Styled to replicate the lines of a classically rustic Roman villa, which might just as easily stand amid the sunflowers of the Tuscan Hills, as on the shores of Africa's largest lake, Lake Victoria Serena Resort is the latest addition to the Serena East Africa Portfolio. Opened in October 2009, it will be complemented by the addition of a golf course, marina and luxury residential complex in 2010.
Rising above white-terraced rose gardens, which descend through water cascades and fountains almost to the shores of Lake Victoria, this tranquil resort has been positioned so as to offer both a contrast and an extension to the 5-star profile of the flagship Kampala Serena Hotel, thus ensuring that the Serena portfolio embraces all aspects of Uganda's social and corporate life.
A gracious terracotta and cream palace, the central citadel is encircled by broad café and cocktail terraces, where cushioned sofas invite relaxation. Above the marble reception, where a Roman fountain plays, white-arched galleries rise to a clear glass atrium, through which shafts of light illuminate the fountained courtyard below.
Beyond the mosaic frescoes of the main restaurant, a clocktower rises above the pool-deck where colonnades of white arches offer the perfect frame for the hazy blue of the lake and the encircling green of the Lweza Hills. Widely spaced amongst the rose gardens, clusters of pastel-painted villas offer a choice of rooms and suites, all with panoramic lake views.
The ‘Land of Lakes'
25 per cent of Uganda's entire surface is covered by a glittering skein of lakes and rivers, earning her the title ‘The Land of Lakes'. As to scenery, Uganda has been dubbed ‘The Switzerland of Africa' thanks to its impressive mountain ranges, which include the legendary ‘Mountains of the Moon', the snow-capped Ruwenzoris, and the enormous and immeasurably ancient Mount Elgon which, at 4,324 metres is all that remains of a massive volcano, now extinct, which forms the boundary between Uganda and Kenya.
The national parks and reserves
The national parks of Uganda (11, 023 sq km) have been set aside as wildlife and botanical sanctuaries. There are 10 national parks and a number of game reserves. The main national parks are; Bwindi Impenetrable, Kibale, Kidepo Valley, Lake Mburo, Mgahinga Gorilla, Mount Elgon, Murchison Falls, Queen Elizabeth, Ruwenzori, and Semuliki.
Fauna and avifauna
Uganda offers 50 large mammal species all members of the ‘Big Five' (elephant, buffalo, lion, leopard and rhinoceros) and she is particularly famous for her primates - especially the mountain gorillas (western lowland, eastern lowland and mountain). There are also 1000 species of birds and 300 species of butterfly.
National museums and historical sites
The Uganda National Museum, Kampala; Bigo Bya Mugenyi, Kabaka Mwanga's Lake, The Kakoro Rock Paintings, Kamukazi, The Kasubi Tombs, Masaka Hill, The Mparo Tombs, Mubende Hill, he Munsa Earthworks, The Namugongo Shrine, The Nkokonjeru Tomb, Ntusi, Numagabwe Cave, The Nyero Rock Paintings.
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