Uganda was called ’the pearl of Africa’, by Winston Churchill. This was because of the e country’s great natural beauty. The stretch from Entebbe’s international airport, breathtaking equatorial location on the forested shore of island-strewn Lake Victoria.
Uganda in East Africa is one of the famous places for seeing different varieties of wild animals. This is most evidenced by the presence of national parks which include
- Savanna National Parks that include Queen Elizabeth national park, Murchison Falls National Park, Kidepo National Park, Lake Mburo National Park, Semuliki National Park.
- Forest Parks that include Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park famous for mountain gorillas as well as Kibale Forest National Park known for chimpanzee tracking
- Mountain National Parks; the Rwenzori Mountains and Mount Elgon National Park
One of the most exciting adventures for a wild life enthusiast is in wildness area of Uganda as it is described as the pearl of Africa. Some of the wild animals that can seen during a Uganda safari include gorillas in Bwindi , lions that actually include amazing tree climbing lions in Ishasha , chimpanzees, Antelopes and African elephants in queen Elizabeth as well as in lake mburo national park. Uganda is the habitat for nearly 50% of gorilla population of the world and almost 80% of African go.
Expect a Uganda blessing of portraying and habiting a variety of bird species that include the Martial Eagle, Bar-tailed Godwit, Black-rumped Buttonquail, Shoebill, African Skimmer, Lesser plus Greater Flamingo, Chapin’s Flycatcher, White-tailed Lark, Corncrake, Pinkbacked Pelican, Verreaux’s Eagle Owl, Papyrus Canary, White-winged Warbler, African Broadbill, Papyrus Gonolek and the Black Bee-eater are commonly seen . These are actually common in in places of kanzinga channel that connects Lake George to lake Edward, kyambula gorge. This gorge can be explored on foot so taking a nature walk guided by any of the well trained and highly knowledgeable tour guides will unveil to visitors the natural beauty of the gorge as well as the flora and fauna within the depths of the gorge and almost all forests and trees in queen Elizabeth actually harbor these bird species
There are a multiple of gorilla safaris that are held by the local organizers. In these gorilla tracking Uganda safaris, the van in which the visitors are seated closely follow the gorillas but not exactly behind them.
There are well laid out pathways for the vans to move along the gorillas in those areas. Even fiirent motorable tracks and foot path are actually available that actually lead you to deep forests so that the visitors will have a clear view of the gorillas and be able to trace and tract even those good at hiding animals. Though the organizers will be there to regulate the visitors, some visitors shout at the gorillas when they see them, which is not advisable and extremely dangerous.
You can also enjoy the spectacular dances and entertainment from different cultural groups that include Kikorongo women group (culture and dances) with vibrant performance is a wonderful glimpse of life in Kikorongo, with dance, drama, songs and even fire-making competitions. Discover the ancient skill of fire making as two villagers compete to create frames and observing how exhaustive the exercise is. One actually learns through music and dance with an interpreter presents each performance, translating the words of the songs and explaining the stories in the drama. So as a tourist, you just have to sit and enjoy watching life in a Bakonzo village unfold in front of you. Stories of health, spirituality, celebration and romance are beautifully presented by dancers. Several women in the group are widows as their husbands were poachers. The performances give both married widowed women the chance to uplift their social, cultural and economic status.
Quick Guide to Uganda Safaris
Filled with the most fascinating wildlife sights, Uganda is a captivating safari destination and completes your travels in East Africa. It is in fact the only destination in the world that has the maximum amount of gorilla population. It is a unique destination that is really worth all the attractions and has a great plethora of flora and fauna. The climate here is very friendly and is very tourist oriented all through the year. There are various ways one can enjoy the safaris in Uganda. There are various kinds of safaris like the birding safaris, the bird safaris, the trekking safaris and the game viewing tours. You can choose the kind you want and include a great safari trip as part of your visits here.
Most Popular Uganda Safaris
The Uganda Gorilla Safaris are a great part of safari tours in this part of Africa so embark on this 3 days 2 nights gorilla safari in the region of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. It is an impenetrable region and gives you the pleasures of a great safari experience. There are many other such tours and as you go along the Kazinga channel and other guided nature walks you would surely not come back disappointed.
The Uganda Wildlife safari takes you on a 3 day game viewing trip which helps you to see the beautiful chimpanzees here. walk along the Kyumbura gorge and enjoy the lovely nature guided walks here.
Then of course you have the Uganda Chimpanzee Tracking Tour which is 3 day 2 night chimpanzee adventure filled with the best sights of chimpanzees. This is in the Kibale Forest national park and has the greatest variety of primates in this part of the Eastern part of Africa. The park is huge and spans over a great area. With the best sights of rain forest pleasures this gives great opportunities to all to enjoy the primates as well as the birds.
The Murchison Falls Safari is another amazing trip which introduces you to the Murchison Falls National Park which is incidentally the largest national park in Uganda. This is s trip that gives you a great pleasure of birding, game viewing and also a trip on the River Nile and also the greatest experiences of chimpanzee tracking.
So as you go to the lovely region of Uganda, the safari here provides you a lot of exciting thrills in this part of the world. the Uganda gorilla Safari Trek and enjoy the tours here.
On the first day you may go to the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National park trek here in Uganda. You would leave by early morning for the Impenetrable forest in Bwindi. The drive is very long and is a really enjoyable with a halt at Equator for having lunch.
Then you can visit the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest which is the place where you get to see the mountain gorillas which are endangered animals.
Bwindi forest gives you a great sight of the beautiful landscape and it is extremely dense and is traversed by many animal trails that gives you access to all the tourists here. There is an arrangement to stay overnight here at the lodges.
The next day you can have breakfast here in the forest and and go on the gorilla trek. You can spend an hour with the gorillas and see their activities. This is an experience that leaves you totally in love with the exciting and humbling adventures that you encounter here. In the evening you would come back to the camp and relax for the night.
On the third day you may visit Kampala, and after an early breakfast and see the lovely places of interest lying along the highway. After seeing the innumerable gorillas here you would go back with a great travel memory and wish to come back to this part of Africa for a great gorilla safari experience.
Places to Visit
Uganda has the great natural beauty which led Winston Churchill to call it ‘the pearl of Africa’. There is abundant wildlife (including the famous mountain gorillas), the excellent climate that contribute to the attractions here .the facilities that the visa
Location & fact Sheet
Uganda is located in Central/East Africa. Area It has an area of 241,038 sq km (93,065 sq miles). Population Has a population of 30.9 million Population Density The population density is 128.2 per sq km. Kampala (Capital city).
Passport, Visa & Health Requirement
Passport valid for at least six months from date of entry to Uganda required by all nationals Visas Required by all nationals of Cyprus and Malta and diplomatic passport holders of Italy. Visa Note (a) Although transit passengers do require a visa, they are able to obtain one at the airport.
Getting to Uganda by Air Airline is very easy today than in the past. There are several international airlines serving Uganda including British Airways (website: www.britishairways.com), Emirates (website: www.emirates.com), Turkish Airlines, Ethiopian Airlines, South Africa Airlines, KLM Royal Dutch, Rwanda Air, Kenya Airways (website: www.kenya-airways.com) and more. There are no direct flights from London or New York. However you can easily book connecting flights. The Departure Tax US$20 and visas currently ciost USD100 and can be obtained on arrival at the Entebbe Airport for many nationals from different countries.
By Air is possible in Uganda. travelers can use Aero Link Uganda which operates some scheduled flights and Eagle Air (website: www.flyeagleairuganda.com) offers flights from Entebbe to most major towns by charter flights. Charter flights are also available, including to some national parks including Murchison Falls national park, Bwindi National Park, Queen Elizabeth National Park and Kidepo National Park.You can easily book charter flights through licensed tour operators and travel agents as well as airline offices. Getting Around by Water There are local boat and ferry services that link islands to main land such as Entebbe to the Ssese Islands. However, development of water transport in Uganda still lags behind in terms of transportation that suits international tourism.
A passport valid for three months beyond the date of entry, visa and evidence of yellow fever vaccination are required. Visas are available at Entebbe Airport or may be obtained from the Embassy of the Republic of Uganda. Airline companies may also require travelers have a visa before boarding. Travelers should obtain the latest information and details from the Embassy of the Republic of Uganda.
Visitors should bring personal supplies of medicines that are likely to be needed, but enquire first at the embassy or high commission whether such supplies may be freely imported. Comprehensive health insurance is essential and should include cover for emergency air repatriation in case of serious accident or illness. The Ugandan health service has still not recovered from the mass departure of foreign personnel in 1972 and there are medical facilities of a reasonable standard only in large towns and cities.
Yellow fever: A yellow fever vaccination certificate is required from travelers over 1 year of age coming from infected areas.
Malaria risk: predominantly due to P. falciparum – exists throughout the year in the whole country. P. falciparum resistant to chloroquine and sulfadoxine – pyrimethamine reported.
Recommended prophylaxis: mefloquine.
It is recommended that visitors take precautions against typhoid, bilharzia, hepatitis and cholera in particular.
AIDS/HIV is prevalent
Uganda can’t compete with Kenya or Tanzania for sheer density of wildlife, but with 500 species of mammal it has amazing diversity; and with the opening of the Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary, the big five are all here again. Uganda is also home to more than half the world’s mountain gorillas, and viewing them in their natural environment is one of the main attractions for visitors. On top of this, Uganda has a good number of chimpanzees and there are several places where you can track them. With well over 1000 species recorded inside its small borders, Uganda is one of the best bird-watching destinations in the world.
While traveling through Uganda you will be mostly on tarred roads and they are in reasonably good condition. There are some long days in the vehicle, but the scenery makes up for it! There are some really bad sections of dirt road. The safari vehicles you will be traveling in are a little slower on the road than a saloon vehicle or a smaller ‘family’ 4×4.
US Dollars cash is the preferred option when traveling in Uganda. We suggest a combination of small denomination notes (USD 1, 5, 10, 50) as well as USD 100 bills – make sure they are POST 2000 and have the ‘large heads’ on – (the older notes depict the various senators with ‘smaller heads’ – this may sound a bit cryptic, but when you compare the notes it will become clearer. Note that whilst more convenient in terms of changing currency and not having to carry around huge amounts of Shillings, there is normally a surcharge on the smaller notes when changing them. Keep your slips, you are able to change surplus shillings back to cash if you have proof of purchase when leaving the country. GOOD IDEA to get some Uganda Shillings early on in the trip; the airport provides an opportunity to do this.
These are difficult to change and REALLY bad rates of exchange generally apply, and are often VERY difficult to cash, even in Kampala and especially over weekends and after hours. Throughout the rest of the country, changing TC’s is almost impossible.
Bank cards (hole in the wall ones) that work internationally in other parts of the world (even in Africa like South Africa) GENERALLY DO NOT work here in spite of them claiming to be internationally usable all over the world!! Do not rely on this, though you may be lucky!!
Credit cards – there is at least a 5% surcharge when using a credit card, and they are not accepted at very many places at all. Cashing money on CC can ONLY be done in banking hours (9-3pm weekdays) at Barclays Bank KAMPALA & rates of exchange are not good either & it takes time.
Spending money – you will need to cater for drinks, curios etc – USD 20-40 / day plus the odd dinner not included (please refer to your itinerary)
Exchange rate USH 1800 = USD1 approx, at time of writing January 06.
It is a strong recommendation that you are covered by some type of medical insurance. Should you require further information please do not hesitate to contact us. Minimum cover should be $25 000 for medical and related expenses.
240 volts AC, 50Hz.
Your personal safety and well being is our prime concern – but do not tempt petty theft, pickpockets, etc. When near markets or in the centre of Kampala/Entebbe – be careful with personal possessions and cameras, etc. A “moon bag” is a useful item. We recommend that you keep cash, travelers cheques and credit cards on your person at all times. Some lodges/camps/hotels have safe keeping facilities – please enquire on an individual basis, should you require this service.