With a tapestry of landscapes, excellent wildlife watching, and welcoming locals, Uganda packs a lot into a tiny country, making our list of Top 20 Things to do in Uganda an easy one to compile. It’s home to Africa’s tallest mountain range (the Rwenzoris), the source of the Nile, the world’s longest river (Nile River), and the continent’s largest lake (Lake Victoria). Rafting the Nile offers a world-class adrenaline adventure, but the country’s most iconic experience is tracking mountain gorillas in their misty habitat. And if you view the Big Five, you’ll see that nature – diverse and resplendent – looms large in Uganda.
These are some of the exciting things to do in Uganda that you might want to tick off your bucket list!
It is everyone’s fascination to see the big five on a Uganda Safari game drive, and that’s why this activity makes number one of our top 20 things to do in Uganda. Uganda has over 350 species of mammals of all sizes.
They range from large mammals like gorillas, rhinos, buffaloes, lions, elephants, hippos, Rothschild’s giraffes to small ones, like bats, bush babies, and shrews. Don’t miss the tree climbing lions in Ishasha on a game safari in Queen Elizabeth NP.
More than half of the world’s population of endangered mountain gorillas lives in Uganda, with 19 habituated gorilla groups in Bwindi Impenetrable and Mgahinga Gorilla National Parks. Uganda offers this best and easiest primate viewing experience worldwide.
No other wildlife encounter in Africa matches the astounding experience of spending time face-to-face with wild gorillas. Gorilla Trekking takes place in a handful of far-flung locations, adding a layer of exotic adventure to these safaris that is hard to match on any other itinerary. The fact that gorillas as a species are on the brink of extinction and treks are a highly restricted activity, encountering wild gorillas is considered a once-in-a-lifetime travel experience.
To watch a family of mountain gorillas relaxing in their lush forest home is an awe-inspiring privilege and a memory you would take away and remember forever. Sharing around 97% of their DNA with humans, it isn’t surprising to feel a bond with them.
Uganda’s biggest tourist draw and, of course, number one on this top 20 things to do in Uganda is the mountain gorillas, but these aren’t the country’s only great apes. Humankind’s closest relative, the chimpanzee, is found in several Uganda areas, including Kibale Forest National Park, Budongo Forest Reserve, Queen Elizabeth National Park, Semliki Wildlife Reserve, and Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary.
Some of these groups have been habituated to human contact in the same way as the gorillas. Although their more energetic lifestyle and unpredictable nature make them slightly less approachable, there’s no doubt that hanging out with chimps is one of life’s great experiences.
Uganda is a birding paradise and haven harboring over half of the bird species found in Africa. Uganda is home to over 1,050 bird species, which can be found across many habitats, from forests, swamps, and agricultural lands to lakes and savannahs.
The diverse habitats in Uganda’s most ancient forest appear to be the perfect habitat for a diversity of bird species, with over 1000 species recorded. Look out for the elusive shoebill. We encourage birding enthusiasts to visit Uganda next!
Free-falling from a tall structure 44m into the Nile is not for the faint of heart. Bungee jumping is an unforgettable thrilling activity among the things to do in Uganda that will get your adrenaline pumping.
Located at Adrift River base, 3km upstream from Bujagali Falls, the Nile river and forest canopy views are amazing. You can choose from tandem jumps, water touches, and full-moon jumps.
There are many exciting activities you can choose from to challenge the mighty Nile River in Bujagali falls in Jinja.
Experience mountain climbing adventure with various mountains and volcanoes located in different corners of the country. There are short and long hiking spots to meet your skill, fitness, and expectations situated in World Heritage Sites as Rwenzori Mountains National Park, Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, and Mt Elgon National Park.
The Mabira Forest Canopy Super Skyway is a canopy tour of the Mabira forest, where you will soar between the ancient tall trees. While up there, you will experience a unique perspective of Mabira Forest, primates like grey-cheeked mangabeys and red-tailed monkeys. Plus a variety of bird species and the roaring Griffin falls.
At Murchison Falls, you will be amazed at the scenic Nile bisecting the park. A boat trip takes you to the base of the Murchison Falls, where you can see the Nile squeezing through a narrow gorge before dropping down into the ‘Devil’s Cauldron.’ You can hike up to the top of the fall.
At the Kenya Uganda border, you will find the Sipi Falls, which are arguably the most beautiful waterfalls, set of three stunning waterfalls situated along the foothills of Mt Elgon.
Hot air ballooning is a perfect activity for those on their honeymoon, the adrenaline junkies, and those seeking a once-in-a-lifetime adventure. The scenes up there are spectacular, and the air fresh and soothing. Take this unique and breathtaking experience of flying in a hot air balloon at either sunrise or sunset at Murchison Falls or Queen Elizabeth National Park.
First-timers or experienced anglers can explore sportfishing (catch and release). Done in Bujagali Falls and Murchison Falls, you can demonstrate your skills using fishing techniques like trawling, spinning, and bait fishing.
Cruise on the Nile river in Bujagali Lake or Murchison Falls to enjoy a tranquil breathtaking sunset, beautiful scenery, and an amazing display of wildlife and birdlife.
At Queen Elizabeth National Park, the Kazinga channel cruise is extremely rewarding for viewing most wildlife that comes to the channel’s banks for water.
Quad Biking is an exhilarating “all ages, all levels, all adventure” muddy adventure to be experienced by the whole family in Jinja.
Horseback riding is an exciting activity for all ages, including children and aged persons, to explore nature, wildlife, and birds’ tranquillity. This experience can be suitable for people of different skill levels, from beginners to advanced.
Take a horseback safari in Lake Mburo National Park and in Jinja.
Head down to Mgahinga Gorilla National Park to track the rare and endangered Golden Monkeys who are found only in the bamboo forest in Virunga Volcanoes foothills.
A hands-on historical and cultural demonstration will allow you to see the forest through the first people’s eyes, the Batwa Pygmy. They will describe their ancient way of life as hunter and gatherers, including honey gathering, basket weaving, cave-dwelling, and traditional dancing.
Our Nkuringo Bwindi Gorilla Lodge offers great excursion opportunities to spend a day with the Batwa in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. Set on a ridge overlooking the Bwindi Forest swatch and the entire stretch of the magnificent Virunga Mountains, this multi-award-winning lodge offers outstanding services and exclusive private stays in magnificent chalets in the mountain forest. A perfect base to see mountain gorillas in the southern sector of Bwindi.
Join in song and dance with the different communities with a rich culture to share with you. Uganda host a diverse culture and tribes who are ready to share with you their way of life. In Kampala, you can visit the Ndere center to enjoy this.
You may want to learn a little more about Uganda’s history, culture, and kingdom.
Balance behind a motorcycle ‘bodaboda’ rider and experience Uganda’s quickest but dangerous form of transport.
The top 20 things to do in Uganda list is not complete until you try out Uganda’s famous dishes and snacks from Matooke, which is mashed bananas cooked in banana leaves. Enjoy delicious meat, the famous Luwombo which is either chicken, goat or beef steamed and cooked in banana leaves. The peanut sauce is a delicacy best enjoyed with Matooke.
Only in Uganda will you find a Rolex, which is not a gold watch but an egg omelet rolled in Chapati. You must consider yourself a special guest if you are presented with grasshopers, best known as ‘nsenene’. Well, Uganda is Africa’s tropical fruit basket and believe us, they are tasty, juicy and delicious.
Want to try out some of these activities for yourself? Contact us, today, to get the ball rolling!
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