Most interesting wonders of Uganda
Below are listed the most amazing natural and man made landmarks of Uganda.
- Bujagali Falls – Eastern and Central Region. Low but powerful falls on Nile shortly after it has left Lake Victoria. Waterfall is sacred – next to it lives a spirit, which enters people of local family, giving to them high responsibility to care for the waterfall.
- Murchison Falls (Kabarega Falls) – Western and Northern Regions. Waterfall on Nile. Here the river squeezes in a 7 m wide gorge and falls 43 m.
- Sipi Falls – Eastern Region. Series of three waterfalls where the largest is 100 m tall.
Other natural landmarks
- Budongo Mahogany – Western Region. Giant tree, believed to be the largest mahogany (Khaya anthotheca or Entandrophragma angolense) in the world. Unconfirmed reports tell that tree is 80 m tall and there are needed 10 people to link hands around this giant. The tree is located in the largest mahogany forest in this part of Africa – Budongo Forest. Walk in this forest, under the dark green canopy of tall trees gives very special feelings.
- Buranga Hot Springs (Sempaya Hot Springs) – Western Region. The most impressive geothermal region in Uganda with hot springs and a geyser-like fountain of hot water – Mumbuga erupting spring. In dry season here appear also fumaroles.
- Bwindi Impenetrable Forest – Western Region. Intact montane rainforest, one of the richest ecosystems in Africa. Here live at least 120 species of mammals, 348 species of birds, 220 species of butterflies, more than 1,000 flowering plants. Here live some 340 Bwindi gorillas – a disjunct population of Mountain Gorillas. Here live also chimpanzees – this is the only place in the world where both these primates are living together.
Man made landmarks
Cliff paintings and petroglyphs
- Kakoro rain stone – Eastern Region. Large granite obelisk, which is balanced on rock. This standing stone is painted with some fifteen symbols, including Twa concentric circles. This obelisk with its surroundings served as a rainmaking site until recent times in the middle of the 20th century. In some places these rituals may continue up to this day.
- Nyero rock paintings – Eastern Region. Group of some 400 years old rock paintings located in three rock shelters. These paintings have associated tradition of rainmaking, which was performed here until recent times.
- Rock Gong of Lolui Island – Eastern Region. Enormous rounded granite rocks here are forming picturesque stacks. In several locations these rocks have been used as natural gongs by a groups of local people. Here have been found also associated rock paintings.
Other man made landmarks
- Bigo bya Mugyenyi – Central Region. Giant fort – earthworks, built between the 14th and 16th centuries by Bacwezi – the rulers of Kitara. Consists of outer ring and inner rings of fortifications, enclosing approximately 10 km³ large area.
- Kasubi Tombs – Central Region, Kampala. Burial grounds of four kabakas – kings of Buganda. Royal enclosure was built in 1881 – it contained straw thatched buildings with the burials and was developed in the site of royal palace. Buildings burned down in March 2010, the burials were untouched.
- Nsongezi Rock Shelter – Western Region. Neolithic settlement from the 9th century AD. In this site were produced stone tools and pottery.
- Ntusi site – Central Region. Approximately 2 km² large area rich with archaeological finds. It is possible that this was the main urban center of the Empire of Kitara in the 11th – 15th centuries. Site includes two large mounds.
Described wonders of Uganda
Uganda can be proud of very rich natural heritage. Tropical forests here have some of the highest species diversity in Africa, country has powerful waterfalls and interesting volcanic landforms.
Man made heritage is somewhat less rich – but there is interesting very recent (or even existing) live tradition of rainmaking with the help of enormous natural stone gongs – large boulders sometimes covered with paintings and carvings. Amazing are the grandiose works of Kitara Empire from the 11th – 16th century.
Featured: Buranga Hot Springs
Some of the most amazing hot springs in East Africa are Buranga Hot Springs. Currently here are flowing 37 springs which receive the geothermal heat from the deep faults of East African Rift System.
Especially interesting is Mumbuga Spring – a 0.5 m high fountain of boiling water.
Once notorious for the tyranny of Idi Amin, immortalized in the film The Last King of Scotland, Uganda has, for the last twenty-six years or so, struggled to overcome its negative image. It has largely been successful. Rated the best country to visit in 2012, it was one named of the best tourist destinations of 2013 by National Geographic magazine. In addition to its game parks, home to the Big Five, Uganda has one of the largest numbers of recorded bird species of any country.
The Bradt Guide to Uganda, now more than 500 pages long, is the definitive travel handbook to this wonderful but oft-neglected destination, not only providing comprehensive background information to its varied national parks, towns and other cultural attractions, but also including detailed reviews of the ever-growing selection of world-class lodges and budget hotels that service them.