Uganda

Uganda is a landlocked country in east Africa bordering Kenya in the west, Tanzania in the north and DRC in the east. It has numerous cities such as jinja, Mbarara, masaka, gulu and Kampala serving as its capital city

 

Though a relatively small country, Uganda has a lot of rewarding safari experiences to offer some of which include visiting the longest t river in the world and the endangered mountain gorillas.

 

Places to visit in Uganda

Most of the popular places to visit in Uganda are or in the 10 national parks spread across the country. There is also other places outside national parks that one can visit on their Uganda safari.

 

Your safari in Uganda can start from the central region and move towards the east, north east then to the north west, west and end in the south west or vice versa

 

Entebbe city tour

Upon arrival at the airport, a tour around Entebbe would  be ideal to help you relax from the long way as you go around one of Uganda’s iconic cities. This place is home to the presidential statehouse, the international airport, numerous beaches, the Uganda wildlife conservation centre also known as the zoo, landing sites, botanical gardens, hotels and other administrative buildings.

You can decide to stop at one of the beaches and enjoy the local cuisines during your trip.

Entebbe offers numerous activities including, boat cruising, zoo tour, swimming at different hotels and beaches, evening walks, among others.

Accommodation is at different hotels like k hotels, protea by marriott, lake victoria hotel and other guest houses.

 

Kampala city

Kampala is the capital city of Uganda and a major business area for people. It also serves as the as the administrative and legislative centre for the country. This place has a number of places you can visit for example, the parliament, different markets, the kings palace and lake, mosques, national museum and the list is un ending. You can choose to walk, ride, or go for a boda boda ride to get a better experience.

Accommodation is offered by different hotels like serena, sheraton and a multiple of other smaller hotels and guest houses

 

Jinja city

Located in eastern Uganda, jinja is home to the worlds longest river, the Nile. When you visit the source of this river, you are taken on a boat cruise to the exact spot where the river is believed to begin flowing from. There are also other places you can visit on your way to jinja like griffin falls camp, Sezibwa falls, busowoko and itanda falls where you will have amazing water experiences.

 

Mount Elgon national park- the world’s largest mountain caldera

Mount Elgon, found at the border of Uganda and Kenya, makes up the park, has the largest volcanic base in the world and is also the oldest and largest volcanic mountain in East Africa with the 4th highest peak in East Africa and 8th on the continent standing at a height of 4,321m. it is is home to over 300 species of birds, including the endangered Lammergeyer.

At the park, you can choose to do an excursion hike or go on the 5 days trip to the peak of waggagai.

 

Kidepo valley national park-the true African wilderness

Kidepo Valley National Park is a breathtaking wilderness area located in northeastern Uganda known for its stunning landscapes, abundant wildlife, and rich cultural heritage, it is often regarded as one of Africa’s hidden gems. The park covers an area of approximately 1,442 sq km and is nestled between the rugged hills and valleys of the karamoja region, bordering South Sudan to the north and Kenya to the East.

At this park, one gets to see different animals like ostriches, valleys, hills, some seasonal rivers and hot springs while embarking on different activities like game drives and nature walks

Accommodation is provided by lodges like apoka safari lodge

 

Murchison falls national park-the worlds most powerful waterfall

Formerly known as Kabalega national park, Murchison falls is the largest and oldest national park in Uganda with a coverage area of 3840 sq km. It is famous for having the world’s most powerful waterfall that emits large volumes of water about 300 cubic meters per second through a 7-meter-wide gorge at a very powerful pressure that causes its surrounding to tremble. It is also one place where one gets to meet 4 of the African big five animals and a multiple of other animals and birds.

 

Activities here include launch trips, top of the falls visit, game drives, birding, launch to bottom of the falls and nature walks. Accommodation is offered by different lodges such as the pakuba safari lodge, chobe safari lodge.

 

Ziwa rhino sanctuary

Ziwa Rhino and Wildlife Ranch is the proud home of the only white rhinos in Uganda located in Nakasongola district. This and the zoo in Entebbe are the only 2 places where one can get to see rhinos in Uganda.

 

There is also a wide variety of bird species and other wildlife besides rhinos.

Activities here include Rhino trekking, birding tours, nature hikes, night-time nature walks and a shoe bill trek & canoe ride. This tour can be done on your way to or from Murchison falls national park.

 

Mt Rwenzori national park- a mystic journey

Mount Rwenzori national park is located in western Uganda, bestriding the border between Kasese, Bundibugyo, and Ntoroko districts covering the Rwenzori Mountains range, which are the third highest mountain range in Africa and extend along the western edge of the East African Rift Valley.

 

The park, covering an approximately 996 square kilometers is home to diverse wildlife species, including mammals, birds, and reptiles. Some of the notable animal species found in the park include elephants, chimpanzees, colobus monkeys, giant forest hogs, and various bird species like the handsome francoline, unique and endemic species, such as the Rwenzori three-horned chameleon.

 

The popular activity here is hiking the mountain which is via the 7-8 day central circuit or the 7-8 day kilembe trail. The kilembe trail begins at kilembe at 1,450m. It is rough and complicated, very steep and requires you to use a lot of energy in the hiking process. It was opened as an alternative route to be used by Rwenzori mountaineers to reach the peak, although it was first followed by Professor Scott Elliott in 1895, he didn’t succeed to the Peak.

 

The central circuit on the other hand is considered an ideal route to the peak is because it is easy and less challenging for hikers that are not fit. It also has numerous things to offer to hikers like views of the portal peaks like baker, speke.

 

Accommodation during this trek is provided at the different stop points.

One needs to be physically fit to complete this trek as it can be challenging even via the ideal routes. One also needs to make sure they are In perfect health to handle the cold and altitudes.

 

Semuliki national park – the true birders haven

Semuliki national park is a protected area in western Uganda found in the Albertine rift valley, named after river Semuliki that flows through its eastern boundary.

The park is also home to the famous Sempaya hot springs made up of the male and the female hot springs. The Male Hot Springs is the larger of the two and is characterized by a boiling geyser that shoots hot water and steam high into the air. The water can reach temperatures of up to 103 degrees Celsius (217 degrees Fahrenheit) while the female hot spring is a natural pool of hot water without the geyser-like activity.

This biologically diverse region also provides shelter to a further 120 mammals and over 435 bird species and this is why it is known as the true birders haven.

Activities here include birding, visiting the hot springs, launch trip on the Semuliki river and nature walks. After your days’ activities, accommodation can be provided by lodges like Semuliki Safari Lodge and Ntoroko Game Lodge

Queen Elizabeth national park-a medley of wonders

Queen Elizabeth National Park is a renowned wildlife conservation area located in southwestern Uganda. Established in 1952, it is one of the oldest and most popular national parks in the country, spanning an area of approximately 1978 sq km. Th e park is named after Queen Elizabeth 11 of England to commemorate her visit to Uganda in 1954. The parks ecosystem supports variety of wildlife, making it a top destination for wildlife and nature lovers. It is home to over 95 mammal species, including the famous African elephants, tree climbing lions, buffaloes, hippos, leopards and many antelope species such as Uganda Kob.

While at the park, one can engage in activities like game drives, climbing lion tracking, boat cruises, nature walks and birding. The park is also home to 4 of the big 5 animals in Africa making it a worthwhile experience.

 

Accommodation here is provided by lodges like Mweya safari lodge, Kasenyi safari camp, ishasha wilderness camp and others.

 

Kibale national park-the primate capital of the world

Kibale national park is a protected area in western Uganda known for its largest population of chimpanzees in Africa. It is estimated that the park is home to over 1,500 chimpanzees, making it one of the best places in Africa to observe these fascinating primates in their natural habitat. The park also supports a wide array of other wildlife, including 13 species of primates, over 300 bird species, and various mammals, reptiles, and amphibians.

 

The best activity for you here is chimpanzee trekking and habituation yet you can choose to also add things like cultural encounters and nature walks.

Accommodation here is provided by lodges like Primate Lodge Kibale, Kyaninga Lodge and Ndali Lodge.

 

Bwindi impenetrable national park

Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is a remarkable protected area located in southwestern Uganda. Renowned for its incredible biodiversity and unique conservation efforts, Bwindi National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that holds great significance for both wildlife enthusiasts and conservationists.

 

The name Bwindi means dark and as one hikes in this forest, he will soon discover why it is called dark and impenetrable. The park’s dense, ancient rainforest is characterized of a network of lush vegetation, steep slopes, and deep valleys. This thick forest provides a haven not only for the gorillas but also for a wide range of other wildlife species, including chimpanzees, monkeys, elephants, antelopes, and numerous bird species. The park boasts more than 120 mammal species, over 350 bird species, and various reptiles and amphibians.

The park’s famous activities is gorilla trekking and habituation alongside Batwa cultural encounters. There is other couples like nature walks, painting and art work, guided children walks that can be done after the long gorilla visits.

Gorilla trekking in Bwindi is done in 4 sectors namely: Rushaga, Ruhija, buhoma and nkuringo all of which are home to different gorilla families.

Accommodation in this park is provided by a number of lodges some of which include buhoma lodge

 

Mgahinga gorilla national park-where silver meets gold

Mgahinga Gorilla National Park is a captivating protected area located in southwestern Uganda sitting high in the clouds at an altitude of 2,227m and 4,127m boasting over 76 mammals which include elephants, giant forest hog, bush pigs, bush back, Buffaloes, leopards and a bird checklist of over 180 species and most importantly the gorillas and the golden monkeys.

In this park, one can see golden monkeys, mountain gorillas, different bird species, volcanoes like sabinyo, Mgahinga, muhabura and other small mammals like monkeys. Activities include gorilla trekking and habituation, golden monkey trekking and habituation, volcano climbing and nature walks. Accommodation is by lodges like mount gahinga lodge, amajambere Iby’iwacu community camp.

 

One needs to book gorilla and golden monkey trekking or habituation permits in advance to avoid missing out on the activities.

Lake mburo national park-whispers of the wild

Lake Mburo is a compact gem located along the Kampala – Mbarara highway, connecting the central region to the west. It is the smallest of Uganda’s national parks covering 370 sq km and is home to over 350 bird species as well as zebras, impalas, buffaloes. The park offers a unique combination of acacia woodlands, savannah grasslands, and wetland habitats, creating a rich and vibrant ecosystem

 

After a long drive from the deep west, a stop at this park, on your way to Kampala is a rewarding experience. Here, you get to do horseback rides, game drives, boat rides on the lake, game drives and nature walks. During these activities, you can spot animals like the impalas, zebras, and hippos as you cruise of the lake.

At the end of your day, you can go to places like mburo safari lodge for your accommodation.

 

Igongo cultural centre

Located 12 kilometers from Mbarara city centre on the Mbarara – Masaka high way, Igongo Cultural Center and Country Hotel stands out and provides a warm welcome into the city.

Igongo has the largest museum in Western Uganda (Eriijukiro) and combines this with a crafts shop where you will be find a vast collection of local artefact from all over greater Ankole. At Igongo also, you get to learn more about the 1520 AD Biharwe Eclipse monument that is situated atop the hill directly across from the hotel

 

Some of the Popular Uganda safari packages

1 day jinja trip

1 day Kampala city tour

3 days Murchison falls national park

5 days Bwindi impenetrable to Mgahinga gorilla national park

10 days primate safari

14 day Uganda safari adventure, wildlife tour and gorilla trekking

 

Notes

Uganda can be visited all year round though one should put into considerations what activity they are going for before booking in a certain season. For example gorilla trekking is best done in the dry season so its important to always check for weather updates before booking a trip.

 

You should also visit a forex bureau to get some local currencies and smaller notes that you will need along the way

For overseas tourists, make sure you check with your embassy for the visa requirements before booking your trip.