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WHY VISIT UGANDA? | IS UGANDA A GOOD PLACE TO VISIT? 21 THINGS THAT MAKE UGANDA SPECIAL AND WORTH VISITING.

 

Why should I visit Uganda? (Why Visit Uganda?)What makes Uganda special? Is Uganda worth visiting? are frequently asked questions by many travelers planning their trips to Uganda. Uganda has a unique combination of safari attractions not available anywhere else that make Uganda a special African safari destination worth visiting. Whether it’s your first safari in Uganda or a return trip, Uganda will always offer you  a unique special adventure.

21 Reasons why you should visit Uganda (Why Visit Uganda?)

  1. Uganda is home to more than half of the World’s Mountain Gorillas

  2. Uganda is the best place in the world to see wild chimpanzees

  3. Uganda is Africa’s top bird-watching destination

  4. Uganda is home to the ‘Big Five’

  5. The tree climbing lions of Uganda

  6. Uganda has the world’s highest concentration of hippos in one place

  7. The dramatic scenery of Uganda

  8. The world’s second-largest freshwater lake is in Uganda

  9. The source of the world’s longest river is in Uganda

  10. World-Class Hiking & Trekking in Uganda

  11. The cultural and friendly People of Uganda

  12. The food in Uganda

  13. Uganda is home to three World Heritage Sites

  14. Uganda is a perfect destination for budget travelers

  15. Uganda has been gifted with perfect weather year-round

  16. Uganda is Africa’s most green and fertile country

  17. Uganda is crowd-free

  18. Tourism protects Uganda’s people and wildlife

  19. There is a National Park called Kidepo Valley

  20. Uganda is pretty safe

  21. Finally, Uganda is the Pearl of Africa

A detailed list of the top 21 Reasons why you should  Visit Uganda (Why Visit Uganda)

  1. Mountain gorillas−To see the biggest apes in the world

Why Visit Uganda-Gorilla in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park

  • Gorillas weigh over 250 kilograms. Mountain gorillas are not only the world’s largest and strongest primates but also the Earth’s rarest and most majestic creatures, sharing about 98.5% of our DNA. So similar to us!
  • They live in only three countries in the whole world; Uganda, Rwanda, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. While on your safari in Uganda, you will be where more than half of the world’s mountain gorillas live.
  • Gorilla trekking in Uganda is a memorable, life-changing safari experience and a unique adventure in the heart of lush dense spectacular montane forests. Mountain gorillas cannot survive in zoos, so trekking into their native habitats is your only chance to catch a peek.
  • At numbers of only 1063, encountering gorillas in Uganda’s Impenetrable forest of Bwindi National Park or Mgahinga Gorilla National Park is a magical moment, that will make you one of the luckiest people in the whole world.
  • Gorillas are fairly calm by nature and there is nothing quite as exciting as seeing these bulky intelligent great apes on their home ground play, groom each other and engage in other almost human-like behaviors while admiring their immense size and strength.
  • The trekking permit for our giant cousins is fairly priced in Uganda at US$700 compared to the neighboring Rwanda destination at US$1,500.

 

    2.Uganda is the best place in the world to see wild chimpanzeesWhy Visit Uganda-Chimpanzee in Kidepo National Park

  • Uganda primate tour is not just about mountain gorillas; Uganda is Africa’s Premier Primate Destination hosting over 5,000 chimpanzees and 20 species of monkeys.
  • Kibale National Park in western Uganda is home to almost 1500 chimpanzees, the most captivating of all humanity’s closest relatives, sharing almost 99% of our DNA. The park is famous as the best place in the world to see wild chimpanzees.
  • Trekking to see these great apes in Kibale Forest makes for a wondrous combination of adventure and mystery. Chimps are known to spend most of their time in treetops playing, doze or even feasting on figs.
  • As the midday heat burns through the upper canopy, the chimps descend, sliding down vines and striding right past you.
  • If such an extraordinarily close encounter doesn’t give you goosebumps, their evocative heart-stopping pant-hoots will. Chimps are also known to drum on the buttress roots of giant fig trees with such force that the ground around you seem to shake.
  • A chimpanzee trekking tour is such a fantastic experience and is quite different from the gorilla trekking as it involves being very vigilant and fast to understand where the chimps are and how to find them.
  1. Uganda is Africa’s top bird-watching destination

    Why Visit Uganda-Shoebill-Stork

    Uganda-Birding-Tour-Shoebill-Stork-Mabamba-Swamp

  • Uganda is a bird-watching paradise boasting an astonishing 51% of all bird species in Africa.
  • Diverse habitats such as tropical lowland forests, montane forests, open savannah, marshland, rivers, freshwater lakes and crater lakes combine to give Uganda an enviable list of over 1073 bird species.
  • Like the gorilla, there is the highlight of seeing the rare prehistoric silvery whale-headed storks (aka shoebills) the Most Awesome Bird in Africa! The best spots to see shoebills are Mabamba Swamp and Murchison Falls National Park.
  • Uganda’s Queen Elizabeth National Park is home to over 612 bird species.
  • Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, the home gorillas hosts over 350 species, including 23 Albertine Rift Endemic endemics.
  • Kibale National Park, the home of chimpanzees boasts over 375 bird species including African Pitta, Green-breasted Pitta, Afep Pigeon, Crowned Eagle, Western Nicator, Yellow-rumped Tinkerbird, Little Greenbul, and Abyssinian Ground-thrush.
  1. Uganda is home to the ‘Big Five’

    Why Visit Uganda-queen-elizabeth-big-five-uganda-safari

  • Can you name the “Big Five animals”? This term originally applied to Africa’s wild animal species that were most dangerous and difficult to hunt including the Lions, Leopards, Elephants, Buffaloes, and Rhinos.
  • However, the term today takes on a much gentler form as we use it to specify the safari guests’ wildlife bucket list. Watching these majestic animals in their natural habitat is arguably one of the most rewarding Africa wildlife safaris

 

 

  1. The tree climbing lions of Uganda
    tree climbing lion uganda wildlife safari

    tree climbing lion uganda wildlife safari

  • The mystifying Tree Climbing Lions are a rarity in Africa, and Uganda’s Queen Elizabeth National Park’s Ishasha is the best place in Africa to see them. There are also known to exist in Lake Manyara National Park and Tarangire National Park in Tanzania.
  • For centuries, lions were not known to climb trees. Why do Lions Climb Trees in Ishasha? No one knows the answer for sure. What is for sure is that Ishasha is the best place in Africa where to see them.
  • Lions are largest and most imposing carnivores in Africa, and the most sought after member of the Africa Big 5, the most sociable of the large cats, living in loosely structured pride of typically 5 to 30 individuals.
  • Lions have special cultural significance in most countries on the continent. In Uganda, they are popular symbols of royalty, strength and bravery.
  • You can meet this undisputed king of the savanna jungle in Uganda’s Queen Elizabeth National Park on a lion tracking experience. This Uganda safari activity gives you an up-close and personal insight into the unique behaviors of these amazing cats.

 

  1. Uganda has the world’s highest concentration of hippos in one place

  • Kazinga Channel is a place with the highest concentration of hippos in the world. The channel is strategically located in Queen Elizabeth National Park.Why Visit Uganda-Hippos
  • This 40-kilometre long Channel connects two freshwater lakes; Lake George and Lake Edward. During the Kazinga Channel boat ride you will see hundreds of hippos in the water and onshore – a most amazing sight.
  • Hippos are the 3rd largest land animals in the world, only elephants and rhinos weigh more. A full-grown hippo can weigh between 1 1/2 to 3 tons…that is a lot of weight. Males are larger than females.
  1. The dramatic scenery of Uganda

  • Scenically, Uganda holds its own with any other country. It really is a place of shimmering lakes, rivers, waterfalls, lofty mountains, rift valleys, savannah grassland, and mysterious forests. Exploring all these landscapes gives you an opportunity to witness the spectacular variety of attractions found within.Why Visit Uganda-Murchison falls
  • CNN Travel in 2019 named Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park, the home of mountain gorillas one of the 23 most beautiful places on earth.
  • Also, Mgahinga Gorilla National Park was selected as the world’s 3rd best must photograph travel destinations after Asian cities of Colombo and Yokohama.
  • Uganda’s Lake Bunyoni is one of the most beautiful lakes in Africa. You can read all kinds things about Lake Bunyony; how deep it is (2nd deepest Lake in Africa), how it was formed, but when you visit Lake Bunyonyi, all those things disappear into thin air.
  • What you see is one of the most beautiful lakes in Africa. Visitors here are simply awed by its mystical, magical beauty of Lake Bunyonyi.
  • It is dotted by 29 islands of different shapes and sizes, encompassed by a ring of terraced hills, their greenery accenting this mystical lake like a lovely frame and is no wonder that Lonely Planet called it “A scene from Lord of the Rings.”
  • Bunyonyi – means the “place of little birds,” not only is it a place for birds but a restorative place, a place of solace, of rest, of quietness, reflection, and tranquility.
  • After days of being on safari, traversing the hills and valleys of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest in search of the Mountain Gorillas, Lake Bunyonyi is the perfect place to put it all into perspective.
  • Take in the beauty of Lake, to relax and chill out and partake in one of the fun-filled things to do and see such boating, canoeing, swimming, biking, hiking, nature walks and village tours.
  1. The world’s second-largest freshwater lake is in Uganda

  • Known in Luganda local language as Nalubaale, Lake Victoria has a surface area of 59,947 square kilometres (23,146 square miles) which makes it;
  • Africa’s largest lake,
  • The world’s largest tropical lake, and The world’s second-largest freshwater lake after Lake Superior in North America, although Lake Baikal in Siberia is larger by volume and depth.
  • Lake Victoria also contains more than 3,000 islands. The prime example are the Ssese Islands, an archipelago of 84 islands, located in the northwestern section of the lake.
  • Many of these islands like Buggala are accessible to visitors who are interested in seeing stunning scenery and exploring the unique local
  • Even with its relatively shallow depth, Lake Victoria hosts an enormously diverse and fascinating fish species, include numerous colorful
  1. The source of the world’s longest river is in Uganda

  • Spilling out of gigantic Lake Victoria, the world’s second-biggest lake is Nile River, the planet’s longest river.
  • The 6,650 km-long Nile River is also one of the wonders of Africa and it is because of its fascinating history that many people visit Uganda. Rafting grade-five rapids on the Nile in Jinja is a world-class adrenaline adventure
  • Further downstream the Nile, the impressive Murchison Falls thunders through one of the country’s most scenically spectacular national parks.
  1. World-Class Hiking & Trekking in Uganda

    Rwenzori Mountain Hiking Uganda Tour 9 Days

  • Are you daydreaming about mountain climbing, and hiking, trekking in Africa, Uganda is the preeminent destination for all your outdoor adventures.
  • The legendary snow-capped Rwenzori mountains (aka the ‘Rain Maker’), the highest mountain range in Africa−at 5109m and Mount Elgon (4321m), Africa’s eighth highest mountain offers superb mountain hiking adventures.
  • Claudius Ptolemy, the Greco-Roman mathematician, astronomer, and father of geography, in 150 AD cited the Rwenzori mountains as the source of the Nile calling them “Mountains of the Moon” because it seemed unearthly to have snow-covered peaks on the steamy equator.
  • But they are one of the greatest beauties on earth crowning one of its great wild habitats in the 996 km² Rwenzori Mountains National Park.
  • So nature lovers and real adventurers wanting to escape the safari crowds should put the Rwenzori mountains and mount Elgon on their list. There are hikes and treks available to suit all levels and needs, from 1-day jaunts in the forest to 10-day hikes with technical climbs.
  1. The cultural and friendly People of Uganda

    Cultural Performance in Kidepo Valley National Park Uganda tour

    Cultural Performance in Kidepo Valley National Park Uganda tour

  • Uganda is one of the most ethnically diverse countries in Africa. There are over 56 tribes and over 41 different spoken local languages. As you tour Uganda, the common denominator of all these tribes you will notice is one powerful fact that Ugandans the friendliest people you have ever met in Africa.
  • Meeting some of the people from these great tribes allows you to see the value of each of their cultures and their pride in the homeland. The cordiality is even more appealing and pleasant, especially when trying to explore the various cultural activities and sites around the country.
  • In central Uganda, you can visit the Kabaka’s (king’s) palace at Mengo and the Kasubi royal tombs, a UNESCO World Heritage Site to learn about the fascinating culture of the Baganda people of Buganda Kingdom.
  • In western Uganda, you can visit the Toro King’s palace to learn about the Batoro people of Toro Kingdom.
  • Also in western Uganda, you can visit the last remaining member of the endangered Batwa pygmy tribe who lives at edges Bwindi Impenetrable and Mgahinga Gorilla National Parks to learn about their unique hunter-gatherer culture.
  • And, in northern Uganda, visit the mysterious IK people of mount Monrungole−a small tribe of between 10,000 to 11,000 people.
  • The Karamajong semi-nomadic pastoralists are another amazing detail of northern Uganda’s rich cultural display. Karamojong is very proud of their traditional style of living, which is even in Uganda often misunderstood. They highly value their traditional beliefs and have rejected outside religion such as Christianity and Islam. To them, Akuj is still the god of their faith.
  1. The food in Uganda

  • Uganda food is one of these jewels that deepens your appreciation of this little country.
  • Uganda is the Tropical Fruit Basket of Africa. Ugandans consume more Bananas than anyone else in the world. There are over 50 varieties grown Uganda from the small dessert Bananas to Gonja – which you roast and eat as a snack. Matooke is the perfect banana for stir-fried dishes, the daily bread of Ugandans.
  • Pineapple, such as you have never tasted before, Uganda’s are simply the best. Papaya, fresh from the odd-looking but sweet tasting Jackfruit, the world’s largest fruit that grows on a tree.
  • One cannot leave out Lemons, Oranges, Tangerines, Pawpaws, Watermelon, Jackfruit, and Avocados. When it comes to fruits on a safari in Uganda, you will have more than you imagined.
  1. Uganda is home to three World Heritage Site

  • Uganda has three UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
  • Two of them are National Parks including Bwindi Impenetrable National Park the home mountain gorillas and Rwenzori Mountains National Park, that encompass the snowcapped Rwenzori mountains−the 3rd highest mountain in Africa.
  • Another world heritage site is the Kasubi Royal Tombs. While in Kampala, Uganda’s capital, a visit to the Kasubi Tombs is well worth your time.
  • It is an important historic site and cultural site, burial place of four former Kings of the great Buganda Kingdom, Uganda’s largest tribal kingdom.
  1. Uganda is a perfect destination for budget travelers

  • Uganda is the most recommended and complete country in Africa for travelers on budget safaris.
  • Visitors can do a number of activities in Uganda such as gorilla trekking, chimpanzee trekking, game viewing, bird watching, cultural visits, and others at an affordable cost and even remain with some pocket change.
  • Entry to the national parks is generally much lower than that of neighboring countries and for around US$ 90-120 you can secure yourself a bed in a beautiful hotel, guesthouse or lodge.
  1. Uganda has been gifted with perfect weather year-round

    climate-uganda

    climate-uganda

  • Crossed by the equator, Uganda has the perfect weather all year round. In fact, the weather in Uganda still amazes even the Ugandans themselves, as it can rain and shine within a few minutes.
  • In fact, when planning your trip to Uganda, you will not need to worry about extreme cold and hot seasons because Uganda has a warm, sunny climate most of the year.
  • The temperature range from 25-29°C (77-84°F), except mountainous areas such as the snow-capped Rwenzori Mountains or mountains of the moon which are much cooler.
  • For most of Uganda, there are two rainy seasons during the year. Even during the rainy seasons, the sun comes out since most rain showers come at night or during the early morning hours.

16.Uganda is Africa’s most green and fertile country

  • Someone once said that you planted a walking stick overnight in the soil of Uganda, it would take root before the morning downed.
  • And this is certainly true that all reasonably established Africa safari destinations, Uganda is the most fertile, the most green, the most overwhelming tropical. Uganda is where the eastern savannah meets the West African jungles.
  1. Uganda is crowd-free

  • Though Uganda lacks the recognition of its big-name neighbors like Masai Mara National Reserve in Kenya and Serengeti National Park in Tanzania, the National Parks of Uganda are home to all African safari animals minus crowd.
  • For example, Queen Elizabeth National Park offers a perfect opportunity of seeing the elusive leopard or its trademark tree-climbing lions. Head to Murchison Falls National Park, Uganda’s largest park and follow your morning wildlife drive with a cruise down the Nile to the base of the falls.
  • It is a great way to see elephants, buffalo, crocs and loads of hippos while relaxing on the boat with a beer.
  • Not many visitors make it as far north as Kidepo Valley National Park, but those who do are rewarded with a fantastic selection of animals and some of the most spectacular scenery in the country.
  • If you are hoping to tick off the Big Five, add Ziwa Sanctuary to your itinerary to get up close to white rhino, which you track on foot.
  1. Tourism protects Uganda’s people and wildlife

  • Your visit to Uganda is one way of helping to protect one of the mountain gorillas, one of the most endangered creatures on earth. 75% of the money raised from gorilla permits is used to fund conservation projects that support the survival of one of our closest primates.
  • Furthermore, the local economy benefits from the economic and employment opportunities that tourists bring to the area which creates a positive attitude towards wildlife conservation. Indeed, responsible tourism can be an alternative to poaching and discourage people from engaging in it.
  • Without tourism in Uganda, there will be no one to support the people who make their living from it, and the rangers who protect the wildlife. So communities can turn to wildlife for food. Tourism here really does protect traditional ways of life, and cultures, and wilderness.
  1. There is a National Park called Kidepo Valley

  • Prepare to be rendered silent by the beauty of Kidepo Valley National Park. This national park in the extreme northeastern corner of Uganda is famous for its alluring scenery of uniquely formed valleys, the untampered wilderness, and freely roaming animals.
  • With the sweeping plains of Kidepo and Narus Valleys overshadowed by the brooding mountains cape of Mt Morungole (the sacred peak of the mysterious Ik people,) this Uganda safari park has huge appeal just for scenery alone and according to CNN, it might be the most picturesque of all Africa safari wildlife parks.
  • The vegetation is high catching grassland and savannah that spread into horizons beyond the eye can see. The broad savannah and its mountain backdrop indeed paint a gorgeous scenery and if there wasn’t a single animal living there it would still be a wonderful place to visit.
  • But, that’s not a concern because the animal populations are high and the sightings are easy. Kidepo has a healthy population of the Big Five (except for a lack of rhino) and many species here are not found elsewhere in Uganda such as cheetahs, hyenas, caracals, jackals, and ostriches.

20.Uganda is pretty safe

  • Having stepped out of the shadows of a deep dark past under Idi Amin and the Lord’s Resistance Army, Uganda is no longer a country to be feared; in fact is widely regarded as one of Africa’s safer destinations. It is a country which can be explored with reasonable confidence.
  • Kampala the capital city of Uganda is also one of the safest city in Africa and about 99% of the tourists come and leave the country without any problem.
  1. Finally, Uganda is the Pearl of Africa

  • Of all the 54 countries in Africa, Uganda is truly the pearl of Africa. It is no wonder that explorers and travelers for years, have declared Uganda as a rare find of incredible beauty. Those who have visited this little country would agree.
  • According to Lonely Planet, Uganda is Africa condensed into one country. It is because of its natural beauty, natural wonders, its friendly and welcoming people that Sir Winston Leonard Churchill in his book “My African Journey” concluded declaring Uganda as ‘The Pearl of Africa’ in the year 1908.
  • He emphasized this when he talked of its magnificence, weather, color and birds, reptiles, insects, beasts, mammals and vegetation. He looked critically into all this and analyzed and described it as a fairy tale. Words are not sufficient to describe it, but you need to visit and see the country yourself.