Uganda is remarkably one of a few most endowed African destinations when it comes to natural wonders. This landlocked country is best described as the ‘pearl of Africa’ for many reasons and it is of no doubt that, it has positioned itself as one of the best travel destinations in Africa and the world at large. In 2012, it was voted by the Lonely Planet as the top country to visit and given its diverse attractions, this magical country rewards travel endeavors with authentic travel experiences. A visit to Uganda offers you opportunity to enjoy the most thrilling and life changing experience ranging from mountaineering experiences, primate tours, wildlife to authentic cultural experiences. Besides, it also boasts of a number of water bodies, thick forests particularly the tropical rainforests hence making it travel paradise. Below are 5 reasons why this magical landlocked country should be on your bucket list;
Home to rare mountain gorillas
With currently fewer than 1004 mountain gorillas that are left in the world, Uganda is a home to more than 480-600 of them making it an ideal destination for you to track these rare creatures while they are in their natural habitat. Today, gorilla trekking comes second after wildlife viewing in most of the visitors’ packages. A side from the large numbers, there are 2 (two) national parks where you can catch a glimpse at these dramatic creatures while on Uganda safari and these include Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park in the extreme southwest. This puts Uganda on an added advantage over the other gorilla destinations in addition to its numerous habituated families that are readily available for tracking and research. Currently, about 16-17 families open for visitor experiences and these include the 2 newly introduced ones-Christmas and Katwe.
Besides, it is only in Uganda that you can embark on mountain gorilla habituation experience-a newly introduced tourism potential and rare adventure that takes you through semi-habituated families in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park. However, gorilla safaris in Uganda are ideal all year round. But regardless of this fact, you need to be very keen on the seasonality as each season comes with its advantages and disadvantages. There are two seasons for you to consider while planning for your gorilla safari and they include the wet and dry seasons with rainy season starting from March to May and October to November while the dry season begins from June to September and from December to February. Mountain gorillas are Uganda’s star attractions and a trip to this remarkable country is never complete without gorilla trekking. For any plans to Africa for a safari holiday this coming season, consider Uganda a must to include in your bucket list and you won’t regret in life. Besides mountain gorillas, there are several primate species most of which include chimpanzees, black and white colobus monkeys, L’Hoest monkeys, red tailed monkeys, golden monkeys and others.
See a huge concentration of wildlife including the big game
A side from tracking the forest dwellers, Uganda is also a home to most of the mind blowing savanna grassland wildlife species. These natural wonders can be spotted while on game drive or launch cruise. The big five game include the African lions plus the rare tree climbing lions, African elephants, leopards, cape buffaloes, rhinos as well as crocodiles, hippos, birds that make up a total of about 1078 avifaunal species including the rare shoebill stork, African green breasted pitta, African green broadbill and others, antelope families a mention but a few. Most of these magical wildlife species can easily be spotted in protected areas such as Queen Elizabeth National Park, Murchison Falls National Park, Kidepo Valley National Park, Semuliki Valley National Park, the Ziwa rhino sanctuary-the only place where the endangered rhinos are tracked, Lake Mburo National Park and many others.
The most amazing thing about Uganda is that not only does it allow you to encounter its magical wildlife species but also offers you a chance to interact with its warm welcoming people. Their friendliness perhaps is a reason why most tourists have continuously flocked into this country for a vacation. Once you land into Entebbe you will be amazed by the widest smiles and joy expressed by Ugandans. They are also so grateful for their life, stability and peace and for some of you who will pay a visit to this lovely pearl of Africa, you won’t miss to fall in love with it and even make as many return journeys to enjoy its hidden treasures. Besides, Uganda is a true melting pot of cultures with more than 30 indigenous languages all being represented by the five ethnic groups which are distributed in different parts of the country. That said, you also get a chance to enjoy the most thrilling cultural experiences and on your cultural safari in this country, do not miss to visit the Batwa community to interact and enjoy the most fascinating cultures and traditional dances, music and way of life of the Batwa pygmies who lived in the forest for more than 500000 years making them forest dwellers. You can add Batwa cultural encounters while on gorilla safari in Bwindi National Park and Mgahinga National Park. Others include the Imbalu circumcision, Ndere cultural center, visit Kasubi tomb site a mention but a few.
Ideal climate and weather
Uganda has the friendliest and most ideal climatic conditions making it all year round travel destination hence worth adding on your bucket list. It is strategically located just astride equator and has two rainy and dry seasons with the longest rainy season starting from March to May and the short one from October to November. The dry season on the other hand usually begins from December to February.
Mind boggling adventures
Uganda is undoubtedly adventure haven! It is a home to many mountains that are worth exploring by hikers. Most important of all, the Rwenzori Mountain range, Mount Elgon, Gahinga a mention but a few. Besides, embark on launch cruise to along the Victoria Nile in Murchison Falls to the bottom of the falls then hike to the top and be amazed by the dramatic roar of this natural wonder, set off to Jinja-source of the Nile and a renowned adrenaline capital of East Africa and be part of the breathtaking adventure experiences such as bungee jumping, white water rafting, kayaking, Quad biking, horseback riding, boating and others
All in all, Uganda boasts of its unbeatable natural beauty which makes it one of a few most sought after travel destinations in Africa. For any plans to visit Africa for a safari, count this magical country a must on your bucket list.