Still one of the world’s best kept natural secrets, Uganda receives far less visitors than its neighboring countries .Characterized by dramatic scenery throughout , it is home to deep lakes, stunning waterfalls , towering mountains and incredible wildlife.
Uganda has the highest concentration of primates on earth, including the mountain gorilla now one of the rarest animals on the planet. There are just under 800 mountain gorilla in the world and over 460 gorillas reside in Uganda mainly found in the epic Bwindi impenetrable rainforest.
Gorilla trekking is offered in Bwindi impenetrable forest and chimpanzee trekking is available in Kibale national park.
NATIONAL PARKS AND PRINCIPLE SIGHTS
Most of Uganda’s environment is divided into protected areas, taken care of by Uganda wildlife Authority. Uganda has 10 national parks and almost third of the country covered by Lake Victoria , the largest in Africa ,dominates the south while lake Edward and Albert lie to the West.
BWINDI IMPENETRABLE FOREST
Bwindi impenetrable forest is a UNESCO World Heritage site situated in the southwest corner of Uganda . The park is 331 square kilometers and impresses with a truly theatrical landscape and bio-diversity , this is a region of volcanoes , jagged valleys, waterfalls ,lakes and dramatic mountain ranges. Birders come thousands of miles to see the more than 350 species that live within the area.
There are also rare forest elephant, giant forest hog and eleven kinds of primates , including red tailed and blue monkey, black and white colobus, baboons and chimpanzee . you can also find forest duiker antelopes and bush buck antelopes as well as over 200 species of butterflies.
Bwindi is a home to 340 mountain gorillas , just over half the world’s population of this critically endangered ape. The gorillas are completely wild but have become used to seeing a few humans after years of habituation. Many of the expert guides have been involved in this process since the beginning , and are able to explain the complicated etiquette involved in meeting a giant silverback . This is an opportunity afforded only to select few, as just eight visitors are allowed to view each group everyday.
There are currently nine habituated mountain gorilla groups open to tourism;
Mubare , Habinyanja and Rushegura near Buhoma
Bitukura and Oruzogho near Ruhija
Nkuringo , Mishaya, Nshongi and Kahugye in Bwindi south.
Tracking through dense forest with steep slopes means that participants do need to be physically fit. Once the gorillas are located , you spend a maximum of an hour with them before returning back to camp. Please note only children aged 15 and above can track the gorillas. Guests taking part in this activity must have permit.
GORILLA TRACKING PERMITS
Permits must be purchased in advance . Permits are sold for a specific person for specific day, and currently cost US$600 each ( subject to change ) To reserve a permit , a deposit is required . As a company , sanctuary Gorilla forest camp is able to invoice for the
entire permit price at once to save on the very high bank fees that are changed in Uganda on incoming foreign currency payments.
GETTING INTO UGANDA
Would you like to get around Uganda? There are several ways to get around Uganda with ease. You can use public transport, private car rentals, and more. There is a growing trend for travelers opting for Uganda self drive, a new way to traveling Uganda on your own. This kind of service is offered by several car hire agencies which include Uganda Car Rental, Self Drive Uganda, Car Rental Uganda, 4×4 Uganda, Drive Uganda etc.
Foreign visitors may be required to obtain a visa to enter Uganda. Before traveling to Uganda, please contact the Ugandan Embassy in your country for the most up to date visa information.
Travelers should check for visa requirements pertaining to their citizenship , as entry requirements vary between countries.
All travelers ,however must be in possession of a passport with at least six months of validity left beyond the intended departure date of Uganda.