This isn’t a surprise to those of us who have loved Uganda for years, but finally the “outside world” is catching on. The Lonely Planet, one of the leading publishers of travel guides, has ranked Uganda the world’s top travel destination for 2012:
It’s taken nasty dictatorships and a brutal civil war to keep Uganda off the tourist radar, but stability is returning and it won’t be long before visitors come flocking back. After all, this is the source of the river Nile – that mythical place explorers sought since Roman times. It’s also where savannah meets the vast lakes of East Africa, and where snow-capped mountains bear down on sprawling jungles. Not so long ago, the tyrannical dictator and ‘Last King of Scotland’ Idi Amin helped hunt Uganda’s big game to the brink of extinction, but today the wildlife is returning with a vengeance. This year Uganda also celebrates the 50th anniversary of its independence; Kampala, one of Africa’s safest capital cities, is bound to see off the event with a bang. Still, Uganda still isn’t without its problems. Human rights abuses aren’t uncommon, and the country breathes a collective sigh whenever President Museveni thinks of another ruse to stay in power for a few more years. But now, as ever, explorers in search of the source of the Nile won’t leave disappointed.
Of course, they do highlight one of the dark spots on Uganda’s reputation which, unfortunately, is what Uganda is becoming most known for internationally:
Regardless, this is another well-earned recognition for what I believe to be one of the most amazing and least recognized travel destinations in Africa. There are few places that offer the diversity of cultures, landscapes and wildlife in such a small country. Follow the link for some of my pictures of Uganda to get a sense of what the country has to offer.
Now maybe Lonely Planet will finally come up with a decent travel guide for Uganda!