Uganda – General Facts and Figures

Uganda is a landlocked country located in East Africa. Uganda is bordered by Kenya in the East, South Sudan in the North, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to the West, Rwanda in the Southwest and Tanzania in the South.

Ugandans – The People of Uganda

The latest estimates indicate that Uganda has a population of 42.8 million people. Uganda’s population grows at an average of 3% per year. The Majority of Uganda’s population is made up of young people below the age of 35 years.

Uganda is comprised of many ethnic groups, the majority of which are of the Bantu and Nilotic origin. The biggest tribe is the Baganda tribe that makes up an estimated 17% of the total population. The other Major Tribes in Uganda are Banyankole, Langi, Acholi, Basoga, Banyoro, Bagisu, Lugbara, and Karamojong among many more.

The people of Uganda can profess to any religion of their choice. That being said, 83% of Ugandans are indicated to be Christian (Catholic, Pentecostal, Protestant -Church of Uganda, Baptist e.t.c). Islam is adhered to by 16% of the total population as the remaining 1% adheres to any other religion.

People’s religious diversity is very well accepted, and important spiritual Holidays like Christmas, Easter Holidays, Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha are recognized as national holidays.

Ugandans are well known for their hospitality and friendliness. While people do come to Uganda for many reasons, it is the hospitable nature of the local people that stays with them.

To quote Phillip Briggs and Andrew Roberts, the authors of the latest Bradt Uganda Travel guide ” Ugandans as a whole – both those working within the tourist industry and the ordinary man or woman on the street – genuinely do come across as the most warm, friendly and relaxed hosts imaginable. ” source: Bradt travel guides website.

Tourist Attractions. What to see and do in Uganda

As a tourist destination, Uganda is one of Africa’s best places for wildlife safaris. Uganda’s biodiversity has made it a revered destination for tourists coming to Africa from all over the world.

With more than 60 protected areas – including 10 National parks, and such magnificence as the Nile, Lake Victoria, the Rwenzori Mountains of the Moon and obviously the endangered Mountain gorillas, it is no wonder that Uganda is called the Pearl of Africa.

Since a list of all the attractions in Uganda would fill up several books, we shall state the places and protected areas that are full of the most interesting attractions. These will include the top Towns/Cities and National parks and reserves.

Feel free to reach out to us and ask about any of the other interesting attractions that we have not mentioned here.

Top Towns to Visit in Uganda

1. Kampala City.

As the Capital city and biggest business centre, Kampala offers a lot in terms of cultural tourism, religious tours, nightlife as well as historical tours.

In Kampala, you can visit historical sites like the independence monument, religious sites like Namugongo Uganda Martyrs Shrine or Gadaffi National Mosque as well as cultural hotspots like Mengo to learn more about the Buganda Kingdom and the Baganda culture.

As the cultural hub, you will also be able to enjoy traditional dishes from all corners of Uganda, some continental dishes as well as western dishes made to perfection. In addition, you can try some of Uganda’s street food and the highly revered beers – all made here.

2. Entebbe.

Entebbe was the major governing station for the British during the colonial period. This means a chance to explore the rich history from Uganda’s colonial period and after.

With Entebbe International Airport and extensive beaches on Lake Victoria, it is a good place to relax. On top of that, Entebbe Zoo (Uganda Wildlife Education Centre) is thriving with animals, reptiles, and birds of all sorts.

Entebbe is perfect for short Uganda stays because, in one day, you can see the biggest collection of animals, birds, reptiles, and historical sites – all while you are less than an hours drive away from your flight at Entebbe International Airport.

National Parks & Reserves to visit in Uganda

1. Kidepo Valley National Park.

Kidepo Valley National Park is highly regarded as the true African Wilderness. Tucked away in the Northeastern part of Uganda, Kidepo is the most isolated of all the National Parks. The Isolation has worked in Kidepo National Park’s favour by leaving it unexplored and the most untouched savannah game park.

The two seasonal rivers that transect the park create the perfect spots for seeing wildlife such as Giraffe, Zebra, Lions, Buffalo, Elephant, Cheetah among others. Kidepo is blessed with over 77 mammal species and around 475 bird species, which makes it a desired destination for both wildlife and birding safaris.

Related Kidepo Safari Itinerary: 5 Days Kidepo Wildlife Safari

2. Bwindi Impenetrable National park.

Bwindi is well known as the natural habitat for the endangered Mountain gorillas of Africa.

Bwindi is considered one of the most ecologically diverse places on earth, Bwindi impenetrable boasts of more than 200 plant species, 200 butterfly species, over 350 bird species, and approximately 120 mammals.

Trekking mountain gorillas in Bwindi is an adventurous experience through the steep slopes and thick vegetation of trees – and finally, when you do see the gorillas, the feeling is beyond phenomenal.

3. Lake Mburo National Park.

Lake Mburo National Park is the smallest National Park in Uganda covering an area of 260 square kilometres. Its convenient location near the Kampala – Kabale highway makes it a perfect stopover, and the closest wildlife experience for very short safaris.

People visit Lake Mburo to see animals such as Zebra, Hyena, Hippo, Crocodile, Uganda kob, Eland, Impala among others, plus the more than 300 bird species that are present.

Related Lake Mburo Uganda Safari Itinerary: 7 Days Uganda at glance safari adventure

4. Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary.

Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary is a collaborative effort of the Uganda Wildlife Authority and the Rhino Fund Uganda to restore Uganda’s Rhino Population. Even though both the Black Rhinoceros and the Northern White Rhinoceros are indigenous to Uganda, they were wiped out by 1982 due to bad conservation practices and a prolonged period of instability.

When the Rhino sanctuary was started in 2005, six White Rhinos were introduced and have since multiplied to more than 20 animals. In addition to on-foot Rhino trekking, visitors at Ziwa can enjoy a variety of birds such as the shoebill and animals such as crocodiles, hippos, antelopes and monkeys.

5. Mount Elgon National Park.

Located in Eastern Uganda on the border with Kenya, Mount Elgon National Park cover an area of 1145 square kilometres – with the main attracting natural feature as Mount Elgon. Believed to have first erupted 24 million years ago, Mount Elgon has the largest surface area of an extinct volcano in the whole world.

Visitors to Mount Elgon National Park often participate in activities such as hiking to the highest peak at 4321 meters above sea level, exploring lava caves, nature walks to spot birds among others.

Related Mount Elgon Safari: 7 Days Eastern Uganda Safari

6. Semuliki National Park.

With one on the richest floral and faunal diversity in Africa, Semuliki National park is the blend of both East African and Central African species on animal and plants. Semuliki is blessed with more than 60 mammal species, over 550 bird species and around 300 butterfly species.

The diversity of this park presents various animals and birds that cannot be found elsewhere in East Africa. among the available wildlife are forest elephants, leopards, pygmy antelopes De Brazza monkey and Civets among others.

7. Queen Elizabeth National Park.

Named after Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom, this is Uganda’s most popular tourist destination for the rich biodiversity – that is great for tourism and ecological research.With close to 100 mammal species, more than 600 bird species and a diverse ecosystem of Savannah grasslands, lakeshore vegetation, and humid rain forests, the adventure can be endless.

Queen Elizabeth National Park is popular for activities such as game drives, launch cruise on Kazinga channel, Chimpanzee tracking, and birding. This has made it a great destination for both the relaxed tours – like family safaris and action-packed safaris for photography and close encounters.

Related Queen Elizabeth Safari: 5 Day Budget Game and Gorilla Tour of Uganda

8. Kibale Forest National Park.

The main attraction of Kibale Forest National Park is the high density of primates that inhabit the rainforest. In fact, this forest supports the highest number of primate species in Uganda and one of the highest primate densities in the world.

Aside from the Chimpanzees, Kibale Forest National Park hosts 12 other primate species including olive baboons, Vervet and grey-cheeked mangabeys. Kibale National Park also has four species of nocturnal primates.

With about 400 bird species, Kibale is attractive to visitors for birds, primates and other wildlife. Though elephants, buffaloes and giant forest hogs are present, they are usually hiding deep into the rainforest.

9. Mgahinga Gorilla National Park

Mgahinga Gorilla National Park sits on the Southwestern border of Uganda and is well known for mountain gorillas and golden monkeys. The Park covers the three northernmost of the Virunga volcanoes – that is; Mount Muhavura, Mount Gahinga and Mount Sabinyo. The Other Virungas are in both Rwanda and DRC.

Being the only park in Uganda where you can combine both Gorilla tracking and Golden monkey tracking, Mgahinga National park is great for primate tours where both activities can be combined.

Aside from the primates and Wildlife, the park allows for great mountain climbing experiences that can be topped off with standing at the intersection of three countries at the same time.

At the peak of Mount Sabinyo, you will be able to stand in Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

10. Murchison Falls National Park

Murchison falls National park is Uganda’s Largest park and covers an area of 3,893 square kilometres. Witnessing the powerful Victoria Nile squeeze through a 7-meter gap and then drop down a whopping 40 metres is as euphoric as it can get. The ever-present rainbow at the falls is just out of this world.

With great wildlife such as giraffes, leopards, bushbucks, lions and elephants among others, Murchison Falls National Park about much more than the Falls and the majesty of the Nile.

Related Murchison Falls Safari: 4 Days Murchison Falls Wildlife Safari

11. Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary

Ngamba Island chimpanzee sanctuary is where orphaned Chimpanzees are brought for rescue. The Island is located in Lake Victoria and is home to more than 49 rescued Chimpanzees.

These Chimpanzees are rescued from illegal pet or bushmeat trade.

Chimps at Ngamba Island have the freedom to roam the whole natural forest and forage as they need. Their diet is supplemented multiple times a day which is a delight to the visitors that enjoy the experience from the viewing platform.

A visit to Ngamba Island makes for the easiest way to see and interact with Chimpanzee when schedules do not permit one to leave Kampala for more than a day.

12. Rwenzori Mountains National Park

It is obvious what the major attraction in Rwenzori Mountains National Park is the Rwenzori Mountain Ranges. As the Tallest Mountain range in Africa and third tallest peak after Mount Kilimanjaro and Mount Kenya, the Rwenzori is a marvel of its own.

Also known as the Mountains of the Moon, the Rwenzoris are snow-capped at all times of the year and the resulting rivers and glaciers drain into Lakes Edward and Albert to supply the Nile.

With great diversity in each climatic zone as the ranges ascend, Rwenzori is home a variety of rare plants and animals – and the climb to the peaks is a breathtaking exploration.

Conclusion

This article attempts to be as extensive as possible without turning into a book, but we don’t think words could ever do justice as far as introducing you to Uganda is concerned.

There is a lot more to this landlocked country that Winston Churchill called the Pearl of Africa – a statement which holds true even to this day. Anyone who has visited Uganda and explored it knows that no truer words [Pearl of Africa] could ever be said about the country.

Our experience selling Uganda as a premier tourist destination has been beyond pleasurable – because our guests enjoy the variety that Uganda presents. And that is what we work toward; sharing our Uganda with you so that wherever you are, the time you spend in Uganda is memorable.

With more than a decade of experience taking people on various wildlife, cultural, gorilla trekking and white water rafting tours, Exclusive African Safaris has planned and executed successful Safaris for thousands of people from all over the world each year. This is why we invite you to use our experts to plan and execute your next African Safari to Uganda.

We appreciate you spending time to go through this long article about Uganda and we hope that it was very helpful for you. Please do check out our already-built safari packages that are well-crafted to fit various schedules and budgets.

Alternatively, you can fill out and send a safari inquiry and we shall craft a custom tour program that is based around your budget, interests, and schedule.

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