Menu Close

Uganda is a landlocked country in East Africa. Although landlocked, Uganda contains the largest tropical lake on Earth, the source of the world’s longest river, Africa’s second deepest lake, Africa’s tallest mountain range and the world’s most powerful waterfall. 

Uganda is one of the safest countries to visit in Africa. The country is also committed to safeguard its rare wildlife. Uganda covers a total area of 241,038 square kilometers and around 20 percent of its land is dedicated to wildlife reserves. 

Uganda’s is primary attraction is the mountain gorillas. The country has half of the world’s mountain gorilla population and offers the cheapest and safest gorilla trekking in Africa.

Uganda is also home to all the Big 5 animals and it is known for its superb chimpanzee trekking and birdwatching of over 1097 species. Winston Churchill coined the nickname “The Pearl of Africa” in 1908, to convey the beauty, variety, and natural wealth of the land.  With so much to see, here are our best reasons to visit Uganda in 2024.

Why Visit Uganda?

1. Mountain Gorillas

Number one of our best reasons to visit Uganda is a chance to encounter one the rarest animals in the world. Yes, gorilla trekking in Uganda is one of the best wildlife experiences in Africa, along with wildebeest migration and Big Five game viewing.

It is simply unforgettable as you hike through the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest (even the name is memorable) to see these gentle giants in the wild.

Uganda is home to the world’s biggest population of Mountain gorillas and a Uganda gorilla trekking tour is far cheaper than gorilla trekking in Rwanda, even though both offer equally fantastic experiences. A Uganda gorilla permit costs US$ 700 while a gorilla trekking permit in Rwanda costs US$ 1500. Read more about gorilla trekking Rwanda vs Uganda.

2. Wild Chimpanzees

Number two of our best reasons to visit Uganda is the opportunity to see yet another species of great – this time man’s closest relative, the chimpanzee. Uganda boasts more than 5700 wild chimpanzees. With over 1500 chimpanzees, Kibale National Park is the most recommended for travelers seeking to see chimps on Uganda safaris.

Kibale Forest National Park offers a 95% successful tracking rate – far greater than any other location which offers chimpanzee trekking in Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, or Congo. Read more about best places to see chimpanzees.

3. Old World Monkeys

Gorillas and Chimpanzees are not the only primates you will have the privilege of seeing up close in Uganda. Uganda has the highest density of primates in East Africa. The extensive rainforest jungles of this landlocked African country host 18 monkey species, including;

  • the gorgeous golden monkeys
  • Red colobus monkeys
  • Back-and-white colobus monkeys
  • Blue monkeys
  • Red-tailed monkeys
  • Olive Baboons
  • Bush baby
  • L’Hoest’s monkey

4. Classic Big Game Viewing

Besides amazing primate treks, Uganda also offers fantastic game viewing. All the Big 5 can be seen in Uganda – something only a few African nations can claim.

The Big Five are Lion, Leopard, Rhino, African elephant, and African buffalo. Queen Elizabeth, Kidepo Valley, and Murchison Falls National Parks are Uganda’s premier destinations for classic game viewing on boat cruises, game drives and nature walks.

These Uganda wildlife safari parks offer amazing sightings of elephants, hippos, crocodiles, buffalos and a variety of antelope species. However, the stars of the show are certainly the famous tree-climbing lions that live in Queen Elizabeth National Park’s Ishasha sector.

5. Bird Watching Tours

Uganda has 1,090 of the 2,250 bird species recorded on the African continent.

The country is the richest birding destination in Africa. And it is also the 10th worldwide going by the number of species per square kilometer.

The top avian species is the prehistoric looking Shoebill.

With its huge, yellow, human-like eyes, the enormous shoe-shaped bill, and 5 feet height, this big bird looks like something from the dinosaur era. That large bill helps the shoebill to catch its preys the Lungfish, frogs, rodents, and baby crocodiles. The best place to see shoebills is at Mabamba Swamp near the airport town of Entebbe.

Local fishermen help track these highly endangered birds, and your search will be conducted in a wooden boat – in the many deep-water channels of this large papyrus swamp. Other top birds species you can see on Uganda birding tours include;

  • The 24 Albertine Rift Endemics
  • Grey Parrot
  • Green-breasted Pitta
  • Great Blue Turaco, etc

6. Source of the Nile in Jinja

The source of the Nile in Jinja is one of the most iconic places in Africa. It is a place where the longest river on Earth, River Nile exit the largest lake in Africa, Lake Victoria to commence an epic 6700km journey north to the Mediterranean Sea in Egypt.

The source of the Nile River in Jinja also also doubles as the adventure sport epicentre of East Africa. So, whether you want to just see the start of the Nile, or whether you want to raft, kayak, bungee jump or quadbike around this area, there’s loads of choices in this tourist-friendly town. Read more about the things to do in Jinja.

7. Captivating Landscape

Uganda’s landscape boasts outstanding features. The world’s largest tropical lake, Lake Victoria, the world’s longest river, River Nile, the world’s strongest waterfall, Murchison Falls, Africa’s second deepest lake, Lake Bunyonyi and Africa’s tallest mountain range, Rwenzori Mountains are all found in Uganda.

From the lush basin of the Great Rift Valley and the magical Bwindi Impenetrable Forest to the sparkling water of the Kazinga Channel and striking views of the Virunga Volcanoes, Uganda is a paradise for nature lovers.

The snow-capped Rwenzori Mountains, a World Heritage Site is a breathtaking sight to behold, offering stunning scenery of forests, waterfalls, lakes, rivers, and glaciers.

You can experience Uganda’s landscapes up close through hikes, boat cruises, mountain biking, rafting, canoeing, etc.

8. Crowd-Free Safari

Uganda sees fewer tourists compared to its East Africa neighbours of Tanzania and Kenya. One of the first questions we’re asked is: Where is Uganda found? A true hidden gem, Uganda is relatively unknown to many outside of Africa.

However, this is fantastic news for safari-goers seeking a crowd-free trip. Safari tours in Uganda afford a more personalized, private and exclusive experience, where there are little to no other visitors around during your stay.

8. Easy To Combine With Other Africa Destinations

In addition to the smaller crowds, Uganda is easily combined with other top African destinations. The neighboring countries of Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic Congo are easily coupled with your Uganda safaris.

This means that, you can visit enjoy big game viewing and the Great Wildebeest Migration in the Masai Mara or Serengeti and then go gorilla trekking through the rainforests. And after encountering the rare mountain gorillas, you can end your trip off with a beachside escape in Zanzibar for a bit of rest and relaxation before heading home.

9. Friendly Local People

Besides the rich, diverse wildlife and natural landscape, another of the best reasons to visit Uganda is its people. Happy, generous, friendly and welcoming are the words closely associated with the Ugandan people. They’re known as sociable, exuberant extroverts who are more than willing to welcome and help every visitor to their country.

10. Enriching Cultural Experiences

Beyond their friendliness and warmth, the people of Uganda are also some of the most fascinating individuals you will ever meet. 

More than 50 tribes with different cultures call Uganda home. This makes the country a cultural melting pot of various indigenous people. One of the highlights of visiting Uganda is immersing yourself in the culture and also learning from the Ugandans as they share their colourful dress, music, dance, food and languages with you.

11. A Variety Of Accommodation Options

Just like in other matters, Uganda does not fail to satisfy visitors regarding its wide range of accommodation. You can choose from a wide spectrum of accommodation options. These include safari camps, lodges, hostels, guest houses, and large luxury hotels. In any of these options, you will get picturesque scenery, mostly ideal locations, and close proximity to wilderness.

12. Perfect Weather

The weather and climate of Uganda is almost always very nice. This is one of thirteen countries in the world that lies on the Equator. In fact, when planning your safari to Uganda, you’ll not need to worry about extreme cold and hot seasons because Uganda has a warm, sunny climate most of the year. Read our guide on the best time to visit Uganda.

13. Uganda Is Safe

For long, Uganda has larked in the shadow of its tumultuous past of civil wars and bad leaders, so much that many people still believe the dictator Idi Amin is still the president of Uganda, a man that died decades ago. For more than 15 years now Uganda has enjoyed peace with no war going on in her land. It is in fact one of the safest countries to visit in Africa.

14. Affordability

If you are interested in a budget safari in Africa, Uganda is one of the most recommended in Africa. The country offers affordable mountain gorilla tracking safaris without compromising the quality of the experience. In fact, a Uganda gorilla trekking permit cost $700 compared to the Rwanda gorilla permit which costs $1500 per person per trek.

15. Professional Local Safari Guides

Professional safari guides are critical if you are going to have a great safari these are readily available in Uganda for you on safari. Uganda safari guides are also fluent in English, French, and German. English is the Official Language in Uganda. 

Not only that, but according to a study by the World Linguistic Society released in 2017, Ugandans speak the best English in all of Africa, followed by Zambia, South Africa, Kenya, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Ghana, Botswana, Sudan, Rwanda, and Tanzania.

16. Simple Visa Application Process

Uganda Visa Application process to enter as a tourist is quick and easy. You will go on the Uganda online E-visa system where you’ll fill in the application form. Read more about Uganda Visa.

Why Visit Uganda?

There are so many reasons to go on safari in Uganda, not the least of which is that it will be an adventure of a lifetime. So let us help you plan and book your Uganda safari. You can contact us here. Our safari experts will be happy to assist you.