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5 Best Uganda Cultural Tourism Sites

Would you like to explore Uganda’s cultural sites? Here are the best five places to visit in Uganda, the Pearl of Africa.

The Royal Tombs at Kasubi

These royal tombs are located in the outskirts of Kampala. The tombs lie approximately 5 kilometers from the city center that is Kampala city on Kasubi hill. This site is a very important cultural site among the Buganda tradition. It has been gazated as one of the UNESCO heritage place. Up to present, there are four (5) kings of Buganda who have been buried here. These are King Ssunna 11 who was buried in 1884,King Muteesa who lived from 1835 to 1884, King Mwanga from 1867 to 1903 though he died in exile on the Seychelles Islands. Daudi Chwa 11 lived from 1896 to 1939 and the last king to be buried here was Sir Edward Muteesa 11 (1924-1969). The significant location of the largest kingdom of Buganda takes dome like shape and if you visit the site, you will be required to pay some money.

For the past centuries, the ancient Ganda cultures have been performed at this site and the site holds numerous historical treasures within the Buganda kingdom. It is one of the most visitied places visited by tourists taking safari holidays in Uganda. The site has been constructed reconstructed today with modern structures under the new katikiro called Peter Charles Mayiga who is working under the current kingship of Kabaka Ronald Muwenda Mutebi. The Katikiro has been vigorous in soliciting for funds to reconstruct these tombs. Not only has he built these tombs but also many other places within the kingdom

Ssezibwa Falls

Sezibwa falls stands as the heritage site in Buganda. The people in this culture have attached this site as a place where they obtain blessings from. Following the local legend given at the site, Sezibwa and Bwanda rivers where born as twin from a woman who was known as Nakkungu Tebatuusa. Bwanda river is strategically flowed towards the mother’s village though the Sezibwa river cut its own path and flowed west. In so doing it passed a number of obstacles which were so difficult. For the Sezibwa, the name was driven from a local phrase called sezibwa kkubo and this meant, no obstacles can stop me from moving along.

This place is full of nature trails most especially for those who are nature lovers. A long the river, there are hikes which will offer you opportunity for hiking in case you are interested in this activity. There is a forest surrounding the heritage site while it is muddy in some areas. Because of this therefore, you will be advised to wear good hiking shoes which will guarantee you good hiking opportunity when you are at the site. This cultural heritage site has also got a number of bird species. Indeed it has been a much loved spot where you will view a number of bird species. This site also hosts a number of animals which will offer you opportunity for wildlife viewing. The most notable species of animals found at this heritage site include; the bush and the red tailed monkeys. These will be readily available when you visit this heritage site. To carry good memomories back to your country, you can take some photos of these animals.

Namugongo Shrine

Every year on June, 3rd , many believers from catholic,Anglican and moslem do frequent the martyrs shrine at Namugongo. These martyrs shrine are a vital attraction in Ugandan history. In this place, twenty two (22) catholic Christian converts were brutally executed following the orders which were given by Kabaka Mwanga 11. This was in the year 1886. He ordered a degree to kill all these Christians who were against the doctrines of the king. This site is a vital tourism site and was erected by the Roman Catholic Church Christians and the Church of Uganda, and annually pilgrimages are made to this place. Other converts who were killed included; Anglicans and Moslems.

The Karambi Tombs

The Karambi tombs are located in the town of Fort portal which is found in Kabarole town. They are strategically found along Kasese road which is about 5 kilometers from the town of Kasese town. These sites are a burial place for Kasagama and Rukidi III and are a historically important to the Kingdom of Toro.

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Where to Go for Chimpanzee Habituation in Uganda

Uganda being a Wildlife & Apes Destination in Africa, Chimpanzee Tracking is among the top Safari activity to be enjoyed by travelers visiting Africa for a Uganda Safari. Primate Safaris Rwanda has designed the Complete destination guide for Chimpanzee Tracking adventures. Book a Uganda primate Safari with us to visit top Destinations in Uganda for Chimpanzee Habituation.

Habituation refers to the process of teaching and training the wild chimpanzees in the forests to be approachable by humans through various interactions like feeding, non verbal communication in which you will get to know about their ways and behavior etc. This takes place in various destinations around Africa especially in the East African countries of Uganda with many destinations i.e like Kibale Forest National Park, Ngamba Island, Kalinzu Forest, Budongo Forest in Murchison Falls National Park, and Kyambura Gorge at Queen Elizabeth national Park etc. Visit any of these destinations for a very exciting habituation experience.

Kibale Forest National Park

Travel to the beautiful Kibale Forest National Park to experience full-day Chimpanzee Habituation Experiences (CHEX) where you will be provided with an opportunity to spot these primates embrace their habitat/ forest through feeding, playing, hunting as well as resting in the branches. However, those that track the chimpanzee early in the morning will see the primates leave their nests from 6:00 to 6:30 am before hunting, conjugating, feeding, resting, breastfeeding, leading etc. These are always in groups with the dominant males leading the group called Alpha males followed by females who take care of the young ones. They are herbivores for they feed on leaves, roots, shoots, ants etc. Don’t miss out on this exciting unique experience and encounter for it is worthwhile for all that take part during holiday safari vacation in Uganda.

Kalinzu Forest

Kalinzu Forest is found in the western part of Uganda near the magnificent Queen Elizabeth National Park. Tracking the rare species of Chimpanzee is availed through the Mweya area of Queen Elizabeth National Park and only requires one 2 hours to drive to this place. Children of 12 and above years old are accepted to track these primates. Chimpanzee tracking in Kalinzu Forest is better than that of the Kyambura Gorge due to the fact that spotting chimpanzees in Kyambura Gorge is a 50-50 chance and requires being extremely fit to track them. One can take on a full day tracking these primates in the forest through hiking/ following various trails from one point to another in search for the primates. In order for one to track successfully with out any inconveniences, they should pack and carry their food for lunch especially those engaging in the whole day package.

Ngamba Island

Being one of the Koome group of Islands i.e Nsazi, Kiimi, Koome, Bulago & Damba islands in the magnificent Lake Victoria, Ngamba Island is situated in about 23 km south east of Entebbe occupying an area of about 100 acres of which 95% is forested and detached from the human camp with an electric fence. There biggest portion of the island is forested with gaps of grassland occupying about 10% of the island and there is an acre reserved as camp quarters for staff and researchers maintaining the space between the forest and the out looking podium for feeding the chimpanzees during day. The Island also inhabits other wildlife species like the fish eagles, otters, spiders, fruit bats as well as monitor lizards. The Island and chimpanzee sanctuary are managed by the Chimpanzee trust which is a non-profit organization ready to manage its activities without necessarily depending on donations from individuals/ sponsors worldwide. Today, the number of chimpanzees has increased from 42-49 which has increased management and development costs. Most of the chimpanzees were victims poaching for bush meat and illegal trade on the black market to countries abroad. However, due to the existence of Ngamba Island Chimpanzee sanctuary, many have got refuge and a home to survive till 60 years of age.

How to Get to Ngamba

When traveling to Ngamba Island, one should consider their budget so as to get appropriate transportation from the shores into the lake. There are various transportation means that can be booked according to your specific budget for example, if you travel by air, you will take about 20 minutes to reach, customary motorized canoe about 90 minutes and a speed boat 45-50 minutes. Reservations and bookings are done through Ngamba Island Reservations Office or an authorized tour operator agency that will ensure you travel safely. However, one can prepare their own transport to travel.

Budongo Forest

Budongo Forest occupies an area of 793 sq kms and is found in the tremendous Murchison Falls National Park. 53% of the reserve is covered with forests and the rest grassland. The forest is filled with mahogany trees that inhabit extraordinary biodiversity including 24 different species of candid animals of which 9 are primates, 130 are species of moths, 289 species of butterflies and 359 bird species. Due to the exceptional features it has, two eco tourism sites have been established and reserved for tourism activities and these include Kaniyo Pabidi and Busingiro sites. These include habituated chimpanzees that are nurtured on how to interact with humans and whoever gets to see them should expect an encounter that is exceptional. Seeing these primates is not 100% due to the constantly changing seasons of the year i.e there is a 90% to spot them in the months of May, June, July & August where as in the months of February, March, April & September the % decreases to 70 and in October, November, December and January it is only 50% that lead to their continuous movement from one place to another. About 6 chimpanzee groups that are habituated in the Kaniyo Pabidi site although tracking them is more appropriate in the Busingiro site due to existence of a grid trail in which a 200m grid system enhances easy navigation through the thick forest. The tracking process starts at 7:00 am in groups of 6 people and children of 7 years and above are accepted to track the primates.

Kyambura Gorge Queen Elizabeth

Kyambura (or Chambura) Gorge alternatively referred to as the “Valley of Apes” is filled by River Kayambura and is about 1 km diagonal at its expansive point and 100 meters deep. The Gorge is situated in the remote corner of the magnificent Queen Elizabeth National Park in the south western part of Uganda with very exceptional wildlife biodiversity consisting of primates, wildlife as well as birds of the air. According to the records, about 16 chimpanzees are found in the valley today. Hiking or searching for these primates is quite challenging due to the fact that it requires some physical fitness so as to spot the chimpanzees. It is no guarantee that one will spot the rare species in their habitat but in case they meet them, the experience and encounter is very exciting. While searching for the chimps, you will have opportunities to spot some other wildlife species like the monkeys, olive baboons as well as the birds of the air.