If you’ve never been to Uganda, the thought of taking a trip there probably conjures up all sorts of horrible images of war and chaos…and for good reason. Most of what people know about this country revolves around it’s two most infamous war lords; Idi Amin and Jospeh Kony.
In part it’s good that we recognize the atrocities that have occurred here, however it’s important to know that times have changed and Uganda is (for the most part) a safe travel destination. So now that you’re ready to see the country, here’s what you might want to check out first.
Jinja is Uganda’s second largest city and is located on the shores of Lake Victoria which is the source of the mighty Nile River. All that is well and good, but what most people come here for is the white water rafting at Bujagali Falls. Yes, a city in eastern Uganda has become an adventure tourism destination. White water rafting trips can be booked from most hotels and hostels in the city but the most popular place is probably the Nile River Explorers Campsite.
Kampala is the capital city of Uganda and it’s largest metropolitan area. There’s not much in regards to actual tourist attractions here but it’s a nice enough city to hang out in for a while. There are also a couple of large backpacker hostels near the edge of the city. If your looking for a bit of traditional culture, check out the Kasubi Tombs built in 1881. The tombs are probably the main attraction of the city.
Located on the western side of the country, the Crater Lakes are a nice escape from city life. The main jumping off point is a town called Fort Portal, from there you can stay in the surrounding villages where you can rent bicycles and tour the lakes at your leisure. There is no fort at Fort Portal.
This beautiful lake has more of a “resort feel” than anything else in Uganda, however don’t let that deter you. The lake has very affordable accommodation and you can rent bicycles or canoes to tour the area. Kabale is the jumping off point to Lake Bunyoni.
Murchison Falls National Park:
It once was one of Africa’s greatest concentrations of wildlife, until poachers and roaming militaries saw and end to that. Now, wildlife is starting to make a comeback though it is not as spectacular as some found in Kenya or Tanzania. The biggest attraction, and most unique for sure, are the Murchison Falls themselves which can be visited by boat ride up the Nile River.
Western National Parks:
Southwestern Uganda is packed full of national parks and all are great places to see wildlife. Based on where you are and what you’d like to see, you’ll be sure to find the perfect park for your trip. Here are a few of the top national parks in the area.
- Queen Elizabeth National Park
- Rwenzori National Park
- Kabale Forest National Park
- Parc National Des Virunga (located in DRC)