The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has some important sites marked off all across the world as world heritage. Many of these are major tourist attractions and draw a lot of visitors to them. Uganda has three such sights; he Rwenzori Mountains national Park, Bwindi impenetrable national park and the Kasubi tombs. All three of them are place every visitor to Uganda must see, whether they be on a vacation, a honeymoon, or a Uganda safari.
Uganda has many more amazing and beautiful sites that in many people’s opinions deserve to be given world heritage status, but that decision isn’t for them to make. However here is a little information about each of the 3 heritage sites found in the pearl, hopefully it will awaken your curiosity and make encourage you to visit these places the next time you visit Uganda, and for you who is already in Uganda, to go and visit these places too.
Rwenzori Mountains national park
The Rwenzori Mountains are the tallest mountain ranges in Africa. Ptolemy called the “the Mountains of the Moon” and put them on the westerners map as he travelled past them through what we now know as Queen Elizabeth National Park and the Semiliki valley in 18888.
The Rwenzori Mountains national park is quite beautiful and scenic, but is one of the least visited parks in the country. Its main attraction the mountains, especially mount Stanley’s highest peak-the magherita peak requires 8 days of climbing, and not many people on safari in Uganda are patient enough or can take off that much time to go mountain climbing. It also requires a lot of equipment and resilience, making it a desirable thing, but quite difficult to achieve.
Most people who choose to visit the par k go on hikes on the Rwenzori mountain foothills, or some try the three day mini –Rwenzori mountain hikes using the newly created mahoma trails from the village of Ruboni where the Bakonjo people live. The bakonjo people are also known as the keepers of the mountains of the moon.
The Rwenzori Mountains are Block Mountains rather than volcanic mountains. They were not created due to volcanic activity but during the platonic shift that created the western rift valley in Uganda.
What are the interesting sights in Rwenzori mountains national park?
You will see some rich and rare vegetation at these high altitudes. Some magnificent giant heathers, ground-sells, lobelias and Erica’s. There are 5 different vegetation belts you will find as you climb up the mountains.
The mountains also have a selection of wildlife. There are about 4 primate species, 15 butterfly species, and 80 bird species. As you go lower you will find more wildlife such as elephants, chimpanzees, and L’Hoest’s monkeys and you finally make it to the foothills you will discover the best coffee in Arabica Africa.
The Rwenzori Mountains of the moon are a scenic wonder, very beautiful and picturesque. They are a sight to behold and you shouldn’t miss out the experience.
Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park
Bwindi impenetrable forest is famous for mountain gorillas and gorilla trekking adventures. It is one of Uganda’s oldest forests. Over time this forest has survived civil and political wars and the platonic shift which shaped the surrounding areas in south western Uganda and the western rift valley.
The Bwindi impenetrable forest national park is quite unusual though and has more to offer than mountain gorillas. Book a safari to this park and you will see some interesting and rare things. It one discovery after another in this park.
What are some of the interesting things about Bwindi Impenetrable national park?
Bwindi impenetrable forest is considered a bio diversity hotspot and is said to have the largest number of trees at such a high altitude in East Africa. The vast thick and impenetrable forest has over 200 species of trees and over 100 fern types. It is also one of the few places in east Africa where you can find afro-montane vegetation in a low land area.
The wildlife in Bwindi is not constituted of only mountain gorillas as some people seem to think. There are other primates such as chimpanzees, rare monkey species like the golden monkey, and other animal species such as leopards and forest elephants and so much more. The forest has over 120 mammal species. For the avid bird watcher, this forest has a variety of over 347 different bird species and there are some very beautiful exotic butterflies. Over different kinds of butterflies.
You definitely want to see this for yourself.
Are there people living in the forest or near it?
When you are inside the forest it is very is to assume that the surrounding areas are all just nature and no human interference, mostly because the forest is so intact and quite undisturbed by human activity, but there are people who live in the surrounding areas, some even quite close to the forest boundaries. Inside the forest however you leave all that behind, it is like you did not just see a very large group of people just outside it.
The community surrounding the forces is very respectful of the boundaries and protective of the forest. They know they benefit from it through h jobs and revenue sharing by Uganda wildlife authority and the local communities so they also do their best to conserve it.
What exciting activities can you do in Bwindi Impenetrable forest national park?
Aside from the famous gorilla trekking, you can track some chimpanzees, hike through the forest and make some nature discoveries, go birding, do some mountain climbing, walk along the streams of water, visit the numerous swamps, walk though the bamboo forest and enjoy some cultural walks and village visits with the original settlers in the area-the Batwa people.
Kasubi tombs are the royal burial grounds of the Kabakas (kings) of Buganda. The baganda are one of the biggest tribes in Uganda and mostly occupy the central region of the country. The tombs are found on Kasubi hill, just a little outside the city. Kasubi tombs was originally built in 1882 and turned into burial grounds in 1884.
When you talk about heritage sites, the Kasubi tombs are the real definition of the word. In the main building of there are tombs of four Kabaka.
The tombs have been under reconstruction after they were burnt in a fires a few years back. But the original structure was a circular building with a huge grass thatched top. A tribute to the architectural achievement using organic materials of wood, elephant grass, reeds, and more.
To the Baganda it is a sacred place of belief, spirituality and identity.
Unfortunately the tombs cannot be visited today because they are still under reconstruction, but they are still a UNESCO world heritage site, and UNESCO is contributing to their construction. Hopefully they will be complete and ready soon and you will get a chance to experience the rich cultural heritage that is held in this place.
These places are UNESCO world heritage sights because they are indeed rich and amazing and everyone should know about them and get a chance to see them. Some would argue that there are many more places that should be labelled world heritage sights in Uganda and they would be right, so as you plan your Uganda safari put these on your itinerary and then add some more, Uganda is full of amazing tourist destinations.