Always referred to as the Pearl of Africa, Uganda is a beautiful country found in Eastern Africa. Located astride the Equator, Uganda has numerous attractions that include both natural and man-made. Though most renowned for hosting nearly half of the total remaining mountain gorillas within the world, Uganda has a diversity of wildlife which cannot easily be found elsewhere including the tree climbing lions of the Ishasha Sector, large troops of chimpanzees, birds etc. Most of the wildlife, especially wild animals have been conserved in gazetted areas owned by government as way to prevent the remaining species from further extinction.
Uganda has several areas that have been gazetted for conservation. The gazetted areas include national parks, wildlife parks, game reserves, sanctuaries, bird sanctuaries, Important Bird Areas (IBAs) and more. The protected areas comprise of a diversity of landscapes varying from valleys to mountains, forests and savanna plains, rivers and lakes etc. The network of 10 national parks host wildlife ranging from large Apes such as the mountain gorillas and chimpanzees, to carnivals, herbivores, reptiles, birds, flies and very tiny insects.
What are the Best Parks to Visit
The most popular destinations are
- Bwindi impenetrable forest national park the best place to go gorilla trekking,one of the world’s most popular wildlife experiences
- Queen Elizabeth National Park where you can see the tree climbing lions within the Ishasha Sector as well as large animals such as elephants, hippos, buffaloes and more. If you are looking to a wildlife safari in Uganda, a visit to Queen Elizabeth safari park most known to holiday makers for having a big population of tree climbing lions and Murchison falls national park is a rewarding and unforgettable journey.
- Kibale Forest National Park, is a tropical rain forest park with the highest population of chimpanzees in their natural environment in the whole world.
- Murchison Falls National Park in north Eastern Uganda – Enjoy a hike to the great Murchison falls, and ennjoy viewing a variety of animals that include giraffes, lions, elephants, birds and plants etc.
- Rwenzori Mountains National Park – If you love hiking, a visit to the Rwenzori Mountains (aka the mountains of the moon) in western Uganda offers some of the best hikes you can ever take on the African continent. A hike to the glaciated peaks of Stanley or Magherita Peak takes a total of 7 Days.
- Kidepo Valley National Park – less discovered by tourists on most Uganda safari circuits, the Kidepo National Park located in the remote corner of North Eastern Uganda is a great place to experience the true wilderness of Africa.
- Semliki National Park with its crater lakes and hostsprings,
- Lake Mburo national park known for its zebras, elands and sitatungas
- Mount Elgon with the great scenic sipi falls.
Great Animals to See
In addition to the safari parks, Uganda safaris feature visits to less known sites which include chimpanzee sanctuaries, many birding sites, swamps and ecotourism sites.
The Big Five
Who doesn’t want to boast that they’ve seen elephants, rhinoceros, buffaloes, lions and leopards during their wild African safari? In Uganda it’s possible to view all of the “Big Five” – surely a memory to cherish for a lifetime.
Enormous African elephants and Cape buffaloes are regularly spotted in great numbers during game drives and launch trips – there are estimated to be around 2500 elephants and some 7000 buffalo in Queen Elizabeth National Park alone.
Lions can sometimes be seen lounging in the fig trees of Ishasha in Queen Elizabeth or prowling across the rocks of Kidepo Valley, eyeing up unsuspecting herds of Uganda kob. You’ll have to be lucky to glimpse a well-camouflaged leopard – though the challenge of spotting this beautiful feline makes a rare sighting even more rewarding.
Rhinos have been hunted to extinction in the wild Uganda – but Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary gives visitors the chance to walk up close to these huge, armoured creatures in the savannah – making Uganda one of the few destinations where you really can see the Big Five in their natural habitat.
Visit our Game Drives and Launch Trips pages to book your place today!
Uganda boasts the third highest peak in Africa, four extinct volcanoes and one of the largest intact calderas in the world – not bad for such a compact country! Those who wish to stand on one of these awesome peaks are spoilt for choice. Inexperienced climbers or those short of time can choose one of the three conical Virunga Volcanoes in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. Any of the three can be summited in a day, and offer astounding views of Uganda, Rwanda and the DR Congo.
Mount Elgon, on the Kenyan border, also requires no technical expertise, but the route to the top takes 4-7 days, passing though wonderful forest scenery, natural pools and past ancient caves.
The true challenge is the Rwenzoris: Africa’s highest mountain chain. Inexperienced climbers will enjoy the enchanting forest scenery of the lower slopes – but only skilled mountaineers should attempt the nine-day trek to the snow-covered equatorial peaks.
Visit our Volcano and Mountain Climbing page to book your place today!
Situated at the geographical heart of the African continent, Uganda has long been a cultural melting pot, as evidenced by the existence of 30-plus indigenous languages belonging to five distinct linguistic groups, and an equally diverse cultural mosaic of music, art and crafts.
The country’s most ancient inhabitants are the Batwa and Bambuti Pygmies, relics of the hunter-gatherer cultures that once occupied much of East Africa. To the north-east, the vast, arid plains are reigned over by the Karamojong, a fierce, semi-nomadic cattle-herding tribe, believed to have migrated south from Ethiopia several centuries ago. At the cultural core of modern-day Uganda lie the Bantu-speaking kingdoms of Buganda, Bunyoro, Ankole and Toro, whose traditional monarchs still serve as important cultural figureheads.
Thanks to their distinct languages and kingdoms, as well as the vast geographical and climatic differences between the regions, Uganda’s communities still retain many fascinating cultural distinctions. These are commonly displayed through their music, dance, cuisine, crafts, folklore, and traditional healing rituals; and with the emergence of community tourism, visitors are now invited to discover this wonderful cultural mix for themselves. Visit our Cultural Encounters page to book your place today!
Tourism in Uganda
Uganda has become a major tourism destination in Africa due to the fact that it offers unique tour attractions with over 1010 bird species that are endemic to the region due to its location. It is located astride the equator, an imaginary line that separates into two equal halves; the northern hemisphere and the southern hemisphere. Also it is found in a location where the Sahara desert meets with the equatorial rain forests thus offering unique habitats for different types of wildlife.