Top Destinations Uganda

Uganda is home to half of the world’s population of gorillas and the unique experiences one can have with these incredible animals is once in a lifetime. Staying in very comfortable lodges and camps at night, trek into the bush anywhere from 30 minutes to a few hours in search of one of the rare habituated gorilla families. Operators of the gorilla treks know where the families are at any given time and therefore spotting them and spending time watching them is almost guaranteed. If time permits, opt for a longer safari – Uganda actually has all the Big Five and over 1,000 bird species!

If you are visiting for gorilla trekking you may be more comfortable during the drier seasons (December – February and June – September) but Uganda is a great place to visit anytime of the year.

Currency Ugandan Shilling. US dollars are the easiest currency to take with you.

Language English is Uganda’s official language but also widely spoken are Kiswahili, Luganda, Runyankole, Rukiga and Rutoro.

Why we love it The “Pearl of Africa” has had its ups and downs over the last decade, yet it is one of only three countries in the world to visit the endangered mountain gorillas and is home to over 50% of them. Uganda is also a country with fantastic natural scenery and a rich mosaic of tribes and cultures. Travelling through Uganda, you will be captivated by its beauty, safety, accessibility and friendliness. The natural beauty of its people and its landscape are outstanding. As well as the silverback and blackback mountain gorillas, Uganda is famed for its chimpanzees and Golden Monkeys of Mgahinga among others. Murchison Falls and Queen Elizabeth National Parks also have good abundance of elephant, lion, buffalo and other African wildlife and are less busy than the other traditional safari destinations. Uganda is also endowed with over 1,000 different bird species, making this a twitcher’s paradise. Random fact: the name Gorilla is derived from the Greek word Gorillai, meaning “hairy woman”.

Weather The weather is based around rainy season and dry season in Uganda. For gorilla trekking which is undoubtedly the main reason most people are wanting to visit, it is best to keep clear of the rainy season, and therefore the best time will be January, February or June to September.

Social customs & quirks Situated at the geographical heart of the African continent, Uganda has long been a cultural melting pot, as evidenced by the existence of 30 plus different indigenous languages belonging to five distinct linguistic groups, and an equally diverse cultural mosaic of music, art and handicrafts. The country’s most ancient inhabitants, confined to the hilly southwest, are the Batwa and Bambuti Pygmies, relics of the hunter-gatherer cultures that once occupied much of East Africa to leave behind a rich legacy of rock paintings, such as at the Nyero Rock Shelter near Kumi. At the cultural core of modern-day Uganda lie the Bantu-speaking kingdoms of Buganda, Bunyoro, Ankole and Toro, whose traditional monarchs – reinstated in the 1990s after having been abolished by President Milton Obote in 1967 – still serve as important cultural figureheads.

Festivals & events Uganda’s Independence Day is 09 October, Heroes Day 09 June and Martyr’s Day 03 June. Christmas and New Year are celebrated the same as the world over.

Health* Please contact your General Practitioner for advice regarding the recommended vaccination programme for travellers to this region. The only compulsory health requirement is a Yellow Fever Vaccination Certificate if coming from, or travelling through, an infected area. Malaria precautions are essential any time of year and there may be specific vaccinations you need if visiting chimpanzees.

Notes *Please be aware that Health information is subject to change at any time and you should always double check these requirements at the time of booking and before travel.