Uganda is one of the smallest landlocked countries in East Africa. This incredible country is popular in entire world as a home to gigantic Lake Victoria in Southern region. Remarkable as it is, Sir Winston Churchill described it as the “Pearl of Africa.” It comes with the most spectacular wildlife terrain in the world. Uganda’s most popular tourist areas include Ajai wildlife reserve, Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park, Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, Murchison Falls National Park, Queen Elizabeth National Park, Kibale Forest National Park, Rwenzori Mountains National Park and the stunning Ssese Islands and others.
Uganda is one of the best destinations to visit in East Africa. There are lots of things to see and do in Uganda. Top adventure activities include gorilla trekking, wildlife safaris, mountaineering, chimpanzee tracking and more. Below is a list of numerous things that you can do and see while in your safaris in Uganda.
Top Things to Do
Here are lots of things to do in Uganda, the Pearl of Africa;
Things to Do when visiting East Africa
There are lots of things to do in East Africa
- Bird Watching
- Bungee Jumping
- Biking: Rides & Trails, Mountain Biking
- Canoeing & Kayaking
- Wildlife Viewing
- Cultural Tours
- Food & Wine
- Hiking & Trekking
- Horseback Riding & Trail Riding
- River Rafting
- Sailing, Yachting & Charter
- Scuba Diving
- Tropical, Jungle & Rain forest Walks
- Wildlife Safaris
Uganda is also one of the best destinations for Gorilla viewing in Africa. There are two national parks where gorilla tracking is conducted; Mgahinga Gorilla National Park in the Virunga Volcanoes and Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. There are several groups of gorillas that have been habituated and each group is visited by 8 tourists on a daily basis. There is an almost 100% chance of seeing the gorillas and it is possibly one of the best animal encounters available.
What makes Uganda a distinct destination from the rest of the world except Rwanda and Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is basically the remarkable mountain gorillas. A safari in Uganda is incomplete without gorilla trekking. Uganda is undoubtedly the perfect destination for you to visit as it offers nearly half of the world’s remaining mountain gorillas making it a home to largest habituated gorilla groups for tourists to enjoy gorilla trekking experiences.
With over 480 mountain gorillas that live in dense jungles of Uganda, tourists have wide range of options to choose their best gorilla group from all the 12 habituated gorilla groups of which 11 are in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park in Southwestern side of the country. You only need US$700 to obtain your gorilla permit in Uganda and for those who wish to improve on their experiences, there is also gorilla habituation experience which costs $1500 per permit and you will enjoy 4 hours of face to face encounter with these remarkable creatures in the wild.
White Water Rafting:
Deep in yourself in the waters of mighty Nile is some thing not to be missed while in a safari in Uganda. The River Nile is famously the longest River in the world and it straddles just in Uganda. There are numerous opportunities for you to experience the tremendous white water rafting adventures that start from morning to afternoon and you spend nearly three days. Nearly 50000 people have rafted in this might River and it is your chance also to experience the true source of the Nile in Jinja. The grading of the rapids rafted on this mighty River stretch from 1 to 5. At higher graded, tourists are offered a choice whether to go through a hard way raft or the easy way that takes you around the edge.
When it comes to authentic African safaris, Uganda is incredibly one of the excellent safari destinations that you should consider for wildlife spotting. It offers visitors opportunity to spot most of its big five game in the wilderness. Uganda’s big game include the African elephants, Cape Buffaloes, Leopards, African Lions as well as the rare tree climbing lions at Queen Elizabeth National Park, Rhinos at the Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary.
Other wildlife species for you get a glimpse at while on vacation in the pearl of Africa are the antelope families that make up about 29 distinct species for you to spot, warthogs, mongoose, side striped jackal, hyenas and many more. The best safari destinations for you to spot the big game plus other incredible savanna wildlife species in Uganda include Murchison Falls National Park, Kidepo Valley National Park, Queen Elizabeth National Park and Lake Mburo National Park.
You may also embark on chimpanzee trekking, golden monkey, sport fishing, hiking to various waterfalls, mountaineering at Rwenzori Mountain ranges and others.
For unforgettable birding experiences in Africa consider Uganda one of the destinations that you should pay a visit. It is credited with about 1070 different bird species translating into 11% of the world’s bird species and 60% in Africa and they are all confined in various habitats that range from forests, savanna grassland and woodland to water bodies (salt and fresh water).
With diversity of birding areas that are widely spread in Uganda, the notable birds for you to sight include the rare shoebill stork, green breasted pitta, African pitta, African broadbill, Great blue Turaco, Shelley’s Crimson wing, Standard winged nightjar, Short tailed warbler, Bar tailed Trogon, Black breasted barbet, Doherty’s Bush shrike, Ostriches, Black bee eaters, Red throated bee eater, White fronted bee eater and many bee eaters, Kingfishers, Nightjars, Great white pelicans and many more.
A safari in Uganda is more exciting when you combine wildlife tours with cultural encounters. There are over 60 different tribes and 9 varied indigenous communities in Uganda making it a boiling pot of cultures. Each ethnic group or tribe comes with its own experiences. For authentic African cultural experiences in Uganda, you can engage in Batwa encounter while you in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park or Mgahinga National Park for mountain gorilla trekking adventures.
The Batwa are famous as the forest dwellers. They lived harmoniously with the forest while hunting and gathering a period of over 500000 years and left without any impact. A cultural encounter with these unique people is the most thrilling experience that you shouldn’t miss out in life. You have a chance to explore more about their lifestyle, tools that they used to hunt and above all you will be amazed as they sing songs of sorrow as why they were removed from the beloved forest. As well, never miss to visit the Kasubi tomb site, Igongo cultural center; visit the Karamojong manyatta homes and Ik people, taste the local dishes in Uganda, Ndere center and others.
Try the Ugandan Cuisine – lots of restaurants to choose from and if you love partying, do it the Ugandan way. As you choose and sip away your favourite beverage; you will never be the same.
Enjoy the flow of good Ugandan beer – ever tried beer with a straw? Hmmmm! And the barbeque chicken and matooke (kind of plantain-green banana), in your wildest dream, you will love every moment.
You will be please to know that kingdoms still exist – at least in Uganda. Rich in tradition and culture, these clearly show the heritage and roots of Ugandan people and are very much famous tourist attractions. The kingdoms of ;Buganda, Busoga, Bunyoro, Toro, Ankole and Rwezururu stand out. Come see this rich culture for yourself.
Catch the traditional dances on one of those evenings in Kampala to taste and experience an aspect of Ugandan culture you will want to take away with you. Ndere Centre is the most popular venue but most of the big hotels have live performances usually every Sunday evening depending on their program.
Also grace yourself to the sound of live Ugandan band music – lots to choose from. You ought to have a taste of Afrigo band – at least before you leave ( oh! I love them).
The sound and rich beats of Ugandan music will certainly catch your attention. These Ugandan musician are superstars! Ugandans love western music but they will look no further than their local superstars to enjoy themselves. Take a copy of the music and Uganda will live with you forever!
Uganda is magical and mystical and an increasing number of tourists are visiting each year to experience this wonderland. The tourist attractions are endless and Uganda is all yours, go for it!
In conclusion, with variety of natural wonders that Uganda has in offer for world, visitors have wide range of options to choose the best attraction that suits within their interest.