I’m a total kick-ass ambassador for Uganda. I’ve lived here full time for 13 years. I run a non-profit that sources international volunteers and funding, in support of locally led initiatives. I gave birth and am raising my son here. I’ve seen a lot. I’ve done a lot. A quick jaunt through this blog will give you some insight into my life and how enjoyable it is.
Now it’s your turn. It’s time to visit Uganda.
Want to volunteer in Uganda? Read this.
Want to enjoy obscure activities in Uganda? Read this.
Want to be prepared for life in Uganda? Read this.
Want to listen to some great music that will inspire your travel plans? Click here.
Want to do the wildlife safari thing? Read ahead!
Murchison Falls National Park is located in north-western Uganda. It’s well known for its wildlife despite being ravaged by poachers. You get intimate with giraffes, elephants, buffalos, an array of antelopes, lions, hippos, warthogs, crocodiles, and over 200 bird species. I hear there are also leopards out there, but I haven’t yet had the pleasure. I’ve been to Murchison Falls 5 times. Because you’re seeing the animals in their natural habitat, it’s different (and so rad) every time. The Falls themselves are insane. The rush of the water is guaranteed to humble you. The rising mist will soak you!
Queen Elizabeth National Park is Uganda’s most visited National Park. It’s located in western Uganda and is home to 95 species of mammal and more than 500 species of bird. I went once, with my mum, back in 2008. We saw elephants, giraffes, hyenas, buffalos, so many warthogs, and a variety of antelopes. What’s cool about Queen Elizabeth is the surrounding landscape. You’ve got the Rwenzori Mountains in the background, green rolling hills carved by huge craters under your feet, and the Kazinga Channel in front of your face. There’s nothing cooler than a boat ride on the Channel to watch hippos, buffalos, and elephants enjoy a drink together.
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is located in south-western Uganda. It’s one of the richest ecosystems in the world. It protects approximately 320 mountain gorillas, about half the world’s population. In addition, there are 120 species of mammal, 350 species of bird, and more than 200 species of butterfly. People travel all the way to Uganda to visit this remote place, hack their way through the forest, and spend an hour with the gorillas. As Uganda Wildlife Authority is doing its part to preserve the habitat of the mountain gorilla, tracking permits are few and pricey, at $600 each. However, if you come in April, May or November, permits are only $450. And if you’re Ugandan, you pay only $80 during high season and $50 during low. Sweet, eh? In fact, I got my UG passport in March and rushed right out there! It was rad.
Now, none of these destinations are cheap or easily do-able by public transport (unless you’ve got more time than money). So, I’m going to introduce you to a VERY old friend of mine, Morgan Kisitu. In fact, we met during my first six months in Uganda. He used to collect The Real Uganda’s volunteers from the airport and bring them (happily and safely) to me in Mukono. Of course as the years progressed, I bought myself a car and started doing my own pickups. Also, Morgan was awarded a scholarship to study Business Administration and Entrepreneurship in Minnesota, USA. So he was gone for a while too.
It’s been a number of years now and Morgan is back in Uganda and successfully operating 1,000 Shades of Green Tour and Travel Co. Ltd. They arrange travel throughout East Africa, are super professional and friendly, and even support local community based programs. If you book an adventure through them, and tell them The Real Uganda sent you, they’ll hand over 10% of the profits from your trip to us! How cool is that?! A number of our volunteers have traveled with 1,000 Shades and had a blast.
So, yeah, instead of plugging The Real Uganda this week, I’m plugging an amazing tour and travel company. It’s 100% Ugandan owned. It’s responsible. And it has so much to show you.
(and it would still give us a portion of profits from all referrals, without this plug)
Comment below if you’ve been or are planning your trip to Uganda! Tell the world. We aim to get Uganda back on people’s bucket lists.