August 2019, Uganda, the Pearl of Africa
Located in the heart of East Africa, Uganda is rich in wildlife, nature, culture, heritage and history. Its biological and cultural diversity is unmatched for a country the size of Great Britain or the Australian state of Victoria.
Eleven per cent of all birds in the world can be found in Uganda. In fact, Uganda has more species of birds per square kilometre than anywhere else in the world.
Uganda is the home of the world’s largest population of gorillas and other primates as well as a range of other wildlife including the Big Five, reptiles and over 1,000 species of birds (50 percent of Africa’s birds and butterfly species).
With almost 40 percent of its land mass is covered by water, rivers and wetlands, it is little wonder that Uganda is home to the source of the Nile, the world’s longest river.
And for those who like to socialize, this is the land of some of the friendliest people anywhere. Kampala is known for its restaurants, clubs and events, earning it the title entertainment capital of East Africa.
- Location – East Africa
- Population – 44 Million
- Size – Similar to UK or Victoria
- Climate – 25-35 degrees all year-round
- Main Airport – Entebbe International Airport (EBB)
- Ecosystems – Bushland, Forest, Montane, Heath and Savanna
What to expect to see in Uganda
Mountain Gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest
Over half of the world’s population, around 750, live in Uganda’s forests. Mountain gorillas can’t survive in captivity, so it is vital to protect their habitat.
Mountain gorillas live in family groups led by a silverback or mature male. He does indeed have silvery hair forming a large saddle-like mark on his back, and he can weigh as much as 260 pounds. Part of the silverback’s job is defending the rest of the family from threats. Mountain gorillas are intelligent and have been observed using tools.
The Big 5 and more
You’ll see up close African Bush Elephants, Black and White Rhinoceroses, Giraffes, River Crocodiles, Golden Monkeys, Baboons, Chimpanzees, Antelopes and more birds than you can count!
Once we leave the city regions, many animals can be seen well before entering any safari parks, as elephants roam freely in many areas.
Buffalo and Antelopes wander carefully across the savannah, keeping a close eye out for Lions, which live in prides of up to 15 individuals.
Uganda is also home to many different primate species, many of which you’ll see on the journey.
As well as the chimpanzee and gorilla, the black-and-white colobus, red-tailed monkey, grey-cheeked mangabey, l’Hoest’s and blue monkeys, and olive baboons can be seen during safari drives or nature walks, along with smaller nocturnal species such as the bushbaby and potto.
Black-and-white colobus monkeys are among the most frequently spotted species. troops of 5-10 individuals are easily seen in the branches as a result of their striking colouring – black with long white hair running from the shoulders to rump, and white tufts at the ends of their long tails. Infants are born pure white.
Uganda’s National Parks
Uganda has some of the worlds most stunning national parks, but most are unknown outside of Uganda. Tourism and conservation activities are only recently starting to become known around the world, so you’re almost guaranteed to have a national park all to yourselves!
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
The Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that forms part of the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, one of the richest ecosystems in Africa. This park is perhaps one of Uganda’s most remarkable destinations for visitors. Come with your cameras and observe over 200 different species of trees, 120 species of mammals, 27 species of frogs, geckos and chameleons, 220 species of butterflies, 348 species of birds and other endangered species in their natural habitat. And of course, take advantage of the opportunity to see mountain gorillas and elephants up close.
Queen Elizabeth National Park
Located in western Uganda, Queen Elizabeth National Park is famous for its exotic wildlife, the park is home to many elephants, hippos, Congo lions, African Leopards, chimpanzees and 95 species of mammals. Bird-watchers will be delighted to learn that the park also house 500 species of birds.
Rwenzori Mountains National Park
Rwenzori Mountains National Park is home to one of the most beautiful landscapes in the world. Located in the Rwenzori mountains and nearly 1000 kilometers square (386 square miles) in size, the park was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site because of its extraordinary natural beauty. Come and experience the most fulling hike of your life, as the mystical park boasts breath-taking waterfalls, high glaciers, the valley of nine lakes, a variety of flora and fauna, many endangered species and other captivating scenery.
Lake Mburo National Park
Spanning 370 kilometers square and within close proximity of the capital city of Kampala is Lake Mburo National Park. A perfect scenery for photographers and bird enthusiasts, Lake Mburo is home to a variety of leopards, hippos, zebras, hyenas, impalas and others animals, and to 350 species of birds.
Murchison Falls National Park
If you are in the mood for a good safari tour on an epic river Nile adventure, then Murchison Falls National Park is a good place to visit. Spreading inland from the shore of Lake Albert around the Nile, Murchison Falls National Park forms part of the Murchison Falls Conservative Area (MFCA).
The accommodation listed is self-rated at 3.5 to 4 out of 5 stars on most travel sites and is recommended purely as we have personally stayed at these facilities many times and find them comfortable, affordable and convenient.
Whilst in Kampala, we stay at the Royal Suites, an apartment-hotel in central Kampala with fantastic ammenities, friends staff, great Wifi and all the luxuries you’d expect to find.
From time to time, accommodations have to be changed due to availability. Our team stay with all guests at all times.
For those looking for cheaper accommodation, many options are available.
All accommodation in twin share, with a Single Room loading being optional, subject to availability.
Tours require a minimum of 2 guests. Prices are indicative and subject to confirmation of final itinerary and desired activities.
Breakfasts and lunches and provided on each day. Breakfasts and lunches consist of local produce and dishes, with a few ‘western’ options for those less adventurous.
Meals in Uganda tend to be larger servings than those of western countries, so dinners are optional and at the cost of each guest. All hotels have at least one restaurant, with many additional nearby.
Our team can cater for any and all dietary requirements.
Depending on the number of guests, transportation within Uganda is by 4WD or minibuses.
Travelling to/from Australia is very easy, and typically follows one of the routes below.
|Qatar||Melbourne (MEL) -> Doha (DOH) -> Nairobi (NBO) -> Entebbe (EBB)|
|Etihad||Melbourne (MEL) -> Abu Dhabi (AUH) -> Nairobi (NBO) -> Entebbe (EBB)|
|Emirates||Melbourne (MEL) -> Dubai (DXB) -> Nairobi (NBO) -> Entebbe (EBB)|
|South African||Melbourne (MEL) -> Perth (PER) -> Johannesburg (JNB) -> Entebbe (EBB)|
Flight times are typically 14 hours to the UAE, Qatar or South Africa, and a further 5-6 hours to Uganda.
The local currency in Uganda is the Shilling, with an exchange rate of approximately AUD 1 – UGX 2670.
US Dollars are commonly used for currency conversions in Uganda, and we recommend bringing US Dollars to change to Ugandan Shillings on arrival instead of Australian Dollars, as our currency is not always readily accepted for exchange.
Credit cards are accepted in major hotels, malls and restaurants, but rarely in smaller towns and markets. Travellers Cheques are not accepted in Uganda.
Yellow Fever immunization is required and mandatory, with entry to Uganda (and re-entry to Australia) being prohibited if a guest does not have a valid immunization certificate or card.
Malaria is present in many parts of the world, including Africa and Uganda specifically. We recommend a course of anti-malarial medication be prescribed and taken for any trip to East Africa.
Of course, please consult your GP or travel doctor for current recommendations, professional advice and your specific needs.