Once described as 'the Pearl of Africa' by Winston Churchill, Uganda is a land of extraordinary contrasts, a land blessed with outstanding beauty, rich in cultural history and biodiversity. Its reputation as 'Africa's friendliest country' is not only accredited to its likeable people, but also to its redevelopment as an eco-friendly environment, with the enlightened management of 10 national parks, and its introduction of eco-tourism projects. Uganda's star attraction is the endangered mountain gorilla, the bulkiest of living primates, and among the most amiable. Looking into the pensive brown eyes of these gentle giants, is as humbling as it is thrilling, especially when one realises that fewer than 700 individuals survive, divided between Bwindi National Park and the Virunga Mountains.
Accommodation in Uganda varies from luxurious retreats to eco-friendly lodges, complemented by a full range of creature comforts, fine cuisine and friendly service.
Of Uganda's forested reserves, Bwindi National Park is best known for its superb gorilla tracking, but it also provides a refuge to elephants, chimpanzees, monkeys and various small antelopes, as well as 23 bird species restricted to the Albertine Rift.
This national park, Uganda's largest, is named after the Murchison Falls, where the wide River Nile is forced through a narrow breach in a steep slope in the Rift Valley, producing a torrent of tumbling water.
The magnificent scenery of huge craters embedded in rolling green hills, set against the Rwenzori Mountains, the Kazinga Channel whose banks are visited by elephants, buffalo and hippos, plus the Ishasha plains where lions hide in the fig trees are among the many attractions
For those short of time, this is a great little add-on, combining Buhoma Lodge and Ishasha camp, in the beautiful Bwindi and Queen Elizabeth National Parks. Flying to the parks cuts travelling time, leaving plenty of time for game drives and soaking up the scenery.
This superb 8-day safari includes gorilla trekking in Bwindi National Park, chimp tracking in Chamburu (Kyamburu) Gorge, game viewing and birdwatching in Queen Elizabeth National Park, plus a boat cruise on Kasinga Channel in search of wildlife.
Uganda is the only safari destination whose range of forest primates is as impressive as its selection of plains antelopes. Besides the wide biodiversity, Uganda is also blessed with a vast bird population of more than 1,000 species. This is truly an animal lovers paradise.
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