Lovely Sights of Uganda

National Parks
The national parks are beautiful and, on the whole, uncrowded. See the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) for details of gorilla tracking, safaris, chimpanzee tracking and more. Prices in several parks seem to be set at 20 (1 day), 35 (2 days),.. An ISIC student card cuts you a 25% off the entrance fees these days.
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is the primary gorilla tracking location. There are troops reached from Buhoma (north) and a new troop reached from the south at Nkuringo.
Mgahinga Gorilla National Park is at the confluence of Rwanda and the DRC. One gorilla troop can be tracked from here, but its range sometimes takes it into one of the other two countries, so may not be accessible. The Virunga Mountains are the dramatic spine of the park, recently active volcanic peaks. Much other remarkable wildlife is in this often overlooked park.
Kabelaga National Park
Kidepo Valley National Park
Murchison Falls National Park offers a very nice boat (15000 USh.) trip getting surrounded by crocodiles and hippos. The nearby waterfall is dramatic and beautiful, as the entire Nile river plunges down 45 m and through a 7 m wide crevice. It is possible to do safaris – Murchison is full of a variety of wildlife, including elephants, giraffes, hart beast, buffalo, and a few lions and leopards. For now it is still a little bit difficult to get as independent traveller. Take an early bus to Masindi and then try to arrange for transport to bring you to the park. With some luck you could get a free ride with the rangers.
Queen Elizabeth National Park has several parts to it, but the main section between Lake Edward and Lake George is a more concentrated version of East African parks as far as animals are concerned, although with less splendid vistas unless the mist-shrouded Ruwenzori Mountains are visible. The Ugandan Kob is an endemic antelope (and is on the coat of arms along with the crested crane, including on currency). Worth considering is a drive among volcanic crater lakes on the south edge of the Ruwenzoris, but tsetse flies have been a problem recently, so ask before setting off.
Kibale Forest National Park near the town of Fort Portal is famed for chimpanzee tracking and is highly recommended. Twitchers will know that some of the best birding in central Africa is here too. The Kasese Crater Lakes are in the area.
Rwenzori National Park is a mountain range in south-west Uganda bordering the Democratic Republic of Congo. It is 120 km long and 48 km wide with its highest peak at Mt. Stanley (5109 m). The range was first described in the 2nd century by ancient Greek astronomer Ptolemy as the Mountains of the moon, and first ascended in 1896 by Italian explorers. By the end of 2006, its ice cap has retreated from 2.5 square miles (6.4 square kilometers) a century ago, to less than a half square mile (1.28 square kilometers). In the Rwenzori Mountains near Fort Portal you find Mitandi. The place represents an unique opportunity to explore the mountains and get to know the culture of the local Bakonzo mountain people.
Islands
Ssese Islands is a beautiful stretch of islands on Victoria Lake with isolated beaches and a bit of jungle. Jungle walks you could easily manage on your own, spending half a day. Beware that there is bilharzia in Victoria Lake, so if you swim, go check up with the doctor afterwards. However, you can expect to spend around 8 hours getting to the Ssese islands. As an alternative, Busi island can be reached in around 45 minutes from Entebbe. there is a camp site, with a small number of beds in a dorm and some bandas which are presently under construction.
The accommodations provided in the national parks by UWA are generally of a good standard and are quite inexpensive compared to alternatives. They vary in amenities and price, and the cheapest can be as little as USD5.00 or less per person per night.
Few moderately priced options are available, and the high end, while expensive, are substandard compared to the high end options of Kenya, Tanzania, South Africa and other mature tourist destinations in Africa. Unfortunately, few alternatives are available. There are some notable exceptions, but best to go either highest end or stay in the UWA budget accommodations and spend more on a better vehicle!
What to do in Uganda during tour ?
Go on gorilla tracking. You’ll need to buy a permit which must be booked long time ahead due to limited availability (only few tourists are taken near the gorillas a day, in order not to disturb them). With a permit in hand, you are allowed 1 hour on very close hand of a group of the highly endangered mountain gorilla in their natural habitat. Uganda Wildlife Authority handles the sale of permits which cost several hundreds US dollars each.
Rafting on the Nile. Uganda is a world class rafting destination and several companies arrange trips down the Nile – from half a day to 3-day trips, from peaceful family trips to very adventurous grade 5 rafting. 75 US$ will buy you a rafting adventure with transport from Kampala and food and drink included. Nalubale Rafting comes highly recommended.
Quadbiking. Near the Spring of the Nile you can rent quad bikes (a 4-wheeled motorbike – also known as All Terrain Bike) for a speedy (and dusty) sightseeing trip with a local guide.
Go to Sipi, about 1 hour from Mbale. It’s a beautiful little town on top of a hill, sporting fantastic views on and hikes to waterfalls. If you don’t feel like having a guide, tell them that you’d like to do it yourself and eventually they will leave you alone. Great place to stay over night in Sipi is the Crow’s nest with amazing views onto the waterfalls.

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