The 10 Best Things to Do in Uganda

By on Published: March 12, 2018 | Last Updated: March 31, 2020 in Africa, UGANDA with 4 Comments

The 10 Best Things To Do in Uganda

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 absaf@absoluteafrica.com, quoting the discount code BWSP, and start planning your incredible trip with them today!


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#1 Trek to the Gorillas

Uganda, Bwindi, Gorilla Time

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

Uganda, Equator, Me Swinging

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!

 

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#3 Hike to See Chimpanzees

Uganda, Kibale NP, Chimpanzee

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

Uganda, Murchison Falls NP, Devils Cauldron

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 UGANDA PACKING ESSENTIALS!

#1 Headlamp – Power cuts are frequent occurrences in Uganda, but my Black Diamond headlamp saved the day every time!

#2 East Africa Lonely Planet – A top guidebook recommendation for its maps and accommodation recommendations in Uganda.

#3 Hiking Boots – If you want to trek to see any primates, hiking boots are a must in this slippery, muddy rainforest terrain. Keen Targhee II are a top pair of boots, ideal for Uganda.

#4 Rain Jacket – A thin, light , breathable rain jacket is an absolute must for Uganda travel as it rains a lot in this tropical climate! Columbia do a great range for women.

#5 Insect Repellent – Malaria is a real risk in Uganda, so protect yourself with at least a 30% DEET product.

 

#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

Uganda, Jinja, Sunset

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

 

LOOKING FOR A BUDGET TOUR OR SELF-DRIVE TRIP IN UGANDA?

If you’re interested in an unforgettable, well-priced tour in Uganda with guides you can trust, or a self-drive trip organised by a great company, then email me at steph@bigworldsmallpockets.com and I’ll send you my top recommendations – simple!

 

#7 Spot Elephants in Queen Elizabeth National Park

Kenya, Masai Mara, Mum and baby Elephant

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

Uganda, Jinja, Crusing 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

 

THE BEST TRAVEL INSURANCE FOR UGANDA

I would never think of travelling to Uganda without proper coverage and always recommend travel insurance from World Nomads who I’ve used during my time in this country and throughout Africa.

I love their great coverage of adventure activities – crucial for a country like Uganda – as well as their excellent customer service and ability to claim online, which is very handy if you’re travelling in remote places for a long time.

 

#9 Eat a Rolex!

Uganda, Jinja, Child

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

Uganda, Jinja, Lake Bujagali Views

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.

 

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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 Africa country?

Tell me about your travel plans in the comments below…

 

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About the Author

About the Author: Creator of Big World Small Pockets, Stephanie Parker is a budget travel addict! Originally from Jersey in the Channel Islands, Stephanie backpacks the world collecting tips, advice and stories, to share with a smile .

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There Are 4 Brilliant Comments

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  1. Wilmot says:

    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

  2. conor says:

    Traversing the equator does not mean you have one foot on one continent and another…..you mean hemisphere, surely? 😉

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