Neatly landlocked between Kenya, Rwanda, Democratic Republic of the Congo, South Sudan and Tanzania, a journey across Uganda is truly one of Africa's greatest experiences. The ever-smiling, delightfully friendly people seem quite at ease in their surroundings, which constitute some of the most stunning scenery in Africa. The real magic of Uganda, however, is found within the dense vegetation of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, home to over half of the world's mountain gorillas. An encounter with a male silverback gorilla and his family is, put simply, a life-changing experience. Permits are highly limited and tracking groups small. Tracking Ugandan gorillas can sometimes be tough but the physical interaction is both fascinating and deeply emotional.
Other highlights of Uganda's natural environment include the Queen Elizabeth National Park, with its 612 species of birds, buffalo, elephant, hippo, tree climbing lions (on the southern Ishasha plains) and opportunity to track chimpanzees in the northern Kyambura Gorge. Murchison Falls National Park, teeming with unimaginably large Nile crocodiles, is best seen by taking a boat to the base of the Falls where the Nile cascades with huge force through a single 20-foot gap between the rocks.