UGANDA, “THE PEARL OF AFRICA” As a tourism destination, Uganda is blessed with natural advantages. Located at the heart of Africa, the country is rich in wildlife, nature, culture, heritage and history. Its biological and cultural diversity is unmatched for a country the size of Great Britain or the US state of Oregon.
Uganda is the home of the world’s largest population of gorillas and other primates as well as a range of other wildlife including the Big Five, reptiles and over 1,000 species of birds (50 percent of Africa’s birds and butterfly species).
With almost 40 percent of its land mass is covered by water, rivers and wetlands, it is little wonder that Uganda is home to the source of the Nile, the world’s longest river. Temperatures all year round average 25-30c.
And for those who like to socialize, this is the land of some of the friendliest people anywhere. Kampala is known for it entertainment earning it the title entertainment capital of East Africa.
Uganda is a landlocked country bordered by Kenya in the east, South Sudan in the north, Democratic Republic of the Congo in the west, Rwanda in the southwest and Tanzania in the south. Uganda’s total land area is 241,559 sq. km. About 37,000 sq. km of this area is occupied by open water while the rest is land. The southern part of the country includes a substantial portion of Lake Victoria, which it shares with Kenya and Tanzania.
Uganda is located on the East African plateau, averaging about 1,100 meters (3,609 ft.) above sea level. The plateau generally slopes downwards towards Sudan explaining the northerly tendency of most river flows in the country. Although generally equatorial, the climate is not uniform since the altitude modifies the climate. Uganda’s elevation, soil types and predominantly warm and wet climate impart a huge agricultural potential to the country. They also explain the country’s large variety of forests, grasslands and wildlife reserves. Uganda has a total population of about 35.6 million people.
The official language is English and currency used is Uganda Shillings (UGX 1/- equivalent to USD $3800). The president of Uganda is Yoweri Museveni, who came to power in January 1986 after a protracted six-year guerrilla war.
Why You Need to Visit Uganda?
Explore the country’s gift of nature
Uganda is a natural beauty, with an abundance of gifts bestowed to her: the snowcapped Rwenzori mountains, named one of the best hikes in the world by the National Geographic; Mountain Elgon, with the largest volcanic caldera in the world; and Africa’s largest lake, Lake Victoria; the mighty River Nile, the second-longest river in the world, whose largest source is in Lake Victoria.
Unique Natural Location
Straddling the equator is Uganda, which lies within the Nile basin on the eastern plateau at an average of 3,609 feet (1,100 meters) above sea level. Major lakes include; Lake Victoria, Lake George, Lake Albert, Lake Edward & Lake Kyoga. Uganda’s scenery is varied, from long elephant grass, endless papyrus swamps, to the amazing order of the tea plantations. Topographically much of Uganda is gently flat.
The southwestern part is generally mountainous where you find the Kigezi regions covered with terraced hillsides. The semi-arid north east part in Kidepo valley is averagely dry. The road network improves each day and one can drive from Kampala to the west in just 4 hours on a tarmac road or to the north-west region. Various attractions are located in different parts of the country with Bwindi in the south, Kidepo in the North east, Murchison in the north- west, Jinja in the central and many others like the Rwenzori Mountains in the west.
Explore the country’s Lakeside Tranquillity
Explore the bird paradise that is Lake Bunyonyi, which means “lake of small birds,” is located in southwestern Uganda. It is the second-deepest freshwater lake in Africa and is a stunning view when seen from one of the hills around it. Its beauty is even such that it is printed on one of Uganda’s currency notes. There are 29 islands in the lake, and it’s a heaven for bird lovers.
Gorilla trekking, Wildlife safaris, birding and Scenery
Although Uganda is home to the Big Five (lion, leopard, rhino, buffalo, and elephant) it also boasts unique wildlife such as tree-climbing lions and the Nile crocodile. Uganda is a must on any birder’s bucket list, with over 1,000 bird species, including some of the very rarest, such as the shoebill, the great blue turaco, Shelley’s crimsonwing, and many more. Indeed, Uganda’s wetlands and savannah are great habitats for some of the world’s most spectacular birds and wildlife.
Uganda is lucky to be the home of the famous endangered mountain gorillas, and it has the highest population of mountain gorillas in the world. They can’t be found anywhere else on earth but in the Virunga Massif that is shared by Uganda, Rwanda, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. These gentle giants can be found in two of Uganda’s national parks: Mgahinga National Park and Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park.
You will enjoy the cultural diversity
Uganda is made up of a number of ethnic groups from the central and south, east, west, and north, each with its own language, distinctive customs and norms. There are over 50 languages are spoken in Uganda. It’s this cultural diversity that offers curious travelers an authentic and enjoyable experience.
You will enjoy the Uganda’s rich cuisine
Uganda’s food is as rich as its culture, because each tribe has its own staple food. A proper Ugandan meal is a celebration in itself, and some meals are prepared as early as the day before, to be served at lunch the following day. Then there is the street food, the most notable being the rolex. While a Rolex is a timepiece in most countries, in Uganda it’s a popular street food that can be eaten any time of the day. It’s an omelette that is rolled with a chapatti and some onions and tomatoes; bonus points if the tomatoes are raw and if you eat it by the stall.