Uganda’s reputation as Africa’s friendliest country stems partly from the traditions of hospitality common to its culture and diverse populous and partly from the remarkably low level of crime and hustle directed to tourists.
Uganda has long been a cultural melting pot as evidence by the 30 plus different indigenous languages belonging to 5 distinct linguistic groups. And an equally diverse cultural mosaic of music, art and handy crafts.
Sprawling across both sides of the equator a network of 10 national parks and several other protected areas offers wildlife enthusiasts a thrilling opportunity to experience Uganda’s biodiversity. Not only the mesmerizing tracks of thorn bush Savannah teeming with wildlife one tends to associate with equatorial of east Africa. But also lush expanses of tropical rain-forest, simmering lakes and river heaving with aquatic life and the glacial peaks of Africa’s tallest mountain range.
Uganda’s star attraction is the endangered near extinct mountain gorilla the bulkiest of living primates and among-est the most peaceable. Staring into the pensive brown eyes of these gentle giants who share 97% of their gens with humans. Is as humbling as it is thrilling no less so when one realizes that fewer than 840 individuals survive divide between Virunga mountains, Mgahinga and the Bwindi impenetrable forest national park.
Within Uganda’s borders lies the source of the Nile eluded to hazily in the ancient writings of Ptolemy and which stood as one of the greatest geographical mysteries of the Victorian age. Transitional to the east African Savannah and western rain-forest, Uganda is Africa’s most complete bird watching destination with more than 1040 bird species recorded within an area comparable to that of great Britain. Uganda is truly a unique holiday destination on earth!
Every traveler knows how the attitude of local people can influence the experience when visiting a new country. When going somewhere new, we want to learn about other ways of living, we want contact with new cultures, we want to connect with people whose lives are so different but somehow so similar to ours.
People in Uganda are friendly, open and curious with a great sense of fun.
If you think that everything south of the Sahara is arid, yellow and inhospitable, you are definitely trapped in a cliché! The lush and luxurious jungle which characterizes the rain-forest is replaced by banana, tea and coffee plantations around the villages making the long drives exciting and varied. Bwindi impenetrable forest features more than 1,000 flowering plant species and almost 200 different types of trees, many of which are endemic. It is no wonder that this precious ecosystem is home to an incredible variety of birds, butterflies and mammal species including some of the rarest animals on the planet.
It’s becoming increasingly difficult to have the feeling of travelling to a remote area, sometimes even in Africa. The often bumpy, rough roads of Uganda and the less developed infrastructure compared to some of the neighboring countries, makes your experience in Uganda truly edgy and fun. Uganda is an African success story and whilst being adventurous and unspoiled, it is now a very safe country to travel to.
Primates are so amazing that we often forget about some of the other incredible wildlife that lives in Uganda. However, many are thrilled to see herds of water buffalo in Queen Elizabeth National Park and watch hippos and elephants playing in the water of the Kazinga Channel. You will take hundreds of photos of colorful birds, lazy crocodiles and elegant antelopes. If you are luckier than, you could even spot the famous tree climbing lions in Ishasha and if you are outrageously lucky the even more elusive leopard!
Primate treks are of course a big highlight but there’s more to Uganda than this. Kayaking in Bunyonyi, a gentle trek on the slopes of the Rwenzori Mountains, or a walking safari in Lake Mburo are only some of the options. You will love the gentle trek to the waterfalls in Bwindi; spellbound, You will watch hundreds of colorful butterflies on the paths and listened to the multitude of birds singing in the forest as if it was the most beautiful concert I had ever heard.
Lakes, rivers, swamps, waterfalls, channels; the water element is prevalent in the Ugandan landscape which even features the source of the mighty Nile. Apart from allowing the lush vegetation to survive, this precious element adds to the beauty of the scenery, makes the activities on offer varied and exciting and is the habitat for many species that otherwise wouldn’t be able to survive.
Gorillas are endangered creatures and the only way of helping them to survive is to get involved! A gorilla permit is not cheap but the experience is worth every penny. By purchasing one you will be contributing to the survival of these marvelous primates and the conservation of their rain-forest home.
Uganda needs support and apart from helping the conservation of its wildlife and ecosystems, it’s vital we help the local communities to improve their standard of life. Bwindi Hospital is an important hospital in Uganda specializing in HIV treatments.
Although the gorilla trek has to be the main highlight, when it comes to outstanding moments, many think the chimp trek is up there with the best of them. Kibale National Park has the biggest population of chimps on earth and is the best place to observe them. Many are impressed with the rangers, who are experienced very able to recognize any odors, sounds and tracks in the forest.
The chimp trek is a fantastic experience and is quite different from the gorilla trek as it involves being very vigilant and fast to understand where the chimps are and how to find them. As you finally hear them screaming you will be absolutely thrilled when you see them coming towards you. Only a few meters away, they don’t seem bothered by your presence. As they slowly merge back into the forest after their brief procession, your day is made!
Wildlife enthusiasts know that a gorilla encounter is the ultimate wildlife experience. Many are waiting for this moment for a very long time. Unlike the chimps, which can be more difficult to spot, you are pretty much guaranteed an encounter with the gorillas. The anticipation and realization that this is actually finally going to happen, keeps you awake almost all night!
We also offer Tailor-made holidays to Uganda – perfect if you want us to plan an itinerary to your exact specifications and budget or travel on your own itinerary in a private group.