WHY YOU SHOULD VISIT UGANDA
The Rwenzori Mountains in western Uganda on the border of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) create a spectacular backdrop to the country’s natural wonders. The Rwenzori Mountains rival the likes of Mount Kilimanjaro and Mount Kenya in terms of height and altitude.
The fabled “Mountains of the Moon” is regarded as one of the finest mountain-climbing destinations in the world and attract hundreds of extreme outdoor enthusiasts to the region every year.
Lakes and rivers
Uganda is a landlocked country but it’s not short of large water sources. It falls within the Great Lakes region of Africa and is world-renowned for its collection of magnificent lake systems.
Lake Victoria is the largest lake in Uganda and dominates the southern ecosystem. It’s also one of the largest lakes in the world and contains a number of substantial islands. Other famous lakes in the region include Lake Albert, Lake Edward and the smaller Lake George as well as Lake Kyoga found in central Uganda.
It’s a bit odd to talk about a beach holiday in Uganda but that’s pretty much what you get when you visit one of the many strikingly-beautiful islands in Lake Victoria or Lake Bunyonyi. The world-renowned Ssese Islands archipelago in Lake Victoria offers visitors the perfect escape to an exotic tropical island in Africa.
Unfortunately, the combination of crocodiles, hippos and bilharzia means swimming is not recommend but the hotels in Lake Victoria have beautiful pools overlooking the shoreline and you can also spend lazy hours out on the water in a dugout canoe.
A Uganda safari is not your typical Big 5 safari in Africa but rather a primate safari tour. Uganda is one of three countries in the world where you can enjoy the ultimate life experience of sitting silently with the endangered mountain gorilla in its natural forest habitat. The other two countries are Rwanda and the DRC.
Gorilla trekking take you into the impenetrable Bwindi forests which is home to half of the last remaining gorillas in the world; which is estimated to be less than 1 000. It’s a privilege and a life-changing experience to sit quietly amongst these magnificent species and contemplate how perilous their existence is in the protected region.
If the cost of gorilla trekking in Uganda is a bit steep for your budget, it’s just as much fun to go chimpanzee trekking in the forests. The chimps are always on the go so you’re guaranteed an exhilarating day keeping up with them as they move through the dense vegetation.
Gorilla trekking in Uganda is not for everyone. It’s expensive and requires a certain level of fitness to get through the impenetrable forests to where the gorillas are spending their day. It’s just as much fun to visit Uganda for chimpanzee trekking in Kibale Forest National Park.
If that’s also a bit taxing, you can book a day tour to Ngama Island to spend time with our closest living relatives. The trip to Ngama Island includes feeding the chimps and interacting with them as well as a lovely hike on the island. You basically act as a chimpanzee caregiver for a day.
The chimpanzee sanctuary at Ngama Island offers volunteering jobs for visitors ranging from one week to one month.
Uganda is home to over 1 050 recorded bird species which represents about 10% of the world’s bird population. They’re found in habitats ranging from dense forests and swamps to open savannah grasslands, agricultural lands and lakes.
There are less than five birding safari destinations in the world where you’ll find over 600 bird species in one park alone. Queen Elizabeth National Park in Uganda boasts more than 620 recorded bird species and has earned itself the reputation as being arguably the best birding destinations in Africa and one of the best in the world.
Uganda is a culturally diverse country with over 50 ethnic tribes; each with their own unique customs and age-old traditions. The country still features monarchical kingdoms which includes the famous Buganda Kingdom; regarded as one of the most powerful African kingdoms still in existence.
The Buganda Kingdom heritage includes the Kasubi Royal Tombs which are recognised by UNESCO as World Heritage Sites; and other strong kingdoms in Uganda which include Bunyoro, Tooro and Ankole.
A cultural tour of Uganda is a fascinating insight into these ancient kingdoms as well as modern cultural beliefs, traditions and cuisine. Some of the unique cultural festivals have gained international fame and have become sought-after destinations for Uganda tourism.