Uganda, The Pearl of Africa is gifted with varieties of tourism attractions which include national parks, game reserves, unique landscapes, buildings, wildlife among others notably Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National park, Queen Elizabeth National Park, Murchison falls national park, Kidepo valley national park, Kampala city, Batwa tribe, and Lake Victoria among others. However, there those top tourist attractions that make Uganda the pearl of Africa according to Winston Churchill when writing his book titled “my African journey” in 1907. The top ten attractions in Uganda currently include; Mountain Gorillas, Murchison falls national park, Kidepo valley national park, River Nile, chimpanzee tracking, Sipi falls, the Gadhafi mosque, Lake Mburo national park, Rwenzori Mountains and the Baha’I temple.
1. Mountain Gorillas
Uganda has more than half of the world’s Mountain gorillas that were once on verge of extinction. These gentle giants can be found in Bwindi Impenetrable forest national Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park in the southwestern Uganda. Mountain Gorillas are usually in groups with a dominant male as the leader usually a silverback although some groups are lead by blackbacks. There are about 15 habituated gorilla families in Uganda which include; Habinyanja family, a Rukiga word meaning a place with water which was habituated in 1997, Mubare family, Kyaguriro, Kahungye, Busingye, Nyakagezi, Nshongi, Mishaya, Oruzogo, Bitukura, Rushegura, Bweza, and Nkuringo gorilla family. To enjoy the thrilling Gorilla Trekking Safari, one is required to secure a gorilla-tracking permit 3 months to the trekking date, which costs $ 700. The time for tracking gorillas is unpredictable but, you only have one hour interacting with the gorillas and you are supposed to be in a group of not more than 8 people and at a minimum age of 15. There is a chance of spending more time with gorillas when one chooses to do Gorilla habituation that takes up to 4 hours with a certain gorilla group.
2. Kidepo valley national park
Kidepo Valley National Park lies in the rugged semi-arid valleys of Uganda along Uganda’s borders with South Sudan and Kenya. Kidepo valley national park covers a total area of 1,442km2 and is found in Kaabong district, Karamoja region, northeastern Uganda. The distance from Kampala, Uganda’s capital city is about 510 km by road to Kidepo Valley National park. The park is situated in the northeastern Uganda that is referred to as the lost Eden. Kidepo is a virgin destination known to be the isolated national park and was ranked as the 3rd best national park in Africa by CNN. The Ketebo were the former inhabitants of Kidepo valley national before being conserved in 1958 by the British government. The park acts as a habitat for over 77 mammal species and over 475 species of birds. Mammals that can easily spotted in the park are; lions, herds of buffalos, elephants, giraffes, leopards, cheetahs, wild dogs, bat -eared fox, antelopes among others. Zebras also make Kidepo Valley national park unique due to the fact that they are only found in Kidepo national park and lake Mburo national park in Uganda. The park consists of two seasonal rivers that beautify nature around and within Kidepo valley national park thus making it unique. The two rivers that bisect the Kidepo valley national park are; Kidepo and Narus Rivers. Kidepo valley national park can be accessed by both road and air however road conditions are sometimes poor and a 4×4 WD is recommended for a better Uganda Safari Experience.
3. Murchison Falls National Park
Murchison falls National Park is located in Pakwach district, Northern Uganda and extends to districts of Buliisa, Nwoya, Kiryandongo and Masindi covering a total area of 3,840 km2. The park lies in the northern end of the Albertine Rift valley. It is 305 kilometers from Kampala by road that takes approximately 5-hour drive on a smooth tarmac road. Murchison falls National Park consists of the Nile River that passes through the park where crocodiles, buffalos and other wildlife can be found. Murchison falls makes a roar as the water forces itself to pass through a narrow gorge known as cauldron falling off the long heights making it the strongest and powerful waterfall in the word. Besides the falls, the park is famous for its vast and large number of wildlife ranging from birds to mammals.
4. River Nile River Nile
This is the longest river in the world stretching up to about 4,160 miles long. The main tourism activity that most of the tourists enjoy is the white water rafting activity from where tourists enjoy the rafting experience up to grade five rapids. However grade 3 rapids rafting is suitable for those who fear heights thus making rafting experience almost possible for everyone.
5. Kibale Forest National Park.
Kibale Forest National park is located in the western region of Uganda with the size of 795km2. The direct route from Kampala to Kibale National park is 300km, approximately 4-hour drive. Kibale Forest National Park is renowned primarily for its chimpanzees that presently have a population of over 5000 and chimpanzee tracking is the primary tourism activity. Permits for chimp tracking cost about $200. The park is also a home to number of primates, bird species and mammals.
6. Sipi falls.
Sipi falls are situated in eastern Uganda with three waterfalls that boost the amount of water during rainy seasons and roar through the district of Kapchorwa northeast of Sironko and Mbale. Hiking is the main activity done around Sipi falls through different trails that lead to Mt Elgon which give clear view of the Sipi falls thus leaving tourists speechless with unforgettable memories.
7. The Gaddafi mosque.
Gaddafi Mosque, the biggest Mosque in East African is found on the hill in old Kampala, providing visitors with the finest perspective of Kampala City from the top of their minaret at an inexpensive fee of 10,000 UGX per pax.
8. Lake Mburo national park.
Lake Mburo is located in the southwestern Uganda covering 370km2 with about 350 species commonly; impalas, buffaloes, oribi, leopards, hippos, reedbuck, and hyenas among others. Lake Mburo national park is commonly known for the unique zebras that only found in two national parks the other national park being Kidepo Valley National park. Lake Mburo national park has 68 number of mammal species including zebras.
9. Rwenzori Mountain ranges
These are the mountain ranges which are snow caped mountains only found in Uganda and were recognized as a world heritage site in 1994. The highest Rwenzori mountain peak is known as Mt Stanley’s Margherita with 5,109m above the sea level. Rwenzori ranges are also Block Mountains that were recognized as mountains of the moon by a geographer Alexandrine in 150 AD. The main activity is first class world mountain hiking that takes 9 – 12 days with skilled climbers to the highest peak Margherita.
10. The Baha’I Temple
There is only one Baha’I temple on every continent and the only Baha’I temple in Africa is located in Kampala, Uganda. The followers of the Baha’I faith are called Baha’i’s which is the religion that unites all races and is based on human rights and teaching the true values of humanity. The Baha’I temple is 125 feet tall that was the tallest building in East Africa by the time of construction with the sitting capacity of over 400. The temple is designed with beautiful flowers around the compound tourists should not miss out visiting while in Uganda.