In its article titled, ‘Where to travel in 2023: The best destinations to visit’, CNN Names Uganda One of The Best Destinations to Visit In 2023. Uganda is one of just four African destinations on CNN Travel list of 23 destinations to visit around the world this year.
Other African destinations on the list include Rwanda, Tanzania, and Cairo, Egypt.
“There’s considerable change brewing in Uganda’s travel offerings at the moment with the East African country looking beyond the traditional staples of safari and wildlife spotting to appeal to both regional and international visitors” CNN Travel says on its website.
CNN Travel notes from the expansive shores of Lake Victoria to the snowy Rwenzori Mountains, Uganda is a beautiful wilderness playground, with opportunities for adventure including treks through the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest or up to the craters of the Virunga volcano chain or whitewater rafting along the Victoria Nile River in Jinja.
And it would be a missed opportunity, CNN Travel says if a traveler didn’t visit Uganda, a country with rich biodiversity and rich culture to offer.
“There’s also an emphasis on connecting visitors with Ugandan communities – promising tastes of Ugandan food, music and culture”, CNN Travel writes.
“Last year saw the launch of the Uganda Cycling Trail, a 1,600-kilometer mainly unpaved 22-stage route designed to appeal to all levels of cyclist from hardcore solo backpackers to fully-guided easy riders.”
A Lot Defines Uganda As One Of The Best Destinations To Visit In 2023, Including:
1. Mountain Gorilla Trekking
It is one-of-a-kind wildlife experience that takes you face to face with real life “King Kong” deep in the African rainforest jungle.
Only three countries in the world are home to mountain gorillas and Uganda is fortunate have more than half of the population. How about combining your Uganda gorilla safari with the wildebeest migration safari in Kenya or Tanzania for your next African holiday?
The best time to travel to Uganda for gorilla trekking is during the country’s dry season’s months of December and February and June and September.
2. Chimpanzee Trekking
Chimpanzee trekking in Uganda offers a rare chance of tracking down wild chimpanzees on foot in the jungle. Imagine the adventure of heading out to track these great apes in dense rainforest.
Seeing chimpanzees in their natural habitat is a rare treat. Chimps are our closest relatives, as we share 98.8% of our nuclear DNA.
Similar to us, they have strong personalities, and their expressive faces make their identities very recognizable to us. Observing their intelligence and social behavior is endlessly fascinating. About 5700 chimpanzees live in the wild in Uganda with about 1500 in Kibale Forest which is the which number one destination for chimpanzee trekking in Africa. This is attributed to the abundance of forests in protected areas such as the parks and reserves.
Read More: Chimpanzee Trekking In Uganda
3. Viewing Old Word Monkeys
Monkey viewing is another adventure that nature lovers can do in Uganda in addition to gorilla and chimp trekking.
Uganda has 18 species of monkeys in the jungles. Among these are some exceptional species that are endangered and unique like the golden monkeys.
These monkeys like the mountain gorillas are only found in mountains in the Albertine rift valley. Golden monkey tracking is the most popular monkey tracking/viewing adventure. It is done in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park which is part of the magnificent volcanic Virunga Mountains.
4. Wildlife Safari Game Drives
Uganda does not have the fame of a big five destination like neighboring Kenya and Tanzania. But the country offers the classic African safari of big game viewing, diverse wildlife experiences, beautiful landscapes and breathtaking scenery on game drives.
The famous “Big Five”, that is, Rhino, Lion, Leopard, Elephant, and Buffalo can be viewed in Uganda. Big Five Safari to Murchison Falls National Park and Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary can be done in just 3 days and you will tick off all the five animals.
You can also enjoy big game viewing in Queen Elizabeth National Park which is home to tree-climbing lions, Kidepo Valley National Park and Lake Mburo National Park. Those to visit Uganda particularly to see the mountain gorillas can as well plan to see the big five here as well without having to travel to the more popular and yet congested Africa destinations.
5. Wildlife Safari Boat Safaris
Uganda is East Africa’s top destination for game viewing on boat cruises or wildlife boat safaris. Boat safaris are available in Murchison Falls NP along the Nile, Queen Elizabeth Park’s Kazinga Channel and Lake Mburo National Park on Lake Mburo.
Boat safaris in Uganda provide a closer look at wildlife in the water such as hippos, crocodiles, and waterbirds. Along the banks you can see African elephants, African buffalos, Giraffes, and much more.
The best time of the day for boat safaris is in the afternoon. This is when the animals go to the water sources to drink and cool off the scorching sun. For early morning is best for bird watching enthusiasts.
6. Hiking And Mountain Climbing
Uganda is simply a have for hiking, with many mountains and hiking trails. Even none experienced hiker and trekkers can find a trail to enjoy.
The snow-capped Rwenzori Mountains have been hailed by the international mountain climbing community as one of the most beautiful and challenging hiking destinations.
The Virunga Volcanoes, particularly Mount Sabyinyo offer one of the greatest volcano hiking experiences. And the Sipi Falls –Uganda’s most beautiful waterfalls on the slopes of Mount Elgon are possibly the most popular destination for easy hikes, favored by hiking enthusiast and nature lovers.
Read More: Sipi Falls- Awesome Things to See & Do
7. Biking/Cycling Tours
Along the Albertine rift valley in the west and south-west of Uganda, the picturesque rolling scenery must be one of the greatest areas for cycling in Africa.
The breathtaking environment is filled with hundreds of gorgeous crater lakes, jungles and forests that are home to chimps and monkeys, lush grasslands, large tea gardens that create such beautiful green plains on slopes or hills.
You may also ride in several other locations in Uganda to discover the diverse landscapes, animals, climate, people, and cultures.
8. River Nile Adventures
The Source of the Nile (the world’s longest river) in Jinja offers one of the best adventures on Earth.
On of such adventure is white water rafting on the raging rapids of up to grade 5. The Nile simmers through a beautiful countryside spicing up the rafting experience as you take in the beautiful scenery, and see the locals in the countryside.
Other than rafting the Nile offers many other activities for the adventure lovers and adrenaline junkies such as kayaking, tubing, bungee jumping, stand-up peddling, and sport fishing, as well as mountain biking, quad biking and horseback along the banks.
Uganda has a bird list of 1090 species, which is about half of the species in Africa and 11% of the world. The country is the best place to see the pre-historic looking shoebill stork. And its small size means that you bird the whole of Uganda in 18 days and record more than 600 species!
And another great reason you should visit Uganda for bird watching is that Africa’s number one forest birding spot, Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park in Uganda is also home of the Mountain gorillas. Bwindi is home to over 350 bird species including 23 Albertine Rift Endemics.
10. Culture And Local Community Experiences
Uganda is one of the most ethnically diverse countries in the world. More than 50 different tribes of people with unique cultures reside in Uganda. These cultures can be witnessed through different traditions, arts, dances, economic activities, leadership organization through kingdoms and chiefdoms.
Ugandans are also some of the friendliest people in the world. You can visit a rural community and experience their day to day lives, visit museums and historical monuments, cultural institutions such as palaces.
CNN states “ Uganda is keen to revitalize post-Covid tourism in all corners of the country, not just the big-ticket businesses offering wealthy visitors a glimpse of the Big Five beasts or mountain gorillas, it’s turned to marketing its other attributes . Indeed Uganda is one of the best safari destinations you can visit in 2023.
Read More: 23 Best Reasons To Visit Uganda In 2023