About Uganda and Travel Explore Africa Ltd.
Uganda is called ‘The pearl of Africa’ by one one the first travelers.
In 1907 when Winston Churchill first arrived in the country he described Uganda as the ‘Pearl of Africa,’ a slogan we have made good use of for now a century. Uganda is a magic country, only recently discovered as a great safari destination. Come and see for your self because Uganda has it all:
The country’s charm lies in an astonishing diversity – of wildlife, vegetation, landscapes and cultures – within an area no larger than the United Kingdom. East Africa meets west within its borders; Congo-style rainforests bristling with central African birds and primates adjoin expansive, east African savannas inhabited by healthy populations of big game. The land is 236.580 sq. kilometers, with a population of 37.3 million (2013) with a population growth rate 3.2% annually and is also inhabited by the subjects of traditional kingdoms and tribes, each with its own history and cultures. Add the fact that these people are widely held to be the most friendly and hospitable hosts in Africa, and we can claim to be the continent’s most welcoming and varied safari destination.The appeal of Uganda is due in no small part to its remarkably long list of wildlife species. Despite its relatively small size, it boasts Africa’s longest bird list (over 1,040 species, with several new species discovered just in the last years) as well as more primate species (eighteen in totals) than any other country on the continent. This includes 13 diurnal monkeys and two great apes, chimpanzees and the endangered mountain gorilla of which Uganda is home to over half of the world’s population.
These impressively large numbers are due to a longitudinal location between east and central Africa and also to a wide range of habitats including forest, woodland, wetland, moorland, savannas, rivers and lakes. These are spread across some genuinely magnificent landscapes: the floor of the Western Rift Valley, the vast remote plains of Kidepo, the slopes of the world’s largest freestanding volcano and the continent’s highest mountain range. They also flank the island-studded expanse of the world’s second-largest freshwater lake and the turbulent headwaters of its longest river. Despite its landlocked location, a full fifth of Uganda is covered by water.
In addition to Lake Victoria and the river Nile, Uganda is dotted with hundreds of other lakes. Some fill extinct volcanic craters, flood river valleys dammed by lava or simply submerge large tracts of the rift valley’s huge trough.
The Ugandan theme of variety extends to its climate. In Kidepo Valley, in the arid extreme north-east, daytime temperatures regularly exceed 30°C (85°F) while at night on the high Rwenzori, just miles from the equator, they fall below freezing. In general, however, the effect of altitude means that Uganda enjoys a singularly pleasant tropical climate with temperatures averaging 21 to 25°C (70-77°F) during the day and between 12 and 18 degrees Celsius at night. The hottest months are from December to February, with 27 to 29 degrees Celsius. The rainy seasons are from April to May and October to November. Despite the fact that the human population is quiet dense in some areas, it remains one of the richest countries in east Africa biologically. Uganda is not very large but extremely diverse with over 1000 species of birds and 15 species of diurnal primates including the gorilla and chimpanzees. This enormous diversity depends partly on its geographical position at the transition between east and central Africa. It has also got a temperature climate with an annual rainfall of 1000-1500mm.
It has always been easy to describe Uganda’s natural attractions, but attracting visitors has not always been so simple. Although the country was Africa’s foremost safari destination in 1968, it dropped off the tourist map during difficult years in the 1970s and 1980s. By the time stability was restored in 1986,
Africa’s pearl was somewhat tarnished; big game had been heavily poached, and the hotel infrastructure was run down or ruined. Uganda as a country is one of the most thought for destination when it comes to African safaris. This is due to its natural endowment with natural beauty, characterized by good natural physical features, amazing African landscapes and scenic views. Uganda is also known both as a world of birds and world of wildlife. Birdwatchers seek the talismanic shoebill in wetlands and roam forests ticking off Albertine Rift endemics and Congo-Guinea biome species at the eastern limit of their ranges. Prime birding destinations include Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and The ‘Royal Mile’ near Murchison Falls National Park, ranked number one and nine respectively by Travel African Magazine in their list of the top ten bird watching sites in Africa. Other major birding sites include Queen Elizabeth National Park, home to 604 bird species, and Semliki Forest, on the border with the Democratic Republic of Congo, which contains 46 Central African birds found nowhere else in East Africa.
The mighty Nile, with its spectacular Murchison Falls, the setting for some of the world’s best white-water rafting. There are the snow-capped mountains of the Rwenzori, and the Virunga Volcanoes and Mount Elgon both with a lot of hiking opportunities through beautiful sceneries. Uganda has few beautiful big lakes like Lake Victoria and Lake Bunyonyi. And apart from that, Uganda has the reputation as the ‘Africa’s Friendliest Country’, with the tradition of hospitality and a remarkably low level of crime and hassle directed at tourists. The official language of Uganda is English and the currency is Ugandan Shilling (USh).
Uganda’s response was to draw on its remarkable variety of alternative natural attractions. While big game populations recovered, a new menu of activities was developed. Today, primate seekers can track the endangered mountain gorilla in the forests of Bwindi and Mgahinga the equally rare golden monkey can also be reliably found in the latter and chimpanzee in the forests of Kibale, Kaniyo Pabidi, and Queen Elizabeth National Park plus Kalinzu forest reserve. The potential for adventure has been utilized to the full. Trekkers climb to the giant caldera of Mount Elgon and the glacial peaks of Mount Rwenzori, the legendary snowy source of the Nile, while at the more conventional Source of the Nile, rafters and kayakers negotiate Africa’s finest stretch of white water rapids below the river’s exit from Lake Victoria (supplementary adrenalin activities here include jet boats, quad biking, mountain biking, horse riding, and even bungee jumping).
Cultural tourism sites and events celebrate the diversity of some 40 ethnic groups and the rich history of the traditional kingdoms. And if the excitement gets too much, travellers can rest and recuperate at one of the comfortable retreats on the shore of Lake Bunyonyi, beside the white beaches of the Ssese Islands, or overlooking the crater lakes of Fort Portal.
Indeed, the standard of accommodation has improved nationwide. Older, historical hotels have been refurbished and new ones constructed. The 2007 Commonwealth Summit in Kampala was preceded by a dramatic increase in quality hotels in the capital, while luxury lodges and tented camps serve all the major protected areas.
Coming full circle, large mammal populations in the grassland park are once again worth watching, happily so for there is more to game viewing in Uganda than a game drive. In the 1960s, launch trips on the Nile below Murchison Falls and on the Kazinga Channel in Queen Elizabeth National Park were highlights of a visit to these parks and refurbished launches once again expose visitors to memorable concentrations of waterside wildlife.
With our experience in the tour industry any one can agree with us that we provide the best safari experience that can overwhelm even the most difficult client to satisfy. We offer a wide range of services including Airport Pick-ups and transfers, Pre and post safari hotel reservations, excursions and long safaris, private.
Our safaris are carefully planned by our expert tour managers, and your inquiry will be responded to by our reservation team in a blink of an eye. We have on offer safaris ranging from excursions/one day tours to over 25 days safaris to Uganda and Rwanda.
With our safaris you can expect to see Africa’s Big five and other land animals, Gorillas, Chimpanzees and other primates, Water falls, Forests, Islands, and plenty of Bird life. Feel free to book any safari as a private tour or join a group if available.
We also hire cars and tour (four wheel drive 4WD) vehicles including land cruiser (Prado), land rovers, four-wheel drive safari vehicles like Toyota hiace safari vehicles (with 7 seats, 9 seats, 14 seats). Our low cost prices for car hire are the best in Uganda.
Travel explore Africa ltd also does hotel and lodge reservations in Uganda and all National Parks. We have negotiated the best offer hotel rates with all hotels and lodges in Uganda so that we can book you in any national park lodge and city hotel and lodge at the lowest cost.
As recognized tour operators we assist in booking your gorilla permits and chimpanzee permits in Uganda (Bwindi Impenetrable Forest &Mgahinga Parks).