Unbelievable Uganda! What makes it a must visit?
Game Parks: Straddling the equator, Queen Elizabeth National Park is home to the world’s largest concentration of hippos, 10,000 buffaloes, 2,500 African elephants, tree-climbing lions, chimpanzees, black-and-white colobus monkeys, baboons, giraffes, and fertile wetlands, home to close to 500 species of birds. Murchison Falls National Park is home to the spectacular Murchison Falls of the White Nile River. You can see elephant, crocodile, the endangered Rothschild giraffe, lion, buffalo, hippo, antelope, waterbuck, and close to 500 species of birds. In Kidepo Valley National Park, experience vast buffalo herds, majestic lions, leopards, cheetahs, zebras, Rothschild giraffes, ostriches, close to 500 species of birds, and more. The park is also home to the Ik and Karamojong people.
Impenetrable Forests: UNESCO Natural World Heritage Site Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is covered in some of Africa’s oldest primeval forest and is home to 200 species of butterflies, 350 species of birds and half of the world’s population of mountain gorillas. Other primates include blue monkeys, chimpanzees, black and white colobus monkeys, gray-cheeked mangabeys and the extremely rare L’Hoest’s monkeys. The dramatic mountain ranges, refreshing waterfalls, rugged peaks and jagged valleys make gorilla treks even more special. The dense jungles of Kibale National Park are home to 1,500 wild chimpanzees, the rare L’Hoest’s monkeys and the Ugandan red colobus monkeys.
Adrenaline-Pumping Adventures: Jinja, located on the shore of Lake Victoria, is the adrenaline capital of East Africa. Go kayaking, white-water rafting, mountain biking, bungee jumping, horseback riding and quad biking. The town itself presents crumbling colonial architecture and buzzing African life. Among Jinja’s many great experiences is seeing the start of the river Nile. The boat ride to the source of the Nile is lovely because it takes you past local villages and makes for a great, relaxing afternoon excursion. You will also find resorts and bars lining Jinja’s lakeshore.
Serene Lakes: At 6,437 feet above sea level, Lake Bunyonyi is a very large, pristine lake dotted with 29 islands and surrounded by lush, green terraced hillsides. This area is home to the Batwa tribe, whose villages you can visit.
Add a few Days in Rwanda to Your Trip: While in Uganda, cross over the border and into Rwanda to pay homage to Dian Fossey, the brave naturalist, who studied gorillas in Volcanoes National Park. Dian Fossey’s legacy is being expanded by American talk show host Ellen DeGeneres. The Ellen DeGeneres Campus of the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund expands on the research, conservation and educational programs offered by the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund. Kigali, the modern capital of Rwanda offers museums, cafes, art galleries and restaurants with sweeping views of the city. And on your way to Rwanda, stop at Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, where you can see a habituated gorilla family.
About Uganda: With a population of 41 million people, Uganda is a landlocked and fertile country with many lakes and rivers, including Lake Victoria, the world’s largest tropical lake, the world’s second largest fresh water lake and the source of the river Nile. With a GDP of close to US$ 100 billion, Uganda has substantial natural resources, including fertile soils, regular rainfall, substantial reserves of recoverable oil, and small deposits of copper, gold, and other minerals. Agriculture employs 72% of the work force. Top exports include coffee, fish and fish products, tea, cotton, flowers, horticultural products and gold.
International Airports: Entebbe International Airport is Uganda’s gateway to the world. Only an hour’s drive from the capital city of Kampala, the city of Entebbe, located on the shores of Lake Victoria, is a great place to enjoy Uganda’s beach scene.
Best Time to Visit: While Uganda is located on the equator, the heat is tempered by its altitude of 3,300 feet above sea level. Thus it is a year-round destination. It rains from March to May and in October and November, so traveling at this time can be slushy. However, it is also more affordable at this time. Temperatures vary from 60 degrees to 85 degrees Fahrenheit.
Tours and Activities: There is lots to see and do across Uganda and neighboring Rwanda and taking a multi-day tour is the best way to criss-cross the country and see it all. Locally owned and operated, Saso Uganda Safaris offers a full range of guided and private tours from a short few days to a couple of weeks. Their tours encompass guided wildlife game drives, mountain gorilla and chimpanzee tracking, birding, hiking, white water rafting, and cultural immersion. You may contact Saso Uganda Safaris’ owner, Mr. Wilson Bisaso for advice and cost estimates.