With so many exciting places to see in western uganda, it is not easy to come up with a list of the must see places! Here are the most stunning places that you should not miss while exploring the most endowed tourism region of Western Uganda;
Bwindi Impenetrable National park
This is the most visited of all Uganda’s national parks. The main reason why many tourists visit Uganda is from a nature perspective. They come to enjoy incredible mountain gorilla safaris within the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest.
The jungles of Bwindi is home about 440 mountain gorillas and the number has been increasing steadily over the years. Gorilla tracking, is the major activity carried out in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest. Many people are interested in tracking the habituated families of the gorillas in the four sectors of Buhoma and Nkuringo being the best interesting gorilla tracking area, Ruhija and Rushaga. A maximum of 8 people is allowed to track each gorilla family at any given time and the duration of the trek depends on the family allocated in each sector. Each gorilla permit costs USD 600.
Bwindi contains many other animals as well as the gorillas and protects around 90 species of mammals, including 10 different primates. This is the richest area in for mammals in Uganda and there are many other species to see, such as the black and white colobus monkeys, green monkeys, Schmidt’s red-tailed monkeys, and duiker.
In addition to the gorillas in Bwindi, the birds here are also incredible. The Forest contains some fantastic habitat for a variety of birds and there are around 350 different birds recorded with 23 birds only found in this region. This means the forest is home to 90% of all Albertine Rift endemics. The favorite species to find in the forest include the Turner’s eremomela, Chapin’s flycatchers, Shelley’s crimson-wings, African green broadbills, bee-eaters, Grauer’s swamp warbler, and the abundance of butterflies. Other bird species to find in the Bwindi area include the black billed turaco, black bee-eater, blue-headed sunbird, short-tailed warbler, bar-tailed blue trogon, and kivu ground thrush, yellow eyed black flycatcher, Garner’s warbler, Africa blue and white-tailed blue flycatchers and red-headed bluebill. Therefore, Bwindi is one of the must places to be visited in western Uganda because of the rich attractions it possesses.
Queen Elizabeth National Park
The Queen Elizabeth National Park is the most popular tourist destination in Uganda, which is linked to the area’s diversit best for wild life. The protected area contains many different wildlife-filled habitats, such as forests, wetlands, savanna grasslands, and a number of lakes.
The park has a variety of flora and fauna and it is acknowledged to be a habitat for over 95 mammal species with over 612 species of birds. On top of all, this park has 4 types of vegetation that is, Bushy grassland, Acacia woodland, Swamp vegetation and Forest grassland. The grasslands are habitats to Cape buffalo, Uganda kob, waterbuck, Warthlog, lion, leopard, hyena, Giant forest hog and Elephants. Topis can be found in Ishasha and Primates can be found in Kyambura Gorge and Maramagambo forest.
It is very rare to find tree climbing lions but once you visit Queen Elizabeth National Park, you will find them reason being that it is one of their day behavior. One of these lions are found within the Ishasha sector in the south part with in the park.
You can enjoy game drives in Queen Elizabeth National Park to search for the icons of the African plains, such as lions, elephants, antelopes, and buffaloes. There are over 200 km of game tracks throughout the park. Being part of African Great Lakes region, there are some fantastic lakes to visit where you can enjoy cruises on the glistening waters to scout for a range of wildlife. There is also a fantastic channel to enjoy between Lake Edward and Lake George to see hippopotamus, Nile crocodiles, and a multitude of birdlife.
In addition to exploring the area on game drives, one of the most spectacular ways to experience these savanna environments is by hot air balloon, which you can book as an additional experience.
This is located close to Kisoro and Kabale and near the border with neighboring Rwanda. This is one of the largest of Africa’s lakes by depth and contains 29 different islands.
Not only is a popular tourist attraction for international visitors but also the lake is also a popular relaxation destination for locals.
Lake Bunyonyi is known as one of the few lakes in Uganda free of bilharzia, making its waters safe for swimming. It’s also free from dangerous wildlife like hippos and crocodiles. The only warning to visitors is that it is very deep. In other words, swimmers should take this in mind as they are swimming into the water. The most common mode of transportation on these waters is the dugout canoe, which offers a completely different perspective of the lake.
The real spectacle of the lake, however, is the incredible scenery. For its beauty alone, the lake is regarded by many visitors as one of their favorite lake destinations. It makes a fantastic add-on experience to see some breathtaking scenery. More so, there are so many Lodges around lake Bunyonyi which include Birdnest, Arcadia Cottages, Bunyonyi Eco Resort, Bunyonyi Overland, Bushara Island, Cater Bay Cottages and many other that are comfortable for all groups of tourists. Therefore, accommodation is no more a problem at Lake Bunyonyi.
Murchison National Park Falls
This is the largest national park in Uganda and the Murchison Falls sits as the jewel in the crown of the protected area. The falls was named after a president of the Royal Geographical Society and is the main attraction. The falls, is a fantastic natural attraction which with a few other protected areas create the Murchison National Park. Murchison Falls is a fantastic spectacle with water violently crashing through the narrow, rocky gorge. The falls ejects the Victoria Nile River through a 7 meter wide chute, which cascades down 30 meters to the Nile River. Because of the spray of water, you can see a constant rainbow over the falls adding to the spectacle of this must-visit Ugandan attraction.
The protected area is home to many different mammals, including hippos, crocodiles, lions, leopards, elephants, giraffes, antelopes, chimpanzees, and many different birds.
There are a number of activities that can be done while in the park apart from visiting the top of the falls. For example; Chimpanzee tracking at Budongo forest, Guided nature walks through Rabongo and Kaniyo Pabidi forests, guided swamp walks, Sport Fishing on the banks of the River Nile, the experience on the boat cruise offers good opportunities for bird watching and the game drives where you can get to see some of the big five that is; Buffalo, Lion, Elephant, Rhino, Leopard.
Kibale forest National Park
The Kibale Forest is recommended to any tourist as the best place in the whole of East Africa for seeing chimpanzees. The most popular trail in the park is the walk from the Kanyanchu Visitor Center, which lasts about three hours to visit the chimps and to see a diversity of wildlife enroute. When we encounter the chimpanzee groups, visitors are allowed to spend a maximum of one hour observing the fascinating animals, as they play, feed, and relax in their group.
In addition to the chimpanzees in Kibale, you will also encounter some of the other primates inhabiting the area, such as blue & red-tailed monkeys, red-colobus mangabeys, and the grey-cheeked mangabeys swinging in the forest’s canopy. Another of the favorite trails is the Kanyanchu Primate Walk to see some of the park’s thirteen species of primate.