This section of the Uganda Tourist is to showcase some of Uganda’s favorite holiday destinations. From epic adventurous treks to the mountain gorillas to relaxing escapes like the Ssese Islands in the Lake Victoria, we have holiday destinations of interest to all travelers of Uganda.
We welcome your feedback on your favorite holiday destination, so if you have a region, town or special place in Uganda, that we have not covered as yet – tell us about it, and we will happily investigate, research and enjoy your destination and then feature it for other travellers of Australia to enjoy. If you have any comments – good or bad about any of the destination, please send them along also, as we love to keep our readers informed and up to date for the best holiday experiences. Thank you for visiting our Top Uganda Destinations, come back regularly as we keep including more of your favorite place to holiday in Uganda.
List of Travel Destinations
There are many exciting places to visit in Uganda.
Must Visit Places
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
Welcome to one of the richest Eco-systems in Africa. Bwindi has more than 125 different species of mammals, 250 species of butterflies, 300 species of birds, 27 species of frogs, and other lizards plus many more other endangered species.This is one of the most diverse forests in East Africa, with at least 1,500 flowering plant species including 200 species of trees and 105 species of ferns.
While you are in Uganda the Pearl of Africa, never miss to tour the longest River in Africa, R. Nile. River Nile has its source in Jinja, Uganda and its waters shared among 11 countries. Egypt and Sudan in Africa majorly depend on the Nile. You really don’t want to miss remarkable features at the source of this amazing flow.
Mountain Rwenzori, previously Ruwenzori Ranges or Mountains of the Moon borders Uganda and Democratic Republic of Congo. The mountain peak (Approx. 5000m) is constantly snow capped. During its Uplift formation, approx. 3 Million years ago; it resulted into formation of three African Great Lakes: Lake George, L. Albert and L. Edward.
Places to Visit by Region
There are several destinations that you can visit in Uganda. Here are the top places to visit in Africa.
- There are several game reserves in Northern Uganda.
Most of the areas of interest to travelers are in the south-west part of the country, a side branch of the famous and volcanically active Great Rift Valley, with the exception of Jinja and Murchison Falls. Gorilla tracking draws most foreign tourists, and there are several troops of gorillas that can be visited in at least three different locations. Book gorillas tracking permits well in advance (6 months or more) to avoid disappointment. In Uganda there are so many tour companies that can arrange your Uganda safari
Rwenzori Mountains – Interesting to the traveller is also the Rwenzori Mountains area near Kasese town. Here you can climb Mt. Margherita (5109 m/16,761 ft), go safari in Queen Elizabeth NP and experience the culture of the Bakonzo mountain people at Mitandi.
Major Cities and Towns in Uganda
Kampala is a bustling African city. If you like the African urban vibe, are comfortable haggling for produce or are willing to share a pack of cigarettesand chat up the locals, then you could have an interesting day of it. Sadly, though, there is not much of interest for sightseeing, but it is not a particularly dangerous place to be in the city centre around the major hotels.
The National Museum is interesting but rather sad and run down and the colonial architecture of various buildings (particularly in Old Kampala) is nice but unexceptional.
A visit to the Tombs of Buganda Kings at Kasubi is a great way to spend an entire day. The tombs are a world heritage site. The guides are more than happy to talk to you all day about all aspects of Buganda Culture, history, politics and language. A great first stop in Uganda. The market in Kampala is particularly impressive, just hop on a boda-boda and ask for the market.
Entebbe is built around the shores of Lake Victoria and is primarily active as the location of the airport, The Uganda Government house, the State House, was relocated to the town of Entebbe in November 2007. The drive to or from Kampala is about an hour. The United Nations uses Entebbe as a depot and staging area for their vehicles and heavy equipment that are part of peace keeping and other missions in the central African region.
Entebbe offers a relaxed stopover alternative to Kampala on your way into or out of the country by airplane, as the air is clean, the streets are safe to walk, and the old colonial gardens and parks with the lake in the background make for a serene atmosphere. The old Botanical Gardens, while tired, will be of interest to botanists and birders unlikely to see specimens in the wild.
Jinja is the world-famous source of the Nile, and in Uganda more famously the source of Nile Beer. This is a popular destination for backpackers for its white-water rafting. Three main operators work the rapids, offering a range of options, including body surfing, kayaking lessons and a video or DVD of the experience afterwards.
It is possible to arrange a day trip from any travel agent in Kampala. Be sure to use sunscreen! Bungee jumping, quad biking and zip wire across the Nile are all possible in Jinja, the adrenaline adventure capital of East Africa. Party until dawn after your activities at Nile River Explorers campsite.
Fort Portal in Western Uganda is generally considered Uganda’s most attractive settlement. Approached from Kampala through extensive tea plantations, it contains some fine old buildings and a superb Rwenzori backdrop.
Kabale town in Uganda is a small city in the far south of the country. There is not much to do, but it is the stopover to go to Lake Bunyonyi.
Kisoro is a town near Congo and Rwanda. There is nothing much out here, but it is the stopover to visit the National Park. A climb up the volcano could be done as a day trip from Kisoro town.
Fact about National Parks in Uganda
The national parks are beautiful and, on the whole, uncrowded. . Prices in several parks seem to be set at 20 (1 day), 35 (2 days),.. An ISIC student card cuts you a 25% off the entrance fees these days.
Ajai Game Reserve is in northern Uganda and boasts a new deluxe safari camp now under construction. A small reserve at 16,600 hectares, located on the east bank of the Albert Nile. Animal relocation from Murchison Falls National Park to Ajai are underway by Uganda Wildlife Authority.
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is the primary gorilla tracking location. There are troupes reached from Buhoma (north) and a new troupe reached from the south at Nkuringo.
Mgahinga Gorilla National Park is at the confluence of Rwanda and the DRC. One gorilla troop can be tracked from here, but its range sometimes takes it into one of the other two countries, so may not be accessible. The Virunga Mountains are the dramatic spine of the park, recently active volcanic peaks. Much other remarkable wildlife is in this often overlooked park.
Kafu River Basin Is an area in central Uganda that is managed and being developed by Uganda Wildlife Safaris Ltd. It is an area with considerable wildlife, but is outside the boundaries of any Park or Reserve. However wildlife migrates through this area and exists on several of the huge ranches up against the Kafu River.
Kidepo Valley National Park located in the extreme North East corner of Uganda on the Sudan border. Incredible wildlife here that comes right up to the Apoka Lodge. Elephant, zebra, Nile buffalo, kob often visit the lodge.
Lake Mburo National Park located in southern Uganda. Use Mihingo Lodge just outside the park and take horse-back safaris from here.
Murchison Falls National Park offers a very nice boat (15000 USh.) trip getting surrounded by crocodiles and hippos. The nearby waterfall is dramatic and beautiful, as the entire Nile river plunges down 45 m (150 ft) and through a 7 m (23 ft) wide crevice. It is possible to do safaris – Murchison is full of a variety of wildlife, including elephants, giraffes, hartebeest, buffalo, and a few lions and leopards.
For now it is still a little bit difficult to get as independent traveller. Take an early bus to Masindi town in Uganda and then try to arrange for transport to bring you to the park. With some luck you could get a free ride with the rangers. Or you could base out of Ajai Safari Camp and join one of the safaris that visits the park.
Queen Elizabeth National Park has several parts to it, but the main section between Lake Edward and Lake George is a more concentrated version of East African parks as far as animals are concerned, although with less splendid vistas unless the mist-shrouded Ruwenzori Mountains are visible. The Ugandan Kob is an endemic antelope (and is on the coat of arms along with the crested crane, including on currency). Worth considering is a drive among volcanic crater lakes on the south edge of the Ruwenzoris. Kazinga channel has the greatest concentration of Hippos in Africa in this park and the park is home to the famous tree climbing lions.
Kibale Forest National Park near the town of Fort Portal town in Uganda is famed for chimpanzee tracking and is highly recommended. Twitchers will know that some of the best birding in central Africa is here too. The Kasese Crater Lakes are in the area.
Rwenzori National Park is a mountain range in south-west Uganda bordering the Democratic Republic of Congo. It is 120 km (75 mi) long and 48 km (30 mi) wide with its highest peak at Mt. Stanley (5109 m/16,761 ft). The range was first described in the 2nd century by ancient Greek astronomer Ptolemy as the “Mountains of the moon”, and first ascended in 1896 by Italian explorers. By the end of 2006, its ice cap has retreated from 6.4 square kilometres (2.5 sq mi) a century ago, to less than a 1.28 square kilometres (0.5 sq mi). In the Rwenzori Mountains near Fort Portal you find Mitandi. The place represents an unique opportunity to explore the mountains and get to know the culture of the local Bakonzo mountain people of Uganda.
Facts about The Islands in Uganda
Ssese Islands is a beautiful stretch of islands on Victoria Lake with isolated beaches and a bit of jungle. Jungle walks you could easily manage on your own, spending half a day. Beware that there is bilharzia in Victoria Lake, so if you swim, go check up with the doctor afterwards. However, you can expect to spend around 8 hours getting to the Ssese islands. As an alternative, Busi island can be reached in around 45 minutes from Entebbe. there is a camp site, with a small number of beds in a dorm and some bandas which are presently under construction.
Lake Bunyonyi is a charming lake dotted with little islands you could relax on. The area is considered to look a bit like Switzerland.
Ngamba Island is small fascinating island of Lake Victoria where Ngamba Chimpanzee Sanctuary is located. The Sanctuary was established in the October 1998 as a project to take care of young orphaned Chimpanzees. When they grow up, they are taken to the forest to live in a natural environment. Chimpanzee tracking safaris to Ngamba Chimpanzee sanctuary take place all year round.