Travel alert: Lonely Planet refers would-be travellers to Uganda to the UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office travel advice on the country:
“There is very little social tolerance of homosexuality, which is illegal. A Ugandan MP has proposed reactionary legislation that would further criminalise homosexuality and introduce the death penalty for some activity (currently going through the parliamentary process as a private member’s bill). ”
The UK Foreign & Commonwealth office also advises against all travel to areas of northeastern Uganda – seek specific advice if you are seeking to travel to Kidepo Valley National Park.
Uganda is Africa condensed, with the best of everything the continent has to offer packed into one small but stunning destination. Uganda is home to the highest mountain range in Africa, the Mountains of the Moon in the Rwenzori National Park. It is the source of the mighty Nile, and around Jinja offers the best white-water rafting in the world. It has the highest concentration of primates on earth, including the majestic mountain gorilla, one of the rarest animals on the planet. Head to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park for a chance to get close to these great apes.
On top of all this, the scenery is so striking that it looks like an oil painting, the beautiful national parks see far fewer visitors than in neighbouring Kenya and Tanzania, and the capital, Kampala, is safer and friendlier than most in Africa. In 1907 pioneering tourist Winston Churchill called it the ‘Pearl of Africa’. He was right.
Mention Uganda to most people today and the first thing they’ll think of is the brutality of Idi Amin. Their naivety is their loss as, thankfully for Uganda, the big man died in exile in 2003. The reality is vastly different. Stability has returned to most parts of the country and tourists are welcomed with open arms (some areas, particularly in the north, remain unsafe for travellers - see more in the Health & Safety section). Despite the trials and tribulations of the past, Ugandans have weathered the storm remarkably well. The people offer heart-warming hospitality up and down the country, their ever-present smile accompanied by ‘Hello Mzungu!’. They are truly some of the finest folk on the continent.
Take the plunge now, before the world wakes up to this magical microcosm of Africa.
Ready to go?
These tours & activities make it easy:
- Track mountain gorillas, golden monkeys and chimps in the wild
- Go on an unforgettable gorilla trek in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
- Discover the true habitat of gorillas and rhinos
- Embark on the journey of a lifetime from Nairobi to Cape Town
Last updated: Jan 24, 2013
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