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Travel Guide: Uganda Highlights

12th Oct 2011 1:56am | By Editor

The endangered mountain gorilla is Uganda’s star attraction.

Gorillas

Of Uganda’s forested reserves, Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is best known for its mountain gorilla tracking. Along with the Mgahinga National Park, Bwindi is home to almost half of the merely 700 surviving mountain gorillas in the world.

The parks also give refuge to elephant, chimpanzee, monkeys and various small antelope, as well as 23 bird species restricted to the Albertine Rift between the northern end of Lake Albert to the southern end of Lake Tanganyika.

Other National Parks

A network of 10 national parks and several other protected areas offers wildlife enthusiasts a thrilling opportunity to experience Uganda’s biodiversity: not only the mesmerising tracts of thorn-bush savannah teeming with antelope, buffalo and elephant one tends to associate with equatorial East Africa, but also lush expanses of tropical rainforest, shimmering lakes and rivers heaving with aquatic life, and the glacial peaks of Africa’s tallest mountain range.

The Lakes of Uganda

Roughly one-quarter of Uganda’s surface consists of wetlands, from vast inland seas to the mysterious marshy expanse of Lake Kyoga. The north-western third of Lake Victoria is in Uganda, while both lakes Albert and Edward extend for 150km and 80km respectively along the Albertine Rift Valley floor bordering the Congo.

The lake-shores have many hotels, campsites and holiday resorts offering first class ecotourism and the opportunity to see rare animals like otters.

The Ssese Islands

The Ssese Archipelago with 84 individual islands is considered the jewel of Lake Victoria. Many of the islands are covered with nothing more than forests, but others have interesting fishing villages.

The islands offer great opportunities for bird watching or just relaxing in nature.