Uganda Holidays: an Overview

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.

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Louise Fitzgerald, Ra and Charlotte are here to help give you the inside track.

Why we think you’ll love it

  • One of the most striking features is the lushness of the country - from the air, much of the country seems to shimmer
  • Any country that's home to a place called Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park has got to be worth a visit, right?
  • Uganda's landscapes are diverse and stunning, from the vastness of Lake Victoria (the size of Ireland) to the intensely farmed and intricately terraced hillsides outside the National Parks

More on Travelling to Uganda...

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 Rwenzoris 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.

Did you know

  • The average church service in Uganda lasts between four and six hours
  • The bicycle is the main mode of transport
  • There is a rule in Uganda that if you cut down one tree you need to replant three
  • Banana is a very famous fruit in Uganda - you can even get wine produced from bananas
  • The country was referred to as the pear of Africa by Winston Churchill
  • Fried grasshoppers is a delicacy in the country

Top picks for Uganda

Elephants in Kidepo National Park

Wildlife in Uganda

Uganda

The wildlife (and primarily the primates) often grab the headlines, but Uganda’s landscapes are equally stunning, from the vastness of Lake Victoria (the size of Ireland) to the intensely farmed and intricately terraced hillsides outside the National Parks. And on the subject of National Parks, Uganda’s offer a huge diversity of landscapes and wildlife experiences making it perfect for safaris.

What to do

Apoka Safari Lodge

Apoka Safari Lodge

Uganda

Apoka is the only lodge in the middle of Kidepo Valley National Park in the heart of the Narus Valley.

Where to stay

Ndali Lodge

Ndali Lodge

Uganda

Ndali Lodge sits on the edge of Lake Nyinambuga – a flooded volcano crater in the Bunyaruguru crater lake region of Western Uganda, and is the perfect overnight stop for anyone heading from Queen Elizabeth National Park to the Murchison Falls National Park.

Where to stay

Bwindi Lodge

Bwindi Lodge

Uganda

Bwindi Lodge is the ideal place from which to explore the forests of Bwindi for their elusive inhabitants, habituated gorilla and chimpanzee groups.

Where to stay

Mihingo Lodge

Mihingo Lodge

Uganda

Mihingo is a peaceful lodge on a kopje adjacent to Lake Mburo National Park and is the perfect stop off point on the journey to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park.

Where to stay

Ishasha Wilderness Camp

Ishasha Wilderness Camp

Uganda

Ishasha Wilderness Camp is located on the Ntungwe River in the remote southern sector of Queen Elizabeth National Park.

Where to stay

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