Why Uganda? – Everything to Know about Uganda
Uganda is a land-locked country in East Africa bordered to the East by Kenya, North by South Sudan, West by the Democratic Republic of Congo, and to the South by Tanzania. In such a time of the pandemic, people need to refresh their mind, soul, and body so traveling is important to consider. When planning a tour to Africa, there are many reasons to choose Uganda. Below is a brief about some of the iconic attractions and activities not to miss out on during your visit.
Uganda has two Mountain gorilla parks where you can see the mountain gorillas. These are; Mgahinga Gorilla National Park and Bwindi Impenetrable National Park which are home to half of the global population of these endangered primates. Gorilla trekking is one of the remarkable wildlife encounters you can have and therefore one of the foremost reasons why Uganda is a must-visit. An itinerary without a gorilla experience is an incomplete one.
Uganda Martyrs Shrine Namugongo
Uganda Martyrs Shrine Namugongo is one of the best religious and cultural sites in Uganda, drawing many travelers from Africa and all over the world to undertake Safaris to Uganda especially on 3rd June every year in commemoration of the 45 martyrs who were executed between 31st January 1885 and 27th January 1887 on the orders of Kabaka Mwanga II, for refusing to denounce their newly found faith (Christianity). Uganda Martyrs Shrine Namugongo is among the largest Christian pilgrimage destinations in Africa which in the past years has been hosting over 800 people on 3rd June, but due to covid-19, there is no congregating until further notice.
Source of the Nile
The Source of the Nile is located in Jinja, a historic city that rose to fame because of the Nile River. Jinja derives its name from a local Luganda word “Mayinja ” meaning “stones” due to the presence of flat rocks that were evident in this place before the construction of the Owen Falls Dam which submerged the Rippon Falls. The source of the Nile is the longest river in the world, about 6,650km long, traversing through eleven countries including South Sudan, Republic of Sudan, Tanzania, Kenya, Rwanda, Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Eritrea, and Egypt. There are many exciting activities to engage in while at the Source of the Nile and these include a boat cruise, birding, white water rafting, tubing, and bungee jumping among others. These water sports make visiting Uganda one of your top destinations for travel to Africa.
Queen Elizabeth National Park
Situated in the Western part of Uganda, Queen Elizabeth National Park is understandably Uganda’s second-largest, most diverse, and popular conservation area, first gazetted in 1952 as Kazinga National Park and two years later, renamed Queen Elizabeth National Park to commemorate the first visit by Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip. The park has an area coverage of 1,978 square kilometers and hosts over 95 mammal and 600 bird species. Queen Elizabeth National Park enjoys a fabulous setting on the rift valley floor and prides in varied ecosystems including sprawling savannah grasslands, acacia woodland, humid leafy forests, lakes, and fertile wetlands which attract the biggest variety of mammals in the country.
Queen Elizabeth National Park straddles the equator, with two constructed monuments on both sides of the road where it crosses latitude 0° and offers a background view of the ragged snow-capped Rwenzori Mountains, panoramic views of the Kazinga Channel whose banks are coated with large schools of hippos, herds of buffaloes and elephants, spectacular scenery of multiple craters set into the undulating lush hills and chimpanzee tracking in the deep forested Kyambura gorge. The boundless plains in the remote southern sector of the park (Ishasha) harbor the tree-climbing lions, lazily hanging out in the fig trees as they monitor the movement of their unsuspecting prey.
In addition to its exceptional wildlife, Queen Elizabeth National Park boasts a charming cultural history where visitors can indulge in a variety of cultural activities including storytelling, dance, music, and much more.
Murchison Falls National Park
Situated at the end of the Albertine rift valley, Murchison Falls National Park is Uganda’s largest and oldest protected area, established in 1952 and spanning over 3,840 square kilometers. Murchison Falls National Park spreads inland from the shores of Lake Albert around the Victoria Nile and was originally known as Kabalega National Park but later was changed to Murchison Falls National Park. Together with the adjacent 748 square kilometers Bugungu Wildlife Reserve and the 720 square kilometers Karuma Wildlife Reserve, it forms the Murchison Falls Conservation Area.
The park is bisected by the Victoria Nile which flows through a 7m wide gorge before plunging 43m to form the thunderous Murchison Falls, the world’s most powerful waterfall and a major highlight of the park. Other highlights include game drive, launch cruise on river Nile to the bottom of the falls, cruise to the Nile delta, bird watching, hiking to the top of the falls, and nature walks (trails through Kaniyo, Pabidi, and Rabongo). The park also boasts of exceptional wildlife that can be sighted during the game drive and these include Nubian giraffes, Lake Chad buffalos, lions, spotted hyenas, Savannah elephants, Uganda kobs, Lelwel’s hartebeest, Common warthogs, Oribis, Bohor’s Reedbuck, and many birds like the rare Shoebill stork, Black-headed Lapwing, Blue-headed Coucal, Giant kingfisher, Swamp flycatcher, Red-throated bee-eater, Black-billed barbet. A launch cruise will grant you an opportunity to an eccentric view of the Nile, amidst the encounter of the huge Nile crocodiles, hippos, and several other wildlife and waders like African skimmers on the lake shores.
Lake Mburo National Park
Spanning over 260 square kilometers, Lake Mburo National Park is Uganda’s smallest savannah park whose acacia woodland supports substantial herds of Burchell’s zebras and various antelopes. The park is the closest to Kampala, a good stopover for visitors heading to either Bwindi Impenetrable Park or Queen Elizabeth National Park. With various wildlife species, the most unique are the zebras, impalas, and elands. Other wild animals include waterbucks, buffaloes, warthogs, topis, giraffes, and cats such as leopards and lions. The park also has primates such as baboons and monkeys. Lake Mburo National park is a sanctuary of various bird species making it one of the best birding destinations in Uganda with about 350 bird species. Bird species may include; weaver birds, rare shoebill, crested crane, sparrows, fish eagle species among others. It is one of the National parks with human settlements within the park. The people live with the animals as their cattle graze with the zebras and impalas. Activities in and around the park may include; day and night game drives, bird watching, cultural encounters, horseback riding, launch cruises, cycling safaris, nature walks, sport fishing, and research trips.
Kidepo Valley National Park
Situated in the rugged, semi-arid valley far northeast in Karamoja sub-region, between Uganda‘s border with South Sudan and Kenya, Kidepo Valley National Park is Uganda’s third-largest (about 1442 square kilometers) and furthest protected area from Kampala; about 700km. The park was gazetted in 1962, has beautiful and plentiful wildlife hosting over 77 mammal species and around 465 bird species. Uganda’s most isolated protected area, the park has spectacular attractions and activities such as game drives, cultural experiences, nature walks, birding, Mount Morungole, Kidepo, and Narus valleys among others.
With the authenticity of the African continent still intact in this park, Jewel Safaris Limited is always expectant to welcome you to the Pearl of Africa and help quench your travel thirst. We are ready to travel with you.