Things to do in Uganda
Uganda is a landlocked country in East Africa whose diverse landscape encompasses the snow-capped Rwenzori Mountains and immense Lake Victoria with abundant wildlife like chimpanzees, birds, and mountain Gorillas in Bwindi impenetrable national park, and Mgahinga national park. Murchison falls national park located in the Northwest known for its 43meter gorge mighty waterfall and wildlife species like elephants, and hippos among others making the ‘Pearl of Africa’ by Winston Churchill.
Mountain Gorillas are the main attraction that attracts 1,000 tourists to the country with other primates like chimpanzees, monkeys, and baboons making Uganda the best place to have a safari in Uganda. Some of the activities to done in Uganda include;
Uganda has half of the world’s overall population of mountain Gorillas which are found in two national parks Bwindi impenetrable national park and Mgahinga national park. Mountain Gorillas are endangered species because of the high rate of poaching in those years but they have slightly increased due to the restrictions governing the park. The Bwindi impenetrable national park has 17 habituated Gorilla groups open for tourists to interact with Gorillas; the rest are habituated in Mgahinga national park.
Gorilla trekking is the best experience because visitors have a chance to go for Gorilla Habituation whereby you get time to spend with the Gorillas is high though the experience but a bit expensive. A person going to Bwindi impenetrable national park by road takes 8 hours from Kampala.
For the nature lovers, the journey allows you to view the beautiful scenery in the surrounding, landscapes, forests, water bodies, mountains, and valleys, referring it to the ‘Switzerland of Switzerland you can also use a charted flight from Entebbe or Kajjansi for the Gorilla safari.
These are rare cats found in the ishasha in Uganda which is also found in Lake Manyara in Kenya and South Africa. The lions are slightly reduced after six of them are killed by poachers but during the tracking session, the GPS is put on a collar or around the lion which makes them easily accessed by tourists and researchers.
Lion tracking is the only activity where tourist vehicles are allowed to drive deeper into the park so as to follow the lions along the Kasenyi sector. The lions are mostly found in the trees resting or feeding on their prey.
Uganda Maytrs shrine and cathedrals
During your trip to Uganda, you might want to check out the famous cathedrals like Rubaga cathedral which is the Roman Catholic Cathedral that was built in 1914 on one of Kampala’s hills. The cathedral is where the priests and Bishops reside and also where the cemetery for the Bishops and priests is found. During the visit, you will be able to view the beautiful interior and artifacts.
Namirembe Cathedral which is for the Anglican faith built in 1919 and is where the top officials of the Anglicans are found.
Namugongo Martyrs shrine which is the best place for the mission trips where 25 young Christians were burnt alive by the orders of Kabaka Mwanga11 of Buganda in 1886 because they refused to denounce their Christian faith.
Is the largest waterbody in Uganda which is shared by three countries that is Uganda, Kenya, and Tanzania? This is where the river Nile starts its journey to Egypt and has over 198 species of fish and 355 bird species.
Nile perch is the dominant fish species and the largest fish in Africa. Lake Victoria has many of Uganda‘s hotels and lodges such as Lake Victoria hotel and you can get onto a boat to have a cruise to the islands.
Chimpanzee trekking in Kibale Forest National park.
Kibale forest national park is the ‘primate capital of Africa because of the large number of chimpanzees found in the park with over 1,500 individuals of chimpanzees with 3 communities habituated.
Kibale forest national park is located in the western part of Uganda close to Queen Elizabeth national park it is among the few parks where visitors can go for chimpanzee habituation which is expensive but you can get to spend enough time with chimpanzees with the researchers. there are 12 other primates like Monkeys, Baboons among others apart from the Chimpanzees whereby the tracking starts with a briefing at the headquarters of the park and tracking takes 3 hours and one hour is used to watch the feeding style, playing, and relaxing of the chimpanzees.
Golden monkey tracking in Mgahinga
Golden monkeys with golden hair make them so attractive and they are endangered species since they are few in number due to the large African eagle which catches them as food for themselves. The Golden monkeys are only found in Uganda, Rwanda, and the Democratic Republic of Congo and they feed mostly on the bamboo shoots they can’t be found on one tree since they are expert tree climbers, you will see them jumping from one tree to another.
The Equator line marks the point where the earth’s south and northern hemispheres are separated. This is the best stopover place in Kayabwe along Masaka road when heading or coming back from Queen Elizabeth national park, Kibale Forest national park, Mgahinga national park, Bwindi impenetrable national park, Rwenzori national park, and Lake Mburo National park and takes photos, have lunch and also purchase souvenirs.
Ndere means flute which is one of the musical instruments in Africa. the center aims to promote Uganda’s cultural heritage which is crowned mostly on Friday and Sunday when people gather to enjoy the different tribal groups. this is the best place in Kampala to be visited.
Source of the Nile
The Nile is the source of the world’s longest and most famous river where many famous events in the world were performed as read in the Bible and Koran. The Nile gives water to Egypt and Nile gets its water from Lake Victoria before heading to the Mediterranean Sea. The Source of the Nile is just 2 hours away from Kampala by road.
Gardens are built around the Nile where one can relax, and see monkeys and birds around. Gandhi monument which is built there is where visitors can take photos and during the visit to the source of the Nile you can engage in other activities like Bungee jumping, White water rafting, Quad biking, horseback riding, Boat cruise, and Tubing.
Murchison falls national park
Is the largest park and the most visited by tourists? the park is a home of chimpanzees, antelopes, Roth child Giraffes, leopards, lions, hippos, and Crocodiles with over 450 bird species. Murchison falls is the main attraction in the park where the river Nile squeezes through a narrow gorge with several rocks creating massive waves and white form in several sections before making its way to Egypt. The water creates a constant rainbow throughout the day adding beauty to the falls.
Is a World Heritage site and burial site for four Buganda the last king and the other royals. The site was built-in 1882 by Kabaka Mutesa 1 of Buganda as his palace but was later turned into a tomb after his death and three other kings were also buried there including Kabaka Mutesa 11, Kabaka Mwanga 11, and Kabaka Suna. it is an important place for the Buganda people since ceremonies and rituals are conducted there by the representatives of the royal family to appease the spirits of the kings and also ask for favors from them.
During the visit to the tombs, tourists will be able to view the royal drums, spears, bark-cloth, grass-thatched huts, and other royal regalia. Though the tomb is yet being constructed after it was burnt by unknown people but it still has the history of the great African tribe you can also visit the Wamala tombs, Nnamasole Kanyanye tombs, and also visit the Karambi Royal Tombs, and the Mparo tombs for the Omukama of Bunyoro in Hoima.
The island has over 84 islands in Lake Victoria with the prominent island of Ngamba island, Bugala, Bukasa, and Banda. The island has made its natural beauty with the pristine wilderness that allows primates to move around. it covers 275sqkm, Bugala island being the most visited and large island with fishing as the main activity but tourism has taken over as the leading source of income for people on the island. the island is good for Quad biking, swimming, horse riding, island hopping, and canoeing.
Lake Mburo national park
Is the nearest National park to Kampala which is also the smallest savannah park home to hippos, crocodiles, Buffaloes, Topis, and antelopes among others. The park is also blessed with about 350 bird species including the Zebras, Leopards and all of this can be seen when you have a safari to the park.
In Lake Mburo national park, visitors can participate in activities like game drives, boat cruises, horseback riding, birdwatching, and nature walk.
Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary
The sanctuary is located before reaching Murchison falls national park along the Gulu highway. The sanctuary was established by wildlife conservation agencies with the aim of protecting the remaining white Rhino species.
Due to the extensive poaching, over 1,000 white and black rhinos were being killed thus promoting the agencies to act by preserving the remaining ones at the sanctuary. there are currently 22 Rhinos that are protected in the sanctuary and tourists have an opportunity to track the Rhinos under the guidance of rangers and researchers. Tourists also have a chance to view the rare shoebill stork, antelopes, hippos, and crocodiles.
Bunyonyi means’ place of many birds’ and is a beautiful lake close to Kabale and Kisoro with 29 islands it is the deepest lake in Africa. It receives visitors most of them from Queen Elizabeth National park with the aim of relaxing after the long Safari in the park. Tourists can also engage in swimming, canoeing, island hopping, bird watching and also visiting the local communities of the Batwa or Bakiga.
Tourists can have a chance of visiting the punishment island where girls were left to die after getting pregnant before marriage.
Is found in the Southwestern part of the country in the Kisoro district. The lake lies on the foot of the three volcanoes in Mgahinga national park where tourists who go there can have an opportunity of a nature walk in the forests and also trekking Mountain Gorillas, and Golden monkeys. The Lake is also home to giant frogs, primates, chameleons, and monitor lizards among others and the lake can be explored by a canoe making the best experience one can get during the visit to lake Mutanda, on the canoe ride one can be able to do bird watching, visiting the local communities living in the islands.
This is the only Baha’i temple in Africa which is built on top of a hill with a great view of Kampala city. The Baha’i faith unites all races and religions since it teaches humanity and the temple has a capacity of 400 people. The temple has beautiful gardens that are best used for relaxation, photos, picnics, or viewing the unique architecture.
Uganda has 64 tribes which are headed by a king or chief. A visit to one of the palaces will be best for learning about the different cultures and the different traditions of the tribes in Uganda.
In Buganda, you can visit Kabaka’s palace(Lubiri) which was built in a colonial style built in the 1960s during the battle between kings’ guards and the government. Some of the rooms were used as punishment rooms by Idi Amin and Obote.
The second palace to visit is the Tooro kingdom palace in Fort portal which is on a highway to the national parks located in the western part of Uganda the palace renovation was funded by the late president of Libya Muhammed Gaddafi.
Birding is also another activity that a tourist can do in Uganda since the country has recorded about 1,050 bird species. some of the birds in Uganda include the shoe bill stork, red-fronted antpecker, Black Bee-eaters, the Brown-chest plover, Green Breasted Pitta, Karamojong Apalis, Nahan’s Francolin, Purvell’s iiiadopsis, African Green Broadbill among others.
The climate and earth movements have favored the birds where they can be found around the lakes, national parks, swamps, forests, and also at the hotels and lodges where you will be staying.
This is an activity that is done on water and Uganda is blessed by water bodies. Nile perch is one of the looked for by fish anglers. The Nile perch weighs over 100 kilograms and the big catch weighs 60 kilograms, it is found in Lake Victoria and can also be found in the Nile river in Jinja and Murchison falls National park other fish species include Tilapia, catfish, and Mudfish.
Hiking on Mount Rwenzori
Mountain Rwenzori is one of the most popular mountain hikes including Mount Elgon, Mount Moroto, and the three volcanoes in Mgahinga national park which include Gahinga, Sabyinyo, and Muhabura. Mountain Rwenzori is a snow-capped mountain with the highest peak Margarita(5,119m) followed by Mount Elgon at 4,321meters climbing to the highest peak takes between 9 to10 days and Mount Elgon takes 4 days. Rwenzori mountain lies at the border of Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. During the hike, you have an opportunity to view tropical glaciers, alpine vegetation, primates, and birds.
Sipi falls Uganda
This is located in the Eastern part of Uganda in the Kapchorwa district and has 3 waterfalls at the foot of mountain Elgon. During the hike to the three waterfalls, one is able to view the caves and the farmlands and also be able to view the Karamoja plains, mount Elgon and Lake Kyoga.
Sempaya hot springs in Semulik national park
Is the newest national park in Uganda with unique biodiversity and forests extending to the Democratic Republic of Congo with the wildlife in the park. The park is one of the top destinations for bird watching with the key attractions being the hot springs which boil at a temperature of 103 degrees Celsius before shooting out in form of sprays.
They are found in Mukono district which takes about 45minutes to get there. The falls are held in higher esteem by Buganda because they believe a woman gave birth to twins in form of water and they were named Ssezibwa and Bwanda. Ssezibwa falls has a shrine that was built there where people go there to seek blessings and favor from the gods. The place is good for bird watching, primates viewing, and camping among others.
Nyero rock paintings
These paintings show the kind of life that people lived in the stone age period and these are located in the Kumi district. Most of the paintings show wild animals, humans, canoes, tools used in that period, birds, and lizards.
Ngamba Chimpanzee Sanctuary
The Island was turned into a sanctuary to rescue the orphaned chimpanzees. There are over 50 chimps at the Sanctuary where tourists who go to the Island can participate in feeding them, treating them, and checking their health of the chimpanzees.
Volunteers are also allowed for a longer period of time and the island is blessed with different bird species, nature walking, and kayaking.
During your visit to Uganda, you can also be able to visit places like the Uganda wildlife educational center (Entebbe Zoo), Uganda Reptiles village near Entebbe, and Entebbe Botanical Gardens best for picnics, and bird watching among others.