The 'pearl of Africa' is a dream destination for nature lovers. Beautiful volcanoes, vast savannas, great national parks, stunning waterfalls and tropical rainforests. And the most friendly people!
This market attracts 160.000 vendors en customers daily, from countries as far as Sudan and the Congo! You can buy second hand clothes, computers, home ware, traditional medicine, you name it. Oqino is divided into sections, but still it’s very chaotic. I found it overwhelming, the market is packed to the roof with people, they are poor and you had to take care of your safety. I ended up at a very local ‘medical center’ after bumping into a pan of boiling soup giving way to a few passing locals ;)
Go the the second floor of one the ‘office buildings’ at Kafumbe Mukasa Road to get a great overview.See detail page
Lovely Sipi is set in one of the most green and lush landscapes of Uganda. The beautiful falls are a series of three waterfalls seperated by steep hillsides. The views are spectacuar as the falls are plunging along the lower slopes of Mount Elgon (4th highest peak in East Africa). I hiked 4-5 hours up to the waterfalls, on flimsy ladders, through villages and farms and had a great time behind two of the three falls. A must do when you’re in the area. A guided hike costs 25.000 shilling only (2018)
The Crow’s Nest (hostel/bar/restaurant) has an awesome view of lowest waterfall.See detail page
I did a guided walk and two early morning drives in Kidepo Valley National Park and was blown away! The scenery is absolutely stunning, game everywhere and (armed!) guide Simon lets you get up really close. The park lies in the remote northeastern part of Uganda and sees only 3000 visitors a year. And it’s huge: 1400 km2! I saw an abondance of animals: Elephants, Rothschild’s giraffes, lions, zebras, kampalas, bushbucks, waterbucks and waterbuffalos. There are leopards, cheetahs and hyenas in the park, but unfortunately I did not get to see them.
It takes 2 days from Kampala to reach Kidepo by public transport. I hired a driver with a few other travellers for 500.000 shilling, departing from Sipi Falls (4 days, return to Kampala)See detail page
This will stay with you forever. My group, a silverback, two female and two babies, was soooo close. One lay on my feet and even grabbed my hand! It was magical. Their behavior and facial expressions are so similar to ours, you’ll never believe it until you see it for yourself! It is expensive to go and see them, but it’s a once in a lifetime. Really worth it.
Make sure you’re in good shape as you will be tracking the gorillas in the dense forest for a few hours, and when you find them (99% chance) they can move around a lot so you’re following them all the time!See detail page
Ggaba’s is all about eating fish on the shores of Lake Victoria. The landing site is only 10 km from Kampala. It’s off the beaten track, you will see no tourists there. Locals go to Ggaba for a day out, sit and watch the world go by. At Ggaba’s landing site it’s all about boating and fishing. Local men will approach you for a boat tour (but I did not see a lot of safety jackets on board...) of a guided tour of the local fish market. That’s what I did. My guide annex filleter bought Tilapia fish at the auction, descaled it himself and made sure it got a good fry in the pan at a friend’s restaurant - for 30.000 shilling only (2018)
Have a look behind the landing site and the market, you’ll find big sheds where they smoke fish.See detail page
The landscape south of Fort Portal is dotted with picturesque crater lakes, some over 400m deep. These crater lakes are breathtakingly beautiful to behold, and offer one of the best hiking places in the area. The landscape is stunning. I hiked past numerous lakes, big and small and really enjoyed the pastoral, green and lush scenery. It’s easy to do by yourself, you do not need a tour or guide just use Maps.me or Google Maps.
Visit a few of the luxurious lodges for the best views.See detail page
29 islands dot Africa’s second deepest and most beautiful lake. I would describe Lake Bunyony, place of many little birds as a peaceful and relaxing place, it makes for good destination to end your trip to Uganda. You go swimming, birding, hiking, biking of just relax and chill out at one of the many resort style accomodations. The best way to get around is with a makoro, a dugout canoe or a motorboat. I opted for the latter 😉. The boat trip took me to a few islands, that are primarily used for schools and accommodation for tourists. The lake failed to impress me during the tour, but it did when I climbed one of the hills. Wow, what a view! (rainy season was coming, so the skies are a bit misty)See detail page
There’s two reasons to visit this park. First, to see the Nile sqeeze through an 8 meter wide gorge and plunge 43 meter down. I was quite disappointed, because the boat that brings you to the bottom the falls comes to a stop hundreds of meters before. So no thundrous sound or mist and not worth 25 USD imho. The other one, is the abundant wildlife. And that will make you happier, you’ll see hippos, crocodiles, elephants, hartebeests, oribi, giraffes and lions!
If you feel adventurous: take a bus up to Pakwach and hire a boda-boda (motortaxi) for the last 30 km, 15.000 shilling, 2018)See detail page
Market day in Rwaihamba (tuesday), just 10 kilometers south of Fort Portal. It is a typical Ugandan fair. Mostly women sell vegetables, fruit and a lot of second hand clothing. It supposedly originates from what we donate to clothing containers! A second hand t-shirt goes for €1-1,50. The market isn’t large, but what makes is special is that it is really local, you’ll see no other tourists. Combine it with a visit to the Crater LakesSee detail page
Take as much time as you can. Although it’s costly the parks are worth it. Seeing your favorite animals (mine is the giraffe!) is unforgettable.
1. Indulge on an Ugandan rolex, an omelet rolled into a chapati. Fills you up for the whole day!
2. Look out for these charcoal factories on the roads.
3. Take a boda-boda, motor taxi. Excitement garanteed!