One of Africa’s hidden secrets, Uganda is a fantastic destination for more adventurous holidaymakers.
It’s landlocked, but it does have significant coastline on Lake Victoria. Most international flights will arrive in the capital, Kampala.
Kampala is a pleasant surprise to first-timers. It’s modern, with swanky bars, restaurants, and luxury hotels that rival more established city-break choices. It has plenty of green spaces and lots going on, so it’s certainly worth a few days at one end of your trip.
Bwindi Forest National Park
Surely Uganda’s greatest tourist attraction, Bwindi National Park is home to just under half of the world’s surviving mountain gorillas – around 360 – and is a World Heritage Site. The area is lush rainforest, covering around 330 square kilometres. Following high-profile coverage over many years, it’s one of the most famous national parks in East Africa and one of the continent’s oldest habitats.
For more details on where to see gorillas, visit the Bwindi Forest National Park website.
It’s a truly amazing place, and even if you don’t see gorillas, there are another 120 species of mammal and 360 species of birds, several of which are endangered, not to mention the plant life. Don’t expect to see them all, though, as the forest really is dense!
Mgahinga Gorilla National Park
If you don’t visit Bwindi, it is worth visiting Mgahinga. At a teeny 34 square kilometres, it’s Uganda’s smallest national park in size but certainly not in stature; the rainforest covers three extinct volcanoes and is also home to gorillas. Mgahinga is not as popular as Bwindi for gorilla trekking in Uganda (the resident gorilla family spends a lot of time across the border in Rwanda or the DRC) but that does not mean it’s not worth visiting.
A trekker’s paradise, it has some quite challenging routes that bring you up close and personal with the spectacular scenery and bird and animal life.
Uganda is a lesser-known holiday destination in Africa. Although it isn’t as established as South Africa or Kenya, it still has a lot to offer. Specialist tour operators such as www.steppestravel.co.uk will be able to help with details and organisation, and the Government website gives up-to-date travel advice on all countries.
Always check with your local health clinic about recommended immunisations and make sure you have adequate travel insurance before you travel.