Uganda, or the ‘Pearl of Africa’, as it was famously dubbed by Winston Churchill, is characterised by relatively dry and flat savanna in the north, with verdant mountains in the West, and vast dense and remarkably lush forests in the central region. The nation is home to an astonishingly diverse range of African wildlife including the highly endangered mountain gorilla which can be found in the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest. A popular spot for wildlife watching is Queen Elizabeth National Park, which hosts four of the Big Five, a flock of flamboyant flamingos and the rare tree-climbing lions of Ishasha. Outdoor enthusiasts can get their adrenaline fix with plenty of whitewater rafting, kayaking, hiking, quad biking and horse riding facilities on offer. Add to this some friendly locals, a burgeoning cultural scene, and a capital city full of lively bars, clubs and restaurants, and it is easy to see why Uganda has gained itself a reputation as 'Africa's friendliest country'.
Days 1 - 2
Situated on a peninsula in Lake Victoria, the former seat of Uganda’s government, Entebbe is just a short drive from the current capital and offers plenty to keep visitors amused. This charming town features tree-lined streets and serves as an excellent base from which to explore the surrounding area. Tourists can look forward to spending days on beautiful beaches along the banks of Lake Victoria, stroll through the fields and forests of the magnificent Botanical Gardens, or pay a visit to Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary, a haven for country’s orphaned chimps.
Bwindi Impenetrable Forest
Days 2 - 4
Located in southwestern Uganda, the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest is said to be Africa’s oldest rainforest. It is world-renowned for its excellent gorilla-sighting opportunities - the forest is home to half of the remaining mountain gorillas on earth. This gorilla experience takes place among a rugged landscape of dense jungle, cascading waterfalls, sparkling mountain streams, deep valleys, and steep ridges. The untouched forest has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its breathtaking natural beauty and unique ecological significance, and aside from the amazing gorilla interactions, there are other drawcards such as a network of forest walks, over 340 species of bird to spot, and a variety of brightly-coloured butterflies to identify. Don’t miss the opportunity to explore the spectacular Virunga Volcanoes, three of which are still active.
Semuliki National Park
Days 4 - 6
Semeliki National Park is located in Bwamba County, a remote part of the Bundibugyo District, in western Uganda. It was made a national park in October 1993 and is one of Uganda's newest national parks. The landscape is characterised by vast grasslands, lush wetlands, and tropical forest and scattered with hot springs. The park is home to over 400 bird species, 300 butterfly species and other wildlife including a variety of primate species as well as elephants, buffalo, waterbuck, crocodile, and warthog. Visitors can look forward to an array of wonderful hikes through the lush forests of the park, experience a cultural encounter with the Batwa hunter-gatherers, visit the steaming hot springs and enjoy a thrilling game drive.
Southern Queen Elizabeth National Park
Days 6 - 8
Surrounded by other wonderful parks in the western region of Uganda, the Queen Elizabeth National Park is known for its rich biodiversity, wildlife and history. In the southern part of the park, the remote Ishaha sector is home to tree-climbing lions who spend long lazy days dozing in the pretty fig trees. The Uganda Kob, a type of antelope, are watched carefully by the tree lions while grazing the plains Around Lake Edward, enjoy fishing and more game watching - make sure to look out for chimpanzees, elephants, crocodiles, and perennial and migratory bird species.
Kidepo Valley National Park
Days 10 - 12
One of Uganda’s most stunningly beautiful reserves, the remote Kidepo Valley National Park stretches across broad swathes of savannah studded with hills and rock clusters, and is traversed by the forest-flanked Lorupei River. It is home to roughly 80 mammal species, 28 of which are found at no other park in the country, and is particularly well known for its rich population of raptors and over 450 species of bird. Visitors can look forward to excellent wildlife sightings including greater and lesser kudu, eland, lion, leopard, cheetah, elephant and a variety of plains game.
Days 13 - 15
Situated on the northern shores of Africa’s largest lake, in southern Uganda, Jinja is the second largest city in Uganda and is famous for being located at the source of the Nile. The rapids on the Nile make Jinja the white water rafting capital of East Africa. It is also known as the adventure capital of Uganda. While the main attraction is undoubtedly rafting down the Nile, there are also a variety of other adrenaline filled activities such as: quad biking, bungee jumping, kayaking, mountain biking and horse riding. Other popular activities include: browsing the colourful Jinja market, viewing the faded grandeur of the crumbling colonial architecture lining the streets and joining a bicycle tour to soak up the spectacularly scenic surrounds.