25 Popular Places to Visit in Uganda, Unique Destinations
Do you know the Best Places to Visit in Uganda? Well, the Pearl of Africa is highly rated for a reason: it boasts a diverse array of Places to Visit in Uganda, ranging from cities and forests to national parks.
Listing all the attractions in Uganda would take a decade, but in this guide, we share the top 25 Places to Visit in Uganda.
Cities to Visit in Uganda:
We couldn’t pick a better starting point than the capital of Uganda. Kampala is a hub of history, culture, and finance. The city boasts the largest concentration of hotels in Uganda, ranging from luxury to budget.
Key government and cultural sites, such as the Uganda Parliament, police and army headquarters, the High Court, and the country’s largest stadium, are all located here.
The 189 km² city offers numerous attractions, including historical and religious monuments, markets, and more. Explore our 1-day Kampala city tour for comprehensive details.
Next on our list is Uganda’s gateway city, home to the country’s only international airport.
Entebbe features several attractions, such as the Uganda Wildlife Education Center (formerly known as the Entebbe Zoo), the Mabamba Bay Swamp (famed for the elusive shoebill stork), the Reptile Village, Botanical Gardens, Lake Victoria, and several beaches.
The Uganda State House is also located here. For easy access to Ngamba Island, Entebbe’s Front Beach is the place to be. In terms of accommodation, Entebbe is second only to Kampala. Check out our ideal trip to Entebbe to explore more.
The tourism capital of Uganda is a must Places to Visit in Uganda for adventure seekers.
Located just 79 km from Kampala, Jinja offers unique adventures, including white-water rafting, bungee jumping, boat cruises, quad biking, zip-lining, kayaking, water tubing, horse riding, bird watching, cultural tours, and cycling.
The city is also popular for its high-quality accommodation, ranging from luxurious resorts such as Lemala Wild water lodge and Jinja Nile Resort to basic hotel options.
Book our Jinja City Tour for an extreme experience and find best places to visit in Jinja Uganda.
Other cities worth visiting in Uganda include Fort Portal, Masaka, Mbarara, Gulu, Arua, Kabale, Kisoro, and Mbale.
National Parks – Places to Visit in Uganda:
Murchison Falls National Park:
This famous and expansive park is a staple on Uganda safari itineraries. Covering 3,840 square kilometers in the Northwestern part of Uganda, it includes forests, savannah areas, the Nile River, Lake Albert, and the Murchison Falls themselves.
The park is home to over 144 mammals, 556 bird species, 51 reptiles, and 51 amphibians. Activities include game drives, chimpanzee trekking, boat cruises, sport fishing, bird watching, hot-air balloon safaris, hiking, and nature walks.
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park:
Known as the prime home of the world’s largest primates, the mountain gorillas, Bwindi is a must on the list of Places to Visit in Uganda. Located in Southwestern Uganda, over 501 km from the capital, the park is a unique gem.
It hosts more than half of the remaining mountain gorillas, along with several bird species, monkeys, chimpanzees, forest elephants, and bushbucks. Bwindi is well-equipped for tourists, with multiple roads, airstrips near the forest, and various accommodation options.
Activities include gorilla trekking, the Batwa cultural experience, canoe riding, boat cruises on nearby lakes Bunyonyi and Mutanda, and bird watching.
See our 3-day Bwindi Gorilla Trekking Safari for an ideal package.
Queen Elizabeth National Park:
As one of the most visited national parks in Uganda, Queen Elizabeth National Park is another place to visit for wildlife enthusiasts and nature lovers.
Spanning an impressive 1,978 square kilometers, the park boasts a rich biodiversity and a stunning array of landscapes, from savannah plains and wetlands to forests. Visitors can expect to see a wide variety of wildlife, including elephants, buffaloes, lions, and a plethora of bird species.
The park is also home to the famous tree-climbing lions found in the Ishasha sector, a unique sight not to be missed. Don’t forget to explore the Kazinga Channel, where a boat cruise will bring you up close and personal with hippos, crocodiles, and an abundance of birdlife.
Checkout an Ideal wildlife safari to Queen Elizabeth National park.
Kibale National Park:
Renown as the “Primates Capital of the World”, Kibale National Park is a paradise for those looking to trek chimpanzees in Uganda. The park is home to 13 primate species, with the chimpanzees stealing the spotlight.
Guided chimpanzee treks offer a chance to observe these chimps up close, along with other primates like the Red Colobus and L’Hoest’s monkeys. Beyond primates, Kibale boasts over 300 bird species, making it a haven for bird watchers.
The dense forests, beautiful crater lakes and a plethora of birds add to the park’s allure, creating a truly enchanting experience. This is what put Kibale on the list of beautiful Places to Visit in Uganda.
Here is our all-inclusive safari package to Kibale.
Rwenzori Mountains National Park:
For the adventurous at heart, the Rwenzori Mountains National Park offers unmatched trekking opportunities. Known as the “Mountains of the Moon,” this UNESCO World Heritage Site features stunning alpine scenery, with snow-capped peaks, glaciers, and lush valleys.
Trekkers can take on the challenge of reaching Margherita Peak, Uganda’s highest point, or enjoy shorter hikes exploring the lower slopes. The park is also home to unique flora and fauna, including several endemic species, making it a unique destination for nature lovers and adventure seekers alike.
See our Rwenzori Mountaineering Safari Package.
Kidepo Valley National Park:
Situated in the remote northeastern corner of Uganda, Kidepo Valley National Park is a hidden gem waiting to be discovered. Its vast savannah landscapes, dotted with rugged mountain scenery, provide a stunning backdrop for wildlife viewing.
Kidepo is home to a number of species not found anywhere else in Uganda, including cheetahs and ostriches. Visitors can also immerse themselves in the local Karamojong culture, learning about the traditions of this fascinating community.
Go on a 4 day safari to Kidepo valley national park.
Lake Mburo National Park:
As the smallest of Uganda’s savannah national parks, Lake Mburo National Park offers a tranquil retreat with its rich biodiversity. The park is known for its impressive birdlife, with over 350 species recorded, and its unique antelope species, including the impala and eland.
Mburo’s lakes and wetlands add a scenic charm, providing opportunities for boat cruises and fishing. Walking safaris, gam drives, boat rides and Horseback safaris are a unique way to explore the park, offering a close-up experience with the wildlife. Lake Mburo top the list of best cheap places to visit in Uganda.
Book the best of Lake Mburo national park safari.
Mgahinga Gorilla National Park:
Sharing a border with Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo, Mgahinga Gorilla National Park is part of the Virunga Conservation Area and provides a sanctuary for the endangered mountain gorillas and golden monkeys.
Gorilla trekking is the main attraction, offering a rare experience to observe the giant primates in the wild. The park also offers stunning scenery, with three extinct volcanoes providing challenging hiking opportunities.
The rich cultural heritage of the Batwa Pygmies, the indigenous inhabitants of the forest, adds an extra layer of interest for visitors. Mgahinga is also one of the unique Places to Visit in Uganda due to the fact that it is the only park where golden monkeys and silverback gorillas are found in Uganda.
Checkout an extensive Safari to Mgahinga Gorilla National Park:
National Reserves and Sanctuaries:
Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary:
This sanctuary is pivotal for rhino conservation in Uganda. Visitors can go on guided walks to see the rhinos up close, contributing to conservation efforts and learning about these magnificent creatures.
The sanctuary also offers bird watching, nature walks, and a unique opportunity to track shoebill storks. See our safari package to Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary: 2 Days Rhino Tracking Tour.
Pian Upe National Reserve:
As one of the largest conservation areas in Uganda, Pian Upe offers stunning scenery and a variety of wildlife making one of the top Places to Visit in Uganda.
It’s a great spot for game drives, with chances to see cheetahs, ostriches, roan antelopes, and unique bird species. The reserve also provides insight into the Karamojong culture.
Mabira Forest Reserve:
This lush rainforest is a biodiversity hotspot, with numerous trails for forest walks and bird watching. The reserve plays a crucial role in environmental conservation and offers ecotourism activities such as zip-lining and community visits.
Book an adventurous trip to Mabira: 1 day Mabira Ziplining Tour.
Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary:
Located on Lake Victoria, this sanctuary is dedicated to the care of orphaned chimpanzees. Visitors can witness feeding sessions, learn about conservation efforts, and even participate in caregiver experiences.
Ideal Trip: 1 day Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Tour.
Lakes and Rivers in Uganda:
As the largest lake in Africa, Lake Victoria is a focal point for life in Uganda. The lake offers fishing, boat cruises, and visits to its various islands.
It also supports rich biodiversity, including numerous fish species and birds. The famous Ssese islands are also located in Lake Victoria.
Flowing from Uganda, the Nile River is synonymous with adventure. From white-water rafting in Jinja to serene boat cruises in Jinja and Murchison Falls National Park, the river provides a wide range of activities and attractions.
Known for its scenic beauty and terraced hillsides, Lake Bunyonyi is a peaceful retreat. Visitors can enjoy canoeing, swimming, and exploring the numerous islands dotting the lake.
Lake Edward and Lake George:
Located in Queen Elizabeth National Park, these lakes provide important habitats for wildlife and offer boat cruise opportunities. The Kazinga Channel, connecting the two lakes, is a highlight for wildlife viewing.
Cultural, Tribes and Historical Tourism:
Buganda and Baganda Culture:
Visitors can explore the Buganda Kingdom’s rich history, including the Kabaka’s Palace, the Royal Tombs at Kasubi, and various cultural sites. The Baganda people’s traditional music, dance, and crafts offer a vibrant cultural experience.
The indigenous Batwa people, once forest dwellers, offer cultural tours showcasing their traditional hunting and gathering techniques, as well as dance and storytelling.
Known for their pastoralist lifestyle, the Karamojong offer visitors a glimpse into their traditional Manyattas (homesteads) and their unique cultural practices.
Famous for the Imbalu circumcision ceremony, a rite of passage, the Bagisu people’s cultural practices and traditions are a significant aspect of Uganda’s cultural diversity.
Uganda is dotted with historical sites such as the Uganda Martyrs Shrine in Namugongo, Fort Patiko, and the ancient Nyero Rock Paintings, each telling a unique story of the country’s past.
If you were planning to safari in Uganda, these are best Places to Visit in Uganda that offer quite unique experiences and are open to all visitors from all walks of life.