In the 1960s Uganda was Africa's most popular tourist destination, but a certain Idi Amin put paid to that. Although it remains one of the world's poorest countries Uganda has emerged from the wilderness of political instability and tourism is once again, deservedly, on the up. It's not hard to see why that might be. The obvious attraction of a Uganda holiday is the plentiful primates, both gorillas and chimps, that so few other African countries can boast. Then there's the fact that landlocked Uganda may lack a coast but remains one of the lushest countries in Africa, dotted with picturesque lakes, wetlands and rivers.
Uganda's southern border is dominated by Lake Victoria, her blue waters funneling into the Nile, which journeys the length of Uganda. Yet more water is locked up in the glacier-capped and mysterious Rwenzori Mountains - the so-called 'Mountains of the Moon' - that fringe the western border. In fact, unlike many other African countries Uganda seems to adhere to natural borders rather than arbitrary colonial-era straight lines, with the far north bound by the Sahara and the east transforming into arid plains.
But for us, and in spite of the spectacular wildlife and landscapes, the highlight of any Uganda holiday is the Ugandans themselves. This is a country best explored by road and there's something hugely heart-warming about the waves and smiles from everyone you pass by on the road. The people you meet at lodges and National Parks are, to man and woman, extremely friendly and the guides supremely knowledgeable and amongst the very best in Africa.
Sold? We certainly are, and it gets better. Uganda is a country of great contrasts and presents opportunities for extraordinary experiences throughout the year, from gorilla and chimpanzee tracking, mountain climbing, whitewater rafting and excellent viewing of the wide variety of flora and fauna found in the National Parks.
Although the wildlife is not always prolific, Uganda is home to over 1,000 species including many that are endemic, and each park presents something different. Twitchers should note that the birdlife is second to none.
|Queen Elizabeth National Park|
|Bwindi Impenetrable Forest|
|Kibale National Park & Semliki Wildlife Reserve|