About Uganda

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Karamojong Girl

Karamojong Girl

Uganda is a land-locked country in East Africa, bordering Kenya, Rwanda, Democratic Republic of Congo and Tanzania. Famously called the Pearl of Africa by Winston Churchill, it is home to one of the most diverse and concentrated ranges of African fauna including the highly endangered mountain gorilla and the endangered common chimpanzee. Most of the areas of interest to travelers are in the south-west regions of the country, a side branch of the famous and volcanic active Great Rift Valley with the exception of Jinja and Murchison. Gorilla tracking draws most of the visiting tourists since there are several families of gorillas that can be visited in at least three different locations.

The Rwenzori Mountains area near Kasese town is also of interest to many visiting tourists. Here you can climb Mt. Margherita (5109m), safari in Queen Elizabeth National Park and experience the culture of the Bakonzo mountain people.

You can also visit Jinja the world-famous source of the River Nile, and in Uganda, more famously the source of Nile Beer. This is a popular destination for backpackers with its white-water rafting. Three main operators work the rapids, offering a range of options, including body surfing, kayaking lessons and a video or DVD of the experience afterwards. It is possible to arrange a day trip from Kampala and be sure to use high-factor sunscreen!

Fort Portal is generally considered Uganda’s most attractive settlement. Approached from Kampala through extensive tea plantations and farmland, it contains some fine old buildings and the superb backdrop of the Rwenzoris provides some truly stunning sunsets.

The drive from Kisoro to Kabale, through Lake Bunyoni will rival any Alpine journey for stunning, peaceful panoramas as your car climbs higher and higher, above the patchwork fields and terraces that pay tribute to the ingenuity of the gentle mountain farmers, revealing more and more of the giant volcanic Mount Mahubura and the surrounding hills and knolls with precariously-placed trees the seem to have been randomly scattered along the tops of the ridges.

The fertile hills and craters with steep valleys are breathtakingly peaceful. The splashes of colour from the wild roadside flowers and fire trees break open the beautiful shades of green on the climbing terraces, of banana, peas and a myriad of other crops, the scattering of the little farm houses alongside the round traditional buildings falling further and further below as you slowly travel further and higher are such a perfect reason to make the journey to Kabale. It is quite difficult to make the journey in any reasonable time – you will frequently find you need to get out of the car and breathe in the landscape, soaking up every inch of the land, hills, trees and mountains before you. Consider taking an amply packed picnic lunch for this journey and try identifying the birds of prey on the hunt.

There are those who will persist in complaining about the condition of the road, but we believe the little bumps can only add to your African adventure and the wonderful sense of freedom in such a beautiful land. What is there to complain about a road that takes you through one of the most beautiful places in the world and as an added bonus takes you not only to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Mgahinga Gorilla National Park (where you can track gorillas and even golden monkeys), but onto the fantastic little country, Rwanda?


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