Here are some reasons why choose Uganda as your holiday destination this Easter. The below are some of attractions in Uganda which are ideal destination for you.
Gorilla Watching in Bwindi National Park
A main reason to visit Uganda from a nature perspective is to enjoy incredible mountain gorilla tours in Africa. The gorillas are only found in this region. Mountain gorillas differ from their lowland cousins as their fur is thicker and adapted to the colder temperature at high altitude.
Gorillas live in groups of around 10 individuals and are led by the most powerful silverback with the rest of the group comprising females and younger males. The silverback makes important decisions for the group and protects them from danger.
To see these animals, you can enjoy gorilla tours from Kisoro, which is about 460 kilometres (290 mi) from the capital city of Kampala. Kisoro is located in a fantastic area of Uganda and is in the African Great Lakes region. This is where the African continent is slowly splitting apart revealing the beautiful lake scenery. Because of the incredible landscape, many people refer to this part of the continent as the Switzerland of Africa.
Bird Watching in Bwindi National Park
In addition to the gorillas in Bwindi, the birds here are also incredible and the forest ranks as one of East Africa’s best regions for birdlife and birdwatching. From some of the Bwindi Lodges, such as the Nkuringo Gorilla Camp or the Mahogany Springs Safari Lodge, you will have some fantastic birdwatching opportunities. Head out with your knowledgeable guide to spot many of the fascinating birds that call this forest home.
The favorite species to find in the forest include the Turner’s eremomela, Chapin’s flycatchers, Shelley’s crimson-wings, African green broadbills, bee-eaters, Grauer’s swamp warbler, and the abundance of butterflies
The drier months, which are June to August (most tourists) and December to February (less tourists) are the favored time to visit Bwindi, but birders may prefer the wetter months for a higher chance of seeing more bird activity. The wetter months are then from March to April and September to November.
The Bwindi Impenetrable Forest contains some fantastic habitat for a variety of birds and there are around 350 different birds recorded with 23 birds only found in this region. This means the forest is home to 90% of all Albertine Rift endemics.
Other favorites to find in the Bwindi area include the black billed turaco, black bee-eater, blue-headed sunbird, short-tailed warbler, bar-tailed blue trogon, and kivu ground thrush, yellow eyed black flycatcher, Garner’s warbler, Africa blue and white-tailed blue flycatchers and red-headed bluebill.
There are some different birding trails around the area, including the Ivy river trail, Kashasha river valley, Buhoma waterfall trails, and the Mubwindi swamp trail in Ruhija. Birders visiting the Nkuringo Gorilla Camp who want to focus on endemics have especially enjoyed visiting a small pocket forest named Nombe.
There are a team of very enthusiastic birding guides at the Nkuringo Gorilla Campand you can organize some specific birding itineraries.
Hike from Kisoro to Nkuringo and Buhoma
Given the fantastic scenery of the region, there are many different hiking opportunities to see the area. Local guides who know the region best will show you the most scenic hiking trails, such as between the hamlet of Buhoma on the north side of the Bwindi Forest National Park and the town of Kisoro in south western Uganda.
The classic and much loved walking trail is between Kisoro and Buhoma, which you can also combine with a gorilla trekking adventure. The usual amount of time to do the trek is over two days where you will enjoy fantastic views, including the incredible Virunga Volcanoes.
Spend a night on the shore of Lake Mutanda, which you will then cross in traditional dugout canoe to begin your trek. We will then follow village trails to see fantastic scenery to enjoy rainforest, mountains, the lake, and the form of the land.
While on the walk, you will enjoy some fantastic cultural experiences to enjoy seeing how people live in this part of Africa. In addition to this and the incredible scenery, there is a lot of wildlife to see enroute, such as many different interesting birds, monkeys, and if you choose, you can combine with a memorable gorilla trek to see these gentle giants of the forest.
There are many other trails in the region to make the most of the spectacular mountainous scenery, such as the walks to the different volcanoes of Mt. Margarita (5109m) Mt. Rwenzori, and the Elgon Wagagai Peak (4321m).
See Chimpanzees in Kibale Forest National Park
Across Lake George to the north east of Queen Elizabeth National Park in the west of Uganda is the Kibale Forest National Park. Although these forests are connected and chimpanzees are found in the Queen Elizabeth National Park, we recommend seeing our closest relatives in the Kibale area as it’s a little easier to find the chimpanzees. In fact, the Kibale Forest is recommended as the best place in the whole of East Africa for seeing chimpanzees.
The most popular trail in the park is the walk from the Kanyanchu Visitor Center, which lasts about three hours to visit the chimps and to see a diversity of wildlife enroute. When we encounter the chimpanzee groups, visitors are allowed to spend a maximum of one hour observing the fascinating animals, as they play, feed, and relax in their group.
Savanna Wildlife Safari in Queen Elizabeth National Park
The Queen Elizabeth National Park region is the most popular tourist destination in Uganda, which is linked to the area’s diversity. The protected area contains many different wildlife-filled habitats, such as forests, wetlands, savanna grasslands, and a number of lakes.
The Queen Elizabeth National Park sits in the western side of Uganda, which is a few hours drive southwest of the country’s capital and largest city, Kampala. There are a few different towns close to the protected area such as Kasese and Bushenyi.
The park contains a lot of wildlife, such as the iconic African safari animals, but is also fortunate to contain and protect a population of our closest relatives, the chimpanzees. Towards the north and across Lake George, the park connects to the Kibale Forest National Park mentioned above.
You can enjoy game drives in Queen Elizabeth National Park to search for the icons of the African plains, such as lions, elephants, antelopes, and buffaloes. There are over 200 km of game tracks throughout the park we can explore.
Being part of African Great Lakes region, there are some fantastic lakes to visit where you can enjoy cruises on the glistening waters to scout for a range of wildlife. There is also a fantastic channel to enjoy between Lake Edward and Lake George to see hippopotamus, Nile crocodiles, and a multitude of birdlife.
In addition to exploring the area on game drives, one of the most spectacular ways to experience these savanna environments is by hot air balloon, which you can book as an add-on experience.
Golden Monkey Trekking
The golden monkeys are a fantastic group of primates to see in the wild and can be relatively easily encountered on guided treks through the forest. There are a couple of different areas to find the monkeys, but the best place to track the monkeys in Uganda is the Mgahinga National Park at the foot of the Virunga Mountains.
The monkeys enjoy hanging around the stands of bamboo forest within these protected areas and the monkeys are now used to people, which means they’re more easily observed. However, the monkeys move fast so make sure you’re using your fastest lens speed.
The golden monkeys make a fantastic add-on experience to enjoy with the gorillas or the chimpanzees. The trip makes an ideal short stay in another area of Uganda in the Virunga Mountains to find the monkeys where there are only a few thousand individuals remaining. On tours to see these fascinating primates, you can visit the habituated groups for an hour at a time.
The golden monkeys are a relatively small primate and are covered in long, golden hair. They are classified as an endangered species and are found in the Virunga’s bamboo forests. Despite protection, their population size is continually decreasing, but because they have been habituated by researchers, finding the monkeys is relatively simple as the monkeys are used to people and don’t run away. The fee paid for the permit then helps the monkeys’ protection.
Visit Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary
The Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary protects Uganda’s only wild rhinos and is located just north of Kampala near the famous Murchison Falls. In total, the sanctuary protects 15 rhinos but is also a fantastic place to see other wildlife, including a fantastic diversity of birds.
Enjoy bird watching, nature walks, relaxing, and of course finding and watching the rhinos. The rangers of the sanctuary will guide you around the reserve to find the wildlife, including the rhinos themselves but also crocodiles, hippos, and antelopes. Birders often enjoy the reserve and spend time finding some of the 250 different species. You can find some fascinating birds within the sanctuary boundaries, including a number of rare species.
The sanctuary was founded by various wildlife and conservation organizations in an attempt to restore Uganda’s rhinoceros population. The sanctuary intends to protect rhinos from people and Africa’s predators while they breed and grow and will then re-introduce the rhinos into Uganda’s protected areas, such as Queen Elizabeth National Park. While awaiting their reintroduction, visitors can enjoy seeing these remarkable animals while also helping to spread the importance of rhino conservation in the country.
A total of around 80 rangers and guards watch over the sanctuary day and night to maintain the animals’ safety. The total land area of the area covers 7, 000 hectares, which you can explore with your highly trained ranger who knows the park better than anyone else. You can enjoy different facilities and infrastructure, such as a tourist lodge, camping area, and budget guesthouses to accommodate all types of tourists.
Explore the protected area to scout for the rhinos and other animals, including hippos, monkeys, crocodiles, and many different birds, enjoy nature walks, and canoe the different waterways.
Visit Murchison Falls
Murchison Falls is a fantastic natural attraction located in the aptly named Murchison Falls National Park, which with a few other protected areas create the Murchison National Park. The park has been visited by the likes of Winston Churchill, Ernest Hemingway, and various royals over the years.
The protected area is home to many different animals, including hippos, crocodiles, lions, leopards, elephants, giraffes, antelopes, chimpanzees, and many different birds. However, because of intense hunting in the 1900s the wildlife is not as it once was. Animal populations have been recovering and you’re sure to see some examples, including some of Africa’s icons.
This is the largest national park in Uganda and the Murchison Falls sits as the jewel in the crown of the protected area. The falls was named after a president of the Royal Geographical Society and is the main attraction.
Murchison Falls is a fantastic spectacle with water violently crashing through the narrow, rocky gorge. The falls ejects the Victoria Nile River through a 6 meter wide chute, which cascades down 30 meters to the Nile River. Because of the spray of water, you can see a constant rainbow over the falls adding to the spectacle of this must-visit Ugandan attraction.
Kampala is Uganda’s capital and makes a fascinating stop on your Ugandan adventure to enjoy for a day or two seeing this important city. Ugandans in general are very friendly and the city of Kampala offers a more relaxed atmosphere than its neighbor of Nairobi across the Kenyan border.
The city is relatively calm and safe. So much so, Kampala has a stable expat community with many different NGOs running various humanitarian and conservation projects. The city has some modern areas with top of the line restaurants and bars, which is often where the expats and visitors enjoy spending their time.
You can enjoy many different markets selling a variety of produce, clothing, and crafts. There are also some different attractions to see in the city itself, which will easily keep you entertained over a couple of days. These include temples, cathedrals, markets, galleries, areas of historical significance, and museums.
Despite being an old building in need of a little love, a popular attraction is the old Uganda National Museum, which shows the cultural heritage of the country including exhibits on Uganda’s cultural and natural history. There are also a few different galleries you can enjoy that display paintings, photography, sculptures, and exhibits from many different local artists.
Visit the Ndere Centre
The Ndere Centre is a highly recommended attraction to experience the country’s traditional dance and music. A few days of the week, you can enjoy a dinner and theater performance at the center to see a high energy show of Ugandan culture. The dances are from a variety of Uganda’s different tribes and the show takes place in a 700-seat amphitheater on Sundays at 6pm, Wednesday at 7pm and Fridays from 7pm.
The name itself is from the word for flute, which is the symbol of the troupe because of its diverse and beautiful sound, but also as it’s one of the only musical instruments found across all cultures and is a metaphor for unity.
The mission of the center and its dancers and musicians is to help rekindle a sense of pride for Ugandan culture while promoting it to the world. A team of dedicated Ugandans carefully research and respectfully present parts of all the cultures that make up the Ugandan people constantly updating the performances.
It is a repeated theme across sub-Saharan Africa where information was not written down as language didn’t exist in written form, instead the information was passed between generations through performances, such as dance, storytelling, poetry, and music.
The Ndere Troupe are a definite must-see attraction in Uganda and the award-winning performers have been practicing their art for nearly 25 years spreading the fascinating and enjoyable performances.