Uganda is home to several lakes including, the world’s second biggest freshwater body––Lake Victoria and the world’s deepest crater lake––Lake Bunyonyi which, hosts small islands dotted with rustic hotels and campsites. Lake Victoria hosts the Ssese Archipelago whose 84 islands are well watered and lushly forested. They make for an ideal retreat after a long safari and they also offer superb opportunities for bird-watching and for hooking heavyweight fish like the Nile Perch.
If you are kind of person that is excited by bird-watching, then Uganda is no doubt the place for you to be. Transitional to the East African savannah and the western rainforests, Uganda is Africa’s most complete bird-watching destination, with more than 1000 species recorded within an area comparable to that of Great Britain. Uganda is the best place to see what many rate as the most sought after African bird: the Shoebill, a massive prehistoric-looking swamp-dweller notable for its heavy clog-shaped bill.
Uganda is a classic adventure tourism destination. Indeed, Bujagali Falls, which lies downstream of the Source of the Nile, an hour’s drive east of Kampala, is the East African counterpart to more southerly ‘adrenaline capitals’ such as Victoria Falls and Cape Town. Bujagali is the launching point for a commercial white-water rafting route that ranks as one of most thrilling but also one of the safest in the world, passing through three heart-stopping Grade Five rapids in a day. Other Bujagali activities include kayaking, mountain biking, quad-biking and a new 44 metre-high bungee jump from a cliff above the River Nile.
Uganda offers some of Africa’s top hiking and climbing possibilities. Serious mountaineers need look no further than the majestic mountain Rwenzori, whose trio of craggy 5000 plus metre glacial peaks offers a genuine challenge to experienced alpine climbers, while fit hikers will find the six-day loop trail through the Rwenzori’s forest and moorland zones to be as rewarding as it is demanding. Mountain Elgon, Africa’s eighth highest mountain, offers an excellent and relatively undemanding introduction to Afro-montane climates and vegetation, culminating in the ascent of a 6 kilometre wide volcanic caldera studded with small waterfalls, caves and hot springs.
Getting to Uganda is easy and quite hustle-free. Entebbe International Airport, which lies 40 kilometres from the capital Kampala, is a modern and efficient international airport, serviced by a number of international airlines including, SN Brussels, British Airways, South African Airways, Kenya Airways, Air Tanzania, Rwandair Express, Egypt Air and Ethiopian Airlines. Uganda can also be reached overland from Kenya, Rwanda and Tanzania.
There are affordable park entrance fees levied on all tourists that are determined by the Uganda Wildlife Authority (U.W.A.). These are known as “conservation fees” and the latest fares have been set to run for two years effective 1st July 2011-30th June 2013, but may be reviewed earlier on notice. Detailed information about all tourist attractions and protected areas in Uganda can be obtained from the following websites and email addresses;- The Tourism Uganda website, http://www.visituganda.com/ or via email, firstname.lastname@example.org; the U.W.A. website, http://www.ugandawildlife.org/ or by email via email@example.com and http://www.friendagorilla.org/.
With its unique blend of savannah and forest creatures, its rare wealth of montane and lake habitats, Uganda is dazzling, to say the least. Therefore, it is self evident that Uganda is truly the fountain of beauty. It is only in Uganda that one feels the touch of nature. Further, while in Uganda, you will meet and interact with highly skilled people like me. For instance, if it pleases you, take a minute or two and read through one of my poems reproduced hereunder, as we conclude our interaction here. I hope it makes interesting reading. Goodbye, ciao or adieu––whichever appeals to you.
UGANDA This continent has nothing more beautiful to show; Dull would be the man who takes not of the Impressions so appealing in their splendour This country is truly blessed by nature. The golden evening sun, beautiful wildlife, brilliant people Mountains, valleys, lakes and flamboyant cities Clearly visible in the fields and heavens Everything marvels in the tranquil air. And now retires the sun to rest As the magnificent moon wakes from his sleep. Here the earth comes alive The Nile glides sweetly Oh my! Even the valleys seem at rest Truly, the pearl of Africa.
text of Bakampa Bryan Baryaguma