Below is the selection of the top tourist attractions and the things to do in Uganda on your safari. Mentioned are some attractions in the cities, country side and the protected areas;
Gorilla trekking is the main reason as to why Uganda receives many tourists. Most visitors visit Uganda for the adventurous gorilla trekking safaris within the jungles of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga National Park. These primates are only found in Bwindi as well as Mgahinga Forest, these live in groups of around 10 individuals and are led by the most powerful silverback with the rest of the group comprising of females and the younger males. This silverback makes the decision in the group and also protects them from danger.
To view these animals, you can enjoy gorilla safaris from Kisoro which is about 460 km from the capital city of Kampala. Kisoro, is located in a area of Uganda and is in the African Great Lakes region. This is where the African continent is slowly splitting apart revealing the beautiful lake scenery.
on your trip, don’t miss going bird watching in Bwindi National Park; More so, the birds are so great and the forest ranks as one of East Africa’s best regions for birdlife and bird watching. You can have bird watching in some of the lodges like Mahogany Springs safari Lodge as well Nkuringo Gorilla Camp. The guide will also be available to spot many of the fascinating birds that call this forest Home. The main bird species include; the` Turner’s eremomela, Chapin’s flycatchers, Shelley’s crimson-wings, African green broadbills, bee-eaters, Grauer’s swamp warbler, and the abundance of butterflies. The drier months, which are June to August and December to February, are favorable to visit Bwindi and the birders might like the wetter months for a higher chance of seeing more bird activity. You can find some birding trails in the area including; the Ivy river trail, Kashasha river valley, Buhoma waterfall trails, and the Mubwindi swamp trail in Ruhija. Birders visiting the Nkuringo Gorilla Camp who want to focus on endemics have especially enjoyed visiting a small pocket forest named Nombe.
Hiking from Kisoro to Nkuringo and Buhoma; Bwindi has got many different hiking opportunities to see in the area. The local guides will show you the most scenic hiking trails like between the hamlet of Buhoma on the north side of the Bwindi Forest National Park and the town of Kisoro in South western Uganda. There are walking trails between Kisoro and Buhoma that combine with gorilla trekking adventure. A night at Lake Mutanda and cross the next day with a dugout canoe to begin your trek, then follow the village trails to view Fantastic scenery of enjoying rain forest, mountains, lakes and the form of the Land.
Chimpanzee trekking in Kibale National Park; the chimps are the closest relatives to humans and these are found in Kibale national Park, Queen Elizabeth National Park, Budongo forest near Murchison falls national Park. It’s easy to track the chimps in Kibale national park since it’s considered as the best place in the whole of East Africa for seeing the chimpanzees. The most popular trail in the park is the walk from Kanyacnchu Visitor centre, which starts about three hours to visit the chimps and view the wildlife enroute.
The savannah wildlife species in Queen Elizabeth national Park; this national park is the most popular destination with in Uganda. It’s linked to areas of diversity. It contains many different wildlife filled habitants like the forests, savannah, wetlands, savannah grasslands and many lakes. The park is located in the western side of the country with lots of wildlife and the scenic Lake George and Edward. Enjoy game drives in Queen Elizabeth national park and see many animals including; the lions, elephants, antelopes and buffaloes. The boat cruise will expose you to many crocodiles, buffaloes, water birds and many more. The tree climbing lions are found in Ishasha sector.
Golden Monkey Tracking
Golden Monkeys; the golden monkeys are a great group of primates to see in the wild and these can be relatively encountered on the guided walks that are carried out in the forests. There are many different areas to find the monkeys, but the best place for tracking monkeys in Uganda is Mgahinga National Park at the foot of the Virunga Mountains. These monkeys enjoy running around the stands of bamboo forest in the protected areas. These make fantastic add on experiences to enjoy the gorillas and the chimpanzees. These are relatively small animals and are covered with long, golden hair. They are classified as an endangered species and are found in Virunga‘s bamboo forests.
This sanctuary protects Uganda’s wild Rhinos and is situated north of Kampala near the famous Murchison falls. The sanctuary protects 15 Rhinos and is a great place to see other wildlife species including the birds. Get to enjoy bird watching, nature walks and relaxation. The rangers of the sanctuary will guide you around the reserve to find the wildlife, including the rhinos themselves but also crocodiles, hippos, and antelopes. Birders often enjoy the reserve and spend time finding some of the 250 different species.
Murchison Falls Tour
This is a great natural attraction that is located in Murchison falls national park. The park is home to many different animals including; the hippos, crocodiles, lions, leopards, elephants, giraffes, antelopes, chimpanzees and many bird species. It’s the largest national park in Uganda and it’s more scenic with water violently crashing through the narrow, rocky gorge.
Take a Kampala City Tour
This is the capital city of Uganda and it makes a fascinating stop on your Ugandan adventure to enjoy for 1 to 2 days. Ugandan people are so friendly and the city of Kampala offers a more relaxed atmosphere than the nearby countries. The city is so calm and safe and has got stable expat community with many different NGO’s that run humanitarian and conservation projects. Get to enjoy many different markets selling variety of produce, clothing and crafts. View the temples, cathedrals, markets, galleries, areas of historical significance and the museums.
Experience Culture at Ndere Center
The Ndere Centre is recommended attraction to experience the country’s traditional dance and music. Get to enjoy a dinner and theatre performance at the centre to see a high energy show of Ugandan culture. The dances are from different tribes and the show takes place in a 700 seat amphitheatre on Sundays at 6pm.The mission of the center and its dancers and musicians is to help rekindle a sense of pride for Ugandan culture while promoting it to the world. A team of dedicated Ugandans carefully research and respectfully present parts of all the cultures that make up the Ugandan people constantly updating the performances.
Lake Victoria Cruises
This is where the Nile begins which was one of the world’s most historically significant rivers. This is the largest fresh water tropical lake and sits as the jewel in the crown of the African great Lake region. The lake is home to different features like island and reefs. There are 200 species of fish and over 350 different birds. The Islands of Lake Victoria are home to some luxury lodges where you can relax near the glistening waters and take safaris around to view some of these unique features and wildlife. The most common island on the lake is called Ngamba Island famous for chimpanzees.
The lake is located close to Kisoro and Kabale and the near the border with nearby Rwanda. It’s one of the largest of Africa’s lakes by depth and has 29 different islands. This lake is popular for relaxation for the locals. Around the lake, there are towns of Muko and Kyevu where you can enjoy range of lake side accommodation. The main attractions here include; Batwa tribes, islands and the Bird species.
Lake Mburo National Park
This is a small protected area classed as a savannah area that contacting different wildlife like the antelopes, hyenas, hippos, buffaloes, zebras, and many different birds. There are 13 other water bodies in the region, but the star lake is Lake Mburo. Mburo is part of the protected areas wetland system, which is why it’s such a great place for birdlife. There around 350 different bird species to see in the area and it’s a must-visit destination for birders. The common activities to enjoy here include; boat cruises, game drives, guided nature walks and horse riding. The main wildlife species include; zebra, Impala, and many more.
Visit the UNESCO Kasubi Tombs
This attraction will help you learn a little about the recent traditional cultural history of the region. It’s considered as UNESCO World Heritage listed site and the burial grounds of four Ugandan kings and the royal family. It was built in 1882 as the palace of KabakaMutesa 1 and was converted to his tomb following his death. The sites offers information about Buganda culture about how work is done in the palace. The palace is composed of around 35 buildings and around 300 people live on the grounds themselves. A fireplace is in the middle of the area where the fire is kept lit to warm the king’s spirits.
Explore the Shores of Lake Mutanda
It’s a small beautiful lake in the Kisoro district of South western Uganda, which is an area known as little Switzerland, the lake can be visited from Kisoro and resides in the African Great Lakes area at the foot of the Virunga mountains. The lake has got different Islands and is drained by the Rutshuru River. The forests provides home for number of animals and plants including the mountain gorillas. The golden monkeys and the gorillas live in the nearbyMgahinga national park. The forest here is also home to different chameleons, monitor5s and many frog species. You can enjoy a visit to Kyangushu Island and village trips to see how the locals live their lives. Visit the Mutanda Island, which is the largest of the inhabited islands where you can enjoy views of the Congo border, Bwindi National Park, and Lake Mulehe
The Islands are archipelago in Lake Victoria that deserves their own say. It’s located in the North West corner of Lake Victoria and it’s the largest island is Bugala Island where Kalangala town can be found. These islands are home to Bantu people and were a very spiritual location for the local people. The main activity here is fishing and tourism being the main economy. The common wildlife species here include; monkeys, birds, snakes and many more. The island offers attractive scenery and makes an excellent relaxation spot for a few nights as there some accommodation facilities.
Visit the Local Market
The markets in Uganda give a glance into the lives of the local people and make for a great adventure experience for the visitors. There are many different markets to visit in and around Kampala like Owino and Nakasero Markets. Owino is known for its hustle and the activity with chaotic looking stalls while Nakasero is a little more relaxed and a preferred first choice. Get to buy many items like old clothes, fruits as well as food stuffs.
Stand on the Equator
this is a popular attraction which is one of the most famous land marks in the country. This mark shows the part of the earth that receives more sunlight than any other and it’s where you find the world’s most wildlife rich forests. Uganda is one of the world’s areas where the equator passes straight through the country. The main equator land mark is 70km from Kampala towards the southwest of the district and it takes about one hour to arrive in the city. With the different equatorial landmarks, you can enjoy some great photographs to document the moment and to imagine where you actually are in the world. You can then buy a little souvenir to remember the area, enjoy internet facilities to send someone an email from the equator, and relax with a coffee thanks to the renovations made by the Duke of Edinburgh in 2007.
Apart from the above, there are many other tourist attractions in Uganda including; the source of the Nile, different types of food and many more.