Places to Visit in Uganda
Uganda is the Pearl of Africa! This timeless fact was rightly stated by Sir Winston Churchill.
Uganda is one of Africa’s highly prized gems. The country is endowed with; an innumerable count of wildlife, mountains, glaciers, lakes, rivers, springs, forests, wildernesses, as well as grand man-made structures, towns, cities, and myriads of tourist attractions. There are just so many places to visit in Uganda:
The Capital – Kampala
Kampala is the capital city of Uganda. A Kampala city tour can never be a waste. There is so much to see and many places to visit in Uganda’s capital.
Found all over the city are some of the best recreational and entertainment places, plus all social amenities anyone could ever want; museums, art galleries, cultural centers, theatres, clubs, crafts, and food markets, hotels, restaurants, boutiques, arcades, and shops that sell all sorts of things.
For the eager tourist, Kampala has several monuments and must-see places: The Independence Monument, Uganda museum, Basilica of the Uganda Martyrs Shrine in Namugongo, Rubaga and Namirembe Cathedrals, Gaddafi National Mosque, Kasubi tombs, Baha’I Temple, Kabaka’s palace, Twekobe, Ndere Cultural center, the Kababa’s lake, Owiino, and Nakasero markets.
The equator monuments
Uganda is among the few countries around the world where the equator passes.
The equator is an imaginary line drawn on the earth equidistant from the poles, dividing the earth into the northern hemisphere and southern hemisphere, and constituting the parallel of latitude 0°.
While on your visit to Uganda, physical monuments have been set up to mark where the invisible equator line is drawn. The monuments are found in; Kayabwe, Mpigi district, about 72km from Kampala. And in the distant Kasese district in Queen Elizabeth National Park, at Kikorongoro.
The major highlight of an equator visit is taking photographs while standing in the northern and southern hemispheres at the same time, engaging in the intriguing water and weight experiments to prove that the gravity force is less by 0.5 % at the equator, and visiting the crafts shops the area.
The Source of the Nile
A trip to Uganda would be incomplete without visiting the genesis of Africa’s longest river. The source of River Nile is found in Jinja, a town that is situated along the northern shores of Lake Victoria, in Eastern Uganda.
Jinja town is most known for its tourist adventure and fun. Whitewater rafting, bungee jumping, horse riding, jet boating, kayaking, fishing, and quad biking are a few of the other activities to indulge in when you visit the source of the Nile. Jinja is among those places to visit in Uganda.
Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary
Uganda’s only remnant rhino population is found at Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary, a massive ranch in Nakasongola district.
The sanctuary was put in place to breed and protect the endangered rhino population from human and non-human predators. The sanctuary is the only place where rhinos are found in Uganda.
Besides on-foot rhino trekking, tourists can engage in bird watching, canoeing and nature walks. Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary is one of those places to visit in Uganda.
The Katwe craters
The Katwe – Kikorongo explosion craters comprise a group of volcanic craters. They are found in Queen Elizabeth National Park, in the southwestern region of the country. The craters were formed by a series of violent volcanic eruptions over the last 1 million years.
The breathtakingly beautiful Katwe crater lakes region should be on every tourist’s list of places to visit in Uganda.
Nyero rock paintings
Found in the Eastern region of the country, the Nyero rock paintings rank among the most important rock art in Uganda.
First documented in 1913, the paintings are said to be very geometric in nature. The site comprises of six shelters (Nyero 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6). The art is said to match the late stone age hunter-gatherer culture and is specifically attributed to the pygmy Batwa tribe. The thrill of seeing and touching something so ancient cannot be expressed in words. The Nyero rock paintings are among the places to visit in Uganda.
Tourists flock Uganda’s national parks in thousands all year round. The parks are habitat to myriad wildlife and home to an innumerable number of attractions:
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park; situated in southwestern Uganda, is home to more than half of the world’s endangered mountain gorilla population. Gorilla trekking is Bwindi’s star adventure. Among the places to visit in Uganda, Bwindi is a habitat of over 348 bird species and 120 mammal species.
Queen Elizabeth National Park; is Uganda’s most visited national park. The park is most famous for its resident tree-climbing lions found in Ishasha region. With over 90 mammal species and 500 bird species, Queen Elizabeth should be on every tourist’s list of the places to visit in Uganda.
Kidepo Valley National Park; is the place to go for an encounter with four of Africa’s big five. The park is a habitat to the African lion, elephant, leopard, and cape buffalo. The spotted hyena, giraffe, zebra, bat-eared fox, cheetah, wild dog, and the Rothschild’s giraffe, are some of the other mammals found in the park. Kidepo should be a priority among the places to visit in Uganda for the wildlife enthusiast.
Murchison Falls National Park; is Uganda’s largest national park. The raging Murchison falls are among the park’s major attractions. Tourists are able to see the waters of the Nile rush through a narrow gorge before plunging about 43 meters into the depths below. With Uganda’s largest population of crocodiles, over 76 mammal species, and 450 bird species, the park should be a priority among the places to visit in Uganda.
Semuliki National Park; is among the places to visit in Uganda. The park is a great birding destination with over 500 bird species, and wildlife like the African buffalo, leopard, bushbabies, and the African elephant, all of which can be spotted during game drives.
Lake Mburo National Park; is the location of lake Mburo and 5 other lakes found within the park’s borders. With over 350 bird species and myriad wildlife species including; the leopard, buffalo, impale, hyena, topi, hippo, and oribi, the park should be on every tourist’s list of the places to visit in Uganda.
Kibale National Park; is one of the last remaining expanses of lowland and montane forests, and home to Uganda’s largest chimpanzee population, and 13 other primate species. While deciding on places to visit in Uganda, Kibale should be a priority for the primate lovers.
Mount Rwenzori National Park; is a UNESCO World Heritage Site found in the Rwenzori Mountains. Margherita, Africa’s third highest mountain peak is found in the park. Also, the park is a great wildlife hub, with lakes, waterfalls, and glaciers.
The other parks to visit include; Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, the only other place besides Bwindi where mountain gorillas can be trekked. Mount Elgon National Park, the location of the majestic Elgon Mountain, an extinct volcano and once Africa’s highest mountain, far higher than Kilimanjaro’s current 5,895m.
The list of places to visit in Uganda is inexhaustible. There are just so many other places to visit; Lake Victoria, the Sipi falls, the hot springs, the Ssese Islands, Lake Bunyonyi, Ngamba Island Sanctuary, Fort Patiko, and the Uganda Wildlife Education Centre (UWEC).