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Why Uganda Is Called The Pearl Of Africa

Why Uganda Is Called The Pearl Of Africa

Why Uganda Is Called The Pearl Of Africa (20 Reasons)

Reasons why Uganda is called the Pearl of Africa; Welcome to the enchanting land of Uganda. Whether you are an adventurous traveler seeking unique experiences, a business owner looking for untapped opportunities, a social media enthusiast craving stunning landscapes, a health enthusiast desiring a rejuvenating escape, an entrepreneur seeking new ventures, an investor eyeing potential growth, or a parent wanting to introduce your children to a world of diversity, Uganda has something extraordinary to offer you. From the majestic gorillas and playful chimpanzees to the breathtaking Rwenzori Mountains and the mighty River Nile cascading through the exquisite Murchison Falls, this blog post will take you on a journey through the wonders of Uganda. So fasten your seatbelts and get ready for a formal, friendly, and humorous exploration of this captivating destination. Let’s dive into the treasure trove that is the Pearl of Africa!

Her natural beauty and wonders with magnificent features and creatures, and her welcoming people while on a tour of Winston Churchill to Uganda. Winston Churchill, in his book “My African Journey” concluded by declaring Uganda the Pearl of Africa in the year 1908. He emphasized this when he talked of Uganda’s magnificence, color, bird species, reptiles, insects, beasts, mammals, and vegetation.

He critically looked into all this and analyzed and described it as a fairy tale, with unique environmental attributes and a moderate climate due to the country’s location at the equator. Words are not enough to describe Uganda; you need to see the country yourself. Winston was so amazed by what he saw and found in Uganda while on his journey, as he had not seen it elsewhere before, hence uniquely identifying it as the Pearl of Africa.

Uganda has diverse and stunning landscapes in Africa’s tallest mountain range, the snowcapped Rwenzori Mountains of the Moon, the vastness of Africa’s largest freshwater lake, Lake Victoria, the River Nile that begins its journey through the country to the Mediterranean Sea. Uganda has a rich culture of lovely flora and fauna among others.

The Pearl of Africa

Uganda is often referred to as the “Pearl of Africa” due to its remarkable natural beauty, diverse landscapes, and rich cultural heritage. The term was popularized by Winston Churchill, who visited Uganda in 1907 and was captivated by its scenic splendor. Here are some reasons why Uganda earned this nickname:

  1. Stunning Landscapes: Uganda boasts a wide range of landscapes, from lush rainforests and rolling hills to expansive savannas and tranquil lakes. The country’s varied terrain is a major contributor to its reputation as a beautiful destination.
  2. Biodiversity: Uganda is incredibly biodiverse, featuring a wide array of plant and animal species. The country is home to the iconic mountain gorillas, which can be found in the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park.
  3. Lake Victoria: As one of the largest freshwater lakes in the world, Lake Victoria plays a significant role in Uganda’s natural beauty. Its shores offer picturesque views, and the lake is a source of livelihood for many Ugandans.
  4. Murchison Falls: The Murchison Falls National Park is home to the stunning Murchison Falls, where the Nile River squeezes through a narrow gorge before plunging into a roaring cascade. This natural spectacle contributes to Uganda’s allure.
  5. Mountain Landscapes: Besides the Rwenzori Mountains, Uganda is home to other scenic mountain ranges like the Virunga Mountains, which are not only visually stunning but also offer opportunities for adventure and wildlife encounters.
  6. Breathtaking Wildlife: Uganda’s national parks and protected areas are teeming with wildlife, including the “Big Five” (lion, elephant, buffalo, leopard, and rhinoceros) and various other species. Safaris provide opportunities to witness these animals in their natural habitats.
  7. Cultural Diversity: Uganda is rich in cultural diversity, with over 56 ethnic groups and numerous languages spoken. The interactions with local communities and the opportunity to experience their traditions and customs add to the country’s charm.
  8. Friendly People: Ugandans are known for their warm hospitality and friendliness towards visitors. The genuine smiles and welcoming attitude of the locals contribute to the overall positive experience of traveling in Uganda.
  9. Adventurous Activities: From tracking gorillas and chimpanzees to white-water rafting on the Nile River, Uganda offers a plethora of adventurous activities that attract travelers seeking unique experiences.
  10. Churchill’s Influence: Winston Churchill’s description of Uganda as the “Pearl of Africa” in his book “My African Journey” helped popularize the term and its association with the country’s natural beauty.

The nickname “Pearl of Africa” aptly captures Uganda’s status as a hidden gem that offers a combination of extraordinary landscapes, captivating wildlife, and cultural richness. Whether you’re a nature enthusiast, an adventure seeker, or someone interested in cultural immersion, Uganda’s diverse attractions make it a truly captivating destination.

1. Variety Of Wildlife
2. Mountain Gorillas
3. Birding
4. Rwenzori Mountains

The Variety Of Wildlife

Uganda the pearl of Africa has one of the best wildernesses on the continent. Uganda undoubtedly has one of the best and most attractive wildlife in the world.
Uganda is very rich in wildlife and is one of the countries that harbor the big five game animals (lions, leopards, rhinos, elephants, and buffaloes). The best spots for viewing wildlife in Uganda are Murchison Falls National Park, Queen Elizabeth National Park,  Kidepo Valley National Park, and Lake Mburo National Park respectively.

A wildlife viewing experience in Uganda is definitely worth the time and money and will leave strong memories in your mind. Unspoiled and raw, Uganda presents a real sense of off-the-beaten-track adventure.

Uganda is gifted by so many natural and cultural attractions yet undiscovered by many. Uganda still remains a virgin and most tourists interviewed say that this was their first visit and promised to return with their friends. With an astonishing number of hippos, elephants, and buffaloes that are thriving in Uganda’s National Parks, Surely Uganda is well endowed.

Uganda has over 350 species of mammals of all sizes. They range from large mammals like Gorillas, Rhinos, Hippos, chimpanzees, Buffaloes, Lions, Leopards, Elephants, Zebra, Giraffes, and Warthogs to small ones, like Bats, moles, and shrews.

These mammals can be grouped into three categories: Primates (gorillas, chimpanzees, monkeys, and more), Carnivores (Leopards, African wildcats, Cheetahs, and more), and Herbivores (Buffalos, elephants, Giraffes, and more).

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The Mountain Gorillas

Did you know that Uganda has the highest percentage of Mountain Gorillas in the world? There are currently less than 1200 mountain gorillas left in the world and almost half of the population resides in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. Gorilla trekking is one of the top activities while on a safari.

Visit Uganda and experience a lifetime memorable activity that you can’t easily forget, and that is why thousands of foreigners flock to the country annually to have trek mountain gorillas.

These gentle giants can be found in two of Uganda’s national parks; Mgahinga National Park and Bwindi Impenetrable Forest. Bwindi Impenetrable Forest is home to more than 1,000 flowering plant species and 200 different trees, many of which are endemic. Keep a lookout for African green broadbill, colorful butterflies, and countless rare mammals on your travels.

The tracking permit in Uganda for the gentle mountain giants is reasonably priced at US$700 per person compared to the neighboring country, Rwanda which is US$1,500 per permit per person, and there is greatly more to experience on a visit to Uganda like lion tracking, chimpanzee tracking, and rhino tracking.

The best time to visit Uganda for trekking Gorillas is during its two dry seasons; between December and February, and between June and August when conditions are particularly good for trekking to see mountain gorillas and chimpanzees. Game spotting in national parks is also good at this time, as well as between February and March.

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Top Birding Destination

Basing on its great biodiversity, Uganda is definitely a heaven for birdwatchers. Uganda has over 1,000 species of birds including some of the very rarest, such as the shoebill, the great blue turaco, Shelley’s crimson wing, and many more with a percentage of 68% of the continent and 12% of the total population in the world. Uganda’s wetlands and savannah are great habitats for some of the world’s most spectacular birds and wildlife.

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The Rwenzori Mountains | Rwenzori Range

Previously referred to as the ‘Rwenzori Range,’ the Rwenzori Mountains are a mountain range situated in Eastern Equatorial Africa. They are along the border between DRC and Uganda. In addition to supporting glaciers, these mountains are among the sources of the famous Nile River.

The Rwenzori Range became part of the famous Rwenzori Mountains’ National Park back in 1991. This park covers approximately 996 square kilometers of rugged mountain terrain. In 1994, it was proclaimed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site to protect the area’s flora and fauna and its overall natural beauty.

Rwenzori Mountains National Park protects the highest parts of the 120km-long and 65km-wide Rwenzori mountain range. The national park hosts 70 mammals and 217 bird species ( such as the Olive pigeon, Alpine swift, Dusky Flycatcher, Rwenzori Olive Thrush, Rufous sparrow hawk, and Lanner Falcon. Others include the African Lammergeyer, Verreaux’s eagle, Green White-eye, Dartmouth Sunbird, Bamboo Warbler, and Western lemon dove, among many others) including 19 Albertine Rift endemics, as well as some of the world’s rarest vegetation.

Above 14,500 feet, you’ll find the highest peaks of the Rwenzori Mountains. These peaks are permanently snow-capped and wrapped in storm-swept glaciers. This zone extends up to almost 5,109 meters (16,762 feet).

The Mountains Range has quite a lot to offer, from unique nature walks, amazing cultural encounters, exploration of exotic plants, wildlife scenery, trekking, hiking opportunities, and fantastic birding chances. Hiking these mountains provides a rewarding and exhilarating experience but one that must be planned appropriately. As with any other tour experience in the wild, the key to a memorable hike in the Rwenzori Range is good preparation.

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5. Murchison Falls
6. Chimpanzees
7. Gift Of Nature
8. The Nile

Murchison Falls National Park

Murchison Falls National Park is Uganda’s largest protected area; home to a wide range of savannah wildlife (more than 73 animal species) such as leopards, elephants, buffalos, lions, giraffes, antelopes, crocodiles, hippos, and  3/4 of the world’s population of Rothschild giraffes plus a healthy population of herbivores. There are over 610 chimpanzees in Budongo, Murchison Falls National Park, in addition to 451 bird species, including 23 Albertine rift endemics.

The mighty River Nile flows through the park creating a powerful phenomenon at the Kabalega Falls. At the top of the explosive Murchison Falls, the water of the Nile forces its way through a gorge (gap) in the rocks only 7 m (23 ft) wide, and tumbles 43 m (141 ft), before flowing westward into Lake Albert. The outlet of Lake Victoria sends around 300 cubic meters per second (11,000 ft³/s) of water over the falls, squeezed into a gorge less than 10 m (33 ft) wide. Did you know that Murchison Falls are the most powerful waterfalls in the whole world?

It is a park of wild and rugged beauty that deserves your attention. Murchison Falls also referred to as the Kabalega Falls, is a waterfall that lies between Lake Kyoga and Lake Albert on River Nile. Sir Samuel Bar and his wife, Florence Baker were the first European explorers to find this explosive waterfall. Sir Baker named this waterfall after Sir Roderick Murchison, president of the Royal Geographical Society by then. The falls are the centerpiece of Murchison Falls National Park.

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Chimpanzee Tracking Destination

Did you know that Kibale National Park in Uganda has the biggest population of chimpanzees on earth and is the best place to observe them?

Uganda in total has 5000 chimpanzees and Kibale National Park has over 1500 chimpanzees. Although the gorilla trek has to be the main highlight, when it comes to outstanding moments, chimpanzee tracking is some fun that you wouldn’t want to do without in your ultimate Uganda safari.  Kibale National Park is not the only place to see chimpanzees in Uganda; there are also opportunities in other national parks such as Kyambula Gorge in Queen Elizabeth National Park and Budongo Forest in Murchison Falls National Park and in some smaller forest reserves.  The chance of seeing the chimpanzee in Kibale National Park is said to be around 90%, which is why it’s become known as Uganda’s premier chimpanzee tracking destination.

The chimp trek is a fantastic experience and is quite different from the gorilla trek as it involves being very vigilant and fast to understand where the chimps are and how to find them.

If there is one thing that Uganda does better than anybody else, it’s chimpanzee trekking.

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Gift Of Nature (Mountains, Lakes, And Rivers)

Uganda is a natural beauty, with an abundance of gifts bestowed to her: the snowcapped Rwenzori mountains, named one of the best hikes in the world by the National Geographic; Mountain Elgon, with the largest volcanic caldera in the world; and Africa’s largest lake, Lake Victoria; the mighty River Nile, the longest river in the world, whose largest source is in Lake Victoria.

Uganda boasts of numerous Lakes, waterfalls, channels; the water element is prevalent in the Ugandan landscape which even features the source of the mighty Nile. Apart from allowing the lush vegetation to survive, this precious element adds to the beauty of the scenery and spices up your visit to the Pearl of Africa.

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Source Of The Nile

River Nile is commonly known as the longest river in the world with its source starting right from Jinja – Uganda. The “Nile” word is a Greek word that means valley. River Nile starts from the Northeastern part of Africa and flows from the surrounding areas close to the equator line to the outrageous safari desert and then straight to the eastern Mediterranean Sea. The river is estimated to be about 6600 kilometers long and passes through nine countries but is mostly centered in Uganda and Egypt. Some of these countries include Sudan, Rwanda, Burundi, Kenya, Tanzania, and Ethiopia.

Jinja is known as East Africa’s adrenaline capital. It is home to the source of the mighty River Nile and is also a bucket list destination for those seeking adrenaline kicks through white-water rafting and kayaking. Jinja offers what are arguably the best rapids in Africa. If water isn’t your thing, you can get your dose of adrenaline by bungee jumping instead. There is also quad biking and horse riding through the villages along the Nile.

Activities that can be done on the River Nile and in Jinja;

  • Water rafting
  • Nile tubing
  • Quad riding
  • Kayaking
  • Horseback safari

Source of the river Nile

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9. Lake Bunyonyi
10. Tree Climbing Lions
11. Cultural Diversity
12. Food

Lake Bunyonyi

Lake Bunyonyi, which means “lake of small birds,” is located in southwestern Uganda. It is the second-deepest freshwater lake in Africa and is a stunning view when seen from one of the hills around it. Its beauty is even such that it is printed on one of Uganda’s currency notes. There are 29 islands in the lake, and it’s a heaven for bird lovers.

Lake Bunyonyi lies in the southwestern part of Uganda close to the Rwandan border. At approximately 1,962 meters above sea level, this magical lake enjoys moderate temperatures all year round and the lake is usually cool in both the morning and evening hours. The majority of the tourists visit this lake after gorilla trekking in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest. Activities at this lake that has over 29 islands include fishing, zip-lining, canoeing, community walks and so many other activities that will keep the spark of a safari alive throughout your visit.

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Tree Climbing Lions

Tree climbing lions in Uganda can be only found in the Queen Elizabeth National Park in the Ishasha sector. Uganda is considered to have the highest number of tree climbing lions, with over 100 tree-climbing lions. The other population of the elusive tree-climbing lions can be spotted around Tarangire National Park and Lake Manyara National Park in Southern Tanzania.

Visitors on Uganda safaris generally end up visiting the Ishasha region primarily to see the population of the resident tree-climbing lions although they are also rewarded with views of other wildlife species.

The Ishasha Sector is actually today very famous because of its mystifying population of tree climbing lions that are a very exceptional attraction and as well one of the major highlights for which most guests visit this park.

Ishasha’s Tree climbing lions are normally seen lazily lying up within the branches of the huge fig trees staring down at the numerous  Uganda Kobs that graze in the open Ishasha plains  and these are actually the main prey to these lions

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The Cultural Diversity

Uganda is made up of a number of ethnic groups from the central and south, east, west, and north, each with its own language, distinctive customs, and norms. There are over 50 languages are spoken in Uganda. It’s this cultural diversity that offers curious travelers an authentic and enjoyable experience.

Like most African countries, Uganda is blessed with myriad indigenous cultures that are still practiced away from the modern western cultures that have infested the international communities. Visit Uganda Next, and you’ll immerse yourself in some of the undiscovered cultures in Africa, from the food, entertainment, spiritual practices, clothing, and languages.

Some of the most sought-after Uganda cultures are found in the central region, the northern Karamoja region, and the most famous western Uganda region.

The central region, where the capital is found, is where all different Uganda cultures meet and converge. It is like the rainbow city of cultures. From the markets to the streets, the back roads, and into the nightlife, the capital city vibrates with cultural energy that will leave you yearning to explore every corner.

The Karamoja people are another incredible detail of Uganda’s rich cultural display. They are a nomadic group, moving along the Karamojong territories in northeastern Uganda with guard against the modern world’s intrusion. They do not believe in being influenced by modern-day life. Many find their villages a relaxed look into authentic African culture.

Visit Uganda next and explore the open-air markets. These are some of the most charming places that display Uganda’s hidden cultures colorfully. You can buy anything in these markets, from a small pocked souvenir sculpture to second-hand clothing, technology gadgets to various types of fruits to a quick meal by the bench near a fire. It’s the best way to feel, smell and see the variety that is originally Ugandan.

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Uganda’s Rich Cuisine (Food)

Uganda’s food is as rich as its culture because each tribe has its own staple food. A proper Ugandan meal is a celebration in itself, and some meals are prepared as early as the day before, to be served at lunch the following day. Then there is the street food, the most notable being the Rolex. While a Rolex is a timepiece in most countries, in Uganda it’s a popular street food that can be eaten any time of the day. It’s an omelet that is rolled with a chapatti and some onions and tomatoes; bonus points if the tomatoes are raw and if you eat it by the stall.

Luwombo is a local dish and is usually served on occasion such as Kwanjula. This delicacy is a preserve for special guests from the groom’s side. This dish comprises of chicken, ground nuts or beef is wrapped in banana leaves, a must-try, mouthwatering meal for any visitor to the pearl of Africa.luwombo food uganda

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13. Friendly People
14. Safety
15. Beautiful Weather
16. Affordability

Friendly People (Uganda Named The Friendliest Country)

Uganda was described as the friendliest country globally following a survey conducted among expatriates globally, according to the BBC.

A global community network (Inter-Nations) conducted their annual Expat Insider survey of more than 14,000 experts from 191 countries, asking residents to rate a number of aspects about life abroad, including how easy it was to settle in, a country’s friendliness, and ease of making friends.

The sight of a visitor brings a smile to everybody’s face. They will demonstrate this by saying hello to you and calling out Muzungu wherever you pass. This warm aspect about Ugandans can make any kind of visitor feel at home while in Uganda. Every traveler knows that connecting with the local people will guarantee a very great travel experience as they will teach you to give you a broader insight into their culture and way of living.

Ugandans are welcoming and curious about their visitors and where they come from, and a Ugandan will go out of their way to make anyone feel welcome.

Uganda Is Safe

Having stepped out of the shadows of a deep dark past under Idi Admin and the Lord’s Resistance Army, Uganda is no longer a country to be feared, in fact, is widely regarded as one of Africa’s safest destinations. It is a country that can be explored with reasonable confidence.

Beautiful Weather

Uganda’s sun blazes all year round. Uganda’s weather still amazes even the Ugandans themselves, as it can pour and shine within 10 minutes.

Game spotting (seeing the big five) in national parks is good all year round.


The Cost Of Living (Affordability)

In an age where everything seems to cost an arm and leg, most travelers are seeking high style at a low budget, which makes Uganda the best destination in the region for its affordability. The cost of living in Uganda is lower than that of its neighbors, which gives travelers more purchasing power to indulge in all that Uganda has to offer.

17. Semliki
18. Sipi Falls
19. Conservation
20. Responsible Tourism

Semliki National Park

This is the only park in Uganda to be composed primarily of tropical lowland forests. The forest is very dense and quite flat, creating a startling contrast to the rugged Rwenzori Mountains nearby. The park is home to eight species of primate, 400 birds, and 300 butterfly species. Elephant, buffalo, leopard, civet, bushbaby, and flying squirrels are also found.

Areas of Interest

  • Sempaya Hot Springs

The Sempaya Hot Springs are Semliki national park’s most famous attraction. The “male” spring, known as Bintente, measures 12m in diameter and is set in a lush swampy clearing. The “female” spring Nyasimbi, meaning “the female ancestors”, is a boiling geyser (103°C) which spurts bubbling water and steam up to two meters high – the steam cloud can be seen from as far as 2km away. Local people used to cook their food in these boiling pools.

  • Sempaya – Ntandi Road

This 6km section of public road runs through one of the loveliest tracts of forest in Uganda and provides views of birds and monkeys high up in the forest canopy. Birding walks take place in Sempaya, as well as night hikes deep into the forest. In Ntandi, local Batwa dancers put on traditional performances for visitors. Another local attraction is the Mungiro Falls near the hot springs.

  • Toro – Semliki Wildlife Reserve

In Uganda’s oldest reserve, tropical rainforest meets grassy savanna and the flat plains are punctuated by deep river valleys. The unique geography is reflected in the diversity of wildlife, which includes the forest mammals of Central Africa, key East African species, and a variety of birdlife. Chimp tracking commences here.

Semlike Hot Springs

The Sipi Falls: Three Waterfalls

The name Sipi was derived from the traditional plant called ‘Sep’ that used to grow on the banks of the falls and which the locals used to treat fevers and measles among themselves.

Your visit to Sipi Falls offers an unrivaled opportunity in Uganda for hiking and climbing some of the country’s most stunning topography and authentic encounters with the area’s residents.

Visiting Sipi Falls in Uganda is a thrilling experience that gives visitors a chance to marvel at the three waterfalls flowing from different altitudes creating one of the most spectaculars sightings in Uganda.

The Sipi falls have recently become a huge head-turner for both foreign and local tourists. The misty fog created as the water drops with great strength and deep rumbling, the suspenseful hike to the top of the falls and the view it provides of the coffee plantations and surrounding Kapchorwa plains, and not forgetting the endless photo-worthy spots are some of the reasons why. If you are planning to visit the falls, here’s what you could expect to do and see.

Below are activities that be done around Sipi Falls and Mt Elgon area;

A. Abseiling
B. Hiking
C. Agro-tour
D. Mountain Biking
E. Bird watching

This one of the most adventurous sports you will engage in on your trip. If you are an adrenaline junkie (in a good way), this is the activity for you. It is a sport where you descend down the slopes of the steep rocks with a friction device and rope. This is also called ‘rappelling’.
Be sure to carry a helmet and comfortable converse shoes for this exercise. This is found at the Chebonet falls – elevated at 1272 meters above sea level. 

While abseiling, you are adjacent to Chebonet falls, and below lies the bank of the falls. It is quite an adventure to have the mist from the fall embrace you as you descend with the water to the lowest point. This surreal experience is one of those activities that will excite all your senses.

You are provided walking sticks to provide support on this hike. It takes you about 3 hours to hike all the three Sipi falls. Why come all the way and just hike one? For a full-blown experience, allocate three hours on your itinerary to see them all.

The paths to the falls are approximately 7 to 8 kilometers with each hike a different adventure and new discoveries. You will be guided by a professional tour guide that knows the ins and outs of the place as well as the best spots with the best panoramic view of the valley!

On this tour, you will get to experience the life of a coffee grower. The main type of coffee grown in this region is the Arabica coffee that grows at 1900 meters above sea level.

You will learn the entire process from planting, maintaining, processing to selling.

You will be walked through the process of picking coffee berries, shelling them, grinding them in a traditional mortar and pestle, roasting them on fire, and to top it off, a fresh cup of coffee for all your hard work. You will get to make and taste your own cup of Elgon Coffee.

There are lots of trails set up around this area specifically for biking around Sipi River Lodge. Tracks ranging from hard-core technical rocky climbs to easier downhill routes.

The tracks provide more than a biking opportunity, you have a chance to bike the lower sides of Mount Elgon, have great views of the coffee plantations, the three Sipi falls and Sipi river, and the Kapchorwa plains. You can as well bike through the community and check out how the local people live.

The Mountain is home to over 300 birds including Afrotropical highland biome species most especially the Moorland Francolin, Alpine Chat, and Moustached Green Tinkerbird. You will spot some Black-collared Apalis and Jackson’s Francolin which are only found in the Mount Elgon region, Black-shouldered kite, Tacazze Sunbird that can only be found in Eastern Uganda as well as the endangered Lammergeyer.



By visiting Uganda, you are helping to protect rhinos, chimpanzees, and one of the most endangered creatures in the world; the mountain gorilla. 80% of the money raised from chimpanzees.

Responsible Tourism

Not only will your exploration trip to Uganda help the endemic wildlife, but it will also help to improve the standard of living for local people. Responsible tourism is a key part of our core values, and we provide support to the local people through the employment of local guides and drivers for our Uganda trips.

Through your visit to our great land, 5% donations from all proceeds go to surrounding communities in our efforts to foster progress with local organizations.