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Top things to do in Uganda?/best things to do during your Uganda safari. If you are wondering what to do in Uganda the popular Uganda safari activities include:- gorilla trekking, chimpanzee tracking, Big5 game viewing, gorilla & chimpanzee habituation, bird watching, mountain climbing, etc. Uganda offers a variety of adventure and fun tourist activities.

Below is a full list of incredible top things to do in Uganda/safari activities that you can do while on your safari in Uganda.

  1. Gorilla trekking in Uganda

  2. Chimpanzee trekking in Uganda

  3. Wildlife viewing in Uganda/Game viewing in Uganda/Game drives in Uganda

  4. Gorilla habituation experience in Uganda

  5. Chimpanzee habituation experience in Uganda

  6. Boat cruise in Uganda/Launch trips in Uganda

  7. Community Cultural visits in Uganda

  8. Bird watching in Uganda

  9. White water rafting at the source of the Nile in Jinja, Uganda

  10. Golden monkey tracking in Uganda

  11. Mountain climbing and hiking in Uganda

  12. Sportfishing in Uganda

  13. Canoeing on Lake Bunyonyi

  14. Kampala City Tour

  1. Gorilla trekking in Uganda

There is no wildlife encounter to match gorilla trekking in the misty jungles of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park  and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park.

Things to do in Uganda

In fact, of all the amazing wildlife watching experiences out there, this is the one that gets you up close with one of the world’s most magnificent creatures.

Usually, you view wildlife, from rhinos, lions to elephants, from vehicles, but in this case, you hike to the gorillas and encounter them on foot, in their world, on their terms, very, very close up.

It is an emotionally moving experience. But the trek is not always easy as it can require some physical fitness to hike up steep hills through dense jungle and sometimes swamp-like valleys.

However, for those who have sat quietly in the jungle watching—and being watched by—these bulky intelligent apes so closely related to us, it is well worth any difficulty. Trekking rules are strictly enforced, for example:-

  • Visitors must wear a face mask
  • At least 10 meters away from gorillas must be maintained.
  • You can take as many photographs as you want but no flash.
  • Speak in whispers and don’t make sudden movements.
  • Treks are limited to 8 persons per group and visits to one hour.
  • You need a gorilla permit (at US$ 700) to trek the gorillas of Uganda. Permit fees go entirely to support the park and its wildlife.

Climate and weather are unpredictable and variable—almost any visit will include both hot and cool weather, rain, and sun.

Hiking boots are essential, as are a hat, gloves to protect against stinging nettles, long sleeves and pants, and a light waterproof jacket.

The best times are dry-season June–August and December–February.

2.Chimapanzee trekking in Uganda       

One of the most human-like primates on Earth is the chimpanzees which share almost 99% of our DNA. There are about 5,000 Chimpanzees ever recorded to live in Uganda with nearly 1500 of them live in the Kibale National Park alone.

The disheartening fact is that most people see these primates in small fenced animal sanctuaries, but at:Things to do in Uganda

  • Kibale National Park,

  • Budongo Forest,

  • Kyambura Gorge in Queen Elizabeth National Park and

  • Kalinzu forest, you see chimps in their own natural, wild and unfettered habitat.

You will spend sometimes as you observe them swing from one tree to another, learning about their behaviors including social lifestyles and feeding as well as taking photos and recording moments.

3.Wildlife viewing in Uganda/Game viewing in Uganda/Game drives in Uganda

Game drives are among the classic Africa wildlife watching experiences. Uganda has an endowment of savannah parks and wildlife reserves which protect numerous animal species. Uganda safari parks like;

In fact, Uganda’s National parks have not received as much attention as other Africa safari destinations, making Uganda a great destination for a private wildlife viewing safaris with little or no crowds.  Notably, on a Uganda safari game drive, you definitely meet the Big Five including:-

  • African lion
  • Africa bush elephants
  • Leopards
  • Cape buffalos
  • Black rhinos

Also during your game drives safaris, you will see a variety of other animal species such as hippos, zebras, giraffes, cheetahs, and numerous antelopes.

And most importantly, the savannah parks contain amazing and exclusive safari camps and lodges that will cater to your safari stay needs like a kingly traveler.

  1. Gorilla habituation experience in Uganda

  • Gorilla habituation is a process of getting these gracious and adorable creatures used to humans around them and to consider people as any other harmless being living within their environment.
  • Gorilla habituation adventures in Uganda has become quite popular since primate enthusiast wants more than 1 hour with gorillas.
  • Most important, you are an active participant on a gorilla habituation experience unlike on a typical gorilla trek where you are an observer; something that is very important to many travelers today who want to be involved in something more meaningful rather than just being an observer.
  • If you want to participate in the gorilla habituation experience, you will need a permit. Gorilla habituation experience is done in Rushaga; the southern sector of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.
  • If you want to participate in the gorilla habituation experience in Uganda, you need to be with a permit.  The habituation permit at US$ 1500 per person (to spend 4 hours with the gorilla after tracking them) can be acquired through  Uganda tour operators.
  • The activity is restricted to 4 visitors so that you can maximize your experience with the great apes.
  1. Chimpanzee habituation experience in Uganda

  • Many visitors travel to Uganda every year to track wild chimpanzees, our next of kin in the animal world, sharing 99% percent of our genes. However, Uganda’s Kibale National Park; the primate capital of East Africa also offers a Chimpanzee Habituation Experience (CHEX).
  • This Chimpanzee habituation is usually a full-day activity that occurs in the chimpanzee community which is undergoing habituation.  Chimpanzee habituation is aimed at getting the chimpanzees used to human presence.
  • It is a long process that can take up to 10 years before a group of chimpanzees can safely be considered habituated.
  • This experience involves visitors accompanying researchers and habituators into the forest. It starts at around 6:00 am where you can watch chimps leaving their overnight nests.
  • You will see them feeding, copulating, hunting, breastfeeding, playing, resting, patrolling their territory, and displaying until it is time to build new nests around 7 pm. The chimpanzee habituation experience at Kibale National Park costs US$250 per person.
  1. Boat cruise in Uganda/Launch trips in Uganda

The boat cruise is among the key memorable moments for someone on a Uganda safari. They take place:-

  • The source of the Nile in Jinja

  • In Queen Elizabeth National Park on Kazinga Channel

  • In Murchison Falls National Park

  • In Lake Mburo National Park and

  • On Lake Victoria−the world’s largest tropical freshwater lake.

While on a boat cruise you will be able to see scenic wonders of forests, rock islands, and a variety of wildlife.

The launch trip on the Kazinga channel, which harbors the highest concentration of crocodiles in the word is, in fact, considered one of the great birds watching trips of the world.

Also, launch trip up the Nile to the bottom of the Murchison Falls, a dramatic 45-meters drop into churning rapids in Murchison Falls National Park offers visitors an opportunity to see the greatest concentrations of Nile crocodiles in East Africa. You will also see;

  • Great herds of hippos
  • Large flocks of African skimmers
  • Groups of elephants showering on the riverbank
  • Defassa waterbucks and
  • African buffaloes wallowing near Nile Perch weighing up to 200 pounds (90kg).
  1. Cultural tours in Uganda/Cultural visits in Uganda

Uganda has a very strong cultural heritage; well-endowed with different cultural and historical sites. With more than 56 different tribes, Uganda is a one-stop center for a rich African cultural experience ranging from:-

  • Bantu in the Central, West, South-west, and East
    Batwa pigmies Uganda tour

    Batwa pigmies Uganda tour

  • Nilotic groups of people in the North, North-East, and North-West

Many regions in Uganda also have kingdoms, including:

  • Buganda Kingdom Kingdom
  • Busoga Kingdom
  • Bunyoro Kingdom
  • Toro Kingdom
  1. Bird watching in Uganda

Uganda is a superb bird-watching destination with an astonishing 50%  of all bird species in Africa.

Diverse habitats such as tropical lowland forests, montane forests, open savannah, marshland, rivers,  freshwater lakes, and crater lakes combine to give Uganda an enviable list of over 1073 bird specie.

The famous Shoebill is one of the must-see birds, a glimpse of which can be caught at Mabamba bay Swamp in Entebbe and Murchison Falls National Park.

A trip to Bwindi would lead you to the Albertine Endemics. Kibale National Park and Bigodi wetland sanctuary will allow you the sight of the great Blue Turacos. Semuliki National Park offers an opportunity to see a variety of central African species.

Below is a list of some of the key bird species in Uganda

  • Shoebill Stork

  • Grey Crowned Cranes

  • Green-Breasted Pitta

  • Shelley’s Crimsonwing

  • African Green Broadbill

  • African Jacana

  • Great Blue Turaco

  • Standard-Winged Nightjar

  • Black Breaster Barbet

  • Bar-Tailed Trogon

  • Doherty’s Bushshrike

  • Short-Tailed Warble

  1. White water rafting at the source of the Nile in Jinja

  • If you think of fun, exploration, and adventure, the source of the Nile River is the perfect place for you.
  • Jinja often referred to as the adventure capital of East Africa is one of the world’s most spectacular destinations for white-water rafting and for many visitors who undertake trips to Uganda; a rafting tour to Jinja at the source of the Nile is the highlight of their visit.
  • What makes this activity so unique and adventurous is that it is done on the world’s longest river. This activity is often done on different degrees of rough water- known as the International Scale of River Difficulty.
  • The Nile in Jinja has grades of difficulty in white water rafting. They range from simple to very dangerous ones. Here at the Nile, you can expect long, rollicking strings of Grade IV and V rapids, with plenty of thrills and spills as you spot plenty of bird species hovering around.
  1. Golden Monkey Tracking in Uganda

  • In Uganda, Golden Monkey trekking is only done in Mgahinga National Park. The golden monkey is a very rare monkey species found only in the Bamboo Forests of the Virunga Volcanoes – nowhere else in the world and holds a conservation status of endangered.
  • These beautiful creatures who live in large groups of up to 62 individuals and are quite playful and fascinating to watch. Golden monkeys are masters of foraging in the bamboo and the unspoiled highland vegetation.
  • They swing from branch to branch with ultimate ease, swinging their long tails of about 72 cm, balance in space as they land on branches with the aid of both their feet and arms that have gripping abilities.
  • Like mountain gorillas, the golden monkeys are habituated, meaning that they will not shy away when humans approach. Also, tracking golden monkeys is similar to trekking mountain gorillas, however, the trek itself is not quite as challenging.
  1. Mountain climbing and hiking in Uganda

  • Aside from lying on the equator, Uganda fascinates so many hikers in the whole world, because of the snowcapped Rwenzori mountains in the west, alongside the wonderful experience in rugged rocks of Mount Elgon.
  • Making it to the  Rwenzori summit (5109m) is to stand at the highest point in Uganda and the third highest point in Africa. Hiking to the top of Mount Elgon is to stand on the 8th highest point in Africa(4,321m).
  • When you ascend the Rwenzori mountains, prepare to see the lush tropical rainforests under the equator submerge into the sky when heather forest, while alpine plants like lobelia and everlasting flowers emerge – a lifetime experience for adventurers without acrophobia.
  • Both Mount Elgon and Rwenzori mountain ranges are popular Uganda safari destinations for nature lovers providing an exclusive fascination for backpackers trailing the numerous bird species and the rich variety of vegetation zones and wildlife.
  • Other mountain hiking destinations in Uganda include the Virunga volcanoes in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park; Mount Sabyinyo (at 3,669m), Mount Muhavura (at 4,127m), and Mount Gahinga ( at 3474m).
  1. Sportfishing in Uganda

Besides wildlife safaris, Uganda is incomparably one of the exceptional spot fishing destinations in Africa. Sportfishing adventure in Uganda is a lifetime experience that allows visitors to explore the country’s fishing spots especially:-

  • Lake Victoria and Ssese Islands
  • Murchison Falls National Park and
  • Lake Mburo National Park.

The fishing techniques used during this adventure are modern to ensure safety and promote sustainable fishing practices.

  1. Canoeing on Lake Bunyonyi

The best way to enjoy the scenic beauty of Lake Bunyonyi is by jumping on a canoe to paddle its peaceful waters. While canoeing, keep an eye out for otters particularly along the shore during early morning and late afternoon.

During your tour of the lake, you will be told of many cultural and historical mysteries about the lake and its 29  islands including the punishment Island where the young girls who got pregnant before marriage would be dumped and left to die. Each of the islands has its own history attached to it.

There are also many other activities that are carried out around Lake Bunyonyi that include swimming, boating, hiking, birding, biking, nature walks, and village tours.

  1. Kampala City Tour

Exploring Uganda without touring her capital would be an injustice to your Uganda safari. Kampala is the capital city of Uganda that as of now sits on 22 hills. You can choose the motorcycle (Boda Boda) tour or a Kampala city walk. Kampala’s greatness lies in her architectural, cultural, historical, and spiritual sites such as:-

  • Uganda National Museum

  • Uganda Martyrs Shrine in Namugongo

  • Rubaga Cathedral

  • Namirembe Cathedral

  • Uganda National Mosque the Bahai Temple

  • The Hindu temple

  • Independence monument

  • Kasubi Royal tombs

  • Kabaka’s (King’s) palace and others