Unique Uganda: The Myriad Attractions That Await You
The landlocked nation of Uganda in East Africa has a diverse landscape that is truly a paradise for nature lovers. From snow-capped mountains to serene lakes and cascading waterfalls, Uganda’s natural beauty allows discerning travelers to enjoy the sights and sounds that are unique, fascinating and humbling.
If you are traveling to Uganda, here are a few attractions that await you:
Watching Mountain Gorillas
One of the most popular attractions in Uganda is the mountain gorillas. They are found only in Uganda, in the Bwindi National Park. These gorillas are different from other gorillas, as they have adapted to high altitude and the colder climes with relative ease.
Living small groups of about 10, each group is led by the most dominant gorilla with a silverback. This gorilla makes all decisions for the group and also protects the other members of the tribe. There are approximately 400 gorillas inhabiting the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest that is an integral part of the national park.
You can choose to live in lodges dotting the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, where the gorillas live throughout the year. Be sure to pack warm clothes and the cold mountain air can be bone-chilling.
Besides gorillas, you can see other animals, particularly mammals like a green monkey, duiker, Schmidt’s red-tailed monkey, and black and white colobus monkey. And if you are already excited, and planning a trip to the country to wrestle these magnificent beasts, start packing your bags and book your flight tickets now, as December to February is one of the best seasons to visit Uganda. And in case, you have issues regarding how to plan your trip, you can check out Mojhi who have helped out thousands of visitors in planning their Ugandan Safari.
Birdwatching in Uganda
Make sure you carry a pair of binoculars when you head to Bwindi National Park. The national park is home to numerous birds, including Chapin’s flycatcher, black bee-eaters, African green broadbills, Shelley’s crimson wings, black-billed turaco, and Turner’s eremomela.
The best time to visit Bwindi Impenetrable Forest for birdwatching is during the wet months, as the bird activity increases and they begin mating and nesting. Plan your visit anytime from March to April and then from September to November.
The forest is filled with 350 species of birds and out of these, 23 species are indigenous to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest. There are numerous trails that meander through the forest that are apt for birdwatchers.
Explore Kibale Forest National Park
As you move northeast of the Queen Elizabeth National Park, which is located on the western side of the country, you will enter Kibale Forest, National Park. While most people identify Uganda with the magnificent misty mountain gorillas, Uganda is also home to a sizable chimpanzee population.
You can take the trail that starts from the Kanyanchu Visitor Center in the park to spot chimpanzees in their natural habitat. This three-hour long walking trail not only allows you to enjoy close encounters with chimpanzees, but you can also get amazed by the diverse wildlife living in the forest, including grey-cheeked mangabeys, blue and red-tailed monkeys and the red colobus mangabeys.
Visit Lake Victoria
No visit to Uganda is complete without a visit to Lake Victoria. It has the distinction of being the largest freshwater lake in the tropics. The lake spans three countries – Uganda, Kenya, and Tanzania – and is the source for the mighty Nile.
There are islands and reefs in the lake, which is home to 200 species of fish. In the vicinity of the lake, you will be able to spot many of the 350 species of birds. The lake is renowned for its salubrious climate and the fascinating lake tours allow you to explore the lake and take in the glistening and shimmering waters and its inhabitants.
Explore Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary
Just north of Kampala, the capital of Uganda, you will be able to visit the Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary. It works to protect the wild rhinos in the country. Presently, there are just 15 rhinos in the sanctuary, but there are other fascinating wildlife and avian life.
You can enjoy bird watching or you can go on nature walks to appreciate the natural heritage of Uganda. You can also plan a trip to Murchison Falls, which is in the vicinity. However, it is doubtful you will go anywhere once you see crocs, rhinos, hippos, and antelopes living in complete harmony in the preserve.
The sanctuary is spread over an area of 7,000 hectares and is guarded by 80 rangers and guards. The Rangers also double up as tour guides and take you around the sanctuary and point out the animals and birds while providing you details about them.
Enjoy Uganda Like Never Before!
While you are in Uganda, make some time to explore Kampala. The capital is a safe and calm city and has a laidback and relaxed ambiance when you compare it with Nairobi. It has a huge expatriate community and hence, you will not be disappointed with the choice of modern and plush restaurants and bars. The markets in the city sell a range of craft made by local artisans, clothing and other produce. Be sure to visit the temples, cathedrals, galleries, and museums, including the Uganda National Museum.