The country of Uganda is set deep in the central zone of East Africa. Uganda is divided into four administrative divisions, namely the central, western, northern and eastern region. Uganda packs a lot into one small landlocked country with a diversity of landscapes, exceptional wildlife and friendly locals. It is home to the Rwenzoris, which is Africa's tallest mountain range and the source of the Nile, which holds the reputation for being the world's longest river. With its incredible wildlife and a warm tropical climate, the lush landscape is a feast for the eyes and the people warm and hospitable. Aptly dubbed the “Pearl of Africa” by Sir Winston Churchill, Uganda offers a variety of impressive attractions and unique activities by virtue of its location that you won’t be able to experience anywhere else, such as mountain gorilla trekking, and even standing in two different hemispheres at once and much more.
Things to do, things to see
Join trekking tours to see gorillas and chimpanzees
Of all the many exciting things to do in Uganda, the foremost on many visitors’ lists is to see the mountain gorillas. The mountain gorillas are a threatened species with a population of less than 1000 in total and can only be found in three places in the world – namely the Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda and of course, Uganda. The Bwindi Impenetrable Forest is home to the biggest amount of mountain gorilla families. There are strict rules enforced by the wildlife authorities in Uganda to protect both the primates and visitors, so you will first need to acquire a permit before joining a reputable trekking company that is familiar with the methods to track the gorilla families. You can also join a trekking tour to see the chimpanzees, and admire their uncanny human-like qualities. The best place to see these magnificent creatures is the Kibale National Park. Be sure to plan your vacation well and are prepared for the trekking, as you need a full day to travel about 12 kilometers to see these primates deep in the jungle. It is a rare experience worth the effort.
Be on both sides of the Equator
The equator passes right through Uganda and although this line is invisible, it holds great importance from a geographical perspective. Stopping here is a great thing to do while you are in the country. Just for fun, not only can you have your photo taken at the cool monument signifying the center of the earth, but also you can actually straddle it with one foot in each continent. What really takes the icing on the cake is the locals can show you how the water does circulate down holes in altered directions depending on which hemisphere you are currently standing on!
See the Murchison Falls National Park
Murchison Falls National Park is Uganda's largest nature reserve, known for its remarkable animal inhabitants and fantastic activities. The uniqueness of this location makes it even more incredible, as it straddles the Victoria Nile that makes its way through several rapids and waterfalls, with the inclusion of the extraordinary Murchison Falls, towards Lake Albert. Nature lovers will find this a haven, as this is an outstanding place to see wildlife while adventure enthusiasts will delight in going on a trip along the Nile to see the mighty Murchison Falls up close that makes for a truly memorable experience. The White Nile flows towards the north through Uganda on its way to the Mediterranean Sea. If you hike up along the Falls, you can even feel the ground tremble from the power of this immense River. You can catch a glimpse of buffaloes, elephants, giraffes, antelope, lions, waterbucks, crocodiles and hippos with ease. A guided tour can help you make the most of your time and enrich your knowledge.
Sample Ugandan Cuisine
To enhance your travel experience, don’t forget to try the local cuisine! Uganda food is mainly based on starchy staples like beans, cornmeal mixtures and potatoes, along with greens, bananas, sweet potatoes, plantains, peanuts and cassava. You will find fresh fruit (e.g. plantains), fried breads and roasted meat on sticks at roadside vendors and markets, including the “Rolex”, in which bread is wrapped around omelets with vegetables, a popular street food. For something sweet, try mandazi, which is a fried bread sweetened with coconut milk and shaped into circles or triangles like a donut. Sim-sim cookies are another dessert similar to peanut brittle, cooked with sesame seeds. There are the usual refreshments like soft drinks,fruit juices, tea (sometimes with ginger and various spices) and coffee.
Igongo Cultural Center
This cultural village is on the road to Kampala and located 12 kilometers from Mbarara. It is home to the best museum exhibitions in Uganda. Housed on the grounds of a palace of the past Ankole king, this museum focuses on the Ankole people and other communities of southwestern Uganda, through relics, a cultural village replica and artifacts along with information. There is a restaurant with traditional Ankole dishes on the menu like and boiled meats and smoked Ankole cow's milk. For your literary needs, it also has a good bookshop with a fascinating selection of Ugandan literature. Another feature to see is Biharwe Eclipse Monument directly across from the center on top of the Biharwe Hill. It was erected to memorialize a victory for the Ankole kingdom 500 years ago, in which an invading kind retreated in fear due to an eclipse that plunged the day into sudden darkness.
Vacation rentals in Uganda
Uganda has all you need for your stay – whether you are on a safari with family, adventuring solo or on a honeymoon. CuddlyNest has a wide variety of rental properties such as private villas, cozy apartments, rooms and more according to your budget and taste in all four administrative regions of Uganda. With our search filter, you can narrow down the possibilities and find the one that is just right for you. Let CuddlyNest make your holiday memorable!