Uganda is located in the East African Great Lakes region which rises between the eastern and western branches of the Great Rift Valley. The country is generally flat with Mountainous areas particularly in the western part of the country.
Travelers to Uganda are drawn by its stunning landscape: green rolling hills, snow-capped mountains, rainforests, majestic rivers and massive lakes. There are also a number of outstanding national parks for your safari encounter with the wildlife for which Africa is renowned. Tourism is on the increase in Uganda, due in part to the privatization initiatives implemented by the government and the increased security situation, especially in the national parks.
Uganda was called by Sir Winston Churchill the “Pearl of Africa” for a number of reasons. Uganda’s altitude is at 1500m above sea level in the South and 1000m in the North. Its one of the most beautiful countries in Africa with fantastic scenery beyond imagination:-
The country is blessed with a wide range of attractions with natural sceneries. From the North to the South and East to West, the country hosts outstanding tourist attractions. Outstanding are Murchison falls on the Nile; the Bwindi impenetrable forest where half of the remaining 706 endangered specie of mountain gorilla lives; the large concentrations of primates in Kibale forest, the enormous schools of hippos on Nile river in Murchison falls and lakes Edward and George; over 1000 species of birds that you cannot find in any one single country in Africa within an area comparable in size to that of Great Britain. 400 species of birds can be seen within a two weeks tour, while amateurs might see 300 species within the same time. The most sought after bird is the Shoebill.
Uganda is the best place to see the most sought after African bird: the Shoebill, a massive prehistoric-looking swamp-dweller notable for its heavy clog-shaped bill.
Birdlife is prolific throughout Uganda, but certain key sites should be worth visited In the west, these include Bwindi Impenetrable national Park for Albertine Rift endemics, Queen Elizabeth Park 600 species, Semliki National Park for Congo Basin endemics, Mabamba Swamp near Entebbe for Shoebill, the community-run guided trail through Bigodi Wetland near Kibale National Park for Great Blue Turaco and other colorful forest birds, and Murchison falls National park for savannah specialists such as Abyssinian Ground Hornbill, Red-Throated Bee-Eater and Denham’s Bustard.
Uganda hosts Lake Victoria the second largest of all fresh water lakes in the World and the largest lake in Africa. To the east of the country, you find the source of the river Nile where the river begins its long journey to the Mediterranean Sea from Lake Victoria. About 15km from the source of the river Nile, you find the Bujagali falls; a breath taking sight of seven massive rapids. For rafters, the river has the most interesting white water rafting at this section.
The Bujagali falls is used by the local people popularly known as “Bujagali who for a fee will swim down the falls holding onto a jerry can. As the Nile river continues north you find the Karuma falls another interesting section on the river continuing to meet the Murchison falls, where the 40meter wide river forcefully passes through a 7meter gap between the rock clefts in Murchison falls with a 43m drop producing a thunderous roar.
Murchison falls National Park is the largest National Park in Uganda covering 5072 km. The Victoria Nile bisects the park and its waters, forced through a rock cleft, give birth to the spectacular Murchison falls with a 43m drop.
Uganda’s Queen Elizabeth National Park located in the western rift valley includes Lakes Edward and George as well as the 34km Kazinga Channel that links them. Some of the animals in the park include; buffalo, elephants, hippopotamuses, kobs, water bucks, antelopes, warthogs, giant forest hogs, leopards; as well as the tree climbing lions in Isasha sector. Over 600 bird species have been identified in the park.
Gorilla tracking is Uganda’s star attraction found in Bwindi Impenetrable national park. The gorilla is the bulkiest of living primates. Looking into the brown eyes of these gentle giants, who share 95% of their genes with humans, is thrilling; given that fewer than 700 individuals survive. The Bwindi Impenetrable park is located in south western Uganda and hosts 120 species of mammals and about 360 species of birds and over 200 species of butterflies. There are four Gorilla groups, Nkuringo, Habinyanja, Rushegura and Mubare. A maximum of eight visitors per group are allowed to trek every day. There are hiking trails to see and learn about primates, birds, trees and butterflies.
Eastern Uganda hosts Mount Elgon the second highest in the country and fourth highest in East Africa. The mountains oval shaped caldera which measures about 8 kilometers is a very amazing spectacle. Many visitors climb to the highest peak Wagagai because unlike other mountains you require no technical skills to get to there.
In the far western part of the country are the Rwenzori Mountains, popularly known as “the mountains of the moon”, .Rwenzori mountain is the highest mountain in Uganda and third highest in Africa with the highest peak Margarita at 5110 meters above sea level. The peaks are snow capped and only skilled tourists may attempt to climb. The mountain has dense forests at its footsteps. Some of the animals to be found in the mountains include; chimpanzee, hyrax and many bird species.
Ssese Islands on Lake Victoria 55km south of Entebbe is a popular tourist destination with a collection of 84 attractive Islands. The Islands are described similar to the Caribbean islands. The islands have various species of monkeys and birds. There are organized nature walks around the islands.
The Ngamba island also situated 23 km from Entebbe is an important Chimpanzee sanctuary established in 1998 to care for Orphaned or captured Chimpanzees. The chimpanzees cannot be released back into the wild as they are likely to be rejected, injured or killed by other chimpanzees. Mamba island offers them a sanctuary that closely resembles the wild and hence an alternative for visitors to see chimps at close range. Adult females are given a contraceptive inhibiting reproduction. The island has permanent staff caring for the animals, integrating new arrivals. A viewing platform enables visitors to see the chimps being fed twice daily at 11am and 2.30pm because the forest provides insufficient foods. It provides ideal educational experience for tourists.
The Kidepo Valley National Park located in far north east of Uganda is one of the most spectacular national parks in Uganda covering 1,344 sq.km and one of the few many places in the world where you get a real feeling of wilderness .Main attractions include the Cheetah, the striped hyena, leopard, lion, elephant, the Uganda Kob, buffalo and over 200 bird species.
Lake Mburo National Park located 215 km from Kampala is the only national park in the country containing an entire lake. Animals in the park include Impala, eland, Zebra, Buffalo and the Hippopotamus. There are also 357 species of birds including the Narina tragen and marabou stock.
The Uganda Wildlife Education Center in Entebbe has a collection of all the animals in Uganda. You learn how they live, eat, play and communicate so take your time is another exciting place to visit. The center is 3km from the Airport and 45, minutes from Kampala, the place has a collection of all the animals in Uganda. Kibale Forest National Park, Zoka game reserve and many others.
Uganda has places of cultural interest offering a rich cultural history. The Buganda Kingdom which was the strongest of all Kingdoms in the country has the most important historical attractions. The Kingdom had strong Kings. “Kabakas” whose word was final. All the land belonged to him and so did the women. He had all rights to any woman he admired. Four of the former kings of Buganda were buried in a big grass roof thatched hut, the biggest in Africa called the ‘Kasubi tombs’,5km from Kampala. It’s worth visiting the tombs to have a deeper insight into the history of the Buganda Kings and also see with your own eyes the biggest grass roofed tomb in Africa. Other buildings surround it are the tombs of members of the royal family
Naggalabi Buddo Coronation site is also the official Coronation site where all the Kabakas are crowned including the current reigning King
A visit to Namugongo martyrs shrine will give you an insight into the history of the death of 22 Ugandans who were burnt live by the then Kabaka Mwanga of Buganda in 1886 for having failed to denounce their Christianity.
The Makerere University: The highest educational Institution in Uganda. Makerere is the pioneer University in East Africa where many African leaders were educated.
Independence Monument: It is a cement sculpture of a woman lifting a child in her arms and it commemorates the day Uganda got her Independence on October 9th 1962. Just come and look at all the above.