Travels With Lea

25 Tips for a Great Uganda Experience

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His Royal Highness King Zawadi Mungu

 

1.  Listen to stories of the Royal Kingdom and local folklore told by members of the Ruboni community.

 

2.  Go mongoose trekking at Mweya Lodge in Queen Elizabeth National Park.

 

3.  See the famous “Mountains of the Moon,” so-named because of the numerous craters in the landscape.

 

4.  Marvel at the tree-climbing lions of Edward Flats in Ishasha Plains, one of only two places in Africa to see them.

 

5.  Go on an Agro-Tour through community farmland and learn about farming methods, medicinal plants and bee-keeping (aside from honey, the bees keep elephants at bay)

 

6. Track lions and do field research, monitoring their activities via a radio collar.

 

7.  Cruise through the beautiful Kazinga Channel, the body of water that connects salt water Lake Edward with fresh water Lake Albert.

 

8.  Meet the Batwa Pygmies on the Batwa Trail: hear their ancient legends and songs, join a mock hunting party, participate in their traditional dances.

 

9.  Observe the majestic Mountain Gorillas and their tender interaction with their families.

 

10.  Traipse through Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, one of the densest and most bio-diverse rainforests on earth.

 

11.  Take a water safari on the River Nile, the planet’s longest (and one of its most spectacular) rivers.

 

12.  Visit the Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary, a refuge created to re-introduce rhino to Uganda after their near extinction in 1982.

 

13.  Journey to Jinja on the shores of Lake Victoria, the closest city to the source of the White Nile, whose location was the subject of great mystery from antiquity until its discovery in 1856 by explorer John Hanning Speke.

 

14.  Fly fish at Chobe Safari Lodge, a key spot for anglers and riverscape aficionados .

 

15.  Take the three-hour launch trip to Murchison Falls, where the River Nile explodes violently through a narrow cleft in the Rift Valley escarpment to plunge 140 feet into a foaming pool below.

 

16.  Re-live history at Paraa Safari Lodge, located near the area where The African Queen starring Humphrey Bogart and Kathryn Hepburn was filmed, and where Ernest Hemingway and his wife crashed in their plane as their pilot flew close to Murchison Falls to get a bird’s eye view.

 

17.  Straddle the Equator (in Queen Elizabeth National Park) for photo ops and experiments (does water flow in opposite directions at Latitude 00?).

 

18.  Take in Katwe Salt Lake and learn how salt has been mined there using traditional methods since the 16th century.

 

19.  Enjoy a picnic lunch at Baboon Cliffs Lookout.

 

20.  See the phenomenal “Cormorant House” – a large tree in the forest made white by roosting birds.

 

21.  Drive a road less traveled – the sixteen miles between Kataboro Gate and the Queen’s Pavillion that takes visitors past 72 gigantic basin scattered across the Equator that are evidence of the Albertine Rift’s volatile volcanic past.

 

22.  Bring your bird-watching binoculars – no fewer than 600 species may be found in Uganda.

 

23. Experience an underground forest at the Kyambura Gorge, best known for its resident chimpanzees.  With limited space in the gorge, the chimps are usually easy to spot, leaving visitors time to watch our closest relatives eat, play, fight and socialize.

 

24. Get up close to African wildlife through experiential tourism: count hippo, learn habituation calls, monitor weather, observe creatures’ behavior, all to be recorded for essential research.

 

25. And when you go, “Pack for a Purpose,” a non-profit organization that suggests tourists use available space in their luggage to bring school and medical supplies to needy communities abroad. Pack five pounds of needed items – 400 pencils; five deflated soccer balls (and an inflation device); a stethoscope, a blood pressure cuff and 500 band-aids – and you will bring wide smiles to some of the world’s neediest children.



						
photo by: Ian Sane
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Author: Lea Lane

Lea Lane is an award-winning writer/editor and world traveler, who’s visited over 100 countries. She was managing editor of “Travel Smart” newsletter and was the “Going it Alone” columnist for Gannett newspapers. She has written six books, contributed to dozens of guidebooks, and is a featured blogger on the huffingtonpost, and salon.com.

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