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Uganda has a plethora of stunning sights and one-of-a-kind activities that you won’t be able to see or do anyplace else. In Uganda Safari Tours, you may not only do mountain gorilla trekking, but you can also stand in two distinct hemispheres at the same time. Uganda, a landlocked country in East Africa’s middle belt, is a joy for African travelers.
Whether your bucket list has gorilla trekking or you want to get away and enjoy authentic African Safari experiences, Uganda will scratch that itch from your travel bug. In the same spirit, we have picked out the things (besides gorilla trekking) that you can see, do and experience in Uganda.
Obviously, this list just touches the surface of what Uganda has to offer in terms of things to do, see, and experience. This post is meant to ‘get your feet wet with ideas for what may be done during a Vacation To Uganda.
Let us get into the list of things you can see, do and experience in the Pearl of Africa. Enjoy.
We mention it, but we don’t actually count it. This is due to the fact that gorilla trekking is a very unique personal experience.
There is a reason why Gorilla Tracking has increased Uganda’s tourism, and that reason is that it is a great experience. The firsthand experience of witnessing these gentle giants go about their everyday lives is beyond words.
Uganda has more habituated gorilla groups for monitoring than any other country, with more than half of the world’s Mountain gorillas.
Recommended Gorilla Trekking Safaris:
With over 5000 chimps in Uganda, chimp tracking is a popular pastime that allows tourists to get up and personal with our closest animal cousins. There are an estimated 1500 chimps in Kibale National Park alone.
The Ishasha sector of Queen Elizabeth National Park is famous for its tree-climbing lions. Almost all visitors to the park undertake the short tracking excursion for these kings of the jungle.
For some years, Rhinos were extinct in Uganda. This was during the era of political instability that didn’t facilitate their proper conservation. Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary has however changed that and reintroduced the white Rhinoceros back in Uganda.
At the Sanctuary, Rhinos can be tracked on foot and the guides do share all the information about how they are planning to re-enter them into the national parks of Uganda.
The Rothchild Giraffe, which has less than 1700 individuals remaining in the world, is another of the rare species that may be found in Uganda – and in large numbers.
Only Uganda and Kenya are home to the Rothschild Giraffe. Uganda possesses most of these giraffes and has just reintroduced giraffes into Pian Upe Wildlife Reserve as part of a larger effort to restore species to areas where they formerly resided.
The elusive shoebill is a must-see bird in Uganda for any birder. It’s amazing to watch the shoebill search for mudfish and other fish in the marshes.
The shoebill may be found in a variety of locations in Uganda, the most frequent of which are Mabamba, Murchison Falls National Park, Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary, and Lake Mburo National Park. While on a shoebill tour, you may come across other bird species, like as the papyrus Gonolek, which shares the same natural environment.
The golden monkeys have a one-of-a-kind look due to their brilliant golden-orange color. Their lively attitude and rapid speeds make the experience both pleasurable and difficult to photograph but all the more worthwhile.
Golden monkeys, like gorillas, are highly endangered and can only be found in the same highlands of Uganda, Rwanda, and Congo. Learn more about golden monkeys’ lives, social interactions, and daily routines.
The reptile village is one of the lesser-known tourist attractions in Uganda. Hidden off the Entebbe -Kampala highway, the reptile village aims to educate people about reptiles and encourage their conservation as well. The village has snakes, tortoises, chameleons, lizards, crocodiles among others.
A trip to the reptile village will kill all your fear of reptiles, especially snakes. As you learn the little details about all these reptiles, you will become more curious and fascinated – than afraid. A visit to the reptile village is usually added and either the beginning of the end of a safari to other attractions around the country. For people whose time is very limiting, a day’s visit to the reptile village is a nice way to break from their tight schedule.
With over 330 animals in Uganda’s national parks, one can spot the big five, all-time favorites like zebra, and a plethora of species that most people would not recognize from a distance. The diversity and number of animals in Uganda are astounding, whether it is the huge elephants or the tree-climbing lions.
With ten national parks to choose from, you can go wherever you want and see whatever you want. Bwindi, Queen Elizabeth, Kidepo Valley, Kibale, and Murchison Falls are the most visited national parks.
With over 1000 bird species documented, every corner of Uganda is rich in birdlife, and birders may enjoy the 1000 bird songs in all parts of the nation. Among the most unusual birds are the Great Blue Turaco, the Shoebill, and the Ibis, among many others.
More than 600 bird species have been recorded at Queen Elizabeth National Park. Because of the abundance of uncommon species, Semuliki, Bwindi, and Kidepo are also popular bird-watching sites.
Hot air balloon excursions provide you a birds-eye perspective of the parks and their wildlife. The bird’s-eye perspective is spectacular, allowing visitors to observe the largest expanses of these national parks. Balloon rides are also excellent photographic opportunities. Hot air balloon trips are available in all of Uganda’s Savannah parks.
This is not available in all the national parks. In Lake Mburo National park, you can enjoy seeing the wild animals as you ride an ATV. This is possible in lake Mburo because of the very few predators that could put humans at risk.
Animals such as lions and leopards are very few which allows the increasing number of grazers like Uganda kob, zebras, eland, and other antelopes. This brings them to frequented places and they can easily be spotted as you ride on an ATV in safe areas.
You may also ride a bike through some parts of the national park and experience your intimate connection with nature and the animals and birds that dwell there. For the same reasons stated above, this is mostly done at Lake Mburo National Park.
You won’t be able to notice a lion pride or a troop of leopards while riding a bike, but that’s hardly something you’d want.
Many people wonder why a boat ride to the bottom of Murchison falls is always talked about as a Ugandan Safari Special. The reason is because of the experience the whole ride brings.
Yes, the boat goes to the bottom of the powerful falls that result from the Nile squeezing through a narrow 7-meter gap and falling more than 40 meters. That is, however, one experience.
The entire boat ride allows sightings of various birds, herds of hippos, Massive Nile crocodiles, and all the other animals that come to drink on the very calm Nile below the falls.
Besides being the world’s longest river and a mystery that baffled the Greeks and Egyptians of old times, the river Nile provides one of the best water rafting experiences in Africa. The River’s force creates powerful rapids, which are incredible for the grade 5 white water rafting so many people love.
White water rafting on the mighty Nile is an adrenaline-pumping sport that many visitors to Uganda cannot leave without experiencing.
This is for the adrenaline chasers who want to take the 40 plus meters and plunge down towards the Nile. If you want to pump even more adrenaline and extend your limits for fun, Bungee jumping is the activity for you.
Dropping down 44 meters to touch the Nile waters will have you screaming in fear, joy, bravery, and all the other emotions. In the end, you will be happier for it – and probably do it some more. This is done with world-class gear and an experienced team to guarantee your safety.
Mabira forest is a natural rain forest located about 44 kilometers from Kampala. This makes it a great spot to visit for a quick day or weekend activity. Ziplining in the Mabira canopy allows you to soar through the rain forest’s highest trees. You will also observe several primates and birds along the route. The 250-meter-long network of five zip lines is outfitted with technology that meets stringent international safety requirements.
Sipi Falls is located in the Kapvhorwa area, 270 kilometers from Kampala. Sipi River flows down from Mount Elgon’s foothills for 7 kilometers, forming four waterfalls. The main falls (seen in the photo) plunges over 100 meters down a cliff.
Sipi is an ideal retreat for those who like nature and trekking. Hiking Sipi Falls is a popular activity among both international visitors and Ugandans and East Africans.
In addition to hiking, Sipi offers a variety of other enjoyable activities to enhance your visit.
Mount Elgon is an extinct volcano on the Uganda-Kenya border. Mt Elgon last erupted 24 million years ago, according to estimates. What could be better than climbing this ancient mountain? Camping atop the caldera’s rim. This is thought to be one of the largest in the world.
Because of the construction of the Owen Falls Dam in the early 1950s, the natural feature associated with the Nile’s origins was buried. The site is still quite interesting, and inscriptions on both banks of the river mark the location of the ancient Rippon falls.
After reaching the Nile’s source, a boat ride on top of the Rippon falls is an exciting experience, with Lake Victoria on one side and the Nile on the other.
Mount Rwenzori is Uganda’s highest peak. The intensity of the endeavor is what makes climbing Mount Rwenzori so dangerous.
While Mt Kenya and Kilimanjaro are both taller than Rwenzori, Rwenzori is a more difficult climb. The basic explanation is that Rwenzori is a mountain range, and when you go to the summit, you will be climbing up and down multiple times a day. Then repeat the process the next day until you reach the summit.
Depending on your strength, you can climb Rwenzori to the highest summit in at least 9 days. This is not for everyone, and extreme caution should be exercised before attempting to Climb Mount Rwenzori. To give you a sense of what to expect, below is a sample Rwenzori Climbing trip to Margarita Peak.
With so many lakes in Uganda, the people who love fish should enjoy catching some of the many fish species in Uganda. Uganda has around 90 fish species in its lakes and rivers. Being able to catch the large Nile Perch from Lake Victoria is a very satisfying feeling.
Here is our article about sport fishing that tells you all the details and where you can actually do sport fishing in Uganda.
The food of any place is the most common way to experience the place. While there are lots of international (world) dishes available in Uganda, from all parts of the world, the local Ugandan food is also very varied and enjoyable.
The most popular dishes include delicacies like Luwombo, Matoke, millet bread, Malewa and Nsenene among others. There are many different subcultures, and each has great food prepared in their own unique way.
The Batwa are commonly referred to as the people of the forest. This is because they have lived in the Impenetrable rain forests of Bwindi, Mgahinga, and the neighboring forests of DRC for as long as they can be traced.
A true cultural experience of the Batwa involves learning about their ways of life that enabled them to sustainably stay in the forests for hundreds of years without harming the biodiversity. The Batwa officially left the forests in 1994 when Bwindi was declared a National Park, but still, stay near the outskirts. They still rely on the forest for things such as medicine.
A cultural experience of the Batwa is usually added as an optional activity to do after you have done gorilla trekking, in either Bwindi or Mgahinga National Parks.
Ssese Islands are a collection of more than 80 small islands in the northwestern part of Lake Victoria. All the islands form what is called the Kalangala district.
In Ssese, you can partake in sport fishing, canoeing, or ATV rides. The sandy white beaches are great for relaxing after an active day. A visit to the Islands is nice for short getaways and very popular for honeymoons and anniversary stays.
Ssese is among our top honeymoon destinations in Uganda and its popularity only keeps rising to new heights.
It is very easy to skip over Kampala nightlife, and that is unfair. Because to fully immerse yourself in the life of a place, seeing how the people live their night plays a big role. Obviously, this is not for everyone as not all people like the nightlife experience.
For someone who likes music, dancing or taking a few drinks, the Kampala that never sleeps would be a whole other experience. An experience worth checking out.
The Kasubi Tombs in Kampala is the burial grounds for four kabakas (Buganda Kings) and other members of the royal family. This is a place of great spiritual and political significance for the Baganda people and is a great example of traditional architecture.
In 2001, it was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage site, and described as “One of the most remarkable buildings using purely vegetal materials in the entire region of sub-Saharan Africa”. The tombs were later included in the list of World Heritage Sites in Danger in July 2010, following a fire that broke out in one of the major buildings in march of 2010.
A visit to Kasubi Tombs, like the visit to Lubiri is a delve into Buganda’s history. This is usually part of the city highlights tour of Kampala and its surroundings.
Boda-boda motorcycles are the most popular form of transport in Uganda. They are especially the easiest way of getting around Kampala in the peak traffic periods.
Using a trusted boda-boda is highly recommended – and easily done through the many ride-hailing apps such as Uber, Safeboda, and Bolt (Taxify).
Taking a boda-boda at the traffic peak hours is not for the light-hearted as the motorcycle will be zipping through the maze of cars and really bending some traffic rules just to get you to your destination. It is another one of ‘those Kampala’ experiences that you get to share with Ugandans.
At Saso Uganda Safaris we would love to see and do this with us if you visited Uganda. We have proven and tried our knowledge and engagement.
Whether you choose a safari package that has already been developed or a customized one that suits your interests, we welcome your request and vow to go beyond to give Uganda’s most extraordinary safari experience. Follow this link at gorillatrips.net that we shall design based on your schedule, budget, and interests in your Uganda Safari.