why visit Uganda?
There are infinite reasons to visit Uganda e.g distinct gorilla and chimpanzee parks, one stop affordable safari destination, big game and birding paradise, diverse activities, mountain climbing etc.
Uganda’s small size on the African map might deceive you into underestimating what the country has to offer for visitors. From the gorillas and chimps, the beautiful scenery, colorful birds, and of course – the people, you should be thinking about visiting Uganda.
The travelers who have visited Uganda have great things to say and rightfully so. In this article, we have listed 27 great reasons why we think you should visit Uganda in 2023.
Reasons to visit Uganda in 2023
1. Ugandans are very welcoming people
Of all the reasons to visit Uganda, the biggest and best is the People. Ugandans are warm and welcoming people who receive everyone equally and with joy.
In Uganda, it is customary to go above and beyond to make your visitors feel welcome and at home.
2. Uganda is a safe place to visit and live in.
Uganda is a safe place for anyone, from anywhere to come and visit or even live. You can move freely and safely in all parts of Uganda and any time.
Political stability is one of the reasons why Uganda’s tourist numbers have been increasing over the last 20 years.
3. Sunny & warm weather – all year long
Uganda enjoys an equatorial climate characterized by warm temperatures and sunny days all year round. Except for some very high-altitude areas such as Bwindi, Mgahinga, Rwenzori, and Elgon, much of Uganda enjoys a warm day of 20oC to 26oC (68oF to 78oF).
In areas like national parks, the experiences are still very good and you will be able to see animals even in the wet season.
4. Explore the rich & diverse local culture
Uganda is made up of around 50 subcultures with different traditions, norms, and ways of life. Whether it is the food, the traditional dances, and the various customs Uganda’s diversity can be witnessed in every corner.
5. See endangered mountain gorillas in the wild.
Uganda is the best place where you can go for your chance to see endangered mountain gorillas in their wild habitat. Gorillas can be seen in either Bwindi Impenetrable or Mgahinga Gorilla National Parks – every day of the year.
The total population of mountain gorillas is just over 1000, more than half of which live in Uganda and can safely be visited for tourism and research.
6. Meet chimpanzees deep in the rainforests
Chimpanzees are around 98% related to humans, and seeing them in the wild is a fascinating experience. While chimps live in other countries, Uganda has the highest concentration of chimps in the wild.
Kibale National Park is the ultimate chimpanzee tracking destination in the whole world with more than 1500 wild chimps as well as 12 other primates roaming the rainforest.
7. Enjoy a classic wildlife safari in the Savannah
The perfect picture of a classic African safari is driving in the savannah and seeing all the animals that live there. Uganda is home to lions, leopards, elephants, giraffes, zebras, buffalos, rhinos, hippos, cheetahs, crocodiles, antelopes and so much more.
A visit to Murchison Falls, Kidepo, Lake Mburo, or Queen Elizabeth National park will offer great opportunities to see the animals that live in these parks. You will be able to see your favorite savannah wildlife in Uganda.
8. Great hiking spots at every turn
Hiking is a great way of experiencing your surrounding nature and Uganda’s beautiful landscapes offer unlimited possibilities. Whether you like forests, waterfalls, caves, hills or making your own path, your hiking is endless.
While there are popular spots like Sipi, Fort Portal, and Sabinyo, you don’t have to limit yourself in any way.
9. High Adrenaline activities on River Nile
The Nile is the longest river in the world and a very important part of human civilization that started in Egypt. The Nile leaves Lake Victoria in Jinja and starts its long journey to Egypt and the Mediterranean sea.
In Jinja, there is a number of exciting activities that can be enjoyed on this great river such as kayaking, white water rafting, or bungee jumping among many others.
10. Big Mountains that are worth climbing
Mountain climbing enthusiasts can enjoy climbing any of Uganda’s mountains. Uganda’s tallest mountain is the Rwenzori range which rises to 5109 meters above sea level and is covered by permanent glaciers at the top.
Besides Rwenzori, Mount Elgon is another great mountain worth climbing and has the world’s biggest mountain caldera at more than 4000 meters above sea level.
Elgon is slightly Easier to climb because Rwenzori is a mountain range whose ascent involves a lot of going up and down. Climbing either mountain is fascinating as you will go through the various climate zones and all the beautiful plants and animals there.
While Rwenzori might be the toughest mountain to climb in Africa, its beauty and biodiversity are just out of this world.
11. Delicious Uganda foods
Uganda’s diverse culture and traditions are greatly expressed in food. From the well-known relox street food to traditional dishes like Luwombo or Eshabwe which have a strong cultural significance.
Whichever part of Uganda you visit, the food has a story to tell and is a way for you to be welcomed. Traditionally, when you visit someone, eating something at their home is a sign of a strong friendship with many future visits and returns.
As an extra, most of Uganda’s food is grown by small local farmers. This means the food is prepared fresh and organic and naturally.
12. Uganda is a budget-friendly destination
The cost of an African safari can most times seem overwhelming. Generally speaking, Uganda is one of the destinations where you can enjoy a quality safari at a lower cost.
The tourism infrastructure is well developed with enough options for making your Uganda safari fit into your budget. Uganda’s biggest ticket item is the gorilla tracking permit at 700 USD but most of the other activities are quite affordable.
The best way to do budget travel is to talk extensively with your safari operator (such as ourselves) and see what can be optimized. Here is an article we wrote about the cost of African safari and how it can be greatly optimized for any budget.
13. Uganda is a real birding Haven
Uganda is home to more than 1000 different bird species. This is around 50% of all of Africa’s birds.
For the avid birder, there is no other place where you will get to check off as many birds on your list.
There are so many special bird species such as the shoebill, the Rwenzori turaco, and many Albertine Rift endemics. Get your binoculars and your bird checklist ready.
14. Uganda is Africa’s fruit basket
Uganda’s fertile soils and warm climate mean fresh local fruits all year round. Local farmers sell their fruits on most major roadsides. On the way to the various parts of the country, you pass many local markets where you can get fresh fruits that have just come from the farm.
Fruits like Mangos, pineapples, Papayas, oranges, sugarcane, bananas, jackfruit, and many more are grown around the country and sold cheaply. Instead of packed snacks, many tourists find themselves choosing a banana.
15. Uncongested parks
Uganda’s national parks are never crowded by tourists. In places like Bwindi, the number of people allowed to see mountain gorillas is strictly limited. In other national parks, the crowds are usually very rare and guests get to enjoy nature as purely as possible.
16. Sustainable tourism
Visits to Uganda’s protected areas are sustainable and respectable for both the environment and the local communities. The money collected by the parks is regarded as conservation fees that go back into conservation work in and around the parks.
A percentage of the money is directly given to the neighboring communities to enhance local development in form of projects such as schools, hospitals, roads, and more.
When you visit Uganda, you can be certain that your contribution to the environment is direct and the impact on the community will last for generations.
17. Developed Tourism Infrastructure
Uganda’s tourism infrastructure has seen massive investment in the recent past and is now quite developed. The roads, hotels, and activities have been developed to make everything easy for the guests.
It is much easier to move between various attractions whether it’s by road or local flight.
18. Knowledgeable guides and rangers
A good tour guide is what makes your African safari run well and exceed any expectations. There is a curiosity in every traveler and you want a guide who is knowledgeable about all the various experiences on your Uganda safari holiday.
Whether it is in the wild with the animals or in the community, a good guide is a valuable part of your safari experience. Uganda has a high number of well-trained and experienced guides who will truly elevate your Uganda experience.
19. A simple and clear visa process
Applying for a Ugandan tourist visa is a very simple and streamlined process that you can do online – wherever you are. Another great alternative that some guests choose is to get their visa on arrival.
While the process of getting a visa might not seem like the biggest reason, frustration in the visa process can make your trip seem impossible. Take a look at our complete guide to Uganda tourist visas and see what you will need. You might even be visa-exempt depending on your nationality.
20. Many International flights come to Uganda every day
There are more international flights that come to Uganda that before. Generally, international travel has improved all over Africa and Uganda has been a big beneficially of that advancement.
While flight times can still be long for some countries, getting to Uganda has never been easier. International airlines like Emirates, Etihad, Turkish, Qatar, KLM, Brussels, and many more come to Uganda on a regular basis.
21. Kampala nightlife
Many people will refer to Kampala as one of Africa’s sleepless cities. For the guests who love going out for some drinks and dancing, Kampala will have a special place in your heart.
Most safari packages are not designed with a night out on the town but if this sounds good, it can be added as part of your custom safari holiday. As many Ugandans say, it’s party after party.
22. There is a wide choice of tour operators
There are around 2000 tour operators in Uganda. This is a big number for a small country, but more importantly, this gives you enough options to look at and make a decision.
Obviously, we want you to choose us as your trusted Uganda safari handler. We have more than 10 years of providing great service to our guests who come from all parts of the world.
23. Meet the rare & playful Golden monkeys
Golden monkeys are the lesser-known primates that are quite interesting and can only be seen in Uganda, Rwanda, and DR Congo. Like Mountain gorillas, Golden monkeys do not live in any captive environment (zoo/sanctuary) and they are considered endangered by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature.
In Uganda, golden monkeys can be seen in Mgahinga gorilla national park. While they are not gorillas or chimps, they are probably the next best primate worth seeing.
24. Plenty of relaxing spots
Uganda has so much to see which makes it a great place for an active safari holiday. Whether your whole holiday is meant for relaxation or you need a few days of relaxing and letting everything sink in, Uganda has many options for relaxing.
Places like the Ssese Islands, Lake Mutanda, and Lake Bunyonyi are great for relaxing and unwinding.
25. Uganda has some cool unexplored attractions
Uganda has some attractions which less explored and therefore offer authentic feelings of discovery. Whether it is the wildlife reserves, forests, or mountains – there is a wide array of less-beaten paths which are awaiting the more adventurous and curious traveler.
Eastern and Northern Uganda attractions are just ripe for exploration.
26. Great opportunities for photography
Photography is now part of every travel experience – especially with a good camera on our smartphones. For professional photographers, Uganda is a great place worth visiting for wildlife, landscape, and culture photography trips.
With all there is to explore and learn about in Uganda, photography is a great way of documentation. Depending on the specific goals for your photography trip, Uganda is a great place to showcase with your photographs.
27. Uganda truly is the pearl of Africa
From the amazing words of Sir Winston Churchill – “For magnificence, for variety of form and color, for a profusion of brilliant life, bird, insect, reptile, beast — for vast scale — Uganda is truly the Pearl of Africa.”
Anyone would agree that the lush green country-sides, terraced hillsides, amazing birdlife, wildlife, and many other attractions this is one of the most beautiful places in Africa.
We clearly love talking about all the good and beautiful things in Uganda. We know that every traveler has different preferences and we hope we highlighted enough of yours in this long list.
More than inspiring your curiosity and sense of wonder, we would love to talk with you and plan that once-in-a-lifetime safari you have envisioned. We are eager and excited to hear from you.