NICKNAMED THE “PEARL OF AFRICA” UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITE
GREENERY, DEEP LAKES & SOARING MOUNTAINS.
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. It is a landlocked country bordering South Sudan to the north, Kenya to the east, Tanzania to the south, Rwanda to the south-west, and, to the west, the Democratic Republic of the Congo. After Ethiopia, it has the second-largest population of any landlocked country in the whole world.Eleven per cent of all birds in the world can be found in Uganda. In fact, Uganda has more species of birds per square kilometer than anywhere else in the world. It is a bird’s haven for bird enthusiasts.
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.
Emerging from the shadows of Uganda’s dark history, tourism is returning the sheen to the ‘pearl of Africa’. While anti-gay sentiments mar an otherwise positive picture, Uganda remains one of the safest destinations in Africa – save for the odd hippo at your campsite. Don’t rush. Here you’ll find the best the continent has to offer at a good value and with fewer visitors than in longer-established East African destinations.
Another significant geographical feature of Uganda is its sixty protected areas, among which are ten national parks. Of these, both Bwindi and Rwenzori Mountains National Park are UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Conservation efforts are ongoing and wildlife highlights include mountain gorilla, chimpanzee, monkeys, black-and-white colobus, elephant, golden cat, jackal, and giant forest hog. Keen birders can enjoy looking out for over 350 species of feathery friends, such as crested crane, Uganda’s national bird.
At the time of writing, Bwindi is home to 340 mountain gorillas, about half of the population worldwide. This means that it is a fabulous destination for gorilla trekking. In fact, Uganda is one of the only three countries where this activity is possible – the other two are Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.