Tourism in Uganda is focused on Uganda’s landscape and wildlife. Uganda has a very diverse culture, landscape, flora, and fauna. Uganda’s political climate had stabilised and conditions were suitable for reinvestment in Uganda’s tourist industry. However, the loss of charismatic wildlife in previously popular safari parks such as Murchison Falls National Park and Queen Elizabeth National Park prevented these parks from competing with similar tourist attractions in East Africa.
Uganda’s tourist industry instead promoted its tropical forests. The keystone of the new industry became Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. With more than 300 Mountain Gorillas, Bwindi Impenetrable National Park has approximately half of the world’s population of Mountain Gorillas. These gorillas have greatly attracted many safaris to Uganda.
Game viewing is the most popular tourist activity in Uganda. Wild animals like lions, buffaloes, giraffes, antelopes, elephants are common in Uganda’s ten national parks. Uganda is one of only three countries where it is possible to visit the endangered mountain gorillas. Mountain gorillas are Uganda’s prime tourist attraction. The vast majority of these are in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, with a few others in Mgahinga National Park, both in south western Uganda, in Bwindi, visitors have been allowed to view the mountain gorillas since April 1993.
The development of gorilla tourism and the habituation of gorillas to humans are proceeding very carefully because of the dangers to gorillas, such as contracting human diseases. Meanwhile, Queen Elizabeth National Park is home to the tree climbing lions. Lions do not normally climb trees, except when chased by another lion group or wild buffalo. However the tree climbing lions found in Queen Elizabeth-National Park intentionally climb trees and rest on them in the afternoon, when the sun is high. This is a truly unique phenomenon.
Boating and Water Sports is another tourist attraction that is participated in during the safaris carried out in Uganda. With its prime location in the African Great Lakes region, Uganda has a variety of water bodies that are popular spots for tourism. White water rafting in Jinja is a popular activity on River Nile. It is managed by Adrift Uganda and few other operators. Boating which is commonly done on Lake Victoria, Lake Mburo, Lake Bunyonyi, Kazinga Channel, and River Nile is a perfect way of exploring the buffaloes, hippos, crocodiles and a wide variety of bird species that inhabit the banks of these water bodies. Sport fishing is another favourite tourist activity. Fish like the Nile perch, and tilapia can be caught in designated areas of Lake Mburo and the banks of the Nile. Canoeing can also be done at Lake Bunyonyi.
Hiking and Mountain Climbing in Uganda has many opportunities for mountain climbing, hiking and nature walks. The Rwenzori Mountains, which are found at the border with the DRC, boast the snow capped Marguerite Peak (5109 m), the highest Mountain Range in Africa and also one of the highest peaks. Mgahinga Gorilla National Park also boasts three peaks, Mount Gahinga, Mount Sabyinyo, and Mount Muhavura, the highest peak in the national park. Mount Elgon, located in Eastern Uganda, offers tourists another great opportunity for hiking, climbing, and also has one of the largest calderas in the world.