Why go to Uganda
Uganda is also known as the “Pearl of Africa” and is the Eastern African country that is the most central. Its name derives from the Buganda Kingdom which historically stretches over the southern regions of the nation. It’s made up of over a hundred districts and several different regions; each one offering something unique and consists of different tribes and landscapes. The western region of Uganda is an incredibly beautiful region; a wonderland of golden plains, thick rain forests, snow peaked mountains, and tea plantations. It is here where the rare African gorillas can be found, located in the game reserves, mountain regions and forest reserves. This is a popular region among explorers and entices the majority of the country’s tourism. The central region of Uganda has preserved many cultural sites, making sure that the kingdom’s heritage sites and buildings are preserved for future generations to observe and learn from. The nation’s capital of Kampala can be found here, as can Uganda’s most beautiful waterfalls and water bodies, such as Lake Victoria. Travelling towards the Eastern Region of Uganda you’ll come across the source of the river Nile and the Bujagali falls. Here you can go bunjy jumping and go on a white water rafting adventure. This region is truly beautiful and continues to mesmerize tourists every year with its majestic mountain ranges while the Nyero rock paintings give tourists and locals an insight into the nation’s past. Lastly, the Northern Region of Uganda offers an enchanting perspective into the nation’s tribes and national park
Where to go in Uganda
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
Grab your birding guide and binoculars for a fantastic birdwatching foray through the ancient rainforest of the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park – known for offering “some of the best montane-forest birdwatching in Africa”. The park is home to an impressive 350 species, of which many you will delight in ticking off your list on this 2-3 hour excursion that is hosted by a knowledgeable guide. Alternatively, nature enthusiasts can embark on a 3-hour journey of discovery, traversing through the unique habitats of this UNESCO World Heritage Site, along a winding trail framed by exotic, emerald vegetation, to witness the sparkling spectacle of the Munyaga Waterfall. Rising through ever green and montane marshes that intertwine across the lush forest floor your trail leads you to enchanting falls, booming out a thunderous roar of pristine river water crushing against enormous rocks. Set in exquisite verdant terrain this waterfall is truly a sight to behold. Prolific with birds the cacaphony of chatter and the cascading falls is a magnificent sound. Acknowledged as a birding utopia Uganda shelters over half of the bird species found in Africa making it the leading birding destinations in Africa and the globe. Ambling along the Buhoma Waterfall Trail be sure to look out for the White-tailed Ant Thrush and dapper francolin, the splendid Black Bee-eater, Yellow-eyed Black and African Sooty Flycatchers along the green bamboo zone. Venture to the Mubwindi Swamp trail in Ruhija where sightings of the endemic and localized African green broadbill are frequent. Gaze up at the tree tops and keep your binoculars handy to spot the Short-tailed Warbler and Blue-headed Sunbird as well as the African Green Broadbill and Shelley’s Crimsonwing. This is one of the richest ecosystems in Africa and is most notable for the 340 Mountain Gorillas which make this their home. This is more than half of the worlds remaining population of Mountain Gorillas.
Kibale Forest is one of the best places in Uganda to see wild chimpanzees.
Thanks to habituation the chimpanzees lost their natural fear of humans and can be approached very closely. Kibale National Park is also a very good place to observe smaller primates like the black and white colobus, the red colobus, grey-cheeked mangabey and the rare l’Hoest monkey. Also nocturnal primates like the Thomas’s galago can be seen. The Park forms a continuous forest with Queen Elizabeth National Park and an important wildlife corridor. Known mostly for its population of Chimpanzees and 12 other species of primates.
Ngambe Island is one of the 84 islands found on the North Western side of Lake Victoria. This is home to many orphaned and rescued chimps which now roam free across the island in a safe environment. Viewing can be done from a raised platform, during feeding time.
Lies on the banks of Lake Victoria and is the best known location for the source of the Nile. This is also home to the Ugandan Hydro Electric Plant. 8 kilometers upstream is the Bujugali Falls with islands and rapids and amazing birdlife. The abundance of water makes for a wide variety of river adventures, from superb white water rafting at Jinja to more sedate river cruises viewing vast numbers of hippo and crocodile along the country’s western border. There are also a number of campsites, adventure activities and several community projects in the area. Most popular activities are the white water rafting on the Nile, quad biking and bungee jumping.
Much of the country is defined by water and the Nile River is said to have its source here. The mighty river itself curves through the country from northwest to southeast. Uganda is also a birders’ paradise, with well over 1 000 recorded species, including the fascinating shoebill. Uganda boasts of world class white water rafting on River Nile in Jinja. River Nile starts its three months journey form Lake Victoria with such calm butn soon plunges into spectacular rapids and waterfalls. With up to grade 6 rapids, rafting the Nile is a thrill of a lifetime
Named after the dramatic Murchison Falls, which were christened by Sir Samuel Baker; Uganda’s Murchison Falls National Park is the country’s largest protected wildlife sanctuary. A wonderful tapestry of natural landscapes awaits visitors to the park. Here, the mighty Nile River bisects flourishing savannahs, flanked by lush riverine woodlands, before bursting through a chasm in the Rift Valley escarpment to form the raging Murchison Falls. Wildlife enthusiasts can expect to see great pods of hippo and immense rafts of crocodile in-and-around the Nile as well as an array of exceptional water birds. Other fascinating wildlife include the rare Rothschild giraffe, lion, various antelope species, buffalo, leopard and spotted hyena. Check out the world’s most powerful waterfall on a willdife-watching boatride up the Victoria Nile. Murchison Falls vegetation is comprised of lush Savanna granslands, riverine forest and woodland. This vast chunk of untamed African Savanna is immersed with a lot of wildlife and is the favorite national park in Uganda for wildlife safaris.
When to go to Uganda
Uganda is an all round destination, with things to do and see at any time of year. Gorilla trekking is obviously the highlight in Uganda and although trekking is throughout the year, the best time of year to do the trekking (for easier conditions) is during the drier months of January and February and again in the second dry season of June through to September. The busiest times on the mountains are December to February and July to August . The experience will be incredible no matter when you go. During the rainy season the Gorillas tend to hang out at lower altitudes . They also love to sunbathe after getting wet …so great for taking photos.
Game viewing is ideal at the end of the dry seasons which would be February and March, and again at the end of September and early October.
For updated weather forecasts across Africa, please visit www.africanweather.net .