UNESCO: The Three World Heritage Sites in Uganda
There is three UNESCO heritage sites in Uganda, two of them are National parks and one is a cultural site. World Heritage sites are tourist destinations which are highly recognized world wide or internationally.
The three World Heritage sites in Uganda include: Bwiindi Impenetrable Forest National Park (Home of Mountain Gorillas), Mountain Rwenzori National Park or Mountains of the moon and Kasubi Tombs.
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
It is the largest and famous home of Mountain Gorillas in Uganda. It is believed that Bwindi Impenetrable Forest hosts half of the world’s mountain Gorillas. Currently, the forest hosts 14 habituated Gorilla groups namely: Mishaya gorilla group, Kahungye gorilla group, Nshongi Gorilla group, Nkuringo Gorilla group, Mubare gorilla family, Habinyanja Gorilla Group, Rushegura Gorilla Group, Bitukura Gorilla Group, Bushingye Gorilla family, Oruzogo gorilla group, Bweza gorilla group, Kyaguriro Gorilla Family plus the two newly habituated groups namely: Rushaho and Kihingi gorilla group.
Bwindi is one of the oldest tropical forests in Uganda- its impenetrable due to thick undergrowth and prop roots among others. It is one of the largest areas in East Africa where one can find Afro-Montane vegetation in what is considered lowland area. Bwindi Impenetrable Forest is considered a biodiversity hotspot and it is believed that it has the greatest number of tree species at this altitude in East Africa which you can readily see as you enter the forest and if you counted you would find more than 200 species of trees and over 100 kinds of Ferns including the large tree-ferns.
It should be noted that over 120 mammals are found in Bwindi Forest and they include: Forest elephant, Leopard, chimpanzees, rare species of monkeys, over 200 various butterflies and over 347 species of birds.
Rwenzori Mountains (Mountains of the Moon)
Rwenzori is one of the highest mountains in East Arica and the highest in Uganda with the highest Magharita peak. The Mountain is found in western Uganda, demarcating Uganda and Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
Hiking and climbing up to Mountain Stanley’s highest peak – Margherita Peak (5,109 meters above sea level-third highest peak in Africa) takes 8 days, lots of equipment and of course physical stamina – to that note, Mountain Rwenzori National Park is among the least visited park in Uganda.
Here in the higher altitudes you find the magnificent giant heathers, ground-sells, ericas and lobelias. The vegetation that you encounter depends on the altitude and there are 5 vegetation zones found in the Rwenzori Mountains.
The Rwenzori Mountains National park hosts 80 species of birds, 4 species of primates and 15 species of butterflies. In the lower elevations of the mountains you can still find elephant, common chimpanzee and I’Hoests monkeys and in the foothills of the Rwenzori Mountains some of the best Arabica Coffee in Africa is grown bringing prosperity to the growers and their families.
Kasubi Tombs in Kampala
Kasubi Tombs was originally built in 1882 and it was converted aburial place for the Kings of Buganda after 2 years- Four Kings were buried in Kasubi Tombs include:
Muteesa I (1835–1884)
Mwanga II (1867–1903) (died in exile on the Seychelles Islands, and remains returned in 1910)
Daudi Chwa II (1896–1939)
Sir Edward Muteesa II (1924–1969) (died in exile in London, and remains returned in 1971). The Tombs are thatched by grass, materials of wood, elephant grass, reeds, among other local materials.
Kasubi Tombs is believed to be a place of spirits – many Baganda go to the tombs to fetch blessings.