Does Uganda have it all?
Uganda as a safari destination tends to be considered primarily if people wish to view mountain gorillas in the wild – the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest is one of the best places to see them. However, both Bwindi, and Uganda as a whole, offer far more than just seeing gorillas.
Many other primates, including our closest relative, the chimpanzee, can be seen throughout the various national parks. The scenery is stunning throughout with particular highlights being Murchison Falls on the Nile River, The Ruwenzori ‘Mountains of the Moon’, the Virunga Volcanoes, lakes Victoria, Albert, George and Edward, Mount Elgon and the Great Rift Valley escarpment. Big-game is found in good quantities in Lake Mburo, Queen Elizabeth, Kidepo and Murchison Falls national parks, and interesting cultural experiences and photographical opportunities await around every corner.
In addition to all this, Uganda is a fantastic birding destination and after the gorillas, birding is probably the second biggest reason people to travel to Uganda – we covered much of the country over November/December and the variety of habitat is incredible, allowing Uganda to support over 1000 species. There are rich forests home to colourful birds such as the Greater Blue turaco, open plains where Crowned cranes gather and Bateleur eagles soar, river courses that are teeming with herons and kingfishers, and swamps that are home to one of Africa’s rarest and most unusual species, the shoebill.
One of my aims for the trip was to ‘unearth’ a fantastic birding guide, and we did just that. In fact, I think we really hit the jackpot with a guide who runs his own private tailor-made birding tours. He’s a lovely person to tour the country with too!
Amazing birds, big game, gorillas, chimps and other primates, friendly people and beautiful scenery – yes, Uganda really does have it all!