Why visit Uganda
Uganda is also known as the “Pearl of Africa” and the country where East and West Africa meet, featuring lush forests inhabited by primates and arid savannahs which are home to a wide array of plains game. Uganda’s landscape is uniquely diverse. From the wildlife inhabited savannah plains to glacier covered mountains, from tracking endangered mountain gorillas in the rainforest to rushing down the rapids of the mighty Nile. A paradise for primates, it is home to a multitude of species, ranging from chimpanzee to golden monkey and mountain gorilla. 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 most 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
The Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is a biodiverse, mountainous area in southwest Uganda. It’s home to many of the world’s remaining mountain gorillas, who feed on roots, leaves and fruits from the park’s many tree and fern species. 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. Crucially, it’s the one and only home to Uganda’s population of highly-endangered Mountain Gorillas who face extinction. 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”. 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.
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.
The Ssese Island came into existence about 12000 years ago when a ectonic shift caused an elevated basin situated between two main arms of the great rift valley to flood, forming Lake Victoria as we know it today. Bird watchers and lovers will be happy to note that the islands are home to plenty of colourful birds and beautiful butterfly species.
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 .