Headlines are often one of the major ways we get to know about the different countries around the world. Unfortunately for most of the times, headline stories are tragic, highlighting things such as floods, terror attacks, coups among other stories. Getting to know any given country beyond their tragic stories might require a new set of lenses.
Uganda is not different from many African countries that have suffered the tragedy of negative PR. With the continuous military coups in West Africa, the instabilities in the Democratic republic of Congo among other African instabilities stories, many people outside the African continent assume the same is happening almost everywhere in Africa.
Speaking of Africa; Uganda jointly with Kenya and Tanzania won the bid to host the 2027 Africa cup of Nations. The following information will come in handy for anyone considering to visit Uganda whether during the African cup of nations or even before the African cup of nations.
Uganda is a remarkable destination, offering a wide range of experiences for adventurous travelers. From unforgettable encounters with gorillas to the breathtaking landscapes and vibrant cultures, the country leaves a lasting impression. Though there are challenges like road conditions and malaria risks, with careful planning and preparation, you can navigate through these obstacles and have a truly memorable Uganda tour. Here are the top things to see and do in Uganda.
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
Rwanda has done a great deal in ensuring that the world gets to know the memorable gorilla trekking experience in their land. Uganda has not done equally the same even though it offers a similar experience at half the price that Rwanda offers.
Uganda has two destinations for gorilla trekking; Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. These two parks together can handle close to 170 people per day. This implies that prior booking is absolutely required to ensure that you have a spot on your preferred day.
It is also important to note that Bwindi Impenetrable Forest alone hosts nearly half of the world’s remaining population of the endangered mountain gorillas. Covering over 32,000 hectares, Bwindi has four sectors where gorilla trekking is conducted. Prior to booking your accommodation, it is recommended that you first secure a gorilla permit and then book the accommodation accordingly. A gorilla permit costs US$700 and it is advisable to book your pass at least 4 months in advance.
The Murchison Falls
Rwenzori trekking and gorilla trekking often involve encountering waterfalls on some of the different trails. What makes Murchison falls different is; It is not your tropical waterfall. The waterfall lies within the Murchison Falls National Park, Uganda’s largest conservation area.
The Murchison Falls is one of the most iconic scenes on the African continent. Tourists can take a launch cruise to see the Bottom of the Falls, a great spectacle compared to none in the world.
Besides the beautiful waterfall, Murchison Falls national park is very popular for game drives offering some scenic wild moments as well as encountering wildlife including but not limited to African elephants, lions, giraffes, leopards, hyenas among several other wildlife. The park is also home to amazing bird species including the Albertine Rift endemics. From the park you can experience traditional game drives through the savanna scapes, boat safaris, nature walks, scenic viewing, etc
When we talk of cultural encounters, someone thinks of people who are still rudimentary. Most Ugandan communities have actually progressed way beyond that but still living somewhat a humble life. The culture has changed a bit due to some urbanization but there are still places where the western influence is still very limited.
Places like Karamoja and some villages in Eastern Uganda would grant you a glimpse into the real Ugandan culture. Some of the cultural practices might be against human rights from the eyes of the outsiders but to a typical African, these might be things that actually define them as individuals which without them, the community sets out on the journey of disintegration.
The Ssese Islands
Escape the mainland and discover the serene beauty of the Ssese Islands in Lake Victoria. With palm-fringed beaches, clear waters, and a relaxed atmosphere, these islands offer a tranquil retreat for beach lovers. Explore the surrounding forests, engage in water sports, or simply unwind on the sandy shores.
Lake Victoria is mainly located on the border parts of Uganda. Exploring Uganda, the interior part of Uganda sometimes makes it hard for people to spend part of their time in Ssese islands however if you choose to simply relax at the island during your Uganda tour, then the experience will be worthwhile.
Kibale National Park
Chimpanzee tracking is one of the top 5 activities that most of the tourists do in Uganda. It is more of a nemesis to gorilla trekking and Kibale forest happens to be one of those few places where you can encounter the chimpanzees in their natural environment.
Kibale is located near fort portal town; one of the places that have the best weather in Uganda. If you are a first-time visitor to Uganda in need of a place to acclimatize, then Kibale National Park would be the best place. It is neither hot nor cold. It is one of those places where you will be very comfortable with the weather.
Located in Western Uganda, Kibale Forest is one of the most popular places to visit in East Africa. The tropical rain forest is one of the best places where tourists have the chance to see endangered chimpanzees in the wild. The 766 square kilometers forest is home to 13 different primate species. Apart from chimpanzees, other primates to see include the rare L’Hoest’s monkeys, the threatened Red Colobus monkeys, black and white colobus monkeys, etc.
There is more to explore in Uganda beyond the culture, the spectacular waterfalls, the game drives, gorilla treks and chimpanzee treks. But the above suggested activities will likely give you a fair glimpse of the country.