Uganda is one of the best tourist destinations on the African continent. Located just astride the Equator, Uganda is most known for hosting the mountain gorillas, endangered ape species found in only three African countries. A Uganda safari will take you through amazing places that include national parks, game reserves, tropical rain forests, mountains-capes and more.
- Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
- Queen Elizabeth National Park
- Kibale Forest National Park
- Murchison Falls National Park
- Kidepo Valley National Park
- Semuliki National Park
- Lake Mburo National Park
- Mgahinga National Park
- Semuliki National Park
- Mount Rwenzori National Park
- Mount Elgon National Park
Top Things to Do (Tourist Activities)
- Bird Watching – there are over 1000 species of birds in Uganda – over half the total species found in the whole of Africa…
- Chimpanzee Trekking – somewhat cheaper and more accessible than gorilla trekking, but still a highly rewarding experience…
- Fishing – from the expanse that is Lake Victoria, to the bubbling cauldron of the River Nile at the foot of Murchison Falls…
- Gorilla Trekking – Uganda is home to some of the few remaining habitats for mountain gorillas…
- Mountain Climbing – the Rwenzori Mountains join Kilimanjaro and Mount Kenya as the only permanently snow-capped mountains in Africa…
- Safari – if you love safari, but find the traditional hotspots too crowded, then Uganda is for you…
- White Water Rafting – how many people can say they’ve ridden the white water of the world’s longest river?
Lakes and Islands
The map below is interactive – please click on the lake of interest for more details. Map is for reference only and not accurately portrayed.
The map below is interactive – please click on the park of interest for more details. Map is for reference only and not accurately portrayed.
People and Culture
The people of Uganda are made up from many ethnic groups, of which none form the majority. These groups are spread across 80 districts. Although English is the official language (since independence), there are over 40 languages spoken, the most widely spoken being Luganda, which is the predominant local language of the capital Kampala and the surrounding Buganda region. The second official language is Swahili, a language used throughout eastern Africa. It is no longer widely spoken, especially among the younger generations. For many it has bad memories, as it was declared the national language by the dictator Idi Amin.
Towns and Cities
The map below is interactive – please click on the town of interest for more details. Map is for reference only and not accurately portrayed.
Entebbe is located on the shore of Lake Victoria, less than an hour’s drive from the capital, Kampala. It gives its name to Uganda’s main international airport, which is located nearby. Of interest in Entebbe is the Uganda Wildlife Education Centre (formally Entebbe Zoo), and the Botanical Gardens. There is plenty of accommodation available to suit all budgets.
Fort Portal is found in the west of Uganda, close to the border with DR Congo. It was named after Sir Gerald Portal, who was a British Special Commissioner. His statue can still be found in the town. It is close to the Rwenzori Mountains, Kibale National Park, and Queen Elizabeth National Park.
Widely believed to be one of the most attractive towns in Uganda, Fort Portal is the capital of the Toro kingdom. The fort itself is now the town’s golf club.
Using Fort Portal as a base, you are within reach of the town of Mityana, which is the starting point for the tea growing area. Not much further is Lake Wamala, a 20 minute walk from Naama.
Source of the River Nile
Located in the south-east of Uganda, Jinja is on the shore of Lake Victoria, near the source of the River Nile. It is the capital of the Busoga Kingdom. The first European to discover the source of the River Nile was John Hanning Speke.
Kabale, located in south-western Uganda, is the principal town of Kabale District. The majority of the population is of the Bakiga tribe. It is on the main transport route to the border with Rwanda and also DR Congo.
It is commonly used as a resting point for visitors to Lake Bunyonyi and also for gorilla trekking in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga National Park. Also nearby are the Ihamba Hot Springs.
Kampala is the capital and best known of Uganda’s towns and cities. It is served by an international airport some 30-40 minutes away at Entebbe. There are well over 1 million inhabitants. It was originally a hunting ground for Mutesa I, the king (Kabaka) of Buganda. When the British arrived, they called the area “the hills of the Impala” (Impala is a type of antelope) which, when translated to Luganda is “Kasozi ka Impala”. Over time this shortened to Kampala. The city actually spreads over 7 hills, from which can be had some commanding views.
Kasese is the principal town of the Kasese district in western Uganda, just north of Lake George. It is also near the Rwenzori Mountains and Queen Elizabeth National Park.
Masaka is the principal town of the Masaka district. It lies near the north-west shore of Lake Victoria, south-west of the capital Kampala.
Mbale is the main town of the Mbale district in south-east Uganda, near Mount Elgon. It is famous for being home to the Islamic University of Uganda. A recent claim to fame was being the setting for a scene in the recent James Bond film ‘Casino Royale’. The actual shooting did not take place in Mbale however.
Mbarara is the principal town of the Mbarara district in south-west Uganda. It is near to Lake Mburo National Park, and a popular stopover en-route to the 2 gorilla trekking destinations, Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga National Park.