by AdminSoa
May 2, 2017

Uganda: The Forgotten Nation

In a lot of ways, Uganda is the often overlooked nation in the East African region.

Once known as the "Pearl of Africa", the nation's occasionally murky history has meant that neighbouring Rwanda, Tanzania, and Kenya have overtaken it as a safari destination.

Rwanda is more famous for its primates.

Tanzania and Kenya are more famous for their world-class safaris.

While Uganda perhaps can't claim to be the better of any of the above in any one category, it does have one thing that none of Tanzania, Kenya, or Rwanda can boast: it offers world class Big Five safaris and world-class primate trekking.

Rwanda doesn't have Uganda's safari quality, and Tanzania & Kenya don't possess its primate trekking opportunities.

Uganda is your one stop East African wildlife destination, and it's so much more than that as well.

Read on to find out why you shouldn't overlook Uganda when designing your dream safari.

10 reasons you need to visit Uganda! From Kampala to the Nile to Gorilla Trekking, here's why Uganda needs to be in your Africa adventure. #Uganda #gorillatrekking #Africa #kampala #travel Pin Me!

10. Dark tourism in Kampala

While the Rwandan capital of Kigali is (in)famous for its sobering Genocide Memorial, people often overlook Uganda's own dark past.

The terrible reign of Idi Amin was immortalised in The Last King of Scotland, and visitors to the Ugandan capital can visit various sites connected to his bloody time in control of the country as well as earlier massacre sites of Christian missionaries.

Of course, there is more to Kampala than its darkness, and other popular local landmarks include the Gaddafi Mosque, the Baha'i Temple, and Kabaka's Palace.

9. Family fun at Lake Mburo National Park

While not a fantastic game drive destination in its own right, Lake Mburo National Park is nonetheless a popular destination with locals and tourists alike.

Home to three of the Big Five (leopards, lions, and buffalo), the park is a popular playground where visitors can participate in watersports such as sailing and activities such as quad-biking, horse riding, and walking.

Located midway between Kampala and the popular parks of Queen Elizabeth and Bwindi Impenetrable, Lake Mburo is often used to break up the otherwise long drive between the two.

8. Fun on the shores of Lake Victoria

Africa's largest lake is shared by Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda - but no city can claim to be as beautiful as the lakeside former capital, Entebbe.

Home to Uganda's only international airport, Entebbe is a green and friendly city with a laid back beach vibe and a wealth of local and international dining options.

Highlights in and around Entebbe include the beautiful Botanical Gardens, the nearby Mabamba Swamps for shoebill sightings, and the fascinating Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary.

Victoria Nile River valley, Jinja, Uganda Jinja, on the banks of the Nile, is Uganda's adventure playground.

7. Extreme sports at Jinja

Jinja is the extreme sports capital of Uganda, and also has the claim to fame of being the Source of the River Nile.

While a visit to the source itself is a sedate affair, the rough waters of the mighty Nile make for a thrilling African adventure. White water rafting, kayaking, horse riding, paragliding, and bungee jumping are all on offer in the East African's adventure playground.

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6. Walking with rhinos at Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary

While Uganda doesn't possess the Big Five in the wild like Kenya and Tanzania, it does possess a unique attraction in the form of the Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary.

Located between Jinja and Murchison Falls National Park, this sanctuary offers accommodation and camping options for those visiting, but is most famous for its rhino trekking.

The sanctuary is home to fifteen southern white rhinoceros, and visitors can take a guided walk out into the wilderness to get a closer look at the most endangered of the Big Five.

If you've ever wanted to take a selfie with a rhino, this is the place for you!

Murchison Falls NP Murchison Falls National Park is a gorgeous but often overlooked gem.

5. A safari at Murchison Falls National Park

Located in the north of the country, Murchison Falls National Park is a little out of the way, but worth the long drive.

Not only is the park a fantastic game drive destination home to four of the Big Five (rhinos being the noteable absence), but it's also home to the impressive and powerful Murchison Falls - the most powerful waterfall in the world.

In addition to seeing the powerful torrent of Nile water churning through a 6m gap, visitors to the park can also take a cruise on the Nile, hike up to Murchison Falls, or take a game drive.

Large numbers of elephants, giraffes, antelope (including the iconic Ugandan kob), lions, crocodiles, and more can be spotted on safari in this fascinating park.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BQ2feTnl6E0/?taken-by=shadowsofafrica

4. Overnighting on the Nile

The Nile may be most closely associated with Egypt, but it finds its roots in Uganda and makes for some of the most spectacular accommodation options you'll find anywhere in Africa.

While a number of hotels can boast a stunning view of the wild waters of the White Nile, our personal favourite is the aptly named Wildwaters Lodge - where guests must take a boat out into the frothing waters to reach their private bungalow.

Wildwaters boasts arguably the most picturesque bar and pool area in Africa, and every private villa has an old-fashioned claw foot bathtub on a balcony overlooking the mighty Nile. It's an experience not to be missed!

Lioness lying on a tree. Uganda. The tree climbing lions of Queen Elizabeth National Park are one of its major draws.

3. A safari in Queen Elizabeth National Park

Queen Elizabeth Park is the unquestioned queen when it comes to safari experiences in Uganda - a beautiful stretch of savanna lying between Kibale Forest National Park and Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.

Like other Ugandan parks, it does not have a wild rhino population, but the other members of the Big Five are in evidence alongside popular animals like hippos, hyenas, and crocodiles.

Noteable sights inside the park include its tree climbing lions in Ishasha, the opportunity to spot chimpanzees in Kyambura Gorge, and bird-watching along the popular Kazinga Channel - a personal favourite of ours!

Mountain Gorilla uganda The enigmatic Mountain Gorillas of Bwindi Impenetrable are a must see.

2. Gorilla trekking in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park

Rwanda might be more famous for the gorillas of Volcanoes National Park, but Uganda is also home to the enigmatic mountain gorillas. Better yet: Uganda's gorilla trekking permits are cheaper than those in Rwanda by as much as $300 USD per person during low season!

Bwindi Impenetrable definitely earns its name, and trekkers in Uganda can expect a more challenging hike through the mountainous jungle en route to their rendezvous with the gentle giants of the primate kingdom.

Chris from our Australian office wrote about his experience trekking with gorillas in Uganda, and we think he sums up just how amazing (and tiring) the experience can be!

Chimps_Kibale No country does chimpanzee trekking quite like Uganda.

1. Chimpanzee trekking in Kibale Forest National Park

We said earlier that Uganda doesn't do safaris quite as well as Tanzania/Kenya and doesn't do gorillas quite as well as Rwanda, but there is one thing in which Uganda is the unchallenged #1: chimpanzee trekking.

Visitors to Kibale Forest National Park can expect an unparalleled chimpanzee trekking experience, as the habituated chimps of the arboreal park can be seen with a relatively short trek from the park entrance.

For the more chimpanzee obsessed, a day long chimpanzee habituation offers the chance for you to spend an entire day following along as the park's most famous denizens eat, sleep, play, and travel.


As you can see, Uganda offers a comprehensive African experience. Nowhere else in Africa can you go chimpanzee trekking, gorilla trekking, and see the Big Five without having to cross a border.

It's wild and off the beaten path, but Uganda just might be Africa's next big thing when it comes to the complete African wildlife experience.

Uganda has so many incredible adventures to offer! From gorilla trekking and chimpanzee trekking to the Nile river and safaris. Here's why you need to include Uganda in your Africa itinerary! #uganda #gorilla #africa #travel #adventuretravel #trekking Pin Me!

Our Best Ugandan Itineraries

Inspired to add Uganda to your upcoming African trip? Check out some of our amazing Uganda itineraries below!

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