Following the recent updates by CNN Travel, Uganda is rated 5th best safari destination in the world. It’s not shocking, the safe and charming nature of the country coupled with vast fascinating attractions make the country truly unique and a one-stop center for nature and adventure trails.
It’s a land where hippos humph through the wetlands and lions laze in the acacias. It’s a land of rain-stained forests and misty hills that house chimpanzees.
Uganda’s got the splashing waters of Lake Victoria, and the winding channels of the Victoria Nile to boot. Vistas of rock-ribbed mountains and unconnected volcanos conquer the margins, shooting up to craggy summits where waterfalls and thunderstorms coalesce.
Indeed, the Pearl of Africa is a true title that best describes the beauty the country has.
When you visit Uganda, you may get somewhat confused about the exact destination to visit because the country has countless enthralling attractions of interest.
But, don’t worry, I have put together some of the most thrilling Uganda tour destinations that shouldn’t be out of your bucket list when planning a safari in Uganda.
Let’s do this!
10. Gaddafi National Mosque:
Also referred to as Uganda National Mosque, is a distinguished and one of the most ancient mosques located at Kampala Hill in the Old Kampala area of Kampala, Uganda. Finished in 2006, the mosque seats up to 15,000 worshipers and can hold another 1,100 in the gallery, while the veranda will cater for another 3,500.
Colonel Muammar Gaddafi of Libya custom-made the mosque as a gift to Uganda, and for the benefit of the Muslim faith in the country. Uganda has many mosques but this one is a skyscraper mosque.
9.Kibale Forest National Park:
Across Lake George to the North East of Queen Elizabeth National Park in the west of Uganda is the Kibale Forest, National Park. The most recommended place to meet man’s closest cousins, the chimpanzee.
It’s exceedingly easier to find the chimpanzees at Kibale Forest National Park. In fact, the Kibale Forest is endorsed as the best place in the whole of East Africa for seeing chimpanzees.
The most popular trail in the park is the walk from the Kanyanchu Visitor Center, which lasts about three hours to visit the chimps and to see a diversity of wildlife en route.
After meeting the habituated chimpanzee groups, you and your group are given a maximum of one hour to enjoy these adorable animals, as they play, feed, and relax in their group.
Besides the chimpanzees, when at Kibale, you will also meet some of the other primates inhabiting the area, such as blue & red-tailed monkeys, red-colobus mangabeys, and the grey-cheeked mangabeys swinging in the forest’s canopy. Another of the favorite trails is the Kanyanchu Primate Walk to see some of the park’s thirteen species of primate.
8. Bwindi Impenetrable National Park:
The main reason to visit Uganda. Frankly, any Uganda safari is incomplete without encountering the Uganda mountain gorillas!
The endangered mountain gorillas are only found in this region (in Uganda, Rwanda & some parts of Congo) and Uganda is proud to be the habitat of over 400 (which is more than half of the world’s mountain gorilla population).
With more than 8 fully habituated gorilla families in Bwindi and also with the said more than half of the world’s mountain gorilla population, it is a safe and no-need-to-be-scared of activity.
Gorillas live in groups of around 10 individuals and are led by the most powerful silverback with the rest of the group comprising females and younger males. The silverback makes important decisions for the group and protects them from danger.
To see these animals, you can enjoy gorilla tours from Kisoro, which is about 460 kilometers (290 mi) from the capital city of Kampala. Kisoro is located in a fantastic area of Uganda and is in the African Great Lakes region. This is where the African continent is slowly splitting apart revealing the beautiful lake scenery. Because of the incredible landscape, many people refer to this part of the continent as the Switzerland of Africa.
Visit the incredible Bwindi Impenetrable Forest in Uganda. Explore the mountainous landscape at the More info
There are some great lodges in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, which is one of the best places to see the gorillas and was named after the forest’s many stands of bamboo. Bwindi contains many other animals as well as the gorillas and protects around 90 species of mammals, including 10 different primates. This is the richest area in for mammals in Uganda and there are many other species to see, such as the black and white colobus monkeys, green monkeys, Schmidt’s red-tailed monkeys, and duiker.
There are currently about 400 gorillas in Bwindi and the number has been increasing steadily over the years. Many researchers feel the slow growth of the population can be attributed mainly to visitors wanting to see the gorillas, which helps provide money and global attention for the remarkable animals.
7. Murchison Falls National Park
World’s most powerful waterfall, Murchison Falls is a fantastic natural attraction located in the aptly named Murchison Falls National Park, which with a few other protected areas create the Murchison Falls National Park. The park has been visited by the likes of Winston Churchill, Ernest Hemingway, and various royals over the years.
The protected area is home to many different animals, including hippos, crocodiles, lions, leopards, elephants, giraffes, antelopes, chimpanzees, and many different birds. However, because of intense hunting in the 1900s, the wildlife is not as it once was. Animal populations have been recovering and you’re sure to see some examples, including some of Africa’s icons.
This is the largest national park in Uganda and the Murchison Falls sits as the jewel in the crown of the protected area. The falls were named after a president of the Royal Geographical Society and is the main attraction.
Murchison Falls is a fantastic spectacle with water violently crashing through the narrow, rocky gorge. The falls eject the Victoria Nile River through a 6-meter wide chute, which cascades down 30 meters to the Nile River. Because of the spray of water, you can see a constant rainbow over the falls adding to the spectacle of this must-visit Ugandan attraction.
6. Queen Elizabeth National Park:
the Queen Elizabeth National Park region is the most popular tourist destination in Uganda, which is linked to the area’s diversity. The protected area contains many different wildlife-filled habitats, such as forests, wetlands, savanna grasslands, and a number of lakes.
The Queen Elizabeth National Park sits in the western side of Uganda, which is a few hours drive southwest of the country’s capital and largest city, Kampala. There are a few different towns close to the protected area such as Kasese and Bushenyi.
The park contains a lot of wildlife, such as the iconic African safari animals, but is also fortunate to contain and protect a population of our closest relatives, the chimpanzees. Towards the north and across Lake George, the park connects to the Kibale Forest National Park mentioned above.
You can enjoy game drives in Queen Elizabeth National Park to search for the icons of the African plains, such as lions, elephants, antelopes, and buffaloes. There are over 200 km of game tracks throughout the park we can explore.
Being part of African Great Lakes region, there are some fantastic lakes to visit where you can enjoy cruises on the glistening waters to scout for a range of wildlife. There is also a fantastic channel to enjoy between Lake Edward and Lake George to see hippopotamus, Nile crocodiles, and a multitude of birdlife.
In addition to exploring the area on game drives, one of the most spectacular ways to experience these savanna environments is by hot air balloon, which you can book as an add-on experience.
5. Mgahinga Gorilla National Park:
The golden monkeys are a fantastic group of primates to see in the wild and can be relatively easily encountered on guided treks through the forest. There are a couple of different areas to find the monkeys, but the best place to track the monkeys in Uganda is the Mgahinga National Park at the foot of the Virunga Mountains.
The monkeys enjoy hanging around the stands of bamboo forest within these protected areas and the monkeys are now used to people, which means they’re more easily observed. However, the monkeys move fast so make sure you’re using your fastest lens speed.
The golden monkeys make a fantastic add-on experience to enjoy with the gorillas or the chimpanzees. The trip makes an ideal short stay in another area of Uganda in the Virunga Mountains to find the monkeys where there are only a few thousand individuals remaining. On tours to see these fascinating primates, you can visit the habituated groups for an hour at a time.
The golden monkeys are a relatively small primate and are covered in long, golden hair. They are classified as an endangered species and are found in the Virunga’s bamboo forests. Despite protection, their population size is continually decreasing, but because they have been habituated by researchers, finding the monkeys is relatively simple as the monkeys are used to people and don’t run away. The fee paid for the permit then helps the monkeys’ protection.
While you’re in this region of Africa, it’s worth heading to see the start of the Nile River to imagine the important events in history and the countries this great river has touched before gushing into the Mediterranean Sea. This all starts in this region and you can visit one of the Nile’s sources.
The Nile is one of the longest rivers in the world and ranks along with the Amazon River. One of the sources of this incredible waterway, you can see the start of the Nile at Jinja, which is about a two-hour drive from Kampala through the Mabira forest.
You can enjoy some boat trips around the lake and visit to the hydroelectric power plant at Bujagali Falls. The area around Jinja is also known as the adventure capital of East Africa. You can enjoy mountain biking, horse riding, and other adrenaline activities. The town itself is also worth a visit to see some examples of colonial architecture.
While here, there are many different accommodation options to choose from to make your stay comfortable. The lodges can often arrange your tours and cruises in the region to help maximize your experience at the start of the Nile.
Check this two day Jinja safari to discover Jiinja.
4. Lake Victoria
Lake Victoria is the world’s largest freshwater tropical lake and sits as the jewel in the crown of the African Great Lakes region. Sitting across the borders of Uganda, Kenya, and Tanzania, this is where the Nile begins, which was one of the world’s most historically significant rivers.
The lake itself is home to some fascinating features, such as the different islands and reefs to enjoy. Around 200 species of fish and over 350 different birds call the Lake Victoria region home, which you can spot on some fascinating lake tours.
The peninsulas and islands of Lake Victoria are home to some luxury lodges where you can relax near the glistening waters and take tours around the lake to see some of the unique features and wildlife.
A great place to visit to experience the Lake Victoria region from Uganda is the town of Entebbe where you can feel the breeze from the fantastic lake. Here you can enjoy the relaxing atmosphere and the botanical gardens, which are visited by many different bird species. You can also meet one of the sources of the great Nile in Jinja to imagine where this river runs and the history linked to this incredible waterway.
The most popular Lake Victoria island to visit from Entebbe is Ngamba Island, which is home to a private chimpanzee sanctuary protecting orphaned chimpanzees. The sanctuary was set up by the Chimpanzees Sanctuary and Wildlife Conservation Trust (CSWCT) and funded by a number of organizations, including the Born Free Foundation, the International Fund for Animal Welfare, and the Jane Goodall Institute.
3. Lake Bunyonyi
Lake Bunyonyi is located close to Kisoro and Kabale and near the border with neighboring Rwanda. This is one of the largest of Africa’s lakes by depth and contains 29 different islands. Not just a popular tourist attraction for international visitors, the lake is also a popular relaxation destination for locals. Around the lake, you can find the towns of Muko and Kyevu, and you can enjoy a range of lakeside accommodation.
The main community is the Bufuka Village, which is mainly composed of members of the Bakiga and Batwa tribes. A popular attraction is to see the traditional dances of the Batwa. Another of the favorite things to do here is to take a cruise and go island hopping around Lake Bunyonyi.
The real spectacle of the lake, however, is the incredible scenery. For its beauty alone, the lake is regarded by many visitors as one of their favorite lake destinations. Because of its proximity to Bwindi Forest for gorilla trekking, which is the main reason visitors venture to this corner of Africa, the lake makes a fantastic add-on experience to see some breathtaking scenery.
A popular attraction is to visit the equator, located in the South West and 70 km for Uganda’s capital, Kampala. The mark represents the part of the Earth that receives more sunlight than any other and because of this, it’s where you find the world’s most wildlife-rich forests. Tropical rainforests cover only 7% of the world’s surface but contain 50% of all the Earth’s animals and plants.
The, unlike equatorial landmarks, provide an astonishing opportunity for magnificent photographs to document the moment and to imagine where you actually are in the world. You can then buy a little souvenir to remember the area, enjoy internet facilities to send someone an email from the equator, and relax with a coffee thanks to the renovations made by the Duke of Edinburgh in 2007.
#1. Your favorite destination
Tell us about the destination you want to visit and we shall organize a fascinating trip that shall surpass your imagination and Uganda safari needs.
Looking for a remarkable Uganda tour to any of these destinations? kindly note that with Friendly Gorillas Safaris, you can tailor your favorite Gorilla or wildlife safari to any of these destinations with ease. Contact us today and let’s plan your adventure!
Let’s know which favorite destination you think we have skipped. Tell us in the comments.