The Kasubi Royal Tombs and two of Uganda’s national parks are recognized by UNESCO as World Heritage Sites: the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and the Rwenzori Mountains National Park.
The Kasubi Royal Tombs: The Unesco World Heritage-listed Kasubi Royal Tombs are of great significance to the Buganda kingdom as the burial place of its kings and royal family. The huge thatched-roof palace was originally built in 1882 as the palace of Kabaka Mutesa I, before being converted into his tomb following his death two years later. The tombs were destroyed in an arson attack in March 2010, however, and are still being rebuilt, with no end to the work in sight at present. Outside, forming a ring around the main section of the compound are the homes (fortunately not damaged by the fire) of the families of the widows of former kabaka (kings). Royal family members are buried amid the trees out the back, and the whole place has the distinct feel of a small rural village.
Bwindi Impenetrable 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: The National Park comprises the main part of the Rwenzori mountains 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”.