When you think of the continent of Africa, it’s easy to think of the old standby countries like South Africa, Kenya or Ethiopia – all countries that either have made a splash in the news in the past or are already well established tourist hot spots. It’s unlikely you’d rush to mention some of the other up and comers such as Zambia, Botswana, or Uganda, but you should! With so much to see and do they’re fast becoming huge hot spots with backpackers, flashpackers and luxury travellers alike. But which should you check out? Here are a couple of reasons why Uganda is currently Africa’s number one hot spot.
There’s only one official city in Uganda – the capital, Kampala. Kampala is your typical bustling African capital featuring maze-like streets, curious tin roof markets such as the Kampala market and a whole host of bars and restaurants that range from local holes in the wall all the way up to posh five star luxury eateries. A huge number of NGO’s operate out of Kampala, giving the city a huge expat base and an international vibe. There are a great number of outdoor based things to do in Kampala as well, including river rafting and boating safaris along the shorelines nearby.
The Countryside and Towns
The countryside of Uganda is lush and dotted with subsistence farms, villages and larger towns. Some of the larger towns are well worth a visit, such as Jinja at the base of the Nile River. An absolute must see in Jinja is the Jinja market – a crowded network of colourful shacks that offer up every manner of item that you can imagine. Quite honestly when it comes to Jinja market, you can find it all. The town is a hotspot with backpackers and adventure travellers who come for the rapids and other outdoor sports. It’s also located right on the East African Highway, so if you’re going by road to neighbouring countries, this is a great stop off for a day or six to experience the more rural side of Uganda.
Options for going on safari in Uganda are, hands down, some of the best in Africa. With numerous national parks to choose from such as Ajai, Kidepo, Bwindi, Mgahinga, and Murchison Falls the options for locations to see truly stunning wildlife are nigh on endless. Gorilla tracking is popular in Uganda, and permits to see these magnificent creatures in the wild can be obtained from the Uganda Wildlife Authority prior to arrival. In fact, they must be obtained prior to arrival as they sell out extremely quickly due to not just the popularity of the trek, but the significantly limited numbers of permits given out to help in conservation efforts.
So if you’re looking for an African country that has it all, consider Uganda. Touted as one of the safest countries in eastern Africa it’s no wonder it’s becoming the next big thing in terms of tourism. While the infrastructure still needs a sprucing up, there are enough higher rated hotels, guesthouses and restaurants for discerning travellers to whet their African appetites in this up and comer. Don’t miss out!