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Uganda is land locked country surrounded by various lakes and among the lakes include Lake Victoria is the biggest and stunning lake with fresh water in the Uganda and the whole of East Africa region. Lake Victoria is considered to be the third largest fresh water lake in the world and it’s approximated to be covering an area of 68800square kilometers. The prominent water body located in the heart of Uganda is one of the interesting wonders in the pearl of Africa attracting many tourists into the country.

lake victoria sunset
Lake Victoria Sunset

Lake Victoria derived its name after the explorer John Hannington Speke who was on his Uganda exploratory trip to discover the source of River Nile in the year 1858 and from that time to date various travelers and explorers have been traveling to Uganda to follow the footsteps of the first explorer who discovered the lake.

Exploring Lake Victoria is an experience which visitors planning their safaris to Uganda should get involved because the Nalubale Lake popularly known as Victoria Lake has various beautiful different beautiful Islands which are dotted in various parts in the lake for instance the magnificent Ssese Island, Ngamba islands. These Islands provide best relaxing grounds and centers for visitors interested in different refreshing, mind relaxing activities like swimming; others have beaches, Resorts where leisure seeking travellers can spend good time while on their holiday to Uganda.

The varied Victoria Island are endowed with the stunning nice looking sandy beaches and resorts, lodges campsites, served with calm, cool atmosphere coming from the lake especially in the evening and morning hours. The lake is the only place where one can maximally enjoy his or her adventure safaris in the pearl of Africa because taking cruise ship in the Victoria’s waters is so marvelous with rewarding scenic views of different eco-systems surviving in the bank of the lake.

Exploring Lake Victoria enables the traveler to enjoy the sights and views of a various wild animal species that are easily watched in the banks of the lake and some of the wildlife is water dwelling such as the hippos, Crocodiles, and water based bird species. One can also explorer different tourists activities like spot fishing in the white waters of Nalubale lake as well as kayaking, water rafting, boat cruising among others.

Rwenzori National Park

The 996sq km Rwenzori National Park lies at the base of snow-capped Rwenzori, Africa's third highest peak. Among the attractions here include primates like Baboons, chimpanzees, L’hoest monkey, Rwenzori Colobus monkeys, Tree hyraxes, Red duikers, Leopard and Elephants. Bird-watching is also popular, and visitors can learn about the local Bakonjo and Bamba people through homestead visits.

Climb Mount Muhavura

At 4,127m above sea level, this extinct volcano is the third-highest mountain in Uganda. Even if you don't climb to the upper slopes, it is worth spending time on the bamboo forested lower slopes.

Climb Mount Elgon

This is a distinctive volcano on the border of Uganda and Kenya. 24 million year old Mount Elgon is a dormant volcano, crowned by a vast crater some 8 km wide, honeycombed by labyrinthine caves, fissured by valleys, cascaded by streams and cloaked in forest; it straddles the border between Kenya and Uganda. The hike can take between 4-6 days.

Day Trip to River Nile

River Nile is located in Jinja only 80km from Kampala city. Today, you can enjoy white water rafting, Kayaking and Bungee jumping on the Nile escarpment overlooking the stunningly beautiful Nile River.

Explore Uganda’s Water Bodies

Visitors can choose between boat riding, waterskiing, swimming or surfing along Uganda’s Lake Victoria shoreline. The most popular resorts near Entebbe include Entebbe botanical beach resort, water front beach and pineapple bay resort in Ssese islands. Another good base for water sport is the Nile River about 1.5 hours drive from Kampala.

Explore Kampala City

Set strategically in the heart of Uganda, Kampala is a charming city with many historic attractions and fine old houses with impressive carved wooden doors: highlights include the Uganda Museum, the Kasubi tombs and the Rubaga and Namirembe cathedrals.

Gaze at the Great Rift Valley

Take in the sweeping views of the great east African rift valley by visiting Queen Elizabeth or Murchison falls national park. Here you can enjoy Butiaba escarpment near Hoima town or Kyambura escarpment with high walls and flat-bottomed valley floor below, which is dotted by a small string of lakes and savannah.

Visit Mabira Forest

This lovely rainforest near the Uganda’s capital city is arguably the prime bird watching site in Uganda, thanks to presence of several dozen forest species found nowhere else in the country. For non-birders, the shady forest paths and plentiful monkeys still have plenty of charm.

Go Wild at Queen Elizabeth National Park

Boasting a dramatic setting in the Rift Valley, this park is dominated by Lake Edward and George whose edges are frequently home to hundreds of thousands of shimmering landscapes. It is also one of Uganda’s best parks supporting high concentration of birds (over 612 species), over 95 mammal species and you may spot a leopard in savannah grasslands.

Sample Local Culture at Ndere Cultural Centre of Uganda

At this cultural centre, a short distance outside Kampala’s city centre, you can see displays of traditional dancing and explore mock-ups of traditional cultures.

Shop Until You Drop In Kampala

Owino market is a great place to buy cheap clothes, fresh foods and vegetables. Nakasero Market, off Kampala road is the main city market. Serious souvenir shoppers should also head for the National theatre craft shops, where high-quality leatherwork, jewellery and other crafts are produced.

Mountain Gorilla Tracking

Uganda is a home to almost half of the world's last remaining population of the mountain gorillas, found in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, located about 9 hours drive from Kampala (Uganda's capital) and 4-5 hours drive from Kigali, Rwanda's capital. A wide variety of gorilla safari packages available online offered by different Travel Agents and Tour Operators in Kampala and Kigali Rwanda. This means one can book a safari in Rwanda and track gorillas in Uganda, or book a Uganda safari and track gorillas in both countries because the gorilla parks are close to each other.

Stay a Night at Zziwa Rhino Sanctuary

Situated a short distance from the main highway between Kampala and Gulu/Masindi, this small private sanctuary near Murchison falls national park doubles as an extra activity and well-positioned hide that frequently attracts aggregations other mammals.

Take To the Skies in a Hot Air Balloon

Float over herds of game in Queen Elizabeth National park. Hour-long excursions set off at dawn and end with champagne breakfasts. Mweya safari lodge in the park offer this experience, which gives ballooners the chance to see the game from the air between July and September.

Tour Kampala's Museums

Explore the ethnographic and archaeological exhibits of the National Museum, which lies within walking distance of the city centre.

Kampala Shopping and Nightlife

The city and town centres usually have markets which sell curios such as African drums, old brass, and wooden carvings of animals or salad bowls carved from a single piece of teak, mining or ebony. Other items such as beaded jewellery and decorated gourds make good souvenirs. Most of the tourist areas have abundant stalls and markets selling these items; you will be expected to haggle good-naturedly over prices.

Probably the best market in the country is Owino market, which lies in the city centre off Nakivubo Street. Comprising perhaps 100 stalls, it has the full range of handicrafts on offer, and prices tend to be quite competitive. It is safe enough by day, but some first-time visitors to Africa find the atmosphere a bit daunting, so opt for an organized tour.

Shopping Hours

Monday-Saturday 0830-1730.

Nightlife in Uganda

Most of the major hotels in Kampala and the holiday resorts along the shoreline have dancing with live bands or discos each evening. There are also a few local nightclubs in Kampala that stay open until dawn; these can get very crowded and prostitution abounds - go in a group and take a taxi.

Increasingly, modern multi-screen cinema complexes are appearing in Kampala, which shows mainly Hollywood movies, while in the smaller towns are old colonial-style cinemas showing old Kung Fu or Indian films. Theatre is popular in Kampala. Quite often, traditional tribal dancing and drumming is performed in the game lodges.

Uganda’s Food and Drink

Meat in Uganda is outstandingly good, as are tropical fruit and vegetables. Inland, a local freshwater fish, tilapia is popular and tasty. Indian and Middle Eastern food is available in most areas, and there is a wide range of international restaurants in Kampala. Tourist hotels provide buffet meals and hotels in smaller towns offer a dish of the day, such as chicken and chips or stew and rice. Sumptuous tropical fruits, ranging from pineapples to mangoes, can be bought seasonally at local markets.

Specialties

  • Nyama choma (barbecued meat served with a spicy tomato relish)
  • Tilapia (freshwater fish associated with the Rift Valley lakes and often grilled whole)
  • Matoke (cooked banana, with a constitution similar to boiled potatoes, most commonly eaten in the Uganda border area)

Tipping

Optional. Most hotels and restaurants include a 10-15% service charge in the bill; if they don't a small tip is customary.

Regional Drinks

Nile and Bell (locally brewed lager beer)

Uganda Waragi (A gin from Matoke)

Chai (tea boiled with milk and sugar)

Mountain gorillas are known to be one of the wild animals that are endangered and decreases in numbers in many forests or mountains in Africa particularly in Uganda, Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda. Since they are endangered it is of great importance to make sure that humans could not contribute to some diseases that might affect their life. If you are into great desire of visiting these gentle giants then you must be ready with the things that are prohibited and with the rules that are needed to be followed.

If you want to experience mountain gorilla trekking in Africa, we can be the leading providers of tour packages that will surely suit the needs of our every visitor. Services regarding gorilla trekking packages are offered and organized to avoid more hassle on the part of every visitor. And accommodation can be included that is near the gorilla parks, that is to say; Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda, Virunga national Park in DR Congo, Mgahinga National Park and Bwindi Impenetrable Forest in Uganda. Gorilla permits before doing gorilla trekking must also be secured through your travel agent. Gorilla permits for foreign non-residents in Uganda cost US dollars 600 each. However, there are promotional permits of US dollars 350 in April, May and November. In Rwanda, a gorilla permit costs US dollars 750 each.

Gorilla trekking is one of the most popular things to do once you are in Africa particularly at Rwanda and Uganda. It becomes popular for there are many people who demand to experience seeing wild animals such as these giant gentles known as gorillas. Visitors will be engaged in exciting journey wherein they have to follow the guide in tracking the movement of the gorillas in the forest. It might be hard to track gorillas in the forest so it is important to trust the guide and follow as much as possible in order to avoid certain problems.

Trekking Gorillas might take you longer or might spend most of the time so you must be prepared more importantly physically. You must bring enough food and water for snacks. These might be included with the instructions provided prior heading to the headquarters wherein dos and don’ts are as well enumerated.

Once the gorillas are already tracked, you will now have time to observe them but remember not to come too close with them. You can already enjoy watching them or taking some videos and pictures but camera flash must be off. Do not leave anything on the area once you planned to take the journey back home. Rules must really be followed. And there are options with regards to gorilla trekking depending on the preferences of the visitors most especially their availability. Through these wild selections you are provided with chance on which gorilla trekking is the best for you.

Though you are required to spend money, time and effort still it will worth it all once you already experience how it feels like to go gorilla trekking. Aside from the experience that you will gain from this experience, you will also be provided with the chance to be aware about these endangered wild animals named as gorillas. The experience (Gorilla trekking) can as well be considered as one of a lifetime moment that will be treasured and remembered through the rest of the years. Many dream to see real gorillas but only few are granted so it would be an edge among others if you are able to experience mountain gorilla trekking in Africa.

Majority of the people traveling to Uganda for a holiday go for a safari, and most going for a luxury safari go to Bwindi National Park, a home to half of the world's last remaining population of the mountain gorillas. Most tourists come for Uganda gorilla safaris and spend not less than 2 nights in the impenetrable forests of Bwindi in south western Uganda.

Have you ever understood why Uganda is the Ultimate Bucket List Vacation Destination in East Africa? Safari is the biggest part of that, the main reason most Europeans make the trip. Bwindi itself is the nation’s top National Park for gorilla trekking safaris in Uganda, with modern facilities, overnight lodges and good roads. Go to a top safari lodge with expert rangers, trackers and vehicles. The best of these are found in Bwindi. The difference between a visit to a Park rest camp and a private lodge is so big as to be almost incomparable. The luxurious accommodations afford supreme privacy and luxury, with unfenced accommodations that make the most of the forest environs. Back at the lodges you have an amazing level of true luxury accommodations, service and cuisine. The best safari lodges accommodate few guests, many with less than 20 rooms, and some far less, and are little enclaves of paradise.

mountain-gorillasBwindi contains the vast majority of the world’s greatest safari lodges, and this region alone has as many great choices as the rest of Uganda combined. Top luxury safari names such as Mahogany springs, Buhoma lodge, Bwindi lodge, Ruhija Gorilla safari lodge, Clouds mountain gorilla lodge, silver back lodge, and many more reside here. You really can’t go wrong at any of these. But if you compared it to urban hotels or resorts elsewhere, all of these would be at least 4-Star, but a couple would break out into the highest 5-Star category.

Choosing where to stay in Bwindi can be difficult and often boils down more to availability than preferences, especially if you go at a popular vacation time like Christmas. I know a couple of people who planned holiday trips and even 6 months ahead couldn’t get into their first, second or third choices. Most of the desired safari lodges have few rooms and lodgings anywhere, for travelers from all around the world, and a year in advance is not too far to book for Christmas break or other peak times.
Bwindi is well-regarded as one of the best gorilla viewing spots on earth. Generally gorillas are the most endangered of the great apes and for most safari goers; gorilla tracking is the highlight of the trip. This rain forest is known for its abundance of primates including L’hoest and Colobus monkeys. What is predictable is that the better the ranger and tracker, the more likely you are to have a great wildlife experience.

These game viewing experiences are unparalleled and so are the lodges themselves. Buhoma lodge has a more classic African feel, with its home-like rooms. The luxury rooms are all extremely large and freestanding, and each has a deck with private infinity balcony overlooking the wild, plus luxurious indoor bathrooms. All in all it has an escapist wilderness feel of seclusion and understated luxury and when you are here it is like nothing else exists in the world.

sailing-kazinga-channelIn July 2012, I moved to Kasese, west of Kampala, for my one-year Global Health Corps cooperation with a non-profit organization that serves community in the Rwenzori area. At first, I bemoaned leaving “excitement and style” of city life, having spent most of my life in Kampala. One month in Kasese, I was profoundly, frantically and sincerely enamored with the certain natural beauty of this part of the country.

Kasese region is surrounded by four national parks to be specific; Rwenzori in the north, Kibale in the west, Virunga in east and Queen Elizabeth in the south. It is likewise naturally blessed with various lakes and small snaking their way in old ancient of white rocks into Lake Edward and George. Another of these gifts of nature is Kazinga Channel, a 40-kilometre extend of conduit linking Lake George and Lake Edward.

It is an oasis that extinguishes the thirst of both people and various animals, incorporating elephants, hippos, warthogs, elands, crocodiles, bison, cattle, goats and even birds. In February 2013, I was treated to a boat cruise on the channel in festival of a friend’s birthday. We voyaged by road west of Kasese town through Queen Elizabeth National Park to the clamoring fishing community of Katwe Kabatooro.

This small town is one of the numerous passages to the Kazinga Channel through Lake Edward. It was a boat cruise arranged by a friend, so we didn’t pay any fee, aside from cover fuel costs. On our way, we were treated to a tremendous perspective of wildlife, incorporating different species of birds, animals, for example elephants, buffalos, antelopes and warthogs. We additionally got a flash of crater lakes whose banks were defined by herds of hippopotamus showering in the sun.

While in Katwe Kabatooro, we made a detour to Lake Katwe, a well known salt lake where locals procure their every day bread by harvesting salt, which is traded to countries like the Democratic Republic of Congo, South Sudan, Sudan and Egypt. At the salt lake, we enjoyed stunning perspectives of various pink flamingos and lovely layouts of salt harvesting ponds on the lake.

We from that point made our way to the landing site, where we met fishermen delighted with their day’s catch of fresh tilapia, cat fish and lung fish from Lake Edward.

The landing site is just as spectacular, beautified with various colourful wooden kayaks, motor boats used by fishermen and some greater vessels used to take tourists to tour the lake, its islands and obviously the Kazinga Channel. On the boat ride to the channel, one has a clear glimpse of the now defunct salt processing industries, whose feeble buildings still tower the skylines of this clamoring town, thinking back over their past glory. On Lake Edward, we saw various animals, incorporating hippopotamus, bison, tiny white monkeys on trees, the Nile crocodiles and the rare fast yellow water snake that almost smashed into our boat. We essentially jumped out of the boat trying to escape from it.

“Unlike the percolating water points that imply the source of the Nile in Jinja, the Kazinga Channel needs no introduction,” our guide gladly proclaimed as we entered this narrow conduit and in reality he was right. This natural conduit notably characterizes itself from Lake Edward and George, yet strengthens the clear sibling like bond the two lakes share.

At the Kazinga Channel, we saw various animals, incorporating a herd of elephants, cattle from nearby communities, buffaloes, parcels and heaps of hippopotamus and various birds species, incorporating the peaked crane, marabou stocks and water ducks with their ducklings. All these animals and birds were sipping from the cool waters.

It was so amicable. On our way back, we got a glimpse of the extraordinary Egyptian kite grandly resting on a tree best as we toured islands on the lake. This amazing two-hour experience affirmed that for sure Uganda is blessed by nature.

Did you know?
At the Kazinga Channel, there are various animals, incorporating elephants, cattle from adjacent villages, buffaloes, lots of hippopotamus and various birds, for example the Crested Crane, marabou stocks and water ducks.

Due to all the extraordinary wildlife in the country, there are many tour operators in the country ready to serve you on your safari in Uganda. They offer different safari in the country gorilla safaris in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, Uganda wildlife safaris in other national parks in the country like; Queen Elizabeth National Park, Kidepo Valley National Park, Lake Mburo National Park among others, cultures tours and many others. Book now you trip to Uganda and discover what they call nature beauty.