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Uganda: the pearl of africa

Just 93,000km2 in size – equivalent in area to the United Kingdom – Uganda is a land of dramatic contrasts. Here, the forests of Central Africa merge with East African savanna while hot, open plains sink beneath great lakes and rise to chilly, snow-capped mountaintops.

With stunning landscapes, an abundance of wildlife and friendly locals, a trip to Uganda is an opportunity not to be forgotten. This is evident with tourism numbers on the rise every year and more and more airlines serving the nation, including Uganda Airlines – the nation’s flag carrier which resumed operations in August 2019. When visitors arrive in Uganda, they find they have never had more choice of where to stay and what to do.

The East-African landlocked country is home to some of the continent’s best-loved attractions, including national parks such as Murchison Falls, Queen Elizabeth and Bwindi Impenetrable, as well as breath-taking waterfalls and the source of the White Nile. Uganda has a profusion of plains game as well as over 1,000 recorded species of birds. It’s also home to Africa’s largest population of habituated mountain gorillas.

However, Uganda isn’t just well-known for its nature and wildlife – it also has a number of thriving cities. Kampala, Uganda’s capital, boasts numerous histori­cal buildings, and has a fantastic selection of hotels to accommodate its many visitors.

Jinja and Entebbe are both lakeside towns located either side of Kampala, offering their own unique charm and historical character to the country. Entebbe is home to the country’s international airport, and with its peaceful atmosphere it is the ideal place to stop over for a relaxing couple of days, either before or after a flight. There is a wide range of hotels, from budget accommodation to luxury properties.

Jinja on the other hand has fewer hotels but still plenty of choice. The town is ideal for adrenaline junkies as popular activities include white-water rafting and bungee jumping.

Those venturing beyond the triangle of Kampala, Entebbe and Jinja will have no trouble finding a variety of comfortable and fair-priced accommodation. There are new hotels, apartments and lodges opening every year, while others have been refurbished and improved.

National Parks such as Queen Elizabeth and Murchison Falls have a limited number of camps and lodges to accommodate visitors. At the other end of the scale, thanks to the popularity of gorilla tours in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, in the south-west, there is no lack of camps and lodges in nearby places such as Kabale and Kisoro.

Whatever accommodation type you choose, from 5-star luxury to budget hostel, visitors will receive a warm welcome in Uganda.

Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) was established in August 1996 and is responsible for 10 National Parks; 12 Wildlife reserves; 5 Community Wildlife Management Areas; and 13 Wildlife Sanctuaries. The Mission of Uganda Wildlife Authority is to conserve and sustainably manage the wildlife and Protected Areas of Uganda in partnership with the neighbouring communities and other stakeholders for the benefit of Uganda and the global community and transforms Uganda into one of the best ecotourism destinations in Africa.

Tourist activities in the ten spectacular national parks are also excitingly varied. Track the endangered mountain gorilla through the dense forests of the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in the morning, before looking for lions on the open, rift valley grasslands of nearby Ishasha. Spend the morning following chimpanzees through the shady forests of Kibale National Park prior to a relaxing cruise past yawning hippos on the Kazinga Channel in nearby Queen Elizabeth National Park. Trek to the summits of the Virunga volcanoes in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park and up to the snowy peaks of the 5100m Mount Stanley in the Rwenzori Mountains National Park. And compare the dark, shady depths of the forested Semuliki National Park, home to numerous rare Central African birds, with the vast, semi-arid plains of Kidepo, roamed by big game and punctuated by a multitude of rugged mountains. It is with good reason that Uganda is becoming established as one of Africa’s most varied and memorable tourist destinations.

Uganda is home to the world’s largest number of primates with over 5,000 chimpanzees and has the largest mountain gorilla population in the world 54% (over 400 of them). Less than 900 gorillas survive in the world today.

It also boasts more than 1,072 bird species and is home to over 50% of the bird species in Africa and 10% of the world. Most popular birding spots include; Bwindi Impenetrable National Park with over 400 species -voted Africa’s number one birding site by the African Bird club and Queen Elizabeth National Park has recorded over 605 species.

Uganda also offers a plethora of adventure activities including:

  • White water rafting
  • Bungee jumping
  • Sport fishing
  • Canoeing
  • Zip-lines in tropical forests
  • Water sport in the lakes
  • Excellent sand beaches
  • Mountaineering
  • Hiking

This is a country that is rich in cultural diversity and boasts of over 64 tribes and languages and dialects.

Here you’ll find hospitable people giving you a great and unforgettable experience in Uganda.

Feeling inspired? See beautiful Uganda for yourself. Speak to one of our Travel Experts today to curate your dream trip!