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UGANDA WILDLIFE AUTHORITY Celebrating 20 years of Wildlife Conservation in Uganda 1996-2016

Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) was established in August 1996 by the Uganda Wildlife Statute, which merged the Uganda National Parks and the Game Department. It is governed by a Board of trustees appointed by the Minister for Tourism and Antiquities. UWA is responsible for 10 National Parks, 12 Wildlife reserves 5 Community Wildlife Management Areas and 13 Wildlife Sanctuaries Our Mission To conserve, economically develop and sustainably manage the wildlife and protected areas of Uganda in partnership with the neighbouring communities and other stakeholders for the benefit of Uganda and the global community.

herds and its unique, beautiful and virgin angulated hills offer a wonderful experience while the Rwenzoris with their chain canopy of striking glacier offers a mystical challenge littered with majestic sceneries across the entire mountain spectrum.

Our Vision To be a leading self-sustaining Conservation agency with healthy ecosystems that transforms Uganda into an outstanding ecotourism destination in the world.

The World’s Greatest Waterfall Murchison Falls National Park lies at the northern end of the Albertine Rift Valley, where the sweeping Bunyoro escarpment tumbles into vast, palm-dotted savannah. First gazetted as a game reserve in 1926, it is Uganda’s largest and oldest conservation area, hosting 76 species of mammals and 451 birds. The park is bisected by the Victoria Nile, which plunges 45m over the remnant rift valley wall, creating the dramatic Murchison Falls, the centrepiece of the park and the final event in an 80km stretch of rapids. The mighty cascade drains the last of the river’s energy, transforming it into a broad, placid stream that flows quietly across the rift valley floor into Lake Albert. At Murchison Falls, the Nile squeezes through an 8m wide gorge and plunges with a thunderous roar into the “Devil’s Cauldron”, creating a trademark rainbow.

The stunning lushness of Uganda’s national parks combined with spectacular landscapes, provides the setting for some of the Africa’s most memorable visitor experiences. Mountain gorilla tracking in the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park offers the best viewing opportunity in the world for these rare primates, and is the highlight of any trip to Uganda. Unforgettable encounters with chimpanzees during walks in the tranquil forests in and around Murchison Falls, Queen Elizabeth and Kibale National Parks are part of the reason why visitor numbers to Uganda’s protected areas are once again on the rise. Kidepo’s breath taking sceneries with huge buffalo

Murchison Falls National Park

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This stretch of river provides one of Uganda’s most remarkable wildlife spectacles. Regular visitors to the riverbanks include elephants, giraffes and buffaloes; while hippos, Nile crocodiles and aquatic birds are permanent residents. ACCESSIBILITY ROADS A number of routes can be used to reach the Nile at Paraa at the heart of the Murchison Falls Conservation Area. The river is crossed here using a vehicle ferry which runs at roughly hourly intervals throughout the day. SOUTHERN ENTRANCE GATES Two southerly approaches to Paraa lead out of Masindi town, which is a 4 hour drive (305km) from Kampala. Along the way to Masindi is the Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary, home to the only wild rhinos in Uganda. You can track them on foot and support this important initiative to reintroduce rhinos to protected areas. Visit for more information. A longer but more scenic alternative runs for 135km from Masindi to the park’s Bugungu gate, The route includes a passage through Budongo Forest and a memorable descent of the rift valley escarpment with views across Lake Albert towards the mountains of the Congo. NORTHERN ENTRANCE GATES Murchison Falls National Park can also be entered via the Chobe, Wankwar, Mubako and Tangi gates north of the Nile. These are reached from the Kampala-Pakwach Road which crosses the Nile at Karuma Falls Bridge in the northeastern corner of the park, 260km from Kampala. These gates are convenient for visitors travelling to/from Gulu town and Kidepo Valley National Park. AIR TRAVEL Pakuba Airfield, 19km from North Paraa, can be reached using chartered aircraft from Entebbe International Airport or Kajjansi airfield near Kampala. Other airfields in the park include: Chobe to the east, and Bugungu near Murchison Falls to the south.


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ACTIVITIES BIRDING Both the game drives and the launch trips offer an opportunity for one to come across distinct birdlife, including savannah forest birds, water birds and Albertine Rift endemics. The park’s main birding attraction is the Shoebill, best sighted in the dry season from January-March.

LAUNCH TRIPS The launch trip upstream from Paraa presents an astonishing display of wildlife and culminates with the memorable frontal view of the Falls. Recommended for birders is a morning cruise downstream to the Nile-Lake Albert Delta. Alternatively, a tranquil sundowner cruise offers the classic view of an equatorial sunset reflected on the river.

GAME DRIVES A game drive around the Buligi game tracks on the northern bank with a trained ranger guide is a fantastic way to see and photograph the wide range of animals in the Nile Valley. Your guide will have a good idea where the lions are hiding, and you may even spot a leopard at dusk!

SPORT FISHING The banks of the Nile below Murchison Falls provide exciting challenges to anglers. Living within strong currents and highly oxygenated water is the Nile perch. There is the chance to land a massive catch the record is 108kg!

HIKING AND NATURE WALKS The vast landscapes and varied scenery of Murchison Falls National Park and the surrounding Conservation Area can be explored on foot. Trails through Kaniyo Pabidi and Rabongo Forests provide sightings of many primates and birds, while around the Nile Delta, 2-4 hour guided swamp walks offer possible Shoebill sightings.

CULTURAL ENCOUNTERS Energetic dancers from Mubako perform around lodge campfires, making for a magical African experience at dusk. Boomu Women’s Group offers accommodation, a craft shop and village tours, revealing the realities of life in this rural community.

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Mt. Elgon National Park The World Largest Mountain Caldera

Mount Elgon at 4000km2 has the largest volcanic base in the world and is a massive solitary volcanic mountain on the border of eastern Uganda and western Kenya. Its vast form, 80km in diameter, rises 3000m above the surrounding plains. Its mountainous regional landscape and cool heights offer respite for humans from the hot plains below and its higher altitudes provide refuge for flora and fauna. The park is home to over 300 species of birds, including the endangered Lammergeyer. Small antelopes, forest monkeys, elephants and buffalos also live on the mountainside. The higher slopes are protected by national parks in Uganda and Kenya, creating an extensive trans-boundary conservation area which has been declared a UNESCO Man & Biosphere Reserve. ACCESSIBILITY ROADS Mount Elgon National Park lies 235km east of Kampala. A tarmac road runs through Jinja to Mbale town at the western base of Mount Elgon, before climbing to Kapchorwa on the mountain’s north-western flank. Dirt roads lead off the MbaleKapchorwa road to reach the various trailheads. ACTIVITIES MOUNTAIN CLIMBING Many travellers find Mt. Elgon an exciting alternative to the more strenuous climbs in East Africa. It has many of the same attractions, with a milder climate and lower elevation, and requires no special equipment or technical experience. MOUNTAIN BIKING Mountain biking trails run from Sipi trading centre to Chema hill in Kapchorwa town. It should take 1.5 hours and provides views of various waterfalls.

BIRDING Excellent birding opportunities exist around Kapkwai Forest Exploration Centre, in particular in the secondary forest and thick shrub along the loop trail to Cheptui Falls. It supports the African Goshawk; Chubb’s Cisticola, White-chinned Prinia and African Blue Flycatcher among others. HIKING Lucky hikers in Mt Elgon will enjoy being amongst the parks primates, birds and rare tree species. Trails lead past caves, viewpoints and waterfalls, with the option of camping overnight on the mountain slopes. NATURE WALKS Enjoy views of Sipi Falls, the Walls of Death and the African sunrise across the Karamoja plains on these peacefull walks just outside Mt Elgon National Park. ROCK CLIMBING Rock climbing takes place outside the park at Sipi. There are 14 routes requiring various levels of rock scaling techniques. The toughest is a 35m climb while the easiest is 15m. SPORT FISHING Sport fishing is done above the highest of the three waterfalls at Sipi. It provides exciting challenges to anglers who take pride in battling with the rainbow trout because of its beautiful coloration and fighting ability. CULTURAL ENCOUNTERS Find out where your coffee comes from! Grown on the mountain side of Mt Elgon is Arabica coffee also named Sipi or Bugisu by the farmers who have a reputation for producing some of the finest washed Arabica in Kenya and Uganda.

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Kidepo Valley National Park True African Wilderness

A wilderness park; dry, hot and isolated, yet spectacular, magnificent and virgin, waiting to be discovered. Traversed by large sand rivers, the park is renowned for its distinctive composition of wild game co-existing with the dry mountain forests, open savanna and hilltops capped by rock kopjes. Enjoy the isolated wilderness dominated by the 2,750m Mount Morungole and transected by the Kidepo and great Narus rivers. Perennial rains may make Kidepo an oasis in the semi-desert, but its tract of rugged savannah is home to 77 mammal species and almost 500 birds. Game viewing is exciting all year round and so is bird watching, foot safaris and mountain climbing. And even in the dry season, it is worth the drive just to visit the seasonal Kidepo river and stroll along its 50m wide bed of white sand between banks covered with Borassus palm trees. The 1,442km² is located in the Karamoja region of northern Uganda and borders the Sudan in the north west and Kenya in the north east. ACCESSIBILITY ROADS There are four routes by road; The 705km journey from Kampala via Lira, Kotido, Kaabong and then to Kidepo; The 740km journey from Kampala via Mbale, Soroti, Moroto, Kotido, Kaabong and then Kidepo; the 780km journey from Kampala via Mbale, Soroti, Matany, Kotido, Kaabong and on to Kidepo, and; the 571 km journey from Kampala through Gulu, Kitgum and to Kidepo. Driving through the wilderness is an exciting experience as one gets the chance of better scenery. One will need a good 4X4 vehicle especially during the rainy season. AIR TRAVEL Chartered aircrafts to Kidepo may be arranged from Kajjansi, or from Entebbe international airport to Lomej airstrip near the park headquarters. Flight takes two hours. Civil Aviation Authority plans to make Lomej airstrip, to the east of of Apoka tourism centre, an international airport to enable visitors fly in direct to Kidepo from abroad. ACTIVITIES GAME DRIVES/VIEWING Game drives can be done along Narus valley as the park’s wildlife congregates here much of the year. This area has adequate track circuits enabling visitors view the animals at a close range. The Katurum kopje provides superb views north across the valley towards Morungole mountain range. NATURE WALKS Nature walks can be done around Apoka camp at any time of the day and visitors will be able to view different species of animals like elephants, Bulbul, zebras and Reedbucks. At the eastern Kakine circuit, visitors can see wildlife at a close range of upto 50-70 meters. Nature walks can also be done along Rionomoe trail and around this hill where one can view the lower side of the Narus valley.


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COMMUNITY WALKS Community walks are one of the ways you can get to know more about the Karamajong lifestyle, cultures, dressing style, dancing and the tools used. The Karamajong are traditionally cattle raiders and hunters. However, through community conservation education, their lifestyle is gradually changing and most of them now know the value of conservation of the park. MOUNTAIN HIKING The Morungole ranges rise from the plains a few

kilometres north of Apoka. A trip to Kidepo valley is needed to get a good view of Morungole mountain, the highest peak in Kidepo. Even at 2,749m, this peak is not easily seen from most vantage points in the Narus valley. This can be explored on foot with a ranger guide escort. SAND ALONG RIVER KIDEPO Kidepo River is an intermittent sand river found in the northern part of the park. It stands out because it is lined by Borassus palms, making it look like an oasis in the Sahara. The sand bed experience on river

Kidepo can be very fascinating especially during the dry season. Many bird species can be found around this area and one can enjoy the wilderness experience while listening to the different bird calls. BIRD WATCHING This activity can be done either in the morning or afternoon and the park has got a variety of birds. The experienced guides will show you around.

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Kibale National Park

The Primate Capital of The World Kibale National Park is the most magnificent of Uganda’s tropical rain forests and one of the most rewarding areas to explore. Established at the end of the 18th Century, Kibale boasts of 13 species of primates including the localized Red Colobus, L’Hoest’s monkeys and the endemic Uganda Mangabay. Kibale’s major attraction is the chimpanzees, the delightful apes, most closest to humans than to any other living creature. These can be seen swinging in tree branches as one treks through the forest trails. While you enjoy your tour in this sunny side of nature, you have a life opportunity to sight over 300 bird species. The 180km long migration corridor for wildlife also habits mammals like the elusive forest elephants, buffalos, giant forest hogs and half a dozen antelope species; thereby making it one of the most stunning parks in Uganda. Situated ideally in the heart of the Tooro Kingdom in western Uganda, near Fort portal, the park lies close to the tranquil Ndali-Kasenda crater area and is within a half days’ drive of Queen Elizabeth, Rwenzori Mountains and Semiliki National Parks. The park became a government Forest Reserve in the early 1940s. ACCESSIBILITY ROADS The 795 sq km park can be accessed from Uganda’s capital, Kampala, along a newly surfaced road via Kasese (near Queen Elizabeth National Park). The park can also be reached from Kampala via Mubende and Fort Portal or through Mbarara and Kamwenge. There is daily public transport between Kampala and Fort portal by bus. AIR TRAVEL Kibale National Park has access to two Airstrips; Nyakisharara Airstrip in Mbarara (about 98km through Kamwenge from Kanyanchu) and Kasese air strip, 75km from Fort Portal town. It can also be reached from the airstrip in Tooro/Semliki Wildlife Reserve, only 86 km from Kanyanchu. ACTIVITIES CHIMPANZEE HABITUATION EXPERIENCE The Chimpanzee Habituation Experience (CHEX) allows you to accompany Kibale’s researchers and habituators as they follow chimpanzees during their daily activity, thereby getting them used to human presence without altering their natural behaviour. This is an all day and early visitors may be able to see the spectacular scene of chimps de-nesting, feeding, copulating, hunting, breast feeding,


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resting, patrolling and displaying until they build new nests and retire for the night around 7.00 pm. (Note: Advance booking is essential) PRIMATE WALK (CHIMPANZEE TRACKING) Also you can experience and participate in the chimpanzee tracking walks which starts from the Kanyanchu Visitor Centre at 08:00 am and 02: 00 pm and lasts 2-3 hours. Park guides are readily available to take tourists through this ritual. This walk is for six persons per group and advance booking is essential. DAY HIKES/NATURE WALKS This is an exploration of the park’s diverse habitals providing very close contact with nature. The walks begin at 08:00 am, 10:00am and 2.00pm from Kanyanchu Tourist Centre and take about 2 - 3 hours. Remind your guide to show you the naked Adam and Eve tree, one of Kibale’s unique wonders. BIRD WATCHING & NIGHT NATURE WALK Kibale National Park boasts of 372 bird species of which 60 percent are recorded Uganda’s Forest Birds. Bird watchers can spot various species of these birds as they enjoy the various activities in the park. Also there is night nature walk which allows visitors to track the unique species of birds, animals and insects such as Bat, Owl, Pottos, bush babies, Civets, genet cats and Eastern needle nailed; that are most active at night. CHILDREN’S ACTIVITIES Only children above 12 years are allowed to go into the forest to view the chimps. Kibale has a variety of activities for children under 12 years including educational forest walks of 1-2 hours followed by creative activities like pond dipping, cyanotype photography and batik- making. Through these educational forest walks, the children can learn about the ecosystem and its inhabitants. Parents can enjoy their forest walk with the knowledge that their children are occupied in worthwhile activity with trained ranger guides. CULTURAL HERITAGE AND NATURE TRAIL Follow a 2-6 days cultural heritage and nature trail through the tropical forest and meet local people and gain insights into their cultures. The full walk can start or end at either Kanyanchu or Sebitoli. Explore the forest during the day, end for a rest at the community –run campsites near the villages of Kinoni, Nyaibanda and Nyakalongo. Porters can be hired to carry equipment. The walk is most exciting in groups of up to 6 people. (Note: Pre-booking is essential).

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Queen Elizabeth National Park A medley of Wonders

Queen Elizabeth National Park is understandably Uganda’s most popular tourist destination. The park’s diverse ecosystems, which include sprawling savanna, shady, humid forests, sparkling lakes and fertile wetlands, make it the ideal habitat for classic big game, ten primate species including chimpanzees and over 600 species of birds. Set against the backdrop of the jagged Rwenzori Mountains, the park’s magnificent vistas include dozens of enormous craters carved dramatically into rolling green hills, panoramic views of the Kazinga Channel with its banks lined with hippos, buffalos and elephants, and the endless Ishasha plains, whose fig trees hide lions ready to pounce on herds of unsuspecting Uganda kob. As well as its outstanding wildlife attractions, Queen Elizabeth National Park has a fascinating cultural history. There are many opportunities for visitors to meet the local communities and enjoy storytelling, dance, music and more. The park was founded in 1952 as Kazinga National Park, and renamed two years later to commemorate a visit by Queen Elizabeth II. ACCESSIBILITY ROADS Queen Elizabeth National Park can be accessed most easily from Kampala. The tarmac road from Kampala via Mbarara town and Bushenyi leads to the center of the park, passing just 22 km from Mweya Peninsula, the main tourism hub. Approaching the park from the south via Mbarara covers a distance of 420km while the north through Fort Portal covers a total of 410 km. En-route to the park, visitors have the opportunity to enjoy short detours to Lake Mburo National Park,


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Rwenzori Mountains and Kibale National Park, renowned for its chimpanzee tracking. The park can also be accessed from the south from Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. AIR TRAVEL Charter flights can be arranged to existing airstrips of Kasese, Mweya and Ishasha. ACTIVITIES BIRDING Classified as an Important Birding Area (IBA) by Birding International, Queen’s great variety of habitats mean it is home to over 600 species. This is the greatest of any East African national park, and a phenomenal number for such a small area. The park’s confluence of savanna and forest, linking to the expansive forests of the DR Congo allow visitors to spot East as well as Central African species. CAVE Tucked beneath the shady canopy of the Maramagambo Forest is the “Bat Cave”. The cave has a viewing room from which visitors can observe the resident bats and pythons. CHIMPS TRACKING The Kyambura Gorge experience is more than discovering chimpanzees in their natural environment: it teaches visitors about the ecosystems of Kyambura Gorge’s atmospheric “underground” rainforest, including vegetation types; bird identification and behavior; and chimp and monkey ecology. GAME DRIVES For a classic African safari experience, the tracks through Kasenyi, the North Kazinga Plains and the Ishasha Sector offer virtually guaranteed buffalo, antelope and elephant sightings, along with

warthogs and baboons. Taking an experienced guide in the early morning or at dusk is the most successful way to track down a pride of lions, and maybe even the odd leopard. HIKING/NATURE WALKS Nature treks are one of the more active ways to explore the landscapes and wildlife of Queen Elizabeth. Locations include the shady Maramagambo forest; Mweya Peninsula with its scenic views; and Ishasha River, where you may spot a variety of forest and savanna species as well as having a unique opportunity to get extremely close to hippos - on foot! LAUNCH TRIP The Kazinga Channel is an oasis for many of the fascinating species that inhabit the park, and taking a boat tour along it gives visitors the chance to cruise just meters from hundreds of enormous hippos and buffalos while elephants linger on the shoreline. CULTURAL HERITAGE AND NATURE TRAIL See the energetic dances of the Kikorongo Equator Cultural Performers; workers harvesting salt on Katwe Salt Lake; a traditional Banyaraguru hut; or an agricultural village - all guided by those who know them best - local community members. WILDLIFE RESEARCH TOUR For visitors who yearn to get up close to wild African fauna, a research trip is a rewarding adventure. This new and unique experience allows visitors to actively participate in monitoring some of the exotic birds and mammals that fill the park, using locator devices and learn habituation calls, as well as monitoring weather, surroundings and behavior. Best of Uganda


Rwenzori Mountains National Park The Mystical Challenge

As early as 150 AD, Alexandrine photographer, Ptolemy wrote of a snow capped mountain range deep in the heart of Africa, which he claimed was the source of the world’s longest river, The Nile. He called it “Mountains of the Moon.” Indeed, over the centuries, mountaineers who later explored Ptolemy’s mountains found the high Rwenzori glaciers and snow peaks whose melt waters certainly represent the highest springs of the Nile. The alpine highland of glaciers, snowfields, hot springs and blue cirque lakes make Rwenzori one of Africa’s most beautiful mountain parks. Reaching an elevation of 5,109m, Rwenzori is Africa’s tallest mountain range exceeded in altitude by Mt Kilimajaro and Mt Kenya, carrying Africa’s third, fourth and fifth highest peaks that are visible for miles around. Some of its peaks incomparable, beautiful and mist-shrouded carry permanent snow and glaciers, while the lower slopes are covered with dense forest.

The Mountain’s slopes above 1,600m are the preserve of hikers who rate the Rwenzoris to be the most challenging of all African mountains. A variety of large mammals inhibit the lower slopes but the Rwenzori are notable more for their majestic scenery and varied vegetation. Its five distinct vegetation zones montane forest, bamboo forest, tree heathbog, Hagenia-Rapanea scrub and afro-alpine moorland provide a unique backdrop to one of the most magnificent national parks in the world. Several endangered species and very unusual cloud forest flora like giant heathers, groundsels and lobelias, characterize the ranges as ‘Africa’s botanic big game’. In 1991, Rwenzori Mountains were gazette as a National Park and is both a World Heritage and RAMSAR site. ACCESSIBILITY ROAD The park is located near Kasese, western Uganda, bordering Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in the West. The Nyakalengija trailhead which is 22km off the Kasese-Fort Portal road and 25km north of Kasese town can be reached from Kampala via Fort Portal road (375km) or via Mbarara and Queen Elizabeth National park (450km). AIR TRAVEL Transport can also be arranged on chartered flights from Kampala at either Kajjansi or Entebbe International airport. ATTRACTIONS Mountain climbing is the most attractive activity on the legendary “Mountains of the moon” that lies between altitudes 0˚ 06’ South and 0˚ 46’ North and longitudes 29˚ 47’ West and 30˚ 11’ East. Its diverse heavily snow capped peaks are one of the few pristine and spectacular landscapes of the world. Although a variety of large mammals inhibit the lower slopes, the Rwenzori’s are notable more for their majestic scenery and varied vegetation. The ranges are scenic with pristine and spectacular landscape that comprise of waterfalls, hot springs, blue cirque lakes, snow clad peaks and stratified vegetation which is an attraction not only for visitors, but also creates potential for research as well as resources for the nearby communities.


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The park is also home to 18 species of mammals, 217 species of birds, 9 species of reptiles and 6 species of amphibians. Elephants, buffalos, giant forest hogs, bush bucks, chimpanzees and leopards are present but rarely seen. However primates such as the black and white colobus and the blue monkey may be seen. In the Rwenzori’s are also some unique and rare animal species like the three horned chameleon, the Rwenzori colobus, Rwenzori Turaco and the Rwenzori double collared sunbird. The park is also a cultural heritage for the neighboring communities. Eighteen sacred sites have been identified, mapped and protected as worship areas. ACTIVITIES Aesthetic values of the Rwenzori’s can be put into three categories of trekking, nature walks and peak climbing: TREKKING This is done along two routes; a 7-day trekking of the central tourism circuit, and a 5-day trek along Kilembe route to the southern part of the park. Shorter hikes can be arranged. NATURE WALKS There are trees in the park which allow visitors up close interaction with nature. PEAK CLIMBING The six-day loop trail is a tough but rewarding hike taking in all vegetation zones and the glacier peaks. There are ascents to major peaks within the Rwenzori ranges along both routes. These include ascents to Margherita (5,109m) on Mountain Stanley, Vittorio Emmanuelle (4,889m) on Mountain Speke and Edward (4,842m) on Mountain Baker. These hikes offer commanding and panoramic views of other peaks within the ranges. However, high peaks should only be attempted by experienced mountaineers. Best of Uganda


Semuliki National Park The True Birders’ Haven

Semuliki National Park sprawls across the floor of the Semliki Valley on the remote, western side of the Rwenzori. The park is dominated by the easternmost extension of the great Ituri Forest of the Congo Basin. This is one of Africa’s most ancient and bio-diverse forests; one of the few to survive the last ice age, 12-18,000 years ago. The Semliki Valley contains numerous features associated with central rather than eastern Africa. Thatched huts are shaded by West African oil palms; the Semliki River (which forms the international boundary) is a miniature version of the Congo River, the forest is home to numerous Central African wildlife species, and the local population includes a Batwa pygmy community that originated from the Ituri. As a result, this park provides a taste of Central Africa without having to leave Uganda. While Semuliki’s species have been accumulating for over 25,000 years, the park contains evidence of even older processes. Hot springs bubble up from the depths to demonstrate the powerful subterranean forces that have been shaping the rift valley during the last 14 million years. Semuliki Forest Reserve was created in 1932 and upgraded to national park status in 1993.Enjoy views of Sipi Falls, the Walls of Death and the African sunrise across the Karamoja plains on these peacefull walks just outside Mt Elgon National Park. ROCK CLIMBING Rock climbing takes place outside the park at Sipi. There are 14 routes requiring various levels of rock scaling techniques. The toughest is a 35m climb while the easiest is 15m. SPORT FISHING Sport fishing is done above the highest of the three waterfalls at Sipi. It provides exciting challenges to anglers who take pride in battling with the rainbow trout because of its beautiful coloration and fighting ability. CULTURAL ENCOUNTERS Find out where your coffee comes from! Grown on the mountain side of Mt Elgon is Arabica coffee also named Sipi or Bugisu by the farmers who have a reputation for producing some of the finest washed Arabica in Kenya and Uganda.


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ACCESSIBILITY ROADS There are two major roads from Kampala to Fort Portal, 4WD vehicles are recommended for both: • Kampala-Fort Portal via Mubende is about 180km, or a 4-5 hour drive, making it the shortest route. • Kampala-Fort Portal via Masaka, Mbarara and Kasese is longer at 465km (7-8 hrs). This route offers the chance to stop along the way at Lake Mburo National Park, Kyambura Wildlife Reserve, Rwenzori Mountains National Park or Queen Elizabeth National Park. Semuliki National Park’s Sempaya Gate is 59km from Fort Portal. The park headquarters at Ntandi is 6km further along the road. Historically, the journey was a slow and bumpy 2-3 hour drive on a narrow road that winds over the northern Rwenzori. The route is currently being widened and surfaced to make the journey shorter and more comfortable. ACTIVITIES BIRDING Birders who make it to Semuliki will be rewarded with some of Africa’s best forest birding. Sempaya and Ntandi provide excellent viewing of the birds including the White-crested Hornbill, Red-billed Dwarf Hornbill, Piping Hornbill, Yellow-throated Nicator, Great blue and Ross’s Turacos. The shoebill stork is regularly seen at close quarters on Lake Albert and forest walks are good for tracking water birds.

GAME DRIVES Three tracks cross the savannah grassland of Toro Semliki Wildlife Reserve. Smaller forest and larger savannah elephants are regularly seen, along with buffalo, waterbuck, crocodile, warthog and Uganda kob. With luck, you may even see pygmy hippopotami, leopards and elusive bushbabies. HIKING AND NATURE WALKS The 13km KirumiaTrail runs through the heart of the forest to the Semuliki River. This 8 hour round trip starts at 8am and is perfect for birders. HOT SPRINGS The hour-long trail to the outer, “male” spring leads through a patch of forest where red-tailed monkeys, grey-cheeked mangabeys and black-and-white colobus monkeys are common. A tree house en route provides an aerial view. A 30-minute hike through palm forest from the main road leads to the inner, “female” spring, dominated by a boiling geyser. Eggs and matooke (green plantain) can be cooked in these boiling waters and enjoyed by hungry hikers! CULTURAL ENCOUNTERS AND TRAILS The Batwa’s hunter-gatherer lifestyle means they have always been dependent on Semuliki forest for food, shelter, medicine and tools, though this is beginning to change as a result of interaction with other local communities. Best of Uganda


Bwindi Impenetrable National Park The Ultimate Gorilla Experience

At 331Km2 it is home to half of the world’s mountain gorillas, whose encounter and consequent eye contact is the most exciting and poignant wildlife encounter in the whole of Africa. With mist covered hillsides, this impenetrable forest is the oldest and most biologically diverse rainforest, with over 400 species of plants. It lies on the edge of the rift valley in southwestern Uganda, and protects at least 120 species of mammals, 346 species of birds, 202 species of butterflies, 163species of trees, 100 species of ferns, 27 species of frogs, chameleons, geckos, among many endangered species. It is a UNESCO designated World Heritage site popular for mountain gorillas and chimpanzees, the two great African apes listed as endangered animals in the IUCN Red Data Book.


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ACTIVITIES GORILLA TRACKING Tracking is a captivation and unforgettable experience which more than repays the effort needed to reach Bwindi and to trek through the forest. Gorilla tracking can be challenging and one needs to be reasonably fit before undertaking to venture into the activity. Registration and briefing at Buhoma , Ruhija, Nkuringo and Rushaga visitor receptions commences at 0730 hours with general briefings conducted at 0800 hours. Gorilla tracking starts at 8:30am and can last from a few hours to a whole day depending on where the gorillas were left the previous day.

Bwindi National Park has gorilla tracking as the major tourist attraction with 4 gorilla tracking trailheads. Also, 9 groups of mountain gorilla families have been habituated and only 8 tourists booked per group per day. Forest trails in the park lead to various attractions including rivers, waterfalls, swamps and high level of wildlife concentration. Birding is another attraction that provides great opportunities to see various Albertine rift endemics such as the short-tailed warbler. A 6 hour bamboo trail leads to Rwamunyonyi peak, at 2607m, is the highest peak and notable spot for birding. While a 3 hour descend to Mubwindi swamp could lead a visitor to endemic and localized African green broadbill. Other rewarding activities are mountain biking and nature walks to waterfalls and parts of the forest. A short drive north to Buhoma, which sits on the Congo border, offers wonderful hikes along the hill crests and rivers to discover waterfalls, glorious views and the traditional lifestyle and folklore of the Kigezi people. ACCESSIBILITY ROADS The National Park is located in south–western Uganda about 530km from Kampala, the capital city. The park can be reached by road from several directions that include:

OTHER ACTIVITIES AROUND THE PARK Though gorilla tracking is the main attraction, a range of other walks provide more relaxed opportunities to spot birds and monkeys while exploring one of Uganda’s loveliest rainforests. Mountain biking is also a good activity around Bwindi, this is usually done through a well maintained trail 13km trail of Ivi River from the park office. The following walks can be arranged to depart in the morning at 9:00am and in the afternoon at 1415hours; • Munyanga River Trail in the valley below Buhoma (park office) provides an ideal short walk to view birds and primates along the forest edge. • Waterfall Trail leads through one of Uganda’s most pristine tracts of rainforest, passing beneath tree ferns, epiphytic ferns and orchids to visit three sparking waterfalls. • Rushura Hill Trail provides expansive views across the plains of the western rift valley to the west and (on clear days) Lake Edward and the Rwenzori Mountains to the north. • Muzabajiro Loop Trail climbs to the summit of Rukubira Hill for breathtaking views of Bwindi forest, the western Rift Valley and the Virunga volcanoes. • River Ivi Trail follows an old road through beautiful forest emerging near Nkuringo on the southern edge of the forest. It is highly recommended for bird watchers.

Through Queen Elizabeth National Park (Mweya)-Kihihi-Buhoma. This route passes through Queen Elizabeth National Park’s southerly Ishasha sector, providing a chance for the tourists to stopover and search for the famous tree-climbing lions. BINP is 160km from Mweya and 64km from Ishasha. You can also access the park through: • Kampala-Kabale-Kanungu-Buhoma (5-6 hours journey); • Kampala-Ntungamo-Rukungiri-Kihihi-Buhoma (5 hours journey) • The Kabale-Ruhija-Buhoma. (5-6 hours journey) • Kampala-Kabale-Nkuringo (6-7 hours journey) AIR TRAVEL Travellers can fly from Entebbe Air port or Kampala (Kajjansi airfield) to the modern tarmac airstrip at Kisoro town. Visitors to Buhoma can also charter planes to Kayonza (near Butogota) or Savannah (Kihihi) airstrips.

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volcanoes and gorges with the cool breeze of freshness is unrivaled. On some of the steep mountain slopes are caves formed by lava tubes, one of them being the famous Garama cave located near Ntebeko, the park headquarters. ACCESSIBILITY ROADS Mgahinga Gorilla National Park is 510km from Kampala; the most commonly used route passes through Kabale and Kisoro. The 434km journey from Kampala to Kabale can be completed in 8 hours on good tarmac. It is then a further 76km to Kisoro town on a mountainous tarmac road with steep ascents and descents. An attractive, alternative route leaves the main road at Kabale and follows the shoreline of the superbly scenic Lake Bunyonyi to rejoin the Kabale-Kisoro main road at its halfway point at Muko. Ntebeko, the main entrance to Mgahinga Gorilla National Park is 14km from Kisoro at the end of a dirt road with some steep and rocky sections.

Mgahinga Gorilla National Park Where Gold meets Silver

Mgahinga is part of a larger ecosystem, the Virunga Conservation Area (434km2) which includes two adjacent parks in Rwanda and Congo. Mgahinga Gorilla National Park sits high in the clouds, at an altitude of between 2,227m and 4,127m. It was formed to protect the rare mountain gorillas that inhabit its dense forests, and it is also an important habitat for the endangered golden monkey. Its most striking features are its three conical, extinct volcanoes, part of the spectacular Virunga range that lies along the border region of Uganda, Congo and Rwanda. Mgahinga forms part of the much larger Virunga Conservation Area which includes adjacent parks in these countries The park offers a soothing aura of majesty with cool temperatures owing to the mountainous nature of the park. Its home to part of the 300 gorillas located in the Virunga massif. It is indeed where gold meets silver where gorillas are house with the same habitat of the golden monkeys. The cultural heritage featuring folklore and traditional healing practices for local people covers the north slopes of the three northern Virunga volcanoes Muhavura, Gahinga and Sabinyo. The park derives its name from “Gahinga” a Kinyarwanda word for a pile of volcanic lava stone heaps around which cultivation is carried out. On the other hand, Muhavura means guide and Sabinyo means the Old man’s teeth. It is bordered to the south by Rwanda and to the west by DR Congo. While Sabinyo is deeply eroded with jagged crown and deep gorges and ravines, Gahinga has a swamp filled – crater about 180m wide and Muhavura has a small crater lake about 36m wide at its summit. While at the top of the Sabinyo, you get to be set foot in all the three countries of Uganda, DRC and Rwanda at the same time. Its view of the


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AIR TRAVEL Mgahinga can also be reached by air using the daily flights from Entebbe International Airport to Kisoro airfield. ACTIVITIES BIRDING The best birding in Mgahinga also takes in some of its most beautiful scenery in the gorge between Mts Gahinga and Sabinyo, through the bamboo forest, and in the montane forest, where the beautiful Rwenzori Turaco may be observed. CULTURAL ENCOUNTER For generations, Mgahinga’s dense forests were home to the indigenous Batwa-hunter-gatherers and fierce warriors who depended on the forest for shelter, food and medicine. Now they lead visitors through the forests and introduce them to their old home and the techniques they used to survive in it. GORILLA TRACKING The guide leads you through the gorillas’ world, surrounded by wild forest and impressive birdlife, explaining the gorillas’ behavior along the way. Tracking excursions leave from Ntebeko Entrance Gate at 8am daily and last between two and four hours. HIKING & NATURE WALKS Hiking around the foothills of the Virunga Volcanoes gives visitors the chance to spot forest birds, the Rugezi Swamp, wild vegetation, bamboo forests and glorious views of the surrounding lakes and agricultural villages. MOUNTAIN/VOLCANO CLIMBING All three volcanoes in this park can be summited, taking a full day each. Views from the peaks are well worth the efforttaking in Rwanda, DR Congo, the Virungas, the Rwenzoris, Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and Lake Edward.

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Lake Mburo National Park Whispers of The Wild

In the middle of an extensive rich acacia woodland lies one of Uganda’s most spectacular and breathtaking game parks in Uganda; Lake Mburo National Park. Lake Mburo is a gem of a park, conveniently located close to the western high way that connects Kampala to the parks of western Uganda. It is a very special place with a medley of habitats ranging from dry hillsides, rocky outcrops, bushy thickets, open and wooded savannas to forest, lakes and swamps. Its sculptured landscape, rolling hills and idyllic lake shores, forest galleries, seasonal and permanent swamps and grassy valleys all support a wealth of wildlife in a tropical setting. The park is remarkably different from other parks. It’s the best park to view the gigantic eland, impala, zebras and acacia associated birds. 22

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Common mammal species include Warthogs, Buffalos, Oribi, Defassa, Water bucks, reed bucks and the eland antelopes. Leopards and Hyenas are also present and Lions have also returned to the park after years of poaching and near extinction. The five lakes within the park attract hippos and crocodiles while fringing swamps hide secretive papyrus specialists such as the sitatunga antelope and red, black and yellow papyrus gonalek. The park also has an impressive bird list with 332 species recorded including Shoebill, Papyrus, Yellow warbler, African fin foot, Saddle billed stork, Brown chested wattled plover, Carrutter’s cisticola, Tabora cisticola, Great snipe, Abyssinian ground horn bill and white winged warbler. Acacia woodland bird species are especially well represented. Though just 371sq km in size, Lake Mburo has a varied landscape full of interest and color. The park is refreshing and full of life given its strategic location near the Kampala- Mbarara highway. ACCESSIBILITY Lake Mburo National Park lies between the towns of Masaka and Mbarara in western Uganda. It’s 228kms from Kampala about 4hrs drive. There are two gateways to the park from Mbarara road. Approaching from Kampala then turning to Nshara gate is 13kms past Lyantonde. The junction for Sanga gate is at Sanga trading centre, 27kms past Lyantonde. ACTIVITIES Several activities can be conducted while in Lake Mburo National Park, like, nature walks, game drives. Nature walk is conducted on foot with the help of an armed guide who explains to the visitors about the various flora and fauna. Game drive is done while in the visitors own vehicle. The boat is another interesting activity in Lake Mburo, a visitor gets a chance to see a variety of wildlife .e.g. crocodiles, hippos and birds like African fish eagle, African finfoot, cormorants, kingfishers, herons etc.Horse riding is conducted by Mihingo lodge inside the park while quad bikes riding are conducted by African All Terrain Vehicles (ATV Safaris). It gives a spectacular view of the park’s terrain and wildlife. Visitors can ride closer without the animals getting scared. ATTRACTIONS RWONYO REST CAMP Rwonyo is the center of tourism activities in the park. The rest camp is the starting point for nature walks and game drives. LAKE MBURO The eastern shores of Lake Mburo can be explored by boat, departing from a Jetty at the Lakeside

campsite near Rwonyo. Watch out for crocodiles and hippopotamus during the two hour voyage. You can also sight a variety of birds including Pelicans, Heron, the Cormorant fish eagle and perhaps the rare Fin foot and Shoe bill storks. Fishermen with their own equipment may fish in the Lake from the campsite by arrangement. SALT LICKS Guided walks explore the park around Rwonyo, culminating in a visit to a natural salt lick frequented by the wildlife. Viewing is facilitated by a timber observation plat form. GAME TRACKS The eastern hinterland of Lake Mburo is served by a network of game tracks along which a variety of savannah animals and birds can be sighted. Impalas are the most commonly seen along the Impala track while Zebras frequent the grassy valley floors traversed by the Zebra track. This connects to the Ruroko track which passes rock kopjes, home to the elusive Klip Springer. In the south of the park, the lakeside track passes through dense woodland that is home to bushbuck and bush duiker, to Kigarama hill which provides a panoramic view of Lake Mburo. This lake and seven more can also be seen from the Kazuma lookout, close to Kazuma track. RUBANGA FOREST Though small, this tract of forest on the western side of Lake Mburo provides a taste of the tropical high forest with closed canopy and is home to a variety of forest bird species. Rubanga can be explored with a ranger guide. CONSERVATION EDUCATION CENTRE The park has a Conservation Education Center, 1km west of Sanga gate. This provides accommodation and an education hall for school groups, visitors, seminars and workshops.

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Best of Uganda

Uganda Wildlife Authority, 7 Kira Road Kamwokya. P.O.Box, Kampala Uganda Tel: +256 414 355 000 | Fax: +256 414 546 291 | Email: facebook,.com/ugandawildlifeauthority |

Best of Uganda




Best of Uganda

UGANDA at a GLANCE Uganda is a country nestled in the heart of Africa on the equator and is one of the most scenic and diverse countries in Africa – with an expansive montage of tribes and cultures. A landlocked country in East Africa, it is also known as the “Pearl of Africa” as it leaves many travellers captivated by its beauty, safety and accessibility. Uganda’s outstanding landscape and fantastic scenery can be credited in part to its situation on Lake Victoria – the birthplace of the River Nile. Uganda shares Lake Victoria with Kenya, Tanzania and Rwanda. Gaining independence from Britain on 9 October

Business hours: Mon to Fri 8.30am to 5.30pm Dialling code: +256

Time zone: GMT +3.

1962, Uganda currently boasts three UNESCO World Heritage


Sites, namely Bwindi Impenetrable National Park – which is

Uganda takes its name from the  Buganda kingdom, which

known as the home of the gorillas, Rwenzori Mountains National

encompassed a portion of the south of the country including

Park and Tombs of Baganda Kings at Kusubi.

the capital Kampala. The people of Uganda were hunter-

Welcome to one of Africa’s friendliest destinations. Full Name: Republic of Uganda Capital: Kampala

Motto: For God and My Country

National Anthem: “Oh Uganda, Land of Beauty” President: Yoweri Museveni (since 1986)

Prime Minister: Ruhakana Rugunda (since 2014) Area: 241,038km²

Location: Uganda is a landlocked country in East Africa bordering

gatherers until 1,700 to 2,300 years ago, when Bantu-speaking populations migrated to the southern parts of the country.  With these groups came the development of ironworking skills and new organisational ideas of society and politics, with the kingdom of the Empire of Kitara covering the vast great lakes region. Arab traders moved inland from the Indian Ocean coast of East Africa in the 1830s. They were followed in the 1860s by British explorers searching for the source of the Nile. Protestant missionaries entered the

Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, Rwanda, Sudan, and

country in 1877, followed by Catholic missionaries in 1879. The

Tanzania. The south of the country includes a substantial portion

United Kingdom placed the area under the charter of the British

of Lake Victoria. The centre is dominated by Lake Kyoga.

East Africa Company in 1888, and ruled it as a protectorate from

Provinces: Divided into 111 districts across four administrative

1894. As several other territories and chiefdoms were integrated,

regions (Central, Eastern, Northern, and Western).

the final protectorate called Uganda took shape in 1914.

Main Languages spoken: English and Swahili

Uganda gained independence from Britain in 1962, maintaining

Population: 37,580,000 (2013 estimate)

Main Religions: Christianity (Roman Catholic and Anglican), and Islam

Main exports: Coffee, cotton, textiles, tea, tobacco, fruit,

its Commonwealth membership. The first post-independence election, held in 1962, was won by an alliance between the Uganda People’s Congress (UPC) and Kabaka Yekka (KY).

flowers, sugar, fish products

Natural Resources: Copper, tungsten, wolfram ores, tantalite,

UPC and KY formed the first post-independence government

vermiculite, gold, cobalt cathode (metal), nickel

with  Milton Obote  as  executive  Prime Minister, the Buganda

Monetary unit: Ugandan Shilling (UGX) GDP: US$21.49-billion (2013)

Banking hours: Mon to Fri 8.30am to 6.00pm; Sat 9.00am to 4.00pm

Kabaka (King) Edward Muteesa II holding the largely ceremonial position of President and William Wilberforce Nadiope, the Kyabazinga (paramount chief) of Busoga, as Vice President.

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In 1966, following a power struggle between the Oboteled government and King Muteesa, the UPC-dominated Parliament changed the constitution and removed the ceremonial president and vice president. In 1967, a new constitution proclaimed Uganda a republic and abolished the traditional kingdoms. Without first calling elections, Obote was declared the executive President. Obote was deposed from office in 1971 when  Idi Amin seized power. Amin ruled the country with the military for the next eight years. Amin’s rule was characterised by gross human rights abuse, political repression, ethnic persecution, extrajudicial killings,  nepotism,  corruption, and gross economic mismanagement. Amin’s rule cost an estimated 300,000 Ugandans’ lives. He forcibly removed the entrepreneurial South Asian minority from Uganda and as a result, the Ugandan economy was devastated. Amin infamously declared himself the “uncrowned King of Scotland” and became obsessed with all things Scottish. Amin’s reign was ended after the Uganda-Tanzania War in 1979 in which Tanzanian forces aided by Ugandan exiles


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invaded Uganda. This led to the return of Obote, who was deposed once more in 1985 by General Tito Okello. Okello ruled for six months until he was deposed after the so called “bush war” by the National Resistance Army (NRA) operating under the leadership of the current president, Yoweri Museveni, and various rebel groups, including the Federal Democratic Movement of Andrew Kayiira, and another belonging to John Nkwaanga. Museveni has been in power since 1986. In the mid to late 1990s, he was lauded by the West as part of a new generation of African leaders. His presidency has included involvement in the civil war in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and other conflicts in the Great Lakes region, as well as the civil war against the notorious Lord’s Resistance Army which was guilty of numerous crimes against humanity including child slavery and mass murder. Museveni has brought relative stability and economic growth to a country that has endured decades of government mismanagement, rebel activity and civil war. His tenure has also witnessed one of the most effective national responses to HIV/AIDS in Africa. Government The President of Uganda, currently Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, is both head of state and head of government. The President appoints a Vice President, currently Edward Ssekandi, and a prime minister, currently Ruhakana Rugunda, who aid him in governing. The parliament is formed by the National Assembly, which has 332 members. Of those members 104 are nominated by interest groups, including women and the army. The remaining members are elected for five-year terms during general elections. Political parties were restricted in their activities from 1986, in a measure ostensibly designed to reduce sectarian violence. In the non-party “Movement” system instituted by Museveni, political parties continued to exist, but they could only operate a headquarters office. They could not Best of Uganda


open branches, hold rallies, or field candidates directly (although electoral candidates could belong to political parties). A constitutional referendum cancelled this nineteen-year ban on multi-party politics in July 2005. Additionally, the time limit for president was changed in the constitution from the two-term limit, in order to enable the current president to continue in active politics. The presidential elections were held in February, 2006. Yoweri Museveni ran against several candidates, the most prominent of whom being the exiled Dr. Kizza Besigye. On Sunday, 20 February 2011, the Uganda Electoral Commission declared the 24-year reigning president Yoweri Kaguta Museveni of the National Resistance Movement the winning candidate of the 2011 elections that were held on the 18th of February 2011. The opposition was however not satisfied with the results, accusing them of being rigged. According to the results released, Museveni won with 68% of the votes, easily topping his nearest opponent Kizza Besigye from Forum for Democratic Change. The EU Election Observation Mission reported on improvements and flaws of the Ugandan electoral process against International Standards for democratic elections: “The electoral campaign and polling day were conducted in a peaceful manner. However, the electoral process was marred by avoidable administrative and logistical failures that led to an unacceptable number of Ugandan citizens being disfranchised�. 8

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General elections were held in Uganda on 18 February

Land and Water

2016 to elect the President and Parliament. In an

Uganda is located on the East African plateau, mostly

attempt to avoid past inadequacies, extra stations were

lying between latitudes 4°N and 2°S (a small part lies

added to enable as many residents as possible to vote.

north of 4°), and longitudes 29° and 35°E. It averages

Coming up against seven other candidates, according

about 1,100 metres (3,609 ft) above sea level which

to the Electoral Commission, Museveni was re-elected

slopes steadily down towards the Sudanese Plain in

with 61% of the vote to nearest opposition Besigye’s

the north. The highest point is Margherita Peak on

35%. Yoweri Museveni will be at the helm of Uganda

Mount Stanley at 5,110 metres. Along the western

for at least another five years and the next elections are

border are the Rwenzori Mountains. The eastern frontier

anticipated to be in 2021.

is dominated by Mount Elgon, while the Western Rift


Valley runs from north to south.

Kampala is the largest city and capital of Uganda. The

Much of the south is not well drained, with the centre

city is divided into five boroughs that oversee local

being dominated by Lake Kyoga which is surrounded

planning: Kampala Central, Kawempe Division, Makindye

by extensive marsh lands. Uganda lies almost entirely

Division, Nakawa Division and Lubaga Division. The

within the Nile basin. The Victoria Nile (White Nile) drains

city is adjoined with  Kampala District. Kampala is

from Lake Victoria into Lake Kyoga and then into Lake

seeing significant rebuilding of infrastructure such

Albert on the Congo border, then running northwards

as communications and transport systems after the

into Sudan. A small area on the eastern edge of Uganda

damage from years of war and neglect. Post war saw

is drained by the Turkwel River, part of the internal

negotiations with the IMF and World Bank for price

drainage basin of Lake Turkana.

balancing and payment policies and Kampala is now seen as the economic hub of the country which has a


listing with the World Trade Organisation.

Although landlocked, Uganda contains many large lakes. Lake Victoria is the second largest fresh water Best of Uganda


lake in the world and also the source of the Nile. Besides Lake Victoria and Lake Kyoga, there are Lake Albert, Lake Edward and the smaller Lake George. About 34% of the country is covered in wetlands with a dense network of rivers, lakes and swamps. Generally, the country is endowed with fertile soils. The country consists of varied landscape with not only wetland regions, but also the grasslands and Borassus Palm-lands, as well as the vast forested mountainous western region along the border of the Democratic Republic of Congo. Climate Uganda boasts a temperate climate even though the bulk of its area is in the tropics with varying temperatures of 16 - 26°C (April - November), and over 30°C during warm seasons (December March). Uganda’s weather conditions are ideal, ranging from the warmth of the lowland areas to the coolness of the highlands in the South West Kigezi. For the most of the year, Uganda is sunny with temperatures rarely rising above 29°C. The average temperature is about 26°C, with a maximum of 18-31°C and minimum of 15-23°C depending on the part of the country. Although generally equatorial, the climate is not uniform as the altitude modifies the climate. Southern Uganda is wetter with rain generally spread throughout the year. At Entebbe on the northern shore of Lake Victoria, most rain falls from March May and September to November. Further to the north a dry season gradually emerges; at Gulu about 120km from the Sudanese border, November to February is much drier than the rest of the year. The north-eastern Karamoja region has the driest climate and is prone to droughts in some years. Rwenzori in the southwest on the border with Congo (DRC) receives heavy rain all year round. The south of the country is heavily influenced by one of the world’s biggest lakes, Lake Victoria, which contains many islands. It prevents temperatures from varying significantly and increases cloudiness and rainfall. Most important cities are located in the south, near Lake Victoria, including the capital Kampala and the nearby city of Entebbe. Seasons The wet seasons are March to May and October to November. The light rain season is November and December. Dry seasons are June to August. Rainfall ranges between 500mm to 2500mm and the relative humidity is 70% to 100%. The rainfall timeline allows two planting and harvesting seasons a year in most parts of the country, without the use of irrigation. Culture Uganda is home to many different ethnic groups, none forming the population majority. The culture of Uganda is made up of a diverse


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range of ethnic groups. Uganda is home to fascinating cultural dances celebrated by some 30 tribes found in the country. The Ndere Troupe is a group which famously performs many of these songs and dances. The Ndere Cultural Centre was opened in 1984 and since then, the troupe has worked hard to breathe life back into this beautiful cultural tradition. Lake Kyoga forms the northern boundary for the Bantu-speaking peoples, who dominate much of eastern, central and southern Africa. In Uganda they include the Baganda and several other tribes. In the north live the Lango and the Acholi, who speak Nilotic languages. To the east are the  Iteso  and  Karamojong, who speak a Nilotic language. A few Pygmies of the Batwa Forest People live isolated in the rainforests of western Uganda. Languages Around forty different languages are regularly and currently in use in the country. English became the official language of Uganda after independence with Ugandan English as a local variant dialect. Lake Kyoga serves as a rough boundary between Bantu speakers in the south and Nilotic and Central Sudanic language speakers in the north. Despite the division between north and south in political affairs, this linguistic boundary actually runs roughly from northwest to southeast, near the course of the Nile. However, many Ugandans live among people who speak different languages, especially in rural areas. Some sources describe regional variation in terms of physical characteristics, Best of Uganda


clothing, body adornments, and mannerisms, but others claim that those differences are disappearing. The most widely spoken local language in Uganda is Luganda, spoken predominantly by the Ganda people (Baganda) in the urban concentrations of Kampala, the capital city and in towns and localities in the Buganda region of Uganda which encompasses Kampala. The Lusoga and RunyankoreRukiga languages follow, spoken predominantly in the southeastern and south-western parts of Uganda respectively. Swahili, a widely used language throughout eastern and central East Africa, was approved as the country’s second official national language in 2005, though this is somewhat politically sensitive. Though the language has not been favoured by the Bantu-speaking populations of the south and southwest of the country, it is an important lingua

franca in the northern regions. It is also widely used in the police and military forces, which may be a historical result of the disproportionate recruitment of northerners into the security forces during the colonial period. The status of Swahili has thus alternated with the political group in power.  For example, Amin, who came from the northwest, declared Swahili to be the national language. Uganda’s population has grown from 4.8 million people in 1950 to 24.3 million in 2002. The current estimated population of Uganda is 32.4 million. Uganda has a very young population, with a median age of 15 years.


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Ismaili (Shi’a Muslim followers of the Aga Khan) or Hindu.

According to the census of 2002, Christians made up

More than 30 years ago, there were about 80,000 Indians

about 84% of Uganda’s population. The Roman Catholic

in Uganda. Today there are about 15,000. The northern and

Church has the largest number of adherents (41.9%),

West Nile regions are predominantly Catholic, while Iganga

followed by the Anglican Church of Uganda (35.9%).

District in eastern Uganda has the highest percentage of

Evangelical and Pentecostal churches claim the rest of

Muslims. The rest of the country has a mix of religious

the Christian population. The next most reported religion


of Uganda is Islam, with Muslims representing 12% of the population. The Muslim population is primarily Sunni;


there is also a minority belonging to the Ahmadiyya Muslim

For decades, Uganda’s economy suffered from devastating

Community. The remainder of the population follow

economic policies and instability, leaving Uganda as one of

traditional religions (1%), Bahá’í (0.1%), or other non-

the world’s poorest countries. The country has commenced

Christian religions (0.7%), or have no religious affiliation

economic reforms and growth has been robust. The


resultant macroeconomic stability, post-conflict rebound, and investment response generated a sustained period of

Traditional indigenous beliefs are practiced in some rural

high growth from 1987 to 2010. Real gross domestic product

areas and are sometimes blended with or practiced alongside

(GDP) growth averaged 7% per year in the 1990s and the

Christianity or Islam. In addition to a small community

2000s, placing Uganda among the 15 fastest growing

of Jewish expatriates centred in Kampala, Uganda is home

economies in the World at a time of global downturn and

to the Abayudaya, a native Jewish community dating from

regional instability. Since then, growth slowed slightly but

the early 1900s. One of the world’s seven Bahá’í Houses of

kept stable at 5.6% in 2013 and 5.9% in 2014.

Worship is located on the outskirts of Kampala. Uganda has substantial natural resources, including Indian nationals are the most significant immigrant

fertile soils, regular rainfall, and sizable mineral deposits

population; members of this community are primarily

of copper and cobalt. The country has largely untapped

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reserves of both crude oil and natural gas. Main industries are sugar, brewing, tobacco, cotton textiles, cement, and steel production. While agriculture used to account for 56% of the economy in 1986, with coffee as its main export, it has now been surpassed by the services sector, which accounted for 50% of GDP in 2007. In the 1950s the British Colonial regime encouraged some 500,000 subsistence farmers to join co-operatives. Since 1986, the government (with the support of foreign countries and international agencies) has acted to rehabilitate an economy devastated during the regime of Idi Amin and subsequent civil war. Inflation ran at 240% in 1987 and 42% in June 1992, 5.1% in 2003 and 6.2% in 2013. Between 1990 and 2001, the economy grew because of continued investment in the rehabilitation of infrastructure, improved incentives for production and exports, reduced inflation and gradually improved domestic security. In 2000, Uganda was included in the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) debt relief initiative worth US$1.3-billion and Paris Club debt relief worth US$145million. These amounts combined with the original HIPC debt relief added up to about US$2-billion. In 2006 the Ugandan Government successfully paid all their debts to the Paris Club, which meant that it was no longer in the (HIPC) list. Growth for 2001–2002 was solid despite continued decline in the price of coffee, Uganda’s principal export.  According to IMF statistics, in 2004 Uganda’s GDP per capita reached US$300, a much higher level than in the 1980s but still at half the sub-Saharan African average income of US$600 per year. Total GDP crossed the US$8-billion mark in the same year. Despite an average annual growth of 2.5% between 2000 and 2003, poverty levels increased by 3.8% during that time. The need to avoid jobless economic growth was brought to the fore in the quest for equitable growth. With the Uganda securities exchanges established in 1996, several equities have been listed. The Government has used the stock market as an avenue for privatisation. All Government treasury issues are listed on the securities exchange. The Capital Markets Authority has licensed 18 brokers, asset managers and investment advisors including names like African Alliance, AIG Investments,

Renaissance Capital and SIMMS. As one of the ways of increasing formal domestic savings, Pension sector reform was the centre of attention in 2007. Uganda depends on Kenya for access to international markets. Uganda is part of the East African Community and a potential member of the planned East African Federation. Agriculture Agriculture contributes a major chunk to the Ugandan economy. The favourable soil and climate conditions have contributed to the country’s agricultural success. Most areas of Uganda usually receive suitable rain. In some years, small areas of the southeast and southwest have averaged more than 150mm a month. This coupled with the warm temperatures moderated by differences in altitude, which vary only a few degrees above or below 20°C, ensure that the dry seasons encountered in the north do not negatively affect agricultural activities on the whole. These conditions have allowed continuous cultivation in the south but only annual cropping in the north, and the driest north-eastern corner of the country has supported only pastoralism. Although population growth has created pressures for land in a few areas, land shortages have been rare, and only about one-third of the estimated area of arable land was under cultivation by 1989. Most farms have been run as co-operatives since independence.


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Uganda’s main food crops are plantains, cassava, sweet potatoes, millet, sorghum, corn, beans, and groundnuts. Major cash crops are coffee, cotton, tea and tobacco. Other sectors include sugar, livestock and beekeeping. The Ugandan Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and fisheries is close to realising its aims for Uganda to become a rice self-sufficient country with production rising from 50,000 to 170,000

For more information on Uganda’s exports go to:

tonnes per annum in 2007. Rice is a major food security crop to many Ugandans.


Why Invest in Uganda?

Uganda exports a wide range of products classified under Traditional and Non-

Predictable Environment: 

Traditional Exports. The major exports are as follows:

Uganda has been able to achieve macro-economic stability when clouds of uncertainty rocked many regions of the world.

Traditional Export Crops • Coffee / Tea; Cotton; Tobacco

• Inflation has been single digit for over 10 years from a record high of 240% in

Non-Traditional Exports

• Stable annual economic growth averaging 6% per annum. • Market driven exchange rates.


• Maize

• Beans and other Legumes

• Fish and Fish products

• Cattle hides

• Sesame seeds

• Soya beans

Fully Liberalised Economy:

• Soap

• Electric Current

• Cocoa beans

• Cobalt

• Hoes and hand tools

• Pepper

• All sectors liberalised for investment and marketing. • Free inflow and outflow of capital. • 100% foreign ownership of investment permitted.

• Vanilla

• Live animals

• Fruits

• Groundnuts

Market Access:

• Bananas

• Roses and Cut flowers

• Uganda enjoys a unique location at the heart of sub-Saharan Africa giving it a 

• Ginger

• Gold and gold compounds

• Petroleum products

commanding base for regional trade and investment.

• Uganda is a member of the commonwealth market for eastern and Best of Uganda


Southern African States (COMESA), a region with a market of over 300 million people in 20 countries.

• Uganda is a member of the East African Community comprising Kenya, Uganda,  and Tanzania.

• Duty and quota free access into the US (AGOA) and EU (EBA) markets. Strong natural Resource Base

• Rich endowment of rainfall, soils, and favourable temperature range. A number of crops are grown organically.

• Unexploited mineral deposits and tourism opportunities. Confirmed deposits include  gold, zinc, wolfram, petroleum, diamond, vermiculite, silica etc. Government Commitment to Private Sector

• Government and private sector dialogue in policy formulation. • Continuous improvement in providing infrastructure and other social services. Trainable Labour

• Uganda presently produces over 10,000 University graduates per year.

• Quality of labour is one of the biggest attractions. Security of Investment

• Guaranteed under the Constitution and the Investment Code 1991.

• Uganda is a signatory to main international investment related institutions.

• Multi lateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA). • Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) of US. • Convention on the recognition and enforcement of foreign arbitral award (CREFAA), ICSID, TRIMS, GATS, and TRIPS. Investment Incentives Investment Capital Allowances

• Initial Allowance on plant and machinery 50-75% • Start up cost spread over 4 years 25% p.a. • Scientific research expenditure 100% • Training expenditure 100% • Mineral exploration expenditure 100% • Initial Allowance on Hotel and Industrial Buildings 20% • Deductible annual Allowances (depreciable assets)  • Depreciation rates of assets range 20-40%  • Depreciation rate for Hotels, Industrial Buildings & Hospitals 5% Investors who register as investment traders are entitled to VAT refund on building materials for industrial/commercial buildings. Duty and Tax free import of Plant & Machinery First Arrival Privileges in the form of duty exemptions for





effects least

and  12

expatriates coming to Uganda.


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vehicle to





Export Zones (Provisional) 

• A ten-year corporation tax holiday. • Duty exemption on raw materials, plant and machinery and other inputs. • Stamp duty exemption. • Duty draw back to apply on input of goods from domestic tariff area. • No export tax. • Exemption of withholding tax on interest on external loans. • Dividends repatriated to get relief from double taxation. Public holidays 1 January, 26 January (Liberation Day), 8 March (International Women’s Day), Good Friday, Easter Monday, 1 May (Labour Day), 3 June (Martyrs’ Day), 9 June (National Heroes’ Day), 30 August (Eid al-Fitr/End of Ramadan), 9 October (Independence Day), 6 November (Eid al-Adha/ Feast of the Sacrifice), 25 December (Christmas Day), 26 December (Boxing Day). Where should you invest? Investment opportunities abound in the following areas

• Agriculture • Livestock • Fisheries • Forestry • Manufacturing • Mining • Infrastructure • Financial services • Tourism • Printing and publishing For more information regarding investing in Uganda go to:

Best of Uganda


Tourism Uganda is one of the most beautiful countries in Africa, with fantastic natural scenery. Half of the world’s remaining mountain gorilla population is in Uganda. It also offers world-class white water rafting at the source of Nile and some of the region’s more peaceful national parks, where wildlife viewing doesn’t involve long waits in line behind a dozen or more vehicles. The natural attractions are among the best in the region, and as tourism is still being re-established, there simply aren’t the crowds found elsewhere. Unique attractions vary from: the highest mountain range in Africa, the Rwenzori Mountains; one of the most powerful waterfalls in the world, Murchison Falls; to the Kabale forest National Park with the highest primate density in the world. Considering the beauty of the country and how much is on offer, the tourism market potential is largely untapped. Interest is seen to be increasing and the industry may well expect a boom in years to come. Lake Victoria Lake Victoria is one of the African Great Lakes. The lake was named for Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom, by John Hanning Speke, the first European to visit this lake - although the first map developed on Lake Victoria is credited to its calligrapher Al Idrisi, when Arab traders were prevalent in Africa. The excellent map is dated from the early 1160s. The Al Idrisi map also credits Lake Victoria as the source of the Nile. With a surface area of 68,800 sq km (26,600 sq mi), Lake Victoria is Africa’s largest lake by area, and it is the largest tropical lake in the world. Lake Victoria is the world’s second largest freshwater lake by surface area (only Lake Superior in North America is larger). In terms of its volume, Lake Victoria is the world’s eighth largest continental lake, and it contains about 2,750km3 (2.2 billion acrefeet) of water. Lake Victoria receives most of its water from direct precipitation or from thousands of small streams. The largest stream flowing into this lake is the Kagera River, the mouth of which lies on the lake’s western shore. There are two rivers that leave the lake, the White Nile  (known as the “Victoria Nile” as it leaves the lake), flows out at Jinja, Uganda on the lake’s north shore and the Katonga River  flows out at  Lukaya  on the western shore connecting the lake to Lake George. Lake Victoria occupies a shallow depression in Africa and has a maximum depth of 84m (276 ft) and an average depth of 40m (130 ft). Its catchment area covers 184,000 sq km (71,040 sq mi). The lake has a shoreline of 4,828km (3,000 mi), with islands constituting 3.7% of this length, and is divided among three countries: Kenya (6% or 4,100 km2/1,600  sq  mi),  Uganda  (45% or

31,000 km2/12,000  sq  mi)

and  Tanzania  (49%


33,700 km2/13,000 sq mi). Lake Victoria supports Africa’s largest inland fishery. Source of the Nile The Victoria Nile flows across northern  Uganda  from  Lake Victoria to Lake Kyoga and then to the north end of Lake Albert in the western branch of the East African Rift. Jinja, the town on Lake Victoria credited as the birthplace of the White Nile and thus the source of the World’s second longest river, is also the adventure capital of East Africa. It’s a regular attraction for


Best of Uganda

tourists and white water rafting enthusiasts because

of Acholi land. It’s well known to be one of Uganda’s

of its ‘A’ grade thunderous rapids. One of the major

ancient conservation areas. In 1926, it was known as a

rafting attractions is white water rafting on the Nile with

game reserve set up to protect the savannah grassland

Nalubale. The Nile’s journey to the sea has created a

that was talked about by Winston Churchill in 1907 as

number of fantastic falls as it pushes its way through the

the great Kew Gardens, along with the wildlife blended

Ugandan landscape. A number include:

on restricted land.

Bujagali Falls

Sipi Falls

The scenic Bujagali Falls is situated 8kms from Jinja,


include 1km of raging rapids. The river here is scattered

Eastern Uganda in the district of Kapchorwa, northeast

with forested islands in the middle of the White Nile and

of Sironko and Mbale, with the main waterfall at 100m.

as a result, birdlife abounds. Here at Bujagali, reputed

The waterfalls lie on the edge of Mount Elgon National

to be the kayaking capital of the world, tourists can

Park near the Kenyan border. Being on the foothills of

experience river rafting, kayaking, bungee jumping and

Mt. Elgon, Sipi offers a number of alternative activities

quad biking.

to the mainstream river activities in and around Jinja,

Murchison Falls Also known as Kabarega Falls, the spectacular Murchison Falls is a waterfall on the Nile. The Murchison

Falls is




three waterfalls in

such as abseiling, climbing and hiking. The Sipi River is named after the ‘Sep’, a medicinal plant indigenous to the banks of the River, which resembles a wild banana.

National park is suited in the northern part of Albertine

Lake Bunyonyi

Rift Valley, which is where the massive Bunyoro


escarpment amalgamates into the enormous plains

western Uganda between Kisoro and Kabale close to



Bunyonyi  lies


Best of Uganda



the border with Rwanda. Its beauty is alluded to in its definition as the “place of many little birds”, and understandably has become popular with both local and international tourists. Located at 1,962m above sea level, it is about 25km long and 7km wide. The depth of the lake is rumoured to vary between 44 m and 900 m, which if true, would make the lake the second deepest in Africa. It is scattered with 29 islands which vary in size, and is a centre for water sports as a result of it being free of bilharzia. Lake Bisina Wetland System Lake Bisina is a shallow fresh water lake, which covers an area of about 192km2, and is some 32km long by 6km wide, with a thin strip of fringing papyrus swamp. Lake Bisina forms an unusually extensive wetland in Uganda with a unique ecosystem which supports rare and endangered species. Lake Bisina wetland system is located in the northeast of Uganda in three districts: Kumi District (Kapir, Mukura, Kumi and Ongino sub-counties); Katakwi District (Wera, Katakwi, Toroma, Kapujan and Magoro sub-counties) and Soroti District (Gweri sub-county). It is an important birding area and the lakes fragile ecosystem is also home to endemic plant species and fish.


Best of Uganda

Safaris The wide biodiversity and ecology of Uganda is a combination of the typical East African savannah and the typical West African jungle. The tourism benefits here are obvious – this variety of wildlife and vegetation is not often stumbled upon. It is a unique destination where viewing the big five roaming in their plains can be followed by tracking chimpanzees in the lush rainforests. There are also the lures of the White Nile teeming with crocodiles and hippos and the juxtaposing mists of the mountains occupied by the mountain gorilla. Uganda also boasts a diverse bird population with more than 1,000 species. Tented Camp safaris The all year round beautiful tropical climate of Uganda enables open air tent living in leisurely surroundings but with extra aura of the African wild. Bird watching safaris With over 1000 bird species in Uganda, Queen Elizabeth National Park alone has over 500 species some of the most rare and beautiful in Africa. The Bigodi Wetland Safari offers some spectacular bird watching.

Best of Uganda


‘Mountains of the Moon’ Mount Rwenzori mountains trekking safari

Uganda’s snow capped mountain range located in Kasese between Western Uganda and Democratic Republic of Congo. National Parks

Bwindi National Park-Gorilla Resort Bwindi is home to the largest population of mountain gorillas in the world and is the most popular place to go for gorilla tracking tours. Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park Of Uganda’s forested reserves, Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is best known for its superb gorilla tracking, but it also provides refuge to elephant, chimpanzee, monkeys and various small antelope and bird species. Queen Elizabeth National Park The lush savannah of Queen Elizabeth National Park offers prime grazing to buffaloes, elephants, various antelopes and a checklist of over 600 bird species. Rwenzori Mountains Ranges Rwenzori Mountains National Park protects the eastern slopes and glacial peaks of the 120km-long Rwenzori Mountains or ‘Mountains of the Moon’, a world-class hiking and mountaineering destination. Mgahinga Gorilla National Park Mountain gorillas form the main attraction at Mgahinga National Park, which protects the Ugandan portion of the Virungas, an imposing string of nine free-standing extinct and active volcanoes that run along the border of Rwanda and the Congo. Semliki National Park The lower-lying and more remote Semliki National Park, an extension of the Congo’s Ituri Rainforest set at the base of the northern Rwenzori, is of special interest due to 40 Congolese bird species recorded nowhere else in the country. Lake Mburo National Park The closest savannah reserve to Kampala, Lake Mburo National Park is centred on a series of swamp-fringed lakes known for their rich birdlife, notably the elusive African finfoot. Kibale National Park More than 1,000 chimpanzees inhabit in the park, as well as half-a-dozen readily observed monkey species, including the acrobatic red colobus and black-and-white colobus, and the L’Hoest’s monkey. The park is home to the Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary. Murchison Falls National Park Uganda’s largest national park protects a chunk of untamed African savannah cut by the powerful Nile River. The park is named after the dramatic Murchison Falls, where the world’s longest river powerfully erupts through a narrow cleft in the Rift Valley escarpment descending 43m into the frothing pool below. Home to vast wildlife on a landscape consisting mainly of Borassus Palm 22

Best of Uganda

grassland, one can encounter elephant, buffalo, giraffe and various antelope, as well as the occasional lion on game drives through the park. Cultural Sites As a result of the diverse cultures and tribes of Uganda, there are a number of sites of cultural significance: Namugongo Shrine The shrine commemorates the 22 subjects of Kabaka who were burnt to death for converting to Christianity. A national public holiday called Martyrs day is celebrated yearly where pilgrims from all over East Africa travel to Namugongo to commemorate the day. Kabaka’s tombs Located on Kasubi hill, these royal tombs were built in 1881 using reeds and tree bark. Four Kabakas of the Baganda tribe, the largest tribe in Uganda, are buried here. The tombs represent the fine workmanship of the Ganda architecture. Kasubi tombs of Buganda Kings The Kasubi Tombs in Kampala, Uganda, is the site of the burial grounds for four kabakas (kings of Buganda), and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Tombs of Buganda Kings at Kasubi constitute a site of around 30 hectares of hillside in the Kampala district. Most of the site is agricultural, farmed by traditional methods. At its core on the hilltop is the former palace of the Kabakas of Buganda, built in 1882 and converted into the royal burial ground in 1884. Four royal tombs now lie within the Muzibu Azaala Mpanga, the main building, which is circular and surmounted by a dome. It is a major example of an architectural achievement in organic materials, principally wood, thatch, reed, wattle and daub. The site’s main significance lies, however, in its intangible values of belief, spirituality, continuity and identity. Reconstruction of the Kasubi Tombs, which burnt down on March 16, 2010 is expected to be completed in 2012.

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Nyero Rock paintings The Nyero Rock paintings comprise a three-tiered rock shelter with primitive paintings on their inner surfaces in the Kumi district. Archaeologically, the site dates back to the Later Iron Age. The makers of the mysterious paintings cannot be identified, but the ingenuity with which they were painted demonstrates a high degree of appreciation of their aesthetic values. They are widely recognised as some of the finest rock paintings in East Africa.  The geometric paintings are inscribed using red, white and purple pigments and were drawn about 400 years ago. Theories of the creators include that of the artists being the ancient yellow haired Bushmen whom they say once lived there hundreds of years ago.  The paintings are seen as evidence proving that South African Bantu speakers migrated from Africa’s inter-lacustrine region as similar paintings have been sighted down south. This site was added to the UNESCO World Heritage Tentative List on September 10th, 1997, in the Cultural category. Soroti Rock Soroti Rock, a volcanic plug resembling the Tororo Rock, The town’s architecture reflects its multi-cultural history. Central Soroti has a market 24

Best of Uganda

place where the ingenuity of the local populace at refashioning scrap metal to make cooking pots and other house hold items from the remains of cars and metal drum is amazing. Facts

• The Kazinga Channel in Queen Elizabeth National Park has one of the world’s largest concentrations of hippos.

• The Ruwenzori Range is a small but spectacular mountain range along the border of Uganda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. While the base of the range is in tropical rainforest the summits are permanently snowcapped. • Uganda is the only safari destination whose range of primates is as impressive as its selection of antelopes.

• The Great Lakes region has become the second centre worldwide for the bananas, the world’s largest herbaceous plant, second to India.

• Entebbe International Airport, the principal airport of Uganda located near the town of Entebbe on the shores of Lake Victoria, was renovated when Uganda hosted the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting in November 2007.

• The Nilotic Luo invasion is believed to have Best of Uganda


led to the collapse of Chwezi Empire in A.D. 120. The Twins Rukidi Mpuuga and Kato Kimera are believed to be the first kings of Bunyonro and Buganda after the Chwezi Empire collapsing, creating the Babiito and Bambejja Dynasty.

• The now submerged Ripon Falls were situated at the northern end of Lake Victoria in Uganda. Ripon Falls is often considered the source of the river Nile. In 1862–3 John Hanning Speke was the first European to follow the course of the Nile downstream after discovering the falls that his intuition had marked as the source of the Nile. He named the falls after George Robinson, 1st Marquess of Ripon. • The Falls functioned as a natural outlet for Lake Victoria, until in 1954 the construction of Owen Falls Dam was completed, effectively extending Lake Victoria and submerging Ripon Falls.

• The Sipi Falls area is particularly famous for Bugisu Arabica Coffee produced and grown locally by farmers. Bugisu Arabica only grows at an altitude of between 1,600 and 1,900 metres; it is the main cash crop in the area and genuinely one of the finest coffee’s in the world.


Best of Uganda

Best of Uganda


Icons of Uganda SPORTS John Akii-Bua: Born in Lira District in the north of the country, Akii-Bua dropped out of school at age 16 upon his father’s death and joined the Uganda Police in Kampala where he began to train as an athlete. John Akii-Bua made history at the Munich Olympics in 1972 by setting a 400 m hurdles for which he won Olympic gold. He was the first man to run the race under 48 seconds and the first African to win gold in race under 800m. He remained the only Ugandan with Olympic gold until 2005 when Ugandan Dorcas Inzikuru won gold at the first women’s steeplechase event. Akii-Bua was hailed as a national hero by the then ruling President, Idi Amin who paradoxically would murder James Ocen-Bua, Akii-Bua’s brother. Akii-Bua fled into exile to neighbouring Kenya, but the trauma of the experience led to the death of his wife who died while giving birth prematurely. In a refugee camp in Kenya, Akii-Bua’s sponsor Puma took him to Germany where he worked for 4 years before returning home to Uganda where he joined the police force once again. John Akii-Bua died at age 51 and his name continues to sound reminders of the sports hero who put Uganda on the world map. 2

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LITERARY ICON Okot P’Bitek Born in 1931, Okot P’Bitek is most famously remembered as Uganda’s literary great, a poet anthropologist and novelist. His most critically acclaimed work was the long poem ‘’Song of Lawino’’ a lamentation of a spurned rural housewife which was written in Bitek’s native Acholi and self-translated to English. This poem has been credited as one of the most important African literary works borrowing heavily from Bitek’s Luo culture. He died of a stroke in 1982 of a stroke after an accomplished career following up Song of Lawino with two other exemplary works (Song of Ocol and Song of a Malaya) in addition to being the director of Uganda’s National Theatre.

MUSIC ICONS Philly Bongoley Lutaaya A great musician whose “Born in Africa” album recorded in Sweden brought glamour and fame, he returned to Uganda where he broke the silence by declaring that he was HIV positive. Previously, the ‘strange disease’ that was eating away populations in the South Western district of Rakai in Uganda had been attributed to witchcraft. Although many people initially thought it was a publicity stunt, as Philly continued to waste away, the reality of the disease struck home and catapulted Philly Lutaaya’s HIV/AIDS activist work and subsequent album about HIV/AIDS- ‘’Alone’’ to the top of the national charts more especially after his death in 1989 from HIV/AIDS related diseases at the age of 38. Because of Philly’s work AIDS activism grew in Uganda heavily supported by the government and the non-government sector leading to a dramatic fall in the number of new HIV/AIDS infections.


Afrigo Band With 17 albums to their name, the Afrigo Band remains Uganda’s most enduring live band led by its most famous lead musician, Joanita Kawalya. Its distinct Ugandan sound has endeared it to Ugandans of all ages both within Uganda and in the diaspora where they have made several tours including countries like the United Kingdom, USA and Sweden.

The wedding of the Kabaka Ronald Muwenda Mutebi II (King of one of Uganda’s most populous tribes) to Sylvia Nagginda Luswata at St. Paul’s Cathedral, Namirembe on 27th August 1999 was an iconic event that drew guests from royalty all over the world. The wedding was a first of many: the Kabaka’s diamond studded UGX 50 million gown had a 150 year warranty; donations to the wedding amounted to UGX 1 billion with three quarters of that in cash from various corporate entities including telecoms, utilities companies, private individuals, beverage companies, construction companies, tax waivers on imported luxury cars and donations from various Ministries. The wedding attracted hundreds of thousands of guests awed by the Nabagereka, Sylvia’s pearl and gold encrusted bodice with a Cathedral train stretching 20 feet while a crown of beauty—a gold tiara with diamonds that matched the necklace and earring set completed the royal ensemble.

Founded in 1976, the band started off singing at a small night club taking on much larger and established bands and by the 80s it was a classic favourite held in high esteem. Best of Uganda




Best of Uganda

Best of Uganda



22 of the Kabaka’s subjects were burnt to death for converting to Christianity. A national public holiday-Martyrs day is celebrated yearly where pilgrims from all over East Africa travel to Namugongo to commemorate the day.Welcome to one of Africa’s friendliest destinations.

Ndere Troupe

Home of amazing cultural dances and music of the 30 tribes found in Uganda.


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Kabaka’s Tombs

Located on Kasubi hill these royal tombs were built in 1881 using reeds and tree bark. Four Kabakas of the Baganda tribe, the largest in Uganda, are buried here. The tombs represent the fine workmanship of the Ganda architecture.

Source of the Nile

The River Nile is the world’s second longest river originating from Lake Victoria the third largest lake in the world. It’s a regular attraction for tourists who love white water rafting because of its high grade thunderous rapids.

Mweya Safari Lodge

Visitors to Queen Elizabeth National Park stay atop Mweya Safari Lodge built on the Rift Valley floor between Lake Edward and Lake George.

Best of Uganda


Bird watching Safaris

With over 1000 bird species in Uganda, Queen Elizabeth National Park alone has over 500 species some of the most rare and beautiful in Africa.

‘Mountains of the Moon’ Mount Rwenzori mountains trekking safari

Uganda’s snow capped mountain range located in Kasese between Western Uganda and Democratic Republic of Congo.

White water rafting on the Nile with Nalubale 6

Best of Uganda

Bwindi National Park-Gorilla Resort

Home to the largest population of mountain gorillas in the world and the most popular place to go for gorilla tracking tours.

Tented Camp Safaris

The all year round beautiful tropical climate of Uganda enables open air tent living in leisurely surroundings but with extra aura of the African wild.

Best of Uganda


UGANDA HOTELS Serena Hotel - A member of the Leading Hotels of the World Serena’s Uganda flagship, the Kampala Serena Hotel is an inspirational blend of 5-star polish, pan-African panache, social style and business reliability. Ideally located at the very heart of Kampala, the hotel stands amidst 72 acres of landscaped grounds and water gardens. An oasis of cool and green, encircled by the seven hills of Kampala, this 152-room world-class hotel is the focal point of national, regional, business, political and social life. Drawing its architectural inspiration from the abundance of Uganda’s lakes and rivers, the hotel has been created around a central water theme, which manifests itself both in the extensive water gardens and in the hand-carved panels and shimmering mosaics with which it is decorated. Inspirationally styled as a showcase for Ugandan art, this unique 5-star hotel offers; an international conference centre, a garden auditorium, a roof-top terrace, a rock-sculptured pool terrace, three restaurants, two bars and the Moorish palace of the ‘Maisha Mind Body and Spirit Spa’. Facilities • Wide selection of rooms and suites: all with AC, satellite TV, WiFi and voice-mail • Bambara Residents’ Lounge with Bedouin Terrace • The Lakes, all-day brasserie • The Mist, cocktail bar • The Explorer, Italian bistro • The Pearl of Africa, fine-dining experience • The Sesse Pool Terrace bar and café • Panoramic roof terrace for private cocktails and social events • Garden auditorium • Extensive swimming pool area with rock-built waterfall • The Maisha Mind Body and Spirit Spa • Running track in the grounds and golf course (nearby) • Hair and beauty salon • International Conference Centre to seat 1,500 • VIP entrance, helipad, dedicated car park, full security • Wide range of incentives options • Business Centre, travel desk, taxi and limousine service • Wedding planning service • Gift Shop, news-stand and travel requisites kiosk.


Best of Uganda

Protea Hotel Situated in the up market suburb of Kololo in Kampala, only 35km from Entebbe Airport, the brand new Protea Hotel Kampala offers GUESTS 4-star luxury and 5-star service, 59 luxurious rooms and 11 sumptuous suites, all en-suite and air-conditioned. Add to this a Business Centre, limited room service and 24-hour Reception and you have the perfect accommodation choice in the heart of Uganda’s Capital. Facilities • Number of Rooms: 70 • Restaurant • Bar • 2 Conference Hall Facilities seating: 200 • 3 Board Rooms & 1 Meeting Room • Satellite TV • Parking • Air Conditioning • Complimentary Wireless Internet Best of Uganda


Sheraton Ideally located in the heart of Kampala city, Sheraton Kampala Hotel welcomes travelers with a relaxed ambience and a dazzling array of upscale amenities. Just 45 minutes drive from Entebbe International Airport, we are within reach of the Central Business District. Take a magnificent view of the city from our 218 newly renovated guest rooms and suites, decorated with a local flavor and homey comfort.


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Fang Fang The hotel is close to the hub of Kampala, but set in the city’s prime residential area.It is a 3 -star facility centrally located in the heart of the Center business district. Accomodation Luxurious rooms, Air-conditioned rooms, Cable TV, Free Internet in the room. Services Safari, Car rentals, Flight bookings, Chinese restaurant (lawn restaurant), Airport shuttle service.

Imperial Group of Hotels Grand Imperial Hotel was one of the first hotels to be built in colonial Kampala. It is the only hotel that has been used by every governor of the colonial era. The 103 rooms including suites reflect the urban elegance and easy southern charm of the city. Centrally located in Kampala, the hotel is just 30 minutes drive from the International Airport, Entebbe, and is in the heart of the Central Business District. Grand Imperial Hotel offers: • Modern well- equipped Conference facilities • 103 Centrally air-conditioned rooms and suites • High speed internet (dial up connection) in all rooms • In-room electronic safe and mini bar • Direct Dialing from rooms • Swimming Pool • Saunas & Steam Baths • Massage rooms • Shopping mall • Large secure car parking • Forex Bureau • Doctor on 24 hr call • Shopping arcade and an exclusive in-hotel shopping mall

Best of Uganda



Dining and Nightlife Emin Pasha

A former Country House, this elegant boutique hotel is a refreshing change from the commercial hotels in the Central Business District and is tucked away in a lush tropical setting of flowering shrubs and trees . The hotel is best known for its outstanding fine dining restaurant with strong Asian and African influences in the cuisine.

Commonwealth Resort Munyonyo

The plush retreat built to host the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in 2007, Uganda, is a pinnacle of luxury set in plush greenery with all the comforts of a modern resort. The resort has over 100 five star rooms an extensive business centre, but more importantly a variety of facilities including a marina, multiple bars, beaches, gardens for parties and weddings in addition to air conditioned and internet wired meeting rooms to accommodate several hundreds of participants.


Best of Uganda

Cassia Lodge

Situated on one of Kampala’s numerous hills, Buziga hill, Cassia Lodge provides an enthralling panoramic view of the city and of Lake Victoria, the world’s 2nd largest lake. The lodge’s terrace restaurant provides a varied international menu which will accommodate even the most selective visitors.

Jinja Nile Resort

Voted best weekend getaway and best country hotel in Uganda by Travel News magazine in the year 2005,2006,2007and 2008, the resort is located on the banks of Africa’s longest river, the Nile and has a bevy of activities including bungy jumping, whitewater rafting for the perfect weekend getaway.

Best of Uganda


Kabira Country Club

The most sophisticated facility for staying fit while in Uganda, the club boasts of state of the art cardiovascular equipment and free weights as well as the latest gym machines.Other facilities include squash courts, swimming pools, tennis courts, basketball court, Jacuzzis and saunas. It also offesr a wide range of fitness and holistic classes including Yoga and Pilates to the more energetic Body Pump and Spinning classes.

Ange Noir Discotheque

Uganda’s leading discotheque it comprises several floors and a members only area. The club recently opened a high premium executive wing-Guvnor to cater for its growing business clientele. With branches in the United Kingdom, Ange Noir has set international standards for nightlife leisure.

Boda Boda

A classic executive bar located in the heart of the city and whose name is derived from a popular but chaotic mode of travel- the boda boda – a ride on a motorbike winding through the city’s narrow streets and roads. The bar has an authentic African ambience created by the décor. Simple chic and professional service have made it a popular hangout for corporate seeking laid back comfort on an evening out.


Best of Uganda

La Chateaux

Although La Chateaux boasts of having the finest Belgian cuisine, its menu appeals across the board and its steak has continued to receive rave reviews throughout Uganda. And if you’re looking to prepare a dinner for your visiting director, Quality Cuts the butchery next door provides premium meats in all flavours and colours including rare ingredients commonly used in the finest dishes. If your desire is for melt-in-the mouth pastries, visit La Patisserie next door which serves a broad range of freshly made luxurious pastries.

Cineplex cinema

Cineplex is a premium cinema with state of the art auditoriums bringing to you on the big screen the biggest Hollywood blockbuster movies and beyond. Cineplex is your ideal setting for friends and family to have shared fun moments and entertainment on an international standard. With a fully stocked bar and a kiosk with sizzling snacks, popcorn and soft drinks you’ll be here for every blockbuster.

Kampala Casino

Kampala Casino is your premier destination for the ultimate in high-quality games. Conveniently Located in the heart of down town Kampala , Kampala Casino has been the number one entertainment spot in Uganda Since July 1994 . The staff is well trained and groomed to offer an unparalleled service with charm and courtesy at all times. The dĂŠcor is richly modern and comfortable while the gaming Hall is managed by fully trained Ugandan pit bosses and croupiers. Private gaming rooms are also available.

Best of Uganda


Khana Khazana

Khana Khazana has easily been said to be the finest Indian restaurant in East Africa, rivalling even restaurants in native India. A luxurious spacious lobby draped in exotic decor and ornaments creates the perfect ambience for the Indian cuisine served here with tandoori starters of lamb, beef, chicken, seafood and a selection of vegetarian dishes. Enjoy the enthralling Indian experience in Uganda.

Pyramids Casino

Experience the splendour and grandeur of this ancient Egyptian themed Casino in a world class evening of gaming in what has been called the Gem of all Africa, featuring Roulette, Pontoon, Poker and Blackjack, along with the newest state of the art machines. Enjoy an evening of style, elegance in addition to a Salon Prive for the more discerning guest.


Best of Uganda

Spectrum restaurant

Located within the premises of one Uganda’s finest theatres, La Bonita, this magnificently furnished restaurant is one of the most enchanting five star restaurants in Uganda with the broadest buffet of unforgettable dishes not short of a feast fit for a king.

Best of Uganda


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