Uganda can fly under the radar when it comes to travel destinations in Africa. The country often called the ‘Pearl of Africa’ is a quieter, more affordable destination for the discerning traveler. Uganda is smaller than some of its neighbors and other popular sister countries. But when it comes to travel discoveries, the country offers unbeatable experiences for all kinds of travelers. Everyone should visit Uganda. Here are some of the reasons why.
Mountain Gorillas. Enough said!
Uganda is home to the highly endangered mountain gorilla – one of only three countries in the world along with Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Uganda has the highest population of mountain gorillas in the world. A trip to Uganda gives visitors the rare opportunity to observe these magnificent animals in the wild. Explore incredible trekking trails in the Mgahinga Gorilla National Park or the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park.
The Big 5 and More
Mountain gorillas may be the prime attractions here, but Uganda’s national parks contain several other treasures. Its expansive reserves are playgrounds for lions, leopards, elephants, zebras, hippos, and more than 1000 bird species. The Queen Elizabeth National Park is one of the best places for wildlife spotting. Travel to the lesser-explored Ishasha section of the park to spot lions climbing trees.
Landscapes That Take Your Breath Away
From grasslands and dense forests to open plains and wetlands, Uganda has everything a nature lover needs. The splendid Rwenzori mountains are a trekker’s delight. National Geographic named these snowy peaks one of the best hikes in the world. Additionally, Lake Victoria flows through the length of Uganda. It’s the largest freshwater lake in Africa. The stunning lake is also the largest source of another natural treasure – the legendary Nile.
Adrenaline highs at Jinja
Jinja is Uganda’s adventure sports capital. Travelers will find some of the best rapids in Africa here. Every year, kayakers and white-water rafters make a beeline here. It’s legendary not just for the wild rapids but for bragging rights – riding rapids on the Nile. If you prefer the relative stability of terra firma, there’s the exciting prospect of horse riding or quad biking through picturesque villages along the Nile.
The Food and Cultural Diversity
Uganda is home to several ethnic groups, with a rich linguistic and cultural diversity that varies as one travels across the country. Food in Uganda is a reflection of this rich culture. Each tribe has different staples and a little special something that makes the preparation unique. Uganda is also a street-food paradise! The most popular dish here is the rolex – not an homage to the watch but something much better! The rolex is a hearty, delicious omelet rolled with flatbread, onions, and tomatoes. As things of pure gold go, the edible rolex is a clear winner.
Bird spotting at Lake Bunyonyi
Lake Bunyonyi is the second-deepest freshwater lake in Africa. Located in southwestern Uganda, the pristine lake contains 29 beautiful islands that house rare and endangered birds. This is a must on your Uganda to-do list.