Uganda

 

Wondering why it is called 'The Pearl of Africa'? Where else can you see lions prowling across the open savanna as day breaks before white water rafting down the Nile; then the next day set off into the misty mountains in search of the majestic mountain gorillas before settling in to watch a local cultural evening around the camp fire?

Uganda has been ranked the number one destination for tourists for the year 2012 by Lonely Planet which is the largest travel guide and media publisher in the world. The following week, Qatar Airways, a member of the five star alliance, announced that it would be launching a service to Uganda's international hub, Entebbe Airport.

Uganda’s total land area is 241,559 sq km. About 37,000 sq km of this area is occupied by open water while the rest is land. The southern part of the country includes a substantial portion of Lake Victoria, which it shares with Kenya and Tanzania.

Bwindi Impenetrable National Park

The Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the top 10 best tourist places in Uganda is located in south-western Uganda. The park is one of the richest ecosystems anywhere in the world with many different species of birds and mammals. At present there are 120 different species of mammals, around 350 species of birds, more than 200 different species of butterflies and many more endangered species.

The park is also home to the Colobus Monkeys, the Bwindi Gorillas and Chimpanzees. The park lies in a remote area and travelling to the area is hard task because of the poor condition of the roads. Despite this thousands of tourists visit the park annually that being because of the unique Gorilla tracking facility provided by the park.

Location: South Western Uganda

Murchison Falls National Park

The Murchison Falls National Park also known as the Kabarega National Park is located in north-western Uganda. The park is well known for its amazing wildlife despite being ravaged by poachers. The park is home to four of the big five’s; Buffalos, Elephants, Lions and Leopards. The park was also home to Rhinos but they became extinct due to poaching and hunting during the sixties and the seventies. However Rhinos are again being bred to be introduced in the park. Other animals that are present in the park include Hippopotamus, Giraffes, Antelopes, Uganda Kob, Hartebeest and Oribi.

Location: North Western Uganda

Rwenzori Mountains National Park

The Rwenzori Mountains National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site is situated in the Rwenzori Mountains in southwest Uganda. The park is famous for its amazing plant life; it is dotted with waterfalls, many small lakes and glaciers. Eco-tourism is rapidly increasing in the park

Location: South West Uganda

Queen Elizabeth National Park

The Queen Elizabeth National Park spread over an area of 1,978 square kilometers is Uganda’s most visited National Park. The park is located in Uganda’s Western side; the gigantic park covers Kasese, Kamwenge, Bushenyi and Rukungiri Districts of Uganda. The park is at a distance of around three hundred and seventy kilometers from the capital city of Kampala.

The park was opened to tourists in 1954 and has been named after Queen Elizabeth II. The park is home to 95 different species of mammal and more than 500 species of birds. The park is managed by the Ugandan Wildlife Authority. A tour to this amazing wildlife park is must.


Location: Western Uganda

Lake Victoria

Lake Victoria is Africa’s largest lake in Africa by area and the world’s largest tropical lake with an area of close to seventy thousand square kilometers. It is also the second largest fresh water lake in the world besides North America’s Lake Superior. The lake falls in the territory of three countries with nearly forty-five percent of its area under the control of Uganda. The lake is a tourist magnet and one of the top 10 best tourist places in Uganda.

Location: South east Uganda

The things to do in Uganda are some of the most unique things to do in world.  Gorilla Trekking, which Uganda is mostly known for, can only be found in three countries, all of which are found in Eastern Africa.  There are also hidden gems in Uganda that most people don’t know about including Africa safaris and a great lake region which is one of the reasons why people say that Uganda is the Pearl Of Africa.

The country is blessed with all kinds of wildlife and many people don’t realize all there is to see.  The capital of Kampala will make you feel like you’re in Asia with electronics shops on every corner and the people Uganda are extremely friendly. The new integration of Uganda into the Eastern Africa Community is great for tourism as well.  While I was living overseas in Africa I was able to spend a great week in Uganda.

Gorilla Trekking

The tourist attractions in Uganda wouldn’t be complete without Gorilla Trekking.  Uganda is actually the best place to go as they have the largest number of gorilla families in the Biwindi National Forrest.

Kampala

The city feels like Africa with an Asian flare and is the center of everything to do in the country.  There are a variety of restaurants to try, new things to experience like a ride on a boda boda (motorcycle taxi), or even just get to know what life is like in the capital city in Uganda.  Don’t forget to check out the churches, Bahai Temple, and museums in the city.

Straddle The Equator

You do not like to do this with every country that sits on the equator?   One of the best travel tips I can give you!

White Water Rafting

The Nile River is the longest river in the world and it starts in Uganda.  Make sure to check out rafting opportunities which last anywhere from an afternoon to 3 days.

Lake Victoria

The things to do in Uganda wouldn’t be complete with a little rest and relaxation.  Lake Victoria is a very picturesque and also provides secluded beaches that rest on islands that take 8 hours to get to! Definitely check it out.

Chimpanzee Trekking

In addition to the gorilla trekking you can get up close and personal to chimpanzees which can be found in the region.  There are many other natural forests as well where you can find plenty more animals.

The best wildlife-viewing months in Uganda are during the Dry seasons from June to August and December to February. Primate walks in the forest are a big part of any safari in Uganda. The habitat of rainforests is, by default, very wet and one cannot avoid rain completely.