Uganda has numerous safari destinations with a diversity of wildlife such as animals and vegetation. Most of the attractions, especially animals have been conserved in gazetted areas owned by the government as a way to prevent the remaining species from further extinction.
The gazetted areas include national wildlife parks, game reserves, sanctuaries, zoos with the remains in the museum. The above-mentioned safari destination, with their diversity of landscapes varying from valleys to mountains, have wildlife ranging from large Apes, primates, carnivals, herbivores, reptiles, birds, flies to very tiny insects.
The most popular destinations are Bwindi impenetrable forest national park with the great apes, mainly the extinction mountain gorillas as in Mgahinga park and many primates, Kibale primate park with the highest population of Chimpanzees in their natural environment in the whole world, followed by Queen Elizabeth safari park most known to holidaymakers for having a big population of tree climbing lions and numerous bird species. Not forgetting Murchison falls wildlife park with the great Murchison falls and a variety of animals, birds and plants and Rwenzori hiking park with the mountains of the moon where travelers trek to the glaciated peaks.
Other National parks include Kidepo known for giraffes, Semliki with its crater lakes, Lake Mburo with zebras and statungas, and Mount Elgon with the great sipi falls.
In addition to the safari parks, Uganda tours are made to chimpanzee sanctuaries, many birding sites, field trips to swamps holding many bird species, birdwatching in the forests, different cultural sites, Jinja with the source of the Nile and bujagali for bungee jumping, kayaking and white water rafting and city tours as number one destinations on your vacation itinerary.
Uganda, so aptly named the Pearl of Africa is located in Eastern Africa, within two branches of the Great Rift Valley. Rich in biodiversity, inhabited by a warm people, the country shares borders with Sudan to the north, Kenya to the east, Tanzania to its south, the Democratic Republic of Congo to the west, and Rwanda to the South West. Part of its southern border surrounds the northern shores of Lake Victoria. Its altitude (excluding the Rwenzori and Elgon mountains), is between 900 and 1500 meters with an average height of 1000 above sea level.
The country enjoys steady (and pleasant) temperatures all year round with temperatures between 20 and 27 degrees by day, owing to its position along the equator. Night temperatures vary between 15 and 19 degrees. The country enjoys two rain seasons- around mid-year and towards the end of the year.
Uganda is an independent republic that only recently returned to a multi-party system of governance after a constitutional amendment in 2005 caused a change from the Movement system of government that had been in practice since 1986. The president is the head of state and the chief of the military forces. He heads an Executive that is complemented by the Judiciary and Parliament. The basic unit of administration is the Local Council, headed by a chairperson. Local Councils go up from Level 1 to 5, which is the district level. There are 76 districts in Uganda, and every district has an elected chairman.
Uganda has a fully liberalized economy with an average annual growth of 5-6% over the last two decades. About 85% of the population derives its livelihood from agriculture- mostly subsistence in nature. A few more Ugandans are gainfully employed in the services and manufacturing industries. Tourism is also a significant contributor to the country’s economy, as is the export of agricultural produce. Mining is not as significant an industry as it is in some neighboring countries, but that should change after the recent discovery of commercially viable deposits of oil in western Uganda.
According to estimates, Uganda’s population stands at about 28 million, with a growth rate of 4%- one of the highest in the world. The majority of the population is rural-based. The country boasts over 40 tribes spread out in over 70 districts. English is the official language, although Luganda is the most widely spoken local language. Kiswahili is also commonly used in the eastern and northern parts of Uganda. At least 80% of Ugandans have professed Christians, with 16% are Muslims. About 4% are traditionalists, although it is not unusual to find locals who subscribe to both Christian and traditional ways of worship.
Uganda has enjoyed relative calm for the last twenty years, except for Northern Uganda, which has been ravaged by the Lord’s Resistance Army rebels since 1987. However, negotiations for a peaceful resolution of this conflict have been ongoing since mid-2006, and a return to peace is not far off.