Log in
Updated few hours ago

Here is why tourists get addicted to Uganda’s beauty

Zebras

Zebras

LAKE MBURO NATIONAL PARK

Lake Mburo national park is the smallest national park in Uganda and the closest to Kampala, which means you don’t need to travel a long distance for that safari experience in the wild.

The park has a long history of a harmonious co-existence with the ranching community and it is very common to see zebras grazing with cattle along the Kampala-Mbarara highway, even before entering the park.

The park has 68 mammal species like zebras, kobs, impalas, buffaloes, bush bugs and warthogs which are also seen grazing freely with the cattle, a harmonious co-existence that cannot be seen in other parks around the country. There is a very limited number of cats such as leopards, and no lions at all, which has made the population of herbivorous animals in the park to multiply rapidly.

The park also has a variety of bird species such as shoebills, crested cranes, pelicans, herons, African fin foot and storks, which can’t be missed because of the park’s well-angulated location and suitability.

This small park offers more than just a game drive through its 260 square kilometres. It is the only savannah woodland national park where you can do a walking safari and have a close interaction with the animals, which makes it a much friendlier park to visit.

Tourists can also engage in cycling with sport bikes and horse riding through the park, breaking away from the monotony of game drives as the only way to spot animals in national parks. All these activities are possible because of the limited number of carnivores in the park which tourists are always cautious of while visiting game parks.

JINJA, SOURCE OF RIVER NILE

Referred to as the adventure capital of east africa, Jinja city located in Eastern Uganda provides tourists with a wide array of adventure, adrenaline rushing activities all done along the River Nile, the longest river in the world.

These activities include zip lining, bungee jumping, white water rafting, quad biking, water tubing, water cycling, kayaking and boat cruises. However, the most attractive aspect of Jinja is that it is where the source of River Nile is found.

Adventurers doing rafting in Jinja
Adventurers doing rafting in Jinja

The exact point where the river waters separate from the Lake Victoria waters to start the Nile’s 6,696 kilometers journey to the Mediterranean sea, is found in Jinja. At the point where the waters separate, a poster was positioned and tourists can reach this point with the help of motorized boats available at the river banks.

NGAMBA ISLAND CHIMPANZEE SANCTUARY

Founded in 1988, the island, which is surrounded by the fresh waters of Lake Victoria, offers 95 acres of natural forest where the chimpanzees roam and forage daily.

The goals of the sanctuary are to provide a safe home for rescued chimpanzees while also caring for the environment and other wildlife on the island, provide a high- quality educational experience for visitors and benefit local communities. The island is currently home to 52 orphaned and confiscated chimpanzees, rescued from the illegal pet and bush meat traders.

The island is located on Lake Victoria, approximately 23km Southeast of mainland Entebbe; so, the easiest way to get there is by taking boats that mostly park and depart from Waterfront beach, adjacent to the Entebbe zoo. The boats come in different sizes and carrying capacities, depending on one’s budget.

A speed boat can take about 50 minutes while a local motorized canoe can take about 90 minutes. Witnessing the feeding of the chimpanzees is the most exciting part of visiting this sanctuary.

Once the feeding time reaches and they hear the siren from the caregivers, they start screaming as they come running from the thick forest to the feeding area which is enclosed by an electric fence with visitors closely watching them from a raised platform where the caregivers also stand and throw food to the chimps.

Ngamba island is not only promoting itself as a conservation centre for the rescued chimpanzees, but also positioning itself as an alternative tourist product on Lake Victoria that someone can visit while in Entebbe, which is the country’s entry point.

Uganda Tourism Board, now headed by Lily Ajarova who before that was also instrumental in Ngamba’s growth and administration, is looking towards diversifying the island’s tourist products.

NDERE CULTURAL CENTRE

For a glimpse into Uganda’s rich traditional culture and gastronomy, visitors are always taken to Ndere Cultural Centre in Ntinda, just seven kilometres from the Kampala city centre.

Traditional dances form part of Ugandan culture
Traditional dances form part of Ugandan culture

This African cultural hub expands over nine acres of well-maintained African flora and fauna and beautifully landscaped grounds. It is characterized with indigenous architecture, given a modern and fresh look.

The center is meticulously designed to provide a sense of daily living in ancient Ugandan culture, featuring traditional huts that showcase the architectural styles of various Ugandan tribes, giving visitors a glimpse into the daily lives of different communities as well as an array of handcrafted treasures, including jewelry, textiles and traditional musical instruments.

The Ndere Troupe, a traditional cultural entertainment group at the centre, entertains visitors with traditional dances and storytelling from Uganda’s various tribes while dressed in beautiful traditional costumes. Visitors also get to enjoy poetry that consists of generally traditional poems and folktales.

The centre also offers tourists unique opportunities to try out the local Ugandan dishes. You can be sure to enjoy delicious foods and drinks that identify with each of the regions and ethnic groups of Uganda. For visitors who want to go an extra mile and learn these traditional dances and how to prepare the local meals, the centre offers dance and culinary lessons.

jjingoernest1@gmail.com

Comments are now closed for this entry