Best places to visit in Uganda
1. Jinja and Lake Victoria; the source of the Nile
Jinja is a popular tourist destination, famous because of the historic source of the (White) Nile. It is the starting point of the world’s longest river that flows from Lake Victoria to the Mediterranean Sea through central and northern Uganda, South Sudan, Sudan, and Egypt.
After Entebbe, Jinja is a great starting point for your Uganda trip, especially if you are in for adrenaline-based activities. Bungee jumping, rafting, kayaking, and other water activities are some of the many active tourist attractions in Jinja.
If you prefer a more relaxing way to experience Jinja, you may want to book a (private) boat tour on Lake Victoria to see the Speke monument at the ‘source of the Nile’. A boat tour to the source of the Nile is one of the highlights in Uganda and a great way to spot birds that live near the river, like kingfishers, fish eagles, storks, and ibises. When you reach the actual source of the Nile River, you can jump off the boat and walk over a wooden deck towards the source of the Nile sign to make a quick photo. Do know this is a small touristic spot with overrated boat trip prices that is not everyone’s cup of tea. However, it’s the only way to visit the ‘source of the Nile‘.
2. Sipi Falls; a hiker’s paradise
Sipi Falls is a hiker’s paradise! It’s a series of three impressive waterfalls located in a spectacular, unharmed, and green landscape near the border of Kenya
. It’s one of the most beautiful places in Uganda and a perfect place to unwind. The hike to all three falls takes 7-8 km. The waterfalls are only accessible by foot.
A local guide will accompany you on the walk and tells you about the historical and geographical background of the area and share some interesting facts like the medical purposes of the surrounding plants. Taking part in guided hiking activities like these is a perfect way to support the local Ugandan community and a spectacular way to enjoy and learn about the beautiful green surroundings of Sipi.
Sipi Falls is also known for its many local coffee plantations. Coffee is Uganda’s leading export crop, but because of financial difficulties, it’s hard for small local farmers to keep their heads above water. Visiting a coffee plantation plot in a rural Ugandan village is a great way to support the farmers. They are extremely hospitable and are happy to show you the whole coffee process; from picking to shelling, grinding, and roasting. Obviously, you finish by consuming a delicious strong Ugandan coffee (Arabica), straight from the source.
3. Kidepo National Park; the Serengeti of Uganda
When it comes to game viewing, Kidepo Valley National Park is one of the best places to visit in Uganda. It’s the most isolated park and unknown to many tourists, but it offers an abundance of wildlife and spectacular Savannah landscapes.
Kidepo National Park is located in Northern Uganda, at the border with Southern Sudan. It takes some effort to reach the park, but the variety of wildlife and beautiful views are worth it all. Be prepared for bad road conditions and road closures when it rains. Also, make sure you have enough fuel. Kaabong and Kitgum are the nearest places to stock up on fuel.
When you are in for an adventurous safari, add Kidepo National Park to your Uganda safari
itinerary; a true gem and one of the most beautiful places in Uganda: Uganda’s own Serengeti
4. Murchison Falls National Park
Being Uganda’s oldest and largest wildlife reserve, Murchison Falls
National Park is one of the most visited places in Uganda. It’s home to four of the Big five
game animals, rhinos excluded. Even if you have limited time, your chances of spotting animals are high. We saw lots of animals including a leopard, lions, elephants, giraffes, hippos, crocs, many birds, and antelopes.
One of the best things to do in Uganda is to visit the actual Murchison waterfall. I would highly recommend booking a half-day tour to explore the falls, including a boat trip to the bottom of the falls.
On the Murchison Falls boat trip, it used to be possible to get off the boat and hike to the top of the falls where the water of the river Nile clashes with the borders of a narrow rocky gap and drops down 34 meters.
Because of the flooding, it’s no longer possible as part of the boat trip but you can still do the ‘Top of the Falls Hike‘ from a different starting point. If you are not able or don’t want to hike to the top, an alternative to see the actual Murchison Falls is to get there by car. As the most visited National Park in Uganda, it’s definitely worth it to add this amazing place to your Uganda trip itinerary.