The pearl of Africa is gifted by nature, it has a wide range of rain forests, wildlife sanctuaries, rich cultural history, spectacular national parks, active volcanoes, botanical gardens, snowcapped mountains with their rich flora and fauna that give travelers abundant and diverse choices making it the perfect destination to visit if interested in nature / eco – oriented tourism and unforgettable wildlife experiences.
The pearl of Africa’s eco tourist sites are endowed with abundance of wildlife and ever green flora. Some of the attractions that are found in the eco tourist sites include the mountain gorillas, chimpanzees, wildlife, numerous birds, abundant flora plus cool natural fresh air.
Mabira forest is the largest surviving natural forest in Uganda and it covers an area of 306 sq.km. The forest protects more than 300 tree species such as the endangered cordia millenii tree which has medicinal properties famed to cure about 30 ailments, mililia exclesa, prunus Africana which cures prostate cancer and boosts the human immune system and many others.
The same forest accommodates 315 species of birds and butterfly species plus small mammal species such as the primates, forest hogs etc. Mabira forest has a number of interesting activities for the visitors to enjoy such as Mountain biking, bird watching, environmental education, camping, primate watching, forest walks and zip lining.
Still in the forest, mabira eco-tourism drama group entertains guests with cultural music, dance and drama and when the visitors are leaving, the najjembe women’s crafts group ensures to sell to them some handcrafts as souvenirs.
Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary
Ngamba island chimpanzee sanctuary is found in Lake Victoria and it is the only chimpanzee sanctuary in Uganda that protects orphaned chimpanzees. However, the sanctuary also offers ecotourism and conservation education.
Since the chimpanzees share 98% DNA with humans, this means they are emotionally complex creatures, losing a parent or family can cause behavioral problems. The orphaned chimpanzees are traumatized becoming hard to reintegrate again into a chimpanzee community in the wild. At Ngamba island chimpanzee sanctuary the chimpanzees are helped to deal with their trauma by the team of experts who spend a lot of time with them.
Kalinzu Central Forest Reserve
Kalinzu central forest reserve is found in western Uganda in Bushenyi district and it is known for having over 400 species of trees and shrubs such as stroboia, parinari ficus, and Africana many others.
It also provides shelter to over 370 bird species and on these include sun birds, cuckoos, black and white caskets and many others.
It also protects some primates such as chimpanzees, blue monkeys, and other types of monkeys, and this destination is one of the few in Uganda where travelers can experience chimpanzee tracking. This forest occasionally provides refuge to savannah grassland because of its proximity to the Queen Elizabeth conservation area.
Some of the activities to enjoy in this forest include forest / nature walks, chimpanzee tracking, bird watching, conservation education, camping, community walks and others.
Budongo Central Forest Reserve
Budongo central forest reserve is one of the largest natural forests in Uganda covering a total area of 825km.sq. It is the largest mahogany forest in east Africa with a number of various tree species and other vegetation types.
Budongo forest protects 120 chimpanzees and 30 of them are habituated for visitors to track them. And other primates found in this forest include black and white colobus monkeys, vervet monkeys, red tailed monkeys, baboons, plus numerous bird species. The forest has well developed trails which allow visitors to participate in a number of activities such as birding, forest walks, chimpanzee tracking and many others.
Uganda has a number of eco-tourist sites, apart from these; others include, Kibale national park, Bwindi impenetrable forest, Mpanga forest, Bugoma eco tourist site, Ruwenzori Mountains, Kaniyo Pabidi in Murchison falls national park, Busingiro eco tourist site and many others.