Uganda is one of only two countries in the world where you can safely view the intelligence and critically endangered mountain gorilla, and gorilla trekking is fast becoming one of the most sort-after wildlife experiences in Africa!
Things we love about Uganda:
- It’s nickname, the ‘pearl of Africa’
- The fact that Uganda is the home of about half of the world’s remaining mountain gorillas
- The people’s rule of ‘if you cut down one tree, you must plant another three’
- The warm welcome and superb hospitality offered by Ugandans
- Its bananas – Uganda grows more bananas than any other country besides Brazil
- It is also referred to as the tropical fruit basket of Africa, growing pineapples, watermelons, papayas, avocados, mangoes and passion fruit
- The country’s Jackfruit – something different you can try here
- Lake Victoria (lying half in Uganda) and listed as Africa’s largest lake
- The Louisiana Crayfish thriving in Lake Bunyoni. Crayfish is a favourite seafood in local restaurants
- The country’s 1060 recorded bird species – 11% of the world’s birds!
- That there are more chimpanzees and butterflies in Uganda than in any other East African country
Uganda is to the north-east of Rwanda and shares borders with Kenya, Tanzania and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Although a landlocked country, it has no shortage of water, as beautiful lakes can be found in various locations, including the huge Victoria Lake and the Lake Mburo alongside the Lake Mburo National Park. The presence of the Nile River also turns Uganda into a water-enthusiast’s dream come true, as white river rafting, riverboarding and kayaking opportunities are plentiful, especially in the area of Jinja, one of the towns near the shores of Lake Victoria.
Uganda is without a doubt most famous for the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, home of approximately 400 spectacular mountain gorillas and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. These gorillas are a critically endangered species that you simply have to come and meet! A number of gorilla families in this area have been habituated for visitors and therefore you can easily watch them from a safe, but exhilaratingly close distance for a lengthy period of time- a totally awe-inspiring experience that will surely leave you feeling quite mesmerised by their gentle yet domineering presence.
Before flying off to Uganda in great excitement please contact us for all details of how a gorilla trekking experience works! There are several parts of Bwindi that you can go to see the gorillas and several ways to get there, accommodation should be arranged and there are permits and other requirements that must be handled before you can enjoy your vacation. Speak to one of our consultants so that these arrangements can be made efficiently and with ease.
Whilst in Uganda you may wish to visit other parts of the country as there is a lot to see. On Ngamba Island, in Lake Victoria, there is a recently established chimpanzee sanctuary that cares for approximately 50 chimps that cannot, for one reason or another, be returned to the wild. They may have been orphaned chimps or may even be victims of illegal poaching. The public is welcome to visit the Chimpanzee Sanctuary and enjoy fishing trips, chimp walks, boat trips to nearby islands and watching and feeding the chimpanzees. In addition, enjoy some bird-watching, a sunset cruise, kayaking or even swimming on the equator.
In Uganda, you not only track mountain gorillas but chimpanzees and other primates too. The most common locations for chimpanzees to be found are in the Rwenzori Mountains National Park, at the Queen Elizabeth National Park, in the lush rainforests of the Kibale National Park and at the Murchison Falls National Park. The Rwenzori National Park protects parts of the Rwenzori mountain range that has some of the highest peaks in Africa. They are fondly referred to as ‘the mountains of the moon’. Rwenzori is incredibly popular for its spectacular hiking trails and enthusiastic mountaineers will certainly find the location challenging enough to get their adrenaline pumping! The Kibale National Park is known to have the highest concentration of primates in Africa, and is therefore a famous place to track chimpanzees, and the Murchison Falls National Park is a beautiful area of forest and grassland with a large variety of birds and animals.
Even though not every national park in Uganda offers gorilla trekking, or even tracking of the smaller primates, each park has its own special characteristics that make it worthwhile a trip and all are inhabited by approximately 60 – 70 species of mammals and hundreds of bird species. Some of the most exciting animals to see include leopards, hippos, crocodiles, elephants, lions, forest buffalos, pygmy flying squirrels and bush babies. These are also Big 5 national parks and parks with plenty of antelope varieties.
The Murchison Falls National Park is also well known and liked for its unusual but spectacularly beautiful waterfall along the Victoria Nile. At one point the 50 metre wide river is literally squeezed into a 6 metre wide chute and blasts its way over a drop of about 40 metres. It’s immensely powerful and fantastic to watch. Murchison Falls is one of Uganda’s largest and most popular game parks. Other waterfalls in Uganda include the Sipi Falls, Bujagali Falls, Ripon Falls and Karuma Falls.
Uganda is fantastic safari destination because of its abundance of national parks. You have a wide variety of choice and each park offers wonderful scenery and wildlife. The Mgahinga Gorilla National Park is another location where you may come across mountain gorillas, but it is not as large as the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. It has one habituated gorilla group. The rare black and white colobus monkey, blue monkey and red-tailed monkey have been seen at the Mount Elgron National Park, as well as various other more common types of monkey, and this park also features ancient cave paintings at Budadiri and hot springs in the former volcano’s crater. One of Uganda’s newest parks is the Semuliki National Park and it protects over 60 species of mammals and at least 400 bird species.
When you set foot in Uganda you will know that you have arrived in a very special place indeed. Its mountain gorillas will surely rank as one of the most amazing creatures you have ever meet, and its further abundance of primates, from chimpanzees to monkeys, are nothing short of spectacular. Whether its water or wildlife adventure you seek, Uganda’s diverse, dense and beautifully green landscapes will provide thrills from start to finish.
East Cape Tours offers a wide variety of options for Uganda accommodation, and would love to help ensure that your holiday or honeymoon in this marvelous African country is simply wonderful. Our consultants are always available should you require further assistance.