Discover the travel guide to the top things to do in Uganda. Choose the best Uganda tourist attractions that help you plan an adventure tour. Named by Winston Churchill, Uganda ”the pearl of Africa is an incredible country with beautiful landscapes with many lakes and rivers, variety of wildlife, conducive climate and amazing friendly people which are all beautiful and welcoming.
Therefore, Uganda boosts great and unique wildlife tour experiences like gorilla trekking that you will not experience in other countries apart from Rwanda and Congo. Some of the top 12 incredible things to do while in Uganda are listed below.
Uganda is one of the only three countries in the world with Mountain gorillas the other two being Rwanda and DR Congo. Mountain gorillas are an endangered species that needs to be protected or else it suffers extinction so a few people are allowed to visit these great apes in their natural habitat. Seeing these apes is a once in a life time experience given that it is a bit costlier than other activities but it’s worth it. Let gorilla trekking top your bucket list of things to do in Uganda.
Chimpanzees share 98% DNA with humans and they are the closest relatives to humans. Chimpanzee tracking is an amazing experience that everyone needs to do in Uganda. Chimpanzee tracking is mostly done in Kibale national park but the activity is also done in other areas such as Budongo forest, Kyambura gorge, Ngamba Island and more. Seeing these primates jump from one tree to another, feeding, grooming each other is such a memory that will forever live with you. Visitors are allowed one hour with chimpanzees but the whole activity may last up to 3-6hours.
Murchison falls are formed after the Nile waters force themselves through a 7-meter gorge flowing down over a 45metre cliff. The falls are found in the largest national park in Uganda known as Murchison falls national park. Visitors can take a boat to the bottom of the falls and later hike up to the top of the falls, a lot of animals and birds can be seen along the way.
White water rafting is another incredible adventure everyone needs to do while in Uganda. Jinja the adventure capital of East Africa the town boosts a lot of adrenaline pumping activities like white water rafting, bungee jumping, kayaking and more.
Uganda has a great number of national parks that are perfect for safari namely Murchison falls national park, Queen Elizabeth national park, Kidepo national park and more. In the parks you will see a number of wild animals, giraffes, elephants, climbing lions, buffaloes, monkeys and a lot more. These parks offer activities like game drives, boat cruises, birding to mention but a few.
Rhinos got extinct in Uganda in 1982 due to continued poaching in the country by then. The government and Uganda wildlife Authority re introduced rhinos in 2005 at Ziwa sanctuary with a goal of multiplying them and then releasing them back to parks. Visitors can opt to see the white rhinos at Ziwa rhino sanctuary near Murchison falls national park. You will only see rhinos here at this sanctuary in Uganda and not in any national park in Uganda.
Go to Mabamba Swamp for an excursion to see the shoebill stork and explore the Swamp with a local guide who will use a motorized wooden boat in search of a rare shoebill stork and other birds. Mabamba Swamp is located close to Entebbe and Kampala towns on Lake Victoria. The Mabamba Bay swamp is one of the top birding spots in Uganda commonly visited by travelers interested to see the shoebill and other swamp endemics. This swamp has over 260 bird species and a part from the shoe bill stork, one can spot papyrus gonolek, white winged warbler, village weaver, spur-winged lapwing, Swamphen, long crested eagle, great blue Turaco, grey heron, great cormorant, goliath Herons, great white egret, black crake, Yellow billed duck, African jacana, White faced Whistling duck, Malachite kingfisher, lesser jacana, three banded plover, northern brown throated weaver, Common greenshank, Fan-tailed widowbird and so many more. There are many guides ready to receive you and guide you through the swamp to see shoebill stork and other birds and their leader assigns each group of visitors their day’s guide. Mabamba can be visited as a day tour.
Uganda offers the most unforgettable hiking experiences and this can be done in different national parks and mountains of Uganda. Different areas where hiking tours can be done in Uganda include; Rwenzori Mountains which are located along the border of Uganda and Congo. Mount Rwenzori is the third highest mountain in Africa with its highest peak called Margherita at 5,109m above sea level. Rwenzori Mountains, also known as mountains of the moon are snowcapped throughout the year and hiking up these mountains is so rewarding with so much flora and fauna to see with its amazing views of the surrounding area. Rwenzori Mountains are one of the UNESCO world Heritage Sites in Uganda. Mount Elgon also offers another beautiful hiking adventure in Uganda. The Mt Elgon is an extinct volcano with a crater lake and it has the largest caldera in the world. It lies at the border of Uganda and Kenya with its highest peak called Wagagai at 4,321m. Virunga Mountains which are located in south western Uganda also give excellent hikes. The Virunga Mountains are composed of Mount Mgahinga at 3,474m, Mount Sabinyo at 3,660m and Mount Muhabura at 4,127m. Hiking any of these three volcanic mountains take 6 hours to a full day. The Virunga Mountains harbor unique wildlife such as Mountain gorillas, golden monkeys and a lot of birdlife. Other hiking trails in Uganda that are open for travelers with limited time include; hiking Rushura, Muzabajiro and River ivy trails in Bwindi Impenetrable national park, Hiking the top of Murchison falls, hiking at Sipi falls, hiking the Ndali kasenda craters and many others.
Uganda is one of the few countries in the world that are crossed by the equator. The equator is an imaginary line that divides the earth into two parts, the northern hemisphere and the southern hemisphere. Some points have been marked where the equator crosses the main road in Uganda. This allows visitors to have a stopover and take beautiful pictures. Being able to stand with one of the legs in the northern hemisphere and another in the southern hemisphere is a great feeling that many visitors love to experience. At Uganda equator in Kayabwe, visitors can also buy some souvenirs from the craft shops to take home and this will give a memory that someone crossed the equator.
Uganda’s capital city is Kampala and it’s one of the most exciting and vibrant cities in Africa. Kampala has a number of touristic places to visit that have a rich history of Uganda. Some of these areas show the culture, traditions and faith of Ugandans. Some of these places are Kasubi tombs, Gadhafi mosque, Namugongo martyrs shrine, Idi Amin torture chambers and more. You can also party in Uganda and taste the Ugandan dishes from the hotels in Kampala and the roadside sellers.
Uganda is a home to over 1060 bird species adding it to one of the best birding destinations in the world. Uganda has many birding spots where a great number of birds are spotted, some of the birds are Albertine rift endemics. Some of the birding spots are Bwindi impenetrable national park, Mabamba swamp, Echuya forest, Budondo forest and all the other national parks.
Explore Different cultures, Uganda is blessed with a great number of cultures which have different traditions and customs, these cultures have different ways of doing things. So getting to learn about one of these tribes is a great adventure. You can visit the batwa, the Karamojong, the baganda and more to learn about their cultures. Uganda has different meals from all the different tribes that every visitor in the country needs to try. Some of these are luwombo, karo, matooke, rolex and much more. These are prepared from the fresh products from Ugandan farms.