Western Uganda

Travel Guide Africa Uganda Western Uganda

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Introduction

Western Uganda is a region of Uganda.

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Cities

Fort Portal - generally considered Uganda's most attractive settlement with extensive tea plantations, some fine old buildings and a superb Rwenzori backdrop.
Hoima
Kabale - is a small city in the far south of the country and the stopover to go to Lake Bunyonyi and the southeastern National Parks.
Kasese
Kisoro - a stopover to visit the Mgahinga Gorilla National Park.
Masindi
Mbarara

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Sights and Activities

Bwindi Impenetrable National Park

Mealtime

Mealtime

© berner256

Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is the prime spot in Uganda to go on a trekking to see the Mountain Gorillas. The park is located in the southwestern corner of the country and apart from gorillas offers a wide range of monkey, birds, butterflies and other wildlife to view up-close. A gorilla permit is expensive though, around US$600, and as this is the most favorite spot in Africa to go on a trekking, the permits sell out quickly, especially by tour groups who buy them well in advance. As an independent traveller, you might be more lucky in Rwanda to get a permit within several days, although prices over there are even higher at US$1,500. Another option is to opt for a permit in the low season months of April, May and November. Prices are 'just' US$350 during those months. The disadvantage of course is there is a lot more rain, though November is not as bad as April/May.

Kibale Forest National Park

Kibale National Park is located in the west of the country, not far from Fort Portal and is famous for its chimpanzee tracking and bird watching.
The park protects moist evergreen rain forest. It is 766 square kilometres in size and is located between 1,100 metres to 1,600 metres in elevation. Despite encompassing primarily moist evergreen forest, it contains a diverse array of landscapes. Kibale is one of the last remaining expanses to contain both lowland and montane forests. In eastern Africa, it sustains the last significant expanse of pre-montane forest. 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. The park forms a continuous forest with Queen Elizabeth National Park. This adjoining of the parks creates a 180 kilometres wildlife corridor. It is an important eco-tourism and safari destination, popular for its population of habituated chimpanzees and twelve other species of primates. It is also the location of the Makerere University Biological Field Station.

Lake Bunyonyi

Lake Bunyonyi is probably one of the deepest lakes in Africa. Its twenty nine islands offer a variety of accommodation including backpackers and swimming is popular due to the small numbers of bilharzia parasites and absence of hippos and crocodiles. The lake is 25 kilometres long and 7 kilometres wide and lies at an altitude of 1,950 metres.

Mgahinga Gorilla National Park

Mgahinga Gorilla National Park is in the Virunga Mountains and in the Albertine Rift montane forests ecoregion. Totaling about 33.7 square kilometres, it is the smallest of Uganda's national parks. The park is about 15 kilometres, by road, south of the town of Kisoro and approximately 55 kilometres, by road, west of Kabale, the largest city in the sub-region. The park is located within Bufumbira county of the Kisoro District. Mgahinga Gorilla National Park includes three of the eight Virunga Mountains volcanoes: Mount Muhabura, Mount Gahinga, and Mount Sabyinyo. These dormant volcanoes are international mountains, with Muhabura and Gahinga on the Uganda/Rwanda border, and Sabyinyo a tripoint on the Uganda/Rwanda/Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) borders.

Rwenzori Mountains

Rwenzori Mountains National Park is a mountain range in southwest Uganda bordering the Democratic Republic of Congo. It is 120 kilometres long and 48 kilometres wide with its highest peak at Mt Stanley (5,109metres. The range was first described in the 2nd century by ancient Greek astronomer Ptolemy as the "Mountains of the moon", and first ascended in 1896 by Italian explorers. By the end of 2006, its ice cap has retreated from 6.4 square kilometres a century ago, to less than 1.28kmĀ². In the Rwenzori Mountains near Fort Portal you find Mitandi. The place represents a unique opportunity to explore the mountains and get to know the culture of the local Bakonzo mountain people.

Queen Elizabeth National Park

Queen Elizabeth National Park, crater

Queen Elizabeth National Park, crater

© Winkekatze

Queen Elizabeth National Park offers another option to go on a safari, with great wildlife viewing between Lake Edward and Lake George and on top of that the Kasinga Channel has the largest concentration of hippos in the world! Also, the endemic Ugandan Kob, a species of antelope, lives here.

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This is version 1. Last edited at 11:18 on Oct 30, 20 by Utrecht. 1 article links to this page.

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