Would you like to discover a country that offers you the opportunity to explore different national parks and has a climate that is similar to that of Central Europe? Do you want a capital that has many interesting places and is only a few kilometers from the third largest lake in the world? Would you like to take a trip to the point where the Nile originates? Then we can only warmly recommend you to take a tour of Uganda.
The African country has around 43 million inhabitants and is an authoritarian regime whose head of state has been Yoweri Kaguta Museveni since 1986. The African country is ideal for people who like to spend their vacation in nature and with animals.
In our large round-trip report on the African country Uganda, we present you the best round trips through Uganda. We compare offers from tour operators and show you which trips are offered. In our travel report, we also give you answers to all the important questions that may arise before you start your trip.
the essentials in brief
- The climate in Uganda is similar to the climate that prevails in Central Europe. The temperatures are pleasant and constant throughout the year.
- Uganda is the third largest lake and the second-largest freshwater lake in the world with Lake Victoria. The lake stretches across three different African countries.
- In order to enter Uganda, you must be able to prove in an international vaccination certificate that you have been vaccinated against jaundice.
Round trip through Uganda: the best travel offers
In order to ensure a successful round trip through Uganda and you enjoy the time that you can enjoy in the country with breathtaking landscapes and extraordinary animals, we have selected the best travel providers for you and introduce you to the individual round trips.
- The best round trip through Uganda with your own rental car
- The best compact tour with the most important highlights of Uganda
The best round trip through Uganda with your own rental car
If you want to discover the southwest of Uganda, visit rare mountain gorillas and drive through extensive Matoke plantations, you should definitely take the tour of Uganda with your own rental car. The route depends on the weather conditions, which makes it flexible.
You will spend the night in lodges, whose category you can choose. The rental car comes from the Toyota company and offers you the opportunity to travel an unlimited number of kilometers.
The best compact tour with the most important highlights of Uganda
If you want to explore the depths of the primeval forest, drive on the waters of the Nile and reach native tribes within 10 days, we recommend a tour of unknown Uganda. Chimpanzees and gorillas can be seen in their natural habitat. A highlight for the tour group is the cultural encounter with locals. Before that, however, it goes to the boat trips at the Murchison waterfall and on Mburo lake.
The tour through Uganda gives insights into beautiful parts of the country. The compact trip is ideal for you if you don’t feel like renting a car or organizing your trip.
Travel highlights in Uganda: What you should definitely see or do on your tour
Are you wondering whether you should take a tour of Uganda and you are not sure whether this trip is really the right one for you? In this section, we would like to introduce you to the highlights that await you on a tour of the African country and show you why the trip will be worthwhile for you.
Why is a round trip through Uganda worthwhile?
Uganda is considered the pearl of Africa and offers a multitude of incomparable impressions. The western part of the country is located in the Albertine Rift Valley, which is one of the few biodiversity hotspots in the world whose nature is particularly protected.
Animals such as the endangered mountain gorilla or chimpanzee can be found in Uganda. The wildlife is very diverse and can make a tour of the African country special.
Trekking enthusiasts can embark on the adventure of gorilla watching in the area of Mount Muhavura and Mount Mgahinga. The hike is not only worthwhile because of the gorilla observation, but also because of the many small lakes that were created by the melting of glaciers.
The scenic backdrop of Uganda is characterized by snow-covered mountains, volcanoes, or crater lakes. Lake Victoria is half of Africa’s largest lake in Ugandan territory.
What cities and regions are there in Uganda?
There are many different cities and regions in Uganda that are recommended. The capital of Uganda is Kampala. Other well-known cities besides Kampala are Jinja and Entebbe.
1.5 million people live in the capital, which is only a few kilometers from Lake Victoria. With an average of 290 days of thunderstorms per year, Kampala is the thunderstorm region on earth.
Lake Victoria is located in the countries of Uganda, Tanzania, and Kenya and is the third-largest lake in the world. The surface area of Lake Victoria is almost 69,000 square kilometers that of Bavaria or Ireland.
Uganda can be divided into four different regions:
- Central region: The central region is the heart of Uganda, in which there are many cultural sites, the city centers of Entebbe and the capital, and Lake Victoria.
- Eastern region: In the east, in addition to the source of the Nile, there are also Tororo rocks, Elgon mountain, Nyero rock paintings in the Kumi district, and Moroto mountain.
- Northern region: If you are looking for animals or want to get to know the tribes and their culture, the northern region is ideal for you. To the north are the Murchison Waterfalls and the Kidepo National Park.
- Western region: The west is also called the wonderland of Uganda. There you can discover tea plantations, golden meadows, tropical rainforest, and Mount Rwenzori. The game parks and reserves should be on the to-do list.
What sights are there in Uganda?
In Uganda there are some places worth seeing that you should definitely visit on your round trip:
- Kampala: In the capital of Uganda there are interesting places like the Uganda Museum, numerous mosques, and palaces or street markets. Other sights include the Kabaka Tombs on Kasubi Hill, the Tombs of the Kings of Buganda, the Rubaga Catholic Cathedral, the Anglican Namirembe Cathedral, or the huge Sikh Temple.
- Ruwenzori Mountains: Excursions to the Ruwenzori Mountains and the mountain and glacier regions of the Ruwenzori Mountains with the unique flora in which the Nile originates are always a highlight.
- Mount Muhavura and Mount Mgahinga: In the area of Mount Muhavura and Mount Mgahinga you have the opportunity to observe gorillas. Mountain tours into the habitat of the largest great ape in the world start in Kisoro.
- Fishing in Uganda: There are seven lakes near the city of Kisoro that have good fishing grounds. Mbale is considered a fertile plain because this place is not only suitable for fishing, but also for hiking.
- Queen Elizabeth National Park: At the foot of the Ruwenzori Mountains, on Edward Lake and on Georg Lake lies the Queen Elizabeth National Park, which is home to hippos, pelicans, African buffaloes, elephants, lions and over 600 species of birds.
- Jungle of Bwindi
- Murchison Falls National Park: The Murchison Falls National Park is the largest nature park in Uganda and is home to Rothschild giraffe. The national park has a waterfall where Nile crocodiles and foot horses have found a home.
- Lake Mburo National Park: In Lake Mburo National Park there is Lake Mburo and a lot of Impala antelopes. 14 other small lakes and swamps help to create a varied landscape. Other animals in the 260 square meters of the national park are leopards, waterbucks, hyenas, and zebras. A boat trip on the lake or a guided walk through the wilderness are highly recommended.
What is the food like in Uganda?
Basic foods include plantain, corn porridge, potatoes, and rice. The plantain, which tastes neither sweet nor fruity, forms the basis of almost every dish that is served in Uganda steamed like a mashed potato, fried as chips or baked in pieces.
However, the side dishes listed are not served alone, but often in combination with chicken or fish. Other favorite dishes of Ugandans are cassava, cabbage, beans, and sweet potatoes.
The African snack for in between are the donuts called mandazis or chapatis, which are thin cakes made from water and flour. Other snacks include samosas, deep-fried dumplings filled with vegetables or meat, and hard-boiled eggs. These snacks are mainly available at bus stands.
The fish supply in Uganda is very small, which is why you will mainly get tilapia in Uganda. This is a perch that can be found in almost all lakes in the country.
Tap water in Uganda is not drinking water. So, you should only drink it boiled or buy it in supermarkets and you should not swim in ponds or other stagnant water.
What activities are worthwhile in Uganda?
In addition to a classic sightseeing tour through the capital of Uganda, you can practice some exciting activities that take place mainly in nature. Some activities are included in classic tours, while others are not. Below we summarize our recommendations:
- Encounter with mountain gorillas
- Boat safaris along the Kazinga Canal
- Drive on the Bunyonyi lake
- Chimpanzee trekking
- Trekking in the moon mountains
Encounter with mountain gorillas
One of the highlights of every round trip through Uganda is the encounter with the endangered mountain gorillas, which can be examined directly in the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.
It is important: Always watch the rustling in the leaves of the trees. Because right there you will see the mountain gorillas, provided you keep your eyes open.
Boat safaris along the Kazinga Channel
During the animal-rich boat safaris along the Kazinga Channel, you cross the Queen Elizabeth National Park. You get really close to hippos, buffalos, water birds, kingfishers, and crocodiles. During the two-hour boat trip, there is enough time to watch hippos and elephants bathing, playing, and feeding.
The route, which you only have to share with a few other excursion boats, starts at Mweya Lodge and ends in the Ishasha sector.
Drive on the Bunyonyi lake
Bunyonyi Lake is an idyllic mountain lake surrounded by hills. The beautiful picture of the mountain lake is shaped by 29 small islands with eucalyptus forests.
We recommend a trip to Lake Bunyonyi not only because of its beautiful sight but also because there are no hippos or crocodiles.
Part of your round trip should also be a forest walk with an experienced ranger, who will lead you through the well-developed territory of the chimpanzees. The density of primates in Kibale National Park is the highest in the world.
The special thing about chimpanzee trekking: our fellow species can swing while eating, swinging, or through the thicket.
It is highly recommended to go on a safari in Murchison Falls National Park. In Uganda’s largest and oldest national park- lions, elephants, leopards, giraffes, hippos, monkeys, crocodiles and a variety of exotic birds can be found.
A safari in Murchison Falls National Park allows you to experience moments that you will not forget for the rest of your life.
Trekking in the moon mountains
The Ruwenzori Mountains, whose mountains are also called moon mountains, are ideal for trekking tours. The trekking tour is very demanding, which is why mountain tourists should not hike alone. The start is at 1615 meters, the most difficult ascent to the Elena hut is at 4541 meters and the highest point is Margherita Peak at 5109 meters.
You should keep in mind that the risk of malaria is above 2500 meters all year round. Despite the risk of malaria, an ascent in the Ruwenzori Mountains is recommended if you tackle it in a guided manner. When trekking, make sure you have the right equipment.
Travel tips: What you should pay attention to when traveling through Uganda
Now that you have decided on a tour of Uganda, we would like to give you some important tips and tricks on the best travel time and the best travel preparation.
What’s the best time to travel to Uganda?
The climate in Uganda is similar to the Central European climate.
The weather is balanced all year round, the highest and lowest temperatures in the African country are in a pleasant ratio. It cools down at night, which guarantees a refreshing sleep. Despite the pleasant temperatures, the power of the sun should not be underestimated.
Rainfall in the African country of Uganda is very low but is well distributed throughout the year. As a result, there are no dry periods and Uganda is considered a fertile and flourishing country. The favorable climate contributes to the fact that the majority of the economy consists of agriculture.
The months of April and May are the months with the highest rainfall, but these are only short downpours. Rainfalls lasting several hours are rare in Uganda.
|month||Min temp.||Max. Temp.||Monthly Rainfall|
|January||17 degrees||28 degrees||90 mm|
|February||17 degrees||28 degrees||75 mm|
|March||19 degrees||28 degrees||130 mm|
|April||19 degrees||26 degrees||290 mm|
|May||19 degrees||26 degrees||255 mm|
|June||18 degrees||25 degrees||90 mm|
|July||16 degrees||25 degrees||50 mm|
|August||16 degrees||25 degrees||90 mm|
|September||16 degrees||26 degrees||80 mm|
|October||17 degrees||26 degrees||100 mm|
|November||18 degrees||26 degrees||150 mm|
|December||19 degrees||26 degrees||125 mm|
In summary, due to the constant temperatures and low monthly rainfall, it can be said that every season in Uganda is suitable for travel. However, if you want to be on the safe side, you should travel to the African country between June and March.
What about security in Uganda?
Basically, the security risk in Uganda is high. The risk is divided into three security levels, with only two levels applying to the African country:
- High-security risk (level 3): Travel in border areas of the Karamoja and West Nile regions, to Lake Albert and in the southwest and west is not recommended. If you want to visit Kipedo National Park, you can do so without hesitation by arriving by plane.
- Increased security risk (level 2): An increased security risk applies to the rest of the country. In the Bundibugyo, Kasese, and Ntoroko districts, there can be ethnic conflicts that result in military operations. Due to the military engagement in Somalia, it cannot be ruled out that activities by terrorist groups could occur. Caution must be exercised near high-traffic facilities such as shopping malls and tourist destinations, major events, international hotels and restaurants, and at Entebbe Airport. In the late hours, distances should not be covered on foot or by motorcycle taxi. Raids can occur in the capital, Kampala, which is why you shouldn’t take large amounts of cash or valuables with you on tours of the city.
As robberies cannot be ruled out, the windows and doors should be closed when driving. You should only park your car in the capital Kampala in guarded parking lots.
If you want to drive a car in Uganda, you always have to have a registration certificate, the vehicle insurance policy, and an international or Ugandan driver’s license. Driving licenses from other countries such as Austrian driving licenses are not valid in the African country.
What are the health risks in Uganda?
Basically, you should consult your family doctor in good time before you start your trip to Uganda to talk to him about recommended vaccinations.
If you are entering Uganda from yellow fever or cholera zone or have passed a country in these zones, you must show an internationally valid vaccination certificate against yellow fever and cholera.
Uganda is located in a malaria zone, which is why you should take malaria prophylaxis both in good time before starting your vacation, and after returning to your home country. Protect yourself from mosquito bites with insect repellants to minimize the risk of developing malaria. Meningitis or hepatitis E occurs in some parts of the country.
It is advisable to bring your regularly needed medication and also to pack medication for special cases or common travel illnesses that may not be needed as the availability in Uganda is limited. Hospitals also do not meet European standards.
Are there any special entry requirements for Uganda?
To enter Uganda, you need a visa.
You can obtain your visa electronically or directly upon entry. You can apply for the e-Visa at www.visas.immigration.go.ug. If you only apply for your visa upon arrival, you must show a valid yellow fever vaccination card, your flight ticket, and proof of your whereabouts such as booking confirmations or vouchers.
There are a few other things you should keep in mind when entering Uganda:
- Travel document: To enter Uganda you need a passport.
- Passport validity: When entering Uganda, your passport must be valid for at least six months.
- Minors: Under the age of 18 who are traveling without the accompaniment of the legal representative, it is recommended to take a declaration of consent in the form of a power of attorney, which should be accompanied by a copy of the minor’s birth certificate and a copy of the legal representative’s passport.
- Return trip: If you are traveling to Uganda, you must be able to prove that you have sufficient funds for the stay and that you have a return flight or onward travel ticket.
Health insurance abroad
It is fundamentally important to take out special foreign health insurance for vacations that are spent outside of Europe so that you do not have to pay high costs if the worst comes to the worst.
There is a large number of foreign health insurance plans for Uganda. These depend on the duration and the reason for the trip to Uganda.
How long should a tour of Uganda last?
The optimal duration of a round trip through Uganda depends on the number of regions you want to explore during your stay. The area of Uganda is 241,037 square kilometers.
Basically, we suggest you plan in about 10 to 18 days if you want to take a tour of Uganda. Depending on how many places you want to visit, 10 or 18 days are more suitable.
What language is spoken in Uganda?
Three different languages are spoken in Uganda:
The two official languages are English and Swahili. The latter has only been one of the official languages since the constitutional amendment in 2005 and is used as the command language by the police and the military as well as in civil administration.
Luganda is the language of the Baganda ethnic group and the official language of the autonomous kingdom of Buganda in central Uganda.
What currency is valid in Uganda?
Uganda shilling applies in Uganda, which is abbreviated to UGX. 1 Uganda shilling corresponds to 0.00027USD. Conversely, this means that 1 USD is around 3784.90 Uganda shillings.
It is not allowed to take the Uganda shilling with you on your return trip to your home country. The entire amount you have with you must be left in the African country. But it is allowed to take dollars with you to Uganda and back home.
On my own: Can I organize the tour through Uganda myself?
Of course, it is also possible to take a tour of Uganda without being organized by an agency. The advantage for you is that you can make your trip flexible.
Since there is no public transport, you have to do your self-organized tour with a rental car. Note that you need an international driver’s license for this.
How can I book overnight stays in Uganda?
Various placement companies offer you the possibility to book your overnight stays in Uganda easily and comfortably from home. Examples include:
On the above pages, you can compare the different travel accommodations and book the hotel that suits you.
If you don’t want to stay in hotels and guest houses, we recommend booking Airbnb accommodation. These are usually cheaper than overnight stays in a hotel.
Are there rental cars in Uganda?
Yes, there are numerous rental car companies in Uganda, each offering a wide range of vehicles in various sizes and designs.
There are two different offers from car rental companies in Uganda: weekly rental prices and daily rental combined with mileage allowance, insurance, and fuel.
Unfortunately, there is also a catch with rental cars, because many vehicles are only offered in combination with a driver. The number of offers without a driver is steadily increasing.
Arrival: How can I get to Uganda?
In Uganda, there is the international airport Entebbe (EBBA), which is 40 kilometers south of the capital of Uganda.
When flying over Lake Victoria, you can get a first spectacular impression of the beautiful landscape of the African country.
Trivia: What else you need to know for your round trip through Uganda
Now you should be optimally informed about Uganda and be ready for your round trip through the African country. Finally, we would like to bring you a few more country-specific facts.
Which adapter in Uganda?
In Uganda, you need a type G plug.
|Type G||240 volts||50 Hz|
The Type G connector has three elongated contacts and is used in countries such as England, Ireland, Malta, and Cyprus, among others.
What is the history of Uganda?
Twa and Bantu
Researchers believe that the Twa people, who lived as hunters and gatherers, were the first residents of Uganda. Around 2,000 years ago, Cushite shepherds and people from the Bantu people came to do farming and settle down.
Empire of Kitara and Empire of Bunyoro
From the 10th century, the empire Kitara developed among the Batembuzi people, which fell into smaller empires in the 15th century. This created the empire Bunyoro in the west of today’s Uganda.
In the 15th century, the Kingdom of Buganda achieved supremacy that was maintained until the 20th century. The Buganda Empire is still on the northwest shore of Lake Victoria. The kingdom had trade relations with Arab countries. It was also the Arabs who promoted the slave trade and the ivory trade.
Interest in Uganda grew in the 19th century. The African explorer John Speke discovered the origin of the Nile on Lake Victoria.
At the same time as the first Europeans, missionaries came to Uganda for the first time, who tried to familiarize the residents with the Catholic and Anglican faith. In order to prevent the advance of Islam, some tribal leaders converted to the Christian faith, which at the same time led to the loss of power of the local princes.
Uganda under the British rule
In the Congo Conference of 1884/85, Uganda became a British protectorate because of Britain’s claims to Uganda.
The colonialists literally exploited the country. Coffee and cotton were exported and the construction of the railroad was promoted. Many Asians made their way to Uganda to do business and make money.
At the beginning of the 20th century, the local population managed to defend itself against foreign rule. Apollo Milton Obote then managed to bring Uganda to independence in 1962. In 1963 Uganda became a republic.
Idi Amin’s dictatorship
Obote was overthrown by Idi Amin in 1971. The latter then established a military dictatorship and murdered many of his opponents. Some of the Asians were sent out of the country.
In 1979 Idi Amin was overthrown and Obote took over again. Resistance rose again against Obote, which resulted in a civil war.
In 1995 the current constitution was created, which means that the president is now always elected for five years.
President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni
Yoweri Kaguta Museveni has been President of Uganda since 1986.
The situation in the African country is much more stable than in other countries, but criticism of the government is also growing steadily.
Country-specific facts and fun facts about Uganda
With the help of some fun facts about Uganda we would like to conclude our article about the tour through Uganda:
- Birds in Uganda: Uganda is known for gorillas, but actually a lot is about birds. Overall, 11% of all birds live in Uganda, which is divided into almost 1,100 different species.
- Felling trees: If you cut a tree in Uganda, you have to plant three new ones.
- The smallest church in the world: In Uganda, Bethel Church is one of the smallest churches in the world. It is 2.3 m wide and 2.4 m high. Only three people may be in the church at the same time, the priest is one of them.
- 30 different languages: In the African country, 30 different languages are spoken, which are divided into the language groups Bantu, Nilotic, and Central Sudanese.
- Rolex is not a watch: if you ask for a Rolex in Uganda, you get an omelet with peppers, tomatoes, cabbage, and onions, which is wrapped in pita bread.
To sum up, a tour of Uganda is highly recommended. The country has some great national parks and lakes to explore. The capital also offers some great sights that are very different from the “country”. If you are an animal-loving person and want to discover those animals that do not exist in Europe, Uganda is the right place for you.
Basically, we would recommend that you take a guided trip so that you don’t get into dangerous zones and get insider tips.
There is no perfect travel time in Uganda because the climate is pleasant all year round. However, if you want to travel to the African country at very dry times, you should not start your tour in April and May.