Uganda and Rwanda, despite shaking off their associations with earlier, more turbulent periods in their history, as tourism destinations are still firmly in their infancy. They have not suffered the mass tourism that affects other African destinations, and while this means that certain lodges and their service levels may not be as sophisticated as elsewhere on the continent, it also means that clients can explore the destinations in relative isolation, offering a sense of exclusivity and privilege.
Uganda offers a combination of big game savannah and wetlands parks and sanctuaries which together deliver all of the ‘big five’, as well as rainforests packed with primates, and an abundance of birdlife throughout. It has ten national parks and a much larger, additional number of sanctuaries, forest and wildlife reserves.
Rwanda has three main conservation areas—Volcanoes, Nyungwe and Akagera. Volcanoes and Nyungwe offer superb primate encounters, birding, adventure and hiking, whereas Akagera is a lower-lying, savannah and wetlands park which is undergoing a period of investment and rehabilitation. Akagera, on the Tanzanian border, is home to buffalo, giraffe, zebra, elephant, hippo and a wide variety of birdlife, with talk of relocating populations of rhino and lion.