Although Uganda is popularly known for mountain gorilla tours, few people know that this beautiful country has got more to offer. A traveler will see big wildlife on game drives and boat safaris in some of the national parks managed by Uganda Wildlife Authority like Murchison Falls National Park, Queen Elizabeth National park, the less visited Kidepo Valley National park among others, not forgetting the numerous primates in the different rain forests, stunning lakes, rivers, tea plantations, mountains, Savannah and waterfalls.
Winston Churchill wrote “For magnificence, for variety of form and color, for profusion of brilliant life — bird, insect, reptile, beast — for vast scale , Uganda is truly the pearl of Africa
Below are some of the reasons why you must visit Uganda on your next safari holiday.
1. The People of Uganda
The people of Uganda are one of the wonders of the country and have been described as the friendliest globally by BCC. They welcome all nationalities and are quick to offer their smiles to new people. They are so open and curious, with a great sense of fun. They are happy to see traveling and will wave, calling them ‘’Mzungu’ which means white men, not in a degrading manner, but rather in a friendly way.
Every traveler knows how well or badly treated by the local people can influence the travel experience in a new country, but this is not something to worry about when you visit Uganda.
We have had clients who were so scared to come to Uganda, but came any way and really got ‘hooked’ to Uganda most especially due to how welcome they felt by the local people, during their safari road trips
2. Uganda is off the beaten track
Uganda is not in the lime light like it’s neighboring countries Rwanda, Tanzania and Kenya and so it is undiscovered and less traveled.
These days it is so hard to have a feeling of traveling to a remote area, even in Africa but Uganda is still raw with bumpy, rough roads and the less developed infrastructure compared to some of the neighboring countries, which makes the experience of most travelers edgy and fun.
To top it up, it is a very safe country to travel to for even solo and self-drive travelers.
3. Wildlife of Uganda
Although gorillas and chimpanzees are the most talked about in Uganda, the country is home to other great wildlife. Travelers can see lots of wildlife that include tree climbing lions, hippo, African cape buffalo, leopard, elephants, hyenas, warthogs, different types of antelopes, among others in different national parks like Queen Elizabeth National park and Kidepo valley National park. Wildlife can be seen during traditional game drives and on boat safaris like the boat safari at the bottom of Murchison Falls, Kazinga channel boat safari, Lake Mburo boat safari among others.
4. Birds of Uganda
Uganda is Africa’s premier birding destination and should be on every birders bucket list . So far, 1078 bird species have been recorded but many of these beautiful birds live only in tropical forests with rare sightings being described as “mythical” while it is believed that some of the birds living in the remote forests of Uganda may not even be classified as of yet. The country is home to water, land, forest, Savannah birds, etc that include the bizarre looking shoebill stork, Green-breasted Pitta, Great Blue Turaco, Shelley’s Crimsonwing, Doherty’s Bushshrike, yellow billed dark, marabou stork, spoon billed stork, and so on. You can contact us if you are interested in a bird watching safari.
5. Rwenzori Mountains ‘Mountains of the moon’’
Active travelers who are keen hikers should not miss a chance to trek Mountain Rwenzori which is located in South Western Uganda, on the Uganda-Congo border. It was gazetted as a national park in 1991 and designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site due to its outstanding beauty.
This stunning mountain is the tallest mountain range on the African continent and the highest mountain in Uganda and has water falls, crater lakes, different plant, animal and bird species. The mountains are actually are snow capped and are higher than the Alps. Margherita peak is the highest at 5,109 meters above sea level.
You can also combine a gorilla trek, or a classic Uganda safari with a hike to these mountains.
6. Source of River Nile
Apart from lakes (Lake Victoria, Mutanda Lake, Lake Bunyonyi, Lake Albert, Lake Edward, Lake George etc), waterfalls, Kazinga channel; the source of River Nile, the world’s longest river is found in Uganda, in Jinja district. Travelers can take a boat trip to the source of River Nile, go for a sunset cruise and take part in different water sports on river Nile that include White Water rafting, Kayaking, etc.
7. Conservation purposes
Mountain gorillas are critically endangered and the population of these gentle apes is less than 1000. Half of these are found in Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National park and Mgahinga Gorilla National park and as much as a gorilla permit is not cheap, when you buy one, you are contributing to the survival of these great apes and their national habitat
Chimpanzee tracking is a great experience that should not missed. You will hear them screaming, and you will be so thrilled to see them.
Kibale National park in Uganda is the best place in Africa to go for chimpanzee tracking. The national park is nick named as the primate capital of the world because it has the biggest population of chimpanzees in the world and thus it is the best place to see them. There are 13 primate species recorded here.
9.Mountain gorilla Treks
Mountain gorilla treks are the main highlight on a Uganda safari. and Uganda is home to half of the remaining mountain gorillas. An encounter with a mountain gorilla is one of the ultimate unforgettable life experiences. Unlike the chimps, which can be more difficult to spot, you are guaranteed seeing mountain gorillas. The trek starts early in the morning with a briefing from the warden at the park offices. After, you are assigned to your gorilla family group and with experienced ranger guides, you head to the forest, following the family of habituated gorillas. Gorilla tracking can take 2-7 hours depending on where the gorillas nested the previous night. You will love every thing about the whole trek, from the sounds of the jungle, the lush rain forest to the breathing pure air. Once you are with the gorillas, you will be allowed only 1 hour with them for conservation purposes. Looking into the eyes of a mountain gorilla is an experience that can equal to none. Gorillas are amazing and this will be a life time experience.
We do offer customized safari holidays to Uganda. Just let us know if you want us to plan an itinerary that suits your safari needs and budget
Below is a video of a mountain silver-back gorilla in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest seen during gorilla tracking
10 Day Gorillas, Chimps & Lions