Uganda has been described as the ‘Pearl of Africa’ and was regarded as the most beautiful and potentially the richest country in East Africa. From the source of the White Nile on the huge papyrus-fringed Lake Victoria to the snow-capped Rwenzori Range, the luxuriant montane forests of the Virunga volcanoes, harbouring some of the last remaining Mountain Gorillas, to the extensive savannas around the awe-inspiring Murchison Falls, Uganda is an equatorial country of substantial contrasts and variety. No other area in Africa can match its amazing diversity of habitats and this richness is reflected in its incredible bird list of over 1085 species. Amongst these are many highly sought after birds, such as the unique Shoebill and numerous spectacular endemics of the Albertine Rift Valley, that are currently impossible to find anywhere else. This huge list of birds and wildlife, is all the more remarkable given the small size of the country (approximately equal to Great Britain or the state of Oregon), making it probably the richest African birding destination.
Uganda straddles the equator and borders the Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan and Tanzania. Straddling the Equator is the vast Queen Elizabeth national park boasting impressive Crater Lake scenery, expansive grasslands and forests; huge herds of Elephant and Buffalo, Lions, Leopards and a diverse array of birds. The famous boat cruise along the Kazinga Channel, which links Lakes George and Edward, is one of the most productive birding excursions on the planet!
Uganda offers the true meaning of the “enriching Mountain Gorilla tracking experience”. Although the gorilla trek can be strenuous, staring into the eyes of a Mountain Gorilla from a few feet away is nothing short of a life-changing experience. A single Mountain Gorilla survives per 10 million people. Therefore, to have the opportunity to meet these gentle giants and be part of their family group for an hour is a rare privilege indeed, rated by many to be the greatest wildlife experience on the planet!