Top 16 Amazing Things to Do in Uganda by Hail Tours
From thrilling activities to sightseeing, here is a list of the most exciting Things to Do in Uganda you should lookout for while in Uganda.
The Pearl of Africa, Uganda is one of the best and most thrilling safari destinations in Africa and it is always easy for travelers (first-time or repeat visitors) to see why.
Uganda, as the country is best known, is popular for its spectacular savanna plains, breathtakingly verdant rolling hills, its diverse wildlife species, birding Paradises, jaw-dropping rain-forests and vibrant Cosmopolitan Cities.
From the time the plane lands into Uganda, you will be treated to awe-inspiring views of the beautiful Lake Victoria (World’s second largest freshwater Lake) bordering Entebbe Town, meet some of the warmest, most welcoming and friendliest people in the different the places you will visit who make you feel at home to the time you leave the country.
You will be amazed by how many times some travelers have visited Uganda and keep traveling again and again.
However, first-time travelers always ask us “what are some of the top things to do in Uganda?” because it always becomes difficult to narrow down, given the endless list of exciting things you can do in the country.
Hail Tours Uganda brings you the top things to do in Uganda and they include;
Go gorilla tracking in Bwindi Impenetrable and Mgahinga Gorilla National Parks
Mountain gorillas are one of the most popular treasures of Uganda- and it’s for a good reason. These endangered primates are found in three countries only and Uganda so far shelters the highest concentration of these Giant Apes (more than half the World’s population) living in two magnificent safari destinations-Bwindi Impenetrable and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park.
These treks are only available for travelers above 14 years and participants must possess valid gorilla trekking permits (only issued by Uganda Wildlife Authority).
Permits presently cost $700 per person for the foreign non-resident travelers, $600 for the foreign resident travelers and Shs. 250,000 for the travelers with East African Community Citizenship. Given the high demand for gorilla trekking adventures, it is advisable to book at least 6 months to one year in advance.
See this Gorilla Safari Package: 5 Days Primates Safari Uganda
- Enjoy wildlife safaris (game drives) in any of the Savannah-dominated National Parks
It’s no brainer that any African safari, let alone visiting the “Pearl of Africa” must involve a wildlife safari. This country has a number of savannah-dominated Protected Areas (Murchison falls, Queen Elizabeth, Lake Mburo and Kidepo Valley National Parks as well as Pian Upe and Katonga Wildlife Reserves among others) where you can enjoy a wildlife safari.
These game drives are conducted aboard open-roof safari vehicles while you search for the different animals inhabited in a particular safari destination. However, some of the must-see animals are lions, leopards, warthogs, giant elands, Defassa waterbucks, Cape buffaloes, African bush elephants, serval cats, Topis, Rothschild giraffes, Uganda Kobs, impalas, and so much more.
- Go chimpanzee tracking
Kibale Forest National Park, Budongo Forest, Kyambura Gorge and Kalinzu Forest of Uganda offer world-class chimpanzee tracking tours. You will be thrilled to discover how close chimpanzees are to humans (we share 98.7% DNA with these Great Apes) and exhibit a number of human-like behavior that will blow your mind.
With a chimp permit (costing $200), travelers aged 12 years and above can track and spend time with the chimpanzees of Kibale Forest National Park. You can either opt for the standard chimpanzee treks where you have one hour with the Great Apes or the Chimpanzee Habituation Experience where you have the whole day with semi-habituated chimps.
Ideal Safari: 3 Days Chimpanzee Trekking in Kibale
- Try out mountain climbing
Uganda is home to one of the highest and most beautiful mountains, with snow-capped or green summits which can be explored by any adventure seeker.
The Rwenzori Mountains, Virunga Volcanoes, Mount Elgon, the Volcanoes in Karamoja sub-region (Mount Kadam, Mount Moroto and Mount Morungole) can all be climbed during Uganda safaris.
Mount Elgon (4321 meters above sea level) in Eastern Uganda along the Uganda-Kenya border is hiked in 4-6 days depending on the route used and provides breathtaking views of the sweeping plains of Karamoja, Caves, waterfalls and so much more.
The Rwenzori Mountains (along the Uganda-DRC border) is the third highest mountain in Africa at 5109 meters above sea level and can be hiked in 8-9 days to get to its snow-covered peaks.
- Undertake a tour of Uganda’s vibrant Capital City
Kampala, Uganda’s Capital City is popular for its vibrant streets and thrilling night life. It brings out the party-life of Ugandans as well as attract huge numbers of ex-pats as well as backpackers who are always excited to experience what it means to “enjoy life the Ugandan way”.
While hitting the clubs and bars is exciting, you can also experience the other side of Kampala by touring the Museums (especially Uganda National Museum), Art Galleries, world-class restaurants serving local and Intercontinental cuisines and Craft markets to shop for typical African products ranging from sandals, clothing, and so much more.
- Savor on Ugandan cuisines
Undertake a gastronomic tour while in Uganda where you will get a chance to savor on the country’s diverse and delicious cuisines. Each region you visit will take you through an amazing experience that will leave you wanting for more.
Try out the popular street food (Rolex, eaten and not worn), the mouth-watering Luwombo in central Uganda, the delicious boo and malakwang in Northern Uganda, Eshabwe and matooke in western/south-western Uganda, Malewa in Eastern Uganda and many others.
Are you interested in having an insight and learning how different crops are cultivated and Livestook reared? Then try out agro-tourism adventures that include tea tours, coffee tours, Livestook rearing, visits to the Pineapple farm in Luwero, cocoa farm tours, integrated farming tours and so much more.
- Enjoy Rhino tracking at Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary
Another thing that you can’t afford to miss in Uganda is Rhino tracking, only conducted within Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary along the Kampala-Gulu Highway.
This site is the perfect stop point for travelers heading to Murchison falls and Kidepo Valley National Park (only when using the Kampala-Gulu highway) to see the country’s only wild Rhino population. There are about 33 Rhinos here and the tracking normally takes about two hours.
- Get an adrenaline rush in Jinja
You can get wild and wet when you visit Uganda or try popping some adrenaline rush in Jinja, the Adventure Capital of East Africa. Jinja is one of the places where you will automatically fall in love with on your first visit and if you are interested in having some adrenaline rush, then you are at the right place.
While here, try out Bungee jumping to kiss or touch the Nile, whitewater rafting on the Nile, Horseback riding along the banks of River Nile, kayaking, mountain biking, quad bike rides and many others.
- Take part in cultural tours
Uganda is a melting pot and with over 54 tribes, your mind is about to be blown by its cultural tours. Embark on a cultural tour throughout the country and get awe-inspired by the differences and diversity of culture, traditions, ways of life, dishes and so much more.
For unforgettable experiences, we always recommend our top picks that include the Batwa cultural experience and the Karamojong culture among others because they still maintain their authentic culture, regardless of modernity.
- Learn about Uganda’s history (historical tours)
You can’t visit Uganda and leave without learning about the events and things that shaped its present and future.
You can visit the Uganda National Museum, the Idi Amin Torture Chambers and many other places to learn about the Dictatorship regime that saw Asian’s sent to exile within 90 days, the National Liberation War that ushered in the current Government (National resistance Movement) and many others.
- Take a scenic road trip through Uganda’s countryside
It is no brainer that Uganda is an amazing destination for scenic road trips that go through the winding hills and Valleys of South-western Uganda, lush and cool forests of Kibale Forest National Park, the secluded wilderness areas of North-eastern and North-western Uganda, and so much more. Explore the woodlands, savannah plains, hillsides, mountain slopes, River banks and Lakes during Uganda scenic road trips.
- Enjoy Boat and canoe rides
Boat and canoe rides are one of the unmissable things to do in Uganda and introduce travelers to the pristine and stunning beauty of the Lakes that are most time fringed by verdant hills and dotted with magnificent Islands.
These tours are one of the disputable ways of undertaking birding during Uganda safaris.
Don’t miss boat rides on Lake Mburo, Lake Bunyonyi and Lake Victoria, the Kazinga Channel (connecting Lakes Edward and George- Queen Elizabeth National Park), along the Victoria Nile to the bottom of Murchison falls (in Murchison falls National Park). Spot birds like the African fish eagles, African skimmers, pelicans, egrets, shoebill storks, Kingfishers and many others,
- Try out the experiential tours
Provided in Queen Elizabeth National Park, experiential tours are the most interesting way to learn about behavior of animals and birds that live in the wild. These activities include lion tracking, hippo census, bird counts and mongoose tracking.
- Relax at the secluded islands of Ssese
Are you looking for an opportunity to unwind or getaway during your Uganda safari? Then try the tranquil and secluded Ssese Islands within the North-western side of Lake Victoria, Africa’s largest freshwater Lake and the World’s second largest.
The number one island that is worth trying here is Bugala, reachable by Boat. Besides relaxing, you can enjoy sunset boat cruises, beach sports and fishing tours.
- Bird watching in any of the 33 Important Bird Areas
Uganda is a Birder’s Paradise and watching these stunning feathered beauties is another thing you can do in Uganda.
There are over 1080 bird species in Uganda (representing 10% of the World’s birds and 60% of Africa’s total bird species), watched/sighted in 33 Important Bird Areas that include Lake Mburo National Park, Mabamba Bay wetland, Queen Elizabeth National Park, Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary, Murchison falls National Park, Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Kibale Forest National Park among others.
See our top Birding Safari: 1 Day Mabamba Birding Tour
Other unmissable things in Uganda are golden monkey tracking and habituation, religious tours, bush/forest walks, mountain biking tours, watching beautiful sunset across the wilderness and many others.