David Pluth and Philip Briggs
Uganda, as described by Winston Churchill in 1907, is ‘The Pearl of Africa’; one hundred years later the accolade is still valid. This is where the East African savannah meets the West African jungle. Uganda offers an extraordinary diversity of wildlife from forest primates to plains antelope, and four of the ‘big five’. And if this were not enough, Uganda’s bird checklist tops the 1,000 mark. Uganda currently has 10 gazetted national parks each one offering something different from the others. Yet there is much more to the country than wildlife. There is the mighty Nile, punctuated by the spectacular Murchison Falls, and the setting for some of the world’s most thrilling commercial white-water rafting. There are the snow-capped peaks of the Rwenzoris (the fabled ‘Mountains of the Moon’) which provide a challenge to dedicated mountaineers, as well as the Virunga Volcanoes and Mount Elgon, both of which offer highly rewarding hiking opportunities through remarkable highland scenery.
Then there are the many islands of lake Victoria and Bunyonyi and the forest-fringed crater lakes that stud the Rift Valley floor and escarpment around Fort Portal. Uganda’s unique blend of savannah and forest creatures, its rare wealth of montane and lake habitats – is simply dazzling. Almost anything will grow in its beneficent climate, from coffee, tea and sugarcane, to bananas and a whole range of fruit and vegetables. Uganda takes pride in its reputation as ‘Africa’s friendliest country’ and welcomes visitors to its towns, cities and country-wide tourist attractions. It has a fascinating history too, embracing its own ‘royalty’ and a number of relics and abodes of its former tribal leaders are now available to tourists.
Journey through Uganda takes you around this remarkable country, from the islands of Lake Victoria to the far south-west, home of the rare mountain gorilla, to the snow-capped Mountains of the Moon, through lush rainforest, national parks and fertile farmlands to the arid extremes of its borders on the edge of the Great Rift Valley. The superb photography is the work of David Pluth who has made many visits to Uganda over the years, recording the people, wildlife and spectacular beauty of ‘The Pearl of Africa’. The authoritative text has been compiled by Philip Briggs and edited by Roger Barnad. Journey through Uganda is the book to read.