Things to do in Uganda
About what to do in Uganda, Uganda is a beautiful holiday destination around the globe. Uganda is a beautiful holiday destination in the world. Whether you are wowed by wildlife, culture, or seek adventure – Uganda is the perfect destination for you.
It’s still at the top of our Uganda Wishlist, and there is much more to do in Uganda than gorilla tracking. Explore the communities and traditions of each zone, from the Baganda and Acholi to the Batwa and the semi-nomadic Karamojong, as you get to know the people who call this amazingly welcoming country home. Raft the River Nile at its origin for thrilling whitewater action and see Uganda’s ten national parks. You’ll see golden monkeys, leopards that can climb trees, massive elephants and buffalos herds, and shoebills storks that resemble dinosaurs.
List of top things to do in Uganda
- Mountain gorilla trekking
Gorilla trekking is the top activity on our list of things to do in Uganda. There is no better option if you’re seeking excitement than this! Visit the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park to get up personally and closer to mountain gorillas. There are now only about 720 wild mountain gorillas left on the earth. Thus very few people get to observe them in their native habitat.
The most exciting thing to do in Uganda is to explore one of the 11 habituated groups since it results in face-to-face interaction with one of our nearest living relatives after a two to six-hour hike through the forest.
You must be assured that your money is used in the national park and for the security of the gorillas because the Uganda Wildlife Authority governs all trips. Approximately half of the world’s mountain gorillas reside in Uganda, most of which are found in the “impenetrable” forest of Bwindi, which is covered in fog.
Hence, going on gorilla trekking is an excellent and absolutely one-of-a-kind adventure; that’s why it’s at the top of people’s priority list. Twenty additional details regarding mountain gorilla hiking are provided here.
The Virunga Ranges are home to mountain gorillas discovered in Bwindi Impenetrable, Mgahinga Gorilla, Volcanoes, and Virunga National Parks in the DRC. I’ve had the good fortune to go gorilla trekking numerous times, and I would like to do it again in a heartbeat. Unquestionably my favorite wildlife experience and one of the best traveling adventures of my life. Gorilla permits in Uganda are in considerable demand, so you must plan as far in advance as you can, given that the cost of gorilla hiking in Rwanda is currently so high. Additionally, the DRC is a turbulent region. Plan at least six months to a year to acquire your permits for the desired site and day.
Visit endangered rhinos due to Instead, there are currently 22 white rhinos living happily in the expansive Ziwa Rhino Reservation. The reservation was started in 2005 by the rhino reintroduction project, and profits go towards the breeding program and their eventual release into the wild! These endangered, magnificent creatures are permitted to move everywhere on 7,000 ha of land.
This is a great African practice not to be neglected!
- Canoe on Lake Bunyonyi
Lake Bunyonyi, one of the nation’s greatest natural wonders, is considered the second-deepest water lake in Africa. This is why it is on top of our list of the best 20 things to do in Uganda.
Although there are 29 islands of varying dimensions and patterns strewn around the lake, which is surrounded by beautiful, terraced hills, adding to its allure. It’s the ideal location for relaxing, riding a quad bike around the neighborhood, or observing birds. You guessed correctly: the name “bunyonyi” comes from the fact that the lake is home to various birds in the local language. Check out those breathtaking views while getting your camera ready.
Hop on the many secret islands in Lake Bunyonyi, including a tiny amusement park with a zip line, and paddle in a typical Ugandan timber boat!
Don’t forget to carry your swimsuits; the waters of Lake Bunyonyi are suitable for swimming since they are one of the few in Uganda that are free of bilharzia; it’s a prevalent practice found in southern Africa. Yippee! Additionally, it is devoid of harmful animals like hippos and crocodiles.
4. safari in Queen Elizabeth National Park
If you are a bit of a nature buff, you’ve probably heard about the Queen Elizabeth National reserve Park. It’s a popular tourist attraction in Uganda and the most visited park; It’s home to 96 species of mammals, including lions, buffaloes, warthogs, crocodiles, and elephants.
You can see the park’s tree-climbing lions! Few lions climb trees in Africa. Some people think lions climb trees to avoid tsetse fly bites. Others believe it’s a way of escaping the heat on the ground.
- boat safari on Kazinga Channel
this channel is an essential feature in the Queen Elizabeth Park!
The park is known for being home to the world’s largest concentration of hippos, who live side by side with Nile crocodiles. I wouldn’t want to fall in that water, that’s for sure! Taking a boat cruise down the channel is a great way to keep your distance yet still see these magnificent creatures in their natural habitat.
- Visit the salt pans of Lake Katwe
Lake Katwe is a traditional salt mining lake known for its high-quality salt. Small salt mines make a pretty pattern on the edge of the lake. We recommend popping by on your way to Queen Elizabeth Park to see how the local community mines the salt. For your own, the lake was formed in the aftermath of a violent volcanic eruption.
- Explore the town of Entebbe
Entebbe is a small, green, laidback town on Lake Victoria’s shore. It’s a fantastic hub, exploring nature, and cultural pursuits. The bonus is Entebbe International Airport is just next door! This makes it the perfect overnight stop on your way in or out of Uganda.
Some of the activities you can do in Entebbe include:
- Horse riding
- Visiting Entebbe Botanic Gardens
- Shopping at the craft markets
- Mountain biking
- Visiting Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary
- Exploring the impressive Uganda Wildlife Conservation Education Centre and much more!
- Have fun on Lake Victoria
While in Entebbe, you have to make the most of Lake Victoria! Uganda, Tanzania, and Kenya share this majestic expanse of water. Spending time on Lake Victoria’s waters is definitely on our list of the top 20 things to do in Uganda!
Some popular activities include:
- Sunrise or sunset canoeing
- Playing volleyball
- Swimming at Lido Beach
Did you know that Lake Victoria is the biggest lake in Africa and the chief of the White Nile?
- Explore the city of Kampala
Northeast of Entebbe, Kampala is a dynamic and engaging city with a rich and colorful history. Visiting the capital city adds another flavor to your Uganda experience, and you can see one more side of real Africa!
Our local leader Syrill can take you to a local restaurant or bar in the evening, which can be an adventure! If you’ve enough time, also be sure to check out the Kasubi Tombs and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
We also recommend dinner at Ndere Cultural Centre, where guests are treated to a traditional dance performance.
Boat Cruise Safari Uganda
- Hike to Sipi Falls
in a short drive from Kampala, Sipi Falls in Mount Elgon Park has three waterfalls in a 99 m drop along the lower slopes of Mt Elgon.
You can take different hikes, starting from the small trading center of Sipi. If you’re feeling ambitious, it’s possible to undertake a day hike from the main waterfall to the three more minor falls that lie upstream, one of which has a beautiful swimming pool at its base. Be sure to pack your bathing suit!
You can also abseil the cliff face alongside the main waterfall a must for thrill-seeking travelers Adventure.
Activities to do in Jinja.
Uganda is a place to get your adventure, and the small colonial town of Jinja is the country’s adventure capital!
The White Nile flows out of Victoria Lake in Jinja. Many people say that this is the trustworthy source of the Nile! It’s a beautiful spot, and we recommend spending at least a few nights here, raising your adrenaline in the day and relaxing by the shore in the evenings.
Some of the exciting adventure activities on offer in or near Jinja are:
- Whitewater rafting
- Mountain biking
- Horse riding
- Quad biking
- Bungee jumping
The town itself presents the beautiful architecture and the local community.
- Visit Murchison Falls
This is the largest national park in Uganda and the best destination for those interested in the country’s wildlife.
Today, you can see elephants, crocodiles, endangered giraffes (more on below), leopards, hartebeests, oribis, Uganda kobs, buffalos, hippos, antelopes, and waterbucks. That’s a long list! The park is host to 460 classes of birds, including the shoebill stork.
Mountain Hiking Safaris Uganda
- Meet giraffes Rothschild
These comprise the smallest giraffes in the world. It’s estimated that there are only around 1,600 of them left in the wild. Its IUCN status is “near threatened.” These giraffes can be found in just Kenya and Uganda.
The largest population of Rothschild’s giraffes is living in Murchison Falls Park.
A group of giraffes is called a tower of giraffes. How appropriate. Did you know that a giraffe’s heart is about two feet long and weighs roughly 11 kg?!
Rothschild’s giraffes are easy to identify as they look like they’re wearing knee-high white socks
- Zip line through Mabira Forest
Mabira Reserve is just 44 km east of the capital of Kampala. This is an easy addition to your Uganda itinerary.
Apart from being a beautiful, ancient rainforest ideal for hikes and exploratory walks, it has a fantastic zip line dubbed the Mabira Forest Canopy Super Skyway! The zip line grants you fantastic views over the canopy, and you’ll see the River Musamya as you fly over it.
While you’re laughing and whizzing through the air with your pals, keep an eye open for African fish eagles, palm nut vultures, and great blue turacos, among others!
- Bike through Lake Mburo National Park
This park is smaller than the others, but boy, it packs in a whole load of wildlife! Its fantastic location, between Entebbe and Bwindi, makes it a good stop over to avoid long drives or a flight.
When there, why not do things a little differently and ride a bike through the park in the early morning. It’s the unique safari in Uganda where you’re allowed to be outside the car! You’ll see zebras, antelopes, baboons, giraffes, and long-horn cattle from a very close range. Note that while you can explore this place at any time of day, morning game drives are better for getting photographs.
Chimpanzee Tracking Uganda
- Visit Kibale Forest’s chimpanzees
It’s not only the gorillas that attract animal lovers to Uganda. Chimps trekking is fascinating and one you won’t forget in a hurry!
On a chimp tracking excursion, you go on a guided hike through beautiful Kibale Forest to find a troop. Once you find them, you spend about an hour with them, observing them eating, grooming, playing, and maybe even swinging from one tree to another if you’re lucky. Chimpanzee tracking is a fascinating and, in our opinion, underrated experience
- Stand at the Ugandan Equator
The Ugandan Equator is photographed and a well-known landmark in the whole country, and of course, it is since we all love the idea of saying we’re in two places at once.
At the Equator, you can stand with one of your feet in the northern hemisphere and the other in the southern hemisphere. This effectively lets you stand on both sides of the world simultaneously. Mind. Blown.
- Hike in the Rwenzori Mountains
This is also referred to as the “Mountains of the Moon,” which are located on Uganda’s boundary with Congo and are host to Mount Stanley, the tallest mountain in the country. At 5,109m, the snow-capped mountain is the third-tallest in Africa.
The Rwenzori Mountains, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in western Uganda, are a hiker’s dream. You can embark on short day hikes or tackle more challenging, multidaymultiday treks. Mountaineers can go to Africa’s fourth top peak: Mt Ngaliema (5,109 m)!
The vegetation in the misty heights of the mountains is unusual and exotic, and the trails are quiet as the range is very remote and little-known. It’s a beautiful country corner that’s a must-see for anyone who loves the drama of mountains! Most visitors stay in a resort or lodge in Kasese before the journey, and the climb begins in Kilembe. There are various trekking choices, from short day walks to multidaymultiday treks. Still, the strenuous eight or 9-day journey required to reach Margherita Peak’s summit is the norm.
- Visit a Batwa community.
The marginalized Batwa people live far southwest of the country, next door to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. They’re a pygmy tribe who have suffered the loss of land and independence through the nationalization of their ancestral lands to create mountain gorilla reserves and the encroachment of modern farms.
Visitors can support them directly by going on a cultural visit to one of their villages and learning about their traditions, beliefs, and lifestyle. Alternatively, in the Mgahinga area, you can go on a Batwa-guided hike to a cave, where you’ll also learn about their culture and traditions. The Batwa retain a distinct cultural identity, and it’s an enriching experience to spend some time in their company.
While no group or community should have to put their culture on display to survive, the Batwa, unfortunately, have lost their traditional hunting grounds, and income from tourists is necessary. Until the day when hopefully a better, more sustainable future is safeguarded for the Batwa, we feel that supporting them through respectful visits is a worthwhile activity. Like many African women, the Batwa are experts in balancing and carrying heavy loads on their heads.
- Hike to Sempaya Hot Springs
The Sempaya Hot Springs are powerful geothermal springs that can reach a temperature of 100° C! There are two hot springs, separated by about a 30-minute hike. The locals refer to the two springs as the male and female springs.
The hot springs can be found in Semuliki National Park west of Uganda. This is an underrated park boasting the hot springs and a beautiful wetland. It’s also very close to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, making it a great addition to a gorilla trekking trip.
Besides the hot springs, hiking in Semuliki National Park is very rewarding as it’s a gorgeous and ecologically rich park. The Semuliki River runs through it before joining with the Congo River.
The park contains many fascinating Old-World monkeys. Some birds to look out for are the blue kingfisher and dwarf hornbill.
- See the Start of the Nile
Observing the beginning of the Nile is an unforgettable moment. It’s the beginning of the White Nile, which flows to Khartoum in Sudan and merges with the Blue Nile, which rises in Ethiopia. Whatever the case, taking a trip to view this natural wonder is excellent, not least since the boat ride will take you to surrounding communities and is a great afternoon activity.
Take a photo with the monuments, ride a boat over the Nile and into Lake Victoria, view monkeys, and monitor lizards and pythons. Additionally, the location offers camping, nature hikes, picnics, and other events in a breathtaking natural setting. Ideal for those searching for a full-day tour of the Ugandan landscapes and bird watching.
22. Social Innovation Museum
The Social Innovation Museum is a unique place that will inspire you to want to change the world. Social Innovations are dynamic and living; thereby, you will see how they happen and be able to interact with our Social Innovators from the Social Innovation Academy (SINA). Scholars will give you a free tour (tips towards the museum encouraged), tell you their story and what they are working on, and show you our 25+ social enterprises and innovations. Some highlights are our upcycled buildings from plastic bottles and the beautiful hill we are located. We also offer specific workshops (e.g., up cycling plastic bottle construction) and training in social innovation with our facilitators from the Social Innovation Academy (SINA).
- Tour the Crater Lakes
Crater lakes in Uganda are breathtakingly gorgeous. This region, close to Fort Portal, is terrific for exploring on a car, foot, or bicycle. The “most beautiful” of the lakes are thought to be Lake Nkuruba. Visit them during sunrise and sunset for the most beautiful views. The top of the World view, overlooking Lake Nyamirima, is a famous trekking site. Lake Nyabikere has a lone hippo residing there, so preferably avoid going swimming there. While experiencing the morning over Lake Nyamiteza and a cup of tea, I took the photo above. This inexpensive to moderately priced lodge where we were staying was incredibly pleasant.
Shoebill Stork Bird Uganda
- See the Shoebills at Mabamba Swamp
The shoebill is a strange bird. It is large, has a face only its mother could adore, and is renowned for being among the harshest birds in the animal world. When it has two chicks, it frequently favors one placed above a white, usually the bigger or powerful one, and then lets the other one die. The Mabamba Swamp, close to Entebbe and Lake Victoria, is the most prominent location in Uganda where Shoebills can be spotted.
- Climb Mount Elgon
The best trek in Africa is Mount Elgon, located on the border between Uganda and Kenya. On the Ugandan border, the mountain’s height is 4321 meters. You may add a day on both sides of the journey in a guest house near the beginning or terminus. The walk lasts about four days, with three nights on the mountain. Although it is not as tall as Kilimanjaro and is not particularly technical, it is still a decent challenge, so you should have adequate hiking gear.
Tourists must pay $75 to enter the park, covering the guard and operator expenses. Once you’ve conquered the mountain, you may cool yourself in the close-by Sipi Falls, but you’ll also need to budget for the fees for lodging, meals, and porters.
- Travel to Kidepo Valley National Park in the north.
Kidepo Valley National Park is on the boundary between Sudan and Uganda. If you desire to venture off the main road, head to the less popular park. The Kidepo River, the Kanangorok Hot Springs, Mountain Morungule, and the people who live in the area can all be explored by daring adventurers and witnessing the well-known Rothschild giraffes.
- Uganda Wildlife Conservation Education Centre
The Wildlife Uganda Conservation Education Center is 15 minutes from Entebbe Airport, 36 km from Kampala, the capital city of Uganda. The facility provides treatment for injured animals, many of which were the casualties of illegal trafficking, habitat damage, or bush meat trade. Those who can survive in the wild are returned to it. We don’t acquire animals or exploit them for entertainment; instead, we utilize them as ambassadors to support the preservation of wild animals.
Attend our keepers’ and guides’ informative seminars as they discuss their daily interactions with animals.
You can sign up as an animal surrogate mother for a day, participate in behind-the-scenes experiences, or spend a night in our hostel or African cottages as you await your flight or meeting! Our facility is ideal in Uganda for short and long stays/ visits. Secure day and night parking or quick access to public transport/ taxi is just a call away. We are always thrilled to receive you at UWEC Zoo, Entebbe.
- Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary
Ngamba Island Chimp Refuge, which is bordered by Lake Victoria’s serene waters, is host to 49 orphaned chimpanzees that were rescued from all around Uganda. Island amenities provide day and nighttime trips that give visitors a rare chance to get up close and personal with these intriguing great apes in a truly unique environment.
Kidepo Valley National Park
- Uganda Museum
The focus of this little collection is the conventional interactive drumming and other musical tools, even though more prominent and diversified exhibitions are held elsewhere.
- Explore the Uganda Safari parks
The national parks of Uganda are well-kept secrets. They have waterways and lakes for boat trips and regular game drives, making them more luxurious than their Kenyan or Tanzanian counterparts. Queen Elizabeth Nature Reserve’s scenery is breathtaking and dotted with volcano craters against a mountainous backdrop.
Take a cruise down the Kazinga Channel in the park, bordered by elephants, marabou storks, buffalo, and Nile crocodiles.
There are leisurely boats that take you through animals and right up to the base of the waterfalls, where the strong river thunderously squeezes through a 7-meter fissure. Enjoy your morning driving thru this untamed savannah or climb to the peak of the falls. The tiniest national park in Uganda, Mgahinga Gorilla, is home to rare golden monkeys that can be found in the woodlands on volcanoes’ flanks. Lake Mburo National Park is a haven for bird lovers. You can get closer to hyena dens here by taking early morning treks.
- Discover Ugandan culture
Visitors regard Uganda as one of the most excellent African countries, which is why the country’s motto is “you’re welcome.” With up to 80 languages and ethnicities, the land is still primarily tribal, and each village will have its music, dancing, singing, and customs. Amazingly enthusiastic entertainers compete in the southwest to see who can thud their bare feet on the loudest floor while flailing their arms in ecstatic dance. Join the ancient forest residents, the Batwa, as they guide you into their mystical cave in Mgahinga Gorilla Nature Reserve. The Batwa will demonstrate how to gather honey, make a fire, and use spears to “hunt” antelope. The adunc, a stringed instrument of various sizes, is native to the dry northeast. The smallest may fit in your hand’s palm, while the largest resembles a double bass. Learn how to mix the dough, grind millet, prepare medicinal plants, and interact with a traditional blacksmith.
Book a night at Kampala’s excellent Ndere Centre, showcasing music, dancing, costumes, and storytelling from all across the state with engaging descriptions of each region’s heritage and traditions. You won’t have time to experience it all if you’re scared.
Be connected with our traveling staff to learn when is the ideal time to visit Uganda and have an incredible safari in Uganda and East Africa if you wish to go on a safari to see the top 30 things to do in Uganda or if you need assistance in picking for a safari Uganda vacation that suits you.