Dubbed ‘the Pearl of Africa’ by Winston Churchill back in 1908, today Uganda is still home to some of the most awe-inspiring sights this vast continent has to offer. With majestic landscapes featuring the tremendous Lake Victoria to the south, the snow-capped Rwenzori Mountains on the western border and the Nile River’s Murchison Falls to the north, this stunningly biodiverse country is teeming with unique plant and animal life that’s just waiting to be discovered. Take advantage of an ever-expanding range of cheap flights to Uganda to start exploring its natural wonders, rich history and fascinating culture.
Uganda’s tropical climate means that temperatures are warm all year round in most parts. You can find cheaper rates during the wet seasons from March to May and September to November, though the rains and ground floods can make navigating the roads more challenging. For wildlife viewing, the best times to go are during the dry seasons from June to August and December to February. These are also the busiest periods to travel, so advance booking for flights and licensed activities like gorilla tracking is highly recommended.
Uganda’s main international hub is Entebbe International Airport, located about 25 miles south of the country’s capital Kampala on the shores of Lake Victoria. You can fly there from several UK airports including Birmingham, Manchester and Edinburgh, but the most frequent and convenient flights take off from London Heathrow. No direct flights operate from the UK, though a host of carriers offer one-stop routes with short stopovers, totting up to the shortest trip times at between 11 and 15 hours. Examples include Kenya Airways, Ethiopian Airlines, Qatar Airways and Emirates via Nairobi, Addis Ababa, Doha and Dubai respectively.
Entebbe International Airport provides a number of options for onward travel. Most first-time visitors hire an experienced driver as roads can be challenging to navigate at the best of times. Plenty of hired drivers will be on site at arrivals to woo you, but make sure they are licensed; the journey into the city should cost no more than about US$28. Car hire is also available, though not recommended unless you happen to have experience on the Ugandan roads. To go cheap and cheerful, choose the Pineapple Express shuttle service that leaves once a day from the airport. If the scheduled times coincide with your arrival, the price is just US$10 and the journey takes two hours.
Visiting Uganda comes with the unique opportunity to explore the terrain of one of our closest ancestors: the mountain gorilla. These majestic creatures are among the world’s most endangered apes, and over half of the remaining population lives in the lush forests of Uganda. Book a trip through Bwindi Forest National Park with local safari guides to track these magnificent primates, learn their etiquette and spend time in their presence – you won’t regret it.
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