Uganda casts its spell as soon as you land at the airport, with a cold breeze blowing in from Lake Victoria, one of the largest freshwater bodies in the world, competing against the warm rays of sun that symbolises the warmth of its people.
The air is crystal clear with with beautiful smiles, warm welcomes, graceful dances, mind-boggling landscapes, delicious food, and prolific bird and animal life.
In simple terms, you could say Uganda is Africa condensed, with the best of everything the continent has to offer packed into one small, but stunning destination.
National parks and reserves
The country’s largest tourism drawcard are the national parks and reserves. These are magnificent, encompassing not only conventional savannah – with mesmerising tracts of wildlife teeming with antelopes, buffaloes, elephants and big cats – but also the snow-capped peaks of Africa’s tallest mountains, tropical forests, amazing biodiversity and atmospheric lakes and rivers heaving with hippos, crocodiles and birds.
We could proudly say Uganda is the most welcoming and varied safari destination. The remarkably long list of wildlife creates a great appeal for the landlocked pearl, and the numerable and incomparable list of over 1,040 bird species is no exception for bird lovers.
Bird watchers can look for the fascinating shoebill in the swamps and wetlands, and roam the forests to seek Albertine Rift endemics and Congo-Guinea biome species at the eastern limit of their ranges. Prime birding destinations include Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, the Royal Mile, and Murchison Falls National Park – ranked number one by a travel African magazine in its list of the top ten birding sites in Africa.
The population of primates (18 species) in Uganda exceed numbers in any other African country. They include 13 diurnal species, two great apes, chimpanzees and gorillas –with half of the world’s remaining population in the world in Uganda.
Primate seekers can trek the endangered mountain gorillas in the forests of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. The equally rare golden monkey can also be trekked in Mgahinga and chimpanzees can be found in the Kibale Forest National Park, Kaniyo Pabidi forest, and the Kyambura Gorge in Queen Elizabeth National Park.
There are many activities one can do in Uganda. Trekkers can climb to the giant caldera of Mount Elgon, and the glacier peaks of Mount Rwenzori, the legendary snowy source of the Nile River. But if more adrenaline is what you crave, then you can take part in activities such as cruising the mighty Nile River on a jet boat, bungee jumping, mountain biking, quad biking, and horse riding.
And when the travel excitement is more than you can take, you can rest at the calm retreats on the shores of Lake Bunyonyi and hang out with the numerous birds from which the lake derives its name.
The locals from traditional kingdoms and tribes, each with their own history and culture, equally grace this land, and are well known as the most friendly and hospitable worldwide. Cultural tourism sites and events celebrate the diversity of some 40 ethnic groups and the rich history of the traditional kingdoms.
Although Uganda’s major foreign exchange earner is the vibrant and expanded tourism, it remains refreshingly unaffected by mass tourism. Encounters with wildlife and interactions with the locals retain a refreshing degree of exclusivity.
The pearl of Africa, universally regarded as the brightest prospect in East Africa, has recovered from its luster, to stand not only at the forefront of African renaissance, but also one of the continent’s safest, friendliest, and most rewarding tourist destinations. Sooner or later, due to the incredible diversity, a mass influx of tourists will discover Uganda and its delights on offer – so book your safari to Uganda today and get here before they do!