Also referred to as the Pearl of Africa, Uganda is one of the most beautiful country on the African country.
If you love primates, Uganda is the best destination to visit for primates watching and ecotourism in Africa. Uganda is home to nearly half of the remaining population of the mountain gorillas that are found with Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga National Park. The country is the best place for gorilla safaris that are combined with many other adventures such as game viewing, mountain climbing, white water rafting, chimpanzee tracking and more.
There are several places to visit in Uganda. The top places to visit in the country are Queen Elizabeth National Park, Kibale National Park, Kidepo National Park, Mount Rwenzori and more. These include national parks, game reserves, lakes, rivers etc. The best places for safari are the Uganda national parks where visitors enjoy wildlife viewing and natural scenery.
From the central one can enjoy a city tour through Kampala Uganda’s capital city, a visit to the Buganda Kingdom palace, Buganda Kasubi Tombs – a burial place for the Baganda royal kings, the Bahai Temple, the Rubaga Cathedral, market areas like Owino, Kasubi and get all the experience on the way of life for a typical Ugandan.
The central also offers birding sights at Lake Bunyonyi, visiting the beaches in Entebbe like Garuga, Lutembe, Kisubi, Sese gate way among others, a trip to Lake Victoria- the world’s largest fresh water body should not be missed as here you can engage in activities like fishing, boat rides and boat cruises on this great lake shared by Kenya and Tanzania. Not forgetting the Mabira forest, Seziwa falls in Mukono, Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary etc.
The capital Kampala is a great introduction to Uganda’s culture and hospitality. The city itself is located in the Buganda kingdom, a traditional dating back from 13th century. Because of its cultural significance, there are several cultural and historical attractions. Mengo royal palace and Bulange building on Mengo are the official places for the Kabaka of Buganda kingdom. The Buganda tourism board has done a great job creating beautiful monuments along the royal mile walk where visitors can learn history and culture of Buganda. The Uganda national museum and other places of worship such as the Uganda martyrs shrine Namugongo.
Lake Victoria islands
Lake Victoria is the largest tropical lake in Africa. It’s shared by Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania. Ugandan section of the lake has scenic tropical islands which include Sesse islands, Bulago islands and Ngamba island chimpanzee sanctuary.
These are a collection of 84 islands in the northwest of Uganda and around 43 of these are populated. However, there are only two islands of Bugala and Bukasa that are developed as far as tourism goes and receive tourists regularly. These islands are ideally treated as retreats after long hikes and safaris and offer relaxation and bird watching opportunities.
The Sesse and Bulago have white sand beaches where visitors can relax and chill after a safari.
The Ngamba Island is exclusively a chimp rehabilitation sanctuary where visitors can participate in chimpanzee feeding and care giving. These islands are located off Entebbe airport shoreline and accessible by boat ride or ferry.
The popular national parks There are 10 national parks most of which are located in western Uganda. These are destinations for wildlife viewing safaris. The most popular are primate tours which include gorilla tracking, chimpanzee tracking and golden monkey tracking activities. Game viewing safaris include game drives, boat cruises, game walks.
Bwindi impenetrable forest national park
One of Uganda’s best parks is Bwindi impenetrable forest national park where tourists are guaranteed to see mountain gorillas in the wild. The park is home to 430 gorillas about half of the world’s mountain gorillas including 17 gorilla families that are habituated for tourism. Gorilla tracking is the main activity and visitors are allowed to spend 1 hour up close with gorillas in their natural habitat. Those planning their gorilla safari must first book a gorilla permit through a tour operator or Uganda wildlife authority. The Park also has over 350 birds including 23 species endemic to Albertine rift valley.
Murchison Falls National Park
Visitors looking for famous big 5 safari experience should consider a 4 days trip to Uganda’s largest conservation area-Murchison Falls National Park. Murchison falls is home to 79 mammals and 451 species of birds including Nile crocodiles and large pods of hippos. The park is bisected by the River Nile which forms the Murchison falls, the world’s strongest waterfalls. Visitors can enjoy game drive safaris and boat cruises on river Nile to view wildlife including elephants, zebra, buffalo, lion, leopard, Uganda kob, Jackson’s hartebeest, topi, errand, spotted hyena. A trip to Murchison falls is about 4-5 hours drive from Kampala. Along the way, there’s Ziwa rhino sanctuary home to 23 southern rhinos. Before going to Murchison Falls, make a stopover at Ziwa for rhino tracking on foot with a ranger.
Queen Elizabeth national park
Located in the great east African rift valley in the shadow of the mountains of the moon, Queen Elizabeth National Park is the most visited park in Uganda because of wildlife and beautiful scenery. Big 4 mammals including the rare tree climbing lions are found in the park’s southern Ishasha wilderness along with several antelopes such as Uganda kob and topi.
The Source of the Nile in Jinja
The source of the mighty Nile is the waterfall considered to be the source of Nile and is flanked by the city of Jinja . It is a popular tourist destination as it offers some of the best white water rafting available anywhere in the world.
The River Nile has led to development of several tourist activities that can be in Jinja, the adventure capital of Uganda. These activities include bungee jumping, white water rafting, boat rides and cruises all on the Nile waters, watching the Bujagali falls and Owen dam falls which are all very exciting encounters.
The eastern part of Uganda, is also endowed with the beautiful mountain Elgon and mountain Elgon National Park with several wildlife species; buffalos, elephants, monkeys, zebras and lions. It is also a good birding site as it’s a home to various bird species. Mountain Elgon is said to be with the largest mountain base in the world.
The other tourist centers of the eastern region include the Sipi falls, Imabalu cultural traditions of the Bagishu people among others.
Uganda’s Glaciers: Tourists can experience the breeze from Uganda’s glaciers on the snow – capped Mountain Rwenzori Block sometimes known as the Mountain of the Moon. Mountain Rwenzori is the highest mountain n in Uganda. Apart from viewing the snowcapped peak of mtRwenzori, several other tourism attractions can be enjoyed; the rare three-horned Johnston’s chameleon, a number of birds endemic to the Albertine region and so many mammals featuring forest elephants. And they can be best watched from along the Rwenzori hike to discover the snowcapped peaks.
The western area of Uganda is a blessed region and is a commonly visited place in Uganda. This is the case as there are so many tourist attractions found here such as the various species of wildlife in Queen Elizabeth National Park, Mountain Rwenzori, Murchison falls, lakes Gorge and Edward, Kazinga channel, Kyambura gorge among others. In Queen Elizabeth National Park visitors get a chance to the various wildlife species like ( elephants, leopards, lions, and buffalos), savanna herbivores like the impalas, Uganda kobs, giraffes, chimpanzees etc. will can all viewed while on a game drive through the park, boat cruise at the Kazinga channel and hot air balloon safaris which are all very exciting encounters. The Kazinga channel is known as the best home for the large hippopotamus in the whole of East Africa since a large number of these is concentrated with in the Kazinga waters.
South Western Region
The south western part of Uganda is yet another exciting haven for tourists. In the South Western part of Uganda, is the Bwindi Impenetrable Tropical Rain forest and Mgahinga National park – the Ugandan homes for the great mountain gorillas. These are habituated by half of the total number of the world’s surviving mountain gorillas that is a total of 13 gorilla family groups within the country where 12 family groups are within the thick forest of Bwindi and 1 gorilla family group in Mgahinga National Park. In Uganda, gorilla safaris can also be enjoyed anytime of the year though the dry seasons are most preferable as the canopy is not logged with so much water around this time and therefore simplified movements through the forest unlike in the rainy seasons. To be a part of this interesting tour activity, one must have a mountain gorilla trekking permit usually available at the Uganda Wildlife Authority at 600 USD and 350 USD in the low seasons. And always 8 tourists are allowed to a specific gorilla family group ad for duration of one hour; but it’s such a great experience encountering these creatures in their natural wilderness.
In addition to mountain gorilla trekking in the south west, one can still engage in other interesting tourist activities like the forest nature and canopy walks, golden monkey tracking, birding, wildlife safaris, community nature walks to the Batwa –with lots of stories on their experiences and way of life while in the vast of the forest as well as viewing the different thick green natural vegetation, which all are rewardsing experiences to travellers.
Northern Region of Uganda
This is another exciting side of the country. It entails the Kidepo Valley National Park which is one of the largest national parks in the country habituated by various wildlife species like zebras, lions, buffaloes and a vast number of bird species. It is the home to the indigenous tribe of the Karamajongs– nomadic cattle keepers who have persisted life in their original cultural traditions and norms (raring animals moving from one place to another for food with their families, dressing half way like the former Zulu Kingship of South Africa) and they are a very fierce / hostile group of people.
All in all, it’s an endless list of tourist attractions and activates to be enjoyed while on a visit in Uganda; to which side of the country you choose to stay, expect to have a wonderful and exciting experience of your life. Those doubting, you can start by arranging regional trips to Uganda and you will not believe what you will see!. These and so much much more will be awaiting your trip.