Uganda is still virtually untouched and pure. It is a country of many surprises with rolling hills, sparkling crater lakes, abundant wildlife, adrenaline activities and, of course, the endangered mountain gorillas. Moreover, Uganda is still authentically African, lush green and home to the friendliest people.
Uganda is often referred as the “Pearl of Africa”.
Squeezed in between Kenya, Rwanda, Congo, Sudan and Tanzania, Uganda’s parks and reserves are ideal retreats for the discerning eco-tourist. Our tailor made Uganda tours are perfect for anyone looking for a truly authentic African experience.
The most profound attraction in Uganda are the silverback and blackback Mountain Gorillas, as well as other primates including chimpanzees and Golden Monkeys, all found in Bwindi Impenetrable Forests, Mgahinga National Park and on Ngamba Island. The mighty volcanic and non-volcanic mountains are a major attraction for hiking activities. With almost a third of the country covered by water, the fresh water lakes offer opportunities for water activities and sports. Lake Victoria, the largest in Africa, dominates the southern border of the country and offers sport fishing, sailing and lake cruises.
The Eastern region is a must visit for all water activities and adventurous visitors with boat rides, white water rafting, bungee jumping in a variety of destinations. Increasingly popular for adventurers is white water rafting on the River Nile.
Uganda safaris are vastly different to anywhere else in Africa – there are no tarmac roads in the parks and each foray into the wild depends on patience and the tracking skills of your guide. Which is as it should be, because Africa is truly wild at heart!
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is located in south western Uganda on the edge of western rift valley bordering the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) shared by Rukungiri, Kabale and Kisoro districts in Uganda. This is a real tropical rainforest, spread over a series of steep ridges and valleys. It is regarded as one of the most biologically diverse forest in Africa. In the local language “bwindi” (from “mubwindi”) means “dark place”, referring to the impenetrable nature of the swamp located southeast of the Park, according to legends.
There are 11 species of primates, including chimpanzees, Hoest’s, red-tailed and blue monkeys, black and white colobus, olive baboons. Particularly, Bwindi is home to half of the worlds mountain gorillas population, remaining in the world. There are 346 species of birds recorded (Bwindi contains 90% of all Albertine Rift endemics, difficult to see in any other place in East Africa) and 200 species of butterflies. Mammals count is only 30 (buffaloes, leopards, elephants) and there are 324 species of trees.
The main activity is “gorilla tracking” and there are 10 habituated families of mountain gorillas. Hiking trails are open to people to sight birds, butterflies, and primates, (along the Munyaga, Waterfall, Rushura, River Ivi and Bamboo zone trials). Specially recommended for bird watchers are the River Ivi and Mubwindi swamp nature walks. Cultural walks to Buhoma village community can be organised to see the traditional homesteads, the local healer, the banana brewing, handicraft making and cultural performance.
The distance from Kampala to Bwindi is 550km with some 400km on bitumen surface via Kabale. The Kampala via Rukungiri route is a slightly shorter distance however either route will necessitate 9-10 hours on the road to reach your accommodation in Buhoma.
Mgahinga Gorilla National Park sits high in the clouds, at an altitude of between 2,227m and 4,127m. As its name suggests, it was created to protect the rare mountain gorillas that inhabit its dense forests, and it is also an important habitat for the endangered golden monkey.
As well as being important for wildlife, the park also has a huge cultural significance, in particular for the indigenous Batwa pygmies. This tribe of hunter-gatherers was the forest’s “first people”, and their ancient knowledge of its secrets remains unrivalled.
Mgahinga’s most striking features are its three conical, extinct volcanoes, part of the spectacular Virunga Range that lies along the border region of Uganda, Congo and Rwanda. Mgahinga forms part of the much larger Virunga Conservation Area which includes adjacent parks in these countries. The volcanoes’ slopes contain various ecosystems and are biologically diverse, and their peaks provide a striking backdrop to this gorgeous scenery.
The Rwenzoris – the fabled Mountains of the Moon – lie in western Uganda along the Uganda-Congo border. The equatorial snow peaks include the third highest point in Africa, while the lower slopes are blanketed in moorland, bamboo and rich, moist montane forest. Huge tree-heathers and colorful mosses are draped across the mountainside with giant lobelias and “everlasting flowers”, creating an enchanting, fairytale scene.
Rwenzori Mountains National Park protects the highest parts of the 120km-long and 65km-wide Rwenzori mountain range. The national park hosts 70 mammals and 217 bird species including 19 Albertine Rift endemics, as well as some of the world’s rarest vegetation.
The Rwenzoris are a world-class hiking and mountaineering destination. A nine- to twelve-day trek will get skilled climbers to the summit of Margherita – the highest peak – though shorter, non-technical treks are possible to scale the surrounding peaks.
For those who prefer something a little less strenuous, neighboring Bakonzo villages offer nature walks, homestead visits home cultural performances and accommodation, including home-cooked local cuisine.
Kibale National Park contains one of the loveliest and most varied tracts of tropical forest in Uganda. Forest cover, interspersed with patches of grassland and swamp, dominates the northern and central parts of the park on an elevated plateau.
The park is home to a total of 70 mammal species, most famously 13 species of primate including the chimpanzee.
It also contains over 375 species of birds. Kibale adjoins Queen Elizabeth National Park to the south to create a 180km-long corridor for wildlife between Ishasha, the remote southern sector of Queen Elizabeth National Park, and Sebitoli in the north of Kibale National Park.
The Kibale-Fort Portal area is one of Uganda’s most rewarding destinations to explore. The park lies close to the tranquil Ndali-Kasenda crater area and within half a day’s drive of the Queen Elizabeth, Rwenzori Mountains and Semuliki National Parks, as well as the Toro-Semliki Wildlife Reserve.