Two of Uganda’s national parks are recognized by UNESCO as World Heritage Sites: Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Rwenzori Mountains National Park.
Located at the junction of the plains and mountain forests, Bwindi Impenetrable National Park has been described by UNESCO as “an isolated forest of outstanding biological richness”. This ancient forest contains more than 160 species of trees and over 100 species of ferns – and more famously, almost half the world’s mountain gorillas. As it is surrounded by one of the most densely populated rural areas in Africa, community benefits arising from gorilla tracking and other sustainable tourism initiatives may be the only hope for the future conservation of this precious site.
Rwenzori Mountains National Park comprises the main part of the Rwenzori mountain chain, which includes Africa’s third highest peak at 5109m above sea level. The combination of spectacular snow-capped peaks, glaciers, V-shaped valleys, fast flowing rivers with magnificent waterfalls, clear blue lakes and unique flora contributes to the area’s exceptional natural beauty. The mountains support the richest montane flora in Africa, encompassing the charismatic giant lobelias, groundsels, and giant heathers which have been called “Africa’s botanical big game”.