Uganda is home to around half the world’s mountain gorillas, and as such it has become a major destination for animal lovers of all ages. But there are also a huge number of other experiences you won’t want to miss in this fascinating east African nation. Few countries offer such a wealth of attractions, whether that’s heading out on a game drive to see iconic species or standing on the equator line. Check out our guide to what to do in Uganda right here!
1. Go in Search of Mountain Gorilla
In all likelihood it’s the reason you’ve decided to make Uganda your next holiday destination, and no list of what to do in Uganda can leave out trekking to a habituated family of mountain gorillas.
The best place to do this is the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, a national park which can certainly live up to its name. With just a few permits released each day and small group sizes, only a select few get to look into the eyes of a silverback or watch the antics of his offspring and their mothers in their jungle home.
Understandably then, it’s one not to be missed!
2. Go On Safari
Uganda also offers visitors to ‘the Pearl of Africa’ the traditional safari experience of driving across open plains in a four by four in search of the animals many of us have loved since childhood.
Queen Elizabeth National Park is the most popular, alongside Kidepo National Park. To spend a day or two in a tented camp surrounded by the sounds of nature is an incredible experience and certainly one to add to any bucket list of what to do in Uganda.
For uniqueness, stay at Queen Elizabeth, since it has some of the only tree-climbing lions in the world – something usually reserved for leopard. Elephant are also regularly sighted, alongside buffalo, hippo and 95 other mammal species.
3. Visit Ziwa Wildlife Sanctuary
If there’s one animal that is noticeably absent from Uganda’s main national parks it’s the rhino, which is still enduring terrible losses due to poaching for their horn.
You can help to ensure the survival of the species by making the visit to Ziwa Wildlife Sanctuary. Covering around 7,000 hectares, all its tourist income goes towards its breeding program. The hope is to reintroduce rhino to the wild one day soon.
In the meantime, it’s possible to stroll around their new home on one or two hour guided walks of one of our most-loved secret places in Uganda.
4. Relax on the Shores of Lake Bunyonyi
Lake Bunyonyi may not be a household name, but it should definitely be included on a list of what to do in Uganda. Said to be one of the deepest freshwater lakes on the African continent, it has an astonishing setting of lush vegetation climbing up the surrounding hills.
Home to almost 30 islands, which are also worth exploring, travel to Lake Bunyonyi and you can do everything from laze on the lake’s shores soaking in the atmosphere, quad bike across dirt tracks and canoe across its waters.
Free of disease, swimming is also a favorite past time with visitors, while the opportunities for birding are some of the best in Uganda with an incredible array of species calling the region their home!
5. Take in the Might of Murchison Falls
A national park since 1952, Murchison Falls is a fantastic way of doing two things in one. First you can admire the force of the River Nile as its pushed through a narrow gorge just a few meters wide on a boat trip.
Then you’ve got a second chance to tick off those species you missed in Queen Elizabeth or Kipedo National Parks. It’s long list of animals includes leopards, Ugandan kob (a type of antelope), rare Rothchild’s giraffe and the shoebill stork – a creature that has to be seen to be believed.
6. Get Cultural in Kampala
The Ugandan capital may be hectic at times – like all major cities can be – but it also has its fair share of insight into the culture of the Ugandan people.
A great place to start is the Kasubi Tombs. Recognized by UNESCO for their importance, they are the burial places for four of the kings of Buganda – the historic rulers of the region.
When it comes to traditional dancing, check out the Ndere Cultural Center, where dance and dinner will make a night that you’ll remember for a long time to come.
7. Take a Break on Lake Victoria
Africa’s biggest lake, Lake Victoria is hugely important to the country. If you’re looking for what to do in Uganda you should also consider a visit to see its size for yourself.
Hardened adventures might want to tackle the aging ferries which connect up the lakeside communities, but another way to admire all the lake has to offer is by kayaking, canoeing or fishing.
Should all this sound too strenuous, how about a couple of days of rest and relaxation on its beaches? There are some amazing resorts to look out for serving up a slice of paradise alongside the catch of the day.
8. Stand on the Equator
Uganda is one of just a handful of countries around the world bisected by the equator.
For your chance to straddle the world and have a foot on both hemispheres, there are several locations.
Many tours crossing the country from north to south or vice versa will also make a quick stop so you can have yourself photographed at the point the world is split into two!
What To Do in Uganda
The attractions in Uganda come thick and fast. This can make knowing what to do in Uganda a difficult task. But that should no longer be the case thanks to this article.
To take the worry out of your visit to Uganda a tour incorporating the country’s unmissable experiences can be a great idea. Take a look at our 15 day Uganda tour as an example of what you’ll miss out on if you don’t!