In the south-western part of Uganda you’ll find Lake Bunyoyui surrounded by mountains covered with forests and volcanoes. Loosely translated, Bunyoni means “the place of many little birds”. Unsurprisingly, this area is a fantastic destination for the birdwatchers among us. It is a fairytale beautiful lake, with small villages and plantations along its coast. There are several smaller islands in the lake which you can visit. If you’re brave enough you can make the journey by hollowed-out tree trunk and a paddle. The views of the hills, green terraces and the lake itself are not to be missed as well. It’s a great place for hiking and enjoying the scenery as well.
The isolated and remote Kidepo Valley National Park is considered by some people to be the most beautiful park in all of Uganda. It has a landscape that varies from mountain ranges to forests, grasslands and savannahs. It is diverse in its wildlife as well with elephants, lions, zebras, many different primates and a large variety of bird species. This is a park with a classic safari landscape and without the crowds of other tourists. You can also get a glimpse here of the Karamojong people, an ethnic nomadic group that inhabit these lands. They are a colorful tribe with a proud and rich history. Their costumes, decorations, culture, and language make then unique from other tribes in Uganda.
Lake Mburo National Park is one of the smallest national parks in Uganda. It consists of Lake Mburo in its center and is surrounded by wetlands and savannahs. The park bursts with wildlife, including a large population of zebras, antelopes and birds. There are no elephants or giraffes, but if you’re lucky you might spot a rare leopard. It is the only safari park in Uganda that can be explored on foot, horseback or even by bike. You can get quite close to the animals. The views in the park are spectacular and with clear weather you can get a good view of the Virunga volcanoes, where Diane Fossey researched mountain gorillas. Trips on the lake are also possible and you might spot a hippo or crocodile on the water.
On the border with Congo you can find the Rwenzori mountain range with its snow-capped peaks. This national park has unique vegetation and excellent off-the-beaten-track hiking opportunities. The highest peaks of the Rwenzori Mountains are permanently covered with snow. Together with Mount Kilimanjaro and Mount Kenya, these are the only mountains in Africa to have permanent snowy peaks. Hiking here will give you incredible scenic views and challenges and will bring you from dense rainforests to the snow.
The Ssese Islands are a group of islands located in Lake Victoria that offer peace and quiet in a relaxed environment. In total there are about 84 islands. While some islands are large and densely populated, others are small and deserted. The largest island is Buggala, which also has the largest city of the islands, Kalangala. The islands are wooded and hilly, but also have a tropical appearance due to the beaches and palm trees. The inhabitants of the islands are very friendly and they belong to the Bassese tribe. The best way to explore this island is by motorcycle. You can visit the small traditional villages and eat delicious local Ugandan meals. Or venture into the jungle to spot birds and animals.