The western part of Uganda is one beautiful wonderland. There are golden grasslands grazed by the graceful Ankole cattle, green tea estates in a temperate climate, undulating hills with terraced gardens, thick tropical rain forests and a snow-capped mountain, the Rwenzori.
A journey to the west is an enchanting trip in flora and fauna. There are game parks, game reserves and forest reserves in this western part of Uganda.
Two and a half hours away from Kampala, one begins to see the wild animals. Lake Mburo National Park is home to the beautiful zebras. There are also numerous antelopes and bucks here.
Going more south westwards, one will end up in the Mgahinga Gorilla National Park and here they can climb the Mgahinga mountain ranges which is a delightful physical exercise and a walk through varieties of beautiful plants growing in a very cool environment.
The biggest trophy in southwestern Uganda is the mountain gorilla. Many visitors here come to track the rare mountain gorillas which are found only in this part of the world.
Veering northwestwards is Bwindi Impenetrable rain forest which is another habitat of the few remaining mountain gorillas. The experience here is totally different.
The President of Uganda, H.E. Yoweri Kaguta Museveni led a visual expedition into Bwindi Impenetrable Forest to showcase the world’s few remaining mountain gorillas among other things. This placed the world’s attention on the Bwindi Impenetrable rain forest and exposed another side of Uganda to the rest of the world.
Tourists have described gorilla trekking in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest as a very unforgettable experience.
In southwestern Uganda resides Lake Bunyonyi, the deepest lake in Uganda. A boat ride on Lake Bunyonyi is an unforgettable experience. The picturesque and colorful sight of the Kigezi hills gives the tourist a sense of living or the lifetime dream of encountering the perfect terrestrial beauty.
Bird watching on the shores of Lake Bunyonyi is a bonus to the visitors here.
Going on more to the north, one passes villages filled with green banana plantations and long-horned cattle. Within this backdrop are beautiful crater lakes. These lakes are a result of early earth movement and volcanic activity. One can take a boat ride or sit by the banks of one these lakes which will bring forth an immediate sublime feeling.
One other water mass here is the Lake Katwe, a slat excavation site that dates back thousands of years back. Lake Katwe is evidence of a great salt industry and trade that stretched all over the entire inter-lacustrine region.
Further downfield, one comes across Lake George and Lake Edward, two azure large peaceful waters separated by the famous Kazinga Channel. Here, one can go fishing on a canoe, which is the main occupation of the people who live around the lakes.
It is also at the edge of these waters that one enters Uganda’s second-biggest national park: The Queen Elizabeth National Park. Once inside the park, the huge number of animal species will parade before you in their natural casts, with some stopping to stare at the “intruder” with curiosity!
Queen Elizabeth is a majestic expression of the meaning of the word “safari”, a Swahili word now adopted by the English language to mean travel. At Mweya Safari Lodge, you will rest and eat like a royal as the beauty of Africa unfolds in front of you.
Traveling down the River Nile, one encounters the Karuma falls where the river’s momentum is much more furious as it hits the rocks that separate the Northern part of Uganda from the South. This is so amazing to see but is nothing to compare with the experience of the Murchison Falls whose picture is backdropped with a vast national park, another of Uganda’s game wonders.
The Murchison Falls is in the middle of the Murchison Falls National Park. A wide downstream the waterfalls is a breathtaking experience. A real parade of crocodiles, elephants, and buffaloes along the banks of the river, welcoming the visitor to their habitat with a lot of curiosity. Murchison Falls also marks an ethnic separation.
Going on more westward, you will cross the equator once again and face the Rwenzori mountain ranges. When the early explorers were told of the mountain in southwestern Uganda with snow at the top, they put it down to native nonsense, but history has proved them wrong.
Hundreds of thousands of mountain climbers have made their way to the Margherita peak where there is always snow as in the polar regions of the world. Making one’s way to the top of the Rwenzori mountain is a feat in itself. Going through a breathtaking hazardous terrain of numerous ecosystems, which goes through the dense mountain forests to the snow covered peaks.
Along the trail, one will see unique vegetations, glacier river primates and wonder features such as gorges. It is a summary of the earth here at the Rwenzori mountain ranges. This is what has attracted famous people to the Rwenzori. The Italian Duke of Abruzzi took photographs in 1906 and wrote a book that was to make the Rwenzoris world famous.
But the Rwenzori mountain did not have to be announced to be famous because it is the third tallest mountain in Africa. At the foothills of Mountain Rwenzori is a vast expanse of natural rain forests complete with chimpanzees, monkeys, and baboons.
There are also many varieties of birds here. It is a good destination for bird watching, chimpanzee tracking and community walks.
Still in western Uganda, one can go further to reach the Semliki (Semuliki) river, a meandering wonder.
There are also the Sempaya hot springs that form two acres of bubbling steam from underneath the earth. People come here from near and far to bathe in the healing steam of the hot springs.
Seven miles from the Sempaya hot springs live the Batwa, a 3-feet tall people whose habitat is the dense tropical forest. The Batwa are a subject of great interest to anthropologists, conservationists, and human rights organizations because their pre-industrial way of life is being besieged by modernity.
(Uganda, The Pearl of Africa)