Uganda has plenty to offer visitors. Downtown Kampala has an infectious rush and bustle, but can be quickly left behind for beautiful mountains, trekking opportunities and some of the few remaining communities of endangered mountain gorillas. Uganda’s diverse landscape encompasses the snow-capped Rwenzori Mountains and immense Lake Victoria. Its abundant wildlife includes chimpanzees as well as rare birds. Remote Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is a renowned mountain gorilla sanctuary. Murchison Falls National Park in the northwest is known for its 43m-tall waterfall and wildlife such as hippos.
Rwanda is often called “the Land of a Thousand Hills” for the endless mountains in this scenically stunning country. The peaks of the Virunga volcanoes in the far north-west forma natural frontier with Congo and Uganda. The dense jungles in this area are home to the last remaining mountain gorillas. Kigali is the capital sprawling across numerous hills, ridges and valleys, and has a vibrant restaurant and nightlife scene. The Kigali Genocide Memorial documents the 1994 mass killings in Rwanda, associated with the country’s civil war. The city’s Caplaki Crafts Village has stalls selling traditional handicrafts, including woodcarvings and woven baskets.
Burundi is a tiny mountainous country wedged between Tanzania, Rwanda and Congo. Take a safari to spot monkeys and chimpanzees in Kibira National Park, have a night out in the vibrant restaurants and bars around the capital, Bujumbura. Cobalt and copper are among the nation’s natural resources. Other resources include coffee, sugar and tea. Burundi is an off the beaten path if limited in options destination. Travelling outside the capital of Bujumbura at all, or even within the city after nightfall, comes with considerable risk. With an understanding of French you will have a better chance of enjoying your time here. Comforts found in Rwanda will be much harder to come by here.