Known as the pearl of Africa, Uganda has been and still is considered one of the top African destinations by tourists, Uganda remains one of the few nu-discovered yet beautiful tour and travel destinations in Africa.
Friendly Gorillas Safaris has taken the time to research for the top 5 reasons as to why many tourists visit Uganda (2019).
In this article, I am going to provide you a detailed list of reasons as to why Uganda should be on the top of your must-visit destinations in Africa.
This page is therefore meant to help first-timers looking for information about tourism activities and highlights in Uganda.
When talking about a Safari to Uganda, one can’t fail to think of Mountain Gorillas. Gorillas can
be found in the African forests. And the process of finding their habitats is known as Gorilla
trekking. A Gorilla Trek is a highlight of all tours to Uganda and Certainly mountain gorillas are
the major reason as to why very many people visit Uganda as their destination.
To trek a gorilla in Uganda, you need to acquire a permit, your tour operator can organize this for you and Friendly Gorillas Tours organizes these for its clients who wish to go Gorilla trekking.
Gorillas move daily to different locations to spend the night; they make nests from twigs and leaves.
Uganda is a birder’s paradise. Over half of all bird species in Africa can be found here, making it one of the richest birding destinations on the continent.
Crammed into this diminutive country is an astonishingly rich diversity of habitats, from the scenic shores of Uganda’s many great lakes to the lush forests of the Albertine Rift and the banks of the mighty Nile River.
The most prized species here is the incredibly rare, prehistoric-looking shoebill, located among the papyrus swamps.
Keep an eye out for the beautiful grey-crowned crane – these elegant birds have wild goldcrests and sport the same colors as the Ugandan flag (red, yellow and black) – it is the country’s national bird.
The saddle-billed stork also displays the flag’s colors proudly across its vivid beak.
River Nile is well known to be the longest river in the world. Its source starts right from Jinja Uganda, some people may be wondering how the name Nile come about. It’s a famous Greek word simply meaning valley.
The river starts from the Northeastern part of Africa. It flows from the surrounding areas close to the equator to the outrageous Safari desert and up to the eastern Mediterranean Sea.
The river is about 6696km long and pours its water to over nine countries although it’s more centered on Uganda as well as Egypt. Countries include Sudan, Burundi, Rwanda, Kenya, Tanzania, Zaire, and Ethiopia.
This famous river and longest comprises two major twigs, the white and Blue Nile that connects in Khartoum to form the core Nile that is made up of Cataract Nile along with the Egyptian Nile.
The White Nile is the longest and splits into three parts;1) the lake plateau region,2) The sudd,3) The central Sudan region.
The Nile has contributed a lot to the modernization of countries like Uganda and Egypt. Its history has been the major source as to why people have been Uganda.
The Nile provides power to Ugandans and it’s the source of energy, the dam gives electricity to the country to enable them to carry out their daily activities.
The banks of the Nile are too fertile to favor agriculture and still provide water to people. Egypt is acknowledged to be a dry land but it has been able to do its farming on irrigation and the fertile soils that are close to the Nile.
The Nile has also been the source of life for some animals that enjoy the water like the crocodiles that occupy the river banks in Egypt. The crocodiles discover in Egypt are stated to be longer and dangerous as well.
So many activities are done on the Nile, for instance, water rafting, bungee jumping, Kayaking, boat rides as well as fishing. These have attracted large numbers of tourists that visit Uganda. Once you are here, you get to know that surely Uganda is the pearl of Africa.
The most exciting element about Egypt is that its historical sites are centered on the Nile bank. Tourists endeavor to pass by and get firsthand information.
The best way to catch a closer glimpse of the Nile is by taking up a Nile cruise, you will see all the hidden beauty of the different countries and the experience will be exciting. As you plan for a tour to Africa, the Nile must be one of the places to visit before you go back home. It’s a must-see beauty of Africa.
he Nile River flows through the northeastern part of Africa. It is the longest river in the world (although some sources rank it as the second-longest after the Amazon River).
The Nile is an international river with its drainage basin covering eleven countries throughout northeastern Africa. It is the main source of water in Egypt and Sudan.
The Nile covers a distance of about 4,132 miles and has a drainage basin of approximately 1.3 square miles.
The river has two main tributaries known as the White and Blue Niles. The White Nile is the headstream and the mainstream of the Nile while the Blue Nile supplies most of the waters and silt (clay that is deposited as sediment).
Geographically, Uganda is generally a flat plateau with an altitude of above 900m in most parts of the country with numerous small hills and valleys and extensive savanna plains.
Vegetation in Uganda is extremely diverse, a result of the different microclimates of the country.
Vegetation zones can be roughly classified according to the rainfall/ climatic zones;
Highlands of the Southeast
Vegetation is heaviest in the south and typically becomes wooded savannah in central and northern Uganda.
In the highlands southwest, however, cultivation is intensive even on the high mountain slopes.
There are, however, scattered patches of thick forest or of elephant grass and Muvuli trees, providing excellent timber.
The cooler western highlands contain a higher proportion of long grass and forest. In the drier northern region, short grasses appear, and there are areas of open woodland; thorn trees and Borassus palms also grow.
Savannah grasslands cover most of Uganda but vary in different regions depending on the altitude and temperatures. Southwest may be wooded, shrubby to the north, or dry to the northeast.
Savannah habitat is dominated by grassland dotted with Borassus palms, woodland with forest patches.
The woody vegetation is dominated by acacia-dotted savanna species, Olea and Boscia species. Forest savannah mosaic vegetation is scattered throughout the country in areas close to water bodies.
The forest vegetation has high amounts of transpiration increasing the rainfall around the region. The forest vegetation lessens soil erosion, flooding and ensures that streams continue to flow in the dry season.
Uganda is a cradle of the mountain thus mountain vegetation will be found in the country such as in Rwenzori mountains and in the Mount Elgon region.
Budongo forest, in Murchison Falls National Park, is the largest natural mahogany forest with ironwood trees
Vegetation thrives in highly humid areas, lining near the Great Lakes such as papyrus swamp and narrow bands of lush riparian woodland.
Do Lions Climb Trees?
It is somewhat uncommon for lions to actually climb trees. There are no more than 2 populations in the whole world of such lions that do actually climb trees as one of their day after day behavior.
One of these populations is found within the Ishasha sector which is found in the south part of the well known Queen Elizabeth National Park within Uganda.
The Visitors on Uganda safaris generally end up visiting the Ishasha region primarily to see the population of the resident Tree Climbing Lions although they are also rewarded with views of other wildlife species.
The Ishasha Sector is actually today very famously because of its mystifying population of the tree-climbing lions that are a very exceptional attraction and as well one of the major highlights for which most guests visit this park.
The Lions are normally seen lazily lying up within the branches of the huge fig trees staring down at the numerous Uganda Kobs that are grazing in the open Ishasha plains – and these are actually the main prey to these lions.
In case you ever find yourself being chased by a lion, choosing to climb up into the trees as a way to escape from it will actually not help much especially within Queen Elizabeth National Park since these Lions have the ability to climb up into the trees.
Actually, they are commonly seen sleeping on branches in the afternoon as they digest their food after lunch.
Ishasha is one tourist spot that is well known for its tree-climbing lions in Uganda.
Besides these animals can also be discovered in Kenya, Tanzania close to Lake Manyara as well as South Africa, once you are in these places, you will get a chance to see the young lions playing as they climb from one tree to another.
Unfortunately, it’s not so easy for you to spot these lions, there are seasons when you can’t even find one and because of this, tourists or visitors are concluding with fun ideologies that it’s just gossip about these lions or perhaps the safari companies are using it like a marketing procedure.
If you really want to get a good glance at these tree climbing lions including the young and the older, the only place in Uganda that can offer this view is Ishasha plains of Queen Elizabeth Park.
The lions spend the entire day climbing trees and some resting under the cool environment. It has a beautiful sight that you may not discover in the whole of Africa.
Many tour companies tend to ignore this place as they only take their visitors to Queen Elizabeth Park along with Bwindi Impenetrable Forest.
The area is acknowledged for having about 3 kinds of lions in the park; however, there is no correct figure for the number of lions that occupy the park. Some people have guessed to around 45 lions and more.
The only place that you will discover these great tree-climbing lions will be in the Sycamore Fig trees along with the Acacia trees.
The beauty of these Sycamore Fig trees is that they provide enough shelter to the tree-climbing lions more so during the rainy season. They are thick to give support to the lions.
So many people ask themselves why the Tree climbing lions love occupying the Sycamore Fig trees, the local people say that it’s cultural for the lions to climb trees.
Other people take it in this perspective that they are only avoiding insects that feast on them. Surprisingly these tree climbing lions can hide in the sycamore-fig tree and the tourists may not get a chance to spot even one during their game drive.
The only way of getting this avoided is by having a tour operator under the Uganda Wildlife Authority.
These are the best people to discover hiding lions rather than using a driver who only has plain information about the place.
Something to take note of the lions in Ishasha is the fact that the manes of the males are black. Apart from the tree-climbing lions, you can certainly enjoy seeing the tree climbing Leopards at Ishasha.
If there is anything that ought not to be missed, is the tree-climbing lions, they have a beautiful sight that can be discovered in Ishasha Uganda and remember not in the whole of Africa.
While tourism is continually growing in the region, it can still be daunting to plan a trip to Uganda. Visit Uganda and you will not be disappointed
Thankfully, I’m here to help.
As a safari expert with Friendly Gorillas Safaris, I can not only help you with your itinerary, but I can also get you great discounts on hotels and activities. Click here and choose an appropriate package for you. To inquire click here.