Where is Uganda?
If you haven’t been to Uganda yet, there is a part of your life story you are cutting out. Uganda is located in eastern Africa. There are numerous reasons you set some time and visit this landlocked country, linking the west and the east African countries. Because of these many reasons (that we are going to find out about later), the great Sir. Winston Churchill decided to name Uganda the 'Pearl of Africa.' Are you wondering is it safe to travel to Uganda? Well, Uganda is one of Africa's safer countries to travel, however a lack of border enforcement has led to illicit substances and lawlessness throughout the country.
So, why should you travel to Uganda? Let us find out below.
1. Friendly and Warm People
One of the things that would push you to visit a new place is its people's hospitality and loving nature. A welcoming community attracts more visitors than a flourishing and hostile one. The friendly and warm-at-heart people you will meet in Uganda will make you feel more at home and desire to return again and again.
With friendly people around, it is easy for you to learn about the Buganda people's culture and life. It is a norm in Uganda to see the people wave at tourists in happy and smiley faces with words like 'Tukusanyukidde,' a Luganda word for Welcome. The way they call 'Muzungu' anytime they spot a white man touring their country would make you feel amused and more of their friend than foe.
Amazingly as it may be, it is possible that you can get all the information you need from a group of local men and women who, apart from understanding their culture so well, are also willing to share it with anyone they trust. The children, too, are not left out, they are great storytellers, and they can deliver the most memorable moments of your stay in the country.
2. The Vegetation
If someone had to give you a great Uganda travel advice, it had to include the beautiful vegetation that awaits you. Most often than not, tourists tend to think that because Uganda is situated in the south of the Sahara, it has to be dry or semi-arid. That is not the case. The country brags of lush vegetation, which is home to many wild animals, especially the primates.
The banana, tea, and coffee plantations across the country give you an enjoyable driving experience as you make your way into the country's interiors. There is much to learn about vegetation if you are a scientist specializing in that niche. For example, in one of the villages known as Bwindi, there are forests with more than 1000 flowering plant species and over 200 different trees types.
With such an excellent ecosystem, you will never miss the likes of mammals, birds, and butterflies, among other species living freely in these conducive environments.
I bet this could be the main reason you would want to visit any African country, leave alone Uganda. But Uganda stands out so that you would wish you were there as soon as you could make it. The primates seem to be the town's talk on matters of wildlife anytime you land in Uganda.
The country prides itself on being home to 20 primate species with the highest number dwelling in the Kibale National Park. The 13 species found in Kibale National Park includes the newly discovered Dwarf Galago, making it the national park with the most significant number of primate species in Africa.
At Queen Elizabeth National Park, you will be greeted with herds of buffalos and water hippos, a magnificent sight to have. Crocodiles, antelopes, and colorful birds will give you the breath-taking experience of an adventure. If that is satisfactory for you, the tree-climbing lions of Ishasha will complete your wildlife tour in a peculiar style.
4. Iconic Water Features
If I were to advise you on what to do in Uganda and fail to mention visiting the many iconic water bodies and features in Uganda, my advice would be incomplete. The most admirable of the water features is Lake Victoria particularly in Jinja, Uganda, where the great River Nile starts and flows northwards to mix with several other rivers and finally gets out as White Nile towards Egypt.
5. The Warm Tropical Climate
If you are coming from the world's cold climatic regions, you will undoubtedly fall in love with the warm tropical of Uganda, which runs throughout the year. Uganda's sunshine blazes all year round, making it an ideal country to tour any year. While you may wonder if it ever rains in Uganda, you will be amazed to learn that sometimes it even rains and shines within ten minutes.
6. Low Budgets
With Uganda's currency slightly struggling below the dollar, you may have to spend much lower for services that you pay more for in your home country. This, in return, maximizes your stay as you enjoy the services and goods at affordable prices. Because of this, Uganda happens to be the best destination in the region based on affordability.
7. Physical Features
Uganda is well endowed with attractive numerous physical features. The terrain of most of Uganda is characterized by plateaus with some rolling hills and low mountains. The grasslands and the tropical forests will give you a beautiful natural scenery plus are a good combination for scientific research purposes.
On the southwestern border of Uganda and DRC lies the iconic Ruwenzori Mountains, a perfect depiction of mountain ranges. When you get to visit the Ruwenzori Mountains National Park, you will have the details of the natural habitats of endangered species that survive here.
The other renowned physical features you may not want to miss out on once in Uganda include the great Lake Victoria, Mount Elgon, which has the largest volcanic caldera in the world and other significant physical features.
8. Diverse Taste of Cultures and Traditions
Uganda is composed of many tribes and cultures who team up to give visitors a wonderful experience of having to experience how a majority of these tribes carry out their lives. The central Uganda culture is dominated by the Buganda people who settled there about 700 years ago. Even to this day, the Buganda people continue to practice the traditions they have believed in for centuries, some of which you would like to learn about and experience.
When you move to the Eastern parts of Uganda, the Bugisu and Busoga people will color your day. The Bugisu circumcision ceremonies are significant events you could never want to miss if you happen to be in the region. The Busogas, on the other hand, are ardent farmers, and you would probably want to see their excellent sugarcane farming skills.
The Acholi, Ik, Karamajong, Bunyoro, Tooro, Batwa, and Ankole, among others, will sum up the list of tribes and cultures you will get to learn about while in the Pearl of Africa.
9. Ugandan Delicacies
As rich as the country is in its culture, so is it in its delicacies. Every tribe in Uganda has its staple food, and this only means you will be spoilt for choices and torn between the meals to try out. One of the most talked-about dishes is the Luwombo or Oluwombo, a dish that traces its origin back into the kitchen of King Kabaka Mwanga’s personal Chef in the late 19th century.
The Luwombo is in these days a favorite among the royalty and common folk in equal measures. It consists of chicken, fish, or beef steamed with vegetables like carrots, mushrooms, and potatoes. Some plantain and peanut sauce are tagged along in the recipe to make the sweetness hit right at home when you take it. Taking this meal not only makes you satisfied but warm and full inside.
Just like Luwombo, there are so many other delicacies you can try while in Uganda. These include the Posho, Muchomo, Chapati, Katogo, Matoke, Groundnut sauce, Chaloko, Mandazi, and many others.
10. Get Sporty in high-adrenaline Water Events
On Lake Victoria's shores in Jinja, Uganda, you will most likely meet rafters getting their gears ready for a high-adrenaline white water rafting and kayaking. If you have always admired this sport, then your visit to Jinja, East Africa's Adrenaline capital, would be a perfect chance to give your desires a try.
Bungee jumping is also available for those that find water sporting a bit of a challenge. Either way, you get your adrenaline levels shooting high.
11. The Bird Paradise Awaits
This may be an excellent reason for bird lovers to visit Uganda and, specifically, Lake Bunyonyi. Lake Bunyonyi, which translates to 'Lake of small birds,' is a perfect bird watching destination, where your attention won't be stolen with other wildlife. The lake is the second deepest freshwater lake in Africa and offers a beautiful view of one of the hills around it. Its beauty is a heaven for most birds, making it an ideal location for bird watchers and lovers.
You can never get enough of the greatness Uganda has to offer. So if you want to travel to Uganda, this Uganda travel advice should guide you into knowing what to do in Uganda. Why wait any longer, get your travel gears ready today and start your journey to the Pearl of Africa.