Famously known as the Pearl of Africa, Uganda is the 3rd largest country in East Africa. This relatively small country is one of the best adventure travel destinations due to its unique wildlife, diverse landscape scenery and incredible beauty. Uganda is most famous for its wildlife most especially the mountain gorillas that live in two protected areas. It is well known that Uganda hosts almost half of the mountain gorilla population in the world. The country is full of amazing safari opportunities for every kind of traveler whether you are an adventure seeker or a leisure holiday maker. Uganda stands out as the country with friendliest people, rich history, culture and food. There is a lot of debate about the places to visit Uganda with each traveler preferring his list! However the Uganda Guide lists the best six places not to miss in Uganda that you need to discover and get to see lots of the best kept secrets of the country.
Source of the Nile
The River Nile is the longest in the world (6,650 sq km and a natural wonder of the world. The real source of the Nile is found in Jinja town a beautiful town to spend a weekend holiday. Jinja is a historical town in Eastern Uganda! The explorers of the 18th century first visited the country looking for the source of the Nile till John Speke made it to the point at Jinja in 1862. There are lots of things to do in Jinja. Top adventure activities include boat cruising, kayaking, sport fishing, and safe swimming, bungee jump, horseback riding, all terrain quad biking and cycling tours that can be arranged on request. If you want to spend more time on the water, book a two day house boat safari with food and accommodation are onboard fun way to enjoy sunset and visiting local fishing villages.
Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is the most famous of Uganda’s national parks. This UNESCO world heritage site is definitely a must visit for travelers looking to see the wild mountain gorillas in their natural habitat. The impenetrable Bwindi Forest is an ancient rain forest with diverse ecosystems that provide home to 400 individuals half of the world’s mountain gorilla population.
Gorilla trekking is the most popular wildlife tour with a guarantee to encounter one f the 18 gorilla families which have been habituated. You can trek gorillas for 1 hour or up to 4 hours with trackers and researcher when you book for habituation experience. The best way to visit these endangered primates is an organized tour and knowing the area you’re going to trek gorillas from.
Rwenzori Mountains National park
The less known Rwenzori Mountains National Park has been a UNESCO world heritage site since 1991. The park covers an area of 120 square km and protects a natural of wonder of the world. The Mount Rwenzori’s permanent glaciated peaks of Magherita rises at 5,109 meters above sea level are the 3rd tallest in Africa. Due to permanent melting snow, the area is largest store of fresh water with several glacial lakes and source of many rivers and streams including the Nile the longest in the world. Rwenzori has all the five distinctive types of montane vegetation zones making this place a natural botanical haven hotspot for hikers, tropical snow mountain climbers, nature lovers, botanists, geographers. Anyone who wants just to enjoy wonderful scenery and seeing rare birds, mammals, reptiles such as three horned chameleon should not miss visiting the Rwenzori National Park.
Mount Elgon National Park
Mount Elgon’s Wagagai peak rises at a height of 4,321 meters above sea level. It is the 8th tallest in Africa and features the largest caldera in the world. For adventure seekers and outdoor enthusiasts, Mount Elgon‘s remarkable geological formation created by volcanic eruptions around 65 million years ago has a variety of scenery including cliffs, caves, waterfalls, hot springs, gorges and natural pools, peaks, calderas that make up the giant mountain scenery truly the best in Africa. Some of these features look like they belong to an alien landscape.
There are several hiking trails for visitors to explore this rich natural beauty of Uganda. Hikers going to the summit require spending at least 5-7 days on the mountain. Bring your own tents or hire one upon arrival. No technical equipment is needed to hike this mountain. There are porters, cooks to hire and you’re escorted by rangers and guides.
This is the “Switzerland of Africa”! This is the second deepest fresh water lake in Africa with 900 meters in depth. Lake Bunyonyi consists of 19 islands and the surrounding terraced rolling hills create admirable scenery. The lakeside makes it possible for you spend nights on a trip in one of the resorts, camps, home stays and lodges. Many of them offer a traditional touch and arrange village visits for you to discover history and culture of the rural people including school children and Batwa pygmies. Tourism is helping to bring market for their fresh vegetables and fruits, honey and meat.
Lake Bunyonyi is one of the safest lakes for swimming in East Africa. The water has no parasites, crocodiles or hippos but with lots of birds African fish eagle, sunbirds and weaver birds. Visitors can take boat rides or traditional canoes to several islands in afternoon or morning. You can enjoy swimming, nature walks, hiking, birding, biking etc.
Murchison Falls National Park
One of the best wildlife viewing destinations in Uganda, Murchison Falls National Park is the most beautiful and scenic national park. Named after the Spectacular Murchison Falls, the park has diverse habitats which include Nile-Delta wetland, dry savannah plains dotted with palms and acacia. The Nile runs through the park giving life to wildlife including 76 species of mammals and 451 birds.
Game drives with a ranger offer sightings of elephants, lions, leopards, buffalos, giraffes, Uganda Kob among several antelopes, hartebeest. You can take nature walks that are great ways to spot rare birds like shoebill stork is usually spotted in the delta swamp.
There are lots of more places to explore in Uganda and the above are just some of the interesting destinations that you can choose from to put on your list!