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Digital Subscriptions > Travel Africa > January-March 2019 (85) > THINGS I’VE LEARNED ABOUT VISITING Uganda


What you really need to know about visiting this compact East African country, from the person who knows it probably better than anyone else: guidebook writer Philip Briggs

Uganda has come a long way since I first backpacked around the country in 1988. Thirty years ago its economy, infrastructure and human spirit were still tangibly shattered following 15-years of violent civil conflict. Four years later, when I returned to research the first edition of a pioneering Bradt guide, Uganda was visibly on the mend but tourism remained in the doldrums. Incredibly, there was no facility to track gorillas or chimps in 1992, nor any white-water rafting, while national parks such as Queen Elizabeth and Murchison Falls were almost as void of plains game as they were of amenities suited to any but the most phlegmatic of travellers.

All that has changed dramatically; over the course of a 10-week trip in late 2018, researching what will be the 9th edition of that same Bradt Guide, I was struck by the extent to which Uganda has realised its potential as a unique best-of-both-worlds destination where the East African savannah meets the West African jungle. A good guidebook or specialist operator is your best starting point for planning a full trip to this biodiverse country, but here are some fresh tips I picked up along the way.

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