The best place in the world to see primates, rich birdlife and indigenous cultures


The best place in the world to see primates, rich birdlife and indigenous cultures


Often overlooked for wildlife in preference to neighbouring Kenya, Rwanda and Tanzania, Uganda tops all its fellow African nations for biodiversity. For a land-locked country the size of Britain to feature in a list of the world’s top ten biodiversity hotspots qualifies it for some serious attention for all nature lovers. And for you twitchers out there, this country contains a staggering 11% of the planet’s bird species. Among one of three countries for wild mountain gorilla sightings, Uganda’s trekking permits are half the cost of Rwanda. And if chimpanzees are your preferred primate there are few places as well set-up to watch them in their natural habitat. And not forgetting its people. They’re hospitable, curious, and often bilingual. Once there, you’ll see how Uganda is as much the sum of its society than it is its natural patrimony. So, for the visitor, a safe trip into little-known Uganda is win-win. 

While still a materially-poor country, Uganda’s natural wealth is revealed in a multitude of ways: in its lush landscape, perennially-temperate seasons, and its growing education sector. From the moment you hit the Kampala highway out of Entebbe Airport, you’ll be agog at the sight of aircraft-sized Maribou storks nesting high in the treetops. And that’s merely the start of what is destined to be a trip imprinted forever more in the foremost of your mind. The genius of being both biodiverse and small is that the traveller doesn’t have to venture far to witness natural wonders. 

A British crown colony until 1962, Uganda today is both welcoming and vibrant. Light years removed from the aberrant years of The Last King of Scotland, Idi Amin, the country - while certainly facing the haphazard development of many other African republics - is on the right track. That only adds value to your trip. After the turmoil of the 70s and 80s, Uganda is back: its biodiversity enshrined, its wildlife thriving, its social and economic development spearheaded with sustainability as the watchword. 

Uganda enjoys a special geographical position smack bang on the equator. Not only is it lapped by Africa’s largest lake, to the west lie the Rwenzori range, the very same mountains of the moon Ptolemy thought had to exist to feed the Nile. In the case of Uganda, small is mighty. It vacuum packs so much into such a modest chunk of Africa. Take Kibale forest, home to some intense chimp-tracking. At 750km2, it’s no wonder our nearest wild relatives prove so elusive. 

With tremendous range and diversity, not just of flora and fauna, but also of terrain, Uganda goes from tropical beaches on Victoria’s lakeside to cold,damp montane forests strewn with giant bromeliad high in the Rwenzoris. Then there’s the ethnic melting pot: 50 tribes, including the semi-legendary Batwa, better known as the forest pygmies. Bantu is the majority ethnicity. Theirs is a magical land of prehistoric shoebills, pocket-sized people, bamboo-dwelling golden monkeys, and who could forget, the primates. Even the national emblem is a spectacular crested crane. 

Equatorial yet cool, otherworldly yet familiar, dinky yet continental, Uganda is a delightful contradiction. Churchill compared it to a pearl, but with its technicolour dreamcoat of possibilities for the intrepid traveller, it’s more of a black opal.

Why travel with us ?

Here at Travel The Unknown we have all Uganda’s eventualities covered. We’ll take you south to Lake Victoria and southwest to the more familiar climes of Queen Elizabeth NP, Kibale and the Bwindi cloudforest. We’ll take you west to Murchison Falls and Lake Albert. We’ll even take you to the lesser-known north. But wherever we go with you we’ll be doing it with local community and conservation initiatives forever in mind. 

Travelling the unknown is impossible unless it’s authentic. 
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Quick Facts

Capital: Kampala
Population: 45 million
Languages: English and many indigenous languages

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