CNN Travel has ranked Uganda as a Must-Visit Destination In 2023. Find out why and what makes this East African country so special.
Uganda is often referred to as the “Pearl of Africa”. It is a landlocked country located in East Africa and is bordered by Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, Democratic Republic of the Congo, and South Sudan.
The country is home to a number of Lakes, including the world’s second-largest freshwater lake, Lake Victoria.
Uganda is also home to a number of national parks, which are home to a variety of wildlife, including lions, leopards, elephants, and gorillas. The country is also home to the source of the Nile River, which is the world’s longest river.
In recent years, Uganda has been growing in popularity as a tourist destination. This is due to a number of factors, including its growing economy, its political stability, and its natural beauty.
In 2023, CNN Travel listed Uganda as one of the best tourism destinations in the world, and Nile Guide tells you why.
The UNESCO World Heritage Sites
Spending a vacation in Uganda is the best way of exploring the natural and cultural heritage of this East African Country. There are several UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Uganda that make it a tourist destination for those who love to travel and explore different cultures.
The first ever World Heritage Site in Uganda is Murchison Falls National Park, which is named after its “creator”, Sir Samuel White Baker.
The park has more than 80 species of mammals and over 400 species of birds, including fish eagles, storks, falcons, kingfishers, bee-eaters and many more. Murchison National Park has an area of almost 2,000 square kilometers, making it one of the largest parks in Africa.
Other UNESCO World heritage sites include; Kasubi Tombs, Bwini Impenetrable National Park, Rwenzori Mountains National Park, Queen Elizabeth National Park and Kibale Forest National Park.
A World Heritage Site is a landmark or area with legal protection by an international convention provided by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
World Heritage Sites are assigned by UNESCO for having social/cultural, historical, and scientific or various other kind of value to humanity.
River Nile – longest in Africa
The Nile is the longest river in Africa and the second-longest in the world, flowing north through Sudan and South Sudan, emptying into the Mediterranean Sea at the city of Alexandria in Egypt.
In its upper section, the river is called Bahr Al-Arab, meaning “River of the Arabs.” In its middle and lower sections, it is called Bahr Al-Azraq: “River of the Blue,” referring to water discoloration caused by sediments within the river.
At 4,160 miles long, the Nile flows northwards through the entire length of the continent before emptying into the Mediterranean Sea. It has several tributaries, including Lake Victoria, Lake Kyoga and the Blue Nile River.
The might River Nile is definitely a good reason why CNN Travel called Uganda a Must-visit destination for you in 2023 and beyond.
Lake Victoria – second biggest fresh water lake in the world
The second biggest fresh water lake in the world, Lake Victoria is found in Uganda. The lake borders three countries; Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania.
The size of the lake is estimated at 69,700 square kilometers (26,600 sq mi). With a depth of between 200 meters (660 ft) to 412 meters (1,352 ft), it holds approximately 33,850 cubic kilometers (7,500 cu mi) of water.
Lake Victoria is shared by Uganda on the north-west side with Kenya on the east side bordering Tanzania on the south-west side.
The lake is a prime destination for bird watchers and there are a number of bird sanctuaries. The most famous of these is the Murchison Falls National Park which offers a variety of activities including boat rides on Lake Victoria, bird watching, cultural tours and nature walks.
Lake Victoria which meets the Nile in Jinja has several vivid visitor activities that you need to not lose out on, Including, two Bungee Jumping spots on the Nile, Nile or a sunset cruise on Lake Victoria with BBQ and drinks, Kayaking on the White Nile, White-water Rafting, Fishing trip looking for the huge Nile Perch, Tubing the Nile and a lot more.
Lake Bunyonyi – Place of many little birds
Situated in south western Uganda, Lake Bunyonyi is a picturesque freshwater lake that offers visitors a calm and relaxing setting. The lake is home to many different species of birds and fish, making it a perfect destination for bird watchers and fishermen alike.
Travelers can also enjoy activities such as zip lining and boat rides around the over 30 islands situated within the lake. With its stunning surrounds and tranquil atmosphere, Lake Bunyonyi is the perfect place to unwind and relax.
A festival is a gathering where people come together to celebrate something, whether it be culture, arts, or tradition. Festivals provide an opportunity for people to enjoy each other’s company and engage in creative activities.
Uganda is home to many different festivals which are celebrated by locals and tourists alike. These festivals are usually traditional in nature and give people the chance to come together and enjoy amazing celebrations.
One of the largest music festivals in East Africa is the Nyege Nyege festival. This four-day event sees party-goers from all over the continent come together to enjoy underground music.
According to the founders of the festival, it is a celebration of tranquility, love, and delight for musicians in Africa. The festival has a new home at the stunning Ntinda Falls for 2022.
Packed with incredible mountains and hills, Uganda provides some of the most dramatic and beautiful scenery in all of East Africa. Along with its stunning landscapes, the east African country also has a rich cultural heritage and fascinating history.
Uganda is commonly referred to as the land of mountains. You will find the Rwenzoris and Virunga Hills on the western boundary while Mount Elgon is located on the eastern side.
No matter where you go in the country, you will be able to enjoy breathtaking views of the savannahs, lakes, and forests that make up East and Central Africa.
Uganda’s economy relies heavily on forestry and tourism, which contribute 6% and 9% to GDP respectively. The country’s touristic products are largely nature-based, and many of them are located in the Albertine rift area.
This region is home to five forests: Echuya Forest Reserve, Budongo Forest Reserve, Bugoma Forest Reserve, Kalinzu-Maramagambo forest, and Kasyoha-Kitomi Forest Reserve.
All 506 Central Forest Reserves in Uganda are managed by the National Forest Authority (NFA). Forests and forest reserves are a major source of tourism and eco-tourism revenue in Uganda, and they play a vital role in the country’s economy.
Eco-tourists looking to enjoy the beauty of nature will find plenty of options in forests. These natural habitats are home to various animal species, including primates, big cats, elephants and insects, which attract eco-tourists from all over.
One of the most popular forest reserves is the Budongo Central Forest Reserve in Uganda, which is home to 24 species of animals, 9 varieties of primates and 280 butterflies.
This forest reserve is also the natural habitat of more than 600 chimps, making it a prime destination for those interested in observing these amazing apes in their natural environment.
Other popular forest reserves include the Mabira Forest, which covers about 300 square kilometers and features attractions like the Griffin Falls and activities like Ziplining.
Gorilla tracking experiences in Uganda
Gorilla Tracking is one of the most thrilling wildlife experiences in Uganda. Tracking these gentle giants in their natural habitat is a real privilege.
It’s also a good way to support the conservation of the species and the forest as a whole.
A gorilla tracking experience in Uganda is an once-in-a-lifetime experience. There are only two gorilla species in Africa, both of which are endangered.
The Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park in southwest Uganda is the only place where the Mountain Gorilla can be found.
The park covers 1,169 square miles, making it the second largest forested national park in Uganda. There are nine Gorilla groups living in the park, containing around 300 gorillas.
Uganda is home to half of the world’s population of mountain gorillas, which are an endangered species. Every year, thousands of tourists come to Uganda to track gorillas.
The industry has grown considerably over the last few years, and with it has come an increase in quality of service on offer.
On record, Uganda is residence to half the world’s populace of endangered mountain gorillas, which can only survive at altitude in Uganda, Rwanda, as well as the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Intend to trek with them? Here’s what you need to know about watching gorillas in their natural habitat:
Though an endangered species, the number of gorillas on the planet has actually quadrupled in the last 40 years.
Understanding the inter-dependencies between these gentle giants, locals that live near them, and also the tourists that wish to observe them is important for safeguarding them and keeping the population growing.
The night life
Uganda is a beautiful country full of beautiful women and beautiful people in general. It has nine national parks and the largest refugee population in Africa.
It is also one of the most strategic countries in East Africa and home to some of the most beautiful scenery on the planet.
When it comes to the night life, Uganda is very good with so many clubs and bars to choose from. There are always parties going on, whether for a birthday, graduation or just a get together.
There are many different types of music played in Uganda ranging from highlife to rap to R&B and even reggae. When we think of Uganda, we don’t necessarily think of a bustling nightclub scene.
However, the night life in Uganda is very vibrant and diverse. Nightclubs in Kampala, Entebbe and other cities in Uganda are hosting live bands and DJ’s that play a myriad of different genres. You can find everything from salsa to hip-hop to deep house at these venues.
Uganda is a beautiful country with hospitable people. It is situated in eastern Africa and is renowned for its picturesque landscape including waterfalls and mountains.
Moreover, the country’s food diversity and flavor make it a culinary destination. This section introduces some of the most popular dishes in Uganda including the national dish of Ugali, fish ball soup, and more.
The history of Uganda is a long and complicated one, filled with diverse cultures and traditions. The country is home to 56 different tribes, each with their own unique history and culture.
One of the most fascinating aspects of Ugandan culture is the many different languages spoken by its people. There are over 40 different languages spoken in Uganda, making it a truly multilingual country.
Uganda is home to many different cultures, with the two major ones being the Baganda and the Banyankole.
However, there are many other notable cultures, including the Basoga, the Batoro, the Bakiga, and the Bahima. Families are very important in Ugandan culture. Not only are blood relations included in the definition of family, but also one’s clan and its entire people.
This sense of collectivism is quite strong. Additionally, each Ugandan tribe has its own special belief system and religion, which contributes to the country’s overall uniqueness.
Uganda is home to a variety of traditional dances that reflect the life and culture of its residents. These dances are enjoyed by all and are an important part of Ugandan identity.
There are many different types of traditional dances in Uganda, each with its own unique history and meaning. Some of these dances include the Ekitaguriro dance, performed by the Banyankore people, and the Acholi traditional dance, which is performed by the Acholi people.
Other popular Ugandan dances include the Nankasa, Baakisiimba, and Muwogola dances.
A safari to Uganda is a great way to experience these amazing traditional dances firsthand. You will not only be entertained, but you’ll also learn about the rich history and culture behind these dances.
Safaris (wildlife) Home of the Big5
If you are a wildlife enthusiast, Uganda safaris should definitely be on your radar. It is home to the Big-5, with over 1000 elephants and 400 lions.
The population is only growing, so there’s always something new to see. Here are some of the highlights that you shouldn’t miss out on:
The Nile River Cruise: This is an amazing tour to do with your family and friends. You will be able to see Nile crocodiles, hippos and many other animals as you cruise down the majestic Nile River.
Game drive in Murchison Falls National Park – this is the best place for seeing Uganda wildlife. It is located near the Nile River, coming with different tourist activities. The park is named after Murchison Falls, which is a beautiful landmark that you can see on your drive into the park.
Wildlife – Uganda has been called the “Pearl of Africa” and is a country of great beauty and diversity.
Its natural heritage includes a stunning array of animal species, with a total of 1090 confirmed species of birds as of August 2021 (of them, one is endemic, and three have been introduced by humans), over 1200 species of butterflies, and 345 species of mammals – including a good percentage of the world’s endangered gorilla population.
The National Parks
Uganda’s national parks are some of the most biodiverse and culturally significant in the country.
They’re managed by the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) and are under protection due to their biodiversity, cultural heritage and environmental importance.
These protected areas were established in 1926, with the establishment of Murchison Falls National Park. Later on, they increased rapidly due to demand for conservation of wild animals that had greatly dwindled.
According to UWA, Uganda has ten National Parks that include; Queen Elizabeth, Lake Mburo, Murchison Falls, Kidepo Valley, Kibale, Mount Elgon, Rwenzori Mountains, Semuliki, Mgahinga Gorilla and Bwindi Impenetrable National Parks.
The weather and climate
Weather and climate in Uganda are near perfect for all kinds of outdoor activities.
Seasonal variations in weather in Uganda occur between dry and wet seasons. The main rainy season is between April and May, but precipitation can occur at any time of the year.
The average temperature is around 24 degrees Celsius all year round. Temperatures are warmest during the months of December to February when the days are dry and sunny with cool evenings.
Uganda has a tropical climate with two seasons; the rainy season and the dry season.
The long rainy season is between March and May, while the short rains occur between October and November. The period between June and September is considered the dry season, but can still see rainfall.
The climate in Uganda is hot throughout the year. The hottest months are February through April, while December through February is cooler.
To Wrap Things Up
So, there you have it. CNN Travel has called Uganda a must-visit destination for 2023, and for good reason. You won’t be disappointed if you choose Uganda as your next travel destination. The culture is rich, the wildlife is diverse, and the people are friendly.
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