Uganda is such a diverse country and therefore offers a lot things to do. Most visitors come to Uganda for wildlife safaris but these are not the only enjoyable activities one can do. Yes, wildlife is fascinating, but what else can one do after the BIG 5 encounter in the numerous savannah national parks of Uganda? Consider exploring a few other options. A trip to Uganda never disappoints – whether you are visiting for a few days or weeks or more. Check out the 10 things to do in Uganda (other than Wildlife Safari):
Mountain Gorilla tracking is one of the world’s most exclusive and remarkable animal encounters. The tracking offers the privilege of encountering one of the world’s rarest animal in its natural habitat. Tracking the mountain gorillas takes two to eight hours depending on the location of the group. However, this adventure requires a reasonable level of fitness. This is because the gorillas’ homeland in Bwindi comprises of dense tangles vegetation on a mountainous landscape of deep valleys and steep ridges.
Gorillas are not the only primates in Uganda. You can also do chimpanzee tracking in the Kibale Forest National Park, the primate capital of the world.
Uganda’s landscape is varied and so mountains are obviously part of the scene. Therefore, mountain climbing is something one can do in Uganda. For the avid climber, there are many options to choose from. You may opt to travel West to scale the snow capped Rwenzori Mountains or further South West, to try out volcano climbing on the Muhavura Ranges. Another exciting alternative is the Mt Elgon climb – milder climate, lower elevations and requires no special equipment. A perfect choice for even the least experienced climber.
The source of the great River Nile is in Jinja, East of Kampala City. One of the key attractions here is the water rafting. Whether you are first timer, family or high adventure enthusiast, then this white water adventure is perfect for you. However for those who would prefer to have a relaxing time on the River Nile, then a river boat cruise is the perfect choice.
Additionally a trip to Jinja is an adventure in itself. Feel the tropical breeze with a stopover at Mabira Forest! Have time to spare? Why not try out the zip line course here? A fun adventure worth trying out
The Ssese Island Archipelago consists of lush islands on Lake Victoria; and boasts some stunning white sand beaches. If you are looking for a place to slow down and relax, then Ssese is the perfect place to be! There is not much to do other than relax and enjoy the most amazing sunsets in the evenings. Canoes are available for hire but swimming is prohibited.
Food is life. And in most cases, each country or city always has its own cuisine. This is no different in Uganda. There are many tribes in this small country, each culturally different from the other and this means different staples / cuisines in different regions of the country.
For the adventurous traveler, a food tour gives you the perfect opportunity to explore and taste our traditional dishes or learn how they are prepared! You will learn about the staple foods such as matooke (green bananas), cassava, millet, and the many different types of stews and of course the popular street food such as the ‘Rolex’. How about ending this food tour with a platter of juicy and organic fruits for dessert?
Sometimes the only way one can appreciate a society is by close interaction with her peoples. Community Life experience tours therefore offer an intimate interaction with local people and will enrich your Ugandan Safari. The Karamojong Tour explores a rather fascinating culture of the Karamojong warriors, their nomadic ways of living, their dress code and their traditional homesteads known as “manyattas). Their traditional dress of colorful shawls and the intricate beadwork that the women wear are quite impressive.
In addition to this, another notable community life experience is the Batwa Trail. The Batwa are the hunter gatherers and fierce warriors who used to inhabit the dense forests at the foot of the Virunga Volcanoes. They therefore depended on the forest for shelter, food and medicine thanks to indigenous knowledge passed down for generations. The trail gives an insight into the Batwa’s way of life. It is a 6 hour hike during which the guides share their unparalleled knowledge of the forest, demonstrate hunting techniques and point out medicinal plants.
Learn how your favorite beverage is grown and processed in Chigo Tours special farm life experiences. We have the coffee tour which involves garden visits, picking coffee beans, local processing (by roasting and grinding) to making that cup of black coffee.
There is also the tea harvesting experience. Tea is a favorite brew in most Ugandan homes. And the best tea farms are in Fort Portal and Kibale area. A half day tea farm excursion will involve a plantation tour tea planting and propagation, harvesting and processing. Sample a cup of freshly made tea at an onsite café.
Last but not least is the banana beer / gin making experience. Uganda produces a variety of green bananas and so many ways have been devised to make other products out of them. The banana gin is one of these products. And the process is banana beer making is a story to tell.
This tour brings you the rich history of Kampala, the capital city of Uganda. Infamous for its crazy traffic! At the centre of it is the Buganda Kingdom which dates back to the 14th Century; headed by a traditional king, locally referred to as the Kabaka.
For the party animal, an overnight stay in the city is recommended for you to sample the boisterous nightlife!!!!
Your tour to this wonderful country is almost incomplete if you don’t get to taste Uganda’s vibrant night life. Monday to Sunday, when it gets dark, another life begins right away; every day is ‘party after party’. Many people enjoy tasting the Nile Special beer. You can head out to bars & nightclubs in Kabalagala, Muyenga, Ntinda, Kololo dance halls, or simply enjoy a barbeque night in Entebbe. Most hangout places have restaurants where you have a choice of menu for dinner with a good range of coffees. Wifi and some soothing music in the background are a bonus to a great night out in Kampala city.
There are many bars and restaurants that have live band playing from Wednesday all through Sunday. Connect with Uganda’s culture through traditional dance and folk songs at the Ndere Cultural Centre. The Centre offers live cultural performances every Wednesday, Friday and Sundays, from 6pm to 10pm. Depending on number of days you’re in Kampala; it is important to get a local guide to help you plan a colorful night experience.
Uganda is a well known birding paradise, with over 1083 bird species recorded. Both short and long bird watching tours are possible, it all depends on your schedule and interests. Bird watching in Uganda is fun and relaxing and the beauty of it is that it can be done anywhere, even from the window of your hotel room!!!
It must be noted that the country offers the enthusiastic birder a fantastic opportunity to see some rare bird species. 23 of the 24 Albertine Rift Endemics recorded in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park; the number one birding spot in Uganda. Obviously you cannot afford to miss the shoebill excursion at Mabamba Bay.
For those with religious interest, you will be blown away by the story of Uganda Martyrs at Namugongo. This is East Africa’s largest place for both Christian and Muslim Pilgrimage.
Way back in 1800’s, young men working at the Buganda King’s palace who refused to denounce Christianity and Islam; were burnt alive at Namugongo; which is 20 kilometers East of Kampala City. This was after a tiring journey of torture from Munyonyo Village, 13 kilometers south of the city.
Every 3rd of June, and a few weeks preceding it, up to two million pilgrims arrive at the Martyr’s shrine to pay homage. Most do walk on foot and come from all corners of the country and as far as the Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, and Malawi. And the numbers get bigger with each year. But daily visits are possible so if you have time on your schedule, 2 days are perfect for you to experience a full trail. If not possible, then we recommend a one-day tour of the Namugongo museum and shrine. https://www.chigotours.com/uganda-safaris/uganda-martyrs-trail-tour/.
Do these activities awaken the travel bug in you? The do not hesitate to contact us for a customised itinerary just for you!
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