Uganda “The Pearl of Africa” is efficiently endowed with a variety of habitats plus corresponding flora and fauna with a diversity of attractions to act as a focus for tourist attractions making it the number one tourism destination in the whole of East Africa.
But, what the biggest tourist attractions in Uganda, that you absolutely CANNOT miss out on?
Keep reading to find out.
Biggest tourist attractions in Uganda
Below are some of the activities that visitors can take part in while in Uganda.
Almost half of the population of the rare Mountain Gorillas also referred to as “Man’s shy cousins” are found in Uganda. Gorilla trekking in Uganda is the number one tourist attraction in Uganda and a must do for every visitor to Uganda whether for the first time or not. In Uganda, the activity is done in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park in South-Western Uganda.
Several volcanoes known as the Virungas run through the western section of the East African Rift Valley, forming part of the border between Uganda, Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda. These magnificent mountains are also a haven for the endangered Mountain gorillas hence the activity is also done in Rwanda and Congo.
Tracking the noisy Chimps is another one of the exciting tourist activities in Uganda. Chimpanzees are man’s closest relatives, they mainly communicate by drumming trees, screaming or hooting and are tracked down by following their unique sounds.
Chimpanzee tracking is done in Kibale Forest, Murchison Falls at Kaniyo Papidi and Queen Elizabeth National Park Kyambura Gorge area. An opportunity to watch the impressive chimps climbing, playing, mating, feeding, looking after their young, and responding to the presence of human beings. Plus spending a night in the Kibale jungle six meters up in a tree house.
The Mysterious Tree Climbing Lions of Ishasha
A visit to Queen Elizabeth National Park should include the two hour drive to the Ishasha sector of the Park with its extraordinary tree climbing lions plus other wildlife that is found in the area. Besides Ishasha, these mysterious animals are found in only one other place which is the Lake Manyara region of Tanzania.
Ishasha Plains with its tree climbing lions, its abundant wildlife, its scenery and unique lodging opportunities should not miss on your tour itinerary in East Africa.
Uganda has over 1,000 bird species recorded although it is just about the size of Great Britain. It is a transitional point of the Savannah of East Africa and the western rainforests, making it Africa’s absolute and thrilling birding destination.
With over 10% of the entire world bird species and almost half the bird species known on the African continent, it is the most stunning destination for bird watchers.
Uganda’s 10 most commonly sought after birds include the following; hoe bill stork, African green broadbill, Green-breasted pitta, Nahans francolin, brown chested pullover, Karamoja apalis, black bee eater, rwenzori turaco, red fronted anti pecker, purcell’s illadopsis. There are several guides with expertise in birding who are always ready to give you every detail about birds in East Africa.
Quad biking is an exciting activity where tourists ride on motor bikes while exploring the destination of their choice, the activity is offered mainly at Bujjagali Falls on ”the great River Nile” and does not need any experience. It is a four wheeled bike and can ride on all terrains and very suitable for all age groups.
This is done down the length of the Nile close to the Bujjagali Falls. The exciting safari runs for a number of hours as you explore the beautiful countryside up to top view point. Free training is offered to those who cannot ride and it is done before the safari.
The various packages offered include: a full day, an evening, 3 hours, two hours exploration, and a one hour trip.
The activity is also available for game drives in Lake Mburo National Park where you are able to view game at a very close range and around the “Romantic” Sipi falls on Mount Elgon.
Tourist attractions in Uganda include; national parks, forest reserves, wildlife reserves, cultural heritage sites, specific natural features for example mountain peaks and gorges, areas of specific scenic interest like mountains and craters. Among the significant activities are launch/ boat trips on Lake Mburo, Queen Elizabeth and Murchison Falls National Park, game drives in Queen Elizabeth, Lake Mburo, Murchison Falls and Kidepo Valley National Parks, plus nature walks.
Numerous trail-networks have been intended in most of the protected areas to cater for nature walks, you will enjoy the tranquility of the wild broken now and again by the charming bird melodies and the cool breeze blowing the leaves atop the tropical trees. Unlike other countries in Africa, the word “safari” in Uganda refers to a very close encounter with animals, people, nature and the environment. Ugandan safaris offer a direct, appropriate and uncontaminated experience with wildlife.
Mountaineering, Hiking and Volcano climbing
Many tourists have the desire to participate in activities that provide them with the challenge, thrill or intense experience. Some of these tourists want to test their physical skills in new or unusual ways with activities such as mountain climbing, hiking etc.
Mountaineering on the snow capped Rwenzori Mountains also known as “Mountains of the moon”, hiking on Mount Elgon, “The world’s largest mountain caldera” and Volcano climbing in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park.
The Rwenzori Mountains are at the border of Uganda and Eastern Congo, they provide a charming variety of terrain (from Rainforest to high altitude glaciers). These mountains are not as famous as Kilimanjaro on account of there relative inaccessibility and the effect of rebel activity in the late 1990s, otherwise the area is currently safe and accessible for visitors. A multi-day trip to any of these Mountains is highly recommended for those in love with challenging activities.
White Water Rafting
Uganda offers the best white water rafting on the Mighty River Nile in Jinja as compared to any other place in Africa. This is a must do on your adventure trip to Africa.
Other Water sports include Boat rides, canoeing, kayaking, bungee jumping and swimming on the Nile and the various lakes within the country. The river is gifted with many water falls & rapids, making it a popular water rafting place in the world. There are various opportunities to swim, relax and observe the rich wildlife including the red-tailed monkeys and a variety of birds such as the fish eagle, numerous cormorants and otters.
For those who love the activity and those who want to experience it, Uganda is the place to be. With a third of the country being covered in water, Uganda offers the finest opportunities for sport fishing.
The most common fish caught is the Nile perch which weighs an average of 60Kgs although there is a recorded great catch that weighed 100Kgs. These are plentiful in Uganda’s largest Lake Victoria which is also the 2nd largest in Africa, and also in the mighty river Nile. Other species in the Nile include the ferocious fighter and the tilapia, while the tiger fish is unique to Lake Albert. The Murchison Falls is an additional destination for sport fishermen.
City Tours in Uganda
Not all tourist attractions in Uganda include nature and the outdoors. This includes a trip around the capital area zone. The capital area encompasses Kampala (do a Kampala cultural tour), Entebbe and Jinja (do a Jinja tour) plus areas between them.
Here you get to see the Source of the Nile, Bujagali falls, Ziika forest, Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary, Ssezibwa Falls, Kasubi Tombs, National Museum, Bahai Temple, Uganda Martyrs shrine, Rubaga and Namirembe Cathedrals, Entebbe Botanical and Zoological gardens, Uganda Wildlife Education Center, Theaters like Bat Valley Theater, National theater and Theater La Bonita, Nommo Art Gallery, Cinemas like Cineplex cinema, dancehalls and night clubs, Educational institutions like Makerere University, Namboole stadium, Conference centers, Shopping and marketing places like St. Balikudembe Market (Owino Market).
Cultural Tours in Uganda
Uganda as a country is well endowed with different ethnic groups and cultures hence visitors have the opportunity to explore a diversity of cultures from the cultural dress, food, dances and beliefs. A chance to visit the Batwa “Pygmies” a group of people who have lived most of their lives in the forest feeding on wild fruits and raw meat.
During the even years, the Opening of the circumcision season is on in Mbale for the Bamasaba, don’t miss the exciting Kadodi (Imbalu) dancers plus the real circumcision exercise including a trip to the romantic Sipi Falls and a tour of the Nyero rock paintings.
Ssese Islands trip
Lake Victoria is one of the main tourist attractions in Uganda. The Ssese Island Zone covers all the Islands within Lake Victoria in the territorial boundaries of Uganda. Here visitors enjoy activities such as; bird watching plus other forms of Eco-tourism, scenic viewing, boat rides, sport fishing, swimming and diving, sunset cruises.
Here, you will also find the Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary where visitors can participate in the feeding of the chimpanzees, watch the animals play and most of all contribute to their well-being and overall conservation of the species.
Lake Bunyonyi Trip
Nature’s prime Island Lake Bunyonyi is the deepest Lake in Uganda approximately 6500ft deep, located in Kabale district also known as the Switzerland of Africa. The district is characterized by a cool climate best for a soothing Holiday.
Lake Bunyonyi is dotted with at least 20 small islands with amazing people and historical facts. Here, one can enjoy a weekend getaway from the hustle and bustle of the city, the trip can be included on the itinerary to one of the major destinations or climaxed with a visit to the Batwa (Pygmies) & most of all an encounter with Man’s shy cousins, the gorillas.
Activities around Lake Bunyonyi include; Boat rides, Hiking, Bird watching, cultural visits. Bunyonyi locally means “many small birds.”
Camping Safaris in Uganda
Camping in the wild in Uganda is quite a great experience. Just a piece of cloth between you and the typical African night. A choir of nocturnal birds, insects, laughing hyenas and distant roaring lions lullabies you to sleep. Sitting around an open camp fire having a barbeque dinner with the skies bright over head is the real way of appreciating Africa’s magic. There are several campsites and camping facilitates in all our safari itineraries, to any tourist destination of your choice.