Uganda – The Pearl Of Africa
Uganda has a very diverse culture, landscape, flora, and fauna.
Uganda is famous for its high density of primate species 20 in total and Kibale National Park having 13 of those thus having the highest density of any protected area in Africa and this includes the recently discovered Dwarf Galago. The Uganda Mangaby is an endemic only found in the central forests of Uganda including Mabira forest, Budongo, Kibale and Sangobay
Gorillas, Chimpanzees and Golden Monkeys have been habituated in some forests which gives a good tracking experience, where one has great chances of encountering these magnificent animals in the wild.
Uganda also has a rich cultural heritage dating back to the fourteenth century. There are 5 ancient kingdoms including Buganda, Busoga, Bunyoro, Toro and Ankole. These kingdoms are closely related to the old Bachwezi dynasty. The Bigo-by-mugenyi mounds in Mubende are some of the earthworks that have been linked to this ancient dynasty.
The Best times to visit Uganda
Uganda lies on the Equator, between 1º N and 4º N latitude, and between 30º E and 35º E longitude. and therefore has a mild climate marked with two rain seasons coupled with the diverse attractions it is therefore possible to visit thought the year. However, the dry months December to February and June to August, are the best times for game viewing.
Wildlife conservation in Uganda
Uganda has 28 protected areas, including ten national parks: Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Rwenzori Mountains National Park (both UNESCO World Heritage Sites), Kibale National Park, Kidepo Valley National Park, Lake Mburo National Park, Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, Mount Elgon National Park, Murchison Falls National Park, Queen Elizabeth National Park, and Semuliki National Park.
Game and bird viewing
Game viewing is the most popular tourist activity in Uganda. Wild animals like lions, buffaloes, giraffes, antelopes, elephants are common in Uganda’s ten national parks. Uganda is one of only ten countries where it is possible to visit endangered gorillas. Mountain gorillas are Uganda’s prime tourist attraction. The vast majority of these are in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, with a few others in Mgahinga National Park both in southwestern Uganda. In Bwindi, visitors have been allowed to view the mountain gorillas since April 1993. The development of gorilla tourism and the habituation of gorillas to humans is proceeding very carefully because of the dangers to gorillas, such as contracting human diseases. Meanwhile, Queen Elizabeth National Park is home to tree-climbing lions. Lions do not normally climb trees, except when chased by another lion group or wild buffalo. However, the tree-climbing lions found in QE-NP intentionally climb trees and rest on them in the afternoon, when the sun is high. This is a unique phenomenon. There have only been rare similar sightings of this in Lake Manyara National Park of Tanzania.
Boating and Water Sports
With its prime location in the African Great Lakes region, Uganda has a variety of water bodies that are popular spots for tourism. White water rafting and kayaking are popular activities on the rapids near the source of the Nile at Jinja. Boating which is commonly done on Lake Victoria, Lake Mburo, Lake Bunyonyi, Kazinga Channel, and River Nile is a perfect way of exploring the buffaloes, hippos, crocodiles and a wide variety of bird species that inhabit the banks of these water bodies. Sportfishing is another favourite tourist activity. Fish like the Nile perch and tilapia can be caught in designated areas of Lake Mburo and the banks of the Nile. Canoeing can also be done at Lake Bunyonyi.
Hiking and Mountain Climbing
Uganda has many opportunities for mountain climbing, hiking and nature walk. The Rwenzori Mountains, which are found at the border with the DRC, include the snowcapped Margherita Peak (5109 m), the highest Mountain Range in Africa and also one of the highest peaks. Mgahinga Gorilla National Park also includes three peaks, Mount Gahinga, Mount Sabyinyo, and Mount Muhavura, the highest peak in the national park. Mount Elgon, located in Eastern Uganda, can be used for hiking and climbing, and also has one of the largest calderas in the world.
Religious tourism is a steadily growing tourism product niche in Uganda after wildlife-based tourism. However, limited research has curtailed the planning and development of religious tourism in the country
Cultural SitesUganda has many cultural sites. Kasubi Tombs: A UNESCO World Heritage Site, originally Kabaka Muteesa I’s palace (1880-1884), the graves of Muteesa I, Mwanga II, Daudi Chwa and Muteesa II are found in the main house which was reconstructed after a fire in 2010.