Situated in the east of Africa, with Kenya, South Sudan, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo as its neighbours, Uganda is fast making a name for itself as a holiday destination for adventure seekers.
The main facts
Uganda is one of Africa’s smaller countries and is comparable in size to the UK. It only has one city, the capital Kampala, and its international airport is located at Entebbe. Despite its diminutive proportions in African terms, it boasts a lot for its size. It is home to Africa’s largest lake, Lake Victoria, and has the third highest mountain in Africa, Mount Stanley. Uganda is considered to be one of the safest countries in Africa.
Uganda is blessed with abundant natural diversity and breathtaking scenery, encompassing rainforests, savannah, snow-capped mountains and volcanoes. When you visit the country, it soon becomes apparent why Winston Churchill once nicknamed it ‘the pearl of Africa’.
For most visitors to Uganda, it is the combination of the awe-inspiring national parks and the wildlife that reside there that are the main draw. Uganda is home to one of the most diverse and concentrated ranges of African fauna, including the endangered mountain gorilla and common chimpanzee.
Many visitors take part in escorted Uganda gorilla trekking tours. It is believed that half of the world’s remaining mountain gorillas can be found in Uganda in the 25,000-year old UNESCO Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. Chimpanzees can be spotted at Kibale Forest, and the mesmerising lakes and caves here are also worth exploring.
It is not just primates that Uganda is famed for. Many tourists flock to the country to catch a glimpse of the ‘big five’ – the lion, leopard, elephant, rhino and African buffalo. Four of these five can be found in the Queen Elizabeth National Park, which is also home to rare tree-climbing lions.
Murchison Falls is another popular magnet for big game spotters and it is also the place to head to if you want to spy Africa’s largest crocodile.
For those wanting to get off the beaten track, Kipedo National Park is a remote bolthole, characterised by desert crags and ossified anthills.
In addition to wildlife watching, Uganda is popular for rafting on the river Nile. A visit to Kampala also offers many cultural attractions.