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Uganda Travel & Holiday Tips


Uganda’s great natural beauty led Winston Churchill to call it ‘the Pearl of Africa’. From the moment a visitor lands at Entebbe’s international airport, with its breathtaking equatorial location on the forested shore of island-strewn Lake Victoria, it is clear that Uganda is no ordinary safari destination.

Dominated by a century-old botanical garden alive with the chatter of acrobatic monkeys and colourful tropical birds, Entebbe itself is the least obviously urban of all comparably sized African towns. Just 40 km (25 miles) distant, sprawled across seven hills, there is the capital Kampala. The bright modern feel of this bustling, cosmopolitan city reflects the ongoing economic growth and political stability that has characterised Uganda since 1986. Since the late 1980s, the nation has managed to move on from the abyss of civil war and the economic catastrophe of the Idi Amin days.

Uganda is where the East African savannah meets the West African jungle. In this lush country, one can observe lions prowling the open plains, track chimpanzees through the rainforest undergrowth, then navigate tropical channels teeming with hippos and crocodiles before setting off into the misty mountains to stare deep into the eyes of a mountain gorilla.


The capital is set among hills with fine modern architecture, tree-lined avenues, cathedrals, mosques and palaces of the old Kingdom of Buganda, and the Uganda Museum. Kasubi tombs, where the remains of the kings of Buganda are buried, was a major tourist site. However, these were extensively damaged by fire in March 2010.


The second-largest town in Uganda lies on the shores of Lake Victoria. Though somewhat underpopulated, there is a very lively Saturday market. The Jinja market is in the very centre of town, and consists of multiple acres of colourful shacks squeezed on top of each other selling everything from chicken hearts to motor parts.

The nearby Owen Falls Dam is the source of the Nile.


The major gateway to Uganda for air travellers, it has fine botanical gardens and a lakeside beach, although bathing is not advisable because of the dangers of bilharzia.

Fort Portal

A good base for exploring the Ruwenzori Mountains, the hot springs at Bundibugyo and the Semluke Wildlife Reserve. There are many wonderful lodges within Kibale forest where you can spend a night or two in a tree house experiencing the sounds of the forests inhabitants including 8 species of monkey, chimpanzees, the forst elephant, bush pig, giant forest hog and much more.


The starting point for climbing expeditions to Mounts Muhavura and Mgahinga. There are seven lakes in the vicinity, which offer fishing and possible duck shooting, and the Bwindi Forest, where one can see mountain gorillas.


Set in fertile and lush country near Mount Elgon, this is popular with hikers and inexperienced mountaineers.

National Parks

Uganda has 10 national parks, 10 wildlife reserves and seven wildlife sanctuaries, some of which are acclaimed as being amongst Africa’s best. The country’s main wildlife attraction for foreign visitors is the rare mountain gorilla, found in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, both in the southwest of the country. Many other species of primates can also be seen, including chimpanzees and monkeys. Kibale National Park alone contains 12 different types of primate, while Ruwenzori National Park is regarded as one of the most spectacular in Africa. Other wildlife is present in abundance. A range of accommodation, from privately run lodges and tented camps to state-run camp sites, is available in the parks to suit all tastes and budgets.





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