When travelling as a family, more so with children, there are several factors that we have to put into consideration. If it is a road trip, we have to consider driving time. This is because the little ones get tired and grumpy when the distances are too long. We consider the activity to be done- is it age limiting or is it too physically demanding? And above all, will it be fun for all involved especially the children? Uganda is a country gifted by nature. And there are many family friendly destinations in Uganda. And the beauty of it all is that children, depending on age, get discounts or even free entrance on some activities done in these family friendly and fun destinations.
In Uganda, both children and adults can see wildlife on several game drives, do bird watching, and enjoy a boat cruise or even do a cultural visit for those who might be interested.
Below is our list of family friendly destinations in Uganda:
This is the largest national park in Uganda. It also offers a wide range of activities that families can enjoy together. Wildlife watching on a game drive will excite everyone, more so the little ones. Expect to see elephants, buffalo, Uganda Kob, lions, the elusive leopard, and lots of birds.
Another fun activity to do here is the famous boat cruise on the River Nile. Enjoy a leisurely boat trip on the Nile, with sightings of the crocodiles, water birds, and the most amazing views of this powerful waterfall.
Visiting Murchison Falls National Park as a family can be done in a 3 Day itinerary, and is a perfect weekend or short family vacation. Some lodges here offer family packages. For example at Murchison Tree House, family package accommodation (2 adults and 3 children) goes for US$320 per night. See our Murchison Falls itineraries here
This is a small national park in Uganda, and the closest to the capital city Kampala. It is only a 4-hour drive away. This makes it a very convenient destination for families as they get to experience wildlife at the shortest distance possible. The park is known for its abundance of zebra, hence dubbed “the home of the zebra”. Other animal species include antelopes (impala, topi, eland, etc), warthogs, buffalo and giraffes. Enjoy seeing all these on a game drive around the park. Or take relaxing cruise on the lake and enjoy the wildlife teeming at the shore.
You may also opt to take a cultural tour with the local herdsmen of the Ankole cattle outside the park. Or pop in at Igongo cultural centre in Mbarara for a diverse cultural experience.
This is probably the most popular family friendly destination in Uganda. Although it comes with a 7 hour drive, several stops along the way make the journey more interesting and less tiresome for the young ones. There is the Equator stop. Here you can have a moment to be in the North and South Hemispheres at once. Take photos or shop for some souvenirs. Activities in Queen Elizabeth include: game drives and a boat cruise along the Kazinga channel which is without doubt; an exciting family adventure.
Need to spend some time on the beach with your family, playing in the sand? The Ssese Islands in Lake Victoria are the perfect place to be while in Uganda. It is also the best place to relax after a long tour. or take walks along the sandy beaches. But due to risks of bilharzia, swimming in the lake is not advised.
Located within a 40 minute drive from Kampala, a visit to the Uganda Wildlife Education Centre (UWEC) in Entebbe is fun for both the young and old. Popularly known as the zoo, the centre sits on the shores of the world’s second largest freshwater body, Lake Victoria.
Some of the major species of wildlife from across Uganda can be found at the Uganda Wildlife Education Center. Lions, waterbucks, leopards, chimps, snakes and different bird species are just of what visitors get to see here. This means that a visit to the center is a microcosm of what you will find in our famed national parks.
The zoo also has a children’s play area. Donkey rides are available at a small fee. There are also open grounds perfect for a family picnic. Or for your lunch, you may try out fried fresh fish prepared at the restaurant.
In addition, you could sum up this visit with a stop at the Botanical Gardens. These gardens are Uganda’s first of their nature and are a magical wonder for nature lovers. Quiet, relaxing and you get to see Uganda’s first tea plant! Today, it is a big tree!!
A visit to the source of the Nile in Jinja remains a moving and wondrous experience. Jinja is about 80 kilometers from Kampala. That is a 2 ½ hour drive. Other key features stand out on your way to the Source of the Nile. There is the Mabira Forest, the Sezibwa Falls and crossing the Nile River at the newly constructed bridge. All these make perfect stopovers for a great tour of the area. But the major exciting escapade is the boat cruise to the Source of the Nile.
There are also other enjoyable alternatives around Jinja like Quad biking and horse riding in the village by the Nile River.
Does spending an evening at a cultural music and dance show sound like your idea of family fun? Then you will love visiting the Ndere Cultural Centre in Kampala. The Ndere Centre is home to cultural information. It sits on nice acres of well maintained walkways, with a variety of flowered walkways and fruit trees.
Ndere center is known for its cultural nights where a wide selection of traditional dances and folk songs across Uganda are performed by the Ndere Troupe. For a visitor to Uganda, this is the best introduction one can get into Uganda’s culture and way of life (through music and dance).
For a more different experience, we would advise a visit to SosolyaUdungu Dance Academy. Not only do you get entertained but the kids can also have some drumming and dancing lessons. Your children will get to interact with Uganda children and learn new skills. Your visit will also help in creating a difference in the socially disadvantaged and vulnerable children and youth who are artistically talented.
The Uganda Museum is an ideal starting place to some key information about the country, the people, cultures and traditions. All ethnic groups of Uganda have displays at the museum that help convey a significant part of the tribes’ heritage. The museum grounds also host a cultural village, which is very popular with young children; as history comes back to life here.
Another fun place to visit is the Extreme Adventure Park. It is Uganda’s biggest adventure park; offering an assortment of exciting outdoor games. Activities to engage in include high and low ropes element, paintball, bicycle riding, bungee trampoline, zip lining and team building.
Park Shoebill is located on Bussi Island on the amazing Lake Victoria. Activities here include Zip lining, nature walks, bird watching and biking along the trails on this beautiful secluded island.
These are some of the fun places for families in Uganda. Do contact us and Chigo Tours will put together a family friendly Uganda tour just for you….
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