Often referred to as the Pearl of Africa, Uganda offers almost untouched vegetation and wildlife that cannot be found in many other countries. With sunny weather that rarely requires warm clothing, Uganda enjoys a largely dry season that is perfect for traveling and trekking on safaris. Visitors can enjoy wildlife in the 10 national parks, including the rare tree climbing lions and mountain gorillas.
These are just a few of the highlights of a vacation in Uganda:
Exotic Bird Watching
Uganda is becoming an increasingly popular bird watching location. With more than 1,000 different species living in the country, bird enthusiasts can enjoy views just about everywhere, from Lake Victoria to the many national parks. Particularly prevalent in the country are the shoebill stork, papyrus gonolek, and the African fish eagle. Budding ornithologists should be sure to check out the local species at Semliki National Park and Wildlife Reserve, as well as Queen Elizabeth National Park.
Mountain Gorilla and Chimpanzee Trekking
Known largely for housing half the world’s population of mountain gorillas, Uganda provides a natural habitat for the primates in its southwestern tropical rain forests. The Bwindi Impenetrable National Park maintains homes for ten gorilla families available specifically for tourist visits. Anyone visiting Uganda should not skip this unique and unforgettable experience.
In addition to the mountain gorilla population, there are a number of chimpanzees, black and white colobus, and bush babies inhabiting Uganda. With treks available in Kibale National Park, Budongo Forest, and Kyambura Gorge, Uganda offers nearly 5,000 chimpanzees for viewing.
National Park Visiting
With 10 certified national parks, in addition to several natural forests and natural reserve areas, Uganda can offer a broad range of wildlife experience. Safari launch trips are available in Queen Elizabeth and Lake Mburo National Parks, as well as around Murchison Falls. Visitors more interested in traveling on land can book a safari in a private vehicle through any of the national parks, and many offer nature walks for a more up close and personal look at the wildlife.
Explore any of these local national parks:
Nile River Rafting
Whitewater rafting enthusiasts may enjoy starting at the Lake Victoria source point of the Nile River, a location of incredible rapid and unique scenery. There is also whitewater rafting available at the more famous Zambesi Gorge, an exciting location that picks up under Victoria Falls. With options to travel 5 kilometers up to 30 kilometers in the raft, these expeditions can vary from a half-day of activity to two full days. All ages and ability levels are considered on these trips with the proper professional supervision, training, and equipment.
The largest mountain range in Africa, Rwenzori spans the 120 kilometer border with Congo. Although this range does not have any volcanic activity, the six main peaks have been enclosed in Rwenzori Mountains National Park. The highest point in this range, Mount Stanley, features a peak that is the third highest on the continent. The national park offers a number of hiking trails that range from one-day expeditions to much longer treks, include its nine-day central circuit trip that allows hikers to surmount all six main peaks.
Boat Riding and Beach Lounging
With much of Uganda covered in rivers and lakes, it is little wonder that there is a great deal of boating and fishing activity, especially on Africa’s largest inland body of water, Lake Victoria. The Ssese Islands, an archipelago on the lake, bring many tourists and visitors to enjoy the beaches and fishing opportunities.