A travel to the African continent is one of the thrilling experiences one shouldn’t miss to encounter. With over 56 countries, the continent encompasses amazing attractions from its green and fertile lands, the favorable climatic conditions that give you a perfect stay in the particular country to different adventurous features like large fresh water bodies, long rivers, magical waterfalls, and the snowcapped mountains that provide mystical challenges. Of the 56 countries on the continent, there is Uganda which is referred to as it’s pearl.
Officially called the Republic of Uganda, this landlocked country positioned in the eastern sub region of Africa. It is bordered by Kenya to the east, South Sudan to the North, and Rwanda to the southwest, Tanzania to the South and Democratic Republic of Congo to the west. Located in the African Great Lakes, Uganda is one of the unique destinations among all those on the African continent. This is evidenced from its beautiful attractions of the varied landscape from the savannah plains to the rugged forests in the western region that host various primates, wildlife and several bird species. Aside the wildlife, the country is a home to Africa’s third highest mountain- Rwenzori, a portion of the world’s largest fresh water lake, Victoria and the longest river in the world, River Nile.
With a total area of approximately 241,038 square kilometers, Uganda encompasses around 46 million people of where the 8.5 million live in the capital and largest city, Kampala. The country derives its name from Buganda kingdom which encompasses its largest portion including the capital city Kampala. Its official languages are English and Swahili though Luganda is the mostly used language.
Uganda is one of the countries in the world with the best tourist attractions since almost 40% of its total land is reserved and conserved for tourism purposes. It encompasses 10 national parks including Murchison falls national park, Queen Elizabeth national park, Bwindi Impenetrable national park, Mgahinga gorilla national park, Kibale forest national park, Lake Mburo National park and many others. The country also hosts several cultural centers like museums, and various traditional and historical sites. All these and other attractions below rank Uganda as the best destination for your safari in Africa;
List of attractions that are likely to make your safari memorable during your Uganda safari
Kampala – the capital city
Besides being the capital city of the country, Kampala is an attraction itself which offers a thrilling experience to any traveller. Encompassing various cultural centers like Kasubi tombs, Namugongo shrine, the Uganda museum, and others, Kampala is the best destination to acquire every information and knowledge about the history, and present of Uganda. The city tour will not only let you explore the cultural sites but also mouthwatering foods at different restaurants and also it will give you a chance to do shopping of the all the needs you would require.
Murchison Falls National Park
In the northwestern region of the country, Murchison Falls National park is the oldest and largest national park in the Republic of Uganda. Formerly known as Kabalega national park, the park spreads inland from the shores of Lake Albert around the Victoria Nile up to the Karuma Falls. It stretches through four Uganda districts such as Buliisa, Kiryandongo, Nwoya and Masindi. Spreading over an area of approximately 3,893 square kilometers, the park known for hosting the magical waterfalls of Murchison where it derived its name. From the mighty waterfalls that squeeze through a 7m gap, go for a game drive where you will spot over 76 species of mammals since the park is adjacent to Budongo Forest reserve. The national park also hosts more than 450 bird species including the rare shoe billed stork, Goliath heron, white thighed hornbill, dwarf kingfisher, great blue turaco and many others.
Queen Elizabeth National Park
Situated in the western region of Uganda, Queen Elizabeth national park is one of the Uganda destinations that will provide you with an everlasting memory during your safari. The national park spans in districts of Kasese, Rubirizi, Kamwenge and Rukungiri. With an area of approximately 1,978 square kilometers, the park encompasses various attractions including abundant wildlife like the African elephants, Uganda kob, African buffalo, Uganda kob, waterbuck, Nile crocodile, leopard, chimpanzee, lions, spotted hyenas, hippos, and many others. Besides the wildlife, Queen Elizabeth National park is a home to over 600 bird species including the migratory and resident birds. Among these birds include secretary birds, African cuckoo hawk, African harrier hawk, Egyptian vulture, black chested snake eagle, white headed vulture, western banded snake eagle and many others.
Bwindi Impenetrable national park
Located in Southwestern Uganda, Bwindi national park is another magical destination in Uganda which is good for your safari. Along the border of Democratic Republic of Congo close to the Virunga national park and on the edge of the Albertine Rift, the park covers an area of approximately 321 square kilometers with both the montane and lowland forests.
Bwindi Impenetrable national park is known for being home to almost half of the world’s mountain gorillas in its impenetrable forest. Apart from the mountain gorillas, there are also other primate species like the colobus monkeys, chimpanzees, vervet, red tailed monkeys, L’hoest’s monkey and many others. To watch the endangered mountain gorillas in the forest, one has to take part in gorilla trekking and habituation experiences which take place in different sectors including Buhoma, Ruhijja, Rushaga and Buhoma sector. Other animals in the park include the carnivores like the African golden cats, African civet and the side striped jackals. Other attractions in the park that ranks it among the best include over 120 mammal species, 348 bird species, 220 butterfly species, 27 species of frogs, chameleons and geckos.
The park can be accessed with a 4×4 safari vehicle that can be secured from a Uganda Car Rental Agency.
Kibale National park
Known as the primate capital, Kibale national park is a Uganda national park situated in the south western region of Uganda spanning through the districts of Kamwenge, Kabarole and Fort portal districts. Stretching over an area of approximately 766 square kilometers, the park protects the moist evergreen rainforests which host a number of primate species including the chimpanzees, and monkey species such as the Uganda mangabey, red colobus monkeys, black and white colobus monkeys, the blue monkeys, L’Hoest’s monkeys and others. Though known as the primate capital, Kibale national park also hosts some mammal species like the red and blue duikers, common warthogs, bush pigs, sitatunga, African buffalo, leopards, African golden cats, servals and many others. In the rainforests, spot numerous bird species like the olive long tailed cuckoo, western tinker bird, grey parrot and others.
At the foothills of Mountain Elgon along the edge of Mount Elgon national park in the eastern part of the Republic of Uganda, Sipi falls are among the amazing sights in the country. The falls were named after the wild banana-like indigenous plant that grows along the banks of Sipi River. This plant is used as medicine to cure various diseases like measles and fever. At the falls, enjoy different safari activities like hiking, bird watching, cave expeditions, camping, and cave painting excursions. While at the top of the falls, you will enjoy spectacular views of the Karamoja plains, Lake Kyoga and the slopes of Mount Elgon.
Kidepo valley national park
In the northeastern region, Kidepo valley national park is another Uganda destination in the Karamoja region in the district of Kaabong. With an area of approximately 1,442 square kilometers, the park consist the two major valley systems – Kidepo and Narus Rivers. The park also encompasses the hot springs of Kanangorok in its northern side. With perennial water of Kidepo river which is an oasis in the semi-desert, the park hosts over 86 mammal species like the spotted hyenas, wild dog, elephants, African buffalo, bat-eared foxes, wild dogs, Rothschild’s giraffes, and also more than 500 bird species.
Considered to be a tourism hub of the African continent, Jinja city is located in the district of Jinja in Busoga sub-region in the eastern region of the pearl of Africa. The city sits along the northern shores of the largest fresh water lake in Africa – Lake Victoria near the source of the world’s longest river, River Nile. For adventurous tourists, Jinja city is the right place to go since it offers various amazing activities like traditional dances, kayaking, bike riding, horse riding, bungee jumping, water skiing, canoeing, and a visit to the source of the Nile, Itanda waterfalls, and Makwanzi. With all those experiences, Jinja city is among the must visit destinations while on a safari in Uganda.
Mgahinga gorilla national park
In Southwestern Uganda, Mgahinga gorilla national park is also a safari destination in Uganda which among the preeminent areas for a safari in the country. Covering an area of approximately 33.9 square kilometers, Mgahinga gorilla national park encompasses the three inactive volcanoes such as Mount Muhabura, Mount Gahinga, and Mount Sabyinyo. The park is famous for housing various primate species like the mountain gorillas and the golden monkeys including both the habituated and the non-habituated groups. The park is also a home to more than 76 mammal species like the leopards, elephants, giant forest hog, buffalos, black fronted duiker, bushbucks, and others. Also while in the park, expect to spot numerous bird species like the handsome spur fowl, red-throated alethe, kivu ground thrush, Rwenzori double-collared sunbird, collared apalis, strange weaver and many others.
Apart from the above destination, there are other amazing attractions that one shouldn’t miss while on a Uganda safari and among these include Lake Mburo national park, Rwenzori mountain national park, Semliki national park, and Mount Elgon national park.