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UGANDA: An Emerging Destination

I’ve always wanted to see upclose the endangered, almost mythic mountain gorillas….those gentle giants that can only survive in one area in the world, bordered by Rwanda, Congo and Uganda.   Due to Dian Fossey and her “Gorillas in the Mist” book and the movie upon which it was based, Rwanda has always been top of mind when it came to gorilla trekking.  But last year, when Rwanda raised its permit prices to an almost absurd level of $1500 per trek, Uganda (with it’s $600 permit price) became much more attractive and starting increasing its own share of gorilla trek business.  Democratic Republic of Congo is politically unstable and dangerous to the point that it is closed to tourists until at least 2019.  So, Rwanda and Uganda are literally the only two places in the world to see these magnificent creatures.

I have clients who had already traveled through Africa on safari  in various places, and they too had gorilla trekking on their  bucket list.  So working with Adventure Consults, an experienced supplier on the ground in Kampala, Uganda, we put together a dream itinerary featuring the highlights of Uganda.

When a husband had to drop out of the planned trip, it ended up being a traveling group of only (fabulous) women, known forever now as the “Gorilla Girls“.

We started in Uganda’s largest national park, Murchison Falls,  and then went on to Kibale National Park to chimpanzee trek since they have the largest concentration of these primates in the world.  Then on to Uganda’s second largest national park, Queen Elizabeth, for hopeful sightings of its famous tree-climbing lions.  The culmination of our journey was 3 nights in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, with two days set for gorilla trekking.

I am going to break this post down by regions we visited, otherwise it’s simply too long and overwhelming.  So you will have to return to read the installments and see the pics!

But here’s my topline on Uganda:

I saw for myself why Winston Churchill called this country “The Pearl of Africa”.  This one country offers a myriad of landscapes–the snow-capped Rwenzori Mountains, tropical rainforest, volcanic hills, savannah and lakes including Lake Victoria, the second largest freshwater lake in the world.   When we flew from Murchison Falls to Kasese, it was as if we landed in an entirely different country, that’s how different the terrain looked.

And beautiful–we all agreed that Uganda is the most beautiful African country we’ve visited, it’s so incredibly green and lush with vast expanses of tropical  rainforest and scenic crater lakes.  Who knew that the Nile River STARTS in Uganda?

Uganda is not just about gorilla or chimps either–you CAN safari here and see the BIG FIVE.

And if you are a birder, brace yourself becuase Uganda is a BIRDER’S PARADISE, with over 1,050 bird species and over 50% of Africa’s birdcount!  People fly to Uganda just to spot certain birds!

Combine all of the above with WARM, WELCOMING PEOPLE and you have a destination that offers so much to the adventure traveler.

If Uganda can improve its roads and cell/internet coverage, it will be a real safari contender to its more known East African neighbors Kenya & Tanzania.

But Uganda will (hopefully) always have the glorious gorillas–and THE GORILLAS are worth traveling for!

For more information, please contact Denise Burcksen at 301-217-0027 or denise@luxurytraveladventures.com 

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Hi I'm Denise

Founder of Luxury Travel Adventures

With 70+ countries stamped in my passport, I’ve gained lots of first-hand knowledge and invaluable on-the-ground contacts—and I love putting my experience and expertise to work for my clients. 

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