds of Ferns, including the large tree-ferns. Bwindi Impenetrable Forest is one of the oldest forests in Uganda.

It should be noted that over 120 mammals are found in Bwindi Forest and they include: Forest elephant, Leopard, chimpanzees, rare species of monkeys, over 200 various butterflies and over 347 species of birds. Tourists can hike through the forest from one end to the other, can go birding, climb mountains, walk along refreshing streams, visit endless swamps, bamboo forests and have guided interactive cultural walks with the original people of the forest, the Batwa who have been here for thousands of years.

2. Rwenzori Mountains (Mountains of the Moon)

Rwenzori is one of the highest mountains in East Arica and the highest in Uganda with Magherita as its highest peak. The Mountain is found in western Uganda, demarcating Uganda and Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Hiking and climbing up to Mountain Stanley’s highest peak – Margherita Peak (third highest peak in Africa with 5,109 meters above sea level) takes 8 days.

In the Mountain’s higher altitudes one finds the magnificent giant heathers, ground-sells, Ericas and lobelias. The vegetation that one encounters depends on the altitude, and there are 5 vegetation zones found in the Rwenzori Mountains.

The Rwenzori Mountains National park hosts 80 species of birds, 4 species of primates and 15 species of butterflies. In the lower elevations of the mountains you can still find elephant, common chimpanzee and I’Hoests monkeys and in the foothills of the Rwenzori Mountains some of the best Arabica Coffee in Africa is grown bringing prosperity to the growers and their families.

3. Kasubi Tombs

Just outside of Kampala on Kasubi Hill you will discover Kasubi Tombs at the former palace of the Kabakas (Kings) of the Buganda Kingdom. It was originally built in 1882 and turned into the Royal Burial Grounds in 1884. In the main building the “Muzibu Azaala Mpanga there are the tombs of four Kabakas;

Muteesa I (1835–1884)

Mwanga II (1867–1903) (died in exile on the Seychelles Islands, and remains returned in 1910)

Daudi Chwa II (1896–1939)

Sir Edward Muteesa II (1924–1969) (died in exile in London, and remains returned in 1971)

The Tombs are simply an African Master Piece and reflects the culture, ways, traditions, and expertise of the Buganda Kingdom. The Tombs are thatched by grass, materials of wood, elephant grass, reeds, among other local materials. Kasubi Tombs is believed to be a place of spirits, with many Baganda going there to fetch blessings.

Other sites on UNESCO Tentative List in Uganda include;

1. Mgahinga Gorilla National Park

Mgahinga Gorilla National Park is situated in the corner of south-western Uganda in Kisoro District, 10 km south of Kisoro town, bordered by the Republic of Rwanda to the south and the DRC to the west. It covers an area of 33.7 km2 and lies at latitude 1° 23′ South and longitude 29o 39′ East. MGNP is contiguous with Parc National des Virunga (240 km2) in the DRC, and Parc National des Volcans (160 km2) in Rwanda, all forming the proposed transboundary PA known as the Virunga Conservation Area covering an area of 434 km2. The park includes three of the Virunga volcanoes – Mt Muhabura (4,127m), Mt Gahinga (3,474m) from which the park derives its name, and Mt Sabyinyo (3,645m). It lies in Bufumbira county, Nyarusiza and Muramba sub-counties and adjacent to the three parishes of Gisozi, Rukongi and Gitenderi.

2. Bigo bya Mugyenyi (Archaeological Earthworks)

Bigo bya Mugyenyi is a 10km2 series of archaeological earthworks dating to between the 14th and 16th centuries A.D. Bigo is made of an outer trench system which runs around the ridge and joins the Katonga river banks on the north and south and the inner trench system composed of four enclosures which open into each other.

 

Bigo bya Mugyenyi earthworks are associated in oral traditions with legendary Bachwezi, a two-reign short lived dynasty of Ndahura and Wamala. The oral traditions also associate the Bachwezi with introduction of longhorned cattle which came to dominate the economy of the Great Lakes region.

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