Uganda is often referred to as the Pearl of Africa due to its amazing weather, landscapes, untamed nature, and great diversity of tours, which include hiking, Nile River adventures, white water rafting, fishing, gorilla and chimpanzee/primate tracking safaris, birding safaris, and cultural and city tours.
Tourist sites are easily accessible by road and air, with a wide variety of hotels and restaurants to cater for all travellers. English is the main language spoken besides local tribal languages, while Swahili and French are also spoken in certain places.
Here are some of Uganda’s must-see destinations:
1. Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
This is the destination to see mountain gorillas in Uganda. Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is home to 12 gorilla families that can be tracked every day with only eight people allowed per family. Some travellers opt to track more than one family as each family is so unique.
You can also enjoy village and cultural walks among the Batwa tribes who live in caves in the mountains at Bwindi.
2. Murchison Falls National Park
This is one of the most visited national parks in Uganda and is home to the Big Five (lions, elephants, leopards, buffalos and rhinos), a variety of antelope species, giraffes, hippos and crocodiles. Here you can enjoy white water rafting on the great Nile River, fishing, and boat cruises at sunset, while the famous hike to the top of Murchison Falls is not to be missed. The chimpanzee/primate treks are also a must when visiting Murchison Falls National Park.
3. Queen Elizabeth National Park
Named after Queen Elizabeth of England, this park is famous for the tree climbing lions. If you thought that when being chased by a lion your best bet was to climb a tree, you may be surprised to see the skill that these lions exhibit when climbing trees. There is also a host of other game to see such as elephants, buffalos, warthogs, impalas, hippos, crocodiles and leopards.
At Queen Elizabeth National Park you can also trek to see the chimpanzees and other primates, such as the unique colobus and golden monkeys in the forest reserves of Kyambura and Kalinzu. Queen Elizabeth National Park is within easy reach of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park so you can combine gorilla and chimpanzee treks with wildlife safaris.
Also don’t miss out on a boat cruise on the Kazinga Channel, which connects Lake George and Lake Edward. Uganda shares these waters with the Democratic Republic of Congo.
4. The Nile in Jinja
The source of the longest river in the world can be found just 80km from Kampala, and Jinja is well worth a visit when in Uganda. Take a boat cruise to the source of the Nile where you can see the calm waters of Lake Victoria flowing into the waters of the Nile.
Jinja is an old town and was once the industrial heart of East Africa. While in Jinja make sure you try the tilapia fish delicacy of Lake Victoria. Bungee jumps and white water rafting are also offered at Jinja, as are a variety of other family-friendly activities such as fishing, boat cruises, bike rides, hikes and walks to various waterfalls.
Besides these four destinations there are a number of other places worth visiting in Uganda, such as the Sipi Falls on Mountain Elgon, Kibale Forest National Park, Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary, Bigodi Wetlands Sanctuary, the Rwenzori Mountains and Lake Bunyonyi among others.