Trekking through lush green vegetation hiding misty valleys home to gorillas, dodging boda boda bikes in the capital of Kampala, and playing with chimpanzees – Uganda is all about outdoor adventure and unique culture. To help you pick the right tour of Uganda for you, we’ve compiled a list of the best of the best below.
Gorillas in the mist
Become a real-life Tarzan or Jane, and join strict conservation attempts to come face-to-face with a family of mountain gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, home to half the world’s population of 700. Tour companies organise permits and small group tracking to experience one of East Africa’s ultimate highlights.
Journey to Jinja
Explorers have adventured for centuries to discover the ‘source of the Nile’, allowing modern-day intrepids to celebrate with adrenaline boosts of rapid white water rafting, kayaking or mountain biking.
Explore the capital, Kampala
Once the throne of the old Buganda kingdom, no longer battered from Idi Amin’s autocratic drain, the peaceful, colourful capital sits on Lake Victoria and is ranked as the best place to live in East Africa. UNESCO World Heritage site the Kasubi Tombs, where four kings of Buganda are buried, is well worth a visit to understand the spiritual heritage of the Ganda people.
Primate central in Kibale Forest National Park
Hilly rainforest acts as a wild zoo for the world’s largest concentration of primates, with 12 different species recorded. A walking safari tour allows you up close to the park’s 500 playful but sadly endangered chimpanzees, man’s closest relative. Keep your eyes open and you may have the bonus of spotting one of the elusive African Golden Cats known to inhabit the area.
Lions and elephants at Queen Elizabeth National Park
Uganda is not all planet of the apes. Drives to game reserves fit for royalty can spot elephants, lions, buffalo and the Ugandan kob. Ornithologists go binocular barmy for cruises down the Kazinga Channel.
Birdlife at Lake Bunyonyi
The translation as ‘place of little birds’ is self-explanatory, and the variety or avian species at Lake Bunyonyi, nestled in the hills above Kabale, is tremendous. Take out a dugout canoe to admire the peaceful surroundings nicknamed ‘The Switzerland of Africa’.
Pick up a souvenir
Remember your once-in-a-lifetime trip to Uganda with a traditional craft item like barkcloth or a paper bead necklace – the perfect souvenir!
Courtney Gahan is a serial expat, traveller and freelance writer who has bartered with Moroccan marketeers, seen the sun rise at Angkor Wat and elbowed her way through crowds on NYE in NYC