The Pearl of Africa, Uganda is a home to eight of the world’s official heritage sites, as determined by UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee. The committee seeks to encourage the identification, protection and preservation of cultural and natural heritage around the world considered to be of “outstanding value to humanity”. Internationally, there are 851 World Heritage sites in 141 countries (as of April 2008). Uganda has a total of three – one cultural and two natural sites. Starting with the first site added to the list, ending with the latest, these are:
- Rwenzori Mountain National Park(1994)
- Bwindi Impenetrable National Park(1994)
- Tombs Of Buganda Kings At Kasubi (2001)
Rwenzori Mountains National Park
Just two hours’ drive from Kasese town-Uganda, the Rwenzori National Park is a slice of heaven here on earth. It boasts Africa’s highest mountain range north of Kilimanjaro. With endless, rolling grasslands, snow-capped peaks, river valleys and gorges, and a wealth of flora and fauna make this site perfect for nature lovers. Giant heathers, ground-sells, Ericas and lobelias of the tree heath and alpine zones also make it one of the beautiful places in the world. Bird watchers can look out for some of the 89-plus species of birds that live in this Eden including Francolins, Purple-Breasted Sunbirds, Olive Pigeons and Rwenzori Turacos while game seekers can keep an eye open for the many primate species like Rwenzori Colobus monkey, common Chimpanzee and L’hoest monkey, Tree hyraxes, duikers, Leopard and Elephants.
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
The Bwindi impenetrable National Park has a rich biodiversity and boasts more species than the any other park in Africa. These include world’s largest concentration of mountain gorillas (over a half of the world’s population), 400 species of plants, 120 mammals, including several primate species such as baboons and chimpanzees, as well as elephants and antelopes and 350 species of birds hosted in this forest, including 23 Albertine Rift endemics. Bwindi covers an area of 321km2 and was gazetted as a National Park in 1991 and declared a UNESCO Natural World Heritage Site in 1994. Bwindi is one of the most popular parks for gorilla tours and it receives a good number of tourists interested in watching the endangered mountain gorillas from the wild.
Tombs of Buganda Kings at Kasubi
Kasubi Tombs (burial place of Buganda kings and royal family) is located on Kasubi hill in Kampala capital city. Four royal tombs now lie within the Muzibu Azaala Mpanga, the main building, which is circular and surmounted by a dome. The tombs are regarded as an active religious place in the Buganda Kingdom– the largest of the traditional kingdoms in present-day Uganda. The Kingdom of Buganda is situated in the Central region of the country known today as Uganda. The huge thatched-roof palace was originally built in 1882 as the palace of Kabaka Mutesa I, before being converted into his tomb following his death two years later.
Looking to visiting the above tourist sites, there are several Uganda tours available from various tour operators. These trips are available all year round and can be tailormade to fit your needs and interests.