When it come to travel in Uganda, most of us go for its wildlife. Head to the Bwindi jungles for a gorilla trek. Go on safari in Ishaha to see tree-climbing lions in fig trees. Another must-see when it comes to travel in Uganda is the tropical forests of Kibale, home to chimpanzees.
Uganda offers some of the world’s most interesting sights and wildlife experiences. Though landlocked, Uganda has a diverse landscape that includes mountains, savannahs, and lakes. Its wildlife includes hippos and chimpanzees and rare birds. It is also a sanctuary nation for endangered species like gorillas, giraffes, elephants, and rhinos.
There are endless options for sightseeing, exploration, interaction and adventure. Read our Uganda travel guide to find out why you should travel to Uganda.
Uganda Travel: What to See
This is our Uganda travel guide’s ‘definitely do’ list:
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park: Gorilla trekking in Uganda is one of the top reasons people travel here. A UNESCO World Heritage site, Bwindi is home to Uganda’s gorillas. When you do a gorilla trek, you hike with rangers and guides through the jungle for a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see gorillas in their natural habitat. Gorilla permits are expensive ($600USD), but worth it because money is redirected to conservation. Bwindi is home to 90 other species of mammals that monkeys and birds. It’s an incredible moment to gorilla trek in Uganda and come face-to-face with a gorilla.
Queen Elizabeth National Park: The Equator passes right through this park. This protected area offers different wildlife habitats including forests, wetlands, savannah, and several lakes. Here you can find tree-climbing lions, elephants, antelopes, buffalo, hippos, and giraffes. This is a top place for safari for many travellers once they complete a gorilla trek.
Ishasha: In Queen Elizabeth Park, not far from the Nzirambi orphanage, is Ishasha and its tree-climbing lions. The Wildlife Conservation Society of Uganda estimates there are about 128 lions here. It’s highly unusual for lions to climb trees, and Uganda has one of the only lion populations that do this. It’s not known exactly why they do this. Sadly, the lion population has been under threat due to illegal snaring and trapping. Seeing wild lions in a tree? Definitely bucket list. It’s one of the stand-out experiences for any Uganda tour.
Murchison Falls National Park & Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary: When it comes to Uganda safaris, this is the country’s largest national park. Here, you can find hippos, crocodiles, lions, leopards, elephants, giraffes, antelopes, chimpanzees, and a diversity of birds. There is also Murchison Falls. At nearby Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary, learn about the last rhinos in Uganda. The sanctuary is heavily protected to ensure that predators (human and animal) don’t have access to the endangered species while they breed and grow.
Pod of hippos relaxing in the Nile River, Murchison Falls National Park, Uganda
Lake Victoria: Africa’s largest lake, shared by three countries, is the starting point of the Nile River and home to several islands. Lake Victoria is a definite must-do spot on a Uganda tour. One of the more interesting spots is the Ssese Islands, an archipelago of approximately 84 islands known for its beauty, home to the Bantu people, and inhabited by a variety of wildlife, fish and birds. Entebbe is nearby.
Lake Bunyonyi: Nestled between Kisoro and Kabale near the Ugandan and Rwandan border, this natural paradise is a great place to stop whether you are embarking or returning from your gorilla trek in Uganda or Rwanda. With charming shore towns and beautiful resorts, Lake Bunyonyi is an opportunity for visitors to take advantage of a variety of activities like canoeing, swimming, boat tours, and local cultural tours.
Kampala: This city offers options for everyone. Most of us quickly pass through Kampala on our way to gorilla trekking. The Ndere Cultural Centre is where the Ndere Troupe offer unique performances tracing the history of Uganda and Africa through song, dances and instruments native to various tribes. The Uganda National Mosque is located on one of the original ‘seven hills’ of Kampala. You can get a bird’s eye view of the entire city from the mosque. The Kasubi Tombs, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is the burial site of a royal family. The Uganda Museum offers wide-ranging displays of Ugandan history and is the oldest museum in East Africa.