The Only UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Uganda
The Only UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Uganda which the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) is a United Nations body that marks off places across the world with ecological and cultural significance.
Uganda being the pearl of Africa, it is a proud home to three World Heritage sites, two national parks and a cultural site. Bwindi impenetrable forest national park, Rwenzori mountain national park and Kasubi Tombs which is currently closed to visitors as it is under construction after an unfortunate fire tragedy that occurred several years back.
A safari in Uganda to the three world heritage sights grants travelers with encounters with stunning sceneries, wildlife and cultural variety. These amazing places simply a unique safari experience compared to other destinations in Uganda.
Having survived the ice age, civil wars and the platonic movements that positioned most of the areas surrounding the Western rift valley, this oldest forest in Uganda is located in the southwestern region of the country.
Bwindi is famously known as a prime home for the world’s most endangered species; the mountain gorillas. Over 400 gorillas, almost half of the world’s total population of these remaining apes. The park covers a total land area of 331 square kilometers of jungle forest, both montane and lowland forest. It is one of the most biologically diverse forests in Africa.
This UNESCO site has approximately 120 mammal species more than any other national park in Uganda, including the gorillas and other primates like the blue monkeys, red-tailed monkeys, olive baboons and others. 350 bird species reside in this park making it a birder’s paradise.
Besides gorilla trekking in Bwindi, travelers here also get a chance to encounter with the endangered Batwa pygmies, the ancient people of the forest, have thrilling nature walks and hikes, plus stunning birding experiences.
Unlike most of East Africa’s major mountains, the Rwenzori Mountains of the moon are not volcanic, it is a block that was formed by a shift in the earth’s crust that also created the western rift valley in Uganda. The park covers the main part of Africa’s third highest peak after Kilimanjaro and Kenya mountains.
The all year round snow capped peaks, glaciers, V-shaped valleys, waterfalls on the fast flowing rivers, clear blue lakes and the flora of this park all sum up into a spectacular exceptional beauty not found elsewhere in the world.
The park supports the richest montane flora in Africa including the magnificent giant heathers, ground sells, lobelias and the ericas, with 4 primate species and 15 species of butterflies residing here. Rwenzori mountain national park is also recognized as one of the important birding areas in Uganda with more than 80 bird species including the endemic ones.
Though this is the least visited national park in Uganda as its hikes to the Stanley peak are so hectic and thrilling, it furnishes extraordinary experiences with unique scenic wonders, wildlife, bird and cultural ventures.
The Kasubi Royal tombs of Buganda kingdom.
This major spiritual site of the Baganda covers almost 26.8 hectares of Kasubi hill in Uganda’s capital Kampala. It is the main religious place in the kingdom where most traditional and cultural practices are preserved as well as the official ground for the performance of rituals.
The site being a burial ground for the previous four kings makes it an important religious center for communication links with the spiritual world, simply a place where the king (kabaka) and his representatives carry out special rituals related to Buganda culture.
The site displays the main example of architectural achievements of Buganda kingdom in its circular tomb building capped by dome made out of vegetal materials with wooden poles, reeds and spear grass.
The physical appearance of the tombs may not be appealing, but its significance lies in the intangible values of beliefs, continuity and identity of the Baganda people. It’s a very important historical and cultural feature of Uganda as well as East Africa.
If anywhere in Africa, something that you should never miss is a Uganda safari to these world heritage sites in Uganda. However, the pearl of Africa still offers other unique and breathtaking encounters all around the country. The diverse national parks filled with numerous wildlife species and hospitable cultures.