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:
East Africa travel guide
Gentle gorillas, stampeding wildebeest, snow-capped peaks, paradisiacal beaches and an amazing array of tribal cultures - all this and more await you in East Africa, one of Africa's most enticing corners.
Where to hang out with Uganda’s chimpanzees
Eyes trained on the canopy, the hunters slipped with speed and agility across the forest floor. Although communication was kept to a minimum everyone seemed certain of their role. Occasionally one of the party turned and shot a glance back at me, sweating and stumbling over branches and roots, far behind.
Africa - Uganda (Chapter)
Emerging from the shadows of a dark history, a new dawn of tourism has risen in Uganda. It’s home to the tallest mountain range in Africa, the world’s longest river and the continent’s largest lake. And with half the remaining mountain gorillas residing here, and the Big Five to be ticked off, wildlife watching is huge.
Uganda destination guides
Nail-biting wildlife encounters
Ever peered through the razor-sharp jaws of a great white shark? Or gone fishing with a grizzly bear? Here are nine animal experiences to get your adrenalin pumping. Track gorillas in the Ugandan jungle Gorilla trek by Hjalmar Gislason. Creative Commons Attribution Licence.
Gorillas, Chimps & Game Parks
A close encounter with gentle giants on a gorilla safari in Rwanda is an extraordinary African experience that will always stay with you - and it's just one of the many wildlife spottings this unforgettable African overland adventure has to offer.
Kenya & Uganda Gorilla Adventure
Meet mountain gorillas and other amazing wildlife on this 2-week overland adventure. Spot chimpanzees in Kalinzu Forest and join experienced trackers while travelling deep into the Ugandan forests for a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to spot endangered mountain gorillas in their natural habitat.
Expensive experiences, cheaper alternatives
The world’s most iconic travel experiences don’t usually come cheap – but sometimes there are real alternatives. Here are some ideas for the budget-conscious, and expert advice on whether it’s actually worth paying the price for some of these bucket-list classics. 1.