Facts about Uganda and Why visit Uganda?
Are you planning your Uganda safari? Some of the activities you might want include on your itinerary are gorilla trekking, chimpanzee trekking, wildlife safari, birding tour and cultural tours. However please note that there is so much more to experience in Uganda, and whatever your interests it is important that you plan well and have enough facts for a great Uganda experience.
Location of Uganda
Uganda lies across the Equator at the shores of Lake Victoria – the largest lake in Africa and second largest fresh water body in the world. The Ssese Islands and other small islands in Lake Victoria lie within Uganda’s borders giving one an African beach holiday experience away from the bustle of the cities. The snow capped Rwenzori mountains are a unique feature giving one the experience of ‘snow at the Equator’ if they are resilient enough to hike to towards the Margherita peak.
Uganda is a small country almost the size of United Kingdom or the state of Oregon in the US, with a land surface of 236,040 square kilometres making it possible for one to visit numerous attractions when on their vacation. One can choose to combine different activities in one holiday safari of say two weeks – one will visit some savannah national parks for birding tours and wildlife safaris, visit the forested national parks for primates; gorilla trekking, chimpanzee trekking and golden monkey trekking.
Uganda’s climate allows you to visit any time of the year. Uganda is a tropical country and much of it lies on the African plateau between 900-1,500 meters above sea level. This gives Uganda a pleasant tropical climate, with temperatures averaging between 21 and 28 degrees Celsius during the day and between 12 and 18 degrees Celsius at night making it great for your gorilla trekking, wildlife safaris and birding tour throughout the year.
The hottest months are from December to February, with 28 to 30 degrees Celsius. The rainy seasons are from April to May and October to November, it can rain for a short while in Uganda before the sun comes out so do not hesitate to visit for your gorilla safari, wildlife safari or birding safari even during the ‘rainy’ months. For those wanting to hike in the Rwenzori, the periods of December to February are advised or June to August. The Karamoja region which is home to Pian UPe game reserve, Bokora-Matheniko game reserve and Kidepo valley national park has one rainy season which runs from May – Sept. Please note that because of climate change over the years; sometimes the seasons have been disrupted with some ‘dry months’ having more unusual rains and ‘rain seasons’ having more sun.
Gorilla trekking, Wildlife safaris and Scenery
Uganda is ‘The Pearl of Africa’, a name given by Winston Churchill because of its rare natural beauty, freshness, and vibrant spirit. It is not difficult to see why the great man, who had traversed Kenya and served in Sudan and South Africa, was captivated by Uganda in particular.
Uganda is where great savannas of Kenya and Tanzania and the vast tropical rain-forests of Congo meet. Uganda has amazing features of attraction with 10 national parks hosting several mammals with the most notable being the big five, several bird species, different primate species, insects, tree species, etc. Uganda is also home to 13 game reserves with several forests.
Some of the irresistible attractions in Uganda include; More than half of the world’s Gorillas in Uganda, primates such as Chimpanzees, Golden monkeys, Monkeys etc, the source of the mighty Nile in Jinja which is a setting for some of the world’s best white water rafting. For the mountain and hiking lovers, you will find the snow-capped Rwenzori Mountains, the Virunga Volcanoes, and Mount Elgon, with spectacular hiking opportunities and gorgeous scenery. Uganda is home to small and big beautiful lakes like Lake Victoria, Lake Albert, Lake George, Lake Edward, Lake Kyoga , Lake Bunyonyi, Lake Mutanda etc. and numerous Crater lakes found in the Albertine region. The Ssese Islands found in Kalangala district on Lake Victoria consist of 84 islands that make for a perfect getaway to unique and quiet pristine beaches.
Even though Uganda is little known compared to other safari destinations, it should be on your travel list because if offers more that just your typical safari with beautiful and unmatched scenery and landscapes.
Uganda Culture and People
Uganda has a multitude of cultural tourism sites and events reflecting the diversity of over 40 tribes. The country has many chiefdom’s and kingdoms with a rich history. They currently have no political powers but have cultural influence, with some being more active than others. The country’s most ancient inhabitants are confined in the hilly southwest region – they are the formerly hunter gather people known as the Batwa.
The earlier inhabitants left behind a rich legacy of rock paintings, such as those at the Nyero Rock Shelter near Kumi. The current Kingdoms are the Bantu kingdoms of Buganda, Bunyoro, Busoga and Tooro. According to tradition, these centuries old kingdoms arose from the medieval kingdoms of Batembuzi and Bacwezi.
Is Uganda safe?
Kampala is the capital city of Uganda located about 40 Kilometers from Entebbe International Airport where most tourists arrive. Kampala is a modern cosmopolitan city, which reflects the ongoing economic growth and political stability that has characterized Uganda for more than 3 decades. Kampala is famous for its active nightlife and vibrant people, diversity of cultures and culinary variety.
Uganda has the reputation as ‘Africa’s friendliest Country’, with a tradition of hospitality and a remarkably low level of crime and hassle directed at tourists. You are however encouraged to be cautious just like in any other destination. Experience Ugandans warmness of heart, the amazing cuisine with a constant supply of organic fresh vegetable and fruits and learn about the rich cultural heritage.
At Kagera Safaris we will arrange your African holiday safari to Uganda according to your interests; Gorilla trekking & Chimp trekking, wildlife tours, Birding safaris, Culture and community safaris, Photography, Water rafting, Mountain Hiking/mountaineering or Forest Hikes? Do you prefer a ’calm’ safari or an adventurous safari? Whatever it is, you will find it here!