In 1907, the early explorer, Winston Churchill referred to Uganda as a “pearl of Africa”. This was because of the magnificent form and color, the profusion of landscapes and brilliant life, the golden sunsets and sunrises among others. Planning a trip to Uganda can be overwhelming, because of the number of activities available to engage in. The 10 national parks, 13 game reserves, and other various attractions in the country have stunning features, inspiring beasts, and a lot to be shared with travelers. Various treasures that lie within and blankets of green can’t be exhausted with a single trip. This is why we have shared the top 8 must do’s in Uganda.
#Murchison Falls National park
This is Uganda’s largest conservation area and it was established in 1952. The park offers water and land safaris. It is here that the Nile River forces itself into a 7m gap on the Devils Cauldron falling from a 45m cliff to form the stunning waterfall that is the world’s most powerful. The palm-dotted savanna side of the park boasts plenty of wildlife that includes Giraffes, leopards, hyenas, lions, buffaloes, antelopes, and elephants among the many.
#Ziwa Rhino sanctuary-Walk with the Rhinos
Rhinos are some of the most vulnerable animals on the African continent. Most have been hunted down for their horn and they are left in a few countries in Africa. Uganda has a population of about 37 southern white Rhinos. 2 are at Uganda wildlife Education Centre (UWEC) and the rest at Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary. While they are not in many wild places, 176km from Kampala at Ziwa Sanctuary, visitors can track rhinos on foot. This is an experience that will make your big 5 safari in Uganda come to be fulfilled.
If you are a thrill or adventure seeker, Jinja has no shortage either. It has been dubbed as the “Adventure Capital of East Africa”. The city is located in Eastern Uganda 84 km from Kampala and hosts the source of the world’s longest River-Nile. The Nile River boasts various water tourism activities both on and alongside the river.
Experience Rafting, kayaking, tubing, river boarding all on the white waters of the Nile rapids, Bungee jump, mountain bike, horse ride or take a cruise to the source of the Nile where it starts its 3 months journey to the Mediterranean Sea among the many activities to do here.
#Queen Elizabeth national park
The park has a fabulous rift valley location and the Rwenzori Mountains in its backdrop. It is the second-largest park after Murchison falls and has the most ecosystems from open water, swamps, forest, savanna, and mash. It hosts predators and offers the best sightings of lions, leopards, hyenas, Elephants, hippos, chimpanzees in Kyambura gorge, and other wildlife experiences.
The volcanic actions that happened in the area over 3 million years ago, gave the park scenery, not in any other Ugandan park. The park is dotted with craters now either dry, filled with vegetation that has water, and are now crater lakes. It is one of Uganda’s most popular parks.
#Kibale Forest National park
This is 150km north of Queen Elizabeth National park. Hitting the trails of Kibale forest is a great primate experience that will get you to man’s closest relative-The chimpanzees. The park is a primate capital and hosts 13 primate species, most of any park in Uganda. Get a chance to witness swinging monkeys, birds, and of course track the chimpanzees as you walk on the 12km long trails in the lush green forest.
#Track the mountain gorillas
Only 3 countries in the world host mountain gorillas. The experience is offered by Uganda, Rwanda, and D.R. Congo (the latter receives few visitors because of security instabilities and diseases). Uganda offers the cheapest after D. R. Congo at 700 USD and hosts half of the population of these incredible giants in two parks of Bwindi Impenetrable and Mgahinga Gorilla national park on the southwestern side. It is crazily expensive but the experience of having a 1-hour encounter and moment to share the leafy and cold lounge with these great apes is a lifetime one.
Uganda has about 69 lakes and the lava dammed Lake Bunyonyi is the deepest in the country and second deepest on the African Continent. It is one of Uganda’s best waterfront chill-out spots for those who would want to relax after gorilla tracking. The 29 islands dotted lake offers activities that include swimming (the lake is bilharzia, crocodile, and hippo free), zip-lining, Island tours, kayaking, and mountain biking among others. It is one of Uganda’s most beautiful places.
#Walk with the zebras in Lake Mburo National park
Most break their long journeys between Bwindi and Kampala from here. The park is Uganda’s smallest savanna park and hosts fewer predators and is low on Africa’s big 5 but offers some of the great activities not offered by any other park.
Enjoy walking with the zebras, giraffes, impalas, elands among others on a guided walking safari. You can also watch wildlife on horseback and bicycles other than the traditional way of doing it in safari vehicles.
All these can be done on a combined safari or you can opt to do a few depending on your time frame though even the above do not exhaust what Uganda has to offer.