HOME OF GORILLA VIEWING
Uganda is a small but stunning country in the heart of the continent. Uganda’s natural beauty led Winston Churchill to refer to it as the “Pearl of Africa”. Characterised by dramatic scenery throughout, it is home to deep lakes, stunning waterfalls, towering mountains and incredible wildlife.
Uganda also 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 gorillas in the world and over 460 of them reside in Uganda – mainly found in the epic Bwindi Impenetrable Forest.
Gorilla trekking is offered in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and Chimpanzee trekking is available in Kibale National Park.
Still one of the world’s best kept natural secrets, Uganda receives far less visitors than its neighbouring countries. Aside from its majestic scenery and awe-inspiring wildlife, this can be attributed to its warm-natured people with their cheery and welcoming hospitality. Basking in its newfound political stability, Uganda offers a more intimate and adventurous type of safari.
THE FACTS – Republic of Uganda
Area 236,580 sq. km. (91,136 sq. mi.)
Capital city Kampala (population 2 million)
People 17 different tribes with Baganda and Banyankole the largest
Languages Swahili and English
Religion Christianity, Islam and others
Government Constitutional democracy
WHY CHOOSE UGANDA?
• Highest concentration of primates on Earth and home to half the world’s remaining mountain gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest
• There is an equally wide range of fauna, flora and landscapes in the country’s other national parks including Murchison Falls, Queen Elizabeth and Kibale Forest
• A birdwatcher’s paradise with over 500 species of birds
• Excellent climate all year round
• Opportunity for community interaction with a variety of different tribes
Bwindi is 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 a select few, as just eight visitors are allowed to view each group every day.
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 one hour with them before returning back to camp.
Please note only children aged 15 and above can track gorilla.
Guests taking part in this activity must have a permit.
Gorilla Tracking Permit
Permits must be purchased in advance. Permits are sold for a specific person for a specific day, and currently cost US$500 each. 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.
National Parks and Principal Sights
Most of Uganda’s environment is divided into protected areas, taken care of by the Uganda Wildlife Authority and the National Forest Authority. Uganda has ten national parks and almost a third of the country is covered by water.
Lake Victoria, the largest in Africa, dominates the south while Lakes 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 kilometres 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.
Uganda Visa Information
This information serves as a guide only. Travellers should check visa requirements pertaining to their citizenship, as entry requirements can vary.
Visas are required for foreigners from most Commonwealth countries and European Union countries as well as the United States.
Please visit http://www.uganda.visahq.com for a full list of nationalities which require visas for entry into Uganda
The majority of the country has a tropical climate which varies according to altitude.
The hottest months are from December to February when the temperature reaches 29 degrees Celsius. Rainy seasons are from April to May and October to November, with the wettest month being April. The best times to visit are December to March and June to September.
Travellers are advised to contact the Uganda Representative in their countries or regions to determine whether vaccination is necessary before entry into Uganda. A yellow fever vaccination is usually required. Malaria is prevalent in Uganda and it is advisable to take anti-malarial and mosquito repellents.