Visit Uganda or some where else next? Come to Think of it _ why was it even named the pearl Of Africa and why has this name taken the lead in marketing Uganda? I have probably heard about Uganda surprisingly the country that I live and the country that I love for over 30years, yes I love the country that I live. While in School, Our teachers always made sure the words were part of our vocabraly not because they were mere words but i believe its been passed on to them from their teachers as well and yes this has always been a slogan in our Uganda national anthem whenever we ended the Stanzas.
I grew up from the western parts of Uganda where beauty was just undescribable, where one would wake up in the morning to the beautiful sounds of the birds, a place you will wake up to shiny beautiful white peaked mountains all to yourself with clearing white dusky clouds while witnessing the golden sunset clouds on the same shinny iced peaked peaks of the Rwenzori mountains. I havn’t mentioned the beauty created by the the rivers flowing out of the ever clear mountain peaks, Did i? No I didn’t but so you know a little.
Lets flip the coin around, I have been lucky fortunately (not like many other Ugandans of my age) be able to go through school till university, a platform that has given me chance to see a lot of Uganda in a different angle, same platform that has presented chances for me to fall in love with Uganda in a personal way. I just remember 10 years ago when I graduated at university in Business Administration majoring in accounts (just to have my parents happy) but my heart was always thinking about the fancy tourists I always saw pass-by my home area _ Then my wish was always being on those wheels endlessly speaking like I saw those guys then do.. I presumed they were doing as i thought and yes they seemed so happy always.
That wish is now in the past, That jealous i felt then is no more, because I had the chance to walk in the shoes till today even when im supposed to be sitted in the chairs at office and let the other persons do that work….It is the passion, it is the pride and happiness i find within my heart in personally showing people the country that I know and the country that I Love _ UGANDA. So Every evening as I sit with my kids at the balcony or every morning as i healthily lay in my bed contemplating whether to wake up and get going, i fantasize on how best i can get someone out there share the beauty of this country _ The Pearl Of Africa which I wouldn’t deny a passion that has turned into a full time job.
After a very extensive travel through East Africa and firmly accepted there is beauty out there but within me the beauty of this country that I have found within me has constantly pulled me back, not because its home but I continue to genuinely fall in love with Uganda surprisingly every day is a different experience and something new pops up. And that said I have decided to share the beauty of this country and openly sharing among the many, Top 10 sounding Reasons why you should include Uganda on Your Next travel bucket List…. Read with me….
- Lush, Still Virgin vegetation and Resposible tourism
We have a saying in our local language “That child that does not go visiting or interacting always say, mum is the best cook in the whole world” literally meaning this kid has no idea and hard to convince that there is another better cook than her mum same applies to what is imagined by many around the world when you mention Africa, which sounds like a desert full of dry scorching sun (Apparently which is not true) but occasionally to Northern Uganda. Uganda being in the middle of the African continent and lying along the Equator with tropical climate prides with one of the best weather throughout the year. Even the Dry months will still have some cool climate day and night. The landscapes will always sprount in endless green and the mountains will always stand in extra beautiful green a distance. Changing altitudes from when you arrive will still present a great weather averagely 23 degrees and the hottest months will rarely hit the 30 degrees sahara climate. On the Outscarts or boundaries of many game reserves, communities have learnt how to live in harmony, they also offer a chance to be part of this tourism cause where visitors can partake on the conservation measures while keeping the world green or can indirectly or directly contribute to the Host community.
- The beauty of Water and it is everywhere
You would be taken far to believe that out of the 241,551 square kilometres about 93,263 sq mi, 41,028 square kilometres (15,841 sq mi) is water body while the remaining 200,523 square kilometers (77,422 sq mi) is land while part of the land prides inhabiting over 10 national game parks and reserves. Water space is comprised of lakes, Rivers and crater lakes which excitingly contribute to very fine weather in Uganda. I wouldn’t want to mention the Source of the river Nile which is a famous feature and apparently discovered by John Hannington Speke while i won’t step on the fact that we own about Over 35% of the 2nd largest water body_ lake victoria. It wont be fair if I don’t mention the other 25% of the wetlands that have contributed to the stunning landscape formations like the Murchison falls, and the jaw-droping inland Crater lake formations. It isn’t fair as well that i leave-out mentioning Uganda being the host of the 2nd deepest lake in Africa_Lake Bunyonyi, a beautiful larva dam formed lake stretching about 27kms and widening about 7kms that is a place to un-wind off the safari or journey memories… It is actually so beautiful.
- Off the beaten Track Experiences
I probably do not want to exagulate this, but trust me not, Uganda still has and offers some of the un-said off the beaten track experiences, be it Wildlife off the beaten track or Local Authentic Experiences. Agree with me, the rest of East African countries like Kenya and Tanzania have reached the mass tourism level, I presume many of the visitors wouldn’t like to find themselves engulfed and taking turns with other tourists watching a pride of Lions or a combined mamaring and uncordinated engine cars taking turns around a solitary leopard hitching in a tree for better views. Yes, Tanzania and Kenya have it all, but you will agree with me that it feels a little different & special finding yourself alone in a car besides a pride of lions on the ground or hitching and lazily slumbering on the fig trees. Again, imagine yourself playing hide and seek with a shy solitary leopard in an acacia tree? Or imagine yourself encountering a herd of over 50 plus elephants crossing ahead of you, Now that’s what I envision as a great Uganda safari…. Yes that’s Uganda, That is the still authentic experiences you will not have anywhere in Africa’s Savannah parks. I am not joking but its just the truth.
There is one thing for sure about a Uganda Safari, A safari with a great creative guide… Oh yes that’s what we absolutely have down here. Super Knowldgeable & creative safari guides that will go off their way to show you more than what other normal tourists see.. Ok lets see an example.. Envision yourself in a local home, having a typical African Meal, prepared to you by a atypical African lady in a typical African home in a typical African setting as part of the local Authentic Experiences? Doesn’t this sound extraordinally nice for any Enthusiastic Traveler that has travelled far miles to see what a country is like and would appreciate something beyond the Uganda Highlight? That’s a little of the much Uganda for you.
- People their culture and food
I haven’t probably mentioned up somewhere that uganda is a diverse country with over 56 languages spoken, Did I? Not Again for sure that i have probably mentioned that Uganda is made up of three ethnic tribes that is the bantu, Hamites and Nilo Hamites and these three have in between 56 tribes speaking over 56 languages all together but most importantly is how friendly all these tribes can be, how they can opt to be friendly, not because they they act this out for tourists but a gesture that is in-born. One thing more is the the fact that most tourists (ok lets call these visitors to Uganda) will appreciate to get a one-on-one with the local young boy shouting Mzungu (A general name given to a white person in Africa) a hand and ask “What’s your name?” while the little gets more friendly and loving. You will probably see kids and people smile all the way as you drive past the local villages and you would surely wonder why all people are always smiling? Its just the nature of Ugandans… They will always smile. Then comes the Food, Among the top to mention is the Luwombo meal, that’s a typical combination of organic foods cooked together and regarded as the healthiest foods in Africa oh yes a typical Ugandan meal that you won’t resist among the many other Great foods prepared by different indigenous people.
- Fast-growing Business Atmosphere.
Being a developing country, I wont miss to say how welcoming the opportunity to invest are with the first visit Uganda Trip. The mashrooming hotel chains while hosting some of international events like the Chogm or the refugee National assemblies. 70% of the tourist Lodges in and around the country are owned by foreign investors who count great returns year in – out. Surprisingly they were here as First time tourists until they saw opportunities to invest. Ok, Lets talk about Kampala a city that never goes to sleep. You will be stunned at what Kampala would offer for the night lovers but ofcourse when you are in the right place like any other cities around the world. Im not praising the city because it’s my country but the rewarding night handouts and fun places that present a great stay with fun. The Volunteers or Foreign experts will actually testify to this ever bright city with very friendly and welcoming people. Its so easy to find a genuine friend in Kampala or Uganda than anywhere else in the world
- Up-close & personal Encounter with the Mountain Gorillas
I absolutely should have presented this first but saving the best for almost last is awesome; Isn’t it? Partially, when you mention name Uganda most people would start thinking of Amin dada probably because they are scared of him or heard a lot of nasty things about him But hey!! That’s a 1979 history of Uganda, Uganda was re-born, Uganda is new and Uganda is an amazing safe destination. However one thing leading to the other and very important is the fact that all this is changing because Human closest relatives in a remote but beautiful forest has for years now redefined the Pearl Of Africa. The Mountain Gorillas and chimpanzees in Uganda are a complete Uganda’s pride and now are on the frontline of Uganda’s face worldwide. Mountain Gorillas are the best and number one highlight on a Uganda must do and see things, A Uganda Safari is awesome but without the mountain Gorillas is not Complete i must say. There is absolutely no mistaking the bond that exists between man and these great apes. The whole love and experience gets your blood boiling from time you start descending into the jungle or rainforest while being done with ease and absolutely possible while that 1 hour feeling you get while with the gentle Giants in their natural habitant is extraordinarily rewarding.
- Tree climbing lions
Who as an enthusiastic traveler doesn’t love being in the presence of big cats? Probably one of the reasons that continue to draw a lot of tourists (I will call them visitors) to Tanzania and Kenya..Big Cats and these include the Lions. Uganda may not have the big numbers of cats to offer but trust me not, the number we have is enough to give a great wildlife encounter to any visitor to this pearl OF Africa. Apart from over 10 National Game parks found in Uganda exists the Ishasha sector famous for the tree climbing lions. Now the most interesting part is you will find these Awesome cats slumbering many in the big Fig Trees with Big canopy while they relax from their kill or plan their next move. The drive is done rotating around the fig trees as you marvel or shoot awesome pictures in different positions of the big sleeping pride in the tree including the playful young ones playing around moving from one branch to the other while they monitor your movements with their glowing wide open eyes. Yes, chances are that you would be alone around them. Wouldn’t that be awesome? Uganda is one of the best places to see the tree climbing lions so easily and clear while on safari.
- More birds than anywhere else in Africa
While new species are being recorded and discovered in Uganda like the Pacific Golden Plover and Dicknisons Kestrel, Uganda boasts of a staggering 1082 species of birds and a haven for bird watchers around the world. I haven’t mentioned that; Uganda year-in – year out hosts international birders and currently been ranked as the best birding destination worldwide. The Savannah, forest and Migratory birds sprout the airspace on Uganda boundaries. Uganda also prides as one of the few countries in the world where the famous Shoe Bill calls home and will have people close off their bird list check when they see it display its “Small shoe-like beak”
- Landscapes and features
If You are that traveler that has an eye or love to sit there and appreciate how beautiful this world can be, then Uganda has one of the best scenic view or land forms that will leave you awing. If I were your guide on Safari in Uganda while I guide you myself, while i knew you are that person that would love such encounters on a safari in Uganda, The karamoja region, Pian Upe, The Murchison falls National Park, the Rwenzori mountains or more so the south western uganda would be places I would direct you to. From the shiny and stunning mountains of the moons to the rolling hills of the kigezi highland region and the God Personally built and put together Karamoja is a place to behold. I haven’t mentioned the beauty that awaits from the Rwenzori mountain coupled with the stunning and changing vegetation while hiking the amazing destination. The Virunga Volcanoes at the boarder of Uganda, Rwanda and Congo are a wonder of rewarding scenic views and somehow define to confirm how thus beautiful country is. Bwindi forest bein raised and on a good evening or night, one can witness the glow from the still active nyiragongo volcanoe in the congo and yes, it is a stone throw away.
- Endless challenges and experiences
Ever thought about challenges of being sucked, swallowed and later spit out by water? I mean ever thought of a challenge of ascending Africa’s summits or have you been rewarded with the challenges made? I mean again the happiness that comes with knowing you accomplished a task you previously had fears with? Oh yes, Uganda will absolutely reward you fully. From The challenging mountains like Rwenzori mountains to the more challenging rafting on The longest river in the world with the grade 5 rapids? Uganda has the best challenges any intrepid traveler would be looking for.