Uganda ranked fourth in the world among best places to visit in 2024

Uganda, the Pearl of Africa, is the fourth best tourist destination and place to visit in the world this year as per Bradt Guides 2024 rankings, DailyExpress understands.

Bradt Guides, an international tourism agency, and leading independent travel publisher released the rankings early this year in January placing Uganda behind Switzerland, Antarctica and the Falkland Islands, and ahead of Madagascar (fifth position) and Zanzibar (seventh), the only African destinations featured in the top 13 destinations of 2024.

Uganda also beat popular global destinations like Greenland, Scandinavia & Iceland, Lithuania, Devon, Miami, Grenada, Hokkaido, and France.

The Chief Executive Officer of Uganda Tourism Board, Ms Lilly Ajarova, attributed the high ranking to relentless efforts on conservation, development of tourism products and aggressive destination marketing.

“The resumption of grading of hotels, participation in trade fairs, developing of products, and having a MICE desk is evidence of the work being done around the clock. In May all eyes will be on the Pearl of Africa Tourism Expo where we will showcase the latest services and attractions in place,” said Ajarova.

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Sam Mwandha, the Executive Director of Uganda Wildlife Authority said Uganda’s conservation efforts are paying dividends.

 “Most of the surviving mountain gorillas reside in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, offering the most authentic tracking experience globally. Their (mountain gorilla) reproduction doubled during the two-year Covid-19 lockdown. For their safety, we have increased the number of rangers and tourism police in the parks,” Mwandha noted.

The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Vincent Bagiire, said Uganda offers a variety of experiences that beckon travellers, and this justifies the high ranking.

Uganda’s high tourism ranking is in line with many other rankings in recent times:

  • CNN listed Uganda as one of the best tourist destinations in 2023.
  • National Geographic picked Uganda as one of the best travel destinations in the world.
  • The New York Times listed Uganda as one of the 33 locations in the world to consider when planning travel.
  • Lonely Planet, in 2012, named Uganda as one of the best countries to visit.
  • UNESCO, in 2012, declared Bwindi Impenetrable Forest in Uganda as one of the best birding destinations in the world.

What Bradt Guides says about Uganda in 2024

In 2024, Uganda is poised to host the third South Summit, designed to boost South-South cooperation in the areas of trade, investment, sustainable development and climate change. The nation is gearing up with state-of-the-art conference facilities and the emergence of new 4-star and above hotels in Kampala and its surroundings. This burgeoning infrastructure promises a new blend of luxury and convenience for business and leisure travellers alike.

But there are more reasons to visit, of course; for example Explore Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, home to endangered mountain gorillas, offers tourists a rare chance for intimate encounters.

Marvel at the Murchison Falls, where the Nile River squeezes through a narrow gorge, creating a surging cascade, and discover the Rwenzori Mountains’ snow-capped peaks, ideal for trekking adventures.

In Queen Elizabeth National Park, go on safari to see lions, elephants, and even unique tree-climbing lions in Ishasha. There’s a reason why Uganda made the cut in the top ten African safari list last year, after all.

And never forget the people. From the busy markets of Kampala to the rich traditions of local tribes, it’s time that more people added Uganda to their list of the best places to travel in 2024.

How to get to Uganda for a tour visit

Travelling from the UK to Uganda typically involves flights from major airports like London Heathrow or Gatwick to Entebbe International Airport. The flight duration varies but averages around 8 to 10 hours, often with layovers in Europe or the Middle East.

The best time to visit Uganda is during its dry seasons: from December to February and June to September. These periods offer ideal conditions for wildlife viewing and gorilla trekking while minimising rainfall and muddy trails.

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Pack essentials like lightweight, breathable clothing for the tropical climate, including long sleeves for evenings and mosquito repellent. Comfortable hiking shoes are crucial for gorilla trekking, alongside a daypack, sunscreen, and a hat.

Read the full list of best countries to visit in 2024 here

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