Over the last 5 years Uganda has been steadily gaining recognition as an incredible safari destination for travellers who are looking for a varied and authentic safari experience. At Let's Go Travel we have always known what an amazing destination Uganda is and now the secret is out. This year despite the best efforts of COVID-19 Uganda is still being mentioned as the place to visit in East Africa by none other by Forbes Magazine and The Bradt Guide ( October 2020 )
Here are 5 things you may not have known about Uganda and are good reasons to visit Uganda
1 - Birdwatching - There are over 1000 bird species in Uganda which accounts for 50% of all the birds species in Africa and 10% of the global bird species! Uganda is home to lakes, rivers, mountains, forests and savannah plains. It is this natural bio - diversity that makes birdwatching in Uganda an incredible activity. The beauty of birdwatching in Uganda is that it can be a stand alone safari or incorporated into a Gorilla, Chimpanzee or wildlife safari.
2 - Lake Rivers and Waterfalls - Uganda is unique in that the majority of the national parks have large lakes / channels that allow you to take boat cruises on them and view the bird and wildlife from a different perspective. The most famous of these being a trip on the River Nile in Murchison Falls National Park or in Jinja as well as a cruise on the Kazinga Channel in Queen Elizabeth National Park. However there are other water bodies where the reward isn't wildlife but stunning natural beauty that you will not find anywhere else in the world, for example Lake Bunyonyi, Lake Mutanda and Lake Mulehe.
3 - Culture - Uganda has 54 tribes, 9 indigenous communities and 5 surviving kingdoms. Every part of Uganda is bustling with history and tradition all you need to do is scratch the surface and dive in. Historically the Bantu speaking tribes of Southern Africa migrated to Uganda, whilst the descendants of the Nilotic dynasty's migrated in to Northern Uganda from Sudan. This created an incredible melting pot of art, dance and customs which are still practised today.
With the restoration of the monarchies which were at the helm of the 5 kingdoms and the youth of Uganda tapping into culture through music, food and cultural festivals it is almost impossible not be be drawn in by the vibrancy of Ugandan Culture.
4 - Eastern Uganda - The majority of eastern Uganda remains relatively unexplored in comparison to the traditional western Uganda safari circuit. This despite being blessed with some of the most stunning scenic views such as Sipi Falls, Mount Kadam and Mount Elgon. There are also animals and birds unique to this part of Uganda like White Eared Kob, Cheetah and The Bearded Vulture. This part of Uganda is full of immersive cultural experiences that cannot be had anywhere else in Uganda. The rugged beauty of this part of Uganda lends itself more to camping and sleeping amongst the stars, memories of which will last a long time. It is also home to the Tour Of Karamoja which happens every year and is a great way to explore the area.
5 - Responsible Tourism The effects of the COVID pandemic have laid bare the fragility of tourism and how we must all work continually to ensure that everyone who is associated with tourism especially those who are on the front line can still benefit from tourism activities. In different parts of Uganda local communities have set up social enterprises to supply tourists with goods and services where the local communities benefit directly. The majority of these enterprises have been successful in being able to sustain themselves through low and high seasons and some have even branched into supplying the domestic market in Uganda which is an incredible success story. Be sure to look out for these social enterprises on your next visit to Uganda.