Saturday, January 19, 2019

Uganda Eco Tourism

This type of tourism involves tourists visiting fragile, pristine and undisturbed natural areas, intended as a low impact and often small scale alternative to standard commercial tourism. It involves responsible travel to natural areas, conserving the environment and improving the well-being of the local people. Ecotourism`s purpose is to educate the traveler, to provide funds for ecological conservation, to directly benefit the economic development and political empowerment of local communities and to foster respect for different cultures and human rights.

Ecotourism typically involves travel to destinations where flora, fauna, and cultural heritage are the primary attractions. Hence ecotourism is intended to offer tourists an insight into the impact of human beings on the environment and to foster a greater appreciation of our natural habitats.

The Major Eco- Tourist sites in Uganda include the following; 

The Mabira Forest
The Mabira forest is among Uganda’s natural equatorial forests with an area coverage of about 316 kilometers squares. This huge forest is a home to over 312 of tree species and other plants that are used as herbs. The forest also has a number of primates especially monkeys, over 300 bird species including the king fisher’s, hawk eagle, red headed blue bill and many others. The forest also has a number of butterflies and snakes. A walk through the forest is very refreshing from the ever green trees.

The River Ssezibwa
The river Ssezibwa flows in the swamps between lake victoria and lake Kyoga. This river is the lake Kyoga’s source of water with massive wetlands that act as homes and breeding grounds for many bird species, frogs, fish and many other reptiles. It also has a waterfall that is about 7 meters high which is always full during the rainy season with large volumes of water. This river has supported the growth of a forest around that has primates like the black and white colobus monkeys as well as a number of bird species. The tourists visiting Ssezibwa can go for sightseeing, forest walks, birding, biking and community visits any time they like. 


The Ssese Islands
Ssese Islands are 84 and located in lake Victoria, the islands are one of the undiscovered tourism destinations in Uganda with a number of tropical rain forests that are homes to various beautiful bird species and primates especially chimpanzees and monkeys.
These islands can be accessed from the main land through Nakiwoogo in Entebbe or through Bukakata in Masaka using a ferry.

The Kashoya Kitomi Forest Reserve
This forest reserve has a land area coverage of 433 kilometers squares and has a number of wildlife attractions that include chimpanzees, bird species, monkeys (velvet monkeys, blue monkeys, red tailed monkeys, black and white colobus monkeys etc all found in this reserve).
The Tourists visiting the Kashoya Kitomi forest reserve can engage in various tourist activities which include birding, boat rides on the lake, primate tracking, sightseeing and community walks. 

The Budongo Forest Reserve
It is the largest mahogany natural forest in Uganda and East Africa with a total land area of 825 kilometers. It has a number of various tree species and other vegetation types.
This forest reserve has 120 chimpanzees, 30 of which were habituated and can therefore be visited by tourists. There are well developed forest trails in Budongo forest reserve that can help the tourists to involve themselves in various tourist activities like birding, forest walks, primate tracking etc. 

The Mpanga Forest Reserve
Mpanga forest reserve has unique trees with large buttress roots and a number of bird species including parrots, weaverbirds, owls, hornbills and cuckoos.
Mpanga forest is a home to a number of colorful butterflies plus primates like the red tailed monkeys plus well developed trails that include the hornbill trial, the butterfly trail, the family trail and the baseline trail all offering great views of the various wildlife species in the forest. 

The Bigodi Wetland
This wetland covers a distance of about 8 kilometers with a width of about a third kilometers. The Bigodi swamps have a number of birds and raw materials for making various handcrafts by the local people. Various eco camps have been constructed here to promote Eco tourism activities and the tourists can engage in various tourist activities like nature walks and community visits. 

The Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary
Ngamba sanctuary is home to a number of orphan chimpanzees. It was established in 1998 and can be accessed through Entebbe. A visit to the sanctuary will provide a nature tourists a lot of opportunity to learn more about the chimpanzees and in addition view various bird species.