How Social Media Has Improved The Conservation of World Heritage Sites in Uganda
Uganda’s improved access to technology has greatly developed the Ugandan tourism sector and the world heritage sites.
With the development of technology, there are has been improvements in the conservation of the world heritage sites in Uganda as they are marketed by tour operators that have increased the awareness of these sites compared to those days before the improvement of technology
World Heritage Sites are destinations or areas with legal protection from the international conventions administered by the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). These sites are designated by UNESCO for having cultural, historical, scientific, and other forms of significance. For an area to be selected under the World Heritage Sites, it must have a unique landmark that is geographically and historically identifiable and must have a special cultural and physical significance. These sites are located in several countries including Uganda which has a number of sites and among these include two national parks and one historical and cultural site. In my discussion am focusing on the three that are located in Uganda as below;
Bwindi Impenetrable national park
This is located in the southwestern part of Uganda and it’s known as the home for Mountain gorillas and a key destination for Uganda gorilla trekking and birding in Uganda and is a prominent destination when planning gorilla safaris. Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, Bwindi Impenetrable national park and a UNESCO World Heritage Site located in the southwestern part of Uganda, Kanungu district along the border of the Democratic Republic of Congo near Virunga national park on the edge of the Albertine Rift Valley. Established in 1991, the national park was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1994 due to its unique characteristic of protecting three great apes in Africa. It is mainly known for protecting almost half of the world’s mountain gorillas in its four trekking sectors – Buhoma, Ruhijja, Rushaga, and Nkuringo sector. Besides mountain gorillas, there are also other attractions in the park, and among these include the Batwa people who were the inhabitants of the forest, bird species, unique vegetation endangered species of African elephants, L’hoest monkeys and butterflies, etc
Rwenzori Mountains National Park
Rwenzori mountains national park is another UNESCO World Heritage Site in Uganda located in the southwestern part. Stretching over an area of approximately 1,000 square kilometers, the park crosses through the districts of Kasese, Bundibugyo, Nyokoto, and Kabale. The park protects the third highest peak in Africa – Margherita on the borderline of Uganda and DR Congo (Virunga National Park), with main Rwenzori climbing tours offered via Uganda side by many mountaineering operators like Rwenzori Expeditions which is the leading no 1 Trekking company based in Uganda that specializes in Uganda hiking tours. Rwenzori mountains national park is known as the major source of many rivers and lakes within the region which is always explored on Rwenzori Mountaineering tours undertaken by Travelers
Rwenzori mountains national park was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1994 because of its unique outstanding natural beauty and this year, UNESCO described it as “an isolated forest of outstanding biological richness”. The park comprises the center and eastern half of the Rwenzori mountains and it is also known for its 5 unique vegetation zones which change according to changes in altitude. The park has over 217 species of birds, 15 species of butterflies, and four primate species. It also protects over 70 mammal species including; the forest elephant, chimpanzee, black and white Colobus, duiker and Rwenzori Turaco, and others. You can book a visit to Rwenzori mountains National Park for a mountaineering adventure where the hike to the summit of Margherita takes 7 days.
Known as the burial cemetery of the last 4 Kings of Buganda sitting on 26.8 hectares of land, Kasubi tombs is the third UNESCO World Heritage Site in the Pearl of Africa. The tombs are located about 5 kilometers away from the center of Kampala in Kasubi Hill. The tombs are one of the most important historical, cultural, and spiritual sites in Buganda and Africa at large. They are just one of the 31 royal tombs across the Buganda kingdom and all the dead princes and princesses are buried at the back of the main shrine.
Built-in the 13th century, Kasubi tombs were declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2001 because of their cultural and national value. The main tomb building – Muzibu – Azaala – Mpanga is the largest grass-thatched building on earth made out of bamboo, wood, and a roof that is grass thatched. Kasubi tombs were uniquely built with a lot of care taken for unique and rare appearances.
Uganda’s improved access to technology has greatly developed the Ugandan tourism sector and the world heritage sites. Apart from the UNESCO World Heritage Sites, Uganda is also home to other tourist destinations like Queen Elizabeth National Parks for wildlife watching, Mgahinga gorilla national park for gorilla trekking & Golden monkey tracking, Uganda museum, Kibale forest national park, amusement parks, and many others.