Uganda things to see and do

Tourist offices

Uganda Tourism Board

42 Windsor Crescent, Kololo, P.O. Box 7211, Kampala, Uganda
Tel: (414) 342 197.
Opening Hours: Mon-Fri 0900-1700.
www.visituganda.com

Things to see and do

Kibale National Park

There are around 335 bird species and at least 60 species of mammals in this impressive park, including 13 primate species. Kibale’s most famous inhabitants are its chimps, which you’ll have a high chance of spotting on a guided tracking tour, whilst night treks reveal some amazing animals of the nocturnal kind.

Murchison Falls National Park

The largest protected area in Uganda, this national park is named after the stunning and dramatic waterfall which cascades 45m (148ft) over the rift valley wall, after travelling an 80km (50 miles) stretch of rapids. Keep your eyes peeled for lions, Nile crocodiles and elephants in the park, or visit rhinos at the Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary.

Queen Elizabeth National Park

Head to the park’s remote Ishasha Plains for a rare opportunity to see tree-climbing lions, only found here and a few other places in Africa, including Tanzania’s Lake Manyara National Park. Lucky visitors will catch one of Ishasha’s 40-strong lion population shinnying up a fig tree in very un-lion-like style.

Semliki National Park

Heavily poached during the country’s civil war, the wildlife in Uganda’s oldest reserve is slowly bouncing back and it’s now possible to see lions, leopards, buffaloes and elephant in the park. But its main attraction is its incredible variety of birds, with 462 species delighting twitchers enjoying boat trips on Lake Albert.

Budongo Forest Reserve

Situated near Masindi on the road to Lake Albert, the Budongo Forest Reserve is the largest mahogany forest in East Africa and one of the most diverse, with around 465 plant species. The forest is home to Uganda’s largest chimpanzee population, along with 366 bird species and blue monkeys, pottos and blac-and-white colobus.

Bujagali Falls

The adventure capital of Uganda, the stretch of the White Nile between Jinja and Bujagali is a playground for rafters and kayakers. Adrenalin-junkies can ride the rapids – where the volume of water is equivalent to ten times that of the Zambezi – while looking out for hippos, crocodiles and monkeys along the way.

Bwindi Impenetrable National Park

This special forest, which was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1994, is a sanctuary for around half the world's remaining mountain gorillas. You’ll need a permit to trek to see them which should be booked well in advance. The park is also home to colobus monkeys, various species of chimpanzee, hundreds of species of birds and many other animals, including forest birds, snakes, lizards, chameleons and butterflies.

Entebbe

This pretty lakeside town has more to offer travellers than just the international airport. Visit the lush Botanical Garden which offers a great introduction to a variety of Uganda’s many birds, as well as a chance to see vervet and black-and-white colobus monkeys that call the gardens home.

Fort Portal

One of the country’s most attractive towns, Fort Portal is a hub for travellers wanting to explore some of Uganda’s best wildlife destinations, including Kibale, Semliki, Bigodi, Rwenzori and Lake Nkuruba. Try and find time to check out the nearby crater lakes, Karambi Tombs and the recently restored Toro Palace.

Jinja

No visit to Uganda is complete without a trip to Jinja, the country’s second-largest town and the location of the Source of the Nile. The starting point for one of the world’s greatest rivers was discovered by army officer and explorer, John Hanning Speke, in 1858.

Kampala

Uganda’s bustling city is situated on rolling hills around 10km (6 miles) from Lake Victoria. There’s plenty to see with some fine modern architecture, tree-lined avenues, cathedrals, mosques and palaces of the old Kingdom of Buganda, along with the Uganda Museum and the Kasubi Tombs.

Kisoro

With breathtaking views of the volcanic peaks of the Virungas, Kisoro is a popular stop for travellers visiting Mgahinga National Park and going gorilla trekking in Rwanda’s Parc National des Volcans. Experienced mountaineers should head to Mount Elgon, the Rwenzoris and the Virungas for easy and medium climbs. There are many walks outside of the town with lakes, craters and caves to explore and bustling markets every Monday and Thursday.

Mount Elgon

Head to Mount Elgon to explore sky-soaring mountains, lush forest-clad hills and vast wetlands. Straddling the Kenyan border, Elgon is a must for trekkers, with excellent walks including the Karamoja, the Central Circuit trail and the Sasa River Trail, and the Sipi and Sisyi waterfalls.

Mpanga Forest Reserve

Easily visited on a day or overnight trip out of Kampala, this reserve may not have the diversity of some larger parks, but protects rainforest and wildlife including red-tailed monkeys, flying squirrels, parrots and hornbills. Two shrines, Nakibinge and Kibuuka, lie within walking distance and are also worth a look.

Rwenzori Mountains National Park

One of Uganda’s ten national Parks, Rwenzori is regarded as one of the continent's most spectacular. The highest mountain range in Africa runs almost 120km (75 miles) along the Congolese border and is known for its incredible hiking and climbing opportunities. It’s also a hotspot for wildlife including the endemic Angola colobus monkey.

Edited by Jane Duru
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