Uganda - Nature and Wildlife
Ecotourism and nature conservation are very important to the people of Uganda. Recognising that activities like gorilla trekking are essential to the tourist infrastructure of the country, many steps have been taken to protect the gorilla population as well as the many other diverse plant and animal species found in the country.
There are eleven national parks in Uganda as well as various large and small game reserves. These parks and reserves offer safe and enjoyable game viewing opportunities as all parks and reserves are monitored and protected by the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA). The UWA works to encourage community participation in wildlife management as well as to educate the population about conservation and awareness. They focus on the many issues facing conservation such as poaching, encroachment and illegal grazing. To combat these problems, patrols have been placed in all protected areas and strict sanctions have been enforced on people who commit these crimes.
Uganda houses two UNESCO World Heritage Sites, Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Rwenzori Mountains National Park, both of which were listed in 1994. Bwindi is an ancient forest that contains more than 160 species of trees as well as over 100 species of ferns. This national park hosts almost half of the world’s mountain gorillas. Rwenzori Mountains National Park is part of the Rwenzori Mountain chain. The park is a combination of mountains, glaciers, valleys, rivers, waterfalls and lakes.
It is true that Uganda cannot compete with some of its neighbours regarding the volume of wildlife found in the country, however, the sheer variety of plant and animal species found throughout the nation is incredible. Uganda hosts the “Big Five” which consists of the lion, elephant, rhinoceros, buffalo and leopard. The “Big Five” was a term coined by hunters to encompass the most difficult and dangerous animals to hunt as well as the most desired trophies. Uganda is home to approximately 500 mammal species and houses more than half of the world’s mountain gorilla population. Visiting these gentle giants in their natural habitat has become a major tourist attraction.
Uganda is perhaps best known for its mountain gorilla populations which draw tourists from around the world annually. Gorillas are generally gentle and shy, living in groups of between 2-40 individuals. Mountain gorillas are endangered and face threats including forest clearance and degradation as human populations continue to grow. Also, the very slow reproduction rate of mountain gorillas makes the species even more threatened.
The International Gorilla Conservation program was established with the goal of strengthening gorilla habitat protection. The program researches the relationships between humans and the natural habitats as well as with the animals and works with local communities to promote awareness. Uganda, while famous for its gorilla trekking, is also home to a further thirteen primate species and offers chimpanzee tracking.
Due to Uganda’s unique geographical location where eastern, western, northern and southern ranges merge, it has become an incredible birdwatching paradise. Many believe that Uganda is the richest African birding destination as the country hosts almost half of the total bird population found in Africa. Some of the most interesting birds spotted throughout the country include the Africa Fish Eagle, the African Vacana and the Saddle Billed Stork. Many of the birds in Uganda are impossible to find anywhere else.
Uganda Travel Information
At Goway we believe that a well-informed traveller is a safer traveller. With this in mind, we have compiled an easy to navigate travel information section dedicated to Uganda.
Learn about the history and culture of Uganda, the must-try food and drink, and what to pack in your suitcase. Read about Uganda's nature and wildlife, weather and geography, along with 'Country Quickfacts' compiled by our travel experts. Our globetrotting tips, as well as our visa and health information will help ensure you're properly prepared for a safe and enjoyable trip. The only way you could possibly learn more is by embarking on your journey and discovering Uganda for yourself. Start exploring… book one of our Uganda tours today!
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