In the middle of the African continent, you will find the so-called ‘Pearl of Africa’. In Uganda there is plenty to see and do, the friendly inhabitants of the country would like to see you all. Whether you come for the green nature, the beautiful animals, or just a bit of adventure, in Uganda you are all right.
A tour through Uganda often starts in Kampala, but what are the activities that you really should not miss in this pearl? We outline five activities for you that will complete your adventure in Uganda.
1. Mountain Gorilla Trekking
Am sure am not wrong if I say, a safari to Uganda is incomplete without visiting the think forest of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park the home to the rare and endangered mountain gorillas.
Did you know that people and gorillas are 98% genetically related to each other? Of these special apes, some 350 still live in the border area between Uganda, and Rwanda. A visit to the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park to admire the gorillas themselves. This diverse rainforest can be found in the southwest of Uganda and besides the mountain gorillas, you will also find beautiful forests, exotic flowers, and the Bwindi waterfall.
If you want to come face to face with the gorillas, you first have to acquire a gorilla permit from Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) in Kampala. It costs around 600 dollars, not exactly cheap, but is well worth the money. The trek through the jungle on the way to the gorillas can be heavy, the vegetation in the Bwindi Forest is so thick and that is the reason why it was named ‘Impenetrable’. And there is always a chance that you will not see the gorillas, you never know this before. But if you run into a gorilla family, you forget the heavy journey and enjoy the impressive animals. An experience that you will not soon forget for the rest of your life!
2. Wildlife Watching
Elephants, lions, giraffes, hippos, impalas; Uganda is the country par excellence for spotting African wildlife. Queen Elizabeth National Park is one of the largest and most famous parks in the country. Elephants walk around here in large herds and the lions climb trees to rest on the upper branches of old fig trees. In the water, it suffocates from the hippos, and herds of antelope rage past you.
The Kibale National Park is a travel destination for primate lovers. In this relatively small park, you will find hundreds of screaming chimpanzees. It is as good to search if you want to spot them because these primates do not show themselves easily. But if you go out with a guide, you should be able to admire a few. Otherwise, you will always enjoy the other monkeys in the Kibale Forest National Park, such as black and white colobus monkeys, red-tailed monkeys, and olive baboons.
3. Rafting on the Nile
You probably know that the Nile is one of the longest and largest rivers in the world. But did you also know that the water rushes through the river in some places with a surprising force? Around the city of Jinja, the Nile is nice and wide and the perfect starting point for a (multi-day) raft tour.
The rapids on the Nile are class 5, so get ready for a portion of adrenaline and adventure. On the Nile you do not only do your best not to fall out of the boat, but it is an even bigger challenge to ensure that the boat does not overturn. If you feel like a wild rafting adventure, plan your trip in January or February or between June and September for the best weather conditions.
4. Chilling at Lake Bunyonyi
Uganda does not have a coastline, but relaxing at Lake Bunyonyi is the perfect alternative. Here you can enjoy nature, take a dip in the cool water and relax on one of the islands. Lake Bunyonyi is a crater lake formed by various volcanic eruptions and is surrounded by green mountains. With a depth of nine hundred meters, Lake Bunyonyi is the second deepest lake in Africa.
Sail with a makoro, a hollowed-out tree trunk, to the fairytale Bushara, one of the twenty islands on Lake Bunyonyi. Or walk to Arcadia Cottages, from here you have a great view of the lake and its islands. Do you feel like shopping? Then sail to the village of Rutinda where a floating market takes place.
5. Visit the equator
Have you ever heard that when water in the drain disappears, it turns in the opposite direction in the northern hemisphere than in the southern hemisphere? Truth or myth? During a visit to the equator in Uganda, you test this so-called Coriolis effect.
At about one and a half-hour drive from Kampala, you will find the Uganda Evenaar. In the middle of the street, you can see a line that the equator has to imagine. Put your feet each on one side of the line, you are standing in front of one half in the northern hemisphere and the other half in the southern hemisphere. Test the Coriolis effect with a specially designed experiment and buy some souvenirs at one of the tourist shops as a souvenir.