Panoramic view of Crater Lake near Kibale, Uganda

Things to do in  Uganda

Gorillas in our midst

Undulating landscapes, abundant wildlife, and a rich history characterize the East African nation of Uganda. The country boasts 10 national parks, including the UNESCO-listed Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, which is home to more than half of the world’s population of mountain gorillas. Add in natural features like Lake Victoria and the Rwenzori Mountains, vibrant cities like Kampala and Jinja, and ancient cultures like the Acholi, Lango, and Ganda, and you’ll find no end of things to do in Uganda.

Top 15 attractions in Uganda

Lake Victoria

Although most famous for being the source of the Nile River, Lake Victoria also boasts the title of the world’s largest tropical lake. Despite its diverse species, scenic shores, and vital role in local industries, much of the African Great Lake remains off-the-beaten-track, making it the ideal getaway from Uganda’s bustling cities.More

Uganda National Mosque

Located on Kampala Hill, the Uganda National Mosque caters to the country’s significant Muslim population and has a capacity of 35,000 worshippers. Completed in 2006, the temple was originally known as the Gaddafi National Mosque and serves as the headquarters for Islam in Uganda. Its 166-foot (65-meter) minaret provides panoramic views of the city.More

Mengo Palace (Lubiri)

Built in 1885, Mengo Palace (Lubiri) is the historic official residence of the Buganda king. Following a 1966 military coup, the palace’s subterranean storage tunnels were used to incarcerate political prisoners. Although the palace’s classic facade has been restored, chilling reminders of the Idi Amin dictatorship remain in the grounds.More

Kasubi Tombs

As the burial site of four Buganda kings, the UNESCO-listed Kasubi Tombs hold important cultural and spiritual significance in Uganda. The main Muzibu Azaala Mpanga structure is made from organic materials and marks the central point of the site, which sprawls across Kasubi Hill.More

Nakasero Market

Nakasero Market has served as one of Kampala’s main trade spots since 1895. The vibrant and often chaotic market offers insight into local life and serves as a stark contrast to the embassies and elite hotels that surround it. Fresh produce can be purchased in the the large outdoor section, while the indoor portion specialises in clothes, machinery, and souvenirs.More

Uganda Museum

Opened in 1908, Uganda Museum is among the oldest museums in East Africa. Its five galleries provide an overview of the region’s rich history, from the prehistoric age to the present. Highlights include its collection of folk instruments, its Idi Amin exhibition, and the outdoor village that showcases traditional architecture from across the country.More

Uganda Martyrs' Shrine (Namugongo)

Uganda Martyrs Shrine Namugongo pays tribute to the 32 Ugandan Christians—collectively, the Martyrs of Uganda—killed in 1886 under the orders of Mwanga II, who was kabaka, or king, of the Buganda kingdom at that time. The Roman Catholic basilica and shrine broke ground in 1965, just one year after Pope Paul VI canonized the deceased as saints. It now draws thousands of Christian and non-Christian visitors alike.More

Old Taxi Park

The aptly named Old Taxi Park is the oldest—and biggest—transit terminal in Kampala, Uganda. Although a transportation hub doesn’t necessarily sound like a must-see attraction, it has become an offbeat tourist destination (especially for photographers) because of the impressive spectacle of thousands of white minibuses navigating the cramped lot. It’s also the starting point for many short-distance rides throughout the city.More
Aerial view of Kisenyi in Kampala, Uganda


Kisenyi, located in the heart of Kampala adjacent to the capital’s central business district, is a huge neighborhood where some of Uganda’s poorest and most vulnerable residents live in extremely close quarters, many without access to running water. Despite these challenges, Kisenyi has a lively, vibrant atmosphere filled with informal businesses—everything from butcher shops and fresh produce vendors to furniture and metalworking shops. It’s been nicknamed Little Mogadishu after the 18,000 Somali refugees who call the slum home.More
Young African Refugees for Integral Development Center (YARID)

Young African Refugees for Integral Development Center (YARID)

Founded in 2007 by a trio of young Congolese refugees living in Uganda, the Young African Refugees for Integral Development (YARID) in Kampala is a registered NGO that seeks to aid refugees, asylum seekers, and people who have been displaced by conflict. Each year, YARID serves over 4,000 individuals who primarily are from Africa’s Great Lakes region (Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, and Burundi) but also come from other East African countries, including Ethiopia and South Sudan.More

Lake Mutanda

Tucked away in the highlands of southern Uganda, this freshwater lake is one of the region’s hidden gems. The crystal-clear waters are surrounded by the volcanic peaks of the Virunga Mountain Range, home to critically endangered mountain gorillas. There are 15 islands on the lake, but only Mutanda Island is inhabited—the rest are a haven for birdlife, from kingfishers and ibis to cormorants and pelicans.More

Queen Elizabeth National Park

One of Uganda’s most popular nature reserves, this sprawling safari park is an excellent place to experience the Rift Valley’s diverse landscapes and wildlife. The park spans dense forests, hippo-filled lakes, and savannah grasslands flanked by volcanic peaks. It’s also the only place outside of Tanzania where you can spot the rare tree-climbing lion, plus chimpanzees and more than 600 species of birds.More

Murchison Falls National Park

Both Uganda’s oldest and largest nature reserve, Murchison Falls National Park is home to the Rabonga and Budongo forests, vast savannah grasslands, and the roaring cascades that give the safari park its name. Come for the chance to spot four of the Big Five: elephants, leopards, lions, and buffalo. You can also spot elusive white rhinos in the nearby Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary.More

Lake Mburo National Park

Lake Mburo National Park is host to hundreds of species of animals, from rare birds to zebras and hippos. A haven for nature enthusiasts, a trip here is the perfect way to discover Uganda’s rich yet fragile wildlife. The park is part of a wetland system spanning 50 kilometers and linked by a swamp, making it an integral part of the country's ecosystem.With more than 350 bird species, Lake Mburo National Park is the perfect place for birdwachers to observe, among others, the rare Red-faced Barbet from popular spots such as Rubanga Forest. However, all animal and nature lovers are rewarded at the park; the lake itself offers a great spot for wildlife watching, while for those who enjoy hiking, Rwonyo Rest Camp is the best place to start. For the adventurous, quad biking and game drives are also available.The best way to visit Lake Mburo National Park is to book a tour from Kampala with an early morning start. As Uganda is situated on the equator, the journey offers the opportunity to stop and stand over both the north and southern hemispheres. A day trip consists of a guided safari drive through the park, with a stop at one of the lakes for lunch. You can also add a guided nature walk, or perhaps a boat ride for a chance to see the crocodiles up close. Lake Mburo National Park can also be visited as part of a week-long night safari or as part of a cultural tour of Uganda. For the bravest embarking on a trek across the Rwenzori Mountains, visiting Lake Mburo will come as a pleasant and well-deserved break at the end of your trip.More

Bwindi Impenetrable National Park

Located in the lush highlands of southwestern Uganda, Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is one of only three places where you can encounter critically endangered mountain gorillas in the wild. The protected forest reserve not only shelters half of the world’s mountain gorilla population, but is also home to 120 mammal species, several hundred bird species, and more than 150 types of trees.More
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All about Uganda

When to visit

Uganda is temperate year-round, with temperatures reaching their highest December through February—if you’re wildlife watching, these warmer months often ensure better views. Rainy seasons are between March–May and September–November. Keep in mind that downpours can make the terrain trickier to manage if you’re road tripping or trekking.

Getting around

Within cities, most people get around by car, matatu (public minivan) or boda boda (taxi motorbike). Traffic is often heavy and driving can be intense, so it’s generally easier to let a local handle the roads, whether with prebooked tour transfers or taxi services. If you’re traveling between towns, coach buses or private transfers are the standard—where possible, take the Post Bus, which is widely considered the best option for intercity bus travel.

Traveler tips

Foodies in Uganda can’t miss out on the rolex. No, it's not the watch, but the street food delicacy found cooking on corners throughout the country. Made of omelet, veggies, and fried chapati, it’s a vegetarian energy boost for adventurers on the go. Film fans are in for a treat too, with many of Uganda’s natural landmarks used as filming locations in the Black Panther movies, including Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Rwenzori Mountains, and Lake Bunyonyi.


People Also Ask

Is Uganda good for tourists?

Yes, Uganda is great for tourists. It’s one of the only places to see mountain gorillas and the so-called Big Five game animals. Take safety precautions—book accommodation and tours through reputable agencies and remain vigilant. Many tourists find Uganda more affordable and varied in its offerings than neighboring countries.

What is Uganda best known for?

Uganda is known for its wildlife and landscapes. It's home to a majority of the world’s endangered mountain gorillas, plus lions, leopards, and elephants. Then there’s the source of the Nile River in Jinja and the powerful Murchison Falls. The historic kingdoms of Buganda and Bunyoro-Kitara are from here, too.

What are the top tourist attractions in Uganda?

Uganda’s top attractions are its national parks, including Murchison Falls National Park, Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, and Rwenzori Mountains National Park. Lake Victoria, the largest of Africa’s Great Lakes, is another draw, as is the capital city of Kampala—home to cultural attractions including Kasubi Tombs, Uganda Museum, and Mengo Palace.

Is Uganda expensive for vacation?

Yes and no. Daily items aren’t very expensive in Uganda, and tourists can choose accommodation and meal options at a variety of prices. However, big experiences like gorilla trekking can be very expensive. Much of the proceeds go into conservation, and the price covers the all-important permits and ranger fees.

Is it safe to visit gorillas in Uganda?

Yes, it's safe to visit gorillas in Uganda. The nation is invested in keeping gorilla trekking, a major attraction, safe and inviting. Visitors receive a detailed briefing on approaching the wild animals and are escorted by an armed ranger, whose job it is to protect both trekkers and gorillas.

How many days do you need in Uganda?

You need seven days (minimum) to experience Uganda’s best bits, but it’ll be a whistle-stop tour. Gorilla trekking takes one to three days, and there's travel between cities or parks, plus two days for the capital. Plan for two weeks to fully experience a few natural reserves and cultural landmarks.

Frequently Asked Questions
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