Top Uganda Tours & Vacations 2024/2025 [reviews & photos]

Uganda Tours & Travel Packages 2024/2025

29 Uganda trips. Compare tour itineraries from 11 tour companies. 134 reviews. 4.8/5 avg rating.

Small Group Uganda Tours

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Top Uganda Attractions

  • Coming face to face at close range with a band of mountain gorillas – and watching them interact with each other and, at times, with the human interlopers.
  • Racing after a pack of playful chimpanzees in Kibale Forest National Park, which harbors the highest density of primates in the world.
  • Visiting the Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary to see the only white rhinos in the wild left in Uganda.  
  • Birding with more than 1,000 species, representing two-thirds of Africa’s avian population, filling Ugandan skies. (Watch for stork-like shoebills, wetland-loving wattled plovers, and crested cranes, whose images adorn the country’s coat of arms.)
  •  Meeting and mingling with Ugandans on their turf.  Despite grinding poverty, the majority go through life with warm and welcoming smiles.
  • Being amazed by images of men, women and children walking along roads balancing large, heavy loads upon their heads.
  • Watching as men ride, and sometimes push, bicycles or motorbikes laden with items ranging from household utensils and bags of cooking charcoal to live goats and cages of squawking chickens.
  • Marveling at the mountain scenery in the Rwenzoris, Africa’s highest mountain range, that add to Uganda’s reputation as the Switzerland of Africa.
  • Boating along the White Nile to the foot of Murchison Falls, which roars out of a narrow gap in the rocks to drop 140 feet below.
  • Taking a guided game drive in Queen Elizabeth National Park in eastern Uganda in search of rare tree-climbing lions.
  • Discovering the incredible beauty of remote Kidepo Valley National Park in northern Uganda, and having it mostly all to yourself except for the wildlife.

Uganda Tours & Travel Guide

Uganda Attractions & Landmarks Guide

The “Switzerland of Africa,” as it’s sometimes known for its wealth of mountains and lakes and overall scenic beauty, suffered terribly under the regime of Idi Amin back in the 1970s and subsequent civil unrest after he was deposed. (The film The Last King of Scotland, starring Forrest Whitaker, paints a searing portrait of the unhinged dictator.) As a result, Uganda largely fell off the tourist map -- with a stigma that continues to this day.

Yet Uganda’s wildlife, decimated by poaching and neglect under Amin, is now re-emerging in sizeable numbers. An attractive safari destination once again, it is probably the best choice for seeing great apes, our closest genetic cousins - gorillas and chimpanzees - in the wild. (Other choices are Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, but Uganda has the densest population of them and Congo may still have outbreaks of civil unrest.)

More Than Wildlife

There’s a lot more to see and do in this compact East African nation than meeting and mingling with its wide variety of resident wildlife, as memorable as that experience is. One attraction is the land itself, with incredible diversity squeezed into an area about the size of Michigan.

Even more rewarding are cultural encounters with the people of Uganda – who comprise more than 40 ethnic groups..Despite being one of the poorest nations in the world, Ugandans are known as among the world’s most friendly people. That’s true whether they’re women toiling on steep hillside farm fields, men walking long distances balancing heavy bundles on their heads, or giggling children waving at passing vehicles filled with tourists.

In Uganda you’re sure to get a friendly hello wherever you go. Smile back at passersby and if offered something to eat or drink -- even from a family that may have little of it -- be sure to accept; it’s considered impolite not to. When entering a village, your group may be greeted with song and dance.

Depending upon your itinerary, you might have an opportunity to meet with members of a Pygmy tribe, watch a traditional healer demonstrate herbs used to cure a variety of ailments, interact with delightful children at a local school, or partake of a luncheon of Ugandan delicacies prepared by a farmer and his wife.

But What Wildlife There Is

Of course, outstanding opportunities for game viewing are what attract most visitors to Uganda.  Its parks teem with cape buffalo, giraffes, antelopes, elephants and lions, including unusual tree-climbing lions. Giant crocodiles bask in the sun along river banks, while countless hippos cool off submerged in rivers and lakes.  Some believe it offers the most diverse wildlife of any country in Africa.

Most notably, Uganda is one of only three countries where you can visit with endangered and elusive mountain gorillas -- of which perhaps fewer than 900 exist in the world. 

Nearly half of them hang out in the aptly named Bwindi Impenetrable Narional Park. Trekkers in groups of eight follow their trails during often vigorous outings that can last from one to several hours, depending upon where the band has chosen to settle down for a day of eating and resting. Habituated to humans and not fearful of them, they are as likely to be as curious about you as you are of them.

Chimpanzees, the closest living relatives to humans, as well as a variety of monkeys are found in Kibale Forest National Park, though they can be harder to locate. Kibale is known for possessing the highest density of primates in the world, but the chimps move fast and can be elusive. 

Gorilla Trekking in Uganda

Only 1004 mountain gorillas remain in the world, and over half of them are in the forests of Uganda. Gorilla Trekking is a highlight when visiting Uganda, and certainly why most people are attracted to this beautiful country.

The majority of people visit during June to September or December to February as these months provide the ideal conditions for spotting Gorillas.

Gorilla trekking is a captivating and thrilling experience, which is why having the right tour company with informative guides is an absolute necessity. There are 2 parks that allow Gorilla trekking: Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga National Park.

National Parks in Uganda

1. Bwindi Impenetrable National Park

The Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site and is home to one of the biodiverse ecosystems in all of Africa. Spanning 321 square kilometers it is only accessible by foot.

Bwindi hosts a variety of species with 348 species of birds, 220 species of butterflies, 27 species of frogs and 120 species of mammals. The park protects one of the most endangered species, mountain gorillas.

There are only 14 mountain gorilla groups that are open to the public for tourism. The park is open for tourism all year long, although the rainy season makes it hard to get around the park.

2. Queen Elizabeth National Park

The Queen Elizabeth National Park occupies 1,978 square kilometers. The park is known for its broad range of wildlife, hippopotamus, crocodiles, elephants, leopards, lions and chimpanzees. The park is protected from poachers by the Uganda Wildlife Authority all year long. 

The best time to visit Queen Elizabeth National Park is during the months of September through December. Being on the equator the climate is warm all year long, except for some months where it tends to get cold at night. The best time to spot wildlife is during the dry season from January to February and June to July.

3. Murchison Falls National Park

Murchison Falls become one of Uganda’s first national parks in 1952, spanning a whopping 3,840 square kilometers.  The highlight of the park is the Murchison Falls, a waterfall situated between Lake Kyoga and Lake Albert, and also where the Nile river squeezes itself between a gap creating a beautiful waterfall tumbling 141 feet into Lake Albert. The Murchison Falls are a must visit for any tourist in Uganda.

4. Kibale National Park

Kibale National Park is one of the best safari destinations in Africa. Located in Western Uganda it protects a rainforest that is 766 square kilometers in size and sits at an elevation of 1,600 meters. Kibale has the highest concentration of primates in all of Africa. It is home to a large number of chimpanzees and red colobus monkey, both are an endangered species. 

One of the best parts of visiting Kibale is the Kibale primate lodge located in Kanyanchu. An eco-lodge located within the park. It is surrounded by tropical forests and many different species of primates. The lodge offers accommodations from Luxury Safari Tents to Sky Tree houses. It is truly a one of a kind experience.

Cuisine in Uganda

In Uganda the customs are just as big as the cuisine itself. A typical meal is started with a short prayer before the family starts eating. Most people wait till the end of the meal to drink water, as it is normally considered odd.

Ugandan cuisine is a mix of cultures from all around the world including English, Arab, and Indian. The typical dishes contain vegetables, potatoes, yams, and some sort of meat like chicken, pork or fish.

The main dishes are usually based with sauce or some version of stew, with beans or meat. This also includes one of the most famous parts of a meal, matooke (steamed and mashed banana).

Cultural Activities in Uganda

The best way to experience cultural activities in Uganda is by taking a cultural safari and tour. Despite being on the poorest countries in Africa, the people of Uganda have kept their culture and traditions stronger than ever.  There are historical sites all over Uganda mostly located in towns or kingdoms.

1. Nshenyi Village

Nshenyi Village is the place where nature and culture come together to create a co existing environment. It is the perfect place to experience the local culture firsthand. Getting a one on one experience with the local people and the way they live is truly remarkable.

2. Gorilla Trekking

Coexisting with wildlife and nature is not just something Ugandans are proud of, but they have been doing it for countless generations. One of the most famous cultural activities is trekking the jungles of Uganda to see the primates that occupy it. There are countless tour companies that operate gorilla trekking tours in Uganda.

3. Independence Monument

The Uganda Independence Monument is located in the center of the capital city of Kampala. Built just after the independence from the British in 1962. It is one of the most important pieces of Uganda’s heritage. The tower signifies a new country born free from the effects of the brtisn colonization.

4. Uganda Museum

The Uganda Museum located in Kampala was built in 1908. It is the oldest museum in East Africa, it holds more than 100,000 objects of historical value. It is also home to one of the most oldest fossils dating all the way back to 20 millions years.

5. Kabaka’s Palace

The Kabaka’s Palace is the official residence of the King of Kabaka. The majestic site is more than just a building, it provides a rich history of one of Uganda’s oldest kingdoms, Buganda. 

6. The Uganda National Mosque

The Uganda National Mosque is located at the Kampala Hill. The mosque is only less than 15 years old, being built in 2006 it can hold up to 15,000 people at a time. The mosque was gifted to Uganda by the late leader of Libya, Muammar Gaddafi.

Traditional Game Parks

Queen Elizabeth National Park is the best place to see a variety of wildlife, including hundreds of bird species. You’ll find all the Big Five here except for rhino, which were all poached out in the Amin era.

But at the private Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary north of Kampala, which has a breeding program and where guides lead rhino walking safaris, there are now 13 southern white rhinos living in the wild.

Uganda’s largest wildlife park, Murchison Falls National Park, named after the falls along the White Nile, is rich in both game and scenery. In the far north is a much less visited park, Kidepo Valley National Park, where mountains form a backdrop to wide-open savannah and lions, cheetahs, leopards, and elephants roam freely across the plains. It generally draws raves from the relatively few visitors who make it there.

Land and Water Ho

Uganda’s terrain consists of a surprising combination of semi-desert and lush rainforests, savannah and woodlands, and even snow-clad peaks near the Equator.

While the nation is landlocked, it encompasses a large part of Lake Victoria, which is so vast it’s often referred to as an inland sea. The headwaters of the Nile River originate in Uganda before plummeting through a narrow gap in the escarpment at Murchison Falls and exploding out the other side in a rushing plume of foam and spray.

This rich triumvirate – wild animals, friendly people, and beautiful terrain – make Uganda one of the top destinations in Africa…even for those who still harbor memories of long-deposed dictator Idi Amin and subsequent strife. You’ll find a number of safari operators on Stride that will help you develop a whole new appreciation of this country.

Uganda Reviews & Ratings

4.8/5  Excellent
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Clive

Jun 2023

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Anniverssery Holiday to Uganda

Valiant organised our trip for our anniversary and it was superb, our guide Moses was charming, the food was good and we met amazing local people. Gorilla trek was a...

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Stella

Apr 2023

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Encountered Mountain Gorillas

Encountering with the mountain gorillas face to face was the best experience. Thank you very much valiant safaris for customizing this itinerary to fit our desires. ...

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Kelly

Nov 2022

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Magical trip in Uganda

We had an amazing trip with Africa adventure vacations. We loved the guide Ceasar and communication with Robert and Ashiraf was outstanding. The ultimate goal for t...

F

Florine

Oct 2022

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Just 100% perfect

Our 10 days safari was amazing! Our guide Ceasar was just amazing (best guide ever!), thanks to him, we saw the big 5 and great primates. The experience was unforget...

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Nick

Jan 2017

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East Africa Adventure for Gorillas and Wildlife

This overland tour is inspired by the diversity of wildlife East Africa has to offer. The tour gave me the incredible opportunity to experience Rhinos and Gorillas i...

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