Visit Uganda; Visiting or coming back to Uganda is the best decision that one can do in order to raise the bar for any African safari. Uganda is a landlocked country bordered by Kenya in the east, Tanzania in the south, Rwanda in the south west, the democratic republic of Congo in the west and southern Sudan in the north. Uganda’s tourism sector is not as famous, but that doesn’t erase the fact that it is one of the best countries you would want to visit and therefore you should visit Uganda.
Uganda is easily accessible and is an affordable country compared to its neighboring countries, although, it is not a high standardized tourism destination as its neighbor. Despite, the image that Uganda carries offers it a stronger authentic edge and less predictable feature, this should be your assurance for a delightful vacation. The Uganda safaris exhibit a real African touch in all aspects, be it accommodation, hospitality among others.
The capital city of Uganda is Kampala with somehow common city features like business of the rush hours during the day and upscale city night life with a number of clubs ranging from budget to five stars such as big mike’s among others. Despite, Kampala is surrounded by small villages with farming as the known economic activity done in these suburbs; the suburbs of Kampala are awesome areas for a real community walk with a highlight of a real African setting. These are some of the things that will amuse you when you visit Uganda.
When you visit Uganda, you will see how Kampala capital city is connected with a strong road network, however, not well planned. The roads in the city are not in good condition, however new ones are being constructed with flyovers to reduce on the traffic jam during the rush hours. The roads that leave the city, Kampala, they are highway roads a better condition. Also the roads at the borders are under construction and renovation.
The people are hospitable and put a smile for those who visit Uganda and also the customer care is a supplement for every service you get. The children too will jump and smile when they see Europeans and other white travellers; they are referred to as muzungu or bazungu in plural. However, the English language in some areas is a barrier. Luganda is the commonly used language in Uganda and Kiswahili; especially in the eastern and northern region of the country.
Climate of Uganda
Despite the general equatorial climate of Uganda, it is not common in the country. A lot of factors modify the climate of an area, so, Ugandan climate varies from one region to another. And the climate of a particular area is responsible for the kind of economic activity lucrative in that particular area. Like agriculture, pastoralism, among others; tourism is not very much determined by climate.
The southern part of Uganda is the wettest region of the country; it is a great lake region with a number of forests which form the heavy rains for example Entebbe and kampala area which lay on the northern shore of the biggest lake in the world; lake victoria. The southern region has heavy rain showers almost all through the year. Despite, the heavy rainfall is received in March to June and November to December. On a contrary, the northern region of Uganda is dry with a semi-arid climate; the months of November to February are drier than the rest of the year.
The north eastern region for Uganda is prone to periodic droughts throughout the year. The north eastern region is also depopulated due to the dry weather condition. However, as it is said, there is always a good in a bad, pian upe and kidepo valley national park is found in this part of the area; they are the most unique national parks with unique wild game.
On the other hand, the western region of Uganda has a modified tropical climate; the southern side is always wet with heavy rainfall peaks, which are received twice in a year. It is in the west that we find Queen Elizabeth national park, bwindi national park and mgahinga national parks which border Uganda and Congo.
The southern region of Uganda is where you find the largest lake in the world, Lake Victoria, with several islands, which have, lately, turned to be the famous tourism destinations for travellers who visit Uganda as well as the citizens of east Africa, for example, Sese Island and kalangala islands.
The best time to visit Uganda is the dry season because it allows the tourist activities in the national parks to be done perfectly without any interruption of rain; during the months of December, January and February. However, the national parks are beautiful during the wet season; the grass happens to be green with flowering plants all blossoming. Also the safaris are at a discount during the wet season, therefore, the choice stays in your hands, but Uganda is welcoming you anytime you choose to visit Uganda.
What to see when you Visit Uganda
Uganda is naturally endowed with a lot of natural resource, which have also act as the backbone for the tourism industry in the country. The forested areas are forest reserves with quite arrange of interesting inhabitants like monkeys, chimpanzees and the mountain gorillas. The savannah plains are occupied with wildlife and are gazette national parks for example Queen Elizabeth national park in western Uganda, Murchison falls national park among others.
Uganda has a number of protected areas ranging from game reserves such as ajai game reserve which is a real African safari experience for the visitors. It has deluxe safari camp that will give you an ideal epic time in the true African wilderness. Ajai game reserve is located in northern eastern Uganda on the banks of the Albert Nile and covers up an area of about 16000 hectares with wildlife like antelopes, birds, mongoose among others.
The national parks in Uganda give you a lifetime opportunity to spot a lot of wildlife plus the big five of Africa; found in Murchison falls national park. Queen Elizabeth is the most visited national park in Uganda and it’s where you can find the unique tree climbing lions of ishasha, and the wildest kasenyi plains where you can find a lot of lions and quite large numbers of Uganda kobs. Kazinga channel boat cruise is your only chance to see almost all the wild animals in queen Elizabeth at a glance; during the dry season the animals gather along kazinga channel for refreshments and water to quench their thirst.
Murchison falls national park is where you can find the beautiful Murchison falls. It is located in pakwach district north east of Uganda. The falls exhibit the true nature of Mother Nature flaunted in the way how water forces its way through a narrow gorge of just about 6m wide and then fall off a cliff of about 45m high. Murchison falls National Park also harbors the endangered Rothschild’s giraffes that look as beautiful as they stretch their slender necks through the shrubs. To note, only Murchison falls national park safaris that include visiting ziwa rhino sanctuary for the white rhino trekking; it is an en route destination to Murchison falls national park.
Bwindi national park is always the highlight for almost all Uganda safaris; it is a home for the renowned mountain gorillas. Even though bwindi national park has other primates like the white and black monkeys, blue colobus monkeys, and red tailed colobus monkeys among others, the mountain gorillas still stay the core attractions in the area. In fact, bwindi impenetrable national park is the best mountain gorilla trekking destination in Africa, and perhaps the whole world; it harbors about half of the world’s population of mountain gorillas.
For kibale national park safaris you will see all the primates you wish to see during your African safari. Kibale national park is referred to as the primate capital for the world; it harbors over 2000 chimpanzees, and black and white monkeys blue colobus monkey, and nocturnal primates like the pottos, galagos and the bus babies among others. Kibale national park is also a birders paradise with quite a unique selection of bird species like the forest francolins, herons, and weaver birds are also common in the forest, among others.
Lake mburo is a small national park but it is the only protected area where you can explore the park on foot. Also horse riding is another way you can enjoy Lake Mburo national park landscape views and the sunset in the west. You also get an opportunity to spot the zebras, lions, and also enjoy the boat cruises on Lake Mburo as you watch a number of water birds.
Other national parks include semliki national park, famous for the nature walks and birding safaris, mountain rwenzori and mountain Elgon national parks are awesome for mountain climbing as you enjoy the vegetation successions as you go up to the top. You can also enjoy the different animal species on the mountain like the golden monkeys, frogs, snakes, snails among others.
As if the national parks are not enough, you Uganda safari will give you a chance to enjoy the beautiful sights of Africa like lake bunyonyi; awesome for romantic dates and honey moons. Lake bunyonyi is the only clean lake where you can swim without worrying about catching diseases; it is bilharzia free and also crocodile free. Mabira forest is another interesting destination with big old natural tree species and a wide camping site for campers and picnics. Mabira forest is also another magnificent and unforgettable experience with the primates and birds that make the sights and sounds of the jungle along the nature walk trails into the forest.
Other attractions include the equator in kasese and kayabwe along masaka road, the Uganda museum in Kampala, the Kampala city night life will expose you to the beautiful Uganda people, happy and fun lovers. Kampala has a number of high standard hotels restaurants and bars where you can go to wind up your African safari as you groove to the African beats filling up the streets at night.
How to get in
Getting into Uganda is not a s hard as it is for other countries, although, Uganda is a land locked country. There are no much restrictions for migrations especially tourists; most east African and African countries are allowed pass into Uganda, visa free, however, other countries are required to apply for an online visa since 2016; the online visa system in Uganda is not so much enforced since the system is still at its starting stage.
A number of travellers would wish to process their visas at the borders, but the easier way is to check out for the Ugandan visa at the Ugandan embassy in your country; it reduces stress and delays at the border check points. To note; the 90 days tourist visa can serve you a free entry into Uganda and other east African countries like Kenya and Rwanda; the costs stay the same even for the single entry visa to Uganda.
Air travel is the easiest way for the international visitors to Uganda. Entebbe international airport is the hub for Uganda air travel and many flights to African cities. You can take a direct flight from turkey to Uganda by Turkish airline, from South Africa to Entebbe by South African airways and Kenya airways operates four flights to Uganda on a daily basis. KLM also operates direct flights from Amsterdam to Entebbe, Brussels airlines from Brussels to Uganda, Qatar airways direct from Doha to Entebbe et cetera.
Getting around Uganda
The easiest way to move around Uganda is the use of the tourist vehicle from your tour operator you booked your safari with; it is advantageous in terms of security because it comes along with a drive and a guide. However, the public means is cheaper and also fun way to enjoy the city; you can also chose to use the mini buses called the taxis locally or the boda bodas or motorbikes.
You can book your direct flights to different national parks through the chartered aircrafts such as aerolink and eagle airline, to note; there is also the new Uganda airline which is soon to start operation domestically by July 2019. You can also get to the national parks by bus through the Kampala bus terminal. You can also do a self-drive in Uganda and national parks as well, however, it is risky and also incurs cost of fuel; it is ideal to move with a local guide and a map clear showing directions if at all you are going to self-drive in Uganda. Welcome to Uganda any time of the year.