Why travel to Uganda
Travel to Uganda to discover a fascinating East African country that boasts diverse landscapes. From the snow-capped Rwenzori Mountains (third highest in Africa) and immense Lake Victoria to 10 national parks, including the remote Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, which is a famous mountain gorilla sanctuary, and Murchison Falls National Park, known for the 43m waterfall and varied wildlife.
Most tourists visit Uganda on gorilla trekking tours to see the endangered mountain gorilla. Still, they leave having been charmed by the warm people, breathtaking scenery and choice of safari holidays, either by road or on the water. So much wildlife is protected here, including chimpanzees, leopards, elephants, lions and hippos and more than 1,000 species of birds – that’s over 10% of the world’s bird species! You’ll find this incredible wildlife in mountains, forests wetlands and on the shores of Lake Victoria, the source of the legendary Nile River.
Why visit Uganda
- Uganda is a peaceful and safe tourist destination.
- It boasts the most powerful waterfalls in the world, Murchison Falls.
- Adventurers love it here as it offers the best rapids in Africa for white water rafting and kayaking.
- You can go on safari to view an incredible selection of wildlife, including the Big 5, tree-climbing lions and wild crocodile.
- It’s home to a population of 880 endangered mountain gorillas.
- The birdlife is quite spectacular – one can spend an entire holiday discovering over 1,000 species of birds.
- The diverse cultures include 50 different tribes, each with their own fascinating traditions.
Uganda has overcome its horrific past to emerge gracious, elegant, warm and welcoming; its people keen to show you the country’s many treasures. Uganda is a dream holiday destination, ideal for families seeking adventure, friends who come to enjoy legendary safaris and couples who have a deep love for the outdoors. Let Thompsons Holidays take you there.
What to do In Uganda
If you’re looking for an incredible variety of wildlife experiences, you’ll find them in Uganda. There are a variety of holiday packages for every type of outdoor adventure, from gorilla trekking to visiting the world’s most powerful waterfall and cruising the waters of Lake Victoria, source of the Nile River.
This land-locked country located in East Africa is a lush, hilly and elevated land with a delightful mix of forested mountains, tropical rainforest, swamp and grassland. The country is home to the largest population of chimpanzees on the continent plus a dozen or more other species of primates. Uganda boasts a wide range of national parks, is famous as one of the best places in the world to go birdwatching, and offers an opportunity to see migrating elephants in search of water. What’s not to love?
Things to do in Uganda
- Go gorilla trekking in Bwindi’s Impenetrable Forest.
- Be awed by the explosive and mighty Murchison Falls.
- See lions climbing trees in Ishasha.
- Go white water rafting from Jinja, home to Africa’s best rapids.
- Discover the magical Mountains of the Moon in Rwenzori Mountains National Park.
- Visit Lake Bunyoni, the second deepest lake in Africa and home to prolific birdlife.
- View chimpanzees in Kibale Forest National Park.
- Hike to the highest point of Mount Elgon, an extinct volcano and the world’s largest volcanic caldera.
- Enjoy Kampala’s vibrant nightlife.
- Spot migrating elephants in Queen Elizabeth National Park.
There are so many activities and adventures packed into this small country; you will undoubtedly be spoiled for choice. Discover Uganda on a family holiday package, with friends, or as a couple. Let Thompsons Holidays take you there, on a selection of tailormade travel packages.
Know before you go...
- The best time to visit Uganda is in January and February or from June to September.
- Uganda has a year-round warm, tropical climate. Average temperatures range between 25°C and 29°C.
- The hottest months are December, January and February.
- Flight duration from Johannesburg to Entebbe in Uganda: 3 hours & 55 minutes. You will fly from there to your destination.
- Transport within Uganda is by mini bus taxis or car.
- South African passport holders require a visa to enter Uganda. These are available online.
- Passports must be valid for 6 months after your trip.
- Time zone – South Africa is 1 hour behind Uganda.
- The official currency is the Uganda Shilling (UGX).
- US dollars are widely accepted in Uganda – but do not use currency older than 2006 in cash.
- In Uganda cash is king, so bring US dollars in cash with you or exchange at a bank.
- Tipping is not obligatory in Uganda but is much appreciated. 15 to 20% of a bill is an acceptable tip.
- There are 40 languages spoken in Uganda, including Swahili and English.
- English is an official language and widely spoken.
- Uganda is a religiously diverse nation with Christianity being the most widely professed religion.
- It is advisable to only drink bottled water in Uganda.
- Smoking is banned in public places. E-cigarettes and flavoured tobacco are banned in the country.
- Yellow fever vaccinations are required to enter Uganda. Check with your travel clinic about other recommended vaccinations before you go.
What must I pack?
- Lightweight clothing for summer, layerable jacket for cooler days and nights, beachwear.
- If going on safari, take khaki or light coloured clothing.
- Comfortable walking shoes, sandals, flip flops.
- Sunscreen, lip balm, hat and sunglasses.
- Mini first aid kit and regular prescription medication.
- Hand sanitiser and insect repellent.
- Travel adaptor.
What can I do to be a responsible traveller?
- Wherever possible, buy local food and souvenirs and support local artisans.
- Avoid single-use plastic; rather take fabric shopping bags with you and use refillable water bottles (when local drinking water is available).
- Respect each other's cultures and customs and avoid imposing your beliefs.
- Do not support animal encounters and wildlife activities that are harmful or unethical.
- Always have a map (or app) on hand, especially when travelling at night.
- Be safety conscious: don’t display cash or valuables. Leave jewellery and expensive watches at home.
- Keep your belongings safe – use the hotel safe for passports and valuables and watch out for pickpockets and bag snatchers when out and about.
What do I do in an emergency?
- If passports or valuables are stolen, report the theft to the hotel/police immediately.
- Contact the Thompsons Holidays 24-hour care line to assist.
Out of season
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