Uganda Travel Guide
Home to some of Africa’s most beloved species and some of its most heart-stopping scenery, it is no wonder why Winston Churchill dubbed Uganda the Pearl of Africa.
As an equatorial country that gets steady rainfall throughout the year, everything will likely be lush and green when you visit, though it will not be as hot as you are expecting due to Uganda’s high overall elevation.
Whether you are here to see gorillas or experience the real Africa, you will come away with experiences on this trip that will stay with you for a lifetime.
Currency: Ugandan Shillings
Languages: English, Luganda, Swahili
What To Do
Begin your trip to this popular nation in Eastern Africa by dropping by the Uganda Museum. Situated in the capital city of Kampala, this institution was founded more than a hundred years ago in 1908, making it the oldest museum in Eastern Africa.
Containing exhibits that chronicle the nation’s history, its exhibits contain natural and human history artifacts dating from prehistory straight up to modern times.
The ethnographic gallery alone contains over 100,000 pieces, with weapons of war to various ceremonial pieces of clothing being on display. While this will be an engrossing part of the museum, don’t miss its extensive music display, exhibits containing 20 million year old humanoid fossils, and a cultural village filled with traditional thatch huts in its backyard.
Although the majority of people in Uganda are Christians, there is a significant minority of Muslims, with 16% of the population professing their faith in Islam. Pay homage to this segment of Ugandan society by visiting the Uganda National Mosque.
It used to be known as the Gaddafi National Mosque as it was he who commissioned its construction as a gift, but the name was changed following the Libyan dictator’s death in 2013.
Open to visitors outside prayer times, its minaret gives an unbeatable view of the city of Kampala to those willing to brave the climb.
Wonder where the Source of the Nile is located? It can be found in Uganda, as the longest river in the world begins its journey towards the Mediterranean Sea from Lake Victoria. In order to visit this place, you will need to make your way to the town of Jinja.
While many opt to simply take in the amazing views of the lake and surrounding jungle, active travelers will leap at the opportunity to go horseback riding, white water rafting, ATV riding, and bungee jumping.
When foreigners think of Uganda, mountain gorillas are the first thing that comes to mind for many of them. If you are looking to get on a safari to seek out our endangered cousins, you will want to make the trip to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.
Named for its forbidding alpine terrain, its difficult topography has made it possible for half the world’s remaining mountain gorillas to survive the onslaught of humanity in recent centuries. Unaffected by the last ice age, this park possesses biodiversity that is hard to beat in Eastern Africa, with 120 species of mammals and 360 species of birds, so keep your eyes open on your hike in to see the gorillas.
If you have time to see more nature in Uganda, be sure to add Murchison Falls National Park to your itinerary. As the name suggests, this park is well-known for a series of amazing waterfalls, but it is also home to Uganda’s largest population of crocodiles.
Overall, it is home to 76 species of mammals and a whopping 450 species of birds, making it a great destination for avid watchers of avian species.
What to Eat
If you are looking to partake of the local food while in Uganda, start by ordering some Matoke. This dish is created by harvesting bananas while they are still green, peeling them and then cooking them until they can be mashed up into a meal.
Eaten with vegetables, ground peanuts, or with meat such as goat or beef, this dish is a common staple for locals that need an energy boost to get through their day.
A snack brought into the country by Arab traders, Mugati Naamaggi has become a national favorite of all Ugandans. It is made by taking wheat dough and stretching it out into a thin pancake, which is then filled with minced meat and egg before being folded over and then fried on a skillet.
A convenient hunger buster grabbed on the go, this savory pastry will relieve your tummy rumblings during a busy travel day in Uganda.
Looking for a Ugandan meal that you will look back upon fondly? Seek out some Luwombo, as this chicken dish is well-loved by countless families. Stewed in a banana leaf with peanuts, onions, tomatoes, mushrooms, and seasonings, it is referred to as a royal dish by many locals for a very good reason. Once you sample some for yourself, you will understand why.