One of Africa’s lesser known countries, once the thriving hub of British East Africa, many people still associate Uganda with Idi Amin’s dictatorship of the early 80s or the infamous Entebbe Airport hijacking.
Visitors to Uganda are often surprised and taken aback by the shear natural beauty of Uganda’s diverse landscapes and the genuine friendly welcome from the people. From the mountainous rain-forests in the south, to the northern savannahs, to picture-perfect crater lakes Uganda is truly one of the most geographically remarkable countries in Africa.
Uganda’s star attractions are the mountain gorillas, with just under half of the world’s remaining population found in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest. While access has improved over recent years with better roads and the introduction of affordable internal flights, the forest still lives up to its “Impenetrable” tag offering a real jungle adventure. Gorilla trekking is a true bucket list adventure, journeying through the dense jungle to spend an hour with the completely wild and imposing giants of the forest.
Chimpanzee trekking, often overshadowed by their more glamourous gorilla cousins, is different and fascinating experience. Chimpanzees live in large communities of up to 100 individuals (gorillas remain in family units of 8-20), so visitors to one of Uganda’s four different chimpanzee trekking sites can witness a variety of antics from feeding and grooming to clashes for ranking seniority.
Uganda also has a range of National Parks to visit on safari. Animal numbers are on a steady increase after a drop during the lawless years of Amin’s regime. You won’t find the teeming herds of the Masai Mara, but you are more likely to have a safari experience where you are the only people viewing animals at one time.
Uganda’s profusion of lakes and rivers also means there are many chances to experience safaris from a boat. On The Nile in Murchison Falls, the Kazinga Channel in Queen Elizabeth National Park, Lake Albert in Semliki and Lake Mburo.
For those with a more active outlook there is Jinja – East Africa’s adventure sport capital with white water rafting, kayaking, quad biking and bungee jumping. Sipi Falls on the slopes of Mount Elgon offers great Mountain Biking and Rock Climbing excursions. The Rwenzori Mountain range can be climbed in 3-14 day expeditions, the unique experience of being above the snow-line on the equator.