Deep in the central belt of East Africa, the landlocked country of Uganda is a delight for African travellers.
Boasting some incredible wildlife experiences and a warm tropical climate, the lush green landscape you’ll find here can be a relief if you’ve been spending a lot of time in the dry, hot and arid other parts of the continent.
Having journeyed from South Africa through Botswana, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Malawi and Tanzania, the more mountainous and cooler climate of Uganda had me pretty excited!
That and the thought of trekking with the gorillas of course!
So if this sounds like music to your ears too, check out my list of the 10 best things to do in Uganda and get yourself inspired for a real African adventure.
Oh, and if you want to take a great tour through Uganda, visiting all the hot spots in this epic country including the gorillas, then I highly recommend Absolute Africa.
I loved my trip with them so much that I’m currently offering all my readers an exclusive discount on their tours, meaning you can now travel even more in this amazing continent for less!
Simply send this top African overland company an email on [email protected], quoting the discount code BWSP, and start planning your incredible trip with them today!
Alternatively, check out these other top Ugandan Tours for more options…
- The Ultimate Safari Gear Packing List
- The 5 Ugandan Safaris You Can’t Miss
- Overlanding Africa: 10 Things You Need to Know
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#1 Trek to the Gorillas
Coming in at number 1 on my list of the 10 best things to do in Uganda, is of course, trekking the gorillas.
There’s only 3 countries in the world where you can get this incredible sort of wildlife experience and Uganda is the cheapest of the lot, so needless to say I was a big fan!
In saying that however, this is still a crazily expensive venture, but it is once in a lifetime, and even the hike alone through the clouds and dense jungle of Bwindi Impenetrable forest is an experience in itself.
Trackers go on ahead of each small group, so sightings of the gorillas are almost guaranteed and although you only get an hour in the company of these close relations, it’s great to see that minimal disturbance of the animals is being upheld despite the tourist dollars.
READ MORE: The Ultimate Guide to Trekking with the Gorillas in Uganda
#2 Straddle the Equator
Situated at the heart of the planet, the equator runs right through Uganda and stopping off at the very spot that this invisible, but important line crosses the highway here is a great thing to do while you’re in the country.
Not only can you have your photo taken at the great monument marking the centre of the earth, but you can actually straddle it to, with one foot in each continent.
Best of all however, is the free display given by locals here – it really shows you that the water does circulate down the drain hole in different directions depending on which hemisphere you’re located in!
#3 Hike to See Chimpanzees
Number 3 of my 10 best things to do in Uganda is hiking in yet another of the country’s great national parks to see yet another species of primate – this time man’s closest relative, the chimpanzee.
This is argued to be an even better experience than trekking to see the gorillas, as the chimps’ human-like qualities are uncanny on another level.
The best place to see them is Kibale National Park and you should allow a full day to do so, as it’s around 12km to discover these primates deep in the jungle.
#4 Marvel at Murchison Falls
Next up is another of Uganda’s finest national parks, Murchison Falls, where you can see a stunning waterfall formed as the river Nile’s flow is forced through an 8 metre² gap into Devil’s Cauldron as it’s known.
Uganda’s largest national park, Murchison Falls National Park was also one of its first, established in 1952 and offers both land and water safaris.
Taking both of these will give you the opportunity to spot crocodiles, as well as Rothschild giraffe, warthog, buffalo and elephants.
#5 Party in the Capital
If you’re looking for something a bit different to wildlife spotting, then hitting up the country’s capital, Kampala, is definitely one of the best things to do in Uganda too.
Infamous for its crazy traffic – and trust me it’s crazy – allow plenty of time to get across Kampala and to your accommodation, as vehicles are forced to move at a snail’s pace here!
Stay in the city if you can and that way you’ll be able to sample some of the capital’s nightlife, which is among East Africa’s best!
Super friendly as they are, you’ll be making tons of Ugandan friends in no time if you head out for a couple of beers.
#6 Raft in Jinja
If it’s adventure you’re after, then Uganda has no shortage either.
In fact, the adventure capital of East Africa – Jinja – is located in this country and boasts mountain biking, bungee jumping and kayaking among its many attractions.
Perhaps top of the bill however is white water rafting, which is famous in these here parts and argued to be some of the best in the world.
Almost any accommodation provider can arrange an excursion for you and it’s definitely likely to be an unforgettable experience!
READ MORE: The Perfect 2 Day Jinja Itinerary
#7 Spot Elephants in Queen Elizabeth National Park
With number 7, it’s back to safari heaven, with a trip to Queen Elizabeth National Park, definitely being one of the best things to do in Uganda.
Situated in the west of the country, and bordering Kibale National Park to the north, Queen Elizabeth National Park features 4 of the Big 5 and it’s most common resident, the elephant, exists in large numbers, meaning you’re almost guaranteed a sighting.
Also hot on the list are the tree-climbing lions, another speciality of Queen Elizabeth National Park and the stunning scenery here, including enormous crater lakes, isn’t bad either!
#8 See the Start of the Nile
Among Jinja’s many other great experiences is seeing the start of the river Nile!
Ok, so it’s the start of the White Nile to be exact, which then flows onto Khartoum in Sudan, where it meets the Blue Nile that originates in Ethiopia.
Regardless, heading off to see this world spectacle is a lovely thing to do, not least for the boat ride itself, which will take you past local villages and makes for a great, relaxing afternoon excursion.
READ MORE: Discovering the Blue Nile Falls in Ethiopia
#9 Eat a Rolex!
Ok so I’m not talking about watch here, obviously!
Nope, one of Uganda’s top delicacies is called a Rolex and essentially it’s a chapatti, filled with an omelette, vegetables, meat and then rolled up!
If you’re not a vegetarian like me, then these a real treat (so I’m told!) and are available, super cheaply, from many roadside stalls and street vendors.
#10 Kayak Lake Bunyonyi
And last, but not least, the 10th one on my list of the best things to do in Uganda is to head to Lake Bunyonyi for some kayaking.
Uganda has tons of lakes, but this is one of its most picturesque and while you kayak the lake you’ll have the chance to spot some amazing birdlife and soak up the tranquil atmosphere of this top spot.
Mini Travel Guide to Uganda
How Long to Spend There?
I’d suggest at least 7 days in Uganda to ensure you have the chance to trek to see the gorillas and chimpanzees, plus explore at least one of this country’s top other national parks.
How to Get to Uganda?
If you’re flying to Uganda, then look for flights which arrive at Entebbe International Airport.
As always, I use Skyscanner to find the best prices.
Alternatively, you can cross into Uganda overland from Kenya and Tanzania.
Top Uganda Tours
I’m currently offering my readers an exclusive discount on all Absolute Africa tours (who I visited Uganda with), meaning you can now travel even more in this amazing country for even less!
Simply send this top African overland tour company an email to [email protected], quoting the discount code BWSP, and start planning your incredible trip with them today!
Otherwise, why not check out these comfortable and well-rated options.
Top 5 Packing Items for Uganda
#1 Good Camera – Don’t even think about coming to Uganda without a good travel camera to capture the best of this country. The Sony A6000 mirrorless ticks my box every time!
#2 Walking Boots – These are highly recommended for trekking to see either the gorillas or the chimpanzees and for early morning or evening game drives when the temperatures can really drop. North Face Hedgehogs always get my vote!
#3 Birkenstocks – And talking of footwear, a good pair of sandals are king in Uganda. I love my Arizona Birkenstocks which were perfect for keeping my feet cool and supported at the same time. Literally wore them every day in this country!
#4 Waterproof Windproof Jacket – I visited Uganda in the dry season, but was amazed how cold and damp it could still be, especially when camping. Having my North Face lightweight, windproof and waterproof jacket saved me!
#5 World Power Adapter – Uganda primarily uses European power outlets, but make sure you come prepared with a suitable Skross world adapter.
Travel Insurance for Uganda
World Nomads offers simple and flexible travel insurance. Buy at home or while travelling and claim online from anywhere in the world.
Alternatively, if you’re a long-term traveller, digital nomad or frequent remote worker seeking travel health cover, check out Safetywing’s Nomad Insurance policies.
Travel Money in Uganda
When it comes to paying for things in Uganda, it’s great to know that accommodation and tours can generally be paid for by card.
ATMs are also available in most major towns.
Whether you use ATMs or pay by card however, you’ll want to ensure you’re not being charged overseas transaction fees or getting poor exchange rates, which is why I always take my Wise card away with me wherever I travel.
The easy way to spend abroad with real exchange rates, no markups and no sneaky transaction fees, you can use your Wise card just like a debit card here, and it links easily with Google and Apple pay. Get yours here.
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So there you have it, my top recommendations for the best things to do in Uganda.
Are you inspired to visit this amazing east African country?
Tell me about your travel plans in the comments below…
4 thoughts on “10 Best Things to Do in Uganda”
Also, invest in local art if you travel to Uganda! There are plenty of artist set up in Jinja, and if you want authentic African woodworking it’s a great spot
Thanks for this great tip Wilmot
Traversing the equator does not mean you have one foot on one continent and another…..you mean hemisphere, surely? 😉
Conor, what a wise one you are! You are totally right! shame on me! 🙂