Uganda takes its name from the Buganda kingdom, which encompasses a large portion of the south of the country, including the capital Kampala. The people of Uganda were hunter-gatherers until 1,700 to 2,300 years ago, when Bantu-speaking populations migrated to the southern parts of the country.
Let’s continue our journey to the most beautiful places in Uganda.
Entebbe, for most international visitors at least, will be the entrance point to Uganda.
It’s here that the nation’s Entebbe International Airport makes its home; its runways butting up against the waters of Lake Victoria.
Most will also leave promptly, on their way to Kampala or the country’s other far-flung safari destinations.
Those who linger can enjoy a laid-back place that still trundles to the tune of the old British Protectorate – for it’s here that the English colonists made their base in earlier decades.
One of the relics of that age is the beautiful National Botanical Gardens, while there are also charming churches, and the official residence of the president: the Ugandan State House.
7. Queen Elizabeth National Park
Handily named just QENP for short, this huge dash of wilderness that lies close to the banks of Lake Edward and the DRC border in the west is Uganda’s most famous national park.
It’s visited by thousands of tourists each year, who come in search of the lazy Congo lions and the swinging chimps that can be seen mingling between the Maramagambo Forest and the grassy savannah.
The whole area is also scarred by countless volcanic features, going from the awesome Katwe craters to great rifts in the earth, making it an interesting and eye-catching place to go on safari drives and game seeking journeys.
8. Mount Elgon National Park
The rock-ribbed, jungle-topped highlands of the Mount Elgon National Park are peppered with so many natural beauties it can be difficult to describe them all at once.
Cascading down from the extinct caldera of one of Africa’s oldest volcanos, there are waterfalls, dank cave systems, and rugged canyons aplenty.
Visitors can also feel the geothermal activity at a series of hot springs, or wonder upwards, to where African goshawks and elegant bush-shrikes flit through the skies.
Monkey wise, there are the likes of De Brazza’s and colobuses, along with blue monkeys and some other rare simian species.
One of the main transportation and administration hubs of eastern Uganda, tin-shack Mbale hosts its own regional government and a clutch of good hotels and guesthouses.
It’s particularly useful for those on their way to the heights of Mount Elgon and the famous summit of Wagagai – a 24-million-year-old volcano that is the seventeenth highest in all of Africa.
(For the best base of explorations around the hiking trails and glorious mountain’s that erupt around Mbale, be sure to hitch a local minibus out to Bududa.)
Back in the town itself and you can enjoy the hustle and bustle of day-to-day Ugandan life, along with plenty of shops and market stalls.
10. Lake Mburo National Park
Despite being one of the smallest national parks in Uganda, the swaying savannah grasses and riparian habitats of Lake Mburo certainly pack a punch.
They come spotted with buffalo herds and zebras, crossed by prancing reedbucks, and stalked with hyenas.
Today, much of the area is clad in young forestry, which springs up from the swamplands that dominate along the shores of the eponymous lake.
These make for great game viewing during the dry season, when the animals congregate at the watering holes.
What’s more, Lake Mburo National Park is one of the most accessible going, with easy access along the highway from Kampala, the capital.