Things to Do in Uganda

Things to Do in Uganda: The 12 Best Things to Do in Uganda – 2025 (with Videos)


Uganda, known as the “Pearl of Africa,” offers a myriad of experiences for travelers seeking adventure, cultural immersion, and natural wonders. Begin your journey by exploring the lush landscapes of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site renowned for its population of endangered mountain gorillas. Embark on a guided trek through the dense rainforest, encountering these majestic creatures in their natural habitat, a truly once-in-a-lifetime experience that promotes conservation efforts and sustainable tourism.

For a cultural immersion, visit the vibrant capital city of Kampala, where bustling markets, lively music, and rich history converge. Explore the historic Kasubi Tombs, a UNESCO-listed site honoring the Buganda kingdom, or wander through the bustling streets of the Old Taxi Park, where local vendors sell everything from fresh produce to colorful textiles. Don’t miss the opportunity to cruise along the serene waters of the Nile River, embarking on a safari in Murchison Falls National Park, home to diverse wildlife including elephants, lions, and hippos. Whether you’re trekking with gorillas, exploring ancient traditions, or marveling at natural wonders, Uganda promises an unforgettable journey filled with discovery and adventure.

 

A List of Things to Do in Uganda

  1. Gorilla Trekking
  2. Chimpanzee Tracking
  3. Golden Monkey Tracking
  4. Rwenzori Mountain Hiking
  5. Safari Adventures
  6. Nile River Activities
  7. Cultural Experiences
  8. Birdwatching
  9. Hiking and Nature Walks
  10. Cultural Heritage Tours
  11. Relaxation and Leisure
  12. Volunteer and Community Engagement

 

The 15 Best Things to Do in Uganda – 2025 (with Videos)

Gorilla Trekking

When it comes to unforgettable experiences and must-do activities in Uganda, gorilla trekking stands out as an iconic adventure that showcases the country’s rich biodiversity and commitment to conservation. One of the top things to do in Uganda, gorilla trekking takes you deep into the heart of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park or Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, where you’ll embark on a thrilling journey to encounter endangered mountain gorillas in their natural habitat. Led by experienced guides and trackers, the trek through lush rainforests and rugged terrain offers a rare opportunity to observe these magnificent creatures up close, witnessing their playful antics, familial interactions, and gentle demeanor in the wild. As you marvel at the beauty and complexity of Uganda’s ecosystems, you’ll also gain a deeper appreciation for the efforts to protect these iconic primates and their fragile habitats.

Gorilla trekking in Uganda is not only a bucket-list adventure but also a meaningful conservation experience that supports local communities and wildlife conservation efforts. By participating in gorilla trekking tours, travelers contribute directly to the preservation of these critically endangered species and the sustainable development of surrounding communities through park fees, permits, and eco-tourism initiatives. Moreover, the opportunity to engage with local guides, rangers, and community members provides insights into Uganda’s cultural heritage and ongoing conservation challenges, fostering a deeper connection to the land and its people. For those seeking a truly transformative travel experience that combines adventure, conservation, and cultural immersion, gorilla trekking in Uganda is undoubtedly one of the most rewarding and memorable things to do in this remarkable East African destination.

 

Chimpanzee Tracking

 

Chimpanzee tracking is undeniably one of the quintessential things to do in Uganda, offering an extraordinary opportunity to encounter our closest relatives in their natural habitat. Found primarily in Uganda’s lush forests, particularly in Kibale Forest National Park and Budongo Forest Reserve, chimpanzees are captivating creatures known for their intelligence, social behavior, and striking resemblance to humans. During a chimpanzee tracking excursion, visitors embark on guided treks led by experienced rangers and trackers, traversing dense vegetation and listening for the distinctive calls of chimpanzee troops. As you navigate through the forest, you’ll witness the fascinating behaviors of these primates, from grooming sessions and playful antics to vocalizations and territorial displays, providing a profound insight into their complex lives and social structures.

Chimpanzee tracking not only offers an exhilarating wildlife encounter but also contributes to conservation efforts and community development in Uganda. By participating in chimpanzee tracking tours, travelers support the protection of these endangered primates and their habitats, as well as the livelihoods of local communities through ecotourism initiatives and revenue-sharing agreements. Additionally, the opportunity to learn from knowledgeable guides and researchers fosters a deeper understanding of the ecological importance of Uganda’s forests and the interconnectedness of all living beings. Whether you’re a wildlife enthusiast, a conservation advocate, or simply seeking a transformative travel experience, chimpanzee tracking in Uganda promises an unforgettable adventure that celebrates the beauty of nature and the diversity of life on Earth.

 

Golden Monkey Tracking


One of the captivating activities to include in your list of things to do in Uganda is golden monkey tracking, offering a unique opportunity to observe these rare and enchanting primates in their natural habitat. Found predominantly in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, golden monkeys are known for their striking golden-orange fur and playful demeanor, making them a delight to encounter during guided tracking expeditions. Led by experienced guides, visitors embark on immersive treks through the park’s picturesque bamboo forests, listening for the distinctive calls and rustling sounds that indicate the presence of golden monkey troops. As you traverse the terrain, you’ll have the chance to observe these agile creatures as they forage for food, groom each other, and navigate their forest habitat with remarkable agility, providing an intimate glimpse into their fascinating lives and behaviors.

Golden monkey tracking not only offers an exhilarating wildlife experience but also contributes to conservation efforts and community development in Uganda. By participating in golden monkey tracking tours, travelers support the protection of these endangered primates and their fragile ecosystems, as well as the sustainable livelihoods of local communities through ecotourism initiatives and revenue-sharing agreements. Additionally, the opportunity to engage with knowledgeable guides and researchers provides valuable insights into the conservation challenges facing Uganda’s biodiversity and the importance of preserving natural habitats for future generations. Whether you’re a wildlife enthusiast, a nature lover, or simply seeking a memorable adventure, golden monkey tracking in Uganda promises a truly immersive and rewarding experience that celebrates the beauty and diversity of the country’s wildlife.

 

Rwenzori Mountain Hiking


Among the top-tier activities to feature in your itinerary of things to do in Uganda is Rwenzori Mountain hiking, offering an unparalleled adventure through one of Africa’s most stunning and diverse landscapes. Located in Rwenzori Mountains National Park, this UNESCO World Heritage Site boasts dramatic peaks, glacier-capped summits, and verdant valleys, providing a challenging yet rewarding trekking experience for outdoor enthusiasts. Led by experienced guides and porters, hikers embark on multi-day expeditions that wind through mist-shrouded forests, cascading waterfalls, and alpine meadows, culminating in awe-inspiring vistas from the summit of Mount Stanley, the park’s highest peak. Along the way, trekkers encounter unique flora and fauna found nowhere else on Earth, including endemic plant species, colorful birds, and elusive mammals, making each step a journey of discovery and wonder.

Rwenzori mountain hiking not only offers a physical and mental challenge but also fosters a deep appreciation for Uganda’s natural heritage and conservation efforts. By trekking through this biodiverse wilderness, travelers support the protection of the Rwenzori Mountains and the livelihoods of local communities who depend on the park’s resources. Additionally, the opportunity to immerse oneself in the rich cultural traditions of the Bakonzo people, who call the mountains home, adds a layer of cultural significance to the trekking experience, providing insights into the symbiotic relationship between humans and nature. Whether you’re drawn to the rugged beauty of the mountains, the thrill of conquering new heights, or the desire to connect with the natural world, Rwenzori Mountain hiking offers a transformative adventure that promises unforgettable memories and a profound sense of accomplishment.

 

Safari Adventures


Safari adventures are undoubtedly among the most captivating things to do in Uganda, offering an immersive journey into the heart of Africa’s untamed wilderness. With a diverse array of national parks and wildlife reserves to explore, including Queen Elizabeth National Park, Murchison Falls National Park, and Kidepo Valley National Park, Uganda is a paradise for safari enthusiasts seeking unforgettable wildlife encounters. Led by knowledgeable guides and rangers, safari-goers embark on exhilarating game drives through savannah grasslands, dense forests, and riverine habitats, in search of Africa’s iconic Big Five – lions, elephants, buffaloes, leopards, and rhinoceroses – as well as an abundance of other fascinating wildlife species such as giraffes, zebras, antelopes, and hippos.

Beyond the thrill of spotting wildlife in its natural habitat, safari adventures in Uganda also offer opportunities for cultural immersion and scenic exploration. Travelers can visit local communities bordering the national parks, interact with traditional tribes like the Batwa and Karamojong, and learn about their customs, traditions, and way of life. Additionally, safari-goers can embark on boat cruises along the Nile River, Kazinga Channel, and other waterways, marveling at breathtaking landscapes, cascading waterfalls, and diverse birdlife, including the majestic shoebill stork. Whether you’re a seasoned wildlife enthusiast or a first-time safari-goer, Uganda’s safari adventures promise unforgettable experiences that celebrate the beauty, diversity, and conservation of Africa’s natural heritage.

 

Nile River Activities


Nile River activities epitomize the essence of adventure and relaxation, presenting an array of experiences that rank high among the must-do things in Uganda. The Nile, the world’s longest river, meanders through Uganda, offering a plethora of opportunities for travelers to immerse themselves in its beauty and vitality. For thrill-seekers, white-water rafting on the turbulent rapids of the Nile’s upper reaches near Jinja is a heart-pounding adventure not to be missed. Led by experienced guides, adrenaline junkies navigate through exhilarating rapids, cascading waterfalls, and swirling whirlpools, surrounded by stunning scenery and abundant wildlife along the riverbanks.

For those seeking a more leisurely pace, boat cruises along the Nile provide a tranquil way to soak in the breathtaking landscapes and wildlife-rich habitats that line the river’s shores. Whether it’s a sunset cruise on the placid waters of Lake Victoria, a bird-watching expedition along the Kazinga Channel in Queen Elizabeth National Park, or a relaxing journey to the base of the thundering Murchison Falls, Nile River cruises offer a serene and unforgettable experience. Additionally, kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding, and fishing are popular activities for travelers looking to connect more intimately with the river’s flow and rhythm. Whether you’re seeking adrenaline-fueled thrills or peaceful moments of contemplation, Nile River activities in Uganda promise to captivate the senses and create lasting memories of this iconic African waterway.

 

Cultural Experiences


Immersing oneself in cultural experiences is a cornerstone of any visit to Uganda, offering a rich tapestry of traditions, customs, and heritage that captivate travelers from around the world. From vibrant cities to rural villages, Uganda’s diverse cultural landscape provides a wealth of opportunities to connect with local communities and learn about their way of life. One of the top cultural experiences in Uganda is exploring the bustling markets and vibrant streets of cities like Kampala and Jinja, where the sights, sounds, and smells of daily life come alive in a kaleidoscope of colors and activity.

For a deeper dive into Uganda’s cultural heritage, travelers can visit historical sites, museums, and cultural centers that showcase the country’s diverse ethnic groups, traditions, and history. Highlights include the Uganda Museum in Kampala, which houses an extensive collection of artifacts, exhibits, and displays spanning Uganda’s prehistoric past to the present day, as well as the Kasubi Tombs, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that honors the Buganda kingdom’s royal lineage and traditions. Additionally, attending traditional dance performances, cultural festivals, and ceremonies provides insight into Uganda’s rich artistic expression and social fabric, fostering connections and understanding between travelers and local communities. Whether it’s exploring ancient traditions, engaging with contemporary culture, or simply sharing stories and laughter with new friends, cultural experiences in Uganda offer a transformative journey of discovery and connection that leaves a lasting impact on the heart and mind.

 

Birdwatching


Birdwatching in Uganda is a captivating activity that attracts enthusiasts from around the globe, drawn by the country’s incredible diversity of avian species and pristine natural habitats. With over 1,000 bird species recorded, including numerous endemic and migratory species, Uganda is a birdwatcher’s paradise offering unparalleled opportunities for sightings and photography. From the lush forests of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park to the expansive wetlands of Queen Elizabeth National Park, Uganda’s varied ecosystems support a stunning array of birdlife, ranging from colorful kingfishers and elegant herons to majestic eagles and elusive shoebills.

Key birdwatching destinations in Uganda include the Mabamba Swamp near Entebbe, renowned for its population of shoebills and other wetland species, as well as the remote Semliki Valley in the western Rift Valley, home to unique forest birds and sought-after rarities. Additionally, Uganda’s numerous national parks and protected areas, such as Kibale Forest National Park, Lake Mburo National Park, and Murchison Falls National Park, offer exceptional birdwatching experiences amidst breathtaking scenery and abundant wildlife. Whether you’re a seasoned birder or a novice enthusiast, birdwatching in Uganda promises unforgettable encounters with some of the most spectacular and sought-after bird species in Africa, making it a must-do activity for nature lovers and adventurers alike.

 

Hiking and Nature Walks


Hiking and nature walks are quintessential experiences that showcase Uganda’s breathtaking landscapes, diverse ecosystems, and rich biodiversity. With an abundance of national parks, forest reserves, and scenic trails to explore, Uganda offers endless opportunities for outdoor enthusiasts to immerse themselves in the beauty of nature and embark on memorable adventures. From the towering peaks of the Rwenzori Mountains to the lush forests of Kibale and Bwindi, there’s a trail for every level of hiker, whether you’re seeking a leisurely stroll or a challenging trek.

One of the most popular hiking destinations in Uganda is Rwenzori Mountains National Park, home to Africa’s third-highest peak, Mount Stanley, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site renowned for its glacial peaks, alpine meadows, and endemic flora and fauna. Hikers can embark on multi-day expeditions to summit the peaks or explore the lower slopes on day hikes, encountering stunning landscapes, cascading waterfalls, and unique wildlife along the way. For a more immersive nature experience, visitors can also explore Uganda’s forest reserves and conservation areas, such as Budongo Forest Reserve and Mount Elgon National Park, on guided nature walks led by experienced rangers and guides. These leisurely walks offer opportunities to spot primates, birds, and other wildlife while learning about the importance of conservation and biodiversity conservation efforts in Uganda. Whether you’re seeking panoramic views, close encounters with wildlife, or simply a peaceful retreat into nature, hiking and nature walks in Uganda promise unforgettable experiences and lasting memories of this remarkable East African destination.

 

Cultural Heritage Tours


Cultural heritage tours offer a captivating glimpse into Uganda’s rich history, diverse traditions, and vibrant cultural tapestry, making them a must-do activity for travelers seeking to deepen their understanding of the country’s heritage. From ancient kingdoms to contemporary communities, Uganda’s cultural landscape is shaped by a fascinating blend of indigenous customs, colonial influences, and modern innovations, providing a multifaceted exploration of the country’s identity and evolution over time.

One of the highlights of cultural heritage tours in Uganda is the opportunity to visit historical sites and landmarks that bear witness to the country’s storied past. From the royal palaces of the Buganda kingdom in Kampala to the ancient rock paintings of the Batwa people in the Rwenzori Mountains, these sites offer insights into Uganda’s pre-colonial civilizations and traditional lifestyles. Additionally, travelers can explore colonial-era relics, such as the historic buildings and churches in cities like Entebbe and Jinja, which reflect Uganda’s colonial history under British rule.

In addition to historical sites, cultural heritage tours in Uganda also provide opportunities to engage with contemporary communities and witness living traditions firsthand. Whether it’s participating in traditional ceremonies, such as the vibrant cultural festivals of the Bagisu people in eastern Uganda or the elaborate rituals of the Karimojong warriors in the northeast, or visiting local markets and craft villages to meet artisans and learn about their craftsmanship, cultural heritage tours offer authentic and immersive experiences that foster connections and understanding between travelers and local communities.

Moreover, initiatives like the Igongo Cultural Centre in Mbarara and the Ndere Cultural Centre in Kampala provide curated experiences that showcase Uganda’s cultural diversity through dance performances, storytelling, and interactive exhibits, offering travelers a deeper appreciation for the country’s cultural heritage and the importance of preserving and celebrating it for future generations. Whether you’re exploring ancient traditions or discovering contemporary expressions of culture, cultural heritage tours in Uganda promise enriching experiences that illuminate the soul and leave a lasting impact on the heart and mind.

 

Relaxation and Leisure


In Uganda, relaxation and leisure activities abound, providing travelers with the perfect opportunity to unwind and rejuvenate amidst the country’s stunning natural beauty and warm hospitality. Whether it’s basking in the sunshine on the shores of Lake Victoria, the largest lake in Africa and a tranquil oasis for swimming, sunbathing, and water sports, or retreating to the idyllic Ssese Islands for a serene beach getaway surrounded by palm-fringed shores and crystal-clear waters, Uganda offers an array of leisurely pursuits to suit every preference.

For those seeking a retreat into nature, Uganda’s national parks and wildlife reserves provide ample opportunities for relaxation amidst breathtaking landscapes and abundant wildlife. Whether it’s enjoying a leisurely game drive through Queen Elizabeth National Park, where you can spot elephants, buffaloes, and hippos grazing along the savannah, or embarking on a boat cruise along the Nile River in Murchison Falls National Park, where you can marvel at the majestic waterfall and the diverse birdlife that call the river home, Uganda’s natural wonders offer a tranquil escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

Moreover, Uganda’s luxury lodges, eco-resorts, and wellness retreats provide the perfect setting for relaxation and pampering, with luxurious accommodations, spa treatments, and gourmet dining experiences that cater to the discerning traveler. Whether you’re unwinding with a massage overlooking the Nile River or savoring a gourmet meal under the stars in the heart of the wilderness, Uganda’s hospitality industry offers a wealth of opportunities for indulgence and relaxation.

Beyond the natural beauty and luxurious amenities, Uganda’s vibrant cultural scene also provides opportunities for leisure and relaxation, with live music performances, art galleries, and cultural festivals celebrating the country’s rich heritage and creative spirit. Whether you’re exploring the bustling markets of Kampala, sampling traditional cuisine at a local restaurant, or dancing the night away to the rhythms of Ugandan music, leisure and relaxation in Uganda are all about immersing yourself in the sights, sounds, and flavors of this vibrant East African destination.

 

Volunteer and Community Engagement


Volunteering and community engagement offer meaningful ways to connect with the people and places of Uganda, providing travelers with the opportunity to make a positive impact while gaining a deeper understanding of local culture and challenges. From supporting education and healthcare initiatives to conservation and sustainable development projects, there are numerous opportunities for volunteers to contribute their time, skills, and resources to meaningful causes that benefit communities across Uganda.

One popular avenue for volunteer and community engagement in Uganda is through educational programs and initiatives that support schools, libraries, and youth centers in rural and underserved areas. Volunteers can assist with teaching English, math, and other subjects, as well as organizing extracurricular activities, sports programs, and arts and crafts workshops that enrich the educational experience and promote personal development among students.

In addition to education, volunteers can also contribute to healthcare initiatives and community development projects that address pressing social and environmental issues in Uganda. This may include working with local healthcare providers to provide medical care and health education to vulnerable populations, or participating in conservation efforts to protect Uganda’s natural resources and biodiversity through activities such as tree planting, wildlife monitoring, and habitat restoration.

Furthermore, volunteers can engage with local communities through cultural exchange programs, homestays, and community-based tourism initiatives that promote cross-cultural understanding and mutual respect. By immersing themselves in the daily lives and traditions of Ugandan families and communities, volunteers can forge meaningful connections, build friendships, and gain valuable insights into the challenges and triumphs of life in Uganda.

Overall, volunteering and community engagement offer rewarding and transformative experiences that not only benefit the communities and environments of Uganda but also enrich the lives of volunteers and foster a spirit of global citizenship and solidarity. Whether it’s teaching a child to read, planting a tree, or simply lending a helping hand to those in need, volunteers have the power to make a difference and create positive change in Uganda and beyond.

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