Tips on Planning a Trip to Uganda

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In this article, we put together the great questions you need to ask yourself before making the decision of traveling to Uganda. All the questions would be summed up with the; where, what, how, and when questions as clearly stated below;

Where is Uganda Located?

Uganda is located in East Africa, and lie astride the Equator. The country is bordered with South Sudan in the north, Kenya in the East, Tanzania in the South, Democratic Republic of Congo in the West and Rwanda in the south western part. Uganda is a land locked country and is serviced with mostly the Mombasa port of Kenya and Dar es Salaam port of Tanzania. Most of the country is located north of the Equator. Uganda is one of only 6 countries in Africa located astride the Equator, and while here, you are able to be in the southern as well as the northern hemisphere in no time.

What can I do when I visit Uganda?

This is a very broad question that has no specific answer and the satisfaction of the one asking would only base on what they intend to see when they visit Uganda. Famously dubbed the Pearl of Africa and a country gifted by Nature, Uganda boosts one of the highest biodiversity ratings in Africa. The country has a natural blend of forest, lakes, rivers, wetlands, savannah vegetation, and semi-arid conditions in the extreme north eastern part of the country. A brief background of the attractions in Uganda include; the Source of the Mighty River Nile, Lakes; Victoria, Edward, George, Albert, and Kyoga, national parks that include; Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, Queen Elizabeth National Park, Murchison Falls National Park, Kibale Forest National Park, Lake Mburo National Park, Semliki Valley National Park, Kidepo Valley National Park, Mount Rwenzori National Park, and Mount Elgon National Park. There is the Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary which is home to the endangered Rhinos, and in case you have limited amount of time, there is the Uganda Wildlife Education Center that has almost all the wildlife found in the wild in Uganda in one place. Ngamba Island Chimpanzee sanctuary close by Entebbe, The botanical gardens, and a number of game reserves.

Based on the above attractions, below you find the 14 Best things to do in Uganda;

  1. Visit the Source of the Nile in Jinja. River Nile is the longest river in Africa and only in Uganda are you able to visit its true source. The visit is only possible by boat so, better be prepared for that boat ride.
  2. Adventure on Lake Victoria in Jinja. Jinja is commonly known as the adventure capital of Uganda, here you are able to engage in water sports that include; kayaking, white water rafting, tubing, and quad biking. Why not check your adrenaline levels in Jinja!
  3. Visit the Equator. The Equator is an imaginary line that dissects the earth into two. In Uganda you are able to visit the Equator point specifically at Kayabwe where you are able to be in two hemispheres at the same time. A number of gift shops are found at this place and a demonstration of water movement in both hemispheres. This could be a stopover on your way to Lake Mburo, Queen Elizabeth, Bwindi or Mgahinga National Parks.
  4. Gorilla tracking in Bwindi Impenetrable and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. The mountain gorillas are the best-selling natural tourist resource in Uganda. These are found in two national parks in the country. Uganda is renowned to host over half of the remaining mountain gorillas in the world. These parks can be accessed both by air and road. For road travel, it is possible to combine these destinations with other destinations.
  5. Wildlife Safari in the country’s savannah parks which include; Kidepo Valley National Park, Semliki Valley National Park, Lake Mburo National Park, Queen Elizabeth National Park and Murchison Falls National Park. The wildlife includes; Lion, Leopard, Elephant, Buffalo, Giraffe, a number of antelopes, to mention but a few.
  6. The Rhinos at Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary, and the Uganda Wildlife Education Center in Entebbe.
  7. Chimpanzee tracking in Kibale Forest National Park, Semliki Wildlife Reserve, Queen Elizabeth National Park, and Budongo Forest in Murchison Falls National Park.
  8. Birdwatching, this is done everywhere in the country with over 1,000 bird species recorded in the country.
  9. The local cuisine with a wide range including; the traditional Luwombo dish, the rolex a roadside order and take delicacy, plus a number of roadside stalls selling meat, and chicken on sticks plus plantain.
  10. The Mighty falls at Murchison Falls National Park as well as the Aruu Falls in Pader district about 55km from Gulu town.
  11. Mountain climbing on the snowcapped mountains of the moon and volcano climbing in Mgahinga and Mount Elgon.
  12. Culture; depending on where you are, the Karamajong, Batwa, Ik, Baganda, have different displays of their cultures.
  13. Sesse Islands, unwind and enjoy the serenity then cool off all the stress while at Sesse islands.
  14. Lake Bunyonyi area which is dubbed the Switzerland of Africa. Marvel at the beauty and birdlife existent in this area.

How do I get to Uganda?

Uganda can be accessed by air and road. By air, book your flight into Entebbe International Airport. Entebbe is he only International Airport in the country, all the flights in and out of Uganda are through Entebbe. There are many international airlines flying into Entebbe, these include; Emirates, Turkish, Brussels Airlines, KLM, Kenya Airways, South African Airways, Ethiopian, Egypt Air, Rwanda Air, Qatar Airways, and Uganda Airlines.

By road, the most common border points used include; Malaba and Busia from Kenya, Mutukula from Tanzania, then; Cyanika and Katuna from Rwanda.

When can I visit Uganda?

Uganda is a tropical country and can be visited any time of the year. However, most people prefer to visit Uganda during the dry season. The country has two seasons that is the dry season which is June to September, and December to February; and the rainy season which is March to May, and October to November. It is important to note that the country being endowed with a number of forests, it can rain any time of the year so, the perceived dry season might actually turn out to be rainy.

The most important aspect to consider when planning a trip to Uganda is what your interest is and what you would actually want to see because different attractions are found in different areas. Some might actually call for more time in the country depending on where they are located depending on where they are located. You can have a look at this Best Selling Itinerary for a guide on what to see in Uganda in two weeks.