CNN has named Uganda one of the top 16 emerging travel destinations in the world for the year 2016.
According to the American based news organization, meeting eyes with a silverback mountain gorilla across a misty jungle, after an arduous hike through Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, leaves everlasting impressions of arguably the best wildlife safari in the world.
“But there's much more to Uganda. Rich in nature, it's an outdoor sanctuary of crater lakes, white-sand beaches on lake islands, thundering waterfalls and national parks,” says CNN’s travel writer Anisha Shah.
A top highlight is Ngamba Island Chimp Sanctuary, where rescued and orphaned chimpanzees live out their days on an island in Lake Victoria.
Visitors can cross the equator by boat there, slicing through Africa's largest lake.
The Pope's landmark visit is spurring plans towards Uganda 2040, when it aims to become a middle-income nation. Infrastructure improvements are part of the plan.
"While the crowds are in the Serengeti or Masaai Mara, you'll find a lush country with fewer tourists in Uganda," says Thornton of Intrepid Travel.
"Mountain gorillas are the main attraction but the countryside offers many activities."