Uganda is known for its wildlife safaris including mountain gorilla trekking, birding and primates and big game viewing. Traveling to Uganda, the gateway is Entebbe international airport in Entebbe town on the shores of Lake Victoria. At least many visitors are familiar with Entebbe town and Kampala the capital city where majority of the safaris begin or end from. But it would be unfair to just pinpoint just one part of Uganda to visit if you were exploring the country on round trip. While you plan to spend few days on a Uganda safari, make sure to visit other towns as well. there are 5 beautiful towns we recommend for you here.
Kampala began as a hunting ground and small trading center of Buganda kingdom some 150 plus years ago. Today, while Kampala is a modern capital and business center of Uganda, the dignity of its past times still prevails including the Kasubi royal tombs built in 1881, Lubiri (Royal palace) and Bulange, the Buganda kingdom parliament.
Kampala is located in central Uganda on the shores of Lake Victoria. Uganda has impressed travelers for the friendliness of the locals and Kampala is no exception. Sometimes called the sleepless city of East Africa, Kampala is a major host of East Africa’s largest street carnival, the Kampala city festival among other popular music and food festivals. There are night clubs and events spots such as bars and lounges, casinos and gaming. Across east African, Kampala has dominated. Partying and having fun is a kind of tradition in Kampala due to lots of tours and sighting, activities and entertainment and leisure atmosphere. Travelers can find shopping centers and lots of busy craft markets selling everything from handcrafted jewelry to traditional African clothing.
In 2007, it hosted the common wealth heads of government meeting, an indicator of the city’s world class MICE facilities including five star hotels like Serena, Speak resort Munyonyi, Pearl of Africa, Sheraton among others.
One of the most significant features of Kampala is the Buganda kingdom that has preserved its history and culture from the 13th century to this very day. The historical sites, the Kasubi tombs are recognized as a UNESCO world heritage site. And there are several religious sites to admire such as the Uganda martyrs shrine Namugongo which attracts over 10 million pilgrims 3rd June every year. First time visitors are always overwhelmed by the road traffic jam because there are 1.4 million inhabitants.
Fort Portal Town
Fort portal has become a major tourist destination with a focus on wildlife and nature. It is located in Kabalore district western Uganda on the foothills of the mountains of the moon. It is neighbored by Kibale forest and Semiliki forest national park, several beautiful views of explosion crater lakes, tea plantations and mountains. Being close to these tourist destinations, the town has developed and boasts many hotels, lodges, restaurants, camps, banks which offer all sorts of tourist facilities for tourists on Uganda safari. If you are in fort portal, it gives you opportunity to do wildlife activities such as chimpanzee trekking in kibale, nature walk in bigodi wetland, hiking, and game viewing in Queen Elizabeth National Park.
Entebbe town originally served as the colonial capital when Uganda was protectorate under the British imperialist rule. After independence in 1962, Kampala was declared the capital and today Entebbe serves as the main gateway (Entebbe international airport) to Uganda and is home to the state house, the presidential office building of the president of Uganda.
Entebbe town lies on the shores of Lake Victoria, the largest fresh water lake in the world. It is renowned for its beautiful beaches which are popular for recreation and fun with opportunities for swimming, boating, beach parties, sunbathing and water sports. There are lodges and resort hotels on the shores offering views of the lake and some provide private boat cruise services.
Entebbe is also home to the Uganda national zoo and lovely botanical gardens. A visit to these places is a delightful way to get up close with chimpanzees and see other wild animals such as elephants, giraffes, rhinos and big cats. The amazing islands of Ngamba a sanctuary for 49 chimps and the Sesse islands are easy to reach by ferry or boat. These islands are favorites for families and honeymooners.
Jinja has become the adventure capital of East Africa ever since 1885 when John Speke a British explorer discovered the source of the Nile, the world’s longest river. The source of the Nile can be seen by a boat ride where you stand at a monument dedicated to Speke was built.
Jinja has incredible white water rafting opportunities on the White Nile with class 3 for amateurs and grade 5 rapids for those with experience. Jinja is located along the Victoria Nile, 1 hour drive from Kampala. Visitors can enjoy one day excursion since the trip begins at 07am, you expect to return back to Kampala in the evening. Those spending more days in Jinja; can enjoy a variety of outdoors such as kayaking, horseback riding, swimming and boat cruise.
The town has fascinating Indian architecture buildings, your guide can talk about the Asian history before they were expelled by President Idi Amin.
Kabale is the largest a town in kigezi region south western Uganda best known for the mountain gorilla safaris. The town Kabale itself is cool and set between the Kigezi beautiful rolling highlands commonly referred to as the “Switzerland of Africa”
While most visitors on Uganda safari can make a quick stopover or pass through the town as they are heading to Bwindi for gorilla trekking, no one is going to give you trouble if you decide to stay in the town a day or two and make it a base for gorilla safaris and recreation activities like boat and canoe rides on Lakes Bunyonyi and Mutanda or climbing the Virunga volcanoes in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park.