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9 Compelling Reasons To Visit Uganda

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There are plenty of reasons you should make Uganda your next travel destination or, at least, on your travel bucket list. The country is simply breathtaking, with one of the greenest sceneries you’ll have to see. Uganda shows herself in beautifully curved landscapes, rivers perfect for kayaking and crystal lakes, incredible wildlife, a haven for bird watchers, tropical weather, and friendly locals.

This must have been why, after a visit, Sir Winston Churchill called the country ‘the Pearl of Africa.’ Uganda’s beauty and thrill is something you would want to experience, at least, once in your life. If this hasn’t triggered your interest in touring Uganda yet, the following nine reasons might do just that. The Pearl of Africa offers many reasons to visit, including the following:

  1. Responsible Tourism

    Beautiful landscape in southwestern Uganda, at the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park, at the borders of Uganda, Congo and Rwanda. The Bwindi National Park is the home of the mountain gorillas

One of the most beautiful things about Uganda is that it takes extra effort to promote responsible tourism and protect its natural heritage. When you make a trip to this magnificent country, the money goes to preserving the ecosystem and enhancing the locals’ lives. Its best practices include tour companies hiring from the local community.

In addition, tourism in Uganda isn’t all about safari and the wild. The country offers an opportunity for volunteering in different sectors. You get to share your knowledge and help local communities as you enjoy the beauty and welcoming environment that’s Uganda. One of the areas for volunteer tourism is in healthcare—click to find out more here.

  1. To Enjoy People And Culture

Ugandans are exceedingly polite and welcoming, always extending greetings to guests with a wave and broad smiles. They also have a fantastic sense of humor. But the country is also quite culturally diverse, with more than 50 tribes, each with its own set of cultural norms, beliefs, languages, staple foods, and ways of life.

However, most Ugandans speak English, so there’s isn’t much of a language barrier with English-speaking tourists. Visiting Uganda lets you learn a lot about the fascinating local cultures like that of the Batwa people. They’re considered the world’s shortest people, also known as forest people, who used to coexist peacefully with mountain gorillas.

You also get to visit numerous historical and cultural sites, including the Mparo and Karambu Royal tombs, Amabere caves, Igongo cultural center, and the Kitagata hot springs. There’s no way you can’t get enough of the cultural tales you get here, particularly if you’re interested in history, tradition, and culture.

  1. Perfect Weather

Perfect weather is relative to everyone, but you may say that Uganda enjoys a relatively balanced climate throughout the year. The temperatures are mainly between 24 and 30°C. However, there are two dry seasons between June-September and December-February, which are considered the best times to visit for safaris. You get to see a lot of animals around the water holes at this time.

The months of March-May are considered a wet season. This is when the lush green is more evident. November is also quite wet and a good time for bird watchers to see migratory birds.

  1. The Breathtaking Scenery

The first thing that’s hard to notice when you land in Uganda is the scenery. The country scores quite highly in the beauty department.

The country is home to Lake Victoria which is the second-largest freshwater lake globally and also happens to be the main reservoir for the world’s longest river, the Nile. This river displays its splendor by flowing across the country’s entire length, leaving green along its way. In fact, water is a prevalent feature in Uganda with the presence of various lakes, waterways, and waterfalls almost everywhere you go.

The west side of the country displays six of the highest peaks in Africa in the Rwenzori Mountains. Glaciers beautifully cap this range of mountains, giving you a picturesque view that stays in your mind. Uganda’s landscape also showcases dense forests as well as open plains and lush wetlands. These elements combined create a rich and beautiful scenery and environment that supports the country’s diverse ecosystem and wildlife.

  1. The Local Cuisine Variety

Thanks to Uganda’s excellent climate and fertile soil, the country benefits from its agricultural activities with plenty to eat. So, what’s a visit to a foreign land without food? There’s an abundance of different varieties of fruit and vegetables. Every Ugandan tribe has a staple food, making trying the variety of the local cuisines an adventure in and of itself.

  1. To Track Gorillas

There’s no forgetting that moment when you see a gorilla face to face, and that’s one more reason to visit Uganda. The country hosts the highest number of mountain gorillas, with over half of the world’s population living in Bwindi National Forest. This is a 331 square foot impenetrable jungle found in the southwest part of the country.

However, the fun is in the tracking experience, too, but you have to be sure about your physical strength and limitations. The tracking isn’t for the faint of heart or body. The trek starts at early dawn through the jungle. You have to be dressed for the part as there’s a lot of scaling steep paths and muddy ravines just to see these wild creatures that are said to share 98% of their DNA with humans.

  1. To See The Wildlife

Apart from the thrill of seeing the close human cousins, the gorillas, Uganda’s other main attraction is wildlife. The country has a large variety of wildlife you may want to see in its ten national parks and game reserves. Here’s a sneak preview of what to expect in your game drive:

  • Tree climbing lions: seeing a lion may not be new to you, but a pack of lions on a tree certainly is. The Queen Elizabeth National Park lions prefer to get their shade up in the tree branches rather than under them.
  • Rare bird species: If you love bird watching, then you have one more reason to visit Uganda. There are a lot of birds to see, and you’re guaranteed to add a few new species to your list. You’ll need to visit the Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary which houses over 138 bird species. While the most popular attraction here is the blue turaco, you’ll also get to see some sunbirds, flufftails, and nicators, among many other familiar species.
  • Chimpanzees: You also get to see chimps, another close human relative, if you visit Kabale forest. It’s exciting to see and learn various chimpanzee behavior, including grooming, feeding, and mating. Then there are the exciting calls you’ll hear from them during these sessions.

But these aren’t the only animals you’ll see. As you continue with your game drive, you’ll come across hippos in the lakes and rivers; a parade of elephants crossing the road and roaming in the wild; herds of zebras, leopards, Cape buffalos, antelopes, gazelles; and many other animals.

  1. For The Boat Safari

The best thing about visiting Uganda is that you get a variety of everything. You might be used to taking game drives, but what about a boat safari? This is another exciting and popular way to explore and spot wildlife. You don’t have to worry about a bumpy ride that might distract you from your purpose here. All you need is to sit comfortably and enjoy the view.

One particular place to enjoy this one-of-a-kind safari is on the Kazinga Channel. This 20-mile natural waterway connects lakes George and Edward. The canal goes right through Queen Elizabeth National Park where you’ll find most of the country’s wildlife. If you haven’t seen any hippos yet, you’re guaranteed to see quite a number here. Elephant sightings are common along the water channel.

  1. For The Raw Adventure Experience

For the most part, Uganda is raw and unspoiled, representing a rugged and exciting explorer feeling. Traveling to the remote countryside is sure to give the most undisturbed experience. Even with dirt and bumpy roads, the grassy plains, homesteads, and market stalls filled with fresh farm produce are enough to see and enjoy.

In addition to road trips, the country also offers an exciting chance to enjoy one of the region’s best kayaking and whitewater rafting along the Nile. This adrenaline-pumping activity also lets you enjoy the spectacular scenery in the calmer water stretches between the rapids. But the water adventure doesn’t end here.

A visit to Lake Bunyonyi in southwestern Uganda offers another beautiful but more relaxed water adventure where you get to see the lake’s 29 islands on traditionally made canoes. You also learn the cultural history behind the islands, which are tales you don’t want to miss. You also have a chance to tube down the Nile or canoe on Lake Victoria. For those who believe there’s no fun without fear, you can go bungee jumping at the Bujagali falls.

Takeaway

Uganda is an excellent place to visit because of the reasons shared above and many more. The country’s beauty doesn’t only lie in the landscapes, sceneries, and wildlife. It’s also in the welcoming and friendly nature of the people of Uganda, their traditions, and their culture. There’s a lot to see and do in Uganda, and you should include it in your must-see places in the world.

Author Bio:

Beryl Redstone is a travel writer interested in sharing insights on exotic travel destinations of the world. Having traveled far and wide, her insights are raw and helpful to other travel enthusiasts.

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