The 2006 It List

by Charles Runnette


While the rest of the world is booking their walking safari in Zambia or sorting out game lodges in Botswana, you're already headed to Uganda—the next great African country. Relatively safe, politically stable, and on an economic upswing, Uganda is located where the East African savannah (think Out of Africa) meets the Central African jungle (think Gorillas in the Mist)—and it's bursting with biodiversity. Nowhere else on the continent can you view lions in the morning and then head for the rain forest to track chimpanzees. Or go on a Jungle Book –style cruise on a hippo– and crocodile–filled river before climbing the volcanic hills of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park (pictured), home to roughly half of the world's 700 remaining mountain gorillas. The other magnificent creature in increasing supply in Uganda? The international tourist: Overseas visitor numbers went up 33 percent over last year, and there's a rush on to keep all those folks comfy. At least two luxury tented safari camps are in the works. In the capital, Kampala, the Emin Pasha Hotel opened late last year in a renovated 1920s colonial mansion, complete with slate bathrooms and a wine bar. The Sheraton nearby is undergoing renovations, and the former Nile Hotel is being transformed into the Kampala Serena Hotel, with a spa, two restaurants, and woodcarvings by local artisans. Major adventure outfitters, like well–regarded Mountain Travel Sobek, are also in expansion mode. It just added a trek to the mist–shrouded Rwenzori range—the fabled "Mountains of the Moon." Bet no one on your block has done that yet.

Uganda Tourist Board
Tel: 256 41 342 196

Emin Pasha Hotel
Tel: 256 41 236 977
Fax: 256 41 236 231

Mountain Travel Sobek
Tel: 888 687 6235

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Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.



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