Popular Tourist Activities in Uganda
Uganda, a country that’s situated in the East of Africa is one of the top tourist destinations known globally and this is attributed to the number of wildlife species, physical features like lakes, rivers, mountains and more, plants species and many others that can be found in this country. It’s the same reason as to why Winston Churchill even named it the ‘pearl of Africa’.
While in Uganda, there various activities you will be able to carry out in its 10 national parks, 12 wildlife reserves and 13 wildlife sanctuaries where many species reside. Among them is gorilla trekking which is carried out in the parks of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga gorilla National Park. A number of travelers visit Uganda to see the endangered mountain gorillas but its during this time that they get to know a lot that the country has that does attract their attentive.
Uganda is home to big five game animals that is lions, buffaloes, hippos, leopards, rhinos and elephants that can be seen in the parks of Queen Elizabeth national park, Murchison falls National Park, Ziwa rhino sanctuary, Kidepo Valley National Park where you will see the lions among other parks. Other wildlife species that you will be able to see while on a safari to Uganda include; giraffes, golden monkeys, birds, zebras, crocodiles, waterbucks, hyenas, monkeys, chimpanzees, Uganda kobs, elands and many more others. The country is not only home to incredible wildlife species but also the beautiful scenic views of the mountains like the Gahinga, Sabinyo and Muhavura volcanoes situated in the south west part of the country, the lakes of Bunyonyi, Lake Victoria, crater lakes found in the western part of the country, the source of river Nile, Murchison falls, the Sipi falls, calderas and many other physical features that you will be able to see while on a safari to Uganda.
Your safari is not only memorable while your out there in the wild but also being in Uganda’s top urban centers is a rewarding experience. In Kampala, there’s a lot you will discover from visiting the national theatre, Uganda museum, the beaches found in the Entebbe area and more. On top of that you will be able to enjoy the nightlife in the Uganda as many of citizens go out into the nightclubs, restaurants and more as they break their day. Ugandans are very welcoming and hospitable and this can be witnessed by the growing number of refugees who reside in the country.
Things to do while in Uganda
Gorilla trekking: your safari in Uganda is incomplete if you don’t get a chance to see man’s closest relative in his natural habitat. Mountain gorillas in Uganda can be found in two distinct locations of Mgahinga Gorilla National Park and Bwindi Impenetrable National Park with Bwindi home to half of the world’s population of these species.
They do consist 98% of human’s DNA. Seeing gorillas as they feed, play is an experience every person deserves to through. Its breathe taking. To go gorilla trekking, you will need a gorilla trekking permit that can be purchased from the Uganda Wildlife Authority. You can checkout our 3 days gorilla trekking Bwindi safari.
Tree climbing lions: imagine climbing a tree thinking you’re safe from the lions, that’s not the case with lions in the Ishasha province of Queen Elizabeth National Park. These incredible lions developed the skill to escape insect bites, parasites and to have clear view of their prey. They are best seen during the game drives as they relax on tree branches. While in Queen Elizabeth National Park, you will also get the opportunity to track lions in the Kasenyi area. Lions are tracked using the GPS. The sensor is inserted into a collar which is then put around the neck of a lioness and this is done after tranquilizing it. During the tracking, you may get an opportunity to get close to these lions something that not every tourist experiences and also get to collect samples with a team of researchers.
Chimpanzee tracking: Uganda is also home to another incredible species and these are chimpanzees that can be found in Kibale Forest National Park which is also referred to as the ‘primate paradise’ of Africa as it consists a larger number of primates than any other place in Africa. Other areas you can see the chimpanzees include Kyambura godge in Queen Elizabeth National Park, Budongo forest, Semiliki wildlife reserve.
Chimpanzee tracking involves going into the jungle in search of the endangered species of chimpanzees. These species are fun and entertaining compared to gorillas which are always in one place, feeding, gassing and playing. For the case of chimpanzees, you will be able to see them hang and play on tree branches, make noise within the forest and more. on spotting them, you will be given time of upto 1hr to observe and take as many photos as you wish of these species. Its exciting to be part of this acitivity and you can check our our 3 days chimpanzee tracking safari.
Visit local markets: local markets are a better way you can easily observe how Ugandans live their day to day lives. Here you will be able to meet different people from different communities all in one place to get what to prepare back home. Every district in Uganda has a number of markets where you will be able purchase local foods like matooke, both irish and sweet potatoes, cassava, vegetables, and a lot more. While in Kampala, look out for the popular owino market where you will almost everything from clothing, shoes both new and used, food stuff. The market is always congested with a number of people but it will offer you a a memorable experience while on your safari in Uganda. Other markets you can look out for include the Nakasero market, Nakawa market and others.
Local foods: this is an exciting activity that you definitely have to try out. Uganda has lots of local dishes that you have to try out. When you hear Ugandans order for something referred to as ‘rolex’ they aren’t meaning the popular Rolex watch but they mean something to eat. This delicacy which initially reffered to as ‘rolled eggs’ is a mixture of eggs, tomatoes, cabbages, onions and some little salt and once its ready it will be rolled within a chapati. Yummy right! You can easily access this on each street in Uganda. That’s how popular it is. Other local dishes you can try out include the Luwombo of any kind, Katogo which is a mixture of matooke and ground nut paste and a lot more other dish.
Tour Kampala: Kampala is the capital city of Uganda and this city has a lot to offer to travelers looking forward to enjoying what it does have within its boundaries. The incredible night life is something you can expect to see. areas you can visit while in Kampala include, the Uganda martyrs’ shrine in Namugongo. This place holds a strong significance especially to the catholic community in Uganda. In 1886, the then Kabaka of Buganda kingdom Kabaka Mwanga II ordered the massive killing of every who was believed to believe in Christianity. And 45 people were assassinated. Every year on the 3rd of June Ugandans around and people from different countries come to Namugongo to celebrate these saints. Another place to visit while on the safari is the Entebbe beaches where you will see waves of water as they hit the shore, fresh and cold air and there’s always lots of activities and foods to eat.
You can as well check out Namirembe cathedral, the Uganda national museum, national theatre and more. Another area you shouldn’t miss out exploring is one of the world’s largest fresh water lake which is Lake Victoria. While here you will discover the source of River Nile in Jinja. You can choose to take part in a number of activities on this river including tubing, white water rafting, sport fishing and more. Its on Lake Victoria that you will also find the Ssese island where Ngamba chimpanzee sanctuary is situated. The lake has also a number of bird species that you’ll be able to see.
Golden monkey tracking: this is another popular activity you can carry while on your safari in Uganda. These incredible species are only found in Mgahinga gorilla National Park which is part of the Virunga mountains where they are endemic. Golden monkeys are unique with bright colored eyes, golden fur mixed with orange and in most cases, you will see them as they hang on tree branches. These species are thought to be the sub species of blue monkeys and can only be seen in Congo, Uganda and Rwanda.
Hiking in Uganda: Uganda is the perfect spot where you will discover a lot during hikes. There several areas you can do this in Uganda and they include: Mountain Rwenzori which has its highest peak as Margherita is one of the challenging mountains to hike but once you reach the summit you will be stunned by the snow-capped beautiful scenes you will find on top. Its an amazing experience that everyone deserves to experience.
Another place that you will definitely enjoy while on the hike, is Mount Sabinyo that once you hike it upto the summit you will be in three countries at the same time that is Uganda, Rwanda and DRC without a visa. While on the hike you will be enjoying the incredible scenic views of Virunga mountains along with discovering several wildlife species. You can as well do the hiking in Uganda’s national like Kidepo Valley National Park, Lake Mburo National Park, Murchison Falls National Park, Bwindi impenetrable National Park and more.
Murchison falls; situated within Murchison Falls National Park, is Murchison falls which is the most powerful waterfall in the world and it’s formed as a result of river Nile forcing its way through the 8-meter gorge making the thunderous sound. the falls make a mist like splash that leads to the formation of the rainbow which is seen in many photos taken. However much the falls are the highlight of your safari while in Murchison falls national park, you can as well choose to go see several wildlife species both along the Victoria Nile where you will see crocodiles, hippos, several bird species or within the park where you will see wildlife species like the giraffes, lions, buffaloes, Bushbucks, Elephants, Hartebeests, Oribs, waterbucks, warthogs, hyenas and many others
Kasubi tombs: Located in Kampala, Kasubi tombs are yet another place you can visit especially tourists on a cultural safari. This is the place where the last four kings of Buganda Kingdon were buried. The tombs hold a strong significance for the people of Uganda and its very well respected. At its core on the hilltop is the former palace of the Kabaka of Buganda, built in 1882 and converted into the royal burial ground in 1884.
Other activities you can do while on a safari in Uganda visiting Ziwa rhino sanctuary, going for a safari in Lake Mburo National Park, Queen Elizabeth National Park, hike to the Sipi falls, royal palaces like in Tooro Kingdom, Bunyoro Kingdom, birding, spot fishing, visit the hot springs in Semiliki National Park, Nyero rock paintings