Top 10 Tourist Attractions in Uganda

So, your friends or parents are coming into town and they fully imagine you to be an expert in everything Uganda by now. What should they do? How much money should they bring? Where should they stay? If your first reaction is, “I guess dinner or something somewhere nice” then this article is for you. So let’s count down the top 10 things to see and do around The Pearl of Africa.

10. The Baha’i Temple

Bahai Temple, Uganda

There is only one on every continent in the world, and ours is right here in Kampala. Not only is it gorgeous, with expansive grassy laws, but it’s free to visit. So take a quick ride, and bring a picnic, and show your guests something that is actually truly unique to Kampala.

9. Climbing the Rwenzori Mountains

Rwenzori Mountains

If you have athletic friends visiting, a stroll up to some of Uganda’s highest peaks could be a fun way to spend your week. The climb takes a number of days and will take you over bogs, up steep hills, and into snowy mountain peaks. Although not for the faint of heart, it is an experience that will give you memories to last a lifetime. So if your friends are up for the challenge, ship them off to the Mountains of the Moon.

8. Lake Mburo National Park

Lake Mburo, Uganda

Close to Kampala and the only place you’ll find zebras outside of Kidepo, Lake Mburo has a fantastic reputation as one of Uganda’s best parks. It takes up a relatively small area, especially compared with Kidepo or Murchison, but packs a great punch. Gorgeous rolling hills and a large tranquil lake makes for an incredibly relaxing get away. Further, Mburo offers nature walks, boat trips and plenty of accommodation for all budgets.

7. The Gaddafi Mosque/Owino Market

Gaddafi Mosque, Kampala

A fun day trip for those interested in the bustling side of Kampala, the Gaddafi mosque and the market is a must-do for the visitor. First stop is the mosque, where you will climb to the top of the minaret and enjoy breathtaking views of Kampala. Then head down a bit into the ruckus of Owino Market where you’ll find everything from handbags to Obama belt buckles. It’s a great introduction into the city and the workable chaos it operates on.

6. Sipi Falls

Sipi Falls, Uganda

A stunning waterfall surrounded by hiking trails, it’s an escape from Kampala that’s well worth your time. The starting point for Mt. Elgon, this region is a great meeting point for adventure junkies. Some outfits offer abseiling next to the falls, and a number of other climbing points are also available. For those that come during dry season and aren’t accustomed to the heat, Sipi Falls is a fantastic getaway as it usually enjoys a climate much cooler than the rest of the country. There are plenty of budget camps and hostels around the area, and for those in need of a bit of luxury, of course you can always find a lodge.

5. Chimpanzee Trekking

Chimpanzee Trekking in Kibale, Uganda

Chimpanzee treks are incredibly popular in Uganda and a great way to get up close and personal with a creature that could literally tear you limb from limb…but won’t. Head out with experts in Kibale National Park, which is easily the most popular venue for Chimp treks. Here the animals are fairly used to human presence and often carry about their daily business without giving onlookers a second thought. For those going to other parts of Uganda, chimp treks are available at several other parks, such as Murchison Falls and the Kyambura Gorge near Queen Elizabeth. Treks range from 30-150USD and are carried out daily in most locations.

4. Rafting the Nile

Rafting the Nile in Jinja, Uganda

We have the source of the Nile, which kind of makes us amazing. However, it’s the rafting that really blows visitors away. If they dare, take your guests on raging Grade 5 rapids that will get them well acquainted with the depths of the river. If you have younger siblings or parents visiting (and they for some reason don’t want to be thrown from the raft into The Bad Place) there are family trips that only take Grade 3 rapids (meaning you won’t flip, probably).

3. Murchison Falls National Park


A favorite with tourists because of its proximity to Kampala, Murchison Falls is a great weekend trip. Not only will you be ensconced into a land full of hippos, lions, elephants and warthogs but depending on where you stay, you’ll have a chance to view the wildlife as never before. Lodging here ranges considerably from Red Chili’s camp (where hippos much their way through the campsite every night) to the very posh Chobe Lodge where anything your heart desires is supplied. For the intrepid you can also go camping with a guide on the Nile River Delta, with nothing but tents and the canopy of the Ugandan sky above you. An added benefit to this, for the first hour after you wake up, you’ll be the only group driving around this area of the park.

2. Kidepo Valley National Park

Kidepo Valley National Park, Uganda

This is one of the top rated parks on the entire continent, so that is saying quite a bit. Although the drive to Kidepo is insanely long, you can fly in. Or if you fly nearby (to say, Arua or Gulu) it usually doesn’t cost more than 200 dollars. The park is expansive, beautiful and teeming with wildlife. Plus it is highly likely you’ll be one of the few visitors in the park. There are high end lodges here for those who want to swim in an infinity pool while watching zebras play, there are also inexpensive UWA bandas, and camping available. For those who camp, and armed guard is required for the night, and don’t be surprised if lions or hyenas make their way past your tents at night.

1. Gorilla Trekking

Gorilla Trekking, Uganda

Although expensive, gorilla trekking is the number one activity to do in Uganda. At the time of writing, there were gorillas in both Bwindi and Magahinga National Parks, so you have a few options (but please verify this before you head down). The treks can be grueling, and can last anywhere from a few hours, to a few days. However, most people say it’s more than worth it to spend a few hours, sharing a small space with these amazing creatures. Accommodation around the area ranges from high end luxury to bare basic hostels. So even if you’re pinching pennies for that gorilla permit, you can still save a few depending on where you rest your head.


About Lizabeth Paulat

Hi, I’m Lizabeth, a freelance writer whose been stomping around Kampala for the better part of two years. I came here while pursuing a story and decided never to leave. I’m originally from Seattle and have found refuge in both the sun and the culture of Kampalans (plus I still get the rain when I’m feeling homesick).I’m always trying to unearth new and interesting stories about Kampala’s culture and development and am so exited to have an amazing platform to explore the city with. I hope to bring a bit of know-how and a bit of fun to Living in Kampala. Feel free to contact me any time at