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The town of Jinja is filled with old Asian-style buildings. The neighbouring town of Jinja is built over the opening from Lake Victoria, renowned as the source of the River Nile. In the 19th century, Entebbe was the colonial centre of Uganda, and, until 1962, the capital city. This charming, sleepy place is characterised by botanical gardens and colonial buildings. If you hunger for some eccentric wildlife, hop on a traditional canoe or motor boat to Chimp Island, a special sanctuary for chimpanzees on a beautiful forested island. These chimpanzees were illegally removed from the wild, so authorities confiscated them and put them here. You can get a good close-up view on the raised platform, especially during feeding time. Kampala is situated on hills on the northern edge of Lake Victoria, and is the booming capital of Uganda. It’s a modern city, and since the damage it suffered from civil conflict in the past, its services are being improved every day. New buildings have sprung up, with shops and markets being well stocked once again. Sipi Falls is a showstopper, and arguably the most beautiful waterfall in all of Uganda. These days it’s much more accessible than it used to be via one of the best roads in the country. You can go on some of the excellent walks that are on a network of well-maintained local trails, with beautiful scenery beaming from every direction. Queen Elizabeth National Park lies in the western arm of the Great East African Rift Valley, and is centred around Lake Edward and Lake George. During the launch trip along the Kazinga Channel, you’ll have a great chance of spotting hippo, buffalo, elephant and many different birds. Murchison Falls is the biggest national park in all of Uganda. The River Nile runs through it, and many a wildlife species has made this park its home. It is named after the waterfall. On your way to tracking gorillas at Bwindi and Mgahinga National Parks, you’ll overnight at either Kabale, a small rural town in south-western Uganda, or Lake Bunyonyi nearby. When in Kabale, you have to experience its fresh-food market. The town’s the major trading centre for south-western Uganda, because the region is so heavily populated and extensively cultivated. The market’s narrow passages are lined with wooden stalls that are piled high with colourful fruit, vegetables, beans, grains and nuts. A few million years ago Lake Bunyonyi was a volcano. Today it’s the deepest crater lake in Uganda and one of the few lakes in the country that is Bilharzia-free. It’s around 1980m above sea level, and bird lovers would love this place. Over 200 species of birds can be spotted here, thanks to the alluring surrounding forests, farms and gardens.
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