TOURISM ACTIVITIES IN UGANDA.
Uganda is located in eastern part of Africa, famously referred to as the pearl of Africa. This has made it a must visit country in Africa. Uganda has so much to offer from wildlife to culture. The country is located between the savannah and the equatorial forests, with over 60 tribes. Uganda is home to the shortest and the tallest people in the world, making her the cultural tourism destination. With over 1000 bird species some of which are endemic while others are migrant birds, Uganda a birder’s haven. The country’s night life and entertainment are unrivalled, the city has a lot of clubs, casinos and lounges, Kampala city the country capital was named the entertainment capital of east Africa. The country is also home to source of the nile, the world’s longest river.
Uganda is a country gifted with nature with 10 national parks and twelve wildlife reserves. Expect to see the big fives when you visit Uganda, tree climbing lions, buffaloes, chimpanzee, gorillas and primates. Not forgetting the most favorable climate.
The country has a lot of tourism activities to offer. These include;
Game drives in Uganda are conducted in different national parks. You will get an opportunity to see the big five, the big cats, lions, buffaloes, the antelopes, elephants, oribi, warthog, zebras among others animals in the wild. Games drives are conducted in Kidepo valley national park, Murchison falls national, queen Elizabeth national park, semuliki national park, lake Mburo national park. Each of these parks has something unique from the other.
Gorilla trekking and habituation
Gorilla trekking is an outdoor activity where tourists get a chance to see mountain gorillas in their natural habitants living their daily lives. You get a chance to see them taking care of their families, feed, play, take care of their babies and how they relate to each other, and you, their visitor.
This is an experience that every person yarn to get while in Uganda. Our guides and other service providers are ready to make your gorilla trekking experience worthwhile.
There are many benefits that come with trekking mountain gorillas in Uganda, you get a chance to watch different species of birds, mammals, insects and also engage with the local communities.
Uganda offers tourists with a chance to experience the true life of mountain gorillas in Bwindi impenetrable national park and Mgahinga national park, each national park offers a different experience from a another. Bwindi is so far the best destination for gorilla trekking in Uganda. Bwindi has the highest number of mountain gorillas which makes it easy for you to find them while trekking.
Mountain gorillas are found in in the Virunga conservation area found Mgahinga and Bwindi national park Uganda, volcano national park Rwanda and Virunga national park in DR Congo
Gorilla trekking in Uganda can last from 1hour to 8 hours depending on their movements. The maximum number of people to see mountain gorillas is 8 people per day per family/group of gorillas and minimum age to trek them is 15 years.
The gorillas can be trekked all year round but the best time to trek them is December, September, august, June and July which are dry seasons.
Uganda is blessed with over 50 tribes spread through-out the whole country, all these tribes have their own unique customs and beliefs. Some of these tribe include the Baganda who dominate the central part of Uganda, the Basoga, Batooro, Banyankole, Bakiga, Baluuli, the Alur, the Ik the Karamojong, the Langi, the Bafumbira, the Kumam, the Tepeth, the Jopadhola, the Batwa, the Lugbara, the Bamba the Bagishu the Bagweere, the Acholi, the Banyoro, the Kuku, the Madi, the Pokot, the Nubi, the Sebei, the Samia, Bakonzo and so many other tribes. Most the tribes in Uganda have kingdoms led by kings and others have chiefdoms led by chiefs.
Some kingdoms and chiefdoms where abolished by president Milton Obote due to a lot of power they had, later president Museveni revived them.
When you come for a cultural tour in Uganda, you will get the opportunity to learn all these tribes’ culture, their norms and practices. One of the most visited tribes in Uganda are the Karamojong who are found in the northern corner of Uganda and near Kidepo valley national park, the IK also found near Kidepo valley national park. The IK people are one of the smallest ethic groups in Uganda, the Batwa people [the pygmies] in Mgahinga national park and Bwindi national park.
Uganda is a country endowed with over 50 tribes, each of these tribes offer different foods and different way of preparing it. Some foods can be found in all the tribes while others are unique to a certain tribe. Some of the unique foods include the Eshabwe which is special to the Ankole people, luwombo to Baganda, karo special to the Banyankole and Banyoro, the Acholi, the Itesots who refer to it as Atap and others tribes. Each tribe you may choose to visit will give you a great culinary experience. However, many say that Baganda have the best traditional dishes followed by the westerners. Baganda people respect the process of preparing their food and won’t mind even if it takes them hours to prepare as long as it produces the best outcome. It’s surprising that in Uganda as a whole, one of the characteristics people consider when choosing a wife is her ability to cook good food. Any woman or girl who doesn’t know how to cook people always question their upbringing and where she grew up from.
The country is full of restaurants that prepare traditional meals. You can also engage in the process of preparing these traditional meals. Engagi safaris is here to help you get the best out of your culinary experience in Uganda. Foods you can try out in Uganda include; matooke, luwombo, karo, Eshabwe, sweet potatoes, among others.
This is of the most sought of activity by tourists who visit the mountains in Uganda. Mountain climbing activity is a very physical activity which requires you to be physically fit, no heart diseases and hypertensions. Guides will let you choose the trail you would like use; each trail or route will reward you with a great climbing experience. While climbing, you get an opportunity to see the different mountain ranges, the glacier lakes, the water falls, the hot springs, rare flora and fauna and other interest wild life. Mountain climbing in Uganda takes place at Rwenzori mountains national park, mountain Elgon national park.
Chimpanzee trekking and habituation
Uganda has three major chimpanzee trekking destinations which are; Queen Elizabeth national park, Murchison falls national park and kibale national park which is the top chimpanzee destination in Uganda
UGANDA has more than 5000 chimpanzees making it the top destination for gorilla trekking in East Africa. Chimpanzees are our closest humans with a percentage of 98 of human DNA.
Chimpanzees in East Africa are found in Congo, Uganda and Rwanda though the best chimpanzee habituating places are found in Uganda and Rwanda.
Chimpanzees are very social animals with playful traits, you can’t get bored while trekking them they offer you with the greatest experience. You can watch them play, socialize amongst themselves and more fun moments related to humans.
Chimpanzee trekking is one the most popular activity in Uganda with three national parks which offers the best chimpanzee trekking experience, Kibale being the main chimpanzee trekking destination with over 1,500 chimpanzees.
Chimpanzee trekking can also be done in Queen Elizabeth national Murchison falls national park, kalinzu forest, semuliki wild reserve and Ngamba island chimpanzee sanctuary which protects orphaned chimpanzees.
Chimpanzees live in groups and it’s hard for them to sleep or stay in the same place twice, they keep on moving in search for water and food.
Nyege Nyege festival.
This is an annual east African musical festival conducted on the beaches of River Nile in jinja. The festival attracts over 30,000 people from different parts of the world, who come to feel the true African music and performances. It’s a good choice for music and festival lovers. Hotels during this period are always over booked and it may be hard for you to get where to sleep, so it’s better you book the room in advance upon the announcement of the festival dates.
Fishing is done at different locations in Uganda, the include, jinja near Lake Victoria and the Nile, lake Mburo national park, around lake Bunyonyi, among others. it has a lot of fishing spots anyone can enjoy to their satisfaction. You are strictly allowed to catch only mature fish. The activity is fun more so when you joined with the locals who will teach you their traditional tactics of fishing. The guide will brief you on the best and less dangerous fishing sports. The most caught fish species are the tilapia and the large Nile perch.
Birding in Uganda is so diverse and is done in the most scenic destinations. Birds in Uganda can be spotted everywhere starting from the Entebbe international airport, Uganda has an impressive abundance, of birds some of which are typical Africans, endemic birds and others are migrant birds. Uganda is a birders haven having more than 1000 bird species spread throughout the whole country
While bird watching in Uganda, you will get a chance to encounter the Albertine rift endemics birds, the famous shoebill stock, the breasted pitta among other birds.
A birding safari in Uganda is more rewarding due to the availability of many bird species each with a different unique feature, attractive colors and so much more to discover while on a birding tour in Uganda. You also get a chance to see other tourist attractions Uganda offers.
Bird species you can find in Uganda include, but not limited to,
Shoebill [balaeniceps rex], Marabou stork, Saddle-billed stork, Hamerkop, Goliath heron, African darter, Pelicans, Common ostrich, Flamingoes, Secretary bird, African fish eagle, Planet vulture, Lappet-faced vulture, Bateleur, long crested eagle, Jackson’s francolin, Helmeted guineafowl
Jinja is a fun city to explore, you can choose to explore it on foot or cycle the bicycle. This experience is rewarding because of the physical activity involved while cycling. A guide is readily available to guide you through your chosen route, mountain bikes are provided. Bicycles can be hired for the whole day, you can opt to travel to the local communities, sugarcane plantations, to mabira forest and other exciting routes as your guide will take you.
White water rafting
White water rafting This is one of the most popular activities in Uganda, the activity is carried out at Itanda and kabalega or murchison falls. White water rafting involves passing through aggressive water waves, you may get wet all over but you’re assured of the great experience. It teaches you how to keep calm amidst tough times, this is because it is conducted in the tough and strong waves. It is best done in groups most especially those doing it for the first time. While rafting, you get an opportunity to see the beautiful flora and fauna, butterflies, monkeys and different spices of birds. There are two packages offered for rafting; full day and half day packages. Your safety is made a priority by offering with safety gears like life jackets and a standby rescue team in case of anything.
Uganda has a good terrain which is good for cycling, you can choose to explore it on foot or cycle the bicycle. This experience is rewarding because of the physical activity involved while cycling. A guide is readily available to guide you through your chosen route, mountain bikes are provided. Bicycles can be hired for the whole day, you can opt to travel to the local communities, sugarcane plantations, to mabira forest and other exciting routes as your guide will take you.
Bungee jumping in jinja starts at a cliff tower of 44 meters height which was built along the shores of river nile. The activity is nerve racking and frightening to some people, your legs are tied with a rope and you jump down to the waters of the nile. You should be at least 13 years and above to participate in bungee jumping, physically and mentally ok with no illness like hypertension and heart diseases.
This involves riding a four wheeled motor bike. You may choose to drive going to the local communities, sugar cane plantations, forests or to the nile. Guides teach you how to ride the bike before you set off to your preferred journey.