Uganda is a small country but it certainly packs plenty into its modest borders.
In half a day you can go from mist-shrouded volcanic mountains to hazy savannahs filled with lion, leopard, elephant, buffalo and endemic Ugandan kob. It’s where you’ll find the Rwenzori mountains, the tallest in Africa, as well as the source of the world’s longest river, the Nile.
Uganda is home to half the remaining mountain gorilla population on the planet (the other half reside in neighbouring Rwanda). The jungles of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest are the best place to see them – this is the heart of gorilla territory, and be sure to include Kibale Forest or Kyamburu Gorge to meet other primate cousins such as chimps.
Uganda is also one of the world’s top birdwatching destinations. The skies are filled with rainbows of kingfisher, Shelley’s crimsonwing, African green broadbill and the weird and wonderful shoebill stork, with its oversized bill and strange hiccupping trill.
To savour its glistening lakes, towering mountains and cascading waterfalls, you could try a flying safari. Soaring above Uganda’s patchwork of ancient forests, reserves, swamps and savannahs is something you will never forget.
When to go
Because tourism is relatively new expect fewer crowds and a slightly rustic approach to accommodation. Uganda works particularly well in combination with a Kenyan safari and you can visit at any time of the year. Although if the mountain gorillas are on you itinerary, it’s best to go during the dry seasons between January and February and June to September.