Areas and places of interest in Uganda
Budongo Forest Reserve
Budongo Forest Reserve was gazetted in 1932. Commercial extraction of timber has been on-going since 1915. It is said that Budongo is in a serious ‘state of degradation’ due to the high levels of illegal pit sawing, hunting and human encroachment. It is for the above reasons that tourism is so essential for the protection of this vulnerable tropical forest, to create work and generate an income for the local inhabitants to contribute to the preservation of these natural resources.
Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park
The forest is one of the richest ecosystems in Africa and the diversity of species is a feature of the park. The park provides habitat for some 120 species of mammals, 348 species of birds, 220 species of butterflies, 27 species of frogs, chameleons, geckos and other endangered species. Floristically Bwindi is amongst the most diverse forests in East Africa, with more than 1,000 flowering plant species including 163 species of trees and 104 species of ferns. The northern (low altitude) sector is rich in species of the Guineo-Congolian flora. These include two species internationally recognised as endangered, Brown mahogany (Lovoa swynnertonii) and Brazzeia longipedicellata. In particular the area shares in the high levels of endemisms of the Albertine Rift.
The park is a sanctuary for Colobus monkeys, chimpanzees and many birds (such as hornbills and Turacos). It is perhaps most notable for the 340 Bwindi gorillas, half the world's population of the critically endangered Mountain Gorillas. There are four habituated Mountain Gorilla groups open to tourism: Mubare; Habinyanja; Rushegura near Buhoma; and the Nkuringo group at Nkuringo.
Queen Elizabeth National Park
Recognised as one of Africa’s bio-diversity hotspots, the park is named after Queen Elizabeth 11 and was established in 1954. QENP is known for its wildlife, including large populations of Hippopotamus, Elephant, Leopard, Lion and Chimpanzee; it is home to 95 species of mammal and over 600 ( 605) species of birds, a bird watchers paradise.
The area around Ishasha in Rukungiri District is famous for its tree-climbing lions, whose males sport black manes, a feature unique to the lions in this area. The park is also famous for its volcanic features, comprising volcanic cones and deep craters, many with crater lakes such as Lake Katwe, from which salt is extracted. The national park includes the Maramagambo ( Unable to talk) Forest and borders Kigezi Game reserve, Kyambura Game Reserve and Kibale national Park in Uganda, and the Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Kibale National Park
The park was gazetted in 1932 and formally established in 1993 to protect a large area of forest previously managed as a logged Forest Reserve. This park together with Queen Elizabeth National park forms a continuous stretch of conserved forest creating a 180 km protected corridor that forms an important tourism destination, popular for its habituated chimpanzees and 12 other species of primates that occur in these forests.
Lake George is a small lake with an average depth of only 2.4 m and which is fed by streams from the Rwenzori mountains. Its outflow is through the Kazinga Channel which drains into Lake Edward, water levels fluctuating very little.
Budongo Forest Reserve
Budongo Forest Reserve was gazetted in 1932. Commercial extraction of timber has been on-going since 1915. And because of unrestricted illegal logging the area needs to attract as much Eco-tourism as possible to encourage the protection of this valuable resource and the primates and other creatures that find refuge here.
The Nile River
The Nile has two major tributaries, the White Nile and the Blue Nile. The latter is the source of most of the water and fertile soil. The former is the longer. The White Nile rises in the Great Lakes region of central Africa, with the most distant source still undetermined but located in either Rwanda or Burundi. It flows north through Tanzania, Lake Victoria, Uganda and South Sudan. The Blue Nile starts at Lake Tana in Ethiopia and flows into Sudan from the southeast. The two rivers meet near the Sudanese capital of Khartoum. The northern section of the river flows almost entirely through desert, from Sudan into Egypt, a country whose civilization has depended on the river since ancient times.
Most of the population and cities of Egypt lie along those parts of the Nile valley north of Aswan, and nearly all the cultural and historical sites of Ancient Egypt are found along its riverbanks. The Nile ends in a large delta that empties into the Mediterranean Sea.
Murchison Falls National Park
Lake Albert is part of the complicated system of the upper Nile. Its main sources are the Victoria Nile, ultimately coming from Lake Victoria to the southeast, and the Semliki River, which issues from Lake Edward to the southwest. The water of the Victoria Nile is much less saline than that of Lake Albert. Its outlet, at the northernmost tip of the lake, is the Albert Nile (which becomes known as the Mountain Nile when it enters South Sudan).
Rivers and lakes of Uganda
At the southern end of the lake, where the Semliki comes in, there are swamps. Farther south loom the mighty Ruwenzori Range, while a range of hills called the Blue Mountains tower over the northwestern shore.
The mountains were formed about three million years ago in the late Pliocene as a result of an uplifted block of crystalline rocks such as: gneiss, amphibolite granite and quartzite, "pushed up by tremendous forces originating deep within the earth’s crust". The uplifting divided the large paleolake Obweruka and created three of the present-day African Great Lakes: Albert, Edward and George on the edge of the Albertine (western) Rift of the East African Rift a part of the Great Rift Valley.
The Rwenzori Mountains are about 120 km long and 65 km wide. They consists of six massifs separated by deep gorges: Mount Stanley (5,109m), Mount Speke (4,890m), Mount Baker (4,843m), Mount Emin (4,798m), Mount Gessi (4,715m) and Mount Luigi di Savoia (4,627m) Mount Stanley is the largest and has several subsidiary summits, with Margherita Peak being the highest point. The rock is metamorphic, and the mountains are believed to have been tilted and squeezed upwards by plate movement. They are in an extremely humid area, and frequently enveloped in clouds.
The Great Rift Valley
Graphic of the Great Rift Valley
In eastern Africa, the valley divides into two, the Western Rift Valley and the Eastern Rift Valley.