Top 50 things to Do and to See in Uganda

Uganda, officially the Republic of Uganda, is a landlocked country in East Africa. The country of Uganda offers numerous of beautiful tourist attractions. In addition to the wonderful national parks, Uganda is also rich in beautiful lakes. Uganda is one of the most beautiful countries in Africa. With its dense misty forests, snow-peaked mountains, glassy lakes and sprawling savannas, it’s no wonder Winston Churchill dubbed this wonderful country the ‘pearl of Africa’. There’s an astounding variety of attractions for every traveler. Fifty things that you can enjoy in Uganda along with your family are listed below:

1. Banda Island, Lake Victoria

Banda is one of the Ssese Islands located in Uganda, the pearl of Africa. Its size is very small just1km by 2km. The island is owned by Dominic, a British Kenyan who has constructed stone huts for his guests and he has settled down in a modest castle there. Banda is so peculiar place people come here with intention to stay for a few days but end up staying for months together. Here you can do a host of activities involves eating, hippo-spotting, and sitting near a campfire around the beach.

2. The Virunga Mountains

The Virunga Mountains are a sequence of volcanic mountains originates along the borders of Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Apart from their magnificent beauty, the forests of the Virunga Mountains are the only remaining homes of the endangered mountain gorillas. Chimpanzees, the Okapi, and forest elephants are among the other animals found there. There are eight foremost peaks in the Virunga mountain range, the highest of which is Mt. Karisimbii. Mt. Nyirangongo and Mt. Nyiragira are still active volcanoes, which are last erupted in 2006.

3. Kidepo Valley National Park

One of the absolute must tourist attractions of Uganda remains the Kidepo Valley National Park. This magnificent park is as large as 1,442 square kilometers and it is said that the waterfront scenery unsurpassed in any other park in East Africa. Once here you can witness spectacular Savannah landscapes, which end in rugged horizon. Another biggest attraction of this park is its breath taking flora and fauna which are more typical of Kenya than the rest of Uganda, like lion, cheetah, leopard, bat-eared fox, giraffe – as well as almost 500 bird species.

4. Bwindi Impenetrable National Park

The incredible country of Uganda offers some of the best national parks and the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is definitely a must visit attraction of this country. This spectacular park is home to some of most endangered animals of Africa. It is believed to be a haven for gorilla tracking. This park is majorly renowned for its spectacular and unique biodiversity, with approximately 160 species of trees and over 100 species of ferns. Once here you can witness amazing form of flora and fauna.

5. Kampala

Kampala is certainly among the most visited tourist destinations of Uganda and its capital also. This city is filled with some of the best tourist attractions such as The Uganda Museum, Kasubi tombs, where the remains of the Kings of Buganda are buried, though; these were majorly damaged by fire during the year 2010. Other places of interest in Kampala are Nommo art gallery, National Theatre and also Cathedrals, Rubaga and Namirembe.

6. Kasubi Tombs

The Kasubi Tombs are considered to be among the most visited tourist attraction of Kampala and also it is its major attraction. It is a place where the Kabaka and others in Buganda’s complex cultural hierarchy frequently carry out significant centuries-old Ganda rituals. Kasubi Tombs were constructed during the year 1882 and converted into the royal burial ground in the year 1884. Four royal tombs now lie within the Muzibu Azaala Mpanga, the main building, which is circular and surmounted by a dome. It is well considered to be a major example of architectural success in organic materials, primarily wood, thatch, reed, wattle and daub

7. Murchison Falls National Park

Murchison Falls National Park is the largest National Park of Uganda, occupies a total area of around 3,877 sq km is considered to be one of the most popular tourist attractions of Uganda. At the Murchison Falls, the river Nile plunges through a narrow crevice and over a 40-metre drop. In the eastern sector of the park, before the Murchison Falls themselves, are the Karuma Falls, where the Nile cascades over a wonderful 23 km of torrents leaving beautiful sceneries. On the banks, prolific wildlife including elephant, crocodile, hippopotamus, lion, giraffe, buffalo, and numerous of antelopes and birds can be witnessed.

8. Queen Elizabeth National Park

The Queen Elizabeth National Park has been designated a Biosphere Reserve for Humanity under UNESCO auspices and claims to be among the most visited tourist attractions of Uganda. This beautiful park can be found right inside the western arm of the Great East African Rift Valley which is spread on around 2,056 sq. km of area. This park is home to a wonderful variety of ecosystems, you can observe semi-deciduous tropical forest, green meadows, savannah and swamps. Inside the park you can witness approximately around 500 species of birds have been recorded, making the park a magnet for bird watchers.

9. Mgahinga Gorilla

Mgahinga Gorilla is considered to be a haven for the persecuted mountain gorilla, to be found right on the slopes of the Virunga Mountains, towards the southwest part of the country. This park is renowned as a secure habitat for the gorillas. However, besides the gorillas, other wildlife may also be viewed including the leopard, giant forest hog, bushbuck, buffalo, and golden monkey.

10. Kibale Forest National Park

Kibale Forest National Park is one of the most famous tourist attractions of Uganda. You will find this absolute beautiful rainforest located towards the north-east corner of Queen Elizabeth National Park. This park is also home to grassland and swamp. It is majorly renowned for its primate population – 13 different species inhabit the park including many families of chimpanzees and several types of Columbus monkeys. The forests and the grasslands offer wide variety of bird life – almost 300 species have been identified and 144 types of butterfly.

11. SemulikiMount Elgon

Yet another amazing tourist attraction of Uganda is the Semuliki Mount Elgon which is regarded as an extinct volcano. You will find it situated right on the country’s eastern border. The mountain boasts abundant interesting features which also include gorges, ancient caves, water falls and hot springs. You can find abundant of birdlife on the mountain.

12. Semuliki National Park

One of the most popular tourist spots to visit in Uganda is the Semuliki National Park. This beautiful park is considered to be the only park in the country that is to be composed primarily of tropical lowland forest. Once here you can witness that the forest is very dense and quite flat, creating a startling contrast to the rugged Rwenzori Mountains nearby. The Semliki River attracts many animals. The park is home to eight species of primate, 400 birds and 300 butterfly species. Elephant, buffalo, leopard, civet, bushbaby and flying squirrels are also found.

13. Lake Mburo National Park

Lake Mburo National Park is one of the most popular tourist attractions of Uganda to be found located right between the towns of Masaka and Mbarara. This beautiful park is not as large as other parks of the country and is composed primarily of grassland, wetland and acacia woodland. At the centre lies the Lake Mburo, which together with 14 other lakes, forms part of an extensive wetland area. Animals to be found in the park include the impala, eland, rock hyrax, zebra, waterbuck, buffalo, warthog, leopard, civet, hyena, hippo, and crocodile. This park is also home to around 357 species of birds.

14. Rwenzori Mountains

It is believed that the mist-shrouded peaks of the Mountains of the Moon provide an incredible backdrop to this outstanding park. Once here you can witness that right in the centre of the range, some of the peaks are permanently covered in snow and glaciers, while the lower slopes are covered with dense forests. Here is the third highest mountain in Africa, Mt. Magherita, which rises to 5,100 metres above sea level. It is considered to be a fascinating place to visit in Uganda.

15. The Uganda Wildlife Education Centre (UWEC)

The Uganda Wildlife Education Centre is one of the most famous places to visit in Uganda; it is located in Entebbe and was established by the Government of Uganda with the help of the Wildlife Conservation Centre in New York. The Centre has grown considerably in recent years and hosts a variety of wildlife. Once here you are able to observe numerous of the native species to be found in Uganda and also to receive comprehensive information on the species, their natural habitats and the complex ecologies of Uganda.

16. Lakes and Rivers

The beautiful country of Uganda is mostly renowned as a land of lakes; the reason being one third of the country is covered by water. You will find plenty of extremely beautiful lakes here and of course Lake Victoria is the largest in Africa that dominates the southern border of the country while Lakes Edward and Albert lie to the west. Linked to Lake Edward is the Kazinga Channel, Lake Mburo, 230 km to the west of Kampala, is the only lake entirely within a National Park. In the centre of Uganda, Lakes Kwania and Kyoga are fed by the waters of the River Nile. Other lakes include Lake Bunyonyi near Kabale and Lake Bisina in the shadow of Mt. Elgon, and also tiny crater lakes high in the mountains.

17. Flora and Fauna

The major attraction of Uganda remains its incredible Flora and Fauna and this country is very well called as a country of exceptional diversity. It lies at the overlap between tropical East African savannah and the West African rainforest zones. Seven of Africa’s 18 plant kingdoms are represented in Uganda. The tropical rain forests of Western Uganda have unique flora and fauna, some of which are endangered species.

18. Bird Life

Another fascinating reason to visit Uganda is its impressive Bird Life. In this country you can find over 1,000 variety of Bird life. Uganda has almost half the species known on the African continent and over ten percent of those on record throughout the entire world. Uganda’s equatorial location, combined with the altitude and great variety of terrain types provide an overwhelming array of opportunities for keen birders.

19. The Ssese Islands

The fascinating Ssese Islands includes 84 islands in the north-western section of Lake Victoria, is one of the most popular places to visit in Uganda. The Ssese Islands, for locals, are considered to be an ideal holiday destination. Now three campsites have been opened which can be booked through local tour operators. The wildlife on the islands includes hippos, crocodile, waterbuck, sitatunga antelope, chimpanzees and monkeys. The islands can be reached by a nine-hour steamer trip fromPort Bell.

20. Rwenzori Mountain National Park

The Rwenzori Mountain National Park is one of the most beautiful tourist attractions of Uganda. This magnificent park is also popular as the “Mountains of the Moon”. It is listed in the UNESCO World Heritage Sites and can be found right towards the western part of the country. The equatorial snow peaks include the third highest point in Africa, while the lower slopes are blanketed in moorland, bamboo and rich, moist montane forest. The national park hosts 70 mammals and 217 bird species including 19 Albertine Rift endemics, and also some of the world’s rarest vegetation.

21. Mt. Elgon National Park

Mt. Elgon National Park occupies a total area of around 4,000km² , making it the largest volcanic base in the world. You will find it situated right on the Uganda-Kenya border it is also the oldest and largest solitary, volcanic mountain in East Africa. Mount Elgon National Park is home to over 300 species of birds, including the endangered Lammergeyer. Small antelopes, forest monkeys, elephants and buffalos also live on the mountainside. Once here you can also witness the incredible form of its Flora and Fauna.

22. Ruwenzori Mountains National Park

The Ruwenzori Mountains National Park is one of the most amazing tourist attractions to visit in Uganda. This breathtaking park was established during the year 1993 and is a perfect combination of beautiful world of snow with fascinating vegetation that homes a large variety of flora and fauna. Ruwenzori means ‘rain-maker’ and the annual rainfall of the region ensures that the ice-capped peaks are visible only on a few days. The Ruwenzori Mountains National Park provides splendid grounds for hiking and a number of other activities.

23. Mount Gahinga National Park

Mount Gahinga National park is situated towards the south west corner of the country and is among the most admired tourist attractions of Uganda. The major inhabitants of the Mount Gahinga are the Mountain gorilla and the Mgahinga national Park is also the best place to watch these innocent wildlife.

24. Mount Muhavura

Mount Muhavura is yet another magnificent tourist attraction of Uganda which is situated towards the south west corner of the Mgahinga National Park. Well it is considered to be an ideal destination for hiking. A cone shaped volcano, Mount Muhavura provides the travelers and hikers with the best views. With a hiking trail and incredible surroundings Mount Muhavura forms a perfect mountaineering place.

25. Mount Sabinyo

Mount Sabinyo also referred as the “Old Man’s Teeth” is an extinct volcano in the eastern fringe of Africa, to be found right in the Virunga Mountains. This magnificent mount is as high as 3645 meters and it significantly marks the intersection borders of the democratic republic of Congo, Rwanda and Uganda. It is among the most popular tourist attractions of Uganda. The mountain gorillas are the chief occupants of the slopes of the Mount Sabinyo.

26. Uganda’s Art

The country of Uganda is also very rich in its arts and has a wide collection of handcraft products, ranging from basketry, mats, ceramics and pottery, beads, hand textiles and woven products to toys, jewellery, bags, leather products, batik and curved wood products etc. the popular art and craft of Uganda can be found almost in all districts and regions, using local raw materials and with tribal ornaments in limited edition based on culture, history and traditions.

27. Hills and Mountains

One of the major sources of attractions in Uganda remains its breathtaking Hills and Mountains. It is said that the country is naturally gifted with several mountains, which are regarded as massive extinct volcanoes spanning in almost all the pats of Uganda. They are majorly renowned for hiking activities. They are classified into volcanic and non-volcanic mountains. Some of the different mountains in Uganda include; Mt.Elgon which is about 4,321 meters in altitude is found in eastern Uganda. Uganda Museums

28. Uganda Museum

The Uganda Museum is considered to be ideal place for visitors interested in the cultural and historical site of the country. It is located in Kampala and its collection ranges from articles related to the traditional culture to those of history, science, archeology and natural history. Thus the Museum has a wide range of exhibits to offer to the visitors. One of the major attractions of this museum remains its collection of the traditional musical instruments of Uganda. It was established during the year 1908.

29. The national Museum of Uganda

Yet another very interesting museum to visit in Kampala is the fabulous National Museum of Uganda. This museum offers a collection of materials that reflect the colorful history of Uganda. The national museum contains the library of the Uganda Society in one of its rooms. This library comprises almost 3000 volumes, maps, periodicals, photographs related to the history, culture, sociology, science and travel of Africa.

30. Kibuli Mosque

One of the major landmarks of the country’s capital Kampala is the spectacular Kibuli Mosque. Once in Kampala you can witness numerous of significant religious buildings that might interest some spiritually inclined travelers. The beautiful white Kibuli Mosque dominating Kibuli Hill on the other side of the train station from Nakasero Hill is certainly one among them.

31. Lake Mutanda

Lake Mutanda is one of the most famous tourist attractions of Uganda and is the home to a diversified flora and fauna. It is well considered as a haven for a variety of wildlife. Once here you can witness some rare and unique species of wildlife like the Grey-chested crane, Pink-backed Pelican, Glossy Ibis, Pied kingfisher, Long-chested eagle, African pied wagtail and the African Otter.

32. Sipi Falls

Sipi Falls is another beautiful tourist attraction of Uganda. Once here you can witness the magnificent falls that are around 55km towards the northern part of Mbale. These falls are considered to be very spectacular and also you will find the views of Mt Elgon above them, and the wide plains of eastern and northern Uganda disappearing into the distance below. There are three levels of falls, but the two upper levels are fairly small compared with the main drop.

33. Source of the Nile

The Source of the Nile is considered as one of Jinja’s premier draw cards and certainly is among the top tourist attractions of Uganda. Before the building of the Owen Falls Dam, this was the site of the Ripon Falls, where the Nile, known locally as Omugga Kiyara, thundered out of Lake Victoria on its long journey to the Mediterranean.

34. Gandhi’s Shrine

Another famous tourist attraction to visit in Jinga is the Gandhi’s Shrine; you will find it quite close to the source of the Nile. It is a small beautiful memorial garden honoring Mahatma Gandhi, the centerpiece of which is a bronze bust donated by the Indian Government. It is said that this region is quite a pilgrimage site for Ugandan Indians, as this is one of the places where Gandhi’s ashes were scattered.

35. Bujagali Falls

One of the reasons to visit Jinga remains the extremely beautiful Bujagali Falls. It is considered to be one of the best naturally beautiful locations of Uganda. This is one of East Africa’s more laid-back locations and it is well worth setting some time aside to chill for a few days. Bujagali Falls are an ideal destination for family holidays.

36. Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary

The Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary is one of the most famous tourist attractions of Uganda. This Sanctuary is discovered in order to protect the Magombe Swamp. This beautiful Sanctuary is renowned as a haven for birds, where you can find more than 137 species, plus butterflies and a number of primates.

37. Old Kampala National Mosque

Anther magnificent attraction of Kampala remains the outstanding National Mosque of Kampala. The construction of this mosque was actually started under Idi Amin and now being funded by Colonel Gadaffi. It is said that Idi Amin had planned a towering minaret to be visible all over the city.

38. Kabaka’s Palace

The lively and vibrant city of Kampala offers some of the impressive tourist attractions and among them is the Kabaka’s Palace. You will find plenty of other outstanding buildings which are situated in and around Mengo and include the Kabaka’s Palace, inside a vast walled enclosure.

39. Owen Falls Dam

The Owen Falls Dam is considered to be among the famous landmarks of Jinja as it forms a spectacular gateway to the town: as you coast across the top, look down on the raging river below. The dam supplies Uganda with the mass of its electricity.

40. Gushing Water Falls

The Gushing water falls are yet other famous tourist attractions of Uganda. It is to be found along River Nile and regarded as a place a visitor while touring Uganda wouldn’t like to miss. Once here you will get the opportunity to enjoy white water rafting, boat rides, game viewing and spot fishing in fresh waters.

41. Lake Mburo

The Lake Mburo is one of the beautiful places to visit in Uganda. You can very well explore the eastern shores of this lake Mburo by boat, departing from a jetty at the lakeside campsite near Rwonyo. It is mostly renowned for crocodile watching and also hippopotamus during the 2-hour voyage, as well as to birds including pelicans, heron, cormorant along with fish eagle and perhaps even the rare shoebill stork

42. Bird Watching

Bird Watching is considered to be one of the most favorite activities of people in Uganda. Today it has gained a renowned reputation as an excellent worldwide destination for “bird watching” activities. Uganda is home to over 1000 species of birds owing to the diversity of its territory. Amongst the birds are the special Shoebill stork, Papyrus gonolek, African fish eagle, horn bills and lyre tailed honey guides.

43. Sport Fishing

Sport fishing is another interesting tourist attraction of Uganda. It is mostly done on Lake Victoria and Murchison Falls National Park. The major catch still remains the Lake are the Nile Perch, which is the largest fresh water game fish in the whole world; the method of fishing is by use of trolling lures. At Murchison Falls, fish are often caught using live bait.

44. Tombs of Buganda Kings

Tombs of Buganda Kings are among the most attractive tourist destinations of Uganda and a lot of visitors treat it as a cultural center. The people of Buganda consider it as spiritual center. The Buganda tribe is the largest ethnic group in Uganda. It was constructed during the year 1882 on a hilltop and was converted into a royal burial ground two years later. The area also boasts unique architecture with buildings primarily made of wood, reed, daub, thatch, and wattle.

45. Mandela National Stadium

Mandela National Stadium is one of the famous stadiums of Africa, which is a multi-purpose stadium to be found located right in the country’s capital – Kampala. Today mostly it is used for football matches, although other sports are also practiced. The stadium has a capacity of 45,202 people. This magnificent Stadium was started during the year 1997 with a concert by Lucky Dube, a reggae artist from South Africa.

46. Entebbe Wildlife Sanctuary

The Entebbe Wildlife Sanctuary is one of the most popular tourist attractions of Uganda and an attractive place to visit while touring Uganda. This impressive sanctuary was established during the year 1951 and occupies a total area of around 51 square kilometers.

47. Lake Mburo National Park

Lake mburo National Park is one of the most impressive parks that can be found in Uganda, situated towards the western highway that connects Kampala. This little beautiful park occupies a total area of around 370km2 and its major attraction remains their landscapes that are varied and even a short drive is alive with interest as well as color.

48. Gorilla Safari

Gorilla trekking is probably considered as the most adventurous and favorite tourist activity in Uganda. It is very well said that the experience will surely remains forever in your memories. You will simply love these gentle giants, the mountain gorillas. Uganda is one of the few countries where you can see the mountain gorillas.

49. Mabira Forest

Mabira forest is one of the largest surviving Natural forests of Uganda that occupies a total area of around 306sq km. you will find it situated on Kampala Jinja road. Mabira Forest is also home to around 218 Butterfly species, 97 moth species, and 23 small mammal species particularly primate species of the monkey clan, 315 species of birds such as the white bellied kingfisher and also the Blue headed crested monarch.

50. Bahai Temple Uganda

The Bahai Temple is the only temple of the Bahai faith that can be found in entire Africa. The Ugandan Baha’i temple is very exceptional and also offers some of the finest panoramic view of the city of Kampala and also its magnificent surroundings. It has plenty of land and also has beautiful gardens for one to rest.

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