Uganda is one of the most beautiful countries of Africa. Here is a quick guide to Uganda including location, things to see & do, top tourist destinations, getting there etc.
It is indeed called the Pearl of Africa, the name that Sir Winston Churchill called this country on his hunting safari through the African continent in 1908. Located astride the Equator, this relatively small country is endowed with amazing attractions and wonders. The country is bordered by South Sudan in the north, Kenya in the east, Tanzania in the South, Rwanda in the South West and the Democratic Republic of Congo in the west. The country is the best destination to see mountain gorillas and enjoy wildlife photography in non crowded national parks. The country is home to the known Source of the Nile in Jinja and Lake Victoria the second largest in the world.
Uganda is located in east Africa and it’s commonly referred to as the pearl of Africa and indeed it is as it was recently given accolades by lonely planet in 2013 as Africa compressed in one state. All these praises are based on facts of remarkable experiences tourists to the country get and most times get attracted to re-visit the pearl over and over again.
Uganda’s Tourism Charm
The pearl of Africa has attractions ranging the famous mountain gorillas that tourists look for on East Africa Expeditions, high mountains, lakes, rivers, dense tropical rain forests, wildlife species and more. The country also has unique cultures of the local people, exclusive cuisines and very welcoming and hospitable people.
1. Gorilla Parks
The mountain gorillas, Uganda’s leading tourist attractions can be trekked in the hilly and forested gorilla national parks of Bwindi and Mgahinga located in southwestern Uganda. Bwindi hosts nearly half of the world’s 900 total population of the mountain gorillas and there are 13 habituated gorilla proups that can be visited by tourists.
On the other hand Mgahinga has only one gorilla group that has been habituated but this group often roams into the neighbouring Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The parks can be visited all year round and accessing the two gorilla national parks from Kampala can take between 7-12 hours of driving along tarmac and rough roads with great en route views of the real Ugandan scenery. Visitors to this park also offer high chances of going for game drives in queen Elizabeth or lake Mburo national parks. Those who would not want to take the long hours of drive can alternatively use charter planes from Entebbe airport or Kajjansi airfield to Kihihi or Kisoro airstrips that are near Bwindi and Mgahinga gorilla national parks.
2. Wildlife Safaris To Big Games In National Parks
With 10 national parks, Uganda is one of the best countries in east Africa where one can go for wildlife safaris especially on game drives. Queen Elizabeth national park is one of the most visited safari destinations in Uganda with unique wild animals especially the tree-climbing lions in the Ishasha sector; most lions rarely do this! Queen national park also has the highest hippo populations in east Africa that inhabit the riverbanks of the famous Kazinga channel – a channel that connects lake Edward and lake George. Other wild animals in the park include elephants, zebra, impalas, warthogs, various bird species and many others.
3. Murchison falls national park also offers unique safari experiences with the big five mammals – lions, elephants, buffaloes, leopards and rhinos. The park has the rare shoebill stork that can be sighted along the swampy vegetation along the river Nile banks. This national park has the great Murchison falls that forms a permanent rain ball and a permanent mist as the waters of the Nile flows down the cliff and hard rocks.
Tourists to Murchison falls national park can engage in various tourism activities that include game drives, birding, boat trips along the Nile down the waterfalls and many others. Boat rides on the Nile enables tourists to view Nile crocodiles, hippos and many other small aquatic animals.
4. Lake Victoria
This is the third largest lake on earth and largest fresh water body on the African continent. It’s the source of the great river Nile with a number of islands. The lake has beautiful beaches especially in Entebbe and on the islands where one can relax and sun bathe in the cool sun of the country.
The islands in the lake have tropical forests with a number of primates and birds that can be viewed by tourists on nature walks.
Uganda can be visited by all kinds of tourists ranging from backpackers to the big spenders and luxurious tourists. However first timers are advised to visit the country under the help of a trusted tour operator in the country.