Tourism in Uganda is built on the concept of ecotourism and the main focus is placed on sustainable use of the natural and cultural attractions which are the foundation of Uganda’s tourism, as well as empowering the local communities to benefit from tourism.
Uganda has ten national parks offering a diversity of attractions and activities. This makes the country a one stop destination for all your adventure expectations. The national parks are rich in flora and fauna with some endemic species of birds, wild animals, butterflies, aquatic life and vegetation.
The forests in Uganda are mainly managed by the National forest Authority (NFA) together with other stakeholders such as the Ministry of water and Environment, National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) and The Ministry of Tourism, Wildlife and Heritage (MTWH) among others.
In which sites can I enjoy eco-tourism activities?
Mabira Central Forest Reserve
One of Uganda’s largest surviving natural forests covering an area of 306 sq km. The forest is a habitat of over 312 species of trees including the endangered Cordia Milleni, Mililia Exclesa and the vulnerable Prunus Africana which cures Prostate Cancer and boosts the Human Immune System.
Mabira Central Forest Reserve is located on the main Kampala – Jinja Highway in Mukono District, 54km from Kampala and 26km from Jinja town.
Lutoboka, Kampala and Bunjazi Central Forest Reserves
Described as medium altitude moist forests, they are found on the legendary Ssesse Islands, with a gentle slope from the shores of Lake Victoria to the center.
There are 31 gazetted Forest Reserves in the Islands with a total of 7,324 hectares. Lutoboka Forest reserve is 378 Ha; Kampala Forest Reserve is 139 Ha; and Bunjazi Forest Reserve is 80 Ha.
The Islands can be accessed by ship departing from Nakiwogo landing site near Entebbe, usually at 14:00 daily. Its return journey from Lutoboka Landing site is at 8:00am. Alternatively, you can use the ferry from Bukakata/Kachanga landing site near Masaka.
Kalinzu Central Forest Reserve
A natural forest teeming with terrestrial Bio-diversity located in Bushenyi District (Western Uganda). Famous for 414 species of trees and shrubs including the Ficus, Prunus Africana while harbouring over 378 species of birds.
Approximately 375km, a five (5)hours drive from Kampala City Centre. It is only 30km from the District Headquarters.
Mpanga Central Forest Reserve
Mpanga Central Forest Reserve is a natural forest with unique tree species like the Celtis with large buttresses; the Ficus family; and Mahogany.
The forests boasts of a number of primates especially the Red-Tailed Monkeys; an array of birdlife including the Ross’ Turaco, Weaver-birds, the Grey Parrot, Owls and Cuckons.
Budongo Central Forest Reserve, straddling across three (3) districts of Masindi, Hoima and Buliisa, covering over 825 sqkm.
Busingiro Eco-tourism site, located in the south-western part of Budongo Forest Reserve. It inhabits several primate species including Chimpanzees, Monkeys and Baboons.
Bugoma Eco-tourism site, located in Hoima district covering over 41,144 Ha.
Kaniyo – Pabidi- Ecotourism site
Kasyoha- Kitomi Forest Reserve
The forest eco-tourism reserves in Uganda are endowed with an abundance of wildlife and ever green vegetation. The key attractions include apes, birds, butterflies, unique vegetation, reptiles, flowers and wild animals like elephants, warthogs, bush backs, bush pigs, buffaloes and cool fresh air among others.
The sites also provide luxurious accommodation facilities especially high class lodges, hotels and guest houses.