(Last Updated On: February 2, 2021)

Do you feel the impulse to visit Uganda? If the answer is yes, you are on the right track since many like you are heading to visit Uganda every year.

1. Meet the People

One of my favorite issues about Uganda – that makes it such a pleasure to journey in – is its people. One of my friends said, rarely have I traveled anyplace the place the locals are so hot, welcoming, and useful.

As I journey I usually cease people and ask for photographs – typically I’m refused to visit Uganda, typically they ask for cash, however, in Uganda, virtually everybody I met was glad to oblige and requested for nothing in return.

Wandering around on my own with my digicam I by no means felt unsafe or threatened, and though a blonde white girl is commonly the subject of curiosity, people’s glances virtually by no means felt aggressive or intrusive as they’ve performed in different places I’ve visited.

It additionally helps that English is without doubt one of the national languages, making Uganda a very simple and pleasing nation to journey in.

2. Murchison Falls National Park

Located about 5 hours’ drive north of Kampala, Murchison Falls is Uganda’s largest national park: an enormous 4000 sq. kilometers. Not solely does it boast about 500 bird and 75 mammal species, it’s additionally residence to essentially the most highly effective waterfall on the earth.

Murchison Falls is the place the River Nile, the world’s longest river, squeezes its complete power by way of a tiny 6-meter crack and plunges over a 43-meter drop at 300 cubic meters per second. Which is fairly noisy and spectacular to behold, and is what makes it one other of the top vacationer sights in Uganda.

There are two methods to see Murchison Falls – and I extremely suggest you do each. Take a ship journey alongside the Nile to see the Bottom of the Falls, front on, after which both hike up or take the boat back and drive as much as the Top of the Falls to see the churning, tumbling water shut up to visit Uganda.

Later you are able to do a sport drive within the park to identify giraffes, antelopes, hyenas or elephants, before enjoyable in one of many space’s many safari lodges.

3. Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary

If you’re heading from Kampala as much as Murchison Falls, don’t miss Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary in your manner by way. Located simply three hours from the capital (so it’s additionally doable on a weekend), Ziwa is the one place in Uganda to see rhinos within the wild – and never simply see them, however, get extraordinarily near them.

Because of poaching, rhinos grew to become extinct in Uganda in 1983. Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary was set up 15 years later to reintroduce them. They began with simply six animals, however, due to a profitable breeding program they now have 22, with more on the best way to visit Uganda.

You can see the rhinos by taking a guided stroll with an armed ranger. These final about two hours and value $45 per particular person for a non-Ugandan. If two hours isn’t sufficient for you, it’s also possible to keep in a single day within the park.

4. Queen Elizabeth National Park

The largest and lots of would say the perfect of Uganda’s National Parks, Queen Elizabeth is, without doubt, one of the hottest vacationer sights to visit Uganda.

Located on the western border with the Democratic Republic of Congo, and right on the equator, the park covers practically 2000 sq. kilometers and is residence to all of Uganda’s wildlife big-hitters. If you solely have time to go to one park, make it this one.

You can simply fill a few days right here with sport drives: attempt a night drive to identify elephants feeding or massive cats on their manner out to hunt, after which rise up before daybreak to benefit from the dawn and see the hippos returning to the water after a night grazing.

At night, sleep in a safari tent so you may hear the sounds of the park at night as you drift off, and if you’re fortunate your camp would possibly even obtain a nocturnal customer or two – a barely terrifying however exhilarating experience.

5. Kampala Bars and Restaurants

When you’ve had your fill of sightseeing, it’s time to get pleasure from Kampala’s fundamental attraction: its nightlife. The city is called the celebration capital of East Africa, a lot in order that visitors usually come from Kenya, Tanzania, and Rwanda to celebrate the weekend away to visit Uganda.

Kampala is split into districts, every with its personal vibe. The fundamental celebration space is alongside Acacia Avenue: right here you’ll discover common native favorites together with Bubbles O’Leary’s Irish Pub, Big Mike’s bar and nightclub, Kurb bar which typically hosts stay music, and a little bit additional up the highway is Cayenne, which has a restaurant, a poolside bar, and a dancefloor.

Outside the city center, Kabalagala is thought for being a barely more seedy space, nevertheless, it nonetheless has just a few quirky choices together with Deuces, and Café Cheri. Or head up the highway to Bugolobi for wonderful cocktails at The Alchemist.

Kampala additionally has a status for wonderful meals, with dozens of eating places to attempt. Here are a few of my favorites: Di Vino for the perfect steak I had in Africa; attempt Bistro for wonderful hen or fish; Miso Garden for Korean/Asian fusion in a peaceable backyard setting; or Mediterraneo for wonderful pizza and pasta.

6. Entebbe

If you’re traveling by airplane, Entebbe is the place your journey to Uganda will begin and finish. But the city is more than only a hub for the airport –

it’s additionally a peaceable retreat right on the shores of Lake Victoria simply an hour from Kampala, and it’s a great technique to spend a day or two at first or finish of your vacation, or as a weekend away from the capital.

During the day, benefit from the peaceable greenery and bird lifetime of the Botanical Gardens, components of that are so completely lush and jungly they had been used within the 1940s as a location for the unique Tarzan films.

If snakes or crocodiles are your factor head for the Reptiles Village the place you may see among the many toxic snakes rigorously rescued once they present up uninvited in people’s properties throughout the nation. Or go to the Uganda Wildlife Education Centre – about which, more under.

In the night, wander alongside the shores of Lake Victoria and have a meal at a lakeside restaurant whereas having fun with the contemporary air and possibly the sound of a neighborhood band to visit Uganda.

7. Go Hiking In Sipi Falls

Situated at 1,775 m above sea level within the foothills of Mount Elgon in Eastern Uganda near the border with Kenya, Sipi Falls is a relaxed hill city that makes a great location for a weekend break free from Kampala.

Thanks to its contemporary mountain air, rolling hills, and craggy cliffs it’s common with journey fanatics, particularly hikers, climbers, and hill runners.

Space will get its name from three fairly waterfalls – and a hike to see them, which takes the perfect part of a day, is the realm’s fundamental attraction to visit Uganda.

But there are many different outside adventures available too, from excursions of the native coffee plantations to birdwatching walks to hill working, to mountaineering on one in all 14 bolted sport routes and even abseiling down the aspect of the primary 100m waterfall – which I didn’t do as a result of it sounds terrifying!

8. Kampala Mosque

A preferred factor to see in Kampala is the Old Kampala National Mosque. This stately yellow construction with its cluster of copper domes is the fifth largest mosque in Africa, with the house for around 16,000 people all praying collectively.

The big prayer corridor is adorned with stained glass from Italy, an infinite blue and red woven carpet, and complicated chandeliers from Egypt.

If you’re feeling energetic, attempt climbing the 306 steps to the top of the minaret for gorgeous views of the city unfold out in all instructions – the proper technique to get your bearings and take within the size of the city from a peaceable vantage level.

9. Lake Victoria

Uganda could also be landlocked, however, what it lacks in sea views it makes up for with the mighty Lake Victoria. This big body of water sits on the south aspect of the nation, throughout the borders with Kenya and Tanzania, and at over 23,000 sq. miles is the most important lake in Africa.

The finest departure level to see Lake Victoria in Entebbe (about which, more under). Enjoy a sundown cruise to benefit from the calm waters, or make a journey out to among the many islands.

The fundamental spotlight is the Ssese Islands, an archipelago of 84 islands that includes blue waters, tender white sands, and thick forests – which make for an improbable off-the-beaten-track tropical island experience.

The fundamental island, Buggala Island is definitely accessible by ferry from Entebbe, and is a well-liked weekend vacation spot for Kampala residents, with a string of beachfront inns and bars.

10. Uganda Wildlife Education Centre

One of the highlights of my journey to Uganda was my go-to to Uganda Wildlife Education Centre (or Entebbe Zoo because it’s typically identified) and the prospect to come back nose-to-nose with among the planet’s most unimaginable creatures.

Far more than only a zoo, UWEC is a wildlife sanctuary the place animals rescued from poachers or the unlawful pet commerce are delivered to be cared for till they are often launched back into the wild to visit Uganda.

Those that may be unable to fend for themselves – actually because they had been solely infants once they had been discovered – are saved completely. These animals have been hand-raised by people and meaning you will get near them without worry.

Do the Behind the Scenes Tour for the prospect to feed a giraffe, stroke a cheetah, or make pals with an elephant – at $75 it’s not low-cost, nevertheless, it’s worth it!

11. Source of the Nile

The River Nile is the longest river on the earth – over 4000 miles long – and runs all the best way from Uganda at its most southern finish to the Mediterranean sea within the north.

In the 19th century, throughout the golden age of exploration, a small group of intrepid British adventurers was decided to seek out the source of this mighty waterway.

After a number of years of looking, punctuated little doubt by run-ins with hostile locals and the occasional bout of 1 tropical illness or one other, it was finally – and controversially – claimed in 1858 by a person named John Hanning Speke at Jinja, about 80 km east of Kampala.

The historic discovery of the Source of the Nile (or one in all them, no less than) is commemorated on the Source of the Nile monument simply exterior Jinja to visit Uganda.

Take a guided boat trip upstream and onto Lake Victoria, the place it’s mentioned you may truly see the bubbles because the water rises out of the lake and begins its journey north.

12. Lake Mburo National Park

About 5 hours’ drive west of Kampala, Lake Mburo National Park is the smallest of Uganda’s savannah national parks. It’s principal residence to herbivores like antelopes, zebras, and buffalo, however, there aren’t any elephants or lions right here.

This signifies that it’s a lot safer place to roam around than the opposite parks, making it the best spot for outside activities like horseback using, mountain biking, or bird-spotting walks, without working the danger of being trampled on or become a tasty meal for a giant cat.

Lake Mburo is a great place to cease for the night in your manner back to Kampala from the west. If your price range will stretch, keep on the gorgeous Mihingo Lodge, one of many of Uganda’s most spectacular lodges, which boasts luxurious boutique log cabins with personal verandas overlooking the park, and a swimming pool with top-of-the-line views I’ve ever seen!

If you’re able to ebook, click on right here to see a choice of inns close to Lake Mburo to visit Uganda.

13. Chimpanzee Trekking

If you’ve learned different blogs about Uganda, chances are you’ll already know that this is without doubt one of the final locations on the earth the place you may see the critically endangered mountain gorillas.

But far much less well-known is the truth that it’s also possible to spend time and hanging out with our closest kin: chimpanzees. These guys may not get as a lot of the glory as their bigger neighbors, however visiting them is simply as thrilling an experience, and prices a fraction of the value.

Several of Uganda’s parks and forests, together with Kibale Forest and Queen Elizabeth National Park, have habituated chimpanzee households, which have been gently skilled to tolerate the presence of people.

A monitoring experience generally is a half or full-day, throughout which you’ll hike by way of the forest to seek out the group, before spending time observing them within the wild. If you’re fortunate sufficient to get near them, as I did, it’s actually breathtaking. It’s undoubtedly one of many top vacationer sights in Uganda.

14. Lake Bunyonyi

Located within the far west of Uganda near the border with Rwanda, Lake Bunyonyi is a captivating place to spend a day or two enjoyable. This stunningly fairly lake is dotted with dozens of islands, a few of which have fascinating darkish tales.

Take a trip in a small dugout canoe to find out about a few of them, from Punishment Island, the place ladies who acquired pregnant out of wedlock had been deserted to die, to Leprosy Island, which was a leper colony run by a Scottish missionary.

A great place to remain is Byoona Amargara, a peaceable island retreat run as a not-for-profit enterprise that helps community improvement at Lake Bunyonyi. Choose between a price range cabin or one in all their superb open-sided ‘geo domes’ with views out over the lake.

Fall asleep to the light sounds of nature, wake to birdsong, chill out throughout the day with brief walks or swimming within the lake, and stuff your self foolish with the restaurant’s superb meals.

Although it’s comparatively small, Lake Bunyonyi is the second deepest lake in Africa and the fourth deepest lake on the earth, at 900 m at its most depth to visit Uganda.

15. Kampala

Although most people come to Uganda for the wildlife and surroundings, most journeys will begin or finish in Kampala, and no information to issues to do could be full without mentioning it.

Kampala has a status for being noisy, soiled, and crowded, nevertheless, it’s additionally the beating heart of the nation: stuffed with vibrancy, hustle and bustle, noise and color.

Originally constructed on seven hills, and now sprawling out over many more, Kampala may be complicated to navigate, however, the center is compact and well-organized, with lots to see and do for a day or two to visit Uganda.

Learn about Uganda’s history and the brutal regime of Idi Amin at Mengo Palace (the place you may see Amin’s chilling former torture chambers), or take a look at the final resting place of the previous Kings of Buganda on the Kasubi Tombs.

Stroll alongside Parliament Avenue to absorb among the finest colonial structure, store for souvenirs or African artwork in one of many many craft markets and artwork galleries, or keep away from the site visitors by hopping on the back of a boda-boda (moped taxi) and whizzing throughout the city (not for the faint-hearted, however a superb and low-cost technique to get around).

16. Kazinga Channel Boat Trip

While you’re in Queen Elizabeth National Park it might be a mistake to not do a ship journey on the Kazinga Channel, a 20-mile-long shallow river that flows between Lake George and Lake Edward.

Animals of all sizes and styles come right down to the water’s edge to drink and bathe, so on any given day, you’re assured to see everything from elephants, hippos, and buffalos, too – if you’re fortunate – a pleasure of lions.

The great thing about wildlife recognizing by boat is that the animals don’t appear to be bothered by its presence, which means you will get a lot nearer than you would possibly be capable of by automotive.

On a sunny day, a lazy boat journey down any river is an excellent factor, but if you add in more wildlife than you’ll have room for in your reminiscence card, this explicit journey turns into one of the perfect vacationer sights in Uganda.

Kazinga Channel boat journeys final two hours and value round $30 per particular person.

If you happen to can, sit on the left-hand aspect, as that’s the one nearer to the shore to visit Uganda.

17. Visit the Batwa Pygmy People

While you’re in Bwindi or Mgahinga National Parks, it’s price taking time to go to one of many Batwa communities. The Batwa pygmies are a hunter-gatherer tribe, who for hundreds of years lived a nomadic lifestyle within the forests of Western Uganda.

But in 1991 the realm they stay in was become a national park, and the Batwa had been forcibly evicted. Now they stay in makeshift camps on the perimeters of the forest, the place they survive by subsistence farming and providing cultural experiences to vacationers.

Visits to the Batwa embody the prospect to find out about their conventional lifestyle and watch shows of music and dancing. It’s a great technique to help this displaced and marginalized community who actually need our assist.

Tours may be organized by way of the Uganda Wildlife Authority or the Batwa Development Programme – however, be sure you solely do an official go to, as these are culturally delicate and your ticket worth goes back to help the community.

18. Whitewater Fun in Jinja

As properly as being the place where the River Nile begins, Jinja can be Uganda’s whitewater journey capital. The foaming waves and thundering rapids of the world’s longest river are an enormous draw for adrenalin junkies, who come to benefit from the thrills of whitewater kayaking and rafting on rapids that attain Grade 5 in some areas. Head to the Nile River Explorers base for all of the adventures you may eat – from excessive rafting to tandem and solo kayaking to quad biking.

For these of a more nervous disposition, NRE additionally gives more sedate activities like stand-up paddle boarding or horseback using. With loads of locations to remain, eat, and drink, and a fun, relaxed vibe, it’s not stunning that Jinja is now the second top vacationer attraction in Uganda after the gorillas.

A phrase of warning although flowing water is okay, however, keep away from swimming in nonetheless water on the river’s edge as the realm is thought for carrying the waterborne parasite bilharzia – which won’t kill you however might properly wreck a number of days of your vacation.

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19. Rolling Green Landscapes

As you journey around Uganda, one of many belongings you can’t fail to see is how green the nation is. If you’ve solely ever seen Africa on the information you’d be forgiven for pondering it’s a dry, dusty continent, however that couldn’t be additional than the reality.

Uganda is definitely about as wet because of the famously damp United Kingdom, with over 1 meter of rainfall each year, so there’s no scarcity of water to supply the necessary juice for issues to develop. And – wow! – does stuff develop!

Bananas, cassava, potatoes, corn, beans, coffee, cotton, tea, tobacco… these are simply among the issues they produce, which suggests you won’t wrestle to seek out scrumptious contemporary fruit and veg with virtually zero meals miles to visit Uganda.

Many people make a residing from subsistence farming, every family proudly owning a small plot of land the place they develop crops to promote on the native market.

As a consequence Uganda’s rolling panorama has change into a patchwork of terraces and squares, each a barely completely different shade of green. Look out for them significantly as you drive by way of Western Uganda’s volcanic area –

you’ll undoubtedly be stopping the automotive to hop out and take photos – and it’s what makes the panorama one other one in all Uganda’s many vacationer sights.

20. Stand On The Equator

Another straightforward and common factor to do in Uganda is to go to the Equator. Uganda sits right on this magical line, offering a rare alternative to face with one foot within the Northern and one foot within the Southern Hemisphere – a barely surreal however enjoyable experience if you’ve by no means performed it before.

The factors the place the Equator crosses main roads are all marked with round monuments, however the primary place to see it’s at Kayabwe, on the Masaka-Mbarara freeway, about 45 miles from Kampala.

Here there are craft stalls and cafes, and you may watch an illustration that proves that water does certainly circle down a plug gap in reverse instructions on both aspects of the Equator. I’d heard this however I didn’t know if it was true or not, so it was fascinating to see it for myself!

21. Gorilla Trekking in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest

That’s to not say that you simply shouldn’t additionally go to the gorillas if you’re capable of it. There are solely about 880 mountain gorillas left on the earth, of which about half stay in Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable Forest. That means the prospect to see them is extraordinarily rare and is the primary motive why that is the primary vacationer attraction to visit Uganda.

Like visiting the chimpanzees, gorilla trekking entails mountaineering by way of the thick jungle to seek out your allotted gorilla family – one in all only a handful that has been habituated to the presence of people. Once you’ve discovered them, you’ll spend a magical hour observing these magnificent creatures within the wild.

The price ticket could also be eye-watering ($600 final time I up to date this blog put up) and the going can typically be a bit difficult, however, when are you ever going to come back back to Uganda or have the prospect once more?

22. Boutique Lodges

One of the top vacationer sights in Uganda is the prospect to remain in one of many nation’s many spectacular safari lodges.

Far more than only a lodge, these locations are experiences in themselves, usually, that includes sympathetically-designed wooden cabins with personal terraces overlooking gorgeous views, and providing scrumptious three-course meals all included within the worth of your keep.

While they’re not as low-cost as a campsite or a much less luxurious lodge, I undoubtedly suggest you deal with your self to a night or two if you happen to can stretch to it.

There are lots to select from, however, listed below are just a few that I can personally suggest: Kyaninga Lodge* in Fort Portal, perched high over a surprising crater lake; Crater Safari Lodge* in Kibale, which options luxurious cabins with verandas looking over one other crater lake; Mihingo Lodge* with its spectacular vistas over Lake Mburo National Park; Bush Lodge* in Queen Elizabeth National Park, the place you go to sleep to the sound of hippos grunting within the close by the river, or Bakiga Lodge*, which clings to a hillside overlooking the misty treetops of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest.

23. Ugandan Music

Uganda has a vibrant music scene, which is influenced not solely by native and African sounds, but additionally by the broader worldwide music business. Two of the preferred conventional genres are Kidandali, which options the usage of typical Ugandan sounds and samples, and Kadongo Kamu, which suggests ‘one little guitar’ and relies on across the acoustic guitar.

In Kampala particularly there are many alternatives to listen to stay bands performing all youngsters of music – attempt Club Obligato, or the Uganda National Theatre, for native bands, Big Mike’s for more worldwide sounds, or JazzVille in Bugolobi for actually enjoyable and accessible Jazz to visit Uganda.

24. Great Rift Valley

As properly as superb wildlife, Uganda boasts among the most gorgeous landscapes to be discovered anyplace in Africa. The nation sits on the Great Rift Valley, an enormous crack within the earth’s crust created as two tectonic plates transfer other than each other, creating an infinite 4000-mile long trench that’s widening by just a few centimeters each year.

Over hundreds of thousands of years, because the continent slowly tears itself in two, these highly effective forces have fashioned dramatic peaks and troughs, creating among the highest mountains (together with Uganda’s Rwenzori mountains), violent volcanoes, and among the deepest lakes in Africa (Lake Victoria, for instance).

You’ll glimpse the consequences of the Great Rift as you journey all through Western Uganda. From the various big lakes to the huge flat plain of the rift itself, to the peaks of the encircling mountains, these are views you won’t neglect in a rush.

25. Arts and Crafts

If Ugandan artwork is what you’re after, Kampala additionally has a vibrant artwork scene with no less than half a dozen galleries representing each native and internationally-known artists. AfriArt, AKA gallery, and Nommo Gallery are most likely the best-known, however, there are a number of others, all providing distinctive and trendy work and textiles that’ll look great in your wall back residence.

For souvenirs and crafts, you’ll discover roadside stalls at each vacationer vacation spot, however for the perfect costs and essentially the most selection save you looking for Kampala.

Here there are two fundamental everlasting markets: the Exposure Africa market on Buganda highway and the African Craft Village behind the National Theatre. Everything from carved picket figures and animals and leather-based to jewelry and textiles are on supply right here – some are imported from Kenya however there are many native gadgets too.

On Fridays, there’s additionally a craft market in Nsambiya alongside Ggaba Road the place you should buy gadgets straight from the artisans who made them – and the costs are sometimes higher too.

If you like to not must haggle, a great place to buy distinctive native souvenirs is, without doubt, one of the three branches of Banana Boat to visit Uganda.

This carefully-curated retailer works straight with native artisans to source and promote distinctive merchandise you won’t discover anyplace else, so not solely will you come residence with one thing lovely, you’ll even be serving to help native companies.

26. Tree-climbing Lions in Ishasha

Another factor that Queen Elizabeth National Park is well-known for is its tree-climbing lions. These aren’t a singular subspecies of a lion – all lions can climb bushes – however this explicit park occurs to have some very climbable bushes, and the lions right here aren’t gradual to take benefit.

The fantastic factor about lions in bushes is that they’re a lot simpler to identify and {photograph}. Hidden in tall, dry grasses at ground level, a lion is just about invisible, however up in a tree he’s on full display, and prone to relaxation there for a number of hours.

When one is noticed the rangers let one another know, in order long as he doesn’t get up and head off to hunt before you get to his location, you’ll have a very good likelihood of recognizing him.

To see the tree-climbing lions, merely drive to the Ishasha sector of the park, ask each automotive you cross in the event that they’ve seen a lion, and preserve your eyes peeled!

27. Volcanic Craters

Thanks to all that volcanic exercise, Uganda is home to some spectacular craters and crater lakes. Millions of years ago all this scenery would have been scorched and black, however, immediately the fertile volcanic soil has given life to rolling green landscapes dotted with glowing water holes.

There’s one thing further particular concerning the completely round form and sharp define of a crater lake, and the best way the water, unruffled by currents and sheltered from the wind, displays the sky as sharp as a mirror.

There are gorgeous craters and crater lakes all throughout Western Uganda, however, the perfect ones are the Katwe Craters in Queen Elizabeth National Park – do a late afternoon crater drive to essentially see them at their glowing finest.

Or, in case your price range will stretch, attempt spending a night at both Crater Safari Lodge* in Kibale, or at Kyaniga Lodge* in Fort Portal: each is gorgeous luxurious inns perched right on the sting of crater lakes with views to die for.

28. Wildlife Safaris

Uganda might not have the cachet of Tanzania’s Serengeti or Kenya’s Masai Mara, however, wildlife recognizing continues to be one of many top vacationer sights in Uganda, and there are more than sufficient animals right here to thrill even essentially the most discerning of safari connoisseurs.

What’s more, as a result of Uganda is much less crowded, you’ll more than seemingly have the animals all to yourself – and it’s cheaper too!

Uganda has 10 national parks, that are collectively residence to more than 350 completely different mammals, together with lions, leopards, hippos, elephants, giraffes, zebras, hyenas, and buffalos, in addition to 0ver 1000 species of birds.

Safaris may be organized by way of one in all Uganda’s many safari corporations, or although a small group journey firm like Exodus* or Explore*.

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