Uganda is one of the most beautiful countries in Africa. This is where the East African savanna meets the West African jungle! Also known as the “Pearl of Africa”, Uganda is a great destination to visit. It is the best destination for gorilla trekking, trips into the impenetrable forest to see the mountain gorillas.
Uganda is a beautiful and diverse country rich in hidden secrets and a historical atmosphere. For those willing to familiarize themselves with this enchanting country there could be a variety of Uganda safari options that will enable you to discover much about the Pearl of Africa.
Where is Uganda?
Uganda is a landlocked located in East Africa neighboring Kenya, South Sudan, Tanzania, Rwanda, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Uganda has the source of river Nile – the longest river in Africa and the world at large as well as a number of wildlife attractions that range from natural including the gently sloping hills in southwestern Uganda, natural forests, lake,s and rivers, and many others. It was on such basis that sir Winston Churchill named Uganda as the pearl of Africa. Many other travelers call Uganda gifted by nature, true African beauty, and others Africa in one.
Safaris in Uganda
The tourists who visit the country most times say that they are feeling at home as they freely interact with the very hospitable Ugandans while enjoying Ugandan local cuisines and delicacies. Over the past years, a number of tourists from various parts of the world have been visiting Uganda to get close to the country’s natural wildlife resources and engage in the most adventurous and rewarding African tourism experiences. The major wildlife attractions and activities include
Primates and Mountain Gorilla Tracking
Primates especially monkeys and chimpanzees live in Uganda’s major tropical rainforests that include Kibale forest located in western Uganda, Budongo forest located in midwestern Uganda, Bwindi impenetrable forest located in southwestern Uganda which also harbors half of the worlds remaining mountain gorillas among others.
Mountain gorilla and chimpanzee tracking are among the prime tourist activities carried out in Uganda where tourists go for quests in the forest to track some of their close relatives the mountain gorillas which has about 95% and chimpanzees with about 98% DNA similar to humans. These live in groups that are lead by dominant males and largely depend on leaves, shoots, and wild fruits for food.
Mountain gorilla permits in Uganda are sold at only $700 and mountain gorillas in Uganda can either be viewed from either Bwindi impenetrable forest which has 12 mountain gorilla families or Mgahinga gorilla national park also located in southwestern Uganda with one mountain gorilla family. For remarkable primates and mountain gorilla tracking, tourists are advised to visit their respective destinations during the dry season to avoid being inconvenienced by rain.
Uganda also offers remarkable wildlife viewing and safaris especially in the leading national parks that have a number of wildlife species that mainly include elephants (the largest land mammals), cape buffaloes, hippos, crocodiles, Rothschild giraffes, rhinos, impalas, zebra, giant forest hogs and a number of bird species some of which are endemic to the Albertine region.
A visit to any of Uganda’s 10 national parks offers amazing experiences to tourists who can engage in various tourist activities of their choice that mainly include game drives, nature walks, hiking, boat trips birding to mention but a few. Uganda wildlife safaris are very enjoyable and always keep tourists wanting more which often forces them to come for repeat visits.
Uganda is one of the countries in the world with great cultural diversity with over 56 tribes each with unique customs and cuisines. A visit to any of the Ugandan communities introduces tourists to enjoy authentic experiences especially of the major foods and cultural practices. One of the communities in Uganda that offer exclusive experiences is the Bagishu community that lives around the slopes of Mount Elgon. The Bagishu usually carry out annual male circumcision aimed at transforming boys into real manhood. Those to be circumcised are smeared with flour and then assembled and circumcised in the presence of crowds of people. In order to show their courage and braveness, they are not supposed to show any signs of fear. Watching the Imbalu circumcision offers a great insight into true African tradition.
Adventure and Thrilling Activities
Uganda just has a remedy for all the desires of holidaymakers and those interested in adventure can go hiking the various mountains in Uganda for example the snow-capped mount Rwenzori, Sabyinyo volcanic mountain or go for river Nile expeditions carrying out whit water rafting.
Those above-mentioned tourist activities are among the few things one can enjoy on an Uganda safari but there is so much more to enjoy. Just plan and come to the pearl and have personal experiences.
Things to See in Uganda
Anybody who is a serious traveler and a seeker of the finest places to visit would know that Uganda has everything that would constitute a great traveler’s paradise. Uganda is blessed with a multitude of tourism assets ranging from historical monuments, national parks, mountain ranges to water bodies such as Lake Victoria – the largest tropical lake in the world and the river Nile – the world’s longest flowing water body.
The variety of Uganda’s biodiversity is immense; it hosts rare species; prolific animal populations in national parks and game reserves. The most spectacular feature within this gifted area is the rare mountain gorilla that is jealously protected in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park.
Several other primates are commonly seen here and these include several species of monkeys and wild chimpanzees. Kibale Forest National Park boasts a dozen of such primates.
Uganda National Parks
Other national parks where you can enjoy a wildlife safari include;
- Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
- Lake Mburo National Park
- Kibale Forest National Park
- Mgahinga Gorilla National Park
- Mount Elgon National Park
- Queen Elizabeth National Park
- Rwenzori Mountains National Park
- Semuliki National Park
Things to Do
Go Birding in Uganda
The country hosts over 1,000 bird species. If you are a bird lover, Uganda is a great destination to visit.
The country has breathtaking waterfalls such as the Murchison Falls in Northwestern Uganda, Sipi Falls in Eastern Uganda, and the Aruu Falls.
Go Hiking in the scenic mountain ranges of the Rwenzori, Mount Elgon, and the Virunga volcanoes.
The Republic of Uganda is a landlocked country located in the Great Lake Region of East Africa. It is bound by Sudan in the North, the Democratic Republic of Congo in the West, Rwanda in the Southwest, Tanzania in the South, and Kenya in the East. It gained its independence on 9 October 1962 from Great Britain.
Uganda’s topography can be described as unique. Much of the country’s landscape is classified as a plateau punctuated with a multitude of small highlands and depressions (valleys), and extensive savannah vegetation. The south is tickly forested while the north is largely savannah with some pockets of barren areas in the northeast. The outlay of Uganda’s landscape is a major determinant in residents’ settlement.
Uganda experiences an equatorial climate. In reality, Uganda’s climate can be categorized into 3 sub-climatic divisions mainly differentiated by altitude. Most of the country is a plateau more than 1,000m above sea level bounded by mountain ranges of Rwenzori in the West and Elgon in the East. The lowland areas of the country as well as the lake shores enjoy a warm climate. It is becoming cooler as you move towards the highlands.
The country experiences two distinct rainy peak seasons namely; March to May and October to late November.
Where to Stay
Accommodation facilities in Uganda are ample and range from hotels, privately managed lodges, tented camps, hostels, Guest houses to self-catering apartments. In the capital, you can choose from a number of classy hotels for instance Kampala Serena Hotels, Sheraton Hotel Kampala, Hotel Triangle, Equatorial Hotel, Grand Imperial Hotel, Hotel Africana and so much more. There are also several classy accommodation options in serene environments upcountry. Travelers here are advised to make their reservations well in advance.