Uganda is one of those countries in Africa which doesn’t get much attention on the tourist map but it really should do. Those of us of a certain age may remember its troubled history but it has emerged from that dark phase to become a truly beautiful and welcoming country not to be missed.It is not for nothing that the country is often called “The Pearl of Africa”.
Uganda is found in central-east Africa sharing borders with Kenya, Rwanda, The DRC, South Sudan and Tanzania. It sits on the Equator with most of the country lying around 1000 metres above sea level on a high plateau. It is country strewn with lakes, rivers and mountains meaning that most of it is covered in Equatorial rainforest but some places such Mount Elgon can even receive snow! The area Uganda sits in is the Great Lakes region and is home to the river basin of the mighty Nile. To the south is the enormous Lake Victoria one of the largest lakes in the world. Th.e country is dominated by lakes and rivers with more gigantic lakes including Lake Albert, Lake Edward, Lake Kyoga and Lake George to name a few. The main cities including the capital Kampala and Entebbe are found on the southern half of the country. To the north on the borders with South Sudan the climate is drier but mostly the Equatorial climate means that it is hot and humid most of the year with especially heavy rainfall in the spring and autumn. This rain keeps the rivers full and the rainforest dense and lush. Perfect for its other famous inhabitants the mountain gorillas.
Mountain gorillas are one of the world’s most endangered species with only left in the wild. Half the world’s remaining population can be found in the Bwindi National Park in Uganda and you can purchase a permit to go gorilla trekking to visit some of the habituated groups. Not only is Uganda famous for its gorillas but it also has vitally important colonies of chimpanzees in Kibale which can also be visited on organised and permitted trekking tours. These are probably the two main reasons why tourists visit Uganda. However there is plenty of other wildlife to be enjoyed with safaris being possible in the Queen Elizabeth National Park where you can see elephant and giraffe etc. Another place on the tourist trail is Murchison Falls which can be found in Murchison National Park. These waterfalls are stunning and are one of the most dramatic places to witness the birth of the River Nile. This whole area was explored by the British in the 1860s when David Livingstone came to find the source of the Nile in Uganda. It became a British protectorate until 1962 and independence.