With a tapestry of landscapes, excellent wildlife watching and welcoming locals, Uganda packs a lot into one small 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 on our top 20 things to do in Uganda. Uganda has over 350 species of mammals in all sizes. They range from large mammals like gorillas, rhinos, buffaloes, lions, elephants, hippos, Rothschild’s giraffes to small ones, like bats, bush baby and shrews.
Don’t miss the tree climbing lions in Ishasha on a game safari like a 14 Days Best of Uganda Safari.
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.
Check out this recommended 5 Day Luxury Uganda Gorilla Safari and book yourself a lifetime jungle experience.
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 a number of areas of Uganda 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, and although their more energetic lifestyle and unpredictable nature makes them slightly less approachable, there’s no doubt that hanging out with chimps is one of life’s great experiences.
Try the 8 Day Amazing Uganda Primates Safari for a combined gorilla and chimpanzee jungle safari in Uganda.
Uganda is a birding paradise and haven harbouring over half of the bird species found in Africa. Uganda is home to over 1,050 bird species, which can be found across a range of 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 consider visiting this beautiful country!
Recommended birding Safari: 20 Day Uganda Birders & Paradise (bird Watching)
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 views of the Nile river and forest canopy is 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 located in World Heritage Sites as Rwenzori 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. This unique spectacular experience of flying in a hot air balloon can be done at either sunrise or sunset at Murchison Falls or Queen Elizabeth National Park.
Sport fishing (catch and release) can be explored by first time or experienced anglers. 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, Kazinga channel cruise is extremely rewarding for viewing most wildlife that comes to the banks of the channel 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 the tranquillity of nature, wildlife and birds. This experience can be suitable for people of different skill levels from beginners to advanced.
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 eyes of the first people, 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.
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 centre 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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