Uganda popularly known as the Pearl of Africa is a landlocked country located in East Africa. Its gifted by nature with diverse scenery plus wildlife making it one of the world’s must visit destination.
The country neighbors Kenya to the East, Rwanda & Tanzania to the south, DRC to the west and south Sudan to the north. Kampala is Uganda’s capital city located in the central part of the country. English is the official language though Uganda has over 50 tribes each speaking a different language.
Uganda has diverse wildlife species favored by the diverse ecosystems and landscapes the country has. These landscapes range from tropical rain-forests, swamps, lakes, rivers, mountains, grasslands, woodlands and many others.
The country has two of man’s closest primates with over 95% DNA similar to humans the chimpanzees and mountain gorillas. There are over 345 mammals species and over 1020 recorded bird species in Uganda.
Many of the wildlife species live in 10 national parks and 13 wildlife reverses that Uganda has. Uganda has mountains including the snow capped Ruwenzori mountains along the border with DRC in the western part. Mount Elgon with the largest Volcanic base in the world is located in the Eastern part of Uganda. Mount Mgahinga and Mount Muhabura located in the southwestern are part of the Virunga Massif a range of Volcanic Mountains.
Uganda has a network of water bodies like Lake Victoria Africa’s largest lake and world’s second largest fresh water body. Other lake include Lake Bunyonyi, Lake Albert, Lake Edward, Lake George, Lake Mulehe, Lake Mutanda and so many others.
Major rivers in Uganda include the Nile River, River Katonga, River Mpaga, River Kafu, River Kagera among others.
Key Tourist Attractions
Uganda has the biggest share of the mountain gorilla population on the entire planet. These live in a few countries on the African continent and Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable national park has half of the estimated 1063. Mgahinga gorilla national park is another place in Uganda with mountain gorillas. This with Bwindi impenetrable are located in the southwestern part of the country.
There are about 15 habituated mountain gorilla groups in Uganda open for tourism and one for research. The gorilla groups in Bwindi Impenetrable national park are distributed into the four sectors namely Ruhija, Rushaga, Buhoma and Nkuringo. Each sector has a national park headquarters where tourists gather for briefing ahead of the gorilla trek.
Gorilla tracking ranges from 1 to 6 hours or more depending on the movement of the gorillas. On getting to gorillas, tourists are allowed to stay in their presence for an hour getting to know more about them. During the one hour time one can take photos though flash photography is not allowed as it irritates the gorillas.
Chimpanzees in Uganda live in Kibale forest national park. The park has the highest chimpanzee population in the world plus other primates species and birds. Because of that Kibale national park was named the primate capital of the world.
Just like mountain gorillas, chimpanzees also live in groups going up to 30 individuals. Tracking chimpanzees in Kibale is very enjoyable as you not only see many chimpanzees but also other wildlife species. Chimpanzees are special beings to humans because they have over 95% DNA similar to humans.
Anyone on a visit Uganda expedition and is interested in chimpanzees should add Kibale national park on the itinerary. This primates park is located in western Uganda and can be accessed by road from Kampala/Entebbe in a 6 to 7 hours drive.
Savanna Wildlife Game
Many of Uganda’s national parks are of a savanna vegetation type and homes to diverse savanna wildlife species. Notable wildlife species in Uganda’s savannas’ include lions, elephants, buffaloes, giraffes, zebras, elands, leopards, cheetahs and many others. These animal species are easily seen while on game drives in the different parks and while on boat cruises.
Murchison falls national park stretching from mid western to the southern parts of northern Uganda is very remarkable. The national park has the strongest waterfalls (Murchison falls) that is formed by the Nile Rivers plunging in narrow gorge. With this force, the waterfalls when it comes into contact with the sun forms a permanent rain-ball.
Kidepo valley national park is another outstanding savanna wildlife national park in Uganda offering classic safari experiences. This is the most isolated national park in Uganda located in the northeastern part. While here look out for lions, giraffes, herds of buffaloes, many antelope species and birds.
Other notable savanna parks include Queen Elizabeth national park located in western Uganda. This park has the Ishasha sector famous for the tree climbing lions and a variety of other wildlife species. Semiliki valley national park also in western Uganda is a unique one with wildlife species of the central African forests.
Take the less traveled paths to unveil Uganda’s hidden treasures
Uganda also has a great cultural heritage with over 50 tribes. The Ugandan people are known as some of the most hospitable on the entire planet and therefore offer great cultural experiences.
There are tribes in Uganda that offer authentic African culture as they have over the years stuck to their cultural beliefs. These include the Karamojong community who live near Kidepo valley national park and the Batwa who live near Bwindi and Semuliki national parks.
Anyone seeking for an African wildlife adventure, unique cultural experiences should consider Uganda for unforgettable tour memories.